Olympiakos Beats Juventus, 1-0

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares PIRAEUS — Olympiakos pulled off another Champions League upset by beating Juventus 1-0 on Oct. 22 to go level on points with Group A leader Atletico Madrid.Swiss midfielder Pajtim Kasami fired the winner past Gianluigi Buffon in the 36th minute. The goal arrived after Alejandro Dominguez found striker Kostas Mitroglou, whose cutback was steered into the back of the Juventus net by Kasami.“Mitroglou got me the ball with his first touch. You don’t have a lot of time to react in the Champions League … so I’m very happy,” Kasami said.Atletico, which routed Malmo 5-0 on Oct. 16, tops the group on goal difference ahead of Olympiakos. Both teams have six points, while Juventus and Malmo have three points each.Dominguez sliced open the Italian defense all evening at Karaiskaki stadium, missing two scoring chances himself and setting up Kasami in the 60th for a shot that rolled just past the post.Goalkeeper Roberto maintained Olympiakos’ lead as Juventus piled on pressure in the last 25 minutes, twice stopping goal-bound shots from Alvaro Morata and also denying Carlos Tevez.Morata, who saw his second shot hit the crossbar after Roberto’s save, said he regarded the Spaniard as being “one the best goalkeepers in the world.”Olympiakos, which had already caused an upset in Group A by beating last year’s finalist Atletico 3-2, showed no signs of any nerves after a summer overhaul of its squad had led to lapses in defense in recent weeks.“It’s a magic night — we had a fantastic crowd and fantastic players. It’s a real team, that’s what we want,” Olympiakos coach Michel Gonzalez said. “I won’t say if I think we are close to qualifying, but I will tell you that we’ll be celebrating tonight’s win.”The Greek champions earned their victory after overcoming an early scare, with Omar Elabdellaoui heading a loose ball off the line in the 12th minute, while a Tevez header that found the net eight minutes later was ruled offside by Serbian referee Milorad Mazic.Buffon congratulated Roberto after the match, and veteran Italy star Andrea Pirlo was clapped by the home crowd when substituted in the second half despite his lackluster performance.Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said he had no regrets starting the 35-year-old free kick specialist. “I don’t think the squad was the problem, but the mistakes they made,” he said. “We can still qualify. I believe that.”last_img read more

Sixers Shock The Nets, 95-89

first_imgPHILADELPHIA — For the first time in more than a month, the Philadelphia 76ers won a game.But instead of celebrating too much, many of their thoughts were instead with a teammate in the hospital.Carl Landry scored 16 points, Nerlens Noel had 13 points and 11 rebounds and the 76ers snapped a 13-game losing streak with a 95-89 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on March 11.Ish Smith added 10 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Sixers (9-56), who won their first game since Feb. 6 – also against Brooklyn – despite dealing with several injuries, including a potentially serious one to Robert Covington.Covington finished with 12 points on 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range before exiting with 9:40 left in the third quarter. He was kicked in the face by teammate Jerami Grant in a collision under the basket.He remained on the court for several minutes before being taken off on a stretcher and transported to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he was being evaluated for a possible neck injury.“It was a significant collision,” 7ers coach Brett Brown said. “In one fell swoop, you lose your 3 and your 4 men. … When you see a player, a teammate, a friend being taken off the court on a stretcher, it’s different than someone walking off the court with a sprained ankle.”Grant also did not return following the collision and was evaluated for a concussion, and Richaun Holmes later left with a strained right Achilles.Leading scorer Jahlil Okafor also missed his sixth straight game for the depleted Sixers. It was announced before the game that Okafor will have season-ending surgery on his right knee.Brook Lopez scored 24 points for the Nets (18-47), who have lost three straight and finished the longest road trip of the NBA season with a 3-6 mark. Brooklyn’s nine-game, 18-day trek began on Feb. 23 at Portland.Thaddeus Young, who spent first seven seasons with Philadelphia, had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Nets in a matchup between the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference.“Before anything else, my thoughts and prayers go out to Robert Covington,” Nets coach Tony Brown said. “He and Grant took a horrible fall and I just hope and pray he’s OK. As far as the game is concerned, they put pressure on you. They make it tough to run your offense. Credit to them — they deserved to win.”Trailing by 15 early in the second half, the Nets pulled within five at 76-71 heading into the fourth quarter and again got within five on Wayne Ellington’s 3-pointer with 4:10 left.But Landry, called into extra duty because of his team’s injury troubles, responded with buckets each time to help Philly preserve its lead. Landry’s dunk with 2:15 left, which followed a tough rebound on the other end, gave the Sixers a 92-84 lead and helped seal the win.Landry, who averages only 12 minutes per game, scored all but two of his points in the second half, adding eight rebounds and shooting 7 for 9 from the field in 25 minutes.“Carl Landry, oh my God,” Noel said. “He was able to get us some easy buckets that we definitely needed. Guys just did what they had to do.”(DAVE ZEITLIN)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

2nd Unofficial Test: Pant, Siraj star as India A clinch series vs West Indies A

first_imgIndia A rode on superb batting performances from Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari to beat West Indies A by 5 wickets in the 2nd unofficial Test and clinch the two-match series 1-0 on Friday.Chasing a mammoth target of 321 for victory, Pant remained unbeaten on 67 while Vihari scored 68 runs to reach the target in 67.1 overs on the final day of the match at Taunton. Captain Karun Nair also made a useful contribution of 55 runs.India A were 214 for 3 at the end of day three and were on course for a comfortable win but West Indies bowlers fought back on day 4 with two quick wickets to dent India’s charge.Sherman Lewis picked up the wicket of Ankit Bawne after Vihari’s run out which slowed India’s progress. But Pant batted with maturity and along with all-rounder Jayant Yadav, stitched a 99-run unbroken partnership for the sixth wicket to take India past the finish line.Be it India or India A, the boys are on a roll. India A first won the tri-series and have now beaten West Indies A in the longer format to clinch the series 1-0 in Taunton. pic.twitter.com/YoJqslti92BCCI (@BCCI) July 13, 2018Earlier, Mohammed Siraj starred with the ball once again in the second innings, picking up 4 wickets for 64 runs while Rajneesh Gurbani impressed with figures of 3 for 64 as West Indies A got bowled out for 210 on the third day.John Campbell and Jermaine Blackwood were the only two batsmen who made a significant contribution for the Windies as the rest of the batsmen failed to get going after a good performance in the first innings.advertisementSiraj ended the match with 8 wickets after picking up 4 wickets in the first innings as well while Shahbaz Nadeem was the next best bowler on show for India A with 4 wickets in the match.India had conceded a 110-run lead in the first innings after they got bowled out for 192 in reply to West Indies’s 302 all out.India A finished their tour of England unbeaten after winning the one-day tri-series and now the unofficial Test series. The first Test had ended in a draw last week.last_img read more

