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News from Jamaica:




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Jamaica turns down UK offer of new maximum-security prison

January 16, 2017
Jamaica turns down UK offer of new maximum-security prison KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- The government of Jamaica has turned down the United Kingdom’s offer to assist in the building of a new maximum-security prison in the island. This was disclosed in the Senate on Friday by minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith.

Number of Jamaicans denied entry to Trinidad and Tobago reduced by 64 percent

January 14, 2017
Number of Jamaicans denied entry to Trinidad and Tobago reduced by 64 percent KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- The minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade has reported a 64 per cent reduction in the number of Jamaicans who have been denied entry to Trinidad and Tobago for the period March to December 2016. Portfolio minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith...

Jamaican stakeholders tour Canada to learn about sea water air conditioning

January 14, 2017
Jamaican stakeholders tour Canada to learn about sea water air conditioning TORONTO, Canada -- Stakeholders from the private and public sectors in Jamaica now have a better understanding of how sea water air conditioning (SWAC) technology can help reduce electricity costs. At the end of 2016, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) collaborated with...

Commentary: Seven things Jamaica should do to increase its creative dominance in music, tourism and culture

January 14, 2017
Commentary: Seven things Jamaica should do to increase its creative dominance in music, tourism and culture Recently it was announced that Jamaica’s economy grew by two percent for the last quarter of 2016 and I was passing a security guard at a local supermarket who uttered, “I hope we get some of the two percent,” implying that he hopes to immediately benefit by way of his salary from the two...

IDB signs agreement to authorize partial use of Jamaica's national procurement system

January 12, 2017
IDB signs agreement to authorize partial use of Jamaica's national procurement system KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Wednesday signed an agreement with the government of Jamaica to authorize the partial use of the national procurement system. The agreement effectively means that procurement can be undertaken by executing agencies...

Unstable approach led to May 2014 hard landing of Air Canada Rouge flight in Montego Bay, Jamaica

January 10, 2017
Unstable approach led to May 2014 hard landing of Air Canada Rouge flight in Montego Bay, Jamaica RICHMOND HILL, Canada -- In its investigation report (A14F0065) released on Monday, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) determined that an unstable approach led to the May 10, 2014 hard landing of an Air Canada Rouge Airbus 319 at the Sangster International Airport...

Southwest Airlines adds new destinations in the Caribbean

January 6, 2017
Southwest Airlines adds new destinations in the Caribbean DALLAS, USA -- Southwest Airlines has announced plans to bring its iconic brand, low fares, and exceptional customer service to the Cayman Islands, beginning June 4, 2017. The carrier filed an application with the US Department of Transportation to serve Owen Roberts International...

Letter: Obama must not pardon Garvey

January 6, 2017
Letter: Obama must not pardon Garvey A few days ago, the BBC reported that there is an intensive campaign by some groups in Jamaica and elsewhere to get the outgoing American president to pardon Jamaica’s first National Hero, Marcus Garvey. These campaigners hope to get the pardon before Mr Obama leaves the...

National security minister announces measures to combat crime and violence in Jamaica

January 5, 2017
National security minister announces measures to combat crime and violence in Jamaica KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- National security minister, Robert Montague, has announced a raft of measures to combat crime and violence and to improve the effectiveness of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) for 2017. Speaking at the JCF’s annual devotional exercise at the...

Letter: Jamaica may have exceeded its capacity to support further major tourism development on the North Coast

January 3, 2017
Letter: Jamaica may have exceeded its capacity to support further major tourism development on the North Coast The Jamaican government should consider placing a moratorium on further hotel development on the North Coast. A balance should be struck between the supply and demand of hotel rooms since, at roughly 40% vacancy, rate hotels cannot be profitable unless significant government intervention...

Health tourism poised for expansion in Jamaica

January 2, 2017
Health tourism poised for expansion in Jamaica KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Health tourism is poised for expansion as the government of Jamaica takes steps to engage the diaspora as the first market in the sector. President of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Diane Edwards, said the country is developing a competitive ...

In the social media age, how should Jamaica's head of government communicate?

December 31, 2016
In the social media age, how should Jamaica's head of government communicate? KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Just before Christmas, the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) issued a statement, urging Prime Minister Andrew Holness to hold a press conference -- open to all media -- to update the nation on various issues. In a press release, PAJ president Dionne Jackson Miller...

Letter: The flight of capital from the foreign exchange market into the Jamaica stock market

December 30, 2016
Letter: The flight of capital from the foreign exchange market into the Jamaica stock market Since April 2016, the Bank of Jamaican (BOJ) sold well over US$600 million to the foreign exchange market only to achieve the short-term stability that we are now witnessing in the dollar moving from US$1=129.69 to 128.78 Jamaican. This US$600 million sold to bankers and foreign exchange...

