THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
SAMUDA ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM TVJ BOARD—08/31/13
Milton Samuda, chairman of Television Jamaica (TVJ) Ltd., has agreed to take a leave of absence following criticism arising from claims that he confiscated the video recordings of two journalists. The RJR Communications Group will investigate this issue. Samuda, an attorney-at-law, said he will stay on leave until the completion of the investigation. He has also recused himself from a board meeting discussing the incident, which involved an interview between reporters and his clients, Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson. Samuda claimed reporters had asked unapproved questions.
BUSINESSMEN IN JAMAICA FACE MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES—09/01/13
Three Jamaican businessmen were charged with money laundering following an investigation by security forces in a number of upscale neighborhoods. Police conducted raids on their Montego Bay homes and arrested the men on the basis of evidence collected during those raids. The evidence suggested that the men could be linked to cross-border lottery fraud.
CRIMINALS PAID OVER $53 MILLION IN FINES TO JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT IN 2013—09/02/13
Criminals in Jamaica have paid in excess of $53 million in fines to the nation’s government since the beginning of 2013. The total represents all sanctions imposed in all courts except for the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court and were obtained by the Criminal Records Office of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). Over 4,300 Jamaicans, 93 percent of them men, received sentences in the courts ranging from three days to life in prison – a total of 4,960 years. Fifty percent of the 319 individuals facing the Home Circuit Court in Kingston and St. Andrew were arrested for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition; 16 percent were convicted of sexual offenses.
GANJA USE STILL LINKED WITH SHAME, POVERTY—09/03/13
People in Jamaica continue to view those who smoke ganja as being poor and underprivileged, according to advocates for decriminalization of the herb. The image of ganja smokers has remained the same for a long time, despite the fact that the use of the herb is evident at all class levels. Paul Chang, chair of the Ganja Law Reform Coalition, said there is still much shame attached to the use of ganja because there are too many misconceptions about it.
EX-JUDGE RECEIVES BAIL FOLLOWING LOTTERY SCAM CHARGES—09/04/13
Dionne Maylor-Reid, a former resident magistrate in Jamaica, was released on $2,000 bail following her arrest on suspicion of being involved in the island’s lottery scam. Now a defense lawyer, she was arrested with three of her employees after a search of her office by anti-corruption officers, who said they found documents known as “lead lists,” which included victims’ personal information. They also say they seized an illegal gun.
20,000 YOUNG JAMAICANS WILL NOT FIND JOBS AFTER LEAVING SCHOOL—09/04/13
Nearly 50 percent of the approximately 40,000 young people graduating high schools and universities in Jamaica in 2013 may not find private sector jobs, according to predictions from the Jamaica employers Federation and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica. The prediction is based on the continuing decline of the island’s economy for a sixth quarter in a row.
JAMAICAN IGUANA IMPERILED BY POSSIBLE PORT ON GOAT ISlANDS—09/05/13
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature-Iguana Specialist Group will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Jamaica Iguana Recovery Plan. The plan has been praised by scientists as among the top success stories for conservation efforts around the world. However, a proposed port on the Goat Islands could undue all the success if allowed to be located in the area inhabited by the iguanas.
JAMAICA 9TH ON GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS INDEX—09/06/13
Jamaica ranks 94th on the Global Competitiveness Index for 2013, according to the report issued by the World Economic Forum. It has improved its position by rising three places since 2012. Jamaica was in 97th place among 144 nations in 2012, and 107th of 142 countries in 2011. The index examines institutions, policies and factors influencing the productivity levels in a country. The report noted that the most problematic issues facing business in Jamaica include inefficient government bureaucracy, crime, and theft. Corruption, tax rates, access to financing, and poor work ethic were also cited as reasons for Jamaica’s low ranking.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN PASTOR IN UK FIGHTS DEPORTATION—08/31/13
Elder Oliver Ashley, a Jamaica pastor, gospel artiste and gospel festival winner, arrived in the United Kingdom 13 years ago to join his wife. He now faces a deportation hearing and is at a detention center. Ashley won the Jamaica Gospel Song Contest in 1991. He says he has attempted to obtain permanent resident status in the UK but has had no success, and he was picked up by the UK Border Agency three months ago. His problems stem from the fact that he arrived on a visitor’s permit and did not know how to legalize his status, so he overstayed his permit.
