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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending April 4th, 2014

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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CLARKE PROPOSES COMPULSORY NATIONAL SERVICE—03/29/14
All Jamaican youth should be required to perform national service to their country, according to a proposal from Senator Navel Clarke. Clarke says he believes Jamaica should treat its young people with discipline and behavioral norms appropriate to a Christian, law-abiding society.

GOVERNOR GENERAL WANTS JAMAICANS UNITED TO FIGHT CRIME—03/30/14
Jamaica’s Governor General Sir Patrick Allen believes one of the most important issues facing the nation is the threat represented by criminals. Allen made his remarks at an event in Black River, St. Elizabeth, in which Beryl Rochester was made Custos Rotulorum.

THREE ADDITIONAL POLICE OFFICERS CHARGED WITH MURDERS—03/31/14
The Independent Commission of Investigations has announced that three more police officers in Clarendon were arrested on charges alleging murder. The Commission is charged with investigating abuses committed by Jamaica’s security forces. The arrested officers include Detective Cpl. Kevin Adams, who was charged with the killings of four men between 2011 and 2013. All three of the officers have been suspended.

EDUCATION MINISTRY SAYS UNIVERSITIES MUST BE MORE SELF-SUFFICIENT—03/31/14
Jamaica’s Ministry of Education has stated that universities must find innovative ways to obtain funding for their operation; they must become more self-sufficient as greater focus is placed on early childhood education. The University of the West Indies Mona asked the government to pay more than $5.4 billion it believes is owed due to a failure of the government to honor a commitment to pay 80 percent of tuition costs for Jamaican students there.

MARIJUANA GROWERS WANT GOVERNMENT TO STOP CROP DESTRUCTION—04/01/14
While the Jamaican government is thinking about decriminalizing marijuana, some ganja farmers and supporters are calling for government authorities to stop arresting people for possessing the drug and destroying their crops. These issues were raised at a meeting of the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association (GFGPA).

PRISON OFFICIAL IN JAMAICA DIES IN GUN AMBUSH—04/02/14
Cpl. Easton Williams, a Jamaican prison officer, died from bullet wounds he suffered during an ambush attack by gunmen in late March 2014. Williams was shot several times as he was on his way to work at a prison in St. Catherine. No arrests have yet been made in the case.

CHINESE FIRM HIRED TO BUILD TRANSSHIPMENT HUB—04/03/14
The Jamaican government has hired a subsidiary of a top Chinese construction firm to build the transshipment hub. According to Jamaica’s information service, China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd. will build the hub in the area of Portland Bight. The firm is a unit of China Communications Construction Company Ltd. Environmentalists are opposed to the proposed construction site, as it is near the Portland Bight Protected Area.

PROSECUTORS RECEIVE DEATH THREATS AFTER VERDICT IN KARTEL CASE—04/04/14
Paula Llewellyn, director of public prosecutions, confirmed that she and other members of her team received death threats have Vybz Kartel was found guilty of murdering Clive “Lizard” Williams. Llewellyn said that the team had received threats during the trial, but they had to ignore them in order to do their job. Security was enhanced for prosecutors as a result.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN PATENTS SOURCE OF HYDROGEN ENERGY—03/29/14
Phillip Scott, a Jamaican-born real estate entrepreneur, is considering his options for partnerships in the commercialization of a fuel-system enhancer and energy source that he has created and patented in Jamaica and the United States. He has received partnership offers from companies of both countries for his invention, which is called Elhydro Power. It uses a system based on hydrogen that acts as a generator and fuel-system enhancer that makes mechanical and electronic energy from electrolyzed water.

“BOBSLED” ACTOR JOINS “INVEST CARIBBEAN NOW 2014″—03/30/14
Malik Yoba, an actor and activist, will be among those attending the 2014 Caribbean Week in New York in June. Yoba is participating in the event to express support for the Invest Caribbean Now summit, which seeks to promote sustainable development and investment to create stronger economies in the Caribbean region. Yoba played the role of a Jamaica bobsledder and wrote the theme song for the film “Cool Runnings.”

JOBSON ENCOURAGED BY MCNEIL’S VISIT TO GERMANY—03/31/14
Margaret Jobson, Jamaica’s ambassador to Germany, was encouraged by the visit of Dr. Wykeham McNeill, the island’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, earlier in March 2014. She plans to use his visit as the starting point of a big Jamaican promotion in Germany over the year. Among the events planned are a Reggae Meets Opera concert, a visit to Germany by a top Jamaican athlete, and a film festival in May.

JAMAICAN NIXES PRISONER TRANSFER PLAN—04/01/14
Hundreds of Jamaicans will now remain in United Kingdom prisons as the government of Jamaica has refused to take these individuals back to their home country. The cost to the UK of housing these prisoners is £27 million per year. The UK Ministry of Justice had tried to convince Jamaica’s government to allow as many as 737 prisoners to be returned to Jamaica to serve out their sentences. Jamaicans are the third largest group of foreign nations in UK jails.

MUSIC STUDIO IN LOS ANGELES HONORS JAMAICAN SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE—04/02/14
Sonos Studio in Los Angeles, California, announced a new exhibit that will focus on the sound system feature of Jamaica’s music culture. The Hometown HiFi exhibit is designed to celebrate the ways in which Jamaica “changed listening forever.” The exhibit explores the dub movement going back to the 1950s when engineers found a new method of enjoying music.

