Interview with Jamaica’s Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, Brigadier General Rocky R. Meade

first_imgBy Dialogo January 19, 2012 “We are past the point where we think the military has no business in law enforcement. This is the military’s business,” stated Jamaica’s Chief of Defence during the Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC) 2011. Major General Antony Anderson said this because Jamaica has a homicide rate of 52 per 100,000, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. That makes it the fourth most-violent country in the world after Honduras, El Salvador and Cote d’Ivoire. Jamaica decided to tackle this issue by making the country’s armed forces more involved through direct support of soldiers and joint patrolling. It is also offering training and course development for and with the Police, among other capacities. According to the regional chiefs of defense attending CANSEC 2012, held in St. Kitts and Nevis in December 2011, and co-sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command, this is a good model to emulate. Diálogo spoke to Jamaica’s Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, Brigadier General Rocky R. Meade about this and other issues that affect Jamaica and other nations in the Caribbean and beyond. Diálogo: What are the main issues affecting Jamaica in terms of security and defense now? Brigadier General Rocky R. Meade: The most significant is Transnational Organized Crime [TCO], though it’s common across the region. In Jamaica, the issue of TCO manifests itself in a lot of violent criminal activities, such a high murder rate. Our murder rate, for example, is much too high for a country like ours, and from our analysis, the majority of those killings are related to Transnational Organized Crime of different sorts, so I would say it is the major issue. The other issue we have, which is of significance, is unplanned events that have a major impact, for example natural or man-made disasters; anything that can happen in an emergency that we have to respond that affects our national security. Those are the two main areas of focus that we have and we work with the region to try and resolve. Diálogo: What has Jamaica done to improve these issues at the nation and regional level? Brig. Gen. Rocky R. Meade: In Jamaica we work very closely with the Police. What we do is provide the resources that the Police does not have, including maritime resources, air resources, and additional man power. The intelligence aspect is quite important as well, and we work with all of our partners internally and externally to make sure we have a common intelligence picture so that we can prosecute it. From a disaster perspective, we have disaster agents that we support since we are the ones with the air resources to support disaster relief. We also respond to the region – when Haiti had the earthquake – we were the first to send resources, so we have this regional collaboration as well. Diálogo: We understand that other countries want to emulate what is being done in Jamaica. Why is that? Brig. Gen. Rocky R. Meade: Because we have had years of working with the Police. We had some great success last year [2010] with an internal security problem that we had. We have been reducing the murder rate consistently from last year with this partnership that we have with the Police, so once there’s success, others will want to see how we do this and we are quite happy to assist. Diálogo: Is there a mandate in which the Armed Forces help support the Police Force? Brig. Gen. Rocky R. Meade: Yes. There is a mandate. We are governed by the Defense Act and in it there is a clause for us to assist the civil authority, and the Police come under that. The prime minister gives us direct operational permission to assist the Police because we cannot engage within our country as a military without that authority. So the two instruments that affect us are direct instructions from the prime minister for us to move forward in that assistance, but the Defense Act as a broad umbrella document provides the legal framework for us to assist the Police. Diálogo: Does Jamaica fall under the category of countries in the region being used as transit countries for illicit activity that leaves behind weapons to be used for violent crimes? What is being done to counter this and how can it be applied to other countries? Brig. Gen. Rocky R. Meade: We do not have an internal drug use problem that is a chronic situation, but we do have consumption, even though that is not our main problem from the organized criminals. It [our main problem] is the transshipment effort, the money laundering that comes from it, the corruption of officials that come from it and by providing guns for the enforcement of the transshipment effort, those guns are used for other purposes and that’s really what accounts for our murder rate. What we are doing specifically is we are targeting the gangs to the extent that we can identify those specific gangs that contribute to the trafficking of weapons and drugs and killings. We are targeting their leadership and their members. We have specific legislation in addition to strengthening the Forfeiture Acts. So we are tackling the source of the problem in terms of the network of the gangs that facilitate the transshipment of drugs and weapons and result in a lot of criminal activity in the country. Diálogo: Is it a crime to be a member of a gang in Jamaica? Brig. Gen. Rocky R. Meade: Not yet, but this is one of the discussions that we are having in terms of the anti-gang legislation. At the moment, gang members have to actually commit an offense to become a criminal, but that is something we are pushing very actively and we are very close to having a final decision on that. Diálogo: How important is it for Jamaica to work with the U.S.? Brig. Gen. Rocky R. Meade: It’s very important. Certainly the United States has the greatest resources within the region. We are mindful of the fact that the United States has interests all over the world, but to the extent that they engage us in the Caribbean, we look forward to engaging with them. We see it as a partnership – although we’re small – we’re always looking for ways to help the U.S. as well, because clearly the U.S. has interests in the region, and we want to build the capacity to be helpful to the U.S. Interestinglast_img read more

