6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. $31b Cut In Budget – Security And Roads Get Top Priority After Debt Payments
  2. Big Bucks Budgeted For Road Repairs
  3. Jamaica Losing Out On Billions As It Fails To Maximise Diaspora Potential
  4. Arnett Still In The Hunt
  5. NIF Silent On Melia Braco Performance
  6. Five Questions With Delly Ranx

1. $31b Cut In Budget – Security And Roads Get Top Priority After Debt Payments

There are sizable increases for national security, education, tourism, the Office of the Prime Minister, and road repairs in the Government’s Budget for the new fiscal year despite a $31 billion cut in the planned expenditure. The Government is projecting to spend approximately $773.7 billion in the new fiscal year, which begins on April 1. This is $31.8 billion less than the $805.5 billion budgeted for this fiscal year. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Big Bucks Budgeted For Road Repairs 

The Government has allocated more than $16 billion to repair and widen roads in the new fiscal year. Details of the planned spending are included in the Estimates of Expenditure for 2018-2019 tabled in Parliament yesterday. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. Jamaica Losing Out On Billions As It Fails To Maximise Diaspora Potential

Jamaica has the potential to reap as much as US$6 billion annually from the Diaspora but is maxed out at US$4 billion, particularly because of a lack of a clearly defined engagement strategy. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. Arnett Still In The Hunt

Coach of the Arnett Gardens Red Stripe Premier League outfit Jerome Waite says that the club is still hunting the $1 million incentive for the team that finishes the preliminary stage on most points. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. NIF Silent On Melia Braco Performance

Melia Braco, a 232-room hotel owned by the National Insurance Fund (NIF) and upgraded at a cost of $2.5 billion two years ago, is underperforming expected targets, according to two sources familiar with its operation. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. Five Questions With Delly Ranx

After over two decades of personal success and building up other key contributors to the local music industry, it is not an overstatement to recognise Delly Ranx as an icon. Two of his greatest assets are his keen eye for talent and his knack for helping others in the music industry.  See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

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6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Budget Day – Shaw To Present Expenditure Plan For New Fiscal Year

  2. Welcome Relief – Commuters Willing To Stand Inconvenience For Upgrade Of Constant Spring Road

  3. Earth Today | Adaptation Officer Urges Support For Climate Change Division

  4. We’ll Be Alright! – Bobsleigh Federation Upbeat After Coach’s Resignation

  5. Samuda: JOA Backs JCF For 2020 Olympics

  6. Video Release Of Race Protest Song Coincides With Reggae/Black History Month

1. Budget Day – Shaw To Present Expenditure Plan For New Fiscal Year 

Jamaicans should know how much the Government plans to spend in the new fiscal year when the Estimates of Expenditure for 2018-2019 are tabled in Parliament this afternoon. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Welcome Relief – Commuters Willing To Stand Inconvenience For Upgrade Of Constant Spring Road

While acknowledging that the road-widening project now under way along Constant Spring Road in St Andrew will be an inconvenience, the main regret expressed by motorists, commuters, and operators of public passenger vehicles is that the planned 14-month project to turn the heavily travelled corridor into four lanes did not start sooner, this as some who traverse the popular roadway on a daily basis likened the traffic during peak hours to “a scene from hell”. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. Earth Today | Adaptation Officer Urges Support For Climate Change Division 

DR ORVILLE Grey, who will shortly leave his role as senior technical officer for adaptation with the Climate Change Division, has urged enhanced government, private sector and civil society support for the entity. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. We’ll Be Alright! – Bobsleigh Federation Upbeat After Coach’s Resignation

The Jamaica Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (JBSF) has said that Sandra Kiriasis’ departure from her role as national women’s bobsleigh team driving coach will not affect the association or its athletes preparing to compete in the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. Samuda: JOA Backs JCF For 2020 Olympics

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Christopher Samuda, says his organisation will be throwing its support behind the Jamaica Cycling Federation (JCF) to help the country’s cyclists qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. Video Release Of Race Protest Song Coincides With Reggae/Black History Month

Singer Samory I, had a choice in doing what became the penultimate track on his debut album Black Gold, released in 2017. Producer Rorystonelove did not present him with a choice of songs, but two versions of the same song, Is It Because I’m Black. The original is by Syl Johnson, and Ken Boothe did a reggae cover. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

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What is Strong Back?

What is a ‘strong back’?

