Jamaican News

Top 7 Jamaican & Caribbean News Stories for the week ending March 31st, 2017

Jamaican and Caribbean News
Written by Staff Writer

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THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS  STORIES
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PNP ELECTS PHILLIPS AS PARTY’S FIFTH PRESIDENT
Dr. Peter Phillips has been elected president of the People’s National Party (PNP) in Jamaica. He will be the fifth president in the party’s 78-year history and succeeds Portia Simpson Miller, who served as president since 2006. In remarks following the taking of the oath of office, Phillips noted his student activist years in the 1960s, his participation in the Rastafarian Movement, and the inspiration he drew from the leadership of Michael Manley in the 1970s. Phillips plans to lead the PNP toward addressing Jamaica’s problems of poverty, homelessness and inequality. He also said the next PNP administration would implement the “most ambitions” land-title program in Jamaica’s history.

JAMAICA, BRAZIL IN TRADE FIGHT OVER BAN ON IMPORTED CORNED BEEF
Brazil’s Embassy in Kingston has asked the government of Jamaica to lift its “unilateral ban” on corned beef imports. Brazilian authorities have stated that major markets around the world did not impose a total ban on products from their country, but only on the 21 firms involved, and some have increased their inspection of meat imports from Brazil. Jamaican officials said the ban will not be lifted until an all-clear has been issued to ensure the products are safe for public consumption. Jamaican officials are scheduled to visit Brazil to conduct their own investigation into the contaminated corned beef matter.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
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ECONOMISTS SAY GUYANA “WEEKS AWAY” FROM FINANCIAL CRISIS
Several financial experts, including an economist from the World Bank, believe that Guyana could be facing a economic crisis soon. The country felt little impact from the effects of the global financial crisis in 2008 and survived a potential FOREX problem in 2014. Now, however, the country could see a recession similar to those affecting Suriname and Venezuela. Jeremy Blaine, leading analyst at Accenture and former consultant to the World Bank, says Guyana is experiencing volatility in its currency exchange, stagnant growth in the economic sector, reduced foreign investment, and rising unemployment. These factors indicate that the country could suffer serious economic woes in the near future.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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MAJOR EXHIBITION OF JAMAICAN MUSIC AND CULTURE HELD IN FRANCE
“Jamaica Jamaica!” is the first major exhibition to be held in France that focuses on the history and impact of Jamaican music. The colorful renditions of some of Jamaica’s most famous musicians created by island artist Danny Coxson provide the common themes that link a wide range of items on display. Coxson, 55, was born in Trench Town, like Bob Marley, and has been painting seriously since his early 30s when he lost three fingers in a machete incident. Working with a grant from the Institut Français, Coxson has served as artist-in-residence in Paris beginning in February 2017. He has been painting murals and portraits for the huge exhibit, which he believes is a good thing for Jamaicans. The exhibit is being staged at the Philharmonie de Paris, a cultural institution at the Cité de la Musique complex in Paris. Marion Challier, the exhibition project manager, said that the culture as well as the music of Jamaica is on display because it forms a critical part of “the history of the Black Atlantic.” .

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THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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TOURISM MINISTRY LAUNCHES FIRST PROJECT OF GASTRONOMY NETWORK
The first Gastronomy Network project launched by Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism was the Jamaica Blue Mountain Tour. The network was created to encourage growth in culinary tourism on the island. The Blue Mountain tour showcased the history, culture and food heritage of the region. The “soft launch” of the tour was held on March 26, 2017, and featured 15 participating dining venues and attractions, including Café Blue, The Gap Café, RafJam Bed and Breakfast and Old Tavern Coffee Estate. According to Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, the idea is to highlight gastronomic products of the region and to benefit community members and tour operators who do business there. The goal is to bring the wealth associated with tourism into communities in the Blue Mountain area.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
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CURATOR OF NATIONAL MUSEUM PRAISES CULTURAL CENTER IN MONTEGO BAY
David Stimpson, the curator of the National Museum of Jamaica, said that the Montego Bay Cultural Center is an excellent place to enjoy a close and personal experience of Jamaica’s culture and artifacts. Stimpson spoke at a “think tank” held by the Jamaica Information Service, noting that the museum has two spaces at the center that focus on the nation’s history and tradition, particularly that of the western region of the island. The focus goes back to the Tainos, the Spanish settlements, British and colonial periods and showcases exhibits up to the nation’s independence. The institute’s goal for the center is to bring the culture from Kingston to Montego Bay.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
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JAMAICAN SCHOOLS TO LEARN AMERICAN FOOTBALL VIA TOUCHDOWN PROJECT
A collaboration between Jamaican American Athletic Development Incorporated (JAMAAD) and Jamaica’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will launch a sports initiative, “The Touchdown Project,” at 16 schools on the island in September of 2017 to introduce American football to local students. The project is designed to encourage Jamaica’s youth to develop  According to Senator Ruel Reid, the schools participating in the initial program were selected through a careful process meant to facilitate a league format comprising eight teams in each conference. Jamaicans who live in the US have said that there are good scholarship opportunities available through football programs, and these opportunities should be explored, Reid said. The program will be funded totally by (JAMAAD) and the organization’s affiliates. The program has also received support from the Jamaican diaspora, which has provided about US$800,000 to fund parts of the initiative.

About the author

Staff Writer