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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending March 21st, 2014

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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PRIME MINISTER SATISFIED WITH CARICOM’S FOCUS ON CLIMATE CHANGE—03/15/14
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, says she is satisfied with the greater focus placed on climate change by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). She said that Jamaica is paying close attention to developments in this critical area as well.

CONTRACTOR GENERAL: RULES BREACHED IN HOTEL DEAL—03/16/14
Jamaica’s Office of the Contractor General (OCG) found several breaches of rules governing procurement in a deal between the National Insurance Fund (NIF) and the Blue Diamond Hotels and Resorts group. The OCG has recommended no punitive action be taken in the case, however, deciding to use the situation as a teaching moment for public sector interests.

CAMPBELL-BROWN’S LAWYER SAYS ERRORS RESULTED IN CLIENT’S CLEARING—03/17/14
Howard Jacobs, attorney for Veronica Campbell-Brown, said that errors made by officials in Jamaica during anti-doping procedures resulted in the athlete’s clearing of doping charges. The mistakes, which included failure to properly seal urine samples, led the Court of Arbitration for Sport to rule in favor of Campbell-Brown’s appeal of the two-year ban.

JUROR IN KARTEL TRIAL CHARGED WITH BRIBERY—03/17/14
The Jamaica Constabulary Force stated that Livingston Cain, 50, has been charged with five counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice and conspiracy in connection with attempted bribery in the murder trial of dancehall reggae artiste Vybz Kartel. Cain was a juror in Kartel’s trial, and after the guilty verdict was announced, he was arrested on suspicion of trying to bribe other jurors to free the defendant.

$42 MILLION FOR INNER CITY IMPROVEMENTS IN JAMAICA—03/18/14
Over 80,000 Jamaicans will benefit from improvements to services, infrastructure and interventions targeting crime and violence with a US$42 million project approved by the World Bank. Eighteen inner-city areas deemed “vulnerable” will receive aid designed to enhance safety and improve living conditions for residents.

UK AIR PASSENGER DUTY REFORMS WELCOMED BY JAMAICA—03/19/14
George Osborne, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced changes to the Air Passenger Duty (APD) that will benefit Jamaica and other Caribbean destinations. Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, has welcomed the changes, which will be effective in April of 2015, calling the reforms a “major victory” for the Caribbean community, which has worked for years to alter the system it characterized as unfair.

FISHERFOLK MOBILIZE FOR GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATION—03/20/14
More than 20 leaders of the fisherfolk from the Jamaica Fishermen Cooperative Union (JFCU) and affiliated cooperatives, plus representatives of the Fisheries and Cooperatives Divisions, received training  in participatory governance at a workshop designed to enhance the capacity of these organizations to engage in processes to develop fishery policies.

SHAW WANTS FIXED RATE OF EXCHANGE IMPLEMENTED—03/21/14
Audley Shaw, Jamaica’s former minister of finance, is calling for a fixed rate of exchange to be introduced in the face of continued depreciation of Jamaica’s currency. The rate of exchange is currently over $109 to the US dollar.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN MAN FINED FOR OVERSTAYING IN GUYANA—03/15/14
Rohan Brown, a Jamaican national, admitted that he overstayed his welcome in Guyana. He entered the country in September 6, 2013 and has been staying with his girlfriend at her home. He appeared before the Magistrates’ Courts in Georgetown, where he was fined. He had originally been granted a six-month stay.

JAMAICAN MUSICIANS OVERSEAS NOT GIVEN A CHANCE, SAY PRODUCERS—03/16/14
Many emerging local Jamaican artistes complain that local producers do not give them an opportunity to showcase their talents, things are even worse for foreign-based producers who say they are being attacked and their work disregarded just because they do not living in Jamaica. Many talented artistes of Jamaican heritage are not receiving attention on the home island, says producer Nicko Rebel.

JAMAICAN PLAY CELEBRATES NATIONAL WOMEN’S MONTH—03/17/14
“Not about Eve,” a play by Jamaican actor and writer Kari O’Brian Williams, will be staged in New York at the Jamaica Center for the Arts and Learning at the end of March 2013. Williams, who was born in Kingston, says her play was inspired by personal experiences and illustrates a Jamaican “aesthetic.” Andrew Clarke, the director of the Center, is from Montego Bay, and says its mission is to promote Caribbean issues and stories while providing a venue for actors, writers, and directors in the Diaspora.

FOREIGN MINISTRY SAYS JAMAICAN STUDENTS IN UKRAINE ARE SAFE—03/19/14
Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade reports that four Jamaican students enrolled at a medical university in Ukraine are safe. The university is Kharkiv, a city in the northeastern part of the country. The Jamaican embassy in Berlin, Germany, has maintained contact with Ukraine and a student representative there, and while there is concern about the political situation in the country, students are still attending classes, and there is a “semblance of normality.”

CLARKE PRAISES REVIEW OF CARIBBEAN DEPORTATIONS—03/20/14
Yvette D. Clarke, Caribbean-American Congresswoman from the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, is praising the U.S. President Barack Obama for starting a review of deportations to the Caribbean region. Obama has stated that deporting undocumented immigrants should be conducted in a more humane manner.

