Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller says Jamaica is currently “undertaking efforts towards ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty”.The landmark Treaty which regulates the international trade in conventional arms, from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships, was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on April 2, 2013. According to the UN, the treaty will foster peace and security by putting a stop to destabilizing arms flows to conflict regions; prevent human rights abusers and violators of the law of war from being supplied with arms; and will help keep warlords, pirates, and gangs from acquiring these deadly tools.In her address to the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, earlier Saturday, September 28, Mrs. Simpson Miller welcomed the treaty while hitting out against transnational organized crime.“Transnational organised criminal enterprises wreak havoc on economies and challenge the capacities of states to deal with these threats. No country is immune to the direct or indirect effects of the scourge of transnational crime,” she said.The Prime Minister contended that increased collaboration is necessary in confronting such threats to human development.“To this end, we welcome the recent opening for signature of the landmark Arms Trade Treaty in June of this year which represents one of the many steps that the international community must take towards defeating terrorism, crime and violence,” she said.Mrs. Simpson Miller further pointed out that bilateral and regional cooperation through information sharing, capacity building and assistance are integral in dealing with crime and violence and security issues.The Prime Minister expressed condolences to the families of those killed in the recent Kenya mall attack; and concern for the suffering of the people of Syria. She joined the international community in condemning the use of chemical weapons.“We welcome the recent positive steps taken by the United Nations Security Council,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said, and emphatically stated Jamaica’s firm commitment to “a just, lasting and peaceful solution to the situation in the Middle East.”In the meantime, the Prime Minister also reiterated a call for an end to the embargo against Cuba and “extra-territorial measures which target third world countries.”She noted that the trade and economic embargo against Cuba has caused untold hardships to its people and has no place in the 21st century. Story Highlights Mrs. Simpson Miller welcomed the treaty while hitting out against transnational organized crime. The treaty will foster peace and security by putting a stop to destabilizing arms flows to conflict regions. The Prime Minister contended that increased collaboration is necessary in confronting such threats to human development.
Story Highlights The Saturday opening is a part of “TAJ’s efforts to provide value-added services to the taxpaying public, making it easier for them to interact with our services”. Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) will be facilitating business this Saturday (September 30), with the opening of select offices islandwide. Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) will be facilitating business this Saturday (September 30), with the opening of select offices islandwide.The locations include Spanish Town, Constant Spring, May Pen, Mandeville, St. Ann’s Bay, Savanna-la-Mar and Montego Bay, and they will operate from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Portmore tax office will also be open; however, it will not close until 4:00 p.m.“We at the TAJ want to provide the tax-paying public with greater convenience outside of the regular work week,” Communications Officer at the TAJ, Leighton Beckles, told JIS News.He noted that the Saturday opening is a part of “TAJ’s efforts to provide value-added services to the taxpaying public, making it easier for them to interact with our services”.Services available on Saturday include traffic ticket amnesty payments, property tax payments, filing of tax returns, motor vehicle transactions, driver’s licence renewal, TRN applications, all other payments and general information and assistance.He further encouraged persons “to make use of the Saturday operations, to stay ahead of the rush [within the final weeks of the traffic ticket amnesty], as going down closer to the end of the amnesty, we expect to see longer lines during the week”.
zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Dry bulk demolition has significantly decreased in 2018, dropping by 71.6% to only 4.2 million dwt scrapped by mid-December, according to BIMCO.A major factor behind this fall has been an almost total halt in Panamax demolition, which accounted for only 3%, while demolition in every ship segment decreased.In 2017 Panamax ships accounted for 23% of total dry bulk demolition. This year only two ships totaling 144,485 dwt were demolished. Panamax demolition was previously at such a low level in 2007 when the total came to 141,479 dwt.“Historically, better freight rates lead to a decrease in demolition and with average earnings in the dry bulk market at their highest since 2011, owners are more likely to keep their ships sailing,” Peter Sand, BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst, said.During 2018, there was not a month when dry bulk demolition was over 0.8 million dwt, compared to last year in which ten months saw demolition above 0.8 million tonnes. January saw the highest levels this year at 748,666 dwt, while April was the lowest month with only one Supramax ship demolished.Small ships live longer livesThe average age of dry bulk ships being demolished has risen to reach 28.1 years, up from 24.7 years in 2017, BIMCO cited Clarksons. The highest average age of demolished ships was observed in May, peaking at 31.7 years.The average age for demolished Capesize ships over the course of the year was 23.8 years old, and Panamax ships were on average demolished at 21.6 years of age. The smaller ship sizes had a higher average age at demolition of 29.8 years and 31.9 years for Handymax and Handysize ships, respectively.