THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
COURT DISMISSES APPLICATION FROM DAVIES—02/02/13
An application filed in court by Dr. Omar Davies, Jamaica’s Transport and Works Minister, was dismissed, and Patrick Atkinson, Attorney General, criticized the court system for its failure to inform his office that Justice Lennox Campbell was ready to provide a ruling. Dr. Davies intended to challenge a ruling from the Office of the Contractor General and sought a determination about whether the Office had the authority to require an independent oversight panel to monitor several large infrastructure projects. Davies could appeal Campbell’s ruling to the Court of Appeal.
1,600 CHILDREN IN JAMAICA MURDERED SINCE 2000—02/03/13
At least four Jamaican children were murdered in the first month of 2013. In 2012, 41 children will killed on the island, a slight decrease from the total of 54 children who were killed in 2011. Between 2000 and 2010, over 1,500 children were killed across Jamaica. Criminals on the island appear to be increasingly willing to kill defenseless children. The latest victims, Rushaun Burford, 4, and Shariefa Saddler, 14, were killed during a 24-hour period in the Corporate Area last week.
PROJECT TO EXTRACT RARE EARTH ELEMENTS BEGINS—02/04/13
Officials from Jamaica and Japan started a pilot project that will investigate whether or not the extraction of rare earth elements in Jamaican soil can develop into a commercial enterprise. The project targets the island’s bauxite waste materials. Researchers from Nippon Light Metal Co. Ltd. believe they have discovered high levels of rare earth elements in the byproducts of bauxite refining. Japanese and Jamaica researchers will treat about 30 tons of red mud with acid to potentially extract some 17 rare earth elements required for manufacturing smartphones, wind turbines, plasma screens, and other high-technology products.
BOAT WITH 25 ILLEGAL HAITIAN MIGRANTS REACHES JAMAICAN SHORE—02/05/13
Parish police in Portland reported that local residents saw a rickety boat approaching the Jamaican shoreline just before dawn. The boat carried 25 illegal migrants from Haiti, and all appeared to be in good condition. According to authorities, the migrants left Haiti the previous day and were attempting to reach the United States.
PAULWELL CLASHING WITH MIAN OVER JPS PROJECT—02/06/13
Ahmad Zia Mian, the outgoing Director General of the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) in Jamaica, the Phillip Paulwell, the island’s Minister of Energy, are engaged in a “clash of wills” over the status of a proposed Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) project. According to energy sector sources, Mian, who is leaving office imminently, has ignored Paulwell’s efforts to provide the JPS with an extension so it can finalize its plans to continue with the 360-megawatt project. Paulwell said the government has yet to receive a final position from OUR concerning this issue.
JAMAICAN MANUFACTURERS URGE PUBLIC TO BUY JAMAICAN PRODUCTS—02/07/13
Responding to information about poor quality imports, the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) is supporting a plan to reject substandard products that are currently imported to the island. The JMA is concerned about a lack of appropriate monitoring of ports, inequality of treatment between manufacture red versus imported products, a poor regulatory environment, excessive bureaucracy, and what it says is an unfriendly business environment in Jamaica that raises the costs of producing local products. The JMA urges all authorized entities to protect consumers and reduce health risks by ensuring the safety of imported products.
JAMAICA GETS ANOTHER AREA CODE—02/07/13
Jamaica’s Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) is in the process of obtaining an additional telephone area code for the island. According to OUR, an additional cod is necessary because of an expected increase in telecommunications business and products, which will mean greater demand on resources. OUR is waiting for the North American Numbering Plan to decide when the new area code will be issued to Jamaica.
POLICE IDENTITY CARD SYSTEM DEFENDED BY JCF—02/08/13
Police say the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) process for issuing identification cards to its members operates appropriately. The ID card system came under attack after Omar Bailey, a youth advocate, was murdered. According to the National Youth Council, Bailey had a police ID card and was a member of the force, as well as a School Resource Officer. Karl Angell, communications director of the JCF, said that Bailey was not a JCF member, however, and that he had been twice charged with impersonating a policeman and was convicted for doing so. The Youth Council has questioned how Bailey was able to obtain a JCF ID in this case.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICANS IN ATLANTA HONORED FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE—02/02/13
In Atlanta, Georgia, over 30 Jamaican individuals were honored for their service to the community as part of the final celebrations of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence. These people were recognized for their service in the fields of education, law, health, medial, business, religion, and social services. According to Stephen Vasciannie, Jamaican ambassador, the honorees provided examples of the kind of hard work Jamaicans in the Diaspora are known for.