2016: The year the Caribbean was forced to confront its attitude towards women

December 27, 2016
2016: The year the Caribbean was forced to confront its attitude towards women PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- The first regional story that we reported on at Global Voices in 2016 was West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle's on-air come-on to Australian sports journalist Melanie McLaughlin. The very public gaffe immediately jump-started an online discussion about...

Florida man sentenced to 48 months in US prison for Caribbean cellphone fraud scheme

December 27, 2016
Florida man sentenced to 48 months in US prison for Caribbean cellphone fraud scheme MIAMI, USA -- A Florida resident has been sentenced to 48 months in prison by a US court in connection with a sophisticated cell phone fraud scheme that involved compromising cellphone customers’ accounts and “cloning” their phones to make fraudulent international calls to several...

Letter: Pave paradise and call it progress: An environmental disaster waiting to happen

December 27, 2016
Letter: Pave paradise and call it progress: An environmental disaster waiting to happen The North-South Highway link in Jamaica Is a costly environmental disaster waiting to happen, as the highway link is built on a sea of underground rivers with extensive connections throughout the island. In 2012 the government was warned about the risk but went ahead with the project.

US to assist Jamaica with introduction of plea bargaining

December 24, 2016
US to assist Jamaica with introduction of plea bargaining WASHINGTON, USA -- The US State Department has agreed to assist the Jamaican government in introducing the concept of plea bargaining to the island’s justice system with a view to reducing the backlog within the nation’s courts. Justice Minister Delroy Chuck said the State Department has...

CDB provides grant to upgrade primary school in Jamaica

December 22, 2016
CDB provides grant to upgrade primary school in Jamaica BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- A rural school in Jamaica, built 80 years ago, will receive its first upgrade thanks to a grant of US$430,113 from the Caribbean Development Bank through its Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF). Ground was broken on December 20, to begin rehabilitation...

Domestic-murder spree clouds Christmas in Jamaica

December 21, 2016
Domestic-murder spree clouds Christmas in Jamaica KINGSTON, Jamaica -- As 2016 draws to a close, Jamaicans might agree that the year has yielded some progress on the economic front, holding some hope for 2017. But a dark cloud remains: homicides -- most of them in certain areas of the island. In particular, the recent murders of...

Letter: Is the JLP serious about dismantling Jamaica's fiscal and monetary policies or just tinkering?

December 21, 2016
Letter: Is the JLP serious about dismantling Jamaica's fiscal and monetary policies or just tinkering? It is time for a change in policy, as the benefits of dollarization would result in eliminating the risk of devaluation and reducing the country risk premium on foreign borrowing as well as obtaining lower interest rates for the government and private investors. Lower interest rates and more stability...

Ten civil society organisations graduate from policy monitoring training in Jamaica

December 20, 2016
Ten civil society organisations graduate from policy monitoring training in Jamaica KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Twenty-one participants from ten civil society organizations (CSOs) have completed a series of training on monitoring human rights and governance in Jamaica and were recognized for their efforts at a graduation ceremony recently. “This is the first in a series of practical...

Commentary: Save our women

December 20, 2016
Commentary: Save our women The most disrespected people in Jamaica are the women. The most marginalized people in Jamaica are the women. The most shame brought upon women in Jamaica is to the black women. Women are given the roles in society that require them to do the most work with the least amount of reward.

Letter: Not always easy to intervene in domestic disputes

December 20, 2016
Letter: Not always easy to intervene in domestic disputes The recent spate of attacks on our women has prompted some to urge the rest of us to get involved, in as much as we can, to stop our women from being abused. Of course, those calling for members of society to do something and not just turn a blind eye are very noble. However, speaking...

Several CARICOM countries failing to honour skills certificates

December 19, 2016
Several CARICOM countries failing to honour skills certificates GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- For those who had thought that any Guyanese citizen with an officially issued Caribbean Community (CARICOM) skills certificate can just roll into any CARICOM country and seek employment after showing the document to authorities will certainly have to think again.

Jamaica partners with Airbnb to promote tourism product

December 17, 2016
Jamaica partners with Airbnb to promote tourism product KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with US-based online company Airbnb Inc. for the promotion of the country’s tourism product, particularly in the area of accommodation. Airbnb is an online marketplace that...

Jamaica to improve energy efficiency and promote fuel conservation

December 17, 2016
Jamaica to improve energy efficiency and promote fuel conservation WASHINGTON, USA -- The Inter-American Development (IDB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will fund a US$30 million project to promote electricity conservation in Jamaica by reducing electricity consumption, improving traffic flows in congested road corridors.

Jamaican national arrested in fraudulent lottery scheme based in Jamaica

December 16, 2016
Jamaican national arrested in fraudulent lottery scheme based in Jamaica BOCA RATON, USA -- A 33-year-old Jamaican woman was arrested on Wednesday in Boca Raton, Florida, following her eight-count indictment by a grand jury in the Western District of North Carolina. Shashana Stacyann Smith, a Jamaican citizen residing in Florida, was charged with conspiracy...

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