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National Security Minister condemns murders of school students

National Security Minister condemns murders of school students

by staff writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 9, CMC – National Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang has condemned the murders of two students of the Donald Quarrie High School, who were killed by gunmen as they slept at their home in Portmore, St. Catherine on  the south east of the island on Thursday night.

Police said that 14 year-old Brittany Allen and 15 year-old David Cameron, were lying in a bed when gunmen entered and shot the teenagers in their heads.

“When young, high school students are killed, the loss to the nation cannot be quantified,” Chang said in a statement, adding that the “the community has taken on a culture of violent crime.

“The police continue to improve their response capabilities through the strengthening the Anti-Gang Task Force, to better manage areas of high crime and gang violence, to support the efforts of the police, we will increase expenditure to programmes that teach our youth life skills, discipline and patience,” he said, appealing to all Jamaicans to refrain from using violence as a method of resolving conflict.

“We must return to a nation where we are our brothers’ keepers and where life is considered sacred. Violence is never the solution,” he said.

Earlier this week, Chang also condemned the murder of six-year-old Jordanion Hodges, describing it as “a brutal and heartless act”.

Police said that Kuwayne Hemmings, 27, who was transporting Hodges along the Windsor main road in the St. James parish on the north west end of the island, was also killed.

“The killing of this child saddens me,” Chang said, adding “this kind of brazen assault on our people and this disregard for the life of a child will not be tolerated”.

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Posted in CARICOM, Crime, International, Kids, Local, News, Youth0 Comments

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Badoor pianist Evgeny Kuznetsov thrills children to showcase their experience

by B. Roach

Evgeny Kuznetsov at the Cultural Center piano

A Russian-born pianist whose name is Evgeny Kuznetsov, on January 25, 2019, enthralled children from the primary schools in a piano play exhibition, almost like a recital.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Evgeny-Kuznetsov-thrills-children-at-piano-DSC_1683.jpg

The children were all students of Brian Hosefros who is the most recent music fellow on island through the Montserrat Music Foundation, which was founded by Sir George Martin, to teach and involve children in music on Montserrat.

Brian Hosefrom introduces Kustnetso

Kustnetsov is a graduate from Moscow State University of Culture and Arts. While studying, he won prizes and participated in competitions and festivals such as Russian Youth Scriabin Piano Competition, Moscow Chopin Piano Festival, Tatiana Nikolayeva International Piano Competition, Moscow Liszt Piano Festival. He currently lives in London and plays on venues such as Steinway Hall, 1901 Arts Club and Burgh House.

Brian Hosefrom introduces Kustnetsov

His exhibition for the children was done at his friend Brian’s invitation who says he is desirous of introducing the children to as many varieties of music; and it is hoped to bring out in the children the wealth of talent he has observed that they have. He is allowing them to create and perform music they have written.

This he will showcase on Saturday,  March 9, in a presentation “A Montserratian Fairy Tale by the Montserrat National Youth Choir” at the Cultural Centre. Brian has been working with the students from the various schools to create a production featuring music and a dramatic presentation written and performed by children.

The show is expected to begin promptly at 7.00 P.M. and all are invited to be in their seats on time for the start.

The pianist Kusnetsov shared an article recently published “in our corporate blog,” to be found here at: https://badoo.com/team/press/117/. It appeared under caption – Badooer makes music in Montserrat. The article boasted: “When Evgeny, one of our QA engineers, had the opportunity to go and perform for the Montserrat Foundation to help support the island’s population, of course we jumped at the chance to support him.”

https://badoo.com/team/press/117/ Badooer makes music in Montserrat

Here at Badoo HQ, we like to think we’re always making people’s days a little brighter – bringing new couples together, making dates between strangers possible, coming up with a never-ending stream of romantic puns… But sometimes, we get to take it a little further and actually do some real good. 

When Evgeny, one of our QA engineers, had the opportunity to go and perform for the Montserrat Foundation to help support the island’s population, of course we jumped at the chance to support him.

