THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
HOUSE PASSES NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION AND REGISTRATION BILL
Jamaica’s House of Representatives passed a national identification and registration bill after over two house of deliberations and 100 amendments. The National Identification and Registration Bill deliberations addressed a number of concerns raised by Opposition leader Dr. Peter Phillips. Phillips was concerned about the protection of personal data and that of spouses. These concerns were shared by several other Members of Parliament, including Julian Robinson, Colin Fagan, and Peter Bunting, who also had reservations about costs association with program implementation. Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the bill will facilitate the cost of doing business in Jamaica and remove the need for a census, which is currently required to be performed every ten years..
GOVERNMENT UNABLE TO UNDERWRITE HEROES CIRCLE PROJECT
According to Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness, the government cannot provide a guarantee for the multi-million-dollar National Heroes Circle project. The project involves the construction of a Parliament building, a museum and offices for government ministries on at the National Heroes Circle location in downtown Kingston. The government signed a non-binding, non-exclusive Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the China Construction America (South America) division (CCASA) in March 2017 for the creation and development proposal for Kingston and neighboring areas. He said that other entities or investor groups may approach the government with a similar plan for its consideration, and that once a plan is developed, the process will move into the implementation phase following procurement guidelines. Holness noted that the government does not have the fiscal resources to take on the project and underwrite it. Estimates have placed the cost of the project between US$700 million and US$1 billion.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
DOMINICA SEES DEATH AND DESTRUCTION FROM HURRICANE MARIA
At least 15 deaths on the island of Dominica have been attributed to Hurricane Maria, which left many homes completely destroyed. The nation’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit believes the death toll will rise as search and rescue efforts continue; at least 16 other people are missing from their communities. Skerrit also noted, however, that it was a miracle that hundreds of deaths did not occur as the Category 3 storm and its 120 mph winds passed over the island and moved in the direction of Turks and Caicos and Puerto Rico where it continued to cause catastrophic damage.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
BLACK LIVES MATTER-TORONTO PROTESTS DEPORTATION OF JAMAICAN MOTHER
The deportation of a Jamaican mother has been postponed by the Canadian Border Services Agency as a protest over the treatment of Beverley Braham by Black Lives Matter-Toronto stopped traffic on September 19, 2017. Syrus Marcus Ware, spokesperson for the protest group, said the organization became involved with Braham’s case in the spring of 2017 when she faced deportation and was 31 weeks pregnant. Her deportation was rescheduled for September 21. She was held at the Toronto Immigration Holding Center for 48 hours with her infant. Braham wants to start a new life in Canada with her child and also has a blood clot in her lung that prohibits her from air travel. While she has an appointment with a specialist to review her condition, the date of the appointment is after her scheduled date of deportation.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
GRANGE CALLS FOR JAMAICA TO ENTER SPORTS GOODS MARKET
Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, thinks that Jamaica should consider creating a niche market in the sporting goods industry. This industry includes equipment, accessories, and clothing. She made her remarks in the keynote address at the Inter-Regional Conference on the Strategic Use of Intellectual Property in Sport in Kingston. Grange also suggested that Jamaica market itself as a Sport Destination Country. While Jamaica’s brand is already strong, Grange believes that the nation could develop additional strategies to ensure maximum investment in its unique sports brand. Vivian Brown, speaking for Karl Samuda, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, noted that sport contributes in a major way to the value of Brand Jamaica, which is estimated at US$35 billion per year.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
MISS JAMAICAN WORLD GRAND CORONATION ON TAP SEPTEMBER 23
On Saturday, September 23, the Stadium Complex will host the 2017 final of the Miss World Pageant known as The Grand Coronation Show. It will be staged at the National Indoor Sport Center and will include a star-studded cast of entertainers. Romain Virgo will headline the event. He will be joined by Nesbeth Spartan. The event will see a combination of MCs leading the evening’s proceedings, with Miss Jamaica World 2007 and 1st runner-up Miss Universe 2010, the presenter, model and host Yendi Phillips, and co-host Quite Perry, winner of the Music Industry Achieves’ Award for Social Media Personality of the Year in 2012. Live Streaming owned and promoted by Spartan Health Club on Spartan TV will be hosted by radio personality Paula Ann Porter-Jones.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
GOVERNMENT URGES ATHLETES TO SIGN UP FOR INSURANCE PLAN
Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange is encouraging the nation’s athletes to sign up for the Jamaican Athletes Insurance Plan (JAIP). Noting that sporting associations have a major role in ensuring that athletes can derive benefits from the plan, Grange said its development represents one of the government’s ways to invest in the well-being of its sportsmen and sportswomen. Grange made her remarks at the opening ceremony of the regional conference on the Strategic Use of Intellectual Property in Sport. The plan is financed by the Sports Development Foundation, the National Health Fund, the Tourism Enhancement Fund, and the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education Fund.