THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN SENATE PASSES AMENDMENTS TO TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS ACT
Amendments passed in Jamaica’s Senate to the Trafficking in Persons Act will allow judges to try trafficking cases without a jury. The amendments passed despite concerns expressed by the Opposition. The changes were made after reports from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), which discovered numerous irregularities in trials for offenses under the Act. The DPP indicated that these irregularities were symptomatic of issued arising in the prosecution of complex cases that involved criminal gangs, networks and trafficking cases exposing jurors and witnesses to a high risk of influence and intimidation. Critics of the action believe the DPP is looking to change the law on the basis of a single case only and worry that judge-only trials will lead to more convictions.
NOEL HYLTON, FORMER HEAD OF PORT AUTHORITY, DEAD AT 86
Noel Hylton, the former head of the Port Authority of Jamaica, has died. Hylton dedicated many years of his life to public service, working at Port Authority as chairman and CEO from 1975 to 2013. He also served as chairman of the Police Service Commission and Air Jamaica. Dr. Peter Phillips, Opposition Leader, described Hylton as “a giant of public service” and a “well-respected professional globally.” It was Hylton’s idea to expand Jamaica’s port facilities and trans-shipment infrastructure to re-brand the island as a major point for shipping. Phillips said it was a “great honor” to work with Hylton while he was Minister of Transport and Works and in the Ministry of National Security.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS STORIES
PRIME MINISTER OF ANTIGUA-BARBUDA SAYS SANDALS MEDDLING IN ELECTIONS
According to Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua-Barbuda, Sandals Resorts in meddling in the country’s early general elections, which are scheduled for March 27, 2018. Browne has been involved in a long-term battle with Sandals over nonpayment of taxes. He has also been an outspoken critic of the resort’s all-inclusive business model. He believes this approach is actually “exclusive” and meant to exclude everyone but the owners.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS STORIES
JAMPRO WILL REOPEN ITS NEW YORK OFFICE
Jampro, the Jamaican government’s trade promotion and investment unit, plans to reopen its New York office, says Vivion Scully, the agency’s trade and investment regional manager. Work has already started on the office, which is to be housed at the Jamaican Consulate on Third Avenue in Manhattan. The decision to reopen the office was based on an understanding that t will be a necessary and crucial part of the agency’s global strategy, said Scully. Jampro’s work in North American is currently working from its office in Toronto. The official reopening in New York is scheduled for May 2018.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS STORIES
BRAND JAMAICA ON SHOW TO THE WORLD AT COMMONWEALTH GAMES
Brand Jamaica will be on prominent display at the staging of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, as it will be hosting Jamaica Commonwealth Manor. Jamaica House has created a highly visible vehicle for exposing Jamaican products to the world. Commonwealth Manor will showcase the country’s athletic achievements as expected, but it will also highlight Jamaica’s administrative abilities and its potential to be a “game changer.” The intent is to leverage Brand Jamaica in a global space and allow it to create partnerships with countries having similar goals.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS STORIES
KINGSTON BOOK FESTIVAL TO FEATURE INTERNATIONAL AUTHORS
The Kingston Book Festival, slated for March 4 through 11, 2018, has attracted international authors, and the organizers are hoping that their participation will mean big crowds for the various events. According to Jodie McBean Douglas, chairperson of the festival, this year’s event will feature children’s author Marley Dias, Jamaican novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn, and British-Jamaican author Raymond Antrobus. The festival will include numerous activities, including panel discussions, readings, and workshops. The Kingston Book Festival will now be held bi-annually, rather than every year, to allow organizers the chance to plan for ever-more memorable experiences and to attract sponsors.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN RONALD LEVY WINS GOLD MEDAL IN INDOOR HURDLES
Ronald Levy, 25, showed his intention to be a contender for a medal at the World Indoor Championships in March 2018 with his victorious achievement of a gold medal in the 60-meter hurdles in the finals of the World Indoor Tour in Glasgow on February 25, 2018. Levy was among several Jamaicans who won medals at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix. He has been chosen to represent Jamaica at the championships in Birmingham, England, scheduled from March 1 through 4. He clocked a personal best time of 7.48 seconds, taking first place ahead of Aries Merrit of the United States and Andrew Pozzi of Great Britain.