If you haven’t heard of Montserrat before, or why it’s in need of support, it’s a small island in the West Indies that suffered a terrible volcanic eruption about 20 years ago. The capital city, along with pretty much the whole of the southern half of the island, was buried under about 12m of mud and debris, and several more eruptions, gas clouds and rock flows have further damaged the area since. The whole population had to be evacuated to the northern half of the island, and a new airport, capital city and housing for everyone affected had to be constructed.

More than half the population of Montserrat chose to leave – and have been granted full British citizenship so they can settle here and start fresh – but for the people who decided to stay, the island is still their home. And that’s where the Montserrat Foundation comes in, along with our very own Evgeny.

Evgeny’s been playing the piano since he was seven years old, when the rest of us were still making daisy chains and shooting lasers from our fingers, and his trip to the island was part of the Foundation’s education programme. While he was there, he performed a kind of “lecture-concert” for the children, as he calls it, that included a combo of classical music, contemporary songs and quizzes to make the whole thing more interactive. He also joined in with music lessons and even performed a song by the island’s most popular artist, Arrow.

‘Meeting the people there was the best part of the trip. I met many incredibly talented, fascinating people who work hard to make life on tiny Montserrat better, people who care about education and arts. And the children, with their endless energy, were just amazing!

‘The community on the island is quite small, fewer than 5000 people, so naturally all of the children are very curious about new people – meaning I got a lot of attention! Most of them had never heard live classical music before, and I was very surprised when all of them listened to it very carefully. Then during the pop/rock part, some of them started to sing  – and they sang really well, believe me!’

This isn’t the first time Evgeny’s had the chance to take part in charity events. He recently took part in a 12 hour “piano marathon” in Kings Cross, where pianists played “The Infinite Piano Series” for 12 hours straight to support Amnesty International. However, it is the first time Badoo’s had the chance to support him, and we loved that we got to be a part of his latest adventure.

‘I feel really proud of Badoo. Support for initiatives like this one makes our company not just a place to work, but a place where you feel like people believe in you and your ideas.

‘Life on such a small island is tough for most of the children, but music is powerful and I hope that more of them will expose themselves to the arts. Many them did come to me after the concert with a lot of questions, which makes me think we did the right thing!

‘Overall, it was an incredible experience, and I hope Badoo continues to support other people doing things like this, whatever their activities might be.’

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Posted in Education, Entertainment, International, Kids, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Teenager commits suicide after mother takes away cell phone

Teenager commits suicide after mother takes away cell phone

by staff writer 

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Feb 4, CMC – A 16-year-old girl is reported to have committed suicide after her mother took away her mobile phone after finding out that she had been posting revealing photographs on social media, the Trinidad Express newspaper reported Monday.

It said that the incident occurred on Saturday when the teenager drank a poisonous statement at her home in Wallerfield in East Trinidad.

The paper reported that a container with “a green liquid” was found in the bedroom.

The mother told police that she had taken away her daughter’s cellphone after relatives discovered she had been posting revealing photographs on social media.

The child was rushed to the Arima Health Facility, where she was pronounced dead

 

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Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Education, Entertainment, International, Kids, Local, News, OECS, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Schools were told to put sanitary bins in boys’ toilets for transgender students

Boys can have periods too, primary pupils are taught

Schools were told to put sanitary bins in boys’ toilets for transgender students MATT CARDY/GETTY IMAGES

Teachers are being encouraged to tell primary school children that boys can have periods to avoid upsetting transgender pupils.

Advice on sex education lessons issued by a local authority states that teachers should discuss menstruation in a way that is inclusive of all genders.

The guidance, published by Brighton and Hove city council, on which Labour is the largest party with minority control, was criticised as sacrificing clear information for girls in favour of political correctness.

It states: “Trans boys and men and non-binary people may have periods.”

The guidance advises teachers that language used to talk about menstruation should be inclusive of all genders and that bins for tampons and other period products should be provided in male and female school lavatories.

