A privilege to assist Elaine get her third gold — Fraser-Pryce

Sports August 19, 2016

4x100m relay team easily qualify for final, Elaine Thompson rested

Double Olympic 100m champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won triple gold in the 100m, 200m and the 4x100m at the 2013 Moscow World Championships, is determined, along with other team members, to do everything in their powers to secure a third gold for Elaine Thompson. Thompson has already taken home the 100m and 200m crowns.

Fraser-Pryce gave her commitment after anchoring Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team to easily qualify for the final yesterday.

“Elaine deserves it. She works really hard and I am looking forward to seeing her come into the 4×100 team, and hopefully she can get that third gold medal. I always knew this was possible, so it’s a privilege to be able to assist in that manner. “It’s always an honour to represent the country and to run with the ladies. “I am just looking forward to the final now that we are in safely,” Fraser-Pryce said. With Thompson being rested following her golden exploits in the 100m and 200m, the quartet (in order) of Simone Facey, her cousin Sashalee Forbes, Veronica Campbell Brown and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won conservatively in 41.79 seconds. Great Britain’s team of Asha Philip, Desiree Henry, Dina Asher-Smith and Darryl Neita was second in 41.93 seconds. The Brits challenged Jamaica briefly before Fraser-Pryce gently stepped on the accelerator and moved away for a facile victory. Ukraine was third with 42.49 seconds. Veronica Campbell Brown, who was on the third leg before sending Fraser-Pryce on her way with a slight lead, was very happy with the team’s performance. “We came out here to just get to the final. We did that and we are just looking to that final run,” said a confident Campbell-Brown. Facey, who led off and passed to her cousin, said she is feeling good after the team secured their final berth. “Right now I am really happy that we were able to go out there as a team and execute and get to the final. “Can’t ask for anything else — we are through safely and that’s the important thing,” added Facey. Sashalee Forbes, who had the task of running against the 200m silver medallist Dafne Schippers on the backstretch, something which she did well, said she was under no pressure. “No nerves at all, I was very comfortable. “I know I just had to go out there and do what my coach asked of me and what Jamaica was expecting, so it was a great race,” said Forbes, who is expected to be replaced by Thompson for the final. Noticeably, too, was the absence of Christania Williams, who suffered from cramps in the final of the 100m. It is still uncetain at this time if Williams will run. The final is set today at 8:15 pm (Jamaica time).

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Maths teachers leaving for jobs overseas

News post August 19, 2016

Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid (left) expressing concerns about the departure of teachers in critical subject areas from the secondary school system. He was speaking at a press conference held at the education ministry at Heroes Circle yesterday. Also participating are state minister in the education ministry, Floyd Green (centre) and Permanent Secretary Dr Maurice Smith. (Photo: Michael Gordon)

