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CARIFORUM-EU Regional Consultations open today in Kingston

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THE CARIFORUM-EU Regional Consultations on the successor to the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement that will expire in 2020, opens today in Kingston.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, who chaired CARIFORUM Caucus and will be co-chairing the CARIFORUM-EU Consultations, said she looked forward to welcoming all visiting delegations,

“Having been an active participant in this process even before it formally started, I am truly pleased, together with my ministry team, to host nine CARIFORUM ministers, the EU and ACP chief negotiators, the secretaries general of both the ACP and CARICOM, the director general of CARIFORUM, as well as other dignitaries, right here in Kingston,” Senator Johnson Smith said.

“The meetings are important to make progress on our negotiations for a post 2020 agreement,” she added.

“The caucus took place yesterday ahead of the CARIFORUM-EU Consultation with the European Union today, where we will hold discussions on the ACP-EU Post-Cotonou Regional Protocol, with a focus on regional priorities. This is a critical phase in the negotiation process. As the public may recall, the agreement is the framework by which we will continue to benefit from EU developmental funding. It is, therefore, very important to attain our national and regional developmental goals.”

EU commissioner for international cooperation and development and chief negotiator for the EU, Neven Mimica, and chief negotiator for the ACP Group, Professor Robert Dussey, minister of foreign affairs, cooperation and African integration of the Togolese Republic and ACP chief negotiator are among those attending today’s consultations.

“Both men have been great partners and advocates for positive results for all in these negotiations,” Johnson Smith, said. She, however, expressed regret that chair of CARIFORUM, St Lucia’s minister, Bradley Felix, would be absent from the meeting due to urgent national business, and thanked him and CARIFORUM colleagues for the confidence vested in Jamaica’s chairing of the consultations.

The ACP Group is focused on addressing its future relations with the EU when the revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement expires in 2020.

The CARIFORUM Group represents the Caribbean in the ACP, and the EU is a major trading partner of many ACP States, including Jamaica.

 

 

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Residents disarm man who pulled gun during dispute

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Residents disarm man who pulled gun during dispute

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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WESTMORELAND, Jamaica — Residents from Beeston Spring in Westmoreland handed over a .38 revolver along with three cartridges to the police on Thursday after disarming a man in the community.

Reports from the Bethel Town police are that about 8:00 pm, there was an altercation between two men when one of the men pulled a firearm.

On seeing the firearm, residents reportedly intervened and in the process of disarming him, he was injured with a machete. The firearm and ammunition were subsequently handed over to the police.

The injured man is admitted in hospital under police guard. His identity is being withheld pending further investigations.


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UK’s Johnson ‘very worried’ about trade tensions, tariff hikes

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UK’s Johnson ‘very worried’ about trade tensions, tariff hikes

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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BIARRITZ, France (AFP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday that he was “very concerned” about the trade tensions between the US and China, saying their tit-for-tat tariff hikes were harmful for the global economy.

“I’m very worried about the way it’s going, the growth of protectionism, of tariffs that we’re seeing,” Johnson said as he arrived at the G7 summit in the French resort of Biarritz, where he was to make his full international debut as Britain’s premier.

“Those who support tariffs are at risk of incurring the blame for the downturn in the global economy,” he said. “This is not the way to proceed.”

The question of tariffs is of particular concern for Johnson as he prepares to lead Britain out of the EU with the prospect of a no-deal Brexit on October 31 looking increasingly likely — which experts warn would cost both sides dearly.

His remarks echoed earlier warnings from the European Union, which warned that the escalating trade spat between Washington and Beijing could drive economies around the world into recession.

“Trade wars will lead to recession, while trade deals will boost the economy,” EU President Donald Tusk as G7 leaders descended on Biarritz for a three-day summit.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who is hosting the summit, also weighed in, saying trade tensions were “bad for everyone”.

“We have to achieve some form of de-escalation, stabilise things, and avoid this trade war that is taking place all over,” he said, just hours after Trump threatened to impose heavy punitive tariffs on France over its tax on US tech giants.

Trade disputes appear set to dominate the agenda of this year’s G7 summit, with Tusk and Macron warning that an ambitious deal between the EU and Latin America’s Mercosur bloc was at risk over Brazil’s response to wildfires in the Amazon.

But Tusk also said the EU would respond in kind if the US imposed tariffs on French wine.

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Trump names Jamaica among illicit drug producing nations

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Trump names Jamaica among illicit drug producing nations

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) — The United States has named four Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries as major drug transit or illicit drug producing countries.

President Donald Trump in his “Presidential Determination on Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2020,” named The Bahamas, Belize, Haiti and Jamaica.

The other countries named by Trump are Afghanistan, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

In his statement, Trump noted that a country’s presence on the foregoing list is not necessarily a reflection of its government’s counter narcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States.

“The reason countries are placed on the list is the combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to transit or be produced, even if a government has engaged in robust and diligent narcotics control measures.”

Trump said his administration has devoted unprecedented resources to combating the scourge of illicit drugs in the United States.

He said this includes strengthening the US borders and expanding programmes to prevent illicit drug use and aid the recovery and treatment of those who need it.

“We are making steady progress to turn the tide of our country’s drug epidemic, but more needs to be accomplished. This includes further efforts beyond our nation’s borders, by governments of countries where dangerous illegal drugs originate,” he said.

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