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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending July 15th, 2005

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THIS WEEKS NEWS SUMMARY
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BANANA FARMERS SUFFER CROP LOSS – 7/09/05
Banana crops in St. Thomas, Portland and St. Mary suffered significant damage from Hurricane Dennis, Minister of Agriculture Roger Clarke stated. Farmers still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Ivan last September experienced a 30 to 40 percent crop loss on average. Jamaica Producers Group reported exports of US$190,000 to the European Union in May for the first time since Ivan. A spokesperson for the company stated that Dennis will reduce crop exports but that the local manufacturing industry will not suffer.

MANY STRANDED IN AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE DENNIS – 7/10/05
Many residents of Jamaica found themselves stranded by the passing of the category two winds and rains of Hurricane Dennis: twenty-three persons in St. Andrews lost homes to the rushing currents of the Mammee River, rains forced 19 persons from their homes in Unity district in Bunker’s Hill, Trelawny and mudslides and rains washed away homes and possessions of many area residents in 11 Miles Bull Bay. St. Thomas motorists navigated around mud slides, boulders and debris slowing traffic from St. Andrew into St. Mary to a crawl.

BUILDING CODE STANDARDS IN QUESTION – 7/10/05
An informal survey of Jamaican housing structures by local engineers found that 40 percent of homes are not built to the 1983 National Building Codes making them vulnerable to hurricane and earthquake damage. Building codes call for designs capable of withstanding 150 mile per hour winds. Area residents are advised to employ an engineer to insure their building or home meets safe standards. Revised standards are being developed by the Jamaica Institute of Engineers (JIE) in partnership with the Jamaica Bureau of Standards at a cost of $20 million.

FOOD AIRLIFTED TO STRANDED – 7/11/05
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) airlifted food and emergency supplies in Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) helicopters as the National Works Agency (NWA) worked to clear roads blocked by storm debris. About 11,000 residents remained without electricity Monday, a spokesperson for the Jamaica Public Services (JPS) stated. Extensive damage to transmission lines and poles are to delay the return of services until Thursday. The National Water Commission (NWC) reported that 380 of the 460 water supply systems were back in operation leaving an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 residents without water service.

GHANAIAN PRESIDENT PAYS JAMAICA 3 DAY OFFICIAL VISIT —- 07/11/05
Ghanaian delegation led by President John Kufuor arrived in Jamaica on Monday for bilateral talks with Prime Minister P.J. Patterson and inspections of the bauxite alumina sector. Ghana recently signed an agreement with aluminium producer Alcoa, and was using the visit to learn more by inspecting the Jamaican bauxite operations. Following bi-lateral talks with Ghanaian President John Kufuor,Prime Minister P. J. Patterson, made the announcement that Jamaica is to give assistance to the Republic of Ghana to develop its own alumina refinery. The Prime Minister said he had assured President Kufuor of Jamaica’s readiness to share its knowledge of the bauxite industry with Ghana and would welcome its advisors, as well as make members of Jamaica’s own alumina team available at the Republic’s request.Ghana has been a consumer of the alumina from Jamaica for the past 30 years.

COP SHOT IN SPANISH TOWN – 7/11/05
A 54-year-old Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) member attached to the Portmore Police Station was fatally shot in a bar in Spanish Town on Sunday morning. Sergeant Kildere brings the death toll of police officers killed in 2005 to 13 and the third in the St. Catherine South Division. The two gunmen fled from the scene reportedly with the slain officer’s firearm.

FORCED EVACUATION LEGISLATION NEEDED —- 07/12/05
Prime Minister P. J. Patterson says there was need for legislation allowing for forced removal of persons from selected areas threatened by disasters.At the time of Hurricane Ivan last September, Mr Patterson indicated that the Government needed to develop a policy that has teeth which will allow forced removal of persons from selected areas where disasters are threatened. In the case of Hurricane Dennis, Patterson says the administration’s assessment and his judgment did not suggest that there was a need to use the extraordinary powers that can only be exercised pursuant to the declaration of disaster areas in accordance with the Disaster Preparedness and Management Act. He told Parliament on Tuesday that there was no need to declare any disaster areas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dennis.

