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March 11, 2015
News Americas, LONDON, England: With the African Cup of Nations well underway, the footballing world has been treated to a fantastic feast of another footballing spectacle as the best African international sides come together in a bid to be crowned the continent’s best team.
The 2015 AFCON is currently being held at Equatorial Guinea, with a total of 16 African countries competing against each other for the coveted crown.
Hosts Equatorial Guinea qualified automatically along with Cape Verde, Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa, Zambia, Cameroon, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Congo and DR Congo.
For those wishing to visit the beautiful destination and get involved in this incredible international football competition, then there are plenty of places that you should see.
The town of Luba is a lovely location situated in the southern side of Bioko Island and it is the most populated town in the region of Bioko, apart from Malabo.
Visitors can arrive here and take a terrific trip along the coast road, which is a little more than 40km from Malabo, in daily buses and other means of travel.
If you have a taste for seafood then this is the destination for you, with their restaurants becoming famous throughout the land because of the splendid seafood that they cook.
In Luba you will also be able to find two extremely memorable white sand beaches, enabling you to kick back and relax under the simmering sun as you keep up to date with all the latest footballing action at AFCON. Odds on all of the competing countries are available on Black Diamond Casino which you can access from the comfort of your hotel room, or from your sun lounger on Luba’s sensational sandy beaches.
The second city of this year’s African Cup of Nations host nation is Bata, and this is the first one in the Rio Muni mainland. If you arrive to beautiful Bata from Malabo then a flight will only take about 45 minutes, with the airport just a few kilometres from the city.
Bata is a wide and quiet city, the opposite of Malabo, and is surrounded by sumptuous sand beaches. It’s memorizing Spanish colonial buildings and beaches makes it is a great place to visit.
This is a lovely little city situated on the natural crater shaped harbor Pico Basile’s base, near a volcanic zone with fantastic views and surroundings.
The city itself is rather picturesque and is full of graceful Spanish colonial buildings and has attractive views across the harbor.
Make sure if you are visiting to take a trip to the Spanish cathedral and walk along the road to the harbor to see the giant fruit bats which live in the towering trees. It’s magnificent market place should not be missed either!
March 8, 2015
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Mar. 9, 2015: A 25-year-old Guyanese national who was determined this January to marry the love of his life despite relying on an oxygen tank and too frail to move at a hospice run by the Metropolitan Jewish Health System in New York City, has died after a battle with renal cancer.
Christopher Robinson, according to his relatives, passed away on March 6, 2015 in the Intensive Care Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, some two months after he married 23-year-old Terry Torres whom he called “the love of my life.”
In 2013, Robinson was shot five times by a burglar. Incredibly, he survived. After eight surgeries and several months in the hospital, he walked out a whole man.
But his good luck did n0t hold. He needed another operation to fix a hernia he developed. It was then, in August 2014, that doctors preparing him for the surgery told him about a growth on his kidney.
Within days, they’d diagnosed him with a rare and deadly form of renal cancer and said it appeared to have already spread to his lungs. They gave him a few months to live.
But that did not hold him back from marrying his college sweetheart in an emotional ceremony in his hospice room on January 16, 2015. A city clerk was able to bring the licensing paperwork to Robinson and the hospice staff provided decorations, cake and a musician for the small ceremony.
Less than two months as a married man, Robinson passed away, leaving Torres widowed.
His passing elicited dozens of condolences on Facebook with advocate Mark Benschop, among those extending condolences to Robinson’s family.
“He fought a good fight but now God has called him home. May his brave soul rest in peace,” added head of the Caribbean Guyana Institute of Democracy, Rickford Burke.
Robinson, according to family friends, had made detailed plans for his funeral before he stopped talking late last week.
A fund in his name is set up at www.gofundme.com/ne34wg and interested persons can donate to his funeral.
Robinson is survived by his wife Terry, their 2-year-old son, C.J., his mother and numerous relatives and friends.
March 6, 2015
LAS VEGAS, March 6, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Several years ago, Rael, spiritual leader of the International Raelian Movement (IRM), inspired the movement “Back to Kama” (the original name for Africa used by its indigenous people) to encourage well-educated, successful and affluent people of all races and religions – especially descendants of slaves – to migrate to Kama and relocate their businesses and operations there, along with transferring knowledge and wealth accumulated in the West.
