THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
HOLNESS AWARDS MEDALS OF APPRECIATION
In awarding Medals of Appreciation to 65 honorees, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the government will continue to build on the legacy of its nation builders. The award recipients were recognized for their service to the country. Holness said the nation must ensure that their contributions are lasting and benefit future generations. Holness made his remarks at a ceremony at Jamaica House on April 25, 2018, at which he gave out the Prime Minister’s Jamaica 55 Commemorative Medals of Appreciation for 2017.The medalists were musicians, farmers, civil servants, educators, and community leaders who are focused on improving the quality of life in Jamaica.
JAMAICA COULD NEED ADDITIONAL AREA CODE WITHIN FIVE YEARS
While demand for telephone numbers is not directly linked to the size of the population, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology believes the rapid expansion of information and communications networks could prompt a further addition of a new area code in Jamaica by 2023. Dr. Wheatley said that the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR) predicted that the island’s newest area code – 658 – could be sufficient for some ten years, but when considering that estimates in 1990 predicted that the 876 code would last 20 years, that estimate proved wrong. A new code was required in just 12 years
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CUBA SIGNS AGREEMENT TO ENHANCE ITS MINING INDUSTRY
GeoMiners S.A., Cuba’s state enterprise, has signed a contract with Millbrook Minerals Inc. to conduct geological investigations in a 318-square-kilometer area in Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, and Ciego de Avila. The two entities will cooperate during the reconnaissance and study of the area, hoping to locate mineral deposits and form joint enterprises to exploit and commercialize them. The companies hope to find new deposits of zinc, copper and other minerals with the goal of starting mining operations within five years.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
AFUA COOPER NAMED POET LAUREATE OF HALIFAX
Halifax has a new poet laureate. Dr. Afua Cooper, who grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, and came to Canada in 1980, is well known for her career in education, research, and advocacy and as the James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University. Dr. Cooper, who is a faculty member in the departments of History and Sociology & Social Anthropology, will serve as poet laureate for two years, acting as “an ambassador and advocate for literacy, literature and the arts” in the city. Dr. Cooper has called her duties “such a beautiful mission.” The official role of the Poet Laureate is to participate in poetry performances at civic events and to conduct readings at various council meetings, but the title holder has the discretion to decide what events they will attend.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
AIC BECOMES LARGEST SHAREHOLDER IN READYTV
AIC Jamaica has announced that it will take on a significant equity position in Ready Communications, which owns and operates the island’s first digital free-to-air and pay TV broadcast, ReadyTV. AIC was encouraged by the start-up’s progress and has made an undisclosed investment in the company that makes it the largest single shareholder. According to Lee Chin, AIC saw ReadyTV as a unique business opportunity and a way to bridge the digital divide to bring more people into the digital world. For its part, ReadyTV sees itself as facilitating the change to digital in Jamaica. ReadyTV began operation sin 2017, and its broadcast signal, which can be accessed via an antenna and set-top box, is currently available in Kingston, St. Catherine, and parts of Clarendon, St. Ann, and St. Mary.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
SPICE PLANS TO LAUNCH WOMEN’S FOUNDATION
Jamaican dancehall star Spice is ready to launch the Grace Hamilton Women Empowerment Foundation on the island in May 2018. She has started the foundation to help prepare women in Jamaica to reach “the next level.” On May 27, 2018, the official launch will take place at the Eden Gardens in St. Andrew. The deejay who is known for her “So Mi Like It” has enjoyed a surge in popularity in local and international dancehall scenes recently and now appears in the reality show “Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta” on VH1. According to Spice, “I heard some horror stories and I think I can provide opportunities or even a platform that can help a lot of young women in today’s society,” she shared via Instagram.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA’S PENN RELAYS TEAM ATHLETES NAMED
The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has released the names of the 25 athletes that will form the Jamaican team at the Penn Relays, which are currently underway at the University of Pennsylvania. The Jamaicans will participate in the USA vs. The World series, which will include men’s and women’s 4×100-meter, 4×400-meter, and sprint medley relays. The 12-member male athletes include Nesta Carter, who is waiting for a ruling on his appeal relating to the retrospective disqualification from the 2008 Olympic Games. Among the 13 members of the women’s squad are Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson, Several recent Commonwealth Games athletes are also listed, including Anastasia Le-Roy, Demish Gaye, Natasha Morrison, Oshane Bailey and Rhonda Whyte.