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Weekly Rap-Up: November 27, 2005 - December 03, 2005

12/04/05

Permalink 03:13:43 pm, by Melba
Categories: Weekly Rap-Up

Weekly Rap-Up: November 27, 2005 - December 03, 2005

Sunday November 27, 2005
 On Saturday a section of the main road in white Hall St. Mary leading to Islington collapsed cutting off vehicular traffic. Landslides triggered by the recent heavy rains caused the road surface to break in several sections up to 20 feet deep in some areas. Residents of the area are very concerned as the effect of the land slippage also affected nearby homes.

 A final agreement has been reached between the European agriculture ministers to cut the price of sugar by 36 percent over four years beginning in 2006/2007. Under the agreement the present price of sugar will remain until 2007/2008 but will fall by 17.1 percent in 2008/2009. In 2009/2010 it will fall again to bring about the overall reduction of 36 percent.

Follow up:

Monday November 28, 2005
 Ten laboratory technicians attached to the National Leptospirosis Laboratory are to start training on Monday at the Veterinary Services Division at Hope Gardens in the Elisa technique. This technique facilitates the quick screening of early cases of leptospirosis in both animals and humans. Funding is being provided by the Pan-American Health Organization at a cost of US10, 000.00.

 The US Embassy has announced that effective December 01,2005 Jamaicans aged 18 and over applying for immigrant visas in categories requiring them to be unmarried will need to obtain a certificate of no-impediment to marriage. This certificate can be had from the Registrar General. Also effective December 01, person who have served in the military will need a copy of their military service record in order to apply for an immigrant visa.

Tuesday November 29, 2005
 World Champions, Australia wins the final match of the three match Test series between the West Indies and Australia, in Adelaide, Australia making it another series whitewash for the West Indies. Despite Brian Lara’s brilliant achievement in the first innings, Australia has taken the series 3-0. Unfortunately there were several debatable decisions taken by the umpires that placed the ‘Windies’ at a disadvantage.

 The Incorporated Master Builders Association has joined the cry for the Government to reduce the import tariff on cement as work at a number of construction sites have had to be scaled down as a result of the shortage of cement.

 The Government of the Cayman Islands has said that there is ‘no hard feelings’ between the two nations as a result of the new visa requirements and that they still intend to maintain close ties with Jamaica.

 The Horizon Remand Center on Spanish Town Road in Kingston has been given the go ahead to house high risk convicts who have been sentenced to prison. The state of the art facility which can house over 1000 prisoners has been opened since 2001 however up till now was restricted to persons who were not convicted.

Wednesday November 30, 2005
 The Minimum Wage Advisory Commission has recommended an increase in the minimum wage of between 11 and 30 percent. The minimum wage which was last increased on January 31 of this year now stands at $2400.00 Jamaican dollars for a 40-hour work week. The next increase will be in January 2006 and based on the recommendations could be over $3000.00 dollars.

 The Jamaican Government is to receive 24 million pounds (2.6 billion Jamaican dollars) from the British Government between 2006 and 2008 to assist in crime reduction and poverty alleviation. The pledge was made by the British High Commissioner, Jeremy Cresswell at Wednesday morning’s launch of the plan at the Jamaica Pegasus. The plan is geared towards elevating the status of poor persons through programmes that will provide tools for them to achieve economic wealth.

 Ackee producers must now meet stringent requirements in order to gain their certificates for free trade or export by the Jamaica Bureau of Standards. Processing of ackees that have been forced open can leave unacceptable levels of toxic gas in the fruit which is harmful to consumers. Processors will no longer be taken at their words as the Jamaica Bureau of Standards will be sending inspectors into the fields to ensure the ackees are allowed to open naturally.

 Sections of the Jamaica Bedding Company in old Harbour. St. Catherine was destroyed by fire on Wednesday. It took fire fighters from Old Harbour, Spanish Town and May Pen fire stations over four hours to put out the blaze. The company was insured.

Thursday December 01, 2005
 Jamaica observes World AIDS Day on Thursday December 01 under the theme is ‘Stop AIDS: make the promise, get tested’. The main focus of the World AIDS day is not just to raise funds but also to increase awareness, educate and fight prejudice. Several activities were planned for the week leading up to an exhibition and concert today at Emancipation Park. Free testing will be done among other things. The Jamaica AIDS Support will hold its fundraising concert at the Mas Camp Village on Friday December 02, 2005.

 MATTHEW 25:40, one of the HIV/AIDS programmes run by the Mustard Seed Communities is to receive a $2-million from the Culture Health Agriculture Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund. This announcement was made during the Prime Ministers P J Patterson visit to the home on Thursday. Mr. Patterson also donated a personal cheque valued at $35,000 to sponsor an infected child at the home. Matthew 25:40 was opened three years ago and presently houses 13 children between the ages of 18 months to six years old living with HIV/AIDS. It is the second of two Mustard Seed homes that were designated to care for HIV infected children in the island. The first, Dear to Care, which houses 32 children is located in Spanish Town. A third home Martha's House, is scheduled to open early next year. According to Father Gregory Ramkissoon, executive director of Mustard Seed, it cost up to $35,000 to care for each child on a monthly basis. There were 13 reported cases of AIDS in children under 10 years old between January and March of this year, compared to 18 last year. So fare five children have died from AIDS this year.

Friday December 02, 2005
 The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, (JHTA) is gearing up for a bright Winter Tourist Season. Already most hotels are reporting strong bookings for the period. President of JHTA, Horace Peterkin says that all but one of the hotels that sustained damages during the recent Hurricane Season have been repaired and are up and running.

 Investors from Brazil and Canada have indicated their interest in purchasing local operations of the Sugar Company of Jamaica. Pending reductions in the price of sugar from the European Union, the Government had announced its intentions to close two of the islands Government owned sugar factories, Long Pond and Bernard Lodge. The All Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association who has opposed the Governments decision has joined forces with a Brazilian company in a bid to purchase the factories.

 The local trade unions are planning to stage a massive demonstration to protest against the proposed price cuts to sugar and banana by the European Union (EU). They are hoping that the protest will send a clear message to the EU that Jamaica strongly disapproves of the changes. The unions are concerned that the proposed trade changes will result in critical job losses in Jamaica.

Saturday December 03, 2005
 Effective 2007 students leaving secondary schools across the region will be required to take an additional school leaving competency test. This decision was taken at the recently held Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) meeting in Kingston. Students will be tested in five core subjects, English, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Social Studies and Modern Languages. However each country may add other subjects based on that country priority. The new competency test is not aimed at replacing the traditional CXC examinations but is designed to certify students leaving school with no subjects or with low grades.

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Three Ministers

Three ministers - a Presbyterian, a Methodist, and a Southern Baptist and their wives were all on a cruise together. A tidal wave came up and swamped the ship, and they all drowned. The next thing you know, they're standing before St.Peter.

As fate would have it, the first in line was the Presbyterian and his wife. St. Peter shook his head sadly and said, "I can't let you in. You were moral and upright, but you loved money too much. You loved it so much, you even married a woman named Penny."

St.Peter waved sadly, and poof! Down the chute to the 'Other Place' they went. Then came the Methodist. "Sorry, can't let you in either," said Saint Peter "You abstained from liquor and dancing and cards, but you loved food too much.

You loved food so much, you even married a woman named Candy!" Sadly, St. Peter waved again, and whang! Down the chute went the Methodists.

The Southern Baptist turned to his wife and whispered nervously, "It ain't looking good, Fanny."

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