Sumfest Closes on a High Note

first_imgThe 25th annual Sumfest, one of Jamaica’s more popular music festivals came to a close late Saturday night. According to reports, the promoters were pleased with the overall event, especially as it was “incident free.”.Among the outstanding performances at the weeklong festival was that of controversial dancehall artist Alkaline. One report said “Alkaline really took the park by storm…..he has grown so much that he really blew everybody away,”Another report hailed the performance of eight-time Grammy Award winner, Stephen ‘Ragamuffin’ Marley. The report stated Marley son of the late Reggae icon Bob Marley and Rita Marley, “left an indelible mark” on the closing night of the festival “with an electrifying performance at the Montego Bay Entertainment Centre early this morning.”The report said the young Marley connected with the enthusiastic audience as soon as he appeared on stage.His on stage repertoire included hits like “No Cigarette Smoking in My Room”, and “Options.” Marley sent the audience to a feverish pitch when he called on his son, Joe Mercer to sing with him and again when Caple ton also partnered with him on stage.Other great performances, reported, were by Richie Stephens and the Ska Nation Band; Sean Kingston with his popular hits like “Beautiful Girl”, “Dutty Love”, and “Call 911;” and veteran deejay Mad Cobra.Sharon Mosely who flew back from Jamaica on Sunday afternoon Iin time to report to her nursing job later described Sumfest as “Bad to the bone, can’t done.” She said the performances were all ‘A’ rated. She said she enjoyed the dance hall sequence best of all. She too hailed the performance. “I was too young to see Bob perform live, but I have seen his videos, and I believe Stephen is not too far behind his old man’s greatness.”last_img read more

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US President threat to Caribbean Community ~ Yvette Clarke

first_imgUS President – a “direct threat” to the Caribbean Community – says Yvette Clarke New York based congresswoman, Yvette Clarke has warned that President Donald Trump is “a direct threat” to the Caribbean American community in the United States as his administration moves to implement draconian immigration policies.“Number 45”Without calling his name but referring to him as “Number 45,” meaning the 45th president of the United States, Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, said that there were “critical perspectives we need to incorporate into the debate on immigration; for example, the perspective of people from the Caribbean.”Clarke, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, said there are more than three million immigrants in the New York City area, who are members of the Caribbean Diaspora. She said more than 400,000 of these immigrants currently lack legal status.Enormous challenge “Today, we are confronted with an enormous challenge from a man, whose name I will not say at this celebration – number 45,” said Clarke as she addressed the 34th Anniversary Luncheon of the Brooklyn-based group, Vincentian American Independent National Charities, Inc. (VINCI).“He represents a direct threat to this community. He is a white supremacist who has surrounded himself with other individuals who share his bigoted and wicked ideology,” Clarke said.Unraveling Obama-era programLate last week, the Trump administration began unraveling an Obama-era program shielding from deportation Caribbean and other nationals brought to the United States illegally as children. In the meantime, a split in the US Congress has made no progress on writing similar protections into law as Trump has asked.The phase-out of the five-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, began at midnight last Thursday. Earlier this year Trump served notice that he would disband the program, but gave Congress six-months to revise the law, implemented by former President Barack Obama.Soon after Trump’s election in November 2016, he said he was giving consideration to retaining DACA, but seems to have changed his mind.To learn more about Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, click the link: https://clarke.house.gov/last_img read more

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Stephen Francis called to Order

first_imgStephen Francis called to Order Stephen Francis, the mercurial track coach who has nurtured the careers of sprinters Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson, was awarded the Order of Jamaica by the Jamaican government on October 16.Jamaica’s fourth highest honorFrancis received the accolade, Jamaica’s fourth highest honor, during the annual National Honors and Awards ceremony at Kings House in St. Andrew, Jamaica.“It’s obviously a great honor,” Francis told the Jamaica Observer after receiving the OJ from Governor General Sir Patrick Allen“I know that there are a lot of Jamaicans out there who say that they really like the job that we do at MVP, and what we have done over the years, so I think this is a good token for them, and it’s added motivation to continue doing what we have been doing.”The portly Francis has openly clashed with Jamaican track officials over the years, calling them out for not representing athletes properly when they travel abroad for major meets such as the Olympics. He has also had public spats with some of his athletes including Fraser-Pryce and Asafa Powell, who helped put his MVP club on the map.Fraser-Pryce and Thompson are Francis’ biggest success stories. They won the sprint double at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, respectively.Several other outstanding Jamaican sports men and women were recognized by the government for their achievements. These individuals received the Order of Distinction, Jamaica’s fifth highest honor.Other sportsmen/women honored Included in the group were Jamaican and West Indies batsman Chris Gayle, former champion jockey George HoSang, former soccer star and current Jamaica coach Theodore Whitmore, West Indies female star player Stafanie Taylor, track and field coach Maurice Wilson, track and field administrator Ian Forbes and cricket administrator Brian Breeze.last_img read more

