THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
AUDIT OF GOVERNMENT’S WEBSITE ORDERED—03/29/16
Dr. Andrew Wheatley, Jamaica’s Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, wants security audits of the websites of all the government’s ministries, agencies and departments to determine how vulnerable they are to cyber attacks. Wheatley noted that a number of government websites have experienced more cyber attacks over the past two years than ever before. The attacks were chiefly defacement and denial-of-service attacks. He said that the government has to become more proactive in finding, assessing and mitigating damages linked to website vulnerabilities.
GSAT FLAG QUESTION AND ANSWER CLARIFIED BY EDUCATION MINISTRY—03/30/16
Jamaica’s Ministry of Education will award marks to some students who took the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) in 2016 and provided an incorrect answer to a question about the method of disposing of a worn national flag. The Ministry took action in response to concerns from parents that the students would lose marks for an answer deemed erroneous despite the fact that the answer was included in some of the textbooks receiving Ministry approval. Some students said a worn flag may be dispose of by burying it. While the correct answer expected in the GSAT was that a worn flag should be burned privately, the Ministry will accept both answers, and students who discussed burying the flag will not lose marks. Over 39,000 students in Jamaica took the GSAT this year.
INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES GROUP WANTS MORE ASSESSMENTS OF CHILDREN—03/31/16
The Jamaican Association on Intellectual Disabilities (JAID) has called for greater assessment of more children classified as slow learners, since this could indicate the existence of an intellectual disability. According to Christine Rodriguez, executive directors of JAID, there are several points in the education system where children having intellectual disability characteristics may be evaluated and identified. For example, the Grade One, a child could be identified with the readiness inventory test given in the first term at school. Rodriguez also recommended that the Education Ministry take a systematic approach by utilizing data collected on students to address the problem.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICANS IN NEW YORK ATTEND MARCUS GARVEY COMMENORATION—03/30/16
Jamaica’s national hero Marcus Garvey’s 100th anniversary of his arrival in the United States was marked by many Jamaicans in New York City. The commemoration ceremony was organized by the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and the African Communities League. The event also announced the launch of a wholly-owned Jamaican company that uses Garvey’s philosophy to economically empower African Americans. The company seeks to tap into the multi-million-dollar food distribution market that exists for Jamaican and Caribbean nationals. The Jamaican Company is also designed to provide investment and job opportunities in the Jamaican community, including the purchase of yam an d other supplies from farmers in Jamaica. Garvey’s visionary approach was described as relevant today in an overview of his achievements in the U.S. provided by Raymond Dugue, a vice president of UNIA.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICAN HIGH COMMISSIONER NOMINATED FOR GRASSROOT DIPLOMAT AWARD—03/30/16
Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the Court of St. James in the United Kingdom, has received a nomination for the 4th annual Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. She was placed on the short list for 2016 for her efforts to reform the Air Passenger Duty between the Caribbean and the UK, which has a great impact on the tourism industry. The tax has been controversial since its introduction by the UK in 1994 in an effort to lower carbon dioxide emissions. The results of the law were to raise the cost of taking flights to Jamaica and the Caribbean, however, a move that hurt the airline industry, businesses and consumers. The UK represents the fastest-growing market for Jamaica travel, but the tax resulted in the loss of over 28,000 tourists to other markets as of September 2011. The High Commissioner has worked to eliminate the tax, stating that it is discriminatory and harmful to smaller nations in the Commonwealth and favors the United States and short-haul destinations within Europe.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN-BORN CHEF SELECTED FOR “CHOPPED” CHAMPIONS TOURNAMENT—03/31/16
Andre Fowles, Jamaican-born chef, will return to the Food Network television competition series “Chopped” to participate in Season Five of the Champions tournament. He is one of 16 previous winners on the program to return for the five-part tournament competition. The winner will receive the title of Chopped Grand Champion and a monetary prize of US$50,000. Fowles won the “Cooking Caribbean” segment of “Chopped.” He grew up in Kingston and received his inspiration to become a chef from his grandmother. He is the Sous Chef at Miss Lily’s in New York. The new season of “Chopped” begins April 19, 2015.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
INTERNATIONAL BADMINTON TOURNAMENT A SUCCESS, SAYS SPONSOR—03/31/16
Mayberry Investments, sponsor of the 2nd annual Jamaica Badminton Association International Open, put $1 million into the event and is happy with the results of the competition held between March 17 and 20, 2016. According to Mayberry’s assistant vice president of marketing, Anika Smith, the company is very satisfied with how the tournament went. She said that being able to showcase the talent of athletes in Jamaica’s badminton program in a world-class competition on the international stage was a big step for the sport. Mayberry’s plans to continue support the sport of badminton and will foster the growth of its athletes and help them to realize their goals. Portugal’s Pedro Martins won the men’s singles, while Jeanine Cicognini of Italy was victorious in the women’s singles event.