Neptunes kick off Kootenay Summer Swim Association season by hosting meet in Salmo

first_imgThe Nelson Neptunes have taken their show on the road.First up for the Neptunes, who have been without a home since renovations took over the Nelson and District Community Complex Pool, is Nelson’s own meet this weekend at the outdoor pool in Salmo.The meet runs Saturday and Sunday (June 25-26) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Despite the struggles the team has faced over the last number of years due to pool closure the team is still swimming and excited about this upcoming meet,” said a Neptune spokesperson.The Nelson meet is the first tilt on the Kootenay Summer Swim Association season with the Neptunes hosting the Grand Forks Piranhas, Colville Sharks, Trail Stingrays, Creston Wave, Castlegar Aquanauts and Kimberley Seahorses.”This is an exciting team to watch this season as even with a smaller number of swimmers they have finished in the top three at the other two A-meets so far this season, missing a first place finish in Trail by only seven points.”Nelson Neptunes are a summer swim team in the Kootenay Region of the British Columbia Summer Swimming Association. Summer swimmers are limited to two coached training hours per week from October until May.Once the summer swim season starts in May though there is no limit to the number of hours the athletes can train.  Meets are held throughout the summer months across the Province and qualifying athletes compete in the BCSSA Provincial Championships in August. The Neptune’s have been in existence for approximately 50 years and this will be their 47th swim meet.last_img read more

50 years of domestic jet travel

first_imgFifty years ago next year, the Beatles toured Australia, Melbourne won one of the great Grand Finals by just four points and Aussies took home a paltry $39 a week. And fifty years ago an air travel revolution started with jets introduced onto domestic services replacing slower prop-jet Electras.At the time the cost of air travel was prohibitive, with the return fare from Perth to Sydney at $210 – more than five times the average weekly earnings. In today’s equivalent that would be a staggering $7,255. But in 1964 a loaf of bread only cost 15 cents and a quart of milk about the same.Ansett-ANA and Trans Australian Airlines both took delivery of their first 131-seat Boeing 727s in October 1964 and they also ordered the smaller DC-9 twin-jets. TAA called its 727s and DC-9s Whispering T-Jets, referring to the fact the plane’s jet engines were positioned at the rear of the plane and they had T-tails.While the re-engine configuration made for a quieter cabin, for airport residents the sound was anything but whispering with both types of jet impacting an area of up to 51sq km with high noise levels. The 727 and DC-9 are today banned from Australian airports because of their noisy engines.While passengers loved the smoother jet ride above most of the weather – meal time was slim pickings with just coffee and sandwiches on offer on domestic services. Competition was heavily regulated by the government’s Two Airline Policy which dictated that both airlines purchased the same types of planes and flew identical schedules. Innovation was scant, although the airlines were consistently profitable.However the efficiency and economy of the jets started to impact airfares and by 1981 domestic flying was only a quarter of the cost it was in 1964. Around this time the government started to loosen its grip on airline regulation with both airlines buying differing equipment and experimenting with new flights.TAA ordered 250-seat Airbus A300s while Ansett ordered 767s, 737s and 727-200LRs. In-flight innovation also resulted with in-flight music and hot meal services.At the end of 1980s the government deregulated the airline system and fares plummeted but so did the airlines.The first new airline Compass lost its way by charging return fares as low as $200 to Sydney from Perth when the standard return fare at the time was $600. In the late 1990s the government allowed a foreign owned airline to operate domestic services and Virgin Blue was born. Fares plummeted as Virgin hired eager staff that were paid half that of the incumbent airlines.Ansett failed, leaving the field to Qantas which had absorbed Australian Airlines (TAA) in 1994 and Virgin Blue.Today Australians, who earn on average $1,455 a week, enjoy what is unquestionably the world’s best domestic airline system. And the regular return fare to Sydney is around $400 –and often a lot less during seat sales.Air travel has soared from 3 million in 1964 to 56 million for the year to October 2013.last_img read more