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T&T businesswoman on fraud charges escapes prison

first_imgVicky Boodram, who escaped prison pending a trial for fraud charges, has been recaptured. Customs and Immigration officials were on the lookout for businesswoman, Vicky Boodram, who escaped from the women’s section of the Golden Grove Prison while awaiting trial on more than 100 fraud charges.A statement released by the Ministry of National Security Tuesday advised that Boodram is believed to be making efforts to leave the country and as such all points of entry including ports and the airports are being closely monitored by law enforcement to prevent her escape.Boodram is before several courts charged with defrauding people allegedly by taking money for cruises which never materialized.“Officers are instructed that she is not to be allowed to depart. Furthermore, if she is sighted at any port, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is to be contacted immediately” according to an alert issued by the Chief Immigration Officer on Tuesday.Facing over 100 fraud charges Boodram is facing 109 fraud charges linked to failed cruise ship packages offered by the company, Travel and Ship Ahoy Cruise Limited. She is a director of the company.Her estranged husband, Ravi Arjoonsingh, was also charged with collecting millions of dollars (One TT dollar=US$0.16 cents) from 109 people through fraudulent means and transferring the money to himself and the company in 2010.In 2016, more fraud charges were laid against Boodram, including obtaining property in the sum of TT$216,000 by fraud.In addition to the fraud charges, Boodram had appeared at the San Fernando court in south Trinidad on two charges of money laundering after she allegedly purchased a TT$629,000 E-Class Mercedes-Benz and a two million dollar house using forged documents.last_img read more

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Broward County Increases COVID-19 Testing; Opens First Walk-up Test Site

first_imgBROWARD COUNTY – As the number of COVID-19 cases reaches a peak in Broward County, the first walk-up testing site has been announced along with additional drive-thru sites.Mayor Dale Holness, in a statement, said that “testing is vital as we make decisions about the future.”On Friday, April 17th, the first walk up testing site in Broward County will open at Mitchell Moore Park, 901 NW 10th Street, in Pompano Beach from 9 AM-6 PM. This site will be open every day except Thursdays.On Saturday, April 18th, a second walk up location will open at Sam Delevoe Memorial Park, 2520 NW 6th Street, in Fort Lauderdale from 9 AM-6 PM. Anyone with symptoms can be tested at these locations. For information, or to make an appointment call (954) 412-7300.The Festival Market at 2900 West Sample Road in Pompano is also scheduled to begin drive-thru testing again on Monday, April 20th. You must make an appointment for drive-thru testing at the Festival Market by calling (954) 320-5730 from 8AM-4:30PM. Mayor Holness said that as the U.S. government considers reopening the economy, he believes that getting “back to normal” will take some time. “We are working in partnership with our federal, state, and city elected officials. Broward County is also in daily contact with our neighboring counties of Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties so that we make decisions together as a region”, he said.“Governor Ron DeSantis has announced plans to form a task force to plan the gradual reopening of businesses. This virus knows no boundaries and collaboration will be key to making safe and wise decisions”, he continued.Broward County is third in the state when it comes to COVID-19 related deaths. The latest fatality rate for coronavirus in Broward County is 101 people. The total number of people tested in Broward County as of April 16 is 28,665 with 3,459 people testing positive and the vast majority (25,187) of people testing negative. These statistics indicate that about 12.1% of those tested here have tested positive.Drive thru testing sites have already taken place at the following locations:Hard Rock Stadium is expanding testing to include anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, 347 Don Shula Dr. in Miami Gardens. Drive thru testing begins at 9AM.Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium (3700 N.W. 11th Place, Lauderhill, FL 33311). Collections will be taken from 9AM to 5PM daily.To meet criteria, individuals must be:Prescreened and meet CDC and DOH testing guidelinesPrequalified with a prescriptionPre-registered to receive an appointment through the Broward Health call center at 954-320-5730.If patients do not have a primary care physician and need assistance, they can access Broward Health’s new BHealthy Now app that enables a patient to obtain a virtual health screening from a board-certified physician without leaving home. Physicians on-call will screen patients, assign risk, answer questions, and recommend next steps, such as prescribing a COVID-19 screening.Visit BrowardHealth.org/COVIDApp for instructions on how to download the app and connect with physicians.C.B. Smith Park (900 N. Flamingo Road, Pembroke Pines) 9AM-5PMDrive-through site has five lanes and is accessible by vehicle only. Prospective patients will be screened through a vehicle window. Eligible individuals for specimen collection include: first responders who are symptomatic of COVID-19, those aged 65 and over with coronavirus symptoms, and individuals who have traveled to infected regions or are immune compromised. Must bring ID. Site is operated by the Florida National Guard in cooperation with Memorial Healthcare Systems and the Florida Department of Health, at the direction of the Office of the Governor.Cleveland Clinic, Krupa Center (3250 Meridian Pkwy, Weston) Monday-Friday 8AM-5PMPotential patients should call the Cleveland Clinic Florida appointment center at 954-659-5951 to be scheduled for a test. Callers will be screened by a nurse who will determine whether the caller meets the federal testing criteria. You must call and be pre-screened for an appointment.last_img read more

