THIS WEEKS NEWS SUMMARY
HURRICANE CHARLEY FARM DAMAGE ESTIMATE AT $65 – 8/16/2004
The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) indicated that based on their survey the damage to farms and crops by Hurricane Charley last week was estimated at $65 million. The agency added that figure could surpass $100 million once a full assessment is done. The preliminary estimates from the survey shows that about 750 farmers and 600 hectares of crops were damaged by the Hurricane Charley.
MAYOR WANTS TROOPS – 8/16/2004
Spanish Town Mayor, Dr. Raymoth Notice, has called for a military intervention in the town, as at least 12 persons were murdered in four days. Renewed fighting began after the burial of “One Order” gang leader Oliver ‘Bubba’ Smith. The town has been plagued by crime since February. He has expressed to the media that he will resign if the central government fails to act decisively to address the problem within a year.
JTA REJECT GOVERNMENT PROPOSAL – 8/16/2004
This week The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) rejected a proposal by a government appointed task force to link teachers’ pay to their performance. They have mobilized their delegates to protest this action if the government proceeds to implement the recommendation. The association has rejected similar proposals in the past but has been willing to endorse the idea to introduce a performance evaluation instrument, which could assist in weeding out non-performing teachers.
JAMAICA GET POSITIVE REVIEW FROM IMF – 8/17/2004
In the publicly released Article IV Consultation with the Jamaican Government the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave a positive review of the Jamaican economy. The document was released on August 16, 2004. In the review, the IMF said, “the authorities have succeeded over the past year in stabilizing the economy and restoring market confidence”. The IMF has also called on the Jamaican government to introduce tighter prudential regulations for the securities industry; rules which they says are necessary given the interest rate and liquidity risks faced by the sector.
ECONOMY GROWTH 3.3% – 08/17/2004
Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wesley Hughes, at the PIOJ’s quarterly press briefing stated that the first quarter of the financial year (April to June 2004), the economy maintained growth momentum. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the period grew by an estimated 3.3 %, relative to the corresponding period for 2003. The resilience in tourism and manufacturing outweighed the decline in financial services and agriculture to help the economy stage the 3.3 % growth.
JAMAICA’S PROGRESS IMPEDED BY MISTRUST – 08/18/2004
The outgoing United Nations Development (UNDP) representative to Jamaica, Gillian Lindsay-Naton, addressing the audience at a send-off function at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Monday night, said the lack of the public’s trust in important national undertakings was impeding Jamaica’s progress.
EUROPEAN TOURISM INCREASE – 08/18/2004
Jamaica’s European tourism market continues to grow according to recent Jamaica Tourist Board data. So far this year the United Kingdom with 14,215 visitors is up by 10 %; Spain with 1,894 visitors is by 129% and Italy with 1,257 visitors is up by 72 %.
NEW SUP FOR SPANISH TOWN POLICE – 08/18/2004
Effective August 18th, Superintendent Wrenford Robinson will replace Senior Superintendent Clifford Blake, who has been the commanding officer for the Spanish Town police division over the past three years. There are also reports that there will be a deployment of additional Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldiers to assist with bring the crime in the area under control.
NHF DONATION TO IMMUNIZATION DRIVE – 08/18/2004
This week the National Health Fund (NHF) made a donation of supplies to the Ministry of Health to support their annual ‘Back to School Immunization’ campaign. The donation included 60 new igloos to store vaccines and 10,000 pens and 20,000 pencils as promotional items for children who receive vaccination during the one-week immunization drive.
BUSINESS INCUBATION CENTRE – 08/18/2004
As part of the effort to increase youth employment and reduce crime & violence the Ministry of National Security is seeking to set up business incubation centre that would encourage and support entrepreneurship among young people. The announcement was made this week by Senator Kern Spencer, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, at the opening of the second annual ‘Challengers Camp’ at the Denbigh 4-H Training Centre in Clarendon. He said that discussions were underway between the police and corporate Jamaica for the establishment of a trust fund to finance the development of the facility.
APPEAL IMPLEMENT NEW CURRICULUM – 08/19/2004
Education Minister Maxine Henry-Wilson, addressing more than 200 delegates at the 40th anniversary of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association in Ocho Rios, implored educators at the primary level to establish the required committee to ensure the proper implementation of the new curriculum in their institutions.
HOTEL WORKERS BEING SENT HOME – 08/19/2004
Hurricane Charley has resulted in the early return of 180 Jamaican hotel workers from Florida to Jamaica as there was serious damage to the two hotels where they were employed. The workers were currently being housed in A shelter in the area and would back in Jamaica within a week.
PRESIDENT FOR CCJ SWORN IN – 08/19/2004
This week Michael de La Bastide was sworn in as President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) which is scheduled to come into effect later this year. The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will replace the London-based Privy Council as the final court of appeal for member-states of CARICOM, the region grouping.
