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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending June 21st, 2013

21 Jun

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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ST ANN RESIDENTS SAY WATER CURES EVERYTHING—06/15/13
Residents of Browns Town, St. Ann, say that colloidal silver in their water is good for curing a multitude of conditions. Silver was used early in the 20th century as a cure, but its use decreased as modern antibiotics were introduced. Since the 1990s, however, the use of silver has seen a resurgence, and St. Ann residents who have used the remedy say it brings miraculous health benefits.

MORE THAN 80 PERCENT OF NEEDY RECEIVE PATH BENEFIT—06/16/13
Over 80 percent of the neediest citizens of Jamaica receive aid from the Program of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH). Godfrey Gibbison, Consultant to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, disclosed this fact at a forum on June 14, 2013. Eighty-one percent of people on PATH are below the established food poverty line, which measures the ability to afford basic caloric requirements.

MASCOLL SAYS JAMAICA SHOULD FOCUS MORE ON HEALTH TOURISM—06/17/13
Phillip Mascoll, executive member of the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation, believes that health tourism is an important issue for Jamaica and more should be done to focus on this sector. Health tourism could take advantage of the 4.5 million people in the Diaspora, says Mascoll, noting that many expatriates like himself would rather spend their senior years in Jamaica than in a cold climate.

IMPORTER IN WESTERN JAMAICA FACES CUSTOMS INVESTIGATION—06/18/13
Jamaica’s Customs Department is looking into claims that a major importer that operates in Western Jamaica is in breach of the Customs Act. The allegations state that the importer did not pay nearly $1 billion in duties on meat and other agricultural products. According to Major Richard Reese, Commissioner of Customs, officers have started an investigation, but have not yet received a file on the case.

JAMAICA COULD BENEFIT FROM DE-CRIMINALIZATION OF GANJA—06/19/13
Several investors from Wall Street are looking to make investments in legal marijuana initiatives, including medical marijuana. They are comparing the boom in the marijuana industry to the technology boom experienced in the 1990s. Researchers in Washington have determined that a flourishing marijuana industry could bring in US$1 billion in year to national revenues. The World Health Organization found that in 2010 over 5.7 percent of the world population of some 250 million people use the drug. Many countries and states are exploring the industry to enhance domestic growth and development.

SCHOOL ADDRESSES CRISIS IN LITERACY—06/20/13
Cockburn Gardens Primary and Junior High School administration and staff are concerned about the findings of a diagnostic reading assessment of first through fourth grade students. The research found that 46 percent of the students in those grades read far below their expected levels. The school is asking corporate Jamaica and other education sector stakeholders to provide tangible support for a mandatory summer literacy program. The intensive three-week program is designed to improve reading levels of students and parents who cannot read.

HANNA DEFENDS DECISION TO COMBINE YOUTH PROGRAMS—06/21/13
Lisa Hanna, Jamaica’s Youth Minister, is supporting a decision by the government to combine the National Center for Youth Development and the National Youth Service. The National Youth Council has objected to the merger, noting that it had not been consulted before the decision was made. Hanna said the met will presidents of all youth groups prior to submitting the merger plan for approval. The merger is intended to maximize budget resources and improve the functions of both agencies.

MAROONS, CONSERVATIONISTS AGREE: NO BAUXITE OR LIMESTONE MINING—06/21/13
The Accompong Maroons have joined forces with conservationists to protest any mining of bauxite or limestone in the Cockpit Country. The Maroons are a sovereign people who hold the Accompong and surrounding lands. Granting a license to any agency to prospect in these lands without the permission of the Maroons is illegal, unconstitutional, and a breach of international human rights laws, said Colonel Ferron Williams, leader of the Accompong Maroons in St. Elizabeth. The group is opposed to all mining in the Cockpit Country, saying no good will come of it.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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GOVERNMENT CALLS ON DIASPORA TO BUILD SCHOOLS—06/16/13
Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is reaching out to Jamaicans in the Diaspora to encourage them to contribute toward the building of public schools. The schools would be constructed via a public-private partnership as part of an initiative to attract more investments from overseas. Arnaldo Brown, state minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade had previously announced the effort to interest the Diaspora in school construction during its biennial conference event.

