THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
REID SUPPORTS MULTI-LINGUAL JAMAICA—07/18/16
Jamaica’s Education Minister Ruel Reid has supported the idea that Jamaica should become a milt-lingual nation, even as debate continues about whether Spanish should be the island’s official second language. Reid has announced plans to introduce different languages to children at an early age; the languages would be those of the countries with which Jamaica trades, he said. Reid added that he wants to expose students to as many languages as possible, not only Spanish or French, but also Japanese and Mandarin and the languages of all the major nations Jamaican does business.
JAMAICA’S FOREIGN MINISTER HAILS GOVERNMENT OF TRINIDAD—07/19/16
Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith lauded the government of Trinidad and Tobago for the efforts it has put forward to resolve the issues associated with the treatment of Jamaicans at T&T’s port of entry. Johnson Smith said it was important to recognize good-faith efforts when looking for resolution to such problems. During a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, Johnson Smith said it was a positive move when countries made and kept promises. The press conference followed discussions between Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica and Dr. Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad. Dennis Moses, T&T’s Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, provided an update to Jamaica’s officials on efforts to resolve the problems, including a customer-service training workshop for immigration personnel and the retrofit of a dedicated airport facility to handle individuals who wait for return flights overnight. The facility is schedule for completion shortly.
TOURISM MINISTRY COMMITS $1 BILLION TO FUND NATIONAL SECURITY EFFORTS—07/20/16
Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, announced that the Ministry will put $1 billion over the coming four years toward funding security measures as part of the effort to support the Ministry of National Security and its fight against crime. Bartlett made his announcement at the closing ceremony for the first graduating class of 89 students to complete the District Constables Training Program at the National Police College of Jamaica in St. Catherine. The partnership between the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) is critically important in the plans to enhance safety and security in the resort areas of the island. The new training program is meant to add another layer of security to make existing formal security measures in those areas better and to address cases of visitor harassment.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
HUTCHINSON ENDORSES DIASPORA FARM PROJECT—07/22/16
Jamaica’s Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries has given his endorsement to Farm Up Jamaica Limited (FUJL). The project is designed to transform the agricultural sector on the island. Minister J.C. Hutchinson said that the rising demand for organic produce around the world has opened new opportunities for farmers who can learn how to eliminate pests without over-using chemicals. In the FUJL program, which is a nonprofit created by the Jamaican Diaspora, will help local farmers grow organic food and increase food exports. Diaspora members will provide input about land preparation, organic seeds, and fertilizers to local farmers and teach them new non-chemical pest-control techniques. Hutchinson praised the Diaspora for its contribution and commitment to Jamaica’s development. Neil Curtis, FUJL’s executive director, said the project will help develop relationships that will lead to stable sales of farmers’ produce on the retail market and to hotels.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICA, SRI LANKA TO DEVELOP STRONGER BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP—07/21/16
At King’s House in Jamaica, Sarath Dissanayake, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Cuba, presented a Letter of Credence to Sir Patrick Allen, Governor General of Jamaica, as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Jamaica. During discussions, Allen congratulated the High Commissioner on his new appointment. The discussions also emphasized the shared values and interests of Jamaica and Sri Lanka as members of the Commonwealth, noting opportunities to explore ways to create mutually beneficial economic ventures. The High Commissioner briefed Allen on his government’s efforts to promote peace, democracy, the rule of law, and socio-economic empowerment of the people in Sri Lanka. High Commissioner Dissanayake also had meetings with Jamaica’s Ministers of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Labor and Social Security, Tourism and Chairman/Jamaican Chamber of Commerce to discuss the mutual economic interests of both nations.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
TOOTS HIBBERT, TESSANNE CHIN RECEIVE U.S. CONGRESSIONAL PROCLAMATION—07/18/16
Legendary Jamaicans Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals, and Tessanne Chin, the singing sensation and winner of the television talent competition “The Voice” in the United States, received the U.S. Congressional Proclamation at the annual New York “Groovin’ in the Park” reggae and rhythm-and-blues concert. The proclamation came about due to the efforts of Yvette Clarke, U.S.-bone Jamaican Congresswoman. The honor recognizes Toots’s “contribution to Jamaica’s musical development for over 50 years,” she said. Chin was recognized for her “sterling performance and achievement” during the television competition in 2013, which inspired Jamaican patriotism.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA’S TIFFANY JAMES WINS GOLD AT WORLD UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIPS—07/21/16
Tiffany James won the first gold medal for Jamaica at the World Under-20 Championships in Poland. James won the 400-meters with a personal best of 51.32 seconds, a world-leading time, Junelle Bromfield of St. Elizabeth High School took the bronze with 52.05 seconds. The is was first time that Jamaica has won two medals in the 400-meter event. James said she came to the meet with two goals: to run a personal best and to reach the podium. “I achieved both and to God be the Glory,” said James.