Boyz jet off to Chicago

first_imgMIAMI, United States (CMC): Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz are set to leave Miami today for Chicago to begin what is expected to be a difficult campaign in Group C of the historic Copa Centenario on Sunday. All but two members of the squad assembled in Florida for a short camp, following their 2-1 victory over Chile last Friday in Vina del Mar, and have been undergoing final preparation for the June 3-26 showpiece in the United States. Captain Rodolph Austin, who plays his football in Denmark, joined the squad on Monday, while defender Wes Morgan is set to link up with the contingent in Chicago today. Morgan recently captained Leicester City to their historic capture of the English Premiership title. On Monday, Jamaica further enhanced their match preparation with a 2-0 victory over American Premier Soccer League side, Boca Raton FC, at the Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. England-based Joel (Jobi) McAnuff and Dever Orgill, who plays in Finland, both scored in the game where most of the squad got time on the pitch. Since then, the squad members have gone through their medicals and light pool sessions. Jamaica, who qualified for the Copa Centenario by virtue of being the reigning Caribbean Cup champions, will be hoping to build on their performance in last year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup when they reached the final of that tournament. They played unbeaten in the preliminaries before edging Haiti in the quarter-finals, shocking the United States in the semi-finals and clinching a spot in the final against Mexico, where they eventually lost. Jamaica open their Copa campaign against Venezuela at Soldier Field on Sunday, then follow up against Mexico on June 9 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, before closing out against Uruguay at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The Reggae Boyz contested last year’s Copa in Chile, losing all three of their preliminary games 1-0 against Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.last_img read more

Home prices slip in most L.A. areas

first_img“Price softness is even more pronounced when we look at different segments of the market,” said association president Colleen Badagliacco. For example, the statewide median price in the entry-level range of less than $500,000 fell 5.1 percent in August, to $349,360, from $368,210 in the same month a year ago, the association said. DataQuick’s price analysis showed that: The median price, the point at which half the homes cost more and half less, fell 2.7 percent across the San Fernando Valley to $545,000. The median declined 3.3 percent in the West Valley to $560,000, slipped 0.7 percent in the Southeast Valley to $609,500 and edged down 2.8 percent to $520,000 in the Northeast Valley. Home prices in Los Angeles County fell from their year-ago levels in 65 of 92 markets in August as sales continued their steep decline, a trade association said Tuesday. However, increases were strong enough to push the countywide median home price up an annual 2.6 percent to $605,300, said the Los Angeles-based California Association of Realtors. “Basically you have a housing market that is somewhat seized up from the flood of bad news that keeps coming out,” said Jack Kyser, vice president and chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Department. Castaic recorded the county’s biggest decline, by 23 percent, to $465,500, and West Hollywood had the biggest increase, 35.8 percent to $930,000, according to a report prepared for CAR by DataQuick Information Systems. Individual market numbers include new and previously owned houses and condos. Countywide and statewide numbers are not as inclusive, the association said. In the South Bay, the median price increased 15.2 percent to $720,000. “I would not be a bit surprised by the end of the year (that) Los Angeles County could have a year-over-year price decline,” Kyser said. Last month, sales in the county fell an annual 23.9 percent. The same kind of scenario played out statewide. In August, home sales decreased an annual 27.8 percent, while the median house price increased 2 percent to $588,970. The sales drop means that if the market matched August’s pace all year, 319,200 homes would change owners. And even though the median price increased, it fell in nine of 20 major markets tracked by the association. For example, in Ventura County the median price fell an annual 5.8 percent to $699,870, and sales fell 18.3 percent. Robert Kleinhenz, the association’s deputy chief economist, said that sales fell by a bigger margin in August on an annual basis than in June and July. “I attribute that to the credit crunch. Qualified buyers can’t get their loans funded,” he said. That trend should continue this month and in October. In August, the association said its Unsold Inventory Index for previously owned single-family homes was 11.8 months, up from 5.9 months a year earlier. This is how long it would take to sell down the inventory at the current market pace. It took a median of 55.5 days to sell a home last month, up from 50.9 a year ago, the association said. (818) 713-3743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Significant Decline in Asthma Admissions Since Smoking Ban

