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 #X6MurderTrial: Powell freed!  http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/-X6MurderTrial--Powell-freed KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Businessman Patrick Powell has been freed of all charges related to the 2011 shooting death of 17-year-old Khajeel Mais.<br /> <br /> After deliberation, the jury on Monday returned a not guilty verdict on charges of murder and shooting with intent. <br /> <br /> Powell was being tried for the shooting death of Mais, who was reportedly travelling in a taxi, which collided with a BMW X6 motor vehicle. It is alleged that the driver of the BMW got out and fired at the taxi, hitting the boy.<br /> <br /> The prosecution today told the court that there is no evidence to confirm identification of the accused. They also questioned the credibility of the main witness statement provided by taxi driver Wayne Wright.<br /> <br /> Lead Prosecutor Jeremy Taylor, in making his application said that in his opening statement, he pointed out to the court that the case hinged on the identification of the accused and the credibility of the witness statement. <br /> <br /> However, he said that the prosecution was unable to say without a reasonable doubt that Wright was present when Mais was shot. He also spoke about Wright backpedaling on his statement. <br /> <br /> He said Wright did what he wanted rather than what was right as it relates to the evidence he had given to investigators. <br /> <br /> "He had decided to take a certain course," said Taylor.<br /> <br /> Wright was on Friday adjudged a hostile witness by the prosecution, after permission was granted by Justice Lloyd Hibbert to treat him as such because he showed himself to be inconsistent and adverse.<br /> <br /> The prosecution had 28 witnesses, 12 were called and 16 were left, but the prosecutor said even if he had called the remaining witnesses the issue of identification would still have been a problem.<br /> <br /> The parents of Mais refused to comment but the boy's father said to contact them within the next two weeks. The disappointment could be seen etched on their faces<br /> <br /> Tanesha Mundle<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13379862/POWELL_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 11:40 AM Deaf can... brew coffee http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Deaf-can----brew-coffee_77921 BY KIMONE THOMPSON Associate editor — features thompsonk@jamaicaobserver.com In a year from now when they complete the HEART Trust&rsquo;s new food and beverage course, a group of students from the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf (CCCD) are expected to become the first certified baristas in the country.<br /> <br /> That, as far as the school administration is concerned, is a big deal for a community of people which has been largely locked out of the mainstream job market on account of their inability to hear.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The most obvious outcome is that they will be equipped with a skill which is more marketable, especially for them,&rdquo; manager of the CCCD&rsquo;s Kingston campus Stephen McFarlane told the Jamaica Observer. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;All our national and regional exams are English-based. To test them based on English-based language is much more difficult for the average deaf person, so you will find the average deaf person not having CXCs [exams administered by the Caribbean Examinations Council] and when they do, it&rsquo;s usually with a grade two or three. That&rsquo;s not to say grade one is impossible, it is just more difficult.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So a skill presents something with which they can function and allows them to be their own bosses if needs be, and if they do have a boss, it&rsquo;s not going to require them to be over them at all times,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> A barista, in general terms, is someone who makes and serves coffee.<br /> <br /> The HEART certification will also be a boon for Deaf Can, a coffee house the school operates on its Cassia Park Road campus in Kingston. It currently has a handful of graduates employed, with support from staff and missionaries. They are trained in the area, but are not certified.<br /> <br /> As McFarlane explains it, Deaf Can started as a school project in January last year. A group of boys went on a field trip to a deaf coffee farmer in St Elizabeth and were impressed with his work ethic in spite of his perceived disability. They subsequently bought coffee from him, which they brewed and sold to staff and students at school. But when overseas missionaries from CCCD&rsquo;s network undertook to professionally training some of the students, and with sponsorship from Digicel, the coffee house expanded beyond the campus walls. <br /> <br /> On invitation from corporate or other types of groups, the baristas-in-training sell their brews, including espressos, lattes, and cappucinos, at various events. The most recent of these was at the High Commission of Canada last Thursday, where the British Columbia Institute of Technology and emPOWERed Caribbean Communities signed a memorandum of understanding to partner on energy research. <br /> <br /> In addition to caffeinated brews, Deaf Can also does blended juices, smoothies, and a variety of pastries. It also carries a line of branded T-shirts and hand-sculpted coffee mugs.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I can, with 99.9 per cent accuracy say that there are no trained baristas in Jamaica so we are now partnering with HEART to do food and beverage and barista training,&rdquo; said McFarlane.<br /> <br /> He explained that it was at CCCD&rsquo;s request that the HEART programme was tweaked to included formal barista training. The course began earlier this month with a cohort of 15 students. <br /> <br /> CCCD is operated by a West Virginia-based charity. It offers basic education, vocational training, mentorship, and support to the deaf. In addition to the Kingston location, it has campuses in Montego Bay, St James, and Knockpatrick, Manchester, as well as the 100-acre Jamaica Deaf Village also in Manchester that offers housing, employment, and a church. According to the institution&rsquo;s website, when complete, the village is expected to provide single family homes, apartments, places of employment, educational, medical and recreational facilities, a day care centre, a shopping centre, a retirement centre and a conference centre. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13378373/235731_63261_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13378374/235732_63260_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13378376/235733_63259_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13378375/235734_63258_repro_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 12:00 AM &lsquo;A phenomenal human being&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/A-phenomenal-human-being_78179 BY TANESHA MUNDLE Staff reporter mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com IT was the norm for Walter Scott and his best friend Brian George, avowed football enthusiasts, to watch the National Football League (NFL) games together every Sunday during football season. When they last spoke on Saturday evening, they ended the conversation with the intention to meet up the following day to do just that.<br /> <br /> But the Queen&rsquo;s Counsel&rsquo;s world was shattered yesterday when he received news that his friend of almost 13 years had passed away from a massive heart attack.<br /> <br /> Fifty-nine-year-old George, president and chief executive officer of Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), reportedly fell ill and was taken to Andrews Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.<br /> <br /> Scott, a senior managing partner at Rattray Patterson Rattray, told the Jamaica <br /> <br /> Observer yesterday that the news came as a shock to everyone.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Nobody expected it,&rdquo; Scott said as he recalled his conversation with George on Saturday. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Yesterday (Saturday) afternoon we spoke. It was one of our normal conversations, as we would speak to each other almost everyday about everything under the sun,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> According to Scott, the duo would watch the NFL games sometimes at each other&rsquo;s place, or they would travel to the venues, as they did last Sunday when they went to Boston to watch New England take on Cincinnati Bengals. New England won 35-17.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was looking forward to today,&rdquo; said Scott.<br /> <br /> He described the late George as articulate, very well read, and one of the brightest people he knew.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He was a very good senior executive, but with a conscience and with a generosity of spirit that is hard to find in senior management. He practised corporate social responsibility before it became commonplace to have it in corporations, and it was during his tenure as president and CEO of Supreme Ventures that it grew by multiples and strides, and probably the company would not be what it is without his tremendous leadership,&rdquo; Scott said.<br /> <br /> He will most miss George&rsquo;s &ldquo;loving, caring generosity of spirit&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Simone Clarke-Cooper, assistant vice-president, group corporate communications at Supreme Ventures, also spoke glowingly of George who she said taught her a lot in the few months that she had worked with him.<br /> <br /> She took up the post in June.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He was an amazing man; bright, detailed to a &lsquo;T&rsquo;, very witty, very caring, a phenomenal human being,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> She also described George as a mentor who would assist in the development of those who worked under his leadership, building them up so they could fly.