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 Double shooting in Newlands, Portmore http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Double-murder-in-Newlands--Portmore <br /> <br /> ST CATHERINE, Jamaica &mdash; Two people were shot in the gritty Newlands community of Portmore earlier this afternoon. <br /> <br /> Details are sketchy at this time, however, OBSERVER ONLINE understands that the police are on the scene and they have been diverting traffic from the area.<br /> <br /> More information later. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12510651/crime-scene-tape_w300.jpg Local News Friday, January 20, 2017 Gunmen kill 2 at Clarendon restaurant http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Gunmen-kill-2-at-Clarendon-restaurant <br /> <br /> CLARENDON, Jamaica &mdash; A man and woman were shot dead by unknown assailants at a restaurant on Denbigh Drive in Four Paths, Clarendon yesterday morning.<br /> <br /> Dead are 45-year-old Norma Thompson, otherwise called &lsquo;Miss Norma&rsquo;, of Clarendon Gardens and 28-year-old Junior Morgan, otherwise called &lsquo;Andrew&rsquo; and &lsquo;Pitbull&rsquo; of Denbigh Drive both in Four Paths Clarendon.<br /> <br /> Police reports are about 11:10 am, Thompson and Morgan were at a restaurant and bar in the area when men aboard a car drove up and opened gunfire hitting them. The men then made their escape in the motor car. <br /> <br /> The police were summoned and on their arrival, Thompson and Morgan were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead.<br /> <br /> Police say investigations are ongoing.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13585657/police-line_w504--1-_w300.jpg Local News Friday, January 20, 2017 J'can woman nabbed with cocaine in beef patties in the US http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/J-can-woman-nabbed-with-cocaine-in-beef-patties-in-the-US <br /> <br /> NEW YORK, United States (CMC) &mdash; United States law enforcement officials have arrested a Jamaican woman with cocaine hidden in beef patties at New York&rsquo;s John F Kennedy International Airport.<br /> <br /> The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency said officers intercepted Chantal Alecia Bedward on arrival on a flight from Kingston, Jamaica on Tuesday.<br /> <br /> During her examination, CBP officers discovered what appeared to be a box of Jamaican beef patties.<br /> <br /> CBP said officers escorted Bedward to a private search room, where the box of beef patties was opened, and revealing 12 duct-taped packages.<br /> <br /> The packages were probed producing a white powder that tested positive for cocaine, CBP said, adding that Bedward was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).<br /> <br /> She now faces US federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the US Attorney&rsquo;s Office in the US Eastern District Court of New York.<br /> <br /> The approximate gross weight of cocaine seized was four pounds. It had a street value of US$70,000, CBP said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13585519/cocaine-3.jpg Local News Friday, January 20, 2017 Trump signs executive decree against Obamacare health law http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Trump-signs-executive-decree-against-Obamacare-health-law <br /> <br /> WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) &mdash; President Donald Trump on Friday signed an executive order aimed at limiting the "burden" of the Obamacare health law that the incoming US leader has vowed to repeal.<br /> <br /> During the signing in the Oval Office, Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus described the order as aimed at "minimizing the economic burden" of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, "pending repeal."<br /> <br /> Doing away with Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement is a top priority for Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress and, since Trump's inauguration Friday, the White House.<br /> <br /> In their view, Obamacare -- which aimed to ensure healthcare for the millions of Americans who are neither covered by public insurance, nor by their employers -- marked a costly drift toward socialized, European-style medical care.<br /> <br /> But the law has managed to add more than 20 million people onto insurance rolls, lowering the percentage of Americans without coverage from 16 percent in 2010 to 8.9 percent last year.<br /> <br /> And Trump has declared it inconceivable that poor Americans are locked out of health coverage.<br /> <br /> The president has said the law should be repealed and replaced "simultaneously," a stiff challenge given the complexity of America's vast health care system.<br /> <br /> Republicans are pledging a repeal of Obamacare and rapid votes on a replacement bill in order to prevent gaps in coverage and reassure a restless insurance industry.