“The Back to Kama movement is gaining momentum now,” Rael said in a statement released today by the IRM. “However, interested candidates are facing an obstacle that tempers their enthusiasm.”
Describing the obstacle as one that is “of an administrative nature and easy to overcome,” Rael went on to compare the current situation with the one that existed right when the nation of Israel was first created. He pointed out that the Israeli government immediately established ‘The Right to Return,” whereby any Jew, no matter where he or she lived at the time, could immediately receive an Israeli passport and the right to live in Israel.
“The same Right to Return should be instituted by the West African states from which most ancestors of African-Americans came, as well ancestors of those now living in the Caribbean islands and South America,” Rael explained. “African states cannot afford to slow the return [of those with African ancestry] for administrative reasons. Their return, with their wealth and knowledge, is real manna, and it also renders justice for the [enslaved] ancestors.”
In today’s statement, Rael asked all Raelians in Kama to launch a broad campaign that will pressure that continent’s governments to immediately adopt right-of-return laws for all descendants of American and Caribbean slaves.
“It would be justice if those who have accumulated wealth and knowledge in countries that enslaved their ancestors to leave these countries and benefit the countries that were forcibly deprived of this invaluable human capital,” Rael said. “They should even request that the [formerly] enslaving countries issue huge monetary compensation to help them return to Africa.”
March 5, 2015
MADRID and SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, March 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Air Europa continues its expansion throughout the Caribbean by connecting its daily flight between Spain and the Dominican Republic with its neighbor, Puerto Rico. The Globalia Group Airline and Seaborne, a Puerto Rican airline, have reached a codeshare agreement to cover the route Santo Domingo – San Juan, Puerto Rico, which will allow for daily flights to and from the islands and, as a result, the connection of both capitals with the Adolfo Suarez Airport in Madrid-Barajas.
This will permit Air Europa passengers to fly to Puerto Rico every day, by making a short stop in Las Americas Airport in Santo Domingo. This route will be added to the two direct flights that Air Europa has been operating between Spain and Puerto Rico since June 2014.
“This agreement represents a step forward in our mission to be the go-to airline in flying to and from Europe, America and the Caribbean,”declared Air Europa’s President, Juan Jose Hidalgo.“And I’m sure that with Seaborne we have found a great partner, due to their impeccable trajectory and incredible punctuality index of over 98%.”
Seaborne is a company with over 20 years of experience in the Caribbean and an excellent security and operational performance history. For the Santo Domingo – San Juan route, it has an available fleet of 8 Saab 340B, Swedish-made aircraft that can carry 34 passengers.
“Seaborne is honored to be selected by Air Europa to provide this service,” said Gary Foss, President and Chief Executive Officer of Seaborne. “It is a vote of confidence in our team of outstanding professionals that has brought service to 16 airports across the Caribbean. We want to especially thank the Tourism Company of Puerto Rico for their steadfast support of Seaborne,” he said.
Ingrid Rivera Rocafort, Executive Director of the Tourism Company of Puerto Rico, explains: “Efforts to continue positioning Puerto Rico as the main axis of Caribbean air access and increase flight options for our visitors continue to pay fruit. The alliance between airlines Air Europa and Seaborne, respectively leaders in Europe and the Caribbean, not only open new markets for Puerto Rico. They are also an integral part of our campaign to promote the island as a five-star destination and simplify the travel planning process for potential travelers to Puerto Rico.”
The codeshare agreement between Air Europa and Seaborne will take effect March 29.
LicorZone S. A. DE C. V. Announces the Opening of Its First of a New Generation of Liquor Stores in Mexico
March 4, 2015
CaribPR Wire, AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico, March 4, 2015: The retailer said in a statement that LicorZone’s (R) first outlet is located in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
With one store opening this week and another coming next month at a location near Aguascalientes’s bus station, the liquor, beer, and wine outlet announced that it intends to open at least 200 stores all over Mexico, and hundreds more throughout Latin America and Europe. Liquor laws in these regions allow producers to operate outlet stores that sell directly to customers, without the need for a liquor distributor, like you would need in the USA.