Hope and heart in Ivory Park

first_imgDespite its poverty and lack of services, its housing shortage and hunger, there is a resilience and optimism in Ivory Park that is hard to beat.The area is clustered and unkempt, but its uneven look adds a unique dimension – it’s a South African township whose inhabitants are a close-knit community from various cultural backgrounds. (Image: Wikipedia)Brand South Africa ReporterDespite its poverty and lack of services, its housing shortage and hunger, there is a resilience and optimism in Ivory Park that is hard to beat.From a distance, Ivory Park could easily be mistaken for a slum, yet it is a habitable place with an urban design. The area is clustered and unkempt, but its uneven look adds a unique dimension – it’s a South African township whose inhabitants are a close-knit community from various cultural backgrounds.Juxtapositions, contrastsClean streets intersect untidy ones, pot-holed roads cross tarred ones. Yet there is a lacklustre ambience. The township is characterised by corrugated iron shacks, RDP (state-subsidised) structures and other houses juxtaposing one another. There are litter-free, paved walkways, as well as a decrepit bridge and germ-infested culvert; alleyways are ubiquitous.For some households, access to electricity is a luxury, while construction work on roads and some private properties continues unabated. Some parts of the densely populated area have adequate infrastructure like roads, sanitation and running water. There are social amenities, such as two libraries, two community halls, a police station, seven clinics, adequate housing for some, a school for all and a shopping complex.“Regarding services, almost all residents receive their water through a regional/local water scheme,” says Petros Zitha, a councillor in the area, which falls under the City of Johannesburg’s Ward 79 in Region A. “Most households have flush toilets that are connected to sewerage systems and electricity. Very few residents have pit latrines without ventilation and still use candles.”The scenery is beautiful from the main road, with a quaint view of a peculiar skyline marked by greenery, electricity poles that crisscross the landscape and the colourful roofs of huddled shacks and houses. The view of surrounding regions is unbroken from here. The road is crammed and rubbish is heaped in open spaces on some street corners.Ivory Park streets are always teeming with people, including street vendors who sell fresh produce. There are hordes of young and old loiterers and passers-by who almost make the streets seem treacherous. The clamour of roaring car engines and the strident nature of the suburb split the peace, as people go about their daily business.A diverse group of people, comprising locals of assorted descent and foreign nationals who are endeared to the community, call the place home. The local dialect is miscellaneous, comprising an eclectic mix of Zulu, Sepedi, Xhosa, Shangaan and South Sotho, all embracing each other gracefully and living together reciprocally.Poverty, unemploymentMany are unemployed and some depend on informal businesses like carpentry, car mechanics and shoe repairs.“The unemployment rate is too high,” says Zitha. “At some point it was around 47 percent. The unemployed are predominantly those who completed matric or are unsuccessful job seekers, resulting in the average household income to be between R9 601 and R19 200 annually. Many households do not have any income.”Most people live in a state of dire poverty. The area is geographically remote from the stronger economic nodes in the city centre, and the settlement is plagued by myriad socio-economic challenges, including illiteracy, child-headed households and hopelessness. There is a battery of social ills, like drug and alcohol abuse, peer pressure and petty crime.“The report that I got is that the CPFs [community policing forums] have arrested more criminals than the police,” says Zitha. “We used to have a crime and drug problem because there was a certain squatter camp that was a haven for drugs, but we have subsequently dealt with it and it’s now low.”OvercrowdingNestled between Tembisa and Rabie Ridge to the east and the affluent Midrand to its west, Ivory Park is a dormitory settlement alongside Kaalfontein and Ebony Park. It comprises about 14 627 official stands, on which the City has built about 452 houses since the area was promulgated as a township some 13 years ago. Additional houses are being built at the cost of the City, provincial and national government. However, not everyone in Ivory Park qualifies for free or subsidised housing.The area has a staggering population of 37 932 and in most cases, homes are occupied by large families who share the same limited resources.“The average number of residents for each household is between one and four,” says Zitha. “In most cases, two occupants reside in one household. The majority reside in rented accommodation in the backyard. There are marginally more men than women living in this ward.”Zitha concedes that Ivory Park is overcrowded and unfledged, comprising scores of households occupied by indigent and unemployed youngsters and adults, all integrated by geography and circumstances and living in majority groups. The area is battling to cope with rapid urbanisation and in-migration, with houses overlapping on pavements and corrugated iron shacks erected in most backyards, pushing up against brand-new houses.