THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
WORKERS IN KINGSTON CSO STILL IMPACTED BY NOXIOUS GAS—03/02/13
The workers at the Central Sorting Office (CSO) in Kingston were sent home for a second day after reporting they still suffered from the effects of a noxious gas that caused many to faint the day before. According to representatives of Jamaica’s Ministry of Health, 60 people were hospitalized for treatment after inhaling gas fumes, and the rest of the workers were sent home. The source of the gas has not yet been determined.
PROFESSOR URGES LEGISLATORS TO ENACT TOBACCO CONTROL LAWS—03/03/13
The chief of nephrology at University Hospital of the West Indies, Professor Everard /Barton, wants the Jamaican government to pass tobacco control legislation as quickly as possible. Barton, also chairman of the Caribbean Institute of Nephrology, believes passing a tobacco control act would significantly reduce the number of kidney-related illness. Barton said that smoking causes plaques to form in blood vessels, blocking flow to the kidneys.
GOVERNMENT TO INVESTIGATE CHILD-TRAFFICKING RING—03/04/13
Jamaica’s government plans to investigate a ring that is allegedly trafficking in Jamaica children, moving them to another country in the Caribbean. According to the Ministry of Youth and Culture, the ring was uncovered by a government inquiry that began in January 2013. At least one person in a British Caribbean territory has been arrested in connection with the ring, and officials have taken one child into their care thus far.
SHANIQUE MYRIE CASE WINDS UP—03/05/13
Jamaican government lawyers have completed presenting their evidence in the Jamaican portion of the Shanique Myrie case before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). Myrie alleged she was the victim of discrimination because of her nationality when she visited Barbados in March 2011 and that she was subjected to a body cavity search, held overnight in custody, and deported to Jamaica the next day. The case will resume in Barbados on March 18, 2013, and the government of that nation will present its case at that time.
JAMAICAN PARLIAMENT PAYS TRIBUTE TO CHAVEZ—03/06/13
Jamaica’s Parliament is making arrangements to make appropriate acknowledgement of the contributions of recently deceased Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Chavez died after a long struggle with cancer. The House of Representatives has already recognized the friendship and love that Chavez had for Jamaica and its people. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Opposition Leader Andrew Holness both recognized Chavez as well and said his death was sad.
PRIME MINISTER PRAISES PUBLIC SECTOR FOR CONCERN ABOUT NATION—03/07/13
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced that the government will make concessions to workers in the public sector who have agreed to a freeze of their wages until 2016 as part of a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The National Housing Trust (NHT) may also be called upon for help to ensure that success of the programs Jamaica is pursuing with the IMF.
PUBLIC WORKERS, ACCEPTING WAGE FREEZE, SAY NEVER AGAIN—03/07/13
Jamaica Civil Service Association president Oneil Grant says that while workers in the public sector have agreed to a wage freeze until 2016, they will not repeat this sacrifice again in the future. The workers made the agreement for the good of the national economy, but are emphatic that they will not put themselves into a similar position ever again. Grant encouraged other trade unions to sign the wage freeze agreement, noting the country’s need for economic reform.
FEWER FISHING LICENSES TO BE ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT—03/08/13
The government of Jamaica is moving to reduce the number of fisherfolk in Pedro Cays by reducing the number of fishing licenses granted. According to Roger Clarke, Minister of Agriculture, the number of licenses to be issued in 2013 will total 380. This is a reduction of some 600 individuals in the area for conch season. Clarke also said that the government will strengthen enforcement activities performed by the Marine Police, the Jamaica Defense Force Coast Guard, and the Fisheries Division in order to ensure that only licensed fisherfolk are allowed to stay on the cays.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
CONFERENCE TO EXPLORE INVESTMENT, TRADE OPPORTUNITIES—03/03/13
The Fifth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference will investigate how to find more investment and trade opportunities, among other issues, in 2013. The conference, scheduled for the Montego Bay Convention Center in St. James, will be held from June 16 to 19. The theme of the conference is “A Nation on a Mission: Jamaica-Diaspora Partnership for National Development.” The conference will also focus on health care and education.