TEENAGER IN JAMAICA GETS NINE SCHOLARSHIPS TO U.S. UNIVERSITIES—04/03/14
Tchakamau Mahakoe, a Jamaican student, has been accepted by 11 universities in the United States, and nine of them have offered her scholarships. Mahakoe has not decided which university she will attend. The 17-year-old had been home-schooled before attending Immaculate Conception High School in St. Andrew and Hillel Academy. The U.S. institutions offering scholarships include Duke, Princeton, Yale, and Stanford.
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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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FIVE FROM T&T HELD IN ALLEGED PLOT TO OVERTHROW MADURO—03/29/14

FINANCIAL SECTOR DEFENDED BY LEADER OF BAHAMAS—03/31/14

CARIBBEAN COULD TO BENEFIT FROM MEDICAL TOURISM—04/01/14

JUDICIAL ETHICS DISCUSSED BY MAGISTRATES IN EASTERN CARIBBEAN—04/02/14

BRITISH MAN FOUND DEAD NEAR BURNING YACHT HAD “BLAST INJURIES”—04/03/14

CARIBBEAN NATIONS CONSIDER MORE LENIENT MARIJUANA LAWS—04/04/14

 

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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WOMEN’S NETWORKING GROUP SEEKING JAMAICAN MEMBERS—03/30/14
Ethnie Miller-Simpson, president of Jamaica’s chapter of Women Entrepreneurs Network of the Caribbean (WENC), stated that a benefit of membership is the ability to access Caribbean markets via links formed with other businesswomen in the area. The regional networking group for women entrepreneurs is looking to enlist new members for its May 2014 launch in Jamaica. Miller-Simpson expects to see as many as 100 businesswomen at its next meeting, doubling its numbers in the Corporate Area and St. Catherine.

SUSTAINABLE ENERGY COULD PRODUCE US$200 MILLION IN SAVINGS—03/31/14
The Caribbean suffers from its high energy costs, with over 97 percent of the region’s electric power generate from fossil fuels. On some islands in the Caribbean, electricity costs are six times higher than those in the United States. According to the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, the area could reap significant savings by turning to sustainable energy sources.

LOCAL JAMAICAN PRODUCE GETS COMPETITIVE, SAYS SENATOR GRANT—04/03/14
Jamaican Senator Norman Grant, the president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), has urged Jamaicans to support local farmers by buying more local produce. He said the quality of Jamaican produce is high enough to compete with any in the world. The price of local produce is also very competitive with those of imported goods.

TELECOM LICENSES RENEWED IN JAMAICA—04/04/14
Jamaica will generate an estimated J$12.6 billion in revenue due to the renewal by the government of telecom and spectrum licenses for Digicel Jamaica and LIME. The licenses will be in effect for 15 years. The license renewals and provision of additional spectrum to both firms represents approximately US$85 million in investment from Digicel and US$30 million from LIME.

 

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Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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FILM INDUSTRY IN CARIBBEAN TO BENEFIT FROM ONLINE DATABASE—03/29/14

RJR COMMUNICATIONS LAUNCHES FIRST OTT SERVICE IN JAMAICA—04/04/14

 

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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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BOI-1DA A TOP PRODUCER—03/29/14
While not well known in Jamaica’s music industry, the Canadian Boi-1da, which is pronounced “Boy Wonda,” is one of the most popular producers in contemporary pop music. Raised in Toronto, he has worked with many hip-hop and R&B stars, but he was born in Kingston and lived in Braeton, Portmore. His credits include work with Drake, Nicki Minaj, Jay Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and others.

JAMAICAN BILLIONAIRES PAY THOUSANDS FOR SONGS BY TESSANNE CHIN—04/01/14
Three Canadian-Jamaica billionaires paid $40,000 to Tessanne Chin’s performance of three songs at a fundraiser in Toronto, Canada. Chin, winner of “The Voice” during its fifth season, was being honored at a banquet to raise money for the University of the West Indies when Michael Lee-Chin and Raymond Chang got into a bidding war for Chin to sing three songs. The bidding started at $1,000, but Lee-Chin boosted the price by bidding $10,000 for a single song performance by Tessanne.

BEENIE MAN TO PERFORM IN COLOMBIAN MUSIC FESTIVAL—04/02/14
Jamaican music star Beenie Man will be featured among international stars invited to perform at the 2014 Jamming Festival. This is the largest reggae event in Colombia and is held at the end of May. Thirty-five artists will perform at the event, including Seed from Germany and Zona Ganjah from Chile and Argentina.

JAMAICA WILL NAME POET LAUREATE—04/04/14
Jamaica is set to name its first poet laureate in 50 years. The title will be a national honor and not just an honorary title in its newest iteration. The ceremony for naming the new poet laureate was postponed to April 15, 2014 in order to facilitate the government’s decision to make it a national award. The nation’s two previous poet laureates were named by the National Library of Jamaica.

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SPORTS
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20 YEARS OF SERVICE BY TEAM JAMAICA BICKLE TO PENN ATHLETES—03/29/14
Team Jamaica Bickle has provided 20 years of service to the Jamaican athletes competing at the Penn Relays. The milestone reached in 2014 marks the benefits of the hospitality initiative begun in 1994 to aid athletes from the Caribbean as they compete in the Penn Relay event. The initiative began with the provision of meals and has expanded to include transportation, health care, and hotel rate negotiations. The goal is to make the athletes comfortable.

BOLT OUT OF COMPETITION UNTIL MIDDLE OF JUNE—03/30/14
Jamaica’s champion sprinter Usain Bolt will not be able to race until the middle of June at the meet in the Czech Republic due to an injury sustained to his foot. He will participate at Ostrava in June, Paris in July and Malmo in August, says Ricky Simms, Bolt’s agent.

