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 Top cop unable to say whether criminals, lawmen collude in prison break http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Top-cop-unable-to-say-whether-criminals--lawmen-collude-in-prison-break KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Commissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams today said he is unable to say whether or not recent prison breaks are a result of collusion between criminals and lawmen.<br /> <br /> He was addressing the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) President's Forum at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston this morning.<br /> <br /> Williams admitted that, while police officers have been, in previous years, arrested for consorting with criminals, he &ldquo;&hellip;can&rsquo;t say definitively that some of the escapes have not been a result of collusion between police and prisoners&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> He explained that people have been arrested in the past for smuggling ganja and other contraband into prison cells, but refrained from stating whether or not anyone had been previously arrested in connection with facilitating a prison break.<br /> <br /> Earlier this month, police officers attached to the Denham Town Police Station were placed on interdiction following the early morning escape of nine prisoners from the Denham Town lock-up.<br /> <br /> The communications arm of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) reported that the men were discovered missing during a routine cell check, about 7:30 am on Sunday, September 18. The police said they escaped by cutting a ventilation grille.<br /> <br /> Two of the nine escapees have since been recaptured.<br /> <br /> Williams this morning said an investigation into the jailbreak is ongoing but no information could be provided until the results are received.<br /> <br /> Keleshia Powell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13316446/carl-williams-psoj_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 1:50 PM UPDATE: Cop suspected to be suicidal rescued from rooftop http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/UPDATE--Cop-suspected-to-be-suicidal-rescued-from-rooftop MANCHESTER, Jamaica &mdash; Deputy Superintendent in charge of crime in the Manchester Police Division, Hemford Wade, has confirmed that a policeman, suspected to be suicidal, was rescued from a rooftop in Mandeville this morning.<br /> <br /> Read:<br /> <br /> PHOTO: Man in police uniform attempts suicide in Mandeville &ndash; reports<br /> <br /> He said the policeman was taken from the top of a building from which it is believed he was about to jump. <br /> <br /> The building is in close proximity to the Mandeville Police Station, <br /> <br /> The policeman was assisted from the building with support from the Manchester Fire Department and the Jamaica Public Service Company.<br /> <br /> Deputy Superintendent Wade said that his colleague was then taken to hospital. <br /> <br /> A large crowd had gathered while the incident unfolded and this resulted in disruption in the movement of traffic in a section of the Mandeville town centre.<br /> <br /> Alicia Sutherland http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13316414/cop-suicide-attempt-1_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 1:40 PM US sprinter Kimmons suspended two years for doping http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/US-sprinter-Kimmons-suspended-two-years-for-doping LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) &mdash; United States sprinter Trell Kimmons has been suspended for two years after testing positive for a banned stimulant, the United States Anti-Doping Agency said Tuesday.<br /> <br /> Kimmons, a member of the USA's 2012 Olympics 4x100m relay team, which was stripped of its medal because of Tyson Gay's dope test, failed a drug test at the US Track and Field Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon, in March.<br /> <br /> A USADA statement said Kimmons tested positive for the banned stimulant 1,3-dimethylbutylamine.<br /> <br /> USADA said Kimmons, who ingested the substance through a supplement, had accepted a two-year suspension, which started from April 14.<br /> <br /> All of the sprinter's competitive results obtained on and after March 12, the date of his test, had been invalidated.<br /> <br /> Kimmons, from Coldwater, Mississippi, first rose to prominence at the 2004 World Junior Athletics Championships, where he was a member of the US 4x100 relay team that set a junior world record. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13316382/trell-kimmons_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 1:13 PM Cops not daunted by INDECOM &mdash; Police Commissioner http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/-Spectacular--INDECOM-press-conferences-dampening-will-of-cops---Police-Commissioner KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Despite concerns that lawmen might be reluctant to tackle criminals out of fear of penalties from the Independent Commission of Investigation (INDECOM), Commissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams said police officers in St James have no problem with INDECOM investigating officers.<br /> <br /> Williams, who was the keynote speaker at the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) President's Forum this morning, said that during a tour of St James over the weekend, police officers in the parish told him that they have an excellent relationship with local INDECOM officers.<br /> <br /> However, the lawmen said the problem they have is with what is coming from the commission&rsquo;s head office.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The spectacular press conferences that paint a picture of the police force as it was ages ago is what is dampening the will of the police officers,&rdquo; Williams said.<br /> <br /> The police commissioner said, however, that this does not daunt the police force and pledged his support for members who confront criminals then face investigation by the oversight body.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We will ensure that we provide them with the legal support that they must get when there is a confrontation and they become what INDECOM refers to as a &lsquo;concerned person&rsquo;,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> In the meantime, Williams urged lawmen to act professionally and keep human rights at the forefront of their minds.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have taken an oath to ensure the safety and security of the people in Jamaica and we go out to work every day to do just that &ndash; INDECOM or no INDECOM. So, my message to my men is that they should act professionally at every step of the way. And at the forefront of their minds should be respect for human rights,&rdquo; Williams added.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13242104/Carl-Williams2_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 1:02 AM Immigrants a possible boost to host economies, IMF says http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Immigrants-a-possible-boost-to-host-economies--IMF-says WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) &mdash; The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday said immigration could help boost economic growth in host countries and called for the swift integration of new workers to help surmount political tensions.<br /> <br /> The remarks, contained in a new study, coincide with strong anti-immigrant sentiment in Western countries as a global refugee crisis reaches proportions not seen since the Second World War.<br /> <br /> "Migration may stir social tensions and provoke a political backlash in recipient economies, but past experience suggests it may also offer gains in terms of higher growth, productivity, and relief from population aging," the report said.