Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Moravian ministers' sex case adjourned http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Moravian-ministers--sex-case-adjourned MANDEVILLE, Manchester &mdash; The carnal abuse and indecent assault case of former head of the Moravian Church in Jamaica Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson was adjourned in the Manchester Circuit Court today.<br /> <br /> The men will return on Thursday, March 2.<br /> <br /> When the names of the men were called this morning for them to enter the courtroom they were not yet present.<br /> <br /> The matter was on hold when they arrived because of a trial in progress in the Circuit Court.<br /> <br /> That seems to have played a part in the adjournment.<br /> <br /> Defence attorneys Peter Champagnie and Pierre Rogers for Gardner and Gibson respectively, should know by the upcoming court date if the case will be removed from the Manchester Circuit Court.<br /> <br /> The men have been accused of sexually molesting a minor in the parish years ago.<br /> <br /> Both Gardner and Gibson are now on bail.<br /> <br /> Alicia Sutherland http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665795/gardner-gibson_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, February 23, 2017 4:41 PM Hanna lambasted on social media for suggesting ban on Vybz Kartel's music http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Hanna-lambasted-on-social-media-for-suggesting-ban-on-Vybz-Kartel-s-music KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Opposition People&rsquo;s National Party (PNP) spokesperson on Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna is being lambasted by social media users for comments she made calling for incarcerated Dancehall artiste, Vybz Kartel&rsquo;s music to be banned from public airwaves.<br /> <br /> Fans of the incarcerated artiste took to the MP&rsquo;s social media accounts to air their grouses, after she expressed her views in an interview yesterday on Nationwide 90 FM. <br /> <br /> The social media users, who disagreed with her suggestions, stated that Hanna is concerned about the fact that the artiste has been able to produce music from behind bars.<br /> <br /> Vybz Kartel whose real name is Adijah Palmer, is currently serving a life sentence for murder.<br /> <br /> Hanna&rsquo;s comments came amid discussions about how violence in the country is intertwined with certain negative aspects of popular culture.<br /> <br /> Instagram users have been relentless in their efforts to chide the former minister by leaving their comments under photos she has posted in the past.<br /> <br /> One social media user said she (Hanna) is contradicting herself. &ldquo;She mentioned Buju Banton not releasing any new music.. Well he did last week & he's in Florida, US jail... Di song name mek MI si.. So it's obvious she focusing on Vybz Kartel.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Another user said &ldquo;it's best if you shut up and go one side.... Caa u naah do nth (nothing) better that irritate people..... you know how long mi deh yh a pree the amount a foolishness yaa comment and a talk bout freedom of speech.....Just go one side.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Another said &ldquo;...When its election you same people playing the DJ music. Stop blaming the music alone.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Among the plethora of comments on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were also death threats against the MP.<br /> <br /> When contacted for a response, PNP General Secretary, Julian Robinson told OBSERVER ONLINE that he would not be commenting on the matter.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665660/Lisa-Hanna-2_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, February 23, 2017 3:30 PM Gas prices down $0.03, diesel up $0.51 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Gas-prices-down--0-03--diesel-up--0-51 KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Motorists should see a decrease at the pumps in the price of gasoline and an increase in the price of diesel, effective Thursday, February 23, according to the latest ex-refinery costs from Petrojam.<br /> <br /> 87- and 90-octane gasoline will be sold for $96.57 and $98.23 per litre, respectively, down by $0.03 each.<br /> <br /> Automotive diesel fuel will be sold for $95.36 per litre following an increase of $0.51, while ultra-low sulphur diesel is down by $0.02, and will be sold for $103.58 per litre.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, kerosene decreased in price by $0.08 and will be sold for $87.69 per litre.<br /> <br /> Propane liquid petroleum will be sold for $38.75 per litre, down by $0.15 and butane liquid petroleum will be sold for $45.20 per litre after a decrease of $0.25.<br /> <br /> Marketing companies and retailers will add their respective mark-up to these prices.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663375/gas-pump_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:23 PM O-WRAP: J'can teacher vies for US$1m prize... &pound;410k to promote Ja in London... Send child porn to cops http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/O-WRAP--J-can-teacher-vies-for-US-1m-prize---410k-to-promote-Ja-in-London---Send-child-porn-to-cops 1. J'can teacher among 10 finalists for US$1m Global Teacher Prize<br /> <br /> A Jamaican teacher, Tracy-Ann Hall, is among 10 finalists selected from a pool of 20,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2017. Full story here<br /> <br /> 2. Jencare founder Jennifer Samuda dies<br /> <br /> Jencare Skin Farm founder and operator Jennifer Samuda died in Florida early Wednesday morning after a long battle with cancer. Full story here <br /> <br /> 3. Man pleads guilty to 2011 murder of lecturer, husband<br /> <br /> One of the two men charged in the August 23, 2011 murder of Discovery Bay couple Stephen Hall and Normalyn Campbell-Hall has been sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after 17 years. Full story here<br /> <br /> 4. Send child porn to cops via Whatsapp, JCF urges<br /> <br /> The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) through its Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) today urged citizens to report child pornography to the police via Whatsapp at (876) 564-6840. Full story here<br /> <br /> 5. Haitian man who reportedly severed wife's arms charged<br /> <br /> The Hanover police have charged a Haitian man who has been accused of severing the arms of his wife during a violent dispute in Mount Peto, Hanover. Full story here <br /> <br /> 6. Opposition concerned about lack of accountability at NSWMA<br /> <br /> The Opposition People&rsquo;s National Party (PNP) has expressed concern about the lack of accountability at the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA). Full story here<br /> <br /> 7. Digicel to reduce global workforce by 25%<br /> <br /> Telecommunications giant Digicel today announced that it will reduce its global workforce by 25 per cent over the next 18 months, as part of its 2030 global transformation programme. Full story here <br /> <br /> 8. Gov&rsquo;t spending &lrm;&pound;410,000 to promote Jamaica in London <br /> <br /> Cabinet has approved the creation and operation of a &lsquo;Jamaica House 2017&rsquo; in London, covering the IAAF World Athletics Championships during the period August 4 &ndash;13. Full story here<br /> <br /> 9. Cabinet approves $200m for Jamaica 55 celebrations<br /> <br /> Cabinet has approved a special budgetary allocation of $200 million to support the execution of Jamaica 55 celebrations. Full story here<br /> <br /> 10. Clarendon escapee captured<br /> <br /> The police are reporting that 21-year-old Tevin Robinson who escaped police custody whilst being treated at the May Pen Hospital in Clarendon on Monday, is back in custody. Full story here http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663251/Tracy-Ann-Hall_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:00 PM Forex: J$128.01 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Forex--Feb-22-17 KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The US dollar on Wednesday, February 22, ended trading at J$128.01, down by three cents, according to the Bank of Jamaica&rsquo;s daily foreign exchange trading summary.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$97.56, up from J$96.62, while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$159.11, up from J$158.91. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663073/forex_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 22, 2017 5:37 PM New fire station for MoBay http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/New-fire-station-for-MoBay ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) &mdash; Construction of a fire station on Barnett Street in Montego Bay, St James, is to commence next fiscal year.<br /> <br /> A total of $286 million has been provided in the 2017/18 Estimates of Expenditure for this and other initiatives under the Jamaica Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project.<br /> <br /> The money will also be used to provide two pumper trucks for the Jamaica Fire Brigade as well as detailed designs of the Yallahs and Port Maria Fire Stations.<br /> <br /> Seismic equipment and technical support are also to be provided to the Earthquake Unit under the project.<br /> <br /> In addition, consultancy services are to be procured for coastal assessments, engineering services, adaptation designs, training and awareness, and software for the National Risk Information Platform.<br /> <br /> The Office of the Prime Minister is implementing the project, which aims to enhance Jamaica&rsquo;s resilience to disaster and climate risk, with funding from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.<br /> <br /> It is slated to run from April 2016 to June 2020.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13662672/ja-fire-truck_w400_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:21 PM J'can teacher among 10 finalists for US$1m Global Teacher Prize http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/J-can-teacher-among-10-finalists-for-US-1m-Global-Teacher-Prize KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; A Jamaican teacher is among 10 finalists selected from a pool of 20,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2017.<br /> <br /> She is Tracy-Ann Hall, an automotive technology teacher at Jonathan Grant High School in Spanish Town, St Catherine.<br /> <br /> Now in its third year, the US $1 million award is the largest prize of its kind, and was set up to recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society. <br /> <br /> By highlighting the stories of the 10 finalists, the Varkey Foundation hopes that the public will be able to join in passionate debates about the importance of teachers. <br /> <br /> The winner will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai on Sunday, March 19.<br /> <br /> Here is Hall&rsquo;s story as stated in her bio on the Global Teacher Prize website:<br /> <br /> Tracy-Ann Hall did not enjoy successful school years herself, due to undiagnosed dyslexia. She did not move on to higher education immediately but instead trained as an automotive technician and worked in a garage. This experience in training other learner mechanics gave her a lifelong love of teaching. With more qualifications, she entered the vocational teachers&rsquo; college in Jamaica and after three years graduated top of her class.<br /> <br /> Her positive approach transformed her first teaching class from a group of students who had previously been written off as &lsquo;poor&rsquo; into a great success. She motivated a class of 30 boys, setting up a class library, encouraging them to read and deliver a book review on completing each volume. They began to excel in grade ten and by grade 11 were so motivated that eight of them joined the school choir and one became head boy at the school. Hers was also the first automotive exam class to score a 95 per cent pass in the history of the school. She also started and oversaw a programme for her class to feed street people, launch a junior automotive club and serve on the school magazine committee. Her students have gone on to a wide range of occupations &ndash; policemen, scuba divers, hotel managers, chefs, and, of course, automotive technicians &ndash; and she also encourages all her students to move into higher education.