JAMAICAN MECHANICS PROVIDE STELLAR PERFORMANCE IN CANADA—02/03/13
A group of Jamaican mechanics who arrived in Canada during the summer of 2012 to work with local transportation companies has been cited for their excellent work. According to Michael Anderson, one of the group’s members, they are preparing to obtain Red Seal certification and are studying together to attain this professional level. This is the highest trade certification available in Canada and will put the Jamaican mechanics on a par with their Canadian counterparts.
JAMAICAN MICHAEL DUNCAN CLEARED TO RUN IN NEW YORK COUNCIL RACE—02/04/13
Michael Duncan, who is from Kingston, Jamaica, has been cleared to run for council office in a special election to be held in Queens, New York. The elections will take place on February 19, 2013, to replace James Sanders Jr., who was move into the NY Senate in general elections in November. Duncan, 49, has 20 years of community activism on his resume and says he refused to be part of the “old-school party machines.” Eight other candidates are in the council race.
JAMAICANS BORN IN UK AND BECOME CITIZENS REGOCNIZED IN CEREMONIES—02/05/13
The Jamaican High Commission in London will recognized Jamaicans who have been born in the United Kingdom and have decided to take on Jamaican citizenship. Aloun N’dombet Assamba, Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the UK, said her organization has encouraged UK-born Jamaicans to become more involved with the “Jamaicaness.” She believes the special recognition ceremonies will make the ties of these individuals to their heritage much stronger.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
NEW CREDIT CARD RULES IN U.S. CONCERN MERCHANTS IN CARIBBEAN—02/02/13
2013 CARIBBEAN SERIES TO BE PLAYED DIN NEW BALLPARK—02/03/13
CARIBBEAN TO BE ALERTED AUTOMATICALLY ABOUT COASTAL HAZARDS—02/04/13
CARIBBEAN NATIONALS URGED TO VOTE IN SPECIAL NY ELECTION—02/05/13
SLOW ECONOMIC GROWTH PREDICTED FOR 2013 IN Jamaica—02/07/13
MEXICO GETS TOP SPOT IN CARIBBEAN SERIES VERSUS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—02/08/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
GUYANESE CEO DOUBLES OPERATIONS OF JAMAICAN SPICE COMPANY—02/02/13
Mohan Jagnarine of Guyana, the CEO of Spur Tree Spices Jamaica Ltd., reported that the company spent J$15 million for a retrofit of space in the Garmex complex to house its factory. The firm’s action comes at the same time the company is working to become HACCP compliant. The Garmex plant space will double the current 5,000-square-foot leased factory in Kingston, which is Spur Tree’s current location. New food safety rules imposed by the United States now require producers outside the country to comply or lose access to the U.S. market. This represents some J$10 billion to Jamaican food producers.
FOREX SALES OF JAMAICAN BANK TOP US1.4 BILLION—02/03/13
The National Commercial Bank Jamaica (NCB) has had sales totaling over US$1 billion in foreign currency to its clients. This has resulted in new market share for the institution. Some of the increased business was fueled by uncertainty in the foreign exchange market, which is expected to continue until a resolution is reached between Jamaica and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
DIGICEL, BOLT RECEIVE GLEANER AWARDS FOR 2012—02/04/13
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s Olympic champion and world’s fastest man, received the Gleaner 2012 Golden Award at the newspaper’s 32nd honor ceremony. In addition to Bolt, Digicel Jamaica, the telecommunications firm, also received a top Golden Award. Andy Thorburn, CEO of Digicel Jamaica, said the award would be placed in a prominent place at the firm’s new offices in downtown Kingston. Bolt received his award for his exceptional contribution to sports, while Digicel was honored for making major contributions toward Jamaica’s development.
