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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Before Ink Dries on Army Rules, Soldiers Rush to Get Tattoos

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“I like getting tattoos,” said Sgt. Ray Stevens, who was a customer on Monday at Aces-n-Eights in Lakewood, Wash. CreditMatthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

LAKEWOOD, Wash. — An Army soldier walked into Brass Monkey Tattoo last month and told Dan Brewer, the tattoo artist, to go for it.

“He dropped a thousand bucks,” Mr. Brewer said, standing in the shop here, about five minutes from the gate of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Ten hours under the needle later, an ex-girlfriend’s name from a previous tattoo had been covered up, and a memorial to six buddies lost in the war in Afghanistan had been inked across the soldier’s back and ribs. “It was a good day,” Mr. Brewer said.

The military tattoo has a deep history, with reports going back at least to the Roman legions, historians say. Images of adventure or battle — if not a haunting beauty from the frontiers of Gaul — could be captured forever on a bicep. Declarations of unit loyalty or individuality, or both, could be sealed through rituals of ink and pain.

But now a tightening of the Army’s regulations on the wear and appearance of uniforms and insignia — issued on March 31 with a 30-day window of unit-by-unit enforcement — have driven a land rush here and at other Army posts to get “tatted,” as soldiers call it, while the old rules still applied. About 40,000 active duty and reserve personnel are stationed at Lewis-McChord, about an hour south of Seattle, making it one of the United States military’s largest bases.

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Two soldiers waiting on Monday at All American Custom Tattoo in Lakewood, Wash., which is close to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. CreditMatthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

“I’m just going to let her do it until I can’t take anymore,” said Specialist Charles Chandler, 22, an Army infantryman, as he pulled up his left sleeve to show the canvas he planned to present to his tattoo artist this week.

The new rules restrict total inkage on arms and legs visible on a soldier wearing short sleeves and short pants. They also limit the size of each visible tattoo to no bigger than the wearer’s open hand. But the Army is also generally allowing soldiers to keep the tattoos they had before the effective date of the new rules, as long as they do not violate prohibitions on things like obscenity, racism or extremism, and are documented with a photograph before the deadline.

Hence the rush to get inked. With some superior officers, many of them tattooed as well, giving ample warning as to when those photographs would be taken, soldiers said they have experienced a unique window of opportunity — but also, perhaps, a nudge — to get that next tattoo, or a lot of them.

“I would probably do it anyway; I’ll just do it sooner,” said Sgt. Ray Stevens, who came after work on Monday to Aces-n-Eights Tattoo and Piercing here in Lakewood for some work on his left forearm. “I like getting tattoos,” said Sergeant Stevens, who is originally from Portland, Me.

Tattoo artists like Tyrell Barbour, at Stay Fresh Tattoos on Lakewood’s main commercial drag, Bridgeport Way, said they had never seen such fat times. “I’m getting hit like no tomorrow,” he said. “Especially younger military, but a lot of superiors, too,” he added.

Military regulation of tattoos, or at least the attempt, is not new. Shortly before World War I, military authorities tried to reign in wayward ink with a prohibition on “indecent or obscene” tattoos — mostly naked women in those days — but allowed existing depictions to be altered to meet the new rule, which led to many a discreet grass skirt as cover-up.

The Navy updated its tattoo policies again in 2003, and again in 2006, and with a further update in 2010 — nodding to the modern military of men and women serving together — that tweaks the rules on so-called permanent makeup tattoos, allowed for eyebrows, eyeliner, lipstick and lip liner.

“Permanent makeup shall be in good taste,” the Navy’s regulations say.

The Marines tightened their personal grooming and appearance regulations in 2010, the Air Force in 2012. All four main military branches prohibit tattoos around the neck. No person with what is called a sleeve — or fully tattooed arm — can become a Marine.

“They’re asserting an individualistic identity,” said Anna Felicity Friedman, a tattoo historian and blogger at tattoohistorian.com, describing her hypothesis about the average soldier or sailor’s love affair with skin art.

“People who are in situations of depersonalization, whether it’s wearing uniforms, or other ways stripped of the ability to assert their identity, tend to react to this depersonalization by getting tattoos,” said Dr. Friedman, who is heavily tattooed herself.

Prisoners, chefs and athletes are in much the same boat, she believes — all straining to declare difference to a community, or a marketplace, that might other otherwise have a hard time telling them apart.