Well, on the surface, a strong back is exactly what the words suggest: a back (or spine) that is strong, firm, rigid, and capable of supporting tremendous and strenuous activity. However, in the Jamaican context, that meaning goes deeper. ‘Strong back’ is a term associated with sexuality and sexual expression – especially in males. When a Jamaican says ‘strongback’, they are usually referring to a concoction that assists men especially to achieve the ideal of the three Vs- vim, vigour and vitality, particularly in the bedroom. A ‘strong back’ drink is believed to help males achieve the ultimate symbol of stereotypical masculinity: virility and sexual prowess. There are men who will swear by some of these drinks, claiming that they help to boost stamina and durability to get the job done. Others say that ‘strong back’ has helped them to overcome impotence, and has restored youthful energy and enhanced their libidos.

What goes into ‘strong back’?

The strong back mixture varies from household to household. It can be a tea, a punch, a tonic, a drink, etc. There are several different ingredients that different persons will swear by. Generally, there is a mixture of herbs, with a generous serving of foods beleived to have medicinal properties, and something milky or sweet. Below, we have listed some of the most common ingredients.

  • Irish moss
  • Okra
  • Peanut
  • Oats
  • A tonic drink: Baba Roots, Magnum, Dragon Stout, Guinness
  • A milky additive: Lasco, Supligen, condensed milk
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla
  • Rum

Sources:

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6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Bank fee bill debate today
  2. Bloody St Catherine
  3. Justice at a halt?
  4. NWA plans roadwork for 7 parishes
  5. Judges send strong message re PM’s chief justice appointment
  6. KSAFA bans 6 clubs from Jackie Bell KO

1. Bank fee bill debate today

Members of the House of Representatives will today make a critical decision on whether to pass or reject the Banking Services Bill, which seeks to regulate bank fees in Jamaica. The Lower House will have its final sitting today for the 2017-2018 legislative year, as the prorogation of Parliament takes effect tomorrow. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Bloody St Catherine

Amid a 40 per cent increase in murders in the St Catherine North Police Division and with no end in sight to the bloodletting that is responsible for 30 persons being killed since January 1, the division’s top cop, Beau Rigabie, is adamant that the situation will be brought under control. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. Justice at a halt?

Parish Court judges, fearing that their wage impasse with the Government will drag on for another Budget year, used a marathon meeting with their seniors yesterday to air their grouse over salaries and conditions of service, as well as discuss their concerns on separation of powers, judicial independence and judicial accountability. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. NWA plans road work for 7 parishes

The National Work Agency (NWA) says work is to begin along 15 corridors in seven parishes that have been significantly impacted by flood rains, since last year April. Manager, Communication and Customer Services at the NWA, Stephen Shaw says the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester, St Andrew, St Elizabeth, Portland, Trelawny and St Catherine are to benefit from contracts that have been approved for works. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. Judges send strong message re PM’s acting chief justice appointment

Following a lengthy meeting today to deal with the issue of the Prime Minister’s decision to place the acting chief justice on probation, the island’s judges have released a declaration on the separation of powers, judicial independence and judicial accountability. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. KSAFA bans 6 clubs from Jackie Bell KO

The Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) has banned six clubs from participating in this season’s JN Bank-sponsored Jackie Bell Knockout competition due to monies owed. The clubs affected are Cooreville Gardens, Mountain View, Maverley-Hughenden, Greenwich Town, Stony Hill and Olympic Gardens. See the full story on The Gleaner’s website.

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6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Nomination Day for NW St Andrew candidates
  2. Collymore for court this week
  3. Patrick Powell released from prison
  4. SLB to name and shame delinquents
  5. Gearing up for Commonwealth cycling
  6. Judges meet over acting chief justice saga

1. Nomination Day for NW St Andrew candidates

An intriguing battle should be launched today when the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Dr Nigel Clarke and the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Keisha Hayle are nominated to contest the March 5 by-election in the St Andrew North West constituency. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Collymore for court this week

Omar Collymore, the man who is accused of killing his wife and another man, is expected to make his first court appearance this week. This after he was formally charged yesterday with two counts of murder in connection with the death of his wife, Simone Campbell-Collymore and taxi operator, Winston Walters. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. Patrick Powell released from prison

Businessman Patrick Powell, who was sentenced to nine months in prison last August for failing to hand over his firearm to the police, was released last Tuesday after serving just under six months. Joyce Stone, deputy commissioner – custodial services at the Department of Correctional Services, told The Gleaner that a third of the sentence for a first-time offender is set aside as remission for good behaviour. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. SLB to name and shame delinquents

The Students Loans Bureau (SLB) will publish the names and faces of approximately 100 borrowers labelled chronically delinquent. Those persons have until February 26 to avoid the list, due to be published on March 4, by reaching out to the financing agency about clearing their debt. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. Gearing up for Commonwealth cycling

Jamaica’s 2018 Commonwealth Games cycling representative Oshane Williams says that moving to Kingston for the last two months of preparation for the Commonwealth Games will quicken his progress and put him in a better position to make a big mark on the April 4 – 15 games. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. Judges meet over acting chief justice saga

Judges from across the island are now gathered at the Supreme Court for a meeting to discuss the continued refusal of Prime Minister Andrew Holness to permanently appoint Bryan Sykes as chief justice. Holness has appointed Sykes as acting Chief Justice. See full story on The Gleaner’s website. 