LicorZone will provide consumers with generic, unbranded liquors, such as whisky, vodka, brandy, and rum, for as low as MN$50, or US$3.33, for a 750 ml bottle. A wide range of liquors will be available soon in LicorZone outlets in Aguascalientes and around the world.
Store Manager Edith Morales said: “Our liquor stores will provide customers with a first class shopping experience and a vast range of generic liquors produced by us. We keep our prices low by selling directly from our liquor plant to our liquor stores.
“For anyone who wants to learn more about our products — they are all made in Mexico and there will be an expert available for advice about them. If you would like, you may interact with our products by testing them in-store, by exploring the basics, or by learning new skills from our professional team.”
The concept is simple: LicorZone is part of an American business conglomerate, which has been present in Mexico since 2011. They have a manufacturing plant located in Aguascalientes and export to every corner of the globe.
In Mexico, our concept is called “Tienda de Fabrica” or, as they say in the USA, it is “liquor outlet”. We only sell what we produce in our plant. We have one fully automatic bottling line whose production speed is 7,000 liter bottles per hour. When we work non-stop, we can produce as many as 168,000 bottles daily, and we will purchase more bottling equipment when necessary. For example, this year we are investing in a new canning line, with a speed of 20,000 cans per hour, as well as a complete PET blowing line.
We will carry 360 bottles of each product category in each store as our standard base inventory. The usual size of our stores is 200 square meters, or 2,500 square feet, and we offer eight liquor categories: whisky, 12 flavors of vodka, brandy, agave spirits, tequila, coffee liqueur, rum, and a few import liquors, such as scotch, that we bottle ourselves.
Soon, we will import wines and sell them for very cheap, less than MN$2.50 per 750 ml bottle for a good cabernet sauvignon or a merlot from France, Spain, Italy, Argentina, or Chile.
The cash that will be injected into the business by the new LicorZone affiliates will finance our expansion. LicorZone is not a franchise, but rather an association of retailers who have given us a lump sum to become a LicorZone affiliate and use our trademark. We will use the proceeds to decorate their store with the LicorZone “look” and to supply them with their initial inventory. No fees or royalties are required and they can use our brand as long as they buy only from us. We invite anyone to open a LicorZone in their city.
Our business model: We produce our liquor in our very own 65,000 square foot plant and sell our products directly to our affiliates, with no more intermediaries. LicorZone will be unbeatable because of its low production costs and the fact that we work on only a 25% margin. Our retail price for a 750 ml bottle of whisky is MN$50.00, or US$3.33, while a 1000 ml bottle is MN$75.00, or US$5.00. A 1.75 liter bottle is MN$100.00, or US$6.66. We are 50% to 70% cheaper than our competitors.
Aguascalientes is the best location in Mexico because it is in the center of the country, where there are 4 seasons. This is excellent in terms of logistics, because it allows us to buy corn to produce whisky, sugar cane to produce rum, potatoes to produce vodka, and grapes to produce brandy. This way we will be able to continue production all year around. And Mexico is the best country from which to export our new concept of liquor to the rest of the world — Mexico enjoys free trade agreements with more than 50 countries around the world, including the USA, Canada, the whole EEA, and more.
We expect to employ 180 people by the end of the 2015, and to have 1,000 employees by 2017.
Consumers will love it; we are offering a win-win situation. The consumer is saving, the government is making money on liquor taxes, and we make money because we do not have any intermediaries eating our margins.
Remember, our target is price, price, price.
Licor Zone, S.A. DE C.V. anuncia la apertura de su primera tienda de licores a precio directo de fábrica en México.
La primera tienda de Licor Zone ® se encuentra en Aguascalientes, México, anuncio la compañía en una rueda de prensa.
Próximamente con la apertura de una tienda en la zona norte de Aguascalientes y otra muy pronto cerca de la Central de Autobuses de la ciudad, el expendio de licor, cerveza y vino, anunció su intención de abrir al menos 200 tiendas en todo México y cientos de tiendas en América Latina y Europa, donde se permite vender el licor directamente del productor al consumidor sin tener que pasar por un distribuidor como en Estados Unidos.
