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East Caribbean Central Bank Conducts ‘Milestone’ Retail Digital Currency Transaction

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Wed, February 24, 2021 The East Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has executed the first retail transaction for its “DCash” digital currency.
The successful transaction using the central bank digital currency (CBDC) was conducted at a supermarket in Grenada on Feb. 12, technology partner Bitt announced. “This transaction is a major milestone in our mission to place DCash in the hands of the people of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. … We are now on the cusp of the public launch of DCash,” said Timothy Antoine, governor of the ECCB.
The public launch will see the roll out of DCash in four of the eight members of the East Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU): Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia. The central bank been developing the blockchain-based CBDC with Bitt, a
Barbados-based fintech company, after a deal was struck in spring 2018.

Work on the CBDC began in 2019, with the infrastructure built over the last year using Bitt’s digital currency management system (DCMS).

 

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Fair and united approach needed in global distribution of vaccines - Bartlett

unnamed Minister of Tourism The Honourable Edmund Bartlett

Thank you Minister Ed Bartlett for your advocacy for more vaccines to under- served communities such as those in the Caribbean, based on your research.
My question is : Can WELLNESS Solutions as a Lifestyle change be offered and Promoted by your Ministry as a Viable Remedy for COVID-19?
Can Jamaica produce her own COVID-19 Remedy and Solutions?
We are an Indigenous people who have been imposed upon to use Pharmaceuticals for temporary interventions instead of our own family and cultural cures found in our own herbaceuticls, botanicals, and indigenous phytotherapeutic solutions? (Commentary from Editor in Chief, Sharon P. Chambers)

26. Febuary 2021 Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett has called for a fair and united approach to the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, amid growing criticism worldwide, that advanced countries are hoarding supplies of vaccines, while poor countries are not being given access to the life-saving medication.

Bartlett said this further threatens the economic recovery of tourism-dependent states and the global economy overall.

The Minister vented his concerns while speaking on Wednesday during the latest installment in the Edmund Bartlett lecture series, hosted virtually by the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre. The session was held under the theme: Restarting Economies Through Tourism: Vaccine Politics, Global Priorities and Destination Realities.

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WE MUST GET IT RIGHT

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Montego Bay, St James (February 8, 2021). Woman shot in church while worshipping. 87 year old grandmother shot dead in Kingston. A little four year old shot to death in Trelawny due to a family dispute. All these fell crimes committed in a little country with a population of just about 3 million people. Lives lost daily due to the horrific disease of crime. Crime has a devastating impact on the families that are directly impacted, but by extension on the country as a whole. Crime impacts the country’s tourism product and leaves tourists frightened and scared to visit Jamaica. 

In an article in 2018, tourists from the United States of America were warned not to visit Jamaica, because of how dangerous it was and if they came, they were encouraged to stay within the confines of their hotels. 

This cripples the industry as many industries that are linked to tourists coming and exploring Jamaica will be directly impacted and impeded. Tourists who are adventurous and like to walk on the streets and interact with citizens who sell craft items or fruits will be scared to complete these activities as they believe they might be robbed or may be preyed upon. This causes the local citizens to lose funds as tourists stay within the walls of the hotels and make purchases through gift shops which shortens the value chain and reduces the income local artisans earn.

Other tourist attractions are also impacted as instead of utilizing outside tours, they utilize the activities that are established by the hotel. The original marketing tag line from My Jamaica Travel  had a warm appeal to lure visitors - “ Feel it, Taste It and Explore Jamaica.” There has been a paradigm shift in how visitors will experience our Paradise and it falls woefully short of the open invitation above.

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2020: The Year of the Internet

2020

2020 is an unprecedented year to say the least, from the near World War III nearly started to the year that saw that earth’s lung, the Amazon experience a horrific wildfire. Nothing however could be compared to the introduction of the Corona Virus also known as COVID-19. This saw a complete worldwide paradigm shift and along with it, the death and devastation to many. People became more dependent on the Internet to access many of their daily activities. The 2020 year plunged persons into utilizing the Internet to carry out tasks such as banking features, education and to a great extent, for major entertainment events.