<br /> <br /> A single percentage point rise in the share of migrants among a host country's adult population can in the longer-term result in a two per cent gain in per capita GDP, the report said.<br /> <br /> It called for the quick integration of new arrivals into labour markets, as well as access to schools and support for migrant businesses, to reduce the strains and social pressures that can come with absorbing new migrant populations.<br /> <br /> "Refugees require special attention. A key issue is reducing the time asylum seekers must wait before they are allowed to work," the report said.<br /> <br /> According to the IMF, unease over migration also helped drive British voters this year to choose to secede from the European Union.<br /> <br /> And in the United States, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has called for the creation of a wall along the US-Mexico border as a means of controlling inward-bound migration. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13316286/refugees_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 11:14 AM Pakistan win toss and field in third Twenty20 against Windies http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Pakistan-win-toss-and-field-in-third-Twenty20-against-Windies ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AFP) &mdash; Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and sent West Indies into bat in the third and final Twenty20 international in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.<br /> <br /> Pakistan have already sealed the series after winning the first two matches -- both in Dubai by nine wickets and 16 runs respectively.<br /> <br /> They brought in fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Rumman Raees for Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali from the line-up of the Saturday's second game. <br /> <br /> West Indies also made two changes, bringing in Chadwick Walton and Kesrick Williams for Samuel Badree and Evin Lewis. <br /> <br /> The 24-year-old Raees is playing his first international match while Williams is making debut for the West Indies.<br /> <br /> Teams:<br /> <br /> Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (capt), Khalid Latif, Sharjeel Khan, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Babar Azam, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees, Sohail Tanvir<br /> <br /> West Indies: Carlos Brathwaite (capt), Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Chadwick Walton, Kesrick Williams, Nicholas Pooran, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor <br /> <br /> Umpires: Ahsan Raza (PAK) and Shozab Raza (PAK) <br /> <br /> Tv umpire: Ahmed Shahab (PAK)<br /> <br /> Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM) http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13316274/pakistan_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 11:00 AM PHOTO: Man in police uniform attempts suicide in Mandeville &ndash; reports http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/PHOTO--Man-in-police-uniform-attempts-suicide-in-Mandeville---reports MANCHESTER, Jamaica &mdash; People are currently gathered outside a Mandeville store where a man is said to be attempting suicide.<br /> <br /> The man is dressed in what appears to be police uniform and is sitting at the edge of the rooftop.<br /> <br /> Reports are that fire fighters and police officers are trying to get him down safely.<br /> <br /> More information later. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13316243/police-suicide_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 10:35 AM Saudi petition seeks 'full' rights for women http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Saudi-petition-seeks--full--rights-for-women RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) &mdash; Thousands of Saudis have signed a petition urging an end to the guardianship system that gives men control over the study, marriage and travel of female relatives, activists said Tuesday.<br /> <br /> The petition calls for the kingdom's women to be treated "as a full citizen, and decide an age where she will be an adult and will be responsible for her own acts", said campaigner Aziza Al-Yousef of Riyadh.<br /> <br /> The retired university professor told AFP that she tried unsuccessfully to deliver the petition containing 14,700 names to the Royal Court on Monday.<br /> <br /> The activists will now send it by mail as requested.<br /> <br /> Saudi Arabia has some of the world's tightest restrictions on women, and is the only country where they are not allowed to drive.<br /> <br /> Under the guardianship system a male family member, normally the father, husband or brother, must grant permission for a woman's study, travel and other activities.<br /> <br /> Activists say that even female prisoners have to be received by the guardian upon their release, meaning that some have to languish in jail or a shelter beyond their sentences if the man does not want to accept them.<br /> <br /> "We are suffering from this guardianship system," said Nassima al-Sadah, an activist in Eastern Province.<br /> <br /> The campaign is an outgrowth of a Twitter hashtag in Arabic that started more than two months ago calling for an end to guardianship.<br /> <br /> "This momentum got very high after the hashtag was created" and following a report by the New York-based Human Rights Watch, Yousef said.<br /> <br /> "Saudi Arabia's male guardianship system remains the most significant impediment to women's rights in the country despite limited reforms over the last decade," the watchdog said.<br /> <br /> Although the government no longer requires guardian permission for women to work, Human Rights Watch said many employers still demand guardian consent in order to hire a woman.<br /> <br /> - 'Highly educated' women -<br /> <br /> Some hospitals also require a guardian's approval before carrying out medical procedures, it said.<br /> <br /> Activists said that if they have open-minded male family members, getting their consent is not a problem -- although the men still have to formally complete consent papers.<br /> <br /> Yousef said many men endorsed the petition because they consider signing the consent forms a waste of time.<br /> <br /> Activists claim that Islam does not require men to control women, and male newspaper columnist Abdullah Al-Alweet agreed.<br /> <br /> "How can an illiterate father become the guardian of a highly educated woman?" he asked in a Saudi Gazette column on Monday.<br /> <br /> Sadah said "it's a government system" which only came into effect about 30 years ago, and which some women get around by paying for permission from their guardians.<br /> <br /> Activists said that ending guardianship will make it easier for women to work at a time when the kingdom wants to boost female employment.<br /> <br /> "We cannot do it with half of the society paralysed," Yousef said.<br /> <br /> In April, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the wide-ranging Vision 2030 plan to diversify the oil-dependent economy.<br /> <br /> Under the National Transformation Programme (NTP), which sets targets for the Vision, the proportion of women in the workforce should rise from 23 to 28 percent by 2020.<br /> <br /> The jobless rate for Saudi women increased slightly last year to 33.8 percent, according to figures cited by the Jadwa Investment firm.<br /> <br /> A slow expansion of women's rights began under King Salman's predecessor Abdullah, who named women to the Shura Council which advises the cabinet.<br /> <br /> Last December, when women could vote and stand as candidates for the first time, at least 20 women were elected for the 2,106 contested council seats.<br /> <br /> There are roughly 10 million women and girls in Saudi Arabia.