JAMAICAN GO-KARTERS PERFORM WELL IN FLORIDA—03/31/14
Thomas Issa and Colin Daley of Campion College and St. George’s College, respectively, provided outstanding performances at the Florida Winter Tour in the United States. The go-karters aided Jamaica in finishing in seventh place at the National Cup, right behind Mexico. The Jamaica Karting Association is very happy with their performance at the race.

JAMAICA TO FACE BARBADOS IN WRAY & NEPHEW BOUT—04/01/14
Glenroy “Bumpy” Beckford (Green Team) will face Christopher Henry of Team Caribbean in the third bout of the Wray and Nephew Contender boxing competition. The Yellow Team won against the Green Team during the week, and Henry chose Beckford as his opponent. The Green Team features Jamaican boxers, while the Yellow Team includes boxers from the wider Caribbean under the new organization of the boxing series. Boxers are vying for $3 million in prize money.

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JAMAICAN JOBS
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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending March 28th, 2014

ISLANDS REBUILDING AFTER FLOODS—03/22/14
Islands in the Eastern Caribbean are rebuilding after flash floods in December 2013 affected over 30,000 people in St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These islands are recovering access to water, markets and electric power through US$36 million in funding provided by the World Bank. The allocation comes under the banks International Development Association Crisis Response Window program.

CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT BANK GIVES US$16.18 MILLION TO COLLEGE—03/23/14
The College of the Bahamas will receive a makeover thanks to a loan totaling US$16.18 million from the Caribbean Development Bank. The bank has provided the loan to the Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The funds will be used to build a new Hall of Residence to accommodate 100 students and a new business center.

NCAA BASKETBALL TOURNEY INCLUDES 6 PLAYERS FROM CARIBBEAN—03/24/14
The Caribbean region has increasingly been producing talented basketball players, and in 2014, six of the players in the NCAA Tournament in the United States were born in the Caribbean. They include Kadeem Coleby of Nassau, who was instrumental in helping Wichita State win 34-0 during the regular season.

MANDATORY DEATH PENALTY TO END IN BARBADOS—03/25/14
According to Adriel Brathwaite, attorney general of Barbados, the mandatory death penalty for murder convictions will be abolished. No one has been executed in Barbados since 1984, and Brathwaite believes the automatic penalty should be dropped formally to reflect actual practice. He expects considerable opposition from the public to his proposed law change, however, since most people feel that once convicted of murder, the killer’s life should be forfeited.

END CUBAN EMBARGO, CARICOM TELLS U.S.—03/26/14
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is called for the United States to end its 50 years of embargo policy against Cuba. According to Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary General, the organization knows the value of international unity and noted that he had accepted the credentials of Julio Cesar Gonzalez Marchante, the new envoy from Cuba, to form a bloc with other states in the region to advance mutual interests.

CLIMATE POLLUTERS COULD BE TRIED IN COURT—03/27/14
According to Ronald Sanders, a former diplomat in the Caribbean region and a senior research fellow at London University, Caribbean governments may take legal action against other nations they believe are causing climate change through their polluting practices. Sanders believes that the International Court of Justice would agree to hear arguments brought by Caribbean countries against polluters.

JEEP PROGRAM WILL BENEFIT 12,000 UNEMPLOYED JAMAICANS—03/26/14
Some 12,000 Jamaicans are likely to see the benefits of additional work performed under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Program (JEEP). The total value of the work is $630 million. Each of Jamaica’s 63 constituencies received an allocation of $10 million for development of the project in construction, road repair, retaining wall repair, and repairs to drains and pavements. The activities are part of projects facilitated through the Major Infrastructure Development Program (MIDP), which is funded chiefly by the government of China and the China Harbor Engineering Company.

JAMAICA TO PUT US$22 MILLION TOWARD AVIATION SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS—03/27/14
Jamaica’s government plans to spend US$22 million during the next two years toward improvements in aviation safety and security. The government will upgrade or replace old technology to bring Jamaica into compliance with international standards. Leroy Lindsay, director general of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, made the announcement of the government’s plans.

NET LOSS OF J$2.23 BILLION RECORDED BY PORT AUTHORITY—03/28/14
An unrealized exchange loss by the Port Authority of Jamaica of $4.38 billion is the fallout from a 13-percent depreciation of the Jamaican dollar against the dollar of the United States. The loss was recorded during the 2012/2013 financial year.

GOVERNMENT DISCUSSES BOG WALK GORGE DAM WITH CHINA HARBOR—03/28/14
The Jamaican government plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) for a feasibility study about the damming of Bog Walk Gorge in St. Catherine. The dam would provide a reservoir of drinking water and a means of electricity generation.

 
 

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CARIBBEAN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending March 28th, 2014

OAS TO HELP JAMAICA WITH CYBER SECURITY—03/22/14
The Organization of American States (OAS) will help Jamaica develop a national cyber security strategy. The organization reported that its Inter-American Committee against Terrorism decided on a three-day visit to Kingston that it would offer technical aid to the government. The committee’s Cyber Security Program will collaborate with the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining in Jamaica and provide expert advice on methods suitable for adoption in a national strategy.

TSUNAMI WARNING SYSTEM TESTED IN CARIBBEAN BASIN—03/26/14
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) performed a test of its tsunami alert system, which covers 31 countries located in the Caribbean basin. The test involved a tsunami that occurred 267 miles west of the coast of Gibraltar and simulated the earthquake and tidal wave that occurred on November 1, 1755 in the area. The temblor in 1755 impacted the coastlines of Portugal, Spain, North Africa and islands in the Caribbean.

