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 #Champs2017: Another record as St Jago&rsquo;s Lyston clocks 24s in 200m prelim http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/-Champs2017--Another-record-as-St-Jago-s-Lyston-clocks-24s-in-200m-prelim KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; St Jago&rsquo;s Class Four sprinter Brianna Lyston etched her name in the history books, as the records continue to fall on day one of the 107th ISSA Boys&rsquo; and Girls&rsquo; Championships under way at the National Stadium.<br /> <br /> Lyston clocked a fast, yet comfortable, 24.00 seconds in the preliminary round of the girls&rsquo; 200 metre to lower the previous mark of 24.21 seconds set by her schoolmate Joanne Reid back in 2015.<br /> <br /> The diminutive sprinter&rsquo;s milestone, which came in a positive 0.1 metres per second wind speed, is the third record of the 2017 championships and second on the girls&rsquo; side.<br /> <br /> She now joins Holmwood Technical&rsquo;s sprint hurdler Shanette Allison and Kimar Farquharson of Calabar as the early record breakers and by all indications there will be more to come over the course of the five-day meet.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Tina Clayton of Edwin Allen, who is expected to be the main danger to Lyston, was also comfortable in heat one in 25.27 seconds. <br /> <br /> She ran in a positive 0.8 metres per second wind reading.<br /> <br /> Sherdon Cowan<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13741809/Jago_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 28, 2017 6:40 PM US launches anti-dumping probe against Chinese aluminum foil http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/US-launches-anti-dumping-probe-against-Chinese-aluminum-foil WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) &mdash; The United States launched an anti-dumping investigation against imports of Chinese aluminum foil on Tuesday, the latest in a series of cases against the country that could result in the imposition of punitive duties.<br /> <br /> "The Trump Administration is unequivocally committed to the vigorous enforcement of America's trade laws and will ensure US businesses and workers are treated fairly," US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.<br /> <br /> US companies filed a complaint early this month saying Chinese aluminum foil imports are dumped into the American market at prices lower than the cost of production, and unfairly subsidized. They name 230 Chinese companies in the complaint.<br /> <br /> Aluminum foil imports from China amounted to US$390 million last year, the Commerce Department said. <br /> <br /> "The Department of Commerce intends to act swiftly to halt any unfair trade practices and will render our decisions at the earliest opportunity, while also assuring a full and fair assessment of the facts," Ross said.<br /> <br /> The US International Trade Commission will review the case by April 24 and if it determines that US companies have been harmed, the Commerce Department could decide this summer to impose punitive tariffs on those goods based on the dumping rate of between 38.4 per cent and 140.2 per cent.<br /> <br /> The previous administration of Democratic president Barack Obama, just before leaving office in January, filed a complaint against China in the World Trade Organization (WTO) over its aluminum imports, saying subsidies granted by Beijing are illegal under WTO rules. <br /> <br /> In the first step in the WTO dispute settlement process, Washington called for consultations with Beijing.<br /> <br /> In the absence of negotiated compromise, the United States could be allowed by the WTO to impose tariffs on certain Chinese imports. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13741786/Aluminiumfoil_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, March 28, 2017 6:25 PM Professor Wendel Abel slaps down interpretation of NCDA ganja report  http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Professor-Wendel-Abel-slaps-down-interpretation-of-NCDA-ganja-report KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Prominent Consultant Psychiatrist Professor Wendel Abel in a bombshell today noted that significant portions of a recent report by the National Council for Drug Abuse (NCDA) that was interpreted by authorities, as saying that there is a 50 per cent increase in the number children and adolescents using ganja, is wrong.<br /> <br /> While speaking on Nationwide&rsquo;s talk program with Cliff Hughes today, Professor Abel pointed out that ganja use has been stable for the most part and that there is no data on hand to suggest a 50 per cent increase in ganja use since Jamaica decriminalised it.<br /> <br /> Abel, who is also Deputy Chairman of the NCDA, was speaking as a raging controversy engulfs Ministry of Health Chief Medical Officer, Dr Winston De La Haye after cannabis law reform advocate Delano Seiveright expressed &ldquo;suspicion&rdquo; about De La Haye&rsquo;s interpretation of the NCDA&rsquo;s recent report.<br /> <br /> Seiveright raised concern about a perceived conflict of interest with De La Haye over the weekend. <br /> <br /> He told OBSERVER ONLINE that, &ldquo;Dr De La Haye, who is the backbone of the NCDA for many years, spent all his life belittling ganja law reform and has been keen at promulgating information that many, including well respected members of the medical community, view as highly questionable and out of sync with current realities. How then can Dr De La Haye be expected to reasonably and expertly guide ganja related health policy?&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Abel noted also that the NCDA had in fact stepped up its ganja user prevention program following decriminalisation in 2015.