Humiliation at Lord’s: Gut-wrenching defeat should come as no surprise

first_imgLord’s 2018 will haunt Indian cricket for years to come.India had climbed the ladder to become the world’s number one Test team after a string of victories at home. South Africa, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh, Australia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan. No one was spared. Virat Kohli, the new captain wanted his men to play ruthless cricket and ruthless cricket it was.The spinners were unrelenting, the pacers were fast and accurate and the batsmen piled on the runs. Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli were on a record-breaking spree and all seemed well with the world.India had never looked so menacing, so invincible. Under their new leader, this Indian team was going places. They were even going to South Africa, England and Australia to show them their places.The South African challenge was over in a hurry. India lost the Cape Town Test by 72 runs. They then lost the Centurion Test by 135 runs before pulling off a consolation win on a dodgy pitch in Johannesburg.Also read: The curious case of Pujara and Dhawan: Constant Test struggles overseasEngland was going to be different, the Indian team promised. And some wise man decided to send the team out early to play the limited-overs phase to prepare for the Test series. Great idea. But what about the logic of preparing for the Duke with the white ball on flat surfaces. India failed to chase down 194 in the second innings of the Edgbaston Test (AP Photo)Come Edgbaston, India’s batsmen barring Kohli, were found out again. This time, chasing 194, India fell short again.Also read – Time running out: How long can Indian batsmen keep failing overseas?advertisementThe Indian team management did not seem to mind. They had come close. In Cape Town, India needed only 208; in Centurion, India needed only 287 and in Birmingham, India needed only 194. But India failed on each occasion. Kohli was happy his team had tried and fought hard. The team management consoled itself and reckoned if they could come so close, victory would be theirs at some point.Nobody wanted to see the danger signs. Why was it so hard to see that in each of those instances, there were two common factors: the bowlers and just one other batsman. In Cape Town, India were blown away, never mind the margin of defeat. The bowlers were exceptional and Hardik Pandya’s whirlwind 93 helped India walk away with some kind of dignity. Centurion was another poor show and had it not been for Kohli’s 153 in the first innings, who knows how much worse it would have got for the Indians!Also read – Virat Kohli finally admits he got team combination wrong after Lord’s humiliationAnd then at Edgbaston, India went down by 31 runs after failing to chase down 194. Virat Kohli had stood out again: 200 runs in the match. The other four in the top five managed only 99 together. R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami were heroic but the warning signals were ignored again: the other batsmen were not up to the task. India are 2-0 down in the five-match Test series (Getty Images)Lord’s was no surprise. How could you expect Kohli to stand up with the bat every time? He was bogged down by a back problem and like everyone else, he too was troubled by the swing under overcast skies. James Anderson and Stuart Broad, the old masters, loved what they saw in London: rain, cloud and scared Indian batsmen.Also read – Virat Kohli after innings defeat at Lord’s: We were outplayed and deserved to loseFor a change, the bowlers failed to fire. And therein lay in tatters the dignity of the world’s best Test side. They were humiliated. India managed to bat a combined 82.2 overs across the two innings. The entire first day was washed out and rain hampered play on Friday and Sunday. Yet, England wrapped up victory with over a day to spare.It wss humiliation. No matter what the conditions are, the world’s number one Test team is not expected to surrender like that! Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman, men who had starred in some of India’s most iconic Test triumphs were gutted. They were not happy with the lack of fight, with the lack of spirit India showed.The promise of ruthless cricket has not been delivered. The onus now is on the captain’s men to ensure their leader’s words do not sound hollow.last_img read more

Ibrahimovic: Sweden playing without pressure

first_imgZlatan Ibrahimović Ibrahimovic claims Sweden are playing without pressure since his retirement Sacha Pisani Last updated 2 years ago 10:22 11/9/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Ibrahimovic-cropped Getty Images Zlatan Ibrahimović Sweden Sweden v Italy Italy WC Qualification Europe World Cup The Manchester United forward said his absence is being felt by his national side, but it is not all doom and gloom for the 2018 World Cup hopefuls Former Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic said retiring from the national team has allowed the country to play without pressure as his departure lowered expectations.Manchester United striker Ibrahimovic ended his international career following Euro 2016 after 116 caps and a record 62 goals.Sweden 23/10 to beat Italy Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Ibrahimovic-less Sweden are preparing for Friday’s opening leg of their 2018 World Cup play-off against Italy in Stockholm, and the 36-year-old said while his absence is felt, Janne Andersson’s men are still a talented team.”Sweden are playing without pressure, because since I left, nobody expects much of them now, from the media to the fans. When I play, the level is raised, so it is lowered in my absence,” Ibrahimovic told Sky Sport Italia.”Having said that, this squad remains a good collective, just with less responsibility on their shoulders. The players are not very experienced, but the project is ambitious.”Daniele De Rossi and Italy are looking to make the most of Ibrahimovic’s absence in their pursuit of a 15th World Cup appearance.Roma veteran De Rossi knows Ibrahimovic all too well, having faced the Swedish great during his time at AC Milan, Juventus and Inter.And De Ressi said he is relieved not to be coming up against Ibrahimovic, telling reporters: “The fact that [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic is out, is clearly an advantage for every team that can face Sweden.”I wouldn’t play against Ibrahimovic even if he was 40 years old and with a broken leg. Of course, his absence is an advantage however, Sweden are not an unknown team. We know many Swedish players, many of them play in Europe and Italy. It is not either an unknown or a second-tier team.”The World Cup is important for me and I played already three of them. This is even more true for Sweden who had less opportunities so they will give all they have, and we will have to do the same.”last_img read more

