News

Ombudsman ready to mediate between Portia, Andrew

Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown (left) hands over a copy of Jamaica’s political code of conduct to head of the Accompong Maroons, Colonel Ferron Williams. (File Photo)

POLITICAL Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown says she stands ready to be a mediator to resolve the tension between Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Opposition Leader Andrew Holness who have threatened each other with lawsuits in recent days. Parchment Brown made the declaration at Emancipation ... Read More

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller is greeted by Opposition Leader Andrew Holness at yesterday’s signing of the political code of conduct at Emancipation Park in Kingston. Also pictured is Acting Custos Rotulorum for the Parish of St Andrew, Lt Cdr John McFarlane. PNP ducks debate
THERE is now great uncertainty over the much-anticpated political debates after the ruling People&rs ... Read More

The PNP’s St Catherine Eastern candidate Denise Daley displays her copy of the political code of conduct while Custos of St Catherine Jeffrey McKenzie (centre) hands a copy to Daley’s JLP challenger Dwight Peccoo. Some St Catherine candidates shun political code signing
Only 12 of the 22 candidates from both the ruling People’s National Party (PNP) and Opposition ... Read More

Holness defends JLP tax plan
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) says that its proposal to move the income tax threshold up to $1.5 mi ... Read More

Phillips maintains oil hedge insurance is money well spent

BY KIMONE THOMPSON Associate editor — features thompsonk@jamaicaobserver.com | Friday, February 12, 2016    

The price of a barrel of oil has tumbled significantly over the past year.

GOVERNMENT spent US$27 million to insure against fluctuating oil prices on the world market in the past year, an amount which has protected the country from potential losses of US$600 million, Finance Minister Peter Phillips has said. The money was raised from a $7 per litre cess on the price of petrol, which was in addition to the ad valorem tax previously in place. The increase took effect last March. “We took the opportunity with the declining price of oil to do two things last year. ... Read More

‘It’s a blessing when you can die peacefully in Jamaica these days’

Friday, February 12, 2016    

The bodies of Lansil Gregory and his wife Corita were found at their home on Monday.

JAMAICANS have reacted angrily to the murder of Manchester couple – Lansil Gregory, 71, and his 74-year-old wife, Corita. The bodies of the Gregorys, who returned from the United States, were found at their home in Edinburgh on Monday. Here are some edited comments. citizen_for_justice Imagine people in their golden years return to their homeland and provide for others only to be brutally killed. SHAME! fatherforesight @citizen_for_justice: And we have BOTH [political parties] dragging their feet on ... Read More

Sagicor pumps balloon feature into Sigma Run

Friday, February 12, 2016    

Jamaican-born Hollywood actress Sheryle Lee Ralph enjoying the launch of this year’s Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run with five-year-old cancer survivor Rusheka Goodhall last month. Ralph is one of the patrons of this year’s event. which Sagicor hopes will raise $50 million for cancer treatment, especially among children. Part of the effort to raise that amount is a feature in which patrons are encouraged to purchase balloons, on which they will be able to place the names of persons who are either afflicted with cancer or who have lost their battle with the disease.

The 18th staging of Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run is incorporating a special element by inviting patrons to purchase ‘I Run For…’ balloons, in honour of persons affected by cancer and in memory of those who have lost their battle with the disease. “Given the theme of this year’s run, we wanted to find a meaningful initiative where our race participants could recognise friends and family members affected by the disease,” a company news release quotes Ingrid ... Read More

Food import bill down by 11.5 per cent

Friday, February 12, 2016    

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Derrick Kellier (2nd left) examines yam being shown to him by farmer Althea Pryce of the Thompson Town Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) branch. Occasion was a tour of display  booths at the 2016 Hague Agricultural and Livestock Show in Trelawny on Wednesday. Vice-president of the JAS Donald Berry (left) and president of the Trelawny JAS Wendell Stewart (partially hidden at second right) were also on the tour.