Licor Zone, S.A. de C.V. proporcionará a los consumidores licores tales como whisky, vodka, brandy, ron, a un precio tan bajo de M.N. $ 50.00 (pesos mexicanos) ó $ 3.33 (dólares) en presentación de 750 ml. Una amplia gama de licores estará disponible en los puntos de Licor Zone en Aguascalientes y pronto en todo México.
Edith Morales, Gerente de tienda dijo: “Nuestras tiendas de licores proporcionaran a los clientes una experiencia de primera clase de compras y una gama completa de licores que producimos nosotros mismos, venderemos directamente desde nuestra planta a nuestra tienda de licores, sin más intermediarios, esta es el razón por la que nuestros precios son tan bajos”.
“El asesoramiento de expertos estará disponible para los clientes que quieren aprender más acerca de nuestros productos como el Vodka, Whisky, Ron, etc., todos ellos producidos en México. Los clientes podrán interactuar con los productos probándolos en la tienda”. Dijo Edith Morales.
El concepto es simple, Licor Zone es parte de un conglomerado de producción de licores en México desde 2011, con planta de manufactura en Aguascalientes y exportación a todo el mundo.
A esto le llamamos en México “Precio de Fabrica”, sólo vendemos lo que producimos en nuestra planta. Tenemos líneas de envasado totalmente automáticas, nuestra productividad es de 7,000 botellas de un litro por hora. Nuestras máquinas pueden producir hasta 168,000 botellas en 24 horas ininterrumpidas de producción y podemos adquirir más equipo si es necesario. Estamos invirtiendo este año para una nueva de línea de envasado de 20,000 latas por hora y una línea de soplado completo para nuestras botellas PET.
El inventario promedio que tenemos en cada tienda es de 360 botellas de cada categoría de producto. El tamaño habitual de cada tienda es de 200 metros cuadrados Ofrecemos 8 categorías: whisky, vodka (12 sabores diferentes), brandy, destilado de agave, tequila, licor de café, ron y algunos licores de importación que embotellamos nosotros mismos.
Pronto vamos a importar nuestros propios vinos y los ofreceremos muy económico; menos de M.N. $30.00 (pesos mexicanos) ó $ 2.50 (dólares) por botella en presentación de 750 ml para un buen cabernet sauvignon o un merlot.
Nuestra expansión será financiada por los afiliados de nuestra empresa, Licor Zone no es una franquicia, sino más bien una asociación de minoristas que pagan una suma global para convertirse en un socio de Licor Zone. Usaremos la inversión para decorar su tienda basados en el modelo estándar de decoración de Licor Zone y la diferencia para entregar la mercancía para su inventario inicial. No se requiere de regalías para el uso de nuestra marca, siempre y cuando compren únicamente a nosotros. Los invitamos a pertenecer a nuestra asociación para abrir una tienda Licor Zone en su ciudad.
Nuestro modelo de negocio:
Producimos nuestros licores en nuestra planta en Aguascalientes de 5.000 metros cuadrados, y vendemos nuestra producción directamente al consumidor a través de nuestra red de tiendas afiliadas, sin más intermediarios, y así generamos ingresos cada día. Licor Zone es inmejorable ya que es el costo de producción es muy bajo y sólo funciona el 25% de margen.
a) nuestro precio al por menor para un whisky en presentación de 700 ml es MN $50.00 (pesos mexicanos) o $ 3.33 (dólares);
b) En presentación de 1 litro es MN $ 75.00 (pesos mexicanos) o $ 5.00 (dólares);
c) y en presentación de 1.75 litros es MN $ 100.00 (pesos mexicanos) o $ 6.66 (dólares).
Nuestros precios están entre 70 y 50% más barato que cualquiera de nuestros competidores.
Aguascalientes es la mejor ubicación en México porque hay 4 temporadas, podemos conseguir el maíz para producir whisky, caña de azúcar para hacer el ron, las papas para hacer vodka, uva para hacer brandy y además, su ubicación geográfica al estar al centro del país, que facilita logística y distribución. México es el mejor país para exportar el concepto en todo el mundo, aquí contamos con varios Tratados de Libre Comercio con muchos países como EE.UU., CANADÁ, Todos los países de la CEE, etcétera.
Esperamos emplear 180 personas a finales de 2015 y llegar a 1,000 empleados en 2017.
