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Jamaica: Law firm chooses hybrid SolarMills for renewable energy
8 August 2014 - A law firm on the Caribbean island of Jamaica has commissioned an innovative renewable energy system that combines solar and wind into one device -- hybrid 'SolarMills'. Not only will the 50 SolarMills provide renewable energy, they will protect against surges during extreme weather events. Located less than a quarter-mile from Kingston's coast, typical wind gusts reach 60 miles per hour. The devices will produce 25 kilowatts of wind and 55 kilowatts of solar energy, generating 106,000 kilowatt-hours a year for Myers, Fletcher, and Gordon. (more)

Jamaica unveils world's largest wind-solar hybrid installation
17 July 2014 - The world's largest wind and solar hybrid renewable energy project was recently put into operation in Kingston, Jamaica. The WindStream Technologies array was commissioned for the rooftop of the prominent local law firm, Myers, Fletcher, and Gordon. Expected to generate approximately 106,000kWh annually with a return on investment in less than four years, the plant should save the firm approximately $2 million in energy costs over the course of its 25-year lifetime. (more)

Jamaica to approve bill targeting lottery scams
30 March 2013 - The House of Representatives in Jamaica has passed a bill this week calling for tougher prosecution of those involved in multimillion-dollar lottery scams that mostly have targeted elderly Americans. The governor general is expected soon to sign the bill, which the Senate also passed on 21 March. The bill targets advanced fee fraud, identity theft and the use of technology for illegally accessing financial accounts. The bill also prohibits making threats and coercing victims over the phone. (more)

UN tourism agency welcomes Jamaica's relaxation of visa policies for certain nationals
16 March 2013 - he United Nations tourism agency has welcomed the decision by the Government of Jamaica to relax visa regulations for tourists originating in a number of Eastern European countries, while also extending its current visa waiver system for some Latin American nationals. The visa waiver for tourists from Russia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine visiting Jamaica for up to 30 days was announced on 6 March 2013, together with the indefinite extension of the visa waiver in place for nationals of Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela, according to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). (more)

Jamaica to abolish colonial-era laws
15 November 2012 - Jamaica is preparing to abolish a slavery-era law allowing flogging and whipping as means of punishing prisoners, the Caribbean country's justice ministry said Thursday. Justice Minister Mark Golding says the 'degrading' punishment is an anachronism which violates Jamaica's international obligations and is preventing Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's government from ratifying the UN convention against torture. 'The time has come to regularize this situation by getting these colonial-era laws off our books once and for all,' Golding said in a Thursday statement. (more)

Chinese delegation signs grants with Jamaica
19 September 2011 - Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu and a 60-member delegation arrived in Jamaica's capital Monday to sign two grants to boost the island's development as the Asian economic giant steps up its investments across the Caribbean. Chinese and Jamaican officials signed two grants worth $3.1 million. The money will go to projects mutually agreed upon after consultation by both governments. Another Chinese Vice Premier, Wang Qishan, announced he wanted to see the implementation of more projects that focus on finance, infrastructure, and tourism. China's ministry of commerce announced that Beijing intends to collaborate on solar energy projects and the construction of schools. (more)

Jamaica says tourism projects to create 3,000 jobs
4 April 2011 - The government of Jamaica says the upcoming expansion of tourism facilities in the Caribbean island's northwest will create about 3,000 jobs and help attract more visitors. In a Friday statement Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett announced the formal opening of the Dolphin Cove attraction in Lucea where visitors can interact with the marine mammals. (more)

Jamaica plans affordable homes for tourism workers
2 January 2009 - Jamaica is working with a real estate company to build affordable homes for tourism workers. The island's housing minister says the government and Rose Hall Developments Limited will develop 130 acres (53 hectares) valued at $1 million. Horace Chang says the first batch of homes will be built near Montego Bay. The government said Friday that it plans similar projects across the island. (more)

Jamaica: Sweeter days ahead for honey producers
5 January 2007 - The government of Jamaica stated it invested $11.5 million in 2006, to improve production in the honey industry. The investment seems to have paid off, as honey production in the country has grown from 3.2 gallons to 7.5 gallons per hive. (more)

Jamaica focuses on renewable energy
30 December 2006 - The government of Jamaica announced its plan to increase its focus on renewable energy. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Jamaica: Children enjoying Consciousness-Based Education
2 August 2013 - A private school in Montego Bay, Jamaica, has begun adopting the Quiet Time programme, which includes the practice of Transcendental Meditation. At the school graduation ceremony this year, when the Quiet Time programme was introduced and the director rose to speak, the children in the audience began to cheer. Seeing positive changes in the atmosphere at the school and the eagerness of the students towards the programme, the principal plans to visit Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment in Iowa, USA, to learn more about Consciousness-Based Education. (more)

School in Caribbean offers Consciousness-Based Education
14 July 2012 - The principal of a private school in the Caribbean has begun offering Consciousness-Based Education. She had already established on her own a quiet time programme for her students, 'but when she was presented the knowledge and opportunity to use Transcendental Meditation as the modality or methodology during this quiet time programme, within a few minutes she decided to accept this programme for her school', said a Transcendental Meditation teacher. (more)


Flops
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Smoke coiling from Jamaica dump concerns residents
28 April 2014 - A growing chorus of Jamaicans said Monday they are exasperated with the government's failure to stop noxious, sooty smoke from billowing out of a sprawling waste dump that has been burning for a week and a half. People in communities around the capital say they are concerned about the health effects of breathing in acrid smoke and microscopic pollutants put in the air by the latest blaze at the Riverton City dump, apparently started by an arsonist. A weeklong fire there in March sent plumes of gray smoke over densely populated sections of southern Jamaica. Two years ago, a government study found alarming levels of volatile organic compounds were released by a raging fire at the same dump. The cancer-causing chemical benzene was detected at three times the World Health Organization's air standard. Staff at health clinics said they had seen an uptick in people seeking help for respiratory distress. (more)