The tattoo economy on the edge of Lewis-McChord is bracing for change, too. Mr. Brewer at Brass Monkey, where about 80 percent of the business is military, said the shop’s owner was anticipating a big drop in customers after the regulations are fully in place, and is planning a move to Tacoma, about 10 miles north, to be nearer the city’s night life and bar scene.

But at South Tacoma Tattoo, just a few blocks away, the tattoo artists said they thought there would be still plenty of skin left to decorate when things quieted down. The new rules do not say anything about chests and backs and other parts of the body always covered by a uniform, they said.

And Specialist Chandler, the infantryman who was planning out his arm art this week, said he was also studying the rules carefully as to what might push the boundaries of content and good taste. Regardless of the timing question on getting tattooed now, he said, he wants to re-enlist in a few years and does not want any overly racy skin art to hold him back.

So the girl he plans on his arm will be clothed. “A pinup girl, to stay in the regs,” he said. “You have to adapt to the Army — the Army doesn’t adapt to you.”

 

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9 Little Translation Mistakes That Caused Big Problems

IMAGE CREDIT:
THINKSTOCK

Knowing how to speak two languages is not the same thing as knowing how to translate. Translation is a special skill that professionals work hard to develop. In their new book Found in Translation, professional translators Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche give a spirited tour of the world of translation, full of fascinating stories about everything from volunteer text message translators during the Haitian earthquake rescue effort, to the challenges of translation at the Olympics and the World Cup, to the personal friendships celebrities like Yao Ming and Marlee Matlin have with their translators.

The importance of good translation is most obvious when things go wrong. Here are nine examples from the book that show just how high-stakes the job of translation can be.

1. THE SEVENTY-ONE-MILLION-DOLLAR WORD

In 1980, 18-year-old Willie Ramirez was admitted to a Florida hospital in a comatose state. His friends and family tried to describe his condition to the paramedics and doctors who treated him, but they only spoke Spanish. Translation was provided by a bilingual staff member who translated “intoxicado” as “intoxicated.” A professional interpreter would have known that “intoxicado” is closer to “poisoned” and doesn’t carry the same connotations of drug or alcohol use that “intoxicated” does. Ramirez’s family believed he was suffering from food poisoning. He was actually suffering from an intracerebral hemorrhage, but the doctors proceeded as if he were suffering from an intentional drug overdose, which can lead to some of the symptoms he displayed. Because of the delay in treatment, Ramirez was left quadriplegic. He received a malpractice settlement of $71 million.

2. YOUR LUSTS FOR THE FUTURE

When President Carter traveled to Poland in 1977, the State Department hired a Russian interpreter who knew Polish, but was not used to interpreting professionally in that language. Through the interpreter, Carter ended up saying things in Polish like “when I abandoned the United States” (for “when I left the United States”) and “your lusts for the future” (for “your desires for the future”), mistakes that the media in both countries very much enjoyed.

3. WE WILL BURY YOU

At the height of the cold war, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev gave a speech in which he uttered a phrase that interpreted from Russian as “we will bury you.” It was taken as chilling threat to bury the U.S. with a nuclear attack and escalated the tension between the U.S. and Russia. However, the translation was a bit too literal. The sense of the Russian phrase was more that “we will live to see you buried” or “we will outlast you.” Still not exactly friendly, but not quite so threatening.

4. DO NOTHING

In 2009, HSBC bank had to launch a $10 million rebranding campaign to repair the damage done when its catchphrase “Assume Nothing” was mistranslated as “Do Nothing” in various countries.

5. MARKETS TUMBLE

A panic in the world’s foreign exchange market led the U.S. dollar to plunge in value after a poor English translation of an article by Guan Xiangdong of the China News Service zoomed around the Internet. The original article was a casual, speculative overview of some financial reports, but the English translation sounded much more authoritative and concrete.

6. WHAT’S THAT ON MOSES’S HEAD?

St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators, studied Hebrew so he could translate the Old Testament into Latin from the original, instead of from the third century Greek version that everyone else had used. The resulting Latin version, which became the basis for hundreds of subsequent translations, contained a famous mistake. When Moses comes down from Mount Sinai his head has “radiance” or, in Hebrew, “karan.” But Hebrew is written without the vowels, and St. Jerome had read “karan” as “keren,” or “horned.” From this error came centuries of paintings and sculptures of Moses with horns and the odd offensive stereotype of the horned Jew.

7. CHOCOLATES FOR HIM

In the 50s, when chocolate companies began encouraging people to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Japan, a mistranslation from one company gave people the idea that it was customary for women to give chocolate to men on the holiday. And that’s what they do to this day. On February 14, the women of Japan shower their men with chocolate hearts and truffles, and on March 14 the men return the favor. An all around win for the chocolate companies!

