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 UPDATE: Young children watched as mother of 9 killed http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/UPDATE--Young-children-watched-as-mother-of-9-killed <br /> <br /> ST CATHERINE, Jamaica &mdash; Authorities from the Child Development Agency (CDA) have arranged counselling for the two youngest of nine children whose mother was hacked to death in Point Hill, St Catherine, on Wednesday afternoon.<br /> <br /> Read: Man hacks common-law wife to death in St Catherine &mdash; reports<br /> <br /> The two girls &mdash; five and nine years old &mdash; witnessed as 45-year-old Hermalyn Bell was chopped several times about 2:00 pm following a domestic dispute with a man she was said to be intimately involved with.<br /> <br /> An older daughter, who also witnessed the attack, said she tried to assist her mother but was threatened with a machete.<br /> <br /> She said she was bruised as she tried to escape a  fate similar to Bell's.<br /> <br /> The man fled the scene after the attack but was later apprehended by police.<br /> <br /> More in Sunday&rsquo;s Observer.<br /> <br /> Shanica Blair http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13492772/Woman_w300.jpg Local News Friday, December 09, 2016 Baby stolen from UHWI recovered http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Baby-stolen-from-UHWI-recovered <br /> <br /> KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The police reported a short while ago that the baby who was stolen from the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) today has been found.<br /> <br /> The police provided no further details but said more information would be available later.<br /> <br /> Reports are that the child, a baby girl, was reported missing after her mother awoke to find that she was not in the cot beside her.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493416/baby_w300.jpg Local News Friday, December 09, 2016 Three shot dead in Gregory Park http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Three-shot-dead-in-Gregory-Park <br /> <br /> ST CATHERINE, Jamaica &mdash; Three people were this afternoon shot dead in Portmore Villa, Gregory Park, St Catherine.<br /> <br /> The police&rsquo;s Corporate Communications Unit confirmed a short while ago that the three people were shot dead about 3:30 pm.<br /> <br /> More information later. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13410211/crime-scene-2_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, December 08, 2016 Cop bars media from interviewing Portia http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Cop-bars-media-from-interviewing-Portia_83107 <br /> <br /> A woman cop assigned to Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller last night took on the role of a sycophant, vehemently telling journalists that they cannot interview the People&rsquo;s National Party (PNP) president who was attending the swearing-in ceremony of mayor and councillors of the Portmore Municipal Council.<br /> <br /> Simpson Miller, who was a surprise show at the ceremony, did not speak but was asked by mayor of the municipality Leon Thomas afterwards to take photos with him and his family. This reporter and a colleague from<br /> <br /> The Gleaner were awaiting the completion of the photo op for an interview but were told not to come close to the PNP president, who was then whisked away in the opposite direction.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;No, no, no, absolutely no!&rdquo; the woman cop, who is believed to be assigned to the Protective Services Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, shouted, while shielding the opposition leader.<br /> <br /> Simpson Miller was, however, allowed to greet supporters, who descended on the Portmore Pines Plaza where the ceremony was held. She also paused to take selfies before leaving.<br /> <br /> Last night, head of the Protective Services Division Cedric Allen indicated to the Jamaica Observer that what the woman cop did was outside of her prescribed duties.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t [know of] any such directive. Their role is to protect the subject, the VIP, whoever that is. That is their role. It does not entail barring any member of the media from interviewing anyone,&rdquo; Allen said.<br /> <br /> He said that the cop&rsquo;s actions could only be deemed appropriate if a threat had been detected. He explained to the Observer that in such a situation the officer is required to neutralise the threat. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;When situations like that occur it is for members of the media to speak to her press secretary to clear up any ambiguity,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know what would be the information passed between her and the security, so she would be in a better position to speak on that.