THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
GOVERNMENT SENDS GARVEY PETITION TO U.S. WHITE HOUSE
The government of Jamaica has reached out to United States President Barack Obama in its effort to obtain a pardon for Marcus Garvey, the country’s first national hero.. This is the second attempt by the government to have Garvey posthumously pardoned for a wrongful conviction in 1923 for using the mails in connection with a plan to defraud. Garvey was the leader of a mass movement to empower the Black community economically and to achieve independence. He was targeted by J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and convicted without a fair trial. President Calvin Coolidge commuted his prison sentence. Garvey has been recognized as the forebear of the Civil Rights Movement by Dr. Martin Luther King. For Obama to respond to the Garvey petition, it must receive 100,000 signatures.
GOVERNMENT ABANDONS GOAT ISLAND PROJECT
Environmentalists were happy that the Jamaican government decided to abandon its plans to give the Goat Islands over to the China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) for construction of a $1.5 billion transhipment hub. Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the change in plans in New York City during a town hall meeting. Holness noted that other locations were available for the project that would not cause as much environmental damage. Conservation biologist Robin Moore praised the decision, stating that the project would have endangered the last habitat remaining for the Jamaican iguana, negating 25 years of work developing a predator-free zone for the iguana on the Goat Islands. Research by firms in the United States and United Kingdom found there are less expensive and less environmentally sensitive sites on which the transhipment port can be built.
THOUSANDS OF JAMAICANS ARE USING STAY ALERT APP
According to Jamaica’s Ministry of National Security, nearly 18.000 Jamaicans have downloaded the Stay Alert app since its launch in 2014. The app was designed to empower citizens and provide support for police in their efforts to prevent crime. Several modifications have been made to the digital security app since its inception, based on feedback from users. The registration process was eliminated, and this resulted in three times the number of download between May and September 2016. Jamaicans are using the app to send crime reports to police, responding to the anonymity feature of the security tool.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
DIASPORA GIVEN CHANCE TO BUY HOMES VIA NATIONAL HOUSING TRUST
Members of the Jamaican Diaspora will get the chance to purchase homes through the National Housing Trust (NHT), according to Ambassador Dr. Nigel Clarke, the NHT chairman. Diaspora members have asked about their access to homes through the agency for some time, and now a program is in development to allow them the opportunity to become homes owners in Jamaica. The program will require Diaspora borrowers to contribute to the trust. Clarke stated that every Diaspora member should have a house in Jamaica, and that their participation in the program will help the country to grow. Under the program, Diaspora members would get a global Jamaican ID card that will identify them as Jamaicans and allow them to perceive themselves as being part of a community to which they can make social and economic contributions.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT COMMITS TO IMPROVING CONDITIONS IN RESORT AREAS
According to Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness, his government has made a commitment to making improvements in the social infrastructure of communities near resort areas. He made his remarks at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) concerning sustainable ways to encourage inclusive growth and responsible tourist activity. Holness said his government will be looking to improve housing, education, health care, safety and security in the neighborhoods close to resorts. He also noted it was important for people who live in these areas to understand the importance of preserving the environment, which is critical for sustaining the island’s tourism sector.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN-CANADIAN ARTISTS RAISE FUNDS FOR COMMUNITIES IN GHANA
In 2015, three Jamaican-Canadian artists visited their ancestral home in Africa and became so inspired that they planned an event for September 25, 2016, in Toronto to raise money for community initiatives in Ghana. Performance poet Mello Ayo, reggae and spoken-word artist Michael St. George, and actor, writer and teacher Owen “Blakka” Ellis, spent three weeks in Ghana in 2015, and their return trip was guided by Nene Kwasi Kafele, also Jamaican-Canadian, who has been doing significant work in Africa. The event, called “RETURN! Afrikan Punctuation,” featured new works and feature the artists telling of their experiences on their trip to Ghana using various types of media and performances by guest artists, including Amina Alfred, Brother Sankofa, and The Unbuntu Drummers, who performed in Jamaica at an event honoring Marcus Garvey, the country’s first national hero.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN LEON BAILEY NAMED TO SHORTLIST FOR “GOLDEN BOY” AWARD
Jamaica’s Leon Bailey who is a striker on the Belgian soccer team KRC Genk has been named as one of the 40 players on the shortlist for the UEFA “Golden Boy” award. Bailey’s performance in the top Belgian team and in the Europa League in which he scored a brace against Rapid Vienna has gained the attention of some of the top clubs in Europe, including Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom as a result of his nomination for the prize. The award is given to the most promising talent in Europe. Bailey, 18, has joined the ranks of players like Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Inter Milan’s Brazilian star Gabriel Barbosa (Gabigol), and Manchester City’s Leroy Sane. Previous winners of the UEFA award include Anthony Martial, Raheem Sterling, Paul Pogba, Isco, Mario Gotze and Mario Balotelli.