August, 2020 Archive


Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival: Where Culture Meets Cuisine

first_imgAmong the many things that the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival is known for, the event’s many cultural activities are a delight for families who attend.This year’s activities are not to be missed, and here’s a sneak preview:Owen “Blakka Ellis”Also gracing the Jerk Festival stage this year:Carimer Theatre Company & Carimer Kids performing traditional dances.Sue – Folklorist, Author and PoetComedian Chris Johnny DaleyFashion Designer Mama YashiMaxine OsbourneNadine Brady TaylorProphet Peter “The Solid Rock” Peart & The Soul SaversSasa African Drummerslast_img read more

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Jamaican minister dismisses reports of mining in protected area

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Jamaican Mining Minister Robert Montague, has dismissed reports of mining taking place within the boundaries of the proposed Cockpit Country Protected Area in central Jamaica.Making his contribution in the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the Parliament on Tuesday, Montague said, “There is no mining and there is no plan for that. I will be the first to admit that since the Prime Minister clearly told this House about those proposed boundaries, enough communication in a simple and clear manner, mining has not occurred,” Montague said.“The Forestry Department is currently physically marking the boundaries on the ground. They have, so far, hosted four community meetings, but more is needed and more will be held,” he added.Montague was responding to recent comments in the media that suggested mining is taking place closer and closer to the boundary of the protected area.He said he will continue to facilitate dialogue and has instructed that a strong program of community engagement be started immediately.The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) recently said that it is concerned that the proposed boundaries do not protect all communities within the Cockpit Country from mining activities.It also said there has been no response to its requests for information about the basis on which the Forestry Department determined the boundaries.The Cockpit Country is Jamaica’s largest remaining contiguous rainforest. It is also home to the Jamaica Swallowtail, the largest butterfly in the Western hemisphere.last_img read more

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Haiti’s President Names His Fourth Prime Minister in Less Than three…

first_imgJovenel Moise PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, AFP – Haiti’s president Jovenel Moise on Monday named a new prime minister to tackle the country’s worsening socio-political and security crisis.“Following consultations with different sectors, I have decided on Joute Joseph as new prime minister,” Moise said on his official Twitter account.“He is tasked with forming, as soon as possible, a government of transparency and consensus, capable of rising to the challenges of the moment,” he said.Joseph has been environment minister since September 2018 and was also appointed interim minister of the economy and finance in September 2019. He replaced Jean-Michel Lapin, who had been acting prime minister.Haiti has been in deep crisis since the resignation in March 2019 of prime minister Jean-Henry Ceant. Joseph is the third person Moise has appointed to the post since then.The legislature has never approved any of his nominees, hampering the government’s ability to function: elections could not be held last autumn and parliament has not been in session since January. That means Joseph’s appointment cannot be ratified, according to constitutional rules.Political talks that began last summer to find a way to form a new government came to nothing and the opposition is demanding that Moise step down before any further discussion can even begin.Popular anger has been focused on Moise since the High Court of Accounts announced in May 2019 that he was suspected of involvement in a huge corruption scandal that stretches back a decade.The ever-deepening crisis has slammed the brakes on domestic and international investment, leading to massive unemployment levels and an inflation rate topping 20 percent, which has made the impoverished nation even poorer.A third of the population now faces severe food insecurity, the last stage before famine, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).The country has also faced a sudden surge in the number of kidnappings for ransom, together with a rise in the usual gang-related violence in its poorer neighborhoods.A French employee of the WFP was freed last Thursday, two days after she was abducted in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.© 2020 AFPlast_img read more

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Jamaica Extends National Curfew Period Until Mid-May