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490899/246162_72611_repro_w300.jpg Local News Friday, December 09, 2016 PNP supporters disrupt Portmore swearing-in ceremony http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/PNP-supporters-disrupt-Portmore-swearing-in-ceremony <br /> <br /> ST CATHERINE, Jamaica &mdash; The swearing-in ceremony of councillors and mayor of the Portmore Municipal Council here was briefly interrupted by People's National Party (PNP) supporters who booed a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) councillor.<br /> <br /> Councillor for the Gregory Park Division Joy Donna Brown stood to unmistakable boos at the Portmore Pines Plaza, when her name was announced over the microphone.<br /> <br /> "A power wi seh, power!" supporters chanted.<br /> <br /> PNP President Portia Simpson Miller and PNP Member of Parliament for St Catherine Southern Fitz Jackson quickly reprimanded the boisterous crowd.<br /> <br /> Shortly after, comrades bearing a green coffin with the image of defeated JLP mayoral candidate Keith Blake again disrupted the ceremony. <br /> <br /> "Bury we a bury di dead," comrades shouted.<br /> <br /> The installation ceremony eventually continued as the 12 councillors and mayor were sworn in.<br /> <br /> The PNP won 10 divisions and the mayorship while the JLP won two divisions in the recently concluded local government elections.<br /> <br /> More information later.<br /> <br /> Kimone Francis http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490495/Coffin-Portmore_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, December 08, 2016 Teachers angry over non-payment of salaries http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Teachers-angry-over-non-payment-of-salaries <br /> <br /> KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The Jamaica Teachers&rsquo; Association (JTA) says that they are very concerned over the non-payment of salaries to some teachers and coaches.<br /> <br /> According to a release from the group, the teachers have been employed to the Ministry of Education&rsquo;s Alternative Pathway in Secondary Education Programme, since September 2016.<br /> <br /> The JTA says that they have initiated discussions with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, which has advised them that some of the affected people have since been paid a portion of the outstanding salaries. <br /> <br /> The ministry also indicated that the outstanding balance would be paid this month.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493410/JTA_w300.jpg Local News Friday, December 09, 2016 Christmas breeze, or the winds of change http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Christmas-breeze--or-the-winds-of-change_83066 It has only been nine months since the JLP&rsquo;s stunning election victory, but for many Jamaicans, the Christmas breeze is finally heralding the winds of real change.<br /> <br /> After nearly a generation of governance, the once-dominant PNP is now a trainwreck, its geriatric leadership on a slippery slope, the vultures circling.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the new administration has embraced a pro-growth agenda even as it strives to meet a seven per cent fiscal surplus target, a goal usually only attained by oil-exporting nations. Public sector transformation, crime compression, justice reform and energy infrastructure are amongst its ambitious agenda items. But beyond the big picture policies it is the little changes that are beginning to take effect.<br /> <br /> Embankments are being bushed, gullies cleared, verges trimmed, and mosquitoes sprayed. A major cruise ship actually disembarked in Kingston Harbour and its passengers returned unscathed. More JP&rsquo;s are being appointed, and plea bargaining is being introduced to reduce court caseloads. Although the ganja licensing programme is off to a snail&rsquo;s start, anecdotal evidence suggests an investment tsunami is gathering force to make Jamaican herb great again. While still constrained by an archaic tax code, real estate is also on the rebound as confidence returns to both developers and buyers. And both the the tourism and agricultural sectors are on a growth trajectory.<br /> <br /> Much work remains to be done, and many targets may seem remote, but perhaps not as impossible as before. Why? In a word &mdash; leadership. Andrew Holness has brought a tempo and a temperament to Jamaica House that has rarely been seen, including during his prior tenure. Architect of the politically impossible, he must now turn nation-builder and restore not just confidence to investors, but hope to the common man.<br /> <br /> In reaching for the once economically impossible five per cent GDP growth target, it is important to remember that even though that number may one day be technically met, unless there is a real stimulus effect at street and lane level, it&rsquo;s just a politricks number.