THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JUDGMENT RESERVED BY COURT IN GAY RIGHTS CASE—06/01/13
The Constitution Court in Jamaica has reserved its judgment in a case brought by Maurice Tomlinson, a gay rights activist, which accused three TV stations of refusing to broadcast a pro-gay-tolerance advertisement. Arguments were heard by the court over four days. The plaintiff claimed that Jamaicans are guaranteed by law the right to “seek, receive, distribute, or disseminate information, opinions and ideas through any media.” The defense requested a dismissal of the charges, arguing that the advertisement could be seen as supporting homosexuality, which is illegal in Jamaica in some cases.
U.S. CITIZEN KILLED DURING ROBBERY IN SAVANNA-LA-MAR—06/02/13
Two individuals were shot and killed during a robbery in Savanna-La-Mar on Jamaica’s western coast. A third person was injured. One of those killed was a United States citizen who was hit during a gun battle between the police and the criminals. An investigation of the incident is being conducted by an independent commission charged with determining whether Jamaican security forces committed abuses is underway.
DEBATE ARISES OVER REDUCED FOCUS ON TEACHING STANDARD ENGLISH—06/03/13
Jamaica is working to improve its education system, and several goals have been set for reaching the best educational standards. However, there is some concern over the decreasing focus on teaching Standard Jamaican English (SJE) at tertiary institutions, and a growing emphasis on using Jamaican Creole (JC) in classrooms. Supporters of SJE believe it prepares students better to communicate in the modern global society.
PRIME MINISTER CONCERNED ABOUT AIRLINE ISSUES—06/04/13
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller stated that the relationship between Caribbean Airlines (CAL) and Air Jamaica represents a major concern. She said that she had not had the chance to discuss these issues with the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago when she last visited there, but noted the ongoing worries about CAL’s estimated losses and the alleged link between these losses and Jamaican routes.
UNICEF NOTES VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN IN JAMAICA—06/05/13
Robert Fuderich, representative of the United Nations’ child welfare agency, UNICEF in Jamaica, has stated that the recent crimes against children have highlighted a “chronic” problem on the island, which has caused worry among parents and authorities. According to Fuderich, the recent killings of children coming so close together represents a reminder of the level of violence imposed on Jamaica’s children every day.
JAMAICAN ALLSPICE FIGHTS PROSTATE CANCER—06/06/13
Jamaican allspice, known for its mixture of spicy flavors, may soon become known for its medicinal properties in treating or even preventing prostate cancer. A study from the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami in Florida has found that Ericifolin, a compound found in the allspice berry (Pimenta dioica) had a significant effect on slowing the growth of prostate cancer tumors. The compound works by suppressing the androgen receptor.
PUBLIC HOSPITAL STAFF FRUSTRATED BY VIOLENT, ANGRY PATIENTS—06/06/13
Physicians and nurses in the public hospital in Jamaica have experienced higher levels of stress since the nation’s government introduced its no-free policy in 2008. Health care workers in the public sector have complained of having to deal with daily abuse from angry patients, higher stress levels, and greater exhaustion resulting from the environment resulting from the no-fee policy. These factors came to light in a study by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute, which reviewed the system. Workers were upset that the government had not provided adequate resources for handling the higher patient-to-staff ratio experienced after the policy was in place.
AUDITOR GENERAL SAYS FISCAL POLICY DOCUMENT NOT IN COMPLIANCE—06/07/13
According to Jamaica’s Auditor General, Pamela Monroe Ellis, in an opinion stated in a paper titled “Examination of the Components of the Government’s Fiscal Policy Paper (FPP),” the FPP does not comply with the fiscal management concept established in the Financial Administration and Audit Act. This Act requires the Minister of Finance to take action to decrease the total debt to 100 percent or less of the GDP by the end of the year ending on March 31, 2016. The FPP, on the other hand, suggests that the debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to 112.1 percent by fiscal 2015-2016, or beyond the legislated target of 100 percent.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
PSYCHIATRIC NURSE FROM JAMAICA PRESENTS RESEARCH IN CANADA—06/01/13
Delvalin Riley-McHugh, a psychiatric nurse with the St. Ann Health Department, presented her research on schizophrenia to her peers at the 2013 World Congress of Registered Psychiatric Nurses in Winnipeg, Canada. She was the only Jamaican at the global conference, and she had been invited to give her paper. The research addresses clinical nursing practice as applied to schizophrenic patients and the effects of the condition on family caregivers. She was sponsored by the University of the West Indies.