JAMAICAN LEADING TRAUMA TEAM RESPONDING TO MISSING MALAYAN JET—03/21/14
Stephen-Claude Hyatt, a Jamaican clinical health psychologist and head of the Mental Health Department at International SOS Beijing, is heading the team in China that has responsibility for trauma therapy in response to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, which is missing. Hyatt said that the airline firm is doing a great job in meeting the needs of family members of the passengers on the jet. Hyatt attended Calabar High School and is a native of Kingston.
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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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FORMER COLONIZERS SUED BY CARIBBEAN NATIONS—03/15/14

CARICOM TO ADDRESS MARIJUANA USE ISSUES—03/16/14

CARIBBEAN REGION COULD ACT AS GLOBAL HUB—03/17/14

POLITICAL PARTIES IN GUYANA LEAD ON CARIBBEAN INTEGRATION—03/18/14

DOMINICA CONSIDERING CCJ CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT—03/19/14

CUBA, UNITED STATES, CARIBBEAN NATIONS JOIN IN OILCLEAN-UP AGREEMENT—03/20/14

 

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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MONTEGO BAY TO GET $200-MILLION HOSPITAL—03/16/14
Spain’s Hospiten Group has announced its final plans to build a specialized general hospital at Cinnamon Hill, Rose Hall, St. James in Jamaica. The facility will cost $200 million and will provide medical services to residents of the North Coast area and to visitors to the island. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller expressed her appreciation to the group for its investment in the country.

PROFITS AVAILABLE IN ORGANIC AGRICULTURE—03/17/14
Neil Curtis immigrated to the United States in 1972 and knows that there is significant money to be obtained through Jamaica agriculture. He spent one year in St. Elizabeth in Jamaica, buying and selling callaloo, and discovered the profitability of this crop. He made a profit of 800 percent from his callaloo enterprise.

USAID DIRECTOR BELIEVES JAMAICA SHOULD DEVELOP NEW BRANDS—03/18/14
Denise Herbol, Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is calling for research into local, traditional industries that can help boost development potential for Jamaica. She noted that famous Jamaican brands like Blue Mountain Coffee were established through years of research, and she believes more should be done to duplicate those successful efforts.

FIRST JAMAICAN CASINO PLAN REVEALED—03/19/14
Jamaica is poised to receive a boost from the first casino resort proposal in its history. Celebration Jamaica would be the first licensed casino in the country, and it is scheduled to move ahead as early as the summer of 2014.The development will being as soon as the order is granted, says Robert Trotta, who is shepherding the casino, which would take three years to build. It would be located in Montego Bay.
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Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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GRENADA HOSTS INNOVATION WORKSHOP—03/18/14

JAMAICA RECEIVES AID FOR CYBERSECURITY STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT—03/20/14

 

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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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REGGAE MONTH ACTIVITIES TO BE HELD IN RANNY WILLIAMS COMPLEX—03/20/14
All of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) activities marking Reggae Month over the next five years will take place at the Louise Bennett Garden Theater and Ranny Williams Enterprise Complex in Kingston. The Honor Awards, the Dennis Brown Tribute, and the Trench Town Rock International Festival will continue to be held at their previous venues, however. JaRIA made the arrangements public at the annual general meeting, which also elected new board members.

MERCEDES KIRKWOOD DIES—03/17/14
In 2013, at the age of 92, Mercedes Kirkwood received the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD) for her contributions to the development of Jamaican musical theater. The legendary performer has now died. Kirkwood, who was born in Del Rio, Cuba, began singing at the age of three. She moved to Jamaica and was a student at the Jamaica School of Music where she realized her potential to sing opera. She then migrated to the United Kingdom and had a flourishing career in operatic theater.

THREE JAMAICAN NOVELS VIE FOR BURT AWARD—03/18/14
Jamaica has three entries in the running for the inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean Literature. They include “Island Princess in Brooklyn,” by Diane Browne; “All Over Again,” by A-dZiko Simba Gegele; and “Inner City Girl,” by Colleen Smith. The award is intended to encourage novel writing in the region, particularly novels for young adults.

JIMMY CLIFF JOINS CALL FOR SLAVERY REPARATIONS—03/19/14
Jamaican reggae legend Jimmy Cliff believes that communities in the Caribbean have the right to be reimbursed for the damages done by slavery during the colonial era. He believes that the 15 Caribbean nations suing Britain, France, and the Netherlands, among others, for reparations have a logical point and believes payment from those who benefitted from slavery to the region that suffered because of it would be fair.

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SPORTS
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JAMAICAN BOXERS COMPETE IN 4TH WRAY AND CONTENDER—03/15/14
The Green Team at the Wray and Nephew Contender’s fourth season will feature Jamaican boxers who will compete against the Yellow Team comprising boxers from several other Caribbean countries. Eight Jamaican boxers are ready to battle Team Caribbean. They are competing for a share of J$3 million in prize money. The winner of the competition will receive J$2 million and the title of Jamaica’s Ultimate Welterweight Boxer.

