Jamaica’s security ministry moves to mute illegal recordings in prison

first_imgThe Jamaican Ministry of National Security, in responding to howls of condemnation of the proliferation of songs recorded by inmates permeating the airwaves, has outlined measures to strengthen security in correctional institutions and stamp out the practice.The ministry said measures are being implemented to eliminate the smuggling of cell phones and other contraband, and also clarified the conditions under which music is recorded by inmates in maximum security facilities.Junior Minister of Security, Pearnel Charles Jr, said it would not be business as usual.“There are two radio stations at Tower Street and St. Catherine, which have been utilised in that regard. This however does not include unauthorised and illegal recordings. Any such activities are prohibited, and punitive action will be taken against any officer or inmate found involved and in breach of these regulations”,  Charles said.Former Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, was the subject of death threats and vile barbs after she publicly advocated for the music of imprisoned dancehall star, Vybz Kartel to be banned from radio.Four staffers at the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) were recently arrested and are now before the court on charges pertaining to corruptive dealings with inmates, while other officers have been removed for alleged unprofessional conduct.The DCS is also strengthening its collaboration with the police and the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency, to analyze  data found on cellular phones seized in the correctional institutions.Charles also said arising from several high-level security meetings, a system-wide security assessment will be implemented to strengthen the internal controls in all institutions and deter corruption and the conduct of criminal activity within the correctional facilities.Among the security measures to be implemented are:Amendments to existing legislation, regulations and procedures to increase accountability and enforcement;The installation of X-Ray Scanning Machines at Tower Street and St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centres and the Horizon Adult Remand Centre;Metal detectors and New Entry Management Protocols;Polygraphing of all recruits and correctional officers;Relocation of Inmates and Re-zoning spaces in all institutions;Expanded CCTV coverage across the Correctional System; andEnhanced use of cellular phone jamming technology.“We have to respect the public’s concerns, protect our citizens and secure the reputation of the honest, hard-working correctional officers in the system. We will make every effort to eradicate corruption and criminality and to hold persons accountable for breaches, as well as deficiencies in management. It is unacceptable that breaches continue year after year, and it is time to draw a line in the sand. What now exists is a dysfunctional system, where we have to contend with contraband entering our correctional facilities and the allegations of complicity of our staff in this matter. This poses a potential threat to our national security and to our efforts to redefine and transform the Department of Correctional Services”, said Charles.last_img read more

Read more on Jamaica’s security ministry moves to mute illegal recordings in prison

European sugar refiners say current market situation prevents import from Caribbean

first_imgBRUSSELS, Mar 2, CMC –The European Sugar Refineries Association (ESRA) says while it is not seeking to abandon sugar imports from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, the current market situation “simply does not allow us to import from these partners”.ESRA outlined its position in a study presented on January 30 to the European Parliament, a copy of which has been obtained by the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).Seeking competitive prices In the study, conducted earlier this year, ESRA said that should the prices for the raw materials from the ACP and Less Developed Countries (LDC) become “competitive” for its members “there is no reason why we would not use these sources of raw materials.“However, the current market situation simply does not allow us to import from these partners. We are not asking for unlimited access to the global sugar supply. We understand that our supplies will always face some limitations due to political sensitivities in the EU sugar sector. “All ESRA is asking for is the chance to compete in the EU sugar sector, through the provision of meaningful access to raw sugar,” it said.On Friday, the ACP and the LDC called for a level playing field for all sugar stakeholders after the study presented to the European Parliament implicated them in the substantial decline in the price and export of the commodity over the past two years.Over-production of subsidy-fueled EU sugarBut the ACP Sugar Group, representing ACP and LDC sugar industries in 18 developing countries, said that the current problems in the EU sugar market were caused by the over-production of subsidy-fueled EU sugar, which has led to record low prices in European markets and to consequent reductions in demand for sugar imported from developing countries.Latest figures published by the European Commission, showed the weighted average EU domestic price had fallen to a new low of Euro 31.4 (One Euro=US$1.29 cents) per kilo, and imports from ACP and LDC countries are currently less than a third of the levels recorded before quotas were abolished.The ACP Sugar Group contend that the EU over-production has also led to EU exports doubling in volume and taking market share in ACP regional markets, displacing ACP and LDC sugar both in the EU and in ACP sugar’s neighboring developing country markets.In the study, ESRA argues that the changed EU market in which it now operates “means that our access to the global supply of raw sugar is even more severely restricted than in the past.“We believe this can be resolved,” it said, noting that it would “like to remind stakeholders what we are not … asking decision-makers to impose any kind of restrictions on domestic sugar production in the EU. “Indeed, we hope for a fully liberalized sector in which we can join our beet processing colleagues in a truly competitive market.Duty-free access crucialESRA said that the only way it can compete in the EU sugar sector “in a manner that is fair to our sector is through the inclusion of duty-free access to raw sugar through EU free trade agreements with raw sugar exporters.“If we fail to gain access to raw sugar, there will be no more discussion, as our sector will cease to exist.To avoid this scenario, EU negotiators must remember that, when it comes to sugar, it is a mistake to approach these talks from a purely defensive point of view.“We are EU stakeholders too, and we need EU negotiators to remember this. We need them to stand with us in these talks, and to fight for the access that can save our historic industry from an almost certain demise,” ESRA said in the study.The ACP Sugar Group said the study suggests a higher cost for imported ACP/LDC sugar mistakenly using data that includes not just the price paid for raw sugar for refining but also the price paid for premium specialty sugars.ACP and LDC sugar producers agree with ESRA’s assessment that the root cause of the decline is overproduction. However, they dispute ESRA’s proposed solutions and they ask the EU not to further erode preferences for ACP and LDC countries by increasing the supply of sugar in an already oversupplied market through additional import quotas, lower MFN (most favored nation) tariffs and/or new free trade agreements (FTAs).The ACP Sugar Group said it also supports ESRA that the EU market has been badly managed by policy-makers.last_img read more