 
 

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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending March 28th, 2014

 

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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NICHOLSON SAYS MYRIE’S WAIT NOT LONG—03/22/14
A.J. Nicholson, Jamaica’s Foreign Minister, says that the five months elapsing between the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice in the case of Shanique Myrie is not a long time to wait for payment of the judgment and legal costs. Myrie, who is from Jamaica, was awarded $3.6 million in damages after the court found the government of Barbados breached her right to enter the country under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

CHRISTIE PROPOSES STRONG MEASURES AGAINST CORRUPTION—03/23/14
Greg Christie, a consultant and the former Contractor General of Jamaica, is proposing measures designed to address corruption in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. He has recommended that a national and regional system of certification, decertification, debarment, and cross-debarment of government contractors be implemented to address those who consistently fail to adhere to required standards or who engage in fraudulent practices.

LAWS IN JAMAICA DO NOT ADDRESS KNOWING EXPOSURE TO HIV/AIDS—03/24/14
Jamaican laws do not provide for circumstances in which someone with HIV or AIDS, who knows they have the infection, knowingly or willfully exposes another individual to the infection by engaging in unsafe conduct and transmits the disease to that other person. Margarette Macaulay, women’s and children’s affairs advocate at attorney at law, notes that other countries have laws that make such transmission a crime. She has called Jamaica’s 1937 Venereal Disease Act “archaic” and “inadequate” to address current conditions.

DRUG TRAFFICKER FROM GUYANA FINED BY JAMAICAN COURT—03/25/14
Jonathan Fontanelle, a man from Guyana, was caught trafficking cocaine in Jamaica. He was sentenced to a fine of J$800,000 or 18 months in local prison as a result. Judith Pusey, Senior Corporate Area Magistrate, imposed the large fine on Fontanelle, whose own attorney described him as someone who did not understand what he was getting into when he carried two pounds and three ounces of the drug into Jamaica.

JEEP PROGRAM WILL BENEFIT 12,000 UNEMPLOYED JAMAICANS—03/26/14
Some 12,000 Jamaicans are likely to see the benefits of additional work performed under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Program (JEEP). The total value of the work is $630 million. Each of Jamaica’s 63 constituencies received an allocation of $10 million for development of the project in construction, road repair, retaining wall repair, and repairs to drains and pavements. The activities are part of projects facilitated through the Major Infrastructure Development Program (MIDP), which is funded chiefly by the government of China and the China Harbor Engineering Company.

JAMAICA TO PUT US$22 MILLION TOWARD AVIATION SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS—03/27/14
Jamaica’s government plans to spend US$22 million during the next two years toward improvements in aviation safety and security. The government will upgrade or replace old technology to bring Jamaica into compliance with international standards. Leroy Lindsay, director general of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, made the announcement of the government’s plans.

NET LOSS OF J$2.23 BILLION RECORDED BY PORT AUTHORITY—03/28/14
An unrealized exchange loss by the Port Authority of Jamaica of $4.38 billion is the fallout from a 13-percent depreciation of the Jamaican dollar against the dollar of the United States. The loss was recorded during the 2012/2013 financial year.

GOVERNMENT DISCUSSES BOG WALK GORGE DAM WITH CHINA HARBOR—03/28/14
The Jamaican government plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) for a feasibility study about the damming of Bog Walk Gorge in St. Catherine. The dam would provide a reservoir of drinking water and a means of electricity generation.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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TIES WITH MEXICO FEATURED IN REGGAE POSTER COMPETITION—03/23/14
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico City hosted an exhibit of the International Reggae Poster Competition to illustrate the importance of the Jamaican musical genre. The exhibit was implemented via a partnership between Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Jamaica in Mexico. Organizations collected the best reggae posters from the 2012 and 2013 competitions. The exhibit is called “World-A-Reggae” and features 50 posters chosen from 2,000 submissions from 90 countries. the 2013 award was won by Lenin Vasquez of Mexico.

CARIBBEAN STATES ORGANIZATION HOLDS TALKS IN D.C.—03/24/14
Talks between Alfonso Munera Cavadia, Secretary Generation of the Association of Caribbean States, and Jose Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States, were held in Washington, D.C. The talks focused on ways to build more dynamic partnerships between the two organizations to enhance their similar initiatives and programs.

HISTORIC STUDENT DEMOSTRATION NOW ON FILM—03/25/14
West Indian students at Sir George Williams University in Montreal, Quebec, in Canada, took over the computer labs at the university in 1969 and changed the university and the students who took part in the affair. The Computer Riot at the university, which is now part of Concordia University, influenced its participants, many of whom went on to impact revolutionary events in the Caribbean. Now Selwyn Jacob, who was born in Trinidad, has created a documentary film about the 1969 events that will be distributed by T&T Film Company.

SIMPSON MILLER TO SPEAK AT LAFAYETTE COLLEGE COMMENCEMENT—03/26/14
Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica, is scheduled to be the featured speaker at the 179th commencement at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania in May 2014. She will also be awarded an honorary degree in public service. Simpson Miller is the first woman to be Prime Minister of Jamaica and is serving her second term. She was previously a cabinet minister for 17 years with responsibilities spanning labor, sports, social security, tourism and local government.

TOP POLICE OFFICER IN WINNIPEG IS JAMAICAN—03/27/14
Devon Clunis of Jamaica has become the 17th Chief of Police in Winnipeg, Canada. He is the first black man and the first Jamaican to serve in this post. He is a native of Harmony Vale, St. Ann, and enlisted Winnipeg’s police force for 29 years.

