Jamaican News

Top 7 Jamaican & Caribbean News Stories for the week ending January 29th, 2016

Jamaican and Caribbean News
Written by Staff Writer

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THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS   STORIES
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FOUNDATION FOR LEARNING TO FOCUS ON 235,000 ILLITERATE JAMAICANS—01/24/15
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported that, in 2015, there were over 161,000 men and nearly 74,000 women over age 15 in Jamaica who do not have basic reading and writing skills. The current adult literacy rate in Jamaica is 88 percent, a little lower than the average rate in the overall Caribbean region, which totals 92 percent. To improve Jamaica’s literacy rate, the Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) is working to enroll some 10,000 adult learners into its 28 adult education facilities and 50 volunteer centers around the island by 2017-2018. The JFLL is a governmental agency responsible for improving learning among adults and children from the basic literacy level to the secondary level. Worrel Hibbert, the agency’s executive director, says the organization plans to participate in a social transformation of Jamaica, one learner at a time.

BAN ON SAND REMOVAL IN NEGRIL LIFTED BY GOVERNMENT—01/25/15
Robert Pickersgill, Jamaica’s Land and Environment Minister, withdrew the ban on removing sand from property owned by the Karisma Group in Negril that is marked for a hotel development. According to Pickersgill, the hotel had obtained a permit and there was “no objection” to the sand removal from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPP). The sand, described as carbonaceous material in Llandovery, St. Ann, is being relocated in connection with the building of a 4,800-room hotel. There will be restrictions on the use of that portion of the sand allocated to the St. Ann site, however; it will be used only to support and nourish the hotel’s beaches. The new hotel development is occurring on a site previously occupied by the Mahogany Inn.

JAMAICAN MASTER PAINTER DEAD AT 85—01/27/15
Barrington Watson, Jamaican Master Painter, died at his home in Kingston at the age of 85 after a long illness. The cause of death was pneumonia. On January 9, 2016, Watson celebrated his birthday with his friends and family. Born in Lucea, Hanover, he attended Kingston College, the Royal College of Art in London, and continued study of the European masters in Amsterdam, Madrid, and other major schools of art in Europe. In 1962, he returned to Jamaica and became the first director of studies at the Jamaica School of Art, which is now part of Edna Manley College. He led in the development of a new arts curriculum that allowed graduates to move into teaching, advertising, and television sectors, as well as conventional fine and applied arts areas. In 1964, he became a founding member of the Contemporary Jamaican Artists Association and was a leading and influential artist of the post-independence period on the island.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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GEORGE CARTER, JAMAICAN THEATER PERSONALITY, DIES IN NORTH CAROLINA—01/27/15
Jamaican theater icon George Carter passed away during the huge snowstorm that hit the United States and cause at least 45 deaths. Carter, who would have turned 100 years of age in April 2016, died in Raleigh, North Carolina. Carter was known as “Mr. C” and had been planning for a visit to Jamaica to mark his centenary birthday. He had a founding role in the artistic and cooperative credit union movement in Jamaica and the Caribbean. After retiring from his service, Carter had retired to Florida. He was visiting his oldest son Dr. Denis Carter in Raleigh at the time of his death.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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VISITORS OUTNUMBER RESIDENTS IN JAMAICA—01/26/15
According to Dr. Wykeham McNeill, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the island welcomes more visitors to its shores than it numbers in its entire resident population. He believes this shows that Jamaica is one of the major destinations for tourists in the Caribbean region. Since 2014, Jamaica has received two million stopover tourists and 1.5 million cruise ship travelers each year. The total outpaces the island’s population of 2.5 million. McNeill noted that bringing in more people than the current population is “no ordinary feat” and that he is committed to expanding the tourism base even more.  There are 2,500 new hotel rooms being built in Jamaica, more than have ever been constructed simultaneously in the country in history. Another 7,000 rooms are scheduled for construction, including 4,000 for North West St. Ann. The greater capacity will mean more than 10,000 new jobs for Jamaicans as they come on line.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
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NORWAY HONORS JAMAICAN-BORN STUART HALL WITH ART EXHIBIT—01/25/15
Between January 30 and March 2, 2016, Norway will celebrate the cultural theories expounded by Jamaican-born thinker and activist Stuart Hall who encouraged individuals to take an expansive view of culture and the way all cultures move, develop, change and migrate. An art exhibit, “Jamaican Routes,” will honor Hall and use Jamaica’s cultural experience to emphasize the dynamics of culture throughout the world. Eleven Jamaican artists were invited to display their work at Galleri F15. They include Jamaican and Caribbean representatives Camille Chedda, Andrea Chung, Marlon James, Leasho Johnson, Matthew McCarthy, Olivia McGilchrist, Oneika Russell, Ebony G. Patterson, Storm Saulter, Cosmo Whyte and Andre Woolery. Their works address social, cultural and political elements and implications for Jamaica’s music, particularly dancehall, in video, film, photography, painting, works on paper and installations.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
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JAMAICAN ATHLETES TO GET INSURANCE PLAN—01/28/15
The Office of the Prime Minister has launched a group health, life and personal accident plan for all of Jamaica’s legible national athletes. The Jamaican Athletes’ Insurance Plan (JAIP) will go into effect on February 1, 2016, and represents the nation’s commitment to establish and maintain sustainable health and life insurance plans, pension plans, and retirement programs for national athletes. All Jamaican athletes who belong to a national association or federation have eligibility under the newly introduced JAIP program.

About the author

Staff Writer