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 Report identifies IS suicide bomber as British citizen of Jamaican origin http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Report-identifies-IS-suicide-bomber-as-British-citizen-of-Jamaican-origin <br /> <br /> LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) &mdash; A suicide bomber from the Islamic State group was a British citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay, a family member told The Times newspaper on Wednesday.<br /> <br /> The British fighter who IS claimed detonated a suicide bomb against Iraqi forces outside Mosul was named in British media as Jamal al-Harith, who was detained at the United States base between 2002 and 2004.<br /> <br /> An image released by IS and published on Monday by the SITE Intelligence Group was confirmed as al-Harith by his brother Leon Jameson.<br /> <br /> "It is him, I can tell by his smile. If it is true then I&rsquo;ve lost a brother, so another family (member) gone," Jameson told The Times.<br /> <br /> Channel 4 News cited an unnamed family member and another anonymous source as confirming Harith was pictured.<br /> <br /> The photograph shows him smiling, dressed in camouflage clothing and appearing to be sat in a vehicle with wires and switches in the background.<br /> <br /> The British government said it could not verify the reports.<br /> <br /> "The UK has advised for some time against all travel to Syria, and against all travel to large parts of Iraq. <br /> <br /> "As all UK consular services are suspended in Syria and greatly limited in Iraq, it is extremely difficult to confirm the whereabouts and status of British nationals in these areas," a spokeswoman told AFP.<br /> <br /> Harith, a Muslim convert of Jamaican origin who was born Ronald Fiddler, was jailed in Afghanistan by the ruling Taliban because he held a British passport.<br /> <br /> After the regime was toppled he was arrested by US troops in early 2002 and sent to Guantanamo, where he alleged he experienced beatings and degrading treatment.<br /> <br /> On returning to Britain in 2004 he was briefly questioned by police and released without charge.<br /> <br /> Harith travelled to Turkey and crossed into Syria in April 2014, the BBC reported citing Islamic State registration papers.<br /> <br /> The following year his wife, Shukee Begum, travelled to Syria along with her five children in what she said was an effort to convince her husband to abandon IS.<br /> <br /> After being reunited with Harith she was not allowed to leave IS territory and was smuggled out, she told Channel 4. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13660831/Jamal-al-Harith_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 22, 2017 J'can teacher among 10 finalists for US$1m Global Teacher Prize http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/J-can-teacher-among-10-finalists-for-US-1m-Global-Teacher-Prize <br /> <br /> KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; A Jamaican teacher is among 10 finalists selected from a pool of 20,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2017.<br /> <br /> She is Tracy-Ann Hall, an automotive technology teacher at Jonathan Grant High School in Spanish Town, St Catherine.<br /> <br /> Now in its third year, the US $1 million award is the largest prize of its kind, and was set up to recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society. <br /> <br /> By highlighting the stories of the 10 finalists, the Varkey Foundation hopes that the public will be able to join in passionate debates about the importance of teachers. <br /> <br /> The winner will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai on Sunday, March 19.<br /> <br /> Here is Hall&rsquo;s story as stated in her bio on the Global Teacher Prize website:<br /> <br /> Tracy-Ann Hall did not enjoy successful school years herself, due to undiagnosed dyslexia. She did not move on to higher education immediately but instead trained as an automotive technician and worked in a garage. This experience in training other learner mechanics gave her a lifelong love of teaching. With more qualifications, she entered the vocational teachers&rsquo; college in Jamaica and after three years graduated top of her class.<br /> <br /> Her positive approach transformed her first teaching class from a group of students who had previously been written off as &lsquo;poor&rsquo; into a great success. She motivated a class of 30 boys, setting up a class library, encouraging them to read and deliver a book review on completing each volume. They began to excel in grade ten and by grade 11 were so motivated that eight of them joined the school choir and one became head boy at the school. Hers was also the first automotive exam class to score a 95 per cent pass in the history of the school. She also started and oversaw a programme for her class to feed street people, launch a junior automotive club and serve on the school magazine committee. Her students have gone on to a wide range of occupations &ndash; policemen, scuba divers, hotel managers, chefs, and, of course, automotive technicians &ndash; and she also encourages all her students to move into higher education.<br /> <br /> Regarding her classroom as her workshop, Tracy-Ann plasters the walls with charts showcasing outstanding achievements of students and each of their goals for the year ahead. She encourages friendly competition between the students and gives rewards to those who achieve high grades and significant improvements.