Dust Storms in Africa Affect Caribbean Air Quality

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When I was much younger, my mother would speak about “the dust from Africa” that made the sky hazy and I would dismiss it as yet another situation to blame on the so-called “Dark Continent,” but in the past few years I have found evidence that the complaint was based on science after all. Here are excerpts explaining how dust clouds from the African Sahara travels thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean in large quantities—and now, those particles have more than doubled.

In a recent study, Joseph Prospero, professor emeritus at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and collaborators at the University of Houston and Arizona State University found that the average air concentrations of inhalable particles more than doubled during a major Saharan dust intrusion in Houston, Texas. The researchers were able to distinguish between particles transported across the Atlantic and those from…

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Sir Hilary Beckles Appointed Chair of Caribbean Reparation Commission

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We extend our congratulations to Sir Hilary Beckles—Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies-Cave Hill, Barbados, and author of the recently published Britain’s Black Debt: Reparation for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide—for his new appointment as chair of the Caribbean Reparation Commission. See more details in article below:

Noted Caribbean academic, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, has been appointed to chair a Caribbean Reparation Commission that will seek to advance the region’s position on the injustices suffered as a result of the slave trade. Sir Hilary was appointed at the end of the first ever three-day Regional Reparation Conference that ended here late Tuesday.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders at their meeting in Trinidad in July had agreed to the formation of a region-wide Reparations Commission to seek compensation from Europe for native genocide and enslavement of Africans during colonisation. Member of the St. Vincent and the…

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Clemente family publishes loving tribute of ‘Undying Hero’

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Baseball’s storied history is full of “heroes” who were, in retrospect, flawed and troubled men, from Mickey Mantle to Pete Rose to Roger Clemens. The roster of heroes whose off-the-field lives matched their exploits on the diamond is vanishingly small, Michael Machosky reports in this article for The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Then there’s Roberto Clemente. In the years since his plane crashed off the coast of Puerto Rico while he was delivering aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua, he has become about as close as baseball has to a saint. (Certainly, he’s in the ballpark somewhere with Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig and not many others).

The writers who dogged him early in his career — questioning his injuries, attitude and garbling his syntax — have been discredited if not forgotten. The Clemente stories that keep emerging — as told in books, documentaries, feature films, even a recent graphic novel —…

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Lack of Money Can Cost One Year Old Elie Sadaqa His Life

A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

One year old Elie Sadaqa is suffering from a form of vasculitis – inflammation that affects blood vessels – and his parents, like so many others in Lebanon, cannot afford the medical measures required to save their son’s life.

I don’t have more information on the child’s diagnosis to explain it. LBC had listed it as temporal arteritis – a condition that affects one of the arteries reaching the head – but I notified them that such a diagnosis is unlikely given its age of onset is usually above 50. But exceptions in medicine do exist. They have since changed their wording on their news link.

According to the child’s father, the lack of a medical code for the procedures required to help Elie – a pure bureaucratic measure – means the ministry of public health in the country won’t cover it. I guess they need any excuse not…

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Critically Acclaimed Book “Dreaming in Cuban” Banned in Arizona Public Schools

The last Anglo elite is fighting to hang on but as they die off, Arizona will be a Mexican-American state and indigenous American state – and that scares the bejabbers out of them – cause they think they will somehow be oppressed.

Repeating Islands

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The Arizona public schools continue their quest to rid the public schools of ‘subversive’ Latino literature.  Their latest efforts at censorship involves the critically acclaimed “Dreaming in Cuban” by Cristina Garcia, Hispanically Speaking News reports.

The book tells of the life of three generations of a single family after the 1959 Cuban revolution.  The book written in 1982 was a finalist for the National Book Award.  Cuban history and the rich culture are important facets of the novel.  According to the American Library Association, which tracks banned books, this is the first banning of this novel.

The book had been listed, as were many other pieces of Latino literature, on the state’s core-curriculum list.  Certain teachers deemed the book “sexually graphic” and inappropriate for students.  The banning originated with the complaint of one parent who noted the following passage was inappropriate for her 10th grader:

“Hugo and Felicia stripped…

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Hanging out in Havana

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Havana, Cuba

For real insight into Cuban life, stay in a casa particular, Deborah Woolway proposes in this article for The Montreal Gazette. For practical travel information, follow the link below.

It had been a long, thirsty day, and we were kicking back at Prado No. 12, a tiny bar in a flat iron building very close to the spray-soaked Malecón seawall that frames the north side of Havana.

At a nearby table was Steve, weighing the merits of the Montecristo Especial No 2 he held thoughtfully between his fingers. Steve was from Tampa, and made his living escorting Americans on limited tours into Havana. How hard was it to get a licence from U.S. authorities to do that? “It was like walking over eight miles of broken glass,” he replied. He looked around happily as the sun set over the Strait of Florida and young people drifted over to the…

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