first_imgAlso extended are the operating hours for markets, vending and public transportation centres, gas stations and public transportation as well as restrictions for barbershops and hair salons; closure of bars, night clubs and other places of amusement, beaches and rivers; work-from-home measures; and procedures regarding the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector. KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica government says the islandwide curfew, which would have ended on Wednesday, has now been extended to May 13 as the country continues to observe measures aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Holness said Cabinet has been examining the impact of the measures taken on the economy, which have been considerable but are necessary to contain and control the transmission of COVID-19. “The truth is that the measures have been very effective…without a workplace outbreak, Jamaica would be on a 20-day doubling curve. Holness said that some of the measures imposed are likely to remain in place for a period after the pandemic has passed such as the stay-at-home order for persons 70 years and over, in order to protect persons in that vulnerable age group. He said the curfew hours have worked very well, noting that the limit on movement, would have significantly curtailed the spread of the virus. “So, this order to stay at home, if you’re 70 years old, it is absolutely important and one that even after we have gone through the epidemic, we may very well have to keep it for a little while just to ensure that we protect the vulnerable group in our society,” he said, noting that the physical distancing of six feet and the wearing of masks in public may also “become a feature of our society going forward as we cope with COVID-19”. He noted that most of the deaths related to COVID-19 in the country involve persons 65 years and over with co-morbid conditions. “We will be contemplating adjustments to the curfew hours. But, again, it all has to be based on what the science is telling us, what the public health advice is, and we have to weigh that [against] the public interest,” Holness said. On Monday, Jamaica recorded its lowest COVID-19 daily increase in a month, with just two new cases, bringing the total to 471. So far, nine people have died from the virus. The 12 hour curfew had come into effect on April 1 and Prime Minister Andrew Holness announcing the extension said that as it relates to the other measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act, which also would have also expired on Wednesday, those will be further extended until May 31. These include the stay-at-home order for persons 70 years and over; the 10-person limit on public gatherings; physical distancing of six feet; the mandatory wearing of masks in the public space; and the duty of employers to provide transportation for exempted workers for the curfew hours. CMClast_img read more

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City of Miramar Announces Rent and Utility Assistance Fund To Assist…

first_imgMiramar City Hall To keep up with the latest information related to COVID-19 in the City of Miramar and to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to the Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance Program, visit MIRAMAR, FL (Thursday, May 14, 2020) – The City of Miramar today announced an Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance Program, which will provide one-time rental and utility assistance to income-eligible City of Miramar households that suffered job loss or pay-cuts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program’s funding will come from the City’s reallocation of Florida’s State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) funds. The one-time assistance does not have to be repaid and the program will be administered by the City’s Community Development Department. The program will provide relief payments of up to $7,000 per household to help cover a maximum of three months past due rent and utility costs. This assistance does not need to be repaid by the qualifying residents. Applicants must reside within the City of Miramar, no exceptions.Applicants must be qualified as Extremely Low, Very Low or Low-Income residents of the City of Miramar.Apply starting Friday, May 22, 2020.Applications can be downloaded at or by calling Community Redevelopment Associates of Florida at 954-431-7866 Ext: 110 to have an application mailed.Residents with limited or no internet access should call the City of Miramar’s Community Services Department at 954-889-2719 for assistance. The Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance Program is open to City of Miramar residents only who earn up to 80 percent of area median income based on household size, as determined by the chart below.“COVID-19 has greatly impacted many of our residents and some are having difficulty covering their basic needs which include paying the monthly rent and utility bills,” said Mayor Wayne Messam. “This program will help our residents who are most in need and priority will be given to special needs households,” he continued.The following are details on who may apply for the Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance Program and how to apply:last_img read more

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AITEO Cup Men’s Final Venue Revealed

first_imgThe venue for the 2017 AITEO Cup men’s final scheduled for October 15 has finally been revealed.According to a release from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Sunday night, the cup final would be played at the Agege Stadium in Lagos also known as ‘The Temple’.The statement from the NFF hinted at the inspection of facilities at the stadium by federation chiefs like Amaju Pinnick, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, Shehu Dikko etc.‘The Temple’ is the home of Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) side MFM FC and is in line to host CAF Champions League (CAFCL) matches next season after the club finished second behind champions Plateau United to secure qualification.Speaking in a chat with the NFF website, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi stated that the venue would be ready in time for the final. He is the head of the organising committee for the AITEO Cup in addition to being NFF’s first vice president.In his words, Akinwunmi said: “There are a few things we have to put right but, generally, we have a good facility here.“From Monday (October 2), work will begin on the few areas that we must put right and the other make –shift facilities that we would have to put up to achieve what we are determined to achieve.” he added.With the men’s cup final venue all but settled, there are still doubts over the date and venue for the women’s cup final.The men’s final and women’s final had always been played on the same day in recent years however the October 15 date is largely unlikely with the Nigerian Women’s Professional League (NWPL) Super Four finals scheduled for October 14 in Benin City.This means that the federation faces the race against time to stage the women’s final before the Annual General Assembly (AGA) scheduled for October 18.The Bayelsa capital, Yenagoa, has gotten the nod to stage the women’s cup final according to widespread reports but whether that’s possible remains to be seen with construction work currently ongoing at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa.RelatedAiteo Cup 2017 Men’s Final Venue Finally RevealedSeptember 11, 2017In “Nigeria”Female AITEO Cup Final To Be Played In Bayelsa – NFF ChiefJuly 11, 2017In “Competition”AUDIO: Only Top Referees Would Handle AITEO Cup Games — NFF 1st Vice PresidentAugust 15, 2017In “Nigeria”last_img read more