<br /> <br /> Regarding her classroom as her workshop, Tracy-Ann plasters the walls with charts showcasing outstanding achievements of students and each of their goals for the year ahead. She encourages friendly competition between the students and gives rewards to those who achieve high grades and significant improvements.<br /> <br /> Tracy-Ann has taught at various schools, all with the same success. She has convinced business leaders in the automotive sector to sponsor scholarships for exceptional students, ensuring they start with a firm foothold in the industry. With resources scarce, she has been ingenious in finding materials and components for her automotive classes, which are difficult to attract funding for, again forming partnerships with those in the automotive sector to use their facilities and spare parts. She has hosted summer schools for low-income families, bolstering her community. Her contribution has been recognised with a number of awards from the schools she has taught at.<br /> <br /> The other nine finalists for the Global Teacher prize 2017 are:<br /> <br /> Raymond Chambers, a computer science teacher from Brooke Weston Academy in Corby, Northamptonshire <br /> <br /> Salima Begum, Headteacher at Elementary College for Women Gilgit, Pakistan <br /> <br /> David Calle, from Madrid, Spain, the founder and creator of the Unicoos educational website<br /> <br /> Wemerson da Silva Nogueira, a science teacher at the Escola Ant&ocirc;nio dos Santos Neves in Boa Esperan&ccedil;a, Brazil <br /> <br /> Marie-Christine Ghanbari Jahromi, a physical education, maths and German teacher at Gesamtschule Gescher school, in Gescher, Germany<br /> <br /> Maggie MacDonnell, a teacher at Ikusik School, Kativik School Board, Canadian Arctic<br /> <br /> Ken Silburn, a science teacher at Casula High School, south-west Sydney, Australia<br /> <br /> Yang Boya, a psychology teacher at The Affiliated Middle School of Kunming Teachers College, China <br /> <br /> Michael Wamaya, a dance teacher from Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13661949/Tracy-Ann-Hall_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 22, 2017 8:54 AM O-WRAP: Man charged with rape of 11-y-o...Burger King buys Popeyes... &lsquo;Big Deal&rsquo; debuts on Billboard http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/O-WRAP--Man-charged-with-rape-of-11-y-o---Burger-King-buys-Popeyes-----Big-Deal--debuts-on-Billboard 1. St James man charged with rape of 11-y-o girl<br /> <br /> A 20-year-old man was yesterday charged with abduction, sexual touching, grievous sexual assault and rape of an 11-year-old girl in his community on Saturday. Full story here<br /> <br /> 2. Christopher Martin's Big Deal debuts on Billboard<br /> <br /> The 16-track Big Deal album, the first worldwide release by Jamaican singer Christopher Martin, debuts on the Billboard reggae album chart this week. Full story here<br /> <br /> 3. Man charged with murder of journalist Peter Abrahams<br /> <br /> The police today charged a 61-year-old man with the murder of well known journalist and commentator Peter Abrahams. Full story here<br /> <br /> 4. Burger King's owner buys Popeyes chicken<br /> <br /> The parent company of Burger King said today that it had reached a deal to buy American fried chicken chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Full story here<br /> <br /> 5. Man charged with murder of missing Kingston woman found in drum<br /> <br /> A Bull Bay man was today charged with the murder of 23-year-old Nile Brown &mdash; a Burger King employee whose body was found in a drum on Sunday, February 5. Full story here<br /> <br /> 6. Jamaica achieves milestone in chairing both UN tourism executive bodies<br /> <br /> Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica is the only country in the world that has the distinction of chairing both executive bodies of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Full story here<br /> <br /> 7. Denham Town escapee recaptured in Negril<br /> <br /> Negril police today recaptured a 34-year-old man who escaped from the Denham Town Police lock-up in September last year. Full story here<br /> <br /> 8. Establishment of national identification agency to commence 2017/18<br /> <br /> The Government says that a national identification agency will begin establishment in the coming fiscal year, as it moves to develop a National Identification System (NIDS). Full story here<br /> <br /> 9. US to expand pool of people targetted for deportation<br /> <br /> The Trump administration is greatly expanding the number of people living in the US illegally who are considered a priority for deportation, including people arrested for traffic violations, according to agency documents released Tuesday. Full story here<br /> <br /> 10. Holness says changes coming to boost efficiency of pension funds<br /> <br /> Prime Minister Andrew Holness, speaking at a Sagicor Pension Investment Seminar today, said imminent policy changes will be made to existing pension schemes. Full story here http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13660628/deportation_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, February 21, 2017 7:00 PM Thompson destroys 60m field in Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Thompson-destroys-60m-field-in-Birmingham-Indoor-Grand-Prix KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson destroyed a quality field as she stormed to victory in the women's 60 metre at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix in a world leading 6.98 seconds.<br /> <br /> Thompson, who entered the meet with a personal best of 7.04 seconds, established her personal best and a new stadium record, was well clear of the field in a most dominant display.