Connect with us

News

Work begins soon on Port Royal Street coastal revetment project

Published

on

‘);
} else {
$(“.fotorama-caption”).addClass(“remove_caption”);
}
})
.fotorama();

WORK is expected to begin soon on the Port Royal Street coastal revetment project.

This follows Cabinet’s approval for the Jamaica Social Investment Fund to grant a $950,000,000-contract to S&G Road Surfacing Materials Limited for the construction.

Speaking at Tuesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, minister with responsibility for education, youth and information, Karl Samuda, said under the contract, S&G will construct a one-km composite seawall and revetment structure designed to resist storm waves.

Samuda said the roadway will be raised to reduce flooding risks from storm events, noting that the company will upgrade minor drains crossing Port Royal Street.

“A 4.7-km boardwalk will be constructed for recreational use and an 80-metre fishing beach will also be constructed under the contract to accommodate fishermen,” 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

Source link

قالب وردپرس

News

$25-m motorcycle simulation centre for Westmoreland

Published

on

By

$25-m motorcycle simulation centre for Westmoreland

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Print this page
Email A Friend!

‘);
} else {
$(“.fotorama-caption”).addClass(“remove_caption”);
}
})
.fotorama();

GRANGE HILL, Westmoreland — Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang says the Government is constructing a motorcycle simulation centre in Westmoreland at a cost of $25 million.

The facility is expected to begin accepting students by the end of next month and each batch of students will receive training for three months. On successful completion of the programme, which is aimed at saving lives, each participant will be given a certificate, driver’s licence and helmet.

Dr Chang said bikers are eager to get into the programme, but he was unable to provide details on the numbers expected to be enrolled.

“They are dying, that is the reality. They are crashing every day, so, anything to improve their skill set [will be good]. You are talking about improving their riding skills, getting them to know the road code and at the same time, teaching them some skills on how to maintain the bikes. And we will give them helmets to begin to introduce some behavioural changes that will hopefully be maintained long term,” he explained.

“Most of the guys who don’t wear helmets, they ride without shoes. They ride almost [in] T-shirts and shorts. So when they crash, the chances of them surviving are very, very low, and when they survive, they are physically challenged for the rest of their lives,” added the minister, who is also a medical doctor.

The bike riders’ vocational training facility, which is currently being constructed on the grounds of Petersfield Vocational Training Centre in the parish, will offer first class training in the driving of motor bikes, as well as classes on their care and maintenance.

According to Dr Chang, the programme forms part of the Government’s offering to divert young men from a life of crime. It is similar to an articulated truck simulator programme currently being implemented in St James and Kingston.

With 44 deaths in 2019, Westmoreland recorded the highest number of the 119 road fatalities that year for the Area One Police Division, which also includes the parishes of Trelawny, Hanover, and St James.

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

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

News

Caribbean leaders concerned about substance abuse among youth

Published

on

By

Caribbean leaders concerned about substance abuse among youth

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Print this page
Email A Friend!

‘);
} else {
$(“.fotorama-caption”).addClass(“remove_caption”);
}
})
.fotorama();

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Increasing cases of substance abuse among young people is likely to be among matters discussed when Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders meet in Trinidad for their summit on crime.

Caribbean Community (Caricom) chairman and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley pointed to the use of the recreational drug lean, also known as purple drank, among young people in Barbados.

Lean originated in the United States, and is a concoction of cough syrup, hard candy and soda. It can also cause seizures and addiction.

“This is perhaps one of the worst things that is happening throughout the region. It’s one of the negative things that they have taken up from, as we would say, over and away,” she said.

“And regrettably, too many of our young children are using it, and in using it, makes them go into being a different person. That the level of sugar, I’m told, when going into the bloodstream combined with the codeine and other things, is having a deleterious impact and in some instances people don’t even remember what they were doing when they were high,” Mottley added.

The Barbados prime minister also stressed that authorities need to work with parents in the region so they can recognise and address the threats to their children’s stability.

“Now at the end of the day a child who is high, a young person who is high and who is not in full control of their capacities, may end up doing something that they would not do if they were not. And if they have access to weapons, which regrettably are all too available in our societies today, then what they might have done 30 years ago with a rock or a piece of 23, they are now doing today with automatic weapons. And that is the insidious nature of what we’re confronting,” she said, adding that she learned about the trend from 11-and 12-year-olds.