JAMPRO TO ATTRACT 13 BILLION DOLLAR INVESTMENT —- 07/12/05
Minister of Development, Dr. Paul Robertson has said that JAMPRO would be seeking to attract some $13.3 billion in investment for the 2005/06 fiscal year, in addition to creating some 7,000 jobs. Dr Robertson in making his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House on Tuesday (July 12), said that this was an improvement over the $10.7 billion in investment and 6,568 jobs, which the promotions agency helped to facilitate last year.He explained, that JAMPRO had developed a strategic plan to attract investment in identified sectors that could contribute to Jamaica’s overall development goals. He noted that key players in markets such as in France, Spain and Germany were targeted, in addition to stakeholders locally

RED HILLS ROAD RESIDENTS RECEIVE MULTI PURPOSE PARK —- 07/12/05
The Red Hills Road multi purpose park, a project of the Rotary Club of Kingston, was on Tuesday (July 12) handed over to the residents of the Red Hills Road and Dunrobin communities in St. Andrew.The new facility replaces the former dustbowl across from the Dunrobin Primary School, which was a major health hazard for children and adults alike. Among its features are a football field, cricket pitch, courts for basketball and netball and a jogging trail. Chris Issa, Rotary Club project chairman, urged Jamaicans to continue to support the project and similar community development initiatives.

T/T CALL IN FBI AFTER BOMB BLAST —- 07/12/05
United States of America Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials arrived in Trinidad on Tuesday to assist local police conduct investigations into an explosion that rocked the capital, Port-of-Spain, on Monday afternoon. At least 14 people were injured in the blast that forced the amputation of the right leg of a 65-year-old woman.Police Commissioner Trevor Paul confirmed the presence of FBI officials who, he said, were on the scene. The blast took place in the busy commercial area of downtown Port-of-Spain shortly after 2 p.m, no motive has been identified for the bombing as of yet.

4TH LONDON BOMBING SUSPECT MAYBE A JAMAICAN —- 07/13/05
The BBC is reporting that police in London believe that the fourth bomber in last week’s attacks in London was a Jamaican-born man living in Britain. Police sources say Germaine Lindsey may have died in the explosion on an underground train between Kings Cross Station and Russell Square. His identification follows the search of a house in Aylesbury, some 80 kilometres north-west of London. Already, some Jamaicans residing in the UK are expressing fear as a result of the disclosure.Authorities believe the other three suicide bombers were British nationals of Pakistani ancestry.

FLOOD PRONE AREAS FACE FORCED REMOVAL – 7/13/05
Residents in flood prone areas will be forced to vacate areas when threatened by natural disaster to lessen loss of life, Prime Minister P.J. Patterson announced Tuesday. An education program will be initiated to educate residents about the new legislation to be put before Parliament and of the dangers inherent in riding out a storm. Florida and Cuba enforce a similar policy of forcible evacuation during natural disasters.

ZEEKS DENIED BAIL —– 07/14/05
Donald ‘Zeeks’ Phipps was denied bail when he appeared in the Home Circuit Court On Wednesday. Phipps and Kingston labourer Garfield Williams are facing a double murder charge. The men are charged with the murder of Rodney Leroy Farquharson and Dayton Williams of Bayshore Park, east Kingston. The burnt bodies of the two were discovered on April 15 near Matthews Lane in downtown Kingston. Justice Horace Marsh has ordered Phipps and Williams to return to court on July 27.

FORMER DYOLL COO ARRESTED ON FRAUD – 7/14/05
Mark Thwaites, former chief operating officer of Dyoll Insurance Company, was charged Tuesday night in Kingston on four counts of insurance fraud by the Financial Investigation Division (FID). The arrest comes four months after a regulator for the insurance industry took the reins of the bankrupt company. Thwaites was released on $1.5 million in bail until he is to appear before the court on August 23.

HURRICANE WARNING IN EFFECT FOR JAMAICA —- 07/15/05
At 4:00 a.m. Friday the centre of Hurricane Emily was located near Latitude 13.9 degrees North, Longitude 69.2 degrees West, or 865 kilometres east-southeast of Morant Point, Jamaica. Emily is moving towards the west-northwest near 32 km/h. On the forecast track, the centre of the hurricane is expected to remain over the waters south of Hispaniola today before it begins to move close to 80 kilometres south of Jamaica, in the vicinity of the Pedro Cays, on Saturday morning. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 215 km/h, with higher gusts, making Emily a dangerous Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Some fluctuations in strength are possible during the next 24 hours. Hurricane-force winds extend about 65 kilometres from the centre of Emily, while tropical storm-force winds extend outward near 220 kilometres.

