THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
NEW BRITISH HIGH COMMISSIONER TO JAMAICA NAMED
Diplomate Asif Ahmad has been appointed to the position of British High Commissioner to Jamaica, replacing David Fitton. Ahmad is scheduled to take office in August 2017. He spent two decades in the banking industry before becoming a diplomate. Previous to his appointment to Jamaica he was on assignment as the British Ambassador in Manila,. Philippines. He also served as ambassador in Bangkok. Ahmad headed the Commonwealth Co-ordination Department in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office between 2002 and 2004. Additionally, Ahmad worked as the head of the Communication and Information Center in the Office of the British Prime Minister.
BENEFITS OF FREE WI-FI ACCESS TO BE ENJOYED BY MORE JAMAICANS
Four more locations in Jamaica will receive free access to Wi-Fi under the USFConnectJA project. The locations listed in the project include St. William Grant Park and Olympic Way in Kingston, St. Andrew; Junction in St, Elizabeth; and Mandeville in Manchester. Two locations already have public Wi-Fi networks in the Corporate Area: Devon House and Mandela Park. The expanded networks were announced by Dr. Andrew Wheatley, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology. The Universal Service Fund (USF) introduced USFConnectJA in late 2016 to provide better broadband Internet access to all Jamaicans. According to Wheatley, the project will help to create a knowledge-based society by removing current barriers for those who cannot get afford to get online. The total number of completed broadband connections on the island as of March 31, 2017, was 430. Forty-seven of these were completed in 2016 at a cost of $52 million.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
FILM FESTIVAL IN T&T LOOKS FOR DISTINCT CARIBBEAN IDENTITY
The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF), scheduled for April 22-25, 2017, is the first ever event of its kind for the country. It is meant to discover distinct Caribbean identities via visual stories. T&T citizens have been asking for their own film festival for some time. The event will take advantage of the Tobago Jazz Experience to highlight young filmmakers along with internationally praised films that are focused on music, according to the founder of TTFF Dr. Bruce Paddington. TTFF will celebrate films from throughout the Caribbean and hopes to encourage the growth of filmmaking in the region through networking opportunities.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
GERMAINE MASON, OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST, KILLED IN ACCIDENT IN JAMAICA
Birmingham’s 2008 Olympic high-jump silver medal winner Germaine Mason, 34, was killed riding a motorbike home from a party in Kingston. The accident occurred as Mason was riding with friends, including gold-medal Olympian Usain Bolt. He lost control of the motorbike and died at the scene. Mason grew up in Jamaica but decided to represent Great Britain in 2006. Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed his condolences to the “sporting fraternity.” Mason holds the Jamaican national record in the high-jump, which was set before he moved to the United Kingdom. He was based at the Birmingham High Performance Center, but returned to live in Jamaica in 2016 to be near family and friends. In an interview in 2009, Mason credited Bolt with inspiring him to “glory”. The two men grew up together on the junior athletics circuit.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
PRAISE FROM IMF FOR “STRONG PERFORMANCE”
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lauded Jamaica’s progress under its Stand-By Arrangement. According to Uma Ramakrishnan, the IMF Mission Chief for Jamaica, all the structural benchmarks and all but one of the performance criteria for the initial review under the arrangement have been met. This allows Jamaica to drawdown another US$170 million. The IMF noted the country’s preservation of social consensus for reforms as a risk requiring attention if gains in macroeconomic stability are to be sustained.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
MARCUS GARVEY MUSEUM SET TO OPEN
The new Marcus Garvey Museum will open to the public on April 22, 2017, at Liberty Hall in downtown Kingston. The Marcus Mosiah Garvey Multimedia Museum (MMGMM) – its full name – will celebrate the life and legacy of Garvey, Jamaica’s first National Hero. Visitors will be able to view exhibits for free. Additional hours of operation on Saturdays are under consideration for the benefit of families who found it difficult to visit during the original weekday hours. The renovated museum features touch-screen interactive exhibits, face-morphing technology, and life-size graphics. The museum redesign was performed following a decade of work and funding from the Tourism Enhancement Fund.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA WINS 87 MEDALS AT CARIFTA GAMES
Jamaica’s juniors took home a total of 87 medals from the 46th FLOW Carifta Track and Field Championships, which were held in Willemstad, Curacao. The medal total means that Jamaica topped all competitor at the meet for the 33rd time in a row and for the 41st time overall. Jamaica was credited with a total of 86 medals at the end of the three-day competition, which was the same total won in the two previous years, but a revised count indicated that Jamaica had won 39 gold, 28 silver, and 20 bronze, for a total of 87. At the 43rd staging of the event, Jamaica took home 89 medals, which was a record. At the 2017 championships, Jamaicans set seven records, with Daniel Cope setting two of them in the shot put and discus throw. The 4.100 meter Under-18 boys team set a world record of 39.97 seconds, while Britney Anderson set a record in the Under-18 sprint hurdles with a time of 13.16. Sanique Walker broke the Under-18 girls’ 400 meter hurdles record, and Fiona Richards broke the Under-20 girls discus throw record. This made her the world’s sixth-best thrower in her age group to date.