Posted in International, Kids, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Man jailed for beating girlfriend whom he accused of having sex with senior government official

Man jailed for beating girlfriend whom he accused of having sex with senior government official


by staff writer 

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Dec 14, CMC – A magistrate has sentenced a 26-year-old man to three years in jail who assaulted his girlfriend after accusing her of having sex in the office of a senior government official last month.

Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett handed down the sentence, after hearing that woman had to be rushed to the emergency department of the hospital on November 30.

The court heard it was the third such beating in four days.

The accused had been in custody since he pleaded guilty, on December 3, to the charge of assault occasioning bodily harm, stemming from the incident.

The Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) is withholding the name of the man and his 26-year-old girlfriend, who live in south-western St. Vincent, in the interest of the abused woman and her children, who are now receiving support from the Social Services.

At the sentencing hearing, the woman told the court she and the man have been together for three years and have three children including twins, who will be three years old next month.

She told the court that while the abuse started some time ago, she never believed her boyfriend would have gotten so aggressive over simple things.

She said she was beaten by the man on November 26 when he accused her of being in a sexual relationship with their neighbour and even though he said he would not do it again, he did so three days later.

On November 30, the man beat her so severe after she had gone to the office of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture in search of a job that she had to be taken to hospital.

The boyfriend had accused her of having sex with the senior government official and even searched her underwear.

The man was arrested at the hospital and charged.

The woman told the court that because of the beating, she did not get a chance to take up the job and even though the children have been asking for their father.

She said since the last incident she has been receiving counselling and assistance from the government.

Even though the man told the court he was “sorry” over the incident, Senior Magistrate Burnett said “the sentence of this court is three years in prison”.

Posted in Court, Crime, Kids, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

Educator calls for criminal prosecution of those responsible for circulating sex video featuring school child

Educator calls for criminal prosecution of those responsible for circulating sex video featuring school child

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Dec 10, CMC – A former president of the St. Lucia Teachers Union (SLTU) is calling on stakeholders including the police to take the necessary action against those responsible for the circulation of a video on social media showing a school girl in uniform engaged in sexual acts.

“This is getting out of hand,” Virginia Albert-Poyotte, a veteran educator told the on-line publication, St. Lucia Times after the police and education officials confirmed they were aware of existence of the video, involving the 13-year-old student.

Albert-Poyotte, said the authorities should ensure that the persons with whom the teenager was engaging in sexual activity, those who recorded the video as well as those circulating the video face criminal prosecution.

“Whoever is involved in this type of activity needs to be pursued and justice needs to be administered in order to curtail that kind of behaviour,” the former school principal said, urging the Ministry of Education, the SLTU, the National Principals Association and the police to come together and decide how to deal with the matter.

The publication said that in addition to the video, there are also reports that nude photos of another young girl have been posted on social media.

Under the St. Lucia Criminal Code, no person under the age of sixteen can legally consent to sex. The code makes it a criminal offence for anyone to have sexual intercourse with or attempt to have sex with a child under 16, commonly known as statutory rape.

The maximum penalty for rape in St. Lucia is life imprisonment.

Posted in CARICOM, Crime, Kids, Local, News, OECS, Police, Regional, Youth0 Comments

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MSS hosts school’s talent in exhibition

The Montserrat Secondary School (MSS) hosted an exhibition which as ZJB reporter put it, “was a hive of activity today. It enabled students to showcase their skills in an eye-opening exhibition to mark the institution’s 80th anniversary.

A more detailed account will appear in the next TMR issue.

Posted in Entertainment, Kids, Local, News, Youth0 Comments

High number of child sexual abuse cases in Trinidad and Tobago

High number of child sexual abuse cases in Trinidad and Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Nov 21, CMC – The Children Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (CATT) says it has had to deal with more than 5,000 cases of sexual abuse and sexual offenses against children during the three and a half years of its establishment.

CATT director, Safiya Noel said that more than 16,000 cases regarding children have come to its attention and that represents nearly 25 percent of the actual cases received by the authority.