<br /> <br /> It was a clean sweep for Jamaica as the improving duo of Gayon Evans (7.17) and Christania Williams (7.18) were second and third respectively. American Barbara Pierre was fourth in 7.20 with Asha Phillip of Great Britain fifth with 7.24.<br /> <br /> Thompson&rsquo;s time was the joint second fastest by a Jamaican along with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce done in 2014. The legendary Merlene Ottey has the Jamaican record of 6.96 seconds set 25 years ago on February 14, 1992.<br /> <br /> Thompson&rsquo;s achievement was also the first time since 2014 that a woman has dipped below the seven seconds-barrier and it was the seventh fastest time in history. The world record is held by Russian Irina Privalova of 6.92 seconds established in 1995.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Jamaican men were not as dominant. Everton Clarke of GC Foster finished fourth in the men&rsquo;s final in 6.58 seconds and Julian Forte of MVP was fifth in 6.59. The race was won by American Ronnie Baker in 6.55 ahead of veteran Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis with 6.58, the same time as third-placed Richard Kilty of Great Britain.<br /> <br /> Howard Walker http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13653649/000_LT6YOHDF_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 18, 2017 12:04 PM Forex: J$128.11 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Forex--J-128-11-to-one-US-dollar2017-02-16T14-43-52 KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The US dollar on Thursday, February 16, ended trading at J$128.11, up by 13 cents, according to the Bank of Jamaica&rsquo;s daily foreign exchange trading summary.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$97.70, down from J$98.37, while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$159.13, down from J$159.25. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13649559/forex_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, February 16, 2017 5:41 PM American fugitive held in St Andrew, to be deported http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/American-fugitive-held-in-St-Andrew--to-be-deported ST ANDREW, Jamaica &mdash; The United States Embassy is today saluting the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) for their assistance in apprehending an American man who was on the run for more than 15 years.<br /> <br /> In February, a joint US-Jamaica investigation renewed efforts to locate and apprehend Keemeit Melaun Hand, after intelligence suggested that he might have fled to Jamaica.  <br /> <br /> According to reports, investigators analysed suspicious records of a relative of Hand, which led their investigations to a residence in St Andrew.  <br /> <br /> During surveillance yesterday, investigators reportedly observed a male arrive at the house.  <br /> <br /> Authorities from the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) then detained the subject, who produced identification that turned out to be fraudulent.  <br /> <br /> During a subsequent interview with C-TOC, it is said that the subject admitted that he really was Keemeit Hand.  C-TOC took him into custody ending a more than 15-year flight from justice.  <br /> <br /> As soon as immigration proceedings are completed, Hand is to be deported to Georgia, where a federal grand jury indicted him for possession with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13649464/Arrest1--3-_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, February 16, 2017 4:54 PM Jamaica, Venezuela sign Petrojam upgrade agreement http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Jamaica--Venezuela-sign-Petrojam-upgrade-agreement KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Jamaica and Venezuela last night reached an agreement for the long-awaited upgrade of the Petrojam refinery.<br /> <br /> The agreement was signed by Jamaica&rsquo;s Energy Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley and his Venezuelan counterpart Nelson Martinez in Caracas.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We finally signed the deal after 10 years,&rdquo; an upbeat Dr Wheatley told OBSERVER ONLINE a short while ago, after returning home from the Venezuelan capital.<br /> <br /> He said the upgrade will meet Jamaica&rsquo;s requirement of &ldquo;55,000 barrels per day when the facility is up and running&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;First of all, we&rsquo;ll be able to fully satisfy all our domestic demand and have additional supplies to export to other Caribbean countries,&rdquo; Dr Wheatley said.<br /> <br /> The upgrade, he said, will cost an estimated US$850 million to US$1 billion &ldquo;depending on the technology that is employed&rdquo;. However, the Jamaican Government is hoping that the cost will not rise above the US$850 million.<br /> <br /> The upgrade was part of the agreement when State-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) bought a 49 per cent stake in the local refinery in 2008 for US$63.5 million.<br /> <br /> However, a number of factors, including increases in the price of oil on the international market, prevented the partners from going ahead the upgrade.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13648804/PetroJam_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, February 16, 2017 10:44 AM O-WRAP: PPV tint removal won't solve crime...Taxi driver murdered... 6 out of 1000 children in State care http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/O-WRAP--PPV-tint-removal-won-t-solve-crime---Taxi-driver-murdered----6-out-of-1000-children-in-State-care 1. Removing tint from PPVs illegal, will not solve crime &mdash; JATOO<br /> <br /> The Jamaica Association of Transport Owners and Operators (JATOO) says<br /> <br /> steps by authorities to remove tint from public passenger vehicles are<br /> <br /> illegal and will not solve the country&rsquo;s crime problem (PPVs). Full story here <br /> <br /> 2. Journalists shot dead mid-broadcast in DomRep<br /> <br /> Two journalists were shot dead during a live radio broadcast in the Dominican Republic, police and media said. Full story here <br /> <br /> 3. PNP queries copper export ban<br /> <br /> Opposition Spokesman on industry, investment and commerce Anthony<br /> <br /> Hylton, is demanding that the Government explains its decision to<br /> <br /> suspend the export of copper. Full story here <br /> <br /> 4. J'can nabbed with 10,000 'ecstasy' pills in US pleads guilty<br /> <br /> A man, said to be Jamaican, yesterday pleaded guilty to attempting to sell ecstasy drugs in the United States last year. Full story here <br /> <br /> 5. 