<br /> <br /> Only one third of the US population is covered by public insurance -- either Medicare, for those over age 65, or Medicaid for the poorest Americans.<br /> <br /> Half of all Americans are insured through their employers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, while about seven percent are covered through the so-called individual market, which serves those who are self-employed or are employees without coverage through work.<br /> <br /> Obama's solution rested largely on requiring that everyone be insured, and providing federal subsidies to those who cannot afford coverage. <br /> <br /> Republicans deemed the first requirement too coercive, and the latter too costly. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587394/000_KG5M9_w300.jpg Local News Friday, January 20, 2017 Woman's body found floating in Black River http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Woman-s-body-found-floating-in-Black-River <br /> <br /> ST ELIZABETH, Jamaica &mdash; A woman believed to have drowned was found floating in the Black River in St Elizabeth yesterday afternoon.<br /> <br /> Dead is 54-year-old Joyce Green of Baptiste Road in St Elizabeth.<br /> <br /> Police say that about 1:40 pm, Green&rsquo;s body was found floating in the river close to Luana district in the parish by a resident and were summoned. On their arrival, Green was fished from the river and her body taken to the morgue.<br /> <br /> Investigations continue. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13585660/drowning_w300.jpg Local News Friday, January 20, 2017 Woman murdered in Denham Town http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Woman-murdered-in-Denham-Town <br /> <br /> KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; A woman was shot and killed at her home on Ramsey Road in Denham Town yesterday afternoon.<br /> <br /> Dead is 38-year-old Carissa Mattie.<br /> <br /> Reports from the Denham Town police are that about 2:30 pm, residents heard loud explosions and summoned them. <br /> <br /> On their arrival, Mattie was seen lying inside of her house with gunshot wounds to the head. She was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.<br /> <br /> Investigations continue.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13586059/police-line-2.jpg Local News Friday, January 20, 2017 Online passport applications to begin this year &ndash; security minister http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Online-passport-applications-to-begin-this-year---security-minister <br /> <br /> KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Online passport applications and renewals are to become a reality in 2017 as part of government&rsquo;s efforts to boost the national security infrastructure of the island and to foster more efficient security checks. <br /> <br /> National Security Minister Robert Montague made the disclosure yesterday as he toured the Constant Spring Road location of the Passport Immigration and Citizenship (PICA). <br /> <br /> In a news release from the ministry, the minister stated that discussions are ongoing with vendors to facilitate an e-passport system, which is expected to increase operational efficiency and reduce the wait times at the island&rsquo;s major airports. <br /> <br /> Speaking with members of PICA&rsquo;s management team Montague said, &ldquo;This is the year of implementation. We intend to use the resources that we have and to obtain more resources in order to create speedier processes. A visitor to the island should not have to wait five hours in an immigration line before their vacation begins.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The minister, who was joined by State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Pearnel Charles Jr, also toured the Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine where he met with staff and was informed about the daily operations of each unit at the facility. <br /> <br /> Montague said he was pleased and commended the staff for &ldquo;the good work they continue to do&rdquo;.<br /> <br />  &ldquo;I learnt a lot about the operations of both PICA and the Forensic Science Institute. I had an opportunity to meet and interact with the staff, as well as, members of the public and get their thoughts, ideas and comments on how to improve service so that this becomes a collaborative approach across all the ministry&rsquo;s agencies and departments in which we operate as one and breakdown silos in the creation of a safer and prosperous Jamaica.&rdquo;<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13586466/Bobby-Montague-3--1-_w300.jpg Local News Friday, January 20, 2017 Caribbean/American legislator arrested protesting Trump&rsquo;s inauguration http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Caribbean-American-legislator-arrested-protesting-Trump-s-inauguration <br /> <br /> NEW YORK, United States (CMC) &mdash; A Caribbean/American legislator was arrested on Friday for civil obedience as he protested the inauguration of the new United States President Donald Trump.