PRIME MINISTER SAYS DIASPORA CENTRAL TO NATION’S PROGRESS—06/17/13
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, said that the government should engage with Jamaicans in the Diaspora because these individuals are critical for the island’s development. According to Simpson Miller, the government is committed to a growth and development strategy designed to increase investments, create jobs, enhance business development, and provide for a better quality of life for island residents. The Diaspora is “central” to these policies and programs, she said.

DIASPORA CONFERENCE MEMBERS PRESSURE JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT—06/18/13
Jamaicans in the Diaspora who are attending the Fifth Biennial Diaspora Conference inMontego Bay are pressuring the island’s government to make changes in how Jamaicans living overseas are treated. Philip Mascoll, Diaspora Board member, led the 500-plus conference attendees in demanding the government pay more attention to them and attempt to meet their needs to facilitate investments in health and education.

SAMUDA DISAGREES WITH TUFTON REMARKS—06/19/13
Milton Samuda, chairman of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), says that he is opposed to the position stated by Andrew Holness, Opposition Leader, in a newspaper article that the Diaspora Conference and those preceding it are a “waste of time.” Tufton said that Jamaica has not yet seen any significant benefit from planning the conference events. Holness subsequently said in a message at the conference’s opening ceremony that he believed the events facilitated meaningful exchanges and constructive dialog between Jamaica’s stakeholders.

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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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CARIBBEAN CONSIDERS FINANCIAL APPROACH TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE—06/15/13

CARIBBEAN PREMIER LEAGUE ANNOUNCES TEAM NAMES—06/16/13

IN TEN YEARS, CARIBBEAN SUGAR MAY NOT ENTER EU MARKET—06/17/13

FOUR COUNTRIES IN THE CARIBBEAN MEET ANTI-HUNGER GOAL—06/18/13

DIPLOMATS FROM CARIBBEAN TO FIGHT AGAINST UK AIRLINES PASSENGER DUTY—06/19/13

IN 2012, PORT ACTIVITY IN CARIBBEAN STILL SLOW—06/20/13

 

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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INSURANCE ON TAP FOR JAMAICAN ATHLETES—06/15/13
Jamaica plans to provide a National Insurance and Retirement Benefits Plan for its athletes. The plan will include basic health coverage for all of the athletes who represent the country or who have achieved a specific professional level in their sport. A draft proposal was announced in the House of Representatives in June 2013, and it is under review by several organizations, such as the National Council on Sports. The plan will help with costs of premiums by reallocating funds currently used on a discretionary basis.

VASCINANNIE INFORMS TRADE COMMISSION OF BENEFITS FROM CARIB BASIN ACT—06/17/13
Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States Stephen Vasciannie discussed the many benefits for Jamaica from the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), particularly the Caribbean Basin Initiative. He made his remarks at a public hearing of the U.S. International Trade Commission. His statements were designed to help the commission create its 21st report to the U.S. Congress and President about the economic effects of the law on Jamaica since its enactment in the 1980s.

DUAL BRANDING CONSIDERED BY CARIBBEAN AIRLINES—06/18/13
Dual branding for Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) is under investigation by a Joint Working Group. Dr. Omar Davies, Jamaica’s Transport Minister, has met with Vasant Bharath, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investments of Trinidad and Tobago, to discuss concerns about the airline, its arrears to Jamaican entities, its employment policies, and its operations in Jamaica. Questions of marketing and airlift were mentioned because of their great importance to the Jamaican Diaspora and tourism sector.

SHAW CRITICIZES REVENUE ADMINISTRATION ACT AMENDMENTS—06/19/13
Jamaican Opposition spokesman on finance, Audley Shaw, has been critical of the government’s support of amendments to the Revenue Administration Act, saying that it will cause some businesses to move their funds out of Jamaica. The Labor Party plans to continue a strong opposition to the legislation, which it perceives as infringing on the rights to privacy for Jamaicans and opens the nation up to “Gestapo-like financial terrorism.”

