THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
OFFICIAL REGISTRATION ESTABLISHED FOR JAMAICA’S POLITICAL PARTIES
Jamaica has established the Official Political Parties Registration (RPP), which is designed to provide more transparency in the nation’s democratic system. The RPP forms a portion of the island’s institutional reforms and represents a measure that ensures local political and economic environments foster productivity, transparency and national growth. According to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, RPP is an historical achievement that echoes efforts of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica to register political parties.
STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED IN ST. JAMES
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared a state of emergency in St. James, providing security forces there with extraordinary powers and suspending rights in some cases. Under the state of emergency, security forces may search locations without a warrant. The measure was implemented in response to increased violence in St. James, including murders and shootings. The most recent incidents occurred near Sangster International Airport and left one individual dead and three others seriously wounded. There were a total of 335 murders in St. James in 2017, an increase of 66 over 2016’s total. While Holness acknowledged that some civil rights have been suspended, he said the security forces were expected to treat all citizens in a humane way.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
U.S. MAY PROHIBIT HAITIANS FROM OBTAINING SEASONAL WORK VISAS
The United States is taking action to stop individuals from Haiti making applications for visas that allow them to work temporarily in the US. Notice was also given by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that individuals from Belize and Samoa no longer have eligibility for the H2A and H2B visas, which allow businesses to bring workers from other nations to work in agricultural and non-agricultural seasonal jobs. According to the DHS, Haitians applying for the visas “present extremely high rates of refusal” and those who have been granted H2A and H2B visas “have demonstrated high levels of fraud and abuse and a high rate of overstaying the terms of their H2 admission.” The action eliminates the only legal channel for Haitians who want to work temporarily in the US and represents the first real step from the Republican administration to remove a legal immigration route.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
MALCOLM NAMED NEW HIGH COMMISSIONER DESIGNATE TO NIGERIA
Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, has named Harold Malcolm as the new High Commissioner Designate to Nigeria. According to Johnson Smith, Malcolm has shown a strong commitment to the nation’s development and an excellent understanding of international affairs. The move is designed to strengthen cooperation between Jamaica and Nigeria. Malcolm will assume his new role in February 2018. He graduated from the Norman Manley Law School with First Class Honors in 2008, and as a Chevening Scholar, attended the London School of Economics and Political Science from 200 to 2010, with human rights law as his specialty. His experience includes lecturing in law and English literature.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICA AND SEAWALK TO OPEN PORT ROYAL TO CRUISE SHIPS
Cruise ship access to Port Royal in Jamaica will be available to SeaWalk under an agreement signed between Jamaica and the company. SeaWalk, a floating pier system, could be deployed at Port Royal under a contract with the Port Authority of Jamaica Port Royal, the south coast of the island near Kingston, has a rich history, being home to the British Navy for 200 years and also known as “the wickedest city on earth.” In 1692, an earthquake put most of the town underwater, and this location is preserved by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. The SeaWalk solution provides a way for cruise ships to access the town, opening up tourism potential, while preserving its fragile natural environment.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
BOYS’ TOWN WORKS TO CREATE MUSEUM
Members of Boys Town have wanted a library and museum dedicated to the history of Trench Town for some time, and the wait could be almost over, according to the president of Boys’ Town Old Boys Association, Junior Lincoln. According to Lincoln, a museum will be located in the Hugh Sherlock Center and will be called the Trench Town Community Museum. The place is “holy ground,” said Lincoln, being the birthplace of Jamaica’s music and a place where many songs were created even before Bob Marley in the 1960s. The project has obtained the funding it needs to begin, although development continually takes place in Boys’ Town. Renovations are occurring on the exterior and a statue of famous Boys’ Town cricketeer Collie Smith by Kay Sullivan has been funded by the Chase Fund. It will be unveiled in March 2018.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA’S WOMEN’S BOBSLED TEAM QUALIFIES FOR 2018 WINTER OLYMPICS
Thirty years after the Jamaican men’s bobsled team debuted at the Winter Olympics, Jamaica has qualified a women’s team in the sport. The team will travel to Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February 2018, marking the first time a women’s team representing Jamaica will participate in the Olympic Games. Carrie Russell, brakeman, said that qualifying was the one of the happiest moments in her life. She was a member of Jamaica’s 4×100 women’s relay team that won the gold medal at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow. This is her second season as a bobsled athlete. Other team members are Audra Segree, brakeman, and Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian, pilot.