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Prime Minister Mitchell to take witness stand in corruption probe

Prime Minister Mitchell to take witness stand in corruption probe

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Oct 26, CMC – Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell is expected to be among witnesses summoned to testify in a financial wrongdoings and corrupt practices investigation into the Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB).

The probe is being undertaken by the Office of Integrity Commission and Mitchell confirmed that he is prepared to be called as a witness.

“Question under oath is coming, they (the Integrity Commission) sought to have resources from us and we were positive to that; They may call me too, but as I say I am prepared to be called to give an idea of my knowledge and information,” Mitchell told reporters, when asked to provide an update on the investigation which was announced in July.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell

As a state-owned enterprise, the MNIB falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance headed by Mitchell.

The Commission was established to ensure that public officials uphold high standards of integrity in the performance of their public functions and to give effect to the provisions of The Inter-American Convention against Corruption. It will assist in improving the standards of good governance, transparency and accountability in government.

In July, Mitchell announced that Cabinet had endorsed a recommendation for a thorough investigation amid revelations of possible inappropriate use of MNIB funds.

Mitchell had also acknowledged that a lot had gone wrong at the MNIB and following the appointment of a new board in March, the then chief executive officer, Ruel Edwards left his job for a new post within the Ministry of Economic Development.

Edwards has since been placed on leave by the Public Service Commission (PSC), the body that contracted him to the post to the new post.

In September, the Integrity Commission said that further to media reports and statements circulating about financial wrongdoings at the MNIB it had commenced investigations into the operations of the board.

Mitchell said that Cabinet will endorse the Commission investigation and will accept its findings.

He told reporters Wednesday that the investigation will be led by “outside legal personnel” and that other government departments were also under investigations by the Commission.

“We have to be honest with ourselves, those who don’t want to admit it that is their business…if we want to say there are not corrupt practice within the public service, the could say so, I know there is corruption in every single Department of Government, that is a fact, it may be at different levels,” he said.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Crime, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

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DFID to fund next Geothermal phase for Montserrat

Hon. Minister of Energy Paul Lewis

The Department for International Development (DFID) has agreed to fund the next phase in the development of a geothermal power plant on Montserrat.

According to the Hon. Minister of Energy Paul Lewis, the agency will source the funding to engage experts to move the geothermal plant development forward. “This expertise could take the form of a “Client Engineer” that will aid in the formulation of turnkey service for the project,” a release from Lewis’ ministry stated.

Minister Lewis shared that the client engineer is expected to have experience in public private partnerships as it is the proposed way the plant is to be developed. The engineer would be responsible to guide the development of the Montserrat Geothermal Plant Project.

He added that his ministry’s data gathering has revealed that it is possible to get a cheaper cost of power delivery to the consumer and they want to ensure that the public receives the best price on the market.

In August, the minister informed that his team met with their DFID counterparts on August 28 to finalise the Report of the Early Market Engagement (EME), announced at a press conference on January 23, this year. In attendance at the meeting were Permanent Secretary, Beverley Mendes, Energy Advisor Owen Lewis, and DFID representatives Moira Marshall, Allan Clarkin and Iftikhar Ahmad.

According to the press statement released on Wednesday, “there was a common consensus that the Early Market Engagement process was a success. There is a clear indication of interest in Montserrat’s geothermal prospects based on the number of well qualified geothermal players that participated in the exercise. It was further recognized that the current wells developed through investments provided by the UK Government has aided the advancement of Montserrat’s quest for geothermal energy.”

The EME proposed scope of works included, design, engineering, procurement, construction and partial financing services for Montserrat Geothermal 2.5 – 3.5 MW Plant Development.

Minister Lewis said the EME was an attempt to inform and engage the market and secure information.

“All parties were in agreement that the main concept behind the drive for the Geothermal project was to establish economic growth for Montserrat. It is therefore paramount that there is an attractive energy tariff rate to create investors interest in the island and for the local consumers to help improve their standards of living. Both the Government of Montserrat and DFID team have established action points that were agreed in the meeting. These action points will continue to drive the realization of geothermal energy,” said the release.

Meanwhile, a final agreement to complete drilling and short-term testing of Mon 3 has not yet been completed with the Iceland Drilling Company (IDC). No word on why the negotiations are still ongoing, as this has been the status since the start of the year.