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13741670/Wendell-Abel_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, March 28, 2017 5:16 PM Opposition offers partnership on pension reform http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Opposition-offers-partnership-on-pension-reform KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; People's National Party (PNP) president, Dr Peter Phillips says that the Opposition will support the provisions of the public sector pension Bill.<br /> <br /> However, Dr Phillips insisted on the condition of a timeline, which ensures that the implementation is going in the direction of relieving the financial burden it creates on public revenues.<br /> <br /> He said that based on the information available from the expected actuarial review, the government should be able to guide the process based on a timeline.<br /> <br /> He also suggested that the three-year review period could be brought forward to 18 months, to ensure that a timeline is given for Government to commence contributing to the segregated fund, as well as the scope of the pension programme to meet its objectives.<br /> <br /> Prime Minister Andrew Holiness urged members of Parliament not to make the debate a political issue, as the cost of public sector pension was too much of a burden on the public purse and could threaten capital expenditure or lead to increased debt.<br /> <br /> The debate on the Bill, which will require that government workers start contributing to their pension fund in 2017/18 at the level of five per cent of salary, was suspended until next week.<br /> <br /> Balford Henry<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13741625/peter-phillips_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, March 28, 2017 4:42 PM Forex: J$128.40 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Forex--J-128-40-to-one-US-dollar2017-03-27T15-05-12 KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The US dollar on Monday, March 27, ended trading at J$128.40, down by two cents, according to the Bank of Jamaica&rsquo;s daily foreign exchange trading summary.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$95.77 down from J$96.41, while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$161.20 up from J$160.96. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739572/Forex_w300.jpg Local News Monday, March 27, 2017 5:00 PM Simpson Miller tells followers to support Phillips http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Simpson-Miller-tells-followers-to-support-Phillips KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Outgoing People&rsquo;s National Party leader Portia Simpson Miller called on her followers to throw their support behind incoming party president Peter Phillips.<br /> <br /> Simpson Miller in her final address as party leader urged &ldquo;Portialytes and Portia battalion&rdquo; to &ldquo;&hellip;become the Peter Brigades, as he is your new leader and he will need you as much as I needed you.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> "He is now your leader and he will need your support as much as I did," she said.<br /> <br /> Simpson Miller also told the chanting crowd that she is convinced that the party is being placed in good hands.<br /> <br /> Tanesha Mundle http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13737422/phillips-portia-_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, March 26, 2017 2:13 PM 15-y-o State ward reported missing http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/15-y-o-State-ward-reported-missing KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The police is reporting that a 15-year-old ward of the State is missing. <br /> <br /> An Ananda Alert has been activated for Nathan Lawrence, a ward of the state at Goodwin Park Hostel in Kingston 4 who has been missing since yesterday afternoon.<br /> <br /> He is of dark complexion, slim build and about 5'2" tall.<br /> <br /> Reports from the Allman Town Police are that Lawrence was last seen at the Goodwin Park facility about 3:45 pm wearing a grey T-shirt, blue jeans and a pair of red shoes. Efforts to contact him have reportedly proven futile.<br /> <br /> The police say no photo of Lawrence was available, however, anyone knowing his whereabouts is being asked to contact the Allman Town Police at 922-2842, 119 or the nearest police station. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13735600/Missing-person1_w300.jpg Local News Saturday, March 25, 2017 1:11 PM Restaurant owners killed in Hanover triple murder http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Restaurant-owners-killed-in-Hanover-triple-murder HANOVER, Jamaica &mdash; Three people are dead and one injured after a shooting at a restaurant in the Dias community of Kingsvale, Hanover last night.<br /> <br /> Initial reports from the police are that 47-year-old Marcia Johnson and her common-law-husband Authur Noel Muir, 49, both of Clinic in Hanover were killed, along with another 49-year-old man, Peter Aitchison. <br /> <br /> Johnson and Muir owned the restaurant, and Aitchison reportedly operated a nearby bar. <br /> <br /> An unnamed person was injured in the incident, which took place around 9:00 pm. <br /> <br /> Residents reportedly heard gunshots and summoned the police to the scene, where the three were found dead.<br /> <br /> The gunmen are said to have fled the scene. The police are yet to establish a motive for the murders.<br /> <br /> Investigations continue.<br /> <br /> Mark Cummings http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13735497/Murders-graphic_w300.jpg Local News Saturday, March 25, 2017 11:02 AM UPDATE: Bustamante Hospital back to normal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/UPDATE--Bustamante-Hospital-back-to-normal KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) has reported that normal operations have resumed at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, since 2:00 pm today.