JPS NOT GIVING UP ON NEW ENERGY PLANT—02/06/13
Although Jamaica’s Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has cancelled its agreement with the Jamaica Public Service company (JPS) in regard to developing a new liquid n natural gas plant, JPS said that this will not be the end of the project. The company has presented a modified version of the original plan. While the firm has not officially indicated whether the plan still relies chiefly on LNG, Winsome Callum, spokesperson for the JPS, said that using LNG to power the plant was included in the proposal. She refused further comment on the new plan, however.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN NATIONS INSTALLING SOLAR STREETLIGHTS—02/02/13
GOVERNMENT OF ST. KITTS PROVIDES ALL HIGH SCHOOLS WITH WIFI—02/03/13
PAULWELL, UTILITIES OFFICE GIVEN DEADLINE TO ACT—02/07/13
JAMAICAN TO TRAIN AVIATION PROFESSIONALS—02/08/13
JAMAICAN HIP-HOP STARTS TO GAIN ATTENTION—02/02/13
Jamaican hip-hop musicians are finally seeing their work recognized by a larger group of fans. Several new releases have gained the interest of the public. However, the Jamaican hip-hop scene remains underground as strong forces present obstacles to its increased presence on the island. Hip-hop music is seen as an American invention, compared to reggae, which originated in Jamaica. This has caused the hip-hop genre to be relatively ignored by the industry on the island. Some collaborations between dancehall artistes and hip-hop musicians have occurred, however.
HERON PRODUCES REFRESHING VIEW OF JAMAICAN LIFE IN THE UK—02/03/13
Deanne Heron has compiled short stories that focus on the experience of being Jamaican in the United Kingdom. The publication, called “Pardner Money Stories,” involves an example Caribbean family living in Britain. The stories reflect considerable Jamaican “colloquialism,” or the island’s Patois language. In the stories, Heron offers a rare view of Jamaica and the lives of its people in the UK.
JAMAICAN ART REACHES NEW LEVEL—02/04/13
The Jamaica Creative Cooperative (JCC) has 21 members and is focused on taking art to a more profitable condition in Jamaica. According to Maxine Donovan, the group’s coordinator, the goal of the group is to allow artists to benefit from their efforts via training and marketing or art products. The members represent 14 parishes and produce picture frames, belts, and ceramic cups, along with wood and alabaster carvings.
BUSY SIGNAL CHARGED WITH PASSPORT FRAUD—02/05/13
Police in Jamaica have charged dancehall artiste Busy Signal with obtaining passports under a false name. The charges against Glendale Gordon, which is the entertainer’s real name, arise from an arrest in 2012 on an extradition warrant. After his arrest, it was found that he had illegally obtained three Jamaican passports under the name of Reanno Gordon. He used this name to travel overseas. Gordon returned to Jamaica in 2012 after serving a sentence in a United States prison for failing to appear in court on a drug charge dating back ten years.
CUNNINGHAM WARNED ABOUT USING BANNED SUBSTANCES—02/02/13
Jamaica’s Ricardo Cunningham, CMC-Jamaica 800-meter champion, received a warning and a reprimand after testing positive for pseudoephedrine, a banned substance. He received the ruling from a three-member panel of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Commission. He won the 800-meter championship in 2012 but was found later to have tested positive for the banned substance, which is used in cough and cold remedies.
JAMAICAN LONG JUMPER SEES EARLY SUCCESS—02/03/13
Chanice Porter of Jamaica, a freshman at the University of Georgia, is fourth among the top ten of the all-time women’s long jump champions. Porter, a native of Pratville, has lived in the United States for only a few months and has not totally adjusted to her new life, she said. Porter became interested in the long jump during high school and competes in both high jump and long jump. She chose Georgia because of the coaches and encouragement from her peers.
RICHARDS RECEIVES CALL TO JAMAICAN WORLD CUP—02/06/13
Dane Richards, winger from Burnley, has been named to a 23-player squad for Jamaica’s opening match in the final round of the North Central America and Caribbean qualifier for Brazil in 2014. He signed with the Clarets at the beginning of January 2013, moving from the Vancouver Whitecaps.
JAMAICAN SOCCER TEAM CELEBRATES BOB MARLEY’S BIRTHDAY—02/07/13
The Jamaican soccer team celebrated the birthday of reggae legend Bob Marley by keeping Mexico to a 0-0 draw at Azteca Stadium in the first game of the CONCACAF hexagonal in Mexico City. The team also earned a valuable point and a historic one, since it was the first the team ever earned in Mexico.