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Monthly Archives: February 2014

JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending February 28th, 2014

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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COURT FINDS U.S. COAST GUARD EXCEEDED AUTHORITY IN BOAT SEARCH—02/22/14
Jamaica’s Supreme Court ruled that the United States Coast Guard did not have the legal authority to search vessels with Jamaican flags that are docked on the island and in custody of local law enforcement authorities. Justice David Batts made the order when granting declarations and constitutional redress to David Chin, a businessman from Kingston.

GOVERNOR GENERAL CALLS FOR EFFORT TO STOP “SPIRITRUAL DEPRAVITY”—02/23/14
Sir Patrick Allen, Jamaican Governor General, is urging Jamaicans to oppose a culture where “everything is everything: and includes “everything wrong.” Allen believes that the country is overrun with “spiritual depravity,” which must be stopped.

PANEL APPOINTED TO INVESTIGATE 2010 SECURITY OPERATION IN TIVOLI GARDENS—02/24/14
A fact-finding panel has been appointed to look into the operation undertaken by Jamaican security forces in May 2010 in Tivoli Gardens. The commission o f inquiry will be headed by David Simmons, retired chief justice and former attorney general in Barbados.

130TH ANNIVERSARY OF BUSTAMANTE BIRTH MARKED BY JLP—02/24/14
The Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) is commemorating the 130th anniversary of the birth of Sir Alexander Bustamante, the party’s founder and leader of the anti-colonial movement in Jamaica.  The JLP is paying tribute to Bustamante with a “deep sense of reverence and pride” and notes his contributions to the development of the country and his commitment to the poor.

JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT SHOULD HELP MYRIE COLLECT WHAT SHE IS OWED—02/25/14
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) awarded Shanique Myrie damages in 2013 totaling BDS$2,240 in her suit against the government of Barbados for her treatment after being refused entry to Barbados in 2011. There are now calls for Jamaica’s government to help Myrie collect these monies, which have not yet been paid.

REPORTS SAY PAULWELL BELIEVES GANJA WILL BE DECRIMINALIZED IN 2014—02/26/14
According to Delano Seiveright, a leader of the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce (CCMRT), Phillip Paulwell, the Leader of Government Business in Jamaica’s House of Representatives has stated that ganja will be decriminalized in the country in 2014, noting that Jamaica cannot afford to be left behind on the issue.

JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT ISSUES VISA WAIVERS FOR CHINESE NATIONALS—02/27/14
The government of Jamaica is issuing conditional visa waivers for Chinese tourists who are traveling to the island. The move is meant to boost the number of visitor arrivals from China. Wykeham McNeil, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, announced this action in a post-Cabinet press briefing, one day after the government indicated that China will be allowed to develop a trans-shipment port on the Goat Islands.

WEST KINGSTON GANGS WANT PEACE—02/28/14
After several years of violence in parts of west Kingston, alleged gang members are indicating that they are tired of feuding and are prepared to end the violence. One of a series of meetings between community members and alleged members of gangs was held in Denham Town, and Desmond McKenzie, member of Parliament for Western Kingston, indicated that he would participate in any peace process. He warned that there would not be any exoneration for gang members who are wanted by police, however.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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LONDON’S COVENT GARDEN GETS JAMAICAN RUM BAR—02/22/14
A rum bar with a Jamaican theme is slated to open in London in Covent Garden. The bar, Dub Jam, features J.Wray & Nephew overproof rum and reggae music. Covent Garden is home to the Royal Opera House, street performers, and a variety of restaurants and bars from around the globe. Dub Jam will be the first to feature Jamaican products and atmosphere. It will serve jerk, BBQ, and rum to the sounds of reggae.

JAMAICAN RUNNER DIES IN TOBAGO—02/23/14
Cavahm McKenzie, 18, a Jamaican cross-country runner, died after finishing the junior men’s six-kilometer race at the North America, Central America and Caribbean Cross Country Championships. He finished in 21st place and then collapsed and died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. McKenzie attended St. Jago High School. His death was called “cardiac related.”