NYC COUNCIL APPROVES LEGISLATION TO PREVENT DEPORTATION—03/04/13
The New York City Council enacted a bill that will prohibit the city’s police department from handling over Caribbean immigrants and immigrants from other countries who are charge with lesser crimes to United States federal authorities. According to Council Speaker Christine Quinn, immigrants who do not have criminal records are now being deported needlessly.” When fingerprints are taken upon arrest, that person is charged, but not guilty, she noted.
GOVERNMENT URGES DIASPORA TO TAKE VACATIONS IN JAMAICA—03/07/13
The Jamaican government would like to see more people in the Diaspora take their vacations in the home country. This would provide the chance for the nation to increase its earnings from the tourist sector, said Arnaldo Brown, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. He noted that there are about 3.3 million Jamaicans in the Diaspora, but only 11 percent of them return to Jamaica for vacation and/or leisure time.
THREE JAMAICANS RECEIVE DRUG SMUGGLING SENTENCES—03/08/13
Paul Getty, Wesley Barrett, and Tetla Warner, are three Jamaicans who have been sentenced for drug smuggling into the Cayman Islands in January 2013. The three were taken into custody by authorities when the canoe in which they were carrying the drug was seen off the Caymans coast. Two others on the boat escaped. Warner and Barrett received three-year sentences, and Betty received a one-year sentence in prison. All also got an additional nine months for immigration violations.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
PUERTO RICO MORE ACCEPTING OF GAY RIGHTS—03/02/13
WEBB APPOINTED TO LEAD FIFA ANTI-RACISM TASK FORCE—03/03/13
CUBA PLANS TO END JAYWALKING—03/04/13
CHAVEZ OF VENEZUELA DIES—03/05/13
MADURO TO SUCCEED CHAVEZ IN VENEZUELA—03/06/13
ECONOMIST PROMOTES PRO-GROWTH STRATEGIES IN CARIBBEAN—03/07/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
BANK FORCES RESTRUCTURING ON CAMBIOS—03/02/13
The National Commercial Bank (NCB) in Jamaica decided to stop dealing with foreign exchange dealers, and its action is having an impact on non-cambio operations of customers, including those involved with Sterling Asset Management. This indicates that the central bank’s intervention on behalf of the Cambio Association, which views the NCB policy as a endangering the viability of some traders, has not been able to mitigate or reverse the commercial bank’s policy.
DEVELOPMENT BANK HEAPS PRAISE ON JAMAICAN PROGRAM—03/05/13
The Inter-American Development Bank has praised a Jamaican project that offers new methods for transfer cash to the poor in exchange to meeting specific requirements. For more than 20 years, a number of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have transferred cash to poor families under this program, and the lives of many people in the developing world have improved as a result. In Jamaica, the pilot project involves trying out an on-the-job training initiative that will target families who participate in the cash-transfer program.
INVESTMENT PROFIT DROPS FOR SAGICOR—03/07/13
The net profits of Sagicor Investments fell to about J$1.5 billion for the year ending in December 2012. This represents a decline of 11.7 percent over the total for 2011. While total revenues showed only a small increase – J$4.1 billion in 2012 compared to J$4.0 billion the previous year – the results represent a good performance in a changing market environment.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT DEBT DOWNGRADED—03/08/13
Moody’s Investor Service, a ratings agency in the United States, has downgraded the government debt in Jamaica from B3 to Caa3. The agency did rate Jamaica with a stable economic outlook, however, The downgrade was made a week after successful enforcement of the National Debt Exchange, a debt swapping program adopted by the government because Moody’s believes that even with this success, the high debt burden of Jamaica remains essentially unchanged.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
LIME BUILDS LEARNING NETWORK IN CARIBBEAN—03/02/13
CARICOM WORKSHOP TARGETS SUSTAINABLE ENERGY STRATEGY—03/03/13
INTERNET EXCHANGE POINT LAUNCHED IN DOMINICA—03/05/13
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT MADE PUBLIC IN DOMINICA—03/07/13
TWO JAMAICANS NAMED TOP BLACK ARTISTS BY U.S. SOURCE—03/03/13
The Huffington Post in the United States, the first commercially run digital publication to win a Pulitzer Prize, has named two Jamaicans to its list of the top 30 black artists under 40. Ebony G. Patterson and Paul Anthony Smith made the list, which is published during Black History Month in the U.S.