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Parliament Approves Extension of States of Emergency in Jamaica

first_imgCMC States of public emergency have been imposed in Hanover, St James, Westmoreland, Clarendon, St. Catherine, Kingston East, Kingston Central, Kingston Western, and St. Andrew South and Prime Minister Andrew Holness, told legislators that the country has managed to maintain an overall 13 per cent reduction in serious crimes over the comparative period last year, as at July 18. “We have seen a 22 per cent reduction in murders, moving from 310 to 241, and for shootings a 25 per cent reduction, moving from 285 to 214. And… as at July 19, 54 firearms and 1,537 rounds of ammunition were seized, 1,560 persons were arrested and charged and 15 persons remain in custody,” Holness said, noting that in the St. Andrew South Police Division, there was a four per cent reduction in murders and 12 per cent reduction in shootings. “We are still not where we would want to be, as our homicide rate is still higher than that of the global and regional averages, but it is important that we maintain this momentum as we continue to develop the capacity of the security forces,” Holness said, adding that all areas under the SOEs have recorded reductions in murders and shootings. However, Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips, who was critical at the manner in which the government had sought the extension of the SOEs, said there was need for improved dialogue in the execution of the affairs of Parliament. “For the comparative 173 days prior to the state of public emergency to the present, the Kingston Eastern Police Division experienced an overall reduction in murders and shootings by 55 per cent and 69 per cent [respectively],” Holness said. Holness said with regards to St. James, Westmoreland and Hanover, there has been a 24 per cent reduction in murders, moving from 374 to 285 and a 25 per cent reduction in shootings, moving from 376 to 281. “If you were to take St. James alone, St. James is now experiencing the lowest murder rate in 17 years,” Holness said. Holness said that while these enhanced security measures were never meant to be a silver bullet, “we cannot discount their value in saving lives.center_img For the period before the SOE, 163 murders were committed, but that figure dropped to 156 in the period since the SOE. There were 162 shootings in the period before the SOE, and 142 since it came into effect. “There is the case in law as provided for by the electoral commission what is called now the campaign period begins in August 25. I am prepared to vote in favour of an extension to August 25. I am also prepared and I believe if we need be, to return to the period in the period of the recess should it become necessary,” Phillips told parliament. In terms of Clarendon and St. Catherine, there has been an overall reduction in murders and shootings. “For the same period, all serious crimes recorded reductions. We have a three per cent reduction in murder, 11 per cent reduction in shootings, 16 per cent reduction in rape, 12 per cent reduction in robberies and a 24 per cent reduction in break-ins.” “The approach that has been offered so far has been wanting,” Phillips said, noting that National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang had said no extension would be sought after July 25. He told Parliament that murders in that police division have declined from 44 to 20, year-on-year, and shootings have fallen from 51 to 16 as at July 19. He also noted that eight firearms have been recovered and 87 rounds of ammunition were seized. KINGSTON, Jamaica – Senators will meet on Friday to debate an extension of the current states of public emergency (SOE) after the House of Representatives Tuesday approved five Emergency Powers Resolutions to extend the SOEs to September 3.last_img read more

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Lauderhill Police Officer Who Died from COVID-19 Complications Promoted to Rank…

first_imgThe Lauderhill Police Department posthumously promoted Officer Corey Pendergrass, one of their fellow officers who died after a battle with the coronavirus, to the rank of Sergeant. As Police Officers, we understand and have accepted the inherent risk that comes with the profession of our choice. In that same vein, knowing that risk, does not lessen the pain of losing one of our own. Corey’s life and legacy will be honored by many in the upcoming weeks. However, due to these unprecedented times, The Pendergrass Family has elected to honor Corey with private family services on August 7th and 8th 2020. The Lauderhill Police Department will honor Corey’s life and legacy in the near future with a celebration of Life Ceremony. Information for that celebration will be forthcoming. The City of Lauderhill Police Department today released the following statement: First responders, earlier this week, escorted Pendergrass’ body from Plantation General Hospital to a funeral home in Pompano Beach. A private funeral is to take place next weekend to honor the officer. center_img We suffered a great loss when Corey Pendergrass was taken from us on July 26, 2020. Not only was Corey a great person, a community leader, a friend and officer; he was an incredible Husband and Father. On Sunday, the agency announced that Pendergrass had died from complications related to COVID-19. He served on the force since 1997. On July 30, 2020, Police Chief Constance Stanley announced that Corey Pendergrass was posthumously promoted by the City to the rank of Sergeant. We thank him for his 23 years of dedicated service to the law enforcement profession and the entire Lauderhill family. We sincerely thank everyone for all your support and look forward to healing as a City, Department, Community, and Family.last_img read more

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Jamaican Government Extends COVID-19 Measures Including Curfews

first_imgThe government said that persons seeking to enter Jamaica as visitors must complete the application for entry through the official website and “if the person is ordinarily resident in Jamaica, they must complete the application for entry through the website”. Places of amusement, beaches, rivers, river rafting, restaurants, and cinemas will remain open with strict protocols and visits to zoos, parks, water parks, will be within a six hour window. CMC KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica government has extended until September 30, all the coronavirus (COVID-19) within the Disaster Risk Management Act that also allows for a curfew that begins on Friday night. The current measures were due to expire on Friday and Prime Minister Andrew Holness said “as we seek to extend the measures, we emphasize that we will continue to take a risk-based management approach, which I have always said is evidence-based, proportionate, and situationally appropriate. It said rules relating to the travel time for drivers of public passenger vehicles one hour before and after the curfews remain the same and that gatherings must not exceed 20 persons. The social distance of six feet must be maintained. The authorities said that the number of persons at a small outdoor events must not exceed, whichever is the lower of 280 persons, with no more than 250 being patrons and no more than 30 being performers or event staff. The government said that under the Act, summer camps will continue to operate only during the hours from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm until August 31, under strict protocols while the night to early morning curfews will continue in place starting 11.00 pm on July 31, to 5.00 am (local time) on August 1, day to day until 5 am on the morning of September 30. The authorities said that persons 75 years and older must remain at home and only leave home to pursue the necessities of life, while the operating hours of markets and vending will continue from Mondays to Saturdays from 6.00 am to 7.00 pm and closed on Sundays. “The objective continues to be the need to reduce the exposure risk of the population to COVID-19 while increasing the capacity of the public health system to respond to cases within the population, to reduce disease spread,” he added. Jamaica has recorded so far 824 cases and 10 deaths of the virus that was first detected in China last December and linked to 17.3 million infections and 674,000 deaths worldwide. He has also stressed the importance of wearing masks in public places and keeping a social distance of six feet apart, as part of the new normal. Prime Minister Holness said that the administrative reopening of schools will be on September 7, followed by the phased reopening a week later.last_img read more