FIRST ANNIVERSARY FETED BY JAMAICAN WOMEN OF FLORIDA—03/28/14
The Jamaican Women of Florida will mark its first anniversary by holding a Reggae/Jazz Brunch and Fashion Show at Broward Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. Eugene Grey, Jamaican jazz musician, and his band will perform, along with Sabrina Williams, and Soleil Rowe, at 11 years of age the next-generation star.
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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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ISLANDS REBUILDING AFTER FLOODS—03/22/14

CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT BANK GIVES US$16.18 MILLION TO COLLEGE—03/23/14

NCAA BASKETBALL TOURNEY INCLUDES 6 PLAYERS FROM CARIBBEAN—03/24/14

MANDATORY DEATH PENALTY TO END IN BARBADOS—03/25/14

END CUBAN EMBARGO, CARICOM TELLS U.S.—03/26/14

CLIMATE POLLUTERS COULD BE TRIED IN COURT—03/27/14

 

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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REGIONAL FOOD LABELING URGED—03/22/14
CARICOM nations have been called upon to create regional food labeling standards. A report from the Second International Conference on Non-Communicable Diseases of Children and Adolescents also recommended that marketing of fast food and drinks that contain lots of sugar been limited or even banned. The report was issued by the Health Caribbean Coalition and noted that countries in the Caribbean have done well responding to non-communicable disease among young individuals, no national policies have been made against advertising unhealthy foods to children.

RUSSIAN AIRLINE STOPS SERVICE TO JAMAICA—03/23/14
Political developments involving Russia and Ukraine have resulted in the suspension of service to Jamaica by Transaero Airlines, a Russian firm. Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism announced the suspension of flights between Moscow and Montego Bay will begin March 28, 2014. Services are set to resume in November. The change was attributed to currency fluctuations in Russia and the impact this has on the airline.

JAMAICA READY FOR EXPO 2014—03/25/14
The largest tradeshow designed to showcase locally produced goods opens at National Arena in Kingston in April 2014. The 2014 EXPO Jamaica is expected to be provide significant improvements over the previous year, according to co-chair of the EXPO Jamaica 2014 Committee, Aswad Morgan. Booths for the show are sold out, and 448 buyers have registered to date. Of that number, 193 are from Jamaica, and foreign buyers represent the Czech Republic, Venezuela, the United Kingdom, United states, Britain, Canada, and the Caribbean.

EDWARDS GIVES ADVICE TO FARMERS—03/26/14
Diane Edwards, president of JAMPRO, has advised farmers in Jamaica to upgrade planting methods and crop selection to take advantage of the agricultural export market, which represents billions of dollars. Edwards noted that farmers should research marketing methods to obtain higher profits.
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Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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OAS TO HELP JAMAICA WITH CYBER SECURITY—03/22/14

TSUNAMI WARNING SYSTEM TESTED IN CARIBBEAN BASIN—03/26/14

 

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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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ART OF JAMAICA DISPLAYED IN CAYMANS—03/22/14
The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands offers a new exhibit that examines the art of Jamaica in the 1960s and 1970s. This time period encompassed major social and political events in Jamaica and also saw art and artists proliferate. The Caymans collection includes 35 works that have been loaned by the National Gallery of Jamaica.

PROFESSIONALS TO REVIEW MUSEUMS’ ROLE IN NATIONAL IDENTITY—03/23/14d
Jamaican museum professionals and academics met at the University of the West Indies Museum to mark the launch of a new publication “Plantation to Nation: Caribbean Museums and National Identity.” The introduction brought co-editor Alissandra Cummins, director of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, with two authors of Jamaica, Dr. Veerle Poupeye and Dr. Rebecca Tortell Cummins. The book is designed to explore how museums shape the identity of a country and should be studied themselves.

JUDGE CONSIDERS RESTITUTION PAYMENTS FROM KARTEL—03/27/14
Justice Lennox Campbell is considering whether Vybz Kartel, who was convicted in the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams, should be required to pay restitution to Williams’ family. The judge has looked for information concerning whether someone with talent like Kartel may continue to produce music was incarcerated. If so, the judge plans to order that proceeds from the productions be paid to the estate of Williams.

NEW FILM’S TRAILER CAUSES STIR—03/28/14
The promotion trailer for “Jamaican Mafia” is intended to increase public interest in what has been called the “biggest” film to come from the United States that features Jamaican talent. The film, which was written by Mykal Fax, tells the story of the life of Zoolian Anderson, also known as Zoo-Zoo, who gives up a corporate job for a life of crime after learning he is related to a notorious crime boss.

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SPORTS
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EDWARDS MAY COMPETE IN TAE KWON DO—03/23/14
Kenneth Edwards, Jamaica’s Olympic athlete in tae kwon do, has been cleared to resume competition following a decision from the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel. While he can go on with his athletic career, he is considering an appeal, since the  Panel publically reprimanded him after an adverse analytical finding. He tested positive for a banned diuretic in the summer of 2013, but the authorities were satisfied that he did not intend to consume any substance to enhance his performance.

REGGIE MARLEY VICTORIOUS IN CARIHI CUP—03/25/14
Jamaican Reggie Marley is the first athlete to have his name on the Carihi Cup. He beat B.J. Laredo in the finals of an eight-man tournament hosted by the Pure Wrestling Association. The competitive event was given to raise funds for the 2014 Carihi graduation class.

CARIFTA GAMES TEAM ANNOUNCED BY JAAA—03/26/14
The list of the 78 members for the team representing Jamaica at the CARIFTA Games in Martinique in April 2014 includes five individual medalists from the World Youth Championships. Yanique Thompson, Jaheel Hyde, Martin Manley, and Marvin Williams, along with Tiffany James were named to the team.

