As Jamaica signs onto China's Belt and Road Initiative, the US Congress takes a closer look

BY ALEXIS MONTEITH Observer writer Sunday, April 21, 2019 

As Jamaica signed on to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on April 11, a report to the American Congress entitled 'China's Engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean' sought to examine the implications of growing Chinese influence in the region.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
 Senator Kamina Johnson Smith (left), and Chinese
 Ambassador to Jamaica Tian Qi (right)
exchange the signed agreements
The BRI is an initiative that advances international development cooperation between China and its partners to build up connectivity and ensure benefits to all parties linked within its framework. By signing a memorandum of understanding for the BRI, Jamaica joins several other countries in the region including Barbados, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Guyana, the Dominican Republic and others — who have already done so.
A view of the Mandela Highway near Kingston. 
The report to the American Congress on Chinese influence was put together by the Congressional Research Service, and it suggests that China's regional objectives over the past several years have been aimed towards securing access to raw materials and agricultural goods while opening up new markets for Chinese products. China, it reveals, is partnering with Latin American firms to access and advance technology, and has “sought to secure investment opportunities in Latin America for its infrastructure firms and to reduce excess capacity in steel, cement, and other related commodities”.
The report notes that in the period 2005 to 2018 accumulated loans to the region from the China Development Bank and China Eximbank have amounted to more than US$140 billion. Of that amount, Jamaica has received US$2.1 billion...Six countries have received more financing than Jamaica and they include Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago and Bolivia.
Venezuela tops the list with US$67.2 billion, mostly from loans-for-oil deals.
Jamaica's Caricom partner, Trinidad and Tobago, received US$2.6 billion during the same period. more
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Man held with firearm, ganja in Mountain View Ave in Kingston, Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica — A resident of Mountain View Avenue in Kingston was arrested on Friday after he was reportedly held with a firearm and numerous small bags of ganja.
The constabulary's Corporate Communications Unit reported that lawmen were in the said community about 8:50 pm when they saw the man acting in a manner, which they said aroused their suspicions.
He was stopped, searched and one Arcus 9mm pistol with a magazine containing fourteen 9mm rounds of ammunition was found on his person.
Police said a bag he was carrying was also searched and found to contain a transparent plastic bag with several parcels with an undetermined quantity of ganja and tobacco.


The man's identity is being withheld pending further investigation.

Buju Banton hotel room search in Trinidad not official — source

KINGSTON, Jamaica — A search conducted in the hotel room of Jamaican Reggae artiste Buju Banton by Trinidad and Tobago police this evening was not ordered by the authorities, a highly placed source confirmed.
“This search did not emanate from the Government,” said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Banton, who is scheduled to perform in Trinidad tomorrow, posted news of the search on Instagram.
Buju Banton
“I'm chilling in my hotel room and the cops came to check me, whole bunch of them, saying they got a warrant to search my room and all them kinda stuff,” he said. “But just want you to know, no matter what they can't break us... we see what's going on... how can you obtain a warrant for a hotel room on a Saturday?,” he said.
“Still got love for you, Trinidad, they can't distract us, that's why we are here, for you, not them, peace,” Banton added.

The Reggae star arrived in Trinidad yesterday for his 'I Am Legend' concert.

Top Democrat: Mueller Report’s Potential Obstruction Claims Impeachable ‘If Proven’ “We’re going to see where the facts lead us,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Image result for nadler pictures
Jerry Nadler
Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he believes special counsel Robert Mueller’s report contains information that could be grounds for impeachment against President Donald Trump “if proven.”
“If proven, some of this would be impeachable, yes,” Nadler told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “Obstruction of justice, if proven, would be impeachable. ... We’re going to see where the facts lead us.” Asked earlier if his committee had opened an impeachment inquiry, Nadler told host Chuck Todd that he didn’t think so. “We may get to that. We may not,” Nadler said. “As I’ve said before, it is our job to go through all the evidence, all the information we can get.” more

Bombs kill more than 200 in Sri Lankan churches, hotels on Easter Sunday

a group of people looking at a phone: Relatives of a victim of the explosion at St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church react at the police mortuary in ColomboCOLOMBO, April 21 (Reuters) - More than 200 people were killed and at least 450 injured in bomb blasts that ripped through churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, the first major attack on the Indian Ocean island since the end of a civil war 10 years ago.
a group of people walking in front of a car: Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo
Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front
of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church
 after an explosion in Colombo 
The government declared a curfew in Colombo and blocked access to social media and messaging sites, including Facebook and WhatsApp. It was unclear when the curfew would be lifted.

Debris is seen at St Anthony's church after explosions hit churches and hotels in Colombo
Debris is seen at St Anthony's church
 after explosions
 hit churches and hotels in Colombo 
But in a sign that the attacks on three churches and four hotels could lead to communal violence, police reported on Sunday night that there had been a petrol bomb attack on a mosque in the northwestern district of Puttalum and arson attacks on two shops owned by Muslims in the western district of Kalutara. more

ONCE HOMELESS : Yemalla Edwards, medical student and once homeless on campus at UWI in Kingston, Jamaica is now a Medical Doctor (MD).…aspires to be a brain surgeon. Please make a donation online at www.PALAS1.org

GOLF : Tiger turns back clock to win Masters for first major since 2008

Golf - Masters - Augusta National Golf Club - Augusta, Georgia, U.S. - April 14, 2019 - Tiger Woods of the U.S. celebrates on the 18th hole after winning the 2019 Masters. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
The 43-year-old Woods shot a 2-under 70 for one-stroke victory Sunday and his 15th major championship. But it was his first since the 2008 U.S. Open, capping a remarkable recovery from debilitating injuries and embarrassing personal problems.
Woods showed he still had the game to compete with the world's best when he triumphed in last year's Tour Championship, his first victory of any kind since 2013.
Now, he's back on top with his first green jacket at Augusta National since 2005.
In a final round that was played in threesomes off both tees to stay ahead of approaching thunderstorms, Woods grabbed the outright lead for the first time with a two-putt birdie at No. 15.
Then, with Olympic champion Michael Phelps standing behind him on the tee at the par-3 16th, Woods wrapped things up by sticking an 8-iron within 2 feet of the cup for another birdie and a two-stroke lead.
Francesco Molinari began the day with a two-shot advantage over Woods and Tony Finau. But the Italian self-destructed on the back side, dunking two balls in the water on the way to double-bogeys at the 12th and 15th holes.
This is the first time Woods has ever come from behind on the final day to win a major championship, leaving him three behind Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major titles.