THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
CLARKE PROPOSES COMPULSORY NATIONAL SERVICE—03/29/14
All Jamaican youth should be required to perform national service to their country, according to a proposal from Senator Navel Clarke. Clarke says he believes Jamaica should treat its young people with discipline and behavioral norms appropriate to a Christian, law-abiding society.
GOVERNOR GENERAL WANTS JAMAICANS UNITED TO FIGHT CRIME—03/30/14
Jamaica’s Governor General Sir Patrick Allen believes one of the most important issues facing the nation is the threat represented by criminals. Allen made his remarks at an event in Black River, St. Elizabeth, in which Beryl Rochester was made Custos Rotulorum.
THREE ADDITIONAL POLICE OFFICERS CHARGED WITH MURDERS—03/31/14
The Independent Commission of Investigations has announced that three more police officers in Clarendon were arrested on charges alleging murder. The Commission is charged with investigating abuses committed by Jamaica’s security forces. The arrested officers include Detective Cpl. Kevin Adams, who was charged with the killings of four men between 2011 and 2013. All three of the officers have been suspended.
EDUCATION MINISTRY SAYS UNIVERSITIES MUST BE MORE SELF-SUFFICIENT—03/31/14
Jamaica’s Ministry of Education has stated that universities must find innovative ways to obtain funding for their operation; they must become more self-sufficient as greater focus is placed on early childhood education. The University of the West Indies Mona asked the government to pay more than $5.4 billion it believes is owed due to a failure of the government to honor a commitment to pay 80 percent of tuition costs for Jamaican students there.
MARIJUANA GROWERS WANT GOVERNMENT TO STOP CROP DESTRUCTION—04/01/14
While the Jamaican government is thinking about decriminalizing marijuana, some ganja farmers and supporters are calling for government authorities to stop arresting people for possessing the drug and destroying their crops. These issues were raised at a meeting of the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association (GFGPA).
PRISON OFFICIAL IN JAMAICA DIES IN GUN AMBUSH—04/02/14
Cpl. Easton Williams, a Jamaican prison officer, died from bullet wounds he suffered during an ambush attack by gunmen in late March 2014. Williams was shot several times as he was on his way to work at a prison in St. Catherine. No arrests have yet been made in the case.
CHINESE FIRM HIRED TO BUILD TRANSSHIPMENT HUB—04/03/14
The Jamaican government has hired a subsidiary of a top Chinese construction firm to build the transshipment hub. According to Jamaica’s information service, China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd. will build the hub in the area of Portland Bight. The firm is a unit of China Communications Construction Company Ltd. Environmentalists are opposed to the proposed construction site, as it is near the Portland Bight Protected Area.
PROSECUTORS RECEIVE DEATH THREATS AFTER VERDICT IN KARTEL CASE—04/04/14
Paula Llewellyn, director of public prosecutions, confirmed that she and other members of her team received death threats have Vybz Kartel was found guilty of murdering Clive “Lizard” Williams. Llewellyn said that the team had received threats during the trial, but they had to ignore them in order to do their job. Security was enhanced for prosecutors as a result.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN PATENTS SOURCE OF HYDROGEN ENERGY—03/29/14
Phillip Scott, a Jamaican-born real estate entrepreneur, is considering his options for partnerships in the commercialization of a fuel-system enhancer and energy source that he has created and patented in Jamaica and the United States. He has received partnership offers from companies of both countries for his invention, which is called Elhydro Power. It uses a system based on hydrogen that acts as a generator and fuel-system enhancer that makes mechanical and electronic energy from electrolyzed water.
“BOBSLED” ACTOR JOINS “INVEST CARIBBEAN NOW 2014″—03/30/14
Malik Yoba, an actor and activist, will be among those attending the 2014 Caribbean Week in New York in June. Yoba is participating in the event to express support for the Invest Caribbean Now summit, which seeks to promote sustainable development and investment to create stronger economies in the Caribbean region. Yoba played the role of a Jamaica bobsledder and wrote the theme song for the film “Cool Runnings.”