1.9% INFLATION – 08/19/2004
Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) Governor, Derick Latibeaudiere, speaking this week at the quarterly press briefing at the BoJ’s headquarters downtown Kingston reported that inflation stood at 1.9 %, down from 6.0 in the corresponding 2003-quarter and lower than the 2.6 % projected for the period. It was the lowest inflation outturn for a June quarter in the past six years. He also expressed optimism that the trend would continue for the rest of the fiscal year.
JAMAICA, GREECE RELATIONS STRENGTHEN – 8/20/2004
Jamaica’s Consul General to Greece, Vasilios Argyros, this week stated that a number of negotiations were presently underway to strengthen relations between the two countries. Those negotiations include the signing of a trade agreement that would eliminate double taxation between the two countries and bring Greek investors to Jamaica.
BUTCH PRAISES GOV’T FOR HIGHWAY 2000 – 8/20/2004
Chairman of Sandals Gordon “Butch” Stewart praised the Jamaican government on its vision to construct the North Coast Highway in his speech at the Eighth Annual Sandals Community Scholarship Awards at Sandals Montego Bay. He said that the highway has provided “the capturing of the country’s scenic beauty” to Jamaicans and visitors alike.
BEECHER TOWN TO MILFORD ROADS TO BE REHABILITATED – 8/20/2004
The rehabilitation of the Beecher Town to Milford main roads near Ocho Rios in St. Ann will begin in 2 weeks as the government signed a contract valued at $41 million this week. The six month contract was awarded to Quality Engineering & Construction Company Limited, located in St. Mary. They will work under the supervision of the National Works Agency (NWA).
SWIMMER ALIA ATKINSON SETS PERSONAL BEST – 8/16/2004
Jamaican teenage swimmer, Alia Atkinson set a personal best 1: 12.53 seconds in the 100m breaststroke but the time was not enough to qualify for the semi-final round. She finished 32nd of 48 overall in the event.
JAMAICA IN UNDER 19 CRICKET FINAL – 8/18/2004
Jamaica beat Trinidad and Tobago to reach the final of the TCL Group West Indies Under-19 three-day championship. Final scores in the semi-final: Jamaica 119 and 295 for seven declared; Trinidad and Tobago 152 and 146. They will play Barbados who beat Guyana in the other semifinal match.
USA SURVIVE A DOMINANT JAMAICA WITH 1-1 TIE – 8/19/2004
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz could have tasted victory over the United States in their CONCACAF Zone of the World Cup qualifiers last night at the National Stadium. The Boyz looked the better team all night and took the lead over their North American neighbors following an Ian Goodison’s goal in the 49th minute. The goal came from a corner taken by Williams and headed in by Goodison beating a diving Kasey Keller into the far corner. In the 67th minute, Marlon King was replaced by Ricardo Fuller and the USA introduction veteran, Cobi Jones who made a difference to the USA attack. In the 77 minute Jamaica could have gone two goals up when Fuller displayed his magic by evading Frankie Hejduk and crossing to Damani Ralph who sidefooted just inches from the USA goal. With two minutes to go, Jones moved swiftly down the right wing and crossed for Donovan who slipped to Ching who blasted over the advancing Ricketts into the roof of the net to give the USA a very lucky tie. It was a painful draw for the Jamaica team as they dominated the match.
VERONICA CAMPBELL WINS JAMAICA’S FIRST MEDAL – 8/21/2004
Sprinter Veronica Campbell, came away with the bronze in the in the 100m sprint final held at the Athens Olympic Stadium. It is Jamaica’s first medal of the 2004 Olympic Games. Belarus’ Yuliya won the gold in a time of 10.93 seconds and the US Lauryn Williams took the silver. Jamaica’s Aleen Bailey and Sherone Simpson were fifth and sixth.
JAMAICA WINS U-19 CRICKET CROWN – 8/21/2004
Jamaica beat Barbados to win the 2004 TCL Group West Indies Under-19 three-day cricket champions held as Sabina Park. Final scores: Jamaica 300 and 124 for six; Barbados 240.
WHITEWASH FOR WI – 8/21/2004
The West Indies lost the 4th and final test match in the series to England at the Oval. It was a disappointing show by the West Indies in the 18th tour of England. Final score: England 470 and one without loss, West Indies 152 and 318.
POWELL FINISHED FIFTH – 8/22/2004
Asafa Powell the favorite to win the 100m had a disappointing start and finished 5th in the final. The gold medal went to American Justin Gatlin. It was on of the fastest 100 m race in Olympic history with the top 5 finishing below 10 seconds. Results: First Place American Justin Gatlin, 9.85; Second Place Portugal’s Francis Obikwelu 9.86; Third Place American Maurice Greene 9.87; Fourth Place American Shawn Crawford was fourth in 9.87; Fifth Place Asafa Powell 9.94.
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