THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICA, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO IN QUARREL OVER TOILET PAPER—04/20/13
Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago are embroiled in a trade quarrel about toilet paper. Jamaica will go to CARICOM to seek a solution. According to Naika Pichi-Ayers, Trade Desk Officer of the T&T-Jamaica Trade Facilitation Desk at the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association, a member of the group had concerns about authorities in Jamaica who were not allowing their products to enter the island’s market in March 2013 because of concerns about microbial issues and adequate quality of the product to enter Jamaica. The member, TTL, claimed they were informed by the Jamaican Bureau of Standards (JBOS) about the embargo of the toilet paper. The shipments then sat in Jamaica’s ports for months while the products were tested at JBOS to determine whether the product was safe.
FIREARMS LICENSING AUTHORITY INTRODUCED BIOMETRIC IDENTIFICATION CARD—04/21/13
Jamaica’s Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) has introduced a high-security identification card for use by the nation’s gun owners. The new card will include a photograph of the gun owner and fingerprint information. Peter Bunting, National Security Minister, is hoping the new card will help law enforcement and enhance security on the island.
POLITICIANS IN JAMAICA ARE AMONG THE REGION’S WORST PAID—04/22/13
The political leaders in Jamaica receive some of the lowest pay in the Caribbean region, according to a study from the Integrity Commission in Turks and Caicos in 2012. Researchers found that Jamaica ranks near the bottom in regard to payment of its political representatives. The average citizen in Jamaica also has one of the lower pay rates in the Caribbean, and the island has one of the worst economies in the area as well.
POLICE SEIZE COCAINE SHIPMENT TOTALING 145 POUNDS—04/23/13
Jamaican police found approximately 145 pounds of cocaine hidden inside the van of a security company. Members of the Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force, along with other law enforcement authorities, discovered the drug after stopping and searching the van in St. James. The value of the cocaine was estimated at $2.6 million. Two men were arrested for the crime, but police have not named the security firm that they worked for.
GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO IMPROVING GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS—04/24/13
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said the government is “on a mission” to improve the global competitiveness of the country via increases in foreign and local direct investments. Because global investors tend to look at the level of local investment when considering doing business with a country, changes have been made at JAMPRO and other facilitation entities in order to focus on local investment and to support current investors. The government is also urging local investors to expand and increase their employment levels.
SHAW SAYS ECONOMIC CONDITIONS MUCH WORSE UNDER PNP LEADERSHIP—04/25/13
Audley Shaw, opposition spokesman on finance, believes the current government of Jamaica is presiding over a national economic growth rate that is “five times worse” than when the Jamaica Labor Party left in 2011. Shaw was also critical of the current government’s promise to keep new taxes out of the budget, calling it a “half truth.”
HOLNESS SAYS NATION FACES “CRISIS OF LEADERSHIP”—04/26/13
Opposition leader Andrew Holness has declared a “crisis in leadership” is confronting Jamaica. He said Jamaican citizens continue to suffer as the government seems to be drifting. He noted greater economic hardship for Jamaicans that began when the new administration came to power in 2012. He said prices for food have risen since then, along with the costs of nearly all other goods and services, including utility bills, the cost of raw materials, and taxes. He said the economic hardship is all the fault of the current administration.
ENERGY MINISTER SAYS LOWER ELECTRIC RATES COMING IN NEAR FUTURE—04/26/13
According to Phillip Paulwell, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, there is some movement on reducing the high costs of electric energy in Jamaica. He said that the government is targeting four companies that will advance its 360-megawatt project. The project is meant to provide lower electricity rates. Three of the companies are Amorview/Tank Weld, Jamaica Public Service Company, and Azurest/Cambridge. A fourth firm is linked to an unsolicited proposal from a firm that owns liquefied natural gas (LNG) resources. The firm is based in Hong Kong.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN NETBALL PLAYER NOTABLE IN DEFEAT OF SWIFTS TEAM IN AUSTRALIA—04/21/13
Jamaican Romelda Aiken is the tallest woman playing Australian netball, and she used her height to advantage as the Queenslander Firebird helped defeat the NSW Swifts 61-53 at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Center. She shot a personal 97 percent for the unbeaten Firebirds.