Report: PSG 1 Nantes 0

first_imgKylian Mbappe made the difference in the absence of Neymar, scoring the only goal of the game as Paris Saint-Germain beat Nantes 1-0 to end 2018 in victorious fashion.Brazil star Neymar had been allowed to travel back to his home country to rest following recent struggles with a groin injury, and while PSG missed his craft, they scraped the win nonetheless.Angel Di Maria looked PSG’s biggest threat in the first half, though his two best strikes did not quite hit the target as the hosts failed to make the most of their superiority. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? PSG remained the controlling force after the interval and finally broke the deadlock through Mbappe in the 68th minute, and that proved to be enough as the hosts’ first Ligue 1 game since December 5 – due to the ‘gilet jaunes’ demonstrations – ended with a triumph.FULL TIME: PSG end the year on a winning note, beating Nantes 1-0 on @KMbappe’s lone goal! #AllesParis #PSGFCN pic.twitter.com/kn6DKKRaUR— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) December 22, 2018It took less than a minute for PSG to threaten, as Di Maria saw a controlled volley go agonisingly over Ciprian Tatarusanu’s crossbar.But that failed to usher in a period of PSG bombardment, with their next opportunity not presenting itself until the 25th minute, when Julian Draxler shot over from 20 yards after Mbappe’s cut-back.Di Maria went close again a few moments later, his 25-yard strike flying past the right-hand post with Tatarusanu looking beaten.PSG continued to threaten from distance after the break, with Di Maria – again – and Mbappe shooting just off target in the first 12 minutes.Draxler thought he opened the scoring after an hour, but VAR proved the ball went out of play in the build-up, despite Marco Verratti’s best efforts.There was no denying Mbappe 22 minutes from time, though, as he turned in – via the crossbar – from close range after Marquinhos flicked on Di Maria’s corner.Di Maria saw another effort thud against the crossbar but it mattered little as PSG secured victory to open up a 13-point lead over Lille – beaten 2-1 by Toulouse – at the top of the table.He’s not a teenager anymore #AllezParis #PSGFCN pic.twitter.com/r5zSMzNEjH— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) December 22, 2018What does it mean? PSG lacking sharpnessIt is fair to say PSG looked a little off the pace on Saturday, and it is easy to understand why, given the only teams they have faced since December 5 were Red Star Belgrade and Orleans. Considering the circumstances and the absence of Neymar, they will surely be happy to get this one out of the way.Di Maria provides PSG’s sparkWith Neymar not featuring, Di Maria took on the mantle of PSG’s creative hub and he was certainly lively, seeing several shots go close. He was unable to get a deserved goal, but there is no doubt about the quality he showed.Cavani blends into the backgroundPerhaps the service to him was lacking, but Edinson Cavani did little to make any openings for himself and rarely featured in build-up play before being hooked towards the end.Key Opta Facts- PSG have won their last 14 games against Nantes in Ligue 1, and become the first ever top-flight team to win 14 consecutive games against the same opponent.- Nantes have failed to score in eight of their last 10 away games against PSG in Ligue 1 (2 goals).- Thomas Tuchel’s side have picked up 47 points after 17 games in Ligue 1, the highest tally in the history of the top-flight at this stage.- PSG are the only team to have scored in all of their Ligue 1 games this season (17/17).- Mbappé’s goal in the 68th minute was PSG’s first shot on target.- The 20-year-old has scored 13 goals in Ligue 1 this season, only Lionel Messi (15) has scored more in the top 5 leagues.What’s next?After the winter break, PSG have games against Pontivy and Guingamp in the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue, respectively, before then returning to Ligue 1 action on January 11 at Amiens. Nantes will host Chateauroux in the Coupe de France, then Montpellier in the league four days later on January 8. read morelast_img read more

Fantasy: MW18 Premier League Team of the Week

first_imgThe news cycle this week was dominated by Manchester United, who sacked manager Jose Mourinho, and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino, who has seemingly been chosen by everyone as the best fit to replace the Portuguese manager. Those two clubs did little to shake the spotlight this weekend either as both dominated their opposition, scoring five or more goals.Four players, two from each of those clubs, were involved in at least three goals on the pitch, and each of them were able to secure a spot in our Goal Team of the Week. You can find out who, and the other best performers of the week below. Goal-Fantasy-Football-Play-Now-BannerGK: Ben Foster – Watford – 1 Game, 7 Saves, 1 Clean Sheet = 10 PointsDEF: Virgil Van Dijk – Liverpool – 1 Game, 1 Goal, 1 Clean Sheet = 14 Points Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Van Dijk’s ability in defence is well established but, all of a sudden, he’s becoming a threat in attack as well. Having never been involved in more than three goals in a Premier League season, the Dutchman has now been involved in three in just the last five matches (1g, 2a). Whether or not he will be able to keep up this rate of production remains to be seen but, considering the rate at which Liverpool are keeping clean sheets, Van Dijk is a must own regardless.DEF: Jose Holebas – Watford – 1 Game, 1 Clean Sheet = 7 PointsDEF: Nathan Ake – Bournemouth – 1 Game, 1 Clean Sheet = 7 PointsNathan AkeMID: Son Heung-Min – Tottenham – 1 Game, 2 Goals, 2 Assists = 20 PointsA massive two goal, two assist performance from Son not only ensured his side the win, but also was enough to see him crowned our Goal Fantasy Player of the Week. While it would be hard to expect anyone to regularly put up these kinds of numbers, the South Korean international has suddenly become a consistent and reliable Fantasy asset, having scored or assisted in every start since October.There is always a risk of rotation from Pochettino, but in our game you can wait until lineups are announced to set yours, making Son wholly viable going forward.MID: Jesse Lingard – Manchester United – 1 Game, 2 Goals, 1 Assist = 17 PointsMID: David Brooks – Bournemouth – 1 Game, 2 Goals = 14 PointsPaul Pogba Ashley Young Cardiff vs Manchester United Premier League 2018-19MID: Paul Pogba – Manchester United – 1 Game, 3 Assists = 11 Points Well, that’s certainly one way to impress your new manager. After months of disappointment and underperformance under Jose Mourinho, Pogba put on a creative masterclass this week, posting three assists in Manchester United’s 5-1 win against Cardiff. That is the most assists anyone has recorded in a single Premier League match thus far this season.Considering he also ranks top five in shots on target, Pogba could be about to bounce back in a big way both on the pitch and in Fantasy.MID: Nathan Redmond – Southampton – 1 Game, 1 Goal, 1 Assist = 11 PointsNathan Redmond Southampton 2017-18FOR: Harry Kane – Tottenham – 1 Game, 2 Goals, 1 Assist = 15 PointsHarry Kane has absolutely tormented Everton over the past few years, having now scored a brace in his last four outings against the Toffees. The rest of the league hasn’t fared much better against the Englishman of late either, as he’s had six goals and four assists in the last 10 matches, re-establishing himself as an elite Fantasy forward. With four bottom 10 defences in his next five matches, Kane is a must own over the winter period.FOR: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal – 1 Game, 2 Goals = 12 Points goal-fantasy-football-banner Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Reduction in Mosquito Breeding Sites in Westmoreland

