THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN WOMEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST CHARGED WITH CYBER CRIME
Latoya Nugent, co-founder of the women’s rights group Tambourine Army, was arrested and charged with commission of a cyber crime. Nugent was taken into custody on charges of violating Jamaica’s Cybercrimes Act by publishing a list of alleged sexual predators on social media, according to Stephanie Lindsay, communications officer for the Jamaica Constabulary Force. Her arrest came just a few days after she organized on of the first large protests against sexual abuse and violence in the country. Nugent was hospitalized after her arrest, missing her scheduled hearing, but she has now been released on bail and discharged from the hospital.
JAMAICA’S FORESTRY DEPARTMENT MOVES TO PROTECT MANGROVES
Jamaica’s mangrove forests are critical to the ability of the island to protect itself against climate change. In recognition of this fact, the nation’s Forestry Department is planning to provide protection for the mangroves through its new National Forest Management and Conservation Plan. According to Francine Black Richards, the senior manager for public relations and corporate communications at the agency, mangrove is one of the types of forests assessed, but due to limited capacity, little was done. Now, the agency realizes that its hands-off approach has resulted in greater vulnerability for the mangroves and has decided to lead the effort to conserve and protect these forests. The Forestry Department will work with the University of he West Indies Center for Marine Science, the National Environment and Planning Agency, private landowners and the National Land Agency to protect the mangroves, said Richards.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
OAS CALLS FOR SUSPENSION OF VENEZUELA FROM GROUP
Luis Almagro, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) has called on the organization’s members to suspend Venezuela from the group due to its continuing political crisis and its failure to conduct elections. Almagro submitted a report stating that attempts at diplomacy had not resulted in progress since the last OAS report on the matter in May 2016. An urgent session of the Permanent Council of the organization was called on June 23, 2016, to discuss the matter, but no decision was reached at that time. Since then, members of the Permanent Council, citizens of the region, and the global community have watched as Venezuela’s economic, social, political and humanitarian situation worsened. According to Almagro, Venezuela is violating every article in the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
SPECIAL OLYMPIANS WELCOMED IN NEW YORK BY TEAM JAMAICA BICKLE
A delegation of the Special Olympics Jamaica (SOJ), on its way to the World Winter Games in Austria, was hosted during a New York layover by Team Jamaica Bickle (TBJ). The athletes and staff members were taken to The Door restaurant after landing at JFK International Airport early in the morning on a flight from Kingston. Irwine Clare, OD, the founder of TBJ and its CEO, along with Lance Clarke, chief financial officer, represented the charitable organization. Trudy Deans, Jamaica’s consul general in New York also joined them and brought greetings from the Jamaican Diaspora and the government, saying it was always a pleasure to host the Special Olympics team members. Patricia Lue Chin, assistant head of the delegation, expressed her appreciation for TJB’s welcome. Some 3,000 athletes from around the world are expected to participate at the Winter Games, with Jamaica sending 18 athletes to compete in the speed skating and floor hockey events.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
EIGHT RIVERS, JPS SIGN POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENT
Jamaica Public Service (JPS) has signed a power purchase agreement with Eight Rivers Energy Company, a solar developer, to built a 37 megawatt solar power facility in Paradise Park in Westmoreland later in 2017. JPS will buy electricity from the new solar plant for 20 years, according to the terms of the agreement. Councilor Bertel Moore, the Mayor of Savanna-La-Mar, is enthusiastic about the development, citing the decline of the sugar industry in the western part of Jamaica and looking forward to the increase in jobs that construction of the plant will bring. It is estimated the project will bring between 200 and 300 jobs. Eight Rivers is happy to have received approval from the Office of Utilities Regulation to bring the large solar power generating plan to Jamaica, said Angella Rainford, the firm’s managing director.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATED BY JAMAICAN FOLK SINGERS
Dr. Olive Lewin was appointed by Jamaica’s government to collect and research the island’s folk music in 1966, and with the realization of the rich folk music heritage, the journey of the Jamaican Folk Singers began. Launching in 1967, when Dr. Lewin asked several friends to join her in forming a folk singing group, the major goal of the group has been finding and exposing the art and beauty of the island’s folk music heritage. Marking its 50 years in operation, the group will celebrate the life of Dr. Lewin, who taught people about love and respect and the importance of these things for personal growth.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
ELAINE THOMPSON, ASAFA POWELL CONFIRMED FOR JAMAICA INVITATIONAL
The 14th staging of the Jamaica International Invitational Track and Field Meet for 2017 will include Jamaica’s Rio Olympian Elaine Thompson and former 100-meter record holder Asafa Powell. Thompson, a sprint double gold medal winner, was confirmed as a participant in the event, which will be held at National Stadium on May 28, 2017. Powell, a long-time favorite of Jamaicans, is also a confirmed participant. Stephanie-Ann McPherson of Jamaica will appear at the Invitational, as well Canada’s Andre DeGrasse, the first Canadian to win Olympic medals in all three sprint events at Rio. The event is usually held I early May but has been slated for a later date to avoid conflict with a Diamond League event scheduled for May 6, 2017.