CAMPBELL-BROWN CRITICIZES JAMAICAN ATHLETICS AND “FALSE REPORTING”—03/16/14
Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jamaican champion sprinter, has been cleared to compete again after appealing a two-year ban for doping. She is now attacking the Jamaican athletics federation for not helping her more during her difficulties. She also accused press reporters with “smearing” her reputation. She said she took a lie-detector test to prove her innocence and that she has suffered significant financial and emotional devastation during her ordeal.

JAMAICANS WIN NCAA 60-METER TITLES—03/17/14
Omar McCleod, a Jamaican freshman at Arkansas, ran the men’s 60 meters at the NCAA Division 1 2014 Indoor Track and Field Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 7.58 seconds for the victory in the event. Jamaican Remona Burchell of Alabama won the women’s 60-meter title with a new personal best run of 7.11 seconds, the fastest time this season for a female college sprinter.

FRASER-PRYCE LEADS LINE-UP AT DIAMOND LEAGUE—03/18/14
Jamaica’s Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, the current world and Olympic 100-meter champion, will head the field for the opening meet of the 2014 IAAF Diamond League in Doha, Qatar, beginning on May 9. Fraser-Pryce, 27, will compete in the 100 meters after a win in the 200 meters in 2013 in Doha. She will be facing Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, double world sprint finalist, and Kerron Stewart, 100-meter finalist at the Moscow worlds, in addition to three runners from the United States.

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JAMAICAN JOBS
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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending March 14th, 2014

NEARLY ONE-THIRD OF WORLD MURDERS HAPPEN IN CARIBBEAN, LATIN AMERICA—03/08/14
According to statistics from the World Bank, 30 percent of all the homicides in the world occur in the Caribbean and Latin American region, despite the fact that this area has only nine percent of the world’s population. Rodrigo Serrano-Berthet, Citizen Security Coordinator of the World Bank for Latin America and the Caribbean, said that out of 50 cities in the world with the highest murder rates, 42 are in Latin America.
HEALTH AGENCY WANTS GUARANTEED ACCESS TO WOMEN’S HEALTH SERVICES—03/09/14
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has urged countries in the Caribbean to provide guaranteed access to essential health services for all women. The organization took the opportunity to promote its call on International Women’s Day and noted studies that showed improving women’s health benefits not only the women themselves but their entire families.

MAYOR OF NEW YORK DROPS LAWSUIT AGAINST CITY COUNCIL—03/10/14
The Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, says that his administration will not pursue litigation against the City Council that wanted to block new legislation seeking to prevent police from profiling Caribbean immigrants and other minority peoples. He said the city reached an agreement with civil rights attorneys who claimed the city’s stop-and-frisk policy violated minority rights. The mayor stated that the way the policy had been implemented in the past unfairly targeted young men of color.

CARIBBEAN ATHLETES WIN MEDALS AT WORLD INDOOR MEET—03/11/14
Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica and Chris Brown and Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas won medals in the 400 meter race at the World Indoor Championships in Poland. Spencer received a silver medal with a personal best of 51.54 seconds, while Miller won a bronze medal with a time of 52.08 seconds.

GOVERNMENT IN HAITI DEFENDS RESORT DEVELOPMENT PLANS—03/12/14
The government in Haiti is planning to make a high-end resort property of a small island off its southern coast. The project will provide over 2,000 jobs and help to change the image that the world has of Haiti, according to Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. He denied allegations made by some citizens that the government will evict hundreds of farmers to implement the project.

LED LIGHTING BUSINESS IN BARBADOS TO EXPAND—03/13/14
The Caribbean LED company (CLL), which began manufacturing LED bulbs in Barbados in 2011, currently exports the bulbs to 12 countries around the world, and it is continuing to recruit and expand the business. The firm opened a new location in Lower Estate, St. Michael. CLL is the only accredited manufacturer of LED lighting in the Caribbean.

JAMAICANS LEAD COALITION FOR SLAVERY REPARATIONS FROM EUROPE—03/12/14
Slaver was abolished in Jamaica in 1833, and now Jamaicans are in the lead of a coalition of 14 Caribbean countries that is calling for reparations from Britain for damages suffered in the slave years. The coalition has a list of ten demands for Britain, Holland, and France. The list includes an apology, reparation funds, and assurances that slavery will never again occur.

JAMAICAN NATIONAL ARRESTED IN VIRGINIA—03/13/14
A Jamaican man, 40 years of age, was among the more than 40 “at large criminal aliens” arrested during a five-day operation by law enforcement officers in the state of Virginia. The man, who has not been named, was living in Virginia Beach. According to the U.S. immigration agency, he had been convicted in the Virginia Beach Circuit Court of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and carrying a concealed weapon. He received a sentence of two years in prison on these charges.

JAMAICAN STUDENTS URGED TO HONOR CARIBBEAN HEROES—03/14/14
Students in Jamaica should respect and honor Caribbean heroes, including National Hero Marcus Garvey of Jamaica and Antonio Maceo of Cuba. Ronald Thwaites, Jamaica’s Minister of Education, encouraged students to find ways to serve and build up each other. He made his remarks at Garvey Maceo High in Clarendon.

