THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
HEALTH MINISTRY CONFIRMS INFLUENZA DANGER—10/12/13
Jamaica’s Ministry of Health has confirmed three cases of a new type of influenza virus that resulted in deaths on some islands in the Caribbean. According to Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse, the Ministry’s director of emergency, disaster management, and special services, there have been sporadic incidents of the virus sub-type A (H1) pdm09, which can be fatal. In the last month, three cases were discovered in Jamaica, but no deaths were reported. Flu season in Jamaica usually runs from October to May.
ANTI-GANG LAW “RACIST” SAYS HORACE LEVY—10/13/13
Horace Levy, a board member of the Peace Management Initiative and a lecturer in sociology, says that the government’s anti-gang legislation reflects racism and classism and is designed to suppress poor young people. Levy has argued against the Suppression of Criminal Organizations Act 2013, saying it will not stop criminal activity but will only promote a long-standing tradition of policing according to race and class.
JAMAICAN DRUG-TESTING AGENCY AUDITED BY WADA—10/14/13
The World Anti-Doping Authority is investigating charges that Jamaica’s Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) has not tested athletes as it should have. A former director of Jamaica’s agency, Renee Anne Shirley, said that it did not test athletes for months before they participated in the Summer Olympics in London in 2012. Shirley compiled statistics to illustrate her point, but the chairman of JADCO said her figures were “lies” and characterized her as “a bit demented” and “a Judas.”
ALLEN PRAISES JAMAICANS TO BE HONORED DURING HERITAGE WEEK—10/15/13
Jamaica’s Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen, commended all those to be honored for their contributions to the county on National Heroes Day, October 21, 2013. He said he hopes that the awards will provide inspiration for other Jamaicans to make contributions to their communities. Allen says each Jamaican can be inspired by the accomplishments of Jamaicans who have overcome adversity and become national heroes.
JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER TO SPEAK AT INAUGURAL CONCACAF SPORTS SUMMIT—10/16/13
Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica, will be among those speaking at the first CONCACAF Sports Summit, which will be held in the Cayman Islands. Simpson Miller will join representatives of football’s leadership at the meeting, which is designed to bridge the activities on the field with those of the boardroom and government. In addition to several high-ranking government officials, representatives of FIFA, and officials of CONCACAF, former players will participate in the summit, which is themed “Transformation through Partnership.”
POLICE ERASE GANG MURALS IN SOME AREAS—10/17/13
The Jamaican police were enlisted to erase graffiti and murals painted in some areas of Kingston that experience high rates of gang activity. In addition to searching for drugs, guns, and fugitives, the police erase murals that celebrated the leaders of violent underworld gangs. Murals of’ gang strongmen, or “dons,” were painted over, along with representations of gunmen memorialized at the locations in which they died.
JAMAICAN GANGSTERS TAKE EXTREME MEASURES TO AVOID POLICE—10/18/13
The “yardie” gangsters of Jamaica have begun dressing as women and bleaching their skin to avoid police detection as a result of a crackdown by Jamaica’s military and police forces. Gangsters are donning women’s clothing and wigs so they won’t be identified, and others are growing beards or bleaching their skin to change their physical appearance. Danger to police officers has increased during the crackdown, and the official threat level has gone to “extreme,” which means attacks on police are deemed as imminent.
JAMAICA’S REPUTATION RESTORED AFTER GOOD IMF PERFORMANCE—10/18/13
According to Colin Bullock, Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), international markets are looking more favorably at Jamaica due to its performance under the fund facility of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The international community is showing greater confidence in the country and becoming more willing to invest money in development. Before the deal with the IMF, few investors were willing to commit resources to the nation, but the success of the program has changed their opinion.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
FIFTY PEOPLE CHARGED WITH DRUG TRAFFICKING IN FLORIDA—10/12/13
The Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation in Florida has dismantled a drug trafficking ring characterized as “violent.” Fifty of the group’s ringleaders and their associates were arrested, linked to a 3,000-pound seizure of marijuana being brought in to Central Florida. Many were arrested in raids involving the ring’s distribution center in Orange County. Charges against the suspects range from racketeering to money laundering to trafficking in the drug. Law enforcement has been watching the group since 2006, and the ring has been tied to homicides in Jamaica and Florida, as well as armed robberies and other violent crimes.