OVER THE PAST DECADE, 21,000 JAMAICANS HAVE MOVED TO CANADA—06/03/13
Over 21,000 Jamaicans have immigrated to Canada since 2002 and become legal residents of that country. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), 21,265 island citizens have traded their Jamaican residency to live in the cold climate of Canada. The total represents some 2,126 Jamaicans leaving the home island for Canada each year.
JAMAICAN-BORN BRIT ATTEMPTS TO REACH SOUTH POLE—06/04/13
When Dwayne Fields, a Briton who was born in Jamaica, goes on his next exploration, his family members in Jamaica will be wishing him well. Fields attempted to become the first black Briton to reach the North Pole by walking in 2010, is now taking on an adventure to the South Pole. Neveda Brown, 83, is the relative that Fields spent his early years with in Jamaica before immigrating to the United Kingdom. Brown will lead a group of Fields’ relatives in supporting his newest effort, during which he will face an environment of 80mph winds and -40 degrees Centigrade temperatures.
HONORARY CONSUL IN GEORGIA LEAVING POST—06/06/13
Vin Martin, Jamaica’s Honorary Consul to Atlanta in Georgia, will be leaving his post after 16 years. He informed the Jamaican Ambassador to the United States Stephen Vasciannie about his decision in a letter saying his reasons for leaving the post are personal and based on family commitments. Martin expressed the privilege he felt being selected as Honorary Consul and said he enjoyed serving his country during the past 16 years.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CHINA OFFERS CARIBBEAN NATIONS LOANS TOTALING $3 BILLION—06/02/13
FIRST MEETING ON MINING EFFORTS HELD IN HAITI—06/03/13
VENEZUELA BEGINS FOOD RATIONING—06/04/13
FLIGHT DIVERSION OF LIAT PLANE BLAMED ON SMOKE IN CABIN—06/05/13
VISIT OF CHINESE PRESIDENT EXPECTED TO ENCOURAGE CHINESE TOURISTS—06/06/13
CTO SAYS TOURISM BARELY STAYING ALIVE—06/07/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
LIME, DIGICEL TO COMPETE FOR FIXED-LINE BUSINESS—06/01/13
Competition among major telecommunications companies has become more intense after Digicel announced that it will attempt to take a share of the fixed-line business in the next two months. This sector is currently dominated by LIME. Also, a notice from the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) said that the Mobile Termination Rate will fall to $1.10 percent minute as of July 1, 2013. This was welcome news for both firms. Digicel will use wireless technology to introduce its fixed-line business.
SCOTIA GROUP CAPITAL SQUEEZED BY DEBT SWAP—06/05/13
The National Debt Exchange and Private Debt Exchange implemented by the government of Jamaica in the first quarter of 2013 have caused a loss of J$397 million on the financial assets of Scotia Group Jamaica. It has also resulted in capital loss of J$135 million throughout the group. Bruce Brown, president and CEO of Scotia Group, said the exchange reduce margins, while recent tax measures cause operating costs to rise.
$2.99 RATE FOR ALL CALLS ON ALL NETWORKS ANNOUNCED BY LIME—06/06/13
LIME, the telecommunications company, announced that it will implement a $2.99 call rate for all prepaid mobile subscribers who call any network. Garfield Sinclair, CEO of LIME, said that the rate will also apply to calls made from LIME’s network to any location in the United States and Canada, as well as to landlines in the United Kingdom.