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13316195/Saudi-women_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 10:04 AM Peres 'fighting for his life' as condition worsens: source http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Peres--fighting-for-his-life--as-condition-worsens--source JERUSALEM, Undefined (AFP) &mdash; Israeli ex-president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres was "fighting for his life" on Tuesday after suffering a stroke earlier this month, a source close to him said.<br /> <br /> "The president is fighting for his life," the source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. "His health position is very, very difficult. His doctors are worried about his health."<br /> <br /> Peres, 93, have held nearly every major office in Israel, serving twice as prime minister. He was also president, a mostly ceremonial role, from 2007 to 2014.<br /> <br /> He won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for his role in negotiating the Oslo Accords, which envisioned an independent Palestinian state.<br /> <br /> The former hawk turned dove -- the last of Israel's founding fathers -- is widely respected both in Israel and abroad.<br /> <br /> He suffered a stroke on September 13 and has been hospitalised near Tel Aviv since then.<br /> <br /> On September 18, Peres's office said doctors planned to gradually reduce his sedation and respiratory support to judge his response.<br /> <br /> His personal physician and son-in-law Rafi Walden had said at the time that Peres had seen "very slow, moderate improvement".<br /> <br /> In January, Peres was hospitalised twice because of heart trouble.<br /> <br /> In the first instance, the hospital said he had suffered a "mild cardiac event" and underwent catheterisation to widen an artery.<br /> <br /> He was rushed to hospital a second time just days later with chest pains and an irregular heartbeat.<br /> <br /> Peres has sought to maintain an active schedule despite his age, particularly through events related to his Peres Center for Peace.<br /> <br /> When leaving hospital on January 19, Peres said he was keen to get back to work.<br /> <br /> "I'm so happy to return to work, that was the whole purpose of this operation," he said.<br /> <br /> In March, he met British supermodel Naomi Campbell at his Peres Center for Peace during an event linked to International Women's Day. On the same day, he met visiting US Vice President Joe Biden.<br /> <br /> After suffering the stroke this month, he received an outpouring of support from across the world, including from Pope Francis, US President Barack Obama, the Clinton family, Donald Trump, Britain's former premier Tony Blair and Russian President Vladimir Putin.<br /> <br /> UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said he was hoping Peres made a "swift and full recovery", calling him "tireless in seeking peace between Israelis and Palestinians".<br /> <br /> Peres once confided that the secret to his longevity was daily exercise, eating little and drinking one or two glasses of good wine.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13283847/shimon-peres_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 9:59 AM St Lucia-based airline wants to provide services to sub-region http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/St-Lucia-based-airline-wants-to-provide-services-to-sub-region CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) &ndash; The St Lucia-based carrier, Go Fly Airlines, has announced plans to service the Windward Islands and Monday held a demonstration flight of its Cessna Caravan which it plans to use for travel between St Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Martinique.<br /> <br /> &lrm;Go Fly Airlines founder, Mario Reyes, said while he is hoping for regulatory approval, the intention of his company is to acquire five of the 12-seat aircraft at a cost of US$15 million.<br /> <br /> Reyes, who described himself as being an aviation professional for the past 30 years, said his company had been offered what appears to be the ideal aircraft for the short hops among the Islands of the sub-region providing direct services, compared to the current &ldquo;hub and spoke wheel&rdquo; that exists with the regional carrier, LIAT.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our intention is to operate between, initially, Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada,&rdquo; Reyes said, adding &ldquo;the big question is getting regulatory approval to operate the Cessna Caravan&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Reyes said the aircraft have been around for the past 20 years, but because of the single engine configuration it has not been readily approved in the first instance.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are looking to do our evaluations right now and after that we will be presenting to the regulatory authorities the proposal and see how it goes from there,&rdquo; he told reporters following the demonstration flight.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Because it is new generation in terms of a single engine for commercial operation, the engines are turbo-prop engines and the dispatch reliability is virtually one hundred percent. Out of the twenty-five million flight hours that these engines have accumulated, the failure rate is .00001.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> He said the intention is to provide mostly non-stop direct services between the OECS Islands which would eliminate a lot of overnight accommodation requirements and a lot of airport fees.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You would not believe what it costs &ndash; the part of your ticket that goes towards landing at airports and paying a fee,&rdquo; Reyes said, adding that Go Fly Airlines will be providing a direct service to eliminate that cost factor. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13316172/Cessna-Caravan_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 9:47 AM US owes blacks reparations over slavery: UN experts http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/US-owes-blacks-reparations-over-slavery--UN-experts GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) &mdash; The United States should give African Americans reparations for slavery, UN experts said Tuesday, warning that the country had not yet confronted its legacy of "racial terrorism".<br /> <br /> Amid a presidential election campaign in which racial rhetoric has played a central role, the UN working group on people of African descent warned that blacks in the US were facing a "human rights crisis."<br /> <br /> This has largely been fuelled by impunity for police officers who have killed a series of black men -- many of them unarmed &ndash; across the country in recent months, the working group's report said.<br /> <br /> Those killings "and the trauma they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynchings," said the report, which was presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday.<br /> <br /> Addressing the deeper causes of America's racial tensions, the experts voiced concern over the unresolved "legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality".<br /> <br /> "There has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent," the report said.;<br /> <br /> Working group chairman Ricardo A Sunga told reporters that the panel believed several models of reparations could work in the US context, including "elements of apology" and a form of "debt relief" to the descendants of enslaved people.<br /> <br /> Asked about the campaign and accusations that Republican nominee Donald Trump has made racially inflammatory remarks, Sunga voiced alarm over "hate speech...xenophobia (and) Afrophobia." <br /> <br /> "We are very troubled that these are on the rise," he added, without naming Trump specifically but calling on officials and "even candidates" to watch their words.