Chelsea left Spain with a 0-0 draw against Atletico Madrid in their first leg clash in the Champions League semi-final. Chelsea's defence repelled waves of attack from the Spanish side led by Diego Costa. Next week's second leg at Stamford Bridge will be crucial as both sides seek to claim a place in this year's final in Lisbon.
The Jamaican dollar gained slightly against the US benchmark at the close of trading on the foreign exchange market today. The American dollar slipped by $0.01 to close at an average of J$109.95 to US$1. In further trading the Canadian dollar slipped by $0.51 to end at J$99.32 to CAN$1, while the British pound jumped by a whopping $1.21 to finish at J$186.30 to £1.
The PNP in a press release today stated that it has taken note of the feedback across the society to some aspects of the revenue measures announced on April 17, 2014, by Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips. According to the PNP, the demand for additional information to clarify the likely impacts of these measures was answered earlier today at a Press Conference. At which time Minister Phillips made a statement and responded to questions posed by journalists. In his own words the Minister acknowledges that the press conference was “part of the process of providing additional information”. Three points made by Minister Phillips, were highlighted by the PNP which include:
1. A deviation from the Primary Surplus Target of 7.5% is not a credible option; 2. Accordingly additional Revenue raising measures were necessary; 3. The measures announced were the “least disruptive” of the options that were available. Minister Phillips also thanked the Jamaican people, especially public sector workers for the tremendous sacrifice they have made in the difficult but necessary process to reform the Jamaican Economy on which we are currently embarked. A copy of the press release can be viewed below.
Star Alliance member, Copa Airlines, which is set all to enter the Guyana market on July 11, began selling tickets a few days ago, which has led to lower airfares between Guyana and New York. However, airfares remain relatively high for peak season but at an all time low for non-peak. One way fares from New York to Guyana start at US$ 325. However, economy class out of Guyana for the entire July and August period are sold out and the cheapest one way to New York from Guyana is US$1,095 bringing the total to US$1,420 for a roundtrip according to Copa online booking. However, during the low season from the end of August to November, and from January to February 2015, an average roundtrip ticket costs about US$500.
An earth tremor was felt on St Kitts and other islands of the Eastern Caribbean at around 3:30pm on Saturday afternoon. According to the US Geological Survey, the epicenter of the tremor was located 23 miles east (37 km) of Saint-Barthélemy, and 49 miles (79km) NNE of Basseterre, St Kitts. The University of the West Indies Seismic Centre based in Trinidad confirmed that the earthquake occurred at 3:31pm local time on April 19, 2014, east of Anguilla. The event magnitude was 5.3 and was located at a depth of 18 miles (29 km). The tremor comes two months after the last reported earthquake in the Caribbean. Barbados has been rocked by a 6.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast of the island in February this year. No tsunami alert was issued then nor were there reports of injuries or fatalities. Tremors were also felt in St Lucia.
Regional technology experts will share their insights on global internet governance issues, from a Caribbean perspective, at an upcoming forum hosted by the University of the West Indies (UWI). Internet governance deals with the development of shared principles, policies and programmes that shape the use and evolution of the Internet. “In the global, multi-stakeholder internet governance model, the internet is seen as a borderless resource belonging to no single entity. Instead, it is managed by a global community of governments, corporations, technologists, academics, civil society and individual end users,” said Patrick Hosein, senior lecturer in the Department of Computing and Information Technology at UWI, St Augustine. Speakers at the forum will deliver interactive presentations and answer participants’ questions about internet governance. The ultimate aim is to strengthen the Caribbean presence in international fora where the future of the Internet is being determined.
Minister of finance and planning, Dr Peter Phillips, says Jamaica will continue to use a market determined exchange rate. “The Bank of Jamaica remains prepared to intervene in this market in order to reduce and eliminate those who would want to speculate on the exchange rate or disrupt the stability of the market,” he said, adding that the country’s nominal exchange rate does not determine whether the currency is weak or strong. The finance minister’s statement is in response to suggestions that the country adopt a fixed rate of exchange to curb the depreciation in the dollar. The minister made the remarks as he opened the 2014/15 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on April 17. He said the country must learn from the past, as rationing foreign currency and banning imports is ineffective.