<br /> <br /> Brooklyn Council Member Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, his mother Patricia Williams, as well as other New York elected officials, community advocates and members of the clergy, were arrested outside Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan.<br /> <br /> After a press conference and rally protesting Trump&rsquo;s inauguration, Williams, deputy leader of New York City Council, and the other parties walked to the corner of Trump Tower on 56th Street and Fifth Avenue and proceeded to obstruct traffic by sitting down on Fifth Avenue, leading to their arrests.<br /> <br /> Williams, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, said after his release that &ldquo;for the past two years, we&rsquo;ve been bombarded by divisive messages that were unfortunately embraced by so many, and the resulting election showed us the worst of America.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am a believer in non-violent resistance, but we have to disrupt a structure that is unjust. We must resist from day one. We&rsquo;re fighting for everyone, even those who don&rsquo;t understand what they&rsquo;ve done by voting for Trump. We are going to continue moving forward because we know we are on the right side of history.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Williams said the theme of the rally was &ldquo;Resist from Day One&rdquo; by &ldquo;resisting Trump&rsquo;s proposals, which are based in bigotry, xenophobia and fear.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> He said the goal of the rally was to voice opposition against, among other things: Trump&rsquo;s Cabinet nominees, removing the Affordable Care Act, removing millions from insurance and women&rsquo;s access to healthcare, and Trump's immigration policies and criminal justice policy.<br /> <br /> Williams said Trump has proposed policies in the areas of criminal justice, healthcare and immigration that have &ldquo;raised red flags for many.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Through its rhetoric, policies, and appointments, the incoming Trump Administration has made clear that it intends to further enshrine racism, sexism, and plutocracy in our government and society,&rdquo; said Senator Marisol Alcantara.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Mr Trump and those who enable him are a grave threat not just to our democratic traditions but also to our American values of religious toleration and openness to immigration.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As an Afro-Latina immigrant, I hope that my action inspires others to voice and embody their opposition to Trump instead of giving into fear and division,&rdquo; she added.<br /> <br /> Alcantara said successful resistance movements rely not just on voting but also on techniques such as civil disobedience, boycott, and strikes.<br /> <br /> Congresswoman Yvette Clarke was among a number of US Congressional Representatives who boycotted Trump&rsquo;s inauguration.<br /> <br /> Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, had tweeted that she would be joining some of her colleagues in the boycott over Trump&rsquo;s attack on US civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis, of Georgia.<br /> <br /> Like Lewis, Clarke said she had &ldquo;very real concerns about the legitimacy of the next President of the United States.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I believe that we all have an obligation to the American people to have the United States intelligence community and an independent, bipartisan commission thoroughly investigate the hostile intrusion by the Russian government into American politics,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> In his victory speech, Clarke said Trump promised to unite the nation, &ldquo;as a president for all Americans.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But his actions since then reveal that the promise he made was merely words empty of any truth,&rdquo; she said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13588620/Jumaane-Williams-arrested_w300.jpg Local News Saturday, January 21, 2017 UPDATE: 42-y-o mechanic fatally shot in Newlands  http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/UPDATE--42-y-o-mechanic-fatally-shot-in-Newlands <br /> <br /> ST Catherine, Jamaica &mdash; Forty-two-year-old Aryton Nelson, a mechanic of Newlands, Portmore has been reported as one of the two men shot along the Newlands main road yesterday.<br /> <br /> According to reports from the Police&rsquo;s Corporate Communications Unit, Nelson was standing along the roadway with another man when men approached and opened fire, leaving both men injured. They were rushed to the hospital where Nelson was pronounced dead and the other man was admitted.