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Special sitting of KSAMC to hail Seaga

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The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) is to convene a special sitting at which councillors will offer tributes to late former Prime Minister Edward Seaga, who died on May 28 at age 89, the Jamaica Information Service ( JIS ) has reported.

This was disclosed by Deputy Mayor of Kingston Councillor Winston Ennis, during yesterday’s meeting of the corporation in downtown Kingston, at which councillors and others observed a period of silence in memory of Seaga, one of the key architects of Jamaica’s Constitution which was framed in 1961.

The JIS release did not say if Councillor Ennis gave the date for the special sitting. However, he said Seaga, by virtue of his unquestionable commitment to the people of Jamaica, developed and expanded several national institutions that have created immense and priceless benefit to the country.

He noted too that Seaga skilfully, deliberately, and decisively, led Jamaica during trying times.

During the course of his political life, Seaga made a significant impact on Jamaica’s growth and development through the introduction of various programmes and the establishment of institutions across the social, cultural, political, and financial landscapes.

On June 19, both Houses of Parliament will sit in a joint session, starting at 2:00 pm, to pay tribute to the former legislator.

The State funeral for Seaga will be held on Sunday, June 23 at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, after which he will be buried in National Heroes’ Park.

During the official period of mourning (June 19 to 22), the Jamaican flag will be flown at half-mast on all public buildings.

Seaga represented the constituency of Kingston Western from 1962 until his retirement from active politics in 2005. He was Jamaica’s fifth prime minister, serving from 1980 to 1989.

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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Father/daughter border drowning highlights US migrants’ perils

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MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AP) — The man and his 23-month-old daughter lay face down in shallow water along the bank of the Rio Grande, his black shirt hiked up to his chest with the girl’s head tucked inside. Her arm was draped around his neck suggesting she clung to him in her final moments.

The searing photograph of the sad discovery on Monday, captured by journalist Julia Le Duc and published by Mexican newspaper La Jornada, highlights the perils of the latest migration crisis involving mostly Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty and hoping for asylum in the United States.

From the scorching Sonora desert to the fast-moving Rio Grande, the US-Mexico border has long been an at times deadly journey for those who cross it illegally between ports of entry.

In recent weeks alone, two babies, a toddler and a woman were found dead on Sunday, overcome by the sweltering heat. Elsewhere three children and an adult from Honduras died in April after their raft capsized on the Rio Grande, and a 6-year-old from India was found dead earlier this month in Arizona, where temperatures routinely soar well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Very regrettable that this would happen,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday in response to a question about the photograph. “We have always denounced that as there is more rejection in the United States, there are people who lose their lives in the desert or crossing” the river.

According to Le Duc’s reporting for La Jornada, scar Alberto Martnez Ramrez, frustrated because the family from El Salvador were unable to present themselves to US authorities and request asylum, swam across the river with his daughter, Valeria.

He set her on the US bank of the river and started back for his wife, Tania Vanessa valos, but seeing him move away the girl threw herself into the waters. Martnez returned and was able to grab Valeria, but the current swept them both away. The account was based on remarks by valos to police at the scene.

Their bodies were discovered Monday morning on the bank of the river near Matamoros, Mexico, across from Brownsville, Texas, and several hundred yards (meters) from where they had tried to cross, just a half-mile (1 kilometre) from an international bridge.

The photo recalls the 2015 image of a three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned in the Mediterranean near Turkey, though it remains to be seen whether it may have the same impact in focusing international attention on migration to the US.

US policy has drastically reduced the number of migrants who are allowed to request asylum, down from dozens per day previously to sometimes just a handful at some ports of entry.

The United States has also been expanding its programme under which asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their claims are processed in US courts, a wait that could last many months or even years.

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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Weather radar to vastly improve capabilities of Met Service — Vaz

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, says the monitoring capabilities of the Meteorological Service of Jamaica will be “vastly improved” with the installation of a new S-Band Doppler Weather Radar.

Cabinet recently approved a US$2.4 million contract for the design, supply and installation of the S-band Doppler radar in a deal described as the single largest contract under the Improving Climate Data & Information Management Project funded by the Climate Investment Funds through the World Bank Group.

The minister said it was critically important to replace the 20-year-old almost obsolete radar, citing the increasing failure of the aged system.  The new system, he said, signals a resolve to meet the global challenges of weather and climate. 

Vaz was speaking today at the contract signing for the radar to be situated at Cooper’s Hill in St Andrew. The signing of the contract took place at the Terra Nova Hotel and Suites.

According to Vaz the installation of the weather radar will greatly enhance the country’s ability to achieve its Vision 2030 milestones, based on its capacity to pinpoint the location and movement of rainfall cells anywhere over the country and as far away as the Cayman Islands, south-eastern Cuba and Western Haiti.

“Jamaica will also be able to better serve the Caribbean Community as we integrate our observations into the mosaic of stations under operation in the region, and also contribute to the surveillance of the National Hurricane Centre in Miami, Florida, under their Tropical Cyclone Programme,” he noted.

“We have a very clear vision moving into the next decade,” the minister said, adding that Jamaica is focused on achieving Outcome 14 under the fourth National Development Goal of “Hazard Risk Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change”.   “We firmly believe that adequate monitoring of natural hazards is pivotal to implementing that strategy,” he added.

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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J$131.04 to one US dollar

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Forex: J$131.04 to one US dollar

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The US dollar on Tuesday, June 25 ended trading at J$131.04 up by 61 cents according to the Bank of Jamaica’s daily foreign exchange trading summary.

Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$100.27 down from J$100.20 while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$164.55 down from J$165.60.


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