THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO HEAD DISASTER RELIEF IN CARIBBEAN
Jamaica’s government announced its plans to lead disaster relief efforts in the Caribbean at a meeting of the United Nations in China. Ed Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, was named to head the disaster working group. According to Bartlett, the climatic and seismic events that caused damage and disruption in the region have negatively impacted its economic flow as well as destroying lives and property. The UN World Trade Organization Disaster Recovery Working Group for the Affected States in the Caribbean was formed in response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
PNP SPOKESPERSON HANNA ISSUES APOLOGY, ADMITS MISTAKE
Lisa Hanna, the spokesperson on foreign affairs and foreign trade for Jamaica’s People’s National Party (PNP), apologized for a release sent from her office mourning the death of a diplomat from St. Lucia in the massacre in Las Vegas. The release was inadvertently send without its information being verified; the diplomat, Anton Edmunds, St Lucia’s Ambassador to the Organization of American States, denounced the “fake news” on his Facebook page. After apologizing for the error, Hanna spoke with Edmunds and expressed good wishes for him and his family, stating that she was pleased to know he was in the best of health.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
“SIGNIFICANT EPIDEMICS” COULD ARISE DUE TO LACK OF CLEAN WATER, MEDICAL CARE IN PUERTO RICO
Public health conditions in Puerto Rico are deteriorating due to the lack of basic services, clean water, and food, all of which are in very short supply following the devastation brought by Hurricane Maria. The situation is especially serious for the most vulnerable populations on the island, including children and the elderly. Health experts warn that diseases spread by mosquitoes and impure water present a real threat to the nation. According to Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, unless Puerto Rico receives “massive intervention” to impose some kind of health infrastructure, the coming weeks will bring “significant epidemics.” He is particularly concerned about typhoid, parathyroid, and shigella that can spread via non-potable water.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
Audrey Marks, Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States, and Dr. Wayne Frederick, the president of Howard University, joined to announce the launch of the Jamaica Howard University Alumni Association and Endowment Fund. At the announcement, which was made at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington DC, Marks said noted that Howard University and Jamaica have had a long-standing relationship for over 100 years. Howard has been the university of choice for many Jamaican nationals, and many of them stay in the DC area after graduation. Ambassador Marks also emphasized the need for more support for Jamaican students at the university, a need which prompted the launch of the new alumni association.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
COFFEE INDUSTRY FACES CRISIS AS JAPAN REFUSES TO PAY ASKING PRICE
Jamaica’s coffee industry could face a major crisis arising from the refusal of traders in Japan to make new contracts with local producers. Japan is the chief market for Jamaica’s Blue Mountain coffee. According to Karl Samuda, Jamaica’s Minister of Agriculture and Commerce, coffee traders in Japan have “rightly refused” to pay more than US$40 per kilogram for the coffee and rejected efforts to renegotiate any contracts that would require them to pay more for the product. Japan has been paying US$60 per kilo for the past two years. At the same time, coffee farmers are complaining about receiving $6,000 per box of coffee when they received $12,000 per box last year. Jamaica’s government will provide $80 million to help coffee farmers renew their holdings with fertilizers, fungicides, tools and training. It is hoped this effort will help farmers increase their production in order to thrive.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
GRANGE SAY STATUE OF USAIN BOLT TO BE UNVEILED OCTOBER 13, 2017
Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, announced the unveiling of the statue of Usain Bolt, the world’s greatest athlete, which will occur at National Stadium on October 13, 2017. The unveiling will be followed by a reception in honor of Jamaica’s track and field athletes who competed at the World Championships in August. The bronze sculpture of Bolt was designed by Basil Watson, renowned Jamaican sculptor. It is the first of four statues of national sports stars commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport by the Jamaica 55 Legacy Program.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
BOLT, GATLIN NOT ON LIST OF NOMINEES FOR IAAF WORLD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
The fact that the IAAF has not included Jamaica’s Usain Bolt or Justin Gatlin of the United States off the short list of nominees for the World Athlete of the Year award has caused some controversy. Gatlin surprised fans by winner the 100-meter race at the World Championships in London in August 2017, while Olympic champion Usain Bolt retired from his historic career at the same event. The omission of Bolt, in particular, was unexpected. Gatlin’s omission was less of a surprise because of his doping offenses. Leading the 2017 list is Mo Farah, 10,000-meter world champion from Britain, and Wayde van Niekerk, 400-meter star from South Africa.