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Another 207 Jamaicans return home

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Some of the 207 Jamaicans who returned to the island today (May 13), get support from members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) to load their luggage on to a Jamaica Urban Transit (JUTC) bus at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA). They will be taken into quarantine.

#KINGSTON, May 13 (JIS): The Government has facilitated the controlled re-entry of another 207 Jamaicans who were stranded overseas due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and closure of the country’s ports.

They landed at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA), today (May 13), under the protocols established for the re-entry of Jamaicans into the country.

There were three flights, which consisted of 94 persons from New York, 93 from Florida, and 20 from Toronto. All the persons will be quarantined for 14 days.


Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith (third left), and Director of Airport Operations at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA), Devon Manahan (second left), observe as some of the 207 returning Jamaicans who landed at the airport today (May 13), under the protocols established for the re-entry of Jamaicans into the country, walk to waiting Jamaica Urban Transit (JUTC) buses. They will be taken into quarantine.

The first flight arrived in the island from the United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 6 with 120 passengers.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, who was at the airport coordinating the work of the various agencies involved in the process, and to welcome the passengers, told JIS News that the persons had faced several challenges while being stranded, and as citizens, the Constitution guarantees them re-entry into their country.

“Constitutionally, citizens have a right to come home, and Jamaica has been managing that Constitutional right, with a public health obligation as well, to ensure the safety of the Jamaican population. That is why our borders were closed,” the Minister said.

While underscoring that the Government had to ensure the return of persons desirous of being home, and that it is “good to have our people home”, Minister Johnson Smith emphasised that the process cannot be done in a way that endangers the health of the public.  

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“It cannot be that our borders remain closed forever, so we have been trying to implement and manage a controlled process, to ensure that the right to return is balanced with public health,” she said.

Meanwhile, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda, who was also at the airport, told JIS News that the new jamcovid website, https://jamcovid19.moh.gov.jm/, which has been set up to facilitate applications of persons who wish to return home, has improved.

The Minister said that everything possible is being done to have persons close to their families.

“These are our people, and we have to do everything possible to bring them home. It is a very expensive process, because we have to facilitate quarantining, but we are doing it as quickly as we can, because they want to come home to their families,” the Minister said.

JIS NEWS by GARFIELD L. ANGUS

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Police Academy Commissioner Shot Dead in Haiti

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti, November 29, 2022 – The police in Haiti have launched an investigation following the assassination of the director of the National Police Academy, Commissioner Rigaud Harington.

Reports from the police are that Harington was shot dead on the grounds of the police training facility in a gang-controlled neighbourhood in the country’s capital of Port-au-Prince on Friday, November 25.

The spokesperson for the National Police of Haiti (PNH), Inspector Garry Desrosiers, in confirming Friday’s killing, said the commissioner was “shot in the head not far from the Academy” and the attackers “stole his [Harington’s] vehicle and kidnapped his driver.”

Harington’s killing is the latest in several attacks against law enforcement in Haiti. The killing also happened at a time when international leaders are trying to help Haiti’s political leaders control the surge in gang violence in the country.

The police have not released any information on who might be responsible for the commissioner’s death.

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St Kitts and Nevis Welcomed the World’s Largest Cruise Ship

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#StKittsandNevis, November 29, 2022 – The twin island of St Kitts and Nevis is about to chart its busiest cruise seasons yet as the world’s largest cruise ship, the Wonder of the Seas, made its inaugural call to Port Zante in the country on Thursday, November 24.

About 6,495 guests arrived on the ship, with 2,259 crew members on board.

The oasis class ship was welcomed by Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew, who led a delegation on board last Thursday to host a brief plaque exchange ceremony.

“You have confidence in the destination by adding St Kitts and Nevis to your now largest vessel, the Wonder of the Seas, with a passenger capacity of 6,988,” the Prime Minister said.

The Chief Executive Officer at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Mr. Ellison Thompson, said the ship’s visit was a result of the country’s comprehensive negotiations with stakeholders.

“The destination’s ability to secure a vessel with a 6,495-passenger capacity today, November 24, is the result of comprehensive negotiations between the Ministry, the Authority, and cruise lines. As a result, we are gradually seeing the fruits of our marketing and strategic efforts, and we take pride in celebrating such a momentous occasion,” Thompson said.

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WE GOIN’ KEW: Festival of the Year

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#TurksandCaicos, November 29, 2022 – The WE GOIN’ KEW’ festival charity event was a huge success bringing people together to enjoy Turks and Caicos Islands food and cultural performances and organised by the Turks and Caicos Islands Unity Committee.

On Saturday, November 19, 2022, residents from across the Turks and Caicos Islands chain found their way to the Bellefield Landing in Kew, North Caicos, to support what is being described as the biggest festival of the year with an estimated two thousand people attending.  The event also saw fifteen vendors present, serving local Twin Island dishes, and featuring three local bands, and artists from The Turks and Caicos Islands and The Bahamas.

Proceeds garnered from the WE GOIN’ KEW Festival will support key projects across North and Middle Caicos and assist with completing the homeroom at Ashley’s Learning Center, according to the Director of the TCI Unity Community, Mr. Alvin Hegner.

Hegner added, “This charitable event was held for the people of the Twin Islands and Ashley’s Learning Center.  We wanted to give back to the community while showcasing local food vendors and craft and farmers’ markets.  On behalf of the organising committee, I would like to express thanks and appreciation to the people of the Twin Islands for their unwavering support and for helping us to create an extraordinary outcome.  Thanks to Sharmaine Clarke for her coordinating efforts on the Twin Islands”.

A special thanks to the event’s sponsors for making it all happen in various ways: The Wine Cellar, Turks Head Brewery, Anderson Media, Big Josh Country Club, Play Big Win Big Entertainment, Prime DJ’s, JACA TCI , Grant Thornton, LEW 1 Shipping, Rasco Sounds, Building Materials DoITCenter, Engel & Volkers, Wymara Resort and Villas, Fortis TCI, FLOW, Dragon Cay Resort, Digicel, MEP Solutions: Electrical and Plumbing, HAB Group, Waratah Construction TCI, RED Hospitality and Leisure & Lady Grace, Catamaran, Mac N Cheese Adventures, The Strand, Beaches Turks and Caicos, BCQS, Turquoise Horizons, Franks Hardware, Delta Electric, AE&S construction, COMO Hotels and Resorts, Caicos Isle Management, Island Drilling, Ports Authority, Turks and Caicos Islands, Robinsons’s Variety, Island Convenience – Grace Bay, Got You Covered, Reliable Security, Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, TCI Ministry Of Health, District Commissioner Of North Caicos Madam Musgrove, and the District Commissioner of Middle Caicos Sir Delancy.

The  WE GOIN’ KEW Festival is now an annual event.  The scheduled date for WE GOIN’ KEW 2023 is Saturday, November 4, 2023.  The proceeds from WE GOIN’ KEW 2023 will assist with housing projects throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands.

TCI Unity is a nonprofit organisation geared towards helping those in need in the Turk and Caicos Islands.  Founded during the COVID-19 pandemic, the TCI Unity distributed over 500 meal boxes to families in need throughout the country.

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