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Hot Calaloo proposes fund to pay reward to find child killers in Jamaica
Calling all overseas Jamaican organizations!
Of course, this would require coordination with the Jamaica police and probably the embassy to work out the details. Transparency would be essential. Hot Calaloo and I am sure many other publications, would do all they can to publicize such an endeavor. So lets get the fund underway and catch these brutal killers.
Jamaica to hold elections August 27
Jamaicans will go to the polls on August 27 to elect a new government, with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller standing a good chance of returning to office for her first full term. In keeping with constitutional provisions, the Parliament has been dissolved with effect from July 25, 2007, to make way for the holding of Jamaica's 15th General Elections since Adult Suffrage.
Antigua seeks $3.4 billion in trade sanctions against US
The tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda won’t let up. It has asked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for the right to authorise US$3.4 billion (€2.5 billion) in commercial sanctions against the United States for its failure to comply with a ruling that its Internet gambling restrictions are illegal.
Washington acknowledged that its online betting ban was ruled illegal by the WTO, but challenged Antigua's right to retaliate because it says it is in the process of changing the details of its obligations under the 1994 General Agreement on Trade in Services. The United States also rejected the amount requested by Antigua as "patently excessive."
Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, India, Macao, Japan and the 27-nation European Union have all joined Antigua in filing compensation claims as a result, but those are separate from the twin-island nation's ongoing WTO dispute with the United States.
Antigua, the smallest country to successfully litigate a case in the World Trade Organisation's 12-year-history, had its documents circulated among the delegates at the meeting, but was not present for the discussion. It has said it will target U.S. trademarks and copyrights if Washington refuses to change its legislation.
Both Bob Marley song and album voted best of the century
Time magazine, voted the 1977 album, Exodus, by Bob Marley and The Wailers, Best Album of the Century. And almost simultaneously, the BBC selected Marley's song, One Love, as the Song of the Century.
In a citation supporting its selection of Exodus, Time proclaimed: "Every song is a classic, from the messages of love to the anthems of revolution. But more than that, the album is a political and cultural nexus, drawing inspiration from the Third World and then giving voice to it the world over." The tracks on Exodus are Natural Mystic, So Much Things to Say, Guiltiness, The Heathen, Jamming, Waiting In Vain, Turn Your Lights Down Low, Three Little Birds and One Love. Musicians who took part in these recordings include Aston Barrett, bass; Carlton Barrett, drums; Tyrone Downie, key board; Alvin Patterson, percussion; Julian Marvin, lead guitar; with backing vocals by the I-Threes.
Cuba to begin test of cancer vaccine
Cuba and Malaysia Cuba will shortly start in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's
capital, the clinical trials of a vaccine aimed to improve life quality of
patients with terminal cancer.
Cuban medics for Jamaica
An agreement has been signed between Jamaica and Cuba, for Cuban nurses
and doctors to come to the island soon to stem the shortfalls in Jamaica’s
health sector. The medical team is expected to help in areas where
professionals are in short supply.
Jamaica started accepting Cuban medics in the late 70s.
Trinidad and Tobago prepares for non-national Police Commissioner
Trinidad and Tobago has begun preparations for a non-national to head its police force. Minister of National Security Martin Joseph made the disclosure stating that legislation will be taken to parliament and once the legislation becomes law, advertisements for the posts of Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Police will be placed in the local and foreign media. He told the House that promotions within the ranks of the Police Service will no longer be based on seniority. He added that the Police Service Commission will be conducting interviews and the most successful applicants will be approved.
The move has not brought unanimous support as the President of the Police Social and Welfare Association, Emrol Bruce, described that change as unfortunate.
Human Rights Watch testifies against US deportation policy to Caribbean
Human Rights Watch attorney and senior researcher testified before the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Western Hemispheric Affairs that the United States is "far out of step" with international human rights standards with respect to deportations. She also pointed out that:
Human Rights Watch estimates that 1.6 million adults and children, including U.S. citizens, have been separated from their spouses and parents because of the current law. Because of this law, families have been torn apart even because of a single minor misstep, such as shoplifting or drug possession.
Jamaica, with 1,426 deportations, was among the top 10 countries in the Western Hemisphere for criminal and non-criminal deportations in fiscal year 2006. Mexico topped the list with 114,640 deportations.
The impact of the deportations on the Caribbean has been so adverse that CARICOM leaders were forced to put it on the front burner when they met with U.S. President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and congressional leaders, including the Congressional Black Caucus, during last month's Conference on the Caribbean in Washington.
