THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
CYBER ACADEMY SEEKS APPROVAL FROM JAMAICA’S CABINET
According to Dr. Andrew Wheatley, Jamaican Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, the Cabinet will be asked to approve a memorandum of Understanding between Israel Aerospace Industries and the Jamaican government to support the development of the first Cyber Academy in the Caribbean. Wheatley said the academy will function as a hub of excellence in the region, making Jamaica its leader in cybersecurity and cyber defense. The academy is designed to create a skilled, professional cyber workforce that is appropriately trained and certified in cybersecurity, cyber defense, and cyber intelligence. Wheatley said Jamaica must be equipped to handle threats linked to the rising use of technology and noted that Jamaica had lost more than US$100 million to cybercrime since 2016.
NEW UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO JAMAICA NOMINATED
Donald Ray Tapia of Arizona is slated to be named Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Jamaica by the current United States White House. The ambassador posting has been described by the US as “a key position” in the administration. According to the White House website, Tapia acted as chairman and CEO of Essco Group Management, the biggest Hispanic-owned business in Arizona, for some 30 years. He has served on board of directors for the Sun-Angel Foundation and Endowment at Arizona State University, the Tau Kappa Epsilon Educational Foundation Board of Indianapolis, chairman of the board and trustee at Saint Leo University, as well as serving on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix, Teen LifeLine Phoenix, and the Advisory Council of the Arizona Animal Welfare League, Tapia attended Saint Leo University where he earned a BA and BMA. He is a veteran of the US Army.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
LEGISLATOR IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO CALLS FOR DECRIMINALIZATON OF MEDICINAL GANJA
Senator Dr. Dhanayshar Mahabir of Trinidad and Tobago wants the government to permit the use of ganja for medicinal purposes. He believes its use could be help to diversity the country’s economy, which currently relies on oil. A lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Dr. Mahabir stated that several licensed producers of medical cannabis based in Canada were obtaining billions of dollars in sales of the drug each year. Local companies attempting similar operation sin T&T are hampered as sales of marijuana are illegal. Mahabir presented his case during debate on the Finance and Appropriation Bill. He informed legislators that companies in Canada were generating CAD$15 billion in market capital, or twice the annual revenue of T&T.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT SEEKS FUNDING FOR PARLIAMENT BUILDING FROM DIASPORA
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has indicated that he will turn to the Diaspora to seek funding support for the construction of a new Parliament building to be located at National Heroes Circle in Kingston. Holness made his remarks while addressing the official launch of the Houses of Parliament Design Competition. He stated that tapping the Diaspora could be an appropriate way to engage Jamaicans overseas in the “creation of the sovereign building.” Gordon Gill, Jamaican-born architect, was chosen as patron for the design competition. He is the head of an architecture and design company in Chicago, Illinois. Calling the development “historic and transformational,” Holness noted that the idea of a new Parliament building has been discussed for more than 50 years He believes the design competition will prompt feelings of national pride among the architects who will enter the contest.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
SAINT INTERNATIONAL TO PARTNER WITH JAMAICA BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
A partnership between the Saint International modeling agency and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is meant to facilitate business access for fashion designers. Jamaican models are used in major ad campaigns for world-class brands like Gucci and Balenciaga, but local designers have not yet attained similar attention or levels of access. The collaboration on a new business development initiative seeks to raise the profiles of local designers. The initiative will focus on creating commercially ready designers and introducing designers to boutique and international buyers and wealthy individuals who purchase fashionable clothing. The JBDC will not create designers, but sustainable businesses. The agency has operated a fashion incubator for several years, but the new collaboration, called “The Magic,” will allow designers to access the local and global network of Saint.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
TROJAN RECORDS CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY WITH NEW RELEASES
The reggae label Trojan Records, which introduced Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, and Lee “Scratch” Perry to the mainstream audience is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018 with numerous releases, a new documentary film, and several live events. Trojan was founded in 1968 by Lee Gopthal and Chris Blackwell, two Jamaicans who were living in London. The label’s catalog includes music by Perry, Desmond Dekker, the Pioneers, and the Maytals. The Upsetter imprint released much of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ music in the United Kingdom. The pending 50th anniversary release schedule includes a three-disc Ska and Reggae Classics collection, which will be out May 25th, the two-CD sets This is Trojan Roots and This is Trojan Dub due out on June 22nd, and the coffee table book, The Story of Trojan Records that will be available on July 5th.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN CYCLING FEDERATION QUALIFIES FOR PAN AMERICAN GAMES
The Jamaican Cycling Federation has earned its qualification for the 2019 Pan American Games to be held in Peru. Oshane Williams earned a place for Jamaican with a 49th place finish out of 99 starters at the Elite Pan American Road Cycling Champions competition in San Juan, Argentina on May 1 through 7, 2018. This finish also put Jamaica in fourth place behind Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Guadeloupe. Williams made history for Jamaica: this is the first time a Jamaican cyclist was finishing in an Elite Pan American Championship road race.