MONTAGUE SAYS NEW TAXES A “BETRAYAL”—03/14/15
According to Robert Montague, the opposition spokesperson on energy from the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), The government of Jamaica must eliminated the tax on gas and electric power or face many angry island residents. Montague believes the tax represents a betrayal of the “People’s trust.” Noting the government’s promise to ease the suffering of the poor in Jamaica, create jobs, raise investments and reduce power bills, but that it had not fulfilled any of the promises.
FISHERIES INDUSTRY TURNS TO DRONES FOR PROTECTION—03/15/15
Jamaica is ready to use drones in an effort to protect its fisheries industry from criminal poachers. According to Donovan Stanberry, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Derrick Kellier, the Minister of Fisheries, is preparing details of the protection plan. The drones will also be used to help with search and rescue efforts at sea.
SCHOOLS CLOSED, JAMAICANS HOSPITALIZED DUE TO DUMP FIRE—03/16/15
Heavy smoke continued to impact Jamaican neighborhoods following a large fire at the Riverton City dump outside of Kingston. According to the island’s Ministry of Education, 50 schools re stay closed after the weekend due to smoke coming from the dump fire. The fire has burned about 75 percent of the dump area to date. Over 840 individuals have reported to hospitals with complaints arising from smoke inhalation in the region.
ECONOMIC REFORMS BRING OVER $800 MILLION FROM INVESTORS—03/17/15
Peter Phillips, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance, says that the nation’s economic reforms have resulted in over $800 million being provided in the form of new investments. Jamaica’s success under the economic program has resulted in a major increase in investor and consumer confidence, which in turn, improved the country’s rating with global ratings agencies.
BARACK OBAMA TO VISIT JAMAICA, MEET WITH CARIBBEAN LEADERS—03/18/15
Barack Obama, the president of the United States, will be making a state visit to Jamaica in April 2015. The President will visit on his way to Panama to attend the Seventh summit of the Americas. During his one-day Jamaican visit, Obama will meet with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and other members of CARICOM. Caribbean leaders will be looking for developmental financing and discuss security, trade, and energy with Obama.
FIRE AT DUMP MAY COST GOVERNMENT OVER $2 MILLION—03/19/15
According to the Caribbean Policy Research Institute, total government costs resulting from the fire at the Riverton landfill near Kingston could total more than $2.3 million. The estimated costs include expenses related to school closures, health care costs, and emergency response, as well as the actual costs to extinguish the fire.
ORGANIZED CRIME AGENCY CONDUCTS RAIDS IN SEVERAL PARISHES—03/20/15
An investigation into tax evasion incidents that allegedly involve officials at the Jamaica Customs Department is being conducted by the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA). The investigation represents a portion of a joint operation involving the parishes of St. Elizabeth, St. Ann, and Manchester.
SIXTH OLDEST PERSON IN THE WORLD LIVES IN JAMAICA—03/20/15
The life of Viola Moss Brown spans three centuries, and she was recently feted by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on having reached the age of 115. Her age has confirmed her as the oldest person on the island. Also known as “Aunt V,” Brown is the sixth oldest person in the world, and she also has the distinction of having the world’s oldest living child. Her son, at 95, is the oldest person in the world to have a living parent. Brown lives in Duanvale where she was born on March 10, 1900.