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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending May 19th, 2006

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THIS WEEK’S NEWS SUMMARY
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BRAVE ROBBERS STEAL LOTS OF CASH—5/13/2006
Five men robbed the Ocho Rios branch of Dehring, Bunting & Golding Ltd., yesterday. The men entered the building during the day and left with more than $15 million in national and foreign currency. According to police reports, the five men entered the bank pretending to be customers, approached the security guard and stole his firearm. The men then proceeded to strike the manager, forcing him to open the safe and took the money. The men are reported to have left the bank in a car driving towards Fern Gully when they collided with another vehicle. When the driver of that vehicle tried to follow the men, they shot at him. This robbery is still under investigation.

SUSPECTS IN COP SHOOTING STILL ON THE RUN—5/14/2006
It has been a year since three policemen were murdered in Kingston and the suspects are still at large. The three men have been identified by their aliases, Nunu Puss, Harry Dog and Itis of East Kingston, however they continue to elude police. These men are suspects in the murders of Corporal Hewitt Chandler, District Constable Canute Brown and Inspector Lascelles Walsh. According to reports, the three suspects are still believed to be in the Kingston area. The three policemen were killed within 9 hours of each other.

POVERTY NUMBERS ON THE DECLINE—5/15/2006
According to recent reports the high levels of poverty in Jamaica are declining. In a debate last month, Dr. Omar Davies reported a 2.1 percent reduction in overall poverty. This announcement came as Davies tabled the 2005 Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions. The survey was completed by the Planning Institute of Jamaica. Although a decline is being reported, some Jamaicans have their doubts. According to reports, many feel the Planning Institute did not talk to the right people and there are still so many people on the island living at or below the poverty level. The survey also concluded the recent reduction in the poverty level can be attributed to a continuous growth in economic activity.

MAYOR APOLOGIZES FOR BREACH—5/16/2006
Kingston Mayor Desmond McKenzie apologized yesterday for the way the awarding of contracts has been handled by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation and the Portmore Municipal Council. These apologies come after the Contractor General announced his findings stemming from a special investigation ordered by Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller. Simpson-Miller asked for the investigation when she was the Minister of Local Government. Other departments investigated included the Sports Development Foundation and Social Development Commission. The Mayor of Portmore, George Lee also apologized, however he emphasized these errors were genuine in nature and they were not trying to skirt around requirements.

ZEKES SENTENCING POSTPONED—5/17/2006
Security forces were called in for protection in front of the Supreme Court as Donald “Zekes” Phipps was to be sentenced. His sentencing was postponed, however to May 30. Phipps is awaiting sentencing after he was convicted in the murders of two people in the East Kingston in April 2005. The victims, Rodney Farquharson and Dayton Williams, had been shot and burned by Phipps. Attorneys for Phipps did not believe such a strong police presence was needed, including the call for a military zone staffed with an army tank. This is the second time sentencing for Phipps has been postponed.

JAMAICA ELECTED TO UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE—5/18/2006
Jamaica was one of six countries elected to the United Nations’ Peace Building Organizational Committee. Members of this new committee will serve a two year term and will be eligible to renew their position. However, the General Assembly came to the decision that Jamaica will serve a one-year term to start. The five additional new countries elected to the committee include Chile, El Salvador, Egypt, Burundi, Fiji and Croatia. This committee will focus on reconstruction, development and economic building.

VIOLENCE CONTINUES IN CENTRAL KINGSTON—5/2006
Although it seemed the violence had slowed down, hostile action is back on the rise. Recent reports show at least five people have been murdered in the last month, and several others have sustained injuries. Once such person is a three-year-old little girl struggling to survive after she was shot. The violence is spreading across the area. Tuesday night, 10-year-old Nicholas Williams died from multiple gun shot wounds. And just Sunday, 12-year-old Jerome Frankson was murdered in the same area.

EXTORTION RING SPREADING TO MANDEVILLE—5/19/2006
Extortion practices have spread through Kingston and are now terrorizing busmen in Mandeville. According to reports, these extortionists have already made a presence within the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region. The transportation system is filled, now, with criminals demanding money for protection and there are reports of bad cops who own wreckers towing away cars for money when nothing is wrong. These extortionists are demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars a day from local businessmen. Other towns, including Spanish Town, May Penn and Montego Bay are also dealing with extortion.

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SPORTS
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POWELL LEADS TEAM TO WIN—5/15/2006
Asafa Powell lead the Jamaican team to victory in the 4×100 relay at the Felix Sanchez Invitational on Saturday in the Dominican Republic. The relay team won the relay with a time of 38.73, just ahead of the United Sates and Dominican Republic. This win comes after Powell decided not to run in the 100m sprint. Just recently, the United States’ Justin Gatlin broke Powell’s 100m sprint record. Since the new record, Powell has promised to regain his world record run. According to Powell he is capable of running the sprint in just 9.60 seconds.

AVALANCHE TAKES WIN OVER HAWKS—5/16/2006
In Western Conference Basketball Association play, the Avalanche were able to defeat the Sav-la-mar Hawks Saturday night at the Montego Bay Cricket Club courts. The Avalanche started strong in the first quarter and never looked back. At the half, the Hawks were down 31-20. It was not till the third quarter that the Hawks began to play good ball, but in the end they could not catch the Avalanche and they were defeated 96-84. Adolph Erskine led the Avalanche with 33 points and 10 rebounds, while the Hawks were led by Maurice Rodriques with 19 points and 17 rebounds.

TEAMS LOOKING TO CLINCH SPOT IN NPL—5/17/2006
There are only two open spots in the Wray and Nephew National Premier League and four teams wanting a spot. Play-offs started today against Negril FC and Kingston and St. Andrew Football Club versus August Town. The Eastern Confederation winner, St. George United will head to Naggo Head for their game against the South Central Confederation winners. Of the four teams competing for these two spots, only St. George has ever played in the Premier League. Additionally, three of the four coaches do have Premier League experience.

REGGAE BOYZ GAME VS. ENGLAND SOLD OUT—5/18/2006
The international game against Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz and England is sold out according to reports. The game is scheduled to be played at Old Trafford. Additional reports indicate the Jamaican fans are urging for more tickets to be allocated. The game, to be played on June 3, currently has only 9,000 tickets allocated for Jamaican fans. The Chairman of the Jamaican Football Supporters Club in Europe would like an additional 20,000 tickets for the game released. Reports indicate tickets for this friendly match-up sold out in two days. This game is used to prepare for the World Cup finals. Jamaica is also scheduled to play Ghana on May 29.

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CREDITS/SOURCES
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The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.

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Written by Staff Writer