A final decision on DFID funding contribution of the proposed geothermal plant has not been communicated to the government to date. Both parties have agreed to form a working group to determine how the geothermal project will proceed.

However, news of the positive sounds for the future movement on the six-year-old geothermal project have been met with criticism that the project has fallen this far behind. The argument says that there was a funding agreement in principle in 2014. That the project would have produced at minimum the base load with the new Genset as a backup. The information said that a third well was agreed at that time which would have allowed for expansion to at least 4.5MW production using two production wells and the third being for reinjection.

That information was highlighted, but in a different way during the ‘no confidence motion’ in Parliament this week, when Minister Paul Lewis said that the idea or the decision to acquire a 1.5 genset was a mistake, even though the idea and the need may have been a good one. He was challenged for not providing the facts, but countered that there was no knowledge at the time with the generators in use were constantly failing, when geothermal would have been in operation.

The unfortunate situation is that the new genset seemed up to now to be like ‘a lemon’ since as this report is written, it is with a sigh of relief, we say there hasn’t been any regular power outage over the past couple weeks.

Posted in Energy, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

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Did the Education Minister claim environmental issues for teachers at MSS?

Minister of Education, Mrs. Delmaude Ryan

The Minister of Education, Mrs. Delmaude Ryan was speaking just before she declared open the Montserrat Union of Teachers Convention on Friday, October 5, at the Lookout Primary school convention.

Delivering the feature address at the Convention while expressing concern and the government’s desire to have a high number of trained teachers at the Montserrat Secondary School, which she said stood at 72% in 2016/17 and was above the average set for themselves had declined to 55% in 2017/18.

She said that the retention of teachers is a problem across the world. “This shows you the challenges all around the world in being able to retain as well as to increase the number of trained teachers in our classrooms,” she remarked.

However, she pointed out that the retention of teachers is not always about the salary. “Trained teachers overall, keeping and retaining teachers is not necessarily at times about the salary, but is the environment that is created, the support that they receive in that environment that encourages whether they want to stay or whether they want to leave,” she said.

This caused the speculation that all was not well with the conditions of work around the school, but without expanding on the issue, she concluded, “There’s a very important role that we all play in how do we work together as a team in delivering that one core essential item of education to our nation’s children.”

She then noted, “At the primary level we have 77% of teachers trained so it is at a good level comparatively to others across the world, however for Montserrat our aim is to bring that up to 100 percent trained.

Posted in Features, Kids, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Husband awaits outcome after changed guilty plea

Husband awaits outcome after changed guilty plea

Royal Montserrat Police Service has informed that on October 20, 2018 about 4:30am police officers responded to a domestic dispute report in the Olveston area.

On arrival at the scene it was revealed that the parties concerned are husband and wife. At the time the wife was met with a wound to her head. She was taken to the Glendon Hospital where she was seen, treated and discharged after receiving four sutures to her injury. The husband was subsequently arrested and taken to Police headquarters where he was later charged, with the following offences: armed with offensive weapon and wounding.

On October 26, 2018 the husband appeared at the Magistrate Court where the matter was adjourned to December 14, 2018 for sentencing.

Follow-up enquiry on the information revealed that the husband pleaded guilty at the hearing, but on advice changed his plea after explaining to the magistrate the circumstances of his actions.

Posted in Court, Crime, Local, News, Police0 Comments

Those looking to be masters of this country...

Those looking to be masters of this country…

need to be honest about serving

October 26, 2018

For some months we have been trying to get our leaders and people to understand the buy-in to what it really needs to take Montserrat forward, back to the place it once was and beyond; to the place where it was once able to balance its recurrent budget. What it needs to stop the UK DFID officials from simply being coy in their response to our sometimes-erroneous continuous demands.

Expected capital development and development generally had been planned –with a three-year development plan in place. There was a spanking new hospital, parliament building, port and more; additional school buildings, and very importantly an Indian donation of an agro-processing plant.

