In this issue:
- Haitian Earthquake Relief Fraud Alert!
- U.S. Announces Removal of HIV Infection as an Ineligibility to Immigrate or Travel to the United States
- Cabinet Approves $24M To Fund Export Promotion & Facilitation Overseas
- Jamaicans.com announces the 2009 top ten Jamaicans
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Haitian Earthquake Relief Fraud Alert!
(News Release, January, 13, 2010): The FBI is reminding Internet users who receive appeals to donate money in the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before responding to those requests. Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or a good cause.
Therefore, before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, to include the following:
- Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails, including clicking links contained within those messages.
- Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
- Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by utilizing various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group’s existence and its nonprofit status rather than following a purported link to the site.
- Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
- Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes.
- Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
Anyone who has received an e-mail referencing the above information or anyone who may have been a victim of this or a similar incident should notify the IC3 via www.ic3.gov.
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U.S. Announces Removal of HIV Infection as an Ineligibility to Immigrate or Travel to the United States
Since 1987, HIV infection has been an inadmissible medical condition for obtaining a visa to travel to the United States. As of January 4 of this year, however, the condition is no longer a disqualification of applicants for non-immigrant and immigrant visas.
The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce that as of January 4, HIV testing is no longer required for medical examinations for visa purposes and that applicants who are HIV-positive no longer require a waiver from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Applicants who were previously refused visas only because they were HIV positive may now be eligible. Such applicants may now apply for a non-immigrant visa (usual fees apply) or continue processing on their immigrant visa without regard to the prior ineligibility for HIV. It is important to note, however, that those who have been denied visas due to HIV infection do not now become automatically eligible; at a new interview, a consular officer will determine whether the applicant is qualified under the other requirements of U.S. immigration law.
The DS-156 Nonimmigrant Visa Application, DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Application, and DS-230 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration forms contain the question: “Have you ever been afflicted with a communicable disease of public health significance or a dangerous physical or mental disorder, or ever been a drug user or addict?” Effective January 4, 2010, HIV-positive visa applicants no longer have to answer “Yes” to this question because of their HIV status. Applicants who are HIV-positive, and can otherwise answer “No” to the question, should now do so.
Additional information can be obtained from the Center for Disease Control’s website at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dq/laws_regs/fed_reg/remove-hiv/final-rule-hiv.htm . Information about applying for a visa or to schedule a visa appointment may be obtained at www.usvisa-jamaica.com .
For further information, contact:
Fern Whyte, Acting Media Coordinator,
Public Affairs Section U.S. Embassy, Kingston
Phone: 1-876-702-6275 Cell: 579-7577/449-2197
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Cabinet Approves $24M To Fund Export Promotion & Facilitation Overseas
(News Release, January 14, 2010): Cabinet has approved $24 million to JAMPRO to fund export promotion and facilitation overseas.
The money will fund the re-opening of the Toronto office and support the Jamaica Marketing Company (JAMCO) office and the reactivation of JAMCO under JAMPRO’s London office.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Daryl Vaz said that the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, in the context of the National Export Strategy, decided to shift its emphasis to export promotion and facilitation overseas in light of the global economic crisis.
He told Wednesday’s (Jan 13) post cabinet briefing that the financial crisis has resulted in fallout in earnings from the mining sector and a sharp decline in foreign exchange earnings from tourism, remittances and traditional exports.
JAMCO, a Government owned company and a subsidiary of JAMPRO has been reactivated as part of the strategy to mobilize and place increased emphasis on non-traditional exports. It will have responsibility for marketing Jamaican products in the United Kingdom.
For further information, please contact:
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Jamaicans.com announces the 2009 top ten Jamaicans
(News Release, Hollywood, FL, January 5th, 2010): Ten remarkable Jamaicans, including current 100 meter world champion Usain Bolt and the hero from American Airlines Flight 331 crash in Jamaica, were honored by the Jamaicans.com bloggers and writers as their top ten Jamaican people in 2009..
Following the nominations by the bloggers and writers, our senior editors reviewed the entries and selected the top ten. Usain Bolt was the unanimous choice as the No. 1 Jamaican for 2009.
“The per capita contribution Jamaicans are making in the communities they find themselves is just astounding. Narrowing the list to just ten is one of the most difficult task I have been asked to perform” said Jamaicans.com writer & blogger Chris Daley, ”This chosen list has demonstrated a level of service and generated a Jamaican pride factor that clearly set them apart.”
The Jamaicans.com Writers 2009 top ten winners are:
- Usain Bolt
- Rev. Merrick ‘Al’ Miller
- Buju Banton
- Joan Hutchinson
- Brigitte Foster–Hylton
- Shelly-Ann Fraser
- Richard Rose
- The Honorable Anthony Johnson
- Jaunel McKenzie
- Annette Howard
For details on why the nominees won visit:
Jamaicans.com is a leading Internet website of all things Jamaican. It averages over 1.75 million hits per month. The site has been in operation since 1995 and serves the Jamaican community in Jamaica and overseas, as well as the ever-expanding market of visitors interested in vacationing on the island of Jamaica.
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