Jamaica is being commended by the United States-based Social Progress Imperative for significant achievement in the area of Access to Information and Communication. In its recent publication, Jamaica outperformed the United States with a score of 82.07 per cent in the category. The United States scored 81.33 per cent. Social Progress Imperative also lauded the country’s performance in three basic areas of human well-being on the entity’s Social Progress Index (SPI) – Basic Human Needs; Foundations of Wellbeing; and Opportunity – which saw the island recording a cumulative 70.39 per cent score. A breakdown of the data provided by the SPI shows that Jamaica recorded a score of 76.34 per cent in the areas of foundations of wellbeing; 69.23 per cent for basic human needs; and 65.6 per cent for opportunity. The Social Progress Index offers a framework for measuring the multiple dimensions of social progress, benchmarking success, and catalysing human wellbeing. The Social Progress Imperative, which includes the Social Progress Network (SPN) and Index, was incorporated as a non-profit organisation in the US in 2012. This year’s publication of the SPI marks the second occasion on which this activity is being undertaken.
The Ministry of Youth and Culture, on Wednesday, April 23, signed a contract valued at approximately $40 million, for the construction of a Youth Information Centre (YIC) in Hanover. When completed, the centre, to be located at Watson Taylor Park in Lucea, will be the 11th built across the island to provide a space where young people can go to access information on issues affecting them, use the computers, complete their assignments, get training, or just to ‘hang out’ and be comfortable with their peers. It will have office spaces, a cyber café, resource area, meeting rooms, a multi-purpose room, a stage for the performing arts, and an all-purpose court, among other amenities. The complex will be built by D.R. Foote Construction Company Limited, with the National Works Agency (NWA) managing the project. Addressing the signing ceremony at the Ministry, in Kingston, Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, thanked the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for providing the funds committed to the project.
As the Government moves to intensify its anti-praedial larceny thrust, a national animal identification and traceability system, which entails tagging cattle, is to be rolled out by the second quarter of this year. Making the announcement during his contribution to the 2014/15 Budget Debate in the House, on Wednesday, April 23, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, stressed that the most potent weapon against praedial larceny “is a foolproof traceability system”, which has the additional benefit of facilitating and enhancing trade in agriculture and food safety. Clarke informed that a praedial larceny unit is to be set up within the Ministry, noting that the necessary job descriptions have been formulated and dispatched to the Cabinet Office, so that these posts can be established and filled quickly. The Minister further noted that the Commissioner of Police is also putting in place a dedicated unit within the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), “to provide the concentrated focus required to deal with this matter.”
Two Jamaicans held with over 60 pounds of Ganja were yesterday remanded into custody when they appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates Court in Guyana. 31-year-old hairdresser Tamara Nicole Douglas of a Portland address, and 27-year-old vendor Benjamin Isiah Carrington of a Kingston address, were both nabbed on Monday at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. Douglas is accused of having 26.88 pounds of Ganja in her possession when she was held, while Carrington is alleged to have been carrying 33.84 pounds, both for the purposes of trafficking. The Jamaicans entered not guilty pleas, and each applied for bail. Attorneys for the Jamaicans requested that the presiding Judge consider their bail applications as they contend no substances were found on them, however this was countered by Inspector Michael Grant who stated that the Jamaicans confessed in writing to trafficking Ganja, and they were the ones who packed their suitcases without any aid. The Judge sided with the prosecution and denied the Jamaicans bail. Both were remanded into custody and will appear in court on May 28.
At a Regional Consultation meeting held in Guyana, an agreement was reached among CARICOM members for steps to be taken to eliminate stigma and discrimination, one of which includes a commitment to repealing laws criminalising sexual acts between people of the same sex. This agreement was reached after two days of dialogue with over 75 delegates representing Caribbean countries, regional institutions and development partners of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP). Key elements of a Declaration to be presented to CARICOM Heads of Government and other Caribbean leaders for their consent were agreed on. Among the elements are eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV; strengthening laws to drastically reducing domestic violence; prohibiting discrimination against persons with disability, for their HIV status and sexual orientation in the work place by 2015.
Contracts amounting to $620 million are to go before Cabinet for its approval, to provide for the installation of critical infrastructure in the agro parks across the island. Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, said the funds will be spent on installing drainage, roads and a packing house in New Forest/Duff House; a comprehensive irrigation scheme to service over 1,214 hectares (3,000 acres) of land in Spring Plain and Ebony Park, as well as drainage works, roadways, drainage and a packing house in Yallahs. “When this infrastructure would have been installed, there will be a massive increase in production,” Mr. Clarke said. The Minister was making his contribution to the 2014/15 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on April 23.
A businesswoman allegedly shot and killed an armed man who attempted to rob her in a section of Nain, St. Elizabeth yesterday. Reports are that, the woman was about to close her business establishment when the lone gunman pounced on her. A struggle then ensued and she managed to disarm the accused robber. It is reported that she then shot him up to 15 times. The man died on the spot.
Aras Hussein a pizza delivery in Sheffield, England has been found guilty by a court for severing the head of his girlfriend 18-year-old student Reema Ramzan. Reports are that Hussein used a kitchen knife to decapitate Ramzan's head at his flat. Hussein pleaded not guilty to the act and stated the was defending himself, however a jury found him guilty of murder. The 21-year-old pizza delivery man was sentenced to life in prison at Sheffield Crown Court, and he will serve a minimum of 20 years before he is eligible for parole.
A preliminary magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck Mexico this morning, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The quake which struck Guerrero had a depth of 32.2 miles. There have been no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
A contract valued at approximately $16.76 million has been signed for the construction of 170 stalls at the Black River Market located in St. Elizabeth. According to the JIS, the project forms part of the Government's major redevelopment programme for markets across Jamaica. The project at the Black River Market is being financed by an allocation of $25 million from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), for the second phase of construction at the location.
On April 15, 2014, Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller officially opened the Marlie Hill Basic School in St. Catherine. The school constructed on the of the Primary School she attended was done at a cost of $24 million through the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports, and Education (CHASE) Fund.
A magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck 42 miles Southwest of Panguna, Papua New Guinea today. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the quake had a depth of 6.2 miles. A tsunami warning was issued for the area, however there have been no immediate reports of damage or injury.
Several online petitions have been launched calling for the rollback of taxes now imposed on the withdrawal of cash from local banks. "Repeal of Government Tax on Bank Withdrawals", "Jamaicans against New Bank Tax", and a petition calling on Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller to remove the current Finance Minister from his position, are some of the petitions launched online in recent days. On Thursday, Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips announced the raft of taxes in the 2014-15 Budget.
When did it come to this? Where do we begin to look for answers? Turns out that these are deep rooted psychological problems. And what the good Professor Hickling has concluded, might in fact be right. Jamaicans are mad people.
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his blog is inspired by the following qoutation; "I read my bible to know what people ought to do, and my newspapers to know what they are doing" - John Henry Newman. Essentially then, its a Christian blog by a writer who listens keenly to both God and man and seeks to influence what people ought to do by reporting what Jesus Christ is saying in the midst of current happenings worldwide - and not just in Jamaica. The blog has been ongoing now for over four years - every Sunday night - and has both an international and local flavor.
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