THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICANS AMONG MOST LIKELY TO BE DENIED ENTRANCE TO BARBADOS—03/09/13
According to statistics gathered by immigration officials in Barbados, individuals from Jamaica and Guyana represented the majority of people from CARICOM nations refused entry to the country since 2007. These statistics were included in the evidence brought before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in regard to the case of Shanique Myrie. The data showed that 1,485 Jamaicans were refused entry to Barbados since 2007, compared to only 28 of the 42,295 Trinidadians who visited Barbados in 2012.
PRIME MINISTER URGES WOMEN TO FIGHT VIOLENCE—03/10/13
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, has urged Jamaicans not to accept or excuse violence against women. The Prime Minister celebrated International Women’s Day by noting that Jamaican women are part of a worldwide struggle against violence such as sexual assaults. Simpson Miller said that the issue is a top priority for her government and called on Jamaicans to commit themselves to battling violence against women in the country.
JAMAICA, CHINA IN HUGE INFRASTRUCTURE AGREEMENT—03/11/13
Jamaica has obtained support from China for a program designed to develop the nation’s infrastructure. The agreement, valued at US$300 million, was negotiated by Jamaica’s Dr. Omar Davies, Minister of Works, on a visit to China in February 2013. The agreement with China Exim Bank will provide funds that will be combined with US$60 million from the Jamaican government to finance the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Program (JDIP).
U.S. HAMMERS JAMAICA OVER LOTTERY SCAM—03/12/13
Jamaica’s image worldwide is likely to suffer as the United States Senate addresses the lottery scam based in Jamaica that has harmed many individuals in the U.S. The testimony of witnesses before the Senate in the case will be featured n a major television network in the U.S. Legislators are expected to ask officials in Jamaica what they have done to address the scamming, which has targeted elderly persons in the U.S. and stolen millions of dollars from them.
FISHERMAN KILLED BY SHARKS—03/13/13
A Jamaican fisherman, George Facey, was with a group of other fisherman when they encountered sharks during a dive three miles off the south coast of the island. Facey, 68, received several shark bites before his companions managed to retrieve his body and take it in to shore. It is not known what type of sharks is responsible for the incident.
U.S. SENATORS URGE OFFICIALS TO CRACK DOWN ON PHONE SCAMS—03/14/13
Senators in the United States Congress have called on both Jamaican and U.S. officials to improve their efforts to stop phone scammers who are stealing millions of dollars from senior citizens in Maine and other states in the U.S. According to Senator Ben Nelson of Florida, scammers in Jamaica should be extradited to the U.S. to face trial for the crime. He believes this would have a “chilling effect” on many scammers who currently feel they are beyond the reach of the law.
NEW LEGISLATION TO CONTROL JAMAICA LOTTERY SCAMS—03/14/13
Officials in Jamaica hope that new legislation will lead to the convictions of the criminals behind the multimillion dollar lottery fraud that chiefly targets elderly people in the United States. According to Peter Bunting, Jamaica’s National Security Minister, the bill that focuses on fraudulent transaction will lead to many more successful prosecutions of the scammers. An estimated 30,000 calls per day are made by Jamaican fraudsters to U.S. citizens.
MANY YOUNG PEOPLE MAY NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE—03/15/13
Statements from the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) are raising questions about whether thousands of younger people did not present proof of their age when they registered to vote. This means they may not be eligible to vote if they did not offer proof of being 18 years old or older. The questions involve whether the ECJ verified that over 15,000 electors were at least 18, the required voting age. The problem arises from conflicts in how the ECJ operates.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
KERR MOVES TO FOOTBALL IN NORWAY—03/09/13
Duwayne Kerr, Jamaican national goalie, is moving to top flight football in Oslo, Norway. Kerr has been playing for a second division club Strommen, but has taken an opportunity to move to the top division club Sarpsborg 08. Kerr, 26, said his dream is to secure a position in the Premier League, but he is taking things one step at a time. By playing in the Norwegian Premier League, Kerr will compete against three of his teammates on the Reggae Boyz.
NEW BOOK CHRONICLES HISTORY OF THE JAMAICAN-CANADIAN ASSOCIATION—03/11/13
Roy G. Williams has written a book that reveals the creation and development of the Jamaican-Canadian Association between the years of 1962 and 2012. Williams wants to preserve the history of this organization, which is currently in its 51st year. The origin, struggles, and ultimate survival of the group, along with its accomplishments, is covered in the new book.
BROOKLYN HOME TO “UNDERGROUND” CARIBBEAN BALLROOM DANCING—03/12/13
The latest trend in underground dance clubs in Brooklyn, New York, is the Trinidadian tango. Dancers in the underground Caribbean ballroom scene showed off their moves to the public for the first time at Five Myles Gallery in Crown Heights. According to organizer Chantel Bell, the dancers gather every weekend for formal ballroom parties. Caribbean immigrants now living in Brooklyn combine waltz, tango, and quick-step dances in freestyle dancing.
ELLAH KANDI PROMOTES CARIBBEAN FOOD IN BRITAIN—03/13/13
Since Ellah Kandi came to the United Kingdom, she has become a leader in the Caribbean community in Leicester. She volunteers with the deaf, is a strong member of her church, established a catering company, and written a cookbook, all following several years being moved around by immigration authorities and being homeless. Her new cookbook “Multicultural Cuisines” includes recipes from the Caribbean and East Africa.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
IN HAITI, DISPLACED PEOPLE AT RISK OF ARBITRARY ARREST—03/10/13
AFTER CHAVEZ, CARIBBEAN FACES ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY—03/11/13
GRENADA RESTRUCTURES DEBT—03/12/13
COSTA RICA SEIZES TWO TONS OF COCAINE—03/13/13
CUBANS TO DISCUSS OIL DRILLING IN BAHAMAS—03/14/13
BRITAIN’S HAGUE CRITICIZES SPEECH BY LEADER OF TURKS AND CAICOS—03/15/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICA’S CREDIT RATING UPGRADED BY S&P—03/09/13
The credit rating of Jamaica has received an upgrade from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) rating service. The long-term foreign debt and local currency sovereign credit ratings of Jamaica were upgraded to CCC+. This raise came after the selective default that followed the completion of a debt restructuring of the National Debt Exchange (NDX) by the government. The outlook for the long-term foreign and local currency sovereignty credit ratings remains stable, and S&P also assigned a CCC+ rating to Jamaica’s new benchmark bonds.
