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 Police unease http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Police-unease_75407 Police on front-line duty are increasingly declining to engage criminals as they fear being prosecuted by the Independent Commission of Investigation (INDECOM), the Jamaica Observer was told yesterday.<br /> <br /> According to at least two policemen, who asked not to be named as they feared persecution, many of their colleagues feel that the odds are stacked against them, even in situations where they believe their actions are justified.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They are just going through the motions because they are afraid of INDECOM,&rdquo; one policeman told the<br /> <br /> Observer. &ldquo;They are not confronting the criminals. As a matter of fact, some of the areas that are regarded as volatile, they avoid going in there, because they just don&rsquo;t want the confrontation. It&rsquo;s not an adversarial thing, but the police are just not pushing out because of INDECOM.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Asked to state specifically what were the concerns, one of the policemen said when cops are involved in a shooting they are taken off front-line duty, an administrative review is done, as well as an investigation.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If that policeman is suspended, he gets no pay; if he&rsquo;s interdicted, a portion of his salary is cut,&rdquo; the policeman said.<br /> <br /> The cops raised the concern hours after Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams highlighted the issue at a Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica President&rsquo;s Forum early yesterday morning at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I went out to St James on the weekend and I was told by the police officers that they have an excellent relationship with the local INDECOM officers, but the problem is what is directed from INDECOM headquarters,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The spectacular press conferences paint a picture of a situation that existed years ago, [and that] is really what is dampening the will of some of the officers,&rdquo; Williams added.<br /> <br /> He said that, despite this, the members of the constabulary continue to work hard.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are not daunted, because this is a calling and not just a job. We have taken an oath to ensure the safety and security of the people of Jamaica, and we go out to work every day to do just that, INDECOM or no INDECOM,&rdquo; Williams stated.<br /> <br /> Later yesterday, INDECOM issued a statement saying it was asked by journalists to comment on the assertion that members of the security forces are hindered in their work because of the commission.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We seek to remind members of the public and the agents of the State that officers have a responsibility to do their duty in accordance with their training and the rules of the force. If they do so, they have nothing to fear from INDECOM. Laws cannot be enforced unlawfully,&rdquo; the commission said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Through its investigations, INDECOM is here to ensure that the rights of citizens are not abused; and in so doing help the police force, as it seeks to become more professional, and foster public trust in the police. A professional police force acting with the support of conscientious Jamaicans is ultimately the response to crime and disorder,&rdquo; INDECOM added.<br /> <br /> The police commissioner had told his audience that his message to the constabulary was that they should act professionally at every step of the way, and that human rights should be at the forefront of their minds. <br /> <br /> He stated that the police force would ensure that its members are provided with legal support if, after a confrontation, they become what INDECOM refers to as a &ldquo;concerned person&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> However, the commissioner also pointed out that justice must be served if a cop is found to be on the wrong side of the law. <br /> <br /> Asked about that probable involvement of policemen in the case of nine men escaping from the Denham Town police lock-up a few weeks ago, Williams said: &ldquo;There has been talk. We have heard [information] from time to time and we have arrested police officers for consorting with criminals. We have made some arrests and we can&rsquo;t say definitively that some of the escapes have not been as a result of collusion between police and prisoner. We can&rsquo;t say that. I&rsquo;m not going to make that pronouncement here, but I know we have arrested, in the past, people who have smuggled things into the cells, whether it be ganja or other contraband, and so in the most recent escape we are investigating, and I cannot say anything about that until we have the results of the investigation.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317271/231128_58276_repro_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM Five more judges for Court of Appeal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Five-more-judges-for-Court-of-Appeal_75408 JUSTICE Minister Delroy Chuck has announced that five more judges will be appointed to the Court of Appeal to bring the full complement of judges to 12. <br /> <br /> The additional judges, he said, would reduce the backlog of cases in the appellate court. <br /> <br /> He was speaking at a recent town hall meeting with 120 justices of the peace at the Cruise Shipping Pier in Ocho Rios, St Ann.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The problem that we are having is that we have nowhere to accommodate them [so] I hope that the refurbishment and renovation of the Oceana building will be completed shortly so that the Accountant General Department may be relocated and the facilities upgraded to allow for the judges to be appointed and working.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The minister said that there was now a backlog of cases at this level of the court system because there were only seven judges serving at that level. <br /> <br /> Minister Chuck also promised three pieces of legislation that would be introduced shortly to improve the administration of the justice system. They include new sentencing guidelines which will be included in the Criminal Justice (Plea Negotiations and Agreement) Act, Arbitration Act and the legislation to empower custodes to decommission JPs who have brought the vocation into disrepute.<br /> <br /> Permanent Secretary Carol Palmer, in addressing the meeting, who encouraged JPs to be brave to stop the 20,000 criminals &ldquo;who we are told&rdquo; are holding the country to ransom.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We must move from a culture of informer &lsquo;fe ded&rsquo; to a culture of informer to be encouraged,&rdquo; she argued.<br /> <br /> Later at a sensitisation meeting of community leaders in St Ann, High Commissioner for Canada to Jamaica Sylvain Fiba said Jamaica had a partner to strengthen and improve the justice system. He said that Canada&rsquo;s support to Jamaica&rsquo;s legal and judicial sector includes a $20-million investment for the Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) Programme and $20 million to the Citizen Security and Justice Programme.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We also support the work of the Jamaica Constabulary Force in areas such as polygraph operations, cyber-security and maritime border security.&rdquo; The high commissioner said that the meeting with community leaders was pivotal in the process of improving how the justice system functions.<br /> <br /> The Ministry of Justice is on a drive to sensitise community leaders on the various services of the ministry. Three meetings, which have so far reached 300 community leaders, have so far been held.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317147/223764_58229_repro_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM &lsquo;Suicidal&rsquo; cop not fit for policing, says superintendent http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/-Suicidal--cop-not-fit-for-policing--says-superintendent_75409 MANDEVILLE, Manchester &mdash; Superintendent of the Manchester Police Division Vendolyn Cameron-Powell says that she does not think that the policeman who was involved in a suspected suicide attempt yesterday is mentally capable of handling the rigours of policing.<br /> <br /> The constable, who was recently transferred from the Clarendon Division to the Area 3 Headquarters in Mandeville, had to be rescued after he went on the rooftop of a commercial building in the Mandeville town centre, from which it is believed he wanted to jump.<br /> <br /> The incident disrupted morning activities and traffic in a section of the town as a crowd gathered to watch the proceedings.<br /> <br /> The policeman was eventually taken down after assistance from his colleagues, members of the fire brigade and the Jamaica Public Service.<br /> <br /> He was immediately taken to the hospital where he, up to last night was being evaluated by mental health professionals.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He is being looked at,&rdquo; said Cameron-Powell.<br /> <br /> However, she said that while she was awaiting the findings of the professionals, her assessment, based on the constable&rsquo;s past and present actions, is that he is not suitable to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. &ldquo;He is not a fit candidate for (this) kind of job,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> She told the Jamaica Observer that it was not the first time that the young policeman had attempted suicide, but said the policeman&rsquo;s continuation in the force would rest with the &lsquo;powers that be&rsquo;. &ldquo;We have done everything in our powers,&rdquo; she said. She did not specify what was done to help since the previous suicide attempt, saying only that the necessary support was given.