Confirmed: 24 killed after ferry sinks off Zanzibar coast





24 people have died after a ferry carrying 280 passengers and crew sank near the island of Zanzibar earlier today. Officials stated that 145 persons were rescued, however many more are still missing. The Navy said the boat got into difficulties due to strong winds after it left the city of Dar-es-Salaam.



  
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JPS customers to see nearly 7% decrease in April bills

Jamaica Public Service Company customers are set to benefit from a 6.85 percent decrease in their electricity bills when compared to March. According to a release from the JPS, this is as a result from the Fuel and Independent Power Products (IPP) charge decreased from $28.83 last month to $24.38 in April. As a result, the overall impact on the bill of a typical residential customer using 165 kilowatt hours per month, will see the bill moving from $7,071.57 for March, to $6,586.80 for April – a decline of $484.77. The JPS, said Electricity bills are impacted on a monthly basis by the cost of fuel and the movement of the Jamaican dollar.
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Jamaica frees inmates for Easter

Twenty-one inmates were released from pri­sons across Jamaica, just in time for the Easter holidays. Their release was secured by Food for the Poor Jamaica, a local cha­rity that paid outstan­ding fines. Those released were classified as non-violent offenders who were ser­ving time for misdemea­nours like traffic vio­­lations and praedial larceny. Administrator of Food for the Poor’s pri­son ministry Sandra Ramsey urged those released to show their gra­titude by not returning and seek to resolve their differences without fighting. Every year during the Easter and Christmas holidays, Food for the Poor, through its prison ministry, pays the fine for selected persons across the Caribbean who are serving time for non-violent offences.
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Gov't outlines measures to raise $6.7 billion for budget

The Government has proposed new revenue measures expected to raise the $6.7 billion needed to fully finance the 2014/15 budget. This was disclosed by Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Peter Phillips, as he opened the 2014/15 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on April 17. He noted that the $540.1 billion budget is being funded from projected revenues and grants of $421.2 billion, leaving a financing gap of $118.9 billion.Dr. Phillips pointed out that the $6.7 billion must come from the introduction ofnew taxes, which no administration likes to do, but “is required to allow us to meet our primary surplus target.” One of the new revenue measures, expected to yield $844 million, is changes to the taxation of alcoholic beverages to provide for one unified specific rate per litre of pure alcohol on all alcoholic beverages. This will become effective on April 22, 2014.
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Renewed violence erupts in Venezuela

Violence erupted again over the weekend in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas between police and opponents of President Nicolas Maduro. Police responded with tear gas and water cannon to Molotov cocktails thrown by demonstrators. Masked protesters burned effigies of Maduro after a rally called "Resurrection of Democracy". Some 41 people have died in the violent protests since February and hundreds have been arrested. Many of the protesters say they will not stop until Maduro resigns.
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Former Caribbean politician calls for church to be more active

The church’s role in society goes beyond the spiritual, but also addressing social ills from the pulpit and in communities, according to Joan Purcell, former president of the senate in Grenada and author of the book A Vision For Change. Purcell, a proponent of the coexistence of the church and state, said the church in the Caribbean has failed to fulfill its social obligation to the community. She was speaking on a radio programme in St. Kitts.
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Personal Income Tax threshold to be increased

Finance and Planning Minister Dr. Peter Phillips last week announced that the Personal Income Tax threshold will be officially increased on January 1, 2015. According to Minister Phillips, this will be increased from $507,312 to $557,232, an increase of $49,920. The Finance Minister stated that this will result in an additional 13,000 persons being removed from the list who are required to pay tax under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, and the government will be giving up $650 million in revenue to facilitate the change.
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Hellshire gets Police Station

Minister of National Security Peter Bunting, officially opened a new police station in the community of Hellshire in South St. Catherine. The Hellshire Police Station according to the JIS, is placed at that strategic location to enable the police to conduct proximity and community policing, specifically on foot, which will bring them in direct and closer contact with residents.
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Professor Mervyn Morris appointed Poet Laureate

Distinguished academic, Professor Emeritus, Mervyn Morris, of the University of the West Indies (UWI), has been appointed to serve as Jamaica’s first official Poet Laureate, over the next three years. The Poet Laureate is a national honour that recognizes a distinguished Jamaican poet for his or her significant contribution to the literary community. Professor Morris’ role will entail playing a proactive and integral part in promoting Jamaican poetry as an art form that portrays the country’s cultural heritage, as also a medium for entertainment, by stimulating a greater appreciation of poetry, writing poems for national occasions, and preserving and disseminating the country’s cultural heritage, through prose. His appointment and scheduled engagements during his tenure form part of the Poet Laureate Programme, which has been re-established by the Government, and is being funded over the three-year period by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) at a cost of $3.4 million. Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, will present Professor Morris with the official Badge of Office, during an investiture ceremony, scheduled for King’s House on May 21.
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Productivity Centre takes message to students

The Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC) has taken its message to schools, with the provision of training designed to increase the productivity levels of students. A two-day training session was held in February under a pilot initiative: ‘Productivity Improvement in Schools’. Students and teachers from various schools were exposed to productivity improvement methods, aimed at increasing awareness about the importance of continuous improvement and application of their improvement plans. Executive Director of the JPC, Dr. Charles Douglas, emphasized the need for children to be actively involved in the productivity improvement initiative. The participants are expected to use the knowledge gained to implement low cost improvement initiatives that will benefit their respective schools.
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Inner-City youth receive call centre training under JEEP

Forty-five youth, mainly from inner-city communities, have been trained and certified as call centre operators, under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP). The training was done over four weeks at the University of the West Indies Open Campus, with resources from JEEP, in collaboration with the HEART Trust /NTA. Beneficiary, Annakay Williams said the job readiness initiative has enabled the group to now make their mark. “We can stand proudly to say that we have the opportunity to go out there…and we promise to continue being professionals. We are planning to take this knowledge that we have received into the world of work,” she stated at a closing ceremony held on Friday, April 11, at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s downtown Kingston offices.
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New York police disband Muslim 'eavesdropping' unit

The New York Police Department has disbanded a secret programme designed to eavesdrop on Muslims to identify potential terrorism threats. The Demographics Unit had dispatched plainclothes detectives to listen to conversations and build files on places frequented by Muslims, US media say. The squad had been the subject of two federal lawsuits in the past, and drew ire from civil rights groups. It is also said to have sowed Muslim mistrust for law enforcement. "This reform is a critical step forward in easing tensions between the police and the communities they serve, so that our cops and our citizens can help one another go after the real bad guys," the office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote in a statement.
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Birth of 'new Saturn moon' witnessed

Birth of 'new Saturn moon' witnessed
Scientists say they have discovered what could be the birth of a new moon in the rings of Saturn. Informally named Peggy, the object would become the 63rd moon in Saturn's orbit if confirmed. The evidence comes from a black-and-white image of the outermost ring captured by the Cassini spacecraft. "Witnessing the birth of a tiny moon is an exciting, unexpected event," said Linda Spilker of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Scientists noticed a bump or distortion on the edge of the ring which they believe indicates the presence of some kind of object. It is estimated that Peggy may be about half a mile in diameter and it is almost certainly made of ice. Lead scientist Prof Carl Murray of Queen Mary University of London said that this was the first time this kind of observation had been made.
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Pistorius trial: Reeva Steenkamp shot in 'rapid fire'

Pistorius trial: Reeva Steenkamp shot in 'rapid fire'
The girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius was shot in quick succession as she fell down, a forensics expert has told the South African athlete's murder trial. This differs from a police ballistics witness who said there was short break between the first and second shots. Mr Pistorius denies intentionally killing Ms Steenkamp in early hours of Valentine's Day last year. He says he fired rapidly in fear through the toilet door after he mistook Ms Steenkamp for an intruder. The prosecution says the 29-year-old model and law graduate was deliberately killed after the couple had an argument. The double amputee Olympic and Paralympic athlete faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder. The trial has been adjourned until Thursday, which will be the last day before a break; proceedings will resume on Monday 5 May.
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Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked

Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked
The fingerprint sensor on Samsung's Galaxy S5 handset has been hacked less than a week after the device went on sale. Berlin-based Security Research Labs fooled the equipment using a mould it had previously created to spoof the sensor on Apple's iPhone 5S. The researchers said they were concerned that thieves could exploit the flaw in Samsung's device to trigger money transfers via PayPal. The payments firm played down the risk. "While we take the findings from Security Research Labs [SRL] very seriously, we are still confident that fingerprint authentication offers an easier and more secure way to pay on mobile devices than passwords or credit cards," it said. It added that even if users were hacked it would cover their losses.
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Jamaica Mad to Raas!

Image courtesy of  www.ridoutphoto.com
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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Successful Asian Leader says former Jamaican PM – “Ruinous”

Successful Asian Leader says former Jamaican PM – “Ruinous”
"(Jamaican) professionals felt they had no future"
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Controversy in London

The 30th Olympiad is very much underway and of course with big Games come big controversies. I have highlighted just a few of the notables below.
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9.63s - Asafa's Pain

  9.63s was the time that flashed on the clock inside the stadium in London. Less than 10s after the starter fired the gun, the Men’s
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Will Usain's 'Mobot' Pose After Winning the 4x100m Relay At The London 2012 Olympics Cost Him?

Trademarking a Pose, Can you? - Image and Branding The famous Mobot Pose - In honour of Mo Farah One of the biggest issues in the world
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J$3 Million Phone Bill for Government Minister ?

J$3 Million Phone Bill for Government Minister ?
A Cabinet Minister racked up an over JA$3 million cellular phone bill with taxpayers having to pony up the cash soon. The massive bill was
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"24 Things I wished I knew before getting pregnant"

So, I’m browsing the internet minding my own business when I stumbled upon new research which shows that women lose 90% of their eggs at
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