THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA RANKED AT 65 ON LIST OF HAPPIEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD—04/17/16
According to the World Happiness report, which uses data from the Gallup World Poll, Jamaica ranks 65th happiest country among the 158 surveyed. The survey considers a nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person, the healthy life expectancy of residents, levels of corruption, and extent of social freedoms to determine a “happiness” figure. At the top of the list: Switzerland. Jamaica was eighth happiest country in the Caribbean, with Costa Rica taking the top spot.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO CREATE NATIONAL SPORTING FRAMEWORK—04/19/16
Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, indicated that the Ministry is creating a national framework designed to encourage more Jamaicans to participate in different types of physical activities. Such activity has been found to be beneficial to mental and physical fitness, social interaction and cohesion, and establishing links of friendship among all levels of Jamaica’s society. Grange made her remarks at the Sports for National Development symposium at the University of Technology. She noted that more attention must be given to the human aspects of national development, and sport represents a significant area for support.
GOVERNMENT PLANS TO REVIEW LAWS THAT IMPACT RASTAS—04/21/16
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has directed his Cabinet to review the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and the impact of the declaration on Jamaica’s Rastafari community. Holness met with a team of ten Rastafarians that included reggae musicians “Bunny” Wailer Livingston, Maxine Stowe, a former executive of Columbia Records, and Hannah Harris Barrington, attorney, to discuss the rights of Rastas. The meeting was held on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the visit to Jamaica of Haile Selassie, the late Emperor of Ethiopia, in 1966. Holness said he will expedite the review of Jamaica’s laws in light of the implications of the UN Declaration.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
TEAM JAMAICA BICKLE WELCOMED IN WASHINGTON D.C.—04/17/16
The Embassy of Jamaica in Washington D.C. was the site of the inaugural reception and awards ceremony for Team Jamaica Bickle. The reception was the second visit of the group to the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area. The meeting was designed to expand the sphere of influence of the organization and to create secure and meaningful alliances with the communities in the region. The Mid-Atlantic region is especially important to the expanding network of Team Jamaica Bickle as it includes a large number of Caribbean nationals. The awards reception honored several Caribbean-Americans and also acted as a fund-raiser to help support organizational operations. Team Jamaica Bickle benefits and supports Caribbean athletes from Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in addition to athletes from Jamaica.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
BOGDANOVICH PURCHASES THE REGGAE SUMFEST BRAND—04/20/16
The major Jamaican brand, Reggae Sumfest, has been purchased by Joe Bogdanovich, the CEO of DownSound Records (DSR). According to Johnny Gourzong, the CEO of Summerfest Productions, he and chairman Robert Russell decided to sell to Bogdanovich because they liked his “new and fresh” ideas, which are designed to revitalize the event. Gourzong also noted Bogdanovich’s significant investments in Jamaica’s music industry. Reggae Sumfest for 2016 will introduce streaming in streaming 360-degree virtual reality, which will be a first for the event. The number of show nights could be reduced from three to two as well, according to Bogdanovich.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
MINISTRY OF CULTURE WANTS TO DEVELOP A CONCERT HALL—04/18/16
Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture and Entertainment plans a series of initiatives meant to enhance the nation’s already vibrant cultural and creative industries. According to Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange, chief among the initiatives is the development of a new and state-of-the-art concert Hall that will be able to cater to the thousands of visitors who come to Jamaica from nations around the world in addition to serving local citizens. This is to showcase one of the most formidable of Jamaica’s products: reggae music. The Minister also said that a new Jamaican Music Museum initiative will be explored in acknowledgement of the global reach of Jamaican music. The new museum will replace the current exhibits displayed at the Institute of Jamaica. The cultural plans will also address expanding partnerships among the global reggae festivals and the idea of touring products and service, bringing them everywhere that Jamaica’s brand is recognized.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
LOCAL FENCING DUO SET TO QUALIFY FOR OLYMPICS—04/16/16
According to the president of the Jamaican Fencing Association, James McBean, Tia Simms-Lyn and Alison Miller are on track to overcome any challenges in order to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. They must give their best effort, but they are confident they can achieve their goal. They will compete and the Pan-American Fencers level for a chance to try for Olympic gold. McBean has confidence in the fencers, noting that they have both taken gold medals in competitions against the same people they are facing now.