Buscamos activar la economía y apoyar en consecuencia a los empleos, sueldos, producción, gobierno, y sin duda a los consumidores que serán los más beneficiados.
Con este proyecto todos ganamos!
March 4, 2015
Colin McKenzie, 48, tried to bring the drugs into the U.S. through New York’s JFK Airport Friday after coming off of a Caribbean Airlines flight from the Cheddi Jagan Airport in Guyana.
But his two suitcases were selected for inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers who found three large tin cans that McKenzie claimed contained diced fruit.
But, according to U.S. Department of Homeland Security special agent Edward Gonzalez in a Brooklyn Federal Court complaint, the cans “felt unusually heavy and did not feel as though it contained liquid or syrupy material.”
The cans were X-rayed and showed they contained material of a uniform, not a liquidy, composition, according to the complaint.
The material tested positive for cocaine and the gross weight of white powder was 10 kilograms.
McKenzie when confronted admitted that he thought the cans contained diamonds, not dope.
He allegedly said that someone in Guyana gave him the suitcases and offered to pay him between $5,000 and $6,000 if he delivered them to an identified person in the U.S., the complaint states.
McKenzie has been held without bail pending a court appearance. He is one in a slew of Guyanese nationals to be busted with cocaine at JFK in recent months.
February 26, 2015
By Bridgette Donaldson
Special To NAN
News Americas, ATLANTA, GA, Fri. Feb. 27, 2015:“Unprecedented!” That’s how Paramount Communications President, Dr. Isaac Newton, sums up his team’s work with the main opposition parties in the recent St. Kitts/Nevis election that ended the 20-year reign of the St. Kitts Labor Party.
Back in the U.S., Dr. Newton, a political strategist and a graduate of Harvard, Princeton and Columbia, says the win by the Team Unity coalition of the Peoples Action Movement, the Concerned Citizens Movement and the People’s Labor Party over the Denzel Douglas administration, is still “surreal” to him.
Especially since, according to Dr. Newton, never before had he seen such consternation and a blatant attempt to trample on the democratic rights of the voters of the Federation.
“All of the odds were against the opposition,” says the Paramount founder who was only brought in with a small team of six consultants a month before the election. “The ruling party had incredible resources with a fleet of about 36 consultants. That team seemed bent less on aligning the right strategic intelligence with the right psychological template of the electorate. There appeared to be more emphasis placed on manipulating the laws and boundaries to gain unfair advantage. This win was a result of a lot of hard work by the candidates, our small team of consultants, determined volunteers on the ground, capable legal luminaries, mobilization specialist from Barbados, and another consultant Derrick Green, out of Washington D.C., with whom I attended Oakwood University several years ago. But I do believe most of all, it was the rhythm of democracy, entrenched fatigue against a leader who had gravely misread the political landscape, the grace of God, and the people’s willingness to try a new brand of politics. This was the longest campaign I have ever seen, yet a combination of factors produced this ground breaking victory.”
Still Newton and his team are basking in the glow of victory, which he insists was the hardest of his career.
“We were dealing with not just a short time frame but very limited financial resources and the loss of two court cases – one locally and one regionally over the government’s sudden change of electoral boundaries on January 16th without any parliamentary debate,” said Dr. Newton. “Given that reality, you can imagine the mood in the opposition camp was not very optimistic at times, and it took a lot to keep them focused on the fact that they could still win – boundaries or not.”
He said the Privy Council court ruling in favor of the opposition was the confidence booster the parties needed to go into the February 16th election and was the soaring impact needed to trouble the unsinkable mindset of the SKLP government.
“It was a travesty of democratic practices and precedence in the Caribbean that the Supervisor of Elections found a baffling reason to release the voters’ lists late without an objections period, then to push for early voting of emergency workers without a proper list in place. Though I suspect, judging from our data on the ground that the people had turned against the government, I was still unsure of unknown results of overseas voters, many of whom came in on private charters to vote in the election,” Dr. Newton revealed. “It was widely circulated in the public domain that political actors were trying to literally buy votes by handing out money and plenty of New Year’s gifts to voters. When all that failed, the Supervisor of Elections, realizing the opposition had won the election, made a terribly unconvincing case to delay the announcement of the results. There was a sense that this could have created an edgy discomfort that might have spilled over into protests and riots, which would allow the Douglas government to issue a state of emergency and keep a hold on power. But the people kept calm and despite the 48-hour delay, inevitable change that the people deserved finally came to the Federation.”
