THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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.
Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN REGION GETS $6.8 MILLION FOR ENERGY PROJECTS—02/16/14
JAMAICAN APP DEVELOPER CREATES POPULAR MOBILE GAME—02/17/14
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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.
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.