KARTEL, THREE OTHERS GUILTY OF MURDER—03/14/14
The popular deejay and Jamaican dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel, along with three co-defendants, was found guilty of murder in a trial held under heavy security in the nation’s Supreme Court in Kingston. Police in riot gear barricaded streets outside the court as the jury brought in its verdict. The four were convicted in the 2011 murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams.

 
 

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CARIBBEAN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending March 14th, 2014

CTU OFFERS WORKSHOPS TO ENHANCE TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS—03/08/14
The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTL) secretary general, Bernadette Lewis, believes one of the biggest challenges to the region is getting people to believe in their dreams. To encourage citizens to use the power of innovation to spur ICT-enabled development in the Caribbean, the CTL has planned workshops meant to accelerate entrepreneurship in the region through technology.

LOCAL APP DEVELOPERS SEEK $20 MILLION IN REVENUE—03/12/14
The award winning mobile crime alert application, Crimebot, is expecting to generate as much as $20 million in revenues, while also helping to reduce Jamaica’s crime rate. The app was among 160 entries at the Digital Jam 3.0 competition in March 2014. The team plans to provide the app for free to users but is looking to generate revenue from advertising.

 
 

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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending March 14th, 2014

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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BERMUDA WAIVES VISAS FOR JAMAICAN TRAVELERS—03/08/14
Jamaican nationals traveling to Bermuda for business or vacation purposes will no longer need a visa. According to A.J. Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jamaicans will need a multi-entry visa to the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom in order to take advantage of the waiver.

POLICE FIND INCREASE IN DRUG SEIZURES ON CURACAO FLIGHTS—03/09/14
According to Jamaican police, there are a rising number of attempts to carry illegal drugs to and from the island of Curacao. Police at the international airport in Kingston arrested three alleged drug traffickers who were on a flight from Curacao, and just days before, another cocaine smuggler from the island was apprehended at the airport.

GAY TEENS CAN LIVE IN SEWERS, SAYS JAMAICAN JUDGE—03/10/14
A judge in New Kingston ruled that gay teenagers who have been thrown out of their family homes are free to live in the sewers. Jamaican police have attempted to evict the homeless young people, some only 12 years of age, in several early morning raids. While several youths were arrested for resisting the eviction efforts and were subsequently fined for using “calumnious language,” the judge ruled that they could not be evicted from the sewers because the sewers are public spaces.

HOLNESS TO SPEAK AT ANTI-CORRUPTION CONFERENCE—03/11/14
Jamaican Opposition Leader Andrew Holness will travel to the Cayman Islands to be the guest speaker at the Anti-Corruption Conference there. The speech is entitled “The Ethical and Anti-Corruption Framework of Jamaica: My Vision for Change.” Holness will also join a panel to discuss how effective formal education is in encouraging values and ethics. Holness is a former Jamaican Prime Minister and Minister of Education.

JAMAICANS LEAD COALITION FOR SLAVERY REPARATIONS FROM EUROPE—03/12/14
Slaver was abolished in Jamaica in 1833, and now Jamaicans are in the lead of a coalition of 14 Caribbean countries that is calling for reparations from Britain for damages suffered in the slave years. The coalition has a list of ten demands for Britain, Holland, and France. The list includes an apology, reparation funds, and assurances that slavery will never again occur.

JAMAICAN NATIONAL ARRESTED IN VIRGINIA—03/13/14
A Jamaican man, 40 years of age, was among the more than 40 “at large criminal aliens” arrested during a five-day operation by law enforcement officers in the state of Virginia. The man, who has not been named, was living in Virginia Beach. According to the U.S. immigration agency, he had been convicted in the Virginia Beach Circuit Court of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and carrying a concealed weapon. He received a sentence of two years in prison on these charges.

JAMAICAN STUDENTS URGED TO HONOR CARIBBEAN HEROES—03/14/14
Students in Jamaica should respect and honor Caribbean heroes, including National Hero Marcus Garvey of Jamaica and Antonio Maceo of Cuba. Ronald Thwaites, Jamaica’s Minister of Education, encouraged students to find ways to serve and build up each other. He made his remarks at Garvey Maceo High in Clarendon.

KARTEL, THREE OTHERS GUILTY OF MURDER—03/14/14
The popular deejay and Jamaican dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel, along with three co-defendants, was found guilty of murder in a trial held under heavy security in the nation’s Supreme Court in Kingston. Police in riot gear barricaded streets outside the court as the jury brought in its verdict. The four were convicted in the 2011 murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICANS OVERSEAS UTILIZE NEW ONLINE ERRAND SERVICE—03/08/14
Many Jamaicans in the Diaspora have found a convenient way to take care of errands back on the home island: the website Diasporaerrand.com. Marlon White founded the site when he saw the need among Jamaicans in North America to send money, pay bills, make purchases and deliveries, and perform other tasks for family members back home. Almost any errand can be handled by the site, which uses the latest technology to ensure the safety and confidentiality of each errand. The service relies on trustworthy runners across Jamaica. Payments are handled through transfers of funds via credit cards.

