Crime scares Sumfest patrons

Crime scares Sumfest patrons

A St James businessman is speculating that the murder of seven persons in that parish recently may have been the contributing factor to the low turnout of patrons during the final two nights of Reggae Sumfest 2015. “We did Sumfest this year, and the first night was a great success and, coincidentally or unfortunately, seven people were murdered in Montego Bay on Thursday, July 16. And, for the first time in the history of the festival, we had 50 per cent fewer people on Friday and 50 per cent less people on Saturday,” said Robin Russell, owner of Robin’s Prime Steakhouse. “Was it a direct result of those murders? Well, it is hard to say, but coincidentally it happened, and it has not happened in the 23 years of the festival,” he continued. Russell was addressing Thursday evening’s launch of Generation 2000 (G2K) Conversations on Crime forum. The forum, which was held under the theme Impact of Crime on the Economy, was held at the Montego Bay Community College Lecture Theatre located on Alice Eldemire Drive in Montego Bay. The annual Reggae Sumfest festival was held at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in St James July 16 to 18. Russell said crime is having a negative impact on commerce and communities. “A lot of you are not young enough to remember a place called Sun Valley Club, or Yellow Bird, or Cats Corner, or Town House Restaurant, or even Georgian House Restaurant. These were places of amusement in and around Montego Bay. In fact, Sun Valley Club was up in Glendevon where Princess Anne went to… These were places where tourists used to go, and they no longer can go there,” disclosed Russell, who added, “those communities are now a haven for gangs and illegal activities.” “So what has crime really cost us? It cost us our community. It cost us our youngsters that should be working and developing our country. People talk about brain drain, and how people left the country in the seventies, and what did we lose in Jamaica. Well, we are losing the same thing right now, because people who should be living in Jamaica don’t live here because of crime. Returning residents that want to come back and spend their money in Jamaica aren’t coming back, because they are afraid of crime,” he added. Since the start of the year, more than 120 people have been killed in St James. In an effort to halt the crime wave, the police commissioner recently transferred 200 cops to that parish.
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Politics of water is all going down the plug hole

There were echoes of the electronic voting machines debacle this week with yet another twist in the Irish Water saga. This time it was an unwelcome but not wholly unexpected report from Eurostat declaring that the cost of Irish Water had to remain on the State balance sheet. The company had failed the so-called “market corporation test”. Households were not paying an economically significant contribution to the true cost of water. The cost of funding the €5.5bn investment programme into Irish Water to 2021 will be largely borne by the State. The level of Government control of the utility via board appointments and control of pricing was also criticised. Eurostat saw Irish Water for what it is, essentially an expensive State-funded quango. Finance Minister Michael Noonan played it down; it wouldn’t affect the October Budget. But there was no hiding the blushes and disappointment of the Government parties. In retrospect, it was probably delusional on the Government’s part to attempt to decouple it from the State as an independent body, given all the backsliding on charges which would have allowed it to be commercially viable and independent. From the very beginning, Irish Water was accident prone and a cause of discord between the Coalition parties. The original mistake was failing to make the case for conservation and quality of water as a finite resource. Instead, the narrative was allowed to develop that water charges and the establishment of the new utility was yet another measure required in the context of the bailout and cutbacks in public services. The Government failed to get across the message that all over Europe citizens pay for water on a metered basis without controversy, based on an established conservation principle of the “polluter pays.” Former FG Environment Minister Phil Hogan set up the new utility but was safely ensconced in his EU Commissioner’s chair before the proverbial hit the fan. The first sign of real trouble was when Irish Water CEO John Tierney revealed that millions had been spent on consultants in the first year. Large salaries and a bonus culture added fuel to public anger, even for those who agreed in principle with paying for water. But for those with ideological objections to water charges, the administrative shambles and profligacy was manna from heaven. Irish Water became the lightning rod for visceral public unrest with violent protest marches and attacks on the workers installing water meters. Few will forget the unprecedented scale of civil unrest and anger which dominated the local European and by- elections. Despite concessions such as capping the charge and a €100 refund designed by Labour Environment Minister Alan Kelly, the anti- water campaign has continued. The non-payment by so many of the first water bills is evidence that the campaign still has traction. While not as electorally damaging for Fine Gael, the whole thing has been disastrous for the Labour Party, who are shedding votes to the combined leftist opposition. The latest poll indicates the Independents as a group are at 31pc, higher than any other party, The rise of the Independents is a mystery to me. The prospect of a cohort of them propping up the next government is alarming. Independents tend to be focused on local issues and are therefore unreliable. Having served in an administration dependent on them, I know the hold they can have over Governments. Their priority is invariably their own constituency, to the detriment of the national interest. But like it or not, people are plumping for something other than traditional politicians. After all we have been through, with a banking and economic collapse, the national humiliation of an IMF bailout and financial ruin for so many, it is understandable that “change” is attractive. Independents, by their nature, are maverick and opinionated. They exude an air of “authenticity” which people may feel is lacking in media savvy and polished politicians from traditional parties. Look at the appeal of individuals like Jeremy Corbyn in the British Labour Party leadership race and Donald Trump in the US. But give me a party any time. At least there is policy coherence, discipline and order when there is a party. It was interesting to note the emergence of a new party in the political firmament, the Social Democrats, made up of three strong Independent TDs, Stephen Donnelly, Catherine Murphy and former Labour TD Roisin Shortall. Three is a very small party. However, they are three safe seats and each has a track record in sound politics and integrity. Catherine Murphy has been an outstanding deputy, forensic and responsible in her work on IBRC. Stephen Donnelly has the perfect credentials in an age of economic discourse. It was a pity that he withdrew from the Banking Inquiry, as he would have been an asset to it. Roisin Shortall is an experienced and thoughtful politician, who resigned as a junior minister on a point of principle relating to the alleged favouritism for his constituency in the funding of primary care centres by then Health Minister James Reilly. They are serious players. If they had another two or three credible TDs, they could make up the numbers in a future coalition just like the PDs did over 20 years. But even the Social Democrats are on the anti-Irish water bandwagon. Renua, in its first sensible outing on a policy matter, defended the principle of paying for water, although it was critical of Irish Water as a body. For that piece of rationality, the party was punished by the resignation of its Galway West “candidate” Councillor James Charity. An example of jumping ship before it set sail. It’s a funny old world. The economy is growing at pre-crash levels, jobs are proliferating and the Government is for the first time in a position to produce its first popular Budget in October. It has been a “white-knuckle ride” to take the country from bust to growth. Unpopular decisions were taken in the national interest. Fair-minded people will acknowledge that in the round, the two parties performed well in appalling circumstances, mostly fighting bush fires inherited from the previous government. But their home-grown debacles cannot be attributed to others. Irish Water, despite the validity of water charges on environmental grounds, tops the poll when it comes to voter dissatisfaction. It screams incompetence by Government. But, unlike the voting machines, there is no warehouse big enough to hide or house Irish Water. It is too expensive to wind up and too politically dangerous to make viable by increasing charges. With all its faults, it is probably here to stay. Liz O’Donnell In the final days of negotiations leading to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, there was a frantic scramble to meet the deadline set by talks chairman Senator George Mitchell. 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Hillary Clinton has clean bill of health but takes blood-thinners and thyroid pills

