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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending March 21st, 2014

21 Mar

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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PRIME MINISTER SATISFIED WITH CARICOM’S FOCUS ON CLIMATE CHANGE—03/15/14
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, says she is satisfied with the greater focus placed on climate change by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). She said that Jamaica is paying close attention to developments in this critical area as well.

CONTRACTOR GENERAL: RULES BREACHED IN HOTEL DEAL—03/16/14
Jamaica’s Office of the Contractor General (OCG) found several breaches of rules governing procurement in a deal between the National Insurance Fund (NIF) and the Blue Diamond Hotels and Resorts group. The OCG has recommended no punitive action be taken in the case, however, deciding to use the situation as a teaching moment for public sector interests.

CAMPBELL-BROWN’S LAWYER SAYS ERRORS RESULTED IN CLIENT’S CLEARING—03/17/14
Howard Jacobs, attorney for Veronica Campbell-Brown, said that errors made by officials in Jamaica during anti-doping procedures resulted in the athlete’s clearing of doping charges. The mistakes, which included failure to properly seal urine samples, led the Court of Arbitration for Sport to rule in favor of Campbell-Brown’s appeal of the two-year ban.

JUROR IN KARTEL TRIAL CHARGED WITH BRIBERY—03/17/14
The Jamaica Constabulary Force stated that Livingston Cain, 50, has been charged with five counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice and conspiracy in connection with attempted bribery in the murder trial of dancehall reggae artiste Vybz Kartel. Cain was a juror in Kartel’s trial, and after the guilty verdict was announced, he was arrested on suspicion of trying to bribe other jurors to free the defendant.

$42 MILLION FOR INNER CITY IMPROVEMENTS IN JAMAICA—03/18/14
Over 80,000 Jamaicans will benefit from improvements to services, infrastructure and interventions targeting crime and violence with a US$42 million project approved by the World Bank. Eighteen inner-city areas deemed “vulnerable” will receive aid designed to enhance safety and improve living conditions for residents.

UK AIR PASSENGER DUTY REFORMS WELCOMED BY JAMAICA—03/19/14
George Osborne, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced changes to the Air Passenger Duty (APD) that will benefit Jamaica and other Caribbean destinations. Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, has welcomed the changes, which will be effective in April of 2015, calling the reforms a “major victory” for the Caribbean community, which has worked for years to alter the system it characterized as unfair.

FISHERFOLK MOBILIZE FOR GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATION—03/20/14
More than 20 leaders of the fisherfolk from the Jamaica Fishermen Cooperative Union (JFCU) and affiliated cooperatives, plus representatives of the Fisheries and Cooperatives Divisions, received training  in participatory governance at a workshop designed to enhance the capacity of these organizations to engage in processes to develop fishery policies.

SHAW WANTS FIXED RATE OF EXCHANGE IMPLEMENTED—03/21/14
Audley Shaw, Jamaica’s former minister of finance, is calling for a fixed rate of exchange to be introduced in the face of continued depreciation of Jamaica’s currency. The rate of exchange is currently over $109 to the US dollar.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN MAN FINED FOR OVERSTAYING IN GUYANA—03/15/14
Rohan Brown, a Jamaican national, admitted that he overstayed his welcome in Guyana. He entered the country in September 6, 2013 and has been staying with his girlfriend at her home. He appeared before the Magistrates’ Courts in Georgetown, where he was fined. He had originally been granted a six-month stay.

JAMAICAN MUSICIANS OVERSEAS NOT GIVEN A CHANCE, SAY PRODUCERS—03/16/14
Many emerging local Jamaican artistes complain that local producers do not give them an opportunity to showcase their talents, things are even worse for foreign-based producers who say they are being attacked and their work disregarded just because they do not living in Jamaica. Many talented artistes of Jamaican heritage are not receiving attention on the home island, says producer Nicko Rebel.