JAMAICA’S MARY SEACOLE TRAVELED TO CRIMEA IN 1850s—03/09/14
Long before Putin, a Jamaican woman was in the Crimea. When war broke out in the Crimea in the 1850s, Jamaica’s National Hero Mary Seacole made her way to the region to establish a healing mission. She acted as a nurse to the troops in the war years between 1853 and 1856, treating the wounded with herbs, supporting herself by selling food and beverages to army officers. She was considered a spy at one time, but French soldiers commuted her sentence. The story of Mary Seacole has finally been told in a book published in Ontario, Canada, “The Wonderful Adventures of Mary Seacole.”

VASCIANNIE REMINDS DIASPORA IN MARYLAND OF GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES—03/10/14
Stephen Vasciannie, Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, spoke to a group of Jamaicans in the Diaspora in Maryland and reminded them of the many government initiatives underway on the home island. In his speech, the Ambassador said the government was promoting the logistics hub and encouraging more foreign investment in the island economy.

COVENT GARDEN TO GET JAMAICAN PATTY SPOT—03/11/14
In late March 2014, the Jamaica Patty Company will establish a restaurant in London’s Covent Garden area. The restaurant was initiated by Theresa Roberts and is led by Executive Chef Collin Brown. The place will provide Jamaican specialties such as Jamaican patties, jerk chicken, and curried goat.

PRATT INSTITUTE HONORS DR. GOULDA DOWNER—03/12/14
Dr. Goulda Downer, who was born in Jamaica, and is an assistant professor at the College of Medicine at Howard University in Washington, D.C., will receive the Community Commitment award for 2014 as an alumnus of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She is being recognized for her health advocacy and her role in public health education.

IN HAITI, JAMAICANS SAY GOVERNMENT NEGLECTS THEM—03/13/14
Jamaicans arrested on drug charges and gun-related offenses in Haiti fell neglected by the government in their homeland. Twenty Jamaicans were arrested in Les Cayes in 2013, but deny any involvement in drug trafficking. These individuals, and several others arrested more recently, say the Jamaican government has not provided any aid despite their assertions of innocence.
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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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NEARLY ONE-THIRD OF WORLD MURDERS HAPPEN IN CARIBBEAN, LATIN AMERICA—03/08/14

HEALTH AGENCY WANTS GUARANTEED ACCESS TO WOMEN’S HEALTH SERVICES—03/09/14

MAYOR OF NEW YORK DROPS LAWSUIT AGAINST CITY COUNCIL—03/10/14

CARIBBEAN ATHLETES WIN MEDALS AT WORLD INDOOR MEET—03/11/14

GOVERNMENT IN HAITI DEFENDS RESORT DEVELOPMENT PLANS—03/12/14

LED LIGHTING BUSINESS IN BARBADOS TO EXPAND—03/13/14

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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JAMAICAN BAMBOO CHARCOAL TO BE SOLD OVERSEAS—03/09/14
Jamaica’s bamboo producers should be able to provide a container-load of bamboo charcoal needed to export to the United States by the middle of May 2014. The government has prepared the way by enacting an exemption that will allow bamboo charcoal to be exported from the island. The goal is to export some six million pounds of bamboo charcoal annually.

JPS APPEALS STATUS AS “ILLEGAL MONOPOLY”—03/10/14
The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) plans to appeal a decision from the Supreme Court in 2012 that labeled the agency as an illegal monopoly. The court found that the exclusive license held by Jamaica’s only power distribution firm was “invalid” and therefore illegal.

SUGAR WORKERS THREATEN INDUSTRIAL ACTION—03/11/14
Over 4,000 sugar workers in Jamaica are threatening to take industrial action after negotiations involving their unions and the Sugar Producers Federation (SPF) have failed to provide agreement on better wages and fringe benefits. The three unions that represent the workers and the SPF have reached a stalemate in negotiating wages and benefits. The SPF offer of a seven-percent wage increase in the first year and a three-percent increase in the second year were rejected by the unions.

$64 MILLION EXPANSION PLANNED FOR DOLPHIN COVE—03/13/14
Dolphin Cove has approved a $J64 million expansion for its Ocho Rios and Hanover properties. The popular tourist attraction had made an agreement to acquire another piece of property in 2013 at a cost of US$750,000 as well. The firm is planning to expand its operation to Turks and Caicos in October 2014, in addition to implementing the local expansions.
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Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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CTU OFFERS WORKSHOPS TO ENHANCE TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS—03/08/14

LOCAL APP DEVELOPERS SEEK $20 MILLION IN REVENUE—03/12/14

 

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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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SPLIFF STAR JOINS OTHERS TO SUPPORT VYBZ KARTEL—03/08/14
Spliff Star, American rapper, is joining Busta Rhymes and others in Jamaica to show support for Vybz Kartel, who is on trial for murder in Kingston. Spliff Star, who has roots in Trinidad, said he was disappointed that more Jamaican artistes had not come out to support deejay Kartel.

JAMAICAN MUSIC MUSEUM OPENS WEBSITE FOR 2014 SYMPOSIUM—03/09/14
The Jamaica Music Museum (JaMM) Symposium for 2014 has launched the website for the event. The website allows those who want to take part in the Symposium to register in advance. The first 200 individuals to register will receive $108 in call credits from Digicel. The website also provides details about the event.

