THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAILS REVIEWED FOLLOWING FIVE ESCAPES IN SEVEN MONTHS—04/13/13
Jamaican police state that conditions at all police jails are under review after Delworth Heath, Assistant Commissioner of Police, disclosed that four prisoners escaped in a jailbreak in Spanish Town. This is one of several jailbreaks reported in the past seven months. Heath, head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) quality control unit, said the four prisoners cut through a grille at the facility in St. Catherine just before dawn.
JAMAICANS TOO “TOLERANT” OF INJUSTICE, SAYS WILKISON—04/14/13
Ian Wilkinson, president of the Jamaican Bar Association, says that Jamaicans are overly tolerant of injustice and have come to accept increasing murder and crime levels unless the crimes affected them personally. Wilkinson made his remarks at the forum launching the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). He said Jamaicans are part of the problem because they do not pressure the government to take any action to control crime.
HARRISON CHALLENGES JAMAICA TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST CORRUPTION—04/15/13
Dirk Harrison, the newly installed Contractor General of Jamaica, is challenging the people of Jamaica to take collection action against vices that promote corruption in society. He has also recommended that a single anti-corruption agency be established by combining the Parliamentary Integrity Commission, the Corruption Prevention Commission, and the Office of the Contractor General. A single agency would improve accountability and effectiveness, according to Harrison.
JAMAICAN AT BOSTON MARATHON ESCAPES EXPLOSION—04/15/13
Wayne Levey, 47, is a Jamaican who ran in the Boston Marathon. He had finished running the 26.2 miles of the race just before the devastating explosions marred the historic event on April 15, 2013. Levy completed the distance in two hours, 42 minutes, and 38 seconds to finish in 352nd place among the thousands of runners who began the race that morning. Levy, who was born in Jamaica, moved to Connecticut at age 12.
BUNTING COMMENT CRITICIZED—04/16/13
Critics of comments made by Peter Bunting, Jamaica’s National Security Minister, believe he sent the wrong signal concerning his efforts in fighting the country’s crime problems. According to Terron Dewar, head of the UWI Guild of Students, the remarks were the wrong message to criminals, essentially telling them that Jamaica has run out of options to control crime and had to rely on “divine intervention” for help. Speaking at Northern Caribbean University, Bunting said “the best efforts of the security forces by itself will not solve the crime problem in Jamaica, but it is going to take divine intervention, touching the hearts of a wide cross section of the society.”
INDEPENDENT COMMISSION FINDS INCREASE IN KILLINGS BY SECURITY FORCES—04/17/13
The Independent Commission of Investigations, an agency in Jamaica that investigates charges of abuse against police and soldiers, found an increase of 15 percent in the number of killings attributed to security forces in the first three months of 2013. There were 78 killings of civilians by security forces between January and March 2013. In 2012, there were 66 such killings during the same months. Most killings occurred in Kingston and neighboring areas.
POLICE INVESTIGATE CAYMANS CONNECTION TO JEWELRY STORE ROBBERY—04/18/13
Jamaican law enforcement authorities investigating the robbery of Rolex watches from Swiss Stores in Kingston have turned their attention to the Cayman Islands, where a similar crime occurred. Some of the watches from the Cayman robbery were transported to Jamaica, police said. Authorities are examining previous jewelry store robberies in Montego Bay in connection with those in the Caymans.
FINANCE MINISTER OPTIMISTICE ABOUT JAMAICAN SITUATION—04/19/13
Jamaica’s Minister of Finance Dr. Peter Phillips has expressed confidence that help from overseas, designed to enhance revenues for the government, will make significant improvements to the country’s economic condition in 2013-2014. Phillips said there has been a “real improvement” although much more needs to be done. He noted the aid from bilateral partners like the United States Agency for International Development, as well as help from the Inter=American Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN FLAG WILL FLY AT PENN RELAY GAMES EVERY YEAR—04/13/13
The flag of Jamaica will be on display at the 119th Penn Relay Games in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2013, and during every year from now on. The organizers of the event decided to fly Jamaica’s flag at every year of the Games in recognition of the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence and the contributions made by Jamaica to the Relay event for almost 50 years. High school athletes from Jamaica first competed at the Penn Relays in 1964. Jamaica is the only country to be honored in this way, said David Johnson, director of the Penn Relays.
