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 JTA to try mediation in presidential election impasse http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/JTA-to-try-mediation-in-presidential-election-impasse ST JAMES, Jamaica -- Outgoing President of the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) Dr Mark Nicely said that efforts will be made to resolve the issue surrounding the winner of the recently held JTA elections which is presently before the courts. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:50:09 GMT US diplomats banned from Ice Bucket Challenge http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/US-diplomats-banned-from-Ice-Bucket-Challenge WASHINGTON DC (AFP) -- It is the charity stunt that has got everyone from billionaires to pop stars and even former US presidents drenched by buckets of freezing water. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:41:01 GMT US man mistakenly released from prison files appeal to remain free http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/US-man-mistakenly-released-from-prison-files-appeal-to-remain-free DENVER (AP) — A Colorado convict sent back to prison after being mistakenly released 90 years early says it was cruel and unusual punishment to put him back behind bars after he reformed his life. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:21:54 GMT First batch of Emergency Radio Service volunteers graduate http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/First-batch-of-Emergency-Radio-Service-volunteers-graduate KINGSTON, Jamaica --The first batch of Emergency Affiliated Radio Service (EARS) representatives graduated today Thursday, August 21 at the Scouts Association of Jamaica Headquarters on Camp Road in Kingston. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:18:41 GMT Bus routes handed  over to 'dons' by PNP started JUTC's demise, says Mike Henry http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Bus-routes-handed--nbsp-over-to--dons--by-PNP-started-JUTC-s-demise--says-Mike-Henry KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Former Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry, says that one of the hurdles he encountered in trying to implement a new public transport structure, was that a number of Corporate Area routes had been handed over to political “dons” by his predecessors. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:10:49 GMT Two-y-o killed in St Ann by suspected mentally challenged man http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Two-y-o-killed-in-St-Ann-by-suspected-mentally-challenged-man ST ANN, Jamaica--A man believed to be of unsound mind killed a two-year-old in Lewis, St Ann this evening by slashing the child's throat. The child was pronounced dead at hospital. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:51:33 GMT Caribbean Cup: Reggae Girlz whip Bermuda 9-1 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Caribbean-Cup--Reggae-Girlz-whip-Bermuda-9-1 COUVA, Trinidad & Tobago -- Jamaica's Reggae Girlz trounced Bermuda 9-1 in the Group A Caribbean Cup game at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Thursday. Local Sports Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:54:17 GMT Airlines, cruise ships on alert as tropical disturbance approaches Caribbean http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Airlines--cruise-ships-on-alert-as-tropical-disturbance-approaches-Caribbean KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Airlines and cruise ship companies are monitoring the progress of a tropical disturbance approaching the Lesser Antilles at the eastern end of the Caribbean. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:51:59 GMT Convicted hijacker Stephen Fray granted leave to appeal to the Privy Council http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Convicted-hijacker-Stephen-Fray-granted-leave-to-appeal-to-the-Privy-Council KINGSTON, Jamaica—Stephen Fray, who was sentenced for high-jacking a Canjet flight at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, has been granted leave by the United Kingdom-based Privy Council to appeal his conviction. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:33:15 GMT Dominican Republic bans Miley Cyrus concert http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Dominican-Republic-bans-Miley-Cyrus-concert SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — The Dominican Republic government commission that oversees public performances is banning a September 13 concert by Miley Cyrus on morality grounds. Local Entertainment Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:26:15 GMT Fire guts Portland guest house at Drapers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Fire-guts-Portland-guest-house-at-Drapers PORTLAND, Jamaica -- Fire of unknown origin early Thursday morning gutted a four-bedroom guest house ‘Search Mi Heart’ at Drapers in Portland, leaving four guests stranded. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:58:09 GMT Forex: J$112.79 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Forex--J-112-79-to-one-US-dollar2014-08-21T15-14-56 KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The Jamaican dollar held firm against the US dollar on Thursday, August 21 trading at J$112.79, according to the Bank of Jamaica’s daily foreign exchange trading summary. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:13:09 GMT 'Deadly force will be met with deadly force' says T&T Security Minister http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/-Deadly-force-will-be-met-with-deadly-force-says-T-T-Security-Minister PORT OF SPAIN, (CMC) – National Security Minister Gary Griffith Thursday warned criminals that they would “pay the price” if they fire upon police officers as he defended law enforcement officials following a shoot out that left three suspected bandits dead earlier this week. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:50:52 GMT Caribbean Cup: Reggae Girlz make two changes for Bermuda match today http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Caribbean-Cup--Reggae-Girlz-make-two-changes-for-Bermuda-match-today PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- Jamaica will make two changes to the starting XI that beat Puerto Rico on Tuesday when they take on Bermuda in the Group A Women's Caribbean Cup game on Thursday at the Ato Boldon Stadium. Local Sports Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:14:19 GMT LIME Foundation launches Blood Drive 2014 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/LIME-Foundation-launches-Blood-Drive-2014 KINGSTON, Jamaica-- In an effort to bolster and encourage a culture of voluntary blood donation, the LIME Foundation, in collaboration with the National Blood Transfusion Service, today launched Blood Drive 2014 at the Blood Bank. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:51:44 GMT Criminals plague St Catherine community where four people were murdered, residents say http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Criminals-plague-St-Catherine-community-where-four-people-were-murdered--residents-say ST CATHERINE, Jamaica -- As the community of Michleton district in Linstead St Catherine mourns the gruesome murder of four people last evening, residents are appealing for something to be done about the plots of land in the area overgrown with bushes. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:11:29 GMT Williams Mills wins Stockholm Diamond League 400m http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Williams-Mills-wins-Stockholm-Diamond-League-400m KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Novlene Williams Mills won the women’s 400 metres at the Stockholm Diamond League on a wet track on 50.09 seconds ahead of Sanya Richards Ross (50.27). Francena McCorory of the US (50.65) finished third. Local Sports Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:54:13 GMT Carter wins Stockholm 100m in 9.96 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Cater-wins-Stockholm-100m-in-9-96 KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Jamaica’s Nesta Carter won the Stockholm Diamond League 100 metres a short while ago clocking a season’s best 9.96 seconds to win ahead of  Ketson Bledman of Trinidad and Tobago (10.09). Local Sports Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:34:59 GMT NWC between a rock and a hard place, Kingsley Thomas http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/NWC-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place--Kingsley-Thomas KINGSTON, Jamaica--Head of the National Water Commission KingsleyThomas says the company is currently caught between a "rock and a hard place". Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:25:47 GMT Vaz says Portland fire service in crisis http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Vaz-says-Portland-fire-service-in-crisis PORTLAND, Jamaica -- Member of Parliament for West Portland, Daryl Vaz has again expressed concern about the lack of a fire truck at Buff Bay in the parish and has called on government to immediately rectify the situation. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:58:37 GMT Police seek truck driver in death of cyclist http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Police-seek-truck-driver-in-death-of-cyclist KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The police are currently seeking the driver of a motor truck that killed 26-year-old Ian Smith along Old Harbour Road in Spanish Town, St Catherine yesterday, August 20. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:22:48 GMT Serena the singer, tennis star does karaoke http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Serena-the-singer--tennis-star-does-karaoke NEW YORK (AP) -- Serena Williams replaced her tennis racket with a microphone at a karaoke event a week ahead of the US Open. Local Entertainment Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:17:48 GMT UPDATE: Murder of four neighbours leave Michleton residents in shock http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/UPDATE--Murder-of-four-neighbours-leave-Michleton-residents-in-shock ST CATHERINE, Jamaica -- Residents of the quiet rural community of Michleton Meadows in Linstead, St Catherine, are today trying to come to grips with Wednesday night’s murder of four neighbours. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:47:33 GMT ONLINE READERS COMMENT: Ignore JLP and use the card to pay the increased fare http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/ONLINE-READERS-COMMENT--Ignore-JLP-and-use-the-card-to-pay-the-fare Dear Editor, Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:37:34 GMT Haiti judge orders arrest of former president Aristide http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Haiti-judge-orders-arrest-of-former-president-Aristide PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) – A judge who has issued an arrest warrant for former president Jean Bertrand Aristide says he expects the police to bring the former head of state before him by force if necessary. Local News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:15:47 GMT