CATT, which came into operation in May 2015, following the proclamation of several pieces of legislation including the Children’s Authority Act, said to date, it has received 69,319 calls and now has before it 16,661 cases.

“The number of reports of child sexual abuse and sexual offenses against children over the period amounts to 5,737 of total cases,” Noel said.

Figures released by CATT show that the majority of the cases are from the east-west corridor and

“The main forms of abuse are firstly, neglect; physical abuse and some sexual abuse,” she said, adding “working with the family is a critical thing and we have found that in a lot of single parents there is where a lot of the neglect cases”.

She said that parents themselves are either victims or victims of abuse and urged them to seek help and therapy.

“Nothing is wrong with going for therapy. You don’t have to be crazy…some­times if you think about it think, about your own lives, you would recog­nise that there are sit­u­a­tions that you strug­gle to deal with and some­times you need some­body there to help you through the process,” Noel said.

CATT chairman, Hanif Benjamin, said that a national protocol will be submitted to Cabinet for review and approval by mid-2019.

He said the document will be rolled out as a national system where it will out­line responsibilities for all stakeholders.

Posted in CARICOM, Court, Crime, Kids, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

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Did the Education Minister claim environmental issues for teachers at MSS?

Minister of Education, Mrs. Delmaude Ryan

The Minister of Education, Mrs. Delmaude Ryan was speaking just before she declared open the Montserrat Union of Teachers Convention on Friday, October 5, at the Lookout Primary school convention.

Delivering the feature address at the Convention while expressing concern and the government’s desire to have a high number of trained teachers at the Montserrat Secondary School, which she said stood at 72% in 2016/17 and was above the average set for themselves had declined to 55% in 2017/18.

She said that the retention of teachers is a problem across the world. “This shows you the challenges all around the world in being able to retain as well as to increase the number of trained teachers in our classrooms,” she remarked.

However, she pointed out that the retention of teachers is not always about the salary. “Trained teachers overall, keeping and retaining teachers is not necessarily at times about the salary, but is the environment that is created, the support that they receive in that environment that encourages whether they want to stay or whether they want to leave,” she said.

This caused the speculation that all was not well with the conditions of work around the school, but without expanding on the issue, she concluded, “There’s a very important role that we all play in how do we work together as a team in delivering that one core essential item of education to our nation’s children.”

She then noted, “At the primary level we have 77% of teachers trained so it is at a good level comparatively to others across the world, however for Montserrat our aim is to bring that up to 100 percent trained.

Posted in Features, Kids, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Man given life sentence for raping eight year-old child

Man given life sentence for raping eight year-old child

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Oct 3, CMC – A 34-year-old man was sentenced to life imprisonment after he was found guilty of raping an eight year old child three years ago.

The Court heard that David Alexander, who opted not to endure a trial and entered the guilty plea before Justice JoAnn Barlow started the case, committed the offence on February 24, 2015.

“Guilty with explanation…” the accused said, and his attorney, Clyde Forde, said that his client claimed that at the time of the incident he was drunk and cannot remember all that occurred on the day of the incident.

He offered an apology to the Court and his victim.

“He was just 31 at that time living with his brother and has no previous convictions.” Forde said, adding that his client saved the court much judicial time and pleaded with the judge to consider the factors and exercise justice with mercy.

In her letter to the Court, the young victim expressed her ongoing hurt over the incident, explaining that it was something she will never forget. The child said she thought she was about to be killed.

Before handing down her sentence, Justice Barlow said being drunk cannot be an excuse for the crime committed.

She said that the child was traumatized by the incident and had to undergo surgeries for the injuries she sustained during the heinous act.

“In this case there is no mitigating circumstance because of the damage done,” she said, adding that when consuming alcohol, a man must remain in control of his faculties and that is no excuse for causing damage, especially to that of an eight-year-old.

The judge said that while in prison, Alexander should be exposed to counselling sessions, classes for alcohol problems and use his time to reflect on what he had done.

Posted in Court, Crime, International, Kids, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

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