BERES HAMMOND GETS KEY TO THE CITY IN MIAMI—04/16/13
Beres Hammond, veteran reggae musician, will be given the key to the city in Miami, Florida, during the 2013 Best of the Best music festival. Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones will present the award to Hammond. He will also be presented with a Congressional Proclamation in recognition of his musical and philanthropic contributions during the past 30 years. Hammond is also a featured act headlining the Best of the Best event, which is scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend at the end of May.
DEATH OF JAMAICAN FARM WORKER IN CANADA TO GET HUMAN RIGHTS HEARING—04/17/13
The case of a Jamaican migrant farm worker who was killed at a tobacco farm more than ten years ago in Ontario, Canada, is being heard by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Ned Livingston Peart died while he was employed at a farm near Brantford in 2012. At the time, a coroner’s inquest requested by Peart’s family was denied. Wilbert Peart, Ned’s brother, says he has heard conflicting reports about how his brother was crushed to death at the farm.
US$63,000 GIVEN TO CHARITY BY AMERICAN FRIENDS OF JAMAICA—04/18/13
Support for education and economic development in Jamaica received a considerable boost when the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) provided US$63,000 to several educational and health care organizations on the island. The funds were disbursed at the organization’s annual grant award ceremony, which was hosted by the U.S. Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater. Brenda LaGrange Johnson, president of the AFJ, said the group decided to focus on education and health care in 2013, since these were the two areas with the greatest need in the country.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIFTA CHESS TOURNAMENT DOMINATED BY JAMAICA—04/13/13
ACTOR MATT DAMON AND WIFE RENEW WEDDING VOWS IN ST. LUCIA—04/14/13
TEN BRITISH TOURISTS ROBBED AT GUNPOINT IN ST. LUCIA—04/15/13
VENEZUELA’S MADURA BLAMES OPPOSITION FOR POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE—04/17/13
HEAD OF JAMAICA FOOTBALL FEDERATION TO LEAD CONCACAF COMMITTEES—04/18/13
PHYSICIANS LEAVING PUERTO RICO FOR MAINLAND UNITED STATES—04/19/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
TRADE UNION GROUP WORRIED ABOUT GOVERNMENT APPROACH TO AIRLINE—04/13/13
The Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) is concerned about how the government of Jamaica is handling the operations of Caribbean Airlines (CAL). The BITU worries about the “hands-off” approach of the government in the face of recently announced CAL changes. These changes, which include reducing the flights to Jamaica, will have an impact on the island. Jamaica’s government holds 16 percent of CAL.
GOVERNMENT COULD WITHDRAW AIR JAMAICA BRAND FROM CAL—04/15/13
Jamaica’s government has threatened to withdraw the brand “Air Jamaica” from Caribbean Airlines (CAL), which is based in Trinidad. The threat comes after reports that CAL plans to reduce the number of daily flights to Jamaica. Dr. Omar Davis, Minister of Transport in Jamaica, said the decision would go against an agreement made during the acquit ions of Air Jamaica by CAL in 2011. The only thing Jamaica can do in response to CAL’s action is to withdraw the Air Jamaica brand.
BAHAMAS LEARNS AGRICULTURE PROCESSES FROM JAMAICA—04/18/13
Representatives from the Bahamas traveled to Jamaica to learn about its successful agricultural practices and ways to improve food security back home Arnold Forbes, Member of Parliament, along with six members of the Bahamas delegation were guests at the Jamaica 4-H Clubs Achievement Day exposition in St. Andrew. Forbes said the Bahamas was learning from Jamaica how to build up its food security program, noting that Jamaica was ahead of his country in this area.