8. YOU MUST DEFEAT SHENG LONG

In the Japanese video game Street Fighter II a character says, “if you cannot overcome the Rising Dragon Punch, you cannot win!” When this was translated from Japanese into English, the characters for “rising dragon” were interpreted as “Sheng Long.” The same characters can have different readings in Japanese, and the translator, working on a list of phrases and unaware of the context, thought a new person was being introduced to the game. Gamers went crazy trying to figure out who this Sheng Long was and how they could defeat him. In 1992, as an April Fools Day joke, Electronic Gaming Monthly published elaborate and difficult to execute instructions for how to find Sheng Long. It wasn’t revealed as a hoax until that December, after countless hours had no doubt been wasted.

9. TROUBLE AT WAITANGI

In 1840, the British government made a deal with the Maori chiefs in New Zealand. The Maori wanted protection from marauding convicts, sailors, and traders running roughshod through their villages, and the British wanted to expand their colonial holdings. The Treaty of Waitangi was drawn up and both sides signed it. But they were signing different documents. In the English version, the Maori were to “cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty.” In the Maori translation, composed by a British missionary, they were not to give up sovereignty, but governance. They thought they were getting a legal system, but keeping their right to rule themselves. That’s not how it turned out, and generations later the issues around the meaning of this treaty are still being worked out.

 

 
 

10 Crazy Ways People Amused Themselves Before Television

Before people had hundreds of channels, if they wanted to watch surgery or gawk at celebrity babies, they had to actually leave the house.

1. ATTENDING PUBLIC DISSECTIONS

Thanks to advances in science and the relaxing of church and government laws, the dissection of human corpses came back into vogue in the 1300s. At first these dissections were performed in small rooms or houses for the benefit of a handful for medical students. Then, almost overnight, a bored and apparently pretty morbid public started clamoring to attend them as well.

Specially designed “anatomy theatres” were purpose-built in many of the major European cities; most could seat well over 1,000 people. Tickets were sold to the public and the prices often varied based on how “interesting” that particular corpse was. The most expensive tickets sold in Hanover were 24 Groschen to see a woman who died while pregnant. The audiences were so excited about what they were watching that as early as 1502 a surgeon recommended having guards present at each dissection to “restrain the public as it enters.”

While most etchings from the period show only men at the viewings, women attended as well. In 1748, the crowds to see cadavers dissected at the theatre in Dresden, Germany were so large that they started having “ladies only” viewings, during which the women were invited to touch the corpses.

In many countries, these viewings only happened three or four times a year due to a lack of available bodies. In Bologna, Italy, dissections became fancy events, with women wearing their best clothes to the viewing, and balls or festivals followed in the evening.

Then in England in 1751, Parliament passed the Murder Act, allowing for all executed criminals to be publicly dissected. The increase in the number of public dissections did not diminish their popularity, and thousands of people continued to attend them each year until they were finally outlawed in the 1800s.

2. WATCHING PEOPLE INFLATE BALLOONS

Starting as early as the preparations for the first-ever hot air balloon flight in 1783, watching balloon ascents was incredibly popular, drawing some of the biggest crowds ever seen in Europe. Even the filling of the first balloon, which took numerous days, drew such huge crowds that they were in danger of interfering with the process, and the balloon had to be secretly moved the day before the flight. Benjamin Franklin, then the American Ambassador to the court of Louis XVI, was among the thousands of people who witnessed the first unmanned flight in Paris on August 27th. When the balloon came down in a village a few miles away, the locals were so terrified that they attacked it with pitchforks and rocks, destroying it.

The Montgolfier brothers sent the first living creatures (a goat, a duck, and a rooster) up in a balloon at Versailles in front of an enormous crowd that included the King and Marie Antoinette. The first ascents with humans drew upwards of 400,000 people, or “practically all the inhabitants of Paris,” with many of them paying large sums to be in special “VIP sections” close to the balloon.

The first hot air balloon flight in England was orchestrated by a man named Vincenzo Lunardi and drew a crowd of 200,000 people, including the Prince of Wales. One woman in the crowd was so astonished at the sight of the balloon that she supposedly died of fright and Lunardi was tried for her murder; he was eventually acquitted. George Washington was part of the crowd that viewed the first ballooning attempt in America in 1793.

