Tropical storm Ida gains strength
[Jamaica Observer] – Tropical storm Ida has gained strength in the Atlantic and is expected to grow to hurricane force but is too far at sea to pose a threat to land, US weather forecasters said Monday.
Ida’s centre was 1,035 miles (1,670 kilometres) east of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean, the National Hurricane Center said in its 0900 GMT bulletin.
Moving in a northerly direction with 50 miles (85 kilometres) an hour winds, the storm could reach hurricane strength by the end of the week on a track far from populated areas.
Ida is the ninth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which began in June and ends in November. So far this season only two storms have become hurricanes, but the most destructive – tropical storm Erika – left about 30 dead in the tiny island of Dominica.
September is typically the peak of the hurricane season. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration had predicted a less active hurricane season than usual because of the El Nino phenomenon, which inhibits storm formation.
Portia touts PNP accomplishments, tells JLP ‘shut up’
[Jamaica Observer] – President of the People’s National Party Portia Simpson Miller apparently left no stones unturned during her address at the 77th PNP annual conference as she reeled off the accomplishments of her administration since taking office.
The party leader and prime minister detailed what she called progress in education, economy, health, labour and several other sectors while speaking to the faithful at the National Arena in Kingston, today.
She used the platform to send a clear message to the Opposition, Jamaica Labour Party, and in no uncertain terms told them to “shut up” because the PNP’s record shows performance, management and leadership.
“I hear some people say nothing is happening, we are not generating employment. What were you doing when you held the position that I am now in?” Simpson Miller charged.
Among the achievements listed, was the creation of 60,000 jobs under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP).
“I will be the first to tell you that the employment levels are not yet where we want them to be, there are still too many persons unemployed, including our youth,” said Simpson Miller. “One thing is clear, we are moving in the right direction.”
The party president said the PNP is securing a better future for Jamaica.
She insisted that business confidence has improved, while also praising Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips for his handling of the economy. Simpson Miller said the country is attracting foreign direct investment.
“…Those who say we are doing nothing, come talk to me, because when you were here, you left nothing for us to show that you did,” she continued.
Simpson-Miller charged: “Don’t talk to us about progress. Don’t talk to us about work. We are workers, we are performers; we get the job done.”
The party president said in her more than 90-minute presentation that the party stands on its record of performance and renews its mission to move Jamaica “forward, onward and upward”.
“If it is a mountain, we have climbed it,” a jubilant Simpson Miller said. “If it is a river, we have crossed it.
“If it is a test, we have passed it,” she continued. “If it is a race, we have won it and when I call it, we will win it!”
Al-Rawi signs authority to proceed in Warner’s extradition case
[Trinidad Observer] – Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi has finally signed off on the United States extradition request for corruption accused former Fifa vice president Jack Warner.
The announcement was made this morning as Warner reappeared in the Port-of-Spain Magistrate’s Court. While Al-Rawi’s decision went unchallenged by Warner’s lawyer, Fyard Hosein SC, he took issue with the fact that Al-Rawi missed the last Wednesday’s deadline for doing so.
Although Hosein acknowledged that Al-Rawi had written to Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers Caesar seeking an extension he noted that none had been approved. As a result Hosein claimed that his client was entitled to be automatically discharged.
Lead counsel for the State James Lewis QC submitted that such a move would be strictly academic as Warner would be immediately reindicted.
Lewis claimed that by signing the authority to proceed in the case the proceedings against Warner changed rendering the deadline null and void. He indicated that Warner should have applied for the discharge immediately upon the expiration of the deadline last week.
In response, Hosein admitted that proceedings against his client could be reinstated if he is discharged but revealed that his client may require the discharge for future legal proceedings against the extradition.
Ayers Caesar was absent from the hearing which was chaired by Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington. Wellington adjourned the case to Friday when he will make his ruling.
“I am troubled by the difference if opinion between the parties on this point and I need time to consider all that is before me,” Wellington said.
This morning’s hearing is the first time since Al-Rawi fired six members of the State’s legal team in the case last Friday. In addition to Lewis, Senior Counsel Pamela Elder and attorney Brent Hallpike, the only two locals to be kept on the team, were present as was Central Authority head, Netram Kowlessar.