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News from Jamaica:




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Jamaica reports growth in tourism arrivals, earnings

June 27, 2016
Jamaica reports growth in tourism arrivals, earnings KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Addressing the inaugural meeting of the Tourism Competitiveness Taskforce on June 23, Jamaica’s minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett, reported growth in visitor arrivals and earnings up to May 2016. He said there were 1. 7 million visitors to the island.

Caribbean weighs Brexit implications

June 25, 2016
Caribbean weighs Brexit implications GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has begun responding to the news that Britain has voted to leave the European Union (EU). On Friday 52 percent of voters in a referendum in Britain opted out of remaining in the 28-member grouping.

Woman pleads guilty to impersonating FBI agent in Jamaica lottery fraud scheme

June 24, 2016
Woman pleads guilty to impersonating FBI agent in Jamaica lottery fraud scheme BRUNSWICK, USA -- A 30-year-old woman pleaded guilty for her role in a Jamaica-based lottery fraud scheme, the Department of Justice announced on Wednesday.  Vania Lee Allen pleaded guilty in the Southern District of Georgia to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and...

Jamaica seeks to revive banana industry

June 24, 2016
Jamaica seeks to revive banana industry KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- The ministry of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries will be working to ensure that the banana industry in Jamaica returns to more prosperous days. Chief technical director (CTD) in charge of agriculture and fisheries, Dermon Spence, said the ministry...

Commentary: Jamaica's homophobia forced 'out of the closet' by the rainbow flag

June 24, 2016
Commentary: Jamaica's homophobia forced 'out of the closet' by the rainbow flag On June 13, the United States’ embassy in Kingston, Jamaica flew a rainbow flag -- the international symbol of LGBT+ rights -- at half-mast to commemorate the 49 lives lost in the June 12 shooting in Orlando, Florida. Many US missions and embassies around the world have flown the rainbow flag...

Letter: Church bigotry at its worst

June 22, 2016
Letter: Church bigotry at its worst In support of the misguided pronouncements of our attorney general’s opposition to the rainbow flag that the United States Embassy has in regards to the killing of so many people, both the Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy Society and the Lawyers Christian Fellowship, condemned the flying...

Alleged Jamaican Ponzi scheme operator delays answer to SEC charges for fear of incrimination

June 21, 2016
Alleged Jamaican Ponzi scheme operator delays answer to SEC charges for fear of incrimination BOSTON, USA -- Former Jamaican resident Mark Jones, who is accused by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of running a $10 million “Jamaica Bridge Loan Fund” Ponzi scheme, has been granted additional time to file his answer to the SEC civil complaint in exercise of his right...

Jamaica's attorney general condemns Orlando massacre, but thinks the rainbow flag goes too far

June 21, 2016
Jamaica's attorney general condemns Orlando massacre, but thinks the rainbow flag goes too far   KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Like the rest of the world, many Jamaicans reacted on social media with shock, sadness and condemnation to the deadly shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12. Prime Minister Andrew Holness issued a statement later that day expressing sympathies to the...

IMF approves US$80 million disbursement to Jamaica

June 20, 2016
IMF approves US$80 million disbursement to Jamaica WASHINGTON, USA -- On Friday, the executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the combined 11th and 12th reviews under the extended arrangement under the extended fund facility (EFF) for Jamaica. The completion of the reviews enabled the disbursement...

Letter: What a waste of taxpayers' money

June 18, 2016
Letter: What a waste of taxpayers' money As predicted by the Tivoli Committee from the very beginning, this WKCOE report is nothing more than a whitewash of the Crimes Against Humanity committed by the Jamaican state against its citizens. The nature of the crimes are not defined by the report, which is one convenient...

Jamaica reports 3.6 million stopover and cruise visitors in 2015

June 17, 2016
Jamaica reports 3.6 million stopover and cruise visitors in 2015 KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Jamaica recorded 3.6 million stopover and cruise visitors combined and revenues of US$2.5 billion in 2015. This was disclosed by minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett, during his contribution to the 2016/17 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Jamaica to target new tourism markets

June 15, 2016
Jamaica to target new tourism markets OCHO RIOS, Jamaica (JIS) -- Director of tourism, Paul Pennicook, says Jamaica is not satisfied with arrivals from traditional and emerging markets, and will be targeting new territories to fully maximise its tourism potential. “For the Northern and Eastern European region, we have set...

Letter: Intolerance just doesn't work

June 15, 2016
Letter: Intolerance just doesn't work I have been on the road and have passed quite a number of people on the streets talking about the shooting at that club in Florida over the weekend. Living in Jamaica, it is not very unsurprising that many of those who have been talking about the shooting on our street corners...

Talk of Spanish as an official 'second language' has Jamaicans asking, what about patois?