<br /> <br /> The local private sector is not big enough to fuel the growth engine on its own, while large-scale FDI projects tend to be capital intensive with external leakages. Small countries need government stimulus to catalyse employment creation and accelerate the velocity of money in circulation.<br /> <br /> Money velocity is an underappreciated element in the economic cosmos. Usually a fairly static factor in large economies, in tiny economies its rate of flow has a measurable effect on economic well-being. But with a seven per cent fiscal surplus mandate, ambitious debt reduction targets, and public sector bloat,there&rsquo;s precious little spare change for critical infrastructure investment in marginalised communities to enhance cash velocity.<br /> <br /> It is amidst this nexus of objectives and constraints that the new government must thread its economic needle, ever mindful of the fact that the EGC and PST goals are no substitute for real &lsquo;wuk&rsquo; and a stable Jamaican dollar. There was little seen of either event under the PNP, which is why so many of its faithful stayed home last election. It&rsquo;s still too early to see major gains on the job front, but the Jamaican dollar&rsquo;s slide has been an unsettling event in light of the moderate inflation data.<br /> <br /> Unsettling for governance, but logical for locals. Jamaicans have dollarised 50 per cent of bank deposits because past governments have been unable or unwilling to halt the downward spiral. Monetary policy continues to believe in sovereign control even as the market is opting for external assets.<br /> <br /> This is a major conundrum for the BOJ, just as the capex budget remains a mirage for the MOF. It can&rsquo;t be easy running Jamaica House now, with technocratic restraint vying with populist outreach &mdash; but at least there&rsquo;s finally someone in charge who has the vision and tenacity to give it a real shot.<br /> <br /> Given the resource challenges, it&rsquo;s perhaps time to leverage some of Jamaica&rsquo;s major partners for a friendly push along the path of progress. <br /> <br /> FOSSIL FUEL<br /> <br /> Of all Jamaica&rsquo;s many dire needs, energy is the most vital. But even as JPS, Fortress, and others forge ahead with modern power generation, the Petrojam refinery &mdash; which is the nation&rsquo;s core energy asset &mdash; is an inefficient fossil in need of a massive investment by its co-owners, Jamaica and Venezuela.<br /> <br /> The roughly US$1bilion required for this is not yet on the table for the 51 per cent/49 per cent partnership &mdash; and in fact is nowhere in sight &mdash; with total chaos in Venezuela and capex drought in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Chinese are planting their flag all over Jamaica and considering energy options for their heavy industry investments, including &lsquo;clean coal&rsquo;. There is thus a compelling opportunity for some Trumpian statecraft to affect a strategic linkage.<br /> <br /> Coal-fired energy will bring a hurricane of national and international outrage, guaranteed. But what if our financial engineers could structure a Chinese acquisition of Venezuela&rsquo;s stake in the Petrojam refinery, and their commitment to funding the rebuild, with a dedicated low-cost energy stream to both Chinese stakeholders and Jamaican consumers. The Chinese and the Venezuelans are already in the energy bed together&hellip; why not a m&Atilde;&copy;nage-&Atilde; -trois?<br /> <br /> While the investment metrics will define the economic deal terms, it is leadership which must first bring the political deal to the table, by making it crystal-clear to the nation and the world that coal will never fuel Jamaica&rsquo;s future, and that our major strategic partners have a critical untapped role to play in the conservation of the Jamaican environment.<br /> <br /> This deal would be a game-changer, not just a growth propeller, but a real indicator of transformational governance. Until the seven per cent straightjacket is shed or the local debt sufficiently devalued, Jamaica&rsquo;s options are limited. The Petrojam refinery is a pending financial crisis and the use of coal is a pending environmental crisis.<br /> <br /> In politics, wisdom dictates that crises should never be wasted &mdash; but used as opportunities to effect real change.<br /> <br /> Roger Brown is the founder and managing director of Panama-based Risk Control SA, which provides investment advisory, asset protection, and offshore financial services to international clients. <br /> <br /> Through Professionally Panama, its business concierge platform, Risk Control also provides custom corporate, health, and hospitality services. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490640/246112_72559_repro_w300.jpg Local Business Friday, December 09, 2016 UPDATE: Three men killed in Portmore aligned to gang http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/UPDATE--Three-men-killed-in-Portmore-aligned-to-gang <br /> <br /> ST CATHERINE, Jamaica &mdash; The police today reported that the three men killed in Portmore Villa, St Catherine yesterday are aligned to the Umbrella Gang in the parish.