“There are people who used to live in this area a while ago and then left to live in other parts of the metro because we didn’t have adequate services here. Since development started, most of them are returning to claim their old stands and this causes overcrowding and confusion.”He notes that the issue of renting out backyard shacks is uncontrollable. “They will tell you that this is their way of making ends meet; you can’t do anything.”UbuntuDespite all these challenges, locals have taken ownership of their community and there is a sense of ubuntu. “This area is so dynamic,” says Zitha. “People here are very much organized. If you didn’t know you would say they are related somehow, that’s what makes this place unique.“During the countrywide xenophobic attacks, people in this area actually protected the foreign nationals.“We never even had taxi violence or strikes. Taxi drivers in our community provide poorer residents with transport if they have a funeral and can’t afford buses.”CommerceSmall businesses are the order of the day here, and thriving very well it seems; this is a boon for locals. Traders sell their wares and merchandise on almost every street corner, turning these into miniature malls, which supplement the area’s only shopping centre.“Spaza shops” provide viable business opportunities, which is why they are omnipresent, as are carwashes, cobblers and tailors, public telephones and stalikies – township lingo for a small business on a street corner.The councillor says the area has a sewer leakage problem. “I have tried to report it a number of times; I still don’t understand why it hasn’t been fixed,” he says. “It’s frustrating, because when people see this they don’t say its Joburg Water. No, they say ‘Huu uZitha, he’s not doing his job.’”Some households lack sufficient water for family use, access to improved sanitation, security of tenure and housing in a permanent and adequate structure in a non-hazardous location. “My only wish, and maybe something that will always haunt me if I fail, is to provide those living in informal settlements with proper homes and title deeds,” he says.Fewer than 10 000 families are better off than the rest of the residents, and seem to be adapting. They have embellished their homes and planted sprouting flower gardens and lawns; some have extended and painted their homes, sprucing them up without any government subsidy.“A number of people live in their own fully paid housing,” Zitha confirms.City servicesBecause of an increase in demand for sanitation services, the City of Johannesburg spent about R495-million between July 2006 and December 2009 as part of its sewer infrastructure upgrade and expansion programme on bulk wastewater and sewer networks. The programme was rolled out in 19 suburbs, and Ivory Park was one of the beneficiaries.As part of its contribution to the safety of its customers and the beautification of the city, City Power has rolled out 184 264 public lights around Johannesburg, 4 000 of which were due to be installed by the end of this financial year in Ivory Park, Kaalfontein, Rabie Ridge and other areas.Beauty Mgojo is an unemployed widow of 58. She has been living in Ivory Park since 1992 and has just recently been built an RDP (state-subsidised) house, something of a far cry from her old one-room corrugated shack.“I am so happy I can’t wait to move in,” she says of her newly built two-bedroom house with proper lighting and sanitation. “Hooo mntanam’, I am so eager to move in and put in new curtains and all,” she says with a beam on her elderly face, hands gesturing in excitement.“Councillor Zitha arrived in Ivory Park while he was still a young man, but the things he has done in this place have superseded those done by his peers. He has really helped us; we think he is god-sent,” she says.Mgojo is satisfied with the level of service delivery in the area, hinting at properly built roads, streets lights and sanitation as some of the successes.There are fewer worries and complaints for her, she says.Ivory Park has a few industrials sites, including wholesale and retail, manufacturing, financial, insurance, property, business and social services, construction, transportation, storage and telecommunications. There are no recreational facilities, road signs and electricity in the industrial area, or orphanages.Hope, resilienceAlthough the possibility of escaping poverty seems untenable, the people of Ivory Park are neither inert nor in despair; most of them supplement their livelihoods through informal trading.Some have cultivated land on the roadsides and are growing an assortment of crops; some charge a meagre fee to paint murals on private walls for brand promotion; others plait hair.Nine years after he took the helm of Ward 79, Zitha concludes that Ivory Park is home to an optimistic population. The people of that compact community remain exuberant and resilient South Africans, high-spirited despite their socio-economic challenges.Source: City of JohannesburgWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Video Series: Replacing a Window in a Brick House