first_img Vector Control Officer at the Westmoreland Health Department, Ryan Morris, is reporting a major reduction in breeding sites for the Aedes aegypti mosquito in the parish.“We have seen a significant trending down, and we are heading back to normalcy,” he told JIS News.He said that following the declaration of an outbreak of dengue fever in January, the department’s capacity was enhanced with the addition of 29 temporary vector control workers from the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme and the Ministry of Health Vector Support Programme, bringing the total to 60.They worked along with the eight permanent workers to destroy mosquito breeding grounds in the parish.“We were also encouraged to hire additional transportation to assist with getting the staff to and from locations to undertake larvicidal control activities,” Mr. Morris noted.He said that the boost in staff complement enabled the department to carry out eradication activities in more communities.While the temporary workers completed their three-month stint on April 5, Mr. Morris said that activities will continue, to ensure maximum coverage of high-risk areas.“To date, we have two private pest controllers operating within the parish, one operating in eastern Westmoreland, while the other is at the western end. The main team continues to fog the central area of the parish,” he noted.Health and Education Promotions Officer at the Westmoreland Health Department, Gerald Miller, for his part, told JIS News that the department embarked on a sensitisation programme aimed at engaging residents in destroying mosquito breeding sites.“We have been utilising the JIS to do community announcements on dengue-prevention methods in various sections of the parish. This was done from February 15 to March 31. High-risk areas of the parish were targeted. Our sensitisation sessions in the clinics and hospitals are ongoing, as well as public service announcements by way of a local radio station in the parish,” he said.“The response has been great. Persons are now saturated with the information, and we hope that they transfer that into their behaviour,” he added.The Aedes aegypti mosquito is responsible for the spread of the dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses. Vector Control Officer at the Westmoreland Health Department, Ryan Morris, is reporting a major reduction in breeding sites for the Aedes aegypti mosquito in the parish. “We have seen a significant trending down, and we are heading back to normalcy,” he told JIS News. Story Highlights He said that following the declaration of an outbreak of dengue fever in January, the department’s capacity was enhanced with the addition of 29 temporary vector control workers from the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme and the Ministry of Health Vector Support Programme, bringing the total to 60. last_img read more

Kathy Najimy Honored With PETAs Compassionate Action Award

first_imgKathy Najimy — star of Sister Act, King of the Hill, and HBO’s Emmy-nominated Veep — was guest of honor, together with her singer/songwriter daughter, Samia Najimy Finnerty, on Sunday at South Florida’s gourmet vegan restaurant Sublime.Sublime owner Nanci Alexander presented Najimy with PETA’s Compassionate Action Award for using her talents for more than a decade to help animals, including by starring in TV spots to promote kindness to dogs (with music by her friend Dolly Parton) and alternatives to real animal fur and encouraging tourists to steer clear of SeaWorld in an ad that appears in the San Diego International Airport.“Not only is Kathy one of the funniest actors in Hollywood, she’s also one of the famous kind souls whom PETA works with to save animals,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “From placing vegan themes in her sitcoms to starring in one of PETA’s high-profile campaigns to free dolphins and orcas, Kathy uses her wit and charm to get animal issues noticed.”Sunday’s reception also featured a musical performance from Najimy’s daughter, a vegan and PETA supporter in her own right.Source:PETAlast_img read more

Russian Prime Minister to Visit Morocco Next October

Rabat – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will visit Morocco next October, announced foreign minister Nasser Bourita Thursday in Moscow during a Morocco-Russia Joint Committee meeting. During the 6th session of the Moroccan-Russian Joint Commission for Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation on July 13, Bourita stressed that Medvedev’s visit takes place in a favorable and positive context following the King’s successful historic visit to the Russian Federation in March 2016, which gave new impetus and a strong momentum to bilateral relations between the two countries.“The talks with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich showed Russia’s willingness to consolidate the deep strategic partnership between the two countries,” he said at the end of the meeting. For the minister, Morocco can “constitute the gateway of Russia to Africa.” According to Bourita, Morocco is the second partner of Russia at the Arab and African levels. The Kingdom supplies 35 percent of Russia’s needs in tomatoes and 20 percent in fish, while Russia meets 15 percent of Morocco’s gas needs.In this regard the Minister stressed the need to “promote these sectors of cooperation and to stimulate new dynamics by simplifying bureaucratic procedures and through the establishment of gas platforms, the exportation of Russian gas from Morocco to other regions, and the creation of joint ventures in fisheries to avoid quota-related problems.”In the same context, Bourita underlined the need to open up new areas of cooperation “in the light of Morocco’s experience as a gateway to the African continent and the Arab world in the fields of renewable energies, automotive and aeronautic sectors, and other industries to take advantage of these factors to attract Russian investment in several promising sectors such as tourism and the pharmaceutical industry and to make joint investments.”The outcome of the meeting contributed significantly to the success of the forthcoming visit of Medvedev to Morocco in October 2017 at the head of a large delegation of businessmen. read more

Government Serious About Protecting the Environment – PM Holness

Story Highlights Prime Minister Andrew Holness has assured all Jamaicans and stakeholders that the Government is committed to protecting the environment and ensuring environmental sustainability. For the first time in Jamaica’s history, in 2017, Prime Minister Holness announced in Parliament the designated Cockpit Country Protected Area. Speaking yesterday (June 5) during a tour of the Cockpit Country and to place the first marker designating the protected area of the Cockpit Country, Prime Minister Holness said he is always sympathetic to the environmental cause. Prime Minister Andrew Holness has assured all Jamaicans and stakeholders that the Government is committed to protecting the environment and ensuring environmental sustainability.Speaking yesterday (June 5) during a tour of the Cockpit Country and to place the first marker designating the protected area of the Cockpit Country, Prime Minister Holness said he is always sympathetic to the environmental cause.For the first time in Jamaica’s history, in 2017, Prime Minister Holness announced in Parliament the designated Cockpit Country Protected Area.In 2018, the Government began a process of ground-truthing to map the specific areas on the ground. That process is expected to be completed in 2020.The Cockpit Country is part of the protected Forest reserve areas in Jamaica. However, Prime Minister Holness says the Government has gone further to ensure the Cockpit Country is specifically protected.“There is a certain level of protection. But you want to have explicit protection particularly as it relates where can be mined and where cannot be mined. Government’s commitment and declaration still stands. There will be no mining in the area designated as the Cockpit Country protected area,” said Prime Minister Holness.The Prime Minister noted that he has heard the concerns of residents in the Cockpit Country areas concerning mining and other activities. He said the Government is committed to ensuring a sustainable solution is found.“It is never a simple issue. It is a complex one that we have to spend the time to ensure that we get it right. But at the end of the day, we will come up with a sustainable solution. You can be assured that this Government is not running away from the problem or hiding somewhere, I am right here discussing the issue,” assured Prime Minister Holness.Ground truthing is taking place over a 76,000 hectre expanse of land across the mountainous regions of five parishes in the area designated as the protected Cockpit Country.Prime Minister Holness said it is a very involved process that will take time. He assured residents and stakeholders that there are common areas of agreement for placing boundaries, which the Government will act on.“I believe there is still substantial agreement (on the boundaries). I didn’t say there is universal agreement or that everybody agrees. But Government has to act. And in a democracy, the Government tries to act when we have (in most cases) majority agreement. I think what we have, substantially satisfies the major concerns. There are issues which we are going to resolve. There are issues we are going to hear and discuss. But I think what I am hearing from all stakeholders is, where you have agreement already to protect, move fast to protect those areas. What we have settled on, let us protect it,” said Prime Minister Holness.The European Union has partnered with the Government to provide 16.5 million Euros to fund, over a four-year period, the forest management and conservation plan of the Forestry Department. This includes the current ground truthing exercise in the Cockpit Country. read more

