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JC FOOTBALLER GETS QUALCARE SUPPORT

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

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Jamaica College Manning Cup footballer Rajheme Thompson (in wheelchair) beams with pride after he was presented with three months’ supply of Intrust from Qualcare
Ltd. From left are Jacqueline Robotham, President Jamaica College Parent-Teacher Association; Danielle Wright, Consumer Manager, Qualcare; Derrick Denniser, Brand
Ambassador, Qualcare; Deborah Walcott, Dean of Student Affairs at Jamaica College; Dr Rory Dixon, Senior Medical Officer at Sir John Golding Rehab Centre; Carla Davis,
Thompson’s mother; nurse at Sir John Golding Centre Dawn Allwood; Dr Joseph Wilson; and Dr Donelio Thomas, both of Sir John Golding Centre. Thompson suffered a
stroke during a match last year and is receiving treatment at Sir John Golding Rehab Centre.

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Last days of May?

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LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday dug against a relentless push by rivals and former allies to remove her from office as her attempts to lead Britain out of the European Union appeared to be headed for a dead end.

May resisted calls to rip up her tattered Brexit blueprint and end her embattled premiership after her attempt at compromise was rejected by both her own Conservative Party and Opposition Lawmakers.

But it seemed only a matter of time. Amid a feverish mood as rumours and plots swirled through Parliament, Conservative lawmakers set up a showdown meeting with May for Friday, giving her less than 48 hours to announce she will go or face a renewed attempt to oust her.

And a senior Cabinet minister quit with an excoriating letter attacking May’s failure to lead Britain out of the EU and hold her divided Government together.

Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom alleged there had been “a complete breakdown of collective responsibility” in government, and said May’s Brexit plan would not “deliver on the referendum result” that saw voters in 2016 opt to leave the EU.

Leadsom campaigned to leave the EU in the referendum, and was a strong pro-Brexit voice in Cabinet.

Several other senior ministers were reportedly seeking meetings with May to express unhappiness with her Brexit plan — and possibly urge her to quit. But her spokesman, James Slack, said he was “not aware of any discussions” with Cabinet colleagues.

Lawmaker Tom Tugendhat, a leading Conservative moderate, said the only chance of delivering an orderly Brexit was for May “to go — and without delay”.

“She must announce her resignation after Thursday’s European elections. And the Conservative Party must fast track the leadership process to replace her,” he wrote in the Financial Times.

In the House of Commons, May received a flurry of criticism and hostile questions as she implored lawmakers to support a Bill implementing Britain’s departure from the EU that she plans to put to a vote in Parliament in June.

Nearly three years after British voters opted to leave the EU, May said “we need to see Brexit through, to honour the result of the referendum and to deliver the change the British people so clearly demanded.”

If Parliament rejected her deal, she said, “all we have before us is division and deadlock”.

That could serve as a fair summary of Britain’s current situation.

Lawmakers have already rejected May’s divorce deal with the 27 other EU countries three times, and Britain’s long-scheduled departure date of March 29 passed with the country still in the bloc.

In a last-ditch bid to secure support for her Brexit plan, May on Tuesday announced concessions including a promise to give Parliament a vote on whether to hold a new referendum on Britain’s EU membership — something she has long ruled out.

“I have compromised. Now I ask you to compromise too,” she said.

But there was little sign her plea was being heeded. Pro-EU and pro-Brexit lawmakers have only hardened their positions during months of political trench warfare, and they are in no mood to compromise.

Pro-Brexit Conservatives accused May of capitulating to pro-EU demands, and Opposition Labour Party lawmakers dismissed her offer as too little, too late.

“The rhetoric may have changed but the deal has not,” said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “She did not seek a compromise until after she had missed her own deadline to leave, and by the time she finally did, she had lost the authority to deliver.”

May’s authority as Conservative leader has been shredded by her loss of the party’s parliamentary majority in a 2017 election and her failure to lead Britain out of the EU as promised.The party’s powerful anti-EU wing wants to oust May and replace her with a staunch Brexit supporter such as former foreign secretary Boris Johnson.

May has said she will announce a timetable for her departure once Parliament has voted on her Brexit Bill, but it looks increasingly unlikely she can hang on that long. She survived a no-confidence vote among Conservative lawmakers in December, leaving her safe from challenge for 12 months under party rules. Some pro-Brexit lawmakers wanted the party’s 1922 Committee, which oversees leadership contests, to change the rules when so that May can face a new challenge within days.

But the party committee decided instead to send its Chairman Graham Brady to meet May on Friday before it decides whether to alter the rules.

If May stays on until next week, pressure is likely to increase when results come in from this week’s elections for the European Parliament, with Conservatives expecting to receive a drubbing. Many British voters on both sides of the Brexit debate look set to use the election to the EU legislature to express displeasure over the political gridlock. Opinion polls show strong support for the single-issue Brexit Party — largely from angry former Conservative voters — and for pro-EU parties including the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.

The election is being held tomorrow in Britain, but results won’t be announced until all 28 EU countries have finished voting late Sunday.

May insisted she would fight on. She said the Brexit withdrawal Bill would be published Friday so that lawmakers can study it.