64-y-o taxi driver murdered in Falmouth<br /> <br /> A taxi operator was last night shot dead along the Wiltshire main road in Falmouth, Trelawny by two men posing as passengers. Full story here <br /> <br /> 6. Jamaica is first C'bean country to launch IMF-approved National Summary Data Page<br /> <br /> Jamaica has become one of the first countries globally and the first in<br /> <br /> the Caribbean to launch an IMF-approved National Summary Data Page<br /> <br /> (NSDP). Full story here <br /> <br /> 7. HIC to open Ja's first ICU for heart patients<br /> <br /> The Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) today announced the opening<br /> <br /> of an &ldquo;ultra-modern, fully equipped&rdquo; cardiac intensive care unit (ICU)<br /> <br /> dedicated to the care of heart patients. Full story here<br /> <br /> 8. $232m to be spent on relocating Foreign Affairs Ministry<br /> <br /> The Government has allocated $232 million for the provision of<br /> <br /> customised office facilities for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and<br /> <br /> Foreign Trade. Full story here <br /> <br /> 9. Acting commissioner advocates for honest emotions without abusive interactions<br /> <br /> Acting Commissioner of Police, Novelette Grant, while looking at the<br /> <br /> relations between spouses noted that people ought to be honest with<br /> <br /> their emotions, and not let differences or disagreements get to the<br /> <br /> point where interactions become abusive. Full story here <br /> <br /> 10. Six out of every 1,000 children are in state care &mdash; Green<br /> <br /> State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information,<br /> <br /> Floyd Green yesterday revealed that as at September 30, the total number<br /> <br /> of children in the tertiary child protection system stood at 4,621.  <br /> <br /> Full story here http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13647070/taxi2_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 15, 2017 7:00 PM Forex: J$127.98 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Forex--J-127-98-to-one-US-dollar KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The US dollar on Wednesday, February 15, ended trading at J$127.98, down by six cents, according to the Bank of Jamaica&rsquo;s daily foreign exchange trading summary.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$98.37, up from J$97.35, while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$159.25, down from J$159.60.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13646795/forex_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 15, 2017 5:34 PM Gas prices up $0.97, diesel down $0.17 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Gas-prices-up--0-97--diesel-down--0-17 KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Motorists should see an increase at the pumps in the price of gasoline and a decrease in the price of diesel, effective Thursday, February 16, according to the latest ex-refinery costs from Petrojam.<br /> <br /> 87- and 90-octane gasoline will be sold for $96.60 and $98.26 per litre, respectively, up by $0.97 each.<br /> <br /> Automotive diesel fuel will be sold for $94.85 per litre following a decrease of $0.17, while ultra-low sulphur diesel is down by $0.06, and will be sold for $103.60 per litre.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, kerosene increased in price by $0.06 and will be sold for $87.77 per litre.<br /> <br /> Propane liquid petroleum will be sold for $38.90 per litre, down by $0.26 and butane liquid petroleum will be sold for $45.45 per litre after a decrease of $0.14.<br /> <br /> Marketing companies and retailers will add their respective mark-up to these prices.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13646685/gas-pump_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 15, 2017 5:16 PM HIC to open Ja's first ICU for heart patients http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/HIC-to-open-Ja-s-first-ICU-for-heart-patients KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) today announced the opening of an &ldquo;ultra-modern, fully equipped&rdquo; cardiac intensive care unit (ICU) dedicated to the care of heart patients.<br /> <br /> The six-bed, high acuity unit at HIC, which is scheduled to be open to the public March 2017, is the first of its kind in Jamaica and will be complemented with a 20-bed cardiac telemetry unit and will be the first and only such service in Jamaica dedicated to the care of heart patients.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;No effort was spared in ensuring that the units meet and in most cases exceed current international standards. That was the reason we engaged the services of one of the leading hospital architects in the world, Ansel & Bailey, based in London, UK with a track record of high quality healthcare design for over 100 years,&rdquo; explained Dr Madu, Chairman and CEO of the Heart Institute of the Caribbean.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> HIC explained in a release a short while ago that, the intensive care and telemetry units at HIC have been designed to meet and exceed international standards with dedicated oxygen and medical airlines leading to individual bed head units for each patient. <br /> <br /> All beds are equipped with individual patient monitors linked to central monitoring stations and accessible to an international panel of experts to assist remotely in the care of patients to achieve optimal outcome.  <br /> <br /> In addition, each bed in the intensive care unit comes with a dedicated ventilator for those patients who may need ventilator support.  Three zones of healing music are provided to create comfort for patients while being treated, HIC said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We recognise that a very important factor in ensuring good outcome for critically ill patients is infection control. In recognition of this, we have employed the use of Air Handling Units and ensured that the intensive care unit has a laminar air flow environment, allowing for 20 to 25 air exchanges per hour, thus providing clean and filtered air at all times for patients and staff.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In line with our vision of providing high quality cardiac care that is accessible and affordable, HIC has put in place mechanisms to ensure that these services will be accessible to all patients including those with significant financial constraints. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have done so for years with other services including offering Free Angiograms to heart attack patients in public hospitals, building Heart Stations in communities and also hosting ECG Days that ensure services to the public at heavily subsidised rates &ndash; all supported by the work of the HIC Foundation,&rdquo; Madu said.<br /> <br /> HIC has won multiple local and international awards for innovation and leadership in cardiovascular healthcare service delivery. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13646572/Heart_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 15, 2017 4:51 PM O-WRAP: Anthony Cruz&rsquo;s daughter murdered&hellip; Bolt wins 4th Laureus award&hellip; Opposition labels JLP conmen http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/O-WRAP--Anthony-Cruz-s-daughter-murdered- 1. Teen daughter of J&rsquo;can entertainer, her mother killed in Florida<br /> <br /> The teen daughter of Jamaican entertainer Anthony Cruz and her mother were murdered in their Florida apartment on Monday. Full story here<br /> <br /> 2. Opposition labels JLP 'conmen' amid reports of planned NHT raid<br /> <br /> A strongly worded release from the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) this afternoon called the governing Jamaica Labour Party 'conmen' for what the Opposition says is breaking a major pre-election promise. Full story here<br /> <br /> 3. JPS customers to pay for company losses<br /> <br /> Jamaica Public Service (JPS) customers are likely to see an increase in their bills come July, following the approval of the company&rsquo;s extraordinary rate review application by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR). Full story here<br /> <br /> 4. Bolt wins Laureus Sportsman of the Year for 4th time<br /> <br /> Track & field legend Usain Bolt claimed his fourth Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award this afternoon. Full story here<br /> <br /> 5. Woman charged after falsely accusing ex of rape on social media<br /> <br /> A woman was yesterday arrested and charged under the Cyber Crimes Act after she posted pictures on social media claiming that her ex-boyfriend is wanted for rape, assault and murder. Full story here<br /> <br /> 6. J&rsquo;can gets 3 years for threatening immigration judge<br /> <br /> A Jamaican man is expected to be deported after serving a three-year sentence in US federal prison for threatening an immigration judge. Full story here<br /> <br /> 7. Cannabis Authority issues first set of conditional approvals<br /> <br /> The Cannabis Licensing Authority has announced that it issued conditional approval for three applicants, who will represent the first individuals licensed by the organisation. Full story here<br /> <br /> 8. Former St Vincent journalist detained after murder of banker<br /> <br /> Police have detained a former St Vincentian journalist following the shooting death of a banker, who died in hospital on Tuesday. Full story here<br /> <br /> 9. ONLINE POLL RESULTS: NHT funds should not be reallocated for budgetary support<br /> <br /> A recent OBSERVER ONLINE poll has overwhelmingly indicated that readers are not in favour of National Housing Trust (NHT) funds being reallocated for budgetary support. Full story here<br /> <br /> 10. Guyanese nabbed at JFK airport with cocaine in shoes<br /> <br /> A Guyanese national has been arrested on arrival at the John F Kennedy International Airport with the authorities indicating that cocaine had been found in shoes in his luggage. Full story here http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13643740/Kevin-Nelson_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, February 14, 2017 7:00 PM O WRAP: Alkaline released&hellip; Rape trending down&hellip; 12-y-o girl missing http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/O-WRAP--Alkaline-released--Rape-trending-down--12-y-o-girl-missing 1. Alkaline released<br /> <br /> Following a four-day detention, dancehall artiste Alkaline was today released from police lock-up without being charged. Full story here<br /> <br /> 2. High Alert activated for missing 12-y-o<br /> <br /> The police have activated a high alert for 12-year-old Tianna Palmer of Burgher Avenue, Kingston 2 who has been missing since Thursday, February 2. Full story here<br /> <br /> 3. Haitian arrested after severing wife's arm<br /> <br /> A Haitian man has been arrested following accusations that he severed his wife's arm during a dispute this morning at Mount Peto district in Hanover. Full story here<br /> <br /> 4.Rape, aggravated assault show downward trend<br /> <br /> Statistics obtained by OBSERVER ONLINE have shown that despite the increasing number of rapes and aggravated assaults covered in the media, there has in fact been a downward trend in the crimes. Full story here<br /> <br /> 5. Bloody weekend in Bahamas, Opposition calls for Gov&rsquo;t to break silence<br /> <br /> Bahamas police on Monday appealed to citizens to provide information after a particularly