A 22-year-old graduate of the University of Calgary who was about to enter its law school is accused of stabbing five people to death at a party, reports theCalgary Herald. The suspect in the city's worst mass murder has been identified as Matthew de Grood, the son of a veteran Calgary police officer. Authorities say the assailant arrived as an invited guest to the party last night, grabbed a large knife from the house, and began attacking his victims individually. Killed were four men and a woman, all in their 20s. Two of the victims were members of a local funk-rock group called Zackariah and the Prophets. De Grood was apprehended a few blocks from the house. A motive for the attacks have not been established
The one-year anniversary of the Boston bombings isn't passing without a police scare. Authorities say they have taken a man into custody over two backpacks found near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, where two pressure-cooker bombs exploded a year ago. One backpack contained a rice cooker, and the man has been charged with disorderly conduct and possession of a hoax device. Police detonated one bag about 9pm and the second about 40 minutes later, reports the Globe. Police haven't released the man's identity or said what was in the second backpack
Petrojam has announced a 68¢ increase in gasolene prices effective tomorrow. A litre of E10-87 gasolene is to sell for $125.76, while E10-90 is to sell for $127.41. Meanwhile, a litre of automotive diesel oil is to sell for $126.99 following an increase of 57¢. A litre of propane cooking gas will go up by 23¢ and sell for $55.21. The prices of kerosene and butane are also to go up. A litre of kerosene is to go up by 58¢ and will sell for $127.80. Butane will move up by 10¢ to sell for $59.53 per litre. Retailers will add their mark-ups to the announced prices.
Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell has announced that Energy World International (EWI) has been granted a licence to supply electric power to the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS). Paulwell says that the Licence which was finalized and issued on April 4, 2014 was amended and restated on April 14, 2014 to provide for some negotiated changes as well as to include a draft Implementation Agreement between the Government of Jamaica and EWI. The agreement outlines the commitments of both parties to employ best efforts to ensure the success the project. Paulwell says the 381MW natural gas-fired power project is a game changer and among the first steps towards reducing the price for electricity to the productive sectors and the wider Jamaican population.
The Government says it is in the process of developing new services, initiatives and programmes to address issues affecting various sections of the youth population including Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) individuals. Youth Minister Lisa Hanna made the announcement while speaking yesterday morning at the Panos Caribbean Stakeholder Conference. She says new targeted intervention is necessary, if the Government is to adequately and effectively address the challenges, concerns and needs of the different types of youth her ministry serves. Some of the other groups include Men who have sex with Men (MSMs) and youth with sexual orientation and gender identity issues. Hanna explains that given the lack of data on LGBT youth, today's stakeholder consultation is timely as it will provide the youth ministry with a better understanding of what the issues are.
A 19-year-old Canadian became the first person to be arrested in relation to the Heartbleed security breach. Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes from London, Ontario was accused of hacking into the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA)'s website last Friday by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The RCMP say Mr Solis-Reyes then stole 900 social insurance numbers. In a separate development, UK parenting site Mumsnet has provided fresh details about how it fell victim to the bug. The site has published a post explaining how a hacker hijacked several accounts last week - including one belonging to Mumsnet's founder Justine Roberts - after exploiting the cryptology flaw to expose the owners' credentials.
Mystery surrounds the fate of more than 100 teenage girls who were abducted from a school in the remote north-east of Nigeria. The military says only eight of the 129 girls have escaped, but there is no independent confirmation of this. It is thought the Islamist militant group Boko Haram took the girls to a forest near the Cameroonian border. The group is waging a campaign for an Islamic state in the north of Nigeria. The militant group's name means "Western education is forbidden" in the local Hausa language. Also on Wednesday, 18 people were killed in an attack in the Gwoza district of north-eastern Nigeria
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.
Sports Corner as the name suggests is a commentary of my views on the World of Sports. It captures unique angles of sports that mainstream media and even other seasoned commentators fail to look at. Its about getting people to really understand new and old issues in the sporting arena. Critical and controversial while addressing the facts, that is Sports Corner.
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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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