The education system was forced to take the classroom into the online space as a means of reducing the spread of the virus. The education system was forced to utilize platforms such as: Google Classroom, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Blackboard Collaborate. Even though some schools have started to reopen, Jamaican parents are slow in returning their children to the physical classrooms, many of which has been retrofitted to COVID-19 standards.  Schools such as the University of the West Indies will primarily be online (or distance learning) for the remainder of the school year. This dependency on the Internet has caused telecommunication providers to up their system in an attempt to cater to the intense need of the population. Also, many persons have seen the need to introduce the Internet into their homes and offices and also purchase smart devices to move along with the paradigm shift.

The financial sector as also shifted as there has been a reduction in the number of documents needed to open an account. Many banks such as Sagicor and the National Commercial Bank have limited the documents needed for a National ID, TRN and the minimum financial equipment. Banks such as Scotia Bank have also gone digital and many physical locations will turn digital locations in 2021. One such bank is Falmouth Trelawny. Customers are now required to conduct majority of their transactions either online or using the Automated Banking Machines (ABM). This digital switch is as a result of the pandemic and now more than ever citizens are forced to become familiar with the technology and the Internet.

The entertainment sector is also not excluded from this shift as we have seen where the ‘dancehall’ has gone virtual. Parties have now been moved to Instagram and Zoom and this has become the mode of operation for persons within the entertainment industry. Large events such as Reggae Sumfest and even Reggae Sunsplash were forced to move into the digital arena. In 2021 the return of the Jazz and Blues Festival (formerly known as Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival) will also be seen online as large events are no longer safe.

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The Hidden Magic Behind Castor Oil and Olive Oil

olive-oil-rancid0 Olive Oil & Castor Oil

Castor Oil and Olive Oil are popular in many Jamaican homes and many have yet to unlock and utilize the hidden benefits behind these products.  Olive Oil is pressed and extracted from the olive fruit through a simple process that has been modified through technology over the years. Castor Oil is also very useful and beneficial to our bodies. Castor Oil is made from extracting the seeds of the Ricinus Communis plant. These seeds are known as Castor Beans, once these beans go through a thorough heating process that removes the toxic enzymes, then they are safe to be used by humans. We will examine the benefits and usefulness of these popular oils.

Olive Oil is very beneficial to the body both externally and internally. Olive Oil is rich in Vitamins E ad K and it contains antioxidants that help to boost the immune system making it more resistant to diseases. Olive Oil is also useful in protecting the body from cardiovascular diseases such as heart diseases. It is useful in food preparation as the oil protects LDL particles from oxidation and this may prevent unwanted blood clotting and also lowers blood pressure which helps to maintain a happy and healthy heart. Another benefit of Olive Oil that must be examined is that when used to cook it helps to maintain a healthy weight as it does not increase weight as with other oils that are used to cook. If taken moderately it could even result in, weight loss and therefore using Olive Oil is a healthier option and has numerous advantages.

Olive Oil also has many external benefits, one such benefit is that it helps in reducing acne as it serves to kill acne-causing bacteria while leaving the skin moisturized and rejuvenated. Also due to the antioxidant properties located in Olive Oil, it may be used to treat wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Castor Oil is also very useful and beneficial to our bodies. This oil is made from extracting the seeds of the Ricinus Communis plant. These seeds are known as Castor Beans, once these beans go through a thorough heating process that removes the toxic enzymes, then they are safe to be used by humans. Castor Oil is a multi-purpose oil that can be used in various situations and by various people. An important benefit of Castor Oil is that it can be used as a laxative. It frees up the muscles that push waste through the intestines which help to free up bowels. Another benefit is that it can be applied to wounds as it helps to speed up the process of wound healing. It stimulates the growth of new tissue while keeping the area moisturized and this quickens the process of healing naturally. Castor Oil can also e used in the treatment of the hair and scalp. It adds intense moisture and also decreases the chance of breakage. Persons suffering from hair conditions such as dandruff may also find Castor Oil useful in treating such issues and it also reduces inflammation. Castor is also beneficial to persons struggling with acne issues as it leaves the skin hydrated and moisturized which results then in healthier skin and reduces acne.

