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Bouterse wins general elections in Suriname
PARAMARIBO, Suriname - President Desi Bouterse (69) and his National Democratic Party (NDP) won the general elections held on
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Results Of SKNFA Matches
Football continued almost unabated over the weekend. Here are the results from the games played Friday 22nd to Sunday
Sports
There’s something new to dance about
On St. Kitts there is something new to RAVE about. Recognizing Art through Vibrant Expression (R.A.V.E) is the exciting
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Time Warner Cable to be bought by Charter Communications

Time Warner Cable to be bought by Charter Communications

Charter Communications has agreed to buy media giant Time Warner Cable... Full Story
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
Jamaicans accept FLOW price increases — CWC executive

Jamaicans accept FLOW price increases — CWC executive

JAMAICANS are accepting the price increases at large cable provider... Full Story
Friday, 22 May 2015
EU agrees 1.8bn-euro loan to cash-strapped Ukraine

EU agrees 1.8bn-euro loan to cash-strapped Ukraine

The EU has agreed a €1.8bn (£1.3bn; $2bn) loan to Ukraine - described... Full Story
Friday, 22 May 2015
Yellen: US rates could go up 'at some point this year

Yellen: US rates could go up 'at some point this year

The chair of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, said she expects... Full Story
Friday, 22 May 2015
Greece seeks loan deal by end of May

Greece seeks loan deal by end of May

Greece has said it wants to reach a loan deal with its international... Full Story
Monday, 18 May 2015
Lime links with Zimbra to enhance email service experience

Lime links with Zimbra to enhance email service experience

LIME is introducing a new ‘look and feel’ to how users of its ... Full Story
Monday, 18 May 2015
Record-breaking amount of remittances received in Latin America and the Caribbean

Record-breaking amount of remittances received in Latin America and the Caribbean

According to Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean Set a New... Full Story
Monday, 18 May 2015
US$250m BP contract for Massy Wood Group

US$250m BP contract for Massy Wood Group

PORT OF SPAIN: Massy Wood Group has been awarded a five-year contract,... Full Story
Thursday, 14 May 2015
Sagicor Ready To Roll On Next Big Project

Sagicor Ready To Roll On Next Big Project

Sagicor's property company is moving ahead with a 21-acre complex at... Full Story
Thursday, 14 May 2015

Sports News

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Results Of SKNFA Matches

Results Of SKNFA Matches

Football continued almost unabated over the weekend. Here are the... Full Story
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
Turn-out for first-ever Women’s Football Day shows progress in the sport

Turn-out for first-ever Women’s Football Day shows progress in the sport

Basseterre, St. Kitts, 23rd May 2015 (MiyVue.com) – About 200 girls... Full Story
Saturday, 23 May 2015
Women’s football day to bring more attention to the game, as more girls try the sport, says Jacobs

Women’s football day to bring more attention to the game, as more girls try the sport, says Jacobs

Basseterre, St. Kitts, 22nd May 2015 (MiyVue.com) - This Saturday,... Full Story
Friday, 22 May 2015
WI coach Simmons opens door for IPL quintet

WI coach Simmons opens door for IPL quintet

West Indies coach Phil Simmons has opened the door for Dwayne Bravo,... Full Story
Friday, 22 May 2015
Pakistan set to end six-year drought

Pakistan set to end six-year drought

Big picture It's cricket, but it's much, much more. This series will... Full Story
Friday, 22 May 2015
Shamrock netball club rebranded

Shamrock netball club rebranded

The St Kitts Bottling Company is pleased to announce that the Shamrock... Full Story
Monday, 18 May 2015
Clarke not taking Windies for granted

Clarke not taking Windies for granted

Sydney, Australia - It is a battle between the world No.2 and the... Full Story
Monday, 18 May 2015
New Town to meet St. Paul’s as Premier League continues

New Town to meet St. Paul’s as Premier League continues

Basseterre, St. Kitts, 18th May, 2015, (MiyVue.com) – Football fans in... Full Story
Monday, 18 May 2015

Entertainment News

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B.B. King was poisoned, his daughters claim

B.B. King was poisoned, his daughters claim

(CNN)Two of B.B. King's daughters are alleging that the blues legend... Full Story
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
Man With No Penis Has Slept With More Than 100 Women

Man With No Penis Has Slept With More Than 100 Women

A man without a penis has had sex with more than 100 people, while... Full Story
Friday, 22 May 2015
Joe Jackson & Chris Brown We Have Something BIG in Common