Despite the overwhelming public interest in ballooning, it, like everything always will, had some detractors. Among their biggest fears were that women’s “honor and virtue would be in continual peril if access could be got by balloons at all hours to [their bedroom windows.]”

3. POKING PATIENTS WITH STICKS

If you were bored in the 1800s, you could always pop down to the local insane asylum to liven up your day. Many of these institutions allowed the public to pay a small to fee to walk around gawking at the residents. Most patients lived in what was basically squalor, and the liberties afforded to these head-case tourists did not make things any better.

The most famous mental hospital of all time is probably St. Mary Bethlehem, aka Bethlam Hospital, aka Bedlam. The bastardized version of its name is where we get the word for absolute craziness. And in the 1800s it was very crazy at Bedlam. Visitors paid a penny to look at the patients and if they were being too calm and docile for the visitor’s liking, they were allowed to poke the patients with sticks. Many people smuggled in beer and fed it to the patients, just to see how the mentally ill acted when drunk.

In 1814 over 96,000 people visited just that one hospital. Of course, not everyone had a penny to spare for entertainment, and the hospital management knew everyone should be able to poke powerless and mentally unwell individuals with sticks, so every first Tuesday of the month admittance was free.

4. RIDING ESCALATORS

Image credit: Brooklyn Museum

The first escalators completely blew people’s minds. Nothing remotely similar had ever been seen before. Jesse W. Reno patented his idea for an “Endless Conveyor or Elevator” (later called the “inclined elevator”) in 1892, and by 1896 the first working example had been installed…as a ride at the popular Coney Island amusement park.

It differed from modern elevators in that you sat on slats rather than stood on stairs, but the general principle was the same. The belt moved the riders up about two stories at a 25 degree incline. It was only displayed at the park for two weeks, but in that short time an astonishing 75,000 people rode it.

The same prototype was moved to the Brooklyn Bridge for a month-long trial period. It remained popular there, and in 1900 was shipped to Europe and displayed at the Paris Exposition Universelle, where it won first prize. Shortly thereafter, the Otis Company bought Reno’s patent and started producing escalators for businesses.

The novelty and excitement of riding an escalator was such that in 1897, the first department store in New York City to install one, Frederick Loeser, actually included it in its advertisements, promising customers that they could reach the second floor in a mere 26 seconds!

But while these escalators were very popular, they all had something in common: They only went up. It took the public and businesses almost three decades to accept that the far more frightening down escalators were safe to use.

5. STARING AT QUINTUPLETS

At the time of the Dionne Quintuplets’ birth in 1934, in Ontario, Canada, no one even knew conceiving five babies at once was possible. Not only was it possible, but babies Yvonne, Annette, Cecile, Emilie, and Marie thrived despite being delivered two months premature. Their existence was so astonishing that newspapers paid huge sums for photos of them. A year later their father signed a lucrative contract to display the girls at the 1935 Chicago World’s Fair.

The Canadian government stepped in, claiming that their parents were obviously not fit to raise the quints if they were willing to exploit them like that. The Canadian parliament quickly passed a bill making the girls wards of the state. The quints were placed in a hospital/nursery directly across the street from their parents, where the Canadian and Ontario government proceeded to exploit the girls themselves, to an astonishing degree.

© Bettmann/CORBIS

In less than a decade, 3 million people, sometimes upwards of 3,000 a day, passed through “Quintland,” as the compound the girls were held in became known. This was at a time when the entire population of Canada was only around 11 million. Visitors viewed the quints playing, eating, and sleeping through special one-way windows. The quints were by far the most popular tourist attraction in Canada, drawing more visitors than Niagara Falls. It is estimated that the girls’ popularity directly contributed half a billion dollars to the Ontario economy in just nine years. Celebrities flocked to see them as well, including Amelia Earhart, Clark Gable, James Stewart, Bette Davis, James Cagney, Mae West, and the future Queen Elizabeth II.

And in case any particularly sharp readers are saying to themselves, “Surely televisions have been commercially available since the late 1920s,” don’t worry. Canada didn’t start broadcasts until 1952, nine years after Quintland closed. By that time, the girls had been returned to their family.

6. MUMMY UNWRAPPINGS

Mummies have always been a source of fascination, especially to the English. One of Charles II’s mistresses, Nell Gwyn, supposedly owned a mummy way back in the 1660s. But it was 200 years later when the Victorians really went crazy for Egyptian mummies.