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Life & Legacy: Jamaica’s Prime Ministers Over 58 Years

first_imgSome historians refer to Shearer as Jamaica’s “reluctant prime minister,” as when the JLP met to elect a successor to Sangster, it was generally considered the position would go to Clement Tavarez, then minister of housing, but, in what was a surprise to some, Shearer won the appointment, defeating Tavarez by one vote. It was speculated, though not confirmed, that the winning vote was made by Bustamante, who was in support of Shearer’s ascendancy. Shearer was sworn in as prime minister on April 11, 1967.   He led the JLP to victories in 1944, 1949, and 1962. But, where the history of Jamaica’s emergence as an independent nation is concerned, his most remarkable political victory was achieved on September 19, 1961 when he led the JLP in winning the referendum against Jamaica remaining in the West Indies Federation, dealing a devastating blow to Norman Manley, who was the Premier of Jamaica and a leader in the West Indies Federation. Golding was appointed minister of construction in 1980, and was the opposition spokesman on finance and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, from 1989-1995. The FIRST The Right Excellent Sir William Alexander Bustamante, G.B.E., LL.D (Hon.):August 6, 1962 to February 27, 1967 Disappointingly, relegated to leader of the opposition, Simpson Miller’s political end was in sight, especially as she was blamed for leading the party through a weak election campaign during which the opposing JLP was not taken seriously. Not surprisingly, she retired as leader of the PNP and leader of the opposition on April 2, 2017. Between 1977 and 1980, she served as a parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and, later, in the Office of the Prime Minister, and in 1989 was appointed minister of labor, welfare and sports; minister of labor and welfare (1993–1995), labor, social security and sport (1995–2000), tourism and sport (2000–2002), and local government, community development and sport (2002–2006).  He married Gladys Longbridge (Lady B) in 1962. Sir Alexander, the co-Father of the nation died on Jamaica’s 15th anniversary of independence on August 6, 1977, at age 93.  The SEVENTH The Most Honorable Portia Simpson Miller, O.N., M.P.:First served from March 31, 2006 to September 10, 2007 and AGAIN from January 6, 2012 to February 2016 His tenure was not without controversy. In the late 1960s, the Black Power Movement spread from the USA to Jamaica. One of the strongest proponents was Walter Rodney, a Guyanese lecturer at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies  (UWI) in Jamaica.  In 1962, Seaga was appointed minister of development and welfare, and in 1967, minister of finance and planning. As a proponent for cultural development in Jamaica, he introduced the Jamaica Festival to celebrate the nation’s annual independence celebrations. Buoyed by the referendum victory, which meant Jamaica leaving the Federation, Bustamante’s political relevance was restored, and he campaigned aggressively for Manley to call elections, arguing that the referendum results had cost Manley and the PNP their mandate.  Against the advice of party insiders, Manley relented to Bustamante’s pressure, but was confident of victory. However, Manley misread the mood of voters, particularly voters in rural Jamaica, and Bustamante won the elections held in April 1962. Since Jamaica’s independence on August 6, 1962, this beautiful island nation has been led through the subsequent 58 years of glorious highs and devastating lows by nine individuals—eight men and one woman—who, as prime ministers have all made significant contributions to the development of the country. In 1969, he was designated Jamaica’s only living National Hero. Holness immediately led his new administration to build on the positive financial foundation left by the outgoing PNP administration leading the Jamaican economy to be described as one of the strongest in the Caribbean region, and the Jamaican stock market one of the best in the world. During his second tenure as prime minister he has successfully marketed Jamaica to foreign investors, especially in the tourism sector.  In 1992 when Michael Manley retired as PNP leader, she challenged P.J. Patterson for the party leadership but lost. When Patterson announced his retirement in 2006, she made a strong bid to be elected party leader, and was successful, and was named Jamaica’s first female, and seventh prime minister on March 31, 2006.  Bruce Golding “P.J.,” as he is affectionately known to most Jamaicans, was born on April 10, 1935 in Kingston. Ironically, Seaga was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1930, but was brought to Jamaica by his Jamaican parents when he was an infant.  But, Seaga was also known as a prime minister who relentlessly micro-managed his ministers, and one who lost touch with the Jamaican people as he became confined to the task of being intrinsically involved with the functions of every ministerial portfolio in his cabinet. And so the prime ministers of Jamaica will continue to leave their marks, working with their individual ideologies to keep ushering Jamaica into prosperity and finding its place in the world. The NINTH and CURRENTThe Most Honorable Andrew Michael Holness, ON, M.P.:First served from October 23, 2011 – December 28, 2011, and March 3, 2016 to present On the other hand, Holness and his administration have received international commendation for the sound implementation and management of measures that succeeded in significantly restricting the coronavirus spread in Jamaica. Shearer’s tenure as prime minister was regarded as Jamaica’s most prosperous since independence, with strong growth in the agriculture, mining and tourism sectors. He also presided over the development of the nation’s educational system in collaboration with the then minister of education, Edwin Allen. The Shearer government designed the New Deal Education Program to provide a sound education for every child in Jamaica. In 1955, Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II, conferred on Bustamante the title of Knight Bachelor. In 1964, age 80, Sir Alex’s health waned, and he stepped away from the day-to-day role as prime minister, and appointed then minister of finance, Donald Sangster as acting prime minister. However, although Bustamante was mostly confined to his residence at Irish Town, as his sight failed, he continued to be instrumental in the leadership of the JLP, and several aspects of the administration of the government. He officially retired as prime minister after the JLP won the 1967 general elections. In retirement his health steadily deteriorated and he died on March 6, 1997 at age 72.  