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Alicia Sutherland<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317104/231146_58241_repro_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM MPs argue over backhoe purchase at House committee http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/MPs-argue-over-backhoe-purchase-at-House-committee_75380 THE usual routine sitting of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) committee was yesterday morning disrupted after St Thomas Western Member of Parliament (MP) James Robertson brought up a decade-old issue involving the purchase of a backhoe for the constituency of St Andrew West Rural.<br /> <br /> Robertson, under any other business, asked about the policy regarding the use of CDF funds to buy fixed assets. &ldquo;Over the years I am aware that one or two Members of Parliament have purchased fixed equipment, for example a backhoe. What is the position of the committee and the CDF on such matters?&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Director of the CDF Unit Moveta Monroe, in response, said there had been only one such arrangement in the fund&rsquo;s history, and that it should never have happened. &ldquo;I can only refer to it as a total disaster, something that should never have happened. No capital goods are to be purchased except in the case of computers. We will never approve any such projects going forward,&rdquo; she stated. <br /> <br /> Monroe said the CDF had tried to put in place a sustainable programme which would give the works ministry access to the backhoe since it was not being used by the constituency. She said the intention was for the ministry to cover the cost of operating and maintaining the equipment. <br /> <br /> According to Monroe, despite the fact that the committee had expressed serious reservations about purchasing the equipment, &ldquo;It went to another level and eventually the project was approved&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> She said the constituency, effectively, cannot own the backhoe, and that it is now at the National Works Agency (NWA). <br /> <br /> New MP for St Andrew West Rural Juliet Cuthbert Flynn said she had also enquired about the backhoe, to which Monroe said, &ldquo;can we take this discussion outside, please&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Clarendon North West MP and Opposition spokesperson for works, Richard Azan, demanded that the committee should &ldquo;hear the truth. We should continue this discussion, it is public funds, and we should know why it cannot be discussed. It&rsquo;s not a private business, its taxpayer&rsquo;s money,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Monroe, however, took issue with the statement, arguing that &ldquo;as director of the CDF unit, I have a difficulty with the statement just made. We have nothing to hide; there is nothing to discuss further on the matter.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I will investigate to see what condition it&rsquo;s in, and who is benefiting from it,&rdquo; Committee Chairman Everald Warmington assured the members, some of whom suggested that there were ulterior motives to Robertson&rsquo;s query.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I just want to make sure that there is no way possible any young Member of Parliament could even think of bringing forward a small five horsepower water pump in such a manner,&rdquo; Robertson stated.<br /> <br /> Cuthbert Flynn told the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer following the sitting that she had not been able to unearth much in her inquiries about the backhoe but would not be pressing the issue as the acquisition had occurred before her tenure: &ldquo;The matter is rested as far as I&rsquo;m concerned,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Yesterday, NWA communications manager Stephen Shaw confirmed that the backhoe is in fact in the possession of the agency, but that it has not worked for more than two years. &ldquo;It was being used in the constituency to assist with the removal of landslips and those kinds of things. The area has a lot of earth movement and very often when it rains you have landslides coming down. That was the basis on which the MP then thought it necessary to have acquired it,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> It is understood that the backhoe was purchased at a cost of $5.7 million out of the $20 million allocated to the constituency at the time. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12714136/James-Robertson_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM Obasanjo visits his Jamaican &lsquo;brother&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Obasanjo-visits-his-Jamaican--brother--_75340 Chief Olusegun Obasanjo&rsquo;s easy smile last Friday left no doubt that he was among friends.<br /> <br /> Indeed, the former Nigerian president was a guest at the St Andrew home of Ambassador Carlton Masters, Jamaica&rsquo;s first representative to the African Union, who described Obasanjo as &ldquo;my brother&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Naturally, the reception hosted by Masters would not have been the same had the guest list not included his good friend and former Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Patterson, who has known Obasanjo for many years.<br /> <br /> The retired Nigerian army general was also pleased to see Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller, former Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips, Jamaica Olympic Association President Mike Fennell, former Cabinet ministers Anthony Hylton and Arnold Bertram, and Verene Shepherd, professor of social history at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus.<br /> <br /> Obasanjo was in the island for just a few days on what Ambassador Masters described as &ldquo;a friendly personal visit&rdquo;. Therefore, the late evening reception was devoid of business. In fact, the closest he came to engaging in such talk was in his informal remarks after being officially welcomed by Patterson.<br /> <br /> The Jamaica Observer, though, got him to speak a bit about international politics, especially current events in Africa, after the newspaper asked him for an update on his life since his retirement in 2007.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Jokingly I always say that I&rsquo;m unemployed and unemployable,&ldquo; he responded with a soft chuckle.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t hold any political office; I don&rsquo;t even belong to any political party now. I think I can call myself an elder statesman in Nigeria because the position that I have, of not belonging to any political party or not holding any Government or political office, allows me to be able to be advisor to all and sundry and to make informed comments on situations in the country and indeed in Africa,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I do occasionally get invited, either by the African Union, by the Commonwealth or by ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) to be involved in election observation, or to investigate some situations in Africa. I did that in the case of South Sudan after the unfortunate violence and destructive actions in 2013,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> His reference was to the flare-up of violence in December 2013 sparked by political divisions between President Salva Kiir and former Vice-President Riek Machar that exacerbated deeply rooted ethnic tensions.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Then I was asked to observe elections in Zimbabwe [and] Ghana. I&rsquo;ve in fact now been asked to observe elections in Gambia, which are coming up towards the end of November. That&rsquo;s the sort of thing I do, in addition to running my farm,&rdquo; Obasanjo explained.<br /> <br /> Farming has actually proven successful for Obasanjo, who had to be pressed a bit to tell the Observer that he had seven farms &ndash; four producing poultry, and three providing maze and cassava.<br /> <br /> The farms, he said, employ approximately 7,000 people. Information posted in 2014 about the business called Obasanjo Farms, states that it was opened in October 1979 and earns up to N34 million (approx US$107,851) daily. <br /> <br /> Asked whether his produce are for export, Obasanjo no.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They are purely for the domestic market,&rdquo; he said, adding that the population of Lagos, said to be Nigeria&rsquo;s largest city, is more than 20 million.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Whatever we produce, Lagos is a good market,&rdquo; Obasanjo said.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317079/231141_58231_repro_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM Absentee voting for US citizens http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Absentee-voting-for-US-citizens_75416 It&rsquo;s Absentee Voting Week from September 26 &ndash; October 3, and states and territories have started sending out ballots to overseas voters. Have you requested and received your State absentee ballot? It&rsquo;s not too late to go online to the website of the Federal Voting Assistance Program, fvap.gov, and register to vote in the upcoming U.S. general election to be held on November 8. <br /> <br /> What are absentee ballots? Do they only count in close elections? Many absentee ballots are cast by voters who are unable to vote at their physical polling place due to being an active duty military member, a family member of someone on active duty, or a US citizen residing overseas. All ballots submitted according to State laws are counted in every election.<br /> <br /> The media often will report the projected outcome of the election before all of the ballots are counted. In a close election, the media may report that the outcome cannot be announced until after the absentee ballots are counted. However, all ballots, including absentee ballots, are counted in the final totals for every election and every vote (absentee or in-person) counts the same.