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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the Week ending February 06, 2004

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THIS WEEK’S NEWS SUMMARY
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LOWER RATINGS FROM STANDARD AND POOR –06/02/04
Standard and Poor has downgraded Jamaica’s economic ratings from a B Plus to B. the U.S rating agency downgraded the country’s debt and its economic outlook from stable to negative. The Finance Minister, Dr. Omar Davies said he was surprised at the downgrade especially after the country’s successful re-entry into the international debt market growth in the economy and lower interest rate…

EDUCATION TASK FORCE NAMED
The Prime Minister has named his 14-member task force to complexly revamp the Jamaican education system. The team is expected to use a ten point terms of reference, which he expects to begin yielding results, come next school term. The principal for University of Technology heads the team along with members representing the Opposition Labour Party and other stakeholders…

UNITED STATES/JAMAICA NEW SHIPRIDER AGREEMENT – 05/02/04
The United States and Jamaica has signed a new Shiprider Agreement to improve on both countries’ efforts to combat drug trafficking. Security Minister Peter Phillips and US Ambassador to Jamaica Sue Cobb, will sign a protocol to the 1997 US-Jamaica Maritime Counter Narcotics Cooperation Agreement, also known as the Shiprider Agreement…

ST. JAMES INNER-CITY STILL WAITING FOR HELP
Residence of Canterbury in St. James is still waiting for assistance to develop the inner-city community where last October’s gun battle left three gunmen dead and two cops hospitalised. Fears are being expressed that if some of the promised assistance such as training for the youths is not fulfilled soon, they will once again experience the same level of violence as last year…

PENSION SCHEMES BACK IN THE LIMELIGHT – 04/02/04
Come April 2004, all pension schemes in operation will have to face more stringent licensing and registration requirements. As part of the restructuring, pension funds will become mobile transferring along with their owners to new employment and will also have a defined vesting period. Finance minister Dr. Omar Davies is pushing for portable pension and vesting…

FARM WORKERS BANNED FROM OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT
Five farm workers have been caught with drugs causing a three-year ban on residence from their community. The first casualties in the labour ministry’s tough new measures to prevent a repeat of Monday’s incident. As a result, residents of Rock River, in Central Clarendon, will not be allowed to participate in the overseas employment programme over the next three years…

OVERSEAS STUDENTS FOR WORK EXPERIENCE IN JAMAICA – 03/02/04
Canadian students studying Early Childhood Education are in Jamaica to gain work experience in several basic schools in Western Jamaica. The group of students will stay for one month gaining teaching practice in a number of schools. This is the third year that overseas students have visited Jamaica for work experience in teaching practice…

MULLINGS SAYS JAMAICA WILL CONTINUE FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY
Ambassador to Jamaica, Seymour Mullings says Jamaica will continue its fight against poverty on the OAS agenda. Mr. Mullings cited that the most critical task facing the hemisphere is poverty and that would be the focus of Jamaica’s permanent mission to the OAS this year…

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SPORTS
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TWO-DAY GLOBE INSURANCE/ROYAL JAMAICA YACHT CLUB INVITATIONAL EVENT – 06/02/04
The Jamaica Yacht Club two-day invitational event begins today with the entry of 25 boats this year’s tournament, is expected to be a Wahoo, Dolphin and Tuna season says David Moss and he attributes this to the turbulent weather that the two-day fishing tournament is expected to experience…

T & T/JAMAICA FOOTBALL UNION OLYMPIC DREAM OVER – 06/2/04
The two Caribbean Football Union (CFU) teams were booted out of the competition when they crumpled to 4-0 defeats at the hands of Costa Rica and Mexico respectively, in Group B matches. The results left the two CFU teams pointless after two matches and sent the two Central American teams into the
semi-finals with six points, with all having a match remaining in the group stages…

Mexico stops Jamaica U23 in Olympic Qualifying Feb 5
Report by Lincoln
4 goals from Mexico erased any hopes for the Jamaican U23 football team in their regional Olympic qualifying in Mexico. The first goal came by way of a penalty. The second goal was the normal mental lapse exhibited by Jamaican players…. Mexicans played a quick one two .One of the central defenders
was caught flat-footed McCullum came out to cut down the angle. The Mexican blasted a shot on the underside of the crossbar. A Jamaican defender tried to clear it off the line and the advancing Mexican attacker kicks it in the roof. 3rd goal was a mess. The keeper rolled the ball to the right back at
the six-yard box. The ball was just played up the flank by a player exhibiting as much energy as if he was just waking up. Ball intercepted…. was in the back of the net in seconds. McCullum did not stand a chance!!!

Costa Rica Defeats U23 In Olympic Qualifier Feb 3
GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP):
ROY MYRIE scored two quick goals midway through the second half to ignite Costa Rica to a 3-0 victory over Jamaica yesterday in the opening of regional Olympic qualifying. Mexico was playing Trinidad and Tobago in the other game of the night at Jalisco Stadium in Mexico’s second-largest city. A stumble by Jamaica’s Simeon Howell left Myrie unguarded about 15 metres (yards) out from the Jamaican goal and he knocked a shot past goalkeeper Richard McCallum 68 minutes into the game. Five minutes later, against a deteriorating Jamaican defence, Myrie scored off a pass inside the goal box. After a sloppy, foul-plagued start, both Costa Rica and Jamaica started to mount threats around half time – but the Central Americans steadily asserted dominance. Costa Rica began to find routes through Jamaica’s defensive wall – paths that began to look like highways, as the Caribbean team seemed to tire at the same time it shifted to a more offensive style in an effort to catch up. Costa Rica scored a final goal in stoppage time as Alvaro Saborio fired a shot that bounced off McCallum to Leonardo Araya, who blasted the ball home…

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Written by Staff Writer