The education ministry has confirmed that a number of teachers in the critical subject area of math are taking up jobs overseas and will not be returning to the secondary school system in the upcoming academic year. However, the ministry said it is uncertain at this point exactly how many teachers are quitting. Speaking at a press conference at the ministry’s head office at Heroes Circle yesterday, portfolio minister Senator Ruel Reid disclosed that out of an overall total of 1,784 high school math teachers, only 207 are fully qualified to teach up to Grade 11. Last year, 111 of those left, leaving 96 fully qualified math teachers in the system. “It is believed many took up teaching opportunities overseas. Undoubtedly, this would have affected the preparation of a number of students. In addition, this loss would have a significant impact on the ability of schools to maintain the standards of teaching and learning established particularly over the past four years,” Reid told journalists. He was speaking against the background of the results of the 2016 Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) examinations, which show a 14.3 per cent decline in math grades over last year. Senator Reid said the ministry could not yet confirm how many math and science teachers are leaving, because oftentimes they do not notify the schools until the last minute. “By the end of October we will have a general picture of what is taking place, because as we speak, there are movements taking place (and) some schools are not even aware yet whether teachers are not returning,” he said. “In my experience, unfortunately they do not tell you whether they are leaving or not, and even if you ask, the answer may not necessarily be accurate, so it’s a challenge. You’re really not going to know until school resumes.” Under the Education Act a teacher may terminate their employment without notice if there is a written agreement between the teacher and the school board. Unilateral termination without the consent of the board can attract a charge of professional misconduct. It is not clear, however, how this penalty could be applied in the case of a teacher who has migrated. Senator Reid noted that at one point recruitment for overseas jobs was done through the Government, but teachers are now being recruited privately through various media. “That is a problem. The recruitment is not going through the protocols that we have established,” he said. At the same time, the education minister stressed that the Government is putting measures in place to plug whatever gaps may be left in the system, including deploying an additional 50 mathematics coaches across the island. One prominent traditional high school in Kingston has confirmed that it has lost three math and science teachers going into the 2016 academic year. Kingston College Principal Dave Myrie referred to the issue as the “second wave” of teacher migration, in a Jamaica Observer interview. “They saw it as a good opportunity, and I can understand people looking at opportunities and wanting to make a better life for themselves. The entire family is moving in one of the cases. I wouldn’t say it’s going to affect us because they advised from early that the possibility exists (so) we advertised fairly early. We also had other options already looking at that we could explore, once we had confirmation of the move,” he explained. The boys’ school principal stressed however that replacing math and science teachers is usually a hard task. “If you’re losing enough, it means that there is going to be a shortage at some point, and you lose experience. You don’t want to be losing experienced persons,” Myrie stated. The Observer also learnt that another prominent Kingston school will see six teachers taking up jobs overseas in September, some of them heads of departments. However, the principal of that school could not be contacted for comment. Meanwhile, Ardenne High Principal Nadine Molloy insists that incentives must be put on the table if the country wants to keep its qualified teachers. “We have not been able to get to the place where we can pay people. Successive governments have failed to look at incentivising those areas that we need to retrain teachers in…we may have to put some incentive programmes in place that will keep teachers in the system for some time,” she said. “We can train persons, we just need to look at where we have the gaps and work with the principals and teachers to fill the gaps. Let’s quickly get to the drawing board and see how we can better equip those persons who are left behind to take up the slack,” Molloy added.

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Improved passes in 13 CSEC subjects

News post August 19, 2016

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) –The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, is reporting improved passes in 13 of the 35 subjects taken by students in this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examination.

Of the 34,486 students, who sat the exams, 29,406 obtained passes ranging from grades 1-3, reflecting a pass rate of 85.2 per cent. Of the candidates who sat, 19,362 were females and 15,124 were males.  This was disclosed by portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, during a press conference today (August 18) at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle offices in Kingston to provide results for CSEC, the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and City and Guilds. He informed that the highest percentage increase of 12.3 per cent was recorded in Biology. There were improvements in Human and Social Biology, of 4.9 percentage points; and Physics, 0.7 percentage points. Minister Reid informed that the pass rate for English Language was 71.2 per cent reflecting a 6.2 percentage point increase.  Meanwhile, the 47.7 per cent pass rate for Mathematics was a 14.3 percentage point decline over 2015. He said the ministry will be implementing a number of initiatives to deal with the decline in Mathematics, which comes after three consecutive years of improvement in the subject area. Among them is ensuring that there are more adequately trained teachers in the system. “Based on our 2013/2014 census, only 207 of the 1,784 mathematics teachers deployed in the secondary education system are fully qualified to teach mathematics to grade 11. This means only 207 have at least a bachelors’ degree in mathematics teaching,” he pointed out. He said it is estimated that 111 fully qualified teachers left the system in 2015, which would have affected the preparation of a significant number of students, and the ability of schools to maintain the standards of teaching and learning. Meanwhile, 59,394 students sat CAPE Units One and Two, attaining an overall pass rate of 86.6 per cent, which is 1.7 percentage points below the 88.3 per cent average pass rate for 2015. “Student performance in Agricultural Science and Environmental Science recorded the strongest movement of 12.4 per cent and 12.2 per cent, respectively,” the Education minister informed. Candidates recorded improvements in Mathematics-related subjects, with a 10.8 per cent pass rate for Electrical and Electronic Technology; and Pure and Applied Mathematics at 2.6 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively. There were also improvements in Caribbean Studies (2.8 per cent); History (5.4 per cent); Management of Business (5.1 per cent); Physics (0.4 per cent) and Sociology (2.4 per cent). For City and Guilds, there were 11,029 entries for assessment in reading and writing. Of this total, approximately 8,400 were from grade 11 and close to 2,600 from the Career Advancement Programme (CAP). At grade 11, the overall pass rate for all three stages combined was 70.65 per cent.