Mayor of Miramar Wants Partnerships to Expand Culture

With this investment, the city is now open to the exchange of cultural content that can be leveraged to the benefit of Jamaicans at home and in the diaspora. Mr. Messam said the city has invested more than US$30 million in developing its cultural and athletic infrastructure “to provide venues, to provide the possibilities to identify and develop talent, and to enjoy the benefits of entertainment”. Mayor of the City of Miramar, Florida, Wayne Messam, has extended an invitation to Jamaica and Jamaicans in the diaspora to partner with the city to facilitate cultural expansion.Mr. Messam said the city has invested more than US$30 million in developing its cultural and athletic infrastructure “to provide venues, to provide the possibilities to identify and develop talent, and to enjoy the benefits of entertainment”.With this investment, the city is now open to the exchange of cultural content that can be leveraged to the benefit of Jamaicans at home and in the diaspora.Mr. Messam, who is of Jamaican parentage, was speaking in a session at the Eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, Kingston, on June 19. The session was centred on exploiting the creative industries for economic growth and job creation.“Our invitation is not only to Kingston but to Jamaica and the diaspora – we are open for business. If you have any programming, any artists, if you want a series of exchange and collaboration, the city of Miramar is open to facilitate those opportunities,” he said.Miramar, which is said to be the fifth largest Jamaican diasporic location, is seeking to showcase Jamaican culture through live shows, exhibitions and other activities in its expanded and renovated entertainment venues.It has an established relationship with the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC), which Mr. Messam said will be strengthened through further partnerships.“We are finalising a sister-cities relationship where we are already collaborating as it relates to emergency response. We’ve been able to leverage some of our construction and engineering documents, so that they (KSAMC) can use that as information to renovate the historic Ward Theatre,” Mr. Messam explained.Highlighting the importance of cultural interaction and exchange between youth of Jamaican heritage in the diaspora and those on the island, Mr. Messam said he is looking forward to sending a youth delegation to Jamaica to facilitate this.To that end, discussions are already under way with sports organisers to explore having the winners of Jamaica’s Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships compete against Caribbean and American sprinters at Miramar’s newly expanded Ansin Sports Complex.Performers, artists and artisans may communicate their interest to the Mayor’s Office in the City of Miramar at: www.miramarfl.gov or 954-602-HELP (4357). Story Highlights Mayor of the City of Miramar, Florida, Wayne Messam, has extended an invitation to Jamaica and Jamaicans in the diaspora to partner with the city to facilitate cultural expansion. read more

Members of Both Houses of Parliament Pay Tribute to Edward Seaga

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who led the tributes, noted that Mr. Seaga always had an enquiring mind. Mr. Seaga was Jamaica’s fifth Prime Minister, serving from 1980 to 1989. He represented the constituency of West Kingston from 1962 until his retirement from active politics in 2005. He died on May 28 on his 89th birthday. Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Phillip George Seaga, was remembered at a joint sitting of the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday, June 19, for his unyielding and sterling contribution to nation-building.Mr. Seaga was Jamaica’s fifth Prime Minister, serving from 1980 to 1989. He represented the constituency of West Kingston from 1962 until his retirement from active politics in 2005. He died on May 28 on his 89th birthday.Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who led the tributes, noted that Mr. Seaga always had an enquiring mind.“His parents were not sure what to make of his interest in book learning. Nevertheless, they gathered the funds needed for him to study overseas at the renowned Harvard College, followed by enrolment in the University College of the West Indies to study medicine, which he would later abandon to pursue his true passion in the social and anthropological sciences,” he said.“This led him to Buxton Town, where he lived with the people and studied their culture. That time spent among the people is what he always valued beyond measure, as it enabled him to see what he had read about take shape, and it in turn shaped the many contributions he would go on to make to Jamaican life as we know it,” the Prime Minister added.He said Mr. Seaga had a deeper understanding of the culture of the people and thinking, and understood their dreams and aspirations.The Prime Minister pointed out that Mr. Seaga’s experience in Buxton Town would influence his life’s passion to properly document and curate Jamaican culture, artefacts, art and music.“In many ways, he introduced Jamaicans to their culture. He brought Jamaican culture out of the dark and obscure into the light of the mainstream to stand side by side with colonial culture, thereby giving definition to who we are as a people and getting us to accept what we create as being valuable,” Mr. Holness said.He emphasised that Edward Seaga is without question one of the fathers of the nation, noting that he was central to the campaign to leave the Federation.“He was a framer of our Constitution and he did tremendous work in advancing legislation to create the Charter of Rights. He shaped our banking and financial sector, our urban development, our training and education system, our tourism and agriculture,” the Prime Minister said.Mr Holness noted that he had the opportunity to work with Mr. Seaga in his private business and in politics.“He was a thorough man and he took the nation’s business seriously. Every parliamentary presentation was fully researched. Oftentimes, I was the researcher,” he said.The Prime Minister said that while Mr. Seaga’s body will crumble, his work and his upright living will be indelibly marked on the history of Jamaica.Meanwhile, former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, described Mr. Seaga as a diligent marshal of resources from both the public purse and the private sector.Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P. J. Patterson, pays tribute to former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, at a joint sitting of the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday, June 19. “He mobilised the residents to become engaged in the upliftment of their community and self, by the care and order he maintained, which earned their love and loyalty in return,” Mr. Patterson said.“Edward Seaga spared nothing in giving himself entirely to the people he represented. He never shirked the task of building Jamaica, the land where he belonged and to which de devoted his whole life,” he added.Mr. Patterson said that each and every institution, corporation, commission or public company Mr. Seaga created, whether in the immediate aftermath of Jamaica’s Independence, or during his subsequent tenure as Prime Minister, required legislative action, passage and specific approval by the Parliament.“I would be surprised if a thorough examination of all our existing Bills, Acts, Rules and enabling Regulations fail to disclose that Edward Seaga has introduced numerically and passed more statutory legislation than any other single Minister in our history,” Mr. Patterson said.For his part, former Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, noted that Mr. Seaga ranks high in the profound impact he had on Jamaica’s national and political landscape.“We cannot know if he was born to serve; what we certainly know is that from a very early age he made a conscious decision to serve. He did so when at an early stage in his life, he immersed himself in the way of life of the rural people of Buxton Town and among the slum dwellers in Kingston,” he said.Former Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, pays tribute to former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, at a joint sitting of the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday, June 19. Story Highlights Mr. Golding noted that this was Mr. Seaga’s chosen way of understanding the people that he wanted to serve.“He saw in them a people whose lives were desperately in need of transformation. But he saw in them also a genuineness, an inherent goodness, a creative instinct and a boundless capacity that would enable them to lift themselves out of the mire of poverty, if the opportunities were provided for them to do so,” he stated.Mr. Golding said that the passion with which Mr. Seaga served his constituents and the spectacular way he built the institutions that stand as milestones have made him a “legend of our time”.The State funeral for Mr. Seaga will be held on Sunday, June 23 at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, after which he will be buried in National Heroes Park. Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Phillip George Seaga, was remembered at a joint sitting of the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday, June 19, for his unyielding and sterling contribution to nation-building. read more