TOMMY LEE SPARTA DENIED ENTRY INTO DOMINICA—02/24/14
The Jamaican music artiste Tommy Lee Sparta was denied entry into Dominica despite expecting to be featured in a concert in Portsmouth. While no official statement has been given by immigration authorities, Cabral Douglas, the chief organizer of the event, confirmed that Sparta and two others were denied entry, although they are CARICOM citizens.

CUISINE OF JAMAICA HIGHLIGHTED AT EVENT IN WASHINGTON, D.C.—02/26/14
Sherene James, the chef at the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, D.C., represented the island at the Taste of Travel Stage. The event allowed the public to view the preparation of classic Jamaican dishes and to sample the foods. James provided a lesson in making Jamaican jerk sauce as well.

HATCHER RECOGNIZED AS “CHAMPION OF CHANGE”—02/27/14
Felecia Hatcher, a Jamaican/Caribbean-American, will be recognized by the White House in the United States as a Champion of Change. Hatcher plans to create 10,000 African-American startup firms and is the founder of Code Fever, an initiative that trains African-American young people in the technology and entrepreneurship sectors.

“WOMEN IN THE BOARDROOM” THE TOPIC OF FORUM—02/28/14
The High Commission of Canada issued invitations to representatives of the public and private sectors to attend a forum on women in business, the fourth discussion in a series on corporate social responsibility. The Commission wants to engage chief executive officers in Canada, Jamaica, and international firms to challenge gender inequality.
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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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COCAINE SEIZED BY ROYAL NAVY SHIP IN CARIBBEAN—02/22/14

CONCERNS RAISED ABOUT RECENT CARIBBEAN EARTHQUAKES—02/23/14

ECONOMIST WANTS CARIBBEAN TO TAP GROWING CHINESE TOURIST MARKET—02/24/14

ST. LUCIA INTRODUCES INTERNET EXCHANGE POINT—02/25/14

GUYANA URGES INVESTIGATION OF 1980 ASSASSINATION OF WALTER RODNEY—02/26/14

CARIBBEAN THE FIRST REGION TO BE FREE OF MEASLES—02/27/14

 

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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MIGRANT VENDORS CAUSE PROBLEMS IN ST. ELIZABETH—02/22/14
Anthony Lewis, the commander of the Island Special Constabulary Force, is warning residents of St. Elizabeth to be aware of the illegal vendors selling items in their towns. They may be fronts for criminal activity. Lewis said vending is sometimes related to bigger crimes, such as providing the funding for the purchase of weapons and ammunition.

WEBSITE OF SMALL BUSINESS LOAN FIRM TO IMPROVE PROCESS—02/26/14
The website of the Jamaica National Small Business Loans (JNSBL) agency hopes to make the process of obtaining a loan easier for micro and small business enterprises. The website seeks to enhance the efficiency of the application process and raise participation among younger, more tech-savvy Jamaicans. The JNSBL is the largest lender in the small business sector.

BUILDERS ENCOURAGED TO THNK ABOUT POLICE ACCESS IN DEVELOPMENTS—02/27/14
Peter Bunting, Jamaican Minister of National Security, is encouraging developers and planning departments of parish councils to consider police access issues when constructing new housing units. Bunting made his remarks at the Meadows of Irwin Police Post, which was built by West Indies Home Contractors. Developers should consider providing quick access for police personnel when designing their projects.