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Lesson for Jamaica in Mr Usain Bolt’s historic feat

Sports August 18, 2016

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt waves his national flag as he celebrates winning the Men’s 100m final last night. (OLIVIER MORIN) It took Mr Usain Bolt a mere 41 strides in 9.81 illustrious seconds to further cement his name in Olympic history Sunday night. But the fact that the Jamaican became the first man ever to win three successive Olympic 100 metre titles has defined him beyond the Olympics. Mr Bolt is, no doubt, the greatest sprinter that the world has ever seen, and few would argue against the claim that he’s Earth’s most prodigious athlete.

While his world record runs in the 100 metres at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the London games in 2012 were special, Sunday night’s victory in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was awe-inspiring because it represented the first step in his quest to win a historic ‘triple-triple’ combination of gold in the 100 metres, 200 metres and the 4×100 metres relay in three consecutive Olympics. Today, Mr Bolt will begin making the second step in that quest when he competes in the heats of his pet event, the 200 metres. He has told us that he hopes to smash his own world record — 19.19 seconds set in Berlin, Germany, in 2009. “I really want (the) 200m world record. If I can get a good rest after the semi-finals, there’s a possibility I could,” he told journalists after Sunday night’s 100 metres. “When it comes to the 200 metres, I’m much more confident. The 100 metres is always the hardest one for me.” Whether he will achieve that feat is left to be seen, but many people have come to learn that betting against him is risky. But even if Mr Bolt doesn’t break the record, the very fact that he has set it as another goal speaks to his fixity of purpose and his unwavering belief in his ability to succeed at the highest level. That, we hold, is one of the fundamental lessons that Mr Bolt’s life of hard work and determination offers to all Jamaicans. While we praise him for his achievements — and he deserves every accolade — all Jamaicans, we believe, must consider it their duty to work with the same level of discipline, as Mr Bolt does at is craft, in order to make Jamaica a better country. We reiterate that our leaders should move beyond the swift congratulatory messages that they revel in releasing, and work with the same determination displayed by Mr Bolt, and indeed our other athletes, to correct the ills of this country that we all love. That, we believe, would be one of the greatest tributes that this country could pay to someone like Mr Bolt, who has lifted Jamaica’s name globally since 2008 by totally dominating world athletics. For, as we have often stated in this space, if Jamaica can be this successful in world athletics, we can replicate that success in other areas. For now, though, we await with heightened anticipation the next five days of Olympic competition and hope that Mr Bolt will indeed achieve the goals he has set for himself. And, as we watch him compete, we should all consider ourselves fortunate to be witnessing history in the making.

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Shut it down!

News post August 18, 2016

 Falmouth mayor under fire over drain project, A trench with stagnant water at a section of Market Street in Falmouth.

FALMOUTH, Trelawny Custos of Trelawny, businessman Paul Muschett, has called for the suspension of work on the construction of the multi-million dollar streetscape project now underway along Market Street in the north western town of Falmouth, until worrying safety issues are resolved.