<br /> <br /> The police are doing further investigations. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12510651/crime-scene-tape_w300.jpg Local News Saturday, January 21, 2017 Protesters make their mark on Trump's inauguration http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Protesters-make-their-mark-on-Trump-s-inauguration <br /> <br /> WASHINGTON, United States (AP) &mdash; Calling out Donald Trump on climate change, race, his treatment of women and more, protesters pitching diverse causes but united against the incoming president demonstrated in the early hours of Inauguration Day, intent on making their mark as Trump prepared to take office.<br /> <br /> Spirited demonstrations unfolded at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police in riot gear helped ticket-holders get through to the inaugural ceremony. Signs read "Resist Trump Climate Justice Now," ''Let Freedom Ring," ''Free Palestine."<br /> <br /> The DisruptJ20 coalition, named after the date of the inauguration, had promised that people participating in its actions in Washington would attempt to shut down the celebrations, risking arrest when necessary.<br /> <br /> Lines for ticket holders entering two gates stretched for blocks at one point as protesters clogged entrances.<br /> <br /> Trump supporter Brett Ecker said the protesters were frustrating but weren't going to put a damper on his day.<br /> <br /> "They're just here to stir up trouble," said the 36-year-old public school teacher. "It upsets me a little bit that people choose to do this, but yet again it's one of the things I love about this country."<br /> <br /> At one checkpoint, protesters wore orange jumpsuits with black hoods over their faces to represent prisoners in US detention at Guantanamo Bay. Eleanor Goldfield, who helped organize the Disrupt J20 protest, said protesters wanted to show Trump and his "misguided, misinformed or just plain dangerous" supporters that they won't be silent.<br /> <br /> Black Lives Matter and feminist groups also made their voices heard.<br /> <br /> More demonstrations were planned for later in the day. For one DisruptJ20 event, a march beginning at Columbus Circle outside Union Station, participants were asked to gather at noon, the same time as Trump's swearing-in as the 45th president.<br /> <br /> The route for the march, which organizers called a "Festival of Resistance," ran about 1.5 miles to McPherson Square, a park about three blocks from the White House, where a rally featuring the filmmaker and liberal activist Michael Moore was planned.<br /> <br /> "We're going to throw a party in the streets for our side," organizer David Thurston told reporters last week, adding that drummers, musicians and a float of dancers were planned for the march.<br /> <br /> Along the parade route, the ANSWER Coalition anti-war group planned demonstrations at two locations.<br /> <br /> Protesters and supporters of Trump clashed Thursday evening outside a pro-Trump event in Washington. Police used chemical spray on some protesters in an effort to control the unruly crowd. Hundreds gathered outside the National Press Club in downtown Washington, where the "DeploraBall" was being held. The name is a play on a campaign remark by Hillary Clinton, who once referred to many of Trump's supporters as a "basket of deplorables."<br /> <br /> The demonstrations won't end when Trump takes up residence in the White House. A massive Women's March on Washington is planned for Saturday. Christopher Geldart, the District of Columbia's homeland security director, has said 1,800 buses have registered to park in the city Saturday, which could mean nearly 100,000 people coming in just by bus.<br /> <br /> Jim Bendat, an expert on inaugural history, said significant protests surrounding Inauguration Day go back at least to 1913, when suffragettes marched down Pennsylvania Avenue.<br /> <br /> Richard Nixon's first and second inaugurations drew memorable protests, he said, with demonstrators at the second inauguration angry about the Vietnam War. During President George W Bush's 2001 inauguration, demonstrators along the parade route turned their backs as the president passed by and others held signs like "Hail to the thief," suggesting Bush had stolen the election from Democrat Al Gore. At least one egg thrown from the crowd hit the presidential limousine. In 2005, demonstrators disrupted Bush's inaugural address.<br /> <br /> Bendat said it's to be expected that after such a contentious election, demonstrators will come to Washington to express their opinions.<br /> <br /> "That's part of democracy, too," he said.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13585879/trump-protest_w300.jpg Local News Friday, January 20, 2017