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am going to miss his jokes and the way he would just walk around in the office and speak to everyone,&rdquo; she added.<br /> <br /> In meantime, Supreme Ventures Chairman Paul Hoo said in a statement yesterday, &ldquo;The entire SVL family is deeply shocked and saddened by Brian&rsquo;s death. He had been battling illness for some time, but continued on a daily basis to discharge all of his duties to SVL.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are just trying to come to terms with this significant loss. We will miss him beyond words,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> George became President and CEO of Supreme Ventures in 2003. At the time of his passing, he was also chairman of the Jamaica Gaming Association and deputy chairman of the National Health Fund board.<br /> <br /> He is survived by his wife Keneea, and his sons Christopher and Matthew. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13378303/231776_th_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 12:00 AM VIDEO: 4 years in hospital http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/4-years-in-hospital_77992 BY KIMBERLEY HIBBERT Staff reporter hibbertk@jamaicaobserver.com KENRICK Bogle will turn four years old on Wednesday, but he won&rsquo;t be able to celebrate his birthday like other kids his age. He will be holed up in his bed inside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Bustamante Hospital for Children where he&rsquo;s been since he was but four days old.<br /> <br /> Like they&rsquo;ve done every year since he&rsquo;s been there, the nurses will throw him a party, but there will be few friends and even less interaction for fear of the risk of infection.<br /> <br /> Kenrick can&rsquo;t walk or speak and he can&rsquo;t breathe on his own. He was born with tracheo-oesophageal fistula, which means there is an abnormal connection between his esophagus and his trachea, in which food in the esophagus may pass into the trachea (and on to the lungs) or alternatively, air in the trachea may cross into the esophagus. The fistula has also led to tracheomalacia, meaning his trachea is floppy instead of rigid.<br /> <br /> When the Jamaica Observer contacted Lyndsey McDonnough, the managing director of Market Me Consulting Limited, which has been working with doctors to get help for Kenrick, she explained that the little boy, who is at the developmental stage of a seven-month-old baby, underwent emergency surgery after birth, but three-and-a-half years later he is still in the ICU. He needs another surgery to correct the condition. The procedure comes with a price tag of CAD$500,000 at the Cincinnati Kid&rsquo;s Hospital in Ohio or Canada&rsquo;s The Hospital for Sick Children, popularly known as SickKids<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It cannot be done in Jamaica. The Cincinnati Kid&rsquo;s Hospital has a surgeon who can perform the surgery for an estimated cost of US$378,127. Bustamante was speaking to SickKids and they started the process where they sent over all his documents. I reached out to Sandals Foundation and asked if we could get access to a plane to get him there because we couldn&rsquo;t afford an air ambulance and we got access. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;However, while SickKids will do the surgery, to house him in ICU there as he recovers will cost [another] CAD$500,000,&rdquo; McDonnough said. &ldquo;You can&rsquo;t save every kid, but the difference between him and life is surgery that can&rsquo;t be done here. I opened a Go Fund Me page for him &mdash; https://www.gofundme.com/KenrickBogle &mdash; and I&rsquo;ve been reaching out to people, individuals and corporate.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Kenrick&rsquo;s ear nose and throat specialist Dr Marsha James explained that most pateints with Kenrick&rsquo;s condition usually recover on their own within 18 to 24 months, meaning the rings in the windpipe get strong enough to keep it open.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At that point when we saw he wasn&rsquo;t improving we began to seek help overseas,&rdquo; she told the Observer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He has not been able to ambulate as a normal child. The tube is in his voice box so he is unable to speak, so we don&rsquo;t know what his voice sounds like. And because he&rsquo;s been in ICU his vitamin D is down. His calcium and bone development are also poor, which contributes to him not being able to get around as he should,&rdquo; Dr James continued.<br /> <br /> She added: &ldquo;The surgery would allow for the tube to be taken out of his voice box so he would be able to speak. He would also need a lot of rehabilitation. Remember that the first five years are the development stage and he&rsquo;s almost at that point. He&rsquo;s going to be four on Wednesday. He&rsquo;s been in ICU since four days old, therefore rehabilitation will need to last at least 18 months. This will include speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. He is responsive, it&rsquo;s just that he can&rsquo;t speak. If he is sad, you will see the expression; if he did something bad and the nurses scold him, he will look ashamed. It&rsquo;s just that the tube is in his voice box.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The situation has taken a heavy emotional toll on Kenrick&rsquo;s family. His mother, who declined an interview, has stopped visiting him in hospital. His father Peter explained that the visits gives her nightmares and makes it harder for her to cope. Further, he said, the couple might be on the brink of separation because, although she hasn&rsquo;t said so, he feels that every time she looks at him she remembers their son. <br /> <br /> Mr Bogle confesses that he sometimes feels like giving up too, but he refuses to leave Kenrick. He has been taking stress management classes, he said, and whenever Kenrick gets ill, he stays away from the hospital in order to remember him in a happy state.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Kenrick is going to be four on Wednesday and he has never seen home,&rdquo; the father said, the pain evident in his voice.<br /> <br /> As for the financial burden, Bogle, a freelance videographer, said thankfully Bustamante is part of the public health system and does not levy charges <br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is very stressing, but the hospital helps out a lot in his feeding. Sometimes it&rsquo;s just medication that&rsquo;s not in stock, diapers, wipes, and a special lotion, because of his vitamin D deficiency that I have to buy. That I will have to send abroad to get,&rdquo; he said, adding that whenever he doesn&rsquo;t get the chance to visit, the nurses purchase things on his behalf.<br /> <br /> Procuring Kenrick&rsquo;s supplies and travelling between his home in Hellshire, St Catherine and the hospital in Kingston each week can cost Mr Bogle $4,000 or more, depending on how often he visits, he reported. But he is focused on getting his son well and taking him home.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve tried a couple things before, but we just hope it (the surgery overseas) works out.The only thing beating [us] is the money to pay for the surgery. <br /> <br /> Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton said he is in dialogue with SickKids Canada and that the ministry will provide some assistance to the effort, which is somewhat a unique case.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He has lived at the hospital. He is healthy apart from the specific case. It was quite touching when I first met him and I would like to see him better,&rdquo; Tufton said.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13378220/236163_63201_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13378218/236174_63227_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13378217/236164_63202_repro_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 12:00 AM Gov&rsquo;t salutes George&rsquo;s contribution to economy http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Gov-t-salutes-George-s-contribution-to-economy_78184 The Government of Jamaica yesterday paid tribute to the late Brian George, hailing his legacy in the development of Jamaica&rsquo;s economy and the private sector.<br /> <br /> George, who was president and CEO of Supreme Ventures Limited, chairman of the Jamaica Gaming Association, and deputy chairman of the National Health Fund, passed away yesterday morning after a period of illness. He was 59.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It would be difficult to enumerate all of the contributions Brian made to Jamaica and our people,&rdquo; Prime Minister Andrew Holness said. &ldquo;Through various initiatives led by him, Supreme Ventures has become known for not only its lottery business, but also its deep belief in community development. Under Brian, the company became a standard for good corporate citizenship.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Holness also described George, a native of Trinidad & Tobago, as a true believer in Jamaica, and said the Government and the people of Jamaica were truly saddened by his death. He also expressed condolences to his wife Keneea Linton-George, his sons Michael and Christopher, and his friends and family.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Brian&rsquo;s legacy will be cherished by all who he touched and impacted with his selflessness and dedication to Jamaica,&rdquo; said Holness.<br /> <br /> Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller hailed George as an &ldquo;integral and valuable part of the Jamaican business community&rdquo; who exhibited &ldquo;outstanding marketing and management skills&rdquo;, which she said helped to propel Supreme Ventures to the position of being a major and successful business.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He was instrumental in the growth of the gaming industry in Jamaica and spearheaded initiatives to utilise the proceeds of the industry for social and economic development of our country,&rdquo; Simpson Miller said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Brian George will be sadly missed for his enterprising mind, his managerial attributes, and extraordinary business acumen. He will also be remembered for his pleasant personality and commitment to the development of Jamaica and the Caribbean region,&rdquo; she continued.