“Mr Mayor [Councillor Garth Wilkinson] let me just say this, the construction should be shut down immediately until the man [contractors] have remedial work done. You can’t have a piece of rope dividing pedestrians from the construction. Come on man!” the custos said. “If it was abroad that construction would have been shut down and people taken to court because it is a public safety hazard.” The outspoken Muschett was speaking at a meeting last week with Mayor of Falmouth Councillor Garth Wilkinson and members of the business community who are up in arms over the displacement and inconvenience being experienced in sections of Falmouth since the start of the project. President of the Trelawny Chamber of Commerce Delroy Christie questioned why the project was not halted when the contractors started to do both sides of the usually busy Market Street. “The programme should have started from the west then the east side. So from the first day they start digging on both sides you shut down the work. So why didn’t that happen?” asked the Chamber boss. But Mayor Wilkinson explained that for expediency, he insisted that the two sides be done simultaneously. “ I wanted and I never relented… I was the one who wanted it done with speed,” the Falmouth mayor conceded, adding that the time frame for the project, which commenced in May, is roughly six months. Wilkinson further illustrated that he took the lesson from the long delays encountered by the Falmouth Street leg of the project, in arriving at the decision. “Falmouth Street became a nightmare. For months and months you couldn’t drive on Falmouth Street because we basically locked off Falmouth Street. Falmouth Street was a disaster for close to nine months. We never want the same to happen to us on Market Street and one of the insistences is that the contractors do the street at the fastest time possible,” Wilkinson told the gathering. But, the explanation did nothing to appease the business interests in attendance at the meeting, who claimed they were not aware of the project until tractors starting excavating the sidewalks, leaving gaping “trenches” in front of their business establishments, denying customers easy access. “As we speak there is a 10-yard crater in front of my store and this has been the case since the 19th of June. When are we going to allow the customers to enter my store? I operate a pharmacy, which services sick people, some of whom are wheelchair bound. Since they have nowhere to access -bearing in mind, nobody to this date has indicated to us that work is going to be done in front of our store – we are going to be displaced… ,” businesswoman Sonia Shirley argued. Another businesswoman, Doreen HoSue, who operates on the same building, expressed similar sentiments. “I only came one day to see a tractor before my parkway there. Nobody has told us what is going on. There is no access, the steps were knocked down. Six weeks now and I have to park my car elsewhere; I have to take a taxi … nobody informed the business people that there would be construction of any sort there,” Hosue said. But, Wilkinson, who apologised for the inconvenience caused by the project, pointed out that during a public consultation, where most of the businesspeople were in attendance, the scope of the project was explained. “I must apologise as the chairman of the Trelawny Parish Council for the inconvenience that has been caused by the work that is presently being done. It was not easy for us to put this together the project that we have worked long and hard for,” the mayor of Falmouth said. The Tourism Enhancement Fund is financing the project with the Trelawny Parish Council, the Port Authority of Jamaica and the Urban Development Corporation, as the monitoring agencies.

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Something special in store

Sports August 18, 2016

Bolt jogs 19.78 secs in 200m semi-final; Gatlin, Blake, Ashmeade out. Usain Bolt (right) having an exchange with Canada’s Andre De Grasse. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

World record holder Usain Bolt literally jogged 19.78 (-0.3) seconds to easily win his 200m semi-final and looked to be on course for something special in the final of the event set for 8:30 pm (Jamaica time) today.

Bolt looked really awesome as he ran the first 100m before pulling up the handbrakes and eased home in a season’s best 19.78 seconds. “I definitely think I can go after the world record; I definitely feel that. It’s all about executing right; running the corner efficiently and coming in the straight and run the perfect race,” said Bolt. Bolt, who says he hopes to get lane six or seven which could be better for his world record attempt, refused to be beaten in the semi-final despite a strong effort from Canadian Andre De Grasse, who tried to sneak past him. De Grasse, for his effort, broke his national record timing 19.80 seconds. “I wanted to run slower, but De Grasse had other ideas. “He decided that he wanted to run fast, and I could actually see that he meant business,” Bolt said with a grin on his face. Bolt then confirmed that he is on track for the world record after his super display in this his third 200m of the season. “It means, I am on the right track, that I am energetic, and everything is going smooth. So, hopefully I get a top lane tomorrow (today) which is always better for me, because I am taller, so hopefully everything will go well,” he stated. Yohan Blake who won silver at the London Games in 2012, tied up badly in the straight and finished sixth in 20.37 seconds. American Justin Gatlin also surprisingly joined Blake on the sidelines, despite finishing third in 20.13 seconds. Gatlin was ninth fastest overall. Alonso Edwards of Panama took Gatlin’s heat in 20.07 seconds ahead of veteran Churandy Martina of the Netherlands with 20.10 seconds. “I felt good coming off the turn, then I couldn’t feel myself going home, I don’t know what happened in that part of the race,” Blake said. “I think that the lack of races posed a problem, but I don’t like to find excuses, so I just came out here and did what I had to do, but it wasn’t enough,” he noted. Nickel Ashmeade’s poor performance at the Olympics continued as he could only finish fourth in 20.31 seconds and failed to advance from semi-final one. A comfortable looking LaShawn Merritt of the United States eased to victory in 19.94 seconds ahead of the fast-closing Christophe Lemaitre of France in 20.01 seconds.

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Cops search for missing colleague

News post August 18, 2016

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The police are this morning searching for one of their colleagues who reportedly went missing on Monday. He is 28-year-old Richard Logan, a district constable assigned to the St Andrew North Division. Logan, who is of Brooks Level Road, Stony Hill in St Andrew, is said to have a brown complexion, slim build and is about 170 centimetres (5 feet 7 inches) tall.

