The March 10th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Two Villagers Beaten In Separate Incidents In Unitedville:
    Two male persons have been detained as the search continues for another two comprising a group of four young men suspected to have attacked and injured two men in separate incidents in the western village of Unitedville on the George Price Highway in the Cayo District. In the first reported incident, Unitedville resident Rosa Macharro reported to the police that she was at home at around 8:30 pm on Sunday, March 3, 2013, when her husband, Miguel Macharro, arrived at home in a taxi from a trip to Guatemala City. The husband was reportedly unlocking the gate to enter the yard when he was approached by a group of four young men one of whom is said to have asked him for a dollar. He reportedly ignored the request and this was when he was allegedly attacked with sticks and a machete by the group.
  • The UDP Getting Stronger And Stronger:
    As this year’s round of village council elections draw nearer, the number of supporters seeking to contest these elections for the United Democratic Party (UDP) is growing exponentially. This new phenomenon has resulted in the Party having to conduct an unprecedented number of conventions across the country. Two recent such conventions were held over the past two consecutive weekends in the western villages of San Antonio in the Cayo Central Constituency and the other in the village of San Jose Succotz in the Cayo West Constituency. In the San Antonio convention which was held between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm on Sunday, February 24, an astonishing 601 villagers, of the 972 registered voters on the voters list for the village, flocked to the polls to cast their votes for one of two candidates seeking to contest the upcoming elections as the UDP Chairman candidate for their Village.
  • First historic National Communication System installed:
    For the first time, the Ministry of Health has established a National Communications System to network with the Public health providers across the country. Enhanced communications have already been established between Northern Regional Hospital, Southern Regional Hospital and Central Health Region since its installation last month. This system will support real-time reporting and communication from incident site directly to the Emergency Operating Center (EOC) at the headquarters in Belmopan. It will also be useful during possible electricity downtime during disasters or emergencies.
  • Third Cohort of Field Epidemiology Training Program commences:
    The Ministry of Health has commenced on the third cohort in a basic level course in Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) for participants including, Public Health Inspectors, Public Health Nurses, Laboratory Technicians and Medical officers of the Ministry and from the Belize Defence Force. Objectives of the program include building capacity for front line responders in the detection, surveillance, response, analysis and prevention associated with high priority public health problems.
  • Nutrition Unit conducts training to improve Dietary Services at Hospitals:
    In an effort to improve on Dietary Services within the regional and district hospitals across the country, the Nutrition Unit of the Ministry hosted a Dietary training session at Southern Regional Hospital Kitchen with cooks, dietary aides and dietary supervisors to improve on the quality of food preparation in hospitals. During a short theory session, participants were educated on specialized diets and the importance of nutrition care and the quality of foods served at patients. A practical session was conducted in the preparation of nine commonly used recipes. These recipes included Corn, Oatmeal, Squash and Rice Porridges, whole wheat Johnny cakes and tortillas, soy milk and preparing herbal seasonings mixture.
  • World Cancer Day 2013:
    A Cancer Symposium was held at the Bliss Center in observation of World Cancer Day celebrated globally February 4th. It was a night of facts, statistics and survivor’s stories. In the Caribbean, Central and South America, cancer remains as the second leading cause of death. Dr, Francis Morey, National Tuberculosis Coordinator, at the Minstry was among the presenters featured that night at the symposium. He mentioned that in Belize more than 10% of annual deaths are related to cancer. During the 5 year period, 2007-2011, there were a total of 857 cancer deaths and almost half of these occurred in persons less than 65 years of age.
    BELPO joins with groups from countries around the world in celebrating International Day of Action For Rivers on 14 March.The aim on this Day of Action for Rivers is to bring awareness about the importance of our rivers to our lives. BELPO’s struggle against destructive dams and the current model of water and energy management is a struggle against a social order that puts profits before people. BELPO rejects the spread of dam projects that threaten our rivers and the downstream communities; BELPO rejects the promotion of intensive mineral and oil exploitation in our watersheds. Every year BELPO joins millions across the world to celebrate victories such as river restoration, dam removal and theprohibition of the building of dams. It is a day to educate one another about the threats facing our rivers, and learn about better water and energy solutions. Above all, it is a day to unite – by acting together, we demonstrate that these issues are not merely local, but global in scope.