JAMAICA’S CREDIT RATING UPGRADED BY FITCH—02/28/14
Jamaica’s Finance Ministry announced that Fitch has upgraded the nation’s credit rating in response to expectations that Jamaica will meet its 7.5 percent primary surplus target. The island’s rating has been raised from “CCC” to “B-” for long-term issuer default trading, while the country ceiling rating increased from “B-” to “B.”
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Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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ST. VINCENT TO HOST INNOVATION WORKSHOP—02/22/14

TOP HEALTH CARE ENTITY IN INDIA ESTABLISHING HI-TECH HOSPITAL IN CARIBBEAN—02/28/14

 

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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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PATTERSON BELIEVES ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY MUST IMPROVE SUPPORT—02/22/14
P.J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, believes that the country’s entertainment industry needs better organizational structures to aid in the management of musicians as they get older and progress in their careers. Patterson spoke at the opening of a reggae symposium organized by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA). Many musicians face difficulties in their old age despite having made major contributions to the country’s cultural heritage, said Patterson, and they should receive some help.

WOMEN IN REGGAE EXPRESS CONCERNS—02/23/14
Although women have made major strides in reggae over the past two decades, they still do not receive the respect they deserve, according to participants at the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association’s reggae University forum. Dionne Hardy, who was a co-moderator of the event, the disparity between men and women in reggae has impacted even Tessanne Chin, the winner of “The Voice” television competition. Chin’s songs only receive token airplay on Jamaican radio stations, Hardy said.

SCHOOL HAS ACTED AS “CRADLE” OF MUSIC CULTURE FOR OVER 100 YEARS—02/24/14
The Alpha Boys School in Spanish Town has served as the birthplace of much of Jamaica’s music culture for more than a century. The vocational school is known for encouraging the talents of many of the top Jamaican instrumentalists. For many years, alumni of the Alpha School have brought the sounds of ska, rocksteady, and reggae to the rest of the world. However, rising costs and lower budgets have damaged the school’s financial condition, and now it may be forced to eliminate its residential program for at-risk boys later in 2014.

DEBATE SURROUNDS SUCCESS OF JAMAICAN FILM—02/27/14
The film “Kingston Paradise” won the top award for narrative feature at the 22nd annual Pan-African Film Festival in 2014. The film competed against seven other productions, including two from South Africa, one from Europe, and one from the United States. As a result of the film’s success, there are not calls for greater support to be given to Jamaica’s film industry.

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SPORTS
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JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM WANTS TO RECRUIT BOLT—02/22/14
Jamaica’s popular Olympic bobsled team, which did not win a medal in the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia, is trying to recruit countryman Usain Bolt, the Olympic champion sprinter, for its next attempt in four years. Team member Winston Watts plans to retire, and the team believes Bolt could be a good addition to the crew.

CAMPBELL-BROWN CLEARED—02/24/14
Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jamaican sprint champion, has been cleared of drug charges and can now resume her athletic career. The two-time Olympic champion was suspended by Jamaica’s national federation after testing positive for a banned substance. She has now received clearance to compete again by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

POWELL’S ATTORNEY ASKS FOR LENIENCY FROM DISCIPLINARY PANEL—02/27/14
The athletics future of Asafa Powell, Jamaican champion runner, will be known on April 10, 2014. His attorney, Kwame Gordon, requested leniency from the disciplinary panel making the decision about his fate. According to Lackston Robinson, attorney for the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO), no suggestion of reduced sanctions for Powell have been forthcoming due to credibility issues arising from Powell’s testimony.

RUSSELL SAYS JAMAICA MUST GET PAST SUPER50 DISAPPOINTMENT—02/28/14
Andre Russell believes that Jamaica’s players need to get past the disappointment experienced at the Super50 tournament and focus on the upcoming Regional Four-Day competition instead. Jamaica lost to Trinidad and Tobago by seven wickets at the Super50. Russell, a regular member of the West Indies Twenty20 team, said the team should have done better and doesn’t know what happened. He is ready to move on to the next competition and wants to recapture the four-day crown.