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange also issued a statement hailing George&rsquo;s commitment to Jamaica.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Brian was personally committed to Jamaica&rsquo;s development,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;[He] was a proud Trinidadian and also a great friend of Jamaica. He offered such outstanding support to Jamaican sports, culture, and other critical areas of national development, over the years, not only through the lottery company which he so ably led.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;His passing today is both a shock and a blow. We will miss him dearly,&rdquo; said Grange. <br /> <br /> In addition to the boards already mentioned, George served as a board member of the CHASE Fund, chairman of the Port Security Corps, and director of the Development Bank of Jamaica Limited. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13378304/231775_63246_repro_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 12:00 AM CIBC donates $3.2m to Haiti relief http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/CIBC-donates--3-2m-to-Haiti-relief_78127 CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank announced on Friday that it has donated $3.2 million (US$25,000) to the Haiti Relief Fund to help the country recover from Hurricane Matthew, which hit the island on October 3, 2016.<br /> <br /> Half of the sum, $1.6 million, was donated through Food For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica, which is working to distribute food and other supplies to Haiti. The other half, equivalent to BDS$25,000, was presented to the United Caribbean Trust (UCT) in Barbados to facilitate the purchase and distribution of water filters for the community tanks in the areas hardest hit by the hurricane.<br /> <br /> The filters, which will be installed in schools, orphanages, prisons and churches, will give close to 1 million Haitians access to safe drinking water, the bank said.<br /> <br /> CIBC FirstCaribbean Managing Director Nigel Holness said that the bank was &ldquo;very concerned for the well-being of our neighbours in Haiti&rdquo;, in spite of the fact that the bank does not operate in that island. <br /> <br /> Speaking at the presentation of the cheque to Food For The Poor Executive Director David Mair, Holness said that FFP and UCT both have a respected history of relief work in Haiti, and that was one of the reasons his bank decided to enter the partnership. <br /> <br /> He noted that &ldquo;clean water, food and shelter are a major priority after a national disaster, and we are proud to do our part in ensuring our Haitian brothers and sisters are provided for&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;CIBC FirstCaribbean must be applauded for their generosity,&rdquo; said Mair, noting that the humanitarian response from Jamaica has so far resulted in over seven container shipments of canned food, water, and a host of non-perishable items. <br /> <br /> Food For The Poor headquarters in Florida, he said, had shipped multiple amounts of relief items as well, and the organisation&rsquo;s representatives in Haiti were focused on feeding and providing shelter for displaced Haitians and helping them develop sustainable incomes. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13378283/236088_63231_repro_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 12:00 AM Police seek third suspect in Denham Town shooting http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Police-seek-third-suspect-in-Denham-Town-shooting_78162 The Kingston West Police Division says it is searching for the third suspect in last Monday&rsquo;s fatal shooting of 33-year-old Nordel Parkes in Denham Town. <br /> <br /> The division reported that about 11:45 am, Parkes was sitting on Blunt Street when three armed men approached and opened fire hitting him several times. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.<br /> <br /> Head of the Kingston West Police Division Superintendent Howard Chambers told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that the two suspects currently in custody in will be charged this week.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Parkes&rsquo; mother, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer last Thursday, defended her son&rsquo;s innocence and denied that he was part of a gang.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Mi son innocent; mi child no mek no trouble. You can go anywhere and ask bout my child; mi nuh have no bad pickney,&rdquo; the mother of seven said as she called a neighbour to confirm her son&rsquo;s antecedents.<br /> <br /> The distraught mother told the Observer that since her son&rsquo;s death she has been living in fear, claiming she is familiar with the alleged killers.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Mi cyaa walk which part mi a go&hellip; Him all inna market a wait pon mi. Him a map out if him see mi a come a market,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Referring to the suspect, the woman claimed that he too is a victim of violence, as &ldquo;them kill him brother and him father&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> One of Parkes&rsquo; younger siblings who watched helplessly as his brother took his last breath agreed with his mother that the deceased was not involved in the recent spate of killings in West Kingston. <br /> <br /> One of Parkes&rsquo; close friends, Crystal Bailey, struggled to fathom why someone would want to kill Parkes. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;He was a good friend. Never a sad moment, him always keep you happy. Nordel come een like a brother from another mother. When you say nice friend, he was a friend. A friend in need is a friend in deed, that is Nordel,&rdquo; Bailey said.<br /> <br /> She added: &ldquo;Nobody nuh have nothing bad fi say &lsquo;bout him &lsquo;cause he wasn&rsquo;t a bad person. If dem can kill Nordel Parkes, dem can kill anyone. It come in like is a baby dem kill, or a girl. We tired a it; dem need fi stop dem foolishness. Wi tired of it!&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &mdash; Racquel Porter<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13378285/235620_63230_repro_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 12:00 AM Campbell calls for review of land ownership law http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Campbell-calls-for-review-of-land-ownership-law_78188 St Catherine North East Member of Parliament Leslie Campbell has called for a revision of the law which entitles individuals to take possession of land owned by others after 12 years of occupation. <br /> <br /> Under the Limitation of Actions Act, any individual having legal entitlement to land is prohibited from recovering possession after 12 years of occupation by others without previous recovery efforts being made.<br /> <br /> Campbell, who was making his 2016 Constituency Debate presentation in the House of Representatives recently, is of the view that this principle is a disadvantage to legal land owners.<br /> <br /> This, particularly where &ldquo;adverse possession&rdquo; resulting from squatting occurred during the 12-year period, he further stated.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You can move onto a man&rsquo;s parcel of land [when] he has (for example) gone to visit his relatives abroad, and he&rsquo;s (possibly away) for 12 years. Through some legislative sleight of hand, or otherwise, what [do] we say to that man when he [has] returned to his land...&rsquo;you have lost it&rsquo;?&rdquo; the Member of Parliament queried.<br /> <br /> In light of this, he urged that a decision be taken &ldquo;to outlaw that provision so that it doesn&rsquo;t impact on our rural people (in particular)&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Campbell said plans are in place to develop an agro-based economic programme in the constitutency, which has a population of approximately 30,000.<br /> <br /> This, he explained, will result in job creation, while ultimately improving the constituents&rsquo; quality of life.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If we are going to drive economic growth in our rural communities, we must, at best, decide whether or not we are going to give these people access to credit, and the best way to do so for rural folks is to give them titles for their lands,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The MP also urged State agencies to put necessary infrastructure in place &ldquo;to support the people in their quest for a better life&rdquo;. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12181975/campbell_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 12:00 AM St Thomas firefighter honoured for exemplary service to country http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/St-Thomas-firefighter-honoured-for-exemplary-service-to-country_78151 BY KIMONE FRANCIS Observer staff reporter francisk@jamaicaobserver.com WHEN Joshua Ezekiel Davis joined the Jamaica Fire Brigade 19 years ago, he never imagined that the day would come when his country would honour him for doing the job he loves so much.<br /> <br /> Davis, a native of St Thomas, was among more than 200 Jamaicans and one of 13 firefighters honoured at the national hounours and awards ceremony held at King&rsquo;s House in St Andrew on October 17.<br /> <br /> He received the Medal of Honour for Meritorious Service.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Well trust me, it&rsquo;s an honour to get this award. When I checked, there are a lot of people who have passed through and have gone many years before me and have not gotten this. So I believe it&rsquo;s an honour, but then I always believe that what you do today will pay off tomorrow,&rdquo; Davis, a deputy superintendent, told the Jamaica Observer North East after the ceremony.