Egypt became a popular tourist destination and one of the must-have souvenirs was your very own mummy. No one is quite sure when it started, but at some point the owners of these mummies got curious about what exactly was inside the dusty wrappings. And if they were going to find out, why not invite all their friends over as well? And serve food and drinks! Eventually, the mummy unwrapping party was born. Some of these events were more scholarly than others, but there is evidence that dozens of parties had as their after dinner entertainment rather botched amateur unwrappings, after which the body and wrappings were just thrown away. Hundreds of mummies are estimated to have been lost in this manner.

Due to an export ban in the 1830s, mummies were much rarer in America than in Europe. Their unwrappings were huge events and advertised in the papers, although usually only men were allowed to attend, as the subject was “deemed inappropriate for women and children.” One famous unwrapping promised to include an Egyptian princess. The chance to see royalty, even long dead royalty, led to a crowd of 2,000 people, all of whom were shocked to eventually see the “princess’s” mummified penis.

7. PUBLIC EXECUTIONS

Public executions were quite possibly the most attended events in history. Almost every country publicly killed convicts at some point, and everyone from little children to royalty showed up to watch.

The crowds that turned out, especially if the condemned was infamous by the time they were put to death, could be enormous. In 1746, the hanging of a Protestant pastor in Paris drew 40,000 people. The hanging of a man and woman in London, who had together killed a man, drew 50,000 people in 1849. The last hanging of a forger in England, in 1824, drew over 100,000 people, the largest crowd ever assembled for an execution in the UK. To put those numbers in perspective, the recent Super Bowl in New Jersey was held in a stadium that seats about 80,000 people.

While these executions were ostensibly a lesson to the crowd (“don’t do bad things”), in reality they were a grisly entertainment venue, illustrated by the fact that people often paid huge sums to be as close to the scaffold as possible. Ballads and short (heavily embellished) histories of the condemned and their crimes were sold to the crowds, along with food and drink from vendors. Every aspect of popular executions was covered in the papers; ladies in high society often discussed at length the pros and cons of the outfits condemned women chose to wear to their deaths.

The executions themselves could last hours from start to finish, with the condemned often driven in a cart through throngs of onlookers, as if he or she was on a parade float. Sometimes they stopped off at pubs along the way, where the giddy public got many a condemned man drunk before his ultimate demise.

8. MILITARY BATTLES

What better way to enjoy a lovely day than with a picnic? And if your country happens to be in the middle of a war at that moment, and a battle is happening just down the street, well, you‘ve got yourself some free entertainment to go with your sandwiches.

When wars were fought in fields with weapons whose range was short, people regularly turned out to enjoy the spectacle. There are unsubstantiated accounts of this occurring during the Battle of Bosworth and various battles of the English Civil War. But perhaps the best war for picnicking was the American Civil War.

The Battle of Memphis was only 90 minutes long, but 10,000 people turned out on the cliffs overlooking the Mississippi to watch the ships fight in the river below. Even a Confederate loss didn’t dampen the festive mood. That was not the case during the First Battle of Bull Run. The people of Washington had expected an easy victory for their side and the fashionable elite of the city, including numerous congressmen, grabbed their picnic baskets and their children and settled down for an afternoon of bloody entertainment. When the Union army retreated in defeat, the panicked picnickers fled, blocking the streets back to Washington.

9. TAKING X-RAYS

Today X-rays may evoke bad feelings, associated as they are with hospitals and being unwell. But when they were first discovered in the 1890s, people went mad for this new technology. Here was a cheap, seemingly safe technique to actually look inside people! It was unlike anything that had ever been seen before. Even the name was sexy; “X-rays” sounded futuristic and mysterious.

Since the basic setup needed to make X-rays was both small and cheap, they started showing up in the oddest of places. Thousands of “Bone Portrait” studios sprang up, where photographers calling themselves “skiagraphers” specialized in taking X-ray photographs. These were especially popular with newly engaged couples. X-ray slot machines appeared in major tourist destinations, where for the cost of a coin you could stare at the inside of your hand for a minute.

Perhaps the oddest use was in shoe shops. In 1927, a device called a “fluoroscope,” or the retrospectively creepier “pedoscope,” started showing up in all good department stores. It X-rayed your feet while you tried on different pairs of shoes. This allowed you to see how different fits affected the bone structure of your feet, ensuring you bought the perfect size.

X-ray equipment was so easily obtainable and popular that a trade even sprang up in lead-lined underwear so that one could save one’s modesty from all the creepy Peeping Toms that people assumed were now walking the streets.

10. TAKING SELFIES

Some things never change.

