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Obama's visit could open door for more economic support for JAMAICA— Trade Minister Senator AJ Nicholson Says....."He didn't address that frontally, but from our perspective, I think coming out of the bilateral, that is something that he himself could not push. It is something that the finance minister would have to raise with the World Bank and others," the minister said.


THE Government has signalled its intention to capitalise on the visit of United States President Barack Obama, with Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Senator AJ Nicholson indicating that the visit could influence the opening of more doors for economic support for Jamaica.
"I strongly believe that the visit of the president to Jamaica at this point in time, points to the kind of international profile that Jamaica should have," Nicholson said.
Trade Minister Senator AJ Nicholson
The minister was addressing a press briefing at Jamaica House in St Andrew, yesterday, where he went over the details of bilateral discussions between Obama and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, as well as those between the president and Caricom leaders.
"From our perspective, we believe that we are in a better position to be listened to, and for it to be acted upon, because of the way we have conducted ourselves over these past few years," he said.
Obama, he said, had not directly put the prospect of debt relief for Jamaica on the table.
"He didn't address that frontally, but from our perspective, I think coming out of the bilateral, that is something that he himself could not push. It is something that the finance minister would have to raise with the World Bank and others," the minister said.
Nicholson noted that it had been agreed that Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips would discuss this and other matters during his attendance at the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, in Washington DC.
The annual meetings facilitate discussion among ministers of finance, heads of central banks and other high-level authorities, on financing and debt-related issues faced by member countries.
Nicholson indicated that the Government would take advantage of the platform that the visit has provided for cooperation and development in areas such as energy, security, education, and trade.
"It (the visit) revealed the readiness of the president to have his administration follow up actively, on the points made by Jamaica and Caricom, and to have the process of engagement continue, going forward," he said.
Meanwhile, as tensions continue to mount between the United States and Venezuela, Nicholson said it is hoped that the two countries can resolve their differences through diplomacy.
"We hope that this apparent conflict, between our two close friends, will be resolved around the diplomatic table. After all, we live in a zone of peace in the western hemisphere. We would wish for that to continue...the president (Obama) did tell us that he has sent a special envoy to president Maduro, to move along the path that Jamaica is suggesting," the foreign affairs minister told journalists. ...Read More

HEARTLESS DETAILS! Criminals execute 3 teenaged boys, 35-year-old man in Clarendon.... Alex Turner (16 y-o), Ricardo Briscoe (14), Raymond Ginas (14)..."This is an attack on the future, it is an attack on the innocent," said Williams, who added that he was very concerned about the growing number of attacks against children in the country....a $500,000 reward for information that could help them prosecute the killers.

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter matthewsk@jamaicaobserver.com  Friday, April 17, 2015    
GUNMEN Wednesday descended to new level of depravity when they held up three teenaged boys and a 35-year-old man, told them to lie face down and executed them in the quiet Hayes community in Clarendon.
Oh God, help me go through this,’ cries Ann Marie Briscoe,
whose 14-year-old son, Ricardo Briscoe, was among
 the murder victims. The pain of the brutal murder of three
 teenaged boys and a 35-year-old man is too much
 for these residents of Moneymusk Housing Scheme in
Hayes, Clarendon. (PHOTOS: LIONEL ROOKWOOD)
The brutal, heartless murders were committed at approximately 9:30 pm in the Moneymusk Housing Scheme, triggering islandwide shock and anger, and an immediate response from the police high command which launched an islandwide manhunt for the killers that has so far resulted in the capture of two suspects from the parish.
But even as the authorities were preparing to question the suspects they posted a $500,000 reward for information that could help them prosecute the killers.
"I want to assure you that we will leave no stone unturned in our search for those responsible," Police Commissioner Carl Williams said as he visited the community and reached out to family members of the victims.
01
Painful times
The words of encouragement from the police top brass were however not enough to silence the grieving mothers, whose cries could be heard on approach to the community, where residents mourned 14-year-old Raymond Givans, a student of Vere Technical High School; Ricardo Briscoe, also 14 years old, of Garvey Maceo High School; 16-year-old Alex Turner, who attended Central High; and Marquis Hamilton, a 35-year-old accounts clerk at the Sugar Company of Jamaica.
The Constabulary Communication Network reported that the three boys were walking along the road when they were pounced upon by two armed men who forced them onto Hamilton's premises where they were gunned down.
Police yesterday theorised that robbery was the motive. However, residents gave another story.
The victims (from left) Alex Turner, Ricardo Briscoe,
Raymond Gibbons.
The resident said the boys were walking home from a gym when they stopped in a section of the housing scheme to tap into an unsecured wireless Internet service.
"While they were sitting there, men came in the area and held them up at gunpoint," said one resident.
Hamilton, who was sitting close to his house, was also held. The four were ordered to lie face down on the ground.
Minutes later the unthinkable happened. Sounds of gunfire echoed throughout the community. One source from the community said the gunmen, after carrying out the dastardly act, started running away but returned to the spot to ensure that the victims were dead. more

Jamaica growth exceeds Latin American average — IMF data Nation should grow by 1.7% in 2015 down from 1.8 per cent in the previous report. The island should also grow at 2.2 per cent in 2016, but there was no immediate comparison from the previous report.

