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Suspend intended CAL lease of Boeing aircraft, T&T Opposition urges

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Suspend intended CAL lease of Boeing aircraft, T&T Opposition urges

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — The main Opposition United National Congress (UNC) yesterday urged the Trinidad and Tobago Government to “take immediate action to suspend” the intended lease of 12 of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft, which has been involved in two fatal crashes over the past six months.

The latest incident occurred on Sunday when Ethiopian Airlines’ Flight 302 crashed soon after take-off, killing all 149 passengers and the eight-member crew. The digital flight data recorder from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Nairobi, Kenya, has since been located.

In a statement, the UNC said it was calling on the Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan, who has responsibility for the civil aviation authority, “to do as other countries have done and implement a ban on airlines utilising this particular aircraft as a precautionary measure.

“While the UNC understands investigations into the latest fatal crash are still being conducted, it must be noted that several airlines and aviation authorities worldwide have either grounded their Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet or have restricted the aircraft model from entering or exiting their airspace,” the party said.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said in a statement that it was suspending operations of all Boeing 737 Max aircraft across Europe.

It said it would also ban all commercial flights by third-country operators in its airspace.

“EASA is continuously analysing the data as it becomes available. The accident investigation is currently ongoing, and it is too early to draw any conclusions as to the cause of the accident,” it said.

The State-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL), in an updated statement since the crash on Sunday, said the accident has raised speculative concern regarding the Boeing MAX 8 aircraft.

“The airline industry is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world, and there are rigorous processes and regulatory procedures to follow before any aircraft is brought into service. Caribbean Airlines will incorporate the procedural and training elements necessary to comply with all regulations and instructions before any new aircraft is introduced to its fleet.”

CAL said that it currently “does not have the Boeing MAX 8 aircraft as part of its fleet” and that it uses the Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft.

“Caribbean Airlines stands by its commitment to put the safety of its passengers, crew and operations,” it said in the statement.

Boeing, in a statement yesterday, said that while safety is its number one priority, it has “full confidence in the safety of the MAX.

“We understand that regulatory agencies and customers have made decisions that they believe are most appropriate for their home markets. We’ll continue to engage with all of them to ensure they have the information they need to have confidence in operating their fleets or returning them to service.

“It is also important to note that the Federal Aviation Administration is not mandating any further action at this time and, based on the information currently available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators,” the aircraft manufacturer added.

The UNC said that while CAL “has assured that safety checks would be made prior to putting all aircraft into service, the Government should hold on spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the Boeing 737 Max 8 until investigations are completed”.

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Taekwondo boss now fully into feminine products

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Taekwondo boss now fully into feminine products

Former JLP candidate kicks for support of the sport

BY KIMBERLEY HIBBERT
Senior staff reporter
hibbertk@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, December 08, 2019

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BUSINESSMAN and president of the Jamaica Taekwondo Association, Trevor Webb, has added the manufacturing of feminine beauty products to his household chemicals business — GPL, in a bid to help fund martial arts locally while providing care items with health benefits to women.

Webb, who spoke with the Jamaica Observer last week, shared that his decision came from wanting to expand his business and tap into a niche market with products that had wellness properties.

“We’re involved in household chemicals on a whole and we make our own chemicals under the brand Sure Products, so we are always researching. We’ve been doing scrubs using rock salts and charcoal for a number of years with the feminine brand SheBelle, but we wanted something with more benefits and so we started looking at noni,” Webb said.

Director of business development and marketing Matthew Voncross added that with research conducted over a span of two years on the noni fruit, both he and Webb decided that based on the multiplicity of benefits associated with the fruit, they would work towards products that maximise its use.

“We wanted to hit the market with something different and we started thinking out of the box and realised we have a lot of things around us that people were ignoring and with so many benefits from the noni fruit, we decided to concentrate on it for ourselves, our family and our friends and the results have been excellent,” Voncross said.

Subsequently, in addition to household chemicals, facial scrubs with activated charcoal and aloe vera, castor oil, goat’s milk soap and shower gels, Webb and Voncross have now launched an anti-fungal soap made primarily from the noni fruit — called Punoni — a play on the colloquial slang used to describe a woman’s vagina.

In addition to Punoni, the duo have also launched a noni tonic wine under the brand name Hard Rock. Moreover, while the aim of any business is to make a profit and surpass their bottom line, Webb was quick to point out that the business is one of the main financial contributors to martial arts locally.

“We do a lot of free classes. In Seaview Gardens alone we have 135 students who do not pay, about 55 students in Back Bush, Mountain View and students from several other schools in the Shortwood Area. We also conduct classes at Thompson Town High that costs us $34,000 per month. We take a percentage from the sales and that offsets uniform costs for these students. When we have tournaments we pay for those students. When kids come up from the country for tournaments, we feed them and provide accommodation. Though martial arts brings more medals to Jamaica than track and field, the sad reality is we don’t get much support from corporate Jamaica and so we have to support our own.

“I’ve been doing this for over 25 years and as a 6th degree black belt and president for the Caribbean Taekwando Association,it’s about the love and giving children who cannot afford to pay privately a chance to be more rounded. I don’t do martial arts for a living. We have a lot of talent in the inner city (and) parents can’t afford it, so we decided to take on the challenge to offer an alternative to students and the business helps fund it,” said Webb, who represented the Jamaica Labour Party as its candidate in the February 2016 General Election.