<br /> <br /> Tracy-Ann has taught at various schools, all with the same success. She has convinced business leaders in the automotive sector to sponsor scholarships for exceptional students, ensuring they start with a firm foothold in the industry. With resources scarce, she has been ingenious in finding materials and components for her automotive classes, which are difficult to attract funding for, again forming partnerships with those in the automotive sector to use their facilities and spare parts. She has hosted summer schools for low-income families, bolstering her community. Her contribution has been recognised with a number of awards from the schools she has taught at.<br /> <br /> The other nine finalists for the Global Teacher prize 2017 are:<br /> <br /> Raymond Chambers, a computer science teacher from Brooke Weston Academy in Corby, Northamptonshire <br /> <br /> Salima Begum, Headteacher at Elementary College for Women Gilgit, Pakistan <br /> <br /> David Calle, from Madrid, Spain, the founder and creator of the Unicoos educational website<br /> <br /> Wemerson da Silva Nogueira, a science teacher at the Escola Ant&ocirc;nio dos Santos Neves in Boa Esperan&ccedil;a, Brazil <br /> <br /> Marie-Christine Ghanbari Jahromi, a physical education, maths and German teacher at Gesamtschule Gescher school, in Gescher, Germany<br /> <br /> Maggie MacDonnell, a teacher at Ikusik School, Kativik School Board, Canadian Arctic<br /> <br /> Ken Silburn, a science teacher at Casula High School, south-west Sydney, Australia<br /> <br /> Yang Boya, a psychology teacher at The Affiliated Middle School of Kunming Teachers College, China <br /> <br /> Michael Wamaya, a dance teacher from Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13661949/Tracy-Ann-Hall_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 22, 2017 Jencare founder Jennifer Samuda dies http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Jencare-founder-Jennifer-Samuda-dies <br /> <br /> KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Jencare Skin Farm founder and operator Jennifer Samuda died in Florida early Wednesday morning after a long battle with cancer.<br /> <br /> A close family friend told OBSERVER ONLINE that Samuda, who had been struggling with cancer for the past two years, passed away about 3:00 am in hospital.<br /> <br /> Samuda, a former Jamaica Observer Business Leader nominee, combined her entrepreneurial and cosmetic formulation skills to develop Jencare Skin Farm from a modest backroom operation in the early 1980s into the modern production facility and beauty centre that it is today.<br /> <br /> Jencare not only provides spa/skin care facilities it manufactures a line of skin care products, which are sold locally and abroad.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13662406/Jennifer-Samuda_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 22, 2017 Take sex breaks on work time, suggests Swedish councillor http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Take-sex-breaks-on-work-time--suggests-Swedish-councillor <br /> <br /> STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AFP) &mdash; Swedes should take a one-hour paid break from work to go home and have sex with their partners, a local councillor suggested in a proposal Tuesday aimed at improving people's personal relationships.<br /> <br /> "There are studies that show sex is healthy," Per-Erik Muskos, a 42-year-old city councillor for the northern town of Overtornea, told AFP after presenting the motion.<br /> <br /> He said couples were not spending enough time with each other in today's society.<br /> <br /> "It's about having better relationships," he said.<br /> <br /> He noted there was no way to verify that employees do not use their hour for other purposes than spending time with their partners or spouses.<br /> <br /> "You can't guarantee that a worker doesn't go out for a walk instead," Muskos said, adding that employers needed to trust their employees.<br /> <br /> Muskos said he "saw no reason" why the motion wouldn't pass.<br /> <br /> After the Finns and the French, Swedish full-time employees worked the least in Europe with only 1,685 hours on average in 2015, according to a study by economic research institute Coe-Rexecode.<br /> <br /> Brits worked an average of 1,900 hours and Germans 1,847 hours in 2015. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13660805/office-centre_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, February 21, 2017 Immigrants in US change up routines, brace for arrest  http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Immigrants-in-US-change-up-routines--brace-for-arrest <br /> <br /> CALIFORNIA, United States &mdash; In Orange County, California, dozens of immigrant parents have signed legal documents authorising friends and relatives to pick up their children from school and access their bank accounts to pay their bills in the event they are arrested by immigration agents.<br /> <br /> In Philadelphia, immigrants are carrying around wallet-size "Know Your Rights" guides in Spanish and English that explain what to do if they're rounded up.<br /> <br /> And in New York, 23-year-old Zuleima Dominguez and other members of her Mexican family are careful about answering the door and start making worried phone calls when someone doesn't come home on time.<br /> <br /> Around the country, President Donald Trump's efforts to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the US have spread fear and anxiety and led many people to brace for arrest and to change up their daily routines in hopes of not getting caught.<br /> <br /> In El Paso, Texas, Carmen Ramos and her friends have developed a network to keep each other updated via text messages on where immigration checkpoints have been set up.