<br /> <br /> Trump and his camp have denied all racism charges.<br /> <br /> In the campaign's first debate on Monday, Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton accused Trump of launching his campaign on the "racist lie" that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.<br /> <br /> The UN working group visited the several US states in January before producing their final report.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13315888/reparations_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 8:26 AM T&T health authorities investigating latest case of microcephaly http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/T-T-health-authorities-investigating-latest-case-of-microcephaly PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) &ndash; The Ministry of Health says it is seeking assistance from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to determine whether a baby born with microcephaly is as a result of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.<br /> <br /> Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby&rsquo;s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.<br /> <br /> In a brief statement, the Ministry of Health said that the mother of the unidentified baby was attended to privately and was not a patient of the Mt Hope Maternity Hospital where the national screening effort is located.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is to be noted that Trinidad and Tobago registers approximately 12 cases of microcephaly yearly due to a variety of genetic causes.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;To date, this case cannot be directly attributed to the Zika virus and the assistance of PAHO/WHO has been sought to make a clinical determination,&rdquo; the statement noted.<br /> <br /> The Ministry of Health said that it was asking that the family&rsquo;s privacy be respected and that it &ldquo;will keep the public updated as new facts become available&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Last month, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the number of Zika cases recorded were inaccurate and there were more than the 247 confirmed cases, with the likelihood that the figure was in the thousands.<br /> <br /> At least 60 pregnant women have been diagnosed with the virus. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13315843/c21a2bd92b1066068f0f6a706700f7f1_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 7:51 AM Clinton boosted by debate as candidates rally support http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Clinton-boosted-by-debate-as-candidates-rally-support WHITE PLAINS, United States (AFP) &mdash; Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton jumped back onto the campaign trail Tuesday after a bitter first head-to-head debate in which Clinton frequently forced her prickly opponent on to the back foot.<br /> <br /> The White House hopefuls sparred over temperament, stamina, judgment, and other issues in a televised match-up Monday night that seemed to have gone in favor of the Democrat Clinton.<br /> <br /> In a snap CNN poll of 521 voters, 62 percent judged that Clinton had won the debate against 27 percent for Trump, with most mainstream political analysts agreeing Clinton was the stronger performer.<br /> <br /> But in a campaign that has consistently defied predictions from the political establishment, few can forecast for sure the impact on how America will vote on November 8.<br /> <br /> Nate Silver, a respected election analyst at FiveThirtyEight.com, predicted a two to four percent bump in support for Clinton, after the most recent polls showed the race in a virtual dead heat.<br /> <br /> With six weeks until election day, Clinton was scheduled to rally in battleground North Carolina on Tuesday, while Trump was to speak to supporters in the swing state of Florida.<br /> <br /> During the debate at New York's Hofstra University, with an anticipated audience of up to 100 million, Clinton repeatedly questioned her rival's fitness to serve in the Oval Office.<br /> <br /> She painted the celebrity real estate mogul as fatally out of touch and willing to say "crazy things" to get elected.<br /> <br /> "You live in your own reality," said the 68-year-old Democrat, who sought to project her steady experience.<br /> <br /> Trump played the populist bruiser, pitching to frustrated blue-collar voters fed up with establishment politicians.<br /> <br /> "Let me tell you, Hillary has experience. But it's bad, bad experience," quipped the 70-year-old billionaire, accusing the former secretary of state, first lady and US senator of being a "typical politician. All talk, no action. Sounds good, doesn't work."<br /> <br /> As the temperature rose, Trump brought out the verbal brickbats, repeatedly interrupting Clinton and even questioning her stamina after a bout of pneumonia. He appeared increasingly irritated, at one point rolling his eyes and emitting a frustrated "ugh."<br /> <br /> - Reactions -<br /> <br /> "A lot of Americans will look at tonight's debate and see an individual who is prepared to become president of the United States, and she was up against an impostor," said John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.<br /> <br /> "You saw not a perfect performance by Hillary Clinton, but as much as an imperfect performance as you can imagine by her opponent," he told AFP.<br /> <br /> "The unique part of a presidential debate is that you don't have to excel. You just have to do better than the only other person on stage."<br /> <br /> Steffen Schmidt, a professor of political science at Iowa State University, also praised Clinton's performance.<br /> <br /> However, he said, "Trump more than held his own with an informal and often unorganized 'speech salad' where he mixed things in odd ways but often with humor, and cleverly."<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, financial markets seemed reassured that Clinton appeared to emerge as winner. Asian stock markets and high-risk currencies staged a "relief rally" on Tuesday.<br /> <br /> Trump gave an upbeat assessment of his debate outing, telling AFP: "I thought it went very well for me."<br /> <br /> Clinton visited supporters who had attended a debate watch party in Westbury, New York, telling the crowd, "Do you feel good tonight? Well, I sure do... We had a great debate."<br /> <br /> - 'Stiffed' -<br /> <br /> Clinton's brightest moments came when debate turned to foreign policy, while Trump's came when he tapped into malaise about politics and the economy.<br /> <br /> Trump squarely blamed Clinton and the political class for losing jobs to Mexico and China through what he termed bad trade deals and incompetence.<br /> <br /> Clinton tried to undercut Trump's CEO-in-chief acumen by accusing him of having "stiffed" small business contractors throughout his business career.<br /> <br /> She demanded Trump release his tax returns, suggesting he may be lying about his much-vaunted wealth, his charitable donations, his tax bill or his ties with foreign benefactors.<br /> <br /> Trump fired back that he would release his tax returns, "when she releases her 33,000 e-mails that have been deleted," alluding to the Democrat's use of a private email server as secretary of state.<br /> <br /> - A real shot -<br /> <br /> Clinton has a massive organizational advantage, a bigger campaign war chest and a lead in the popular vote and is in a notably stronger position state-by-state.<br /> <br /> But Trump weathered allegations of bigotry and sexism to triumph in a vicious Republican primary campaign, and now has a real shot at being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on January 20.<br /> <br /> There are two more debates in the 2016 US presidential race, which could be pivotal in deciding whether Clinton will become the first woman president, or if Trump can pull off the greatest upset in US political history.