RelatedPrime Minister Golding Announces Cabinet Changes By Alphea Saunders, JIS Senior Reporter RelatedCabinet Approves Economic Advisory Council Advertisements FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Cabinet has endorsed the establishment of an Economic Advisory Council to advise the Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips, on financial and economic issues, which will promote growth and development in the country. The Council will comprise former Financial Secretaries, Collin Bullock and Shirley Tyndale; and Economist, Dennis Morrison. “Cabinet was informed that the economic challenges facing Jamaica at this time were considerable and would require informed and timely implementation of suitable remedial measures,” Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, told journalists at the weekly Jamaica House press briefing, held at the Office of the Prime Minister, on April 4. Meanwhile, Cabinet also approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government and Canada, to establish a Canadian operational support hub in Jamaica. “This hub will enable the Canadian government, through its military (the Canadian Force), in collaboration with our Jamaica Defence Force, to provide logistical support to operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean,” the Information Minister explained. She pointed out that the operations of the hub would be consistent with the policies and laws of Jamaica, and would include peacekeeping, humanitarian, development, and disaster relief. “Cabinet was also advised that the government of Canada has routinely deployed Canadian forces across the world to offer humanitarian assistance and other support. For the Canadians, the most effective and efficient way of providing this support is through a network of operational support hubs, allowing for easy airlift of sea and air assets in response to crises covered by the hub,” Minister Falconer outlined. “It’s not a military force that’s going to occupy,” the Minister emphasised. Cabinet Approves Economic Advisory Council ParliamentApril 5, 2012 RelatedCabinet Approves Economic Advisory Council
Jordan Spieth is headed to Rhode Island this week to watch Brown host Maine in college basketball. His younger brother, Steven, is a senior who is averaging 15.4 points a game for the Bears. The former Masters and U.S. Open champion is doing everything he can to prepare, because this apparently involves more than sitting in the stands to cheer on little brother. Spieth suggested that there might be a little contest Thursday morning before the Brown game. ”I’m not sure. He kind of set up something,” Spieth said. ”We might be playing horse, and it might be videoed. At the moment, I’m starting my grind in the gym, shooting a thousand shots a day so I don’t embarrass myself.” Asked if he knew where the public might see this video, Spieth said: ”Even if I knew, I certainly would not be announcing that. I think it’s through ESPN. I’m not sure.” However it turns out, perhaps Steven might consider coming out to Augusta National early for a putting contest. MAJOR LEAGUE ATTITUDE: With five victories, Jonathan Byrd had such a productive PGA Tour career that spending any time on the developmental Web.com Tour never crossed his mind. His only stop in the minor leagues was in 2001, so long ago that it then was known as the Buy.com Tour. A year after his playoff victory in the 2011 Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, however, Byrd had wrist surgery. He missed three months to start 2013, and his game and confidence slowly eroded to the point that he was trying to make cuts, make money and keep his job. ”You stop trying to bring your best and you’re trying just to stay out here, and that’s no way to play,” Byrd said last month at the RSM Classic. ”The tighter you hang on, the farther you get away from what you’re doing.” With nothing but past champion status that would offer him limited starts, his best option to regain a full PGA Tour card was to spend a year on the Web.com Tour. That can be a tough pill for someone who had never come close to losing his PGA Tour card before the injury. Byrd, who turns 39 in January, brought with him an attitude that is worth emulating for anyone who winds up in that spot. ”It was humbling,” Byrd said. ”To go back to the Web was difficult. There’s so many reminders every week that you’re not where you want to be. But I tried to embrace it. … I didn’t want to be the grumpy old tour player talking about how great it is on tour and how bad it is out here and how good I used to be. I made friends out there. I enjoyed it. I focused on enjoying the competition.” Byrd event turned down a half-dozen exemptions to PGA Tour events last year. He finished 48th on the money list (the top 25 get PGA cards) and he didn’t earn one of the 25 additional spots from the four-tournament series at the end of the year. Even so, he was upbeat about his progress. Besides, being around a bunch of kids in their early 20s has helped. ”You’ve got to play good to beat these guys,” he said. ”But what I’ve learned from being out here so long is that I’ve got what it takes. Guys who have won five times on the PGA Tour, it’s a short list. I’ve got something in there that’s good enough. And I still think it’s good enough.” POWER MEMORIES: Jim Furyk is used to players smashing it by him off the tee. One of the shorter hitters in golf, he still has managed to win 17 times, including the U.S. Open. But there was something about the 2009 Cadillac Championship at Doral that he still remembers clearly. ”I was paired with Adam Scott and Rory (McIlroy) the first two days, and I was hitting it real short,” Furyk said. ”I’m already short anyway, but I had a driver that I was hitting straight but real short. We’re playing Doral. You know, Adam and Rory are hitting it 30 (yards) by me all day and I’m like, ‘I need to get a new driver.”’ It got worse. The next day, he was paired with a 23-year-old named Dustin Johnson, who was in his second year on tour. Furyk didn’t know anything about him. ”He’s hitting it like 50 by me,” Furyk said. ”I was like, ‘Who is this guy?’ We got paired later in the year at Boston, and he had a good event. He’s always been impressive.” By the way, Furyk played that fourth round with a tall Spaniard in a straw hat named Alvaro Quiros, one of longest players on the European Tour.