<br /> <br /> SERHA reported yesterday that the hospital was accepting emergency cases only as a result of industrial action being taken by the health-records staff following an incident at the hospital.<br /> <br /> Reports are that the incident, involving a parent, resulted in a health records clerk being seriously injured. <br /> <br /> SERHA said that the injured staff member underwent a surgery and was discharged this afternoon from the Kingston Public Hospital.<br /> <br /> The incident occurred at approximately 11:00 pm Wednesday.<br /> <br /> A SERHA release said Chief Medical Officer, Dr Winston De La Haye, met with the hospital management and union representatives this morning to further discuss the concerns of the staff.<br /> <br /> Management of the hospital is taking steps to address the concerns of the staff and implement measures to further strengthen security systems, SERHA said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11099088/BUSTAMANTE-HOSPITAL_w300.jpg Local News Friday, March 24, 2017 6:57 PM UPDATE: Police seek 26-y-o in relation to St Ann grenade incident http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/UPDATE--Police-seek-26-y-o-in-relation-to-St-Ann-grenade-incident ST ANN, Jamaica &mdash; The police are this afternoon seeking a man implicated in a grenade-throwing incident on Thursday, in which a police sergeant was injured and an alleged gunman killed.<br /> <br /> The police are seeking 26 year-old Sadan Lloyd Mullings of Elgin Town, Lucea in Hanover, who they say is wanted in connection with several serious crimes in western Jamaica and St Ann.<br /> <br /> The police are urging Mullings to immediately turn himself in to the nearest police station.<br /> <br /> Reports are that about 9:00 pm last night a team of police from the Mobile Reserve and Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) was conducting operations at Armadale, Alexandria in St Ann in search of men implicated in the quadruple murder in Westmoreland on Saturday, March 18. <br /> <br /> The police say the lawmen strategically cordoned the premises and instructed the occupants to exit. However, explosive devices were reportedly thrown at the police team.<br /> <br /> OBSERVER ONLINE earlier reported that the explosive devices were two grenades, one of which JDF soldiers managed to prevent from detonating. <br /> <br /> The policeman who was injured in the incident is said to be recovering, while the gunman who was killed remains unidentified.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the police say Thursday night&rsquo;s incident &ldquo;clearly demonstrates the brazenness, and the level of arsenal in possession of criminal elements&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> They are urging residents to be on the alert and look out for suspicious people and activities in their communities and immediately report anything untoward to the authorities. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12089278/Police-team--1-_w300.jpg Local News Friday, March 24, 2017 5:32 PM Stephen Price to head Flow Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Stephen-Price-to-head-Flow-Jamaica KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Stephen Price has been appointed managing director of Flow Jamaica effective June 1.<br /> <br /> Price, the communications&rsquo; giant&rsquo;s vice-president of retail sales and distribution, is stepping into the position following the appointment of current country head Garfield Sinclair to president, Caribbean, Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) earlier this year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In his new role, Price will lead Jamaica&rsquo;s 800-plus team and have the responsibility of leading and executing the strategy for both the consumer line (Flow) as well as the business line (C&W Business).  He will also own the financial performance, customer experience and reputation of the business,&rdquo; Flow said in a news release this afternoon.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;CWC is at a defining time in its history and Jamaica is a key part of that story.  I am very excited about Stephen&rsquo;s appointment as he has some great ideas that I believe will continue to grow our Jamaica business and take it to the next level,&rdquo; said Sinclair. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Stephen and I will immediately embark on a programme to ensure a smooth leadership transition which will culminate in him fully taking over the reins in June,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13728199/stephen_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, March 22, 2017 5:27 PM O-WRAP: Increase in some NHT loans&hellip; Spencer, Hylton breach WADA rules&hellip; T&T bans corned beef http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/O-WRAP--Increase-in-some-NHT-loan-ceilings--Spencer--Hylton-breach-WADA-rules--T-T-bans-corned-beef 1. NHT to offer more on some loans<br /> <br /> Prime Minister Andrew Holness today announced several increases in the amounts to be given on some loans by the National Housing Trust. Full story here<br /> <br /> 2. Spencer, Hylton charged with WADA whereabouts violation<br /> <br /> Jamaican hurdler, Kaliese Spencer, and quarter-miler, Ryker Hylton have been slapped with charges by the World Anti-doping Agency. Full story here<br /> <br /> 3. Accused in Mario Dean killing ruled unfit to face trial<br /> <br /> One of three men charged with the beating death of Mario Deane, while in police custody in 2014, was today found unfit for trial. Full story here<br /> <br /> 4. Trinidad joins Jamaica in banning Brazil corned beef<br /> <br /> Trinidad and Tobago has joined its Caribbean Community (CARICOM) partner, Jamaica, in imposing an immediate ban on the importation and sale of corned