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JAMAICAN JOBS
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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending February 28th, 2014

COCAINE SEIZED BY ROYAL NAVY SHIP IN CARIBBEAN—02/22/14
The crew of civilian sailors from the United Kingdom helped the U.S. Coast Guard in seizing a motorboat carrying some £8.5 million in cocaine in the Caribbean Sea. The sailors were aboard a naval support ship, the Wave Knight. The authorities fired warning shots as the two men on the boat tried to throw their cargo overboard. The Wave Knight is part of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), and is deployed as a part of Operation Martillo, a joint effort of 15 countries designed to disrupt drug trafficking in the Caribbean.
CONCERNS RAISED ABOUT RECENT CARIBBEAN EARTHQUAKES—02/23/14
The two recent earthquakes in the Caribbean region in the past week that measured more than 5.0 on the Richter scale have caused some concern among seismic researchers. Dr. Joan Latchman, director of the Seismic Research Unite of the University of the West Indies, said the 6.5 quake 100 miles north of Barbados was the strongest since 1980 in the region. Concerns focus on the possibility that these quakes signal a stronger one to come.

ECONOMIST WANTS CARIBBEAN TO TAP GROWING CHINESE TOURIST MARKET—02/24/14
Dr. C. Fred Bergsten, founder and director emeritus of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C., is urging countries in the Caribbean to focus their energies on the Chinese tourism market. He believes this market could be significant in improving the region’s economic future.

ST. LUCIA INTRODUCES INTERNET EXCHANGE POINT—02/25/14
St. Lucia is looking to become the latest Caribbean nation to create an Internet exchange point (IXP) with the introduction of the Saint Lucia IXP known as SLiX. The effort is being launched in conjunction with the country’s marking of its 38th year of independence. The new exchange point is part of the wider Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program.

GUYANA URGES INVESTIGATION OF 1980 ASSASSINATION OF WALTER RODNEY—02/26/14
Guyana has called for a thorough investigation into the death of Walter Rodney in 1980. Rodney was a local historian and black activist involved in the Black Power movement in the Caribbean and in the United States. A political party founded by Rodney in the 1970s, the Working People’s Alliance, hopes a panel of three attorneys from the Caribbean will be able to identify those responsible for Rodney’s death.

CARIBBEAN THE FIRST REGION TO BE FREE OF MEASLES—02/27/14
According to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), no endemic transmission of measles has occurred in the Caribbean region since 2002. Deaths from measles have essentially disappeared from the region. Along with the Americas, the Caribbean is the first region in the world to eliminate this highly contagious disease.

 

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CARIBBEAN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending February 28th, 2014

ST. VINCENT TO HOST INNOVATION WORKSHOP—02/22/14
The governments of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, and Grenada are looking for ways to innovate telecommunications technologies to improve the economic status of the region. The leaders of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will sponsor a workshop in St. Vincent to find new ways to tap into the region’s creativity and encourage a culture of innovation in technology that can be applied to real-world problems.

TOP HEALTH CARE ENTITY IN INDIA ESTABLISHING HI-TECH HOSPITAL IN CARIBBEAN—02/28/14
Narayana Hospital, a leading corporate health care entity in India, is expanding into the Caribbean by establishing a tertiary care, multi-specialty hospital at Grand Cayman. The first phase of the Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI) will be launched by Alden McLaughlin, Cayman Premier. The hospital will have 104 beds and provide a range of health care services. It will be built in phases over 15 years at a cost of $2 billion on the east end of the island.

 

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Akon Launches “Akon Lighting Africa” To Bring Electricity To One Million African Households

AKON-WITH-PRESIDENT-Blaise-Compaoré

Akon With President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso

Akon is stepping away from music to focus on supplying one million African households with electricity by the end of 2014.  Akon’s initiative “Akon Lighting Africa” aims to address the fact that more than two-thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is without electricity, as well as more than 85% of those living in rural areas lack access.

Akon’s company, Akon Corp., is working with GIVE1 Project and Solektra International, member of ADS Group (Africa Development Solutions Group), in order to create replicable, scalable and cost-effective energy solutions.