<br /> <br /> They are:<br /> <br /> 26-year-old Paul Parchment, otherwise called &lsquo;Timmy&rsquo;, &lsquo;Short Man&rsquo; or &lsquo;Teacha&rsquo;, of Power Avenue, Newlands, St Catherine;<br /> <br /> 29-year-old Nicholas Harris, otherwise called &lsquo;Skumpa&rsquo;, &lsquo;Laughy Laughy&rsquo;, of Portmore Pines, St. Catherine, and;<br /> <br /> An unidentified man believed to be in his early twenties. He is of dark complexion, medium build and is about 178 centimetres (5 feet 10 inches) long. The body was clad in a green and white T-shirt, khaki pants and a pair of black shoes.<br /> <br /> Reports are that about 3:45 pm, residents heard explosions and summoned the police. On the arrival of the lawmen the bodies were seen lying in a pool of blood with gunshot wounds. They were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead. <br /> <br /> Parchment who is said to be a prominent member of the gang was implicated in the murder of Robert Smith, otherwise called &lsquo;Headless&rsquo; on Anglin Avenue in the parish on September 27, 2014. While Harris, was identified as one of two men that issued threats on the life of a senior police officer. <br /> <br /> Information received is that both men were seen regularly parading the community with illegal firearms which they used to intimidate residents.<br /> <br /> In the meantime the police are asking anyone with information that may assist with their investigations to contact the Portmore Criminal Investigations Branch at 949-8395, Police 119 emergency number, Crime Stop at 311, the nearest Police Station or the Stay Alert Application.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13492700/police-line_w300.jpg Local News Friday, December 09, 2016 Bolt baffled by JAAA&rsquo;s abstention from IAAF vote http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Bolt-baffled-by-JAAA-s-abstention-from-IAAF-vote_83059 <br /> <br /> KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) &mdash; The decision by Jamaica&rsquo;s athletics authorities to abstain from an IAAF vote to institute far-reaching reforms has left sprint superstar Usain Bolt baffled. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was very shocked; I actually learned about that today,&rdquo; said the multiple-time Olympic gold medallist.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I find it ridiculous and funny at the same time to know that the IAAF is trying to take big steps like this to make the sport better and we [Jamaica] are doing so very well in the sports. Why would we not support it in going in the right direction?&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So it was kind of a letdown to know that the JAAA (Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association) did not support it.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> According to the IAAF, the reforms are aimed at strengthening governance by enhancing transparency and accountability. They also impacted on anti-doping and integrity functions.<br /> <br /> The package received overwhelming support by the membership as they were passed in a 182-10 vote last weekend.<br /> <br /> And while IAAF president Sebastian Coe argued that the reforms were necessary in order to &ldquo;protect the sport&rdquo;, head of the JAAA, Warren Blake, said each member needed to do &ldquo;what they think is best&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think people should respect the right of every federation to look at the package and do what they think is best,&rdquo; Blake was quoted as saying.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A lot of people have criticised us for not voting, but I would say to the people go and look at the Constitution and exactly what the changes were.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12569556/179884__w300.jpg Local Sports Friday, December 09, 2016 Man caught on tape sexually assaulting boy remanded http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Man-caught-on-tape-sexually-assaulting-boy-remanded <br /> <br /> KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; A game shop operator, who was reportedly caught on tape sexually assaulting a little boy, was today remanded for a bail application in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on December 19.<br /> <br /> The 35-year-old accused was recently charged with gross indecency after a report was made to the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).<br /> <br /> The accused was reportedly captured on video performing the sexual act on the boy inside his house, which is the from which he operates his game shop.<br /> <br /> Tanesha Mundle http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12579175/Jail-bird_w300.jpg Local News Friday, December 09, 2016