CATCALLS FROM MIGRANT WORKERS IN CANADIAN CITY IRK WOMEN—09/01/13
Women in a Canadian city say that they are the targets of catcalls and stalking by sexually aggressive migrant workers, and they have changed their habits as a result. Some women no longer go out at night when there are large numbers of workers in town. The women have complained at a police board meeting, where police were asked to find ways to deal with the problem. The complaints about Jamaican migrant workers and their sexual harassment of women have been reported for years, according to police.
JAMAICAN GUEST WORKERS PROTEST FLORIDA EMPLOYER’S ACTIONS—09/04/13
Guest workers from Jamaica who have come to Florida on a visa have alleged abuse by their cleaning company employers. They say that these employers are not paying them, in spite of their putting in two weeks of labor. The workers are asking for accountability from the subcontractor Mr. Clean Cleaning Service of Destin, as well as the resort firms who contracted them for work. The workers say there were promised overtime pay, 40 hours per week, and then received little work and no payment after arriving in Florida from Jamaica.
NEW TRAVEL RULES FROM CANADA FOR JAMAICANS, OTHER NATIONALS—09/05/13
Jamaicans who want to travel to Canada for jobs or educational opportunities will now have to provide biometrics under new rules being imposed by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) agency. According to the Canadian High Commission in Kingston, Jamaicans must provide fingerprints and photographic data when applying for permits and visas. The new regime is designed to protect the safety and security of Canadians and to facilitate legitimate travel by Jamaicans.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
STATE DEPARTMENT, PORTMIAMI PARTNER TO IMPROVE PORT SECURITY—08/31/13
ANGLICAN CHURCH IN CARIBBEAN SAYS NO TO MARRIAGE EQUALITY—09/01/13
MAYORAL CANDIDATES MARCH IN WEST INDIAN PARADE IN NEW YORK—09/02/13
DECLINE SEEN IN NEW HIV/AIDS INFECTIONS IN CARIBBEAN—09/03/13
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC’S ENVOY FROM VATICAN REMOVED—09/04/13
PLAYERS IN CARIBBEAN LEAGUE WILL TRAIN IN DUBAI—09/05/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
ALUMINA PRODUCTION INCREASING IN JAMAICA—08/31/13
Jamaica’s economy is expected to grow at a rate between 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent between July and September 2013, according to Colin Bullock of the Planning Institute of Jamaica. The growth will be boosted by several factors, including new capital projects and strong growth in the mining sector. Alumina product rose by 8.6 percent, reflecting a 1.1 percent point increase in the alumina capacity utilization rate.
CARIBBEAN BROILER PUSHING SMART EGGS—09/02/13
Caribbean Broilers (CB), a Smart Eggs maker, has started to offer egg breakfast dishes to Jamaicans at no cost as part of an aggressive promotion for the brand. The campaign will also bring a partnership between the food firm and local restaurants, which will feature their own Smart Eggs menu. The company is promoting the eggs as “healthy and affordable” and will educate consumers on the differences between Smart Eggs and regular eggs.
JAMPRO HAS NEW PRESIDENT—09/03/13
Diane Edwards, the new president of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) took on the duties of her new position on September 2, 2013. Edwards is a former Trade Commissioner for JAMPRO in New York, London, and Brussels, and she has considerable knowledge and experience in international marketing and business development. She has managed product introductions for Jamaican food brands in mainstream marketplaces and helped to obtain funding from the European Union for Jamaican producers.