With all that and more in place at the beginning of 1995 there was already approval for the big upgrade to Blackburne airport, but the timing and the ignorance of the Wadge (volcanic) report of the 80s, the onset of volcanic activity brought pause and attention to nature. Montserrat now had to relook its understanding of what it would need to move into the next 300-400 years. Briefly that’s where Montserrat was, with a government that started out with a promising future in 1991, but with all the above was floundering into failure, brought to extinction in the 1996 elections and the UK’s promise to begin rebuilding Montserrat in the north.

Since then we have always said from here, since 1998, that unless the rebuild was as good and in fact better than anything that existed pre-1995, there was no seriousness in the effort, especially that all this was built on a plan called ‘Sustainable development”. We still believe that is a bad word phrase, yet we continue to hear it. So much so that when we hear the words today, we realise that the user should not be allowed anywhere near the leadership of planning for this island going forward.

Where is Montserrat since then? Listening to these people, and their behaviour for some time within the last two years at least, recent as last week, to the criticisms, utterances and performances of most, we maintain that if you can pick two from the lot and the names we hear ‘unofficially’ being published along with their pronouncements or lack thereof, there is much work to be desired and work to be done.

Well, our prayer is that people pay attention, spiritually and otherwise as there is much darkness around and there is really no light peeping through. If we look carefully, intelligently, we will see that the degrees, and more are not at all what it takes, but merely being sufficiently educated, which then is when intellect will show. Imagine we are well aware that these statements may stun some people thus exposing their ignorance and their lack of understanding and appreciation of the kind of leadership needed. Indeed, it is the kind so many call crazy, because these thoughts are usually out of reach of the ordinary, especially when corrupted with selfishness and greed.

We regret to note that the motion of no confidence and all relative to it has shown a kind of ignorance that are far not suited for this. Would these people after all of that week of time wasting when much work far more important business can be transacted, benefit from a few ‘educated’ if only critics, sit and break down the ignorance? The nothings that are being said, people posturising themselves with questions and statements that are damning only to themselves. There is sooo much to go around. Oh yes! There are problems, but they all hide in ignorance.

Since 2008 HMG (DFID) announced that they were ready or had begun to see Montserrat in a new light and that while mistakes had been made they admitted to the ‘one step forward and two backwards’ approach, the sustainable development farce, they were ready to tackle seriously Montserrat’s future development.

Dr. Lowell Lewis was chief minister in 2008 and to this day all he does is try to bring unity to a government that he believes and what others call for, some or most of them only within their closed quarters. The kind of unity the doctor speaks about, who himself only recently received a doctorate for his genius work in the medical field, getting mention for his political work, is one that bring the minds like his, to work for the beloved land and people of Montserrat. Bring to us testimonials against pomp, abuse, jealousy, selfishness and greed.

There are not many people here in Montserrat, who will understand the sad history of our politics, over let’s say the last 40 years. We cannot count those far away as the efforts so far to involve them have only been misguided if not misunderstood.

Then, there are those of course who we must just forego as not being fit anyway.

Maybe these few words might awake the sensibilities of our people to include all, about their ignorance, that an honest look at serving rather than being master will begin a move in the right direction as we begin to look towards a general election by the end of next year.

Posted in Editorial, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

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A Motion – Wasting the people’s time of confidence, importance and business

Former agriculture minister Claude Hogan

Hon Speaker Shirley Osborne set the opening of parliament to take place, successfully, on a somewhat grand scale on Tuesday, October 23 in the Sir George Martin Auditorium at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. She sought to give some prominence by holding the opening against any competing matter of the house by dedicating the day to just the opening, especially with the knowledge that the first sitting after that would include the (strange, if not ill-conceived) motion of a vote of no confidence.

Speaker Osborne had asked for and looked forward to hosting a full house at the Opening Ceremony of the Parliamentary year 2018-2019, in her continuing attempt to bring (back) long lost interest in the proceedings of the newly named eight-year old Legislative Assembly (LegAss), known before that as the Legislative Council (LegCo).

The sitting therefore set to begin on the following day Wednesday, got underway with a full membership minus PDM Government backbencher Claude Hogan, who by the way, could be considered the most senior legislator having begun his political career since 2001. On a side 2001 was the first year that the Premier Romeo had sought to show his interest in a political career.

Hon. Dr Ingrid Buffonge

Speaker Osborne, who has very early and since been trying to lift the standard of the proceedings in the house, but perhaps to her own style found early at the beginning of the session she might have discord and poor behavior from some of our far from esteemed legislators, the reason in the first place certain matters appeared on the agenda for the sitting.