Read more on European sugar refiners say current market situation prevents import from Caribbean

Port Royal Pier Welcomes First Cruise Ship Ever

first_imgPORT ROYAL, Jamaica – The Port Royal pier in Jamaica welcomed its first cruise ship ever on January 20. The pier was built centuries ago but was destroyed by the massive 1692 earthquake in Port Royal before any cruise ship could have docked in the town.The Marella Discovery II, which was the lead ship of the Vision Class of cruisers originally operated by Royal Caribbean International, docked at 8:09 am. The vessel was scheduled to arrive at 7:30 am.Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett reported that some 2,000 passengers are said to be onboard.Scores of residents and visitors to the old town converged at the newly renovated pier — several with smartphones in hand to capture the historic moment. Residents of Port Royal are ecstatic about the many job opportunities that they expect to come along with the reopening of the pier.Over the weekend, the Port Authority of Jamaica, PAJ, was busy adding the finishing touches to the pier.The PAJ says the pier will not operate strictly as a point of entrance and exit. It says there’ll be retail shops and restaurants by the pier. The Port Royal Development, which has been years in the making, aims to bring much-needed cruise shipping and tourism back to Kingston.Head of the PAJ, Professor Gordon Shirley, says several vessels have already expressed interest in docking at the Pier. He says the aim of the development is to enhance the historic value of Port Royal and to improve Kingston, which he describes as the cultural gateway to the Caribbean. Port Royal already had a few tourist attractions like Fort Charles, which has a local museum, Giddy House and Old Naval Cemetery.Currently, Jamaica has just a few piers in major tourist towns like Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, with other smaller ports in Falmouth, Portland and Lucea.last_img read more

Read more on Port Royal Pier Welcomes First Cruise Ship Ever

Millions Around the World Tune in for Beenie Man/Bounty Killer Clash

first_imgJamaican culture was fully on display for the world to see during the online clash between dancehall veterans Beenie Man and Bounty Killer. In true Jamaican fashion, the clash was briefly interrupted by police who were inquiring about the loud music and social gathering. Beenie Man, however, informed them that they were involved in an international event and the police allowed the clash to continue. Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, the organizers of the battle, along with most of the viewers agreed that the battle was the best clash from the series so far. “Jamaica, which was thought of as a third world country, represented as leaders in the world tonight”, said Swizz Beatz after the battle. The virtual afterparty also including the legendary Stone Love sound, which the producers credited as among the originators of clash culture. The clash lasted over two hours on Instagram, with almost 500,000 viewers on Instagram and a record-breaking 3.7 million viewers across all platforms. A host of celebrities tuned in to be entertained, including Rihanna, Idris Elba, Diddy, Usain Bolt and even Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness. The deejays were part of the Verzuz music battle series created by American Record Producers Swizz Beats and Timbaland on Instagram. While previous battles had covered other genres, featuring musical legends like Teddy Riley, Babyface, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott’s, Saturday night’s battle was the first dancehall battle.center_img Out of respect, the two deejays started off the battle with the playing of Jamaica’s national anthem to the audience of mostly international viewers. They then went back and forth with 20 songs each, trading competitive jabs and stories behind the music. Both Jamaican deejays were trending on social media for hours after the clash, which was heavily covered by international media including CNN. Both artistes have also seen a huge spike in music streams since the battle. On twitter, Jamaican politicians like Damion Crawford boldly stated that while COVID-19 has wrecked Jamaica’s tourism progress this year, the two dancehall deejays may have just saved the entire industry.last_img read more

