JAMAICA RECEIVES SIX AMBULANCES FROM JAPAN—03/21/15
The medical emergency response system in Jamaica has been enhanced by six new ambulances donated by the Government of Japan through the Grass roots Human Security Project. Jamaica’s Minister of Health Dr. Fenton Ferguson reported that three of the vehicles will operate in Kingston, and the others will be used in St. Mary. Nineteen new ambulances were purchased by the Government between 2012 and 2014.
INTERNATIONAL MARIJUANA DEBATE LEADERSHIP EYED BY JAMAICA—03/22/15
Jamaica wants to position itself as the leader in the marijuana debate in the United Nations. Jamaica plans to participate and lead the process in the UN to change the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which was enacted in 1961. The UN should change its policies for international anti-drug treaties to recognize the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of ganja, according to Anthony Hylton, Industry Minster.
GRANGE SUPPORTS VYBZ KARTEL’S STAR AWARD NOMINATION—03/23/15
The Central St. Catherine Member of Parliament, Olivia “Babsy” Grange agrees with the nomination of deejay Vybz Kartel’s nomination for the 2015 STAR Award. Grange, Opposition spokesperson, stated that Kartel is a talented artiste and should not be excluded from the awards process, despite any personal issue he faces. Kartel is currently serving life in prison for murder, but retains a dominant position in the dancehall scene.
OBAMA TO VISIT JAMAICA, STRINGENT SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS UNDERWAY—03/24/15
Local Jamaican law enforcement as well as law enforcement officials from the United States will be responsible for the security of President Barack Obama when he visits the island in April 2015. Danny Graham, Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Protective Services Division, said that local officials are meeting with U.S. Secret Service agents to prepare for the visit.
HARRIS DISMISSAL CASE MOVES TO LABOR MINISTRY—03/25/15
O’Neil Grant, the president of the Jamaica Civil Service Association, stated that the union will address the termination of Dahlia Harris, former Principal Director of Culture in Jamaica’s Ministry of Youth and Culture in the Ministry of Labor. The union will attempt to take the matter to the Industrial Dispute Tribunal in order to challenge Harris’s dismissal. Harris was dismissed after just ten months in the job.
JUROR IN KARTEL TRIAL ADMITS WORKING WITH JDF—03/26/15
Dennis Brown, a juror in the murder trial of Vybz Kartel, has admitted that he works with the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF). Brown confessed his connection to the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court when he gave evidence in the trial of Livingston Cain, the juror who is charged with attempting to bribe other jury members to return a verdict of not guilty in the Kartel trial. The Jury Act prohibits officers and non-commissioned officers, regular and reserve JDF members from serving as jurors.
APPEAL FOR SENATE SEAT LOST BY HOLNESS—03/27/15
Opposition leader Andrew Holness has lost his attempt to overturn a ruling from the Constitutional Court that found he had breached the Constitution by removing two senators in 2013. Holness had challenged the decision, but the court has ruled that he acted in an unlawful way and contrary to public policy.
PRIME MINISTER CALLS FOR HARSHER PENALTIES FOR SEX ABUSE OF CHILDREN—03/27/15
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, wants harsher penalties to be imposed on sexual offenses against children and for the murder of pregnant teenagers. According to Simpson Miller, the abuse of Jamaica’s children is weighing heavily upon her and that it is unacceptable and unworthy of the country. She cited research finding that 20 percent of girls between the ages of 15 and 19 who are sexually active have reported being forced to have sex.