CARTER PREPARED TO MOVE AHEAD—03/27/14
Sprint athlete Nesta Carter of Jamaica will not allow his experience at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships impact his future ambitions or the preparations he is making for his outdoor season. Carter tool a silver medal in the 2012 IAAF Worlds, but only ranked seventh at the Indoor Worlds in Sopot. His goal is to perform well on the circuit in preparation for major competitions over the coming three years and is getting ready for the outdoor season.

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JAMAICAN JOBS
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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending March 21st, 2014

FORMER COLONIZERS SUED BY CARIBBEAN NATIONS—03/15/14
The heads of 14 nations in the Caribbean plan to sue their former European colonizers for the “psychological trauma” and other damages they believe are the residual effects of slavery. Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands are among those being sued under a ten-point plan developed by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). CARICOM wants former colonizers to apologize and pay for the lingering trauma suffered in the region.

CARICOM TO ADDRESS MARIJUANA USE ISSUES—03/16/14
The leaders of CARICOM nations want a Regional Commission established to address the issues related to the use of marijuana. The chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, made the announcement about the commission, noting the debate surrounding the medical use of marijuana as well as its recreational use.

CARIBBEAN REGION COULD ACT AS GLOBAL HUB—03/17/14
Technological advances have made preference in trade outdated, and economic globalization is now a reality that must be addressed. The physical and geographical features of the Caribbean make it appropriate for development as an international trading hub and could alter its focus on commodities, tourism, and artisanal industries to a more global perspective.

POLITICAL PARTIES IN GUYANA LEAD ON CARIBBEAN INTEGRATION—03/18/14
The government in Guyana is committed to the goals of regionalism and its principles. The opposition and governing political parties in the country’s legislature have shown their commitment to CARICOM by unanimously agreeing to an amendment to the Caribbean Community Free Entry of Skilled Nationals Act to permit the spouse of skilled national to work as well. This is a ground-breaking issue within CARICOM, as no other member nation has taken this step.

DOMINICA CONSIDERING CCJ CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT—03/19/14
Dominica plans to introduce legislation designed to amend the national constitution to accede to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). According to Ian Douglas, Tourism and Legal Affairs Minister of Dominica, the bill will change the constitution and replace the Privy Council with the CCJ as the country’s Final Court of Appeal, if passed.

CUBA, UNITED STATES, CARIBBEAN NATIONS JOIN IN OILCLEAN-UP AGREEMENT—03/20/14
The Wider Caribbean Region Multilateral Technical Operating Procedures for Offshore Oil Pollution Response, an international agreement, has received approval from countries in the Caribbean, along with Cuba and the United States. The agreement describes how Mexico, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cuba, and the U.S. will work together if an oil spill threatens to expand beyond the territorial waters of any one country.

$42 MILLION FOR INNER CITY IMPROVEMENTS IN JAMAICA—03/18/14
Over 80,000 Jamaicans will benefit from improvements to services, infrastructure and interventions targeting crime and violence with a US$42 million project approved by the World Bank. Eighteen inner-city areas deemed “vulnerable” will receive aid designed to enhance safety and improve living conditions for residents.

UK AIR PASSENGER DUTY REFORMS WELCOMED BY JAMAICA—03/19/14
George Osborne, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced changes to the Air Passenger Duty (APD) that will benefit Jamaica and other Caribbean destinations. Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, has welcomed the changes, which will be effective in April of 2015, calling the reforms a “major victory” for the Caribbean community, which has worked for years to alter the system it characterized as unfair.

FISHERFOLK MOBILIZE FOR GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATION—03/20/14
More than 20 leaders of the fisherfolk from the Jamaica Fishermen Cooperative Union (JFCU) and affiliated cooperatives, plus representatives of the Fisheries and Cooperatives Divisions, received training  in participatory governance at a workshop designed to enhance the capacity of these organizations to engage in processes to develop fishery policies.

SHAW WANTS FIXED RATE OF EXCHANGE IMPLEMENTED—03/21/14
Audley Shaw, Jamaica’s former minister of finance, is calling for a fixed rate of exchange to be introduced in the face of continued depreciation of Jamaica’s currency. The rate of exchange is currently over $109 to the US dollar.

 
 

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CARIBBEAN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending March 21st, 2014

GRENADA HOSTS INNOVATION WORKSHOP—03/18/14
Workshops that form part of a broad initiative of the World Bank are being implemented throughout the Caribbean. Grenada is the latest location of the Caribbean Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP) workshop suite designed to encourage the use of technology to spur innovation and development. CARCIP uses upgraded Internet and telecommunications technology to address the needs of countries in the Caribbean. The workshops have been held 21 times in 18 countries in the area to date.

JAMAICA RECEIVES AID FOR CYBERSECURITY STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT—03/20/14
The Organization of American States (OAS) is working with Jamaican authorities to create a national cybersecurity strategy. The Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), a part of the OAS, visited Kingston to provide technical aid in developing such a strategy. The CICTE Cyber Security Program will be coordinating the initiative with Jamaica’s Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining.

 
 

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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending March 21st, 2014

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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PRIME MINISTER SATISFIED WITH CARICOM’S FOCUS ON CLIMATE CHANGE—03/15/14
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, says she is satisfied with the greater focus placed on climate change by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). She said that Jamaica is paying close attention to developments in this critical area as well.