Jamaica Urged to Tap Into ESport

“There is something called the Jamaica E-sport initiative and they are looking to bring the world Olympics of e-sport here. So you do not need any field, just an arena with some massive screens and about 100,000 people sitting down in their homes all over the world but connected back here doing all the stuff digitally,” Mr. Reckord explained. Story Highlights He noted that the $30-billion industry have seen persons, over the past six years, being paid millions in prize money for playing games. Chief Executive Officer of tTech, Christopher Reckord, has cited e-sport as a lucrative global industry that offers opportunity for investment locally.He noted that the $30-billion industry have seen persons, over the past six years, being paid millions in prize money for playing games.“There is something called the Jamaica E-sport initiative and they are looking to bring the world Olympics of e-sport here. So you do not need any field, just an arena with some massive screens and about 100,000 people sitting down in their homes all over the world but connected back here doing all the stuff digitally,” Mr. Reckord explained.“So if you want something to look into, some research to consider…we just need to figure out how we are going to connect our know-hows and get Jamaica on the global sphere of something new and something different,” he said.Mr. Reckord was participating in a plenary session at the just-concluded Eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.The session, dubbed ‘Inclusive Economic Growth and Job Creation,’ focused on the various business and investment opportunities in Jamaica in sectors such as energy, technology, business process outsourcing (BPO) and the stock exchange.“We are making a number of investments around some of these areas and sectors such as education, utilising a wide range of these new technologies… so it is about considering how we can take the digital prowess of some of our developers with the know-how, training and digitise and create things such as apps and software and sell a billion of it globally,” Mr. Reckord noted.Meanwhile, he pointed to the need for policies and incentive packages to support investment opportunities in new and emerging technologies.“There must be policies to support any of these areas that we are telling people to invest in. When persons want to invest, they look at risks related to what they are investing in – is there an organisation, incentive. Are there things to support any of these various technologies?” he noted. Chief Executive Officer of tTech, Christopher Reckord, has cited e-sport as a lucrative global industry that offers opportunity for investment locally. read more

Jamaicans Pay Respects at Final LyingInState for Edward Seaga

“I came to pay my respects to someone who has contributed significantly to nation-building that has caused us to live in independent Jamaica. I am honoured to be living in his legacy… . Some of our roots, some of our culture, were initiated by him and I am overwhelmed by the different contributions he has made over his tenure serving this country,” Mr. Clarke said.Meanwhile, Gillian Rowlands remembered Mr. Seaga as a visionary for Jamaica and for his help in creating a pathway for Jamaicans studying abroad to return in the 1980s.“Many of us were studying abroad at the time when there was an ideological battle in Jamaica. It was a time of division and uncertainty, and many of us were studying. After the 1980 election, we felt that the country had been restored to some degree of balance,” she said.Mr. Seaga served as Member of Parliament for West Kingston for 43 years, and Prime Minister from 1980 to 1989.The nation is observing a period of mourning in honour of the life and service of Mr. Seaga from June 19 to 22. No public social functions or official events should be held during the four-day period.Both Houses of Parliament offered tributes in a special sitting on June 19, and a wake will be held at Tivoli Gardens Square on June 22.The State funeral for Mr. Seaga will be held on Sunday, June 23, beginning at noon, at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, 1 George Headley Drive in Kingston. Interment will follow in National Heroes Park. Numerous persons took time out on Thursday (June 20) to pay respects to former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, on the final day of his lying-in-state at the National Arena, before his burial on Sunday.Among them were Mr. Seaga’s niece, Rebecca Tortello and her children, Maria and Rhys Greenland.Some of the mourners told JIS News that it would have been remiss if they did not pay their last respects and sign the condolence book on the last day members of the public are allowed to file past the casket.Angellique Virtue said Mr. Seaga was an outstanding leader whom she grew to respect, based on the positive returns she has seen from investments he made on behalf of Jamaica.“I grew up in a time after Prime Minister Seaga served, but the stories I’ve heard of him and the legacy that I see today, as a young person, compelled me to come by and to pay my respects,” Ms. Virtue said.She added that she respects the educational initiatives he ensured were put in place, such as the HEART Trust/NTA in 1982.Another mourner, Chadd-Rick Clarke, described Mr. Seaga as a legend.Mourner, Chadd-Rick Clarke, writing his condolence message during the lying-in-state for former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, on Thursday (June 20) at the National Arena. Story Highlights Numerous persons took time out on Thursday (June 20) to pay respects to former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, on the final day of his lying-in-state at the National Arena, before his burial on Sunday. Some of the mourners told JIS News that it would have been remiss if they did not pay their last respects and sign the condolence book on the last day members of the public are allowed to file past the casket. Among them were Mr. Seaga’s niece, Rebecca Tortello and her children, Maria and Rhys Greenland. read more