beef from Brazil due to ongoing investigations into the sale of rotten beef from the country. Full story here<br /> <br /> 5. Man stabbed to death in August Town<br /> <br /> A man was stabbed to death last night in his August Town community during a dispute with another man who the police said is known to him. Full story here<br /> <br /> 6. Gov't tables bill to allow designation of 'high crime' areas<br /> <br /> The Government today tabled a bill intended to give the prime minister power to designate certain areas as high crime areas in which security forces will have special powers, according to Prime Minister Andrew Holness. Full story here<br /> <br /> 7. Grace sending &lsquo;bully-beef&rsquo; team to Brazil<br /> <br /> GraceKennedy Limited says a team from Grace Foods is making an &ldquo;urgent&rdquo; trip to Brazil to meet with their suppliers and do further investigations in light of a directive from the Government to suspend the sale of corned beef originating from that country. Full story here<br /> <br /> 8. DPP urges women not to have children they cannot afford<br /> <br /> Director of Public Prosecutions (DDP) Paula Llewellyn is urging women to desist from having children that they cannot afford to provide for financially. Full story here<br /> <br /> 9. PAJ concerned about use of new Cybercrimes Act<br /> <br /> The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) today expressed concern about section 9 of the new Cybercrimes Act, which deals with an offence referred to as &ldquo;malicious communication.&rdquo; Full story here<br /> <br /> 10. JCF to get 200 additional motor vehicles &mdash; Montague<br /> <br /> The Ministry of National Security will be acquiring 200 additional motor vehicles for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), at a cost of approximately $418 million. Full story here http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13725851/KALIESE-SPENCER-2_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, March 21, 2017 7:00 PM UPDATE: Kaliese Spencer charged with WADA whereabouts violation http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/UPDATE--Kaliese-Spencer-charged-with-WADA-whereabouts-violation KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has confirmed that Kaliese Spencer is the female athlete who has been charged with a whereabouts violation in keeping with the rules of the World Anti-doping Agency.<br /> <br /> Read more: Two Jamaican athletes charged with WADA whereabouts violation<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have been advised by JADCO that athletes Kaliese Spencer and Riker Hylton have been referred to the Independent Anti Doping Disciplinary Panel for a hearing to be conducted in accordance with Article 8 of the JADCO Anti-doping Rules 2015. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Both athletes are alleged to have violated article 2.3 of the said rules which speaks to &ldquo;Evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection.&rdquo; As the matter is now before the Disciplinary Panel we will not be commenting any further on the matter,&rdquo; JAAA said in a release this afternoon.<br /> <br /> More information later.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13725728/KALIESE-SPENCER-2_w300.jpg Local Sports Tuesday, March 21, 2017 5:36 PM #BudgetDebate: Don&rsquo;t compare our taxation to yours, Holness tells Phillips http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/-BudgetDebate--Don-t-compare-our-taxation-to-yours--Holness-tells-Phillips KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash;  Prime Minister Andrew Holness this afternoon defended the recent tax package presented by his Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Government, as well as the increase of the income tax threshold to $1.5 million effective April 1. <br /> <br /> Holness said the increase in the threshold was giving back &ldquo;into the hands of the people&rdquo;. He had earlier defended the threshold increases as removing horizontal inequity where those in the informal sector did not pay income taxes. <br /> <br /> Holness said only 500,000 of Jamaica's 1.3 million employed citizens paid income tax.<br /> <br /> The prime minister further asserted that the tax package introduced by his Government was revenue neutral, and took issue with Opposition spokesman on finance Dr Peter Phillips encouraging the Jamaican people to 'reject' the tax package.<br /> <br /> Holness dismissed Phillips' objections as &ldquo;rum talk&rdquo; and told the former finance minister "Do not ever compare the taxes this Government has imposed on the people to yours!"<br /> <br /> Holness was making his contribution to the 2017/18 estimates of expenditure (budget) currently taking place at Gordon House.<br /> <br /> Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, opened the debate on March 9, while Phillips followed with a contribution on March 14, then Leader of the Opposition, Portia Simpson Miller, on March 16.<br /> <br /> Shaw will close the debate tomorrow afternoon.<br /> <br /> Yakum Fitz-Henley<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13725438/Holness_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, March 21, 2017 3:50 PM PAJ concerned about use of new Cybercrimes Act http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/PAJ-concerned-about-use-of-new-Cybercrimes-Act KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) today expressed concern about section 9 of the new Cybercrimes Act, which deals with an offence referred to as &ldquo;malicious communication.&rdquo; The media group is calling on Parliament to stand by its principled position on criminal defamation.<br /> <br />  See full statement:<br /> <br /> Jamaica&rsquo;s Defamation Act 2013 repealed criminal defamation, via section 7. Jamaica was hailed for this significant legislative advance by groups like the International Press Institute.