JACAP RESPONDS TO CRITICISM OF COPYRIGHT RULES—06/07/13
The Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (JACAP) has responded to criticism aimed at the compliance of Jamaica with copyright regulations. Jamaica was named as one of the “rogue” nations to remain on a watch list of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) due to its inadequate payment of royalties for public performances. According to the USTR, foreign governments should ensure that sufficient copyright payments are made when U.S. musical compositions are performed on television and radio broadcasts, over cable systems, and other types of public performances. Lydia Rose of JACAP said that the agency has attempted to educate the industry about complying with the regulations, but some players remain in breach of the rules.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CTEX UNVEILS DETAILS OF DATA CENTER COMPLEX—06/01/13
CPL DRAFT TO BE STREAMED ON THE INTERNET IN REAL TIME—06/05/13
SCHOOL REPLACES OLD TEACHING METHODS WITH NEW EDUCATION SOFTWARE—06/06/13
ROBINSON SAYS CYBERCRIMES ACT IS DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND—06/07/13
HUSSEY PAYS RESPECT TO REGGAE ON XM RADIO—06/01/13
Dermot Hussey, broadcaster and author, has been enjoying and providing public exposure to Jamaican music for 40 years, and during the past decade, his show on XM Radio from Washington, D.C., has been playing classic and contemporary sounds. He has also played similar shows on RIFFIN since 2006. With this broadcast, Hussey states that he has the chance to “pay homage” to the legends of reggae. The show also highlights emerging talent.
REGGAE TO REGGAE EVENT PLANS FOR LONG TERM—06/02/13
The stage show culture in Jamaica could be enhanced by a joint effort of Valgen Entertainment, Youngster Productions and Conscious Productions. The producers are hosting a new event called “Reggae to Reggae” that will be held at Carder Park Complex, Port Antonio, Portland. The show will feature performances of major Jamaican talents. Theresa Smalls, publicist for Valgen Entertainment, says the partners want the event to become an annual one. Bringing back stage show culture to the island will take a significant amount of cooperation and effort among more organizations that just these three promoters, she said.
WESTMORELAND TO HOST FESTIVAL OF FOODS—06/04/13
On June 7, 2013, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) Festival of Foods Western Regional Finals will begin in Westmoreland. The competition is a celebration of the creativity of Jamaica’s culinary talent and offers participants to show off their skills. The event is open to children, schools, institutions, youth, and community groups. Categories of the competition include main dishes, desserts, wedding cakes, and dough, among others. The event focuses on locally grown products and indigenous dishes.
OCHO RIOS JAZZ FESTIVAL OPENS WITH CHRISTINIE FISHER—06/06/13
The 23rd Annual Jamaica Ocho Rios International Jazz Festival begins on Sunday, June 9, 2013, with the sounds of vocalist Christine Fisher. It will be held in an expanded New Kingston location on Ruthven Road and runs from June 9 to June 16. Fisher began singing at the age of nine and started a professional career in 1985. She has headlined and recorded with musicians like Sly Dunbar, Andy Livingston, and David Madden. Fisher has also performed on stage at Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, Jazz in the Gardens, and Redbones Blues Festival.
FRASER-PRYCE WINS AT PREFONTAINE—06/01/13
Jamaican Olympic champion Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce ran the women’s 100 meters in 10.71 seconds to win at the 2013 Prefontaine Classic IAAF Diamond League meet in Oregon. Her time was aided by a favorable wind. Veronica Campbell Brown, also of Jamaica, ran third with 10.78, while Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart was in fourth place with 10.97.
NICKEL ASHMEADE WINS MEN’S 200 METERS—06/02/13
Nickel Ashmeade, Jamaican sprinter, won first place in the 200-meter men’s competition at the Diamond League meet in Eugene, Oregon. Ashmeade won the first place honor in the same event at the 2012 Birmingham Diamond League. He won in Oregon with a time of 20.14 seconds.
BOLT TO RUN IN ROME—06/06/13
Jamaican champion sprinter Usain Bolt will make his first appearance of 2013 in Europe at the Rome Golden Gala. While his season’s start has been delayed by hamstring problems, Bolt says he feels great and has done a lot of work on his speed and endurance over the past several weeks. He believes that everything is coming together well and will be competing with at his best at the event.
REGGAE BOYZ HAPPY WITH DEFENSE EFFORT—06/07/13
Warren Barrett, national goalkeeper coach, says he is optimistic about some aspects of the Reggae Boyz’ play, despite the fact that the team lost to Mexico 0-1 at the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier at National Stadium. He is disappointed with the result of that game, Barrett said, but he thinks the team performed well in defense.