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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending May 3rd, 2013

03 May

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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CANADIANS OPEN FIRE, BREAK INTERNATIONAL LAW IN JAMAICAN WATERS—04/27/13
Canadian naval reservists are blaming “bad maps” for their firing of weapons and incepting fishing boats in Jamaican waters without Jamaica’s permission during an anti-drug trafficking mission in 2012. HMCS Goose Bay and Kingston ships were patrolling off Jamaica as part of their participation in Operation Caribbe, Canada’s part of a continuing anti-drug trafficking program led by the United States. The ships fired several weapons during the incident, including 50-calibre machine guns.

INVESTIGATION INTO APPLICATIONS OF HOUSES BUILT BY FOOD FOR THE POOR—04/28/13
Food for the Poor, an international charity organization, is claiming that some of the houses it built in southern Trelawney have been given to political activists who are not eligible for them and who already own homes. According to Andrew Mahfood, chairman of the organization, an immediate investigation into the claim will be made, and if it is found that it is true, a post-audit will be performed to ensure that individuals applying for the homes are financially in need of them.

HEALTH MINISTRY FINDS MORE PEOPLE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF NHF BENEFITS—04/29/13
Dr. Fenton Ferguson, Jamaica’s Minister of Health, more Jamaicans are using the benefits available under the National Health Fund (NHF). Enrollments have risen from 42,147 in March 2004 to 297, 336 in March 2012. This is an increase of 700 percent. The claims submitted in 2011 totaled 2/6 million, which had a total value of $4.6 billion.

THREE PEOPLE CHARGED WITH MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR ROBBERY—04/30/13
Jamaican police report that they have brought charges against three people for a multi-million dollar robbery that occurred at a jewelry store in April 2013. Among those charged is a political activist with the Jamaica Labor Party, Kayon “Treasure” Campbell. The other two men charged were Donald Ho, a businessman, and Norman Robertson of St. Catherine. Campbell and Robertson face charges of robbery with aggravation, illegal firearms possession, and conspiracy to commit robbery. Ho is charged with receiving stolen goods and illegal firearms and ammunition possession. The robbery involves the theft of $J7 million worth of Rolex watches.

CAP NO BURDEN TO JAMAICA, PAULWELL SAYS—04/30/13
Phillip Paulwell, Jamaican Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), says that the Clarendon Alumina Partners (CAP) will no longer impose a burden on the country. According to Paulwell, the Consolidate fund will not support CAP any longer, and the entity will be on its own shortly. Jamaica owns 45 percent of Jamalco, which is vested in CAP, and had been trying to sell its portion to Glencore. The government has decided not to divest its stock, instead agreeing to an energy solution for Jamalco that will result in lower production costs and allow the firm to turn a profit.

JAMAICA APPROVES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT WITH COSTA RICA—05/01/13
The government of Jamaica has decided to implement a free trade agreement (FTA) with Costa Rica. The government also agreed to a FTA between CARICOM and the Dominican Republic. Approval of another FTA between Cuba and CARICOM was also given by Jamaica.

GOVERNMENT WILL NOT TAX BASIC FOODS—05/02/13
Dr. Peter Phillips, Jamaican Minister of Finance, says that the government does not plan to tax basic food items. Phillips made his remarks in response to Opposition comments about the removal of tax exemptions for basic food items in the tax reforms. He said that such an action would cause unnecessary hardship and that the government has not taken that policy position on the matter.

INTERIM TIVOLI REPORT, RECOMMENDATIONS ISSUED—05/03/13
Public Defender Earl Witter has issued an interim report on incidents that occurred in Tivoli Gardens during a state of emergency in May 2010. The report has called for a thorough inquiry into the actions of security forces and gunmen. Emphasized in the report were provisional claims for 688 individuals who submitted 1,295 documented complaints and are qualified for over $110.8 million. Witter wants Owen Ellington, police commissioner and chief of defense staff at the time of the Tivoli incidents, and Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, along with other top personnel, to testify about their oversight of the activities before a judicial tribunal.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN WOMAN ARRESTED IN CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY—04/28/13
Tanesha Garrick, 31, a Jamaican woman who lives in New York, spent four days in jail upon returning to Jamaica to attend a funeral. Garrick says she was held by immigration authorities when she arrived at Sangster International Airport on April 6, 2013. She was told by police later that the Organized Crime Investigation Division (OCID) wanted to interview her. Garrick spent ten hours at the airport before being transported by detectives to Central Village police station in St. Catherine. She was then jailed and told she faced serious charges, including kidnapping. Police would not listen to her statement that she had not been in Jamaica since December 2012. Later, she found out she was detained because she has the same first name and last initials of the person sought be investigators.