Government to Review Protocols in Shiprider Agreement

Story Highlights The Government is to review the protocols and procedures for implementation of the Shiprider Agreement with the United States of America.It was under this agreement that the Government waived primary jurisdiction in respect of five Jamaican fishermen who were taken into custody by the US Coast Guard in 2017 in Haitian waters.Four of the men have brought a case against the US Coast Guard for alleged mistreatment, following their arrest and detention.The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has agreed to provide the men with legal representation and the matter is now before a court of law in the US.Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, who made the announcement today (June 25) during a press briefing at her offices in New Kingston, noted that the review will be done to ensure that Jamaican citizens are treated in a humane manner and that their human rights are protected.“When the Government of Jamaica waived its primary right to jurisdiction, it did not waive the rights of its citizens to be treated humanely…We are committed to reviewing the processes to ensure that we have no inadvertent gaps and where they are found that they be closed,” she said.Mrs. Johnson Smith stressed that the Government takes the protection and promotion of the human rights of citizens very seriously, noting that the case brought by the men “represents a significant juncture in the implementation of the Shiprider Agreement.”“While we cooperate with partner countries on the basis of a common adherence to international human rights laws, we are actively looking at what processes and what provisions can be inserted into the protocols, into our procedures to address the concerns that have been raised by this ACLU case,” she said.Mrs. Johnson Smith pointed out that Jamaica does not have the financial nor infrastructural capacity to adequately monitor its 240,000 square kilometres of maritime space, which is almost 25 times its land mass, noting that it has been helpful, both nationally and regionally, to seek the support of partner countries “to address our very real issues with maritime security.”“We remain steadfastly committed to working with our international partners to ensure that our seas are rid of the scourge of smugglers and traffickers who contribute to the violence that we experience in…our country,” she said.Explaining the context within which the Government waived primary jurisdiction in this case, Mrs. Johnson Smith noted that in September 2017, the Government of Jamaica was advised that a vessel with five men on board had been intercepted by the US Coast Guard, having been allegedly observed in the act of “jettisoning items from the vessel into the sea.”“We were further informed that they were intercepted on suspicion of being in possession of and transporting illicit drugs. The vessel was confirmed as registered in Jamaica and the men confirmed their Jamaican nationality to the US Coast Guard officers,” she said, noting that thereafter, a request was received by the Government of Jamaica for a waiver of jurisdiction.Mrs. Johnson Smith said the waiver was granted subject to conditions laid down by the Government of Jamaica, including confirmation of the good health of the men, assurance that they would be made aware of their right to consular assistance and assurance that they would be provided with legal representation in any criminal prosecution.“I can indicate categorically that we received written confirmation from the US authorities that these requirements would be met,” she said.In the meantime, the Minister reminded that the Government has begun a process of dialogue with the US Government “and we will continue those discussions.”She also reminded that a United States delegation is expected to come to Jamaica “to discuss these matters in a more pointed and technical way”. However, before this is done, a national stakeholder meeting is to be held with the relevant ministries, departments and agencies, so they can have a cohesive position on the matter.Mrs. Johnson Smith said through the meeting with the US delegation, the Government will not only get first-hand assurance about their commitment to the spirit in which the partnership was entered, “but that our processes, our procedures and our protocols on both sides are not only complementary and effective from a security perspective, but in respect of the protection of the rights of our citizens.”She noted that when these meetings have been held, the Opposition will be briefed through the National Security Council.Jamaica entered into the Shiprider Agreement in 1997 which was brought into force by the passage of the Maritime Drug Trafficking (Suppression) Act, 1998. This Act has since been amended twice – in 2005 and in 2016.The agreement sought to further cooperation in deterring the movement of illicit drugs through Jamaican territorial waters from South America to the US. It further allows for cooperation in ship boarding, ship riding and over flight.In addition, US Coast Guard law enforcement detachments operating from specific foreign government ships will be able to board suspected ships in Jamaican waters. It also speeds up the provision of technical assistance including drug detection technology between the two countries and puts a framework in place for the exercise of jurisdiction in each nation’s continuous zone.Importantly, it ensures greater protection for civil aircraft, including an agreement that neither the US nor Jamaica will use force against civil aircraft in flight. It was under this agreement that the Government waived primary jurisdiction in respect of five Jamaican fishermen who were taken into custody by the US Coast Guard in 2017 in Haitian waters. Four of the men have brought a case against the US Coast Guard for alleged mistreatment, following their arrest and detention. The Government is to review the protocols and procedures for implementation of the Shiprider Agreement with the United States of America. read more

Prime Minister Outlines Positives of PEP

The Government is maintaining its position that the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) is a viable alternative to the previous high-school-placement examination.Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in touting PEP, said it is part of the creation of “a new type of Jamaica where persons apply critical thinking, and the process of investigation and discovery is used in the solution to problems”.The PEP has replaced the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), and has been used to place students in high schools for the 2019/20 academic year.“Life chances are no longer being determined by grades achieved in two days of examination to determine your fate,” Mr. Holness said while addressing the presentation ceremony for the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for Service to Education, at Jamaica House on Wednesday (June 26).He said that the goals of PEP are especially important “amid the rapid societal changes” where the Government’s approaches, programmes and areas of emphasis must keep pace to be relevant to contemporary society and to the future.“This involves creating an encouraging and nurturing environment which allows for creativity and for the enquiring and curious mind to explore new ways of doing familiar things. It involves transforming persons from being consumers of technology to being creators of technology. It requires innovation and out-of-the-box solution-oriented thinking,” Mr. Holness said.In this regard, the Prime Minister assured that the Administration is continuing to re-engineer the education system, “so that every single child gets access to the best educational opportunities to fulfil their potential and ensure that Jamaica can grow and be a prosperous country”.“I am happy that more students than ever have access to better equipped and better resourced classrooms. I am confident that with our increased focus on early childhood and helping institutions to raise their standards of operations, we are laying a stronger foundation for future generations to excel,” he said.For his part, Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, said that while the vast majority of teachers are supportive of PEP, he is aware that concerns remain, and assured that the Ministry is doing everything to address these matters.“We are confident that PEP is building a framework that will enable students to think critically, strengthen their ability to reason, build their comprehension and develop their problem-solving skills,” he said.Mr. Samuda added that teachers have played a critical role in the successful roll-out of PEP.The PEP examination is intended to provide a better and more complete profile of students’ academic and critical-thinking capabilities at the end of primary-level education.The first cohort of grade-six students sat the PEP exam this year. They were tested in three stages with a Performance Task Test on March 27 and 28, an Ability Test on February 26 and a Curriculum Based Test on April 16 and 17. Story Highlights The PEP has replaced the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), and has been used to place students in high schools for the 2019/20 academic year. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in touting PEP, said it is part of the creation of “a new type of Jamaica where persons apply critical thinking, and the process of investigation and discovery is used in the solution to problems”. The Government is maintaining its position that the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) is a viable alternative to the previous high-school-placement examination. read more

