Ruling-party chairman Robert Pickersgill said party leaders don't believe they have to pay back the money to help roughly 6,000 bilked investors recoup their losses with Smith's Olint investment club because he had not been revealed as a crook at the time the $1 million check was received.
"From a moral standpoint, we do not feel compelled to refund the money," said Pickersgill, who is also a cabinet minister in Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's government. "When we got the money, [Olint] was operating as a going entity."
During the 2007 campaign, Jamaican politicians continued to take Smith's campaign contributions even though financial regulators had barred Olint from operating in the country.
Tunisia bans planned marches
TUNIS, Tunisia - The Tunisian government has banned a series of marches planned for Friday by hard-line Islamists and rival groups, citing concerns of possible violence in the country, which is grappling with rising religious tension as it struggles to emerge from years of secular dictatorship.
The announcement Thursday by the Interior Ministry comes as Tunisians are still reeling from clashes earlier this week between police and religious youth in the capital and other cities after protests erupted over an upscale art exhibit that hard-line Islamists alleged was blasphemous.
The growing tensions in Tunisian society now are not just between the religious-minded and secularists, however, but also between moderate Muslims and ultraconservative Islamists.
Two organizations of ultraconservative Muslims - Hizb ut-Tahrir and Ansar al-Shariah - called for renewed protests over the now-closed art exhibit after Friday prayers.
Mexican gunmen kill reporter
VERACRUZ, Mexico - Authorities in Mexico's Gulf coast state of Veracruz say gunmen kidnapped and killed a reporter for the local edition of the national newspaper Milenio, the fifth such killing in the state in 11/2 months.
Journalist Victor Manuel Baez Chino covered the crime beat for Milenio's Veracruz edition as well as for the news website Police Reporters.
Veracruz state spokeswoman Gina Dominguez says Baez Chino was reported kidnapped outside the offices of the website in the state capital as he left work late Wednesday.
His body was found dumped on a street in the city of Xalapa early Thursday.
Three photographers were found slain outside the port of Veracruz in early May, and a reporter was killed in Xalapa in late April.