She was faced right away with a motion to bring forward the motion of no confidence to the  beginning of the order of business. That began a show of ignorance and incompetence to some degree among members and some no doubt to her own difficulties of trying to be firm and liberal. The motion was defeated when the ‘ex-officio members’ (non-elected) were able to vote.

So, the order paper remained as is and the more important matters, if only for relevance and importance proceeded.

Premier Donaldson Romeo

But with some interest, not surprisingly supposedly among the public of Montserrat at the end of the second day of the sitting and the arrival of Hon Hogan, Premier Donaldson Romeo (the government) from all appearance seemed to have staved off an attempt by disgruntled opposition legislators (old and new) to bring down his administration when a key government backbencher indicated that he had no intention of supporting a vote of no confidence in Romeo’s four-year-old administration.

Former agriculture minister Claude Hogan, it is felt in some quarters held the key to the survival of the government that faced an uphill task to complete its first five-year term, but when the debate on the motion was adjourned late Thursday night to Monday, Hogan had already made his position known to legislators.

“We should withdraw the vote of no confidence.  If you want to change the premier there is a way to do it,” said Hogan.

The government hold a slim one seat majority in the nine-member Legislative Assembly and political observers had expected Hogan, who was dismissed by Romeo last year, to have sided with the opposition that included two former members of the ruling People’s Democratic Movement (PDM).

Premier Romeo has not yet made his contribution to the debate, but Hogan said while he had been disappointed when he was fired, “after a year I can’t remember what happened”.

Moreover, Hogan said he still intends to contest his present seat in the next general election, adding that the vote of no confidence is nothing more than an early start to the 2019 general election campaign.

Earlier, Dr. Ingrid Buffonge, a former member of the ruling PDM, who piloted the motion of no confidence, likened the situation to a “day of history” for Montserrat.

She said she also wanted to inform legislators, foreign investors and other stakeholders interested in the development of the volcano-ravaged British Overseas Territory that the motion does not signal “political instability” here.

“My colleagues in opposition and myself as well as others who will be elected in the next general election, and I do speak for some of them no, after four years of getting things so terribly wrong we pledge to get it right.”

She said encouraging and supporting foreign direct investment, encouraging local investors, assisting local producers with exporting the Montserrat product, securing capital projects, building equipping and appropriately staffing a new hospital   “are among the reasons behind the motion.

“In bringing this motion, I am simply fulfilling the will of the people who live on this island. A people who knows what happens in a place when you speak out against the government,” she said, adding that “people are afraid of losing their jobs and being victimised in other ways.

She said while she had sympathy for Premier Romeo this does not translate to support for his policies.

“She said he had failed to secure capital projects for the island, “his acceptance of a port project that will push as much development as the little airport that we have, his one-track mind focus on securing aid money instead of promoting investment all show his lack of vision and leave the people of this country feeling hungry.

“He claims he wants more control to be given to his government by the British government, but I ask what is it he wants more control of,” she asked.

Buffonge, who received the second highest number of votes in the September 2014 elections on the PDM slate, resigned from the party a year later and two weeks ago, called for the resignation of Health Minister Delmaude Ryan.

But Ryan told legislators that the debate was nothing more than a personal attack on her and that the government was doing its best to ensure the development of the health sector.

In his contribution, Hogan said that “we can’t make a political issue of the health sector” adding that no one has come up with a solution to the governance of Montserrat.

“Everybody should behave and try to foster a proper democracy,” he added.

Former junior minister, Gregroy Willock, who resigned from the government and the party and government earlier this month, nonetheless predicted that the vote at the end of the motion will be a 7-2 in favour of the opposition.

‘When we done it will be history and it will be a very significant day,” he added.

The 2014 general election was a victory for the newly established PDM, which was formed by Romeo on April 30 that year, in order to contest the elections.

The party defeated the then ruling Movement for Change and Prosperity, the Alliance of Independent Candidates and 10 other independents.

Much of the meanderings that went on including at least one opposition member saying he was not going to support the motion, but will after hearing some government members; reminding that it was not the two MCAP members who lead the opposition bench that brought the motion; reports that one member sitting on the opposition benches on more than one occasion pointed a hand as if shooting a gun at a member or members, on the other side of the house.