<br /> <br /> Most States require you to register to vote to start the absentee voting process. We encourage you to use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA is a form you can use to register to vote and request absentee ballots for the year. We suggest that you send in a new FPCA every year and when you move.<br /> <br /> Many States allow you to submit your FPCA electronically, and all States allow for at least one form of electronic transmission of your blank ballot. Mail delivery times will vary based on where you are and customs requirements. Mail your materials early enough to account for the mail delivery time. Using electronic options can help reduce the ballot transit time for your election materials. Please note, while we can assist with mailing voted ballots, you will not be able to vote in person at the Embassy or Consular Agency on election day.<br /> <br /> Reminder <br /> <br /> Your appointment time is your arrival time, NOT your interview time. Do not show up earlier than your appointment time.<br /> <br /> You can find more information about how to travel to the US on the embassy&rsquo;s website at kingston.usembassy.gov and the website of our authorised service provider at usvisa-info.com. Keep on top of embassy news on our Facebook page, facebook.com/pages/USEmbassy- Jamaica, and by following @USEmbassyJA on Twitter. We also answer general visa questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.<br /> <br /> You may also send your questions to: editorial@jamaicaobserver.com to be forwarded to the embassy.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317052/231150_58244_repro_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM Canada&rsquo;s immigration officers are trained to assess the integrity of marriages http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Canada-s-immigration-officers-are-trained-to-assess-the-integrity-of-marriages_75363 Dear Mr Brown:<br /> <br /> I understand that it is not a guarantee that an application will be successful when a Canadian sponsors a spouse from overseas. Some people fall in love and get married quickly. Some people have arranged marriages. Some people fall in love with a partner who is much older/younger. My question is: How can an immigration officer truly determine if a marriage is genuine?<br /> <br /> -NG<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Dear NG:<br /> <br /> Immigration officers are not only trained to make such assessments, they are given the task of assessing the genuineness of a marriage pursuant to spousal sponsorship applications. Therefore, an applicant must demonstrate that the marriage was not entered into primarily for immigration purposes.<br /> <br /> The immigration officer&rsquo;s role in this context is to review and comment on the evidence in order to determine, on a balance of probabilities, the genuineness of the couple&rsquo;s relationship. The officer is to investigate the existence of the following factors: a significant degree of attachment, both physical and emotional; an exclusive relationship; a mutual and continuing commitment to a shared life together; and an emotional and financial interdependency.<br /> <br /> There was a case that I read recently about an admissibility hearing involving an applicant who was alleged to be, on a balance of probabilities, a permanent resident of Canada who is inadmissible for misrepresentation for directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter that induces or could induce an error in the administration of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.<br /> <br /> An admissibility hearing deals with determining whether a foreign national or permanent residents should be deemed inadmissible and removed from Canada, who are believed to have contravened the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).<br /> <br /> A person may not be able to enter or remain in Canada if it is determined by the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board that he or she:<br /> <br /> has failed in some way to comply with IRPA;<br /> <br /> is a security threat;<br /> <br /> &thinsp; has violated human or international rights;<br /> <br /> has been involved in crime or organised crime;<br /> <br /> has engaged in misrepresentation, such as claiming a false identity;<br /> <br /> has a health condition (in some cases);<br /> <br /> does not have enough money to support him or herself; or<br /> <br /> is accompanying an inadmissible family member.<br /> <br /> Although it was about an admissibility hearing, the case detailed the nature of how credibility is assessed. During the hearing, having considered the oral testimony, along with the submissions by the parties and corresponding supporting documents, it was found that there was a lack of credibility, little to no facts associated with this marriage that suggest that it was genuine, and inconsistent information had been provided to similar questions with respect to the development and subsequent breakdown of the marriage. <br /> <br /> For example, the applicant testified that he visited his country of origin to visit an ailing aunt and had no intentions of getting married, which contradicted his former wife&rsquo;s testimony that they had a telephone conversation prior to his travels and that it had been established that they would meet upon his arrival to determine whether they wanted to marry each other.<br /> <br /> He further claimed that approximately 100 people were in attendance at the wedding. However, the visa officer observed from the photos that it appeared that there were approximately 15 people at the wedding. Moreover, they were married after knowing each other for only a few months and within weeks of his first divorce. There was testimony that the marriage broke down because his wife did not like his family. However, there was testimony from a witness that his wife told his cousin that she married him for the purpose of going to Canada.<br /> <br /> This evidence, in and of itself, is sufficient to establish that his failure to disclose this fact to the Immigration officer is also a misrepresentation that could have induced an error in the administration of the Act. And so, for all of the reasons indicated above, an exclusion order was issued to have him removed from Canada.<br /> <br /> Please visit<br /> <br /> jamaica2canada.com for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence programmes, including Express Entry, the Study and Work progamme, visitor&rsquo;s visas or appeals, etc.<br /> <br /> Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of<br /> <br /> JAMAICA2CANADA.COM &mdash; a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to<br /> <br /> jamaica2canada@gmail.com. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13316945/231063_58164_repro_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM FLOW Foundation fetes children with cancer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/FLOW-Foundation-fetes-children-with-cancer_75295 THE FLOW Foundation, in collaboration with parents and the Bustamante Hospital for Children, last Friday treated more than 30 young patients of the hospital who are at different stages of their battle with cancer. <br /> <br /> FLOW said that in observance of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, the foundation made efforts to recognise and bring awareness to the plight faced by families stricken by the life-changing disease.<br /> <br /> The group consisted of children who were either recovered or are currently undergoing treatment, with ages ranging from as young as nine months to 17 years.<br /> <br /> Senior medical officer at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Dr Michelle-Ann Richards-Dawson applauded the FLOW Foundation for its assistance, noting that the company is one of few that offers dedicated support for paediatric/childhood cancer patients.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Words can&rsquo;t express how delighted we are for the assistance from the FLOW Foundation. You can feel the love and the care from the FLOW family and that&rsquo;s what I love about them,&rdquo; she said. <br /> <br /> Richards-Dawson, in advising parents who may suspect unusual illness in their children, urged them to pursue the matter, noting that early detection is always best as it allows the patients to be treated as early as possible and facilitates a better outcome.<br /> <br /> The FLOW Foundation Paediatric Cancer Fund for children being treated at the Bustamante Hospital for Children was launched in 2015. The fund provides assistance for incidental items and private laboratory and radiological testing for families not able to afford them. The fund also assists with matters like transportation and accommodation for families who often have to travel long distances to seek treatment.<br /> <br /> The FLOW Foundation will also participate in an expo being hosted by the hospital on its grounds this Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. The public is invited.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13316914/231069_58171_repro_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM Ministry to gather data islandwide on cancer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Ministry-to-gather-data-islandwide--on-cancer_75367 THE Ministry of Health is expanding the reach of the National Cancer Registry (NCR) to the entire island to facilitate data gathering 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, said 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. She added that there are some strict criteria for quality data that is required at the global level and that the ministry will be aiming 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; Dr 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). &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 &mdash; the North East Regional Health Authority,&rdquo; Dr Davidson-Sadler said. 