P.J. was widely respected at the national, regional and international levels as a negotiator who consistently sought to settle differences and minimize confrontation. He proved to be a very keen listener and thinker, who made unapologetic statements. Sir Donald was born in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica on October 26, 1911. He has been considered by some Jamaicans as the “quiet gentleman” of Jamaican politics, and has often been referred to as more of a technocrat, a specialist financial administrator, than as a politician, although he was a deputy leader of the JLP from 1949 to 1967, and also represented the South St. Elizabeth constituency from 1949 to 1955, and North-East St. Elizabeth from 1955. Under Shearer’s administration, the Jamaican currency was decimalized from the former British sterling (pound, shilling and pence) currency system to the implementation of the Jamaican dollar. Sir Alex, or “Busta,” or “Chief,” as he was popularly known to Jamaicans, was a charismatic leader, who was outstanding for his height, said to be 6 feet 5 inches, a shock of silver-gray hair, and black, bushy eyebrows.  After Golding resigned as prime minister in October 2011, his successor, Andrew Holness, called for early elections on December 29, and Simpson Miller led the PNP to a convincing victory over the JLP. On January 5, she was sworn in again as prime minister, leading the nation into its 50th anniversary of independence. His sudden death, and brief tenure as prime minister, after years of dedicated service as a minister and deputy prime minister, placed Jamaica into a period of deep mourning, because he was greatly admired, loved and respected as a leader of utmost integrity. Thousands of Jamaicans of all classes, filed pass his open casket at the Kingston Parish Church to pay their respects prior to his internment at the National Heroes Park as he laid in state for several days.  Michael, the second son of Norman Manley, born December 10, 1924, was also an avid trade unionist, and the leader of the National Workers Union, the foil to the BITU. Like Shearer, he used his involvement in trade unionism as a stepping stone to representational politics.  He was appointed as a PNP Senator in 1962, and elected to the House of Representative in 1967. When Norman Manley retired as leader of the PNP in 1968, the younger Manley defeated his rival Vivian Blake to become that party’s leader. He became leader of the opposition, positioned himself as the defender of the poor and the purveyor of social change. He resolutely led the PNP to an overwhelming victory over Hugh Shearer and the JLP to become prime minister in 1972. Despite Jamaica’s prosperity, the JLP lost the general elections in 1972 to the PNP, and Shearer became leader of the opposition. He returned as a member of the nation’s government in 1980, when the JLP won the general elections, but having been replaced by Edward Seaga as the leader of the JLP, served as deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs. In 1989, the JLP again lost the general elections, but Shearer served as MP for Southern Clarendon until he lost that seat in the 1993 general elections; after which he retired from active public life. He died in 2004, at the age of 81. He was survived by his wife Dr. Denise Eldemire Shearer, several sons and daughters.  In the 1967 general elections, he won the South Clarendon seat formerly held by Sir Alex, and was appointed minister of external affairs by Prime Minister Sir Donald Sangster, not knowing fate destined him to become prime minister within a few weeks.  Born in Hanover, Jamaica on February 24, in 1884, Bustamante was 78 years old when he became the nation’s first prime minister, and has been Jamaica’s oldest prime minister over these 58 years. He joined the PNP in 1958, and after the 1972 elections, was appointed as minister of industry, trade and tourism. He rose to deputy prime minister and minister of development, planning and production in 1978, and was reappointed deputy prime minister and minister of finance, planning and production in 1989. The SECONDThe Most Honorable Sir Donald Burns Sangster, ON, KCVO:February 22, 1967 to April 11, 1967 In 1989, the JLP was defeated by the PNP in general elections, and Seaga served as leader of the opposition, but failed to lead the party to other victories and return to the position of prime minister. He retired from politics in 2004, and died in Miami where he had traveled for medical treatment on his 89th birthday, May 28, 2019.  After graduating from Harvard University in 1952, Seaga, keenly interested in the cultural dynamics among Jamaica’s poor, spent several years with the people of West Kingston and learned firsthand the social and cultural needs of the poor. Entering politics, he joined the JLP and in 1959, Sir Alexander Bustamante appointed him to the nation’s Legislative Council (later to be named the Senate), and in 1962 he was elected to the House of Representative as the MP for West Kingston—a seat he held for 43 consecutive years. The EIGHTHThe Most Honorable Orette Bruce Golding:  September 11, 2007 to October 23, 2011 However, shortly after naming his Cabinet, Sir Donald was stricken with a neurological disorder, and was rushed to a hospital in Montreal, Canada. Unfortunately, he never recovered and died on April 11. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on his deathbed. The international airport in Montego Bay is named in his honor, and his image appears on the Jamaica one hundred dollar note. Seaga led the JLP to a second victory in 1983, in general elections boycotted by the PNP, shortly after the Seaga-led government joined the U.S. and other forces in quelling political upheaval in Grenada. Assuming her new role of leader of the opposition, Simpson Miller, set about strengthening her position as the PNP leader, which included succeeding in overcoming another challenge to her leadership. She would then travel the country recognizing and understanding the social and economic plight of the majority. Her quest for the rural and urban poor, and the masses held for her led some Jamaicans to refer to her as the “female Bustamante.” Before entering representational politics in 1949, when he lost his bid for the West Kingston seat on behalf of the JLP, he was very active as a trade unionist on behalf of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), where he was also editor of the union’s newspaper, “The Jamaica Worker.” In 1953 he was appointed island supervisor of the BITU, and in 1955 was elected as a member of parliament, although the JLP lost the general elections. He lost his seat in the 1959 elections, but in 1960 was elected vice-president of the BITU, second to Sir Alexander Bustamante. Bruce Golding was born on December 5, 1947, the son of a Jamaican politician and JLP member of the Jamaican parliament, Tacius Golding. After graduating from the University of the West Indies in 1969, he was elected to the Central Executive of the Jamaica Labor Party, and three years later, in 1972, was elected to parliament at the age of 21. He was subsequently elected to Parliament in 1972 at the age of 24, and held leadership positions in the JLP: general secretary (1974-1984) and chairman (1984-1995).  