THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
HOLNESS SEEKS TO END CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN SCHOOLS, HOMES
In addition to his intentions to end corporal punishment in Jamaica’s schools and state entities, Prime Minister Andrew Holness also wants such punishments outlawed in homes. Holness has asked that the issue of corporal punishment be discussed by lawmakers in Parliament. His concerns were raised following a report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which stated that 80 percent of children in Jamaica between the ages of two and 14 are disciplined with violent activity.
HOLNESS GOVERNMENT ENLARGES MAJORITY WITH THREE NEW MPS
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness saw his government’s majority increase by three as newly elected Members of Parliament took their positions after the by-election on October 30, 2017. The new MPs sworn in include Dr. Norman Dunn of St. Mary South East, Dr. Angela Brown Burke of St. Andrew South West, and Mark Golding of St. Andrew Southern.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
A POPULATION DECREASE OF 14% FOR PUERTO RICO AFTER HURRICANE MARIA
According to the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at New York’s Hunter College, between 114,000 and 213,000 residents of the country are estimated to leave the island annually due to Hurricane Maria. Between 2017 and 2019, the United States territory is slated to lose 470,335 residents. In the ten years preceding the hurricane, net migration from the island to the US totaled about 500,000, or a loss of ten percent per year. Study authors Edwin Melendez and Jennifer Hinojosa report that Puerto Rico will lose the same number of residents over just a few years after Hurricane Maria as it lost during an entire “decade of economic stagnation.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICA’S U.S. AMBASSADOR LAUNCHES PROGRAM TO LINK NATIONALS TO HOMELAND
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks has introduced a program that seeks to connect Jamaican nationals in the US with their home island. The Jamaica Roots initiative runs from November 5, 2017, to February 4, 2018, and will give Jamaican-Americans the chance to win a trip to the island via monthly draws to be broadcast on Facebook Live. According to Marks, the Jamaica Roots competition is designed to connect Jamaicans to their culture and heritage and encourage Jamaicans’ in the Diaspora to invest time, talent, and resources toward Jamaica’s development. In the pilot program, winners of the competition will get one-week free accommodations at a hotel, or they may stay with family. They will also travel to Jamaica on guided tours, learn family history, and experience the life in the community of their roots. Program applicants must be 21 at the time of travel, have Jamaican roots, have a valid passport, and have resided outside of Jamaica for at least a decade.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICA FALLS IN RANKING ON 2017 “WORLD DOING BUSINESS” REPORT
During the past two years, Jamaica’s ranking as dropped from 65th to 70th position in the World Bank’s “World Doing Business” report. Its index value has also dropped with its ranking, moving from 67.54 in 2017 to 67.27 for 2018. The report evaluates how easy it is to do business in various countries by addressing a variety of indicators, including how easy it is to start a business, dealing with permitting processes, and access to electricity. Jamaica consistently scores well on the World Bank index for ease of starting a business. It has gone from 12th in 2017 to fifth for 2018. This puts Jamaica ahead of the average for nations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
CHRONIXX CRITICIZES JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT FOR “LACK OF SUPPORT”
Jamaica reggae artiste Chronixx strongly criticized the government of Jamaica for what he perceives as a “lack of support” among policy makers for the entertainment industry. According to Chronixx, governments around the world provide funding for cultural events and reggae music, but administrations in Jamaica have offered little support for the staging of concerts like his Caribbean Chronology Tour. He noted that the first time he did the Chronology Tour, he and his team had to pay “out of our pockets, well not out of our pockets but out of the sky because we never really had it!” He noted that the governments of Uganda, Kenya, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago provide support, but “at the home of reggae music, nothing,” He also described the experience of Kelissa who staged “Kelissa Live” for three years, will not do a fourth year, and is moving to Africa where she receives more support for her music.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
IRIE GIRLZ MOVE CLOSER TO HOCKEY FINALS AFTER DEFEATING PUERTO RICO
Jamaica’s Irie Girlz could be heading to the 2018 CAC Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, following their 2-0 win over Puerto Rico. Hockey players Shana-Kay Tullongue and Demi Nicholson both scored to place Jamaica within reach of qualification for the final. Puerto Rico, which had played to a draw with Guyana before facing the Jamaican team, kept the Irie Girlz at bay for much of the game, but they gained control during the fourth quarter and made their first goals at the 50th minute and the second two minutes later. Jamaica will play Bermuda on Saturday, November 11.