THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
PRIME MINISTER PLEDGES SUPPORT TO STORM-IMPACTED AREAS—12/28/13
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has promised to provide aid to nations in the Eastern Caribbean that have been impacted by heavy rains. The rains brought floods, property destruction, and the deaths of several people. St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica were most affected.
HOWARD SAYS MUSIC INDUSTRY NEEDS TO DEVELOP PROFESSIONAL ATTITUDES—12/29/13
After controversial performance by Lady Saw and Macka Diamond at the 2013 Sting dancehall concert, Dennis Howard, Jamaican musicologist says that the nation’s music industry should develop better professional attitudes. Sting is a government-sponsored Boxing Day event, and to justify taxpayer support, the event should be more tasteful and professional. The Jamaica Tourist Board sponsored the 2013 concert.
RICHARD HART, TRADE UNIONIST, DIES—12/30/13
Richard Hart, a Jamaican trade unionist and support of the Peoples National Party (PNP) has died at age 96. The PPP extended its condolences in a public message, noting Hart’s contributions to the rise of trade union militancy, help for the poor, and liberation in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean. Hart was also a writer and the author of several books.
GROWTH IN WORKFORCE PREDICTED BY 36 PERCENT OF EMPLOYERS—12/31/13
A labor market survey has found that about 36 percent of employers in Jamaica plan to expand their workforces in 2014. Additionally, 150 employers surveyed reported they will expand their businesses as well. The survey covered 600 organizations in 14 parishes. It was conducted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. Firms in the electricity, gas, and water sector were most optimistic about job growth.
PHILLIPS REJECTS THIRD DEBT SWAP—01/01/14
Dr. Peter Phillips, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance, does not support a third debt swap, noting that holders of Jamaican debt have been negatively impacted by lower interest payments and longer maturity dates in 2010 and 2013. The government is not considering any debt exchange, he said, although asset swaps are under review.
TAVERES-FINSON WANTS MORE DONE ABOUT POACHERS IN JAMAICA’S WATERS—01/02/14
Tom Taveres-Finson, Jamaican Opposition Senator, want s the government to take more and quicker action against poachers operating in Jamaican waters. His call to action comes after the passage of amendments to the Conch (Export Levy) Act. This law permits exporters to have a three-month grace period for making payments rather than paying one large sum. He noted the unfairness of placing quotas on Jamaican fishermen while allowing poachers to operate with impunity.
CITIZENS’ GROUP OPPOSES NEW FUEL TAXES—01/03/14
Citizens Action for Principles and Integrity (CAPI) has warned Jamaica’s government that it will strongly oppose any additional tax on fuel. According to Dennis Meadows, co-convenor of the organization, a new tax will have a damaging effect on Jamaica’s people, especially workers in the public sector and the poor.
PRIME MINISTER “SHARES THE PAIN” OF JAMAICA’S ECONOMIC HARDSHIP—01/03/14
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaican Prime Minister, says that she understands and shares the pain Jamaicans face in regard to economic hardships. The economic program undertaken in connection with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been hard on the people, she acknowledged, but she also said there is no alternative and people must continue along the path of economic adjustment.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
CLARKE CALLS FOR U.S. PRESIDENT TO SUSPEND DEPORTATIONS—12/28/13
Latin America and the Caribbean represented the most people deported from the United States in 2013. Consequently, Yvette D. Clarke, a Caribbean American representative in the U.S. Congress has repeated her call for President Barack Obama to suspend his deportation program for non-violent individuals until comprehensive immigration reforms are enacted.
GEOFFREY PALMER RECEIVES KNIGHTHOOD—12/31/13
Geoffrey Palmer, a Jamaican-born scientist and professor emeritus at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II during her New Year’s Honors ceremony. Palmer is an anti-racist activist and the first black university president in Scotland. He is being recognized for his contributions to scientific knowledge of cereals and grains, as well as his work with the poor in Africa.
CARIBBEANS IN NEW YORK PROVIDE AID TO ISLANDS DAMAGED IN STORM—01/01/14
Victims of the storm that hit Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines over Christmas left 23 people dead and four missing, as well as considerable damage from flooding that washed out roads and bridges and destroyed several schools. Caribbean nationals in New York City have mobilized to provide aid, calling for direct help from the approximately 25,000 people from the Caribbean who live in New York. They are concerned that the storm will cause tourists to rethink their plans and hurt the region’s main source of income.
JAMAICAN IN U.S. HIGH SCHOOL SELECTED TO ATTEND MEDICAL CONGRESS—01/02/14
Vanessa Forrest, a Jamaican who attends Coral Reef Senior High School in Miami, Florida, has received a nomination to attend the Congress of future Medical Leaders, which will be held in Washington, D.C., in February 2014. This is an honors-only program for students who desire to enter the medical profession as doctors or researchers.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
DISEASE OUTBREAK GROWS, THREATENS U.S.—12/29/13
CHILD BRIDES IN CARIBBEAN A CONCERN FOR UN AGENCY—12/30/13
OIL SPILL CLEAN-UP COULD TAKE THREE MONTHS—12/31/13
TRAINING CENTER OPENS CARIBBEAN PROGRAM—01/01/14
SECOND CANADIAN PASSENGER MISSING FROM CRUISE SHIP—01/02/14
CAYMAN ENTERPRISE ZONE COURTS TECH, MEDIA FIRMS IN UK—01/03/14
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
IDB, CARIBBEAN ORGANIZATION UNDERTAKE REFORMS—12/28/13
The Inter American Development Bank (IDB) and Compete Caribbean are providing funds totaling US$653,000 to implement reforms designed to improve business competitiveness in Jamaica via a technical assistance program. The funding has been used to support draft legislation for the Security Interests in Personal Property (SIPP), among other things, according to Anthony Hylton, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce.