Reports from the Stony Hill Police are that Logan was last seen in the Stony Hill square about 7:00 pm Monday, dressed in a red plaid shirt, grey jeans pants and a pair of combat boots. All efforts to contact him have proven futile. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Richard Logan is being asked to contact the Stony Hill Police at 942-2223, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station. No photograph of Richard Logan was available at the time of this publication.

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#ReadySetRio: Today’s Olympics schedule for Jamaican athletes

Sports August 18, 2016

(FromL) Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson, Jamaica’s Annsert Whyte and South Africa’s L. J. Van Zyl compete in the Men’s 400m Hurdles Semifinal during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016. (Photo: AFP) RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — The men’s and women’s 4x100m relays kick off today as Usain Bolt seeks to cement his legacy of sporting immortality with an Olympic triple-triple.

Meanwhile, national champion Annsert Whyte hunts the 400m gold at 10:00 am after lowering his personal best for the second time in two days, clocking 48.32 seconds to win his semi-final round yesterday. Then, Leah Nugent, Ristananna Tracey and Janieve Russell will all take their places in the 400m hurdles, the first time in the history of Jamaica’s participation in the Olympic Games (first time 1948) that the country will have this distinct honour. The stage is set for an epic race at 8:15 pm (Jamaica time) as Nugent is drawn in lane two; Tracey gets lane seven with Russell outside her in lane eight.

 MORNING SESSION 

Men’s Shot Put (Qualifications) 7:55 am

O’Dayne Richards

Women’s 4x100m Relay (Round One) 9:20 am

(Athletes: Simone Facey to Sashalee Forbes to Veronica Campbell-Brown to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce )

Men’s 4x100m Relay (Round One) 9:40 am

(Athletes: Jevaughn Minzie to Asafa Powell to Nickel Ashmeade to Kemar Bailey-Cole)

Men’s 400m Hurdles (Final)  10:00AM

Annsert Whyte

EVENING SESSION

Men’s Shot Put (Final) 6:30 pm

Women’s 400m Hurdles (Final) 8:15 pm

Leah Nugent, Ristananna Tracey and Janieve Russell

Men’s 200m (Final) 8:30 pm

Usain Bolt

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Plans advanced for use of drones to combat praedial larceny

News post August 17, 2016

Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries JC Hutchinson (centre), has the full attention of farmers in Lowe River, Trelawny yesterday. ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries JC Hutchinson, says plans are well advanced for the use of drones to combat the problem of praedial larceny.

Addressing farmers and other stakeholders at a drone demonstration session in Lowe River, Trelawny, yesterday, Hutchinson informed that the unmanned aerial vehicles will be equipped with technology to locate stolen animals.

He noted that the use of the drones is expected to provide relief for farmers, who have been facing significant losses as a result of farm theft. It is estimated that some $5 billion worth of crops and livestock are lost annually due to the scourge. “Praedial larceny is one of those problems that have been plaguing farmers and have been threatening the growth of the sector for decades,” Hutchinson pointed out. “We are not saying the drones will be the end all, but we see where they can be an effective fighting tool against this scourge. This problem has stifled the growth of the sector and is a deterrent to many people who want to get into agriculture. We feel that the use of drones could be a game changer and the ringing in of a new era in the fight against praedial larceny,” he said. Hutchinson noted that the parish of Trelawny was the first stop for the drone demonstration, adding that sessions will be carried out in other parts of the island.

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MOCA, TAJ target tax evaders in Clarendon

News post August 17, 2016

The operations, which began at 5:30 am Wednesday is targeting “chronically delinquent taxpayers” who have refused to comply with the orders of the court, the TAJ said in a news release.KINGSTON, Jamaica – Members of the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) and Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) continue operations in sections of Clarendon today, to recover outstanding taxes from tax evaders.

The operations are expected to continue for several hours.