ROBINSON MAKES MARK IN HOLLYWOOD WITH ONE-WOMAN SHOW—03/10/14
Sardia Robinson, Jamaican writer, comedienne, actress and television host, is inspiring women and getting Hollywood to take notice with “From a Yardie to a Yankee,” a one-woman show that tells the true story of her life and struggles for recognition as an artist. She gives credit to her Jamaican grandmother for her success in show business.

JAMAICAN PRODUCTION TOP NOMINEE FOR ACTOR BOY AWARDS—03/11/14
“Ladies of the Night,” a Jambiz International production, is leading the 2014 nominee list for the Actor Boy Awards. The production is up for a total of 11 awards. The Actor Boy award is given for excellence in Jamaican theater. Winners will be announced in April 2014.

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SPORTS
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CARTER VICTORIOUS IN 60 METERS—03/09/14
Jamaican runner Nesta Carter, known as one of the fastest men in history in the 100 meters, defeated Marvin Bracy of the United States to win the final in the 60 meters at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland.

FRASER-PRYCE RUNS TO VICTORY IN WOMEN’S WORLD 60 METERS—03/10/14
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the women’s 60-meter race at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Poland. She ran the distance in 6.98 seconds, the seventh fastest time in history for that distance.

JAMAICAN MIDFIELDER SIGNS WITH SAN JOSE TEAM—03/11/14
The San Jose Earthquakes team has signed the Jamaican midfielder Khari Stephenson. He played with the team from 2010 to 2012. Stephenson, 33, has played professionally for 11 years and has experience in Europe. He aided the Earthquakes in making the MLS playoffs in 2010 and 2012.

SANTOKIE WANTS PERMANENT SPOT WITH WINDIES—03/12/14
Krishmar Santokie, Jamaican seamer, hopes to play with the West Indies cricket team as a permanent member. He gave an impressive performance in bowling that helped his side win over England by five wickets at the second T20 International. He claimed four for 21 to obtain his best numbers for the T20.

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From NNPA to NAACP to Silicon Valley – Ben Jealous Still Pushing Technology for Equality

Former NAACP President Ben Jealous, seen here leading a protest,  is now fighting for racial justice in a new way.Former NAACP President Ben Jealous, seen here leading a protest,
is now fighting for racial justice in a new way.

By Hazel Trice Edney

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Benjamin Todd Jealous, the former NAACP president, who has weaved a career through politics, the Black press and civil rights, has now announced his next course of action in pursuit of racial equality and economic justice in America.
Jealous and the Oakland, Calif.-based Kapor Center for Social Impact, located in the billionaire- Silicon Valley announced this week that he has joined the Center as its first venture partner. The center’s co-founders and co-chairs Mitchell Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein are bringing Jealous on to find tech-savvy entrepreneurs and inventors with ideas for using technology for social impact, mainly to fill racial and economic gaps in America.
Jealous will help find the entrepreneurs, help them shape their tech visions; plus establish the selection criteria for possible seed money. He will also help lead the center’s effort to make investments in non-profit organizations that are about closing social gaps and will join the board of the Kapor Center-funded Level Playing Field Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending racial barriers in science, technology, engineering and math.
“I’ve always been interested in technology. I’ve always been interested in [deepening] the social impact. And I’ve always been very curious about ways to use technology to advance the social impact,” Jealous said in an interview this week. “When Mitch and Frieda came forth and offered me the opportunity to join the Kapor Center for Social Impact and start trying new things every day…while still staying focused on achieving my life’s mission of and leveling the playing field and closing gaps to access and opportunity in our community and the country as a whole, I leapt at it because it had been a long time since I’d tried something new that had the potential to level the playing field for hundreds of thousands and millions of people.”
Jealous says one of his first stops will be a learning tour of Silicon Valley, the South Bay portion of San Francisco, which leads the nation in cutting edge technology. The Kapor Center has a program for underrepresented college students to get paid internships in Silicon Valley companies.
Jealous, who dates his keen interest in technology back to a fourth and fifth grade computer science program, served as president/CEO of the NAACP for five years until his resignation late last year. There, his leadership in technology grew NAACP’s mobile messaging base from 5,000 activists to 423,000 and from 175,000 email activists to 1.3 million.
Jealous’ technological skills also harken back to when he started as executive director of the 200-member National Newspaper Publishers Association in 2000 with a vision of bringing the Black Press on line with websites and a full-service news service for its members. Before his departure almost half of NNPA’s newspapers were on line and the wire service continues to thrive.
Jealous’ record of using technology to fight for racial justice is what established the mutual attraction between him and the Kapor Center.
“Ben has spent his career working to end racial and economic gaps in society, from the criminal justice system to education to health care,” said co-founder Freada Kapor Klein in a statement. “We are tremendously pleased that he will bring his vast experience, strategy and energy to the tech sector as the next frontier in his life’s work for justice and inclusion.”
Jealous’ civil rights career is just as important as his tech interest said co-founder Mitchell Kapor, one of the first Silicon Valley billionaires. “As an entrepreneur and an investor, I’ve built my career on seeing the possibilities of good ideas and the right team, and then bringing that vision to life. By bringing Ben to the Kapor team, we are making a bet that someone who has succeeded in changing the broader world in so many ways will do the same in our world.”
When Jealous left the NAACP last year, he said he would spend more time with his growing family and would also work to start a political action committee (PAC) for transformative Democratic and Republican candidates. He said this week that he will continue to do it all.
“I will reserve a portion of my time continuing my work in politics. This will be 80 percent of my time and 20 percent will be continuing to build the PAC,” he said. “It’ll be separate and ongoing work.”
As for his family, Jealous says he will remain bi-coastal, primarily living in Maryland with his family even as he travels for the Kapor Center.
The Center has already made major strides in its quest for social justice. Jealous ticked off a list of ideas, aps and inventions as examples that have already received funding. They include technology that lowers the astronomical cost of telephone calls from inmates to their families; a blue tooth hearing aid that costs only $75 instead of the normal $3,000-$5,000; technology that helps parents and children with bi-lingual education; a way to send money home to another country without paying a 30 percent remittance fee; and a way to make college education available for the cost of a Pell grant.
“So, that’s what we’re talking about here…Very similar to my work at the NAACP. We’re working on multiple gaps simultaneously,” Jealous said. “It’s impossible not to be excited.”
 