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I always try my best to be an exemplary firefighter and not to get into any trouble, so when things add up, I believe I deserve to be getting this award today (Monday, October 17),&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> The man from Yallahs said he began serving in the brigade in St Thomas in 1997 and remained there until 2008. He was then assigned to Kingston but was shortly after promoted. This saw him heading back to St Thomas. Three years later, he was again reassigned to Kingston, where he now serves in a higher capacity.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I got that position; I was grateful for it and I&rsquo;m still here today,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The job, he told the Observer North East, is a fulfilling one.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Being a fire-fighter is very rewarding. Sometimes the simple things that you can do for someone, even if it&rsquo;s to give them some advice, is very good.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There have been many times when we go to some fires and we&rsquo;re like, wow. I remember the last real major fire I went to. when I saw the blaze I said to the corporal &lsquo;no disrespect but can I please have the branch?&rsquo; Because I like fighting fire so when I saw that one I was sure I needed to handle it,&rdquo; he said noting that the &lsquo;branch man&rsquo; is the firefighter who leads heading into a fire.<br /> <br /> He added: &ldquo;I wanted to be the lead man that night. As the sergeant, I am supposed to be the one who finds the source for water to give them. The corporal is really the branch man, so I actually took over his duty that night and we put out the blaze. That fire was in Dumfries in Morant Bay and it was an act of arson.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The feeling you get after putting out a fire is a triumphant one. I always feel triumphant in the end. I love what I do,&rdquo; Davis said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13378183/236130_63189_repro_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 12:00 AM Explore new and emerging industries, JBDC tells MSMEs http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Explore-new-and-emerging-industries--JBDC-tells-MSMEs_78136 Medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) are being encouraged to explore new and emerging industries.<br /> <br /> Assistant business advisory services manager at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation, Keera Walters, argued that globalisation has changed the needs of the marketplace and entrepreneurs should see this shift as a chance to develop new business concepts and products to meet demand.<br /> <br /> She cited the creative and sport industries as non-traditional areas with a lot of room for exploitation.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The agro-processing sector is another industry that has a huge value chain that entrepreneurs still have not fully capitalised on,&rdquo; Walters pointed out during a JIS Think Tank last Wednesday.<br /> <br /> These non-traditional areas, she said, will boost the MSME sector and create more opportunities for entrepreneurship, which will lead to an increase in employment across the country.<br /> <br /> Walters urged entrepreneurs to do the research that will help them to understand these new and emerging industries.<br /> <br /> She said the agency is committed to providing the support that will guide MSMEs into new growth areas.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We encourage [those] who are thinking about starting a business to visit the JBDC and get the information to guide the start-up process. We will work with you to ensure that your business idea moves from concept to market and guide you to where the opportunities are,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Manager for loan origination at the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) Limited, Tracy-Ann McIntosh, noted that her organisation offers loan support for businesses across various industries.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We encourage entrepreneurs to look at various areas of opportunity. We try to support the traditional industries such as mining, agriculture, manufacturing and general service when we are giving loans for starts-up or improvements of businesses,&rdquo; she explained.<br /> <br /> She said the DBJ is also supporting the new, innovative and creative industries such as animation, renewable and alternative energy, and science and technology.<br /> <br /> McIntosh said it is important for small business operators to seize every networking opportunity to improve their products and services.<br /> <br /> As such, she is encouraging MSMEs to attend the three-day Inter-American Microenterprise Forum (FOROMIC) &mdash; from today, October 24 to Wednesday October 26 in Montego Bay, St James &mdash; to interact with entrepreneurs from across the world. <br /> <br /> FOROMIC 2016 seeks to promote innovations in the microfinance and medium and small enterprise sectors. The annual event is hosted by the Multilateral Investment Fund a member of the Inter-American Development Bank group (IDB).<br /> <br /> Representatives from 41 countries will be in attendance including experts in micro, small and medium enterprises; financial institutions; entrepreneurship associations; government and non-governmental organisations; and academia. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13378075/236095_63162_repro_w300.jpg Local Business Monday, October 24, 2016 12:00 AM US mobile home fire caused by wood stove kills 6 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/US-mobile-home-fire-caused-by-wood-stove-kills-6 GEORGIA, United States (AP) &mdash; Authorities say a mobile home fire in Georgia started by an improperly installed wood stove killed six people, including four children.<br /> <br /> State fire marshal's office spokesman Glenn Allen tells The Associated Press the mobile home fire happened around 10:30 pm Sunday in Trion.<br /> <br /> State investigators on Monday ruled the fire accidental. Allen said they determined that a wood stove that was installed Sunday was placed too close to an interior wall with wood panelling, and that's what caused the fire.<br /> <br /> Allen said the blaze killed 29-year-old Mirion Bradley Jones and his 22-year-old wife Demi Josephine Jones, along with their children: five-year-old Clair McKenzie Jones, three-year-old Lola Rosanna Jones and three-month-old Olivia Josephina Jones. A cousin spending the night, five-year-old Jada Marie Kendrick, also died. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13380093/mobile-home-fire_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 4:34 PM LNG arrives for JPS Bogue power plant http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/LNG-arrives-for-JPS-Bogue-power-plant ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) &mdash; The Government&rsquo;s drive to bring cheaper and cleaner energy to the people of Jamaica has been advanced with the arrival of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) for the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) power plant in Bogue, St James.<br /> <br /> Supplied by New Fortress Energy, the shipment arrived at the Port of Montego Bay aboard the feeder ship Anthony Veeder on October 22. <br /> <br /> Chief executive officer of JPS, Kelly Tomblin, said the introduction of LNG as part of the energy mix represents &ldquo;a historic milestone for Jamaica&rdquo; as the nation pursues &ldquo;energy diversification and the expansion of its energy sector&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Tomblin, who was at the Montego Bay port for the ship&rsquo;s arrival, said New Fortress has pumped US$750 million into the construction of the LNG terminal.<br /> <br /> She said that natural gas will play a key role in transforming the energy sector, while supporting industrial development and economic growth.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are definitely on the threshold of great things for Jamaica and the region,&rdquo; Tomblin added.<br /> <br /> Just a year ago, New Fortress Energy signed an agreement with JPS to supply LNG for Jamaica&rsquo;s 120-megawatt power plant in Bogue. Earlier this year, the plant was converted to run on gas as well as Automotive Diesel Oil (ADO). <br /> <br /> JPS and New Fortress Energy have also signed an agreement to extend the supply of gas to Jamaica to the new 190-megawatt power plant at Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine. New Fortress Energy has agreed to privately finance and develop the infrastructure necessary to deliver LNG to the new Old Harbour plant.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Project manager at the Port Authority of Jamaica, Keith Mitchell, said the agency is pleased to have done its part in facilitating the arrival of the vessel and to provide the infrastructure for the cargo to be unloaded.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The LNG diversification project has resulted in the authority fast-tracking its master plan for the development of the Port of Montego Bay into a modern facility with separate berths dedicated to cargo operations and cruise shipping,&rdquo; he pointed out.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are also delighted to have been able to facilitate and enable the realization of a national objective, which has been in the pipeline for a number of years. This project is of national importance and is part of the government&rsquo;s drive to bring cheaper energy to the Jamaican people,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> He informed that the port authority leased the lands to New Fortress for infrastructural works to enable the weekly arrival of LNG to be offloaded, converted and channeled for use at the Bogue Power Plant. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;This investment has the potential to significantly reduce energy costs and thus drive economic development and job creation and promote the wide industrial application of LNG,&rdquo; Mitchell further explained. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It will also see the facilitation of cruise and cargo vessels using LNG as well as the exportation of the product to other regional countries,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> He noted that with the weekly docking of the LNG vessel coupled with the increased home-porting activities, there is need for the development of new port infrastructure, and a new dedicated cargo berth for docking containers and liquid bulk (fuels) vessels.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There are indeed numerous opportunities for Jamaica to benefit,&rdquo; Mitchell added. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13380231/Kellroy-99_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 4:13 PM Nurse who survived Ebola settles with Texas hospital system http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Nurse-who-survived-Ebola-settles-with-Texas-hospital-system TEXAS, United States (AP) &mdash; A nurse who contracted Ebola two years ago while caring for the first person to be diagnosed in the US with the deadly disease settled a lawsuit Monday against the parent company of the Dallas hospital where she worked.<br /> <br /> Attorneys for Nina Pham announced the settlement with Texas Health Resources. They and the company said in a joint statement that terms will not be disclosed.<br /> <br /> Pham contracted Ebola in the fall of 2014 while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Duncan, who contracted Ebola in his native Liberia and became ill during a trip to the US, died. Pham, at the time an intensive care unit nurse, and another Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola survived.<br /> <br /> In her lawsuit against the hospital's parent company, Pham said that the "sum total" of information she was given to protect herself after being told she would be treating a patient suspected of having Ebola was "what her manager 'Googled' and printed out from the Internet." She said that the day after she got that information, the patient tested positive for the disease.<br /> <br /> The lawsuit called Pham "a casualty of a hospital system's failure to prepare for a known and impending medical crisis".<br /> <br /> The lawsuit described a chaotic situation at the hospital, in which nurses scrambled to decide what kind of personal protective equipment to wear "without any formal guidance or training" from their supervisors. Texas Health Resources "wholly failed to ensure that appropriate policies, procedures, and equipment were in place", the lawsuit alleged.<br /> <br /> Clear drop cloths were taped to the ceiling and walls of the hallway to create a makeshift containment facility, nurses had to dispose of hazardous waste, which they weren't trained to do, and hazardous material placed in the room next to Duncan's was allowed to pile up, the lawsuit alleged.<br /> <br /> On the first day Pham treated Duncan, when Ebola was suspected but not yet diagnosed, she wore a regular isolation gown, double gloves, a surgical mask with a plastic shield and double booties. The lawsuit said her hair and neck were exposed and that she wasn't given a change of clothes to wear home, so she went home in the scrubs she wore while treating Duncan.<br /> <br /> After his diagnosis, nurses put on hazmat suits with double gloves and added "chemo gloves" and taped them to the suit. They also added a personal respirator they covered with a gown. These decisions, the lawsuit said, were made without any formal guidance or training by supervisors.<br /> <br /> The lawsuit said that after Duncan died, Pham was told that what she had worn was safe and that she had no risk of contracting Ebola. Confident in what hospital officials had told her, she spent time with friends and family. The lawsuit said that she began feeling ill two days after Duncan died. The next day she drove herself to the hospital and was diagnosed with Ebola.<br /> <br /> In a response to the lawsuit, the hospital operator denied allegations of poor training and improper preparation.<br /> <br /> Pham eventually was transferred to the National Institutes of Health in Maryland for treatment and recovered.<br /> <br /> The lawsuit said, though, that she worried about her long-term health and doubted she'd ever return to being a critical care nurse again because of the stress and anxiety of the trauma she experienced and the "fear and stigma" that follow her. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13380083/ebola-nurse_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 3:48 PM Complaints authority in T&T backs calls for body cameras for cops http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Complaints-authority-in-T-T-backs-calls-for-body-cameras-for-cops PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) &mdash; The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) Monday said it is in agreement with a call made by the president of the Police Social and Welfare Association (PSAWA), Inspector Michael Seales, for the implementation of body cameras for police officers.<br /> <br /> Seales made the call following the controversy that has erupted here after 34-year-old Adelle Gilbert, was shot and killed by police officers in the southern town of San Fernando last Thursday.<br /> <br /> Acting Commissioner of Police Harold Philip said he had appointed Acting Superintendent Yusuff Gaffar to head the investigation after a video recorded shortly after the shooting, showed police officers carrying away the blood soaked, limp body Gilbert, whom the authorities said was wanted on a number of outstanding crimes including murder.<br /> <br /> Seales said the video did not give a true picture of the events leading to the death of the wanted man and had called on the Keith Rowley Government to ensure that police officers are fitted with body cameras so as to prevent future occurrences.<br /> <br /> The PCA, which has also launched, said &ldquo;this recommendation for police officers to be outfitted with body cameras is not new and were previously made by former PCA Director Gillian Lucky now high court judge at an outreach meeting &hellip;in November, 2012, and at a press conference on June, 2014.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The PCA also notes that calls for the use of body cameras has been growing worldwide and has recently been implemented by the Jamaica Constabulary Force,&rdquo; it said, adding that it &ldquo;strongly calls for the implementation of body cameras as it is the belief of the authority that it will improve the level of accountability of the police and will improve transparency in the conduct of police operations&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Gilbert&rsquo;s wife, was taken to hospital on Monday for treatment for pains and swelling.<br /> <br /> Alisha Richards, 27, had appeared in court on Friday charged with assaulting police officers while her dying husband was being carried away by police officers last Thursday.<br /> <br /> She was granted EC$15,000 (One TT dollar =US$0.16 cents) bail.<br /> <br /> The Trinidad Express newspaper reported Monday that the woman, bandaged and bruised, was first treated at hospital over the weekend and returned Monday &ldquo;because the swelling and pains had worsened. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13380170/body-cameras-300x201.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 3:31 PM Increased technology use proposed to safeguard Jamaica&rsquo;s borders http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Increased-technology-use-proposed-to-safeguard-Jamaica-s-borders KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) &mdash; Executive Director of the National Security Policy Coordination Unit (NSPCU) in the Cabinet Office, Jacinth Byles, has recommended increased use of technology to further safeguard Jamaica&rsquo;s borders.<br /> <br /> Among the inputs being proposed are biometric identification, aerial and land-based surveillance and detection, port and shoreline security, and cargo security.<br /> <br /> She has contended that if law enforcement and other relevant State agencies collaborate on how these measures can be used to greater effect, &ldquo;we can prevent new elements of crime from entering our waters&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I believe if we can stop the criminals from entering, we will be able to control the ones on land,&rdquo; Byles argued.<br /> <br /> She was addressing the NSPCU&rsquo;s fifth annual conference on border security, which was held at the National Police College of Jamaica (NPCJ), Twickenham Park, St Catherine, on October 20 under the theme &lsquo;Leveraging Technology for Effective Border Security&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> The conference also featured a presentation by Commanding Officer for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Border Security Branch, Assistant Commissioner Assan Thompson, which detailed the correlation between security and technology.<br /> <br /> His presentation focused on radar technology, closed circuit television (CCTV), global positioning systems (GPS) as well as devices used to access information and the capabilities of these.<br /> <br /> Byles said the seminar was one of the government&rsquo;s initiatives targeting strengthening of Jamaica&rsquo;s border security framework and was attended by representatives of several stakeholder agencies.<br /> <br /> They include the Ministry of Health, Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard, and Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Ministry of Health, among others.<br /> <br /> Byles said the participants were engaged in discussion on the theme, which enabled them to propose practical solutions on how best border security can be enhanced, based on their daily operations and engagements.<br /> <br /> The conference also featured a panel discussion involving representatives of law enforcement and border security entities.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As policymakers, the NSPCU is satisfied with the input and response from the stakeholders. We have started the discussions (which should take us) one step closer to protecting our people from human trafficking, guns, drugs, and even diseases,&rdquo; she stated. <br /> <br /> Several of the participants were also taken on a tour of Jamaica&rsquo;s coastline between the Kingston Harbour and Rocky Point in Clarendon, which was facilitated by the JCF&rsquo;s Marine Division. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13380141/Security-4_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 3:06 PM Obama's library materials to travel from capital to Illinois http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Obama-s-library-materials-to-travel-from-capital-to-Illinois ILLINOIS, United States (AP) &mdash; Some of the White House materials bound for President Barack Obama's presidential library in Chicago will start making their way from Washington, D.C., to Illinois this week.<br /> <br /> The Chicago Tribune reports that beginning Wednesday; commercial trucks will carry documents, artefacts and gifts accumulated over Obama's tenure to a temporary storage facility in Hoffman Estates, a north-west suburb of Chicago.<br /> <br /> Air Force Lt Col Vianesa Vargas says over two dozen troops in Washington, DC, will take materials now stored at the National Archives and Records Administration and load them onto semitrailers for the 700-mile trip.<br /> <br /> She says about 40 sailors from Naval Station Great Lakes will unload the material in Hoffman Estates.<br /> <br /> Vargas says the trucks are expected to make 24 trips between now and February. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13295703/Obama_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 2:51 PM Venezuela's embattled president meets pope at Vatican http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Venezuela-s-embattled-president-meets-pope-at-Vatican CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) &mdash; Pope Francis has met with President Nicolas Maduro, the Vatican confirmed Monday.<br /> <br /> The Vatican said the pope wanted to continue offering his help in resolving the problems afflicting Venezuela in hopes of creating greater trust among opposing parties.<br /> <br /> According to a Vatican statement, the pope urged Maduro to courageously take the path of "sincere and constructive dialogue" to alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people, above all the poor. He urged Maduro to promote a climate of renewed social cohesion that would allow everyone to look to the future with hope.<br /> <br /> Venezuela's information minister Ernesto Villegas had earlier confirmed via Twitter that the pair was going to meet, but provided no additional details.<br /> <br /> The stop at the Vatican comes amid a tense standoff in Venezuela over the suspension of a recall referendum campaign seeking Maduro's removal and the Opposition-controlled congress' declaration that the government had carried out a coup.<br /> <br /> The Vatican has been attempting to mediate a resolution to the political crisis and opposition leaders on Monday met with Vatican representatives in Caracas.<br /> <br /> Maduro had been in the Middle East on a multi-nation tour seeking to rally support for oil production cuts. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13117303/Maduro-3_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 2:27 PM Drones help identify post-Hurricane Matthew needs in Haiti http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Drones-help-identify-post-Hurricane-Matthew-needs-in-Haiti J&Eacute;R&Eacute;MIE, Haiti (AFP) &mdash; On a football field in the Haitian town of Jeremie, children gather to gape at a drone preparing to take off and document damage to the area caused by Hurricane Matthew.<br /> <br /> The powerful storm, which crashed ashore on October 4 packing winds of 145 miles (230 kilometers) per hour, focused its fury on southwestern Haiti where this coastal city of some 31,000 is located.<br /> <br /> At least 546 people were killed during the hurricane and more than 175,000 people lost their homes.<br /> <br /> Many people in Jeremie are still waiting for help to arrive nearly three weeks later, but relief workers now have a powerful new tool to pinpoint where aide is needed. <br /> <br /> Haitians with the group Potentiel 3.0 traveled to Jeremie with a flotilla of four drones to document the damage.<br /> <br /> "Before, satellite images could be used" for this purpose, "but the resolution was not perfect," said Presler Jean, who remotely controls one of the drones from his laptop.<br /> <br /> "With the drones, one has absolutely all the details of the covered area," he said.<br /> <br /> Homes reduced to matchsticks, a building with a blown-off facade or a roof missing two or three shingles: no detail escapes the eye of the drone. <br /> <br /> Drones can gather enough information to develop three-dimensional images with precision of four centimeters (1.6 inches) -- a giant leap from the roughly 50-centimeter (19.7 inch) detail provided by satellites.<br /> <br /> Thanks to drone imagery, engineers were able to quickly repair Jeremie's storm damaged harbor, allowing the first aid ship to dock 72 hours after the hurricane hit, said Fred Moine, head of the volunteer group.<br /> <br /> Within just a few hours, "Heavy machine operators knew exactly how much sand was needed" for harbor repairs, he said.<br /> <br /> - Haitian expertise -<br /> <br /> Faster and a lot cheaper to operate than helicopters, drones are piloted from the ground by Haitians like Presler, 30, who has been working with the devices since 2012.<br /> <br /> Presler remembers the devastation caused by themassive earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010 -- and especially how much of the international aid that flooded in went to waste through mismanagement.<br /> <br /> "Before the foreigners get here, we Haitians have time to produce images that they can use. This will allow the aid to flow a bit faster," said Presler. <br /> <br /> "And instead of resources wasted on evaluations and project studies, those funds can instead be used for durable buildings," he said.<br /> <br /> More than 200,000 people were killed in the earthquake, and only a fraction of the poorly coordinated international aid that poured in reached the victims.<br /> <br /> The drones are also ideal for surveying the needs of isolated communities in mountainous regions that are hard to reach by land.<br /> <br /> "There are plenty of competent Haitians, we no longer have to wait for the international community," said Presler.<br /> <br /> "We can use our skills together to provide a quick response for our country," he added with pride.<br /> <br /> Potentiel 3.0 hopes to train enough people so there can be two or three drone pilots for each of Haiti's ten departments.<br /> <br /> "That way, Haiti can finally respond with its own resources to disasters," said Presler, as he turns to his laptop to guide the drone.<br /> <br /> In addition to the destruction of countless homes and farms, Haitians in the worst-affected areas are dealing with a lack of potable water, which is contributing to the spread of cholera, which has claimed close to 10,000 lives since it first appeared in 2010.<br /> <br /> Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew, nearly 1.5 million people, of a total population of 10.3 million, need emergency humanitarian assistance, according to a United Nations estimate.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13380044/haiti-drone_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 2:02 PM Pilot association denies statements by PM Gonsalves,  senior LIAT official http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Pilot-association-denies-statements-by-PM-Gonsalves---senior-LIAT-official ST JOHN&rsquo;S, Antigua (CMC) &mdash; The Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) has described as &ldquo;erroneous and totally false&rdquo; statements allegedly made by St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves and a senior official of the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT.<br /> <br /> LIALPA said that it had taken note of Gonsalves statement in Barbados last week where he claimed that the airline was facing many cancellations as a result of illness by flight crew.<br /> <br /> The pilots&rsquo; association said that it was also disappointed in a statement by acting chief executive officer<br /> <br /> Reifer-Jones who earlier this month allegedly said the airline has enough cabin crew to fly LIAT&rsquo;s schedule.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;LIALPA strongly refutes the statements made by PM Gonsalves and by Acting CEO Reifer-Jones as erroneous and totally false,&rdquo; the association said, calling on the airline executive to retract the statement &ldquo;because she knows without a doubt that her statements were dishonest&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Gonsalves, who is the chairman of the shareholder governments of the Antigua-based airline, is reported to have made the statement following a meeting of the shareholders in Barbados last week.<br /> <br /> LIALPA said that LIAT is &ldquo;woefully short of adequate crew to properly execute&rdquo; its current flight schedule. It said over the last two years, &ldquo;LIAT has not employed a single pilot, even though 31 pilots have left the company either because of retirement or resignation&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> It said 19 of those who have left were trained to fly the newly acquired ATR type aircraft.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Management sat on their hands while this mass attrition of ATR pilots occurred, and did nothing to rectify the situation, and this resulted in the company losing all of the monies it invested in the training of these pilots. To be specific, the cost of training an ATR pilot is approximately EC$100,000 (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) per pilot, therefore this amounts to a total of EC$1.9 million dollars of training investment that has been lost&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> The pilots say the airline continues to schedule flights even though it is aware that there is no crew available for the scheduled flight, and it would inevitably be cancelled.