High-level meeting called to discuss/tackle non-communicable diseases

first_imgGovernment Ministers from different sectors will meet today with academicians, Judges from the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Caricom Secretariat, organs and institutions and civil society, to discuss the use of laws and regulations to help reduce non-communicable diseases (NCD), which account for three out of four deaths in the Caribbean.The high-level meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain, Trinidad.The meeting, is expected to bring members of the CCJ Academy of Law together with representatives of relevant Caricom organs and institutions, sub-regional partners, and international organsations to discuss policies and strategies for using the law as a powerful tool to address NCDs, focusing particularly on tobacco control legislation and laws and regulations that can help prevent obesity.The meeting is organised by the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO), the Caribbean Court of Justice Academy of Law and the FAO.Representatives of Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago will present their countries’ experiences and lessons learned in using laws and regulations to address NCDs. Other subjects will include the role of community law in addressing NCDs, how to mobilise political will to advance the use of legal measures, and how to harmonise policy approaches to face this challenge.PAHO/WHO is encouraging Caribbean authorities to adopt effective laws and regulations that can contribute to reducing the burden of NCDs and their risk factors, as well as their social and economic consequencesAlthough progress remains insufficient, there are examples of best practices in the Caribbean that could to be scaled up. They include taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages, bans on the sale of sugary beverages in schools, and progress on tobacco control legislation in several countries. Caribbean heads of government and other Caricom leaders have repeatedly called for expanding such measures to help reduce NCDs.Non communicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases, together with their four shared risk factors – tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity – are the leading causes of death, illness and disability in the Caribbean. High rates of NCDs are the reason people in the Caribbean have a greater probability of dying prematurely (before age 70) than people from any other sub-region of the Americas.last_img read more

Think tank finds state work force not bloated

first_imgWhile critics believe California state government is bloated, a new analysis from a Silicon Valley think tank suggests the state has one of the leanest work forces in the country. Census data released this week shows California had 393,609 full-time-equivalent employees as of last March, working out to 105 employees per 10,000 state residents, according to the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy. That makes California the third-lowest in the nation in state employees per resident, behind every state except Illinois (at 103) and Nevada (at 104). The federal government has 142 employees per 10,000 residents. “It does suggest that at least compared to other states, we’re not carrying a lot of extra employees,” said center director Stephen Levy. But Levy cautioned that the analysis does not necessarily mean California government operates as efficiently as it can. And he noted that employee salaries in California tend to be higher than most other states, partly because of the high cost of living. Some conservative critics believe those high salary levels are fueling laxity in state government employees. State Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, said that simply because of economies of scale, least-populated states tend to have the most employees per resident while larger states automatically rank near the bottom. McClintock said California actually should rank at the bottom and has the highest average salary figures for state employees – far higher than other states with similar cost-of-living levels. “What the numbers are actually telling us is there is a great deal of fat that can be cut from state bureaucracy,” McClintock said. “Quite the opposite of the conclusion they’re reaching.” McClintock said California’s average monthly payroll works out to about $5,211 per employee. By comparison, New York state pays around $4,750 per employee every month and the federal government pays about $3,945. The study comes four years after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for office in the 2003 recall and vowed to make state government leaner and more efficient. Schwarzenegger launched a California Performance Review designed to analyze government top-to-bottom. The review led to thousands of suggested efficiencies but most were eventually ignored. And California’s payroll and work force size has continued to grow. In 2003, California’s monthly payroll was $1.8 billion, according to the Census. By 2006, it had increased nearly 14 percent to $2.05 billion. At the same time, the state work force grew 1.1 percent, from 389,345 in 2003 to 393,609 in 2006. But a spokesman for Schwarzenegger noted the governor has implemented efficiencies in state government that have resulted in a range of changes including shorter wait times at Department of Motor Vehicle offices and quicker professional licensing procedures. “This report clearly shows that California state government is running efficiently for the people,” said Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear. “Cleaning out the cobwebs of government has been a priority for Gov. Schwarzenegger.” As for the pay for state employees, McLear added, “We have a lot of sharp people working for state government, delivering services for the citizens of this state. We think they are compensated fairly.” [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Land Rover launches petrol variant of Discovery Sport in India

first_imgThe petrol variant of the Land Rover Discovery Sport has been launched in India at an ex-showroom (New Delhi) price of Rs 56.5 lakh. The petrol variant of the car will be sold alongside its diesel variant which is already sold in India.The petrol variant of the Discovery Sport is powered by a 2.0-litre engine that puts out 238 bhp and is mated to a 9-Speed Automatic Transmission. The petrol variant of the Discovery Sport will be available in the HSE Trim in India.Also Read: Jaguar Land Rover sues Chinese automaker over Evoque copycat President of Jaguar Land Rover India Ltd (JLRIL), Rohit Suri said, “We are excited to introduce the petrol derivative of the Land Rover Discovery Sport. This will help us broaden the appeal of this fabulous premium versatile SUV for customers who are more inclined towards driving a vehicle with a powerful petrol engine at its heart along with Land Rover’s legendary off-road capability and reliability – a perfect combination of performance, capability and composure. “The petrol Discovery Sport will be available in a 5+2 seating configuration and Land Rover’s trade mark “All Terrain Capability”, Hill Descent Control (HDC), Roll Stability Control (RSC), Electronic Traction Control (ETC), Dynamic Stability Control (DCS), Command Driving position, Adaptive Xenon Headlamps, Panoramic Sunroof, multiple USB charging points etc. It also features a remarkable Park Assist feature, which helps in parallel parking and Park Exit & Perpendicular Park which are hugely popular with many Discovery Sport customers.Also Watch: Watch: Land Rover Discovery Sport tows a 100-tonne train advertisementlast_img read more