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Jamaica’s Prime Minister Declares a State of Emergency

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

 

#Jamaica, November 17, 2022 – A beefed up law enforcement presence is agreed now in Jamaica, as a inter and intra gang fighting has led to mushrooming crime and forced the Andrew Holness government administration to approach Parliament for the institution of a State of Emergency (SOE); it is to be strategically enacted for the worse affected communities across Jamaica.

“A State of Public Emergency has been declared in the parishes of Clarendon, St. Catherine, and specified areas of Kingston & St. Andrew.  A State of Public Emergency has also been declared in Western Jamaica comprising the parishes of St. James, Westmoreland & Hanover,” announced Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica on November 15.

The need for this very serious measure is capturing international attention, especially for tourists from the United States who flock to the popular Caribbean destinations in the millions; they have already been advised by Homeland Security that travel to the island is risky.

On Tuesday, Andrew Holness, Prime Minister stood to address the nation, saying, “As a people, we must recognize that the murder rate, the level of violence, public disorder, and challenge to the State is unusual, abnormal, and disruptive.”

The now instituted SOE is however being labelled the best way to contain the out of control violence, which is, according to head of the Jamaican Defence Force is viciously threatening the Jamaican way of life and leading livelihoods of the country, which is one of many grappling with gang-led crime.

“Through our analysis and intelligence gathering, we continue to recognize the influence of gangs as a primary contributor to violence with illegal weapons and ammunition and their criminal and violent actions continue to be fueled by the ill-gotten gains of extortion, contract killings, lottery scamming and other forms of criminality.  These gangs continue to engage with intense inter and intra gang conflicts which are the leading cause of high levels of murders and shootings across the country, said

Antonette Wemyss-Gorman, Chief of Defence Staff, Rear Admiral.

Jamaican officials said that 1,360 murders have taken place on the island between Jan. 1 and Nov. 13 of this year, which represents an increase of 6.8% from the same period in 2021. Gang violence is said to be the reason for 71% of those murders.

“The law abiding citizens need not fear the security forces.  This SOE is for you, it will ease the burden of criminality in your community. Further we want to assure citizens that both the JDF and JCF are adequately trained and oriented to protect the human rights of all Jamaicans.  Citizens will encounter various increased operational activities including but not limited to vehicle check points, mobile patrols and curfews,” said Wemyss-Gordon.

In a previous SOE, there had been public reports accusing law enforcers of ignoring and violating the rights of ordinary Jamaicans; cases had been filed in the Supreme Court making the SOE an unwelcomed response to the overflowing crime.

Still, the overarching concern for officials speaking to the nation was to cut down the illegal activities and to recapture peace in Jamaican society; there was an appeal for residents to be supportive of the effort.

“Criminal gangs are morphing and trying to influence legitimate civil and public organizations.

Over the years, we have invested in the capacity of our security forces. Your government has increased the capital budget for national security, the size of both JCF and JDF, and our coastguard capabilities, among other investments; however, investments like these take time to materialize,” said the prime minister.

The current State of Emergency will remain for a period of one month.

Caribbean News

It’s the 10GB of Christmas with Digicel

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#TurksandCaicos, December 1, 2022 – Digicel rewards customers with more this Christmas and all throughout 2023 with 10GB any use data every month.

The holiday season is a time for being thankful, so Digicel has taken on an attitude of gratitude and is thanking customers by rewarding them with more from now until the end of 2023.

Through Digicel’s exclusive Christmas plans, customers will get 10GB of data every month, for all of 2023, when they buy and stay on the plan. This also goes for new customers who have bought a SIM and/or those who take advantage of the Ultimate Christmas Combo to get a brand new discounted Samsung A23 smartphone and Christmas plan.

Customers can look forward to more data; more minutes; more rewards and prizes with Pick & Win in the MyDigicel app; more speed, reliability and coverage on the fastest network; and more savings and discounts on our devices and SIMs.

Addison Stoddard, CEO of Digicel Turks & Caicos said, “We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, it’s the Christmas that keeps on giving at Digicel, so we’re offering our customers the gift that keeps on giving when they sign up and stay on any of our Christmas plans; whether it be a 3, 7 or 30 Day Prime Plus Bundle. Every month, new and existing customers who activate a Christmas plan this holiday season will get 10GB any use data, on us, when they remain on the plan all year long. For us, it’s all about continuing to put our customers first, and thanking them for every interaction they have with us.”

Customers can also win more in the MyDigicel app through Pick & Win, the new gamified way to be rewarded for any interaction with Digicel. Whether it’s switching to join the Digicel family, buying a plan, or paying bills in full and on time, customers will get the chance to Pick & Win lots of cool prizes

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Caribbean News

USVI Natural Resources Dept tackles illegal sand mining

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#USVI, December 1, 2022 – Recent reports of people taking large amounts of sand from beaches illegally have been on the increase in the US Virgin Islands.  The Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) is urging citizens to refrain from doing this.

The DPNR announced that those found guilty could be charged a fine of $10,000 daily.

While they are unaware of what the illegally mined sand is being used for, the DPNR said it cannot be used for construction.

“In seawater, chloride is present, causing corrosion of steel and iron, which ultimately leads to reducing carrying capacity, so that the structure built using this may not be sustainable,” the DPNR said.

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Bahamas News

Cruise Trippers bought big with Carnival Cruise Line on Cyber Monday

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

December 1, 2022 – Cyber Monday isn’t just for electronics!  Potential vacationers broke a Carnival Cruises Cyber Monday record for bookings, purchasing 50 per cent  more tickets than 2019’s pre-pandemic shopping day.

The cruise line announced the record bookings on Tuesday, November 29th.

The company cited a successful launch campaign of the new Carnival Celebration which visited Grand Turk recently and the three additional ships joining the fleet over the next 18 months, as major ticket pushers.

“The Cyber Monday sale activity showed consumer demand across the fleet, and we were particularly pleased with the booking activity for Carnival Venezia’s new year-round service from New York, and our new extended six-month program for Carnival Magic out of Norfolk,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

“Our very successful naming ceremony for Carnival Celebration on November 20 and all the media coverage it generated clearly kept Carnival top of mind as vacationers got started on their holiday shopping yesterday.”

They say the pent-up demand for cruising has manifested in multiple ways in 2022, as Carnival was the first major cruise line to have its entire fleet back in operation and it now has more rooms than it was sailing in 2019.

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