If you must, tax fuel at source - Heaven
A former president of the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers' Association has suggested that the Government consider a review of the special consumption tax on fuel instead of imposing general consumption tax (GCT) on the commodity.
According to Trevor Heaven, imposing GCT on fuel might not yield the results the Government wants, as there would remain a risk that some businesses will not pass the tax on to the State at the end of the month.
Heaven argued that an increase in the special consumption tax or the ad valorem component collected at source, would leave the Government more assured of raking in all the revenues due from the measure.
Heaven said should the Government decide against imposing the additional tax at source, the industry would only be able to absorb a reduced rate of GCT on fuel.
Heaven was speaking against the background of the Government pondering adding GCT to each litre of fuel as it tries to make up the revenue shortfall in the Budget.
Teens' abduction, murders spark interest in US
The alleged abduction and murders of two teenage girls in Clarendon are now causing quite a stir in New York City.
Eighteen-year-old Knox College student Nordia Fearon and her 19-year-old cousin from New York, Franciena Johnson, were both reported missing on December 20.
Their bodies were recovered between last Friday and Monday.
In a report carried by New York's WABC's Eyewitness News, Johnson's mother, Suzette Clarke-Grose, said she got the tragic news about her daughter's death from the child's grandmother, who called her from Jamaica.
The report quoted Clarke-Grose saying: "I was told it appears they kidnapped them in a car, and the area where they took them was very lonely … . Nobody really knows what happened. They only know that they found them with gunshot wounds to the body."
However, checks with the Constabulary Communication Network yesterday revealed that the police were yet to determine the cause of the deaths.
The Associated Press has also picked up the story.
Johnson, a nursing student, was reportedly born in Jamaica and moved to the United States as child, while Fearon lived here on the island.
Opposition shares Eastern Caribbean's pain
Opposition Leader Andrew Holness has written to prime ministers Dr Kenny Anthony of St Lucia and Dr Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines, the two Eastern Caribbean nations most devastated by heavy rains that struck the region on Christmas Eve.
Holness, in extending condolences, noted the challenges both nations would face, given the damage to infrastructure and essential services - water and power, in particular.
"While we are not in a position to offer technical assistance, we want for you to understand that we sympathise with you, especially in light of this occurrence within time dedicated to family festivities," Holness said on behalf of his Jamaica Labour Party.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller pledged the nation's support while similarly offering her sympathies in regard to the tragedy which was believed to have claimed more than a dozen lives.
Yesterday, the St Vincent and the Grenadines government said it would need "millions of dollars" to rebuild the country battered by a slow-moving, low-level trough that left eight people dead and at least five others missing in that country.
Gonsalves, who cut short his Christmas holidays in London, England, dubbed yesterday 'Clean Up Kingstown Day'.
Kingstown is the capital of St Vincent.
Bike riders, beware!
The Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport has issued a special appeal to motorcyclists, especially in western Jamaica, to use the roads more carefully.
Kenute Hare, director of the unit, made the appeal following the Christmas Day death of a 23-year-old motorcyclist in Salt Spring, St James, during an alleged stunt performance.
The death brought to 297 the number of persons killed in road-related accidents since the start of the year.
Hare described the incident as needless, saying the motorcycle was not licensed and the required gear were not used.
He singled out Westmoreland and Hanover in his appeal to motorcyclists.
Hare says based on the current trend, it is unlikely that the Road Safety Unit will record less than 300 fatalities for the year.