All of this really showed that the motion of no confidence in the first instance only served to show some of these members interested only in their own self-interest and well-being, and not fit to be representatives of the people’s interests and business.

There was at least one instance the Speaker was known to say to the members, “let’s have a time out,” “take a time out” or words to that effect. Earlier on Tuesday there was dead air (ZJB even cut the broadcast) as she waited for members to begin debating the motion after it was moved and seconded.

It is obvious as it has been throughout that the eventual possibility of a rushed election what ever the outcome of the vote, is not in the interest of the island, much more some of the members and particularly those bring the motion.

Posted in International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Hawaiian Island Vanishes Overnight

It is slowly being accepted, the term ‘Climate Change’ with the further acceptance of the scientific explanation that earth continues to evolve. Makes for interesting education, discussions and debates, especially among students, scientists and yes, politicians. What is real is that ‘preparations’ must take place to deal with the effects on mankind.

LiveScience

A hurricane has wiped a Hawaiian island completely off the map.

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East Island, a tiny speck of land in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in northwest Hawaii, was washed away by Hurricane Walaka on Oct. 3 and 4, Honolulu Civic Beat reported Tuesday (Oct. 23). The island had been a critical nesting site for threatened Hawaiian green sea turtlesand critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals, biologists told the news organization. 

“There’s no doubt that it was the most important single islet for sea turtle nesting,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) biologist Charles Littnan told Civic Beat.

East Island was a mere 11 acres (0.04 square kilometers) in area. Between 1944 and 1952, it hosted a small Coast Guard station, but the island has otherwise been a haven for wildlife, ranging from albatross to turtles and seals. Satellite imagery has confirmed the island’s demise, but a marine debris team will be headed to the area to survey the damage this week, the Civic Beat reported.

Researchers told Civic Beat that the island’s seals and turtles had left the island after their breeding season but before the hurricane struck. It’s unclear, so far, whether they’ll find a new haven on one of the nearby shoals.

“Species are resilient up to a point,” Littnan told Civic Beat. “But there could be a point in the future where that resilience isn’t enough anymore.”

The Hawaiian green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) is a genetically distinct species of green sea turtle found almost exclusively around Hawaii, according to NOAA. They are legally protected under Hawaiian law and the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and those protections have resulted in a 53 percent increase in population since the late 1970s. Their primary nesting grounds are the French Frigate Shoals, including the former East Island.

The Hawaiian monk seals (Neomonachus schauinslandi), which used East Island as breeding grounds, are in a more precarious position. These seals are found only in Hawaii, and despite their protections as a critically endangered species, their numbers are still declining, according to NOAA. Only about 1,400 Hawaiian monk seals are left in the wild, NOAA estimates. A couple hundred of those call the French Frigate Shoals home, Littnan told Civic Beat. And of those, about 30 percent were born on East Island.

The shoal was the victim of bad luck, given the storm’s direct hit. But researchers told Civic Beat that Walaka was strengthened by warmer-than-average ocean waters, a trend scientists predict will only worsen as the globe warms.

Originally published on Live Science.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, Environment, Hurricane, International, Local, News, Regional, Travel0 Comments

US Coast Guard repatriates Dominican and Haitian migrants

US Coast Guard repatriates Dominican and Haitian migrants

 
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Oct 21,  CMC – The United States Coast Guard says the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez   have repatriated 12 Dominicans and returned two Haitians to Dominican authorities following the interdiction of a migrant vessel in the Caribbean Seas off Mona Island, Puerto Rico.

The US Coast Guard said the interdiction is the result of ongoing efforts in support of Operation Unified Resolve, Operation Caribbean Guard and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).

Two of the interdicted male migrants are Dominican Republic nationals, who are facing potential federal criminal immigration charges in Puerto Rico for attempted illegal re-entry into the United States, the Coast Guard said.

“The outstanding work by the Coast Guard and our interagency partners focused on humanitarian efforts and preventing loss of life at sea,” said Lt. Cmdr. Rafael Battle, US Coast Guard Heriberto Hernandez commanding officer.