JAMAICAN CHAPLAIN WATCHED OVER BODY OF THATCHER IN HOUSE OF COMMONS—04/22/13
Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, specified that her body remain overnight in the chapel at the House of Commons after her death. Her wishes were carried out, and although few people know, the Rev. Rose Hudson Wilkin, a Jamaican, who is the chaplain to the speaker of the House of Commons, led prayers and Mrs. Thatcher’s funeral service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, and also sat a vigil over the body during its all-night stay in the Chapel of St. Mary Undercroft.
JAMAICAN ARTIST SHOWS WORKS AT WASHINGTON EMBASSY—04/23/13
Cheery Stewart Josephs, Jamaican artist, is exhibiting many of her paintings at the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, D.C. The exhibit marks the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence. The 64-piece collection depicts views of Jamaican life, flora and fauna, and the childhood home of Bob Marley in St. Ann. The self-taught artist now lives in Brooklyn, New York, but previously was one of the original members of the Trafalgar Artists, who had a gallery in Kingston in the 1970s.
U.S. SUPREME COURT RULES FOR JAMAICAN IMMIGRANT—04/24/13
The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in favor of a Jamaican immigrant who is attempting to avoid a mandatory deportation following the discovery by police of a small amount of marijuana in his vehicle during a traffic stop in 2007. The Court ruled 7-2 for Adrian Moncrieffe. The amount of the drug was the equivalent of two or three marijuana cigarettes. He entered a guilty plea in Georgia at the time of the crime for possession with intent to distribute. The Court considered whether this constituted illicit trafficking and therefore an aggravated felony. The Court ruled that the situation did not rise to that level.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
PUERTO RICO CONSIDERS LEGALIZING USE OF MARIJUANA—04/20/13
WARNER’S RESIGNATION WANTED BY TRINIDAD OPPOSITION—04/21/13
PLOT TO KILL LEGISLATOR AND REPORTER DISCOVERD IN HONDURAS—04/22/13
HAITI CRITICIZED BY RIGHTS GROUP OVER CAMP EVICTIONS—04/23/13
CRACKDOWN ON WORK PERMITS IN THE BAHAMAS ANGERS LARGE RESORT—04/24/13
CANADIAN SHOT AND KILLED IN HAITI AFTER LEAVING BANK—04/26/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
GOVERNMENT TO HELP TRAIN WORKERS FOR LOGISTICS HUB—04/20/13
Anthony Hylton, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, says that the government wants to ensure there are enough skilled workers to operate the planned-for Global Logistics Hub. Hylton said there is already a process in place to develop these workers, and a major training initiative will soon begin. Jamaica is to sign a co-operation agreement with Panama, and similar arrangement will be made with Dubai. Jamaica will send some people to begin training that will ensure they are prepared when the project is ready in 2015.
GOVERNMENT WARNED ABOUT PULLING OUT OF MERGER WITH CAL—04/21/13
The Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) has asked the Jamaican government to explain what will happen if the country pulls out of the merger agreement between Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines (CAL), which is based in Trinidad. According to Kavan Gayle, the President of BITU, Jamaica no longer has a national airline, and CAL now operates as the national airline. He says the BITU needs to know what the impact would be for Jamaican customers and workers if the merger doesn’t go through before the union takes a position on the matter.
STUDY SAYS DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL PORK INDUSTRY MAY REDUCE IMPORTS—04/24/13
A study from the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) and funded by the World Bank has found that the local pig/pork industry in Jamaica could ultimately replace more than 85 percent of current imports if it were appropriately developed. The imports include chiefly tails, legs, hocks, bellies, and lunch meats. Jamaican exports of pork would need to be concentrated in the South American and Caribbean markets to be effective.
