Murder/sodomy of 2-year-oldThe teen who was accused of sodomising his two-year-old niece and murdering her in the process on Tuesday was freed by a 12-member jury at the High Court.Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry dismissed the charge against Kevin Rankin after the jury unanimously agreed that he was not guilty of the act.As the jury foreman read the not-guilty verdict, Rankin threw both arms into the air and shouted “yes” before running out of the courtroom, pursued by several relatives of the dead toddler.Rankin was accused of committing the act on October 21, 2013 at Haslington Village, East Coast Demerara (ECD) when the toddler was left in his care.At that time, Rankin was only 15 years old and had been at a relative’s home with the toddler while the child’s mother left to conduct some errands. When the mother returned home, she was allegedly informed that something had been wrong with the child and she had died.The woman then rushed the two-year-old to the CC Nicholson Health Centre at Nabaclis, ECD, before the child was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where she was pronounced dead.During the trial, Defence Attorney Sandil Kissoon had argued that the prosecution’s case against his client was flawed since there were no photographs produced to the Court that had been taken of the scene where the crime allegedly occurred or even the house in which the alleged crime had taken place. He had posited that the investigations did not take any statement from any neighbour or eyewitness.Meanwhile, State witness, Pathologist Nehaul Singh testified that an autopsy, which was performed on the body of the toddler, indicated that she had been sodomised. He told the jury that the two-year-old suffered abdominal trauma, including bleeding of her liver and spleen. Dr Singh revealed that the child had also suffered from concussions to both her head and neck which were consistent with a blow or fall.Under cross-examination by defence counsel, Dr Singh acknowledged that the injury to the toddler’s chest cavity could have been also caused during the administration of CPR by someone who did not have experience in administering the life-saving technique.It should be noted that Rankin had initially told the Court that he did not harm his niece on the day in question, but had taken her to a relative’s home for her “to play”. He said that was when she became sick, complained about chest pains, and subsequently became unresponsive. Given that the child was not breathing, his cousin tried to administer CPR, Rankin had said.
UNICEF says the 200 million hours women and girls spend every day; collecting water is a colossal waste of their valuable time. As World Water Week gets underway in Stockholm and experts gather to try to improve the world’s access to water, the UN children’s agency stressed that the opportunity cost of lack of access to water disproportionately falls on women, according to a press release.“Just imagine: 200 million hours is 8.3 million days, or over 22,800 years,” said UNICEF’s global head of water, sanitation and hygiene Sanjay Wijesekera. “It would be as if a woman started with her empty bucket in the Stone Age and didn’t arrive home with water until 2016. Think how much the world has advanced in that time. Think how much women could have achieved in that time.“When water is not on premises and needs to be collected, it’s our women and girls who are mostly paying with their time and lost opportunities,” he added.The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal for water and sanitation, Goal 6, calls for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water by 2030. The first step is providing everyone with a basic service within a 30-minute round trip, and the long term goal is to ensure everyone has safe water available at home. However, UN estimates are that in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, for 29 per cent of the population (37 per cent in rural areas and 14 per cent in urban areas), improved drinking water sources are 30 minutes or more away.In sub-Saharan Africa, one round-trip to collect water is 33 minutes on average in rural areas and 25 minutes in urban areas. In Asia, the numbers are 21 minutes and 19 minutes respectively. However for particular countries the figures may be higher. A single trip takes longer than an hour in Mauritania, Somalia, Tunisia and Yemen. When water is not piped to the home the burden of fetching it falls disproportionately on women and children, especially girls. A study of 24 sub-Saharan countries revealed that when the collection time is more than 30 minutes, an estimated 3.36 million children and 13.54 million adult females were responsible for water collection. In Malawi, the UN estimates that women who collected water spent 54 minutes on average, while men spent only 6 minutes. In Guinea and the United Republic of Tanzania average collection times for women were 20 minutes, double that of men. For women, the opportunity costs of collecting water are high, with far reaching effects. It considerably shortens the time they have available to spend with their families, on child care, other household tasks, or even in leisure activities. For both boys and girls, water collection can take time away from their education and sometimes even prevent their attending school altogether. Collection of water can affect the health of the whole family, and particularly of children. When water is not available at home, even if it is collected from a safe source, the fact that it has to be transported and stored increases the risk that it is faecally contaminated by the time it is drunk. This in turn increases the risk of diarrheal disease, which is the fourth leading cause of death among children under 5, and a leading cause of chronic malnutrition, or stunting, which affects 159 million children worldwide. More than 300,000 children under 5 die annually from diarrhoeal diseases due to poor sanitation, poor hygiene, or unsafe drinking water – over 800 per day.“No matter where you look, access to clean drinking water makes a difference in the lives of people,” said Wijesekera. “The needs are clear; the goals are clear. Women and children should not have to spend so much of their time for this basic human right.