Joe Jackson & Chris Brown We Have Something BIG in Common

Joe Jackson and Chris Brown came together Thursday during the Cannes... Full Story
Friday, 22 May 2015
Montel Williams Calls Josh Duggar a

Montel Williams Calls Josh Duggar a "Bigot," a "Slimebag" and a Hypocrite Over Molestation Allegations

No one seems to be angrier with Josh Duggar than talk show host Montel... Full Story
Friday, 22 May 2015
King service is in Vegas, burial in Indianola

King service is in Vegas, burial in Indianola

Blues icon B.B. King will be celebrated Saturday. According to the... Full Story
Monday, 18 May 2015
Billboard Music Awards 2015 recap: Taylor Swift, Sam Smith clean up

Billboard Music Awards 2015 recap: Taylor Swift, Sam Smith clean up

Even if she hadn't premiered her epic, star-studded "Bad Blood" music... Full Story
Monday, 18 May 2015
Kanye West gets bleeped, Kendall and Kylie Jenner get booed at Billboard Awards

Kanye West gets bleeped, Kendall and Kylie Jenner get booed at Billboard Awards

Well, that was awkward for everyone involved. Kendall and Kylie Jenner... Full Story
Monday, 18 May 2015
Bill Cosby Breaks Silence About Sexual Assault Allegations

Bill Cosby Breaks Silence About Sexual Assault Allegations

Bill Cosby is responding to questions about allegations of sexual... Full Story
Friday, 15 May 2015
Julia Roberts Recall Her Reluctant First Interview with David Letterman

Julia Roberts Recall Her Reluctant First Interview with David Letterman

"I had seen you absolutely dismember young actresses of my kind of... Full Story
Thursday, 14 May 2015

Portia's government: A hundred days and beyond

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portiasimpson-millerThe government now has to reside in the realm of reality and set Jamaica on a path of sustainable development and fulfilment.

It must now endeavour to inculcate effective leadership, address the moral deficit that hinders the country and remove the cancer that lies in the body politic while at the same time ensuring its citizens can enjoy a reasonable quality of life and that their children in turn can go on and succeed perhaps even more so than the preceding generation. This was never going to transpire in a hundred days.

The more cynical will point to a lack of traction with JEEP, that an impending deal with the IMF is still shrouded in mystery rather like a Masonic lodge meeting -- you know it takes place but know very little about it. Then there are the much needed reforms as prescribed by the IMF, tax reform, pension reform and public sector wage reform where little progress has been made. There are those who point to the postponement of the budget as an ominous sign and the rapid increase in criminal activity that took place at the start of the year. Then there is, of course, the fiasco surrounding the 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations which in itself, some say, is symptomatic of the failure of the country over the last 50 years.

Then again on the other hand, the Prime Minister has allowed her respective ministers autonomy to run their portfolios and has remained largely unobtrusive. There have been no major scandals save and apart from the national flag minus its green debacle. The government is still basking in its glow as a result of obtaining an overwhelming majority and practically breaking the back of the Opposition.The electorate has given it a clear vote of confidence and awaits its performance. There is no sense of evident national disgruntlement over the pace of the government's efforts and the Prime Minister enjoys the love and support of her people.Rather than hasten to address the country's economic woes with short term populist measures, she appears to have decided to undergo a fulsome assessment and weigh her options before seeking to effectively implement meaningful prescriptions.

This thinking can be borne out by the move to not solely rely on the multi-lateral agencies but to prepare to make forays onto the capital markets -- you have to have a back-up plan.

With a clear mandate, Portia Simpson Miller has an opportunity to forever change the economic landscape of Jamaica while at the same time redefining its social and moral fabric and establish new parameters for what it means

to be a Jamaican and what

a Jamaican can expect

from Jamaica.

This will not be achieved in a 100 days. She has to be prepared for a long innings at the crease and be mindful of colourful flashes around the offstump.

However she must be mindful of not be stymied by inertia. She must impose her will and clearly indicate to the country how she intends to navigate it out of its treacherous waters. She must clearly point the way.

Milton & Rose Friedman in their book, The Tyranny of the Status Quo, say "There is a political generalisation that has repeatedly proved valid: a new administration has some six to nine months in which to achieve major changes; if it does not seize the opportunity to act decisively during that period, it will not have another such opportunity. Further changes come slowly or not at all, and counterattacks develop against the initial changes. The temporarily routed political forces regroup, and they tend to mobilise everyone who was adversely affected by the changes, while the proponents of the changes tend to relax after their initial victories."

The Friedmans go on to make a salient point that Portia Simpson Miller must heed if she is to establish a lasting legacy and take Jamaica to new heights.