“The Mona Passage is a volatile waterway with heavy seas,” he added. “Transiting on dangerously overloaded and unseaworthy vessels poses large risk to anyone making the journey from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico.

“Fortunately, we discovered and saved 16 people before they encountered other potential dangers,” Battle continued.

The Coast Guard said during a routine patrol of the Mona Passage Thursday night, the crew of a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry maritime patrol aircraft detected a “grossly overloaded 25-foot migrant boat transiting without navigational lights,” about 10 nautical miles north of Mona Island.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan diverted the Heriberto Hernandez to interdict the vessel, the Coast Guard said, adding that the crew of the Heriberto Hernandez arrived on scene, stopped the boat and safely embarked all 16 migrants; 14 Dominican Republic nationals, 10 men and 4 women, and two Haitian men.

The US Coast Guard said Ramey Sector Border Patrol Agents in Puerto Rico received custody of the two migrants facing prosecution, while the Heriberto Hernandez later rendezvoused with a Dominican Republic navy vessel and transferred custody of the remaining migrants to Dominican Republic authorities.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, International, Local, News, Regional1 Comment

Body of school girl found three days after being reported missing

Body of school girl found three days after being reported missing

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Oct 22, CMC – A human rights and advocacy group Monday called for more protection for children as a junior government minister condemned as “cruel, inhumane and barbaric” the murder of a 14-year old secondary school student.

The authorities said that the mutilated body of 14-year-old Raven Wilson, a third form student of Ocho Rios High School in St Ann, was found in a plastic bag, metres away from her home on Sunday, three days after she had been reported missing.

“I am seriously disturbed by the killing of yet another promising young girl, whose life was cut short by cold and heartless criminals. There is simply no justification for such cruelty against our children. The level of violence being meted out against them needs to stop, because it is robbing them of their right to life,” Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, said in a statement.

He said that there seems to be a worrying trend in the recent spate of child murders with the perpetrators dismembering their victims.

“We want to send a clear message to these perpetrators that there will absolutely be no safe haven for them. We continue to work assiduously with the police, and will leave no stone unturned in ensuring they are brought to justice,” Green said, urging the community to come forward with any information that can assist the police with their investigations.

The human rights group, Hear The Children’s Cry is calling for the prosecution of persons involved in carrying out criminal acts on children.

In a statement condemning the murder of Wilson, the group said “we have not even gone ten months of the year and nearly 40 children have already been murdered during 2018. That is double the usual gruesome annual statistic.

The truth is, children in Jamaica are at terrible peril and are at the mercy of vicious criminals on a daily basis. They are not safe in their homes, they are not safe at school, they are in danger in their communities and on the roads, they are at horrible risk on public transportation, not to mention being vulnerable targets of paedophiles when they are online,” said the organisation’s founder Betty Ann Blaine.

She repeated an earlier call for the government to convene an Emergency Child Summit to devise a plan to protect the nation’s children.

“For two years now, Hear The Children’s Cry has been asking Prime Minister Andrew Holness to convene an Emergency Child Summit to take practical steps to protect the nation’s children and safeguard their lives. After meeting with me, the Prime Minister asked us to prepare a detailed proposal outlining the objectives and format of the Summit, which would call together all stakeholders to enact urgent solutions.

“The proposal was submitted to the Office of the Prime Minister in 2017 and yet month after month has gone by with no word from the country’s leader, despite our repeated calls for action from him,” Blaine said.

Meanwhile, the ministry said a team of first responders from the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) will visit the Ocho Rios High School to conduct counselling sessions with affected children, followed by a home visit during the course of the week.

Wilson’s death followed the killings of Shanoya Wray and Yetanya Francis, both 14, in the Corporate Area last month.

Posted in Crime, Education, International, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Jamal Khashoggi

Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi journalist’s body parts found, say Sky sources

Reports the writer’s “cut up” remains were found in the garden of the Saudi consul’s house, are “deeply disturbing”, says No 10.

Jamal Khashoggi
Image: Jamal Khashoggi’s remains were reportedly found in the garden of the Saudi consul’s official residence
By Alex Crawford, special correspondent, in Istanbul

Body parts belonging to murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been found, according to two Sky sources.

The sources have told Sky News the Saudi dissident had been “cut up” and his face “disfigured”.