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CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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CUSTOMS DEPARTMENT TO REVAMP ITS IT SYSTEM—06/15/13

NEW ANTI-THEFT SYSTEM PROVIDES CAR CONTROL VIA CELL PHONE—06/16/13

ALL ELECTRICITY NEEDS IN CARIBBEAN COULD BE MET VIA ENERGY RENEWABLES—06/18/13

KINGSTON SCHOOL MOVES FORWARD WITH INSTALLATION OF SOLAR POWER—06/19/13

 

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ENTERTAINMENT
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FINLAND, JAPAN COMPETE FOR WORLD REGGAE DANCE CHAMPIONSHIP—06/15/13
Reggae dancers from Jamaica will compete with skilled dance groups from Guadeloupe, Finland, and Japan at the World Reggae Dance Championship event. Prizes total to more than $2 million and a trip to Japan. The grand finals will be held on August 5, 2013, in St. Andrew. The event is organized by the Jamaica CulturalDevelopment Commission.

JAMAICAN REGGAE ARTISTE SELLS MORE THAN 500,000 DIGITAL DOWNLOADS—06/16/13
Gyptian is the first Jamaican reggae artiste to sell more than half a million single digital downloads with his hit tune “Hold You.” He has officially reached Gold status, said the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). This single is the first song from a Jamaica reggae musician to reach that level in more than ten years.

MAVADO FREED OF ASSAULT CHARGE IN MAGISTRATE COURT—06/20/13
Mavado, Jamaican dancehall artiste, has been freed of a charge of assault at the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court. Mavado, whose real name is David Brooks, was informed by the court that the matter had been settled in mediation. The complaint was withdrawn. Since there was no longer any case pending, the entertainer was free to go. Mavado had been arrested in 2011 for the assault of an off-duty police officer.

CULTURAL COMMISSION RESTRUCTURING WILL INCLUDE REGISTRATION—06/21/13
The restructuring of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) will allow the organization to operate as an incubator for developing the country’s talent in preparation for the global stage. According to Lisa Hanna, Jamaica’s Minister of Youth and Culture, the HCDC will be responsible for registering all artistes who come through school competitions and other practitioners who want to use their talents for commercial benefit. The JCDC will celebrate 50 years of operations in 2013, acting as the chief agency for finding, developing and showcasing the island’s talent.

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SPORTS
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CAMPBELL-BROWN GUILTY OF DOPING—06/15/13
Jamaica’s 200-meter world and Olympic women’s champion Veronica Campbell-Brown was found guilty of using a banned substance. Samples from Campbell-Brown tested positive for a banned diuretic on May 4, 2013. She is the most famous track and field athlete to have a positive drug test result since Marion Jones. It is expected that the IAAF will ban Campbell-Brown from the sport for two years, but there are much broader implications for Jamaica. Her test failure could reflect on her teammates from Jamaica, putting them all under a cloud of suspicion.

COACH OF USAIN BOLT WANTS ANTI-DOPING LAB IN JAMAICA—06/17/13
According to Glen Mills, who coaches world record holder and Olympic champion runner from Jamaica Usain Bolt, believes the government should create an accredited anti-doping lab on the island to protect its top athletes from taking banned and contaminated substances. Jamaica’s athletes face a wide variety of substances and have few chances to check them. It is time to provide a service that athletes can use to ensure how pure a substance is before they use it, Mills said.

CAMPBELL-BROWN DOPING OFFENSE OF “LESSER” MAGNITUDE, IAAF SAYS—06/19/13
The doping case that involved Veronica Campbell-Brown, a champion sprinter from Jamaica, is a “lesser” offense associated with the unintentional use of a banned substance, according to the IAAF, the world’s governing body for the sport. Campbell-Brown was suspended for using a banned diuretic in a May meet on the island. The sanction for lesser offenses may be a reduced penalty instead of the standard two-year ban.

MANAGER SAYS CAMPBELL-BROWN IS NOT A “DRUGS CHEAT”—06/20/13
Claude Bryan, the manager of embattled Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown, says the athlete is not a “drugs cheat” and that it is a shock for her to be facing anti-doping rules infringement charges. Campbell-Brown tested positive in May 2013 for using a banned diuretic. She has voluntarily withdrawn from competition pending an upcoming hearing on the matter. According to sources, the banned drug was one ingredient of a cream the sprinter used to treat a leg injury she had declared on her doping control form.

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