"This generalisation has a corollary: a candidate for head of state who hopes to make a real difference has to do more than get elected; he or she must have a detailed program of action well worked out before the election. If a new head of state waits until after the election to convert a general policy position into a detailed program, the program will be ready too late to get adopted.'"

One of the great proponents of this thinking was the Iron Lady herself, Margaret Thatcher. At the end of the seventies Britain was a basket case. It had to go cap in hand to the IMF, the country was racked by strikes and low productivity and was regarded as the sick man of Europe. Under Thatcher's tenure, she rolled back the role of the state insisting on home ownership. She encouraged individual liberty and economic prosperity. She reduced inflation and enforced monetarist policies lowering top rate tax from 95 per cent to less than 50 per cent. She oversaw the denationalisation of the British economy and restored Britain as a world power all in 11 eleven years. One of the hallmarks of the Thatcher era was that she sold to the British people that the state would no longer be a universal provider and that Britons would have to prosper by their

own enterprise. She transformed Britain through an ideology centred on self-reliance and enterprise.

Thatcher hit the ground running, determined to drag Britain kicking and screaming into a morally and financially stronger position while at the same time making the country more competitive.

To date there are some encouraging signs with the Simpson Miller Administration. The minister of energy Philip Paulwell has insisted that the reduction of high energy prices will be expeditiously dealt with. He wants to see it fall from US40 cents per kilo-watt hour to US20 cents per kilo-watt hour and to implement an energy mix that includes renewables, coal and even nuclear. He has set about the task with determination, vim, vigour and vitality.

The Minister of Finance Dr Peter Phillips is currently on an overseas junket in search of funds at reasonable rates. He has to find a way to incase the primary surplus from around three per cent of GDP to six per cent of GDP. Making his task more onerous is contending with a fiscal deficit in excess of 6 per cent and ever decreasing revenues. He is engaging the multi-lateral agencies and they remain in cordial and open dialogue but his team is now looking to supplement inflows from the capital markets.

He must also look to increase more investments in the country, both locally and internationally. It has been said ad infinitum, Jamaica must endeavour to be more investment friendly.

The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) has made a number of recommendations that should help in framing a workable tax reform working document. The country's current tax system has been a bone of contention and is regarded unfavourably by the IMF. It is high time it is addressed and the government must move on this quickly with the help of the PSOJ. Special interest groups must put the welfare of the country first and at the forefront of their thinking. They should be arriving at an equitable solution to this problem, one that is just and does not see the ordinary and the less fortunate carrying an inordinate share of the burden.

The Minister of National Security Peter Bunting is holding hands with the police force in attempting to break the back of crime. They seem to be at one accord here. Bunting has declared that crime cost the country dearly, some say six per cent of GDP. He argues that reducing it, in fact helps the economy and bolsters revenues. As of March of this year, Bunting is reporting that crime is below where it was last year and this augers well going forward.

He has made it clear that his aim is to reduce murder from three per day to less than one per day over the next five years. This means that the murder rate must fall from 41 per 100,000 (as of last year) to 12 per 100,000 by 2017. He is actively looking to strategically deploy police personnel in hotspot communities while vowing to bring down kingpins and follow the money. Bunting will need support here but he is on the right track, one that should produce discernible results.

The minister of justice Mark Golding in his quietly effective manner is assiduously looking to simplify the legal system , reduce the backlog of cases and see more trials going through. This will be a work in progress and most agree he is the man for the job.

The 50th year of Independence celebrations must go off well. Although the country could have done better over that period, it must herald the next 50 years as a period of development and a golden age for Jamaica. The country must not limp into the next phase with a sloppy, half-baked celebratory effort. Already the Minister of Culture, Lisa Hanna is financially constrained having to reduce the budget for this momentous event from some $3 billion to just $690 million. Rather than both her and her predecessor throwing political mud pies at each other, this provides the perfect opportunity for a joint effort on the part of both ladies to pull this thing off and send Jamaica into the next 50 years in style. Come on girls you can do it! What a great example you would set and how refreshing it would be to see party lines being crossed for the betterment of Jamaica.

All in all the Prime Minister can go into the next few months confidently and sure of purpose. She must exhibit will and fortitude and lead Jamaica into a new and better dawn.



Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Portia-s-government--A-hundred-days-and-beyond_11347361#ixzz1tFIrUEDc

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  • Bouterse wins general elections in Suriname PARAMARIBO, Suriname - President Desi Bouterse (69) and his National Democratic Party (NDP) won the general elections held on Monday in Suriname. With over 80 percent of the votes counted preliminary results...
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