Speaking on behalf of CARICOM, Dr. Annmarie Barnes, chief technical director in Jamaica's Ministry of National Security, told U.S. legislators that the mass deportation of criminal offenders to the Caribbean constitutes one of the greatest threats to regional security.
Quoting statistics, she extrapolated that with a combined population of less than five million people in the countries studied, the impact of this relocation of criminal offenders to the Caribbean would be roughly equivalent to the influx, into the United States, of more than one million convicted drug offenders, and close to 40,000 convicted murderers. She said of 345 deported persons interviewed, the majority were parents whose children in the United States face extreme hardships, both emotionally and financially.
Montserrat villagers allowed back into their homes
Five months after they were evacuated from their homes because of the volcano, residents of several southern villages in Montserrat were being allowed back to their homes. But the authorities still warn of a possibility of increased activity from the Soufriere Hills volcano.
A statement from Government House said the Emergency Policy Group met
last week to consider the interim assessment of the Scientific Advisory
Committee on the hazards and risks associated with the volcano that roared
to life in July, 1995. It said residents could return to the area on a
controlled basis and based on an application to the police.
Barbados promotes solar energy
Barbados, which leads the Caribbean in the use of solar water heaters, is taking another step towards renewables as it starts to focus on the use of solar energy for electricity. The Ministry of Energy and the Environment has opened its "Solar House" as the venue for a series of clinics, tours and lectures to raise awareness about the benefits of using various energy conservation technologies; including Solar Energy, for enhanced energy efficiency.
In addition, there will be monthly lectures by the ministry's technical officers, or specialists in renewable energy. These lectures will kick-off with, solar energy specialist, William Hinds, explaining how one can convert a home to use solar electric power. The two hour session starts will be held at the Solar House in Queen's Park in Bridgetown. Also, there will be Tours of the "Solar House" three times a week as well a number of "Solar Clinics".
Jamaica selling its electricity generating wind farm
The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) has put up for sale its 20.7 megawatt capacity Wigton Windfarm Limited, the price of which will be determined by the winning bid. The PCJ, however, is unlikely to sell for less than US$25.5 million considering the approximately J$1.55 billion they invested in building the Manchester-based plant back in 2004. Its fixed assets, including 23 wind turbines each rated at 900 kilowatts, have a carrying value of $1.38 billion on its balance sheet, according to the company's unaudited year-end financial results to March 2007.
The sale comes alongside a turnaround in Wigton's profit position, the wind farm having recorded net income of $33 million in the year just ended, compared to the $28.3 million loss it posted up to March 2006.
A Wigton spokesman says that the wind farm has been operating successfully. This year. For example, Wigton is projecting depressed revenues of $198.86 million (2006/07: $220.96 million), according to Finance Ministry figures, while its net profit is expected to fall to $12.57 million or a third of its current position. Two years ago, the company added emission trading to its revenue mix, selling its carbon credits to the Dutch government under a nine-year agreement under which it is paid €5.5 for every ton of carbon dioxide saved. The wind farm has saved some 39,792 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the period April 2006 and January 2007, which would have translated to earnings of €218,856.
Wind now accounts for 2.5 per cent of Jamaica's renewable energy source and goes up to 5.0 per cent when combined with hydro-power.
Jamaica's agricultural sector rebounds from hurricanes
Jamaica's agricultural sector is reporting remarkable recovery
following the devastation caused by four hurricanes in a two-year period
and severe drought prior to that.
Hurricane Ivan hit the island in 2004, causing severe set back to the
Between 1999 and 2005 therefore, the agriculture sector was besieged by a combination of drought, floods and hurricanes. The 19 per cent growth registered in 2006 not only means the sector has recovered, but this year's output is now on track to reaching one of its highest levels in ten years. In addition, the lessons learned from the seven years of unfavorable weather have led to the implementation of a number of new infra-structural support programs that should put the country in a better to position to recover from any future natural disasters.
Teacher brain drain in reverse proposed
The US and UK have been recruiting Jamaican teachers. However, Jacqueline Coke-Lloyd, executive director of the Jamaica Employers' Federation, says mediocre students largely reflect substandard teaching island-wide, and believes top local teachers should be bolstered by recruiting competent teachers from abroad.
"I have no problem with overseas recruitment, if that's what it takes to get our children on the right path. It doesn't make sense for us to talk about using who we have, if they can't do (the job). You might have to bring people for 10 years until we can get our own people properly educated," she suggested. She recalled that years ago many of the teachers were expatriates, mainly from England, and the standard was very high.
And Jamaica students are doing alarmingly bad now, as reported in July update of Hot Calaloo.