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; Dr Davidson-Sadler said. <br /> <br /> She said the Ministry of Health wanted to give an annual update on cancer incidence, then eventually move to three- or five-year updates. According to Dr Davidson-Sadler, 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 /> Local News Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM Bustamante Hospital hosts awareness expo http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Bustamante-Hospital-hosts-awareness-expo_75368 THE Bustamante Hospital for Children will this Friday be hosting a childhood cancer awareness expo, which it said is among a number of activities the hospital has planned to commemorate Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which is observed in September of each year.<br /> <br /> The hospital has, so far this month, hosted a church service at the St George&rsquo;s Anglican Church in Kingston, while there will be a panel discussion as well as educational talks for both parents and staff on cancer.<br /> <br /> The educational talk for staff will focus on &ldquo;Breaking bad news&rdquo; and &ldquo;Supportive care in school after cancer treatment&rdquo;, while the parents will be given general information about paediatric cancer.<br /> <br /> The hospital also partnered with the Flow Foundation last Friday to host a treat for the cancer patients, while a two-day training workshop for health care workers managing children was scheduled for last evening.<br /> <br /> The cancer awareness expo will begin at 9:00 am on the hospital grounds. It will feature educational booths and demonstrations on healthy meal preparation.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12634600/184398_w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM VIDEO: Police commissioner says spate of murders in MoBay orchestrated http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Police-commissioner-says-spate-of-murders-in-MoBay-orchestrated KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams is theorising that the spate of killings that has been rocking the western side of the country seems to be orchestrated. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Six different situations resulted in 15 murders and 12 shootings over the course of a single week, in a single parish&hellip; I am not being a conspiracy theorist but one cannot help but think that this is orchestrated,&rdquo; the commissioner said while speaking at a Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) President's Forum on Tuesday. <br /> <br /> He said that he sees where there have been gruesome incidents in the middle of the square during daylight hours.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;All of these are designed to send a message. We see them happening in front of crowds of people to send a message,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We see where there have been some gruesome killings. We see where communities are paralysed with fear even as we deploy our troops with increased number of police officers. Even as we send in soldiers, we see the murders and bloodletting continuing,&rdquo; he ended.<br /> <br /> More information in tomorrow's Observer<br /> <br /> Shanica Blair<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13073878/carl-williams_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 3:34 PM No quarrel, Lisa, time, the master, will tell, says Nicholson http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/No-quarrel--Lisa--time--the-master--will-tell--says-Nicholson_75275 AJ Nicholson yesterday delivered a parting shot to Lisa Hanna, saying that if she&rsquo;s convinced that there is no flaw in her approach to her political duties, then time will tell if she is correct.<br /> <br /> Nicholson, the People&rsquo;s National Party&rsquo;s (PNP) legal advisor, issued what he described as &ldquo;a brief final public comment&rdquo; on the exchange between himself and Hanna after she took him to task for comments he made about her leadership in a letter to the Jamaica Observer published on Sunday.<br /> <br /> Nicholson had argued that Hanna&rsquo;s defeat in the party&rsquo;s vice-presidential election on September 17 was a strong statement by the delegates that failure cannot be rewarded or elevated.<br /> <br /> Nicholson&rsquo;s letter referenced PNP President Portia Simpson Miller&rsquo;s words of comfort to Hanna after the young Member of Parliament for St Ann South Eastern received the least number of votes (1,570) of the five candidates vying for the party&rsquo;s four vice-presidents posts.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t worry, your time will come,&rdquo; Simpson Miller told Hanna at a news conference after the election results were announced inside the National Arena in Kingston.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;That might be true; Hanna&rsquo;s time may indeed come in the future. But the delegates of NW Manley&rsquo;s party have certainly sent a salutary message to all who would be humble and soul-searching enough to acknowledge and take to heart: You cannot reward and elevate failure,&rdquo; Nicholson wrote.<br /> <br /> He said that during the campaign for the February 2016 General Election, Hanna, who was the regional chairperson for St Ann and Trelawny, turned steadfastly away from St Ann South Western, the traditionally strong constituency which was held by the PNP&rsquo;s Keith Walford, and chose to campaign at length in Trelawny Southern, which was held by the Jamaica Labour Party.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The outcome? South West St Ann losing by a mere 200-plus votes, and the PNP&rsquo;s losing margin in South Trelawny the worst since the constituency came into being,&rdquo; Nicholson claimed.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So that, weighed in the balance at the constituency, parish and regional levels, the political stewardship of the aspirant is found seriously wanting,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> In response, Hanna said Nicholson was distorting the truth, as St Ann South Western, unlike the majority of PNP seats, received more votes in the 2016 election than it did in 2011.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was always a marginal seat, and the party failed to provide it with enough resources for it to be victorious. It could not survive the national swing against the party, and the percentage margin of PNP votes he [Walford] received in 2016 versus 2011 was only minus 3.2 per cent.<br /> <br /> She also poured scorn on his accusation that her stewardship as youth minister failed to inspire many young voters to cast their vote for the PNP as the preferred choice. <br /> <br /> According to Hanna, the PNP&rsquo;s campaign was not run by the Ministry of Youth or by her and she did not use young people as active participants to project any of the PNP&rsquo;s election messages. <br /> <br /> Yesterday Nicholson, in his response, said: &ldquo;There really is no need for any protest from Comrade Hanna or for her to appear annoyed at any of my suggestions. If, as she intimates, she is indeed satisfied that she is on the correct political path in the constituency, the parish and in the region, then all she has to do is continue along that same route, and time, the master, will tell whether the projection that &lsquo;your time will come&rsquo; in fact comes to pass.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Perhaps, however, she should resolve not to bury her head in the sand and choose to cast aside the strong message that the delegates have sent. That is where honest and meaningful introspection comes in, and where humility &mdash; that scarce commodity &mdash; would lead.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13310809/227689_57874_repro_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM VIDEO: Top cop unable to say whether criminals, lawmen collude in prison break http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/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 NSWMA partners with JSIF in waste separation project http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/NSWMA-partners-with-JSIF-in-waste-separation-project_75327 THE Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) has provided more than 2,000 bins and two wood-chipping machines, valued at 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 pilot 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 wood chippers 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 people 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 signed during the ceremony.<br /> <br /> 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 wood chippers 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 the JSIF, Omar Sweeney, said the project is also part of the continued efforts by the Government to combat vector-borne diseases by ensuring there is proper disposal of waste, which is creating these breeding sites.<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. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314785/231019_58110_repro_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM Vehicle scam http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Vehicle-scam_75288 JAMAICA Customs has warned the public to be on the alert for criminals who target mainly women with promises of good deals on motor vehicles, but who either trick them out of their money, or force them to accept vehicles that differ from what they ordered.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Nine times out of 10, ladies are targeted. You have persons who are not licensed as motor vehicle dealers who target professional women, or these ladies are referred to them. The individual engages with them, usually collects money and then is expected to remit the funds to the supplier. Oftentimes that money doesn&rsquo;t move. Then they ask for an update, and they say the car is on the way,&rdquo; head of Jamaica Customs, Major Richard Reese told yesterday&rsquo;s Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange at the newspaper&rsquo;s head office in Kingston.<br /> <br /> He said that if the vehicle finally does arrive, it is usually not what the buyer ordered. &ldquo;They order a seven-seater SUV of a particular colour and it (what arrives) is white &mdash; the cheapest colour &mdash; with five seats,&rdquo; he noted.