<br /> <br /> Freedom of expression is a fundamental right that, like many others, is subject to restrictions. Those restrictions include the law of defamation to protect the reputations of others. These are matters for the civil courts.<br /> <br /> Restrictions are also often placed by criminal law on types of speech that incite violence, or are threatening in nature, for example.<br /> <br /> However, criminal defamation laws that penalise statements that injure reputation are understood by freedom of expression advocates all over the world to be an enemy of freedom of expression, to have a chilling effect on free speech, and to facilitate the repression of criticism by governments.<br /> <br /> When Jamaica&rsquo;s Cybercrimes Act was being reviewed, representatives from the police and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions recommended the inclusion of cyber defamation as an offence. This was strongly opposed by both the Press Association of Jamaica, and the Media Association of Jamaica.<br /> <br /> We were of the clear understanding that the Joint Select Committee reviewing the legislation fully appreciated the negative consequences of attempting to reintroduce criminal defamation, albeit to apply in cyberspace.<br /> <br /> Indeed, on the face of it, section 9 does not appear to allow for charges for statements that may be defamatory.<br /> <br /> However, recent arrests by the police, on the facts available, make it appear that the police are interpreting the legislation as having re-introduced criminal defamation by the back door.<br /> <br /> The section states that a person commits an offence if that person uses a computer to send to another person any data (whether in the form of a message or otherwise)<br /> <br /> (a) That is obscene, constitutes a threat or is menacing in nature and<br /> <br /> (b) with the intention to harass any person or cause harm or the apprehension of harm to any person or property&hellip;.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The penalty in a Parish Court can be a fine of up to $4 million or four years imprisonment, or $5 million or five years in jail in the case of a second offence or if &ldquo;damage&rdquo; is caused.  Before the Circuit Court the penalty is a fine and imprisonment for up to ten years, or up to 15 years if &ldquo;damage&rdquo; is caused, or the penalty is up to 20 years in the case of a second offence.<br /> <br /> In one recent case, the Ministry of National Security reported that a woman was charged under the section after she &ldquo;posted pictures in social media claiming that her ex-boyfriend is wanted for rape, assault and murder.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> In another case, a women&rsquo;s rights advocate was arrested after posting on social media sites the names of persons alleged to have carried out various sexual assaults.<br /> <br /> The allegations in each case relate to what would, offline, be matters for the civil courts through the law on defamation, and could not be subject to any criminal charge.<br /> <br /> These cases are before the courts, which will decide whether the offence detailed in section 9 is made out in these specific cases.<br /> <br /> However, we do not believe it serves the public interest for us to remain silent and wait for court rulings which may take several years, and which in any case, may not prevent continued arrests of this type. This will entail arrested persons being exposed to the trauma of arrest, and force them to spend time, and perhaps significant sums of money to defend themselves. Making arrests for what are essentially matters for the civil courts places Jamaica on a steep, slippery slope where freedom of expression is at risk. We do not believe this was the intention of the legislature.<br /> <br /> We therefore call on the Jamaican legislature to stand by the principled position by which it abolished criminal defamation. This may necessitate the amendment of section 9, and introducing words to make it clear that actions which would comprise defamation offline, cannot be caught by the section. In fact, the section already specifically carves out one such exception as it states that:<br /> <br /> &ldquo;&hellip;(for the avoidance of doubt) nothing in this section shall be construed as applying to any communication relating to industrial action, in the course of an industrial dispute, within the meaning of the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> It is also possible that the Ministry of National Security may wish to ask that a legal opinion on the interpretation of section 9 and the elements of the offence be prepared for the police to help guide their actions from here. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13725379/dionne_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, March 21, 2017 3:31 PM Stop consuming corned beef! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Stop-consuming-corn-beef- KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries has imposed an immediate import ban on corned beef originating from Brazil.<br /> <br /> The move follows reports from Brazilian authorities that several major Brazilian meat processors have been &ldquo;selling rotten beef and poultry&rdquo;. The companies are also alleged to have paid hefty bribes to auditors in exchange for fraudulent sanitary licenses.<br /> <br /> The Brazilian companies implicated by the Brazilian authorities supply 99.5 per cent of the corned beef on the local market.<br /> <br /> Given the gravity of the situation, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda called an emergency meeting this afternoon at the ministry&rsquo;s Hope Gardens offices, stressing the importance of safeguarding the welfare of consumers.