“It is only going around in the last few weeks trying to understand what is happening, that you begin to recognise that this thing is a serious issue. And unlike other drugs that would bring you down, this one does even stranger things to the young people,” she said.

“And what can be more innocent than jolly ranchers and hard candy? Bad for you from a point of view of health, but we never associated it as a substance which when abused, could lead to all kinds of psychotropic behaviour and other types of activities that flow from drug abuse.”

Mottley’s concerns come as Caricom leaders prepare to meet in Trinidad for a summit on the wave of crime and violence sweeping the region.

She stressed that the problem cannot be solved only through law enforcement, as it is part of “a broader societal problem that requires a societal solution of which the Government is only but one of the players”.

“And we’re talking about not just how do you solve murders? We’re talking about how do you resolve violence and conflict within our families, within our communities, within our countries,” she noted.

As regional leaders consider possible solutions, Mottley pointed to the example of Bermuda, which adopted a home-grown, multi-sectoral approach to reducing criminal activity among young people.

“One that picks up those children who are being put out of school at 16 instead of leaving them on the street; one that looks at those families who are falling through the cracks; one that teaches our children how to be able to resolve conflict without wanting to resort to violence to be able to do so.

“But it is only going to happen when we do this according to scale. In order to transform the society, you need scale. And to that extent therefore, what the prime ministers and heads of government have agreed is that we need to bring everybody together; set a common mission, and once we set that common mission, then each work their part to pursue and achieve that mission. And therefore it cannot be Government alone,” Mottley said.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, who has lead responsibility for crime, also told reporters that leaders will now treat the issue of crime and violent behaviour as a public health issue.

“It’s all well and good to be able to respond in a reactive way, but we will now look to focus in a proactive way; so we want to get to the root cause of this upsurge in sustained violent behaviour of our people.

“Experts are telling us that given the effect of this kind of behaviour it is now a public health issue and it ought to be looked at in that context,” Rowley 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

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

News

New COVID-19 threats emerge while China voices optimism

Published

on

By

New COVID-19 threats emerge while China voices optimism

Friday, February 21, 2020

Print this page
Email A Friend!

‘);
} else {
$(“.fotorama-caption”).addClass(“remove_caption”);
}
})
.fotorama();

BEIJING, China (AP) — Chinese health officials expressed new optimism yesterday over a deadly virus outbreak while authorities in South Korea’s fourth-largest city urged residents to hunker down as fears nagged communities far from the illness’ epicentre.

The confidence voiced by China’s Government came as it reported a reduced number of new infections. But doubts remained about the true trajectory of the epidemic as China again changed its method of counting and new threats emerged outside the country.

“The downward trend will not be reversed,” insisted Ding Xiangyang, deputy chief secretary of the State Council and a member of the central government’s supervision group.

Whatever promises were aired where the illness poses its biggest threat, countries around the world continued to grapple with the rippling effects. The latest front in the widening global fight against COVID-19 emerged in Daegu, South Korea, where the city’s 2.5 million residents were urged to stay inside, wearing masks even indoors to stem further infection.

Mayor Kwon Young-jin made a nationally televised appeal for those preventative measures, warning that a rash of new cases could overwhelm the health system. He pleaded for help from the country’s central government.

Daegu and surrounding towns reported 35 new cases of the coronavirus yesterday.

The flare-up came more than 1,400 kilometres (900 miles) from COVID-19’s epicentre across the Yellow Sea in China’s Hubei province and its capital of Wuhan, a sign of the risks the virus potentially poses to communities across the region and beyond.

“Everything that is not known about this is causing concern,” said Dr David Heymann, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Though all but about 1,000 of more than 75,000 reported cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in China, scattered cases have erupted elsewhere.

Iran announced three more infections yesterday, a day after the country’s State-run news agency, IRNA, reported its first two deaths stemming from the virus. In addition, South Korea reported its first fatality and Japan said two former passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship had died of the illness, bringing the death toll there to three.

Other deaths confirmed by the World Health Organization outside mainland China include two in Hong Kong and one each in France, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

The trajectory of the outbreak remained clouded by China’s zigzagging daily reports of new cases and shifting ways of tallying them.

The number of new cases in China declined again yesterday, to 394, a notable shift from the 1,749 figure released a day earlier. Another 114 deaths in China were linked to the virus.

But those statistics came after yet another change in how cases are counted.

