Jamaican News

Top 7 Jamaican & Caribbean News Stories for the week ending August 8th, 2017

Jamaican and Caribbean News
Written by Staff Writer

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THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
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GOVERNMENT SPENDS $180 MILLION ON INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATIONS
Orville Hill, the acting executive director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) said that $180 million is being spent on the “Jamaica 55” independence celebrations throughout the island. According to Hill, the total is expected to cover all activities in the parishes as well as the celebrations held in Kingston, including the Grand Gala scheduled for August 6, 2017. Among the events already stages were the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Coronation; Festival Fashion Flair; and Mello-Go-Round. The Jamaica Independence Festival Village will be in operation throughout the festival period and include the World Reggae Dance Championship and Reggae Night.

US EMBASSY OFFICIAL TAKES ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
United States Embassy Chargé d’affaires Eric Khant says that violations of intellectual property rights (IPR) have been allowed to take root in Jamaica. According to Khant, the problem has grown because nothing was done early on to stop it. While many people believe that IPR crimes only affect large corporations, many small businesses are negatively impacted by these crimes, as are consumers. Twenty years ago, the only IPR crimes involved making counterfeit CDs/DVDs, but now the counterfeiting has expanded to include many other areas, including medicine. According to the Jamaica Customs Agency, tin fiscal 2015/2016, more than $110 million of goods infringing on IPR were seized, with another $523.4 million in similar products were disposed of. Khant praised the efforts of the Jamaica Constabulary Force for its attempts at enforcement.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
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OPPOSITION LEADERS IN VENEZUELA ARRESTED
The arrest of two opposition leaders in Venezuela following that country’s recent Constituent Assembly elections has caused the top human rights official from the United Nations to express serious concerns. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said he was “deeply concerned” that opposition leaders Antonio Ledezma and Leopoldo Lopez had been taken into custody by the authorities when their house arrest was revoked. The Commissioner urged Venezuela’s government to immediately release all individuals detained for “exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association, and expression.” He also expressed regret at the fact that some ten people died during the demonstrations at the polls and called for a prompt and independent investigation into their deaths.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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ETHIOPIA PLANS TO ISSUE IDENTIFICATION CARDS TO RASTAFARIAN COMMUNITY
The foreign ministry of Ethiopia announced it will issue identification cards to Rastafarians beginning Friday, August 4, 2017. The government will do so to recognize the rights of a community that has long described its status as being in limbo, despite its long history in the country. Rastafarians started their immigration to Ethiopia in the 1950s after its Emperor Haile Selassie provided 500 acres of land in the city of Shashamane for the descendants of African slaves who wanted to return “home.” Following the overthrow and murder of Selassie in the 1970s,the community decreased in size, and its members have complained about their lack of rights to own property, send their children to the university, or have the ability to work because they are not considered Ethiopian citizens. According to Meles Alem, spokesperson for the foreign ministry, the ID cards will allow Rastafarians to have more of the legal rights enjoyed by other Ethiopians, but they will still not be considered citizens.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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LOCAL STARBUCKS SHOPS TO SERVE IMPORTED JAMAICAN COFFEE
The Starbucks coffee shops set to open in Jamaica will probably be supplied with roasted beans from the company’s own roaster overseas. This means that the Jamaica-based operations will have to import Jamaican coffee. The Coffee Industry Board, which is charged with regulating the local sector, stated it has not yet received import permit applications from the local Starbucks franchise holder Caribbean Coffee Traders Limited (CCTL), but expects the firm to seek a license to import Jamaican and other coffee beans. According to Gusland McCook, acting directory general at the CCTL, Starbucks roasts its beans at a central overseas facility and then ships them to cafes throughout the world in order to standardize quality and the roast profile.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
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JAMAICAN AUTHOR MAKES MOVIE DEAL FOR FIRST NOVEL
Colin Don Rose, a Jamaican author, has made a movie deal with Joshua Coates, a producer/director/writer in the United States, to film his first novel, “So Enticing.” The book was originally published in 2015 and is a “sultry murder mystery” set in the US in the early 1990s. Coates received the book as a gift while he was visiting Jamaica, and he was so captivated by it that he wanted to turn its story into a film. Rose moved from his home in St. Elizabeth to the Bronx in New York in 1981 and discovered his passion for drama and film while working at a local movie theater’s concession stand during his teen years. The film will complete casting in January 2018 with an eye to release in late 2018 or early 2019.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
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BOLT, WILLIAMS-MILLS NAMED CAPTAINS FOR IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Usain Bolt and Novlene Williams-Mills will be the male and female captains of Jamaica’s IAAF World Championship team, which is set to compete in London. The event will mark the end of Bolt’s career where he is scheduled to compete in the 100-meter and 4×100-meter relay races before his retirement. Williams-Mills, who will be making her seventh appearance at the World Championships has also announced that this will be her last appearance at the event. This will be the first time Bolt has captained a team; Williams-Mills was named female team captain at the 2012 Olympics. She led the Jamaican team to a gold medal in the 4×100-meter relays at the Beijing 2015 World Championships after a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2012. Bolt, one of the most recognized athletes in history, has won eight Olympic gold medals and 11 World Championship gold medals.

About the author

Staff Writer