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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending October 11th, 2013

11 Oct

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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POLICE KILLINGS OF SUSPECTED GANG MEMBERS TO BE INVESTIGATED—10/05/13
Jamaican police say that authorities are probing the killings of three men suspected of being gang members by police officers in several unrelated incidents. Officers shot a 31-year-old man to death in Kingston, while other officers shot two other men in their 20s in another incident. The Independent Commission of Investigations is charged with looking into abuses by security forces in Jamaica have opened an investigation into the deaths.

FORMER MANDEVILLE MAYOR LAID TO REST—10/06/13
Cecil Charlton, the former mayor of Mandeville, died on September 12, 2013, and was laid to rest following a funeral at the Northern Caribbean University Gymnasium. He was 88 years old. Charlton is considered to be the “father of modern Mandeville,” the capital of Manchester. Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller described Charlton as “an outstanding Jamaican who dedicated his life to public service and served with distinction.”

JAMAICA RENEWS SECURITY AGREEMENTS WITH CUBA—10/07/13
Jamaica’s Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting, and a team of negotiators visited Cuba to discuss reviving the Jamaica/Cuba Maritime and Police Cooperation Agreements. The Jamaican government is interested in renewing the security agreements with Cuba because both nations cooperating in battling drug trafficking and other transnational crimes in the area.

JAMAICA’S DISABLED POPULATION “CRIPPLED” BY GOVERNMENTS—10/07/13
According to representatives for people with disabilities, the Jamaican governments in power for the past 15 years have failed to protect the rights of the disabled on the island. The National Disability Act has been in play for over a decade, and if finally made into law, it will encourage, protect, and facilitate equal treatment of the disabled in all basic rights and freedoms enjoyed by others in the country. These rights include equal access to employment, education, training, political office health care, housing and public transportation.

JAMAICA’S GOVERNMENT HAPPY ABOUT RULING IN MYRIE CASE—10/08/13
According to Senator A. J. Nicholson, Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, the ruling from the Caribbean Court of Justice in the case of Shanique Myrie represents a significant move toward integration in the Caribbean region. The ruling included in the Court’s executive summary established guidelines for application of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas in regard to the free movement of CARICOM nations in the region. The Court found Myrie’s rights were violated by border officials in Barbados upon her entry to that country and ordered a fine of J$3.6 million be paid by the government of Barbados to Myrie as damages.

THWAITES WORKS TO IMPROVE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CURRICULUM—10/09/13
Reverend Ronald Thwaites, Jamaica’s Minister of Education, wants to make improvements in the foreign language curriculum on offer in the country. He said that new assessments for Spanish language education will include new attainment targets that involve speaking, reading, writing, and understanding. Students in Jamaica who learn a second language will also be given access to a number of scholarship and job opportunities, at home and abroad.

DEAL WITH AUSTRALIAN FIRM QUESTIONED—10/10/13
A deal with EWI, an Australian company that operates from Hong Kong has suddenly given the contract to build Jamaica’s new electric power station, raising questions about the award process. EWI is a 36-percent shareholder in Energy World Corporation (EWC), a firm listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. The government of Jamaica is facing questions from concerned citizens and the opposition for making what has been characterized as a “highly irregular” deal with the firm. Rather than bidding through the Office of Utilities Regulation, EWI went straight to the Jamaican cabinet for approval of its proposal.

ANTI-GAY FIREBOMB ATTACK CAUSES RESIDENTS TO FLEE HOME—10/11/13
Four homeless men fled for their lives after a mob firebombed their home in St. James, according to a gay rights group in Jamaica. The attack came after a summer of anti-gay incidents on the island. The four men, who are gay, were targeted by some 14 men who firebombed the house in St. James. The men were left with nothing in the way of possession but found shelter at another abandoned house new Montego Bay.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN AMBASSADOR TO U.S. PRAISES NEW CARIBBEAN COOKBOOK—10/06/13
His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie, Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States, has praised the publication of a new Caribbean cookbook by Dorel Callender. He says that the new book provides a unique view of the island’s regions and people. The book, ‘A Caribbean Mom’s Table,” connects island foods with social, cultural, and other elements of the region’s history and development.

