People who are diagnosed with coronary artery disease and then develop depression face a risk of death that’s twice as high as heart patients without depression. This is according to a major new study by researchers at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City.The increased risk of death from any cause holds true whether the depression immediately follows the heart disease diagnosis or occurs even years later, according to Heidi May, PhD, a cardiovascular epidemiologist at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute and the study’s lead author.She said the findings point out the importance of screening for and treating depression even years after someone is diagnosed with heart disease.Biggest predictor of death Researchers found that post-coronary artery disease depression was the single biggest predictor of death and remained so even after researchers controlled for the other factors.“No matter how long or how short it was, patients were found to have twice the risk of dying compared to those who didn’t have a follow-up diagnosis of depression,” Dr. May said. “Depression was the strongest risk factor for dying, compared to any other risk factors we evaluated. That included age, heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney failure, or having a heart attack or stroke.”That association didn’t change for patients who were previously diagnosed with depression before their heart disease diagnosis or for patients whose angiograms were performed for various reasons, which included stable angina, unstable angina, or heart attack.Dr. May said most studies have looked at depression at a single point in time, such as within 30 days of a heart event or at the time of heart disease diagnosis. Just a handful of studies have looked over the course of a year, let alone years, such as this study, which followed patients for an average of 10 years after their coronary artery disease diagnosis to see if they were ever diagnosed with depression.Fifteen percent diagnosed with depressionIn all, 15 percent, or 2,646 patients, were diagnosed with depression at some point during follow-up. Of those, 27 percent were diagnosed within a year of their heart event, 24 percent between one and three years after, nearly 15 percent between three and five years after, and nearly 37 percent at least five years after a baseline heart disease event. Study reinforces previous researchThis study reinforces previous research investigating the link between depression, heart disease, and increased risks of death. It’s already been shown that people with coronary artery disease don’t live as long as their peers who don’t have heart disease. And while life expectancy has increased with better therapies, surgeries, and more aggressive treatment of identified risk factors, depression has come under increasing scrutiny as a risk factor that could make a difference, if properly treated.The study didn’t explain the reason for the elevated risk of death, although Dr. May said one possibility is that depression impacts how closely patients follow their treatment plans.She also noted that physiological changes occur within the body when patients are diagnosed with depression, which might help explain the link.The researchers emphasize the importance of continual screening of depression for all heart disease patients. “Patients who have depression need to be treated for it to improve not only their long-term risks but their quality of life,” Dr. May said.The Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute is part of the Intermountain Healthcare system, which is based in Salt Lake City.
The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has ruled that an agreement reached by a Guyanese couple after their marriage ended in 1998 is binding.The CCJ, Guyana’s highest court, noted that the “without prejudice’ agreement, made on September 12, 2007, between Rosemarie Ramdehol and Haimwant Ramdehol, was clear, had been agreed upon, and was therefore binding.Business partnersThe court noted that before their marriage ended in 1998, the Ramdehols were partners in a successful auto sales business and in 2007, they agreed to negotiate a division of their matrimonial and business assets.The man submitted that this agreement was made with the ‘without prejudice’ letter, which stated that his former wife would pay him the sum of US$262,500 in exchange for transferring his share of the jointly-owned assets to her.Ramdehol said that the transfer was made but he was not paid the agreed sum and that the only payments he had received from his ex-wife were repayments of a loan, as well as the proceeds of the sale of a car which he had asked her to sell.Agreement renegotiatedMrs. Ramdehol submitted that their agreement was renegotiated after September 2007, however, she could not provide correspondence between their attorneys to substantiate this new agreement.During the trial, Mr. Ramdehol also submitted that there could have been no agreement in September 2007 as the correspondence was ‘without prejudice’ and no formal agreement had been drawn up and signed by the parties.Terms of contract remain But in its ruling, the CCJ noted that “the terms of the contract were sufficiently certain.The Court also confirmed the funds received by Mr. Ramdehol were repayments of a loan and from the sale of a vehicle.The Court ordered Mrs. Ramdehol to pay US$262,500, in settlement of the property division to her former husband, adding that the sum is subject to deduction of monies already paid, if any, in fulfilment of the lower court’s order from June 2012.