first_imgBrick walls can seriously complicate window installation and can sometimes confuse even the most experienced builders. Fortunately for us, Mike Sloggatt, who has thirty years’ experience working on brick houses, was available to show us how to assess the situation and do the job right.In this video series, Mike will demonstrate how to:Inspect the condition of the existing window to determine if it is a good candidate for a new insert window.Measure for a new insert window.Shim, level, and fasten the insert window.Air-seal between the new unit and the jamb of the original window.Install interior and exterior trim.This first episode is available to everyone. The rest of the episodes are available to GBA Pro members only.Click this link to see the first episode: Video: Replacement Window in an Old Brick House.last_img

Pocari, Creamline shoot for quarterfinal headstart

first_imgPagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds MOST READ LATEST STORIES Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV View comments Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Creamline, meanwhile, battles Perlas at 6:30 p.m.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Pocari Sweat hopes to steady the ship after a wobbly end to the elimination round when it takes on Air Force in the playoffs of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Creamline, meanwhile, hopes to add consistency to an up-and-down campaign when it battles Perlas in the other women’s match.ADVERTISEMENT The Lady Warriors dropped their last two matches in the classification phase and lost to the Power Smashers in the tiebreak for the second and last outright semifinal berth.Pocari thus dropped to the cutthroat quarterfinal phase, where they face the resurgent Air Force Jet Spikers for the second time in three days.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingPocari hopes to get back at Air Force, which dealt them a stunning 25-19, 24-26, 25-27, 25-21, 15-6 defeat that yanked them out of an outright semifinal berth.Pocari battles Air Force at 4 p.m. hoping to suit up ace Myla Pablo and cover up for the absence of import Edina Selimovic, who is out with a hamstring tear. Rates stands tall after three, leads Masters by 2last_img read more

Body Science Backs TFA

first_imgTFA is proud to announce its most recent sponsor, Body Science. This new deal will benefit all levels of the sport and all participants. The high quality range of products includes compression garments which are extremely popular in the touch football community to assist with performance and recovery. Compression garments, together with some of the other Body Science products, will be on display and available for sale at the 2008 X-Blades NTL in Coffs Harbour. Pay them a visit, or click on to find out more.last_img

a month agoEverton boss Silva admits he wants January centre-back signing

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Everton boss Silva admits he wants January centre-back signingby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveEverton boss Marco Silva is seeking a centre-back signing in January.The Liverpool Echo says the Blues have started the season with only three senior defenders in that position after the failure to land a replacement for Phil Jagielka.Jagielka was released at the end of his contract in the summer and went onto to rejoin old club Sheffield United.When asked if he has held conversations with director of football Marcel Brands about signing a centre-back in January, Silva said: “Even if you don’t speak about that every week, it is normal we have chats about it and, of course, you are always looking. “It is my job and the job of Marcel also and now he is doing his job, analysing everything.”We will see, and what we can do to strengthen our squad will do in January, if you can, or next season again.” last_img read more

8 days agoREVEALED: Arsenal burned off AC Milan competition to sign Dani Ceballos

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say REVEALED: Arsenal burned off AC Milan competition to sign Dani Ceballosby Paul Vegas8 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal burned off competition from AC Milan to sign Dani Ceballos this past summer.The Gunners landed Ceballos in August on-loan from Real Madrid – without the option to says Milan were in talks with the midfielder before the Gunners stepped in.It’s claimed Ceballos welcomed Milan’s approach and was excited about the move.However, the Italian club could not match Arsenal’s offer, which offered a fee for a straight loan arrangement. last_img

Turkey slips into 1st recession in a decade

first_imgAnkara: Turkey’s economy fell into its first recession in a decade, official data showed on Monday, just weeks before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government faces local elections where growth and inflation will be key issues for voters. Economic output contracted by 2.4 percent in the final three months of the year compared to the third quarter on a seasonally and calendar-adjusted basis, the Turkish Statistics Institute (TUIK) said. That followed a revised 1.6 percent contraction in the third quarter. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepTwo consecutive quarter-on-quarter contractions in economic output is widely considered to be the definition of a recession. The flagging economy coupled with a currency crisis last year that battered the lira are sensitive issues for Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) before the municipal vote on March 31. The Turkish leader, in power since 2003 first as prime minister and then as president, has often boasted of the country’s strong growth during his time in government. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsGrowth came in at 2.6 per cent for 2018 overall, but that was still much lower than the 7.4 per cent recorded in 2017, a turbulent period following the 2016 failed coup and terror attacks. The economy shrank by 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with the same period the previous year. Inflation has also remained high. It struck a 15-year peak in October at 25.24 per cent before falling below 20 percent in February, with food prices hit particularly hard. Erdogan’s government has sought to curb consumer prices, especially for produce consumed everyday in Turkish households. Turkish authorities last month set up their own vegetable stands in a bid to force markets to lower food prices. But analysts said economic data showed inflation was still weighing on household consumption, and domestic demand was weak. Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is also Erdogan’s son-in-law, said on Twitter the data was as expected, but “the worst is behind us”. That analysis was shared to some extent by the London-based Capital Economics research firm, but they offer cold comfort for Turkey’s economic outlook. “While the worst of the downturn may now have passed, the weak carryover means that we expect GDP to decline by 2.5 percent this year,” said Jason Tuvey, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics. Albayrak blamed the recession on “speculative attacks” and the current global economic slowdown. While Turkey’s economy was hit when US President Donald Trump doubled tariffs last year on Turkish steel and aluminium, confidence was further eroded by a bitter row over a detained American pastor. The lira plummeted in value in August. While an aggressive interest rate hike in September helped brake its fall, economic activity stalled while prices of goods shot higher. The last time Turkey entered a recession was in 2009 after the global economic crisis hit foreign and domestic demand.last_img read more