THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN ASSOCIATION WANTS TO STEM MIGRATION OF NURSES—03/14/16
The Nurses of Jamaica (NAJ) wants help from the new government in stopping the migration of nursing professionals overseas. According to Janet Farr, NAJ president, there must be initiatives to keep nurses on the island. A growing number of registered nurses leaves Jamaica after they complete their training because no retention policy for nurses exists. The NAJ seeks to identify the critical issues that influence retention and motivation among the nurses in hopes of stopping their exits.
NEW GOVERNMENT ACCEPTS AMBASSADORS’ RESIGNATIONS—03/17/16
As a result of the change in government from the People’s National Party (PNP) to the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), the non-career leaders of missions in the Jamaican Foreign Service have handed in their resignations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade announced the resignations, noting that this is the usual procedure and that the resignations were accepted, effective as of May 1, 2016. The process to fill the positions is already underway, and once new appointments are made final, the names of the replacement ambassadors will be provided. Until then , the Ministry thanked the heads of the missions for their service to the Jamaican people.
ILLEGAL TRADE IMPACTING BIRDS OF JAMAICA—03/18/16
Jamaica’s wildlife is disappearing as a result of a thriving illicit and international trade in the island’s protected and endangered animals, especially birds. Feeling the effects of deforestation, the bird population is already under pressure, according to the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). NEPA has strengthened its public awareness programs in response to the problem. A save-our-birds campaign warns that it is illegal to capture, posses, harm or kill any of the protected bird species in Jamaica. These crimes can bring up to a year in prison or fines as high as $100,000. These penalties have not deterred bird thieves, however; parrots are especially at risk, with the yellow-bill and black-billed parrots most popular in the illicit pet trade.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
UNITED KINGDOM INTENSIFIES RECRUITMENT OF JAMAICAN TEACHERS—03/12/16
Jamaican newspapers are running advertisements from the United Kingdom seeking teachers with sufficient degree credentials to take fixed-term contracts of as long as four years in duration. The Jamaican teachers would be placed at two London primary schools. The increased recruitment efforts from the UK has caused some concern about retaining talented teachers in Jamaica’s educational system. The UK positions offer salaries that start at J$4.3 million and reach up to J$5 million per year for a primary school position. The average teacher in Jamaica received J$1.5 million per year. Recruiters from London also offer a month’s salary in advance, housing subsidies, and free laptops and iPads. According to Ainsworth Derby, CEO of Educate-Jamaica.org, this exodus of teachers from Jamaica will soon reach crisis proportions. He also warns teachers from taking the London offers, as conditions there are not ideal.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
FLOW MOVING CALL CENTER TO HISTORIC JAMAICAN SITE—03/15/16
An agreement between Flow and Advantage Communications Inc., a provider of customer care services will result in a call center opening in Jamaica. Flow, a subsidiary of the Cable & Wireless telecommunications company, is relocating a call center currently based in El Salvador to New Kingston. The new center will be operated by Advantage and create over 500 jobs. The state-of-the-art center is to be housed in the historic Central Sorting Office and is scheduled to be in full operations by the middle of 2016.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
2016 KINGSTOON FILM FESTIVAL SHOWCASES INGENUITY, CREATIVITY—03/17/16
Young Jamaican creatives, storytellers, and others, joined an international group of participants at the biannual KingstOOn Animating Creativity Conference on the campus of Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMC) to highlight their creativity and to learn and develop their talents even further. According to Antonia Morales, a speaker at one of the event sessions, it has become relatively easy for anyone to produce animations, and Jamaican youth are taking full advantage of the opportunities presented by the Internet to develop skills useful to storytellers of all types. Animation has also become a lucrative business, but it is the “desire to tell a story” that motivates the festival’s participants. Several of the film entries in the Caribbean Short Film category were by Jamaicans, including Coretta Singer’s “Tale of Shadows,” Kevin Jackson’s “The Maroons,” Robert Brown’s “A Link between Pokemon” and “Mattis.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
TAYLOR SETS SECOND CHAMPS MEET RECORD—03/17/16
Christopher Taylor of Calabar High, continued his excellent performance at the Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championship by setting his second record at the 106th staging of the event. Taylor, who is 18 years of age, won the first heat of the Boys’ Class 2 200-meter semi-finals with a time of 20.80 seconds. He also set a new record in the 400-meter competition with a time of 46.33 seconds. Taylor is the World Youth 400-meter champion.