THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
DEBATE SUSPENDED ON COMMISION OF ENQUIRY ACT—09/28/13
Jamaican Opposition Senator Arthur Williams and others of his party are concerned that a proposed amendment to the Commission of Enquiry Act will eliminate the right of witnesses against self-incrimination. Williams also raised concern about a provision that imposes a fine of $3 million or three years in prison for using insulting language or disturbing a commission o enquiry.
GRANGE CALLS FOR MORE LIVE, LOCAL CULTURAL EVENTS—09/29/13
Olive “Babsy” Grange, Jamaica’s Opposition spokesperson on culture, has called on the managers of local events to feature more live performances. Grange believes there is a “vacuum” in the island’s entertainment industry and that local events are too focused on foreign music instead of indigenous culture. She cited the fact that when a government minister from Ivory Coast visited Jamaica, he was disappointed to find that no local clubs played live music.
JAMAICA WILL NOT MEET TAX DEADLINE—09/30/13
Jamaica will miss the deadline set for the implementation of the Omnibus Tax Incentive Legislation, said Peter Phillips, Minister of Finance and Planning. The legislation will be tabled in October 2013. The bill is an important part of the nation’s four-year extended fund facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It is designed to create a transparent and rational regime for governing all tax incentives.
FIRST DISBURSEMENT TO JAMAICA APPROVED BY IMF—10/01/13
The International Monetary Fund has given its approval to a disbursement of $30.6 million to Jamaica in a move that confirms the nation is on track following the first review of its loan program, which totals $944 million. The program is designed to help the country decrease its large debt.
MORE SKILLED WORKERS FROM JAMAICA TO GAIN ACCESS TO CARICOM JOBS—10/02/13
According to Derrick Kellier, Jamaica’s Minister of Labor and Social Security, more categories of skilled workers from the island will soon have a chance to apply for jobs in other CARICOM countries. The increased opportunities arise from the Caribbean Community (Free Movement of Skilled Persons) Act, which is meant to broaden the groups of skilled workers who may apply for certificates to work in CARICOM countries. The expansion will include teachers, nurses, and those who hold specific types of vocational qualifications.
GOVERNMENT “COMFORTABLY” MET IMF TARGETS, SAYS PHILLIPS—10/03/13
Peter Phillips, Jamaican Finance Minister, said that the government had no problem meeting the conditions established by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for passing the first performance review of its loan programs. While there were serious challenges, Phillips said Jamaica passed the test “comfortably.”
OPERATORS OF CALL CENTERS DENY STAPLING WORKERS’ POCKETS SHUT—10/04/13
The Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica, a group that represents call-center operators, is creating a distance between its members and reports of operators stapling the pockets of workers to prevent security breaches and protect the data of clients. Yoni Epstein, president of the association, said that it does not condone such practices. Davon Crump, head of Global Outsourcing Solutions Ltd., said that the stapling practice is followed at some call centers in Jamaica because there had been cases of theft at the facility.
SECURITY MINISTRY LOW ON FUNDS FOR POLICE RETIREMENT PAYMENTS—10/04/13
The national security ministry reports that it needs approximately $500 million to pay police benefits in 2013, but that the ministry has been allocated only $100 million by the Ministry of Finance. The security ministry says it has made an appeal for an increase in funding, but knows that Jamaica is operating in a tight fiscal environment. The ministry has asked the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) members who took early retirement to be patient until this issue is settled.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER MEETS GAY PROTESTORS IN NEW YORK—09/28/13
Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica, encountered protestors from Jamaican anti-homophobia groups outside the Ford Foundation headquarters in New York City. The activists took the opportunity of Simpson Miller’s official visit to the city to make their opposition to Jamaica’s anti-gay policies known. For her part, Simpson Miller blew kisses at the protestors.
SON OF MARCUS GARVEY VISITS UNITED KINGDOM—09/30/13
Dr. Julius Garvey, the son of Marcus Garvey, Jamaica’s first hero, is on a five-day tour of cities in the United Kingdom to give lectures and meet the people. Marcus Garvey was a pioneer in the “Back to Africa” movement in America. Dr. Garvey will visit the Jamaican High Commission, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, the University of Birmingham in Manchester, and community meetings in many locations. His visit is meant to link the history of Jamaica with today’s generation.
JAMAICAN TO HEAD MORAVIAN CHURCH IN WASHINGTON, D.C.—10/01/13
Reverend Bevon White of Manchester is the third Jamaican to lead the Faith Moravian Church in the capital of the United States. This is the only Moravian congregation in the city. White was installed in his new post at a special ceremony on September 29, 2013. The congregation n umbers about 200 people and comprises Moravians, Jamaicans, and Nicaraguans. Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Stephen Vasciannie, attended the ceremony.
BROOKLYN PRESENTS NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR JAMAICAN WRITERS—10/02/13
Caribbean writers, and especially those from Jamaica, have become increasingly popular in the literary scene in Brooklyn, New York. At the annual Brooklyn Book Festival, hundreds of visitors lined up to hear writers born in the West Indies read their works. While their popularity has not translated into financial riches as yet, the Caribbean writers have thus far been happy that readers are engaging with their stories.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
HEALTH FUNDING TO BENEFIT WOMEN, CHILDREN IN CARIBBEAN—09/28/13
NEW ZEALAND PLANS INCREASED FOCUS ON THE CARIBBEAN—09/29/13
LEADERS FROM THE CARIBBEAN MAKE REPARATIONS CASE AT UN—09/30/13
PUERTO RICO WANTS FIRST AIR CARGO HUB IN CARIBBEAN—10/01/13
WOMEN ENTREPENEURS IN CARIBBEAN DEFY ASSUMPTIONS—10/02/13
CARIBBEAN CUISINE PROMOTED IN GERMANY—10/03/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
SEAFOOD PROVIDER LOOKING TO U.S. LOBSTER MARKET—09/29/13
Rainforest Seafoods plans to improve its revenues by exporting products to the United States in 2014. The effort involves moving into the lobster market in the U.S. In the past, Honduras and the Bahamas have been the chief Caribbean lobster-tail suppliers for the U.S., but the company plans to change the opinion of buyers about Jamaica lobsters and also promote products like pickled mackerel, salt beef, smoked salmon, and nine flavors of burger.