JOBSON ENCOURAGED BY MCNEIL’S VISIT TO GERMANY—03/31/14
Margaret Jobson, Jamaica’s ambassador to Germany, was encouraged by the visit of Dr. Wykeham McNeill, the island’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, earlier in March 2014. She plans to use his visit as the starting point of a big Jamaican promotion in Germany over the year. Among the events planned are a Reggae Meets Opera concert, a visit to Germany by a top Jamaican athlete, and a film festival in May.
JAMAICAN NIXES PRISONER TRANSFER PLAN—04/01/14
Hundreds of Jamaicans will now remain in United Kingdom prisons as the government of Jamaica has refused to take these individuals back to their home country. The cost to the UK of housing these prisoners is £27 million per year. The UK Ministry of Justice had tried to convince Jamaica’s government to allow as many as 737 prisoners to be returned to Jamaica to serve out their sentences. Jamaicans are the third largest group of foreign nations in UK jails.
MUSIC STUDIO IN LOS ANGELES HONORS JAMAICAN SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE—04/02/14
Sonos Studio in Los Angeles, California, announced a new exhibit that will focus on the sound system feature of Jamaica’s music culture. The Hometown HiFi exhibit is designed to celebrate the ways in which Jamaica “changed listening forever.” The exhibit explores the dub movement going back to the 1950s when engineers found a new method of enjoying music.
TEENAGER IN JAMAICA GETS NINE SCHOLARSHIPS TO U.S. UNIVERSITIES—04/03/14
Tchakamau Mahakoe, a Jamaican student, has been accepted by 11 universities in the United States, and nine of them have offered her scholarships. Mahakoe has not decided which university she will attend. The 17-year-old had been home-schooled before attending Immaculate Conception High School in St. Andrew and Hillel Academy. The U.S. institutions offering scholarships include Duke, Princeton, Yale, and Stanford.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
FIVE FROM T&T HELD IN ALLEGED PLOT TO OVERTHROW MADURO—03/29/14
FINANCIAL SECTOR DEFENDED BY LEADER OF BAHAMAS—03/31/14
CARIBBEAN COULD TO BENEFIT FROM MEDICAL TOURISM—04/01/14
JUDICIAL ETHICS DISCUSSED BY MAGISTRATES IN EASTERN CARIBBEAN—04/02/14
BRITISH MAN FOUND DEAD NEAR BURNING YACHT HAD “BLAST INJURIES”—04/03/14
CARIBBEAN NATIONS CONSIDER MORE LENIENT MARIJUANA LAWS—04/04/14
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
WOMEN’S NETWORKING GROUP SEEKING JAMAICAN MEMBERS—03/30/14
Ethnie Miller-Simpson, president of Jamaica’s chapter of Women Entrepreneurs Network of the Caribbean (WENC), stated that a benefit of membership is the ability to access Caribbean markets via links formed with other businesswomen in the area. The regional networking group for women entrepreneurs is looking to enlist new members for its May 2014 launch in Jamaica. Miller-Simpson expects to see as many as 100 businesswomen at its next meeting, doubling its numbers in the Corporate Area and St. Catherine.
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY COULD PRODUCE US$200 MILLION IN SAVINGS—03/31/14
The Caribbean suffers from its high energy costs, with over 97 percent of the region’s electric power generate from fossil fuels. On some islands in the Caribbean, electricity costs are six times higher than those in the United States. According to the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, the area could reap significant savings by turning to sustainable energy sources.
LOCAL JAMAICAN PRODUCE GETS COMPETITIVE, SAYS SENATOR GRANT—04/03/14
Jamaican Senator Norman Grant, the president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), has urged Jamaicans to support local farmers by buying more local produce. He said the quality of Jamaican produce is high enough to compete with any in the world. The price of local produce is also very competitive with those of imported goods.