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13315837/000_GI5FW--1-_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 7:48 AM 'Disturbed' father of bride kills 12 at Yemen wedding http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/-Disturbed--father-of-bride-kills-12-at-Yemen-wedding ADEN, Yemen (AFP) &mdash; A wedding in Yemen ended in tragedy when the "mentally disturbed" father of the bride hurled two grenades, killing eight women, four children and himself, an official and relative said Tuesday.<br /> <br /> Eighteen others, including women and children, were wounded in the incident late Monday in the town of Yarim, in western Ibb province, the official said.<br /> <br /> A relative said the father, Hazaa Sharman, was a "mentally disturbed retired army officer."<br /> <br /> Yemen is awash with personal weapons and carrying firearms is entrenched in the traditions of the Arabian peninsula republic.<br /> <br /> The impoverished nation has been ravaged by an 18-month conflict between Iran-backed rebels and government forces supported by a Saudi-led Arab coalition.<br /> <br /> More than 6,600 people have been killed since the coalition launched its intervention, most of them civilians, and at least three million people have been displaced, according to the United Nations.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13315794/grenades_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 7:34 AM Health Ministry to gather data on cancers islandwide http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Health-Ministry-to-gather-data-on-cancers-islandwide KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) &mdash; The Ministry of Health is expanding the reach of the National Cancer Registry (NCR) to the entire island, to facilitate gathering data on every type of cancer in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Director of Non-Communicable Diseases and Injuries Prevention in the Ministry of Health, Dr Tamu Davidson-Sadler, told JIS News that the registry information will allow the Ministry to plan and project how many resources will be needed in the future to plan for treatment, diagnosis and screening of the disease.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is critically important in taking an evidence-based approach to planning and monitoring some of our programmes. We want data to be better able to understand the trends, distribution and causes as it relates to different types of cancers,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> She added that there are some strict criteria for quality data that is required at the global level and that the Ministry aims to meet those quality standards.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We would also want to ensure that this data is in a form that will not breach confidentiality and at the same time make the information available to the public, so that awareness to Jamaica&rsquo;s situation is out there,&rdquo; Davidson-Sadler said.<br /> <br /> She pointed out that Jamaica is part of a global initiative to improve data collection, and in 2013, as part of the national plan, the Ministry began the process of implementing the National Cancer Registry, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is where we register all cancer cases within a geographic area. We are now running this programme in three regions and we should complete our process by implementing this registry programme in the fourth region &ndash; the North East Regional Health Authority,&rdquo; Davidson-Sadler said.<br /> <br /> She explained that the process involves collecting demographics, tumour information and follow-up, which is entered into a database.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We can look at the incidence of cancer in St Elizabeth, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer, and the high-risk groups,&rdquo; she noted.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It means that we can determine if we need to go into a particular area to do more education and more screening. We also expect, as we scale up our screening programme, to identify more persons with cancer,&rdquo; Davidson-Sadler said.<br /> <br /> She noted that the Ministry intends to give an annual update on cancer incidence, then eventually move to three- or five-year updates.<br /> <br /> Dr Davidson-Sadler said it is important to note that Jamaica has a history of cancer registration, having started the Jamaica Cancer Registry at the University of the West Indies in 1958 to collect data from Kingston and St Andrew. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13315790/Davidson_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 7:22 AM Clinton, Trump clash in fiery first debate http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Clinton--Trump-clash-in-fiery-first-debate HEMPSTEAD, United States (AFP) &ndash; Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump traded insults and sparred over temperament, stamina and judgement Monday, in a fiery US presidential debate that often saw the Republican on the back foot.<br /> <br /> With six weeks until election day and polls showing a virtual dead heat, the Democrat Clinton repeatedly questioned her rival's fitness to serve in the Oval Office.<br /> <br /> Before an anticipated television audience of up to 100 million, Clinton painted the celebrity real estate mogul as fatally out of touch and willing to say "crazy things" to get elected.<br /> <br /> "You live in your own reality" said the 68-year-old Democrat, accusing Trump of launching his political career on the "racist lie" that Barack Obama is not American.<br /> <br /> As Clinton projected steady experience, casting herself as the voice of reason, Trump played the populist bruiser, pitching to frustrated blue-collar voters fed up with politicians and wanting change.<br /> <br /> "Let me tell you, Hillary has experience. But it's bad, bad experience," quipped the billionaire, accusing the former secretary of state, first lady and US senator of being a "typical politician. All talk, no action. Sounds good, doesn't work."<br /> <br /> The 70-year-old Trump has faced tough questions about his temperament during a deeply polarizing 15-month campaign that has brought right wing populism to the American political mainstream.<br /> <br /> He began the keenly awaited debate at New York's Hofstra University with a more restrained tone, even ditching his red power tie for a more statesmanlike blue.<br /> <br /> But as the temperature rose, he quickly brought out the verbal brickbats, repeatedly interrupting Clinton and even questioning her stamina after a bout of pneumonia.<br /> <br /> "Well, as soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a ceasefire, a release of dissidents... or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina," Clinton shot back.<br /> <br /> If they were evenly matched at first, Trump appeared to get more irritated and riled, at one point rolling his eyes and emitting a frustrated "ugh."<br /> <br /> In a snap CNN poll of 521 voters, 62 percent judged that Clinton had won the debate, against 27 percent for Trump.<br /> <br /> If Clinton's brightest moments came when debate turned to foreign policy, Trump's came when he tapped into rich seams of malaise about politics and the economy.<br /> <br /> "Our country is suffering because people like secretary Clinton have made such bad decisions in terms of our jobs," he charged.<br /> <br /> Trump squarely blamed Clinton and the political class for losing jobs to Mexico and China through bad trade deals and incompetence, and snapped at her proposals to help a middle class still recovering from the Great Recession.<br /> <br /> "You've been doing this for 30 years. Why are you just thinking about these solutions right now?"