THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
CITIZENSHIP AMNESTY TO BE GRANTED IN 2018
The government of Jamaica plans to grant amnesty to individuals who are living illegally in the country in 2018. The amnesty, which will last for one year, will allow them to regularize their status. According to Robert Montague, Jamaica’s Minister of National Security, there are over 20,000 people who live illegally on the island. Forty-seven people received Jamaican citizenship at a ceremony at the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) where Montague made his announcement.This was the largest number of people receiving citizenship in Jamaica at one time. The new citizens originally came from the United States, Haiti, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
ENVIRONMENTAL TRUST CELEBRATES RULING TO PROTECT GOAT ISLANDS
The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) has expressed its approval for an Urban and Development Corporation (UDC) decision naming the Goat Islands, which are located in the Portland Bight Protected Area (PBPA), as a sanctuary for endemic and endangered wild life. JET learned of the decision via a letter from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). NEPA has made an arrangement with the UDC to co-manage the area. Additionally, the organizations will establish the region as a Biosphere Reserve under the Biosphere Program of UNESCO.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CUBA ASSUMES VENEZUELAN STAKE IN JOINT REFINERY VENTURE.
Venezuela has decided to dissolve a partnership with Cuba in the Cienfuegos oil refinery, leaving Cuba to take total ownership of the plant. Venezuela’s economic crisis forced a dramatic reduction in cheap oil shipments to Cuba, which has had a negative effect on the island’s own economy. While the reason for the partnership dissolution was not given, some reports indicate that Cuba took over Venezuela’s stake as payment for debts it had incurred.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN TEACHER IN VIRGINIA WINS PRESTIGIOUS EDUCATION AWARD
Karen Barber Olajuwon, a Jamaican who teaches at George Mason Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia, was selected from among 116 individuals nominated to win the Ruby & Esther Bunzi (REB) Award. Barber Olajuwon was among 16 winners, who received their awards at the Virginia Historical Society in November 2017. Originally from Porus in Manchester, Barber Olajuwon received a grant of US$12,000 to attend workshops in the United States and Barbados that promote poetry writing. Barber Olajuwon attended DeCarteret College and Alpha Academy and taught at Jack’s Hill Infant and All-Age School in St Andrew and Angels Primary in St Catherine before going to the US.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
HEALTH MINISTRY APPROVES SUBLINGUAL AND TRANSDERMAL CANNABIS PRODUCTS
Jamaica’s Ministry of Health has given its approval to sublingual and transdermal products by United Cannabis Corporation for inclusion on its registered cannabis medicinal list. The patent-protected Prana Medicinal Sublinguals and Prana Medicinal Transdermals can not be used to registered medicinal cannabis patients. The firm’s Prana Collection forms the basis of its cannabis-centered formulations that provide relief from neuropathy, arthritis, acute pain, muscle spasms and tension, and a variety of skin conditions. These products will be manufactured and distributed by Cannabinoid Research & Development Ltd., the Jamaican subsidiary of United Cannabis.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
BILLBOARD’S LIST OF TOP 15 ALBUMS OF THE YEAR INCLUDES FIVE JAMAICANS
Billboard Magazine has include five Jamaicans – and three Marleys – in its list of the Top 15 album of 2017. The list is based on sales data provided by Neilson Music, as well as the number of weeks of the charts and the reach of the albums. The five Jamaicans are Damian Marley, Chronixx, IamStylezMusic, Bob Marley and Stephen Marley. “Stony Hill” by Damian Marley holds the Number 1 spot. Released on July 21, 2017, it reached Number 1 on August 12, and has sold some 16,000 copies to date. It is also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album. At Number 5 is dancehall artiste IamStylezMusic with his debut album “Back to My Roots.” The other Jamaicans include Chronixx’s “Chronology” at Number Six,” “The Legend Live: Santa Barbara County Bowl November 25th 1979” by Bob Marley & the Wailers at Number 14 and Stephen Marley’s “Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life” at Number 15.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
MCLEOD, ATKINSON LEAD NOMINATIONS FOR JAMAICAN ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Omar McLeod, Jamaica’s world champion in the 110-meter hurdles, and champion swimmer Alia Atkinson, are at the top of the list of those nominated for the RJR Sports Foundation Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards for 2017. McLeod is also won the only gold medal at the IAAF World Championships in London in August 2017. Atkinson is the favorite to receive her second Female Athlete of the Year award after her outstanding performances on the FINA/Airweave World Cup Tour, where she won 13 gold medals. Also nominated is Reggae Boyz captain Andre Blake and Jamaica Scorpions captain Nikita Miller among the men. Among the women, other contenders for the title include Elaine Thompson who ran the 100-meters in 10.71 seconds, the world’s fastest time for 2017.