JIMMY CLIFF UNVEILS NEW ALBUM, HAILS “REBIRTH”—03/04/13
The legendary reggae artiste Jimmy Cliff says he has been spiritually reborn and has a new sense of artistic energy in making his first new album in eight years. Cliff, 64, says this is why his album is called “Rebirth.” Cliff won a Grammy award for Best Reggae Album in February 2013, and he is now bringing his music to Womadelaide, which offers him a perfect platform. In addition to his own spiritual rebirth, the album celebrates the rebirth of the planet, he says.
ALTERNATIVE MUSICIANS IN JAMAICA WANT MORE EXPOSURE—03/07/13
Jamaica is well known for its reggae and dancehall music, but the nation’s underground music scene is bigger than that. The local music industry in Jamaica features jazz musicians and opera singers, as well as many rock bands. These artistes feel they are being forced into obscurity and overshadowed by all the attention given to dancehall and reggae. While the genres are not Jamaican, the artistes are and want to be recognized as such.
JAMAICAN AUTHOR VISITS NEW YORK TO LAUNCH BOOK—03/08/13
Beverley East, Jamaican author and forensic document examiner, read from her third novel “Bat Mitzvah Girl: Memories of a Jamaican Child” during its launch at Finn Partners in New York. The gathering in Manhattan featured East as she spoke of details about the other side of her family and the challenges of living between two nations and two families. Attending the launch were Christopher Castriota, community relations officer at New York’s Consulate General of Jamaica, and Stan Mirvis, specialist in Jewish history at the Graduate Center of City University of New York.
JAMAICAN SHOOTERS COULD TRY FOR OLYMPICS—03/04/13
According to Ryan Bramwell, pistol captain at the Jamaica Rifle Association (JRA), believes that Jamaican shooters who participate in practical shooting sports could potentially try for qualification in the sport at the Olympic level. Bramwell says local shooters perform very well at top tournaments, despite the fact that they train only part time. At the Florida Pistol Open Championship, three Jamaicans made it to the top 10 in the Limited Division, the top section of competition in the sport.
MULLINGS LOSES APPEAL, BANNED FOR LIFE—03/05/13
Steve Mullings, Jamaican sprinter, lost his appeal against a lifetime ban from athletics, which was imposed in November 2011 for a second doping offense. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said Mullings, 30, who won gold in the 4×100 meter relay at the 2009 world championships in Berlin, tested positive for testosterone in 2004 and for furosemide, a banned diuretic, in 2011.Mullings had argued that there were problems with the 2004 positive test and it should not be counted as the first doping sanction. The CAS rejected his arguments, however, and the ban was upheld.
PRIME MINISTER SUPPORT LINK OF CULTURE, SPORTS TO HELP ECONOMY—03/06/13
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller believes that the Jamaican government should support a connection between sports and the creative and cultural industries on the island, since they are all strong driving forces for the nation’s economic development. While the arts are important, they have not achieved the recognition in the way sports have. She made her remarks at a special meeting of stakeholders of the national sports organizations to discuss priorities for sports in Jamaica for 2013 and 2014.
GAYLE FAILS, JAMAICA STRUGGLES ON OPENING DAY—03/07/13
Chris Gayle, West Indies opener, disappointed fans on the opening day of the Windies fourth-round match against the Windward Islands in the Regional Four-Day Championship. Gayle provided a poor performance in the only opportunity at match practice before the first Test in Barbados. Gayle was dismissed for only 15 in a weak display of batting by the Windwards, three-time defending champions at National