THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN SENATE DEBATES BILLS ON CCJ—10/18/15
Jamaica’s Senate is debating bills involving the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). Parliament has been divided on the issue for some time, and each side appears to maintain its long-held position. The bills are being moved through the Senate by Senator Mark Golding, the Minister of Justice, in the face of serious challenges to government policies. Alexander Williams, current spokesperson for the environment, and Kavan Gayle, president of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, are speaking for the Opposition in the debate. Golding urged the Opposition senators to support the government’s CCJ bills and not to be “on the wrong side of history” in their position.
ADOPTION BOARD DOES NOT FAVOR FOREIGNERS, SAYS CHAIRPERSON—10/19/15
Patricia Sutherland, the chairperson of Jamaica’s Adoption Board, stated that foreign people who want to adopt children locally will not receive preferential treatment and will be put at the end of the line. Over 200 individuals are waiting to adopt Jamaican children at present. Sutherland noted that adoption by foreigners is supported by the Board, but that their requests will be considered in terms of the number of people who want to adopt on the island and the number of Jamaicans who want to adopt there. Of the 220 people making application to adopt Jamaican children, 144 are Jamaicans residing on the island and who are qualified to adopt. The Board will first meet the requests of Jamaicans in Jamaica before considering applications of foreigners.
FERGUSON REJECTS CALLS FOR HIM TO RESIGN AS HEALTH MINISTRY HEAD—10/22/15
Dr. Fenton Ferguson, Jamaica’s Minister of Health, is rejected calls for his resignation in the light of the deaths of 18 infants at two major hospitals on the island. Ferguson states that he took action as soon as he became aware of problems at the health facilities and suggested that those calling for him to resign have political motivations. There have been 18 infant deaths at the University Hospital of the West Indies and the Cornwall Regional Hospital resulting from klebsiella and serratia.bacterial infections. University Hospital has acknowledged a breach of protocol when it delayed informing the Health Ministry of the infectious outbreak.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN FREED FROM BAHAMIAN PRISON CALLS IT A “HELL HOLE”—10/20/15
Jamaican Matthew Sewell, 18, was vacationing in the Bahamas when he was accused of rape ten days after his arrival and put in prison for nine years in what he has characterized as “inhumane: conditions where he was beaten and stabbed and had to fight for his life. Six of his nine years at Fox Hill prison were spent before he had a trial because he was either “forgotten” or because the Bahamian police did not want him to be found. He was held behind bars for years after the charges, which at one time included a murder charge and a housebreaking charge, were dropped. According to Sewell’s attorneys, the case represents a landmark for the judicial system. They were able to secure his release via the Supreme Court of Nassau,
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
SINGER LAUNCHES LINE OF COSMETICS TO EMPOWER WOMEN—10/22/15
The Jamaican singer Barbee is introducing her own line of cosmetics at the Circle of Sisters convention in New York. The cosmetics are available under the brand Barbee Cosmetics. Barbee, who is best known for her recording of “Missing You,” said that her products represent a gift to women, noting that makeup is one of the tools available to women to enhance their self-confidence. She was inspired to create the cosmetics line by her own experience as a recording artiste who spends hours on hair and makeup. Barbee said she knows have transformative and empowering the right makeup can make her feel, and she wants to bring that empowerment to all women.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
REGGAE ALBUM HONORS CLASSIC CLARKS SHOES—10/19/15
A new reggae album “Clarks in Jamaica” has been released with 21 tracks, each of which pays tribute to the classic English shoes. Clarks trace their origin to two Quaker brothers in Somerset in the early 19th century, and the brand has been a status symbol in Jamaica for some time. The album’s tracks were recorded between 1989 and 1988. While the album’s release was unrelated to the announcement that Jamaican writer Marlon James had won the Booker Prize for his work “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” the launch was timely as James makes mention of Clarks shoes in his writing. James said that Clarks were an “iconic aspect of Jamaican culture,” noting that they reflect former British colonial fashion and represent “craft and quality” that most Jamaicans could afford.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
BECKFORD OF BRITAIN HOPES TO REPRESENT JAMAICA AT OLYMPICS—10/19/15
Reiss Beckford, a gymnast who was born in Britain, has decided to represent Jamaica at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. His participation in this event is step toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Beckford, 23, has represented Kingsmead School in Enfield, but decided to switch to Jamaica in early 2015. He has had great success in the United Kingdom, winning medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2010, as well as in other major competitive events. Beckford has dreamed of being a competitor at the Olympics since the age of six.