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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending May 31st, 2013

31 May

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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MORRIS MAKES HISTORY AS SENATE PRESIDENT—05/25/13
Floyd Morris, the newly appointed president of the Jamaican Senate, has made history by being the first visually impaired individual to hold this position. He is also a member of the Adventist Church and has been active as an advocate for the disabled community. During his swearing-in ceremony, Morris said he believed his appointment was “proof of God’s faithfulness.”

SIMPSON TRAVELS TO AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT—05/25/13
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller will travel to Ethiopia to attend the Special 50th Anniversary Summit, which marks the creation of the Organization of African Unity/African Union. Accompanying Simpson Miller is A.J. Nicholson, Foreign Minister; Onika Miller, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, and others. Simpson Miller is scheduled to give a keynote address and will speak about Jamaica’s development plans and shared interests with Africa.

JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO ENHANCE PRODUCTIVITY THROUGH EDUCATION—05/26/13
Jamaica’s government plans to make the nation’s citizens more aware of the critical nature of productivity to the development of the country by instituting a series of public education campaigns. According to Derrick Kellier, Minister of Labor, able-bodied Jamaicans lack sufficient commitment and make inadequate contributions to the country. The public education initiative will raise the public’s level of awareness about productivity and enable greater output overall.

JAMAICAN TV CENSORSHIP OF GAY PSA GOES TO HIGH COURT—05/27/13
Two major television stations in Jamaica declined to run paid Public Service Announcements (PSA) in October 2012. These PSAs asked the island’s population to respect their fellow Jamaicans who are gay. Maurice Tomlinson, legal advisor for AIDS-Free World, decided to sue the stations in court for breach of his constitutional rights. Tomlinson also appears in the PSAs. Jamaica’s Constitution guarantees the right to “seek, receive, distribute, or disseminate information, opinions and ideas through any media,” and also mandates that corporations respect this right.

HEAD OF INVESTIGATION CENTER TOUGH ON POLICE—05/28/13
Superintendent Gladys Brown, who is the head of the Center for the Investigation of Sexual Offenses and Child Abuse (CISOCA), says that more police officers are facing accusations of rape than initially thought, and she has warned the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) that they will not receive special treatment in regard to such charges. Brown says she will “name and shame them.” Her position results from reports that a sergeant with the JCF is under investigation for the alleged rape of his female companion on the grounds of a police station in the Corporate Area.

POPULATION OF JAMAICA RAPIDLY AGING—05/29/13
According to a report from Mona Ageing and Wellness Center, Jamaica’s population is growing older very rapidly, as is the entire Caribbean region. Over 71 percent of the senior citizens in Jamaica own their homes, however, and most are financially independent. The “older population” is defined as comprising people aged 60 and over. In this group, more than 65 percent suffer from diabetes or hypertension, while 22 percent have both chronic conditions. The report’s findings were made public by Professor Denise Eldermire Shearer, director of the Center.

JAMAICA WORKS TO REDUCE NUMBER OF DEATHS AT SEA—05/30/13
Jamaica is joining with the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce the number of deaths at sea by 50 percent by 2015. Koji Sekimizu, head of the organization, has focused on reducing maritime casualties since taking office. In 2012, the IMO estimates the number of people who died at sea at about 1,000, 500 of them in international shipping.

WEST DEFENDS ANTI-GAY COMMENTS, SAYS THEY ARE “RATIONAL”—05/31/13
Dr. Wayne West, chairman of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS), believes that it is not “homophobic” to say that homosexuality is fundamentally at odds with nature. According to West, to call some “homophobic” is to say that person is mentally ill, since homophobia refers to a mental illness in his view. He believes that homosexual behavior “does not serve the common good” and has a negative impact on society overall, giving the example of AIDS to support his position.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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MAYOR OF MONTEGO BAY VISITS ATLANTA—05/26/13
Glendon Harris, the major of Montego Bay, along with a delegation of other Jamaicans, visited Atlanta, Georgia, to learn from that city’s fire department and to find additional ways to strengthen the ties between Montego Bay and Atlanta, its sister city. The two cities have had formal tie for over 40 years, and thousands of Georgians visit Jamaica every year. Montego Bay is the fifth-largest travel partner of Atlanta, and almost 100,000 passengers move between the two locations each year.