<br /> <br /> The Customs boss said the scammer usually asks for money to pay the importation duties. &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re paying duties then there is only one place that collects duties, and that is Customs, so you should either make out a manager&rsquo;s cheque to Customs, having been shown all of the various breakouts, or you go down to Customs and make the payment for yourself. The duties are usually more than the car, and that is what they (the scammers) move away with,&rdquo; he pointed out.<br /> <br /> According to Reese, the criminals often ask their unsuspecting victims to meet with them on the premises of the Jamaica Customs Agency to give greater legitimacy to the transaction and allay any doubts the purchaser may have. &ldquo;We have caught people using our CCTV,&rdquo; he remarked, further noting that sometimes scammers also go about fleecing their victims via telephone &lsquo;deals&rsquo;, using a similar modus operandi. <br /> <br /> Electronic scamming is yet another method being used to trap unsuspecting individuals, with the thieves going as far as to create a bogus e-mail account using the commissioner of Customs&rsquo; name. &ldquo;It has nothing to do with me,&rdquo; he stated.<br /> <br /> The Customs boss further explained that people are pressed to close the transaction swiftly, usually by a specified time, and given a bank account number to which deposits are to be made. He said the scammers draw their victims in with promise of a sale of newer model motor vehicles in &ldquo;showroom condition&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Reese said this particular scam tries to grab prospective buyers ahead of Customs&rsquo; own legitimate auctions. &ldquo;It rears its head usually a month or two before each Customs auction. Maybe they will miss two months and then return for the next auction,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He advised that these offers have nothing to do with the department, as all auctions are publicised in the press and prospective buyers have to be registered in order to participate. <br /> <br /> In the meantime, he said the agency has intercepted a number of scamming machines that criminals attempt to import via couriers or post offices. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314780/231036_58111_repro_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM Jamaica Customs Agency wages war against counterfeit goods http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Jamaica-Customs-Agency-wages-war-against-counterfeit-goods_75309 CUSTOMS authorities say they are fighting back against the influx of fake merchandise being imported into the island, but say the process is made easier when there are agreements in place with the rights holders of these brand name items.<br /> <br /> According to data provided by the Jamaica Customs Agency, more than $110 million worth of goods that infringed on intellectual property rights (IPR) for the 2015/16 fiscal year were seized the agency.<br /> <br /> These included footwear, alcoholic beverages, headsets, backpacks, eyeglasses and body lotions. The agency says it has also disposed of 102,019 assorted pieces of counterfeit intellectual property-infringing products with an approximate street value of $523.4 million.<br /> <br /> At the same time, the data show that 931 pairs of footwear, worth $4.6 million, were released because of non-response from the rights holder, while another 1,987 cases, or $9-million worth, of body lotions are awaiting disposal.<br /> <br /> Speaking with journalists yesterday at the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange, Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reese explained that the procedure for enforcing an IPR breach is to invite the rights holder to enter into an agreement to indemnify the department from all interdiction action that it takes.<br /> <br /> He pointed out that the agency does not have the means to prove the authenticity of the goods being seized. &ldquo;You could be sued so the first thing is to invite the rights holder &mdash; and we have several such agreements &mdash; to enter into an agreement. The second thing that we ask the rights holder to do is to put up a sum of money to cover the cost of the destruction and disposal of the product. The third thing is to put in place arrangements with Customs to verify authenticity of the brand,&rdquo; Reese said.<br /> <br /> Reese noted that, even when those arrangements are not in place, Customs will still act against any suspected instances of an IPR breach, but has to underwrite all the attendant costs.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In most instances, the person will be charged, go to court and pay a relatively small fine compared to all the damage they have created,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The customs commissioner argued that globalisation makes detecting fake products even more complicated. &ldquo;(For example), you have products that are from a US-owned company being made in China. If it was that none of those products were made anywhere else except the country where that entity was based, you could say any pharmaceuticals of this particular brand coming from this country (are fake),&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> Reese demonstrated the complexity of the issue using the popular JanSport brand, which originates in Panama that are well known for its free zones. He said that free zones across the world tend to be facilitatory to the trans-shipment of fake goods because of the high-volume nature of their operations.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have JanSport bags coming into Jamaica just about four months before back-to-school and they are now mixed in &mdash; original and fake &mdash; and in some cases you have under-invoicing as well,&rdquo; the commissioner stated.<br /> <br /> He said that technology is now being used to quickly communicate with rights holders, with whom Customs have agreements, to verify the authenticity of products in order to crack down on bogus goods.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The companies themselves who have agreements with us come in and conduct training for the staff to assist them in identifying the fake products,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> He said the department is looking to procure two modern, fixed-portal scanners and two mobile scanners to detect fake goods. In the meantime, the roll-out of the Automated System for Customs Data is assisting with preventing these products from getting on the market.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314825/Reece_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM Trelawny resident is first male to win spelling competition for seniors http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Trelawny-resident-is-first-male-to-win-spelling-competition-for-seniors-_75306 TRELAWNY resident Lenworth Wright, 63, earlier this month became the first male to win the 2016 National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) Spelling Bee championship since its inception in 2004.<br /> <br /> The final, held at the St Andrew Parish Church hall, saw Wright topping 13 other finalists after correctly spelling the word &ldquo;liaise&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Second place went to Stephanie Taylor of St Thomas, while Sylveena Smith from Clarendon took third.<br /> <br /> Seventy-six-year-old Sheila Kerr, who represented St Andrew and placed 12th, was the oldest competitor. <br /> <br /> Wright told<br /> <br /> JIS News that he was encouraged to enter this year&rsquo;s competition by a relative, and commenced preparations in July.<br /> <br /> He intimated his love for spelling, a passion he has had since childhood. He pointed out that in school, &ldquo;I was always a top speller.&rdquo; Wright said, based on this and his preparations, he was confident of winning.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;What I did was to write all the words from A-Z in a book and I completed about three to four books, and after that I was ready,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> Wright said he appreciated the NCSC&rsquo;s work in keeping its members active and engaged, and urged more men to join the organisation.<br /> <br /> Acting NCSC parish organiser for Trelawny, Lloydia Williams, said that based on her interactions with Wright she knew he would have a good result.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He was very confident. So I did not doubt that he would have done a really good job. I felt that he was ready, and based on what I had seen from the practice matches, he was on par,&rdquo; she said. <br /> <br /> Williams encouraged seniors to remain active after retirement and join the NCSC, as they still have much to contribute to the society.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314746/230947_58084_repro_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM Pfizer, Lasco and Medimpex compensation hearing starts http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Pfizer--Lasco-and-Medimpex-compensation-hearing-starts_75315 THE hearing in the Supreme Court on the issue of compensation claims made by local drugs distributors Lasco and Medimpex against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer began yesterday.<br /> <br /> Statements were made by business manager consultant Wincella Cummins; Dr Lloyd Barnett, who represent Medimpex in the issue; and, chairman of Lasco Distributors Lascelles Chin, who will resume testimony when the court resumes this morning at 10.<br /> <br /> The local firms are hoping that recent decisions taken by Pfizer in terms of its corporate behaviour, and reflected in a release yesterday, will enable negotiators to move closer to a settlement on this final aspect of the dispute. The last hurdle is the issue of how much they should be compensated for the loss of seven years&rsquo; sales, due to a court injunction which banned them from selling their hypertension generics, based on a claim by Pfizer that it owned the patent.