JAMAICAN PLAY CELEBRATES NATIONAL WOMEN’S MONTH—03/17/14
“Not about Eve,” a play by Jamaican actor and writer Kari O’Brian Williams, will be staged in New York at the Jamaica Center for the Arts and Learning at the end of March 2013. Williams, who was born in Kingston, says her play was inspired by personal experiences and illustrates a Jamaican “aesthetic.” Andrew Clarke, the director of the Center, is from Montego Bay, and says its mission is to promote Caribbean issues and stories while providing a venue for actors, writers, and directors in the Diaspora.

FOREIGN MINISTRY SAYS JAMAICAN STUDENTS IN UKRAINE ARE SAFE—03/19/14
Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade reports that four Jamaican students enrolled at a medical university in Ukraine are safe. The university is Kharkiv, a city in the northeastern part of the country. The Jamaican embassy in Berlin, Germany, has maintained contact with Ukraine and a student representative there, and while there is concern about the political situation in the country, students are still attending classes, and there is a “semblance of normality.”

CLARKE PRAISES REVIEW OF CARIBBEAN DEPORTATIONS—03/20/14
Yvette D. Clarke, Caribbean-American Congresswoman from the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, is praising the U.S. President Barack Obama for starting a review of deportations to the Caribbean region. Obama has stated that deporting undocumented immigrants should be conducted in a more humane manner.

JAMAICAN LEADING TRAUMA TEAM RESPONDING TO MISSING MALAYAN JET—03/21/14
Stephen-Claude Hyatt, a Jamaican clinical health psychologist and head of the Mental Health Department at International SOS Beijing, is heading the team in China that has responsibility for trauma therapy in response to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, which is missing. Hyatt said that the airline firm is doing a great job in meeting the needs of family members of the passengers on the jet. Hyatt attended Calabar High School and is a native of Kingston.
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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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FORMER COLONIZERS SUED BY CARIBBEAN NATIONS—03/15/14

CARICOM TO ADDRESS MARIJUANA USE ISSUES—03/16/14

CARIBBEAN REGION COULD ACT AS GLOBAL HUB—03/17/14

POLITICAL PARTIES IN GUYANA LEAD ON CARIBBEAN INTEGRATION—03/18/14

DOMINICA CONSIDERING CCJ CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT—03/19/14

CUBA, UNITED STATES, CARIBBEAN NATIONS JOIN IN OILCLEAN-UP AGREEMENT—03/20/14

 

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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MONTEGO BAY TO GET $200-MILLION HOSPITAL—03/16/14
Spain’s Hospiten Group has announced its final plans to build a specialized general hospital at Cinnamon Hill, Rose Hall, St. James in Jamaica. The facility will cost $200 million and will provide medical services to residents of the North Coast area and to visitors to the island. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller expressed her appreciation to the group for its investment in the country.

PROFITS AVAILABLE IN ORGANIC AGRICULTURE—03/17/14
Neil Curtis immigrated to the United States in 1972 and knows that there is significant money to be obtained through Jamaica agriculture. He spent one year in St. Elizabeth in Jamaica, buying and selling callaloo, and discovered the profitability of this crop. He made a profit of 800 percent from his callaloo enterprise.

USAID DIRECTOR BELIEVES JAMAICA SHOULD DEVELOP NEW BRANDS—03/18/14
Denise Herbol, Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is calling for research into local, traditional industries that can help boost development potential for Jamaica. She noted that famous Jamaican brands like Blue Mountain Coffee were established through years of research, and she believes more should be done to duplicate those successful efforts.