<br /> <br /> She said she is also making certain everything she does is in order at all times. She checks her taillights before leaving the house to make sure they are working. She won't speed and keeps a close eye on her surroundings.<br /> <br /> "We are surprised that even a ticket can get us back to Mexico," said the 41-year-old Ramos, who with her husband and three children left Ciudad Juarez because of drug violence and death threats in 2008 and entered the US on tourist visas that have since expired. "We wouldn't have anywhere to return."<br /> <br /> The unease among immigrants has been building for months but intensified in recent weeks with ever-clearer signs that the Trump administration would jettison the Obama-era policy of focusing mostly on deporting those who had committed serious crimes.<br /> <br /> On Tuesday, the administration announced that any immigrant who is in the country illegally and is charged with or convicted of any offense, or even suspected of a crime, will now be an enforcement priority. That could include people arrested for shoplifting or other minor offenses, or those who simply crossed the border illegally.<br /> <br /> Some husbands and wives fear spouses who lack legal papers could be taken away. And many worry that parents will be separated from their US-born children.<br /> <br /> Dozens of immigrants have been turning up at an advocacy group's offices in Philadelphia, asking questions like, "Who will take care of my children if I am deported?" They are also coached on how to develop a "deportation plan" that includes the name and number of an attorney and other emergency contacts in case of arrest.<br /> <br /> In Los Angeles, immigrants have been attending know-your-rights workshops but also calling in to report they're afraid to pick up their children from school, said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, a spokesman for the Coalition of Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.<br /> <br /> Immigrants in the Chicago area have said they are scared to drive, and some are even wary of taking public transit. When Chicago police and federal authorities conducted regular safety checks on a train line earlier this month, many assumed it was an immigration checkpoint.<br /> <br /> Word spread so quickly on Twitter and among activist groups that Chicago police issued a statement assuring immigrants, "You are welcome here."<br /> <br /> A 34-year-old Mexican immigrant and mother of two in Miami said she has been texting friends and exchanging messages on Facebook about what roads to avoid to steer clear of immigration patrols.<br /> <br /> She drives to work and also takes her children to school, even though she has no license, something she cannot get because she is in the country illegally. She agreed to be identified only by her first name, Marina, for fear of deportation.<br /> <br /> In the Bronx, Dominguez, a college student who is in the US with permission under the Obama administration policy for people who entered illegally as children, is looking into what she needs to do to raise her American-born brother and sister, ages 6 and 11, if their parents are deported. The parents are in the US illegally.<br /> <br /> Now, when Dominguez goes out, she tells the others where she is going, with whom, and when she will be home, and expects the same from her parents and siblings. If someone is late getting home, she said, "we start calling."<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663067/Immigration-Rally_Thom_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 22, 2017 Westmoreland pair tied up, shot dead in cane field http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Westmoreland-pair-tied-up--shot-dead-in-cane-field <br /> <br /> WESTMORELAND, Jamaica &mdash; The bullet-riddled bodies of a man and woman were yesterday found in a cane field in Mount Eagle, Westmoreland with their hands and feet bound.<br /> <br /> Police say the deceased have been identified as 47-year-old Mark Walker, otherwise called &lsquo;Tallist&rsquo; and Tanisha Buchanan, otherwise called &lsquo;TanTan&rsquo; both of Crowder district, Grange Hill in Westmoreland.<br /> <br /> Reports from the Morgan&rsquo;s Bridge police are that residents discovered the bodies about 4:45 pm and summoned them. <br /> <br /> The lawmen said that on their arrival, Walker and Buchanan were seen with multiple gunshot wounds and their hands and feet bound. The bodies were removed to the morgue pending post mortem. <br /> <br /> Investigations into the matter are ongoing. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665491/crime-scene_w319_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, February 23, 2017 Clarendon escapee captured http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Clarendon-escapee-captured <br /> <br /> CLARENDON, Jamaica &mdash; The police are reporting that 21-year-old Tevin Robinson who escaped police custody whilst being treated at the May Pen Hospital in Clarendon on Monday, is back in custody.<br /> <br /> Robinson who was charged with murder, shooting with intent and rape, had an additional charge laid on him for escaping custody.<br /> <br /> According to the police, it was discovered that Robinson was missing from his bed at the May Pen Hospital about 1:40 am on Monday, four days after he was admitted at the facility for treatment of dengue fever. <br /> <br /> Checks were made in and around the area but he was not found at the time. <br /> <br /> Robinson was picked up by the police in Sandy Bay, Clarendon yesterday and returned to custody.