<br /> <br /> The Judicial Committee of the UK Privy Council last year upheld the 2012 opinion of the Jamaican court that the patent Pfizer was claiming had already expired, which paved the way for both local distributors to sell their products. However, the Privy Council sent the parties back to Jamaica to decide how much Lasco and Medimpex should be paid for losses due to the local court injunction, which blocked sale of their products between 2005 and 2012.<br /> <br /> The assessment of damages was originally set for January 18 to 22, but was postponed to July 18 to give the parties sufficient time to comply with the court orders. However, it was postponed again on July 18 because of the unavailability of the presiding judge.<br /> <br /> Lasco has asked for US$311 million in compensation, but Pfizer has offered a maximum US$518,000. Medimpex, which is seeking US$11.5 million, was offered a maximum of US$68,000.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11154718/Lascelles-Chin_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM Holness seeks US congressional support http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Holness-seeks-US-congressional-support-_75307 BILATERAL trade opportunities and Jamaica&rsquo;s efforts to diversify its energy sources were among the main issues discussed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness at a meeting with senior United States congresswoman Carolyn B Maloney (Dem- NY) during his visit to New York last week.<br /> <br /> Maloney is a key member of the House Financial Services Committee, which has oversight of the US Treasury and significant influence with the International Monetary Fund. She is no stranger to Jamaica, having been a resident of St James for over four decades. <br /> <br /> Prime Minister Holness met with her to continue his Government&rsquo;s efforts to encourage US congressional support for an initiative to provide development assistance for highly indebted middle-income countries (HIMIC) like Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Holness believes that this would help to address deep economic challenges facing nations like Jamaica, and reduce the gap in Jamaica-US trade relations.<br /> <br /> In proposing his HIMIC initiative during the general debate at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 23, Holness said that these countries could receive assistance in the form of investments in favourable trade, technology transfer, security, and energy.<br /> <br /> The prime minister also called for a review of the broad categorisation of countries based solely on GDP per capita, as he believes the measure fails to fully and accurately account for added vulnerabilities and levels of indebtedness.<br /> <br /> The prime minister and the congresswoman also spoke to the planned opening of the new FBI office in Kingston as continuing efforts to combat organised criminal activities. <br /> <br /> Congresswoman Maloney, who noted that it was her first meeting with the prime minister, said: &ldquo;I admire his aspirations for Jamaica and his realistic approach. He reminds me of a President-elect Barack Obama eight years ago &mdash; very charismatic and real. The US and Jamaica have had an excellent trade relationship for many years. I will do everything I can to make it stronger,&rdquo; she said. <br /> <br /> Maloney is recognised as a national leader with extensive accomplishments on financial services, national security, the economy, and women&rsquo;s issues. She is a senior member of both the House Financial Services Committee (on which she serves as ranking member of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets) and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. She is also the ranking member of the Joint Economic Committee.<br /> <br /> Maloney was the first woman to chair the Joint Economic Committee, a House and Senate panel that examines and addresses the United States&rsquo; most pressing economic issues. <br /> <br /> Prime Minister Holness returned home Saturday from a week-long visit to New York City, during which he addressed the United Nations&rsquo; General Assembly&rsquo;s 71st session.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13310336/holness-2_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM Law students remember smiling, keen Ingrid Brown http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Law-students-remember-smiling--keen-Ingrid-Brown_75313 DURING the last three years of Ingrid Brown&rsquo;s decade at the Jamaica Observer, she also studied at the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.<br /> <br /> She had recently completed her law degree at the institution with second class honours, and had been accepted at the Norman Manley Law School before her death at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) last Thursday night.<br /> <br /> The UWI Law Class of 2016 and the Norman Manley Law Class of 2018 remember Brown as a vocal presence and enthusiastic student, who was always willing to converse with her classmates.<br /> <br /> Dr Konrad Lawson, a member of both classes, remembers Brown as &ldquo;a very<br /> <br /> keen and dedicated student, always focused and never wasting time&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;She seemed to have made every minute of her time at Mona really count towards her goal,&rdquo; Lawson said. The medical doctor, who shared Brown&rsquo;s experience of maintaining a professional life along with legal studies, remembers her as always being punctual, among the first present in every class.<br /> <br /> Another classmate, who did not work while studying for his degree, remembers asking Brown how she held such a demanding job and still managed to get better grades than many colleagues who did not have to strike the student/professional balance. He recalls that she laughed and humbly said: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m still working on it, to be honest.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Brown played a supportive, &lsquo;big sister-like&rsquo; role to her colleagues, many of them having entered the law programme fresh out of secondary school. While she spoke to everyone, Brown would often be seen at the front of the class with two younger female students astride her &ndash; working with them to figure out whatever fresh obstacle was posed by the particular legal course. Her strong academic performance paralleled a willingness to always participate and answer questions in class.<br /> <br /> But, &ldquo;she always wore a smile&rdquo;, recalls classmate Markel Virgo, &ldquo;...and she&rsquo;d always offer something, some sort of advice or commentary on popular issues.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;She was somebody who loved the law ... (but) she was always willing to question the rationale behind the law,&rdquo; Virgo said.<br /> <br /> Such was her love for the law that she registered for Norman Manley Law School, despite her illness and continuing duties as associate editor - special assignment at the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> When news of her passing reached the<br /> <br /> Facebook group for the Class of 2016, colleagues described her as a &ldquo;lovely spirit&rdquo; while one wrote: &ldquo;My heart is heavy right now and I am in shock! She was always smiling, always chatting up her classmates, this is just so sad.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Brown is mourned by more than 200 colleagues who studied alongside her.<br /> <br /> Last week, the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) sent condolences to Brown&rsquo;s family, the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer family and her friends.<br /> <br /> The multiple-award-winning journalist served as secretary of the PAJ from 2012-2014, a task she performed with her trademark diligence. She also represented the PAJ on the board of the Jamaican Copyright Licensing Agency.<br /> <br /> The PAJ noted that Brown began her journalism career in 1994, working at the now defunct<br /> <br /> Jamaica Herald, and by 1995 had already won her first professional award from the PAJ for her human interest stories.<br /> <br /> She also worked with<br /> <br /> The Gleaner, and the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Information Service, but most of her professional life was spent at the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Apart from the PAJ awards for Best Feature story in 2008 and Best News Story for 2010, Brown also won awards from the Pan American Health Organisation and the Fair Play Awards.<br /> <br /> The PAJ recalled that in 2011 she spoke at its World Press Freedom Day breakfast. She said, inter alia, the following:<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As journalists we must commit to performing our professional duties with intelligence, objectivity, accuracy and fairness. More important than having that front-page story or that leading item in the newscast is the commitment to ensure that the information being disseminated is accurate, true and fair to all parties concerned.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As members of the fourth estate we have the awesome responsibility to inform, educate and entertain. But do we realise that information released in the public domain does not go away with an apology? We know that we Jamaicans are of the opinion that &lsquo;if it no go so, then is near so&rsquo;. And for those of us who had the privilege of growing up in small, rural communities we would have first-hand knowledge of how information first told about someone can take on a life of its own and is told far and wide.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Added the PAJ: &ldquo;Apart from her strong work ethic, and the high quality of her work, Ingrid was, quite simply, a sweet and wonderful person whom colleagues remember as a pleasure to work with.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In this year in which the media fraternity has suffered loss after loss, Ingrid&rsquo;s passing is yet another blow, yet another loss of an outstanding colleague and human being.