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News Round UP: Week Ending 3/19/16

Jamaica

ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletic Championships 2016 is in full swing. Athletes are definitely proving to be nothing but the best as they participate in different events with one main goal ‘ Winning.’ Some athletes took it much further by breaking records just in Day two of Heats. Points standing as of yesterday; Kingston College (KC) 37 points, Jamaica College (JC) 33.5 points while defending champions Calabar High School in fifth with 23.5 points. Defending champions for the Girls’ title Edwin Allen is leading with 47 points, Hydel with 33 points and Holmwood 24 points.Champs Logo

Kingston College (KC) continue to go about their business in a workmanlike manner; Calabar High had another so-so day; Christopher Taylor is at it again; and the Edwin Allen machine is cranking into high gear.

The ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships had its fair share of high points yesterday, and with today’s penultimate day of competition promising major excitement with the 100m finals and key hurdles and field events battles, it’s the KC faithful who are happiest at this stage Click Here to Read More

Excelsior High School’s Shanice Love has been dominant at the regional level.

Now, she is celebrating her first title at the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Associ-ation (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, after a record-breaking performance in the Class One girls discus event.

The dominant Love landed the disc an amazing 52.73 metres to erase Tara-Sue Barnett’s 2013 mark of 51.16m.

Davia Brown (Hydel High), 42.76m, was second, with St Jago’s Tracey-Ann Simms, 41.52m, taking third.

“This is my last Champs and I really wanted to make my mark, and I did,” beamed Love.

So with two events scored, Excelsior are out in front of the girls’ race with 15 points, one more than Hydel High (14), followed by St Jago (10), Wolmer’s (nine), Holmwood (seven), Vere Technical (seven), and Buff Bay High (six).

Three finals are on for today’s third day of competition among the girls.

Defending champion Natalliah Whyte has been a spectator for much of the season as she struggled with a prolonged injury. She was good enough for second place in her Class One 200m heat yesterday, clocking 24.18 to finish behind Holmwood’s Shanta Deer, 24.11Click Here to Read More

Source:http://jamaica-gleaner.com/

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Bermuda

Bermuda’s House of Assembly remained closed this week, after legislators were locked out by protesters who formed a human ring around the building in a continuing protest against government’s proposed Pathways to Status initiative.

Politicians were due to debate the controversial bill but an estimated 1,500 protesters, who stayed in the House grounds all day Tuesday, demanded the status bill be withdrawn.

On Monday, Rev Nicholas Tweed, spokesman for pressure group the People’s Campaign, announced that the One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) Cabinet had ‘gone home’.

He said that the Speaker of the House, Randy Horton, had said the House would reconvene on Wednesday but Tweed told protesters it did not mean they had won their fight.
There was no immediate comment from the Government. Among the protesters was Enda Matthie, who has been on hunger strike for seven days.

Caribzone_BermudaBermuda Industrial Union President Chris Furbert told the crowd, “This is not a labour issue this is a national issue.

“All we are asking for is what is just and fair. The country needs to see the bigger picture.”

Furbert said a government offer — which he did not elaborate on — had been received but rejected.

He admitted protesters were walking a thin line, but added that it was in everyone’s interest to resolve the matter.

“Let’s be patient,” he said, calling Bermuda “the laughing stock of the world right now”.

Earlier, the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce weighed in on Pathways to Status, saying it supports the legislation.

However, Chamber President John Wight said “simultaneous” efforts must also be made to address the social needs of the community.

“With the Chamber’s mission being to ‘cultivate the best environment in which all businesses can prosper’, the executive board of the Chamber of Commerce supports the concept of the proposed immigration reform legislation but stresses that there must be simultaneous measures taken to address the social needs of the community to ensure its success for all sectors of Bermuda,” Wight stated.

He added that the private sector group believes getting Bermuda’s economy and community “back on track should be the focus of our collective efforts”.

The legislation, which Wight described as a “very critical issue for all of Bermuda”, has been introduced to provide more permanence to guest workers who have met minimum threshold limits of residency in Bermuda.

“We are very sensitive to the emotion in our community over this issue. There are many struggling businesses and unemployed persons who, through no fault of their own, are barely surviving and are having difficulty supporting themselves and their families.

“We also recognise that there are deep-rooted feelings, based on historic amendments to immigration policies that have adversely impacted certain segments of our community,” Wight said.

While Wight said that it may “understandably be illogical to feel that the proposed legislation will improve the situation”, the reality is that with an ageing population and “more people drawing upon the Government’s bank account than paying into it, Bermuda must increase the numbers of people contributing to the system through increased employment and population expansion”.

More people working and living on island equates to more economic activity, he added.

“We have been very clear and consistent in our message; Chamber members, who represent all sectors of the business community, small, medium, and large, need more people in Bermuda to sell their goods and services to. Several of our members have been struggling for many years.

“The only way for these companies to measurably improve their economic circumstances is to generate more volume of sales, which can only occur if we have more people in Bermuda.

“The discussion, therefore, should not be ‘if’ Bermuda needs more residents. The discussion needs to be around how do we address the real and current needs in the community, increase the numbers of residents, benefit our economy and ensure the economic success of both current and new residents.

“In addition, one part of the solution we believe, has to be to attract many of those Bermudians who have left, to come back home and to prosper in a growing economy.”

Government wants to usher in the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2016 that would open the door for long-term guest workers to gain permanent residency after 15 years and Bermuda status (citizenship) after 20 years but the plan has split the country.

Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy has said amending the 1956 Immigration Act would bring Bermuda in line with the European Convention on Human Rights, generate revenue and help to address the decreasing work population.

Even though Bermuda has emerged from six years of recession,the island is struggling to improve its fragile economy.

Meanwhile, Premier Michael Dunkley has revealed that civil servants took almost 38,665 sick days in the 2015/16 fiscal year at a cost of $10.6 million to the Government.

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National

Jamaicans in New York will be able to contribute to discussions targeted at strengthening bilateral relations between Jamaica and the United States, during a public forum that is the fourth in a five-part dialogue being held with Jamaicans locally and overseas, under the project — Dialogues Between Democracies: The Future of US/Jamaica Bilateral Relations.

The public forum, led by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) in collaboration with the United States Embassy in Jamaica, is scheduled for 6:00 pm, Thursday, March 24, at the New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York.

The Manhattan forum will focus on the theme: Jamaica/ US Relations: Issues and Perspectives.Caribzone_USA and JA

Executive Director of CaPRI, Dr Damien King, says the forum will explore practical measures to strengthen civil society and enhance its impact as an agent for improving governance in Jamaica. The discussions are expected to address policymaking, accountability, transparency, access to information, and the development of informed public opinion.
“What we hope to achieve from these discussions are feasible ways to advance security cooperation in areas, such as defence and maritime security; as well as, identify ways in which we can strengthen Jamaica’s social institutions,” Dr King indicated.

He noted that security and law enforcement were fundamental to economic growth. Further, he maintained that strengthening Jamaican institutions by limiting corruption, enhancing transparency and respect for the rule of law will improve trust in the political process, in addition to opening doors to greater domestic and international trade.

Panelists in the New York forum will include Ralph Thomas, Jamaican ambassador to the USA; Earl Jarrett, general manager, Jamaica National Building Society; and Ambassador Curtis Ward, former Jamaican ambassador to the United Nations.

The discussion will be moderated by Joshua Polacheck, counsellor, Public Affairs at the United States Embassy in Kingston.

The New York forum follows similar panel discussions about Security and Heath, which were held in Kingston, Jamaica, in January.

Those discussions highlighted key points, including the continued strong security cooperation between Jamaica and the USA through training and capacity building; and, facilitated perspectives on issues, such as what could be deemed as the security force’s reliance on extraditions to the USA, which some participants surmised could consequently weaken local law enforcement institutions.

“In the final analysis, we hope to find the most effective ways for both Jamaica and the United States — strong democracies in partnership — to cooperate in pursuit of their mutual interests”, Dr King maintained.  “We believe these fora will provide a platform which will facilitate the voicing of different opinions on the current partnership between our countries, and in so doing to identify ways in which the partnership may be strengthened.”

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Jamaica

National Security Minister Robert Montague says that while Jamaicans must be encouraged to turn out and cheer on their members of Parliament (MPs) during the House opening, the Jamaica Constabulary Force must ensure that there is no gathering within 200 yards of the building.

His comments come against the background of two incidents last week during the opening of Parliament, where supporters of the People’s National Party gathered at the intersection of Beeston Street and Duke Street and hurled insults at government members of Parliament. At the same time, supporters of the Jamaica Labour Party breached the barrier set up at the intersection of Charles Street and Duke Street and encroached on the periphery of the Parliament building.

Caribzone_Jamaica“The laws of the land say there should be no gathering within 200 yards of Gordon House,” Montague noted, adding that the police had placed a barrier at Gordon House.

“This administration supports the rights of Jamaicans to support their party and to come out and make merry. It’s a part of our culture,” Montague said, but he made it clear that the rules must be observed.

In a Gleaner interview, the national security minister indicated that the placement of the barrier where Charles Street intersects Duke Street could have sent a signal to party supporters that they are allowed to gather there.

“They know the rules and know where to gather, so I know they were surprised when they saw that officialdom was saying they should come up,” Montague said of the supporters who had assembled at Charles and Duke Streets.

“And when you heard the news reports, you heard the sound disrupting the highest court of the land. You started out maybe to embarrass the commissioner, but you embarrassed Jamaica,” Montague said.

With the ceremonial opening of Parliament expected next week, Montague insisted that the crowds must be kept at least 200 yards from the building. “I am confident that my commissioner will ensure that everybody will have an enhanced customer experience when they come, whether you are a diplomat, MP, or whether you come with the vuvuzela to blow because Parliament cannot open without the man and his vuvuzela and his bell and his tangerine and green shirt.

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Regional

Hard-hitting Chris Gayle smashed the third fastest 100 in Twenty20 Internationals as West Indies started their Twenty20 World Cup campaign with a decisive six-wicket win over England in India on Wednesday.

He hit the first century of the sixth World Twenty20 to underline his reputation as cricket’s most destructive batsman.Caribzone_WICB

Gayle smashed 11 sixes in the process to become the leading six-hitter in Twenty20 Internationals, going past New Zealand’s Brendon McCullm’s tally of 91 sixes. He now has 98 sixes in T20s International.

Gayle achieved the feat in just 46 games, compared to McCullum’s 70 matches.

He became the first player in Twenty20 Internationals to score two centuries in the WorldT20. He smashed 117 in the 2007 World Cup against South Africa in Johannesburg…Click Here to Read More

Source: http://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/

 

 

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