Read more on Millions Around the World Tune in for Beenie Man/Bounty Killer Clash

Ravens hope running game won’t be sluggish in Seattle

first_imgOWINGS MILLS, Md. — Riding high at 6-2 and owning a share of the AFC North lead with the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens hope to continue the offensive momentum built over their last six quarters of play that have produced 47 points when they travel to Seattle this Sunday.The passing offense is trending upward after back-to-back 300-yard performances by quarterback Joe Flacco, but a byproduct has been the sputtering nature of the running game in recent weeks. In fairness, Flacco’s 98 passing attempts over the last two games have squashed opportunities on the ground, but the Ravens have struggled to run the football since a good first quarter of the 16-game schedule.The Ravens rushed for 495 yards  through their first four games — including a 170-yard performance against the Pittsburgh run defense in Week 1 — but that total has dipped to just 321 yards over their last four contests. Baltimore currently ranks 22nd in rushing offense and is 25th in yards per attempt at 3.9 yards per carry.“There are some simple things we’ve got to get cleaned up,” offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. “It’s mostly technique stuff. It’s not the line. It’s not the backs. It’s not the tight ends. It’s just a combination of things we have to continue to get better at. We’re going to get some pretty challenging defenses against the run; this week is another one.”The absence of left guard Ben Grubbs has certainly been a factor as former Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode filled in for five games despite having never played the position at the professional level. Grubbs’ absence and the late arrival of starting left tackle Bryant McKinnie — known more for his pass blocking — in the preseason have led to struggles gaining ground on the left side of the offensive line.The run woes — and frustration — came to a head when the Ravens ran for a paltry 34 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Rice received only eight carries.“We don’t have to force the run game,” Rice said. “One thing about it now, I told Cam, I told the guys, I am not going to be a guy that begs for the ball. I want it to be a situation where he is calling the game, and he is comfortable. Any time you try to force any situation, bad things happen. We are where we are. The run game, I think, is still effective. Guys have to go into the game respecting it.”The Baltimore rushing attack has struggled more noticeably against the 4-3 defense, with its two lowest rushing totals this season coming against Jacksonville and Tennessee (45). The Ravens’ only other opportunity against a 4-3 attack came against the St. Louis Rams, who own the league’s worst run defense. In their 37-7 Week 3 win, the Ravens were able to run for 168 yards, but have found no other success against four-man fronts.A 4-3 defense typically includes more athletic defensive linemen as opposed to a traditional 3-4 scheme with bulkier defensive linemen. The Ravens will face Seattle’s 4-3 defense a week after facing Pittsburgh’s traditional 3-4 alignment.“You have to attack them,” Rice said. “The thing is with the 4-3 fronts, obviously it’s a different structure of defense. You can’t run the same kind of runs against a 3-4 that you are going to run against a 4-3. A lot of the stuff, blocking assignments are probably a little bit more downhill rather than east and west. A lot of the stretch and cut things still apply, [but] you can’t go into the game plan thinking that you are going to run the same plays you ran against the Steelers – or any 3-4 team – that you are going to come in and run the same against a 4-3. It’s a totally different defense.”Though ranked 16th in total defense, the Seahawks have shown the ability to play well against the run. Ranked 13th in ground defense, Seattle is allowing only 3.4 yards per attempt, which ranks third in the NFL. With the Seahawks owning the 29th-ranked offense in the NFL, opposing teams have decided not to take chances and have attempted 257 rushes in eight games, third-most in the league. Seahawks middle linebacker David Hawthorne leads the team with 54 tackles while safety Earl Thomas is right behind him with 53.Playing at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, labeled the “loudest stadium” in the league by Cameron, the Ravens hope to control the tempo of the game via the ground attack and to avoid the need to go to the no-huddle attack as they did in Pittsburgh — mostly out of necessity. And with a 40 percent chance of rain and a predicted high of 49 degrees in Seattle on Sunday afternoon, unleashing Rice and backup Ricky Williams would be the best weapon to combat any inclement weather.“We’ve got good backs,” Cameron said. “Especially as the weather turns and we’re heading down the stretch here, we have to pick up our running game a little bit.”last_img read more