RUSAL PLANS NEW ENERGY SOURCE FOR RE-OPENING OF ALUMINA PLANTS—04/25/13
Rusal, the Russian mining firm, and the government of Jamaica agreed to the reopening of two alumina plants on the island within the next three years. Phillip Paulwell, Minister of Energy and Mining, said that Rusal, the largest producer of aluminum in the world, has had operations in Jamaica since 2009 and has control over 65 percent of the nation’s alumina production capacity. Rusal plans to use natural gas to run the plants and has made an agreement with the PACE Group and British Petroleum (BP) for the infrastructure and gas supply, respectively.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
BLUEBERRY Z10 LAUNCHED BY LIME—04/20/13
JAMAICA AT FOREFRONT OF RESEARCH ON PROSTATE CANCER—04/22/13
XTERA CHOSEN IN UPGRADE OF SUBSEA CABLE SYSTEM —04/23/13
FIRST ECO-STORE FOR APPLIANCES ON TAP FOR ATL—04/24/13
LIGUANEA ART FESTIVAL CELEBRATES JAMAICAN CREATIVITY—04/20/13
The Liguanea Art Festival is getting ready for its 10th annual celebration of Jamaican artists from around the island and around the world. The day-long arts festival gives local artists and chance to exhibit, and provides patrons the opportunity to meet the creators of their favorite artworks. In the past ten years, the festival has become one of the most popular events in Kingston.
VYBZ KARTEL COULD RELEASE NEW ALBUM IN SUMMER OF 2013—04/22/13
Vybz Kartel, the Jamaican dancehall star, is expected to release a new studio album in the summer of 2013. He will release the new album from behind bars, since he is currently awaiting a new court date in his trial for alleged murder. There are reports that he plans to release a 20-track album from jail. It will feature several unreleased tracks and some current hits. There is no name for the album or a definite release date as yet.
2013 REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL PLANS ANNOUNCED—04/23/13
Delroy Morgan, Island Village manager, says that plans for the staging of the sixth annual Reggae Film Festival is going well. The event is scheduled for August 1-5, 2013, at Island Village in Ocho Rios. The venue is putting in a maximum effort to ensure the event will be a success. Morgan is bringing his three years of experience as a volunteer at the Sundance Film Festival to bear on the Ocho Rios festival. Every night of the festival, feature films, documentaries, and music videos will be screened. Between the films, live reggae performances will entertain the audience.
MICO COLLEGE PLANS CLASSICAL BALLADS EVENT—04/25/13
The alumni association of The Mico University College will be adding a new event to its list of promotional activities. There will now be annual concerts performed by two of the college’s most famous graduates, opera singers, and music educators. Curtis Watson and his wife, Pauline Forest Watson, will give the yearly concerts at the 177-year-old institution.
JAMAICA’s CAMPBELL-BROWN TO RACE ALYSON FELIX—04/20/13
The queen of Jamaica’s sprint athletes, Veronica Campbell-Brown, will face Alyson Felix from the United States in the 100-meter race at the Jamaica International Invitational in Kingston on May 4, 2013. This event provides a rare change for the two runners, who dominated the women’s 200 meters for almost ten years, compete against each other. This will be the first trip to Jamaica for Felix in 11 years. The two runners have faced each other a total of 18 times during their careers.
EX-SOCCER EXECUTIVES FACE FRAUD ACCUSATIONS—04/21/13
Chuck Blazer, former secretary general of CONCACAF, has been accused of enjoying a lifestyle characterized by luxury apartments, a Hummer vehicle, and auto insurance for his girlfriend, all at the expense of the regional soccer association he headed. Blazer is also accused of violating United States laws by failing to submit tax returns for the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Football from 2004 to 2010. Blazer and former CONCACAF president Jack Warner are accused of enriching themselves through fraudulent actions.
RIVALRY BETWEEN JAMAICA, U.S. SURE TO SHOW AT PENN RELAYS—04/22/13
A variety of track and field athletes from the Caribbean will compete against American athletes at the Penn Relays meet in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The rivalry between the two nations’ athletes, from high school athletes to Olympians, is expected to be as strong as ever. The event will be held April 25, 26, 27 at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field.
CAMPBELL-BROWN, YOHAN BLAKE FEATURED AT EDMONTON CLASSIC—04/23/13
Jamaica’s champion sprinters Veronica Campbell-Brown and Yohan Blake are scheduled to headline at the Edmonton International Track Classic in Canada in June 2013. Blake will be running in the 100-meter event for the second year in a row. This will be the first appearance at a track and field event in Canada for Campbell-Brown.