Despite speculation that May will scrap plans to bring it to a vote to avoid a crushing defeat, her office said a vote will be held during the week of June 3.

“In time, another prime minister will be standing at this despatch box,” May told lawmakers, acknowledging that her days in the job are numbered.

But, she told Parliament, “in the end our job in this House is to take decisions, not to duck them.

“So I will put those decisions to this House. Because that is my duty and because it is the only way that we can deliver Brexit.”

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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Libya’s Hifter tells Macron no cease-fire without negotiator

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PARIS, France (AP) — Libyan commander Khalifa Hifter said in a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday that he cannot work toward a cease-fire because he has no one with whom to negotiate.

Hifter opened a military offensive on the Libyan capital of Tripoli in early April despite commitments to move toward elections in the North African country.

Libya is divided between Hifter, whose self-styled Libyan National Army controls the east and much of the south, and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, who runs the UN-supported but weak government in Tripoli.

During a more than hour-long closed door meeting, Macron asked Hifter to work toward a cease-fire and a return to the political process, according to a statement from Macron’s office.

“When the question of a cease-fire is put on the table, “the reaction of … Hifter is ‘with whom can I negotiate a ceasefire today?’” an official of the presidential lyse Palace said. Hifter considers the Sarraj government is being eaten from within by armed militias and considers “it’s not for him (Hifter) to negotiate with representatives of these militias”, the official said. The official wasn’t authorised to speak publicly about the delicate talks and asked to remain anonymous.

The closed-door meeting came two weeks after Macron hosted Libya’s struggling UN-backed prime minister, who has denounced Hifter’s offensive as an attempted coup. Macron’s office has expressed support for Sarraj.

The official rejected claims that France is secretly backing Hifter, saying that France is trying “to create a dynamic” between the two.

“Sarraj is the legitimate prime minister of Libya and Hifter … is an essential actor in the Libyan crisis,” the official said.

Paris hosted the two men in 2017 in a bold bid to launch a peace process and organise elections. The statement from the president’s office said the meeting was “to facilitate dialogue between the two Libyans, in the context of military operations on the outskirts of Tripoli”.

The statement noted commitments by the Libyans in Paris, Italy and the United Arab Emirates: creating a transitional government, unifying Libyan institutions and preparing elections.

Hifter used the meeting to justify his offensive on Tripoli, the official said, but added that the Paris meeting was able to advance the situation.

“At the end of the meeting, Hifter recognised that inclusive political discussions are necessary, and he agreed that, when conditions are right, to the relaunching of political dialogue,” the official said.

“He didn’t say he would make a political (gesture) tonight or tomorrow, but was convinced at the end of the meeting of the need” for it, the official said.

The fighting over Tripoli erupted on April 4, with the LNA led by Hifter and aligned with a rival government in the east, launching a push on the country’s capital, located in the west, and militias loosely allied with the UN-supported government in Tripoli.

The death toll from the fighting stood at 510 on Sunday, according to the World Health Organization, mainly combatants but also including civilians. Tens of thousands have been displaced or trapped by Hifter’s offensive.

The UN envoy for Libya warned on on Tuesday that the oil-rich nation was “on the verge of descending into a civil war” that could imperil its neighbours. Ghassan Salame told the UN Security Council that extremists from the Islamic State group and al-Qaida are already exploiting the security vacuum.

Libya has been split between rival authorities in east and west since 2014, with each side backed by various militias. Hifter’s forces have battled Islamic extremists and other rival factions across eastern Libya, and recently made inroads in the south.

Hifter presents himself as a strong hand that can restore stability after years of chaos that transformed Libya into a haven for armed groups and a major conduit for migrants bound for Europe. His opponents, however, view him as an aspiring autocrat and fear the country could return to one-man rule as under longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who was ousted and killed in 2011.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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Courts Jamaica celebrates 60th anniversary

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COURTS, owned and operated by Unicomer Jamaica Limited, celebrated 60 years of operation with a church service on May 5, and an islandwide Customer Appreciation Day on May 15.

The church service, moderated by the Rev Al Miller under the theme “Celebrating God’s Faithfulness”, saw the attendance of Audley Shaw, minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries, representing the prime minister; MP Julian Robinson, representing the Opposition leader; as well as Unicomer Jamaica managing director, Dennis Harris.

Addressing the congregation, Harris underscored the value of commitment of customers and staff to the success of Courts over the years. “Like the many iconic accomplishments in the past 60 years, Courts Jamaica has cemented itself in history as being an iconic brand, achieving remarkable success, all made possible with the commitment of everyday Jamaicans,” he said.

On May 15, the company celebrated with a grand islandwide celebration. At their first store in Cross Roads, 79- 81A Slipe Road, customers were greeted on a red carpet. During the day, the valued customers were treated to refreshment, fun activities and tokens, giveaways of 60 goodie bags, entertainment, and refreshment. The first six customers who celebrated their 60th birthday in May were gifted with recliners.

“As we continue to bask in the celebrations of our 60th year, we wish to express our heartfelt thanks to our customers who have made us the furniture, appliance, electronics, eyewear, and loans choice. We look forward to meeting their needs and giving back to the communities in which we operate for decades to come,” Courts said.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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