Jamaican News

Top 7 Jamaican & Caribbean News Stories for the week ending March 3rd, 2017

Jamaican and Caribbean News
Written by Staff Writer

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THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
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REPAIRS SCHEDULED FOR ROAD TO BIRTHPLACE OF BUSTAMANTE
Desmond McKenzie, Jamaica’s Minister of Local Government and Community Development, announced that $20 million will be allocated to rehabilitate the road that leads to the birthplace of Sir Alexander Bustamante, Jamaican National Hero, in Blenheim, Hanover. McKenzie made the announcement at a celebration marking the 133rd birthday of the country’s first prime minister on February 24, 2017. He said he was making a commitment to the community that by Labor Day 2017, the road will “reflect what Sir Alexander Bustamante deserves.” Rehabilitation work will also be done on the community center, McKenzie said.

HOLNESS AGAINST ARTS CENSORSHIP
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that his government will not give in to public pressures for censorship in response to controversial cultural expression, including dancehall music. According to Holness’s remarks to the Jamaica Observer newspaper, it would be better to respond to concerns with education about things that some may consider offensive. Holness said that “once you start to censure you kill creativity.” The Prime Minister made his remarks in response to the controversy surrounding comments from Lisa Hanna, former Minister of Youth and Culture, about banning the music of Vybz Kartel and keeping him from recording from prison.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
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POLICE IN PUERTO RICO WILL NOT ENFORCE U.S. IMMIGRATION LAWS
The chief of the San Juan, Puerto Rico, police department, Juan Gonzalez, has made it clear: his department will not enforce the strict immigration rules implemented by the Republican Administration in the United States. According to Gonzalez, the police are not going to be stopping people and deporting people because that “not our job.” He said, “we are not doing it, and we are not going to do it.” He went on to say that until he is officially notified by the government, his police force will not act as immigration officers.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER SAYS DIASPORA IMPORTANT TO DEVELOPMENT
Jamaican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, believes that contributions from the Diaspora are critical to the development of the home country. She emphasizes the value of the Diaspora and noted that Jamaicans overseas retain a major role in the nation’s growth and job-creation initiatives. Johnson Smith made her remarks at a handing-over ceremony at which she received US$4,450 from Althea Byll-Cataria, member of Jamaican Diaspora in Switzerland. The funds will be used to pay for eight art workshops hosted by the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) in 2017. The funds were raised at a dinner held in Switzerland in November 2016.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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DAMIAN MARLEY RAISES MONEY FOR MEDICAL CANNABIS
Damian Marley, president and CEO of Stony Hill Corporation, a commercial cannabis enterprise, has raised US$750,000 for the financing of cannabis products, according to the firm’s first set of financials since its reorganization. Marley will be in charge of the new operation – Stony Hill began as a furniture company – and the eight employees at its Los Angeles, California, location. Marley, 38, is the youngest son of Bob Marley and a Grammy award winning reggae musician. Stony Hill plans to establish an international medical cannabis platform and brand, and will invest in various parts of the medical marijuana industry.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
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JAMAICA BIENNIAL PRESENTS ARTIST AWARDS FOR 2017
The 2017 edition of the Jamaica Biennial saw record crowds in attendance at its three location, which included the National Gallery West, Devon House, and the National Gallery of Jamaica. The Biennial makes two awards, the Aaron Matalon Award and the Dawn Scott Memorial Award. The Matalon Award is given to the artist who made the most outstanding contribution to the Biennial/ In 2017, it was given to Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, who also received the award in 2012 making her the first double winner in history, for her installations at Devon House: “Parallel Realities, Dwelling In The Heartland of My People” and “The Real Princess.” The Dawn Scott Memorial Ward is given to artists whose work reflects the values and principles of Alison Dawn Scott (1951-2010), who was known for her innovative drawing and architectural design. The 2017 award was presented to three artists: Jamaican painters Greg Bailey for his painting “Colonial Legacies” and Alicia Brown for her painting “Exchange;” and to Andrea Chung, an American mixed-media artist of Jamaican heritage for her installation “Pure.”

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THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
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JAMAICAN GYMNASTS WIN IN TWO CATEGORIES AT VIRGINIA TOURNAMENT
Jamaica’s gymnasts returned to the home island after taking the top spots in two classes at the Caribbean Fest Gymnastics tournament held in Virginia. The team, which comprises 11 members won first place in Leve One and Level Two competitions, and finished as runners-up in Level Three. Jenya Allison was the top performer for Jamaica, winning gold in the vault, car and floor apparatus. She finished as runner-up on the beam.

About the author

Staff Writer