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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Technology

 

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Black Health TV Announces Programming Partnership With Kitara Media’s HealthGuru.com

 

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BlackNews.com

New Orleans, LA  — Black Health TV, (www.blackhealthtv.com) the leading online video destination website focused on the health issues of African-American consumers and physicians, today announced that it has signed an exclusive agreement with Healthguru.com, Kitara Media’s leading health site in video engagement.

“Black Health TV couldn’t be more excited to partner with Healthguru.com, the premier destination for health video information,” said Corey Hebert, M.D., CEO of Black Health TV. “This agreement ushers in a new era of collaboration of health content value creation for digital marketers seeking targeted audiences, consumers demanding culturally relevant content, and for our collective organizations as we look to build upon our unique strengths and reach a broad audience of consumers.”

Healthguru.com has a comprehensive library of health videos, with over 4,000 titles covering 125 different conditions. As part of the relationship, Black Health TV will work closely with Healthguru.com to re-produce regular, co-branded medical and health news segments. This new agreement, which will help drive significant traffic to Black Health TV by giving viewers more daily content from Black Health TV.

“Healthguru.com delivers more video streams than industry leading sites WebMD, Everyday Health and the next 10 largest health sites combined,” said Robert Regular, CEO of Kitara Media. “Together with Black Health TV, we will deliver targeted audiences, engaging video content and data intelligence for advertisers, digital marketers and publishers.”

Combining the resources of Healthguru.com with those at Black Health TV will enable us to provide the most comprehensive coverage, whether it be health news or in depth specific health condition information. Factor in Corey Hebert, M.D., the award-winning medical journalist, Asst. Professor at both LSU Health Sciences Center and Tulane University Medical Center, Black Health TV is better equipped to cover health news and information more than it ever has been before.
About Black Health TV
Black Health TV (www.blackhealthtv.com), owned and operated by Community Health TV, is the largest provider of health video on the Internet geared toward African-American consumers. Black Health TV contains a broad portfolio of service offerings that span the health spectrum, from in-depth medical content for condition prevention and management to fitness and cooking videos and information to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Black Health TV is based in New Orleans and is led by CEO, Corey Hebert, M.D., Asst. Professor at both LSU Health Sciences Center and Tulane University Medical Center and one of the most sought after speakers in his field. He is a highly regarded medical broadcast journalist, working as on-air medical editor for the NBC television affiliate in New Orleans, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, as well as a frequent on-air contributor to the “Dr. Oz Show.” He is also a fan favorite on MSNBC where he is a frequent on-air contributor to the “Ed Show.”
About Healthguru.com
Healthguru.com, owned and operated by Kitara Media, is a leading online health video resource site for consumers. With over 4,000 professional digital videos and 75 million monthly video views, the media company optimizes brand opportunities to reach key users through tailored video formats. Syndicated through premium partners and publishers, consumers gain access to expert based insights on health issues. Healthguru.com provides health brand advertisers and digital marketers with both engaging content and targeted audiences. For more information visit: www.healthguru.com orwww.kitaramedia.com

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in African American Health

 

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Nigeria: Enhancing the Transport System

Photo: Ben Parker/IRINPhoto: Ben Parker/IRIN

By John Iwori -allAfrica.com

Enhancing the transport system in the country will help in addressing the current burden on roads.

There is no doubt that water transport remains a veritable avenue to reduce the present over reliance on road transport across the country. Presently the movement of persons, goods and service is more on the roads that criss-cross the country.

For a country with enormous inland waterways, about 8,600km, roughly 60 per cent is unused, which is an anomaly. The longest inland waterways are the Niger River and its tributary, the Benue River, which are largely unused. The most used, especially by larger powered boats and for commerce, are in the Niger Delta and all along the coast from Lagos Lagoon to Cross River.