He approached his role as prime minister with an overt serious approach, and great dedication, setting out to reform the nation’s economic system, and spread services to include the general Jamaican population, and also gained respect for himself and Jamaica in the regional and larger international community. Michael Manley, affectionately called Michael or “Joshua,” is regarded by some as by far Jamaica’s most charismatic, eloquent, flamboyant, and controversial leader. He led the PNP to victory in 1972, promising “Better Must Come” on a crest of political popularity, rarely seen in Jamaica’s 58 years. However, within a relatively short period, the nation’s populist leader, became one of the nation’s most controversial leaders because of his political philosophy which sought to alleviate the pressures on the poor masses through his aggressive advocacy of Democratic Socialism. At one minute after midnight on the early morning of August 6, 1962, Sir William Alexander Bustamante, GBE, LL.D (Hon.), Jamaica’s former premier elected in general elections on April 29 of that year, became independent Jamaica’s first prime minister. Jamaica House When Michael Manley retired in 1992 because of failing health, P.J. staved off competition from Portia Simpson Miller to be elected by the PNP as its leader and was appointed Jamaica’s sixth prime minister since independence. This was to be the first of four consecutive terms he served as prime minister—having established a record as Jamaica’s longest-serving prime minister, leading the PNP to general election victories in 1993, 1997 and 2002. In March 2006, he retired from politics to be succeeded by Portia Simpson Miller. Andrew Holness took office as Jamaica’s ninth prime minister on October 23, 2011, following his endorsement as leader of the JLP. He succeeded Bruce Golding. Holness is distinguished for being Jamaica’s youngest prime minister and the only one born after the nation gained independence in 1962. The SIXTHThe Most Honorable Percival Noel James Patterson, ON, OCC, PC, QC: March 30, 1992 to March 30, 2006  In 1974, after Hugh Shearer relinquished leadership of the JLP, Seaga was elected leader of the JLP, which he led for 30 years. He served as leader of the opposition until 1980, when he led the JLP to defeat Michael Manley and the PNP. A prominent attorney, he became a legend in Jamaican politics when he was the key strategist, and campaign manager behind the PNP’s resounding victory in 1972, and would retain that reputation as one of Jamaica’s best political strategists for several years. As prime minister, he focused on restoring the damaged Jamaica economy, and introduced financial institutions like the National Development Bank, the Export-Import Bank, and led Comprehensive Tax Reforms including a flat income tax rate for all taxpayers. His administration also introduced the (Human Employment & Resource Training (HEART) program that has offered training to young Jamaicans for a variety of jobs, and was instrumental in promoting Jamaican culture, especially its music, internationally. Portia Lucretia Simpson, “Sista P,” “Mama P,” or just “Portia,” was born in the rural district of Wood Hall, St. Catherine on December 12, 1945. However, his promise and zest to lead Jamaica to prosperity was ruined by the huge national controversy related to the extradition of a Jamaican crime lord, Christopher “Dudus” Coke, that erupted in 2009. As the controversy surrounding Coke deteriorated, it damaged all the political capital that Golding gained when he was appointed prime minister. Eventually, with new general elections on the horizon, he took the decision to resign as leader of the JLP and prime minister in October 2011, having served for four years.  Busta entered the Jamaican political scene in the late 1930s and was an immediate champion for the cause of Jamaican waterfront and sugar workers and the poor masses, against the British colonial masters. In 1938 he founded the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) and in 1943 founded the JLP. JIS described Seaga as “a serious and sharp thinker, witty and gifted in producing the apt, cutting phrase. Despite a dour look most times, he has a great sense of humor and is known widely for his exceptional deeds of kindness and rendering of practical assistance to the poor and needy.” In 1995, Golding resigned from the Jamaica Labor Party and co-founded the National Democratic Movement (NDM), serving as its president from 1995 to 2001. In 2002, he rejoined the JLP, and in November 2003 was reelected party chairman, and appointed as senator and opposition spokesman on foreign affairs and foreign trade. Three of these prime ministers were reelected for subsequent terms. The tenure of one was very brief, and another served for a record four consecutive terms. Of the nine who were democratically elected to lead independent Jamaica, five are now deceased. Mama P was determined since she was a teenager to be a politician that worked to help the Jamaican people, especially the poorer classes, and displayed a keen interest in the provision of social services in inner city communities. In 1974 she made her entrance in Jamaican politics when she was elected as a PNP councilor, representing Trench Town, on the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), and in 1976 she was elected to the Jamaican parliament as the MP for South Western St. Andrew, a seat she had never lost since. Sangster first served as minister of social welfare from 1950 to 1953, and minister of finance, 1953 to 55, and again held that portfolio when the JLP was reelected in 1962, and was also named deputy prime minister. In 1964 he acted as prime minister when Sir Alexander Bustamante was ill, and again in 1965 until the 1967 general elections when the JLP was reelected and he became Jamaica’s second prime minister on February 22.  Threatened to be left in a political wilderness, Holness found salvation in his bold 2016 political platform to liberate Jamaicans at the lower income levels from paying income tax. Although the governing PNP criticized the policy as infeasible, the majority of voters obviously believed in it, and narrowly reelected Holness and the JLP to office in 2016. However, as he lost the support of some of the nation’s wealthier class and skilled Jamaicans with an increasing number migrating to North America, the economy faltered and weakened. Gradually, Manley lost the support of the U.S. government, and, forced to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial support, his social transformative agenda suffered. Although the PNP and Manley were reelected in 1976, as the economy worsened and political violence flared, Manley’s political influence suffered, the party was soundly defeated by the JLP, led by Edward Seaga in 1980. On February 20, 2005, subsequent to the resignation of JLP leader Edward Seaga, Golding was elected leader of the Jamaica Labor Party, and reelected to Parliament as MP for West Kingston. After conducting a well-organized campaign in 2007, he led the JLP to victory in September 2007 over the PNP led by Portia Simpson Miller, and was sworn in as Jamaica’s eighth prime minister on September 11, 2007. Holness was born on July 22, 1972, in Spanish Town, St. Catherine. After graduating from the UWI, he served as executive director in the Voluntary Organization for the Upliftment of Children (VOUCH) from 1994 to 1996, and later joined the Premium Group of Companies, as special assistant to former Prime Minister Edward Seaga. Former Jamaica PM Portia Simpson Miller During her second tenure, she led Jamaica through challenging economic constraints, and succeeded in restoring the nation’s economy to a favorable standing, and earning the commendation of multilateral financial institutions like the IMF. During her second tenure, her popularity with poor and rural Jamaicans grew, and the government formed by the PNP was considered too firmly entrenched. The PNP was considered certain to win the