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Five Facts About Bobsleighing in Jamaica

Here are five facts about Jamaica’s bobsleighing history:

  1. Jamaica’s debut in bobsleighing at the Winter Olympics took place in 1988 at the games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, which took place between February 13 and 28. That first team comprised Dudley Stokes, Michael White, Freddy Powell, Devon Harris and Chris Stokes.
  2. A movie, Cool Runnings, was made based on Jamaica’s entrance into the Winter Olympics for the first time.
  3. The Jamaica team returned to the Winter Olympics in 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002, and 2014. In 2014, the nation qualified for the two-man bobsled at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
  4. The nation also qualified for the 2018 Pyongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea. The driver, Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian, competed for the United States in the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. The other athlete was Carrie Russell, who competed in the 4×100 metres relay event at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics, winning a gold medal.
  5. The name of the sled used in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games was ‘Cool Bolt’ – a mashup name based on the movie ‘Cool Runnings’, as well as Jamaica’s legendary sprint athlete Usain Bolt.
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6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Holness’ ‘yes men and lackeys’?
  2. Bridgetown battle looms
  3. No disruption to trade with Ja post-Brexit
  4. Appeal Court reserves Trafigura judgment
  5. UWI lecturer working on Ja’s first satellite
  6. Bailer man to be sentenced for forgery

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

1. Holness’ ‘yes men and lackeys’?

Senior Opposition lawmaker Senator K.D. Knight has suggested that those close to Prime Minister Andrew Holness who do not have the fortitude to tell him he is wrong in the controversial decision to appoint Bryan Sykes as acting chief justice are “yes-men and lackeys”. Addressing the hot-button issue during his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Upper House yesterday, Knight said Holness had nothing to lose by appointing Sykes as chief justice. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2.  Bridgetown battle looms

Concerned members of the Caribbean Farmers Network (CaFAN) have called into question the stewardship of some members of its board of directors who they claim cannot account for millions of dollars in grant funding provided by international agencies. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. No disruption to trade with Ja post-Brexit

There will be no disruption to the trade arrangements between Jamaica and other members of CARIFORUM as a result of the impending separation of Britain from the European Union, High Commissioner to Jamaica Asif Ahmad has assured. But Ahmad said his ambition goes beyond that, explaining why the relationship will be different post-Brexit. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. Appeal Court reserves Trafigura judgment

The Court of Appeal has reserved judgment in the application filed by lawyers representing former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and other senior officials of the People’s National Party (PNP) in the Trafigura case. They are seeking leave to go to the UK-based Privy Council. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. UWI lecturer working on Ja’s first satellite

A satellite that will be able to send back weather maps and live updates of weather patterns of the Caribbean is being developed at the University of the West Indies for launch into space. The Programme for the Enhancement and Application of our Knowledge of Space (PEAKS) is a nanosatellite that is being worked on with the hope of one day being launched into space, with wholly Caribbean technology at its core. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. Bailer man to be sentenced for forgery

Professional bail bondsman 49-year-old James Bailey is to be sentenced on April 26 after pleading guilty to using forged documents to bail a murder accused. Bailey pleaded guilty yesterday in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court to three counts of uttering forged documents, forgery and attempting to pervert the course of justice. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

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6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Holness steers clear of calls for sanctions against Venezuela
  2. Nathaniel Stone wins Spelling Bee
  3. Water bill increase likely
  4. 1,000 lbs of ganja seized, Costa Ricans arrested
  5. PM urged to confirm Sykes quickly
  6. US Secretary of State arrives

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

1. Holness steers clear of calls for sanctions against Venezuela

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has stated that Jamaica is no longer getting oil from Venezuela but has avoided saying whether his administration supports the economic isolation of the South American country in the international community. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Nathaniel Stone wins Spelling Bee

It was persistence that delivered the thrills this year for Clarendon’s Nathaniel Stone — the 2018 Gleaner’s Children’s Own Spelling Bee Champion. Stone, a three-time parish finalist, took the title after he spelt the championship word OROTUND. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. Water bill increase likely

