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JAMAICA | Did the Prime Minister Lie? Dr. Phillips Sets Record Straight !!

KINGSTON, July 9, 2020 - Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips, is concerned that his private conversations with the Prime Minister and the Governort General as Leader of the Opposition, in relation to the tenure of the Director of Public Prosecutions have become the subject of public commentary, and in a statement, has decided to set the record straight. The following is the full text of the Opposition Leader's Statement on the matter: I have refrained from any comments in this matter since the views that I expressed to the Prime Minister and the Governor General were in keeping with my constitutional duty, as Leader of the Opposition, and were confidentially communicated. Indeed, I am of the view that the framers of the Constitution intended that there be a frank and free-flowing dialogue between the relevant officials of State in order that the public interest be served.  However, recent developments, including comments made by the Prime Minister, compel me to set elements of the record straight. The facts are: 1.    The Prime Minister wrote to me on February 7, 2020 regarding the request from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to have her tenure extended for five years. 2.    I replied to the Prime Minister on March 2, 2020 outlining the views of the Opposition. 3.    To date, I have had no response from the Prime Minister. 4.    Subsequently, in May, following communication with me from the Governor General, I communicated directly with him. 5.    At no time did I say, as the Prime Minister stated, nor has anyone else speaking on my behalf said, that the appointment of a new Director of Public Prosecutions should be withheld in order to facilitate a new Administration, or any incoming Government. Any suggestion in that regard is palpably false. That type of fabrication by the Prime Minister is totally unacceptable. In fact, a new Administration would have no role in the appointment of a DPP since such an appointment is done by the Public Services Commission (PSC). It is only extensions of the tenure of the DPP that require consultation between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and in this instant case, that would have to be completed before September of this year. As there is no Constitutional requirement that could enforce the calling of elections prior to September, such was never a consideration.  6.    It should also be clear that this exchange of letters took place long before there were any of the current discussions about the DPP’s findings in relation to Miss Hanna or any other Member of Parliament as is being implied in some parts of the Press.   The matter of the DPP’s extension of tenure has been done in keeping with the constitutional requirements. That is a settled matter.  The vigilance of the People’s National Party (PNP) is aimed at ensuring that all agencies of State connected with the effort to rid the country of corruption will be given priority.  Every effort will be made under a PNP government to improve the “architecture of accountability” so as to engender public trust and facilitate the inclusive economic growth that is the desire of all well-thinking Jamaicans.    Speaking at a media briefing Wednesday, Mr. Holness said  "The issue raised by the Leader of the Opposition, which I found to be a very curious concern that an incoming administration should not be in any way tied to the existing DPP - I wasn't convinced by that argument, which I found to actually undermine the constitution and the authority of the office," he said.    Mr. Holness said it is unfortunate that the matter concerning the DPP's tenure is being debated publicly.    "The convention that has happened, and it is a convention that has served us well, is that these matters are not drawn into public debate. It is unfortunate that this matter has reached into the public domain. It does add various levels of complications to the appointment. It was important to ensure that the office had enough time to prepare for transition and management and I believe that the present DPP has done excellent work," the Prime Minister insisted.   -30-    

JAMAICA | PNP Councillor replaced, so she crossed the floor says Party

KINGSTON, JAMAICA: July 9, 2020: The People’s National Party (PNP) says it was its decision on Monday, July 6, 2020 to inform Councillor Faith Sampson that she would be replaced as the Party’s candidate for the John’s Hall Division in Manchester North West, which has led to her decision today to change party affiliation.

GUYANA | GECOM may meet on Friday to discuss CCJ Ruling

GEORGETOWN,  Guyana, July 9, 2020 - Members of the Guyana Elections Commission, were today reviewing the written ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice ahead of the Commission’s meeting, possibly on Friday, to discuss the ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice on the Guyana Election declaration.

GUYANA | CCJ Rules, Guyana Court of Appeal Decision Thrown out

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, July 8, 2020 - The Caribbean Court of Justice, having found that it did indeed have jurisdiction to hear the appeal in the Guyana Election case, in a unanimous verdict, threw out the decision of the Guyana Appeal Court that inserted the word “valid” into the consideration of votes for the election of a president.
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JAMAICA | Holness declares ZOZO for August Town

KIGSTON,  Jamaicaq July 8, 2020 - A Zone of Special Operation (ZOSO) has been declared in August Town, St Andrew in response to the upsurge in criminal activity and violence in that community and in an effort to restore public order and sustainable peace.