FIRST JAMAICAN CASINO PLAN REVEALED—03/19/14
Jamaica is poised to receive a boost from the first casino resort proposal in its history. Celebration Jamaica would be the first licensed casino in the country, and it is scheduled to move ahead as early as the summer of 2014.The development will being as soon as the order is granted, says Robert Trotta, who is shepherding the casino, which would take three years to build. It would be located in Montego Bay.
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Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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GRENADA HOSTS INNOVATION WORKSHOP—03/18/14

JAMAICA RECEIVES AID FOR CYBERSECURITY STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT—03/20/14

 

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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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REGGAE MONTH ACTIVITIES TO BE HELD IN RANNY WILLIAMS COMPLEX—03/20/14
All of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) activities marking Reggae Month over the next five years will take place at the Louise Bennett Garden Theater and Ranny Williams Enterprise Complex in Kingston. The Honor Awards, the Dennis Brown Tribute, and the Trench Town Rock International Festival will continue to be held at their previous venues, however. JaRIA made the arrangements public at the annual general meeting, which also elected new board members.

MERCEDES KIRKWOOD DIES—03/17/14
In 2013, at the age of 92, Mercedes Kirkwood received the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD) for her contributions to the development of Jamaican musical theater. The legendary performer has now died. Kirkwood, who was born in Del Rio, Cuba, began singing at the age of three. She moved to Jamaica and was a student at the Jamaica School of Music where she realized her potential to sing opera. She then migrated to the United Kingdom and had a flourishing career in operatic theater.

THREE JAMAICAN NOVELS VIE FOR BURT AWARD—03/18/14
Jamaica has three entries in the running for the inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean Literature. They include “Island Princess in Brooklyn,” by Diane Browne; “All Over Again,” by A-dZiko Simba Gegele; and “Inner City Girl,” by Colleen Smith. The award is intended to encourage novel writing in the region, particularly novels for young adults.

JIMMY CLIFF JOINS CALL FOR SLAVERY REPARATIONS—03/19/14
Jamaican reggae legend Jimmy Cliff believes that communities in the Caribbean have the right to be reimbursed for the damages done by slavery during the colonial era. He believes that the 15 Caribbean nations suing Britain, France, and the Netherlands, among others, for reparations have a logical point and believes payment from those who benefitted from slavery to the region that suffered because of it would be fair.

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SPORTS
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JAMAICAN BOXERS COMPETE IN 4TH WRAY AND CONTENDER—03/15/14
The Green Team at the Wray and Nephew Contender’s fourth season will feature Jamaican boxers who will compete against the Yellow Team comprising boxers from several other Caribbean countries. Eight Jamaican boxers are ready to battle Team Caribbean. They are competing for a share of J$3 million in prize money. The winner of the competition will receive J$2 million and the title of Jamaica’s Ultimate Welterweight Boxer.

CAMPBELL-BROWN CRITICIZES JAMAICAN ATHLETICS AND “FALSE REPORTING”—03/16/14
Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jamaican champion sprinter, has been cleared to compete again after appealing a two-year ban for doping. She is now attacking the Jamaican athletics federation for not helping her more during her difficulties. She also accused press reporters with “smearing” her reputation. She said she took a lie-detector test to prove her innocence and that she has suffered significant financial and emotional devastation during her ordeal.

JAMAICANS WIN NCAA 60-METER TITLES—03/17/14
Omar McCleod, a Jamaican freshman at Arkansas, ran the men’s 60 meters at the NCAA Division 1 2014 Indoor Track and Field Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 7.58 seconds for the victory in the event. Jamaican Remona Burchell of Alabama won the women’s 60-meter title with a new personal best run of 7.11 seconds, the fastest time this season for a female college sprinter.

FRASER-PRYCE LEADS LINE-UP AT DIAMOND LEAGUE—03/18/14
Jamaica’s Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, the current world and Olympic 100-meter champion, will head the field for the opening meet of the 2014 IAAF Diamond League in Doha, Qatar, beginning on May 9. Fraser-Pryce, 27, will compete in the 100 meters after a win in the 200 meters in 2013 in Doha. She will be facing Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, double world sprint finalist, and Kerron Stewart, 100-meter finalist at the Moscow worlds, in addition to three runners from the United States.

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JAMAICAN JOBS
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