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PM condemns slavery during Jamaican parliament speech

David Cameron addressing MPs Credit: PA

David Cameron condemned the slave trade and announced a £360 million financial package when he addressed the Jamaican parliament.

Slavery was and is abhorrent in all its forms. It has no place whatsoever in any civilised society, and Britain is proud to have eventually led the way in its abolition.

– David Cameron

He added he hoped Britain and the Caribbean could "move on from this painful legal and continue to build for the future".

During the visit to Jamaica, David Cameron has come under pressure to make financial amends for Britain's role in slavery but he has ruled out making reparations.

MP Mike Henry was absent from the address. He had previously declared to a local newspaper if reparation was not on the agenda he would not be attending.


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.

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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