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J’can is first black Republican woman to run for Virginia lieutenant governor


It will come as no surprise to most of us but a Jamaican is the first black Republican woman to throw her hat in the ring to run for lieutenant governor of Virginia, United States, according to ABC 8News.

Winsome Earle Sears, 54 who emigrated from Jamaica as a child, joined an already crowded field of seven Democrats and six Republicans vying to be their party’s candidate in the election to the Virginia General Assembly, representing Norfolk in the House of Delegates.

Sears, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2004, served on the Virginia Board of Education and was appointed to the US Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Women Veterans by then-President George W Bush. She served as a Marine pilot before running for office.

As a Republican, she advocates gun ownership, saying it deters crimes, not gun-control laws, and she supports school choice in Virginia, according to her campaign website.

The winner of the election as lieutenant governor is seen as a shoo-in for the prize of Virginia governor, ABC 8News said. The official duties of Virginia’s lieutenant governor include presiding over the Virginia Senate and to succeed the governor if he/she were to leave office before the term is up. The lieutenant governor also casts tie-breaking votes if senators are split on a measure. 

JDF patrols Caribbean Sea with US Navy warship

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel HMJS Cornwall conducted a live fire exercise in the Caribbean Sea with the USS Wichita recently, UPI reported.

UPI quoted a US Navy press statement as saying that gunners from both ships shot hundreds of rounds at a floating training target nicknamed the ‘killer tomato’.

“We enjoyed shooting at the killer tomato,” Chief Gunner’s Mate Daniel Gibbs, the Wichita‘s gunnery liaison officer for the exercise, said in the Navy statement. “Conducting live-fire exercises is what keeps us sharp and ready.”

It said the Wichita launched the “embarked helicopter from the “Sea Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 Detachment 8 before the gunnery exercise to conduct firing range clearance and act as a safety observer as Wichita and Cornwall rendezvoused”.

“This was Cornwall‘s first live-fire exercise but its second interoperability exercise with a US Navy warship this year, according to the Navy. In February, Cornwall participated in a passing exercise with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS James E Williams.”

USS Wichita Commanding Officer Daniel Reiher said in the Navy’s release that conducting multi-national gunnery exercises required precision communication and teamwork, adding: “ Cornwall‘s team are superb mariners and we look forward to continued operations and more complex exercises with the Jamaican Coast Guard in the future.” 

4,300 years of bat poop

Science Alert magazine says that a pile of bat poop dating back more than 4,300 years old, found in a Jamaican cave, is giving scientists “an intriguing insight into how bat diets and therefore climate conditions have shifted over thousands of years”.

The pile which is said to be taller than the average man (two metres or 6-and-a-half feet) – also known as guano – records history in clear layers, much like sediments under a lake, and was found in the Home Away from Home Cave in the Cockpit Country, Trelawny, Jamaica.

By analysing the layers back through time, the scientists have been able to figure out changes in the diets of the bats that have been inhabiting this cave for millennia.

In turn, Science alert said Wednesday, the dietary changes provide hints about what the climate and environment might have been like over that time, with variations in temperature and precipitation affecting animal life and the sorts of insects and plants that were available for bats to eat.

An analysis was done of poop from the bats currently living in the same location in the Home Away from Home Cave which at the moment is home to around 5,000 bats from five different species. That gave the team a baseline to work against.

Jamaican Caves Organisation website reported that the Home Away from Home Cave has one of the few bat-roosts around with deep deposits of guano that are undisturbed. 

— Compiled by Desmond Allen

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