COMPETITORS BEAT JAMAICAN RUM AT AWARDS EVENT—12/29/13
At the Rum Awards of 2013, a competition sponsored by the Caribbean Journal, Jamaican rum lost out to a rum produced by Bacardi of Puerto Rico known as Bacardi Facundo Collection Exquisito. The winner of the Rune of the Year award only began selling in November 2013 and is considered a new standard in premium rum making.
CONTRACT FOR SPANISH CARTOON SERIES AWARDED TO JAMAICAN ANIMATOR—12/30/13
A Jamaican animation firm, Reel Rock GSW Animation Ltd., announced that it will co-produce a cartoon series to be aired on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon television channels in Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. The project could employ as many as 80 Jamaican animators. Reel Rock, which started up in February of 2012, is a pioneering animation firm in Jamaica and has won a contract with Imira Entertainment of Spain to produce 52 episodes of “Lucky Fred.”
JAMAICAN COMPANY MAKES INROADS TO TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO—01/01/14
As Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago continue to debate their economic relations, one Jamaican firm is moving in T&T with the help of Trinidadian manufacturers. Centralized Strategic Services (CSS), headquartered in Kingston, sent a team to Trinidad for discussions with financial institutions and government authorities there with the goal of achieving better efficiencies.
The company was assisted in its efforts by a trade facilitation desk based at the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) in Port-of-Spain, according to a release.
Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
DIGICEL ACQUIRES CARIBBEAN FIBER ASSETS—12/29/13
JAMAICA HAS POOR BROADBAND PENETRATION—12/30/13
LIMESTONE INDUSTRY COULD MEAN SUBSTANTIAL REVENUES FOR JAMAICA—12/31/13
WOODING WINS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD—01/03/14
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
BUNJI GARLIN WINS MTV SONG OF THE YEAR, TIES WITH G-DRAGON—12/28/13
Bunji Garlin of Trinidad and Tobago has won MTV’s Song of the Year competition for “Differentology.” He tied in the voting for first place with Korea’s G-Dragon’s “Crooked.” Garlin, whose real name is Ian Alvarez, thanked his fans on Facebook for their votes.
BOB MARLEY LISTED IN TOP 500 ALBUMS LIST AT ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE—12/29/13
Rolling Stone magazine, often called the “Bible” of rock and roll music, has published its list of the 500 Greatest Albums in history. Marley’s “Legend,” which was released in 1984, three years after he died, has the highest ranking on the list of any Jamaican artiste. The album is ranked at 46 and features “Get Up Stand Up,” No Woman, No Cry,” and “Buffalo Soldier.” The album “Catch A Fire” released in 1973 was ranked 126th, “Exodus” at 169, “Natty Dread” at 181.
TESSANNE NAMED ARTIST OF THE YEAR BY CARIBBEAN JOURNAL—12/30/13
Tessanne Chin, the winner of the U.S.-based television show “The Voice” singing competition, has been named 2013’s Artist of the Year by Caribbean Journal. Chin, a Kingston native, sings reggae fusion, and moved up every week in the competition to eventually win the big prize, a recording contract. In addition to winning for her extraordinary singing talent, she united Jamaicans and Caribbean nationals around the world in pride for their homelands.
BUNNY WAILER MAKES TRIBUTE TO PIONEERS—01/02/14
Bunny Wailer has had hit songs in every genre of Jamaican popular music during his 50-year career. His “Reincarnated Souls” set, which is distributed by Tads Records, is his latest effort. It includes three discs and 50 songs, with a double DVD called “The Trench Town Experience.” This examines the history of the Kingston community where he began his career. The set is a tribute to the evolution of the island’s popular music.
ANDERSON TO PLAY IN CENTRAL AMERICAN LEAGUE—12/28/13
Jermaine “Tuffy” Anderson, a Jamaican striker, is slated to play professionally for Deportive Aguila in El Salvador in 2014. This team is considered to be one of the nation’s most successful in history, sinning 15 Premier Division Championships, one Copa Title, and one CONCACAF Championship. Anderson won seven caps with the Reggae Boyz.
JAMAICAN CYCLIST ARRESTED ON NEW DRUG CHARGE—12/29/13
Jamaican cyclist Horace McFarlane, spent Christmas time in jail in Trinidad after his bail was rescinded following a new arrest on another drug charge. McFarlane will appear in court in early January 2014 on the first charge. He has claimed he was “left to rot” in jail by the Jamaican government when he was first arrested. He is being held by authorities in Trinidad and Tobago for allegedly trying to export cocaine.
JAMAICA’S BOBSLEDDERS HOPE TO COMPETE IN 2014 WINTER OLYMPICS—01/02/14
After almost 30 years, Jamaica has a bobsled team that hopes to achieve a win at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia in February 2014. The original team tried for a medal in 1988, but crashed off the course. Jamaicans failed to qualify in 2006 and 2010, but are hoping 2014 will bring better results. They hope to qualify by the January 20, 2014, deadline.
USAIN BOLT CONTINUES HIS DOMINATION OF INTERNATIONAL TITLES—01/03/14
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s Olympic and World champion sprinter was voted the Best Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row by the international Sports Press Association. Serena Williams, the American tennis star, was voted top female athlete of the year. Bolt got 1,282 votes, finishing far ahead of Formula One Sebastien Vettel, who was in second place with 499 votes. Williams receive 915 votes.
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