HISTORYMIAMI EXHIBIT SHOWCASES BOB MARLEY—10/13/13
The opening of “Bob Marley Messenger,” an exhibit that celebrates the life and legend of Robert Nesta Marley, the Jamaican reggae icon, at the HistoryMiami Museum was attended by a large number of participants. The exhibit includes posters, photographs, recordings and other memorabilia. Visitors also enjoyed a performance by Kymani Marley, son of the reggae legend, who provided selections from the Bob Marley collection. Newly appointed Consul General for Jamaica Franz N. Hall attended the event in his first official public appearance.
BOAT CARRYING JAMAICANS, HAITIANS, CAPSIZES OFF MIAMI—10/16/13
The United States Coast Guard rescued 11 people after a power boat carrying Jamaican and Haitian migrants capsized off Miami, Florida. At least four individuals died in the accident. The Coast Guard received a report at about 1 A.M. from 911 dispatch of Miami-Dade County about the capsized boat and launched ship and helicopter crews to respond to the call. When they arrived, the survivors were clinging to the overturned vessel’s hull.
“DUDUS” COKE TRANSFERRED TO MEDIUM-SECURITY PRISON—10/17/13
Christopher “Dudus” Coke, the convicted Jamaican drug lord, has been transferred to a medium-security prison in South Carolina, according to a spokesperson from the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He is now at the Edgefield Federal Correctional Center. Previously, Coke was at a federal detention center in New York. Coke received a sentence of 23 years in New York after pleading guilty in 2011 to racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit assault in aid of racketeering.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
DRUG TRADE IN CARIBBEAN RISES WITH NEW GENERATION OF CRIMINALS—10/12/13
U.S. OWNED OIL SHIP DETAINED BY VENEZUELA IN CARIBBEAN—10/13/13
GOVERNMENT IN UK BLOCKS SLAVERY REPARATIONS ATTEMPT—10/14/13
ANOTHER CARIBBEAN NATION TO SELL CITIZENSHIP TO INVESTORS—10/15/13
CARIBBEAN TOURIST ORGANIZATION TO HOLD MAJOR CONFERENCE—10/16/13
REPORT LINKS THREE CARICOM NATIONS TO MODERN DAY SLAVERY—10/17/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
BANK OF JAMAICA TARGETS “UNBANKED” POPULATION—10/12/13
The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is planning to provide services to the island’s “unbanked” population, people who either do not use a bank or who have limited access to traditional banks. The banking regulator is now allowing traditional banks to join with third parties to offer services to this population as agents. The agent banking system requires that amendments be made to current laws due to the new structure. BOJ reports that it is in the process of making accommodations to its services within the omnibus banking bill, which is pending.
NEW PRIVATE-PUBLIC SECTOR PROGRAM TO RAISE ORGANIC CROP PRODUCTION—10/14/13
An innovative agricultural partnership program between public and private interests aims to enhance the organic production of some crops in Jamaica. Farm Up Jamaica, which launched in New York City, was devised by Neil Curtis, businessman and entrepreneur. The program will help Jamaican farmers grow targeted organic crops to reduce the need to import product and to increase export of other crops, which will stabilize Jamaica’s currency and create jobs on the island.
PSOJ EXPLORES ENERGY OPTIONS FOR JAMAICA—10/16/13
The Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ), together with the Jamaica Institute of Management and the University of Technology, is looking for viable solutions to the energy problems in the country. The three organizations plan to host the first of a series of discussions about finding energy solutions on October 29, 2013. Experts from the energy and academic fields will make presentations at the event.
SPANISH HOTEL INVESTOR TO OPEN FIFTH JAMAICAN PROPERTY—10/17/13
Luis Riu, a hotel investor from Spain is set to open his fifth Jamaican property on the island’s north coast, 12 years after he was criticized for investing in the island’s potential. The RUI Palace Jamaica resort will have 238 rooms and will open in Montego Bay by December 6, 2013. The hotel is the smallest of the Riu properties in Jamaica and will cater to adults only.
Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
BELIZE TO SECURE COMPUTER NETWORKS—10/14/13
CARIBBEAN URGED TO EXPLORE RENEWABLE SOLUTIONS TO HIGH ENERGY COSTS—10/15/13
FIRST TOTALLY ELECTRIC BUS INTRODUCED IN CARIBBEAN—10/16/13
CARIBBEAN ATTRACTING MORE CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENT—10/17/13
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
CHRONIXX ENSURES RASTAFARIANISM GETS BACK INTO REGGAE—10/12/13
Rastafarians have always had a big influence on Jamaica’s music history, but with the emergence of dancehall in the 1980s and 1990s, this influence appeared to take a back seat to other elements. The Rasta lifestyle was overshadowed by dance crazes that emphasized sexual moves and braggadocio. More musicians are going back to the roots of reggae and re-introducing Rastafarianism to the genre.
HOO KIM, JAMAICAN RECORD PRODUCER, DIES—10/13/13
Jamaican record producer Kenneth Hoo Kim has died of lung cancer at the age of 66. Hoo Kim was instrumental in operating a famous reggae music studio. Hoo Kim and three of his brothers operated the Channel One studio, which began in 1972. The studio stopped recording in the early 1980s because of gang violence in its community. Hoo Kim is survived by his wife and five children.
FRANKLIN BERNAL RECEIVES SILVER MUSGRAVE MEDAL—10/14/13
Franklin Bernal, 93, who is a recipient of the Silver Musgrave medal, will not be able to attend the ceremony at the Institute of Jamaica because of his poor health, said his son, Ambassador Richard Bernal. The family expressed its joy at the recognition given to Vernal for his work in the arts. Bernal’s paintings have created a record of the birds of Jamaica and leave a national legacy celebrating the birds.
JAMAICA’S MUSICAL HISTORY DISPLAYED AT KINGSTON AIRPORT—10/15/13
The departure lounge at the Norman Manley International Airport offers passengers in transit an opportunity to learn about the history of Jamaican music. The display, “Visualizing 50 Years of Jamaican Popular Music, highlights the diversity of the island’s musical genres, beginning in the 19th century and the start of Mento to 20th century sounds. The lounge acts as a “musical time capsule” that features other types of Jamaican music, including ska, rock steady, dub, reggae, and dancehall.
JAMAICA LOSES QUALIFIER—10/12/13
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz’ dream of going to the 2014 World Cup ended as they lost 2-0 to the United States in Kansas City. The win puts the U.S. at the top in the CONCACAF final round playoffs. The Boyz needed a victory to get a chance to go to the next round of qualifiers.
AFTER LOSS, BURRELL LOOKS TOWARD FUTURE—10/13/13
Captain Horace Burrell expressed his disappointment after Jamaica’s loss in the World Cup Qualifying match in Kansas City, but he also announced plans for the 2018 campaign. Central to these plans is keeping Winfried Schafer, the German coach who recently joined the staff. Burrell believes there is a good foundation on which to build the 2018 effort.
FRASER-PRYCE LEADS EFFORT FOR AN ATHLETES UNION—10/17/13
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jamaica’s Olympic champion sprinter, hopes to reduce the divisiveness among local track and field athletes and provide better financial, social, and anti-doping support for athletes through a union. She is in consultation with others about creating a union in the near future, but acknowledges the need for support from corporate Jamaica and the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association.
JAMAICANS TO PLAY IN PAN AMERICAN BADMINTON CHAMPIONSHIPS—10/18/13
A four-member badminton team from Jamaica is ready to play in the XVIII Pan American Badminton Championship tournament in the Dominican Republic. The team comprises Captain Gareth Henry, Samuel Ricketts, Kathryn Wynter, and Ruth Williams. The individual events start on October 24, 2013. Kathryn Wynter will be making her first appearance for Jamaica at an international event.
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