Read more on Ravens hope running game won’t be sluggish in Seattle

FIBA Hands Nigeria November 30 Ultimatum

first_imgWorld’s basketball governing body FIBA has told The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) to put its house in order or face the music.The NBBF has been enveloped by an ongoing leadership crisis dating back to June prompting FIBA to give the national Basketball body until November 30 to resolve the situation.The body currently has two factions after two separate elections were held in June. The elections led to two separate presidents and executive committees.Former NBBF president Tijani Umar was re-elected for another term during the June 10 election in Kano before Musa Kida emerged as president from an election instigated by the sports ministry three days later and this led to the current leadership tussle between the two presidents and their respective executive committees.FIBA secretary-general, Patrick Baumann, signed a letter sent to both factions. In the letter, the world governing body stated it will only communicate with the Musa Kida (President) and Babatunde Ogunade (Vice- President) faction until the November 30 ultimatum.The world’s basketball governing body further pointed out that this development does not imply that the faction, which was elected on June 13, is the one recognised by FIBA.The letter from FIBA said:1. FIBA is not entirely satisfied that either election was carried out in accordance with the FIBA General Statues. Consequently, pursuant to Article 9.10 of the FIBA General Statutes, FIBA cannot recognise either election.2. FIBA instructs the NBBF to resolve this current dispute internally, whether through new elections of (preferably) through an amicable solution under the auspices of the National Olympic Committee, before 30 November 2017.3. In the event that a solution complying with the FIBA General Statutes is not found, the NBBF will be subject to the possibility of sanctions, including without limitation, a suspension of its membership with FIBA.4. In the event that a solution is not found, regardless of any sanctions, FIBA will appoint a task force that will take any appropriate measure(s) in the interests of basketball in Nigeria.5. FIBA will communicate, as of now and until 30 November 2017, solely with the persons named as board members on 13 June 2017, namely Mr Ahmadu Musa Kida as NBBF President and Mr Babatunde Ogunade as Vice-President using [email protected] for official correspondence.6. FIBA maintains that while this letter clarifies the line of communication between FIBA and its member and divisions, on one hand, and NBBF on the other, it shall not be understood as a recognition by FIBA of the management elected on 13 June 2017.7. FIBA will continue to study the allegations of state intervention and non-democratic elections at the NBBF.”Relatedlast_img read more

Read more on FIBA Hands Nigeria November 30 Ultimatum

Rogers Cup: Rafael Nadal Knocked Out, Roger Federer Marches On

first_imgRelatedLaver Cup: Federer And Nadal Team Up To Win Doubles MatchSeptember 24, 2017In “Sports”Indian Wells Masters: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer Cruise Into Third RoundMarch 11, 2019In “Tennis”Italian Open: Federer, Nadal Glide Through to Third RoundMay 16, 2019In “Tennis” World number 2, Rafael Nadal have been surprisingly knocked out of the Rogers Cup in Montreal, by homeboy, Canada’s Denis Shapovalov.18-year-old Denis Shapovalov, who won the 2016 Wimbledon junior championship, battled back from a set down to defeat Nadal 3-6 6-4 7-6 (6-4), to become the youngest player to reach the Masters quarter finals.Elsewhere, Roger Federer dispatched Spaniard, David Ferrer, 4-6 6-4 6-2 to progress into the last eight, to face another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut, in the quarter final.Rafael Nadal’s loss means Britain’s Andy Murray remains world number 1, at least until the Cincinnati Masters next week, where Nadal or Federer will have another chance to displace Murray.Shapovalov, world number 143, will now face Frenchman, Adrian Mannarino, in the quarter final.last_img read more