While there were different versions of photo booths starting in the late 1800s, they didn’t produce great pictures. The beginning of the modern photo booth is usually traced to one man, a Russian immigrant named Anatol Josepho. He trained as a photographer in Europe and after a spell in Hollywood learning the mechanics of cameras, he moved to New York City. There he managed to borrow the astonishing sum of $11,000 to make his first photo booth. It produced clear pictures and could run completely on its own. He opened a studio on Broadway in 1925, put the photo booth inside, and sat back to watch the money roll in.

For 25 cents, customers were led to the box by a “white-gloved attendant,” who would then direct them to “look to the right, look to the left, look at the camera.” Then after about ten minutes, the booth spit out eight photos and the customers went away happy. They probably told all their friends to check it out — and check it out they did. Soon, the line to the studio was stretching around the block, and up to 7,500 people a day used the machine. According to the April 1927 issue of TIME, more than 280,000 people visited the photo booth in the first six months alone, including the Governor of New York and at least one Senator.

Within a year, Josepho was astonishingly wealthy and dating a famous silent film actress. Then a consortium of investors offered to buy his patent for $1 million. He accepted the deal, and immediately put half of that money into a trust for various charities. He invested the other half in several inventions.

Imitation photo booth studios popped up around the US and Europe, and even the Great Depression didn’t diminish people’s desire to look at pictures of themselves. One shop owner in NYC was so busy he managed to keep his entire extended family employed for the entire Depression.

 
 

JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending April 4th, 2014

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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CLARKE PROPOSES COMPULSORY NATIONAL SERVICE—03/29/14
All Jamaican youth should be required to perform national service to their country, according to a proposal from Senator Navel Clarke. Clarke says he believes Jamaica should treat its young people with discipline and behavioral norms appropriate to a Christian, law-abiding society.

GOVERNOR GENERAL WANTS JAMAICANS UNITED TO FIGHT CRIME—03/30/14
Jamaica’s Governor General Sir Patrick Allen believes one of the most important issues facing the nation is the threat represented by criminals. Allen made his remarks at an event in Black River, St. Elizabeth, in which Beryl Rochester was made Custos Rotulorum.

THREE ADDITIONAL POLICE OFFICERS CHARGED WITH MURDERS—03/31/14
The Independent Commission of Investigations has announced that three more police officers in Clarendon were arrested on charges alleging murder. The Commission is charged with investigating abuses committed by Jamaica’s security forces. The arrested officers include Detective Cpl. Kevin Adams, who was charged with the killings of four men between 2011 and 2013. All three of the officers have been suspended.

EDUCATION MINISTRY SAYS UNIVERSITIES MUST BE MORE SELF-SUFFICIENT—03/31/14
Jamaica’s Ministry of Education has stated that universities must find innovative ways to obtain funding for their operation; they must become more self-sufficient as greater focus is placed on early childhood education. The University of the West Indies Mona asked the government to pay more than $5.4 billion it believes is owed due to a failure of the government to honor a commitment to pay 80 percent of tuition costs for Jamaican students there.

MARIJUANA GROWERS WANT GOVERNMENT TO STOP CROP DESTRUCTION—04/01/14
While the Jamaican government is thinking about decriminalizing marijuana, some ganja farmers and supporters are calling for government authorities to stop arresting people for possessing the drug and destroying their crops. These issues were raised at a meeting of the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association (GFGPA).

PRISON OFFICIAL IN JAMAICA DIES IN GUN AMBUSH—04/02/14
Cpl. Easton Williams, a Jamaican prison officer, died from bullet wounds he suffered during an ambush attack by gunmen in late March 2014. Williams was shot several times as he was on his way to work at a prison in St. Catherine. No arrests have yet been made in the case.

CHINESE FIRM HIRED TO BUILD TRANSSHIPMENT HUB—04/03/14
The Jamaican government has hired a subsidiary of a top Chinese construction firm to build the transshipment hub. According to Jamaica’s information service, China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd. will build the hub in the area of Portland Bight. The firm is a unit of China Communications Construction Company Ltd. Environmentalists are opposed to the proposed construction site, as it is near the Portland Bight Protected Area.