BY STEVEN JACKSON Business reporter jacksons@jamaicaobserver.com  Friday, April 17, 2015    
JAMAICA'S growth forecast was slightly lowered for 2015, but surprisingly it still beat the average growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to fresh data from the island's multilateral lender the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
WASHINGTON, United States — IMF Managing Director
Christine Lagarde speaks during a discussion on the global
 economy at the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in
Washington, DC, on Thursday. (PHOTO: AFP)
The IMF noted in its quarterly World Economic Outlook (WEO) that the island should grow at 1.7 per cent in 2015 down from 1.8 per cent in the previous report. The island should also grow at 2.2 per cent in 2016, but there was no immediate comparison from the previous report.
Its rare, at least in recent years, for the island to beat the region. Commodity prices led by energy and grains are no longer supporting the growth in Brazil, Venezula, Argentina and Mexico. As a result their growth is weak, but it also allows commodity importers like Jamaica a chance to grow.
Latin America and the Caribbean is set to grow at 0.9 per cent and 2.0 per cent in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
KINGSTON, Jamaica — An aerial view
of downtown Kingston, with ships
in the harbour.
Panama leads
Panama will continue growing at the fastest pace in the Americas at 6.1 per cent and 6.4 per cent in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Meanwhile, oil-rich Venezuela should decline by 7.0 per cent and 4.0 per cent in 2015 and 2016, the worst in the region.
Jamaica will beat oil-rich Trinidad & Tobago, set to grow at 1.2 per cent and 1.5 per cent in 2015 and 2016, respectively. more
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You may also listen commercial FREE by clicking ON AIR-Listen LIVE AUDIO BOX above or TUNE-IN LINK or call in on Tele at 213-401-0061. Studio line is 770-744-2154. Enjoy the sweet music.To chat , please sign in with your Chatango account.Please support the scholarship program by considering to donate at least $10.00 at www.PALAS1.org. Thank you very much.

TEST CRICKET : Blackwood hits first ton... But England still in commanding position

 Thursday, April 16, 2015    
NORTH SOUND, Antigua and Barbuda (AFP) — England’s top-order tumbled cheaply again, but the tourists still worked themselves into a commanding position at 116 for three in their second innings, an overall lead of 220, by stumps on the third day of the first Test against the West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua yesterday. Jermaine Blackwood’s maiden Test hundred lifted the home side to 295 in their first innings with James Tredwell’s off-spin bringing him the excellent figures of four for 47 off 26 overs and ensuring his side earned a significant first-innings lead.
Left with the final session to build on an advantage of 104 runs, openers Jonathan Trott and captain Alastair Cook were prised out in double-quick time by Jerome Taylor. First-innings centenarian Ian Bell was then run out, but at 52 for three, Joe Root (32 not out) joined Gary Ballance (44 not out) in resisting the early threat and then profited against bowlers who quickly ran out of discipline and inspiration.
Defending a first-innings total of 399, English perseverance in the field on another sweltering day’s play eventually paid off. Tredwell made the important breakthrough in the morning by removing Shivnarine Chanderpaul for 46 before adding the wickets of Jason Holder and Kemar Roach as the West Indies lower order failed to show any meaningful resistance, the last four wickets subsiding for 19 runs. Blackwood’s unbeaten 112 was compiled in a stay of almost six hours at the crease, highly unusual for a batsman noted for quick-fire, strokefilled innings. His knock was not without moments of good fortune though. more

Kingston, JAMAICA : Ganja Licence UTech, UWI get greenlight to grow marijuana for research

BY ALPHEA SAUNDERS Senior staff reporter saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com  Thursday, April 16, 2015     
THE University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) will be the first two educational institutions to be issued with licences to grow marijuana for research purposes under the new provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which took effect yesterday.
Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell made the announcement yesterday in his presentation in the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House .
He said that, as the country moves to build an industry for medicinal ganja, it is crucial for research institutions such as these to have the required authority to cultivate the plant. "If Jamaica wants to establish itself as a centre of excellence for research in ganja, this should be the home of research and development in ganja," he said.
Paulwell pointed out that, as it stands now, institutions are allowed to use marijuana for research, but under the auspices of the police. The science and technology minister stressed that the licences come with strict conditions. "It's not a free-for-all... or to promote smoking of ganja, it is to recognise that this product has tremendous value," he said.
He also sought to allay apprehension about who would benefit from a local medical ganja industry, stating that the market was large enough to accommodate small and large farmers and urged cooperation and sharing of information to allow sharing of the expected benefits.
The licence will be for a specified period and subject to monitoring of the research activities to ensure that they are in keeping with what was approved. more