bloody weekend on the island. Full story here<br /> <br /> 6. Men who accosted Manchester teens charged<br /> <br /> Three men who were arrested by the Christiana Police in relation to a firearm seizure after allegedly accosting a group of teens, were today charged. Full story here<br /> <br /> 7. Gov&rsquo;t to merge, close or divest 84 public entities<br /> <br /> Minister of Finance and the Public Service Audley Shaw says 84 public entities are to be merged, closed or divested as part of the Government&rsquo;s ongoing rationalisation of the public service. Full story here<br /> <br /> 8. Kingston, Birmingham to sign twin city partnership<br /> <br /> The cities of Kingston and Birmingham in Alabama are to sign a twin city partnership aimed at strengthening municipal relationships. Full story here<br /> <br /> 9. $641m allocated for additional classrooms, ending shift system<br /> <br /> The Government will be spending $641 million in its continued thrust to end the shift system in schools by providing additional classrooms over the next financial year. Full story here<br /> <br /> 10. Preventative detention must be accompanied by safeguards &mdash; JFJ<br /> <br /> Human rights organisation Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) today called on the Government to strengthen existing safeguards to avoid abuse of &lsquo;preventative detention' suggested by the Andrew Holness administration. Full story here http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13627200/Alkaline_w300.jpg Local News Monday, February 13, 2017 7:00 PM High Alert activated for missing 12-y-o http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/High-Alert-activated-for-missing-12-y-o2017-02-13T13-10-52 KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; A High Alert has been activated for 12-year-old Tianna Palmer of Burgher Avenue, Kingston 2 who has been missing since Thursday, February 2.<br /> <br /> She is of brown complexion, slim build and is about 161 centimetres (5 feet 3 inches) tall.<br /> <br /> Reports are that Tianna was last seen on Deanery Road, Kingston 3 about 2:00 pm the day she went missing. When last seen she was wearing multicoloured pants and multicoloured sneakers. She has not been heard from since.<br /> <br /> Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Tianna Palmer is being asked to contact the Rollington Town police at 922-2693, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13641189/Tianna-Palmer_w300.jpg Local News Monday, February 13, 2017 4:09 PM Charge Alkaline or release him, judge tells police http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Charge-alkaline-or-release-him--judge-tells-police KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; A judge, this morning, ruled that dancehall deejay Alkaline is to be released by 6:00 pm if the police do not charge him.<br /> <br /> Attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie, who is representing the entertainer, today filed a habeas corpus for his release. <br /> <br /> A habeas corpus is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person&rsquo;s release, unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention.<br /> <br /> Alkaline, whose real name is Earlan Bartley, has been in custody since Thursday when he reported to the Area Four Headquarters at Harman Barracks in Vineyard Town, accompanied by his lawyer. The deejay was wanted for questioning in relation to the murder of Rohan Morris in Maverley on January 13.<br /> <br /> After an extensive interview with detectives, he was removed to the Criminal Investigation Branch office at the National Commercial Bank Towers on Old Hope Road for a second session.<br /> <br /> By afternoon, he was detained at the Hunts Bay lock-up.<br /> <br /> He has been in police custody since then.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13640765/Alkaline_w300.jpg Local News Monday, February 13, 2017 11:05 AM Grange outraged as yet another missing woman found dead http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Grange-outraged-as-yet-another-missing-woman-found-dead ST MARY, Jamaica &mdash; Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange has expressed outrage at the murder of yet another woman who was reported missing prior to her body being found.<br /> <br /> The latest victim, 46-year-old Erroline Chin of Heywood Hall in St Mary, had been reported missing since Thursday and her body found in bushes yesterday.<br /> <br /> According to the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, residents summoned the police about 9:30 am when they stumbled on Chin&rsquo;s body.<br /> <br /> In expressing condolences to the woman's family, Grange said: &ldquo;These acts of brutality against our women and girls must stop. They are unacceptable and we must do all we can to ensure that the perpetrators are caught and punished under the law&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> CCU was unable to state the possible cause of Chin&rsquo;s death but said a post mortem was to be conducted.<br /> <br /> The minister, in her statement, also appealed for people with information about the murder or any other crime to report it to the police.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Let&rsquo;s be clear about it: this evil will flourish if good men and women do and say nothing. It is time to take a stand against violence. No more cover up. Break the silence,&rdquo; Grange urged.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13638533/grange_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 12, 2017 12:15 PM Omar McLeod among Olympic champs to win at Millrose http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Omar-McLeod-among-Olympic-champs-to-win-at-Millrose NEW YORK, United States (AFP) &mdash; Rio Olympic champions Shaunae Miller of Bahamas, Omar McLeod of Jamaica, Derek Drouin of Canada and Katerine Stefanidi of Greece won titles Saturday at the 110th Millrose Games indoor athletics meet.