Jamaican News

Top 7 Jamaican & Caribbean News Stories for the week ending January 6th, 2017

Written by Staff Writer

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THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS   STORIES
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HEALTH MINISTRY LOOKING TO RECRUIT NURSES FROM OVERSEAS
Dr. Christopher Tufton, Jamaica’s Health Minister, says his agency wants to fast-track the recruitment of critical care nurses from countries outside Jamaica to help address the shortage of local nurses. Jamaican nurses tend to leave the island’s public health system. According to Tufton, 100 Cuban nurses have been recruited, and some are already working in Jamaica’s public system. A similar number of nurses could be coming to the island from India by March of 2017 if current discussions are successful. The Health Ministry wants to partner with overseas facilities to provide training for more critical care health professionals. James Moss Solomon, the chair of the University Hospital of the West Indies, said that major surgeries at the hospital have had to be cancelled because of the lack of critical care nurses an a shortage of beds in the intensive care unit.

JULIUS GARVEY DONATES FATHER”S NATIONAL HERO MEDAL TO LIBERTY HALL
Julius Garvey, the son of Jamaican National Hero Marcus Garvey, donated his father’s National Hero medal, along with other memorabilia, to Liberty Hall in Kingston. The donation occurred on January 5, 2017, at a ceremony that included Nyabinghi drumming and other entertainment. The event was filmed for inclusion in the documentary film “Marcus Garvey: A Son’s Story,” which is being made by Jamaican-born director and Hollywood stuntman Roy T. Anderson.

ATM POINT-OF-SALE MACHINES AT CHURCHES BRING CONTROVERSY
Some churches in Jamaica have installed ATM machines to provide additional options to members of their congregations for making contributions. Among the churches using the machines are Old Harbor New Testament Church of God, Courts of Praise Apostolic, and Worship and Faith International Fellowship, all of which are in St. Catherine. Critics say the action represents another way for churches to “squeeze money” from their members and argue that it is not a church’s mission to collect money. Supporters defend the ATMs, saying that using them to obtain funds from members is only an indication of “changing times” and that the machines offer more security to members. Pastor and former Political Ombudsman  Herro Blair said that some church members actually demanded the installation of ATMs at their churches.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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MOST POPULAR SOCIAL MEDIA APP IN JAMAICAN DIASPORA? WHATSAPP
It has been determined that up to 60 percent of Jamaicans in the Diaspora use the instant messaging application “WhatsApp” to communicate with their friends and families. According to a survey by Ding, the world’s biggest top-up network, members of the Diaspora who use the service to send top-up (credit) to their family members an friends in Jamaica favored social media applications, of which “WhatsApp” is the most popular. Ding, which securely provides a top-up every second of the day, is designed to help individuals who live overseas support people on the island. It helps thousands of Jamaicans to send prepaid mobile top-up to FLOW Jamaica and Digicel numbers. According to Garry Sinclair, Caribbean president for Cable and Wireless Communications, said “WhatsApp” has had a significant impact on international calling and texting plans.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION WANTS YOUTH CLUBS CREATED
The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) is urging schools and other organizations to establish culture clubs to encourage the creative talents in young people. According to David Reid, regional manager of the Eastern Region for the JCDC cultural clubs offer a way for the arts to be developed and sustained, fostering the creativity and skis of Jamaicans, which can them be enhance and promoted. Anyone who wants to establish a culture club can contact the head office of the JCDC in Kingston or in any parish and ask to help. The clubs must complete an official registration form and have a minimum of ten registered participants.  There are currently over 260 registered clubs on the island.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
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QUEEN NANNY CELEBRATED IN NEW DOCUMENTARY FILM
Roy T. Anderson, Jamaican-born filmmaker and producer, continued his self-financed documentary career with “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess.” Previously, Anderson made a film on the history of the Jamaican Maroons called “Akwantu: The Journey.” Queen Nanny is Jamaica’s only female National Hero. She was the first black female freedom fighter in the America’s, pre-dating Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth, according to Jacqueline DjeDje, professor emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles. This 18th-century warrior queen headed a band of former African slaves into the Jamaican mountains and won a decisive victory over British troops. In spite of her victory, however, she is something of a mystery. The documentary includes interviews with scholars and Maroons who are experts in the history of the Caribbean and the study of slavery. The film also includes appearances by the “Queen of Reggae” Rita Marley, the widow of Bob Marley; Jamaica’s first female Prime Minister, The Most Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller; double Olympic and World Champion sprinter Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce; U.S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke; and historians Verene Shepherd, Linda Heywood, Afua Cooper among others.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
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FORMER WORLD CHAMPION WILL TRAIN JAMAICAN BOXERS
Oliver ‘The Atomic Bull’ McCall, a former WBC heavyweight boxing champion, will visit Jamaica in January 2017 to work with some of the island’s amateur boxers. McCall is best known for his title victory against Lennox Lewis in 1994. He says that Jamaica has been “quiet” in the international boxing scene, but he plans to create world champions of the future from young, local talent. He plans to spend a few months working with the boxers so that once they become professionals they can attain another level of expertise and win titles. McCall has trained with some well-known coaches, including Emanuel Steward and George Benton. He wants to pass on what he learned to young Jamaicans so that Jamaican can compete at the international level.

About the author

Staff Writer