So far, the products have received raving reviews from wholesales and bars which have stocked the item based on customer demand and intrigue with the product and its name.

Apart from its perceived aphrodisiac properties, noni has been used to improve poor blood circulation, and help regulate reproductive, urinary, musculoskeletal and central nervous system function. Voncross added: “It’s also good for yeast, eczema, dandruff and psoriasis. Women love the product and the feedback is good. It’s not even three weeks good and every single bar has reordered two, three times in large quantities.”

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Police kill four rape-murder suspects

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SHADNAGAR, India (AFP) — Indian police yesterday shot dead four gang-rape and murder suspects, prompting celebrations but also accusations that they were extrajudicial executions.

The men, who had been in custody for a week over the latest rape case to shock India, were shot in the early hours during a re-enactment of the crime organised by police in Shadnagar, outside the southern city of Hyderabad.

“The police brought the accused to the crime spot as part of the investigation. The accused then started attacking the police with stones and sticks and then snatched the weapons and started firing,” Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar said.

“The police warned them and asked them to surrender, but they continued to fire. Then we opened fire and they were killed in the encounter,” he told reporters at the scene, adding that the men had confessed to the crime during interrogation.

Television images showed the shoeless bodies of the suspects still lying in an open field yesterday afternoon, with guns in the hands of two of them.

The four men were accused of gang-raping and murdering a 27-year-old veterinary doctor before, setting fire to her body underneath an isolated bridge late on November 27.

Like in the infamous 2012 rape and murder of a woman on a Delhi bus, the case sparked demonstrations and calls for swift and tough justice.

Shortly after their arrest hundreds of protesters also tried to storm the police station where they were held.

At one demonstration in Delhi, some women wielded swords while one lawmaker called for the men to be “lynched”, and another for rapists to be castrated.

Police are often accused of using extrajudicial killings to bypass the legal process, to cover up botched investigations, or to pacify public anger — but a huge backlog of cases in the slow Indian criminal justice means that many rape victims wait years for justice.

Several hundred people flocked to the scene of the men’s deaths yesterday, setting off firecrackers to celebrate and showering police with flower petals, hoisting them on their shoulders.

“I am happy the four accused have been killed in an encounter. This incident will set an example. I thank the police and media for their support,” the victim’s sister told a local television station.

Women distributed sweets and tied Hindu ritual threads on the wrists of policemen to thank them.

Further celebrations were held elsewhere in the country, including in the western state of Gujarat.

Many social media users, including politicians, celebrities and athletes, hailed the Telangana State police.

“Great work #hyderabadpolice ..we salute u,” top women’s badminton player Saina Nehwal tweeted, while fellow badminton star PV Sindhu wrote that “Justice has been served!”

Cricketer Harbhajan Singh congratulated police and the State government for “showing this is how it is done. No one should dare doing something like this again in future”.

And Rajyavardhan Rathore, a former minister and current Member of Parliament from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party wrote on Twitter: “Let all know this is the country where good will always prevail over evil.”

But lawyer and activist Vrinda Grover told AFP the killings were “absolutely unacceptable”.

“Instead of investigation and prosecution the State is committing murders to distract the public and avoid accountability,” she said.

India’s former federal minister for women and child development, Maneka Gandhi termed the incident “dangerous”.

“They would have anyway got hanging for their heinous crime, but you can’t just pick up guns and kill people because you want to. Because law is tardy, you can’t kill people,” Gandhi told reporters.

“To appease public rage over State failures against sexual assault, Indian authorities commit another violation,” tweeted Meenakshi Ganguly from Human Rights Watch.

Amnesty International India said the “alleged extrajudicial execution” raised disturbing questions and called for an independent investigation.

“In a modern and rights-respecting society, using extrajudicial executions to offer justice to victims of rape is not only unconstitutional but circumvents the Indian legal system, and sets a grossly wrong precedent,” Amnesty said in a statement.

Police said a post-mortem was completed yesterday on the bodies of the four suspects. At the same time, the State high court directed that a video of the procedure be delivered to a principal district judge and that the bodies be preserved until Monday evening, the newswire said.

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PM Skerrit holds on to position in Dominica polls

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PM Skerrit holds on to position in Dominica polls

Saturday, December 07, 2019

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ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — The ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) was last night on track for a major victory in the general election here, as it led in 18 of the 21 seats where results have been announced by the Electoral Commission.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who was seeking an unprecedented fourth-consecutive term as head of a Government here, had earlier predicted a “landslide” for his ruling party that itself is seeking to win five-consecutive general elections here.

In the 2014 General Election, the DLP defeated the main Opposition by a 15-6 margin for control of the 21-member legislature.

According to the preliminary results, the United Workers Party (UWP) was maintaining a healthy lead in its strongholds of the northern villages of Marigot and Salisbury, which in the latter days of the campaign had been the scene of roadblocks and the burning of tyres and debris as the supporters called on the Government to implement electoral reform ahead of the polls.

Prime Minister Skerrit, who has been the parliamentary representative for Vielle Case, north of here since 2000, was leading comfortably in his seat while his wife, Melissa Skerrit, who is making an entry into elective politics, was also leading newcomer Glenroy Cuffy on Roseau Central constituency.

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