So far Akon has met with leaders from Senegal, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and the Ivory Coast and on February 10, 2014, Akon and his delegation, which included Samba Bathily, Solektra International, Thione Niang, Give 1 Project, Wang Lin, CJI, Khadidiatou Thiam, Akon Corp. and Dr. Julius W. Garvey, Akon Corp. began an ambitious tour of nine (9) African nations to engage in dialogue about the project.

“We are extremely pleased by the overwhelmingly positive response of government leaders to embrace a public-private partnership that aims to address access to power in sub-Saharan Africa. This initiative is given further validity and momentum based on the support of these nations and their executives and advisors,” said Akon.

Akon has partnered with Azuri Technologies to support the installation of solar equipment in households, which will in turn allow children to have access to electricity that will improve their quality of education.

To learn more about the “Akon Lighting Africa” initiative please visit www.akonlightingafrica.com.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in African News

 

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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending February 21st, 2014

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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BURIAL SITE CLAIM DISMISSED BY POLICE—02/15/14
Police in Jamaica have dismissed claims of the existence of a mass burial site in East Kingston. Police investigated allegations arising from a newspaper article in which the writer claimed to be a former gang member and knew of three sites where a number of bodies were buried. Police searches of the areas were assisted by cadaver dogs and no human bodies were found.

EAST KINGSTON AREA SUBJECT OF TWO-DAY CURFEW—02/16/14
Jamaican police imposed a two-day curfew on McIntyre Villa, an area also known as Dunkirk in East Kingston. The curfew was planned from 6 pm on February 15 through 6 pm February 17, 2014. Everyone within the boundaries of the curfew area was required to stay inside their homes unless presenting an authorization in writing from security forces saying they could travel. The area was the site of deadly shooting and violent reprisal on February 14, in which a man and a baby were shot and killed.

JAMAICA’S POPULATION UNLIKELY TO BE MORE THAN 3 MILLION—02/17/14
According to the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the population of the island will not be more than 3 million people, based on decreases in current fertility rates, high rates of migration, and reduced mortality. While there has been discussion of the population growing out of control, that is not the case, said Toni-Shae Freckleton, the manager of the PIOJ’s Population and Health Unit.

IMPROVEMENTS IN LITERACY AT WATERFORD PRIMARY SCHOOL—02/18/14
In St. Catherine, Waterford Primary School has reported a major improvement in literacy and numeracy among its students. The improvements have been attributed to the Pull Out program presented at the school’s enrichment center. Digicel provided state-of-the-art equipment to the center in 2009 to help with literacy education.

JAMAICA AMONG CARIBBEAN NATIONS INCLUDED IN PRESS FREEDOM INDEX—02/19/14
Several countries in the Caribbean are included in the 2014 world Press Freedom Index. The index highlights the negative impacts of conflict on freedom of information in various locations. The index shows a growing trend toward threats to freedom of information in countries considered to be democracies. Eritrea ranks at the bottom of the list of 180 nations, having no freedom of information. Jamaica ranked 17th.

JAMAICA HOPES TO REVIVE ECONOMY WITH SHIPPING HUB—02/20/14
Jamaica is hoping that it will be able to take advantage of increased shipping that will develop when the Panama Canal’s expansion is completed in 2015. Political leaders in Jamaica believe the Old Harbor area can be key to a transformative development for the island. It planned global logistical hub will handle the huge ships bound for China that will be able to come through the expanded canal.

INFLATION DROPS TO 1.9 PERCENT—02/21/14
In the fourth quarter, inflation in Jamaica fell to 1.9 percent, according to the Bank of Jamaica. The rate of inflation for the quarter ending in September 2013 was 3.7 percent. The change reflects increases in utility rates and price adjustments made during the holiday season. The nation’s GDP is also said to have expanded more sharply in the fourth quarter, according to the bank.