CONTRACTOR GENERAL: RULES BREACHED IN HOTEL DEAL—03/16/14
Jamaica’s Office of the Contractor General (OCG) found several breaches of rules governing procurement in a deal between the National Insurance Fund (NIF) and the Blue Diamond Hotels and Resorts group. The OCG has recommended no punitive action be taken in the case, however, deciding to use the situation as a teaching moment for public sector interests.

CAMPBELL-BROWN’S LAWYER SAYS ERRORS RESULTED IN CLIENT’S CLEARING—03/17/14
Howard Jacobs, attorney for Veronica Campbell-Brown, said that errors made by officials in Jamaica during anti-doping procedures resulted in the athlete’s clearing of doping charges. The mistakes, which included failure to properly seal urine samples, led the Court of Arbitration for Sport to rule in favor of Campbell-Brown’s appeal of the two-year ban.

JUROR IN KARTEL TRIAL CHARGED WITH BRIBERY—03/17/14
The Jamaica Constabulary Force stated that Livingston Cain, 50, has been charged with five counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice and conspiracy in connection with attempted bribery in the murder trial of dancehall reggae artiste Vybz Kartel. Cain was a juror in Kartel’s trial, and after the guilty verdict was announced, he was arrested on suspicion of trying to bribe other jurors to free the defendant.

$42 MILLION FOR INNER CITY IMPROVEMENTS IN JAMAICA—03/18/14
Over 80,000 Jamaicans will benefit from improvements to services, infrastructure and interventions targeting crime and violence with a US$42 million project approved by the World Bank. Eighteen inner-city areas deemed “vulnerable” will receive aid designed to enhance safety and improve living conditions for residents.

UK AIR PASSENGER DUTY REFORMS WELCOMED BY JAMAICA—03/19/14
George Osborne, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced changes to the Air Passenger Duty (APD) that will benefit Jamaica and other Caribbean destinations. Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, has welcomed the changes, which will be effective in April of 2015, calling the reforms a “major victory” for the Caribbean community, which has worked for years to alter the system it characterized as unfair.

FISHERFOLK MOBILIZE FOR GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATION—03/20/14
More than 20 leaders of the fisherfolk from the Jamaica Fishermen Cooperative Union (JFCU) and affiliated cooperatives, plus representatives of the Fisheries and Cooperatives Divisions, received training  in participatory governance at a workshop designed to enhance the capacity of these organizations to engage in processes to develop fishery policies.

SHAW WANTS FIXED RATE OF EXCHANGE IMPLEMENTED—03/21/14
Audley Shaw, Jamaica’s former minister of finance, is calling for a fixed rate of exchange to be introduced in the face of continued depreciation of Jamaica’s currency. The rate of exchange is currently over $109 to the US dollar.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN MAN FINED FOR OVERSTAYING IN GUYANA—03/15/14
Rohan Brown, a Jamaican national, admitted that he overstayed his welcome in Guyana. He entered the country in September 6, 2013 and has been staying with his girlfriend at her home. He appeared before the Magistrates’ Courts in Georgetown, where he was fined. He had originally been granted a six-month stay.

JAMAICAN MUSICIANS OVERSEAS NOT GIVEN A CHANCE, SAY PRODUCERS—03/16/14
Many emerging local Jamaican artistes complain that local producers do not give them an opportunity to showcase their talents, things are even worse for foreign-based producers who say they are being attacked and their work disregarded just because they do not living in Jamaica. Many talented artistes of Jamaican heritage are not receiving attention on the home island, says producer Nicko Rebel.

JAMAICAN PLAY CELEBRATES NATIONAL WOMEN’S MONTH—03/17/14
“Not about Eve,” a play by Jamaican actor and writer Kari O’Brian Williams, will be staged in New York at the Jamaica Center for the Arts and Learning at the end of March 2013. Williams, who was born in Kingston, says her play was inspired by personal experiences and illustrates a Jamaican “aesthetic.” Andrew Clarke, the director of the Center, is from Montego Bay, and says its mission is to promote Caribbean issues and stories while providing a venue for actors, writers, and directors in the Diaspora.

FOREIGN MINISTRY SAYS JAMAICAN STUDENTS IN UKRAINE ARE SAFE—03/19/14
Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade reports that four Jamaican students enrolled at a medical university in Ukraine are safe. The university is Kharkiv, a city in the northeastern part of the country. The Jamaican embassy in Berlin, Germany, has maintained contact with Ukraine and a student representative there, and while there is concern about the political situation in the country, students are still attending classes, and there is a “semblance of normality.”

CLARKE PRAISES REVIEW OF CARIBBEAN DEPORTATIONS—03/20/14
Yvette D. Clarke, Caribbean-American Congresswoman from the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, is praising the U.S. President Barack Obama for starting a review of deportations to the Caribbean region. Obama has stated that deporting undocumented immigrants should be conducted in a more humane manner.

JAMAICAN LEADING TRAUMA TEAM RESPONDING TO MISSING MALAYAN JET—03/21/14
Stephen-Claude Hyatt, a Jamaican clinical health psychologist and head of the Mental Health Department at International SOS Beijing, is heading the team in China that has responsibility for trauma therapy in response to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, which is missing. Hyatt said that the airline firm is doing a great job in meeting the needs of family members of the passengers on the jet. Hyatt attended Calabar High School and is a native of Kingston.
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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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FORMER COLONIZERS SUED BY CARIBBEAN NATIONS—03/15/14

CARICOM TO ADDRESS MARIJUANA USE ISSUES—03/16/14

CARIBBEAN REGION COULD ACT AS GLOBAL HUB—03/17/14

POLITICAL PARTIES IN GUYANA LEAD ON CARIBBEAN INTEGRATION—03/18/14

DOMINICA CONSIDERING CCJ CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT—03/19/14

CUBA, UNITED STATES, CARIBBEAN NATIONS JOIN IN OILCLEAN-UP AGREEMENT—03/20/14

 

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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MONTEGO BAY TO GET $200-MILLION HOSPITAL—03/16/14
Spain’s Hospiten Group has announced its final plans to build a specialized general hospital at Cinnamon Hill, Rose Hall, St. James in Jamaica. The facility will cost $200 million and will provide medical services to residents of the North Coast area and to visitors to the island. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller expressed her appreciation to the group for its investment in the country.

