OPPOSITION LEADER “CONCERNED” THAT OBAMA WILL NOT MEET WITH JLP—04/04/15
Edmund Bartlett, the leader of the Opposition Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) is concerned that the party’s representatives will not be given a chance to meet with United States President Barack Obama during his visit to the country. According to Bartlett, the JLP has received no communications about the visit, raising concerns that one segment of the government would not be afforded access to the U.S. leader.
JAMAICA’S YOUTH FEELING HOPELESS AND DISILLUSIONED—04/05/15
According to researchers, young people in Jamaica, especially those who live in the inner-city, have started to lose hope at an earlier age than in the past and have negative visions of their futures. Many young people plan to migrate off the island, but others feel that the “greener pastures” offered overseas are no longer the answer, and they become desperate and disillusioned. They see their futures linked to job opportunities and housing, both of which they do not feel they will ever attain. High crime levels also contribute to their sense of despondency.
INVESTIGATION BEGINS INTO “ROGUE COP” DEATH—04/06/15
Three investigative entities are looking into the death of Kemar Beckford, 25, a constable in Hopewell, Hanover. Beckford was trying to rob the patrons of a bar before he was fatally shot by another officer. The officer challenged Beckworth, who entered the bar armed with a gun and wearing a mask. The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI) and Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) are involved with the investigation.
VENDORS STALLS IN HEROES CIRCLE DEMOLISHED BY KSAC—04/07/15
The food vendors who operated stalls in Heroes Circle in Kingston are angry after their places of livelihood were destroyed by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC). Personnel from the Corporation “removed” the stalls from their location on the sidewalk along the well-traveled roadway. Vendors say there were provided no notice about the removal of the stalls and emphasized the fact that many of those involved in sales along Heroes Circle had been doing so for generations. The sales represent their main source of income, they said.
OBAMA TRIP TO JAMAICA NO LONGER LABELED A “STATE VISIT”—04/08/15
The visit by United States President Barack Obama to Jamaica is no longer categorized as a State Visit as had been previously been communicated. Jamaica House issued a release noting that the change in how the visit is characterized reflects the short duration of Obama’s visit and the established nature of such a visit in Jamaica’s context. Obama will talk with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on April 9, 2015, and attend a summit with the heads of government of CARICOM. He will also honor veterans of World Wars I and II by laying a wreath to mark their sacrifice.
U.S. PRESIDENT OFFERS TO PARTNER WITH JAMAICA IN ENERGY INITIATIVE—04/09/15
Barack Obama, the President of the United States, offered a clean energy option to Jamaica and other nations in the Caribbean in response to the high costs of Venezuelan crude oil. Obama said the U.S. could reduce the cost burden borne by Caribbean countries through the development of clean energy and greater energy efficiency.
OBAMA REJECTS LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA IN U.S. ON VISIT TO JAMAICA—04/10/15
The President of the United States Barack Obama stated that legalizing marijuana did not represent a “silver bullet” in terms of ending the illegal trade in drugs. He said the U.S. must take action to reduce the demand for marijuana in the U.S. and that Caribbean nations should strengthen their efforts against violent drug offenders. He also said he does not expect the U.S. Congress to change federal marijuana laws.
PROTEST HELD AGAINST OBAMA—04/10/15
The Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy society and other groups protested against the U.S. President Barack Obama in Mona. The protestors targeted the loss of free speech under Osama’s administartion, believing that Christians have lost freedom of religion under Obama. As an indication of Obama’s hostility to Christians, protestors cited his appointment of a special envoy for LGBT issues.