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News from Jamaica:



Jamaican health ministry heightens chikungunya response

July 22, 2014
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Having confirmed Jamaica’s first imported case of the chikungunya virus, the ministry of health has further heightened its response to prevent the disease from spreading across the country. “Public education is being stepped up right across the island through our vast network of...

Regional Under-15 Tournament starts in Jamaica

July 22, 2014
ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- Holders Trinidad and Tobago will start their defence against Windward Islands at the Kensington Cricket Club ground, when the Regional Under-15 Tournament opens on Tuesday in Jamaica. In the other first round matches of the tournament...

About 15,000 Jamaican youth to benefit from digital employment opportunities

July 21, 2014
WASHINGTON, USA -- About 15,000 young Jamaicans will benefit from training, digital work opportunities and seed investments to boost the digital and animation industries in the country as a result of a US$20 million loan for a youth employment in digital and animation industries project.

Jamaican health facilities to generate energy from sewage

July 21, 2014
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- In another 19 months, six health facilities across Jamaica will be able to generate energy from the upgrading of their sewerage system through anaerobic technology developed by the Scientific Research Council (SRC), and funded with a $389 million (US$3.47 million) grant.

GraceKennedy acquires US$80 million revenue food business in US

July 19, 2014
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- In continuation of its strategy of transforming from a Jamaican trading company to a global consumer group, and to grow exports significantly, GraceKennedy through its wholly owned subsidiary GraceKennedy Foods (USA) LLC has entered into an agreement...

Jamaica confirms first case of chikungunya

July 18, 2014
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Chief Medical Officer Dr Kevin Harvey has confirmed that Jamaica now has its first imported case of chikungunya. This following the receipt of a report from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) on Thursday confirming that a sample sent on Tuesday...

Letter: Religious fundamentalists using their freedom of speech to incite violence against gays

July 18, 2014
The Jamaica CAUSE movement sent a loudspeaker-equipped vehicle for two days in my neighbourhood trying to win support for its rally at Mandela Park. The exhortation for people to come out to the rally to stand up "straight" against repeal of the buggery law.

Deported Jamaican artiste's lawyer awaits Dominica government response

July 17, 2014
ROSEAU, Dominica -- Attorney-at-law Bert Samuels said he is currently awaiting a further response from the Dominican government in relation to the deportation of his client, dancehall artiste Tommy Lee Sparta, from that Caribbean state. In May, Samuels told the Jamaica Observer he would be filing a claim...

Letter: Apartheid in Jamaica

July 17, 2014
Nelson Mandela’s visit to Jamaica in 1991 signalled his appreciation of Jamaica’s role in the destruction of the formal apartheid system in South Africa. Perhaps unknown to Mr Mandela at the time was that Jamaica was contending with her own apartheid system, which still exists.

Jamaican dancehall artiste performs in St Kitts after being denied approval in Nevis

July 16, 2014
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) -- Controversial Jamaican dancehall artiste Alkaline performed to a packed house at Carnival Village in Basseterre, St Kitts, in the early hours of Sunday morning, according to reports. Alkaline was originally booked to perform in Nevis.

Commentary: LGBT rights under review in Jamaica

July 15, 2014
Over the past several months a series of protests, demonstrations, and court dates have caused Jamaicans to revisit their existing anti-sodomy laws; which were first enforced in 1861. Currently, these laws “[criminalize] consensual homosexual relations between adults,” and as a result...

Caribbean cellular providers under fire for blocking free call apps

July 12, 2014
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Caribbean cellular providers Digicel and LIME are facing a backlash from consumers and investigations from regulatory agencies over blocking customers from using popular third party Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications. Last month, Digicel, which promotes itself as...

Nevis premier calls for weekend performance of Jamaican artiste to be cancelled

July 12, 2014
CHARLESTOWN, Nevis -- In a statement issued on Thursday concerning a forthcoming performance by Jamaican artiste Alkaline in Nevis scheduled for Saturday, premier of Nevis, Vance Amory, indicated that the Cabinet of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) does not support the event.