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314700/230989_58095_repro_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM &lsquo;No state of emergency for St James&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/-No-state-of-emergecy-for-St-James-_75305 MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; Prime Minister Andrew Holness has ruled out the calling of a state of emergency as a means of addressing the current spate of murders in the parish of St James.<br /> <br /> The latest wave of bloodshed in St James left 12 murdered last week, while more than 190 people have been murdered in the parish so far this year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Government is not afraid to call a state of emergency, but at this time a state of emergency, in my mind, is not a tool in the toolbox to be deployed,&rdquo; the prime minister stated.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want the country to feel that we are under siege. The message to communicate is, if the Government deems it necessary, we will. But we are not at that point. So, I don&rsquo;t want criminals to feel that we will have any hesitation if it is required,&rdquo; the prime minister remarked.<br /> <br /> He was addressing members of the media at the Office of the Prime Minister in Montego Bay, following a a tour of some of the volatile areas in the parish which saw an upsurge of violence last week.<br /> <br /> The prime minister was accompanied on the tour by Minister of Security Robert Montague, Commissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams, Chief of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force Major General Antony Anderson; St James Members of Parliament Marlene Malahoo Forte, Heroy Clarke and Dr Horace Chang, and several other key stakeholders.<br /> <br /> In the meantime, the police commissioner revealed that a shooter fingered in several of last week&rsquo;s murders and shootings is among several others now behind bars.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;...We are also going to be pursuing our pursuit operations, meaning that we are going to be looking at those who are responsible for the violence. In fact, we have already arrested a number of them, one who we have strong evidence to suggest he was involved in a number of the shootings and murders. He is behind bars as we speak,&rdquo; Williams revealed.<br /> <br /> The police chief, who further disclosed that deployments of police personnel will be significantly increased in the parish, also announced that the lottery scam task force will be reintroduced in western Jamaica.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We appreciate that lottery scamming is at the root of a lot of them (murders) and so we are going to make sure that it (lottery scam task force) is reinstituted and deployed right across western Jamaica,&rdquo; Williams stated. <br /> <br /> In the meantime, Montague said that deployments of police and military personnel will not only be increased in St James, but all crime hot spots across the island.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I want all Jamaica to understand that that we are not only surging our presence in Montego Bay, we are also looking into the other hot spots where we will be showing our presence,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314014/Montague-Holness_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM This Day in History &mdash; September 27 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/This-Day-in-History---September-27_75303 Today is the 271st day of 2016. There are 95 days left in the year.<br /> <br /> TODAY&rsquo;S HIGHLIGHT<br /> <br /> 1951: The West German Bundestag pledges restitution to Jews for crimes perpetrated by the Nazis. No exact amount was decided, but West Germany will repay about $600 million in goods.<br /> <br /> OTHER EVENTS<br /> <br /> 1540: Pope Paul approves Ignatius of Loyola&rsquo;s proposal to create the Society of Jesus, or Jesuit Order.<br /> <br /> 1825: George Stephenson drives the steam locomotive he designed on the opening run of the first passenger railway, from Stockton to Darlington, England.<br /> <br /> 1923: Martial law is declared in Germany.<br /> <br /> 1928: The United States agrees to recognise the Nationalist Chinese Government.<br /> <br /> 1940: Germany, Italy and Japan sign 10-year military and economic pacts, setting up Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis.<br /> <br /> 1968: France bars Britain&rsquo;s entry into European Common Market.<br /> <br /> 1970: Jordan&rsquo;s King Hussein and Al Fatah guerrilla leader Yasser Arafat meet in Cairo with 10 Arab chiefs of state and sign agreement ending civil war in Jordan.<br /> <br /> 1990: Britain and Iran restore diplomatic relations. Ties had been broken off in March 1989 after the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a death sentence against writer Salman Rushdie.<br /> <br /> 1993: The UN Security Council bans sales of arms and fuel to the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) because the rebel movement failed to stop fighting the government and renegotiate a 1991 peace settlement to end the country&rsquo;s civil war.<br /> <br /> 1994: American soldiers take over the Haitian parliament as they continue to spread out over the country.<br /> <br /> 1996: Islamist Taliban rebels seize control of Kabul and quickly hang former president Najibullah.<br /> <br /> 1998: Gerhard Schroeder and his Social Democrats win German elections after 16 years of conservative rule under Chancellor Helmut Kohl.<br /> <br /> 1999: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak wins his fourth six-year term, taking nearly 94 per cent of the vote in a referendum on his presidency.<br /> <br /> 2000: A Greek ferry strikes rocks and sinks, killing 75 people. The ship&rsquo;s captain and crew are detained by police, when some survivors say they were watching a soccer match on television as the ship went aground.<br /> <br /> 2004: The top prosecutor for Sierra Leone&rsquo;s war crimes court accuses former Liberian President Charles Taylor of recruiting fighters in the country he once led and working to destabilise other West African nations.<br /> <br /> 2006: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs into law a sweeping global warming initiative that imposes the first cap on greenhouse gas emissions in the US.<br /> <br /> 2008: Chinese astronaut Zhai Zhigang completes China&rsquo;s first spacewalk.<br /> <br /> 2010: Pakistan disputes NATO&rsquo;s claim that its forces have the right of hot pursuit across the Afghan border after coalition helicopters launch airstrikes that kill more than 50 militants who had escaped into Pakistan following an attack on an Afghan security post.<br /> <br /> 2011: A convicted killer who escaped from a US prison in 1970 and hijacked an American airliner two years later while dressed as a priest is captured in Portugal after more than 40 years as a fugitive.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314657/230944_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM Antigua PM supports Holness on debt for climate change swap http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Antigua-PM-supports-Holness-on-debt-for-climate-change-swap_75262 UNITED NATIONS (CMC) &ndash; Antigua and Barbuda on Saturday joined its Caribbean Community (Caricom) member state, Jamaica, in raising the issue of debt for climate change swap while also lamenting moves by financial institutions in developed countries to stifle the socio-economic growth of small islands.<br /> <br /> The call came a day after Jamaica&rsquo;s Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the 71st United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that the mechanism has the potential to provide bilateral and multilateral relief for climate change and mitigation initiatives. <br /> <br /> On Saturday, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne told the UNGA that, at a rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius, many of the small island developing states, including those in the Caribbean, will be washed away.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Temperatures continue to rise, as the bell is tolling. The bell may be tolling for small islands, but in the words of the poet, John Donne, &ldquo;it also tolls for thee&rsquo;,&rdquo; Browne remarked.<br /> <br /> He said the ravages of climate change will not end with the erosion of small island states, nor will its consequences disappear with the last surging tide.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Its refugees; its displaced people; the misery of its effects will wash up on the shores of those who dismiss or neglect the issue today. Mr President, our small countries endure the problem of climate change not because we created it, but because we are the victims of the polluting profligacy of others. But, we are not content simply to wring our hands in anguish, or throw up our arms in despair. We are keen to help provide solutions. That is why my government has repeatedly proposed debt swaps, for climate change adaptation and mitigation,&rdquo; Browne reasoned.<br /> <br /> Browne said that many of the small-island states are burdened by high debt because they are denied access to concessional financing and are forced to borrow at high commercial rates to rebuild after disasters, and to mitigate against them.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;High debt is not only a drag on our economic growth; it constrains our ability to achieve the sustainable development goals. We are caught in a very vicious cycle. We have proposed that we be provided with soft loans, to stop further high debt accumulation, while we build resilience to global warming and sea-level rise. However, to qualify for soft loans, requires the International Financial Institutions and donor governments, to stop using per capita income as a criterion. So far, our pleas have fallen on deaf ears,&rdquo; he stressed.