CORDON AROUND SUPREME COURT LIFTED IN KINGSTON—02/21/14
Downtown Kingston returned to normal after police cordoned off the area around the Supreme Court. Road closures and changes in traffic in the downtown area were imposed, but no reason was provided by authorities for the action. The Court is the site of the murder trial of Vybz Kartel and four co-defendants for the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams in 2011.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN WOMAN DIES IN CUSTODY OF U.S. IMMIGRATION—02/15/14
Marjorie Annmarie Bell, 48, of Jamaica died in a Chula Vista hospital near San Diego, California. Bell had been in the custody of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. She was taken to the hospital after complaining of chest pain, body aches and nausea. Bell has sought entry in San Ysidro where she is alleged to have presented a fake Canadian passport and was transferred to ICE custody pending immigration proceedings.

JAMAICAN FASHION DESIGNERS JOIN SHOWCASE IN LONDON—02/16/14
Five Jamaican fashion designers are participants in the International Fashion Showcase (IFS) in London. The launch of the event was celebrated with a reception and fashion show at the Jamaican High Commission. The designers include Dexter Huxtable of Spokes Apparel; Claire Requa of Clairely Upcycled Jewellery; Ayanna Dixon of ASD Clothing; Simone Nielson of Ms. Sim; and Abenah Gonzalez of Abenah Adelaide Designs.

JAMAICA, UNITED KINGDOM IN PARTNERSHIP FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH—02/18/14
Partnerships between the public and private sectors in Jamaica and the United Kingdom seek to develop conditions that will encourage sustained economic growth, find ways to invest in public infrastructure, and provide efficient and cost-effective public services, while reducing risk and controlling costs to governments. Jamaica has made such partnerships a critical part of its economic development strategy.

TOURISM ORGANIZATION SET FOR CARIBBEAN WEEK IN NEW YORK—02/19/14
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will showcase the region to native New Yorkers and visitors to the city during the 2014 Caribbean Week event, which will be held in June. Members of the CTO and their private sector partners will have the chance to display the attractive features of the Caribbean region during the event.

BUJU BANTON APPEALS DRUG CONVICTION AGAIN—02/20/14
Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton has filed another appeal of his drug conviction in the United States. Charles Ogletree, professor and head of the law department at Harvard University accepted an offer to represent Banton because he believes it is clear that Banton did not get a fair trial. Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, received a sentence of ten years in a Tampa, Florida court.

JAMAICAN DIASPORA GROUP WANTS PARTNERSHIP WITH GOVERNMENT—02/21/14
The United States-based National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations (NAJASO) wants to join in a partnership with the government to find ways to help Jamaica’s development. Dr. Richard Constable, chairman of the organization, says it intends to make a proposal to the government and representatives from the private sector later in 2014.
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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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CARIBBEAN COURT OF JUSTICE TO MEET IN GUYANA—02/15/14

OFFENSIVE STATEMENTS MADE AGAINST OPPOSITION LEADER IN TRINIDAD—02/16/14

TURKEY MAKES STRONG COMMITMENT TO CARIBBEAN—02/17/14

CARIBBEAN SHOULD HONOR COMMITMENT TO FREE MOVEMENT—02/18/14

6.5 EARTHQUAKE HITS OFF COAST OF BARBADOS—02/19/14

PREMIER LEAGUE TO REDUCE COSTS—02/20/14

 

 

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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JAMAICAN COMPANIES TO FORM RECYCLING FIRM—02/15/14
Seven companies in Jamaica are partnering to put J$23.75 million over a three-year period into a new national recycling program called “Recycle Now Jamaica.” The initiative represents a public-private partnership with the Jamaican government. The government will invest J$50 million every year from cash resulting from collecting the environmental levy, which will create a total investment over three years of $200 million. The program will also create jobs for at least 300 individuals in the Jamaica Emergency Employment Program (JEEP).

GROWTH IN RURAL AREAS DRIVEN BY MOBILE BUSINESS UNITS—02/16/14
Starting a business in Jamaican can be challenging, but it is exactly the growth in small business start-ups that is expected to grow the economy. Provisions must therefore be made to facilitate the use of talented Jamaicans throughout the island. It has been suggested that mobile business units be developed to make the process of business start-up more efficient and less challenging to rural people.