“SMILE JAMAICA” COFFEE LAUNCHED BY MARLEY COFFEE COMPANY—10/02/13
The Marley Coffee company, a sustainably grown and ethically farmed and roasted gourmet coffee firm in Jamaica, plans to introduce “Smile Jamaica,” a blend of Jamaica Blue Mountain (JBM) coffee and Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee. This is the first authorized JBM to be sold in North America. Marley Coffee has distributed about 30.5 tons of JBM coffee in North America in its first year of distributorship.
KEYSTONE AUGUSTA ACQUIRES U.S. MOBILE APP FIRM—10/03/13
Jamaican-owned Keystone August, a diversified holdings company, has acquired a controlling interest in a mobile application development firm based in Tampa, Florida. The buy will give Keystone an 80-percent stake in Aptitude Mobil and is part of the company’s plans to float shares in Jamaica. This will eventually give local investors a chance to buy into the high-growth technology industry in the United States.
PAULWELL CALLS FOR REVISION ON 115MW PROJECT BIDS—10/04/13
Jamaica’s Minister of Energy Phillip Paulwell plans to write the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR) to express his disappointment that the agency did not identify preferred bidders for the whole of the 115MW renewable energy project. Paulwell said he was not happy. He said he could not believe OUR could not find bids for 115 MW although it had bids for over 800MW.
Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
FINAL COMMISSIONING BEGINS FOR ADVANCE TIER-IV DATA CENTER—09/30/13
HURRICANE PROTECTION TECHNOLOGY REACHES MEXICO, CARIBBEAN—10/01/13
CIPHERCLOUD CHOSEN BY CARIBBEAN CREDIT BUREAU—10/02/13
JAMAICA PREPARES TO BATTLE CYBER ATTACKS—10/03/13
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
JAMAICAN FOLK SINGERS PERFORM IN NEW YORK—09/28/13
The famous Jamaican Folk Singers group will perform three concerts in the New York area, beginning with a concert at St. John’s University in Queens, NY. Hunter College in Manhattan and the Calvary Church on Long Island will also host the island’s “ambassadors of song” during the month of October 2013. The group is gained renown for its traditional and authentic presentation of Jamaican culture through its songs and costumes.
LEE “SCRATCH” PERRY HONORED—09/29/13
The influence of Lee “Scratch” Perry and his studio work on the evolution of Jamaican music is widely celebrated around the world. Born in Manchester as Rainford Hugh Perry in 1936, he made significant contributions to Jamaica’s music as a songwriter, producer and talent scout. He formed his own record label in 1968, and his pioneering music techniques made a major impact in Jamaica and around the world.
CHUCK FENDA DISCUSSES REGGAE RESURGENCE—09/30/13
An observation from Chuck Fenda was what inspired the singer and deejay to enter the world of reggae music. Because he grew tired of fast-paced dancehall tracks, Fenda decided he would create music that would focus on more spiritual and slower tunes in the way of the reggae “elders” of the past. Fenda believes that the Fifth Element family is responsible for resurrecting culture music back into the dancehall genre. He said he is not criticizing fast dancehall, but believes that culture music also has a place in dancehall music.
JAMAICAN ASSOCIATION HOSTS 6TH CONCERT—10/03/13
The Jamaica American Friendship Association (JAFA) hosted the sixth concert of the yearly Music through the Ages series at University Chapel in Mona. The concert maintained the high standards already established by the series in previous years. The proceeds of JAFA concerts provide bursaries for students attending the University of the West Indies. The performance featured close to 20 musicians.
HUE SAYS HE IS “SHOCKED AND DEVASTATED”—09/28/13
Jamaican midfielder Jermaine Hue’s manager says that the athlete is “shocked and devastated” after being banned for nine months by the disciplinary panel of FIFA for an anti-doping violation. According to FIFA, Hue failed a drug test after Jamaica’s loss to Honduras in the CONCACAF FIFA World Cup qualifying match in June 2013. Hue is disappointed that he must comply with the nine-month ban and that it will take him time to recover from the ruling.
JAMAICA’S BOLT, FRASER-PRYCE NOMINEES FOR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR—10/01/13
The Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce are among the ten women and ten men nominated for the title of 2013 World Athlete of the Year award by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF). Candidates are chosen by an IAAF panel of sports experts representing all six continental regions of the IAAF.
CAMPBELL-BROWN CAN RACE AGAIN—10/02/13
Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jamaican sprint champion, has been cleared to compete again. She missed the IAAF World Championships in Russia in 2013 because of a positive drug test at the Jamaica International Invitational Meet in May. She was given a public warning about the test, but the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA) Disciplinary Panel accepted that Campbell-Brown did not use the prohibited substance to improve her performance, and so ruled that she may again enter competition. She had always denied taking any banned substance to enhance her sprint performance.
UNNAMED OFFICIALS WARN CAMPBELL-BROWN DECISION UNLIKELY TO BE UPHELD—10/04/13
According to two unnamed officials, the recommendation received by Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jamaican sprint champion, from the disciplinary panel of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) is unlikely to go unchallenged by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The JAAA recommended that the runner receive a public warning after a positive test for a banned substance earlier in the year. One of the officials noted that the recommendation illustrates issues and methods of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission that have been called into question by WADA.
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