One source also suggested the writer’s remains were discovered in the garden of the Saudi consul general’s Istanbul home – located around 500 metres away from the consulate.

It contradicts the explanation being made by Saudi officials that the body was rolled up in a carpet and handed to a local collaborator who was tasked with disposing of the evidence.

:: Jamal Khashoggi: How journalist met his death

Image: Jamal Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate on 2 October

Theresa May’s spokesman said reports of Mr Khashoggi’s body parts being found were “deeply disturbing”.

“The location of Mr Khashoggi’s body is just one of the questions we need answers to and as such we await the full results of the Turkish investigation,” he said.

In a day of fast-moving developments in the case:

:: Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Mr Khashoggi’s killing a premeditated “murder”

:: Mr Erdogan demanded Saudi officials reveal the whereabouts of Mr Khashoggi’s body

:: The dissident’s son met Saudi ruler, King Salman and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, in Riyadh

:: Turkish media said Mr Khashoggi’s belongings were found in suitcases in a Saudi consulate car

:: Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was “deeply concerned” to hear Mr Erdogan call it a premeditated murder.

President Erdogan says there can be no cover-up in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi 1:48
Video: Erdogan demands answers in Khashoggi case

In a speech to the country’s parliament, Turkey’s president Erdogan demanded Saudi Arabia hold those responsible to account and asked: “Why has the body of someone who was officially said to be killed not been found yet?”

He did not mention an alleged audio recording that Turkish authorities claim to have of Mr Khashoggi’s death that supposedly confirms he was tortured, killed, had his fingers cut off and was dismembered.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih says 'nobody can justify or explain' the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi 1:14
Video: Saudi minister on ‘abhorrent incident’

The apparent discovery of Mr Khashoggi’s body parts – and Mr Erdogan’s version of events based on what he described as “new evidence and information” – both contradict Saudi Arabia’s explanation for his death.

It has said Mr Khashoggi died in a “fist fight” at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

3:03
Video: ‘Saudi double disguised as Khashoggi’

Mr Khashoggi was a known critic of the Saudi government and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Turkish president, who had promised the “naked truth” about the killing, did not mention the crown prince in his speech, though officials linked to the royal have been implicated in it.

CCTV shows 'suspicious movement' with Saudi consulate cars.
0:46
Salah Khashoggi, Jamal Khashoggi's son, meets Mohammed Bin Salman. Pic: Saudi Press Association 0:25

Video: Khashoggi’s son meets Saudi royals
Mr Khashoggi’s brother, Sahel, was also at the meeting at which the king and crown prince expressed their condolences over the Washington Post columnist’s death.

A family friend told the AP news agency that Salah Khashoggi had been under a travel ban and barred from leaving the kingdom since last year as a result of his father’s criticism of the regime.

Saudi authorities have not confirmed the restrictions.

Investigators search suitcases and possessions believed to belong to Jamal Khashoggi
Image: Investigators search suitcases and possessions believed to belong to Jamal Khashoggi

In Turkey media reports that could not be verified said investigators had found Mr Khashoggi’s belongings in a number of suitcases found in a Saudi consulate vehicle in a car park in Istanbul.

Local broadcaster Ahaber aired video showing crime scene investigators searching what appeared to be the contents of cases.

More from Jamal Khashoggi

  • Big trade deals for Saudi Arabia despite western boycott following journalist’s killing

  • ‘Savage Jamal Khashoggi murder was planned days in advance’ – Turkey

  • ‘Naked truth’ on Khashoggi murder leaves more questions

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Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted he was “deeply concerned” to hear Mr Erdogan describe the Saudi dissident’s murder as premeditated.

“The world is still waiting for answers,” he wrote. Shortly after Mr Erdogan’s address, King Salman of Saudi Arabia issued a statement pledging to hold Mr Khashoggi’s killers to account “no matter who they may be”.

Saudi Arabia has said the heir-apparent of the world’s top oil exporter was not involved, but any major decision must be signed off by the highest powers within its ruling Al Saud family.

It came as video was released showing a meeting between the journalist’s son, Salah Khashoggi, the Gulf kingdom’s ruler, King Salman, and crown prince Mohamed bin Salman, at the Yamama Palace in Riyadh.

 

 

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