NEW COMPUTERIZED CUSTOMS SYSTEM TO BE IMPLEMENTED—02/20/14
Jamaica’s Customs Department plans to introduce a new computerized customs management system. The system is designed to provide solutions to problems with the agency brought to light by the Auditor General Department in 2013. The Auditor General found that the absence of price-reference information for imported products and a standard research methodology for valuations performed by customs authorities were lacking.

JAMAICAN EXPORTERS LOOK FOR BUSINESS WITH WAL-MART—02/21/14
JAMPRO is leading a mission comprising Wisynco, Seprod, and Jamaican Teas that is designed to target business with Wal-Mart, the giant international retailer, at Expo-Wal-Mart in Guatemala City at the end of February 2014. This event is considered the largest retail and trade show for shelf-ready products and services in the world. JAMPRO wants to generate business in the international segment that operates in 26 nations, and is particularly interested in markets in Mexico and Central America.
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Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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CARIBBEAN REGION GETS $6.8 MILLION FOR ENERGY PROJECTS—02/16/14

JAMAICAN APP DEVELOPER CREATES POPULAR MOBILE GAME—02/17/14

 

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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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ZIGGY MARLEY TAKES NEW COURSE—02/17/14
Ziggy Marley’s new album, “Fly Rasta,” indicates that he is taking a new course in this fifth studio effort. It will be released on April 15, 2014. Marley says it is a concept album and not linear, but a fusion of reggae, rock, soul, funk, and punk. He worked with Dave Cooley, his producer, who is known for his collaborations with independent rock bands.

JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM HAS ITS OWN SONG AT SOCHI—02/16/14
The Jamaican bobsled team, which competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, was honored with its own reggae song. The song, created by Draftfcb and the Jamaica Tourist Board, created music that keys in with the actual bobsled racetrack at Sochi.

MISS JAMAICA BECOMES CARIBBEAN QUEEN—02/18/14
The title of Caribbean Queen for 2014 was presented to Miss Jamaica, Lachoy Harris, at the 33rd annual Caribbean Student Association (CSA) Culture Night. The theme of the event featured Caribbean food and performances by the Hoop Troop, Chanbara performance group, and the Ballroom Dance Association. The Queen competition featured students from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, and Guyana.

PREVIOUSLY UNRECOGNIZED PERSONS NOW HONORED BY JARIA—02/19/14
The JaRIA Honor Awards celebrated Reggae Month by providing recognition to persons who have had important roles in the development of Jamaican music, but who have been largely unrecognized to date. The event features a presentation for each of the awardees that highlighted their contributions. Each presentation was either produced, sung, written,  or inspired by an awardee. JaRIA represents all Jamaican music and it was also honored by the awardees who appreciated the organization’s efforts.

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SPORTS
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JAMAICAN GETS NO-VISA GOAL TO WORLD CUP IN BRAZIL—02/15/14
Jamaicans will have a hassle-free entry to the 2014 football World Cup venue in Brazil due to a pending agreement between the governments of each country. The reciprocal agreement will eliminate visa requirements for Jamaicans and Brazilian nationals who want to enter each country. The agreement is part of the activities of the Joint Jamaica-Brazil Commission, which is designed to deepen diplomatic ties between the two nations.

JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM PROMISES RETURN TO 2018 OLYMPICS—02/17/14
While the Jamaican bobsled team did not make it to the final run at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the team has pledged to return for another attempt at the 2018 games. Russia received its first gold medal in the bobsled event, while Great Britain also failed to make the fourth and final run.

SANTOKIE HAPPY TO BE SELECTED FOR IPL—02/18/14
Jamaican fast bowler Krishmar Santokie said it is a “dream” to be picked for the Indian Premier League (IPL). He was chosen by the defending champions, the Mumbai Indians, on the second and last day of the auction for $50,000. He plans to join his West indies teammate, Kieron Pollard, on the Mumbai team. Santokie is considered to be one of the best Twenty20 bowlers in the region.