ICONIC JAMAICAN FIRM IN VIOLATION OF FDA RULES—03/10/13
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found PA Benjamin of Jamaica to be a “significant” violator of good manufacturing practices as defined under U.S. law. The FDA inspected the firm’s facilities in Kingston in May of 2012, issuing very negative findings nine months later. According to the FDA, PA Benjamin was in violation of practices established for methods and facilities used for the manufacture, processing, and packing of its personal care and medicinal products and food additives.
JAMAICA WANTS REASSURANCE FROM COSTA RICA ON TRANSHIPMENT—03/13/13
The Minister of Foreign Trade in Costa Rica, Anabel Gonzalez, urged Jamaica to implement the CARICOM Free Trade Agreement (FTA) fully with her country. She said provisions could be included to ensure no pass-through of goods from other locations. Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton said he needed additional clarity on the issues that relate to origin, since Costa Rica has acted to reestablish a free trade agreement with the United States.
JAMAICA CUSTOMS DEPARTMENT CALLED BARRIER TO TRADE EFFICIENCY—03/14/13
The Jamaican Customs Department has been called upon to use electronic and other time-saving methods in order to expedite collection and examination. The agency is urged to change over from its current paper-based audit system, which has been cited as a source of delay at ports in Jamaica.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
PARENT FIRM OF FLOW ACQUIRES TELECOM IN EASTERN CARIBBEAN—03/09/13
SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AT UWI REBRANDED—03/10/13
PETROLEUM FIRM TO UPGRADE TO MORE EFFICIENT LIGHTING—03/11/13
NEW TOURISM WEBSITE FOR THE CARIBBEAN LAUNCHED—03/13/13
JAMAICAN MUSIC INFLUENCED BY WOMEN—03/10/13
Female vocalists have made considerable contributions to the development of popular music in Jamaica, and on International Women’s Day, their influence was duly noted. One of the names most associated with women’s contributions is that of Marcia Griffiths, the “queen” of Jamaican reggae. She is the best known female personality in Jamaican music. She came on the male-dominated music scene at nine years of age on an Easter concert sponsored by Byron Lee and the Carib Theater in 1964, and her success has been legendary.
CARIBBEAN DRAMA SHOWS VIOLENCE LINKED TO DRUGS—03/11/13
The book “90 Day of Violence” by Lyndon Baptiste shows the negative side of the beautiful Caribbean region. It depicts the violence linked to drugs and alcohol in a unique West Indian light. Although Baptiste’s book shows a dark side of life, his writing and tone capture a compelling Caribbean essence.
JAMAICAN POET NAMED TO BOCAS PRIZE LONG LIST—03/12/13
Ann-Margaret Linn, Jamaican poet, has been honored along with nine other writers from the Caribbean, and been named to the long list for the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. The prize is sponsored by One Caribbean Media. The long list covers fiction, poetry, and literary non-fiction. Winners will be announced March 17, 2013. The top prize is US$10,000. Lin has been nominated for her book “The Festival of Wild Orchid.”
JAMAICAN PRODUCERS IN PHILADELPHIA SIGN A ROCK BAND—03/13/13
The 619 Entertainment Group, which is a record label owned by four Jamaicans in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has decided to broaden its catalog by signing Post Sun Times, a rock band. The label began in 2009, with principal founders Roger Grant, Bentonn Dunn, Marcello Johnson, and Linval Osborne. These four Jamaicans joined together to explore their common interest in the entertainment business. They began with reggae acts like Princess Thundah, but are expanding to manage the new rock band.
HOLMWOOD TO FOCUS ON QUALITY AT CHAMPS—03/11/13
Holmwood Technical High School plans to focus their attention on quality. A key reason Holmwood has had a nine-year record of dominating the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association GraceKennedy Girls’ Athletics Championships was the depth of the squad. However, the poor economic climate has caused the team to shift its focus to quality for the March 12-16, 2013, championships. A lack of funding has resulted in consolidation and a more strategic approach, said head coach Maurice Wilson.
BOLT GIVEN LAUREUS SPORTS AWARD—03/12/13
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s Olympic champion sprinter, has received another award. Bolt was named the 2012 Sportsman in the 2013 Laureus Award. Bolt also won this prize in 2009 and 2010. In accepting the award, which was given in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Bolt noted that he really appreciated the recognition because his last season had been difficult.
EDWIN ALLEN DEFEATS ALL CHALLENGERS AT CHAMPS—03/13/13
On the second day of the 2013 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships, Edwin Allen finished first and third in the three finals held on the second day. The defending champions of 2012, Edwin Allen ended the day with 45 points, taking a lead of 24 points over nine-time champs Holmwood Technical High.
MARLON SAMUELS RETURNS TO WEST INDIES TEAM—03/14/13
Marlon Samuels returned to the West Indies team following an injury. The top-order batsman had not been playing because of a facial injury, but he came back against Zimbabwe with a high-quality performance. Ottis Gibson, West Indies coach, welcomed Samuels’ return, saying it was good news for the team, since he has been a major help to the team over the past year.