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News Briefs

Published:Thursday | June 27, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Jasford Gabriel wins JTA presidential elections

Manchester High School principal Jasford Gabriel has won the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) presidential election.

Gabriel will be proclaimed president-elect on August 19 at the JTA’s annual conference scheduled for the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa, Montego Bay, St James. He will take the reins as head of the teachers’ union in 2020.

Gabriel emerged winner ahead of two other candidates in the June 17-21 polls in which 12,044 votes were cast.

Gabriel polled 6,500 votes ahead of Golden Spring Primary principal Winston Smith (3,209 votes) and St Faith’s Primary interim principal Lasonja Harrison (1,582).



Political ombudsman condemns Thompson’s Hitler references

Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown is charging political actors to be mindful of their utterances so as to avoid creating harm, adding that civil discourse on matters of public interest must not include name calling or harmful references.

She made the remarks in a statement yesterday morning in which she condemned a social media post made by People’s National Party Youth Organization President Krystal Tomlinson.

In March, Tomlinson, in a Twitter post, criticised the Government’s handling of the country’s affairs and likened the actions of Prime Minister Andrew Holness to German Nazi leader Adolph Hitler’s.

She subsequently deleted the tweet and apologised, but this did not stop widespread condemnation.

In a letter of complaint to the political ombudsman, the Jamaica Labour Party “questioned whether it was not Ms. Tomlinson and her party who were in line with Hitler’s words”.

The ombudsman said JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang’s reference to Hitler was unwarranted and unhelpful, noting that they both breached the agreement and declaration on political conduct.


Man detained

A 33-year-old haulage contractor from Lyssons, St Thomas, has been detained in connection with Monday’s seizure of ganja worth $15 million.

His name is being withheld pending charges after an interview in the presence of his attorney.

The police say during a joint operation with members of the Jamaica Defence Force, a Hyundai truck being driven by the contractor was intercepted along the Albion main road.

Sixty-nine knitted bags containing compressed ganja were reportedly taken from the truck.

The drugs and the truck were immediately seized and the driver arrested.



House passes Tourism Workers Pension Bill

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the Tourism Workers Pension Bill, which seeks to establish a defined contribution pension scheme for hospitality industry workers.

The bill, which was piloted by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, was passed with 11 amendments.

“It will involve in excess of 300,000 workers which will represent one-fifth of the total workforce of Jamaica. That accumulation of affordable capital will present an opportunity for investment and for capital distribution for all sorts of development in the country,” said Bartlett, who closed the debate on the legislation.

He pointed out that the bill and, by extension, scheme is coming at time when the sector is experiencing unprecedented growth.

“Globally, the trends are there that 1.4 billion visitors are going across borders; last year, they spent US$1.7 trillion in more than 200 countries. You recall that here, in Jamaica, we broke all records, and last year, we had US$3.3 billion earned from just over 4.3 million visitors,” he said.