Team Unity took 7 of 11 seats in the election compared to 2 for Labor and one for the Nevis Reformation Party, the opposition arm in Nevis. New prime minister Dr. Timothy Harris was sworn in St. Kitts in the afternoon of February 18th and the country’s new cabinet was sworn in on February 22nd.
One day after the election, PM Dr. Harris at Team Unity’s headquarters also thanked Dr. Newton and his team. “Thank you so much for all that you and your team brought to this victory. It is the people’s victory and we must now honor their wishes. We must deliver,” he said.
Newly-elected Deputy Prime Minister and head of the PAM party, Shawn Richards, was also full of praise for Dr. Newton and his team.
“President of Paramount Communications Inc. and Harvard graduate Dr. Isaac Newton and his team contributed significantly to the upset victory of our Team Unity government. As the chief campaign strategist for two sections of our three part coalition – the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) and the Peoples Action Movement (PAM), Dr. Newton brought a fresh perspective, a buzzing message and highly practical but innovative mobilization tactics to our campaign, especially in the 4 last weeks leading up to D-Day,” said Richards.
“Our campaign was a long and tough battle lasting over two years. Not surprisingly, we faced a formidable foe who was willing to break the rules and discard democratic practices at every turn to maintain power. With his sharp analytical mind and highly capable team of consultants, Dr. Newton added much value to our campaign. He aptly assisted our homegrown talent to create a tidal wave effect. Together they capitalized on the psychological advantage that the Privy Council ruling gave us, rallied the youth arm of the party, and provided critical field support to several of our winning candidates. Paramount Communications is noted for creating an aura of unstoppable victory. I sense that the team’s global experience, cultural savvy and strong academic training were perfectly assembled to ensure that 6 out of the 7 seats our government won, came from the PAM/CCM section of the coalition.”
Deputy PM Richards added that he particularly appreciated Dr. Newton’s “professionalism, incredible honesty, and laser- like focus in keeping us targeted on both the big picture and the small details.”
“Above all, we felt deeply motivated and inspired to win for the people. I recommend this company’s services to all and sundry especially when the odds are against you,” he said.
Premier of Nevis Vance Amory and head of the Concerned Citizens Movement was also approving of the work done by the Paramount team led by Dr. Oswald Thomas and assigned to his party, who night after night followed the election rallies dissecting each speech and offering critical analysis and insights. He insisted that the Nevis portion of the Paramount team made a valuable contribution to the hard fought election and brought new vision to the CCM team.
Mark Brantley, deputy premier of Nevis and new minister of foreign affairs and aviation in the new Team Unity government also shared Amory’s sentiments. He thanked the team for their “hard work” and for their valuable input in the four weeks leading up to the federal election.
Paramount Communications and its team of highly experienced consultants have now concluded a winning track record of three back to back election wins in just months – having also helped win the elections for the opposition in Antigua & Barbuda and managed the landslide victory campaign in Montserrat.
Asked his secret, Dr. Newton says he validates and values peoples feelings and experiences by keenly listening to their hopes, disappointments and aspirations. ”Public perception always trumps rationale assessment and spiritual texture when aligned with psychological needs and strategic Intel, data driven messaging, and penetrating mobilization leads to victory, he said. “I like to keep our ears to the ground, listen to the mood of the electorate, and understand political leaders’ values and vision for progress in a country before deciding on whether his company will take on a particular client.”
“Moods change mathematics any day and it’s about tapping into the voters’ mindset and psyche to create a persuasion campaign that touches the mind body and soul,” he added. “Though a few of us were on the ground in St. Kitts and Nevis, we generous received top-notch extraordinary guidance and critical perspective from other members of our US and Caribbean based consultants, which was led by our CEO Chelston Lee. ”
Because at the end of the day, says Dr. Newton, he and his team always strive hard to maintain Paramount’s motto of delivering “rock solid results.”