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‘The Bull’ Backs Unsworth For Everton Job

first_imgFormer Everton forward Daniel ‘The Bull’ Amokachi has backed former teammate David Unsworth for the vacant managerial post at the club.The Merseyside club sacked Ronald Koeman on Monday after a wretched start to the season prompting the club to put the club’s u23 manager, David Unsworth in temporary charge.In a chat with BBC World Service, former Super Eagles player and coach Amokachi drummed up support for his firmer teammate. He said:“He is somebody who is willing to die for the team.”“Once a blue, always a blue.“I would love to see him appointed. He has all the qualities to take Everton to the next level.” he added.Speaking further, Amokachi said:“There is always a first step that you take to become great.”“And he made that first step with the Under-23s.“He’s shown all the Evertonians he’s capable of bringing the best out of football players. I was back at Goodison Park three weeks ago and I saw how respected he is by all Evertonians.“We’ve seen in France, in Spain, where youth coaches came on board and did a great job. Why not Everton?“Give him a chance. You don’t need to bring somebody in and spend a fortune when you have somebody who can bring the best out of the players. Some fans want a high-profile coach but if you have somebody who can do the job, why not stick with him?” he concluded.Daniel Amokachi and David Unsworth played their part for Everton during the club’s last title win, the 1995 English FA Cup.Relatedlast_img read more

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Justin Helden – Fingaming – My ICE 2017

first_img Related Articles StumbleUpon Toby Oddy – Digital Fuel – Taking innovation by the horns to deliver a profitable service February 8, 2018 Share DATA.BET to make esports data debut in $250,000 ICE tournament January 15, 2020 Share Submit Jesper Søgaard – Better Collective – Bringing our industry beyond the screen at LAC February 8, 2018 Justin Helden is the CEO & Commercial Director of Fingaming, who are launching their small form factor betting product, Bildabet, at ICE 2017.Justin Helden, FingamingWith less than two weeks to go, we took the time to find out about the Fingaming plans for the London-based conference, and Helden’s memories of ICE conferences gone by.How I prepare for ICEJH: Pre-ICE I’m usually arranging meetings with customers, colleagues and friends, to catch up on the past year and to discuss plans for the year aheadWhat I’m doing at ICE 2017JH: This year we are exhibiting for the first time, as we launch our portfolio of Bildabet products for 2017. The retail industry has been crying out for a small-factor betting terminal that can be loyalty card or cash operated, so it will be very exciting and interesting.What I’m looking forward to at ICE 2017JH: I’m excited this year more than most because of our launch, but also as this is my 10th ICE so I love to see how technology and the products have changed year on year. Plus, I’m excited about what reaction our products will get from the industry.Where you will usually find me at ICEJH: I’ll be found on our stand obviously (S3-100), but also grabbing a coffee and a chat with clients and colleagues. I’m particularly looking forward to the London Baby after party on the first night.Favourite ICE memoryJH: I honestly don’t have ONE. I’ve been coming to ICE for quite a few years and I’ve genuinely enjoyed them all, it’s always great to see old friends.Typical post-ICE activityJH: Sleeping! I know this year more than most will be hectic and very tiring. Friday is a definite day off and then back to contacting all the new people we met on Monday morning.last_img read more

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Unique clan concept stands out for iGP powered 7 Gods Casino