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Nashville Tennessean: Tennesseans’ Health Is Below Average And It’s Costing Billions, Nonprofit Says Los Angeles Times: California Lawmakers Wrote 1,016 New Laws This Year. Here’s Some Of What Did And Didn’t Make It Boston Globe: Water At VA Boston In West Roxbury Tests Positive For Legionnaires’ The Atlanta VA Medical Center suffered another setback after inspectors discovered more than one ton of hazardous waste packed floor to ceiling in unsafe conditions, recently-released records show. A portable building was stuffed so full of the hazardous waste that there was no room for inspectors to enter, much less firefighters or emergency equipment, an inspection report said. (Mariano, 10/2) Georgia Health News: Kaiser Again Rated Top Health Plan In Georgia Health care worker Katelin Noffsinger told a potential employer that she took medical marijuana to deal with the effects of a car accident, but when a drug test came back positive, the nursing home rescinded her job offer anyway. A federal judge last month ruled that the nursing home, which had cited federal laws against pot use, violated an anti-discrimination provision of the Connecticut’s medical marijuana law. (10/2) Two Twin Cities chiropractors will spend years in prison for separate multi-million dollar insurance fraud schemes. The Minnesota Commerce Department announced Tuesday that Adam John Burke, 34, of Minneapolis, received a 90-month prison term and Preston Ellard Forthun, 40, of Bloomington, was sentenced to 60 months. Both men were found guilty last year in separate federal trials — Burke of multiple counts of mail fraud and conspiracy and Forthun of multiple counts of mail and wire fraud and conspiracy. The state commerce Fraud Bureau, the FBI, Minneapolis and St. Paul police, the state patrol and Homeland Security all worked on the investigation. (Magan, 10/2) KCUR: Doctor Who Complained About Staffing At Overland Park ER Gets $29 Million Jury Award A Jackson County jury has awarded nearly $29 million to a physician who claimed he was wrongfully terminated by the emergency room staffing companies that employed him. Raymond Brovont argued that he’d been fired after he raised concerns that a single physician was used at night to cover both the regular and pediatric ERs of Overland Park Regional Medical Center. The staffing decision was made by his employers, subsidiaries of the ER staffing company EmCare. (Margolies, 10/3) Water at a VA Boston Healthcare System hospital in West Roxbury tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease, officials announced Tuesday, more than a week after a patient was diagnosed with the disease. Low levels of Legionnaires’ were found at three locations in the facility. All fixtures at the hospital were removed for further testing, and the source of the disease was eliminated, the VA said in a statement. (Cote, 10/3) Kaiser Permanente has again been rated the top commercial health plan in Georgia by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. It’s the 14th straight year for Kaiser to lead the NCQA commercial plan ratings. (Miller, 10/2) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Cleveland Plain Dealer: Cuyahoga County Jail Inmate Dies, Marking Sixth Inmate Death In Four Months The Associated Press: New Rulings On Medical Marijuana Use Go Against Employers State officials will vote either Thursday or next Tuesday on whether to issue final licenses to a marijuana store in Northampton run by New England Treatment Access (NETA) and to a marijuana cultivation, processing, and retail complex in Leicester owned by Cultivate Holdings, according to a meeting agenda published by the commission Tuesday. Both NETA and Cultivate Holdings already operate as medical marijuana dispensaries regulated by the Department of Public Health, or DPH. (Adams, 10/2) Pioneer Press: Fraud Scheme Lands Two Chiropractors In Prison For Years Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Atlanta VA Fined $13,600 After Hazardous Waste Storage Violations State Highlights: Tennessee Is Spending Billions On Health Care, So Why Are Its Outcomes So Poor?; Hazardous Waste Packed Floor To Ceiling At Atlanta VA Medical Center Media outlets report on news from Tennessee, Georgia, California, Kansas, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota, Ohio and Florida. A Cuyahoga County Jail inmate died while incarcerated in the jail marking the sixth inmate death in the county jails since late June. Cuyahoga County spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan confirmed the inmate died and that he was taken to MetroHealth, but said she had no other details surrounding the death. (Ferrise, 10/2) The Florida Department of Health is asking an appeals court to block a lower-court judge from moving forward with a lawsuit in which a Martin County nursery argues it should receive a potentially lucrative medical-marijuana license. The department went to the 1st District Court of Appeal last week in the dispute, which stems from nursery Edward Miller & Son Inc. being denied a marijuana license — at least in part because the firm missed an application deadline by 27 minutes. (Saunders, 10/2) In the five years since the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness was created to help encourage Tennesseans to lead healthier lives, not much has changed. As Tennessee enjoys historically low unemployment rates, the nonprofit has focused on how poor health and preventable disease among the state’s workforce is affecting its economy. (Sauber, 10/2) California’s Legislature revved into high gear when it came to writing laws in 2018, sending the most bills to the governor’s desk in more than a decade. In all, Gov. Jerry Brown weighed in on 1,217 pieces of legislation passed by the state Senate and Assembly. He signed 1,016 into law, and most will take effect on Jan. 1. (Myers, 10/2) Boston Globe: Cannabis Control Commission To Vote On Final Retail Pot Licenses Health News Florida: State Seeks To Stamp Out Marijuana License Case