THIS WEEKS NEWS SUMMARY
GOVERNMENT INCREASE NHT LOAN LIMITS —- 07/21/05
The PNP Government this week announced a 50 per cent increase in National Housing Trust (NHT) loans effective August 15, 2005. Speaking in the House of Representatives on wednesday, Prime Minister P.J. Patterson said loan limits for non-homeowners will be increased from $1 million to $1.5 million for single applicants, and from $2million to $3 million for co-applicants purchasing houses on the open market, to build on own land, or to buy a scheme unit. He added that loans to buy housing lots would be increased from $450,000 to $600,000 for single applicants, and from $700,000 to $800,000 for co-applicants.The move follows Government’s announcement earlier this year that it would take $5 billion from NHT contributions to help reform the education sector.
NATIONAL AIDS POLICY BEFORE PARLIAMENT – 07/13/05
The national HIV/AIDS policy was on Wednesday tabled in the House of Representatives. The policy seeks to expand current policy guidelines which will allow access of contraceptives, including condoms, to sexually active persons below the age of 16. The 35 page document also calls for the amendment to a range of legislation governing sex crimes and the development of new policies to allow unconscious patients to be tested without their consent or the censent of those acting on their behalf.
HURRICANE EMILY LEAVES 5 DEAD – 07-18-05
At least 5 people are dead after the passage of Hurricane Emily. a 23-year old woman and her two young children drowned as they tried to drive through high waters. A 22-year old and 41 year old man were also killed as they tried to save the family from the floodwaters. Sweeping steadily over the southern parishes of Jamaica on Saturday, Hurricane Emily unleashed winds of up to 145 miles per hour, triggering off serious flooding and mudslides. The parishes of St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland were hardest hit.
TRANQUILITY BAY STUDENTS FOUND —- 07/21/05
The two US students missing from Tranquility Bay treatment Center since July 17, have been found. Executive Director of the school, Jay Kay, says the two were found alone near the beach in Alligator Pond. The two boys Tyler Stout and Christopher Chughua had runaway after slipping past security personnel at the high security institution during heavy rains associated with Hurricane Emily. After offering a reward of US $1,000 for information on the whereabouts of the two boys,Tranquility Bay, a boarding treatment school for troubled teens in St. Elizabeth Parish says for their antics both boys face expulsion from the school.
JAMAICANS IMPORTING MORE – 07/11/05
The Statistical Institute of Jamaica is reporting that the country’s import bill increased by 16.5 per cent between January and April this year. According to information from the external trade bulletin, total imports for the period amounted to just over US $1.4 billion.This is 16.5 per cent more than the amount spent between January and April last year.This represents a 6.2 per cent decline in export earnings over the corresponding period last year.The bulletin states that total export earnings amounted to nearly US $498 million.
ALCOA AND GOJ to EXPAND JAMALCO REFINERY – 07/20/05
The Board of Directors for Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC) affiliate have agreed to join with the Government of Jamaica to expand the Jamalco alumina refinery in Clarendon, Jamaica. The expansion will add 1.5 million metric tons per year (mtpy) of production to Jamalco, more than doubling the refinery’s capacity to approximately 2.8 million mtpy. The cost for the 1.5 million mtpy expansion is expected to be approximately US $1.2 billion which includes costs for a power station, as well as high hurricane wind and earthquake construction requirements.
BEAR STEARNS UPBEAT ON JAMAICA —- 07/22/05
The New York-based investment rating firm Bear Stearns has issued another upbeat report on Jamaica. on Wednesday, Bear Stearns said Jamaica’s fiscal results for April and May were in line with expectations and on track to meet the government’s target of a balanced budget for this fiscal year. Forcasts are for Jamaica’s tax revenues to increase in the coming months as the new tax measures take effect. Bear stearns beleive significantly lower interest payments as well as wage restraints has allowed the government to increase spending on programmes and capital projects.
REMAX HEADS TO JAMAICA – 07/21/05
RE/MAX the global real estate network announced on thursday that franchising operations are being established in Jamaica. The announcement comes from Peter Gilmour, RE/MAX senior vice president of international franchise sales and brokerage.George W. Plummer will be managing director of Capital Holdings Ltd., which purchased the franchising rights and will operate RE/MAX Island Estates in capital city Kingston.
REGGAE BOYZ LOSES TO TEAM USA—- 07/17/05
Jamaica Crashed out of the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 3-1 defeat to the United States in their quarter-final match-up at the Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts on Saturday. Team USA goals came from DaMarcus Beasley in the 42nd and 83rd minutes following Josh Wolff’s sixth-minute opener. Jamaica got their consolation courtesy of Ricardo Fuller in the 88th. Both teams went down to 10 players when Ben Olsen was sent off in the 57th minute for taking out skipper Andy Williams as he made a clear run on goal. Defender Jermaine Taylor was ejected 9 minutes later for a clumsy sliding tackle on Beasley.
MOLLY RHONE IS BACK AS IFNA PRESIDENT —- 07/22/05
Jamaica’s Molly Rhone was returned unopposed as President of the International Federation of Netball Association (IFNA). Countrywoman Marva Bernard was also returned as Finance Director at the three day IFNA congress in Fort Lauderdale. Kereyn Smith of New Zealand is the new Vice President.Rhone, a former Jamaica Netball Association President, who was first elected IFNA President in July 2003.
JAMAICA STUCK WITH SYDNEY BRONZE —- 07/22/05
The Jamaican mile relay team will have to settle for the bronze medal they won in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. This is after the court of arbitration for sports in Switzerland ruled Thursday that the US team could keep its men’s mile relay gold medal won at the games.The IAAF had made recommendations for the stripping of the US gold medal because of team member Jerome Young’s doping violation in 1999.
WINDIES VS PAKISTAN IN CUP OPENER—- 07/20/05
Hosts West Indies and Pakistan will open the 2007 Cricket World Cup.The Group D clash between the West Indies and Pakistan will be on March 13 at the renovated Sabina Park ground in Kingston.There will be 51 one-day international matches in 59 days, with Barbados hosting the final at Kensington Oval on April 28, 2007. Defending champions Australia will begin their defence of their title at the upgraded Warner Park Stadium in St Kitts against Scotland on March 14.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.