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 Bill and Melinda Gates give J$226m to Jamaica’s ICT development http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Bill-and-Melinda-Gates-give-J-226m-to-Jamaica-s-ICT-development KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has provided US$2 million (approximately J$226 million) to finance a project to provide Jamaicans with increased access to ICT services, as well as training to promote personal, organizational and national development. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:07:04 GMT Slight reduction in expenditure in supplementary budget http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Slight-reduction-in-expenditure-in-supplementary-budget_18016666 THE Government has increased its recurrent (housekeeping) expenditure by $1 billion, but a $1.6-billion cut in capital expenditure has reduced the 2014/15 estimates of expenditure by approximately $740 million. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Ordinary Jamaicans know nothing about Twitter, says Pickersgill http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Ordinary-Jamaicans-know-nothing-about-Twitter--says-Pickersgill KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaicans on social media network, Twitter, last night expressed outrage after People's National Party (PNP) chairman and Government Minister Robert Pickersgill dismissed users as an "articulate minority" and not ordinary Jamaicans. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:49:48 GMT Opposition walks out of House after PM refuses to answer questions http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Outameni-protest_18016549 OPPOSITION parliamentarians walked out of the House of Representatives yesterday in protest against the Government's handling of the controversial Outameni property purchase and the refusal of the prime minister to answer questions tabled on the issue. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Crackdown planned on fake Blue Mountain coffee http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Crackdown-planned-on-fake-Blue-Mountain-coffee_18015328 THE Coffee Industry Board says it will be cracking down on the sale of fake Blue Mountain coffee, particularly in the island's resort areas. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Protest at KPH following attack on nurse http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Protest-at-KPH-following-attack-on-nurse_18016026 MEDICAL workers at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) yesterday staged a protest after a mentally ill patient attacked a nurse at the downtown Kingston institution. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Traffic Authority announces big fees for admin services http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Traffic-Authority-announces-big-fees-for-admin-services_18015627 PEOPLE needing some services provided by the Island Traffic Authority (ITA) will be forced to dig deep into their pockets starting Monday as the State body has announced a raft of fees as high as $20,000. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT JIE pays tribute to top engineers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/JIE-pays-tribute-to-top-engineers_18014121 A number of distinguished engineers and engineering students are to be honoured at the Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE) annual awards dinner and gala scheduled for Saturday at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 03:00:00 GMT 50 projects approved under National CHIKV Prevention campaign http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/50-projects-approved-under-National-CHIKV-Prevention-campaign KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Fifty projects have been approved since the October commencement of the Government’s national campaign to reduce the spread of the Chikungunya virus (ChickV), across the island. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:53:51 GMT GraceKennedy opens science centre downtown Kingston http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/GraceKennedy-opens-science-centre-downtown-Kingston KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Residents of Parade Gardens and environs are lauding GraceKennedy Limited following the launch of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Centre in the downtown Kingston community. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:25:22 GMT Forex: J$113.49 to one US dollar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Forex--J-113-49-to-one-US-dollar KINGSTON, Jamaica – The US dollar on Wednesday, November 26 ended trading at J$113.49, up five cents according to the Bank of Jamaica’s daily foreign exchange trading summary. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:25:29 GMT Gas prices down $1.69, diesel down $1.58 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Gas-prices-down--1-69--diesel-down--1-58 KINGSTON, Jamaica — Motorists should see a decrease at the pumps in prices of diesel and gasoline effective Thursday November 26, with a reduction in ex-refinery costs from Petrojam. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:14:36 GMT Ferguson cleans up, but passions still inflamed http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Ferguson-cleans-up--but-passions-still-inflamed FERGUSON, United States (AFP) - Residents of the US town of Ferguson said Wednesday they hoped racially-charged violence sparked by the Michael Brown case will abate, but nationwide protests suggest anger is still simmering. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:11:47 GMT Spanish health minister quits over graft scandal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Spanish-health-minister-quits-over-graft-scandal MADRID, Spain (AFP) - Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato resigned on Wednesday after being linked to a massive corruption scandal involving an alleged kickback scheme at the heart of the Spanish prime minister's conservative Popular Party. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:08:58 GMT Dozens of inmates flee Venezuela detention centre http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Dozens-of-inmates-flee-Venezuela-detention-centre CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) - A group of 41 men who were being held for crimes including murder, kidnapping and robbery broke out of a jail outside Caracas early Wednesday, authorities said. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:06:10 GMT Haiti cholera outbreak kills 132 in 2014 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Haiti-cholera-outbreak-kills-132-in-2014 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haïti (AFP) - Haiti's cholera epidemic has killed 132 people and may have infected nearly 15,000 others so far this year, a UN agency report said Wednesday. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:03:33 GMT Guinea president backs use of force to eradicate Ebola http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Guinea-president-backs-use-of-force-to-eradicate-Ebola CONAKRY, Guinéa (AFP) - Guinean President Alpha Conde on Wednesday said the use of force was entirely justified in battling the deadly Ebola outbreak that surfaced in the impoverished west African nation at the start of the year. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:00:06 GMT Private sector groups disappointed with govt’s handling of NHT controversy http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Private-sector-groups-disappointed-with-govt-s-handling-of-NHT-controversy KINGSTON, Jamaica – Private sector groups, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) say they are disappointed with government’s handling of the controversy surrounding the National Housing Trust’s (NHT) purchase of a tourist attraction, Outameni, for J$180 million. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:44:16 GMT Lawyer’s spouse charged with money laundering http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Lawyer-s-spouse-charged-with-money-laundering KINGSTON, Jamaica – The husband of an attorney-at-law allegedly involved in an international money-laundering scheme was on Tuesday also arrested and charged for financial crimes. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:10:09 GMT Former Dominica attorney general faces charges linked to passport scam http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Former-Dominica-attorney-general-faces-charges-linked-to-passport-scam ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) – Five people, including former Dominica attorney general, Bernard Wiltshire, will return to court on February 5 after the state re-instated charges linking them to an alleged passport scam. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:28:51 GMT NHT board did nothing wrong, Information Minister insists http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/NHT-board-did-nothing-wrong--Information-Minister-insists KINGSTON, Jamaica — Information Minister Sandrea Falconer today said that based on information reviewed during Monday’s Cabinet meeting it was determined that the National Housing Trust (NHT) board did nothing wrong in the Outameni purchase, hence a decision was made to retain existing members. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:18:08 GMT PM makes appeal for bipartisan CCJ approach to empty Opposition seats http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/PM-makes-appeal-for-bipartisan-CCJ-approach-to-empty-Opposition-seats KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Any chance of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s hope for a bipartisan approach to her government’s proposals for delinking Jamaica from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) as its final appellate court, seems to have been laid to rest by the Opposition’s walk out prior to her speech, yesterday (Tuesday, November 25). Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:45:23 GMT New Jersey hiker photographed bear before it killed him http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/New-Jersey-hiker-photographed-bear-before-it-killed-him WEST MILFORD, New Jersey (AP) -- A New Jersey hiker killed by a bear in September took a series of photos of the animal with his cell phone before it mauled him to death. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:46:11 GMT PHOTOS: Fathers march for children http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/PHOTOS--Fathers-march-for-children PORTMORE, St Catherine -- A group of eight fathers this morning marched in Portmore, St Catherine to encourage fathers to become more active in the lives of their children. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:45:20 GMT Clarendon taxi man shot and injured in robbery attempt http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Clarendon-taxi-man-shot-and-injured-in-robbery-attempt CLARENDON, Jamaica – A Clarendon taxi man was shot and seriously wounded by a group of gunmen in the parish capital May Pen last night. Local News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:18:15 GMT