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SHARING THE LOVE: EU to host 5K run

Five-minute feature on acts of kindness by local or overseas based non-government individuals and organisations that have benefitted Jamaicans.

00:00 / 04:48

Written and produced by the Radio Department of the Jamaica Information Service

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News for Week of March 05, 2023
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

OCT-DEC 2022

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Local councils getting help to fight drought

Desmond McKenzie, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has said that municipal corporations are to get trucks to help with the distribution of water to communities most affected by drought conditions.

“We are providing trucks for all municipalities,” he emphasized, adding: “At least seven municipalities, so far, have been provided with brand-new trucks, coming from allocations that we had made in the last financial year from funding that we had, and new trucks will be provided for those municipal corporations that have not yet received trucks.”

According to McKenzie, the government will continue to fund the transportation of water, stating that there are still about $35 million left over from the $150 million budgeted for the fiscal year 2022–2023 in this regard.

According to Mr. McKenzie, the Ministry will keep working together with the necessary parties to put the necessary measures in place to improve the ongoing drought conditions on the island.

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MAY-JUN 2022

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Republic means complete autonomy, says prime minister

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has characterised the country's efforts to become a republic as a crucial step towards achieving full political independence.

The matter is an imperative that will "consume our attention in Jamaica," he said, speaking to more than 50 resident and non-resident Heads of Mission on February 28 at a Diplomatic Week event held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in downtown Kingston.

The government, he said, is “working closely with various stakeholders, including the Opposition, to ensure that the preparatory process is seamless and allows for the full and effective engagement of our people”.

The Constitutional Reform (CR) Committee has now been established and has started working, according to Marlene Malahoo Forte, Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs. This committee will be essential to Jamaica's smooth transition to a republic.

 

Mrs. Malahoo Forte stated that the committee will "provide advice and oversight as we move on the most comprehensive and impactful constitutional reform work to be undertaken in the life of independent Jamaica"

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This year, several rural bridges will be updated

In the fiscal year 2023–2024, the government will spend $1.3 billion on bridge maintenance and repairs. This is more than the $70.7 million that was allocated for the programme in 2022–2023's budget.

Everald Warmington, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, stated that the ministry was "particularly pleased" with the increased allocation for bridges.

Troy in Trelawny, Spring Village in St. Catherine, Shrewsbury and Longwood in Westmoreland, Southwood in Clarendon, and Llandewey in St. Thomas are among the bridges that will be rebuilt.

The Guanaboa Vale Bridge in St. Catherine, the Alley Bridge in Clarendon, and the Junction Bridge in St. Ann are also on the list, as well as the border bridge connecting St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland.

The Tatchwalk bridge rails in St. Ann and another structure in St. Mary are among the selected structures islandwide that will receive much-needed maintenance work, according to Mr. Warmington.

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Minister Bartlett touts tourism pension progress

The Tourism Workers Pension Scheme has received contributions totaling about $400 million to date from close to 10,000 hospitality workers, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

Edmund Bartlett reminded that the Government has put forward over $1 billion, stating that the last tranche of $50 million will be available in the new fiscal year that starts April 1.
 

He noted that there are plans to increase the number of contributors to the pension scheme. “We could go to 350,000 contributors in the end, because of how broad and wide the tourism catchment is. We allow for workers in the cruise ship [sector] to also contribute to this pension plan, because they are Jamaicans and when they come back here, they can continue to work in any area in tourism and continue their savings,” said Bartlett.

He mentioned that discussions for a public education programme are currently ongoing. A team, he noted, "visits hotels and seeks out new members as they go. Because of the social safety net value of the pension, which is something we are aware of, we want to increase the number of people who cross the island.”

Curbing merger mania?

By Brian Callaci

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WASHINGTON, DC – In late February, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) dropped its attempt to block Meta’s acquisition of the virtual-reality company Within. The decision followed a US federal district court decision rejecting the FTC’s claim that, by depriving the market for VR fitness-apps of a potential entrant, the merger would be likely to reduce competition substantially.

 

In a mixed outcome for the FTC, the court accepted Meta’s argument that it would not have developed its own fitness app had it not acquired Within. But the court also upheld the viability of the theory of harm underlying the FTC suit, thus opening the door for the agency to base future cases on the potential-entrant doctrine.

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