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 At least three dead as Italy hit by powerful quake http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/At-least-three-dead-as-Italy-hit-by-powerful-quake ROME, Italy (AFP) – Central Italy was struck by a powerful, 6.2-magnitude earthquake in the early hours of Wednesday, leaving at least three people dead and devastating dozens of mountain villages. Local News Wed, 24 Aug 2016 00:01:05 GMT JUTC urges students to update Smarter Card profiles http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/JUTC-urges-students-to-update-Smarter-Card-profiles KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is urging students turning 12 years old to update their Smarter Card profiles, to continue benefiting from concessionary fare rates before the August 28 deadline. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 20:15:58 GMT Draft Bill being finalised for land registration, ownership http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Draft-Bill-being-finalised-for-land-registration--ownership KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – The Government is finalising a draft Bill to amend legislation governing land registration and ownership. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 20:02:03 GMT Haiti launches campaign season http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Haiti-launches-campaign-season PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AFP) – Haiti officially kicked off its campaign season for parliamentary and presidential elections in October after first-round presidential voting results last year were scrapped because of massive electoral fraud and violence. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 18:48:35 GMT Roger Clarke scholarship launched http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Roger-Clarke-scholarship-launched KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – The annual Roger Clarke Scholarship for the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), valued at $250,000, was launched by the CB Group, today, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 18:17:48 GMT Los Angeles pays tribute to Kobe Bryant http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Los-Angeles-pays-tribute-to-Kobe-Bryant LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) – Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant will be honoured Wednesday with a ceremony in Los Angeles, the city where he played his entire 20-year professional career. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 18:03:29 GMT Heritage Trust to protect HWT clock tower — Culture minister http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Heritage-Trust-to-protect-HWT-clock-tower---Culture-minister KINGSTON, Jamaica – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has instructed the Jamaica National Heritage Trust to see that no further damage is done to the clock tower in Half-Way-Tree, which was the scene of a fire this morning. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 17:31:07 GMT Prison inmate jumps to death http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Prison-inmate-jumps-to-death KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Department of Correctional Services is reporting that an inmate allegedly jumped from the second floor of the hospital section at Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre about 2:50 pm on Monday. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 17:19:51 GMT Forex: J$127.24 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Forex--J-127-24-to-one-US-dollar KINGSTON, Jamaica —  The US dollar on Tuesday, August 23, ended trading at J$127.24, up by four cents, according to the Bank of Jamaica’s daily foreign exchange trading summary. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 17:10:16 GMT Education ministry receives furniture from JAGI http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Education-ministry-receives-furniture-from-JAGI KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – The education sector has received more than 1,000 pieces of school furniture from the Joseph Assignment Global Initiative (JAGI). Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 16:27:30 GMT Nine arrested for praedial larceny http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Nine-arrested-for-praedial-larceny MANCHESTER, Jamaica – Nine people were taken into custody for breaches of the Agricultural Produce Act and the Public Health Act, following operations carried out by the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit in collaboration with officers attached to the Clarendon and Manchester Divisions last Friday. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 16:17:29 GMT JTA concerned over govt's funding for high schools http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/JTA-concerned-over-govt-s-funding-for-high-schools ST JAMES, Jamaica – President of the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) Howard Isaacs says that the association is concerned about the sustainability of the funding arrangements being implemented by the Ruel Reid-led Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 16:02:01 GMT Cops seize over 1000lbs of ganja http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Cops-seize-over-1000lbs-of-ganja KINGSTON, Jamaica – Police officers assigned to the Narcotics Division say they are continuing their clamp down on activity in the guns-for-drugs trade across the island, with the latest seizure of more than 1,000 pounds of ganja in the last 24 hours. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 15:27:54 GMT Teacher recruiters exploiting Jamaica’s economic weakness, says JTA president http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Teacher-recruiters-exploiting-Jamaica-s-economic-weakness--says-JTA-president ST JAMES, Jamaica – Newly installed president of the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) Howard Isaacs has expressed unease that overseas teacher recruiters are exploiting Jamaica’s economic weakness to entice the best qualified and most experienced teachers to the detriment of the local education system. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 15:18:51 GMT Students urged to stay away from illegal activities http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Students-urged-to-stay-away-from-illegal-activities KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid, is urging students to refrain from a life of illegal activities, especially lottery scamming. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 15:05:30 GMT Sprint queen Thompson heads Paris Diamond League line-up http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Sprint-queen-Thompson-heads-Paris-Diamond-League-line-up PARIS, France (AFP) – Jamaica's newly-crowned double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson will headline a strong field featuring 27 Rio medallists in Friday's Diamond League meeting in Paris, event organisers announced on Tuesday. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 14:34:16 GMT Brathwaite receives vote of confidence from Sammy http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Brathwaite-receives-vote-of-confidence-from-Sammy PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – New West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite says he has received a vote of confidence from former skipper Darren Sammy as the regional side prepares to play India in two T20 internationals this weekend in Florida. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 13:43:54 GMT J'can accused in Bermuda cocaine bust http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/J-can-accused-in-Bermuda-cocaine-bust HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) – A Jamaican who allegedly tried to smuggle cocaine into Bermuda four months ago has gone on trial in the Supreme Court. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 13:25:05 GMT UPDATE: Bodies of St Thomas boys found http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/UPDATE--Bodies-of-St-Thomas-boys-found ST THOMAS, Jamaica — The police have recovered the bodies of two St Thomas boys who fell off a log and into the water at Lyssons Beach in the parish yesterday. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 12:41:30 GMT JTA spends $34m, so far, to recoup stolen $100m http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/JTA-spends--34m--so-far--to-recoup-stolen--100m ST JAMES, Jamaica — The Jamaica Teacher’s Association (JTA) reported that $34 million has been spent in its quest to recover more that $100 million that was siphoned by an employee in 2013. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 12:31:44 GMT Florida probes non-travel Zika case on Gulf Coast http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Florida-probes-non-travel-Zika-case-on-Gulf-Coast FLORIDA, United States (AFP) — Officials are investigating a new non-travel related case of Zika virus near the port city of Tampa, suggesting the local spread of Zika in Florida may have reached the state's Gulf Coast, the governor said Tuesday. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 12:27:00 GMT Kingston mayor says HWT clock to be restored as quickly as possible http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Kingston-mayor-says-HWT-clock-to-be-restored-as-quickly-as-possible KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) says it regrets the damage done to the Half-Way-Tree clock tower in St Andrew following this morning’s fire at the landmark. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 12:00:34 GMT AT&T to provide cellphone roaming, other services in Cuba  http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/AT-T-to-provide-cellphone-roaming--other-services-in-Cuba DALLAS (AP) — AT&T has reached a deal for enhanced roaming and other cellphone services for wireless customers visiting Cuba. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 11:07:30 GMT Search continues for St Thomas boys http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Search-continues-for-St-Thomas-boys ST THOMAS, Jamaica — The police this morning said they are still carrying out a search for two St Thomas boys who fell off a log and into the water at Lyssons Beach in the parish yesterday. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 10:44:14 GMT Fire at HWT clock tower  http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Fire-at-HWT-clock-tower ST ANDREW, Jamaica — The landmark clock tower in Half-Way-Tree Square, St Andrew caught fire this morning. Local News Tue, 23 Aug 2016 09:57:59 GMT