PROFITS AVAILABLE IN ORGANIC AGRICULTURE—03/17/14
Neil Curtis immigrated to the United States in 1972 and knows that there is significant money to be obtained through Jamaica agriculture. He spent one year in St. Elizabeth in Jamaica, buying and selling callaloo, and discovered the profitability of this crop. He made a profit of 800 percent from his callaloo enterprise.

USAID DIRECTOR BELIEVES JAMAICA SHOULD DEVELOP NEW BRANDS—03/18/14
Denise Herbol, Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is calling for research into local, traditional industries that can help boost development potential for Jamaica. She noted that famous Jamaican brands like Blue Mountain Coffee were established through years of research, and she believes more should be done to duplicate those successful efforts.

FIRST JAMAICAN CASINO PLAN REVEALED—03/19/14
Jamaica is poised to receive a boost from the first casino resort proposal in its history. Celebration Jamaica would be the first licensed casino in the country, and it is scheduled to move ahead as early as the summer of 2014.The development will being as soon as the order is granted, says Robert Trotta, who is shepherding the casino, which would take three years to build. It would be located in Montego Bay.
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Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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GRENADA HOSTS INNOVATION WORKSHOP—03/18/14

JAMAICA RECEIVES AID FOR CYBERSECURITY STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT—03/20/14

 

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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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REGGAE MONTH ACTIVITIES TO BE HELD IN RANNY WILLIAMS COMPLEX—03/20/14
All of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) activities marking Reggae Month over the next five years will take place at the Louise Bennett Garden Theater and Ranny Williams Enterprise Complex in Kingston. The Honor Awards, the Dennis Brown Tribute, and the Trench Town Rock International Festival will continue to be held at their previous venues, however. JaRIA made the arrangements public at the annual general meeting, which also elected new board members.

MERCEDES KIRKWOOD DIES—03/17/14
In 2013, at the age of 92, Mercedes Kirkwood received the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD) for her contributions to the development of Jamaican musical theater. The legendary performer has now died. Kirkwood, who was born in Del Rio, Cuba, began singing at the age of three. She moved to Jamaica and was a student at the Jamaica School of Music where she realized her potential to sing opera. She then migrated to the United Kingdom and had a flourishing career in operatic theater.

THREE JAMAICAN NOVELS VIE FOR BURT AWARD—03/18/14
Jamaica has three entries in the running for the inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean Literature. They include “Island Princess in Brooklyn,” by Diane Browne; “All Over Again,” by A-dZiko Simba Gegele; and “Inner City Girl,” by Colleen Smith. The award is intended to encourage novel writing in the region, particularly novels for young adults.

JIMMY CLIFF JOINS CALL FOR SLAVERY REPARATIONS—03/19/14
Jamaican reggae legend Jimmy Cliff believes that communities in the Caribbean have the right to be reimbursed for the damages done by slavery during the colonial era. He believes that the 15 Caribbean nations suing Britain, France, and the Netherlands, among others, for reparations have a logical point and believes payment from those who benefitted from slavery to the region that suffered because of it would be fair.

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SPORTS
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JAMAICAN BOXERS COMPETE IN 4TH WRAY AND CONTENDER—03/15/14
The Green Team at the Wray and Nephew Contender’s fourth season will feature Jamaican boxers who will compete against the Yellow Team comprising boxers from several other Caribbean countries. Eight Jamaican boxers are ready to battle Team Caribbean. They are competing for a share of J$3 million in prize money. The winner of the competition will receive J$2 million and the title of Jamaica’s Ultimate Welterweight Boxer.

CAMPBELL-BROWN CRITICIZES JAMAICAN ATHLETICS AND “FALSE REPORTING”—03/16/14
Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jamaican champion sprinter, has been cleared to compete again after appealing a two-year ban for doping. She is now attacking the Jamaican athletics federation for not helping her more during her difficulties. She also accused press reporters with “smearing” her reputation. She said she took a lie-detector test to prove her innocence and that she has suffered significant financial and emotional devastation during her ordeal.

JAMAICANS WIN NCAA 60-METER TITLES—03/17/14
Omar McCleod, a Jamaican freshman at Arkansas, ran the men’s 60 meters at the NCAA Division 1 2014 Indoor Track and Field Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 7.58 seconds for the victory in the event. Jamaican Remona Burchell of Alabama won the women’s 60-meter title with a new personal best run of 7.11 seconds, the fastest time this season for a female college sprinter.

FRASER-PRYCE LEADS LINE-UP AT DIAMOND LEAGUE—03/18/14
Jamaica’s Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, the current world and Olympic 100-meter champion, will head the field for the opening meet of the 2014 IAAF Diamond League in Doha, Qatar, beginning on May 9. Fraser-Pryce, 27, will compete in the 100 meters after a win in the 200 meters in 2013 in Doha. She will be facing Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, double world sprint finalist, and Kerron Stewart, 100-meter finalist at the Moscow worlds, in addition to three runners from the United States.

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JAMAICAN JOBS
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