THIS WEEKS NEWS SUMMARY
35 HAITIANS REPRATIATED AS 221 AWAIT THEIR FATE – 5/07/05
Thirty-five Haitian refugees were repatriated with the assistance of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday after their cases for asylum were denied by an Appeals Tribunal, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Security announced. That brings to 299 the number of Haitians voluntarily repatriated since last March’s arrival of 511 Haitians that followed the ousting of former President Jean-Bertand Aristide. The Eligibility Tribunal has still to decide on the fate of some 211 refugees.
JAMAICAN DANCEHALL MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP WINS PRIZE – 5/09/05
Hip hop and British House influenced South African kwaito music emerged in the 90s with the election of Nelson Mandela, creating a mainstream audience for South Africa’s black musicians. It is fitting then that the first Rex Nettleford Prize in Cultural Studies funded by the Rhodes Trust and Mr. Mandela will be awarded to Dr. Sonjah Stanley-Niaah for her comparative studies of Jamaican dancehall music and South African kwaito music. The grant was established to further scholarship on South African culture conducted at the University of West Indies.
POLICE FEDERATION SEEKS 40 PERCENT WAGE HIKE – 5/9/05
In an all-night Sunday vigil for three police officers slain in separate incidences on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, members of the Police Federation were asked to honor their fallen comrades and decide their own fate. Corporal Raymond Wright, chairman of the Police Federation, presented delegates with the written response of Minister of Finance Dr. Omar Davies rejecting demands by the Police Federation that included a more than 40 percent wage increase, improved training and expanded health benefits. Wright threatened legal action against the government to meet the 24-point list of demands.
MPS ASKED TO NAME NAMES TO POLICE – 5/08/05
Just days following the killings of three police officers, suspected reprisals for the April 21 police shooting of the West Kingston so-called don Devon Smith, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mark Shields called for Members of Parliament to provide names of community members linked to organized crime. DPC Shields acknowledged the support of Opposition leader and West Kingston MP Bruce Golding, but other MPs have resisted, suggesting that it is improper to name names. Former Prime Ministers Michael Manley and Edward Seaga and current finance minister Omar Davies have been criticized in the past for attending the funerals of persons with close ties to organized crime.
MIDWIFERY SCHOOL GIVEN NEW LIFE – 5/09/05
The Spanish School of Midwifery reopened its doors on Thursday after a 26-year absence. The National Health Fund will distribute $374.4 million to the school over the next five years for equipment and training. The class of 21 students will contribute to efforts to address the nationwide shortage of midwives and to reduce the rate of complications at birth by 75 percent, stated Health Minister John Junor stated. Jamaica currently suffers from a 2.4 percent mortality rate.
TIDAL WAVE OF VIOLENCE PROVOKES GOVERNMENT – 5/10/05
Six-hundred Jamaicans dead since January from acts of violence, 34 last week alone: the Jamaican government will consider all options available to reign in an explosive murder rate — to include conferring police authority to army soldiers, Information Minister Burchell Whiteman said Monday. Speaking at a post-Cabinet press conference, Burchell underscored the importance of dismantling the island’s criminal hierarchy by any means necessary within Constitutional law. A similar measure, The Defence Act of 2002, which was to give soldiers authority to search private property and apprehend suspects, was defeated out of concerns raised by the Opposition of militarizing the civilian police force.
HIV/AIDS PATIENTS TO RECEIVE NHF FUNDS – 5/12/05
Persons suffering from HIV/AIDS are to receive health care funded by the National Health Fund (NHF) when allocations from the Global Fund terminate in three years, Health Minister John Junor announced Tuesday. The Global Fund allocated US$23 million to the care of Jamaica’s HIV/AIDS population over a five-year period, which is to end in 2008. Minister Junor will attend the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland this coming week.
FOURTH POLICE CONSTABLE FATALLY SHOT – 5/13/05
23-year-old Desmond Douglas became the fifth Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) officer to be shot in just over a week and the fourth to die from injuries suffered. The Hunts Bay Police officer was shot while responding to reports of men carrying firearms on Pelican Parade at 5:30 Thursday morning. Nine members of the JCF have been slain in the line of duty this year.
WATERHOUSE SEVEN – 5/9/05
Waterhouse players took the field in their yellow jerseys standing in a number seven formation in tribute to former coach Peter Cargill. Waterhouse defeated Reno in the Wray and Nephew National Premier League game 1-0, giving new coach Max Straw’s fourth place team 56 points.
‘ATHENS RECREATED’ FOR BOLT – 5/09/05
Fifth in the preliminary rounds for the 200 meters at the 2004 Athens Olympics, it was ‘ATHENS RECREATED’ for Usain Bolt at this year’s Jamaica International Invitational held Saturday at the National Stadium. Bolt finished the 200 meter in 20.14 seconds, giving the World Junior record holder a chance to outperform many of his summer 2004 competitors, where he finished the 200 meters in a disappointing 21.05 seconds.
POWELL EYES 100M RECORD – 5/10/05
Top ranked 100-meter runner Asafa Powell has set his sights on American Tim Montgomery’s world record time of 9.78 seconds. After running 9.84 seconds at Jamaica’s International Invitational Track Meet at the National Stadium on Saturday, good enough to match the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) record, the former Athens hopeful said he expects to finish the 100 meters in 9.75 seconds this season.
SOUTH AFRICA DOES IT ONE MORE TIME – 5/12/05
South Africa took a 3-0 lead over the West Indies in the Digicel one-day competition on Wednesday. Charl Lageveldt scored his first hat-trick in competition for South Africa, leading his team to 284 to West Indie’s 283 for the match. West Indies will return to play South Africa for a fourth match in the series in Port of Spain, Trinidad on Saturday. No changes to the squad are expected.