Jamaica gives six-month notice to Russian company to resume bauxite mining

July 12, 2014
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- The government of Jamaica has issued a formal notice to Russian aluminium company, UC Rusal, of its intention to revoke the special mining rights for its ALPART and Kirkvine refineries, if “bona fide” mining operations do not resume within six months.

World Bank awards 11 Caribbean entrepreneurs more than US$400,000 in climate grants

July 12, 2014
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC) -- a project of the World Bank and its global entrepreneurship program infoDev -- has announced the 11 winners of its first regional proof of concept (PoC) competition. The successful applicants will receive grants of...

Jamaica gets ready for casino gaming

July 11, 2014
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Minister with responsibility for the public service in the ministry of finance and planning, Horace Dalley, says the Casino Gaming Commission is ramping up its operations to prepare for the introduction of casino gambling in Jamaica. Dalley said among the preparations is the...

Jamaican SMEs benefit from export initiative

July 11, 2014
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Over 300 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the export sector in Jamaica have benefitted from targeted technical assistance training to improve competitiveness and greater access to international markets under the FINPYME ExportPlus Jamaica programme.

Jamaica to send more clinker to Venezuela

July 10, 2014
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Discussions are well advanced for the expansion of the arrangement between Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL) and the government of Venezuela, under the PetroCaribe Trade Compensation Mechanism, for the supply of more clinker from Jamaica.

Regional Under-15 Tournament starts July 22 in Jamaica

July 10, 2014
ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- Holders Trinidad and Tobago will start their defence against Windward Islands at the Kensington Cricket Club ground, when the Regional Under-15 Tournament opens on Tuesday, July 22, in Jamaica. In the other first round matches of the tournament...

Jamaican PM urges joint CARICOM position on small island issues

July 8, 2014
ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has called on fellow heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to make the region’s voice heard in relation to issues facing small island developing states, climate change and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Letter: Jamaican government cannot come clean about Ellington because of its complicity

July 8, 2014
If it is true that our "international partners" have evidence against Owen Ellington that required revoking his visa and forcing him into early retirement, then obviously the charges must be quite serious and compelling. See Gleaner "External pressure -- Int'l partners keep close watch on...

Ban on Cuban diplomats breached CARICOM laws and constitutions, says Jamaican minister

July 7, 2014
Ban on Cuban diplomats breached CARICOM laws and constitutions, says Jamaican minister ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- The government of Jamaica has made it clear that the recent ban by consumer goods distributor, PriceSmart, on Cuban diplomats shopping at that establishment ran counter to the non-discrimination provisions, not only of Jamaican law and constitution, but also...

Jamaican PM wants greater role for private sector in CARICOM

July 5, 2014
Jamaican PM wants greater role for private sector in CARICOM ST JOHN’S, Antigua (JIS) -- Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has urged the Caribbean business community to play a greater role in the mechanisms that have been created to encourage economic growth, employment, business expansion, social improvement and overall development.

Letter: Owen Ellington resigns; so should Maj. Gen. Stewart Saunders. And what about Peter Bunting?

July 5, 2014
Something is obviously amiss with Owen Ellington's sudden departure as head of the police force. That is perhaps a secret between himself and his political bosses in the government, which may or may never be revealed. For the moment, however, we need not detain ourselves...

Southwest Airlines welcomed to Jamaica

July 4, 2014
Southwest Airlines welcomed to Jamaica MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (JIS) -- Minister of tourism and entertainment, Dr Wykeham McNeill, on Tuesday led a team of tourism officials and several representatives from the Montego Bay business community in welcoming the inaugural non-stop international flight from America’s largest carrier.

Eighteen Caribbean hotels among the Top 100 List in 2014

July 3, 2014
BELLEVUE, USA -- On Tuesday,, one of the world’s largest full-service online travel sites, announced the Expedia 2014 Insiders’ Select rankings, an annual crowd-sourced list of the world’s best-reviewed hotels. The Insiders’ Select list recognizes the top-ranked hotels...

IMF head expresses confidence in regional economies

July 1, 2014
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, says she is confident in Jamaica’s ability to sustain and enhance economic stability, through government’s implementation of the Economic Reform Programme (ERP).



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