<br /> <br /> Miller, who dove across the line to edge American Allyson Felix for 400-metre gold last year in Rio, won the 300m in 35.71 seconds, matching the sixth-best time at the distance to beat American Ashley Spencer by .56 of a second.<br /> <br /> "This is an amazing feeling," Miller said. "It's a nice start to 2017, a good win. I'm looking forward to it."<br /> <br /> McLeod, the reigning Olympic 110 hurdles champion and world indoor 60 hurdles king, took the 60 hurdles in 7.46 with American Aleec Harris second in 7.56.<br /> <br /> "It was a good run. Technically it wasn't a great race. But it shows I'm still around," McLeod said. "Pressure is there but I'm looking forward to it."<br /> <br /> Stefanidi defended her Millrose women's pole vault crown by clearing 4.82m with American Sandi Morris second at 4.72 in a rematch of their Rio Olympic duel also won by the Greek star.<br /> <br /> Reigning world and Olympic high jump champion Drouin, who won in Rio despite stress fractures in his back, cleared 2.27 on his first attempt to edge compatriot Mike Mason for the victory on fewer misses.<br /> <br /> "I'm keeping an eye on it," Drouin said of his back. "But so far it has been good."<br /> <br /> American Dezerea Bryant won the women's 60m in 7.12, the fastest time in the world this year, with compatriot Morolake Akinosun second by .05 and China's Wei Yongli third in 7.26.<br /> <br /> "I've been working on my start," said Bryant, a member of the US 2015 world runner-up 4x100 relay. "I'm really powerful. When I get a good start that's good for me. I'm very excited. That's my personal best. I'm looking forward to good things this year."<br /> <br /> Reigning world and Olympic long jump champion Tianna Bartoletta, a member of the US Rio gold 4x100 relay, was sixth in 7.30.<br /> <br /> Ajee Wilson, last year's world indoor 800 runner-up, won the Millrose 800 in 1:58.27, the year's best time and an American record, breaking the 15-year-old US mark of 1:58.71 by Nicole Teter.<br /> <br /> "I'm over the moon," said Wilson, who beat US runner-up Charlene Lipsey by .37 of a second.<br /> <br /> Also setting an American record was Courtney Okolo in winning the 500m in 1:07.34.<br /> <br /> "I'm more than happy," she said. "This is a weird event. I wasn't sure how it was going to go but I'm really happy with the result."<br /> <br /> Unheralded Clayton Vaughn edged 2010 world indoor runner-up Mike Rodgers by .003 of a second to win the 60 in 6.611 from lane seven.<br /> <br /> "I just tried to close and lean to the line," Vaughn said. "I could see him out of my left eye. I knew he was there."<br /> <br /> Dutch standout Sifan Hassan, the world indoor 1,500 champion, won the women's mile in a meet record 4:19.89.<br /> <br /> "It's fantastic," she said. "I'm so happy."<br /> <br /> Canada added two more titles with Kate Van Buskirk taking the women's 3,000 in 8:52.08 and Phylicia George winning the women's 60 hurdles in 7.98.<br /> <br /> "I just wanted to focus on myself and my start," George said. "I'm just getting ready for outdoors."<br /> <br /> Other US winners were Vernon Norwood in the men's 500 in 1:00.11, Brannon Kidder in the men's 1,000 in 2:19.92, Eric Jenkins in the men's mile in 3:53.23 and Ben True in the men's two mile in 8:11.33. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13637486/MCLEOD-OMAR-SIX_w300.jpg Local Sports Saturday, February 11, 2017 8:26 PM Alkaline still in police custody http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Alkaline-still-in-police-custody KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Dancehall artiste Alkaline, who has been in police custody since surrendering himself at 9:00am yesterday for questioning in relation to a murder, remains in custody. <br /> <br /> OBSERVER ONLINE has been informed that no questioning of the deejay took place today. No reason was given for the questioning session not taking place, however, the 23-year-old artiste, whose real name is Earlan Bartley, has not been charged.<br /> <br /> Bartley's attorney Peter Champagnie says he will file for habeus corpus to have him released, if the artiste is not released by Monday.<br /> <br /> More information later. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12837664/195808_24996_repro_w300.jpg Local News Friday, February 10, 2017 6:03 PM Two charged with murder of 15-y-o Shineka Gray  http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Two-charged-for-murder-of-15-y-o-Shineka-Gray MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica &mdash; Two men have been charged with the murder of 15-year-old Green Pond High student Shineka Gray. <br /> <br /> According to the police, two men, Gregory Roberts, 31, and Mario Morrison, 23, were charged yesterday, and will be attending court next week.<br /> <br /> Gray's partially decomposed body was found riddled with stab wounds Wednesday afternoon, three days after she was reported missing.<br /> <br /> The gruesome discovery was made by residents of Clark Street in her Mount Salem community who had summoned the police to a section of the Meadows of Irwin, a short distance from her school. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13635514/Shineka-Gray_w300.jpg Local News Friday, February 10, 2017 5:57 PM Gunmen kill Cherry Gardens resident, injure another http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Gunmen-kill-Cherry-Gardens-resident--injures-another ST ANDREW, Jamaica &mdash; Detectives attached to the Constant Spring police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of a man at his home in Cherry Gardens, Kingston 8. <br /> <br /> Dead is 25-year-old Rakish Telroja. <br /> <br /> Police say that about 7:00 pm, Telroja and a friend were at home when four men invaded the premises. They proceeded to rob the men following which Telroja was shot in the chest and the other man in the leg.  <br /> <br /> On arrival of the police the two were taken to hospital where Telroja succumbed to his injuries and the other man treated and release.<br /> <br /> Investigations are ongoing. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13633704/police-line_w504--1-_w300.jpg Local News Friday, February 10, 2017 7:48 AM