June 14, 2016
Talk of Spanish as an official 'second language' has Jamaicans asking, what about patois? KINGSTON, Jamaica -- What is Jamaica’s true “official language”? Does it have two? Should it acquire a “second language” and if so, what should it be? These questions have had Jamaican commentators tied up in knots for the past week, ever since Prime Minister Andrew Holness...

Exercise Tradewinds 2016 starts Sunday in Grenada

June 2, 2016
Exercise Tradewinds 2016 starts Sunday in Grenada ST GEORGE’S, Grenada -- Beginning Sunday, June 5, military and security forces from Caribbean nations will join the United States, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom for maritime and internal security and disaster response training in Grenada as part of Exercise Tradewinds 2016.

Over 40 percent of internet users in Jamaica watch at least half of all video online

May 31, 2016
Over 40 percent of internet users in Jamaica watch at least half of all video online KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Ericsson ConsumerLab has published insights from a study called “Networked Consumption,” exploring how the increasing use of the internet and mobile apps is changing user behaviour. The study is based on 942 interviews in Jamaica representing the views of...

Commentary: Hope in PM Holness: Millennials and the message of prosperity?

May 31, 2016
Commentary: Hope in PM Holness: Millennials and the message of prosperity? During his first budget debate as prime minister, there was no trace of the Andrew Holness that was ushered into his role as prime minister by former PM Golding and the hierarchy of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in 2010 then prophesied as Jamaica’s “Obama moment” being sold as the...

Bold and decisive measures will be taken to reduce crime, says Jamaica PM

May 27, 2016
Bold and decisive measures will be taken to reduce crime, says Jamaica PM KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the government of Jamaica will be taking “bold and decisive” measures to significantly reduce crime and violence in the country, particularly against the most vulnerable. Among the measures to be implemented is a special...

Jamaica to strengthen co-operation with Cuba

May 27, 2016
Jamaica to strengthen co-operation with Cuba KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Jamaica is moving to strengthen co-operation with Cuba on key industries, such as agriculture and manufacturing, which can benefit both nations. Minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries, Karl Samuda, said Jamaica is seeking to learn from the...

Venezuela remains committed to PetroCaribe, says Maduro

May 24, 2016
Venezuela remains committed to PetroCaribe, says Maduro KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Despite facing severe economic challenges, the Venezuelan government has reiterated its commitment to maintaining its arrangements with the region under the PetroCaribe agreement. President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, along with a delegation...

Jamaica government to tackle visitor harassment

May 24, 2016
Jamaica government to tackle visitor harassment OCHO RIOS, Jamaica (JIS) -- Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says the government of Jamaica will be moving to deal with the issue of visitor harassment in the sector. Addressing attraction owners and other stakeholders at the Ocho Rios Cruise Ship Pier, on May 20, Bartlett said...

Scripps National Spelling Bee awaits Caribbean contestants with harder words

May 24, 2016
Scripps National Spelling Bee awaits Caribbean contestants with harder words WASHINGTON, USA -- This year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, from May 22 to 27, awaits Caribbean contestants from The Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands with longer rounds and harder words. And you should see the words they have this year!

Jamaica on course for IMF drawdown of US$80 million

May 23, 2016
Jamaica on course for IMF drawdown of US$80 million KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Jamaica is on course for a 12th drawdown, totalling US$80 million, from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The country has met all targets under the extended fund facility (EFF) for the December 2015 and March 2016 quarters, which were reviewed by the IMF.

Jamaica takes lead in regional telecoms talks

May 23, 2016
Jamaica takes lead in regional telecoms talks KINGSTON, Jamaica -- A multibillion-dollar telecommunications deal, touted as a significant growth opportunity for the Caribbean information and communication technology sector, has come under the scrutiny of the Jamaican government. Liberty Global announced the completion of its...

Commentary: Hang 'em or not?

May 23, 2016
Commentary: Hang 'em or not? Crime is ubiquitous, regardless of the basic system of government, pure democracy, absolutism, or oligarchical. Managing criminals remains a wedge issue, especially in countries that have automatic death penalty, as studies have shown. The ongoing struggles in a few dominant Caribbean islands.

CDB called on to adopt de-risking as central issue

May 20, 2016
CDB called on to adopt de-risking as central issue MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) general manager, Earl Jarrett, has told the board of governors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) that the time has come for the regional financial institution to play a leading role in crafting...

Royal family and Jamaican charity renounce ties to alleged Ponzi scheme operator

May 18, 2016
Royal family and Jamaican charity renounce ties to alleged Ponzi scheme operator BOSTON, USA -- Following the recent revelations that Mark Jones, who is accused of running a $10 million “Jamaica Bridge Loan Fund” Ponzi scheme, was for four years the treasurer and a director of well known Jamaican charity, the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ), of which the...

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