LONDONERS PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF INTERNATIONAL TIVOLI INVESTIGATION—05/27/13
Cecil Gutzmore, historian and former university lecturer, has written a letter to Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, requesting an independent international investigation to the May 2010 incidents that occurred in Tivoli Gardens and left over 70 people dead. Gutzmore headed a group of protestors to the Jamaican High Commission in London to deliver the letter to Jamaica’s High Commissioner to London Aloun Assamba. The group of protestors was small due to very cold and rainy weather, but Gutzmore said they will return when the weather improves.

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES TO BE EXPLORED AT DIASPORA CONFERENCE—05/28/13
Arnaldo Brown, Jamaica’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, plans to explore all the economic potential available at the 2013 Jamaica Diaspora Conference in Montego Bay in June. According to Brown, the government can take the Diaspora-homeland partnership to a new level that goes beyond monetary resources and include expertise, ideas, innovation, and drive.

JAMAICAN TEEN IN UK GETS LIFE IN PRISON FOR MURDER—05/29/13
Travis Bowman, a 16-year-old living in the United Kingdom but born in Jamaica, received a life sentence for a gang-related murder of another teen in 2011. Bowman and three other teenagers who were members of the Enfield EN3 Get Money Gang (GMG) were convicted for stabbing Negus McClean to death. Bowman will serve at least 12.5 years of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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FAO TO FIGHT HUNGER IN CARIBBEAN—05/26/13

U.S. TAX INSPECTOR FOCUSES ON CARIBBEAN BANK—05/27/13

BIDEN SIGNS TRADE AGREEMENT, SPEAKS WITH LEADERS IN CARIBBEAN—05/28/13

SENATOR IN GRENADA WANTS REVIEW OF ANTI-SODOMY LAWS—05/29/13

CARIBBEAN VOLLEYBALL ATHLETES COMPETE FOR LARGE PRIZES—05/30/13

FAST FERRY SERVICE IN CARIBBEAN NEEDS PRIVATE INVESTORS—05/31/13

 

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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JAMAICA PLANS TO AMEND CARICOM SKILLS LAW—05/25/13
The government of Jamaica will table amendments to the Caribbean Community (Free Movement of Skilled Persons) Act to expand the categories of skilled nationals who will be able to access jobs in other nations in the region. According to Derrick Kellier, Minister of Labor and Social Security, categories of workers who are able to apply for a CARICOM skills certificate need to be enlarged. Currently, artistes, musicians, individuals how have degrees from recognized tertiary educational institutions, media workers and journalists, and athletes are covered by the CARICOM skills certificate in Jamaica. The proposed amendments will expand the group to include nurses, teachers, and workers with specific vocational qualifications.

LOCALS CALL FOR LIMITS ON AGRI-IMPORTS BAN—05/26/13
Peter McConnell, the managing director of Worthy Park Estate Limited, believes the first step to mitigate Jamaica’s increasing import bill is to limit the imports that come into the country. He says that not enough is being done to ban imports of anything that can be grown locally. In 2012, Jamaica spent US$959 million on exports and US$1 billion on imports. McConnell named imports of Irish potatoes, cabbage, and lettuce products in particular. All of these can be grown on the island.

NEW ECONOMIC ZONE CREATED BY MERGER OF PETROCARIBE, ALBA—05/27/13
Jamaica’s Minister of Energy, Phillip Paulwell, brought some reassuring news to Jamaicans following a meeting with PetroCaribe in Caracas, Venezuela. Agreements have been made to expand Venezuela’s PetroCaribe oil arrangements with participating nations in the Caribbean. After the death of Hugo Chavez, there was some concern that PetroCaribe would no longer be in business, which would be devastating for Jamaica, since nearly 66 percent of Jamaica’s crude oil imports depend on Venezuela.

LOGISTICS HUB IN JAMAICA TO CREATE JOB OPPORTUNITIES—05/28/13
Anthony Hylton, Jamaican Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, said that the Logistics Hub Initiative is like to create many job opportunities for Jamaicans at all skill levels. Hylton said that there will be a wide range of opportunities opening up as a result of the Hub.