PROSECUTORS RECEIVE DEATH THREATS AFTER VERDICT IN KARTEL CASE—04/04/14
Paula Llewellyn, director of public prosecutions, confirmed that she and other members of her team received death threats have Vybz Kartel was found guilty of murdering Clive “Lizard” Williams. Llewellyn said that the team had received threats during the trial, but they had to ignore them in order to do their job. Security was enhanced for prosecutors as a result.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN PATENTS SOURCE OF HYDROGEN ENERGY—03/29/14
Phillip Scott, a Jamaican-born real estate entrepreneur, is considering his options for partnerships in the commercialization of a fuel-system enhancer and energy source that he has created and patented in Jamaica and the United States. He has received partnership offers from companies of both countries for his invention, which is called Elhydro Power. It uses a system based on hydrogen that acts as a generator and fuel-system enhancer that makes mechanical and electronic energy from electrolyzed water.

“BOBSLED” ACTOR JOINS “INVEST CARIBBEAN NOW 2014″—03/30/14
Malik Yoba, an actor and activist, will be among those attending the 2014 Caribbean Week in New York in June. Yoba is participating in the event to express support for the Invest Caribbean Now summit, which seeks to promote sustainable development and investment to create stronger economies in the Caribbean region. Yoba played the role of a Jamaica bobsledder and wrote the theme song for the film “Cool Runnings.”

JOBSON ENCOURAGED BY MCNEIL’S VISIT TO GERMANY—03/31/14
Margaret Jobson, Jamaica’s ambassador to Germany, was encouraged by the visit of Dr. Wykeham McNeill, the island’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, earlier in March 2014. She plans to use his visit as the starting point of a big Jamaican promotion in Germany over the year. Among the events planned are a Reggae Meets Opera concert, a visit to Germany by a top Jamaican athlete, and a film festival in May.

JAMAICAN NIXES PRISONER TRANSFER PLAN—04/01/14
Hundreds of Jamaicans will now remain in United Kingdom prisons as the government of Jamaica has refused to take these individuals back to their home country. The cost to the UK of housing these prisoners is £27 million per year. The UK Ministry of Justice had tried to convince Jamaica’s government to allow as many as 737 prisoners to be returned to Jamaica to serve out their sentences. Jamaicans are the third largest group of foreign nations in UK jails.

MUSIC STUDIO IN LOS ANGELES HONORS JAMAICAN SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE—04/02/14
Sonos Studio in Los Angeles, California, announced a new exhibit that will focus on the sound system feature of Jamaica’s music culture. The Hometown HiFi exhibit is designed to celebrate the ways in which Jamaica “changed listening forever.” The exhibit explores the dub movement going back to the 1950s when engineers found a new method of enjoying music.

TEENAGER IN JAMAICA GETS NINE SCHOLARSHIPS TO U.S. UNIVERSITIES—04/03/14
Tchakamau Mahakoe, a Jamaican student, has been accepted by 11 universities in the United States, and nine of them have offered her scholarships. Mahakoe has not decided which university she will attend. The 17-year-old had been home-schooled before attending Immaculate Conception High School in St. Andrew and Hillel Academy. The U.S. institutions offering scholarships include Duke, Princeton, Yale, and Stanford.
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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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FIVE FROM T&T HELD IN ALLEGED PLOT TO OVERTHROW MADURO—03/29/14

FINANCIAL SECTOR DEFENDED BY LEADER OF BAHAMAS—03/31/14

CARIBBEAN COULD TO BENEFIT FROM MEDICAL TOURISM—04/01/14

JUDICIAL ETHICS DISCUSSED BY MAGISTRATES IN EASTERN CARIBBEAN—04/02/14

BRITISH MAN FOUND DEAD NEAR BURNING YACHT HAD “BLAST INJURIES”—04/03/14

CARIBBEAN NATIONS CONSIDER MORE LENIENT MARIJUANA LAWS—04/04/14

 

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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WOMEN’S NETWORKING GROUP SEEKING JAMAICAN MEMBERS—03/30/14
Ethnie Miller-Simpson, president of Jamaica’s chapter of Women Entrepreneurs Network of the Caribbean (WENC), stated that a benefit of membership is the ability to access Caribbean markets via links formed with other businesswomen in the area. The regional networking group for women entrepreneurs is looking to enlist new members for its May 2014 launch in Jamaica. Miller-Simpson expects to see as many as 100 businesswomen at its next meeting, doubling its numbers in the Corporate Area and St. Catherine.

SUSTAINABLE ENERGY COULD PRODUCE US$200 MILLION IN SAVINGS—03/31/14
The Caribbean suffers from its high energy costs, with over 97 percent of the region’s electric power generate from fossil fuels. On some islands in the Caribbean, electricity costs are six times higher than those in the United States. According to the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, the area could reap significant savings by turning to sustainable energy sources.