<br /> <br /> Prime Minister Browne told the international community that, beyond the facade of high income per capita are increasing levels of poverty, high levels of household and individual vulnerability, acute issues in health and education, and worrying rates of unemployment especially amongst the young.<br /> <br /> He said high income per capita distorts the reality that, because of the openness of small economies and the dependence on foreign investment, a minority of the population earn the largest percentage of income, leaving the majority at subsistence level and below.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;These are facts that are known to international financial institutions and those who govern them, yet, they are ignored. The more appropriate criteria for allowing access to concessionary financing should be, our very well-known vulnerability to shocks that are generated from outside our shores, and over which we have no control,&rdquo; Browne said.<br /> <br /> The Antiguan prime minister said that the cost to institutions such as the World Bank of refining their criteria would not be very expensive, but that would be a significant measure to allow small countries to improve their economic performance.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Mr President, I have to admit a deep sense of frustration and disappointment that, year after year, other heads of government of small states, and I, have come to this Assembly and explained the challenges that confront us, to no avail,&rdquo; he argued.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We remain trapped in the reality of a narrow tax base, high debt, large trade deficits, small underdeveloped domestic financial markets, small private sectors and fragile banking systems. I remind this Assembly of the observation of Albert Einstein that: &ldquo;In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems; for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Prime Minister Browne said that the truth of small states is obvious to all so too should be the need for justice as he raised again the need for the United States to settle its World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute with Antigua and Barbuda over Internet gaming as quickly as possible.<br /> <br /> But Browne said that the decision by banks in the developed countries to seek to end banking relationships with small islands, including those in the Caribbean, constitutes &ldquo;an urgent and existential threat of considerable relevance to our survival&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The latest challenge our countries face is the withdrawal by global banks of correspondent banking relations to our financial institutions. In the international campaign against money-laundering and terrorist-financing, very strict penalties have been imposed on banks by regulatory bodies in North America and Europe, for any infringement of stringent regulations.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In this environment, where even the slightest infraction could expose a bank to a fee of hundreds of millions of dollars, many banks have chosen to withdraw essential correspondent banking relations from financial institutions in the Caribbean, Central America and Africa,&rdquo; Browne said.<br /> <br /> According to Browne, they refer to that process as &lsquo;de-risking&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I call it economic destruction. It is now prevalent in the Caribbean, but it also exists in parts of Africa and Central America. It will spread with global consequences unless, it is checked by collective action. All these countries, including mine, are now at the point of losing vital correspondent banking relationships. The consequences would be calamitous,&rdquo; Browne said..<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We would be severed from the world&rsquo;s trading system, unable to pay for basic goods and services we purchase, or to receive payments for goods and services we sell to other countries. Remittances from our diaspora would be cut off, causing more of the population to depend on social welfare, at a time when our economies are already under great stress.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In other words, it is a growing cancer that is eating away at development; threatening the stability of our region; and denying us the right to participate in the international economy. But that is not all. Since the consequence of being cut off from the world trading system, would be economic collapse, not only would poverty and crime dramatically increase, so too would the very global scourges that every nation fears &ndash; increase in refugees and human trafficking,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> He said the consequences would not be limited to just Caribbean countries, adding worse yet, financial transactions that are now regulated and monitored by law enforcement agencies, would be forced underground, creating huge opportunities for money laundering and terrorism financing.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This would undermine the very global, multi-lateral cooperation that is required to fight these scourges. And, it is important to know that, in all the money laundering and financing of terrorism cases that have been prosecuted in the world, not one of them involved a Caribbean financial institution.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This matter of&rsquo; de-risking&rsquo; is a substantial matter; its consequences are far reaching. The threat we face in the Caribbean is real; the danger is imminent. But, make no mistake; no country will be immune from its consequences, if it is left unchecked.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> He said that Caricom leaders had mandated him to convene, a high-level conference on the matter and that invitations have already been sent to key global-stakeholders to attend the conference that will be held in Antigua from October 27-28<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our objective at this conference will be to work collectively to end this huge threat, to the immediate well-being of our region. We are acting responsibly. And, I call on this General Assembly of nations to recognize the substantial and dangerous nature of this issue, and to join us in addressing it constructively,&rdquo; Browne said.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13150340/216553__w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM RUBiS, JGRA dispute continues, possible disruption tomorrow http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Rubis2016-09-27T18-51-20 KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA) is maintaining that petroleum marketing company RUBiS has up to 5:00 pm tomorrow to respond favourably to its requests to represent RUBiS dealers in their contract negotiations with the company.<br /> <br /> Immediate past president of the association, Leonard Green, who is leading the charge in the matter on behalf of the JGRA, told OBSERVER ONLINE this afternoon that since it issued a seven-day ultimatum to RUBiS last Wednesday, the marketing company had &ldquo;recanted a little&rdquo; on its position that it would not open its negotiations with its own retailers with the JGRA present as its arrangements with the dealers do not constitute a traditional employer/employee relationship.<br /> <br /> Still the parties remain at a stalemate. &ldquo;They have responded, but they have made some demands. We are not relenting until there is some kind of resolution. We are willing to listen and participate in any effort to avert a disruption (but) they have put us in a corner where there are limited the options,&rdquo; he argued.<br /> <br />  He stressed that the long-standing contractual issues are not confined to RUBiS, pointing out that the JGRA in its fight for fair and equitable contracts for its members had asked for the Petroleum Trade Reform Committee that was set up by former Minister Phillip Paulwell to look at the current contract arrangements between marketing companies and dealers, as part of its terms of reference.<br /> <br /> Green noted however that the JGRA was still clueless as to the contents of the committee&rsquo;s recommendations, but that the association had &ldquo;good information&rdquo;, that the issue of contracts was removed from those recommendations, for whatever reason, we don&rsquo;t know&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> He said it was not therefore expected that the work of the committee would produce any significant results having to do with contracts. &ldquo;We are back at square one almost. The fundamental issue we have is that RUBiS can&rsquo;t deny any of its dealers to have JGRA representation in a negotiation regarding contracts,&rdquo; he maintained. <br /> <br /> Green said the JGRA intends to discuss RUBiS&rsquo;s response at its management meeting tomorrow. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know that there is going to be a disruption (but) the situation has deteriorated yes. There have been many turns,&rdquo; he remarked.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile the JGRA past president said new energy minister Dr. Andrew Wheatley at his meeting with the association last Friday, had sought to get clarification and information on the issues between the marketing companies and the JGRA membership.<br /> <br /> ALPHEA SAUNDERS<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317225/178402__w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 8:49 PM Another MoBay murder http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/BAY-BAY MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica - OBSERVER ONLINE has just been informed by a Police source in St James, that a man who is as yet unidentified was murdered some 15 minutes ago along Barnett Street in Montego Bay.<br /> <br /> OBSERVER ONLINE understands that the man was shot several times.<br /> <br /> The Police are now at the scene of the murder.<br /> <br /> More information will be made known when available. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317218/crime-scene-tape-3_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, September 27, 2016 8:24 PM