first_img The Minister said efforts against tobacco advertising and promotion will also be intensified. There has been a 20 per cent reduction in asthmatic admissions to hospitals since the imposition of the no smoking policy. The Minister urged Jamaicans to continue supporting the ban. Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, says there has been a 20 per cent reduction in asthmatic admissions to hospitals since the imposition of the no smoking policy in specified public spaces.The ban was imposed on July 15, with the implementation of the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations 2013.The regulations’ are consistent with the Government’s 2013/14 strategic priority focus on human capital development in relation to health care.The Minister, who was speaking at the official launch  of the Heart Foundation of Jamaica’s (HFJ) annual ‘Run for your Heart’ event on October 29, at Emancipation Park in New Kingston, urged Jamaicans to continue supporting the ban, noting that the country will see the gains in terms having a healthier society.He said all non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are impacted by tobacco smoking.  “Within another couple of years, you will see, as has happened in Northern Ireland and other countries, less heart attack, less strokes; and this is not at any big cost…all I ask of Jamaica is for support, that’s all I’m asking,” he stated.The Minister said efforts against tobacco advertising and promotion will also be intensified in accordance with Article 13 of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.“We believe that the article must be taken very seriously and it is going to be part of our rollout later down the road. Article 15, that deals with the illicit trade of tobacco, will also be (focused on as well) but right now, we are concentrating on dealing with the regulations that control smoking in public places,” he said.Dr. Ferguson reiterated that the move to impose the ban was borne out of his “commitment to the people of Jamaica, to the children of Jamaica, to the workers of Jamaica, to the non smokers and the smokers themselves. It is our view that we too have a right. We are not saying persons can’t smoke, all we are saying is ‘you must not smoke in some specified places.”The Health Minister informed that the country spends billions each year on addressing the ills caused by the effect of tobacco smoke, pointing out that the direct and indirect cost of tobacco use and exposure is estimated to be between US$750 million to US$1.3 billion.Dr. Ferguson said commendations have been forthcoming from several heads of international and local agencies regarding the stance which has been taken.“Those who have been fighting or pushing back (do so) because (of their own personal) interest. There are those who are talking about the revenue. We recognise that we are in a special period, and we recognise that tobacco is part of the commercial landscape but…my position is a pro-health position,” he said.The tobacco regulations outline places where smoking is prohibited, such as all enclosed places, public transportation, workplaces, government buildings, health facilities; sport, athletic and recreational facilities for use by the public; educational institutions; areas specifically for use by children, and places of collective use, such as bus stops.They also require the use of large, graphic health warnings on tobacco products, instead of the text only warnings currently used.The 2010 Global Youth Tobacco Survey, undertaken by the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), indicates that just over 40 per cent of young persons, aged 13 to 15 years, have smoked at least once and, alarmingly, over 19 per cent of those who have ever smoked started under the age of 10 years.According to WHO statistics, tobacco kills up to half of its users and causes the death of nearly six million people each year, including more than 600,000 non-smokers exposed to second hand smoke.The statistics also show that across the globe, every six seconds, someone dies from tobacco-related illness; one in 10 adults dies every year because of tobacco; and nearly 80 per cent of the world’s one billion smokers live in low and middle income countries like Jamaica. Story Highlightslast_img read more