first_img The Malta-licensed 7 Gods Casino has applied a clan-based ranking system to boost the personalisation and retention of its live casino, slots and poker offering.7 Gods Casino is a brainchild of Innovaventis, a business and technology consultancy working to bring best breed of modern gamification approaches to iGaming. The casino is powered by Innovaventis’ partner company iGaming Platform (iGP), and hosts 1,500+ games featuring content from leading providers NetEnt, Microgaming, BetSoft, Evolution Gaming and GameArt amongst many others.However, 7 Gods’ big pull is the revolutionary concept of players’ clan-based advance in ranks, growing beyond VIP levels – even though it starts out with them. As players advance from ‘newbies’ to premium-level VIP-clients, they pass through the custody of seven particular gods of the pantheon during registration process, ending up as an honoured agent of the pantheon’s paramount deity, reinforced by the full-powered bonus offered by the current pantheon. In this way, players are free to choose between seven unparalleled ways of progress.“We stake on features of multiplayer role-playing games,” explained Innovaventis CEO Mikayel Shahinyan. “Character gradual level-ups, clan system and highest possible personalisation of the gaming experience – all these things are a tremendously important retention factor for all players. And we are injecting this into gambling.”The casino has more than 40 payment systems on board and supports six currencies – US dollar, pound, euro, NZ dollar, Swedish krona and Norwegian krone – with more to be added. It is also one of the brands promoted within the GPWA trusted Friends of 7 affiliate network. Innovaventis will participate at iGB Live in Amsterdam to promote 7 Gods Casino and its technology. Visit the Innovaventis team (Stand E24) to learn more about the product and partnership opportunities. Submit Genesis to appeal UKGC’s ‘disproportionate suspension’ July 23, 2020 Share Share TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon iGB Live postponed due to COVID concerns July 31, 2020last_img read more

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Winning Post: Pre-COVID fragility doesn’t bode well for UK gambling