MINISTER of Agriculture and Fisheries Derrick Kellier says the country’s food import bill declined by 11.5 per cent last year, representing savings of $10.5 billion (US$88.7 million) over the corresponding period in 2014. He was speaking Wednesday at the 2016 Hague Agricultural and Livestock Show in Falmouth, Trelawny. Minister Kellier credited the decline to “deliberate strategies” to increase food production, including the agro-parks programme. “We have been able t ... Read More

Charges dropped against woman who nursed baby squirrels

Friday, February 12, 2016    

Charges dropped against woman
who nursed baby squirrels

NEW JERSEY, USA (AP) — Charges against a New Jersey woman who nursed two abandoned baby squirrels back to health have been dropped on a technicality. Maria Vaccarella, of Howell, had faced up to $500 in fines after she took in a pair of baby squirrels abandoned by their mother. Vaccarella used social media to document the rehab, which caught the attention of state Fish and Wildlife officials. She was charged with illegally being in possession of wildlife in July. NJ.com reported that a ... Read More

SLB now to charge interest on reducing balance

Friday, February 12, 2016    

THWAITES… collections have increased

EFFECTIVE April 1, the Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB) will be charging interest on the reducing loan balances for new and returning students. This will result in students paying 20 per cent less than they were previously charged. This was announced by Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites while highlighting the Government’s commitment and support to tertiary education, during the opening ceremony for the Jamaica Dental Association 52nd Annual Convention, at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel ... Read More

WHO: No travel restrictions for Zika

Friday, February 12, 2016    

The Aedes aegypti mosquito which carries the Zika virus.

THE World Health Organization (WHO) says it will not be issuing any travel restrictions related to the Zika virus. In a Twitter post Wednesday night, the WHO said women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant must decide the level of risk they wish to take with regards to the Zika virus and plan accordingly. “In particular, they should: Be informed about Zika and other mosquito-transmitted diseases; protect themselves from mosquito bites; consult their doctor or local health aut ... Read More

Labour Market Reform Commisison advances mandate

BY SHARI-ANN PALMER | Friday, February 12, 2016    

Chairman of the Labour Market Reform Commission, Dr Marshall Hall, makes a point during a recent interview with JIS News at the Planning Institute of Jamaica.

THE Labour Market Reform Commission (LMRC) says that the transformation of Jamaica’s labour market is imperative for the nation’s future. The 18-member committee, which was set up in April 2015, has been mandated to oversee the review of existing policies and practices with respect to five thematic areas of the labour market, and to make recommendations for their revision to modernise the labour market and enhance the economy’s competiveness. The thematic areas include educat ... Read More

OLAPS welcomes renovated computer lab

Friday, February 12, 2016    

(From left, standing) Patrick
Whittock, board member of Our
Lady of the Angels Preparatory;
Desron Graham, manager at
National Commercial Bank;
and Tamara Crooks, president
of the Our Lady of the Angels
Preparatory Home and School
Association, assist the school’s
head boy, Jaden Howell, and
head girl Janelle Williams as
they use two of the computers
installed in the renovated lab.
(Photo: Kimmo Matthews)

TEACHERS and students at Our Lady of the Angels Preparatory School (OLAPS) in St Andrew are heaping praise on parents and corporate Jamaica for their recent efforts to renovate and equip the school’s computer lab. The centre was officially reopened on Monday during a ceremony held on the grounds of the Molynes Road-based institution. Teachers said their dream for a well-equipped lab was realised when the National Commecial Bank Foundation, J Wray & Nephew, and MC Systems came to the ... Read More

UWI launches Regional Zika Task Force

Friday, February 12, 2016    

BECKLES... the rapid spread of the Zika virus poses serious regional challenges and as a regional university we have a duty and a responsibility to confront these challenges head-on

THE University of the West Indies (UWI) has launched a Regional UWI Zika Task Force that will leverage the university’s extensive public health capabilities and co-ordinate its efforts with regional governments and health ministries to combat the virus. Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles announced that Prof Clive Landis, deputy principal of UWI’s Cave Hill, Barbados campus, will chair the task force comprising eminent scholars, scientists and public health experts. Other ... Read More



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