LOCAL JAMAICAN PRODUCE GETS COMPETITIVE, SAYS SENATOR GRANT—04/03/14
Jamaican Senator Norman Grant, the president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), has urged Jamaicans to support local farmers by buying more local produce. He said the quality of Jamaican produce is high enough to compete with any in the world. The price of local produce is also very competitive with those of imported goods.

TELECOM LICENSES RENEWED IN JAMAICA—04/04/14
Jamaica will generate an estimated J$12.6 billion in revenue due to the renewal by the government of telecom and spectrum licenses for Digicel Jamaica and LIME. The licenses will be in effect for 15 years. The license renewals and provision of additional spectrum to both firms represents approximately US$85 million in investment from Digicel and US$30 million from LIME.

 

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Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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FILM INDUSTRY IN CARIBBEAN TO BENEFIT FROM ONLINE DATABASE—03/29/14

RJR COMMUNICATIONS LAUNCHES FIRST OTT SERVICE IN JAMAICA—04/04/14

 

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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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BOI-1DA A TOP PRODUCER—03/29/14
While not well known in Jamaica’s music industry, the Canadian Boi-1da, which is pronounced “Boy Wonda,” is one of the most popular producers in contemporary pop music. Raised in Toronto, he has worked with many hip-hop and R&B stars, but he was born in Kingston and lived in Braeton, Portmore. His credits include work with Drake, Nicki Minaj, Jay Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and others.

JAMAICAN BILLIONAIRES PAY THOUSANDS FOR SONGS BY TESSANNE CHIN—04/01/14
Three Canadian-Jamaica billionaires paid $40,000 to Tessanne Chin’s performance of three songs at a fundraiser in Toronto, Canada. Chin, winner of “The Voice” during its fifth season, was being honored at a banquet to raise money for the University of the West Indies when Michael Lee-Chin and Raymond Chang got into a bidding war for Chin to sing three songs. The bidding started at $1,000, but Lee-Chin boosted the price by bidding $10,000 for a single song performance by Tessanne.

BEENIE MAN TO PERFORM IN COLOMBIAN MUSIC FESTIVAL—04/02/14
Jamaican music star Beenie Man will be featured among international stars invited to perform at the 2014 Jamming Festival. This is the largest reggae event in Colombia and is held at the end of May. Thirty-five artists will perform at the event, including Seed from Germany and Zona Ganjah from Chile and Argentina.

JAMAICA WILL NAME POET LAUREATE—04/04/14
Jamaica is set to name its first poet laureate in 50 years. The title will be a national honor and not just an honorary title in its newest iteration. The ceremony for naming the new poet laureate was postponed to April 15, 2014 in order to facilitate the government’s decision to make it a national award. The nation’s two previous poet laureates were named by the National Library of Jamaica.

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SPORTS
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20 YEARS OF SERVICE BY TEAM JAMAICA BICKLE TO PENN ATHLETES—03/29/14
Team Jamaica Bickle has provided 20 years of service to the Jamaican athletes competing at the Penn Relays. The milestone reached in 2014 marks the benefits of the hospitality initiative begun in 1994 to aid athletes from the Caribbean as they compete in the Penn Relay event. The initiative began with the provision of meals and has expanded to include transportation, health care, and hotel rate negotiations. The goal is to make the athletes comfortable.

BOLT OUT OF COMPETITION UNTIL MIDDLE OF JUNE—03/30/14
Jamaica’s champion sprinter Usain Bolt will not be able to race until the middle of June at the meet in the Czech Republic due to an injury sustained to his foot. He will participate at Ostrava in June, Paris in July and Malmo in August, says Ricky Simms, Bolt’s agent.

JAMAICAN GO-KARTERS PERFORM WELL IN FLORIDA—03/31/14
Thomas Issa and Colin Daley of Campion College and St. George’s College, respectively, provided outstanding performances at the Florida Winter Tour in the United States. The go-karters aided Jamaica in finishing in seventh place at the National Cup, right behind Mexico. The Jamaica Karting Association is very happy with their performance at the race.

JAMAICA TO FACE BARBADOS IN WRAY & NEPHEW BOUT—04/01/14
Glenroy “Bumpy” Beckford (Green Team) will face Christopher Henry of Team Caribbean in the third bout of the Wray and Nephew Contender boxing competition. The Yellow Team won against the Green Team during the week, and Henry chose Beckford as his opponent. The Green Team features Jamaican boxers, while the Yellow Team includes boxers from the wider Caribbean under the new organization of the boxing series. Boxers are vying for $3 million in prize money.

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JAMAICAN JOBS
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