It has already been criticised as being only cosmetic and lacking anything new. Many of the items on the List are essentially reformulations of the corresponding items in the action plan. This applies for instance to EU support for Ukraine’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the language used on enhanced co-operation in foreign and security policy, although the proposal to invite Ukraine to associate with EU declarations on foreign and security issues is not mentioned in the action plan. The List implies giving a greater intensity to the process of deepening EU-Ukraine relations. On trade and economic relations, work on liberalisation of trade in steel products and textiles and contacts to enable Ukraine to be granted market economy status, will be “intensified”, the review of the possibility of free trade will be “accelerated”, and the EU will “step up” support to Ukraine for approximation to EU legislation. Other items on the List represent important concessions by the EU. While the action plan calls for “a constructive dialogue on visa facilitation…with a view to preparing for future negotiations on a visa facilitation agreement”, the List calls for consideration of options to facilitate the granting of visas in connection with “negotiations to be held…before the next EU-Ukraine summit”. Marius Vahl is a research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). www.ceps.be A commitment to the conclusion of a new upgraded agreement has been a key item on Ukraine’s wish list. In the first EU proposals in March 2003, full implementation of the existing Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) was considered a “necessary pre-condition for any new development”. Only then would the EU consider any new agreements that would build on and supplement existing contractual relations. But progress on some of these key issues depends on a number of specified conditions carried over from the action plan. “Early consultations” on a new enhanced agreement will thus take place only after the ‘“political priorities” of the action plan are addressed. The granting of market economy status needs a number of issues including price-formation and control of state aid in Ukraine to be resolved. As in the action plan, it is emphasised that progress in negotiations on a readmission agreement is “essential” for an agreement on visa facilitation. The List also uses language which implies that Ukraine is to become a priority for the EU. On the issue of people-to-people contacts, Ukraine is to be given “priority access” to the Erasmus Mundi student exchange programme and a special internship programme for young Ukrainians will be considered. Relations will be strengthened in key sectors through the establishment of a high-level energy dialogue, an upgrade of the environmental dialogue and by making Ukraine a priority in the planned extension of the Trans-European Networks. A similar conclusion can be drawn from the provision calling for up to é250 million in loans to be made available to Ukraine from the European Investment Bank (EIB). This constitutes half of the total EIB funding available to the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It represents a clear shift in EU priorities towards Ukraine and away from other CIS countries such as Russia, previously the only CIS country to receive EIB financing. In the wake of the Orange Revolution, Ukraine is not only catching up with Russia, but moving ahead in terms of its relationship with Brussels. The continued absence of agreement on a ‘Road Map’ for the four bilateral ‘common spaces’ to be developed between the EU and Russia – the equivalent of the action plan between Ukraine and the EU – further highlights this important development. Many in the EU conclude that this is a miserly response to the dramatic events in Ukraine in late 2004 and a new Ukrainian government determined to move towards EU membership. A majority within the EU, however, remains of the opinion that it is too early to acknowledge Ukraine’s membership aspirations. If the new Ukrainian government follows through on its planned reforms, this position is likely to become increasingly unsustainable.