In the blogs

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            [post_date] => 2014-08-28 10:00:03
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            [post_content] => Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Perry Christie has revealed that he and his administration will discuss new strategies to stem the escalating crime rate in the country. The new initiative was brought to light after Prime Minister Christie's Press Secretary, Latore Mackey was shot and killed on Monday.

Mackey, the former Deputy Director of the Bahamas Information Service (BIS) was shot multiple times in his government registered vehicle outside the Blue Reef Sports Bar and Lounge which he owned.  “For us now it is going back to the drawing board, reviewing where we are, testing to see whether what we are doing is having any kind of impact and what other strategies we can employ,” said the Prime Minister.

“We cannot compromise on the security and safety of our citizens. We cannot have a situation develop where people are fearful to be out,” he said, citing that he had witness the body of a citizen that was shot with a high calibre gun. “…it brings home the reality that we have to do more. At the end of the day to each of you this has to be of paramount concern to each of us as Bahamians, ” added Prime Minister Christie, urging nationals to help law enforcement officers through co-operation by providing necessary information where possible.
            [post_title] => Bahamas Seeking To Resolve Crime Rate Escalation
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Bahamas Seeking To Resolve Crime Rate Escalation

August 28, 2014
1

Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Perry Christie has revealed that he and his administration will discuss new strategies to stem the escalating crime rate in the country. The new init...Continue reading

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            [post_date] => 2014-08-27 10:00:50
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            [post_content] => Antigua and Barbuda is optimistic that they will secure US$18 million from China to convert five secondary schools into one huge campus that will be home to the University College of Antigua. Antigua's Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, who is currently in Beijing informed the principals of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) of the intentions of his government.

It is reported that prior to his visit to China, Prime Minister Browne along with Chinese Ambassador Ren Gongpin toured the facilities that would make way for the University and proposed that an expanded dormitory, ICT facility, Olympic size swimming pool and tennis courts be included as top priorities.

A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister revealed that “CCECC is very important to strengthening the business relations between China and Antigua and Barbuda and the Prime Minister is confident that after his visit, cooperation and trade will be heightened. The government’s desire to strengthen relations is demonstrated in its recent decision to abolish the requirement for visas for Chinese nationals to visit Antigua and Barbuda.”

Prime Minister Browne has also indicated that the government is prepared to enter into a partnership agreement with the CCECC for the construction of additional hotels and sites within the vicinity of the university.

 
            [post_title] => Antigua Boosted By Prospect of Chinese Funds To Start Local University
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Antigua Boosted By Prospect of Chinese Funds To Start Local University

August 27, 2014
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Antigua and Barbuda is optimistic that they will secure US$18 million from China to convert five secondary schools into one huge campus that will be home to the University College ...Continue reading

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            [post_date] => 2014-08-24 19:06:59
            [post_date_gmt] => 2014-08-24 23:06:59
            [post_content] => It came as a shock to many, as most Jamaicans would not have imagined that the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) would have announced another fare increase in less than a year. For others, they are grieved but not surprised by the bus fare increase of up to 200 percent for the elderly, because regular inflation has become an unwelcome commonality within the Jamaican society.

Starting today, adult passengers will now pay $120, up from $100; fares for students and the disabled will be $30, up from $20, and the nation’s senior citizens will be required to pay $60, up from the $20 that they previously paid.

With such an increase in an economy where many Jamaicans are already struggling to make ends meet, it is no surprise that commuters are disgruntled, disturbed and displeased. For the elderly among us, most of whom have no means of support apart from their pension, that's if they have any, they will feel the brunt of this increase more than anyone else.

The increase has led some groups to organize peaceful demonstrations to protest what has been deemed an unconscionable fare increase. And given the current economic climate of the island, almost all if not most increase right now is seen as unconscionable. The people flat out cannot afford it. Also given that the senior citizens' pension is set, in order for them to be able to utilize the services of the JUTC which many of them are dependent upon, they would have to buy less food, to be able to take the bus. Some of them only take the bus when they need to get to the hospital which offers them free health care, so an increase in transportation cost, will undoubtedly prove challenging.

However, the Minister of Transport, Dr. Omar Davies has said that the increase is necessary. He has been quoted at the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing's Maxfield Road offices where the fare increase announcement was made, saying that: “Despite the achievements of the JUTC and the additional support provided by the Government, the company continues to lose significant sums as revenues continue to be outpaced by expenditure.”

To put the losses in numbers, they would look a little like this, one year ago, the JUTC was rolling out 240 buses and earning $240 million per month, and as of April, the company, with an increased fleet of 400 buses, was earning $366 million - $100,000 less per month, per bus.

Still, my view is that, the government and the company need to take into consideration the plight of the people. The sad reality is that the people that regularly take public transportation are usually the ones that hail from the lower end of the socioeconomic divide. In times like these a reduction in expenditure would be more favourable than an increase in bus fare, especially when it involves the most vulnerable among us - the elderly.
            [post_title] => The JUTC Makes Jamaicans Cry
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The JUTC Makes Jamaicans Cry

August 24, 2014
1

It came as a shock to many, as most Jamaicans would not have imagined that the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) would have announced another fare increase in less than a year. ...Continue reading