first_img Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020 Share Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 Share Related Articles maintains momentum against COVID-19 impacts August 19, 2020 StumbleUpon Submit Regulus Partners begins the week by looking at the gambling industry’s perceived fragility pre-COVID and the Swedish ministerial ‘climb down’ on deposit and bonus limits.UK: Regulation – Daily Mail relieves Gambling Commission of dutyIt seems that one of the effects of Covid-19 has been an abacus shortage in officialdom, so little do matters add up anymore. This week, the Gambling Commission took the highly unusual step for a regulator to announce that it had been unable to levy a £3.5m sanction on one of its licensees (Playtech) because of those pernickety things called erm…regulations.It was thus left to the Daily Mail to force the issue, gently persuading Playtech to pay the sum voluntarily; and raising the question of whether responsibility for regulating Britain’s gambling industry has now been transferred from Victoria Square House to Fleet Street.The latest sad chapter of Britain’s gambling review centred on the death by suicide in 2017 of Chris Bruney, a young man from Sheffield, who had been a ‘VIP customer’ with the Playtech subsidiary, Winner (with whom he spent a net £35,000). Almost two years later, the Gambling Commission opened an investigation into the matter. It found a number of social responsibility and source of funds failings in relation to the treatment of Mr Bruney and VIPs more generally.Following the conclusion of the investigation (in October 2019), Playtech paid £620,000 towards the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms and also committed £5m over five years for mental health and gambling-related charities. At this point, Playtech surrendered a licence seemingly kept open only in order to facilitate the probe. It is far from clear that the company exploited any loopholes to evade punishment – or even that such loopholes exist.There is no suggestion that Playtech failed to cooperate with the investigation; indeed, it accepted the findings without demur. The Commission’s press release grumbled that the company had not made notification of the suicide but given that the Daily Mail had carried the tragic news as early as June 2018 this seems a weak excuse for what the activist, Matt Zarb-Cousin (of Clean Up Gambling) described as the regulator’s “failure to act quickly”.What is not clear from the Commission’s ruling is whether the fine it felt unable to levy reflected the nature of Playtech’s social responsibility failings (not contested by the company) or the perceived consequences. Cases of death by suicide are both highly emotive and deeply complex, which is why the Samaritans repeatedly warn (and are repeatedly ignored by the press, MPs and others) against over-simplification or sensationalist reporting.When the TV presenter Caroline Flack (who had been hounded by the press) died earlier this year, the media were quick to point out the multi-factorial nature of suicide; but such nuances tend to evaporate from reporting where self-interest is not involved.The Daily Mail cited a coroner’s ruling that Mr Bruney’s death was “caused in part by the ‘shame of gambling’” which would indicate that other factors may also have been involved (and made no mention of Playtech or any of the other licensees that Mr Bruney transacted with). If it was the Commission’s intention this week to imply licensee culpability for the tragic death of a young man then it probably succeeded; but in so doing it opened up the question of wider responsibility, including its own. Further, there have been attempts in the recent past, in the UK and elsewhere, to establish state responsibility in similar cases – it is difficult to know where the cost of blame might end up.This week’s events have inflicted further damage on the standing of Britain’s licensed gambling industry as it sails towards a major review of gambling legislation; but it has also exposed the Gambling Commission once again to questions of transparency and competence. With a (presumably damning) Public Accounts Committee report expected soon, significant change at the Commission is looking increasingly likely. In the interests of governance and human tolerance, we must hope that the installation of the Daily Mail in its caretaker role as Britain’s gambling regulator is only a temporary measure.UK: Casinos – Latest Report Reveals pre-Covid Sector FragilityThe publication of the land based casino drop in win figures for the period to March 2020, highlights the fragility of the sector as it entered the Coronavirus emergency. For the first time in eight years, revenue from table games was recorded below £750m – a long way from the 2014 peak of more than £1bn – although these figures exclude around £225m of machine revenue.The high-end has been particularly hard hit as a result of a weakening international market and progressively more intrusive regulatory requirements. Revenue for the year fell to £109m – more than 60% lower than in 2015 when six London clubs generated nearly £300m in table gaming income and substantially less than the £137m reported by one club (Les Ambassadeurs) in 2014.The data hardly bodes well for a sector that has been shuttered since 20th March and – along with most operators in the hospitality industry – faces severe challenges upon reopening. High-end clubs face the additional issue that the international high-roller market is likely to remain in abeyance while travel restrictions and quarantine measures remain in place. Even after customers are permitted to travel with relative freedom, it is not clear how many of them will choose to do so.The sector has long lamented the preservation of legacy approaches to regulation and taxation (with effective rates of duty in excess of 45% for some) that pre-date the advent of online gambling and so reflect a more restrictive approach to licensing. Revival of this historic and culturally rich sector of Britain’s gambling industry may require a somewhat more enlightened approach from regulators and legislators than in recent years.Sweden: revenue statistics and regulatory change – little Chance and no Free ParkingThe Swedish Gambling Authority has reported Q120 GGR figures that demonstrate overall online resilience. Headline GGR for Q120 is SEK3,657 (€350m), flat QoQ and up 7.2% YoY – roughly in line with other mature markets and demonstrating limited net effect (positive or negative) from COVID-19 disruption. The state lottery (including VLTs) was 34% down QoQ to €110m but against a very strong Q4, the YoY decline was 21%; land based casinos were also down 20% against their run-rate average to €20m, reflecting thinning attendance (social distancing measures + consumer behaviour) followed by closure (from 29 March: right at the end of the period). Land Based bingo (not for profit) was down 10% to €5m, again reflecting social distancing measures (they remain open), while restaurant casino was down 23% also to €5m (social distancing, many closed).Given that Sweden reports GGR including bonuses and that the number of online licensees has remained broadly flat (71 in Q120), Sweden’s NGR position is likely to have improved materially as sign-on bonuses are washed through the system. We would estimate that Q119 bonusing was c. 40% of GGR (as everyone was trying to capture customers and all could offer everyone a bonus), a figure which is now likely to be c. 20% (less than the typical figure due to the regulatory distortion, but with plenty of licensees to go round for all but the most avid bonus hunters). On an NGR basis, YoY growth is therefore likely to be a much more impressive 40% as bonus distortions were through.Sweden is therefore rather bizarrely doing two things at once: it has significantly improved the monetisation of its regular player base and therefore revenue channelling (albeit from over-generosity rather than a black market), while also increasingly encouraging a black market as customers run out of sign-on bonuses within the domestically regulated market and seek unlicensed alternatives (something they and the operators are legally entitled to do so long as the operators do not ‘target’ Swedish customers: see WPs passim).The problem for the Swedish domestically regulated market is that the first driver has now likely largely washed through while the second driver is only just getting going (as reported previously while the black market assessments may be broadly accurate, the fact that they are GGR-based exaggerates the impact due to bonus distortion). Further, judging from Q1 operator results, the vast majority of the net revenue growth gains are accruing to the former monopolies (which also report GGR) rather than former .com licensees.Sweden is therefore growing net revenue to the benefit of former monopolies while also likely to have an increasing problem from a black market: former .com licensees are caught in the middle of this. They have a major problem, albeit not the one that is typically presented (an existing rampant black market).It is within this context that the ministerial ‘climb down’ on deposit and bonus limits should be seen. By hitting only gaming (and only from likely from July), these measures will do little to impact the former monopolies (which are much stronger at betting than gaming, have nearly all of their actives already and the limits are likely to be high enough for most of their customers to be unaffected), but they will give further incentives for VIPs especially to find offshore casino supply – and make it harder for smaller casino-led operators to attract customers. The Swedish licensed former .com sector, gaming and VIP-led as much of it is, is therefore likely to be hit even harder. It’s as if the former monopolies were writing the rules all along…last_img read more

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