20 Allowance to Purchase and Renovate Derelict Industrial Buildings

Persons who invest in the purchase and renovation of industrial buildings or structures for the purposes of trade are eligible for a 20 per cent allowance on the capital expenditure. Persons who invest in the purchase and renovation of industrial buildings or structures for the purposes of trade are eligible for a 20 per cent allowance on the capital expenditure.This is outlined in the Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 2019, which was approved by the Senate recently.The Bill also gives approval to the increase in the personal income tax threshold, which was implemented on July 1, 2016, by way of a Provisional Order.Piloting the Bill, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., noted that the 20 per cent allowance will encourage the purchase, renovation and retrofitting of buildings and structures that have become derelict or have fallen into disuse.He said that in relation to the personal income tax section of the amendment, it was recommended on the basis of alleviating the economic hardship that was being experienced by Jamaican taxpayers and workers below the threshold as well as to provide low-income earners with additional disposable income.“Part of this measure was also in respect of an increase in the income tax rate from 25 per cent to 30 per cent for individuals whose statutory income was in excess of $6,000,000.00,” he pointed out.Senator Charles noted that the increase in the income tax threshold was implemented on July 1, 2016, by way of a Provisional Order pursuant to section 3 (1) of the Provisional Collection of Tax Act (“The Act”).“Pursuant to the Act, the Order was confirmed with modifications and extended for a further three months. However, since the period of confirmation with modification and extension, the Order has lapsed and the collection of the tax needs to be validated. It is further proposed that the Government and all those persons who acted in good faith on behalf of the Government in the collection of the tax be indemnified from July 1, 2016 and ending on the commencement date of the amendment of the Income Tax Act,” he explained.Senator Charles said the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend sections 13, 30, 67 and 68 of the Income Tax Act in relation to the increase in the personal income tax threshold; and the First schedule, parts I and II of the Income Tax Act in relation to the 20 per cent initial allowance on capital expenditure.Senator Charles said Clause Two amends section 13 of the Principal Act regarding Deductions Allowed.  “A provision was inserted to state that expenses and disbursements shall only be deducted in respect of the six-month period in which they were actually incurred,” he said.He noted that Clause Three amends section 30 of the Principal Act regarding the Rate of Income Tax, noting that the new nil rates and the respective income tax rates for the year of assessment are inserted into this section.Senator Charles said that Clause Four amends section 67 (7) (a) of the Principal Act regarding returns, adding that the new threshold amounts for the respective years of assessment are inserted.He said Clause Five treats with section 68 of the Principal Act. “There is a marginal note that has been inserted with the new nil rates for the year 2016 as well as in subsection (b), the new nil rates are inserted,” he saidClause six of the Bill, he pointed out, updates Parts I and II to reflect the policy with the new insertion of “purchase for renovation”.“In part II, a new sub-paragraph was inserted to state that the initial allowance in relation to the purchase for renovation shall only be made to the owner if the building or structure is brought into use as an industrial building or structure during the first four years of assessment,” Senator Charles said.He said in keeping with the policy intent, new insertions were made to state the circumstances under which the initial allowance will be recovered. “If after four years, it’s not in use for the particular type of trade as indicated, it can be recovered. If the renovation is not completed, it can be recovered, and if the capital expenditure is less than 80 per cent of the purchase cost of the building, it can be recovered,” he pointed out.Senator Charles also noted that the Bill also contains a validation and indemnity clause regarding the lapsed Provisional Order, which brought about the increase in the personal income tax threshold. This is outlined in the Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 2019, which was approved by the Senate recently. Story Highlights The Bill also gives approval to the increase in the personal income tax threshold, which was implemented on July 1, 2016, by way of a Provisional Order. read more

Jamaica to Host CHICOS

Story Highlights Jamaica has been selected to host the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference and Operations Summit (CHICOS), scheduled for November 14 to 15, 2019, at the Secrets Wild Orchid, Montego Bay in St. James. Jamaica has been selected to host the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference and Operations Summit (CHICOS), scheduled for November 14 to 15, 2019, at the Secrets Wild Orchid, Montego Bay in St. James.The event is expected to attract some 300 attendees who are interested in hospitality development in the Caribbean.CHICOS is the premier industry conference for the region and brings together governmental representatives, opinion leaders, developers, bankers and other lenders, tourism officials, investment funds, hotel brand executives, individuals/companies seeking investors for their tourism projects, public and private institutions.Speaking with JIS News, Manager, Tourism and Services at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Carol Straw, noted that the conference will focus heavily on investment in the leisure tourism area.“The whole ecosystem will be there and the whole idea is to look at the regional and international trends that are affecting the industry and meet with the various representatives and companies to get them thinking about Jamaica and to actively look at investments here,” Miss Straw highlighted.She said that the conference is spearheaded by HVS, a leading global hospitality advisory company that is well respected in the tourism circuit.The entity stages the investment conference every year in a different destination, with Jamaica winning the bid to host this year’s staging.JAMPRO will be hosting the conference in conjunction with the AM Resorts and Apple Leisure Group, as well as the Ministry of Tourism and its agencies, Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF). CHICOS is the premier industry conference for the region and brings together governmental representatives, opinion leaders, developers, bankers and other lenders, tourism officials, investment funds, hotel brand executives, individuals/companies seeking investors for their tourism projects, public and private institutions. The event is expected to attract some 300 attendees who are interested in hospitality development in the Caribbean. read more

WPM Exploring Strategies to Prevent Fires at Retirement Disposal Site

Fire broke out at the disposal site on May 18, with smoke affecting sections of the parish as well as neighbouring Hanover. Western Parks and Markets (WPM) Waste Management Limited is exploring several strategies to prevent an outbreak of fire at the Retirement disposal site in St. James.Fire broke out at the disposal site on May 18, with smoke affecting sections of the parish as well as neighbouring Hanover.Speaking at a recent meeting in Montego Bay, WPM’s Acting Regional Operations Manager, Dramaine Jones, said the entity is looking to implement the measures within the next four months.He said that the authority is working closely with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) in the effort.Mr. Jones noted that already, a management review of the site is being undertaken to militate against blazes.He said, further, that the WPM has been identifying areas of the disposal site that are a fire risk “because as you know, something as simple as a broken glass bottle can start a fire on the landfill”.Mr. Jones noted that training has been conducted with the sidemen “to help them with identifying when fires or smoke are in some of the bins and skips. We will also be launching a public education campaign in terms of advising residents and the general communities in terms of helping us to identify some of these fires”.“What we are trying to do is to put all hands on deck to reduce the occurrence of fire on the landfill,” he added.Meanwhile, Mr. Jones said WPM has been working to expand its enforcement team in order to encourage the public, including business operators, to practise proper solid waste disposal habits.He said that the authority has been taking note of the illegal dump sites in the parish and is “looking at ways to ensure that we address them accordingly”. Speaking at a recent meeting in Montego Bay, WPM’s Acting Regional Operations Manager, Dramaine Jones, said the entity is looking to implement the measures within the next four months. Story Highlights Western Parks and Markets (WPM) Waste Management Limited is exploring several strategies to prevent an outbreak of fire at the Retirement disposal site in St. James. read more