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This then leads to management asking the skeletal remaining crew to double their workload, and to work at maximum time with minimum rest. This is not a feasible model and it is just a matter of time before this operation model breaks down and flight cancellations increase even further.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Flight cancellations are also occurring because LIAT has no reserve coverage on a daily basis and so a single pilot in a single island has to cover the operational model throughout the network. This is ludicrous and represents poor planning and incompetent management.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;LIALPA wants to categorically state that there is no abnormal sickness occurring among crew members. Presently, if a single pilot gets the flu and cannot fly, the sickness of that one pilot can cause several flights to be cancelled. What effectively run airline pleads on a regular basis with pilots, to work on their off days and personal vacation days?&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The pilots are also urging the public to question LIAT&rsquo;s announcement of a projected $2-million loss hinting at the possibility of political interference in the matter.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;LIALPA as always continues to reassure the travelling public, that we are committed and dedicated to serving you at the highest professional levels. We want to avoid flight delays and especially cancellations, but we simply cannot do so, due to a shortage of crew, poor working conditions and an incompetent management team.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12136736/Liat-2_w445_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 1:41 PM PSOJ mourns Brian George's sudden passing http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/PSOJ-mourns-Brian-George-s-sudden-passing KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) joins the business community in mourning the sudden passing of Supreme Ventures Limited&rsquo;s (SVL) president and CEO Brian George. <br /> <br /> The PSOJ in a news release Monday said that George, who through SVL was an active member of the organisation, had a good working relationship with the PSOJ executive, and although he wasn&rsquo;t a native of Jamaica, he was committed to the development and growth of the gaming industry and by extension the Jamaican economy.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Brian was a very smart and hard-working businessman, and a man committed to the development of his business and the people he surrounded himself with,&rdquo; said PSOJ President Paul Scott. &ldquo;He will be greatly missed.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> PSOJ CEO Dennis Chung added: &ldquo;I met Brian when he came to Jamaica with GTECH in support of Supreme Ventures. At the time I was a commissioner at the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission when the licence was awarded to SVL. Through his leadership at both GTECH and SVL, he transformed the gaming environment from one which was very informal to what it is today, where many persons benefit through sports, education, among other things. His visionary leadership and sense of corporate social responsibility will be well missed.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The PSOJ also extended sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at Supreme Ventures. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13379969/brian_bust_3_-_2014_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 1:11 PM #X6MurderTrial: &lsquo;God is with me,&rsquo; Powell says after acquittal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/-X6MurderTrial---God-is-with-me---Powell-says-after-acquittal KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Patrick Powell, the businessman who was on trial for the 2011 shooting death of 17-year-old Khajeel Mais, was seemingly relieved as he left the Home Circuit Court on Monday, following his acquittal in the matter.<br /> <br /> While leaving the court Powell said: &ldquo;I feel good and God is with me.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The jury today returned a not guilty verdict on charges of murder and shooting with intent.<br /> <br /> As he left the courthouse, Powell was supported by two of his brothers &mdash; Jonathan Clarke and another who gave his name only as &lsquo;Dicky&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> When asked if the not guilty verdict was the outcome he had expected, Clarke said: &ldquo;I leave everything in God&rsquo;s hands.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, &lsquo;Dicky&rsquo; cautioned the public against believing what is being said in relation to the matter.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Not everything you read online you must believe,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Powell was acquitted after the prosecution told the court that there is no evidence to confirm the identification of the accused and that they were unable to say without a reasonable doubt that the main witness in the case, taxi driver Wayne Wright, was present when Mais was shot.<br /> <br /> Mais, who was reportedly travelling in a taxi driven by Wright when it collided with a BMW X6 motor vehicle, was allegedly shot dead when the driver of the BMW got out and fired at the taxi.<br /> <br /> Powell was accused of being behind the wheels of the BMW X6 motor car.<br /> <br /> Tanesha Mundle<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13379941/powell_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 12:43 PM Johnson Smith heads to CELAC-EU foreign ministers meeting http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Johnson-Smith-heads-to-CELAC-EU-foreign-ministers-meeting KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith leaves the island today, as she heads Jamaica&rsquo;s delegation to the second Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the European Union (CELAC-EU) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.<br /> <br /> The meeting, which is scheduled for October 25 and 26, is expected to facilitate discussions on the future of the bi-regional partnership for economic cooperation, and review the status of implementation of the development programmes and actions adopted by the CELAC-EU Summits held in 2013 and 2015.<br /> <br /> The minister will also participate in the 12th Meeting of CELAC Foreign Ministers, as well as an ACP Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM)-EU Encounter.<br /> <br /> As the current Chair of CARIFORUM, Johnson Smith will co-chair the bi-regional meeting with High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. <br /> <br /> CARIFORUM Foreign Ministers will provide an update on the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) at this meeting. <br /> <br /> Other topics for discussion include cooperation in sustainable development; energy and climate change; improving tax governance; and the challenges related to the withdrawal of correspondent banking and investment regimes in the Caribbean.<br /> <br /> The EU and Latin America and the Caribbean have enjoyed productive relations since the first bi-regional Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1999, which established a strategic partnership focused on economic growth and cooperation.<br /> <br /> The Jamaican delegation includes Ambassador of Jamaica to the Kingdom of Belgium and Mission to the European Union Vilma McNish, as well as other senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13379812/Kamina_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 11:03 AM Govt commits to protect local interests in Noranda sale http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Govt-commits-to-protect-local-interests-in-Noranda-sale KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Transport and Mining Minister, Lester &lsquo;Mike&rsquo; Henry, has reiterated the Government&rsquo;s commitment to protect the interest of all local parties attached to the Noranda Bauxite Company in St Ann.<br /> <br /> The affirmation comes follows last week&rsquo;s  announcement that New Day/DaDa Holdings, LLC (DaDa) has been selected by Noranda and its creditors and approved by the Court of Arbitration, as the preferred bidder for the purchase of the Gramercy facility and bauxite mining rights in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> According to Henry, the ministry has been engaged in ongoing discussions with New Day Jamaica Bauxite Mining regarding all outstanding monetary obligations to line-staff members, contractors and the Government.<br /> <br /> He said all obligations to the affected parties will be fully honoured by New Day Jamaica Bauxite Mining over time on a phased basis, once the schedule is agreed.<br /> <br /> Henry also said incomplete projects such as land reclamation will be finalised by the new company and the Government will be providing a cooperation framework to ensure that the new entity has a smooth takeover of operations in keeping with our Labour Laws and the Environment Act.<br /> <br /> The minister is expected to brief Cabinet today, and then make a full statement to Parliament on Tuesday. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13379800/Mike-Henry.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 10:56 AM Study shows C'bean middle class has grown over past 10 years  http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Study-shows-C-bean-middle-class-has-grown-over-past-10-years WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) &mdash; The middle class in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) nearly doubled in size during the last decade, according to a new study released by the Washington-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Monday.<br /> <br /> It said that the middle class population now stands at 186 million people<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The region experienced a transformation in all sectors,&rdquo; said H&eacute;ctor Salazar, manager of the social sector of the IDB.