TELECOM LICENSES RENEWED IN JAMAICA—04/04/14
Jamaica will generate an estimated J$12.6 billion in revenue due to the renewal by the government of telecom and spectrum licenses for Digicel Jamaica and LIME. The licenses will be in effect for 15 years. The license renewals and provision of additional spectrum to both firms represents approximately US$85 million in investment from Digicel and US$30 million from LIME.
Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
FILM INDUSTRY IN CARIBBEAN TO BENEFIT FROM ONLINE DATABASE—03/29/14
RJR COMMUNICATIONS LAUNCHES FIRST OTT SERVICE IN JAMAICA—04/04/14
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
BOI-1DA A TOP PRODUCER—03/29/14
While not well known in Jamaica’s music industry, the Canadian Boi-1da, which is pronounced “Boy Wonda,” is one of the most popular producers in contemporary pop music. Raised in Toronto, he has worked with many hip-hop and R&B stars, but he was born in Kingston and lived in Braeton, Portmore. His credits include work with Drake, Nicki Minaj, Jay Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and others.
JAMAICAN BILLIONAIRES PAY THOUSANDS FOR SONGS BY TESSANNE CHIN—04/01/14
Three Canadian-Jamaica billionaires paid $40,000 to Tessanne Chin’s performance of three songs at a fundraiser in Toronto, Canada. Chin, winner of “The Voice” during its fifth season, was being honored at a banquet to raise money for the University of the West Indies when Michael Lee-Chin and Raymond Chang got into a bidding war for Chin to sing three songs. The bidding started at $1,000, but Lee-Chin boosted the price by bidding $10,000 for a single song performance by Tessanne.
BEENIE MAN TO PERFORM IN COLOMBIAN MUSIC FESTIVAL—04/02/14
Jamaican music star Beenie Man will be featured among international stars invited to perform at the 2014 Jamming Festival. This is the largest reggae event in Colombia and is held at the end of May. Thirty-five artists will perform at the event, including Seed from Germany and Zona Ganjah from Chile and Argentina.
JAMAICA WILL NAME POET LAUREATE—04/04/14
Jamaica is set to name its first poet laureate in 50 years. The title will be a national honor and not just an honorary title in its newest iteration. The ceremony for naming the new poet laureate was postponed to April 15, 2014 in order to facilitate the government’s decision to make it a national award. The nation’s two previous poet laureates were named by the National Library of Jamaica.
20 YEARS OF SERVICE BY TEAM JAMAICA BICKLE TO PENN ATHLETES—03/29/14
Team Jamaica Bickle has provided 20 years of service to the Jamaican athletes competing at the Penn Relays. The milestone reached in 2014 marks the benefits of the hospitality initiative begun in 1994 to aid athletes from the Caribbean as they compete in the Penn Relay event. The initiative began with the provision of meals and has expanded to include transportation, health care, and hotel rate negotiations. The goal is to make the athletes comfortable.
BOLT OUT OF COMPETITION UNTIL MIDDLE OF JUNE—03/30/14
Jamaica’s champion sprinter Usain Bolt will not be able to race until the middle of June at the meet in the Czech Republic due to an injury sustained to his foot. He will participate at Ostrava in June, Paris in July and Malmo in August, says Ricky Simms, Bolt’s agent.
JAMAICAN GO-KARTERS PERFORM WELL IN FLORIDA—03/31/14
Thomas Issa and Colin Daley of Campion College and St. George’s College, respectively, provided outstanding performances at the Florida Winter Tour in the United States. The go-karters aided Jamaica in finishing in seventh place at the National Cup, right behind Mexico. The Jamaica Karting Association is very happy with their performance at the race.
JAMAICA TO FACE BARBADOS IN WRAY & NEPHEW BOUT—04/01/14
Glenroy “Bumpy” Beckford (Green Team) will face Christopher Henry of Team Caribbean in the third bout of the Wray and Nephew Contender boxing competition. The Yellow Team won against the Green Team during the week, and Henry chose Beckford as his opponent. The Green Team features Jamaican boxers, while the Yellow Team includes boxers from the wider Caribbean under the new organization of the boxing series. Boxers are vying for $3 million in prize money.