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 Jamaica to benefit from US$197M programme of assistance http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Jamaica-to-benefit-from-US-197M-programme-of-assistance KINGSTON, Jamaica — Twenty three United Nations agencies working in Jamaica have combined technical expertise and financial resources with other development partners in the Caribbean to present a combined programme of assistance to the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, including Jamaica, for the period 2017 to 2021. Local News Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:30:40 GMT Gov't hires new forensic pathologist http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Gov-t-hires-new-forensic-pathologist KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Government has hired a new forensic pathologist to assist in reducing the backlog of autopsies. Local News Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:12:14 GMT 229 councillors withholding property taxes from Gov't http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/229-councillors-withholding-property-taxes-from-Gov-t MANCHESTER, Jamaica (JIS) — Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, is urging the island’s mayors and councillors to pay their property tax. Local News Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:57:59 GMT T&T calls out army reserves as gov't steps up crime fight http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/T-T-calls-out-army-reserves-as-gov-t-steps-up-crime-fight PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Security officials in Trinidad and Tobago yesterday announced strategies in the fight against crime as the country recorded 27 murders since the start of the year. Local News Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:37:13 GMT Man, 2 children dead after gunmen shoot six in Hanover http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Man--2-children-dead-after-gunmen-shoot-six-in-Hanover HANOVER, Jamaica — A man and two children were last night shot dead in Williamsfield, Hanover while three other people were injured in the attack. Local News Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:00:57 GMT 30 missing in central Italy avalanche that buries hotel http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/30-missing-in-central-Italy-avalanche-that-buries-hotel MILAN, Italy (AP) — Rescue workers were met with an eerie silence Thursday when they reached a four-star spa hotel struck by an avalanche in a mountainous earthquake-stricken region of central Italy. At least 30 people were missing, including at least two children, authorities said. Local News Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07:54:45 GMT US$460M vaccine initiative to tackle viruses http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/US-460M-vaccine-initiative-to-tackle-viruses DAVOS, Switzerland (AFP) — As the world still reels from outbreaks of deadly Ebola and baby-deforming Zika, governments and charities on Thursday launched a US$460-million initiative to "outsmart" infectious epidemics. Local News Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07:34:29 GMT Montague wants improved working conditions for security guards http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Montague-wants-improved-working-conditions-for-security-guards KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Minister of National Security, Robert Montague, says he will be lobbying for improved working conditions for private security guards. Local News Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07:10:26 GMT OCA to investigate CDA, OCR handling of sex abuse case involving 6-y-o http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/OCA-to-investigate-CDA--OCR-handling-of-sex-abuse-case-involving-6-y-o KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green has asked the Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA) to conduct an inquiry into how investigations into a reported case of sex abuse of a six-year-old were handled by the Child Development Agency (CDA) and the Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR). Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 22:02:54 GMT Reid demands report from Hampton board http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Reid-demands-report-from-Hampton-board KINGSTON, Jamaica – Education Minister Ruel Reid today lashed back at Chairman of the Hampton School Board, Trevor Blake, who yesterday denied that certain decisions, including a two-week leave for embattled principal Heather Murray, were arrived at during a January 11 meeting at the ministry. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 21:22:36 GMT Bush senior in intensive care, wife Barbara also hospitalised http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Bush-senior-in-intensive-care--wife-Barbara-also-hospitalised Washington, United States (AFP) — Former president George H W Bush was admitted to an intensive care unit Wednesday suffering from pneumonia, highlighting concerns about the health of a political dynasty's patriarch just as a new US leader prepares to enter office. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 21:08:34 GMT American Airlines to sell restricted 'basic economy' ticket http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/American-Airlines-to-sell-restricted--basic-economy--ticket DALLAS, Texas (AP) — The evolution of a caste system in the economy cabin of jetliners is deepening, with passengers divided and treated differently based on how much they are willing to pay the airline. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:30:34 GMT Haiti leader promises IDs for migrants in Dominican Republic http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Haiti-leader-promises-IDs-for-migrants-in-Dominican-Republic SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Haiti's president-elect is pledging to provide national ID cards to migrants in the neighboring Dominican Republic so they can apply for a legal residency program. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:15:38 GMT Security ministry to make greater use of space in island's prisons http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Security-ministry-to-make-greater-use-of-space-in-island-s-prisons KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) –The Ministry of National Security will be making more efficient use of space in the island’s correctional service. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:03:57 GMT Reggae Boy McCleary thrilled with new Reading deal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Reggae-Boy-McCleary-thrilled-with-new-Reading-deal LONDON (CMC) – Reggae Boy Garath McCleary has been rewarded for his brilliant form this season with Reading FC, by inking a new three-and-a-half year contract. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 19:40:29 GMT MP hopes PM, finance minister honour commitment to fix Dumbarton breakaway http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/MP-hopes-PM--finance-minister-honour-commitment-to-fix-Dumbarton-breakaway ST ANN, Jamaica — Member of Parliament for North West St Ann, Dr Dayton Campbell says he hopes Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Minister of Finance Audley Shaw honour their commitment to repair the breakaway in Dumbarton, St Ann. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 19:23:30 GMT Obama warns Trump, tells supporters 'we'll be okay' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Obama-warns-Trump--tells-supporters--we-ll-be-okay- WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) – Barack Obama vowed to speak up if Donald Trump threatens core US values and reassured Americans "we'll be okay" Wednesday, in a political swansong after eight years as president. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 19:13:23 GMT Montague welcomes US resumption of authorisation process for firearm export license http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Montague-welcomes-US-resumption-of-authorisation-process-for-firearm-export-license KINGSTON, Jamaica — National Security Minister Robert Montague has welcomed the decision by the US State Department to resume the authorisation process for firearm export licenses, considering each case on its merits. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:35:38 GMT Ja records first case of 'probable' Zika-related microcephaly http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Ja-records-first-case-of--probable--Zika-related-microcephaly KINGSTON, Jamaica — Chief Medical Officer, Dr Winston De La Haye has confirmed the first case of what is being described as ‘probable’ Zika-related microcephaly in Jamaica. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:27:36 GMT Questioning of PNP officials not a ‘statement-taking exercise’ — DPP http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Questioning-of-PNP-officials-not-a--statement-taking-exercise----DPP KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said that the questioning of People’s National Party big wigs including Portia-Simpson Miller was never meant to be a “statement-taking exercise” but an open questioning of the former government officials before the people they serve. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:04:37 GMT Forex: J$128.67 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Forex--J-128-67-to-one-US-dollar KINGSTON, Jamaica — The US dollar on Wednesday, January 18, ended trading at $128.67, up by five cents, according to the Bank of Jamaica’s daily foreign exchange trading summary. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:50:07 GMT Police celebrate 150th anniversary http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Police-celebrate-150th-anniversary ST ANDREW, Jamaica — Despite heavy public scrutiny, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has much to celebrate as this year marks their 150th year of service to Jamaica. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:39:12 GMT PHOTO: US Vice-President Elect Pence hopes to visit Ja http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/PHOTO--US-Vice-President-Elect-Pence-hopes-to-visit-Ja KINGSTON, Jamaica — United States Vice-President Elect, Governor Mike Pence has expressed his love for the people of Jamaica and says he hopes to visit the island one day. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:07:46 GMT Gas prices down $0.54, diesel down $0.17 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Gas-prices-down--0-54--diesel-down--0-17 KINGSTON, Jamaica — Motorists should see a decrease at the pumps in the price of gasoline and diesel, effective Thursday, January 19, according to the latest ex-refinery costs from Petrojam. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:47:01 GMT PM praises J Wray & Nephews' environmental protection efforts http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/PM-praises-J-Wray---Nephews--environmental-protection-efforts KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prime Minister Andrew Holness today lauded J Wray & Nephew for its investment in environmental protection. Local News Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:37:36 GMT