National Water Commission (NWC) customers could see an increase in their water bills as a result of the introduction of water abstraction fees by the Water Resources Authority (WRA). The fee structure, which takes effect on April 1, applies to entities with domestic, industrial, agriculture and hydropower/recreational licences. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. 1000 lbs of ganja seized, Costa Ricans arrested

Eleven people including four Costa Ricans have been arrested and approximately 1,000 pounds of ganja and two motor cars seized in Sweet River district, Westmoreland. The Westmoreland police report that about 11 o’clock yesterday morning, a makeshift shed was discovered in bushes by cops on an operation in the community. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. PM urged to confirm Sykes quickly

Retired President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Seymour Panton, has urged Prime Minister Andrew Holness to “move with haste” in confirming Justice Bryan Sykes as Chief Justice. Panton, the longest-serving appeal court president, contends that there is no need to leave open the possibility of a constitutional challenge to the acting appointment. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. US Secretary of State arrives

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is now in Jamaica for a three-hour working visit. Tillerson landed around midday at the Norman Manley International Airport. During his trip, he is expected to seek Jamaica’s support for America’s position against Venezuela in the international community. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

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6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Bank bill battle as debate is delayed
  2. US Sectretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives today
  3. Police probing video of man donning police garb
  4. House passes new road traffic bill
  5. Budget to be tabled next Thursday
  6. Garbage impact lasting

1. Bank bill battle as debate is delayed

Amid sharp exchanges, sometimes descending into a shouting match, Government lawmakers used their superior numbers yesterday to crush an attempt by the parliamentary Opposition to have a bill, piloted by St Catherine South Member of Parliament Fitz Jackson, taken through all its stages. The bill seeks to amend the Banking Services Act to regulate bank fees. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives today

United States (US) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to arrive today for a working three-hour visit, where he is expected to hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Andrew Holness on important matters, including national security. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. Police probing video of man donning police garb

The Inspectorate of the Constabulary (IOC), the arm of the police force that enforces standards, is probing an incident in which a man was videotaped entering into a patrol car and removing a police-issued bullet proof vest and hat. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. House passes new road traffic bill

The new road traffic bill is now one step closer to becoming law. Transport and Mining Minister, Lester ‘Mike’ Henry closed the debate on the Road Traffic Bill 2016 in the Lower House of Parliament on Tuesday and it was passed with 131 amendments. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. Budget to be tabled next Thursday

The 2018-19 budget is to be tabled in the House of Representatives next week Thursday. The Estimates of Expenditure, to be tabled by finance minister, Audley Shaw, will provide details of how much the Government intends to spend on recurrent business and capital projects. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. Garbage impact lasting

Far beyond its most obvious uses as a nesting ground for numerous birds and nursery for many species of fish, Refuge Cay also provides a multiplicity of other important services to which the majority of beneficiaries, Jamaicans, are for the most part oblivious. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

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Timeline: Bryan Sykes’ Appointment As Acting Chief Justice

Background to the Issue

After naming Bryan Sykes as Jamaica’s new ‘acting’ chief justice, following the retirement of former chief justice Zaila McCalla, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has come under fire and heavy criticism. The controversy is over the appointment of Sykes as “acting” chief justice, instead of a full permanent appointment. In defense of his decision, Holness asserted that Sykes’ permanent appointment would depend on his performance.

But this stance has been sharply rebuked by other political pontiffs in the island. Former Prime Minister and respected attorney-at-law, P.J. Patterson, in an interview on Nationwide Radio, argued that the acting appointment has “placed Sykes in an unpleasant position, as the Chief Justice should not be fettered and the separation of powers must be maintained”, thus, “security of tenure is an important element for the discharge of judicial function by the Chief Justice.”

The Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) added their voice to the mix, stating that “the appointment of Jamaica’s chief justice should never be clothed in any garb that even remotely suggests a catering to the personal pleasure of any member of the Executive”.

See the timeline of headlines as the story unfolds below.

Tues, Jan 30, 2018


Wed, Jan 31, 2018


Fri, Feb 2, 2018


Sat, Feb 3, 2018


Sun, Feb 4, 2018
Mon, Feb 5, 2018

Tues, Feb 6, 2018

Thursday, Feb 8, 2018

Senior Opposition lawmaker Senator K.D. Knight has suggested that those close to Prime Minister Andrew Holness who do not have the fortitude to tell him he is wrong in the controversial decision to appoint Bryan Sykes as acting chief justice are “yes-men and lackeys”.


Mon, Feb 12, 2018

Judges from across the island gather at the Supreme Court for a meeting to discuss the continued refusal of Prime Minister Andrew Holness to permanently appoint Bryan Sykes as chief justice.

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