PRIME MINISTER MUST FACILITATE WORK PERMIT PROCESS—09/04/13
COMPLANT, a Chinese company that has been frustrated by the slow rate at which work permits are processed to allow expatriate workers into Jamaica, has called on Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to take action to facilitate this process. Dr. Carlton Davis, chief advisor to the Prime Minister, said the Chinese firm wants to import skilled workers to modernize its sugar plants. The company says it needs the specific skills of the expatriate workers to carry out its upgrades at the plants, according to Davis.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER NEEDED IN CARIBBEAN—08/31/13
DATA CENTER DISTRIBUTION DEAL BETWEEN AVNET, CISCO ENLARGED—09/01/13
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION BRINGS SPANISH TO LOCAL TELEVISION—09/02/13
DOMINICA PROMOTES GEOTHERMAL ENERGY—09/04/13
CARTOON NETWORK SHOWS FIRST JAMAICAN CARTOON—08/31/13
The Cartoon Network will air its first Jamaican cartoon, which has been made available by Real Entertainment Productions’ Andrew Lee Pryce. The cartoon “Santino” represents an important milestone for Pryce and Jamaica as the network broadcasts the full-length island cartoon. The cartoon, which features a supernatural being who attempts to use his powers to fight crime, gives a global audience a chance to view the culture of Jamaica.
NEW ALBUM IN 2014 FOR BUJU BANTON—09/01/13
In spite of his incarceration for federal drug crimes, dancehall and reggae artiste Buju Banton plans to bring out a new studio album in the summer of 2014. Most of the songs on the release were recorded when he was out on bail in 2011. Stephen Marley and Blacker Dread are featured on the album. Banton will be in prison until 2019.
LINK BETWEEN CARIBBEAN, AFRICAN CULTURE RECALLED BY DRUMMING—09/02/13
Drumming has traditionally been used to communicate, entertain, and as a form of prayer, particularly by Rastafarians performing at the 2013 Sacred Music Festival in Jerusalem. Nyabinghi drumming is sacred music played as a communal meditation in the Rastafarian community of Jamaica. It is rarely performed in public, and as explained by Vivien Jones, Jamaican reggae artiste, it is many hundreds of years old and represents a link between the Caribbean and Africa.
JAMAICAN AUDIENCES WANTED BY CE’CILE—09/03/13
Ce’Cile, the Jamaican reggae and dancehall artiste, has returned from Spain after headlining the Rototom Festival, performing new and classic reggae songs to more than 30,000 festival-goers. She now believes that the Jamaican music industry needs revamping and that more local stage shows on the island should be focused on the art of reggae rather than “hype.” Local performances are expected to be “comedic, explicit, or controversial,” rather than focused on “real music” as the rest of the world is, she believes.
BERLIN GOLD FOR BAILEY-COLE—09/03/13
Kemar Bailey-Cole, Jamaican sprinter, won a gold medal in the men’s 100-meter competition at the ISTAF Athletics Meeting in Berlin, Germany. The World Championships gold medal winner in the sprint relay, Bailey-Cole ran the 100 meters in 10.04 seconds.
BOLT TO RETIRE FOLLOWING 2016 OLYMPICS—09/04/13
Jamaica’s six-time Olympic gold medal winner and eight-time world championships gold medal winner, has announced his plans to retire after the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He said that he plans to keep performing at his peak level for the next three years, but will likely end his track career after the 2016 Games.
JAMAICAN-BORN HOCKEY PLAYER LOOKS FOR SPOT IN NHL—09/05/13
Jermaine Loewen was born in Jamaica, but he wants to become the second individual born there to play in the National Hockey League in the U.S. He was drafted in Round 3 of the Western Hockey League bantam draft in May 2013.
DOPING INVESTIGATION OF POWELL, SIMPSON PROCEEDS—09/06/13
The criminal doping investigation of Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, Jamaican track athletes, was delayed by bureaucratic difficulties for a time, but it is now proceeding. The delay was attributed to problems finding Powell and Simpson to discover whether they want to observe the testing of substances found during a police raid in July 2013 at their training base in northern Italy. If the two athletes cannot be contacted, the prosecutors could contact the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association instead.