<br /> <br /> Officials from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Ministry of Health, the Consumer Affairs Commission, The Bureau of Standards Jamaica, the National Compliance Regulatory Authority, and the Jamaica Customs Agency attended the meeting. In addition, the ministry has convened a meeting with major distributors and importers of corned beef locally.<br /> <br /> Following the discussions, it was agreed that given the implications for the country&rsquo;s public health, the following steps are to be taken immediately:<br /> <br /> 1. A temporary hold will be placed on all permits for the import of corned beef from Brazil.<br /> <br /> 2.  As a precautionary measure, all corned beef currently on the shelves will be withdrawn.<br /> <br /> 3. The National Food Recall Committee will meet immediately to determine next steps and inform when it will be safe to consume the product.<br /> <br /> In the interim, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica will conduct chemical test profiles to ascertain the contents of corned beef on the market and the Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry will conduct microbiological and residue tests to ascertain whether contaminants are present in the products on the local market. <br /> <br /> Consumers are also being cautioned not to consume corned beef until further notice.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13723334/cornb_w300.jpg Local News Monday, March 20, 2017 5:52 PM Missing British woman found http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Missing-British-woman-found KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force a short while ago confirmed that 37-year-old Janina Harris of Manchester, England, who went missing last Friday, has been found. <br /> <br /> Read: British woman reported missing in MoBay<br /> <br /> An alarm was made when Harris reportedly went missing after she was seen in the vicinity of Pier One in Montego Bay and efforts to contact her proved futile. <br /> <br /> CCU did not disclose her whereabouts during the time she went missing.<br /> <br /> She is said to be in good health.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13723313/Janina-Harris_w300.jpg Local News Monday, March 20, 2017 5:44 PM Forex: J$128.50 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Forex--J-128-50-to-one-US-dollar2017-03-20T15-01-39 KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The US dollar on Monday, March 20, ended trading at J$128.50, 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$96.08, down from J$96.76, while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$158.55 up from J$158.20.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13723289/Forex_w300.jpg Local News Monday, March 20, 2017 4:58 PM UTech says slain doctor was to graduate with Doctorate in Medical Dentistry this year http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/UTech-says-slain-doctor-was-to-graduate-with-Doctorate-in-Medical-Dentistry-this-year KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The University of Technology says Dr Garth Officer, who was killed by unknown assailants on Friday, had completed studies for a doctorate of medical dentistry and was to graduate the institution this year.<br /> <br /> In a statement from the university condemning the murder, Dean of the College of Oral Health Sciences, Dr Irving McKenzie, was quoted as saying: "Dr Officer was an excellent ambassador for UTech, Jamaica, who chose to be a part of the UTech family to make a difference.  He had just completed his course of study for the Doctorate of Medical Dentistry in preparation for graduation this year.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> UTech said its community and especially faculty, staff and students in the College of Oral Health Sciences are deeply saddened by the vicious killing of Officer.<br /> <br /> President of the institution, Professor Stephen Vasciannie said &ldquo;the life of another of Jamaica&rsquo;s talented sons has been snuffed out by a senseless murder. The University offers its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dr Officer who must be experiencing enormous grief at this time.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The statement said Officer was a medical doctor, nutritionist and chiropractor. He was gunned down outside his St Andrew home on March 17.<br /> <br /> Reports from the Grant's Pen police are that they were summoned at about 4:30 pm after residents heard explosions, and discovered Officer in the driver's seat of his vehicle, slumped over the steering wheel.<br /> <br /> He had suffered several gunshot wounds. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13255269/Utech_w300.jpg Local News Monday, March 20, 2017 2:02 PM J'can misses out on US$1m global teacher prize http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/J-can-teacher-misses-out-on-US-1m-global-teacher-prize KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Jamaican teacher Tracy-Ann Hall today missed out on winning the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2017.<br /> <br /> Maggie MacDonnell, a teacher at the Canadian Arctic, won the US$1 million prize, which was announced by an astronaut from the International Space Station a short while ago.<br /> <br /> She lives and works in Salluit, an Inuit village deep in the Canadian Arctic. The village is so remote that it&rsquo;s accessible only by air, the Varkey Foundation detailed on its website.<br /> <br /> MacDonnell had earlier said that if she won the prize she would establish a non-profit organisation to support youth engagement, culture preservation and global citizenship.<br /> <br /> Canada&rsquo;s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has congratulated MacDonnell via video message.