The Jamaica government says it has lost a “friend and an inspiration’ as it paid tribute to the former anti-apartheid campaigner, Winnie Mandela, who died in her homeland on Monday.Symbol of the black struggle“Winnie Mandela was a symbol of the black struggle against oppression and injustice. We here in Jamaica supported her in that struggle as she maintained the legacy of her then husband Nelson Mandela while he was locked away for 27 years,” Prime Minister Andrew Holness said, noting that her death brings into focus the significant struggle of black people against racism.Winnie Mandela died in South Africa on Monday. She was 81 years old.Tremendous impact of Nelson and Winnie MandelaHolness made reference to what he termed the tremendous impact that both Winnie and her late ex-husband Nelson Mandela had on him and the world.“As a young man the Mandela’s were inspirations to me and many of my peers. We were cognizant of the evolution of the struggle that culminated in the release of Nelson Mandela and majority black rule. We still strongly remember their visit to Jamaica in 1991 as I know do many Jamaicans today,” Holness said, adding that the former South African icon is immortalized in the Jamaican socio-cultural consciousness with songs and stories about her life and struggles.“Winnie is a part of us. We identified with her struggle and we recorded songs about her. Jamaica embraced her not just as the wife of Nelson Mandela but importantly the mother of modern South Africa – a woman who was a freedom fighter and liberator in her own right,” he said, adding that Jamaica has lost a friend and an inspiration.
A Jamaican reggae singer who has toured the United States West Coast for over 15 years, has found an unlikely partner in a top American producer who has worked with mega stars such as Adele, Taylor Swift and Beyonce.Las Vegas based Ras Kronik, who is based in Las Vegas, recently worked with producer Steve Migliore, known in music circles as Mr. Mig of the Maxx Beat label, who directed him on the song Get High.Released in April, Get High is recorded on a House beat, a departure for Ras Kronik whose previous songs are either roots-reggae or lovers rock productions.He hopes working with the high-profile Mr. Mig may give him his big break. “The link came straight from Mr. Mig himself. He sent me a message via twitter telling me who he was and that he liked what I am doing, and he would like to do something for me,” said Ras Kronik.Trendy House beatHe believes cutting a song on the trendy House beat can open new markets for him.“I think for my career it’s a good move. Mr. Mig taking a vocal as mine and collaborate it with a House/Dance beat that’s really amazing because it puts me in the mix with the clubbers and Millennials,” he said.Get High addresses the global drive to legalize marijuana. That movement includes Jamaica where legislation to decriminalize the plant has moved apace in the last three years.Clarendon born Ras Kronik is from Clarendon, a rural parish in Jamaica. He has lived in Las Vegas for over 10 years, making a name for himself on the gambling capital’s reggae circuit.To date, he has released two albums: The Real Thing Remix which came out in 2013, and Wild N Free which was released in 2016.Ras Kronik performs on the June 9 Reggae In The Desert show at Clark County Amphitheatre in Las Vegas, along with Collie Buddz, The Mighty Diamonds, Kabaka Pyramid, Third World and Cocoa Tea.
On Tuesday Jamaica’s National Security Minister, Dr. Horace Chang, followed the junior minister in the ministry of education in condemning the recent cruel and brutal attacks on Jamaican children. In condemning the murder of a 14-year-old school child, whose body was found on Sunday, three days after she had been reported missing, Minister Chang said the child’s death was “shameful and un-Jamaican.”“We are concerned about the attacks on our children and young girls in particular. The heinous, barbaric nature of the crimes are appalling and reflect concerning lows in our society’s conscience,” Chang said in a statement.The authorities said that the mutilated body of 14-year-old Raven Wilson, a third form student of Ocho Rios High School in St Ann, was found in a plastic bag, meters away from her home on Sunday.Chang said he would be engaging the police high command on the way forward to address this disturbing trend. “We must take steps to ensure that these perpetrators understand they will be pursued and tried to the full extent of the law.Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, had condemned the murder as “cruel, inhumane and barbaric. “I am seriously disturbed by the killing of yet another promising young girl, whose life was cut short by cold and heartless criminals. There is simply no justification for such cruelty against our children. The level of violence being meted out against them needs to stop, because it is robbing them of their right to life,” he added.The human rights group, Hear The Children’s Cry is calling for the prosecution of persons involved in carrying out criminal acts on children.In a statement condemning the murder of Wilson, the group said “we have not even gone ten months of the year and nearly 40 children have already been murdered during 2018. That is double the usual gruesome annual statistic.