WALTER CRUSHES PERSONAL BEST RECORD AT EASTERN CHAMPIONSHIPS—02/19/14
Jamaica’s distance freestyle swimmer, Dominic Walter, out-performed his own personal best records in  the 200-meter and 400-meter freestyle events at the 2014 SPEEDO Eastern Canadian Championships. Walter, 21, trained with swims of 12,000 meters per day over the Christmas holidays in Puerto Rico and improved his 200-meter time from 1:54:17 to 1:54:14.

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JAMAICAN JOBS
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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending February 21st, 2014

CARIBBEAN COURT OF JUSTICE TO MEET IN GUYANA—02/15/14
For the first time, the Caribbean Court of Justice will sit in session in Guyana. Guyana and Barbados were the first nations to agree to the appellate jurisdiction of the court. The Privy Council, Guyana’s final court of appeal, was abolished in 1970.

OFFENSIVE STATEMENTS MADE AGAINST OPPOSITION LEADER IN TRINIDAD—02/16/14
Dr. Keith Rowley, the leader of the Opposition in Trinidad and Tobago, has been the subject of offensive statements, as a former senator of Rowley’s political party is alleged to have called him “too black” to be Prime Minister. Fitzgerald Hines has been reported to have made the remarks at a political party meeting of the Peoples National Movement (PNM). He is also alleged to have said that other businessmen and former PNM ministers also agreed with his statement about Rowley.

TURKEY MAKES STRONG COMMITMENT TO CARIBBEAN—02/17/14
The development minister of Turkey has made “strong commitment” to nations in the Caribbean, which will be made clear as it takes the G20 presidency in 2015. Cevdet Yilmaz, Turkey’s minister of development, said his country had a strong and “multifaceted” commitment to the region, noting that trade volume with the Caribbean had grown nine-fold in a decade and now totals $8 billion.

CARIBBEAN SHOULD HONOR COMMITMENT TO FREE MOVEMENT—02/18/14
Artisans and household domestic workers from five CARICOM nations are making an effort to encourage regional governments to honor their right to freedom of movement throughout the Caribbean. This right was granted over five years ago. Workers from Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Barbados will hold a regional town-hall meeting, which will be broadcast over the Caribbean Media Corporation’s international channel, Caribvision.

6.5 EARTHQUAKE HITS OFF COAST OF BARBADOS—02/19/14
The area off Barbados was hit by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake on February 18, 2014, according to the United States Geological Survey. A tsunami warning was issued for the local, but not regional, area. No reports of such an incident had been received, and there were no reports of extensive damage or injuries attributed to the quake.

PREMIER LEAGUE TO REDUCE COSTS—02/20/14
The inaugural year for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in 2013 succeeded with the public, but registered monetary losses. In an attempt to reduce costs for the 2014 season there is likely to be a drop in the players’ salary cap. According to Damien O’Donohoe, CEO of the organization, the salary cap will be reduced, although it the decision has yet to be finalized. He believed the cut will be close to ten percent.

 

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CARIBBEAN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending February 21st, 2014

CARIBBEAN REGION GETS $6.8 MILLION FOR ENERGY PROJECTS—02/16/14
A pledge of $6.8 million has been received from Germany to aid nations in the Caribbean trade bloc lower their dependence on petroleum. According to CARICOM, the money will be available via a regional renewable energy and efficiency aid program. Germany has provided almost $22 million in total to help Caribbean nations move into the renewable energy sector.

JAMAICAN APP DEVELOPER CREATES POPULAR MOBILE GAME—02/17/14
The newest Jamaican-sourced game app, “Jungle Escape,” is designed for Windows Phone by software developer Nicolas Brown. The free app has been downloaded over 200,000 times since it launched at the end of 2013. Brown is a student at Northern Caribbean University and also a partner in the start-up firm Ajure, based in Manchester. The app is intended to test the market, Brown explained.

 

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