JAMAICA | Dismantling of Local Governance Structures opens the door to corruption says Phillips

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica, July 7, 2020: People’s National Party’s (PNP) President, M.P., Dr. Peter Phillips, says there has been a systematic weakening of the local government structures by Jamaica Labour Party-led municipal councils, and this has had the effect of robbing some communities of adequate representation, and swinging the doors wide open for the continued raiding of the public coffers through the dismantling of the internal audit arrangements.

T&T | Suspend cops involved in Morvant deaths PCA advised

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, July 7, 2020 - The director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) David West, has advised Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith to suspend the police officers involved in the shooting deaths of three men in Morvant.
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T&T | Rowley Axes Ancil Antoine, called America "a Sh**hole country"

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, July 6, 2020 - People’s National Movement MP Ancil Antoine has been dropped as the party’s D’Abadie O’Meara candidate in the upcoming August 10 elections,  due to insensitive and objectionable statements he made about the United States during a political meeting on Saturday.

UNITED STATES | Non-immigrant students taking only online courses in September must exit the US

WASHINGTON – July 6, 2020 - Students from the Caribbean who study in the United States could be affected by  today’s announcement by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that international students “may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States” during the fall 2020 semester, as schools and universities across the country consider how to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

NEW YORK | Aircraft mechanic charged for importing 11+K of coke from MoBay

NEW YORK , NY, July 6, 2020 -  An American Airlines mechanic at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), 52-year-old Paul Belloisi of Hicksville, New York, was arraigned on Monday for allegedly importing more than twenty-five pounds of cocaine that was recovered from an external compartment of a jetliner from Montego Bay.
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CARICOM | Gonsalves defends Mottley's position on Guyana

CARICOM, July 3, 2020 - As Outgoing Chair of CARICOM and prime minister of Barbados Mia Mottley this morning handed over the Chairmanship of the regional body to the Prime Minister of St. Vincent, she used the opportunity to once again express her concern about the political situation in Guyana.
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CARICOM | Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is the New Chairman of CARICOM

CARICOM,  Frtiday July 3, 2020 -  Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, on Friday morning officially took up the Chairmanship of CARICOM, pledging to work to ensure a more sufficient air transport system to serve the sub-region.
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TT | Rowley attempting to “mamaguy” the country says Kamla

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, July 3, 2020 - Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley is attempting to “mamaguy” the country by setting up the national recovery programme to address issues in at-risk communities. Its too little, too late she says!

TRINIDAD | Faud Abu Bakr arrested for protests, granted $75,000 Bail

Port of Spain – Trinidad and Tobago – July 3, 2020 - Leader of the New National Vision (NNV) political party, Fuad Abu Bakr, was granted $75,000 bail, after police arrested and slapped him with several criminal charges, including using violent language to provoke people to commit a breach of the peace, arising out of Tuesday’s protests over the killing of three people by police last weekend.
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Cuba lifting some COVID restrictions

 HAVANA – Cuba said on Wednesday it will begin easing a pandemic lockdown on Havana on Friday, while most of the rest of the country will move to phase two of a three-phase process towards normalisation.
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CARIBBEAN | A Grass Roots Perspective on Reparations – An On-line Forum, Sunday July 12, 2020

KINGSTON, Jamaica - July 2, 2020- As the struggle against systemic anti-Black and other forms of racism continues to reverberate across the world, peoples across the Caribbean and Latin American region are being strongly encourage to participate in a virtual reasoning entitled “Reparations For Afrikans (Diaspora and Continental) and the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas - a Grass Roots Perspective’’, slated for Sunday July 12, starting at 11AM – 3.15PM.
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JAMAICA | PNP Wants Extratition of those in Petrojam Report

KINGSTON, JAMAICA, July 1, 2020: The People’s National Party (PNP) is calling for the expeditious and persistent pursuit of those referred to prosecutorial agencies by the Integrity Commission in its report on the plunder of PetroJam, whether domiciled in Jamaica or overseas.

JAMAICA | Jamaican Embassy in Washington DC reopens for business

WASHINGTON,  DC, July 1, 2020 - Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, (OAS) H.E. Audrey Marks, has announced the reopening of the Offices of the Jamaican Embassy located at 1520 New Hampshire Avenue in Washington DC.
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