ISLAND PREPARES FOR HURRICANE EMILY – 7/15/05
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) cautioned residents to prepare for Category Three Hurricane Emily as the second storm of the season approached the island Friday morning. Prime Minister P.J. Patterson alerted flood prone areas to evacuation plans as disaster plans across the island were activated in anticipation of th185 km/h winds.

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SPORTS
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GORDON NOMINATED TO WICB PRESIDENCY – 7/11/05
Media magnet Ken Gordon is the sole nominee for the August 7 vote for the presidency of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). Gordon was nominated by the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board for the post to be vacated by outgoing WICB president Teddy Griffith.

SINCLAIR CHIPS AWAY AT JA 800M RECORD – 7/09/11
A minor strain kept Asafa Powell from the 100m at the IAAF Golden League meet in Rome, Italy, but Kenia Sinclair’s third place finish in the 800m gave Jamaicans something to cheer about on Monday. Sinclair lowered the national 800m women’s record for the second time this year recording a time of 1:58:88 seconds besting her Reebox Grand Prix time of 1:59:10 on June 11 in New York.

GOLD FOR BOLT – 7/12/05
Usain Bolt set a new championship record of 20.03 seconds at the 20th Central American and Caribbean Track and Field Championships on Monday. The World Junior 200 meter record holder broke the eight-year-old 20.38 seconds finish run by Cuban Ivan Garcia. Jamaica finished the three-day event with eight gold, five silver and five bronze medals.

REGGAE BOYZ ADVANCE TO QUARTER FINALS – 7/14/05
The Reggae Boyz secured their advancement to quarter-final play after a 3-3 draw with Mexico at the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Boyz went on to win a second match against Mexico on Wednesday at the Houston Reliant Stadium to win Group C competition by four points.

JAMAICA FINISH SECOND AT CAC CHAMIPIONSHIPS —- 07/11/05
Jamaica ended the 20th Central American and Caribbean Track and Field Championships in Nassau Bahamas in second position behind Cuba last weekend as Peta-Gaye Dowdie anchored the women’s 4x100m quartet to victory in 43.21, beating the Bahamas with Chandra Sturrup (43.48) and Cuba (45.07). Championship Records by Dorian Scott and Claston Bernard, along with Lansford Spence’s 400m lifted Jamaica’s medal tally to Six gold medals, one silver and three bronze heading into the final day. World junior 200 metres record holder Usain Bolt also struck gold while easily defeating Trinidadian Aaron Armstrong in a new championships record, 20.03 seconds. This along with a win from women’s 4x400m quartet of Moya Thompson, Sonita Sutherland, Shellene Williams and Allison Beckford in 3: 30.63 ahead of Bahamas (3:33.14) ended Jamaica’s best ever showing at these games.

JAMAICA VERSUS CUBA IN DAVIS CUP —- 07/15/05
Jamaica will face neighbours Cuba in a do-or-die group 2 America’s zone Davis Cup clash starting today at the Liguanea Club, New Kingston. The losers of the tie will be relegated to Group Three while the victors will hold on to their place in Group Two. The official Cup draw shows Jamaica’s top player, Ryan Russell, opening play in the first rubber against Cuba’s Edgar Hernandez-Perez. Today’s second singles rubber will see Damar Johnson, take on Cuba’s Richard Chile-Fonte. In doubles action scheduled for tomorrow, Russell and Johnson have been assigned to play the pair of Chile-Fonte and Sandor Martinez-Breijo. On Sunday, the order of the singles matches will be reversed and Russell will challenge Chile-Fonte while Johnson will look to tackle Hernandez-Perez.

WEST INDIES AHEAD ON FIRST INNINGS —- 07/15/05
West Indies pace bowler Jermaine Lawson took four wickets to help West Indies to a 75-run first-innings lead on day two of the first Test against Sri Lanka. Lawson, returning to the side after a back injury, bowled with pace and hostility on a generally docile pitch. Sri Lanka were dismissed for 227 in reply to West Indies’ 285. Later in the day, Chaminda Vaas struck back for the hosts with the new ball, trapping Xavier Marshall (two) and Runako Morton (0) lbw. Muttiah Muralitharan followed up with the wicket of Sylvester Joseph for two, caught minutes before bad light stopped play, reducing West Indies to a precarious 17 for three in their second innings.
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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