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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending February 28th, 2014

28 Feb

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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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