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Vaz will tomorrow join 16 other women in Parliament

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TOMORROW, April 16, marks the swearing in of the 17th woman in the current Parliament, Ann- Marie Vaz, and the second to sit with her husband at the same time in Gordon House.

Vaz defeated former Opposition Senator Damion Crawford by 319 votes (9,989 to 9,670) in the by-election held on April 4 to find a replacement for the late Dr Lynvale Bloomfield (People’s National Party —PNP) who was murdered in February.

There are currently 16 women in Gordon House — five in the Senate and 11 in the House of Representatives — which means that only about 20 per cent of the parliamentarians are women. The global average is 24.1 per cent for Lower House seats won by women.

This is a sad reflection on a political system which is dominated by women activists, but seem unable to encourage the development of the vast number of these female activists into effective representatives at the parliamentary level.

The African nation of Rwanda has the best figures for women in parliament with and amazing 61.3 per cent, followed by Cuba, 53.2 per cent; Bolivia, 53.1 per cent; Mexico, 48.2 per cent; and Grenada, the only English-speaking Caribbean country in the top 12 with 46.7 per cent.

Incidentally, one of the few things that brought Democrats and Republicans together during US President Donald Trump’s recent State of the Union address was his celebration of a record number of women in the US Congress. One hundred and two women (102) were elected to the House of Representatives in the 2018 mid-terms, taking 23.5 per cent of the 435 seats.

But, even this means that the United States still lags well behind much of the world when it comes to female representation — ranking just 75th on a list compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Tomorrow, there is likely to be some celebration in the vicinity of Duke Street, where the Parliament is situated, as there is no doubt that Government supporters are going to want to welcome Vaz home after her victory in the recent by-election, considering the islandwide interest in the poll.

What is interesting though about the local Parliament is that both the Leader of Government Business and the Leader of Opposition Business — Senator Kamina Johnson Smith (Government) and Senator Donna Scott Mottley (Opposition) — are women.

 

Sectoral debate

The annual Sectoral Debate opens tomorrow with presentations from Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang, and Opposition spokesman on Mining and Energy Phillip Paulwell.

The debate is expected to end by May 22.

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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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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India 14-0 at lunch, lead Windies by 89 runs

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India 14-0 at lunch, lead Windies by 89 runs

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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NORTH SOUND, Antigua and Barbuda (AFP) — India were 14 without loss in their second innings, a lead of 89 runs, at lunch on the third day of the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Saturday.

Brief scores

India 297 (A Rahane 81, R Jadeja 58, K L Rahul 44; K Roach 4-66) and 14-0 v West Indies 222 (R Chase 48; I Sharma 5-43)

Toss: West Indies


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