  • Relocation Of Gang Members:
    I am honoured to express my perspective, through your renowned newspaper, about the situation whereby the Government has decided to relocate some gang members of Belize City. As a concerned citizen of Belize, I hope to shed some light on the absurd distribution of numerous, dangerous gang members across our county. On January 8, 2013, a massacre was committed in the heart of a gang territory known as George Street. This unfortunate incident caused the citizens of Belize, especially Belize City, to become afraid assuming that the George Street Gang (GSG) would respond to this incident by terrorising civilians. As a result, the Government had a meeting with the gang members. Among all the solutions found to alleviate this situation, the one that struck me the most, was the idea of relocating gang members.
  • Hugo Chavez's Body To Stay On Display In Venezuela:
    The body of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is to be embalmed and put on display after his funeral, Vice-President Nicolas Maduro says. The decision reflects the huge crowds queuing to pay their respects in Caracas, where he is lying in state. Mr Chavez's body will be moved to a military museum after the state funeral on Friday, Mr Maduro said. Hugo Chavez, who led Venezuela for 14 years, died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. More than two million mourners have already filed past his body at the military academy in Caracas, queuing for hours to see him lying in state.
  • Brazil's Bruno Fernandes Jailed Over Ex-lover's Murder:
    Brazilian football star Bruno Fernandes has been given a 22-year prison sentence for ordering the murder of a former girlfriend. He was also found guilty of hiding the body of Eliza Samudio and kidnapping their baby son in 2010. The ex-Flamengo goalkeeper admitted to knowing that Ms Samudio had been strangled and her remains fed to dogs, but denied ordering the killing. He said two other defendants in the case carried out the murder. The murder has attracted intense media interest in Brazil where it has been compared to the OJ Simpson trial in the US. Fernandes, who was hugely popular with fans, had been tipped to play for Brazil in the 2014 Fifa World Cup finals.
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora:
    It is difficult to put on paper the beauty of watching the sun rise over the ocean while heading out to sea for a day on the water. I have seen Belize’s extensive biodiversity while snorkeling off of the cayes, including a variety of sharks and stingrays. The United States and Belize have long worked hand in hand to protect our natural heritage, especially in the sea. Sharks and manta rays are important to ocean ecosystems, and the United States is concerned about the conservation status of species that are increasingly affected by international trade. These species are all biologically vulnerable to overexploitation, as a long-lived, low productivity species. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a valuable tool to address the threats posed by unsustainable global trade in shark and manta ray parts and products, including fins, meat, and gill plates.
  • Carlos Slim Tops Forbes Rich List For Fourth Year:
    Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has topped Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest billionaires for a fourth year. The magazine estimates that Mr Slim, whose business interests range from telecommunications to construction, is worth $73bn (£49bn). He is followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates on $67bn. Famed investor Warren Buffett has dropped back to fourth place, with third spot going to Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Zara fashion chain. Record profits, and a resulting surge in the share price of the holding company Inditex that he owns, has propelled Mr Ortega from fifth place, leapfrogging Mr Buffett.
  • Processed Meat 'Early Death' Link:
    Sausages, ham, bacon and other processed meats appear to increase the risk of dying young, a study of half a million people across Europe suggests. It concluded diets high in processed meats were linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer and early deaths. The researchers, writing in the journal BMC Medicine, said salt and chemicals used to preserve the meat may damage health. The British Heart Foundation suggested opting for leaner cuts of meat. The study followed people from 10 European countries for nearly 13 years on average. Lifestyle factors: It showed people who ate a lot of processed meat were also more likely to smoke, be obese and have other behaviours known to damage health. However, the researchers said even after those risk factors were accounted for, processed meat still damaged health.
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