<br /> <br /> Clinton tried to undercut Trump's CEO-in-chief acumen by accusing him of having "stiffed" small businesses throughout his career.<br /> <br /> She demanded Trump keep with tradition and release his tax returns, suggesting he may be lying about his much-vaunted wealth, his charitable donations, his tax bill or his ties with foreign benefactors.<br /> <br /> She also accused him of backing an economic platform amounting to "the most extreme" package of tax cuts for the wealthy in US history. <br /> <br /> "I call it trumped up trickle-down, because that's exactly what it would be," she quipped.<br /> <br /> Trump fired back that he would release his tax returns, "when she releases her 33,000 e-mails that have been deleted," alluding to the Democrat's use of a private email server as secretary of state.<br /> <br /> Trump's biggest handicap may be accusations that he has a weak grasp of policy &ndash; which he sought to counter by accusing his rival of sowing chaos in the Middle East during her tenure as secretary of state.<br /> <br /> "It's a total mess, under your direction, to a large extent," Trump said.<br /> <br /> But he appeared on shaky ground as he defended his refusal to reveal his plan for defeating the Islamic State group.<br /> <br /> "You're telling the enemy everything you want to do. No wonder you've been fighting ISIS your entire adult life," he said of the group that only came to prominence in the last decade.<br /> <br /> Clinton &ndash; perhaps the most qualified presidential candidate since George Bush senior or Dwight Eisenhower &ndash; has a massive organizational advantage, a bigger campaign warchest, a lead in the popular vote and is in a notably stronger position state-by-state.<br /> <br /> But Trump weathered allegations of bigotry and sexism to triumph in a vicious Republican primary campaign, and now has a real shot at being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on January 20.<br /> <br /> This first 2016 presidential debate could be pivotal in deciding whether Clinton will become the first woman president, or if Trump can pull off the greatest upset in US political history. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13315492/US-debate_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:15 AM JSIF, NSWMA embark on waste separation project http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/JSIF--NSWMA-embark-on-waste-separation-project KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) &mdash; The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) has provided just over 2,000 bins and two wood-chipping machines, valuing nearly $22 million, to the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).<br /> <br /> These will be used to assist in improving garbage collection and disposal in 30 communities islandwide under a waste-separation and compost project being jointly undertaken by the agencies with input from the firm Recycling Partners of Jamaica. Funding has been provided by the World Bank<br /> <br /> The bins, which were acquired at a cost of $13 million, are colour-coded to facilitate the separation of plastic, organic and other material by householders<br /> <br /> A total of $8.9 million was spent to procure the woodchippers which will be used to assist in converting material, such as fallen tree limbs, into compost.<br /> <br /> The provisions have been facilitated under the JSIF-administered Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP) and will see the bins being distributed in Kingston, St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon, St Ann, St James, and Westmoreland.<br /> <br /> It is anticipated that approximately 140,000 persons will directly benefit from the undertaking, which will be rolled out over the next four weeks.<br /> <br /> The presentations were made during a recent ceremony on the compound of the NSWMA&rsquo;s Transport Department on Hagley Park Road in Kingston.<br /> <br /> A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the responsibilities of JSIF and the NSWMA under the project, was also signed during the ceremony<br /> <br /> Speaking with JIS News, Local Government and Community Development Minister, Desmond McKenzie, said the new initiative is part of the Government&rsquo;s continued efforts to ensure that proper waste-disposal practices are carried out in communities.<br /> <br /> The minister said the bins and woodchippers would greatly augment the Environmental Wardens Programme, which was launched in February 2015.<br /> <br /> The programme trains key community members of participating ICDP communities in proper waste-disposal practices.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is a programme where, not only are facilities being provided to collect the garbage, there are environmental wardens who... have been working. In some of the communities, you can see the difference where the wardens are working; you can see improvement in cleanliness and how garbage is being disposed of,&rdquo; McKenzie said.<br /> <br /> Managing Director of JSIF, Omar Sweeney, said the project is also part of the continued efforts by the Government to combat vector-borne diseases.<br /> <br /> This, he explained, &ldquo;by ensuring there is proper disposal of waste which is creating these breeding sites&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> The ICDP aims to enhance access to basic urban infrastructure and services and contribute towards increased safety in select economically vulnerable inner-city communities. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314671/NSWMA-2_w300.jpg Local News Monday, September 26, 2016 7:56 PM More positive influences needed for youth &mdash; Montague http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/More-positive-influences-needed-for-youth---Montague KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) &mdash; National Security Minister Robert Montague says the country&rsquo;s young people need more positive influences, such as those offered through the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force&rsquo;s (JCCF) programmes, to steer them away from illicit activities.<br /> <br /> Montague noted that the JCCF, which is celebrating 74 years of service to Jamaica this year, offers high-school students an avenue for discipline, leadership, commitment, and patriotism.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We need the positive impact of the cadet force so that our youngsters do not see lotto scammers as their role models... but are able to dig deep within themselves and find true grit and character,&rdquo; he pointed out.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Let us encourage more of our youths to get involved in the cadet force so that more positive seeds can be planted in their minds that will produce better citizens, more disciplined persons and a more united Jamaica,&rdquo; he noted further.<br /> <br /> The minister was speaking at the commissioning of a Cessna aircraft, donated to the JCCF by the British Government, for use in its training programmes.<br /> <br /> The function was held at the Caribbean Aviation Training Centre at the Tinson Pen Aerodrome in Kingston last Friday.<br /> <br /> Montague, in the meantime, challenged civil society to get involved in the fight against crime by helping the authorities to resolve conflicts.<br /> <br /> Noting that 37 per cent of the country&rsquo;s murders were domestically related, he said citizens can take action by, among other things, engaging in community activities, particularly those targeting young people. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13313707/Montague_w300.jpg Local News Monday, September 26, 2016 7:46 PM Manning Cup Football: Excelsior trounce Tarrant 4-0 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Manning-Cup-Football--Excelsior-trounce-Tarrant-4-0 KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; In what was basically a repeat performance of their first-leg contest, Excelsior High once again trounced Tarrant High 4-0 in Group A return-leg action of the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/FLOW Manning Cup competition on Monday.