AGRICULTURAL GROUP PROVIDES FIELD OFFICERS WITH TECH TOOLS—04/19/13
The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) has launched a new strategy that involves enhancing the data-collection capacity of field officers to better serve farmers. The clients of RADA comprise about 230,000 farmers. Field officers have been provided with 124 tablet computers to enhance data collection and to provide real-time communication between police and field officers in cases of crime that affect the agricultural sector, such as praedial larceny.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
FORBES COMMENTS ON JAMAICA AND SOCIAL MEDIA—04/13/13
CARIBBEAN NATIONS BENEFIT FROM IDB ENERGY PROGRAM—04/15/13
JAMAICANS POPULAR ON YOUTUBE—04/17/13
FLA ISSUES HIGH-TECH ID CARD—04/18/13
VYBZ KARTEL BOOK DESCRIBES LIVING CONDITIONS OF JAMAICAN YOUTH—04/14/13
“The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto” is a new book by Vybz Kartel and his co-author Michael Dawson. The book gives a description of the terrible conditions experienced by many young people in Jamaica who barely survive on the margins of society. Kartel claims authority to discuss the topic and says it is not meant to be entertaining. It is meant to upset people and disturb them. Supporters of the book say there is an organic link between Kartel’s music and his writing, while cynics have questioned whether he is really the author.
TONY LAING, VETERAN BROADCASTER, DIES AT 68—04/15/13
The prominent and veteran Jamaican broadcaster Tony Laing passed away at the age of 68 at Pines Nursing Home in Kingston. He had been at the home for quite a while recovering from a series of strokes, which seriously restricted his mobility in 2006. His “Laing and Company” politically themed talk show was a radio icon. He worked with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission on events like the annual Festival celebration. Laing was also a hard worker for copyright laws to protect Jamaican musicians and was instrumental in getting the Copyright Act of 1998 enacted.
WOMEN MUSICIANS CELEBRATED AT UTECH—04/16/13
The 2013 Annual Cultural Showcase at the University of Technology celebrated the “Creative Genius of Women in the Jamaican Music Industry” and featured music, drama, dance, and fashion segments. Recognized for their achievements were Anita “Margarita” Mahfood, Patricia Chin, Sonia Pottinger, Professor Carolyn Cooper, and Olive “Babsy” Grange. Among the vocalists honored were Millie Small, Totlyn Jackson, Carole Reid, Carlene Davis, Queen Ifrica, Etana, and Lady Saw, among many others.
JAMAICA HOSTS AFRICA WORLD DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL—04/18/13
“Songs of Redemption” is one of the films to be screen at the 2013 Africa World Documentary Film Festival at the University of the West Indies. The event will be held April 24 to 28. The firm is a stream-of-consciousness documentary as told by people in Kingston prisons. The prison, which was once a holding area for African slaves, lacks any basic human necessities. The film shows the transformation of a violent environment into a new state of creative and healing collaborations.
WALKER TO FOCUS ON 100 METER HURDLES—04/13/13
Melaine Walker, former world champion and 2008 Olympic gold medal winner, has decided to move from the 400-meter hurdles event to the 100-meter hurdles competition. Walker says it is her dream to compete in the 100-meter hurdles, an event where she has achieved a personal best time of 12.75 seconds. Walker, 30, has left the MVP Track Club and her previous coach in order to compete in the 100-meters.
YOUNG REGGAE BOYZ BEATEN BY CANADA AT CONCACAF FIFA UNDER-17 GAMES—04/14/13
Jamaica’s Under-17 young Reggae Boyz football team was defeated at the CONCACAF FIFA championships, falling to Canada 4-2. The Boyz wanted a place in the semi-finals, which would have automatically qualified them for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup tournament later in 2013.
BLAKE INJURED, COULD BE OUT SIX WEEKS—04/18/13
Yohan /Blake, Jamaica’s world 100-meter champion, injured his hamstring and could be out of competition for up to six weeks. He suffered the injury to his right leg at the UTech Classic track and field meet in Kingston. As a result, he could miss the Jamaica International Invitations and the IAAF Diamond League meet in Shanghai, China.
BOLT TO COMPETE IN BRITAIN—04/19/13
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s sprint legend, will race in the United Kingdom for the first time in four years, competing at the Grand Prix. Bolt, 26, has not competed in Diamond League events since 2009 because of British tax rules. These would have required him to give up part of the fees earned in appearances and endorsements. Bolt says he is looking forward to going back to the UK.