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 Minister Bartlett to Chair OAS Tourism Recovery Working Group

Untitled-design-1 Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett

KINGSTON, Jamaica; December 09, 2020: Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett has been selected to chair a high-level Organization of American States (OAS) Working Group, which has been charged with the development of an action plan, for the recovery of the cruise and airline industries in light of the fall-out caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Jamaica is very honoured to join these important discussions on the recovery of our tourism industry. As the newly appointed chairman of the Working Group focusing on cruise and airline recovery, we will seek to leverage the collective expertise of our members to find innovative solutions as we chart the way forward in this new normal,” said Minister Bartlett.

The working group is one of four announced during the 2nd special session of the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Committee on Tourism (CITUR) held on 14 August, 2020, to facilitate the effective and timely recovery of the travel and tourism sectors.

Minister Bartlett was recently selected as Chairman of the Working Group and will convene the first meeting on 10 December, 2020 with representatives from the relevant member states, which include Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana, Honduras, Peru and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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Ten Commandments of Email Etiquette

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The world has changed into a more digitalized era, in which the use of technology has increased. The very mode through which we communicate has also changed and emails have now become increasingly popular. More and more persons are utilizing various messaging platforms to send emails, but while these are increasing, we must be mindful to follow through with correct email etiquette. The following article will look at ten important email etiquettes that we must all bear in mind as we use this platform to communicate. 

Commandment One: Include a clear and direct subject line. The purpose of the subject line is to tell the prospective reader what the content of the email is about and therefore a subject line should be clear and not vague. Keep in mind also that the subject line should not have the entire content of your email placed there. A clear and concrete subject is sufficient to inform the potential reader of the general essence of what the email contains. 

Commandment Two: Use a professional email address. An email address is a direct representation of an individual. Without seeing you personally or knowing anything else about you, many persons draw assumptions based on your email address. With that being said is it most beneficial to all parties involved if email addresses are kept professional. You can never go wrong with using your name. An email address says a thousand words, without you even opening your mouth. Allow your email address to speak volumes for you, by creating a professional one. 

Commandment Three: Choose an appropriate email salutation. In the virtual arena, we may not always be aware of the persons we are talking to or with. We, therefore, must be mindful of the salutations we use and ensure they are appropriately used. Refrain from using conversational salutations such as ‘hey’ or ‘what’s up’. Instead, use more professional salutations such as Good morning Mrs Brown or Good day Mr Campbell. A great salutation goes a far way and an inappropriate one might stop the potential reader from going any further, so let us get it right from the start. 

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Are you managing time...or is time managing you?

Time-Management-Tips-for-Those-Who-Hate-Managing-Time

There are 24 hours in a day, and what you accomplish in a day is based on how effectively you can manage your time. You do not need more hours, what you need are strategies and tips to effectively and efficiently carry out tasks in the 24 hours that we are all given. Time management is a skill that is desired by many and it leads to a smoother day and more centered mind to say the least. With the fast pace world and with the introduction of the COVID-19 pandemic many persons are tasked to work from home, and duties must be completed within the required time. This includes the same quality standard while managing all the other affairs that being at home brings. Time Management is no mystery or special superpower, it is a skill that must be nurtured and developed. How then can you manage your time, and not allow your time to manage you?

You must establish clear cut objectives and goals that you seek to carry out within a given day. To do list are still effective, whether you choose to use a simple pen and paper or one of these new advanced applications. Writing down what you seek to accomplish sets your mind and day in alignment. You know from the beginning all the tasks you seek to carry out within a given day. Value your time and therefore set that list in terms of priority items, so that those may be accomplished first. When setting this list, you must keep focus to not lose track of what is required of you.

A part of managing your time effectively is not rushing. As ironic as that sounds, it is true, rushing may lead to tasks not being done to the highest standard and you then run the risk of having to start over, which causes you to lose valuable time. Therefore, you must take your time to do tasks well and ensure that once you complete those tasks, they are final.

Be organized and ensure that you establish a workspace that is inspiring. Not because you are working from home means you should work from bed. That is a recipe for disaster and working from the comfort of your bed will cause you to feel drained and lackadaisical.

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