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Between 2002 and 2008 &mdash; the years of highest growth of per capita GDP &mdash; poverty decreased 11 per cent faster, and the size of the middle class expanded by 35 per cent more than during the period of slower growth after 2008,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> The IDB said that although the benefits of the economic growth since 2000 have contributed to the expansion of the middle class, the gains from growth have not been exploited equally by all countries and all age groups. As a result, the region continues being the most unequal in the world, and its children suffer the most from inequality.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Children have benefited the least from programmes and cash transfers designed to combat extreme poverty, and therefore it is important to direct special attention now to childhood, since that is precisely the stage of life when inequality begins,&rdquo; said Marcos Robles, economist with the Social Sector and co-author of the report.<br /> <br /> The prevalence of extreme poverty today among children is three times greater than the prevalence of extreme poverty among the elderly. This constitutes a worsening of the situation of children since, 20 years ago in 1996; the incidence of extreme poverty among children was double the rate of extreme poverty of the elderly.<br /> <br /> The study titled &ldquo;Social Pulse 2016: Realities and Perspectives,&rdquo; also shows that Latin American and Caribbean countries still face an enormous challenge with a broad segment of the population, those whose incomes range between five and 12 US dollars per day, because they are vulnerable to slipping into poverty.<br /> <br /> The study explores the contribution of women to the total labour earnings of households, and reports that women&rsquo;s earnings as a percentage of total household labour income have increased from 28 percent in 1996 to 35 per cent in 2014.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The economic empowerment of women is changing family dynamics and transforming societies in the region,&rdquo; said Suzanne Duryea, economist with the Social Sector and co-author of the report.<br /> <br /> Other changes in households include shifts in family structure. In contrast with the old model of large families living under one roof, today it is increasingly common for minors to live with only one of their parents while the growing trend among the elderly is to live alone or live with only their partner.<br /> <br /> The aging of the population also poses new challenges for governments. While at this time more than 50 percent of elderly adults in the region receive some type of pension, it is important to strike a balance in pension systems so they will not contribute to fiscal risks of governments. Therefore, it is important to monitor and analyze the key social indicators.<br /> <br /> Social Pulse also discloses a series of social achievements of the region, notably a 65 per cent reduction in infant mortality, the availability of safe drinking water in 96 per cent of all homes, near universal access to primary education, and the increase in life expectancy which is now, on average, eight years more than in 1990.<br /> <br /> The IDB said that this is the first time a publication relies on the harmonized household surveys of 22 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean as its principal source of information.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;With a data base that covers seven million homes and 28 million citizens, supported by social indicators monitoring two decades, Social Pulse 2016: Realities and Perspectives offers more than 25 types of economic, social and demographic indicators, all disaggregated into stages of the life cycle, making it possible to provide reality and perspective to the challenges and opportunities of being a person born in the region.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The study also investigates the structure of social spending by governments of the region and presents an in-depth analysis of the different dimensions of poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean that can affect human capital. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13379796/logo-IDB_w400_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 10:41 AM France moving more than 6,000 migrants out of &lsquo;the jungle&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/France-moving-more-than-6-000-migrants-out-of--the-jungle- CALAIS, France (AP) &mdash; Carrying their belongings in bags and suitcases, long lines of migrants waited calmly in chilly temperatures Monday to board buses in the French port city of Calais, as authorities began evacuating and dismantling the squalid camp they call home.<br /> <br /> French authorities were beginning a complex operation to shut down the makeshift camp known as "the jungle", uprooting thousands who made treacherous journeys to escape wars, dictators or grinding poverty and dreamed of building new lives in Britain.<br /> <br /> Closely watched by more than 1,200 police, the first of hundreds of buses began transferring migrants to reception centres around France where they can apply for asylum. The camp will then be levelled in a weeklong operation. Hotels and even castles are among the hundreds of buildings officials have been converting to migrant housing.<br /> <br /> "This is an operation we want to be peaceful and under control. So far it is," French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in Paris.<br /> <br /> Authorities say the camp holds nearly 6,500 migrants who are seeking to get to Britain. Aid groups say there are more than 8,300.<br /> <br /> The ramshackle camp in the sand dunes of northern France is home to migrants from Afghanistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Syria and elsewhere. After often harrowing journeys across land and treacherous seas, paying smugglers along the way, most reach a dead end in Calais, unable to find a way across the English Channel.<br /> <br /> The harsh reality of the move hit migrants on Monday. Some were happy to leave, others were confused or in shock.<br /> <br /> Throngs of migrants lined up at the registration centre where they were separated by category, like families, unaccompanied minors or adults.<br /> <br /> A group of Sudanese got tired of waiting and returned to their spot in the camp, bags slung over their shoulders and laughing. They said they'd try again on Tuesday.<br /> <br /> But basic information was lacking for many. "What should I do?" asked a 24-year-old newly arrived Afghan.<br /> <br /> Mahmoud Abdrahman, 31, from Sudan, said he'd go Tuesday, too. He pulled a black knapsack from his shelter to prove that he was ready.<br /> <br /> "It's not good, the jungle", he said, complaining of inadequate food and water and filthy toilets shared by hundreds.<br /> <br /> Ultimately, Abdrahman wanted one thing more than anything else.<br /> <br /> "I need peace," he said, "anywhere."<br /> <br /> Afghan Imran Khan, 35, risks expulsion if he accepts the French plan to move him to a reception center, because his fingerprints were taken in another European country before he arrived in France. Under European rules, he must be sent back to the country where he first registered.<br /> <br /> "I will decide tomorrow (what to do)," he said.<br /> <br /> Khan lives in a muddy tent, one of hundreds that are expected to be destroyed by the end of the week as their occupants depart, gradually closing down the camp that sprang up behind an official shelter housing women and providing showers and daily meals.<br /> <br /> Unaccompanied minors, many with family members in Britain, were to be housed on-site in containers set up earlier this year as their files are studied in London to see if they qualify for a transfer across the English Channel. The humanitarian organization France Terre d'Asile says 1,291 unaccompanied minors live in the camp.<br /> <br /> One 16-year-old Eritrean, Daniel, was heading to the registration center with his cousin, also an unaccompanied minor. "I'm not happy because it's finished, 'the jungle.' I want to go to the U.K.," he said.<br /> <br /> In Calais for eight months, he said he has tried daily to jump on trucks heading to Britain, like other migrants in the camp. "I don't want France," he insisted.<br /> <br /> Fourteen migrants have died this year in the Calais area.<br /> <br /> The unofficial camp, which sprang up 18 months ago, was previously tolerated but given almost no state help. Aid groups, and hundreds of British volunteers, have provided basic necessities. It devolved into a slum where tensions bubbled, friendships formed and smugglers thrived.<br /> <br /> The forced departure of thousands is an enormous task, planned for months.<br /> <br /> Authorities have had practice. They dismantled the southern half of the camp in March, a chaotic, even brutal, bulldozing operation that drew complaints from human rights groups.<br /> <br /> This time, authorities hope to restore some pride by closing the camp that has been seen as a national disgrace in a peaceful, humane operation.<br /> <br /> Officials have said that there will be a solution for each migrant &mdash; though expulsion may be among them for those who don't qualify for asylum. Meanwhile, France will spend 25 euros a day on each migrant in the reception centers, according to officials. It was not immediately clear how long they will be allowed to stay.<br /> <br /> Some doubt the camp's dismantling will end the migrant flux into northern France which predates the slum.<br /> <br /> A 2003 French-British accord effectively put the British border in Calais, stopping migrants there and putting the onus on France to deal with their plight.<br /> <br /> Various camps have been set up in the region of Calais since the 2000s, with French authorities periodically closing them down.<br /> <br /> Now, some fear those determined to cross the English Channel will scatter and create 'mini-jungles' along the northern coast in a never-ending bid to outsmart heavy security and high fences blocking their path to Britain. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13379729/France-Migrants_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 24, 2016 9:48 AM