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Search for private plane carrying US couple called off

Rescuers have called off a search for a prominent New York couple whose private plane plunged into Caribbean waters near Jamaica on Friday.

A member of the Jamaica Defence Force stands on their vessel next to a US Coast Guard cutter during the search for the plane Credit: REUTERS/Jamaica Defence Force/Handout via Reuters

US Coast Guard Captain Todd Coggeshall told the Associated Press that a "maximum number of assets, resources and crew effort" had been mobilised, but the plane wreckage was still not found.

Laurence and Jane Glazer, a property developer and entrepreneur respectively, left on a 1,700-mile (2,700 km) journey in their single-engine plane on Friday.

The aircraft ran out of fuel and fell into the sea some 14 miles off Port Antonio on Jamaica's north-east coast. Both were experienced pilots.

US plane crashes off the coast of Jamaica

Aviation officials have said that a small US private plane with an unresponsive pilot crashed off the coast of Jamaica on Friday after taking off from New York state bound for Florida earlier in the day.

The plane crashed 14 miles (22.5 km) north of Port Antonio, US and Jamaican civil aviation officials said. Search and rescue teams were on their way to the crash site, Jamaican civil aviation officials said.

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Jamaica to decriminalise marijuana possession

Jamaica is rethinking its marijuana laws, with the government announcing that it will decriminalise the possession of small amounts of the drug, known there as "ganja".

The Jamaican government has decided to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Credit: PA

Minister of Justice Mark Golding said that Jamaica's Dangerous Drugs Act would be formally amended this summer.

"Cabinet approved certain changes to the law relating to ganja," he said. "These relate to possession of small quantities of ganja for personal use, the smoking of ganja in private places and the use of ganja for medical-medicinal purposes."

"Approval has been given also to a proposal for the decriminalization of the use of ganja for religious purposes," he added.

Possession of small quantities of the drug would become a non-arrestable, ticketable infraction in Jamaica resulting in a fine, said Golding, adding that "too many" youngsters in the country have landed criminal convictions after "being caught with a 'spliff.'"

British man drowns rescuing son in Jamaica

Tony Wilkinson drowned after rescuing his son at Calabash Bay, south Jamaica. Credit: Google Maps

A British youth worker drowned after swimming out to sea to rescue one of his sons while on a family holiday in Jamaica.

Tony Wilkinson, 49, was caught in a strong current and did not make it back to the shore after going to the assistance of the boy, who survived.

The incident happened on Thursday morning after the family, who live in Kent, had been walking on the beach in Calabash Bay on Jamaica's south coast.

Mr Wilkinson was the partner of award-winning Guardian journalist Decca Aitkenhead and had worked with charity Kids Company since 2009.

Jamaica's bobsleighers lose luggage en-route to Sochi

The Jamaican bobsleigh team suffered a setback in preparation for their first Winter Olympics in 12 years after their luggage was lost en-route to Sochi.

Winston Watts and and Marvin Dixon were due to start their first training session on Wednesday, but had to sit out after their kit failed to arrive in Russia from New York.

Despite the frustrating start, the pair are now looking forward to starting the competition at Sanki Sliding Centre on Thursday.

Jamaica's two-man bobsleigh pilot Winston Watts speeds down the track after finally receiving their luggage. Credit: Reuters

"We received the luggage including the (bobsleigh) blades around midnight last night," Mr Watts told a press conference.

"We got our clothes, but it was full of protein powder. (Security) opened the protein powder containers, and never closed the tins. The containers were sealed. And they left them open. In my helmet today I had protein powder going into my eyes.

"However, I feel excellent today. A little shaky, but when you are on a new track that is how you feel, little butterflies. But you overcome that."

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Report: Five Jamaican athletes fail drug tests

Five Jamaican athletes - including two London 2012 medallists - have tested positive for banned substances, according to the Jamaican newspaper the Gleaner.

Two field and three track athletes reportedly tested positive for the banned substances following recent tests at Jamaica's National Stadium.

The paper reports that two of the runners who allegedly tested positive for the banned substances won medals at the Olympic Games in London.

The Jamaican Anti-Doping Agency said it had not received any independent verification of the adverse findings.

The revelations, a month ahead of the World Championships, come after the American sprinter Tyson Gay revealed he had tested positive for a banned substance.

Imani 'coped very well' with sickle cell anaemia

Anne Wilson, headteacher at Fircroft Primary School, said Imani Green, who suffered from sickle cell anaemia, "coped very well" with her condition which forced her to stay indoors at play time to avoid getting cold.

The school had granted her permission to spend time in Jamaica because the warmth was known to be better for health.

Mrs Wilson told Sky News:

We felt it was in Imani's best interest to be there rather than here at this time. Today and for the next few days and weeks it's going to be difficult for them but we're here to support them.

– Anne Wilson, headteacher at Fircroft Primary School
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