The TAJ said yesterday’s operations in the Old Harbour communities of Marlie Gardens, Old Harbour Villas, Aviary, New Harbour Village, Rhone Park Estate, Church Pen, and East Street resulted in 17 taxpayers making full payments on spot, while several others paid down significant amounts with  arrangements to settle the outstanding sums shortly. TAJ said it will continue to carry out enforcement activities to ensure the protection of the revenue. “Taxpayers are encouraged to speak with the tax authority to make suitable arrangements, if they are faced with difficulties in honouring their tax obligations, particularly where a judgement has been handed down by the court,” TAJ said. “Failure to comply with a court order will result in strong enforcement action to recover the outstanding amounts.”

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Grace Foods recalls curry products due to lead contamination

Sports August 17, 2016

KINGSTON, Jamaica – GraceKennedy Limited has announced the recall of batches of its curry products that were packaged in the United States and distributed within the US, Bermuda and the Bahamas. GraceKennedy said Wednesday that the recall has been initiated due to the presence of lead in some variants of curry products which former supplier Miami-based Oriental Packing Company, Inc produced for GraceKennedy Foods (USA) and other companies.

The following batches of curry products are being recalled:

Product Net Weight Best Before Date & Batch Number Grace Mild Jamaican Style Curry Powder in glass container – 2 oz; Best Before Date and Batch Number: BB 03/11/19 OPCLOT # 030716 and

BB 03/28/19 OPCLOT # 032516

Grace Mild Jamaican Style Curry Powder in glass container – 6 oz; Best Before Date and Batch Number: BB 03/11/19 OPCLOT # 030716

Grace Hot Jamaican Style Curry Powder in glass container – 2 oz; Best Before Date and Batch Number: BB 03/11/19 OPCLOT # 030716 and BB 03/28/19 OPCLOT # 032516

Grace Hot Jamaican Style Curry Powder in glass container – 6 oz; Best Before Date and Batch Number: BB 03/11/19 OPCLOT # 030716 and BB 04/11/19 OPCLOT # 040816

Grace Caribbean Tradition Hot Curry Powder in plastic container – 4 oz; Best Before Date and Batch Number: BB 12/14/19 OPCLOT # 121115; BB 12/14/19 OPCLOT # 120115; BB 03/11/19 OPCLOT # 030716; BB 03/28/19 OPCLOT # 032516; and BB 04/11/19 OPCLOT # 040816

Lead can accumulate in the body over time, and may cause serious and sometimes permanent adverse health consequences. To date, no illnesses have been reported in connection with the products being recalled, GraceKennedy said in a news release.

Consumers who may have purchased the Grace curry products bearing the above best before dates and corresponding batch numbers, should not consume them, GraceKennedy advised. Instead consumers should return same to point of purchase, where the full cost will be refunded.

The best before dates and batch numbers can be found on the top of the product caps.

“GraceKennedy wishes to assure consumers that their safety is paramount and that providing safe, high quality products to our consumers remains our number one priority,” Ryan Mack, president and CEO of GraceKennedy Foods (USA), stated.

He added that the recall did not include any other batches of Grace Curry products.

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Lasco apologises, fires employee who posted controversial tweet

Sports August 17, 2016

Jamaica’s Omar McLeod celebrates winning the Men’s 110m Hurdles Final during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016. (Photo: AFP) KINGSTON, Jamaica – Following last night’s gold medal performance by Omar McLeod at the Rio Olympics in Brazil, a controversial tweet was made from Lasco Distributors Limited’s Twitter handle in reference to the new Olympic 110-metre hurdles champion.

Facing heavy backlash on the social media website, the manufacturing, packaging and distribution company deleted the tweet and has since apologised. In a statement issued last night, the company also said they have fired the employee who posted the tweet. “Earlier this evening an unauthorised and offensive tweet was posted via our company account.

 We wish to sincerely apologise to our fans, friends, customers, consumers, partners, Jamaicans and everyone for this terrible act,” Lasco said. “Most importantly, we issue our sincerest apologies to Mr Omar McLeod.”

In the statement, the company said its affiliated companies were also “offended by such utterances which are a clear breach of our own values”.

“Consequently, we have removed the tweet and deactivated the account. Further, we have terminated the employee who posted the tweet as this action was a violation of our code of conduct,” Lasco continued.

Lasco then went on to say that they have the utmost respect for McLeod’s remarkable achievement.

“We congratulate him on his gold medal victory in the Men’s 110m Hurdles Olympic event,” the company said. “We deeply regret any embarrassment or displeasure caused by the post and again offer our sincerest apologies.”

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