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By David Martosko, Us Political Editor For Dailymail.com Published: 19:10 GMT, 31 July 2015 | Updated: 22:07 GMT, 31 July 2015 102 shares 121 View comments Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is fit enough to serve in the White House, according to her doctor, who issued a health-summary on Tuesday that her campaign will use to counter claims about the candidate’s age and a recent history of health scares. The Clinton camp published the document Friday as the State Department released the latest batch of documents related to the former diplomat’s long-simmering email controversy. Along with ordinary vital signs and a recent medical history, Dr. Lisa Bardack of Mount Kisco, N.Y. wrote that Clinton, 67, suffers no long-term effects from a December 2012 concussion that left her seeing double for two months. But in the course of treating that condition, Bardock added, doctors diagnosed a blood clot in the former senator and first lady’s sinuses, requiring long-term daily doses of Coumadin, a compound that thins the blood. Scroll down for video  The ‘transverse sinus venous thrombosis,’ if left untreated, can grow break loose, travel through the bloodstream and lodge in the lungs – blocking blood flow and potentially causing death. Clinton’s concussion became the stuff of conspiracy theories because it came the same week when she was originally scheduled to testify before a congresional committee about the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya just three months earlier.  The New York Post called her concussion a ‘head fake.’ Pundit Allen West, then a Florida congressman, said Clinton had a case of the ‘Benghazi flu.’ Fox News contributer Charles Krauthammer called it an ‘acute Benghazi allergy.’  But Clinton was rushed to New York Presbyterian Hospital on December 30, 2012 when the cranial clot was first noted by a physician during a followup. A day later, her doctor released a statement describing the location of the clot as in ‘the vein that is situated in the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear.’ The clot ‘did not result in a stroke, or neurological damage,’ the statement continued. Clinton left the hospital on January 2, 2013 and returned to work five days later, but did not appear before Congress until the following month, leading some Republicans to speculate about the timing and seriousness of her hospitalization. Bardack wrote this week that Clinton had been diagnosed with two previous blood clots, in 1998 and 2009. ‘She had follow-up testing in 2013, which revealed complete resolution of the effects of the concussion as well as total dissolution of the thrombosis [clot],’ according to the doctor. ‘Mrs. Clinton also tested negative for all clotting disorders. As a precaution, however, it was decided to continue her on daily anticoagulation.’  Overall, Bardack determined, ‘she is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as president of the United States.’   She also noted that Clinton suffers from seasonal allergies and hypothyroidism, an imbalance of thyroid hormones that can be corrected with a daily pill. Her prescription is for Armour Thyroid, an alternative to the more typical Synthroid medication that some holistic physicians prefer because it is produced from dried pig thyroid glands instead of being synthesized in a laboratory. The pill is known mostly for its pungent odor.  Separately, Bardack confirmed that Clinton had worn specialized eyeglasses during the months after her concussion, because she was seeing double. ‘Mrs. Clinton … benefited from wearing glasses with a Fresnel Prism,’ she wrote. ‘Her concussion symptoms, including the double vision, resolved within two months and she discontinued the use of the prism.’ Bardack reported that Clinton ‘does not smoke and drinks alcohol occasionally. She does not use illicit drugs or tobacco products.’ ‘Her cancer screening evaluations are all negative,’ the doctor wrote. ‘She is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States.’  ‘Her most recent physical examination on March 21, 2015 revealed a healthy-appearing female. Her vital signs showed blood pressure 100/65, heart rate 72, respiratory rate 18 and temperature 98.7.’ ‘The remainder of her physical examination was normal,’ she said. ‘Laboratory testing revealed a normal EKG and normal laboratory testing, including cholesterol of 195, with an LDL of 118, HDL of 64 and triglycerides of 69.’  
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