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13662785/Tevin_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 22, 2017 Canada defends visa requirement for visits to North American country http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Canada-defends-visa-requirement-for-visits-to-North-American-country <br /> <br /> CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) &mdash; A senior Canadian diplomat has defended the decision not to grant visas to a number of St Lucians even though her country would like more people to visit.<br /> <br />  &ldquo;The rate is very high because we don&rsquo;t receive proper documentation for visas,&rdquo; says Canadian High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Marie Legault.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Hopefully we can work on that and we can solve the situation in the future,&rdquo; she said, adding that in addition to improper documentation, false information is also being provided to Canadian authorities.<br /> <br /> The Canadian diplomat stressed that St Lucia and Canada have a strong relationship and it is important to recognise the issue of Canadian security.<br /> <br /> On September 11, 2012, Canada implemented visa requirements for visitors to Canada including those from St Lucia and St Vincent.<br /> <br /> Canadian authorities were reported to be concerned that criminals from both countries could legally change their names and acquire new passports. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13661889/Marie-Legault-300x275_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 22, 2017 Harvard names Rihanna its humanitarian of the year http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Harvard-names-Rihanna-its-humanitarian-of-the-year <br /> <br /> NEW YORK, United States (AFP) &mdash; Rihanna may be best known as an R&B superstar, but on Wednesday she was named the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year for her charity work.<br /> <br /> The 29-year-old singer from Barbados will be given the award in person on campus on February 28, the university announced.<br /> <br /> "Rihanna has charitably built a state-of-the-art centre for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados," Harvard Foundation director S. Allen Counter said.<br /> <br /> She has also set up a scholarship program, named after her grandparents, for Caribbean students studying in the United States, and supports efforts to give girls better access to education in the developing world.<br /> <br /> "It is for these philanthropic initiatives and other acts of compassionate sharing that the students and faculty of the Harvard Foundation chose to honour Rihanna with the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year Award," Counter said.<br /> <br /> The singer joins an illustrious roster of past recipients that includes former UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai, and singer Lionel Richie.<br /> <br /> Rihanna, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, has sold more than 200 million records, won eight Grammy Awards and scored 14 number-one hits. She is also celebrated for her style and collaborates with Puma on a clothing line. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663327/rihanna_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, February 22, 2017 100,000 &lsquo;Jamaica 50&rsquo; pins found http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/100-000--Jamaica-50--pins-found_90365 <br /> <br /> THE Government has tracked down the close to 100,000 &lsquo;Jamaica 50&rsquo; commemorative pins, which culture minister Olivia Grange last year said could not be immediately accounted for.<br /> <br /> The pins caused a row between Grange and former minister Lisa Hanna last year, when the Government assumed office and shortly after announced that it was &lsquo;stuck with&rsquo; 25,000 pins, and could not find a report on Jamaica 50 activities in the ministry.<br /> <br /> In July last year, Grange said an audit had found approximately 47,000 pins housed at the ministry, another 47,000 in private storage locally, and that there are other pins overseas. <br /> <br /> Hanna had accused Grange of being disingenuous in her assertions, and that her claims were &ldquo;a cheap political ploy intended to give the impression that there were secrets pertaining to the Jamaica 50 celebrations of 2012&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Yesterday, Information Minister Senator Ruel Reid said he would seek further update from the culture minister, but that all the pins had been found. &ldquo;To be fair, we are now in 2017, so those pins would not be very relevant. We would obviously have to determine how to dispose of those,&rdquo; he noted.<br /> <br /> In the meantime, the Government plans to spend $200 million on Jamaica 55 activities throughout the year, with the main celebration set for the annual Independence period. <br /> <br /> In the meantime, Cabinet on Monday approved a Jamaica House 2017 event for the IAAF World Championships, which are to be held in August in London. The Government is to provide a provisional budget of &Acirc;&pound;410,000 to the Jamaica Tourist Board to cover the expense.<br /> <br /> Reid said Jamaica House 2017 is an integrated marketing activity aimed at leveraging the IAAF world athletics championships to promote Brand Jamaica. It is a joint initiative of the ministries of culture, gender, entertainment and sports; and tourism, he said.<br /> <br /> Press Secretary Naomi Campbell said a review analysis of Jamaica House 2012, which was also staged in London, has been done, and is to be presented by the relevant portfolio ministers at another juncture. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13413695/239374_66093_repro_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, February 23, 2017