Senate Approves New Fisheries Act

first_imgA new Fisheries Act, aimed at further safeguarding the local sector, was passed in the Senate on October 12.The Bill, which will replace the Fishing Industry Act of 1975, will establish the legal and regulatory framework that creates the enabling environment for the sector’s sustainable growth.This includes ramping up measures to tackle poaching and unregulated fishing in Jamaican waters.The new legislation will facilitate the establishment of a proper licensing authority equipped with the requisite provisions and safeguards that ensure transparency.Additionally, a new category of licences will also be instituted. These include a local fishing vessel licence; foreign fishing vessel licence; commercial fishing licence; recreational fishing licence; high seas fishing vessel licence; commercial aquaculture licence; and a licence to operate a commercial aquaculture facility.Piloting the Bill, Leader of Government Business and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said the Bill seeks to ensure that the industry is modernised and is consistent with international best practices and norms.It also seeks to provide for and promote the effective management and sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture.Senator Johnson smith noted that one of the main features is the formation of the various administrative bodies which will include: a new national fisheries authority, the national fisheries advisory council, and the appeals tribunal.“The fisheries authority will have the responsibility to manage, develop, regulate the fisheries and aquaculture industries. Its functions will include the granting, variation, suspension and cancellation of licences and authorisations, so it will be creating a much more transparent and effective institutional mechanism for licensing,” she said.Conservative estimates indicate that Jamaica loses in excess of US$10 million annually from poaching, particularly of spiny lobsters on the Pedro Banks and  US$1.3 million on conch.In 2017, there were approximately 25,000 registered fishers in the country.The revised legislation makes it mandatory for all persons fishing in Jamaican waters to have a valid licence issued by the relevant authority.Persons fishing in a pond situated on a single private property and persons fishing with a line from the seashore have been exempted from obtaining a licence.Under the legislation, fisherfolks who fail to carry upon his person the prescribed fishing licence while he is fishing can be fined a maximum of $10,000. It also provides a maximum fine of $50,000 for failure to report a fishing vessel that is lost, becomes permanently unserviceable and is no longer seaworthy.It also imposes a fine for failure to stow fishing gear in a prescribed manner; failure to take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of a fishery inspector; or for leaving decayed or dying fish in any net or other fishing equipment.The Bill was passed with 25 amendments.last_img read more

Eighth round of talks with US ends both sides to consult on

first_imgKabul: Taliban and US negotiators have wrapped up their latest round of talks for a deal that would see America shrink its troop presence in Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesman said Monday. According to Zabihullah Mujahid, the eighth round of talks, which had been taking place in Doha, finished after midnight. “Work was tedious & effective. Both sides agreed to consult their respective leaderships for next steps,” he wrote on Twitter. There was no immediate comment from the US embassy in Kabul. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USOn Sunday, US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted: “I hope this is the last Eid where Afghanistan is at war,” referring to the Eid al-Adha festival currently taking place in the Muslim world. Speculation has reached fever pitch in Kabul in recent days that an announcement about a US-Taliban deal may be imminent. The US has been negotiating with its longtime foe over the past year for a pact that would see the Pentagon begin to withdraw its 14,000 troops from Afghanistan. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsWashington is keen to end its 18-year involvement in Afghanistan, where it has spent more than 1 trillion, and President Donald Trump has said he wants troops out. In return, the Taliban would commit to various security guarantees, including that the Islamist hardliners who long harboured Al-Qaeda would not allow Afghanistan to become a jihadist safe haven. A US-Taliban agreement would not in itself bring Afghanistan’s war to an end, as the insurgents would still need to make a deal with the Kabul government. Many Afghans had been hoping for a ceasefire to be announced over Eid. This has not happened, but recent days have been relatively calm. On Monday, Afghanistan’s intelligence service announced 35 Taliban prisoners would be released “as a gesture of goodwill”. “The release of these prisoners is a clear sign of the strong will of the government for peace and end to war”, the agency said in a statement. The Taliban and Afghan security forces periodically release enemy prisoners.last_img read more

Water cannon aimed at container ship that has been burning for five

first_imgHALIFAX — A big Belgian tug is using a high-powered water cannon to extinguish a fire aboard a container ship that has been burning off Canada’s east coast for the past five days.A spokesman for the international shipping company Hapag-Lloyd says the 320-metre container ship Yantian Express is about 1,300 kilometres from Halifax, its intended destination.Tim Seifert says the 71-metre offshore supply vessel Smit Nicobar is carrying all 22 members of the container ship’s crew, none of whom were injured after the fire started inside a container on Thursday, then spread to several other containers.Seifert confirmed the fire is still burning among containers on the ship’s forward deck, though he did not provide details about the extent of damage, the cause of the fire or what the ship is carrying.The German company, based in Hamburg, had previously said there were 23 crew members aboard the ship, including eight officers and 15 seafarers.Seifert now says there are 14 seafarers among the 22 crew members, including two from Germany, three from Poland and 17 from the Philippines.The Canadian Presslast_img read more