Read more on Rogers Cup: Rafael Nadal Knocked Out, Roger Federer Marches On

English Giants Manchester United Record Huge Revenues As TV Money Increases

first_imgEnglish giants Manchester United have recorded revenues of £581m after the club’s financial record for 2017 were released.This makes it the second successive year that the club have accrued revenues of over £500m following a revenue of £515.3m last year and this latest financial boom is coming on the back of the club’s return to the Deloitte money list in January.Manchester United won the UEFA Europa League (UEL), FA Community Shield and the EFL Cup on the field last season and those successes were matched by huge revenues off field as TV cash increased rapidly.The Old Trafford club also signed a whooping 12 sponsorship deals in addition to having matchday and commercial revenues soar.The Red Devils benefitted from a significant increase in domestic TV revenues during the 2016-17 season, which was the first season in the present 3-year UK broadcasting deal.In the year ending June 30, broadcast income rose by 38% from £140.4m (the year before) to £194.1m.Speaking about the new financial results, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward stated that the club is looking forward to an exciting season. He said:“We concluded a successful 2016-17 season with a total of three trophies and a return to Champions League football.”“We are pleased with the investment in our squad and look forward to an exciting season.” he added.The new financial results would be music to United fans who have seen their team return to the UEFA Champions League (UCL) and also witnessed the impressive start they have made in the new English Premier League (EPL) season.Relatedlast_img read more

Read more on English Giants Manchester United Record Huge Revenues As TV Money Increases

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap (South America): Argentina Face Big Hurdle To Qualify…

first_img2-time world champions Argentina are on the brink of not qualifying for the first FIFA World Cup since 1970 after they dropped out of the qualifying positions with a disappointing goalless draw with Peru.Jorge Sampaoli’s team missed several goalscoring opportunities against a Peru side that’s making a giant stride towards Russia 2018 and will now need at least a win in the final game at Ecuador to have any chance of making it through to Russia.Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Lampe produced one of the best goalkeeping heroics in recent times to earn his side a hard fought goalless home draw with leaders Brazil. He denied Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and co to keep an impressive clean sheet against one of the early favourites for Russia 2018.There were also morale boosting wins for Chile and Paraguay over Ecuador and Colombia respectively. Both sides snatched a late win through goals from Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez (Chile) and Antonio Sanabria (Paraguay).Matchday 17 Results:Bolivia 0-0 BrazilChile 2-1 EcuadorVenezuela 0-0 UruguayColombia 1-2 ParaguayArgentina 0-0 PeruMatchday 18 (Final) Fixtures:Peru vs. ColombiaEcuador vs. ArgentinaBrazil vs. ChileUruguay vs. BoliviaParaguay vs. VenezuelaCurrent Standings:Brazil 38 pointsUruguay 28 pointsChile 26 pointsColombia 26 pointsPeru 25 pointsArgentina 25 pointsParaguay 24 pointsEcuador 20 pointsBolivia 14 pointsVenezuela 9 points Relatedlast_img read more

Read more on 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap (South America): Argentina Face Big Hurdle To Qualify…

Stanleybet launches €12.5 million ‘virtual events’ claim against Cypriot government

first_imgShare Cypriot football seeks betting levy for development programmes June 25, 2020 Submit John Whittaker – Stanleybet CEOEuropean gambling operator Stanleybet is suing the government of Cyprus for breaching European Union trade and business policies.Filing a claim under Stanleybet Malta, the operator is seeking compensation in excess of €12.5 million for loss of operating profits, legal costs and restriction of services relating to the ‘2012 Betting Law’ which banned wagering on Virtual Sports terminals.Furthermore, Stanleybet which operates in Cyprus under a Class A licence, claims that its corporate reputation was damaged as a result of ‘police and prosecutorial actions and measures adopted against them’, following a series of raids in 2014 on its retail properties confiscating equipment and damaging operations.Stanleybet governance states that the 2012 Betting Law should be repealed as the Cypriot government did not notify the final draft to the European Commission prior to it coming into effect, therefore breaching EU business practices.As a further protective measure, Stanleybet governance is seeking to add an injunction prohibiting any legal/criminal action against its properties offering virtual event services to its customers.Issuing a corporate statement, Stanleybet CEO John Whittaker commented on the firm’s claim“The Stanleybet Group has been successfully fighting for the recognition of its right to engage in the gambling and betting business in numerous member states of the European Union for more than fifteen years,”“We have been before the Court of Justice on circa ten occasions and on countless occasions before the European Commission and the national courts of all levels, where in the end we have always been able to obtain through European law what we had been unjustly denied domestically in the first place. We believe in the rule of law, and have no doubt that the Cypriot Courts will do justice to our rights”.The Cypriot government have ten days to respond to Stanleybet’s claim. StumbleUpon EU research agency demands urgent action on loot box consumer safeguards July 29, 2020 Share Greek retail closures rock OPAP Q1 performance June 11, 2020 Related Articleslast_img read more

Read more on Stanleybet launches €12.5 million ‘virtual events’ claim against Cypriot government