<br /> <br /> Hall, an automotive technology teacher at Jonathan Grant High School in Spanish Town, St Catherine, was among the 10 finalists selected from a pool of 20,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries.<br /> <br /> She planned on buying resources for her school and the auto club she runs, as well as supporting various local families and children&rsquo;s charities, if she won the prize.<br /> <br /> Now in its third year, the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher 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 /> The winner was announced at the Global Education and Skills Conference currently taking place in Dubai. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13720895/Global-teach_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13720897/Global-teach2_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, March 19, 2017 10:00 AM 72-y-o doctor shot dead outside home http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/72-y-o-doctor-shot-dead-outside-home ST ANDREW, Jamaica &mdash; The police are reporting that a 72-year-old medical doctor was yesterday afternoon gunned down outside his St Andrew home.<br /> <br /> The murdered medical practitioner was identified as Dr Garth Officer, who practiced at Charlton Avenue, Grant's Pen in St Andrew.<br /> <br /> Reports from the Grant's Pen police are that they were summoned at about 4:30 pm after residents heard explosions, and discovered Officer in the driver's seat of his vehicle, slumped over the steering wheel.<br /> <br /> He had suffered several gunshot wounds. <br /> <br /> The police were unable disclose any details beyond that Officer was shot by unknown assailants. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13719107/Garth-Officer_w300.jpg Local News Saturday, March 18, 2017 10:03 AM Hit by car, cases of measles, chicken pox but GSAT students undeterred http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Hit-by-car--cases-of-measles--chicken-pox-but-GSAT-students-undeterred KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Day one of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), which saw students writing scripts for mathematics and social studies, was not as smooth as a few students, teachers and administrative staff imagined it would have been.<br /> <br /> In one instance, a student from St Aloysius Primary was hit by a car and taken to the Kingston Public Hospital, a release from the education ministry revealed. <br /> <br /> Her parents said given that her condition was not considered serious, they wanted her to do the exams. She was examined and released after receiving pain medication.  She was also given additional time to do the examination.<br /> <br /> Another student, however, was not as fortunate. He had to defer his sitting of the exam until next year because of an asthma attack.<br /> <br /> The release added that his parents were still at the school at the time of his illness and he was taken to the hospital for treatment.<br /> <br /> The GSAT nightmare for others continued with two of the 1,109 centres reporting incidents of chicken pox and measles. <br /> <br /> The ministry said the affected students were isolated from the groups and placed in separate rooms where invigilators were sent to monitor them.<br /> <br /> Most centres, according to the ministry, were opened on time but heavy rain resulted in a delayed start at some especially in Trelawny and St Ann. <br /> <br /> The ministry&rsquo;s officers are closely monitoring flood prone areas and putting contingencies in place in the event exam centres have to be changed because of heavy rains, the release said.<br /> <br /> A few centres also reported a shortage of scripts where more students turned up than were initially registered.  Extra papers were obtained from the student assessment unit and made available where needed. <br /> <br /> Among the schools that needed additional scripts were: Norman Gardens Primary and Junior High, Seaward Primary and Junior High, Seaview Primary,  Suthermere Preparatory, Holy Family Primary & Infant, Alpha Primary, John Mills Primary and Junior High, St Francis, Allman Town Primary, Excelsior Pre & Prep, Swallowfield Primary and Junior High and Melrose Primary and Junior High schools.<br /> <br /> Despite the challenges outlined above, the ministry said reports from across the island indicate that most of the centres were opened on time and students were able sit  today&rsquo;s mathematics and social studies papers without any problems.<br /> <br /> Tomorrow, March 17, Students will do Language Arts, Communication Task and Science. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13715188/GSAT_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, March 16, 2017 6:59 PM UPDATE: Nugent granted bail, released from hospital http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/UPDATE--Nugent-granted-bail--released-from-hospital KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Latoya Nugent, co-founder of the women&rsquo;s advocacy group Tambourine Army, who was yesterday arrested and charged under the Cybercrimes Act, has been granted station bail according to sources.<br /> <br /> Read: Advocacy group co-founder arrested and charged<br /> <br /> She was set to appear in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court this morning, but was rushed to the Kingston Public Hospital, reportedly in a state of shock. <br /> <br /> Read: UPDATE: Tambourine Army co-founder rushed to hospital in state of shock<br /> <br /> An associate of Nugent told OBSERVER ONLINE that she has since been released from hospital.<br /> <br /> The Tambourine Army has claimed that Nugent was denied medical attention while at the Duhaney Park police station and said she experienced seizures before being taken to the Duhaney Park Health Centre this morning. <br /> <br /> She was later transferred to hospital, the group said.