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CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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LIME JAMAICA SEES GROWTH IN MOBILE ARENA—05/25/13

ST.LUCIA DIGITAL ECONOMY DEPENDS ON IXP—05/26/13

PUBLIC INTERNET ACCESS EXPANDED IN CUBA—05/29/13

CARIBBEAN SUPPORTS PROTECTION FOR COASTAL, SEA RESOURCES—05/30/13

 

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ENTERTAINMENT
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CRAWFORD PLANS TO CERTIFY ENTERTAINMENT PRACTITIONERS—05/26/13
Damion Crawford, Jamaica’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, wants to certify and register what he calls “entertainment practitioners.” The registration would be accomplished under an entity led by his Ministry in partnership with JAMPRO, the trade and investment unit of the government. This would bring accountability to the entertainment industry, Crawford believes. Currently, he says that the global community is unsure about who are professional entertainers. The registry would provide validity, according to Crawford.

PRODUCER PREPARES TO PUT “NEW SOUND” ON THE MARKET—05/27/13
Winston “Ninety” Holness, a veteran music producer and part of the Observer Soundbox Studio, has announced that he will present a new sound to Jamaica’s music marketplace. According to Holness, the new music will be somewhere “between reggae and something else.” He has been experimenting with older rhythms and new acts, he says, and he is hoping to obtain support from private investors and the government to promote his new sound.

RHODEN STAGES CONCERT IN JUNE—05/30/13
Orrett Rhoden, Jamaican concert pianist, is scheduled to give a benefit garden piano recital on June 2, 2013, at his home in St. Andrew. The event is designed to provide support for the chemotherapy for his mother, Norma. She has been ill for 12 years with a rare blood disorder. While admission to the concert is free, donations will be accepted for her treatment and for the acquisition of a concert grand piano for the Orrett Rhoden International Music Festival of Jamaica.

KINGSTON PON DI RIVER HAS NEW HOME—05/31/13
The third staging of Kingston Pon Di River will be held at Hope Gardens on June 30, 2013. Numerous literary artists and musicians who have succeeded in their arts due to a reinvigorated underground culture movement will be showcased at the 2013 Kingston Pon De River Literary Arts and Music Festival. The event is held to help make Kingston the hub of culture in the Caribbean, bringing top literary artists to the venue and creating a market to complement Kingston’s other offerings.

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SPORTS
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FOWLER LOOKING FOR MVP TITLE—05/26/13
Jhaniele Fowler, Jamaica’s top-shooting member of the Sunshine Girls basketball team, wants to win the 2013 Most Valuable Player prize. Fowler, 23, is playing her first season with Southern Steel, a New Zealand team. She is the leading scorer in the ANZ tournament, having 412 goals.

SAMUELS IS COMFORTABLE WITH HIMSELF—05/27/13
Marlon Samuels, Jamaican right-hander, is key to the regional West Indies batting, but he also notes that he is more able now than at any other time of his life to handle the pressures and demands of international cricket. He is unfazed by the responsibilities given to him, saying that he is now comfortable with who he is. This has made his time on the cricket field must easier than in the past, he says.

WILLIAMS FIRST JAMAICAN TO RUN 100 METER HURDLES UNDER 13 SECONDS—05/28/13
Danielle Williams, a former sprint hurdler at Queen’s School, is the first Jamaican to run the 100-meter hurdles in under 13 seconds. She achieved this feat for Johnson C. Smith University at the NCAA Outdoor Division II Track and Field Championships at Colorado State University. She ended the competition with two individual golds, one relay gold, an individual silver, and two championship records. She ran the 100-meter hurdles in 12.89 seconds.

WHITMORE SAYS DROPPING SHELTON WAS A HARD DECISION—05/31/13
Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore, head coach of the Reggae Boyz, has decided to support his strikers in his explanation of his dropping Luton Shelton, Jamaica’s record goal scorer, from the team right before the final round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers. Shelton’s elimination means that goals will have to come from a group of strikers who have little experience at the international level. Shelton is the top goal getter with 35 goals. Whitmore will now depend on Ryan Johnson, Jermaine Beckford, Darren Mattocks, and Theo Robinson, none of whom have yet scored a goal for Jamaica.

 

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