ensuing general elections she called for on February 29, 2016. But in one of the most stunning electoral defeats in Jamaica’s history, the PNP lost the elections by the slimmest margin of just one seat to the Andrew Holness-led JLP. However, poised to achieve strong economic growth in 2020, Jamaica and the Jamaican economy have been severely affected by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Forced to lock down the country to restrict the spread of the pandemic, the economy has suffered significant loss of revenue, particularly in two of the strongest revenue earning streams, tourism and financial remittances from the diaspora. According to the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Sir Alex was “known for his terse and telling phrases that cut to the quick of things, and for remarkable stamina that made him work tirelessly all over the island… He tended to have a dictatorial style, marked nevertheless with sparkling magnanimity.” Rodney, an historian, was also a liberal political activist and supporter of the Black Power Movement whose influence grew on students at UWI. On 15 October 1968, the  Shearer-led government declared Rodney persona non grata. The decision to ban him from ever returning to Jamaica and his subsequent dismissal by the University of the West Indies, Mona caused strong protests, including marches, by students. The protests were fueled when Shearer, who later admitted to misreading the purpose of the movement in Jamaica, banned books relating to Black Power. The protests  escalated into a riot, known as the Rodney Riots, which began on October 16, 1968, resulting in six deaths and causing millions of dollars in damage.    It is believed that the Rodney issue caused massive dissatisfaction among the Jamaican youth towards the Shearer administration. In addition, his cousin Michael Manley had entered the political fray as the leader of the opposing PNP, and toured the length and breadth of the island criticizing the government for not appropriately distributing the nation’s wealth. After nine years as leader of the opposition, the PNP, led by a philosophically reformed Manley, was reelected to office in February 1989. However, Manley who had been ailing while in opposition, succumbed to worsening health and was a shadow of the prime minister he was in the 70s. His recurring health issues led to him retiring while in office in 1992, and in the subsequent PNP internal elections to elect his successor, Percival James Patterson was victorious. The THIRD The Most Honorable Hugh Lawson Shearer, ON, OJ:April 11, 1967 to March 2, 1972 Seaga was the ultimate technocrat, who as prime minister from 1980 to 1989 depicted a serious no-nonsense approach in attempting to bring specific reforms to the structure and functions of the nation’s governmental administration. As prime minister, Manley introduced and implemented a wide variety of social and economic reforms and programs, and enhanced the nation’s identity in the international arena. Among his accomplishments as prime minister was lowering the minimum voting age to 18, the introduction of paid maternity leave, outlawing the stigma of illegitimate births, introduction of a national literacy program, working participation in Jamaican public companies, a national youth service program, and the offering of offering free education at all levels. He was appointed as a member of the Privy Council of England by Queen Elizabeth in 1969. Hugh Lawson Shearer, born in Martha Brae, Trelawny on May 18, 1923, was said to be a distant cousin of both Sir Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley, who were also cousins. Although she was received with phenomenal popularity as prime minister and attempted to implement reforms to roll back the scourge of poverty, divisions in the PNP, following the bruising presidential elections to succeed Patterson, the resistance of some the urban middle class to accept her as the nation’s leader, and the untimely arrival of Hurricane Dean in August 2007, the PNP led by Simpson-Miller narrowly lost the 2007 general elections to the JLP, led by Bruce Golding. In 1997 he was elected MP for West Central St. Andrew. From 1999 to 2002 he served as opposition spokesperson on land and development from, housing from 2002 to 2005, and education from 2005 to 2007. Upon the JLP’s victory in 2007, he was appointed as minister of education in September 2007. Manley was also a gifted writer. While serving as prime minister he wrote, Politics of Change (1973) and Search for Solutions (1977). In opposition he wrote, JAMAICA: Struggle in the Periphery (1982), Up the Down Escalator (1987), and A History of West Indies Cricket (1988). Upon Bruce Golding’s resignation in October 2011, JLP leaders coalesced around Holness, and with a show of consensus, selected him as the party’s new leader. He was sworn in as the nation’s new prime minister on October 23, 2011. Shortly after assuming the position of prime minister, in an effort to obtain his own mandate from Jamaican voters, Holness called general elections for December 29, 2011. The JLP was defeated in those elections, swiftly ending Holness’ tenure as prime minister.  According to the JIS, Holness described himself as a libertarian on the social side and a fiscal conservative on the economic side, and one committed to promoting and protecting human rights. He believes the political arena should “give room to all people to participate provided that they meet certain standards.” As an economic conservative, he has committed to prudence in government spending, fiscal discipline and debt management. On the social side, he believes education must be one of the most critical ingredients of national development. In April 2012, she was named by the renowned Time magazine as one the world’s most influential individuals. The FOURTH: The Most Honorable Michael Norman Manley, ON, OM, OCC:  Elected to serve in March 1972 to November 1980, and AGAIN from February 1989 to March 1992. Bustamante, the founder and president of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) along with his cousin, Norman Washington Manley, co-founder and president of the People’s National Party (PNP) were both instrumental in Jamaica gaining its peaceful political independence from the British and both are considered the Fathers of the Nation. As prime minister, he sought to secure a place for Jamaica in the new global economic order of economic liberalization and deregulation. With steady hands, and earning the respect of national and international investors, he modernized Jamaica’s financial sector, and the nation realized significant investment in tourism, road infrastructure, mining and information technology, and energy. One of his legacies was to end the nation’s 18-year borrowing relationship with the IMF, giving his government more latitude in the implementation of its economic policies. With Jamaica’s elections constitutionally due by February 2021 and Holness’ handling of the coronavirus top of mind, Holness and the JLP might be on solid footing for another victory as they face off with PNP and its leader, Peter Philips. Speculations are growing that the elections might be called at an earlier date.  The FIFTH The Most Honorable Edward Phillip George Seaga, ON, P.C., LL.D.:  November 4, 1980 to February 13, 1989last_img read more