<br /> <br /> Substitute Tyane Wilson led the way with a brace in the 65th and 70th minutes, with Voshawn Williams (23rd) and Alain Skerritt (88th) grabbing the others in the lopsided contest at Jacisera Park.<br /> <br /> The win propelled Excelsior to the top of the five-team standings on 10 points, with a superior goal difference over Greater Portmore. The St Catherine-based team also moved to 10 points following a 2-1? deafeat of Tivoli Gardens High in the other group fixture.<br /> <br /> Group favourites St George&rsquo;s College have slipped to third on nine points and will not be in action until Saturday.<br /> <br /> Monday&rsquo;s results<br /> <br /> Group A<br /> <br /> Tarrant 0, Excelsior 4<br /> <br /> Greater Portmore 2, Tivoli Gardens 1<br /> <br /> Group B<br /> <br /> Eltham 0, STATHS 1<br /> <br /> Group E<br /> <br /> Holy Trinity 3, Waterford 1<br /> <br /> Charlie Smith 5, Mona 0<br /> <br /> Tuesday's schedule<br /> <br /> Group C<br /> <br /> Norman Manley vs Denham Town @ Maxfield Park<br /> <br /> Papine vs Ascot @ Papine<br /> <br /> Kingston College vs St Mary&rsquo;s College @ National Stadium<br /> <br /> Group D<br /> <br /> Ardenne vs Jonathan Grant @ Ardenne<br /> <br /> Pembroke Hall vs Haile Selassie @ Pembroke Hall<br /> <br /> Meadowbrook vs St Catherine @ Michigan Avenue<br /> <br /> Group F<br /> <br /> Kingston Technical vs Dunoon Technical @ Kingston Technical<br /> <br /> Camperdown vs Jose Marti @ Alpha Institute<br /> <br /> Wolmer&rsquo;s Boys vs Edith Dalton James @ Heroes Circle<br /> <br /> Group G<br /> <br /> St Jago vs Campion College @ Prison Oval<br /> <br /> Bridgeport vs Calabar @ Dunbeholden<br /> <br /> Cumberland vs Hydel @ Cumberland<br /> <br /> *All games are scheduled for 3:30 pm kick-off<br /> <br /> Sherdon Cowan http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12575668/Football_w300.jpg Local Sports Monday, September 26, 2016 6:57 PM Coach says Pakistan gunning for Windies whitewash http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Coach-says-Pakistan-gunning-for-Windies-whitewash ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (CMC) &mdash; Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur said Monday his side would be going for the jugular in the final Twenty20 International, as they chased a series whitewash against reigning World champions, West Indies.<br /> <br /> West Indies produced back-to-back poor performances to slump to defeats in the opening games of the series last week and face Pakistan in the final game at the Abu Dhabi Zayed Cricket Stadium here Tuesday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We want to win it 3-0 and we want to be ruthless and one of the main thing around our team is the attitude, in the field, in batting and with the ball and that&rsquo;s a step in the right direction,&rdquo; the South African pointed out.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Make no mistake we want to make it 3-0. We won&rsquo;t be satisfied if it&rsquo;s not 3-0 and sit in the dressing room and say we have won 2-1.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> In the opening T20 International in Dubai last Friday, Pakistan bundled out West Indies for a disappointing 115 to pull off a convincing nine-wicket victory and were equally clinical the following day as they piled up 160 for four at the same venue to lay the groundwork for a 16-run win.<br /> <br /> On both occasions, West Indies never looked the part while Pakistan appeared the superior side, and Arthur said he had been impressed by the &ldquo;brand&rdquo; of cricket his side had produced over the last two games.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Without a doubt it&rsquo;s the first step in the right direction, we set ourselves some realistic goals and targets,&rdquo; Arthur said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;First of all we want to play the brand of cricket that is up with the task, we want players who can do the job and I think we went some way to finding out some players in this series.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Coming off their victory in a one-off T20 International over England in Manchester earlier this month, the series win for Pakistan has provided important momentum for a series, which still includes three One-Day Internationals and three Tests.<br /> <br /> And with the ODIs beginning Monday in Sharjah, Arthur said Pakistan could also be successful in that series if they continued playing in their current mould.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have a lot of work to do there in ODIs but if we keep working towards the aspects that we have identified that will make us a better cricket side, we will start playing the brand of cricket that&rsquo;s going to be conducive to success.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314635/Paki-play_w300.jpg Local Sports Monday, September 26, 2016 6:14 PM Commissioner says police will not relent http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Commissioner-says-police-will-not-relent ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) &mdash; Police Commissioner, Dr Carl Williams, says the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will be unrelenting in its efforts to find and bring to book those involved in criminal acts in St James.<br /> <br /> Speaking at a news conference in Montego Bay, St James, yesterday, Commissioner Williams said the police have already reaped some success in their search, with a number of arrests taking place recently.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have dramatically improved our deployment by pulling personnel from other areas, and stationed them in Montego Bay,&rdquo; the commissioner said.<br /> <br /> He pointed out that while the focus will continue to be on the hot spots in and around the city of Montego Bay, attention will also be paid to the surrounding areas.<br /> <br /> Dr Williams noted that the Maroon Town Police Station in South St James will be up and running, shortly, with a full team of police officers and equipment.<br /> <br /> He said the JCF will be reinstituting the Lottery Scam Task Force, which will be deployed across western Jamaica, adding that several detectives will be assisting in crime investigations to ease the workload which now exists.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Antony Anderson, who also addressed the conference, said the military presence has been significantly increased in Montego Bay.<br /> <br /> He said this is being supported by an increase in air and armoured assets, which will remain in the parish for some time.<br /> <br /> The Major General welcomed the proposed establishment of a Coast Guard base in Montego Bay, noting that it will assist to patrol and control the island&rsquo;s borders. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13242104/Carl-Williams2_w300.jpg Local News Monday, September 26, 2016 6:00 PM Forex: J$127.96 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Forex--J-127-96-to-one-US-dollar KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The US dollar on Monday, September 26, ended trading at J$127.96, down by three cents, according to the Bank of Jamaica&rsquo;s daily foreign exchange trading summary.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$97.23, down from J$97.64, while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$165.13, down from J$166.28. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/9847300/Forex_w300.jpg Local News Monday, September 26, 2016 5:38 PM Sports safeguards for students to be developed   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Sports-safeguards-for-students-to-be-developed KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) &mdash; The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange will be spearheading an inter-ministerial taskforce being established to develop safeguards that protect youngsters participating in sporting activities.<br /> <br /> The committee will look at, among other things, introducing crucial protocols, guidelines and regulations; training and capacity building; enforcement procedures; and resource mobilisation.<br /> <br /> This was disclosed by Education, Youth and Information Minister Ruel Reid during last Friday&rsquo;s sitting of the Senate.<br /> <br /> The decision comes in the wake of the sudden and untimely passing of St George&rsquo;s College Manning Cup captain, Dominic James, who collapsed during a football match at the stadium east field in Kingston on September 20. <br /> <br /> Reid said the immediate focus was &ldquo;what we can do through intergovernmental collaboration, particularly involving the ministries of education, health and sport, to keep our children safe on the fields of play&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> He said since the tragedy occurred, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has engaged stakeholders in dialogue on proposed measures to prevent or decrease the likelihood of a recurrence.<br /> <br /> Reid further said Grange, would outline details of these and other interventions in a presentation to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 28.<br /> <br /> He indicated that a policy framework, entitled &lsquo;Safety Guidelines for Contact Sports&rsquo;, was developed in 2008 and revised in 2015. <br /> <br /> Its provisions recommend, among other things, that all participants receive medical clearance to participate in sports; and that communication channels to parents/guardians, health providers and emergency caregivers, especially in emergency situations, be provided.<br /> <br /> It also states that immediate first aid must be available from trained providers whenever games are in progress and that first-aid equipment be available on site.<br /> <br /> Responding to questions from Opposition senator, Mark Golding, regarding a formal enquiry into the incident involving Dominic, the minister said: &ldquo;We are certainly interested in having an enquiry into whether those guidelines were followed&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;All schools are required to report critical incidents to the ministry. So it follows naturally that we will have to have some audit of whether the policies and procedures were being followed,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, members of the Senate expressed condolences to the family and friends of the late St George&rsquo;s College student. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13308890/Ruel-Reid-2016_w300.jpg Local News Monday, September 26, 2016 4:48 PM De-risking must be addressed urgently &mdash; PM http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/De-risking-must-be-addressed-urgently---PM NEW YORK, United States (JIS) &mdash; Prime Minister Andrew Holness says there is an urgent need to address the emerging issue of the withdrawal of correspondent banking services to certain financial institutions in the Caribbean.<br /> <br /> Delivering Jamaica&rsquo;s policy statement at the 71st session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York on September 23, the prime minister said that de-risking threatens the economies of Caribbean states. <br /> <br /> Correspondent banking relationships are essential to the global payment system, facilitating cross-border transactions, particularly for international trade, remittances and foreign direct investments (FDI). <br /> <br /> De-risking refers to financial institutions exiting relationships with, and closing the accounts of clients considered &ldquo;high risk&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;This trend hinders our participation in the global financial system and in international trade. This, in turn, creates serious obstacles in our efforts towards promoting investment,&rdquo; Holness said.<br /> <br /> The prime minister said Jamaica respects and has been complying with financial regulatory standards and working within a rules-based, multilateral trade and financial system.<br /> <br /> He pointed out that trade represents approximately 70 per cent of the Jamaican economy and, as such, de-risking measures threaten Jamaica&rsquo;s integration and economic viability. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Therefore, we encourage our international partners to take the approach of establishing principles that ensure inclusive development strategies based on a country&rsquo;s ability to engage in a vibrant, dynamic international trading system,&rdquo; the prime minister said.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Holness said the hallmark of any civilised society is how it treats its most vulnerable citizens.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We must treat the issue of prevention of violence against our most vulnerable, particularly our women and children as a priority,&rdquo; he emphasised.<br /> <br /> The prime minister said that society must move to empower women to realise their full potential. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Jamaica has a long track record of championing the rights of women and will continue to advocate for full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action,&rdquo; Holness said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We also cannot leave our children behind.  In order for our children to realise their full potential, they must be provided with the opportunity to live in an environment that is free from fear and violence,&rdquo; he stressed.<br /> <br /> The prime minister called for the &ldquo;early lifting&rdquo; of the economic embargo against Cuba, pointing out that it is &ldquo;out of step with recent actions to re-establish diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13310336/holness-2_w300.jpg Local News Monday, September 26, 2016 4:33 PM Saudi king cuts ministers' salaries by 20% http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Saudi-king-cuts-ministers--salaries-by-20- RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) &mdash; Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Monday cut Cabinet ministers' salaries by 20 per cent and reduced other State officials' benefits in a continuing austerity drive to cope with lower oil revenues.<br /> <br /> The 160 members of the Shura Council, who include 30 women, will see a 15 per cent drop in their annual allowances for housing, furniture and cars, a royal decree said.<br /> <br /> Council members are appointed by the king to advise Cabinet.<br /> <br /> The decrees, which announced the measures, did not say how much money would be saved.<br /> <br /> Since 2014 global oil prices have collapsed by more than half, leaving Saudi Arabia with a record deficit last year.<br /> <br /> The fall in the kingdom's main revenue source led to unprecedented subsidy cuts and curbs on government spending.<br /> <br /> In April this year the king's son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, announced the wide-ranging Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy.<br /> <br /> The effort also seeks a streamlined, more accountable administration.<br /> <br /> Monday's decrees ordered the government to "stop providing cars for senior State officials". Telephone expenditure will also be curbed.<br /> <br /> But frontline soldiers on the southern border with Yemen will be exempt from a ruling not to grant the military an annual bonus. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314482/Saudi_w300.jpg Local News Monday, September 26, 2016 3:55 PM