CARIBBEAN-AMERICAN BUSINESSES HONORED WITH AWARDS—10/07/13
The Caribbean-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry will hold its annual Entrepreneur of the Year Corporate and Partnership Recognition Awards Luncheon and Fundraiser on October 17, 2013. Entrepreneurs and companies will receive recognition for their contributions. The recipients of the 2013 Distinguished Entrepreneurs of the Year award include Patrick Albano, owner of the Flatbush Copy Center, and Patricia Lawrence Haughton, president of Apel Travel and Tours;

PERSAUD MARCHES FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM IN NEW YORK—10/08/13
Felicia J. Persaud, Caribbean-born media entrepreneur and columnist, joined thousands in the United States in marching to support Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Persaud, executive at Hard Beat Communications, marched with Valence Williams and Menes De Griot of Guyana, as the only Caribbean nationals who joined with the New York Immigration Coalition-sponsored rally in Brooklyn. The march was designed to highlight the situation of undocumented Caribbean nationals who want reforms but are afraid to expose their identities.

HALL ASSUMES POST AS NEW CONSUL GENERAL IN MIAMI—10/09/13
Franz Hall, who was appointed Jamaica’s Consul General to Miami, Florida, has taken his position at the Consulate and will be responsible for consular business in the 13 states comprising the southern U.S., along with the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. Hall is a career diplomat who has over 20 years of experience in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. He has served Jamaica in Geneva, New York and Washington D.C.

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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC RULING ON HAITIANS WORRIES CARICOM—10/05/13

CARIBBEAN REGION’S FAILURE TO INVEST IN AGRICULTURE CRITICIZED—10/06/13

PUERTO RICO THREATENED BY DEEPENING DEBT CRISIS—10/07/13

CARIBBEAN SERVANT BATTLES TO RETAIN INHERITANCE OF £20 MILLION—10/08/13

UN AUTHORITY WANTS COMPENSATION FOR CHOLERA VICTIMS ON HAITI—10/09/13

FOUR PEOPLE DETAINED FOR SUSPICION OF TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN KIDNEYS—10/10/13
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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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“START UP JAMAICA” INITIATIVE PLANNED—10/05/13
The government of Jamaica plans to implement a new initiative designed to support island entrepreneurs. According to Julian Robinson, Minister of State for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, the new “Start Up Jamaica” program will provide incubators for technology entrepreneurs in Jamaica. It is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2014.

JAMAICAN CONSORTIUM HOPES TO BUILD 360MW POWER PLANT—10/07/13
A consortium from Jamaica is stilling hoping that the Office of Utilities Regulation Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) will grant it the contract to construct a new 360 megawatt power plant on the island. The group has criticized local regulators, claiming that they have not been “vigorous” in the due diligence required for the project. Energise Jamaica Ltd. is the third-ranked bidder, while Energy World International (EWI) is the preferred builder for the project. Energise has challenged OUR to disclose whether any bidder submitted a valid and legally binding supply contract for liquefied natural gas (LNG).

CURRENCY CRISIS POSSIBLE IN JAMAICA—10/08/13
The Jamaican dollar has depreciated about 12 percent in 2013, going from J$93 per US$1 to J$104 to US$1 since January. The last significant depreciation of the Jamaican currency occurred in 2008, when the exchange rate dropped by 11 percent.  The situation is the result of high local demand for U.S. dollars compared to the supply. Experts believe the demand will increase along with demand for foreign goods around Christmas and place more pressure on the dollar’s value.

EGG SUPPLIERS STRUGGLE TO MEET PRODUCTION GAP—10/09/13
In 2012, the egg market in Jamaica experienced a glut, which caused sales from small farms to suffer. In 2013, the market continues to fluctuate, but producers say there could be a shortage in supply during the Christmas holidays. The supply problem is linked to the shutting down of operations by a number of small egg farmers, as the glut of 2012 left them with no capital to maintain production levels.