JAMAICAN AMBASSADOR VISITS UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI—04/30/13
Stephen Vasciannie, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, visited the University of Miami’s School of Law in Coral Gables, Florida. He is the second senior Jamaican official to pay a visit to the school in the past two years. Vasciannie is the former principal of Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica. He spoke to students and faculty, telling them of Jamaica’s major priorities. These include the proposed logistics hub project, anti-crime initiatives, and the need to engage the Jamaican Diaspora.

JAMAICA HAS NEW AMBASSADOR IN CHINA—05/02/13
Ralph Thomas, financial consultant and university lecturer, has been appointed to the position of Jamaican Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. Thomas is a senior teaching fellow at the Mona School of Business, as well as a lecturer in the University of the West Indies Department of Management Studies. He will succeed Courtenay Rattray, who has served in China since 2008.

JAMAICAN WOMEN’S GROUP DEDICATED TO ALL JAMAICAN WOMEN—05/03/13
Jamaican Women of Florida was welcomed by a large crowd of supporters at its launch event on April 19, 2013. The group’s mission is to mentor and provide opportunities for youth education and career development. According to its president, Dahlia Walker Huntington, it will focus on taking care of women in all areas of leadership and professional positions, with special attention to financial and retirement security, wellness, political empowerment, and family enrichment.

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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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BIRD FLU ALERT ISSUED FOR CARIBBEAN—04/27/13

TRINIDAD CALLS FOR PURCHASE OF CANADIAN AIRCRAFT IN DRUG WAR—04/28/13

BROTHER, SISTER SWIM FOR 14 HOURS AFTER BOAT SINKS—04/29/13

CONFERENCE ON CARIBBEAN SHIPPING PLANNED—05/01/13

DEAL ON CARIBBEAN TAX HAVENS IN UK RAISES CHANCE OF CRACKDOWN IN EU—05/02/13

DEPORTED CARIBBEAN NATIONALS RETURNING TO U.S. ILLEGALLY—05/03/13

 

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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MAJOR BAUXITE PRODUCER MUST UPDATE REFINERIES—04/27/13
UC Rusal, a major producer of bauxite in Jamaica, plans to update its refineries in response to a shrinking market. A new program will replace expensive crude oil with natural gas as the facilities’ chief source of energy.  This will reduce costs of production considerably. Because of a surplus of alumina in the Atlantic region, the firm must focus its attention on cost control, and shifting steam production to gas will enhance the performance of the refineries in Jamaica, said Vladislav Soloviev, the company’s first deputy CEO.

TRANSSHIPMENT PORT PROJECT TO GET $1.5 BILLION INVESTMENT FROM CHINA—05/01/13
A planned transshipment port in Jamaica will receive as much as US$1.5 billion in investments from China Harbor Engineering Company Limited, said Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister. The company previously announced that it will not establish a transshipment port at Fort Augusta, although China and Jamaica signed a Memorandum of Understanding on this project in 2012. The location of the new investment has yet to be decided.

IMF TO PROVIDE$932 MILLION LOAN PROGRAM FOR JAMAICA—05/02/13
The International Monetary Fund approved a $932.2 million lending agreement of four years with Jamaica. The agreement is designed to help the country reduce its high debt levels. These funds represent a complement to the $510 million in planned funds from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. The current ratio of government debt to GDP in Jamaica was about 140 percent in 2012. These high debt levels limit the government’s ability to provide the services necessary to sustain growth, said the IMF.

JONES WILL ADDRESS THE BUSINESS OF SPORT CONFERENCE—05/03/13
Marion Jones, the former American sprinter, is scheduled to speak at the two-day staging of the Business of Sport International Conference in New Kingston. She will join other corporate, sport, and media officials, along with local and global presenters, at the event. Jones will address the topic “Paradise Gained – Lost and Redeemed.”