Ironically, in recent years hundreds of Jamaica's best teachers have left to teach in England, the United States and other developed countries, to fill critical labour shortfalls in schools. The reverse is unlikely. Instead Jamaica has been forced to recruit teachers from some Third-World countries, according to Hopeton Henry, president of the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA). Describing the phenomenon as a virtual "invasion", he reported that teachers have been coming mainly from Guyana, Cuba, India and Nigeria. Subjects such as Spanish, chemistry and mathematics were among the ones for which teachers were in greatest demand, he said.
Jamaica-to-Cuba tours reintroduced
Caribic Vacations has reintroduced a one-day tour and a new eight-day, seven-night vacation package to Cuba. One day visitors will get to explore historic Santiago de Cuba, Cuba's second-largest city and a central point in the Spanish-speaking country's revolutionary fight back in the 1950s. The eight-day tour goes to the resort town of Holguin.
Valued at US$250 and $825 respectively, the holiday will give each visitor the opportunity to experience a guided tour of Santiago de Cuba, rum tasting and cigar factory, the El Morro Castle, the changing of the guard ceremony of the national hero José Martí, and a visit to the Antonio Maceo Revolutionary Square.
It is anticipated that there is a demand by tourists already staying in Jamaica to island-hop to Cuba. However, the mean-spirited US law makes it illegal for US citizens to visit Cuba, although many have defied that law without consequences. Most recent defiance has been by film producer/author Michael Moore in documenting his visit to Cuba in his recent hit movie "Sicko", which exposes the mercenary nature of health care American style. The George Bush crowd has even threatened him with arrest.
Cricket World Cup was a financial success
Despite previous impressions, the recently hosted Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean was a financial success. Not only was it a financial success but also it sold more tickets than the last two Cricket World Cups in South Africa and England and garnered US$32 million in ticket revenue which according to the ICC is the highest gate ever. About 672,000 tickets had been sold for the the Caribbean CWC tournament, which was more than the 625,000 sold at the previous World Cup in South Africa and the 1999 event in England which sold 476,000. The profit from this event will also eliminate the huge deficit of the West Indies Cricket Board and this augurs well for the future of West Indies cricket.
The management team also received accolades for the high standard of the organization of the matches and the entire tournament.
Jamaica finish 5th in IAAF World Youth Championships
Jamaica finished fifth among the 152 countries in the medals table or sixth on points (72) with a total of 9 medals, 2 gold, five silver and 2 bronze in the recently completed Fifth IAAF World Youth Championships. The championships were held in the Czech Republic city of Ostrava. Only United States (14G, 6S, 8B), Kenya (11G, 5S, 6B), Russia (10G, 5S, 5B), Germany (8G, 5S, 3B) and the Ukraine (4G, 1S, 3B) finished ahead of Jamaica.
Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade with three medals – silver in the 100m (10.54) and bronze in the 200m ( 21.72PB) and sprint medley; McKenzie and Dexter Lee with gold in the 200m (20.67) and 100m (10.51) and bronze in the medley, were the top achievers on the boys’ side.
Latoya McDermott, who pocketed silver in the girls’ 400m (54.12) and bronze in the medley, along with Misha-Gaye DaCosta and Shermaine Williams with silver medals in the high jump (1.84 PB) and 100m hurdles (13.48) respectively, were Jamaica’s leading female performers.
The girls’ team of Gayon Evans, Jura Levy, Shana-Gaye Tracey and Latoya McDermott secured silver in 2:06.77 behind the United States (2:05.74). The boys’ quartet of Lee, McKenzie, Ashmeade and Dwayne Extol finished third in 1:52.18 behind United States (1:51.34) and Japan (1:51.42).
Pa-Am Games 2007
The multi-sport 2007 Pan Amercan Games just concluded in Brazil. Several top stars were missing such as Jamaica’s Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell, Sherone Simpson and US stars Jeremy Warner and Wallace Spearmon, Tyson Gay, Sanya Richards, and Allyson Felix. As expected USA finished on top with a total of 237 medals, 97 gold, 88 silver and 52 bronze. Cuba followed with 135 medals, 59 gold, 35 silver and 41 bronze.
CARICOM athletes really excelled in track and field taking gold in the top men's sprint events , the 100, 200 and 400 meters. The most outstanding performance though was actually a silver medal. This was won by Jamaica in soccer. They defeated Columbia, Argentina, Haiti, and Mexico to reach the final against Ecuador, which they lost by 2-1.
Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St. Lucia had 1 bronze medal each.
Gold and Silver Medal Winners
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