Rail, another channel of transportation has also been neglected over time. As of 2003, Nigeria’s rail system had 3,557 kilometers of track, 19 kilometers of which were dual gauge and the remainder, standard gauge.

The country has two major rail lines: one connects Lagos on the Bight of Benin and Nguru in the northern state of Yobe; the other connects Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta and Maiduguri in the northeastern state of Borno. However the rail system is not optimally used, until the present administration which is trying to rejuvenate the rail system. Much as being done in this sub sector should have been extended to the nation’s vast waterways.

Already, the over-dependence on the road transport across Nigeria has impacted negatively on her socio-economic development. It is on record that 40 to 80 percent income of Nigerian workers are spent on transportation, with road being the dominant mode of commuting.

Again, 50 to 60 percent cost of freight is consumed by road transportation. Pathetically, most of the roads are poorly maintained and are often cited as a cause for the country’s high rate of traffic fatalities as trucks compete for space with other road users.

Besides, the roads easily get bad as the weight of vehicular movement weigh heavily on the state of the roads. The huge cost aside, it takes time and skill to get the roads network back to shape.

Review of Policy That this has contributed to the high cost of roads maintenance across Nigeria is to say the least. This partly explained why stakeholders in the transport industry have continued to pick holes in Nigerian transport policy. They often use different forum to draw the attention of the federal government to the ills in the policy just as they demand for a review to meet the demands of the present realities.

A transport expert, Professor Bamidele Badejo, said for Nigerians to see the desires changes in the transport industry something tangible need to be done. He did not only picked holes in the Nigeria’s transport policy, but also enumerated strategies for effective public transport management in the country.

A senior lecturer and former Lagos State Commissioner of Transportation, Badejo linked bad leadership to an absence of a national transport policy, which he said, forms the cardinal challenge facing the country’s transport sector in the last 100 years of her existence.

In an inaugural lecture titled “Transporting the Future Today: Portrait of Nigeria” delivered at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State., he said over the years the transport industry in the country had witnessed several missed opportunities, especially its potentially as an engine of growth and development. He added that Nigeria has not innovated nor invented the right approach towards tapping the full benefits of transport sector.

It is clear that carrying out a critical review of the transport industry to give water transport its right position in the scheme of things will help in arresting the present over dependence on road transport. Doing so will entail putting certain measures in place so that the desired change and impact can be felt by the citizenry. It is imperative for the authorities to put right policies in place and implement them strictly.

The relevant government agencies must also enact regulations that will guide operators in water transport. By the provisions of the laws establishing it, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has a responsibility to put rules and regulations to sanitise water transport. Besides putting the regulations in place, it must ensure its enforcement. This is the way to ensure there is efficiency in water transport in the country.

In apparent response to this challenge, NIWA has said it has concluded plans to launch an inland waterways code for its use and regulation.

Speaking the just concluded 2014 stakeholders’ conference on the economic use of the Onitsha River Port, NIWA’s Managing Director, Hajiya Inna Maryam Ciroma said that the code is long overdue adding that work has commenced on it. Ciroma said that code will also serve as a guide, law on the use of the waterways for operators.

She explained that the need to regulate the use of the nation’s waterways cannot be overemphasized considering the security challenges that have been facing the nation in recent times.

Stakeholders have made it clear that its workability depends on several layers of approval before the code come on stream. It must be noted that aside the approvals that NIWA is waiting to get, the authority will also have to carry its relevant agencies along in the entire process. The code when finally approved will stem the indiscriminate use of the waters and checkmate the excesses of illegal dredgers.

They averred that the code will not only bring about safety on the waterways, it will regulate the use of all river crafts and vessels operation within the land waterways in Nigeria.

Those who spoke to THISDAY said apart from rules and regulation on the use of the waterways, it will also contain penalties for violation as it ill deal with the issue of overloading, not wearing of live jackets.

Last Words It is also vital that all relevant stakeholders are sensitized before the code is put into operation as every necessary step need to be taken to ensure that everything about the code is put in proper perspective. Against the backdrop that there is a nexus between a visionary leadership and comprehensive national transport policy, there is need for a roadmap to salvage Nigeria from the current dysfunction of the transport sector.

Nigeria cannot make progress without improved transportation system. Also, the sector cannot advance without a well-planned public transportation system for which water transportation is a key component. It is germane the relevant government agencies address the questions begging for questions in the transport industry. This is one of the reasons why many stakeholders in the transport industry have opined that as Nigerians would be deciding political leadership in 2015, transport “must be one of the key issues of the electorate’ must demand.

According to them, the paradigm must change to accord it with the national aspiration demanding a better country. We canvass that transport – and in this context, efficient and effective national transportation agenda – must become one of the issues that the electorate should demand from the country’s political leadership in the next election. Going forward, Nigeria’s transport and mobility quagmire must be effectively settled and in doing this water transport must be given a priority so that Nigerians can more viable options in moving from one place to another with ease.

There should be a comprehensive transport policy to take care of the vast waterways, the rail system and the aviation sector for the country to move forward.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in African News

 

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