The Jamaican government has cleared the more than J$7- billion owed to the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) for street lights. Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond Mckenzie, says the street light debt dates back several years.He said that J$4.5 billion was paid to the light and power company over a two-month period to reduce the debt significantly, as the arrears stood in the way of residents getting defective streets lights repaired and new ones installed.Mckenzie said that the government “then had to find on a monthly basis, J$300 million to pay to the [JPS] for street light and when we fail to pay that J$300 million, it attracts interest.“So… after discussions with Minister of Finance and Public Service, Dr. Nigel Clarke we went to Cabinet [and] Cabinet supported the recommendations that were made. We have now paid off the entire debt. So, come the end of the financial year, we will not owe the JPS one cent.”McKenzie said that the JPS has since committed to repairing the country’s 12,000 malfunctioning streetlights by the end of the 2018/2019 financial year.
Guyana, Brazil and Suriname are collaborating to eradicate the carambola fruit fly which plagues agricultural produce and poses economic and environmental challenges in the region.Chief executive officer of the National Agricultural and Research Extension Institute (NAREI) Dr. Oudho Homenauth said the exercise is centered on the elimination of the Carambola fruit fly, which poses a serious threat.“It is recognized that no one country in the region can seriously manage the pest problem. We all have to work together. So, it is imperative that our efforts be combined; and the three countries, that is Guyana, Suriname and Brazil have agreed to work together to have a unified approach to make a difference,” Dr. Homenauth told a workshop hosted by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).He said that as Guyana continues to expand its non-traditional agricultural sector, systems need to be in place to protect crops.Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Delma Nedd who noted the effects of the carambola fruit fly on Guyana’s agricultural development.She said studies show the fly is responsible for as much as fifty percent yield loss of the carambola crop.
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s foreign Minister Kamina Johnson Smith confirmed, on June 16, that the board of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company, has filed a lawsuit against the Jamaican government in relation to their “forcible takeover” of its 49 per cent stake in local oil refinery Petrojam.Just hours before the lawsuit, the PDVSA board appointed by Juan Guaidó, recognised as interim Venezuelan president by more than 50 countries, warned Jamaica to refrain from selling the shares owned by PDVSA in Petrojam.“The legitimate Government of Venezuela is defending the interests of the subsidiary of PDVSA, before the expropriation carried out by the Government of Jamaica of the shareholding of PDV Caribe in Petrojam,” the board said in a statement published on Sunday by Guaidó’s.Guaidó, the leader of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly, in January, invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate. He has been recognised as the rightful leader by over 50 countries including the United States, but Jamaica is not officially recognized Guaidó as the rightful leader of Venezuela.Legislation Passed in JamaicaIn February of this year, the Jamaican Senate passed legislation clearing the way for thegovernment to retake PDVSA’s 49 per cent stake in Petrojam acquired in 2006 as part of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s energy diplomacy efforts in the Caribbean. Thus, Prime Minister Andrew Holness is adamant that the Jamaican Government now owns 100 per cent of the refinery and, therefore, would not accede to the request to not retake its shares.In a statement made by Minister Johnson Smith, she explained that “The Government of Jamaica now owns the shares in Petrojam in its entirety. We passed legislation in order to give this effect. It was not a negotiated agreement. We passed legislation and the shares have now vested. Forty-nine per cent which was previously owned by PVD Caribe is now held by the Accountant General of Jamaica.Fifty-one per cent remain owned by PCJ (Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica). So there is no question about completing a transaction. The shares are now owned by Jamaica.”However, according to the statement published by Guaidó’s team, the controversial leader also wrote formally to Prime Minister Andrew Holness in which he stressed that “only the legitimate Government of Venezuela, under the control of the National Assembly, can represent the interests of PDVSA in Jamaica”.The fact that Jamaica has yet to recognise Guaidó as the official leader of Venezuela seems to be the underlying issue, as both countries prepare to make their next moves.The Jamaica Petrojam Strategic Review Team has submitted a report to the Cabinet for review, Venezuela has hired popular Jamaican attorney Michael Hylton, QC, to represent PDVSA.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Barbados says it has no intention of ending a programme through which Cuban nurses are engaged in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the island, despite a threat by the United States to target countries benefiting from the “medical missions” from Havana. “Barbados is a sovereign country and we make decisions in the interest of the country just like other countries large and small. We have engaged the nurses from Cuba. Barbados had diplomatic relations with Cuba when other countries were trying to do the same . . . and we are not going to buckle under the pressure of any other nation,” said Health Minister, Jeffrey Bostic. Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott has introduced a new bill that would target countries that hire Cuban doctors through the “medical missions” controlled by the island’s government. CMC The Cut Profits to the Cuban Regime Act requires the State Department to publish the list of countries that contract the doctors through the Cuban government and to consider that as a factor in their ranking in the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report. Scott is being supported by Florida and Texas Republicans, Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. He said the Cuban government was participating “in the human trafficking of doctors” and that any country that requests medical assistance from Cuba is aiding such efforts. He told a branch meeting of the ruling Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in St. Phillip, south-east of the capital on Sunday evening that Bridgetown would maintain its policy of being “friends of all, satellites of none”. Rubio also called the missions “a form of modern-day human trafficking,” but the Cuban government, which has almost 30,000 healthcare workers contracted in more than 50 countries, including in several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, has dismissed the accusations and insists that the missions are examples of cooperation and solidarity. Bostic said that Barbados was doing what was in the interest of its people and the nurses would remain here “because we expect we will have more cases and we are a tourism-based country which depended on almost 40 per cent of GDP”.