February 26, 2015
A new law passed through the country’s parliament decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana for religious, medicinal and therapeutic purposes, a move that will no doubt ease decades of tension between the government and especially the Rastafari community.
Many took to Twitter to celebrate, calling it a “special day for all Rastafarians in Jamaica.”
Legislators, however, stressed that there would be no “free-for-all in the growing, transporting, dealing or exporting of ganja.”
“[The law] eliminates an unnecessary source of friction between police and citizens, and ensures that our young people are not gratuitously shackled with criminal records,” said the country’s minister of national security Peter Bunting said on the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill which he piloted in the House. ”This progressive legislation also begins to correct the victimisation of our Rastafarian brethren which started in colonial times and continued after independence.”
The Bill was passed with five amendments in the Senate on February 6, piloted by Minister of Justice Senator Mark Golding, under intense scrutiny from the Opposition, during a seven-hour debate. It then moved to the House of Representatives where the 2015 amendments were passed in the House of Representatives on Feb. 24th after a marathon debate seeing more than 12 contributions from both sides of the aisle, among other things, establishes a legal and formal framework from which a legitimate Cannabis (Ganja) Industry may be developed in Jamaica.
Bunting added that the law “begins to correct decades of criminalizing tens of thousands of Jamaicans, mostly poor young black males, for possession of a little ‘spliff,’” a term for a joint prepared with cannabis and tobacco. The change means Jamaicans will be able to cultivate up to five marijuana plants on a single premises without facing arrest.Being caught in possession of up to two ounces of marijuana will become a petty offence that no longer results in a criminal record.
Tourists who are prescribed medical marijuana abroad will also be able to apply for permits allowing them to buy small amounts of Jamaican pot. Jamaica joins a growing number of countries around the world, including in Latin America, that have moved towards decriminalization but is the first Caribbean nation to do so. Argentina, Colombia and Mexico have all decriminalized the possession of small amounts of pot. Guatemala has proposed legalizing the drug while Chile and Costa Rica have considered allowing medical marijuana use.
February 26, 2015
News Americas, SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Thurs. Feb. 26, 2015: A 61-year-old man who served as the mayor of the municipality of Río Grande, Puerto Rico in 2010 will now spend the next five plus years in jail.
Eduard Rivera-Correa was sentenced Wednesday to 64 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Carmen C. Cerezo. He was also ordered to forfeit $39,000 for soliciting and receiving cash bribes from a contractor who sought construction inspection contracts with the municipality of Río Grande.
Rivera-Correa had pleaded guilty on Oct. 24, 2014, to one count of bribery. According to the plea agreement and statement of facts, while mayor of Río Grande in early 2010, Rivera-Correa requested that a contractor make regular kickback payments in exchange for the award of three construction inspection contracts worth a total of $329,000. After the contracts were awarded and while payments were being disbursed by the municipality, the contractor delivered envelopes containing approximately $39,000 in cash to Rivera-Correa’s office and placed them in his drawer.
In his plea agreement, Rivera-Correa also admitted to obstructing justice by threatening the contractor who paid the bribes. On or about April 16, 2012, in a recorded conversation, Rivera-Correa threatened the contractor in an effort to intimidate him and dissuade him from cooperating with law enforcement.
February 26, 2015
News Americas, BERGEN COUNTY, NJ, Thurs. Feb. 26, 2015: A 41-year-old Jamaican born self confessed child rapist who was on the Bergen County Sheriff’s “Most Wanted” list for years has been nabbed.
Homer Rhone Bishop was extradited back to the U.S. from his homeland of Jamaica Tuesday after nearly a decade on the lam, according to authorities.
Bishop had fled the country in 2007 shortly after pleading guilty to the multiple sexual assaults of a 12-year-old Lodi girl he was acquainted with. The assaults took place over the course of a year, prosecutors said. Bishop, who was living in Paterson at the time, skipped his November 9, 2007 sentencing. He has been on the Bergen County Sheriff’s “Most Wanted” list since.
Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said sheriff’s officers received an anonymous tip in early 2010 that Bishop had absconded to Jamaica and was living there under an alias. In late 2013, they received another anonymous tip that Bishop was living in Kingston, Jamaica. This information eventually led to Bishop’s arrest.
A court date has yet to be scheduled.