Ivory Coast: Displaced in west feel 'forgotten'
26 April 2012 - Displaced persons in the Cote d'Ivoire -- Ivory Coast -- feel they have been forgotten. Some 30,000 people fled to the Catholic Mission in Duekoue after a massacre in March 2011. Earlier this year most of those still at the Catholic Mission were moved to Nahibly, where 4,500 people are currently sheltering. Most displaced families told IRIN they could not return to their homes because they were destroyed, or because their farms were taken over by other groups and are now being guarded by armed guards or 'dozos'. Much of the long-term inter-community conflict in the west is rooted in issues of land tenure, as members of different ethnic groups claim ownership to the same land. The United Nations has reported continued cross-border attacks near the town of Tai in southwest Cote d'Ivoire. In March the UN missions in Côte d'Ivoire (ONUCI) and Liberia (UNMIL) announced they were launching border patrols to ensure the safe return of refugees, and prevent the flow of weapons and cross-border attacks. However, a UN military official, who asked to remain unnamed, said after the announcement they were only devoting 34 troops to patrol the porous 450 mile-long border. Security Sector Reform (SSR) and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) have been slow to roll out. Thousands of illegal weapons are circulating in the country, even though the UN constantly gathers weapons and ammunition. (more)

Activist : Jamaican police violence fostered by a culture of impunity
2 February 2012 - Jamaica is rife with police violence, affected by what human rights activists say is a culture of impunity that has allowed police to serve as judge, jury, and executioner. And when families of alleged victims try to get justice through the court systems, their wait usually turns out to be long, painful, and fruitless. More than 2,000 fatal shootings by security officers were reported by police over the last decade in this Caribbean country of 2.8 million people, but only one officer stands convicted of involvement in a wrongful killing. Police almost always claim that the deaths came as they responded to unprovoked gunfire. Police statistics show that more accused officers have fled the island than have been convicted of abuse since 1999. (more)

Jamaica: Stronger fight needed against corruption
23 March 2011 - An independent investigator for Jamaica's parliament on Wednesday called for the creation of a special agency to fight corruption, asserting official graft has reached 'systemic' levels in the Caribbean country. 'For years, and despite having on paper what some might regard to be a relatively comprehensive anti-corruption institutional framework, corruption in Jamaica, particularly the corruption that is perceived to be taking place in high places, has enjoyed a field day,' the investigator said at the close of a two-day regional anti-corruption conference. 'It should now be crystal clear that the battle against Jamaica's systemic corruption cannot be effectively won unless and until the anti-corruption institutional framework is radically and comprehensively transformed,' he said. (more)

Jamaica struggles to cut ties between gov't, gangs
3 June 2010 - Prime Minister Bruce Golding's pledge to crush street gangs and replace their strong-armed rule with social programs for the poor has a hollow ring to it in slums where 'dons' like Coke have long provided services and imposed a disciplined law and order the government could never achieve. Slum dwellers have a deep distrust of the police, whom they often see as agents of the country's elite. Many Jamaicans also express skepticism that their two main political parties can wean themselves from their decades-old alliances with the underworld bosses. The political parties built the gangs: Dons received government contracts, and in exchange delivered the votes of their people. Residents were caught in the middle: 'The poor are exploited from both sides,' said Yvonne McCalla Sobers, head of the Jamaican rights group Families Against State Terrorism. (more)

Four killed as Jamaicans clash over drug lord
25 May 2010 - Soldiers and police stormed a Kingston slum on Monday and traded gunfire with supporters of an alleged Jamaican drug lord who faces extradition to the United States. At least four people have been killed, including two policemen, one soldier, and a civilian, and several others were wounded in two days of violence. The government declared a state of emergency on Sunday in volatile sections of the capital. There were unconfirmed reports of additional civilian deaths and reports that military helicopters dropped explosives on the Tivoli Gardens neighbourhood of West Kingston where alleged drug lord Christopher 'Dudus' Coke is believed to be hiding out. (more)

Guns from America fuel Jamaica's gang wars
22 June 2009 - One of the most popular US imports is one we rarely hear about: handguns, rifles and bullets that stoke one of the world's highest murder rates. The volume is much less than the flow of US guns into Mexico that end up in the hands of drug cartels - Jamaican authorities recover fewer than 1,000 firearms a year. But of those whose origin can be traced, 80 per cent come from the US, Jamaican law enforcement officials have said in interviews with The Associated Press. The US and Jamaica both prohibit the unlicensed transport of guns. But like Mexican smugglers, Jamaican ones depend on lax US gun laws, corrupt customs inspectors, and front men acting as buyers. (more)

Jamaica's gang wars fuelled by guns from America
21 June 2009 - Ships from Miami steam into Jamaica's main harbor loaded with TV sets and blue jeans. But some of the most popular US imports never appear on the manifests: handguns, rifles, and bullets that stoke one of the world's highest murder rates. The volume is much less than the flow of U.S. guns into Mexico that end up in the hands of drug cartels -- Jamaican authorities recover fewer than 1,000 firearms a year. But of those whose origin can be traced, 80 per cent come from the US, Jamaican law enforcement officials have said in interviews with The Associated Press. With arsenals to rival police firepower, the gangs are blamed for 90 per cent of the homicides in Jamaica -- 1,611 last year, about 10 times more than the US rate, relative to population. (more)

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