West Indies batsman Shai Hope is bowled by Stuart Broad in the second innings on Monday’s final day of the second Test. Campbell completed a poor match when he fell to the fifth ball of the innings for four, nicking a loose drive behind off Broad and England having to resort to DRS to have the initial not out decision overturned. Unbeaten on 52 at tea after authoritatively reaching his third Test half-century with the second of his two sixes in the penultimate over before the break, Brooks desperately tried to repair the innings in a 23-run stand with captain Jason Holder who made 35. Holder belted five fours and a six in a 62-ball knock, attempting to inspire a last ditch rescue effort but once he was bowled through the gate by Bess, all hopes of salvaging a stalemate perished with him. That dismissal put England firmly in command and they pressed home their advantage after the interval taken at 137 for five, Woakes trapping Shane Dowrich on his crease in the first full over after the resumption to ensure the diminutive right-hander completed a “pair” in the game. Fast bowling all-rounders Ben Stokes (2-30) and Chris Woakes (2-34), along with off-spinner Dom Bess (2-59), all finished with two wickets each, firing England to a crucial victory and keeping alive their hopes of recapturing the Wisden Trophy, ahead of the deciding Test beginning here Friday. CMC But once Blackwood perished in the final over before tea, West Indies wobbled again, losing their last six wickets for 61 runs to be all out for 198, with 14.5 overs and three-quarters of an hour left to survive in England’s northwest. Brooks and Blackwood then joined forces to stabilise the Windies innings, in a partnership which blunted England’s attack, albeit temporarily. MANCHESTER, England – Shamarh Brooks and Jermaine Blackwood carved out polished half-centuries but West Indies’ fragile top order was again cruelly exposed, as England levelled the three-Test series with a 113-run victory on the final day at Old Trafford on Monday. Once the declaration came on the stroke of the first hour, it left West Indies with a minimum of 85 overs to survive in order to save the game and retain the Wisden but things quickly went awry. Already with a half-century in the first innings, Brooks exuded class and confidence in a knock consuming 136 balls in just under 3-½ hours, and which included four fours and two sixes – both elegant straight hits off Bess. However, his resistance finally ended when he lazily played back to Curran and was plumb lbw. Needing to start well after lunch, West Indies suffered even more disappointment in the fourth over when Roston Chase shouldered arms to Broad, was struck on the back leg, and sent on his way lbw for six. He appeared set to reach tea safely when he fended off a short delivery from Stokes and was taken low down by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler running around to the leg side, off the fourth ball before the break. Man-of-the-Match Stokes had earlier set the tone for England’s dominance after they resumed on 37 for two, as he blasted an unbeaten 78 from 57 deliveries, to stun West Indies in the morning session. Dropped on 29 in the second over of the day by John Campbell at deep extra cover off speedster Shannon Gabriel, the left-hander shredded the Windies attack with four fours and three sixes as England frenetically increased their lead. Set an improbable 312 to win the second Test after the hosts declared their second innings on 129 for three an hour into the morning, West Indies collapsed in a heap at 25 for three at lunch thanks to veteran seamer Stuart Broad (3-42) who produced a lethal burst with the new ball. Blackwood, meanwhile, punched seven fours – including three in one over from left-arm seamer Sam Curran – in an innings requiring 88 balls and a shade under two hours. Brooks then top-scored with 62 while Blackwood stroked 55, the pair posting an invaluable 100 for the fifth wicket to revive the innings and the Caribbean side’s hopes of forcing a stalemate in the pivotal contest. His senior opening partner Kraigg Brathwaite followed about 20 minutes before lunch when he was pinned on his crease by Woakes for 12 in a clear lbw decision and five balls later in the next over, Shai Hope was comprehensively bowled by Broad for seven by one that came back.