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At Least 17 Dead in Haiti Shipwreck

first_imgAccording to the Haitian authorities, the small sailboat called “Ancelita” had about 30 people on board and merchandise, exceeding the limit of its capacity. In reading to the tragedy, President Jovenel Moïse said “I learned with great sorrow, the news of the sinking of a boat off the island of La Tortue. The authorities concerned are mobilized to find the missing bodies and possible survivors. I share the pain of relatives and friends affects by this tragedy.” Among the dead are two two-year-old children and a dozen women, authorities confirmed. Meanwhile, rescue operations have been ongoing with brigadiers of the Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) in an attempt to find bodies and possible survivors. According to the Maritime and Navigation Service of Haiti (SEMANAH), the sinking was caused by the overloading of the sailboat and the gusts of wind. Officials at SEMANAH added that the boat’s captain was not granted permission to head out to sea. It’s also reported that the some of the passengers who survived the wreck were taken to La Tortue or to the island of Saint Louis du Nord to be checked. Sailing boats making the trip to Tortuga island are often overloaded with passengers (file photo). Getty image via BBC PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti – The authorities in Haiti are conducting investigations following an incident in which 17 people lost their lives when small makeshift sailboat, carrying more than 30 passengers and goods wrecked in the channel that separates Haiti from the island of Tortuga, in the northwest of the country On the boat were residents of Tortuga Island who were returning home from the municipal market of the city of Saint Louis du Nord. CMClast_img read more

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