Last week, China’s National Health Commission said officials in Hubei would record new infections without waiting for laboratory test results, relying instead on doctors’ diagnoses and lung imaging. Yesterday, though, it returned to its prior way of counting, a decision sure to aggravate observers who say consistency is key to understanding COVID-19’s path.

The health commission said it was reducing its count of infections by 279 after lab tests found they had wrongly been included in the tally.

Cities in Hubei with a combined population of more than 60 million have been under lockdown since the Lunar New Year holiday. Authorities halted nearly all transportation and movement except for quarantine efforts, medical care, and delivery of food and basic necessities. “Wartime” measures were implemented in some places, with residents prevented from even leaving their apartments.

The stringent moves have followed public fury over Hubei authorities’ handling of the outbreak at its outset. The risk of human-to-human transmission was played down and doctors who tried to warn the public were reprimanded by police. Wuhan residents reported overcrowding in hospitals and futile attempts to seek treatment.

Many countries have also set up border screenings and airlines have cancelled flights to and from China to prevent further spread of the disease, which has been detected in about two dozen countries.

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

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

News

Man held for Big Lane shooting

Published

on

By

Man held for Big Lane shooting

Friday, February 21, 2020

Print this page
Email A Friend!

‘ + activeFrame.title + ‘
‘);
} else {
$(“.fotorama-caption”).addClass(“remove_caption”);
}
})
.fotorama();

ONE man is to face the court to answer to charges stemming from a shooting incident on Big Lane in Central Village, St Catherine on Sunday, January 19.

Charged with shooting with intent, illegal possession of firearm and ammunition is 30-year-old Barrington Campbell, otherwise called Jason, a welder of Central Lane in St Catherine.

The constabulary reported that about 6:30 am police officers were on patrol in the area when the accused and two men allegedly opened gunfire at them. The gunfire was returned and the men fled. Campbell was later arrested. He was subsequently charged on Tuesday this week after being identified as one of the shooters.


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

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

News

BOJ reports increase in credit to businesses, households

Published

on

By

BOJ reports increase in credit to businesses, households

Friday, February 21, 2020

Print this page
Email A Friend!

‘);
} else {
$(“.fotorama-caption”).addClass(“remove_caption”);
}
})
.fotorama();

THE Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is reporting a significant increase in credit extended by deposit-taking institutions to businesses and households for the 12-month period ending December 2019.

BOJ Governor Richard Byles said credit to businesses grew by 20.3 per cent, while the provision to households increased by 16.5 per cent.

“This growth was notably faster than the expansions of 15.4 per cent and 12 per cent in credit to businesses and households, respectively, which were recorded in 2018,” he pointed out.

He said, further, that the number of firms securing financing from the issue of corporate bonds and equity is “encouraging”.

The governor was addressing the quarterly media briefing at the BOJ’s downtown Kingston headquarters, yesterday.

Byles said the buoyant growth in credit represents “stronger signs” that the Central Bank’s accommodative monetary policy stance “has been bearing fruit”.

Accommodative monetary policy is where a central bank attempts to expand the overall money supply to boost the economy.

The bank has maintained the policy interest rate on overnight placements from deposit-taking institutions at 0.50 per cent as at yesterday, having incrementally reduced the figure from 3.25 per cent at the start of 2018.

The governor said the decision is based on the BOJ’s assessment that monetary conditions continue to be “generally appropriate” to support inflation remaining within the target of four to six per cent over the next eight quarters.

The inflation target was set by the Government to facilitate a faster pace of economic growth while supporting Jamaica’s ongoing debt-reduction strategy.

“In response, we have seen that the deposit-taking institutions — commercial banks, merchant banks and building societies — have recorded strong growth in loans as well as marked reductions in lending rates on local currency loans,” he pointed out.

Byles, who late last year expressed concern that the anticipated reductions in rates to the public from the policy rate adjustments had not been materialising at the desired level, indicated that he had several meetings with representatives of those institutions to discuss the issue.

He said those talks resulted in a significant boosting of credit being issued to businesses and households.

“Generally, new loans have been issued at rates that are better than and more competitive to previous loans issued,” he noted.

In terms of the impact on the growth numbers, the governor noted that while there was a fallout in mining and agriculture, there were marked increases in tourism and manufacturing, resulting in growth trending upwards from 1.1 per cent for the September 2018 quarter, to 1.4 per cent in the September 2019 quarter.

— JIS

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

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

Trending