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Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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BARBADOS RANKED FIRST IN INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION TECH—10/08/13

COMPANIES SIGN JOINT VENTURE TO MARKET DRINKING WATER STATIONS—10/09/13

WORKSHOP ON ICT TO STRENGTHEN CARICOM COLLABORATION PLANS—10/10/13

TECHNOLOGIES PROMOTE SUCCESSFUL FUTURE FOR AGRICULTURE—10/11/13

 

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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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REKNOWN PIANIST REJECTS HONOR FROM GOVERNMENT—10/06/13
Orrett Rhoden, a celebrated Jamaican concert pianist, has decided to reject the award of the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander Class for 2013. Rhoden will not accept the award from the Jamaican government because he believes the government does not do enough to encourage and support the arts. He was to have been awarded the Order of Distinction at King’s House on National Heroes Day for his contribution to classical music.

GUITARIST MELCHIZEDEK TO RECEIVE MEDAL FROM INSTITUTE OF JAMAICA—10/07/13
Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith, the guitarist known as Melchizedek the High Priest, will receive the Silver Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica for his contributions to Jamaican music on October 16, 2013. He said it is an honor to receive the award in recognition for his music at a time when he feels his work has often been overlooked. He began playing the guitar in the 1950s and started his career in the 1960s. Smith, 58, has played for many reggae artistes and a long list of international music stars, including Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse. Smith said Bob Marley stands out for him in that he made his understand the power of the word.

REALITY SHOW ABOUT JAMAICA TO PREMIERE ON ISLAND—10/08/13
Orisha Sound, an international pop artiste and violinist, was in Kingston for the filming of the first Jamaican-American reality series. The series, which is called “Project O,” provides insights into the different aspects of Jamaica’s entertainment industry. It include video, recording sessions, travel, and parties. Sound captured the footage for the show at events in and near Kingston and St. Andrew.

JAMAICAN FILM FEATURES MUSIC ARTISTES—10/09/13
A new Jamaican film, “Destiny,” features the acting of several Jamaican musicians, including Christopher Martin, Tifa, and Spice. Jeremy Whittaker, the film’s director, believes artistes should be more frequently cast in local films. They are talented, he says, and they have strong personas. They are also popular, and using them in film is a way to support local talent.

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SPORTS
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COTTERELL TO GET MEDICAL EXAMINATION FOR KNEE INJURY—10/07/13
Jamaica’s left arm pacer Cottereil will be examined by a doctor to determine whether he can travel with the West Indies team on their tour of India. Cotterell, 24, says he is looking forward to having his injury evaluated. He twisted his knee during training for the one-day and Twenty20 series in India. He was sent home to be treated. The first Test in India is scheduled for November 6, 2013, with the second Test on November 14.

COACH DEFENDS JAMAICA’S ANTI-DOPING PROGRAM—10/08/13
Glen Mills, Jamaica’s top track and field coach, admits there could be improvement in the anti-doping efforts of Jamaica, but he strongly criticized some in the international community for what he believes is an unfair “targeting” of Jamaica. Mills also criticized the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), blaming the organization for not doing enough to defend the island’s image. He also believes the government has acted too slowly in addressing anti-doping efforts.

SHERONE SIMPSON LEAVES HER TRACK AND FIELD CLUB—10/09/13
Shrerone Simpson, one of the top Jamaican sprinters and three-time Olympic champion, has decided to leave her track and field club MVP after facing doping allegations. She has signed on with the IMG Academy in Florida, where she has already started to train. Simpson and her former training partner Asafa Powell both tested positive for banned substances in June 2013. This resulted in a falling out with her former coach Stephen Francis.

JAMAICA TO FACE TOUGH ASSIGNMENT AT U-17 CONCACAF—10/10/13
Jamaica will open the fourth edition of the CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Football Championship with a match against El Salvador on October 30, 2013. The junior Reggae Girls will also face Mexico and Haiti in Group A at Montego Bay. The United States, the defending champions, will pay in Group B with Canada, Guatemala, and Trinidad and Tobago. CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb said that the Under-17 FIFA Women’s Championship is very important to the confederation. It is expected to put a spotlight on Montego Bay and put Jamaica forward as a location for large competitions in the future.

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