<br /> <br /> Read: UPDATE: Tambourine Army claims Nugent was denied medical attention while in police custody<br /> <br /> When contacted earlier today, a policewoman at the station refused to comment on the matter.<br /> <br /> Nugent, who is also an associate director of another women&rsquo;s advocacy group &mdash; WE-Change, was arrested and charged last night with three counts of using computer for malicious communication.<br /> <br /> She is accused of publishing information on social media maligning several individuals as sexual predators. <br /> <br /> Formal complaints were made to the police by some of the individuals, following which she was called into the Cybercrimes Unit of C-TOC with her attorney, but she refused.<br /> <br /> Nugent was among women who gathered at the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester in January to protest child sexual abuse after Moravian Minister Rupert Clarke was charged with having sex with a minor.<br /> <br /> Media reports are that she used a tambourine to assault, then president of the Moravian Church Paul Gardner, who was subsequently charged with carnal abuse.<br /> <br /> The Tambourine Army, which she represents, describes itself as a radical social justice movement committed to uprooting the scourge of sexual violence and safeguarding the rights of women and girls. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13712235/Latoya-Nugent_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, March 15, 2017 6:03 PM Mexico says inmates forced to wear thongs, scrub floors  http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Mexico-says-inmates-forced-to-wear-thongs--scrub-floors MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AP) &mdash; A state government in northern Mexico says it is investigating alleged inmate abuse at one of its prisons.<br /> <br /> The scandal surfaced with a video posted on social media sites showing a group of male inmates wearing nothing but thong underwear and being forced to scrub floors on their hands and knees, while apparently being kicked and shoved by other inmates.<br /> <br /> The government of Nuevo Leon state says the incident occurred at a prison in Apodaca, suburb of the city of Monterrey. It condemned the incident, and in response staged a search of the prison Wednesday that officials say found a number of knife-like objects and drugs.<br /> <br /> There have been a number of inmate fights at prisons in Nuevo Leon between members of rival drug gangs. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13712079/Jail--1-_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, March 15, 2017 4:51 PM O-WRAP: Wray & Nephew prices increase&hellip; Foreigner dies after yacht fall&hellip; Phillips slams budget http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/O-WRAP--Wray---Nephew-prices-increase--Foreigner-dies-after-yacht-fall--Phillips-slams-budget 1. Wray Nephew to increase prices on 'some products'<br /> <br /> Prominent distillers and bottlers J Wray & Nephew said today that it would be increasing prices on some brands in its portfolio after an increase in Special Consumption Tax for all alcoholic beverages came into effect yesterday. Full story here<br /> <br /> 2. Foreign national dies after yacht accident<br /> <br /> A female foreign national died tragically in Portland today when she fell while working on the spleen of a docked yacht. Full story here<br /> <br /> 3. #BudgetDebate: No gov't in Ja's history taxed health insurance &mdash; Phillips<br /> <br /> The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Government was this afternoon chastened by Opposition Spokesman on finance, Dr Peter Phillips, as the first government in Jamaica's history to tax health insurance. Full story here<br /> <br /> 4. Gov&rsquo;t has made provisions in budget for vulnerable people, says Shaw<br /> <br /> Finance Minister Audley Shaw says the Government, in drafting the $715.6-billion budget for the 2017/18 fiscal year, has taken major steps to safeguard the welfare of vulnerable citizens. Full story here<br /> <br /> 5. Woman constable held on corruption charges<br /> <br /> A woman constable has been slapped with corruption charges after she was accused of trying to solicit money from a motorist during a traffic stop in Old Harbour on December 4 last year. Full story here<br /> <br /> 6. Caribbean Airlines flights cancelled due to New York storm<br /> <br /> Caribbean Airlines today advised that several flights have been cancelled due to a snowstorm affecting the New York area. Full story here<br /> <br /> 7. Cops issue 106,000 traffic tickets since January<br /> <br /> It was reported today that the police have issued more than 106,000 tickets for breaches of the Road Traffic Act since the beginning of the year. Full story here<br /> <br /> 8. JGRA wants gas-tax talks with finance minister<br /> <br /> The Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association JGRA) says it has requested an urgent meeting with Finance Minister Audley Shaw to discuss the new tax on fuel announced last week in his contribution to the 2017/2018 budget debate. Full story here<br /> <br /> 9. Males continue to lead number of people killed in traffic crashes<br /> <br /> Men continue to have the dubious distinction of leading in the number of road fatalities associated with crashes on the nation&rsquo;s roads, according to the Road Safety Unit. Full story here<br /> <br /> 10. #BudgetDebate: Phillips says heavy revenue measures caused by ill-conceived, political motive<br /> <br /> In his contribution to the budget debate today, Dr Peter Phillips said that the Government implementation of such heavy revenue measures was caused by ill-conceived and political motives. Full story here http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13709675/Phillips-in-Par_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, March 14, 2017 7:00 PM