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CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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STUDY FINDS IT CAN HELP ECONOMIES IN CARIBBEAN—04/28/13

NEW DRONE AIRCRAFT TO BE USED IN CARIBBEAN—04/29/13

ANTIGUA COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY USES DATA CAPACITY FROM DIVINETWORKS—04/30/13

TORTOLA MINISTER URGES WOMEN IN CARIBBEAN TO BRIDGE DIGITAL DIVIDE—05/01/13

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ENTERTAINMENT
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SNOOP LION RIPS BUNNY WAILER FOR CRITICIZING HIM—04/27/13
Snoop Lion, previously known as Snoop Dogg, is responding to criticism leveled at him by reggae legend, Bunny Wailer. Wailer has accused Snoop Lion of using Rastafarian culture for personal profit and of misrepresenting the faith. Snoop Lion says people take his kindness for “weakness” and that Wailer should be more supportive of his desire to follow Rastafarianism.

FILM ABOUT JAMAICAN DEPORTEES SCREENED IN TRINIDAD—04/28/13
“Home Again,” a film showing the conditions of Jamaica deportees, was shown to a sold-out audience in Trinidad and was the top film in Canadian theaters for two weeks. It has also been nominated for the Pan African BAFTA award. However, the same film struggles to find acceptance in Jamaica. The film was shot in Trinidad and Tobago because Jamaica delayed in negotiating a rebate for producers. Now, Trinidad celebrates the success of the filmmakers in the nation. More than 1,000 extras were employed, in addition to the actors and film crew, said Lisa Wickham, producer and CEO of Imagine Media International Ltd.

TWO JAMAICANS WILL WIN TICKETS TO “BET EXPERIENCE”—04/29/13
One of the top music award events in the world, the Annual BET Awards, has joined with Ocean Spray Flavor Splash to give away two tickets to the “BET (Black Entertainment Television) Experience” to two Jamaicans in celebration of the awards. GET will take over Los Angeles, California, for three days and nights of entertainment from June 28 to June 30, 2013. The “Experience” will feature concerts, film screenings, seminars, a GRAMMY Museum exhibit, and other social events. There will be concert performances by Beyonce, R. Kelly, New Edition, and the Jacksons.

COURTNEY JOHN PROJECT MIXES REGGAE WITH ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC—05/02/13
Singer Courtney John, producer Natassja “The Wizard” Hammond, and Stephen “Lenky” Marsden have joined forces to play and promote a hybrid musical creation they call “roostronic.” It combines Kingston reggae with electronic dance music (EDM). The musicians believe their creation represents a “provocative approach to contemporary music.”

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SPORTS
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FOWLER LEADS STEEL OVER MYSTICS IN NETBALL—04/29/13
Jamaican shooter Jhaniele Fowler was instrumental in leading the Southern Steel netball team to a 67-52 win over the Northern Mystics. The victory was obtained at the trans-Tasman netball league competition. This was the Steel’s second win in the 2013 competition; the team’s shooting accuracy was the key in the match. Fowler missed just one of 54 shots, allowing the Steel to convert at 93 percent, compared to the 80 percent of the Mystics.

RILEY WINS AT DRAKE RELAYS—04/30/13
Andrew Riley, Jamaican Olympian, received a win over Olympic champion Aries Merritt of the United States in the 110-meter hurdles at the Drake Relays. Riley had a time of 13.43 seconds, while Merritt, the world record holder, came in second with 13.48. The race was run against a strong headwind of 3.2 meters per second.

BOLT TO MISS JAMAICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS—05/01/13
Jamaican sprint champion Usain Bolt will not participate in the 200-meters at the Tournament of Kingston. He has sustained a slight hamstring strain that precludes his running. This would have been the first competition between Bolt, a world record holder and Olympic multi-champion in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash against Warren Weir and Nickel Ashmeade of Jamaica, and Wallace Spearmon of the United States. Bolt says he is disappointed to miss running for the home crowd in Jamaica.

FORMER JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER TO HEAD CARIBBEAN T20 LEAGUE COMMITTEE—05/02/13
Former Prime Minister of Jamaica P.J. Patterson will chair the Caribbean Premier League’s Cricket Committee. Patterson has been closely associated with West Indies cricket and was also an original member of the sport’s Prime Ministerial Sub-committee. He was also chair of CARICOM when the agreements to host the Cricket World Cup were initiated.

 

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