THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT CONDEMNS SLAVE AUCTIONS IN LIBYA
Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, responded to international media reports of slave auctions of migrant workers in Libya by addressing the Senate, stating, that “This human indignity is unreservedly and entirely condemned by the Government, and we commit to working with the international community to curtail this despicable trade in human beings, wherever it occurs across the world.” She called on the United Nations and its members to educate their citizens about the modern-day forms of slavery and its impact on the most vulnerable populations. Johnson Smith encouraged all nations to impose measures that will identify and eliminated the “abhorrent practice” and welcomed announcements from the African Union/European Union Summit, which defined specific actions to be taken in response to the situation of migrants in Libya. She also said that Jamaica should target local incidents of modern-day slavery, noting that it is not limited to the treatment of African migrants but also includes the situation of girls in rural Jamaica who answer ads for on-the-job training in customer service and find themselves forced into prostitution and being threatened with death if they try to run away.
GOVERNMENT TAKES ACTION TO ELIMINATE GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
The Jamaican government has introduced a 10-year National Strategic Action Plan to Eliminate Gender-Based Violence (NSAP-GBVI). The plan considers various elements including socio-cultural background, the specific needs of victims, survivors, and witnesses; and the financial and human resources available to ensure the plan’s alignment with the 2030 Vision National Development Plan, National Policy for Gender Equality, and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, said the government will continue to take a collaborative approach toward the problem of violence against women. She made her remarks at the Action Plan’s launch at the Jamaica Conference Center in Kingston.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
WYCLEF JEAN HEADLINES FUNDRAISER FOR RECOVERY IN BARBUDA
Wyclef Jean, the Grammy Award-winning musician, was the headliner at a fundraiser organized in Miami by the Antigua and Barbuda consulate general, the Global Citizen Forum, and the Jumby Bay Fund in Antigua. All proceeds from the event were marked for the rehabilitation of Barbuda. In addition to musical performances by Wyclef Jean, The Strays, Former Miss Antigua Shermain Jeremy, and Tessane Chin, the winner of “The Voice USA,” guests enjoyed a four-course dinner. The dinner was followed by a live auction. The event was held at the Estate House on the private Jumby Bay Resort property and raised over US$80,000, which will be used to purchase a 400-watt Milton Cat generator for Barbuda.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
COJO CELEBRATES ITS 23RD YEAR OF GIVING
The Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO) organization held its 23rd annual gala at the Hilton Hotel in New York to celebrate the support provided by the Jamaican Diaspora and its friends. COJO, which was established in 1994, is dedicated to improving the health, education and well-being of disadvantaged children in Jamaica. The organization works with the Child Development Agency (CDA), currently known as the Child Protection and Family Service Agency, to find exceptional students who require financial aid to meet their educational goals. COJO depends on individual and collective support through tax-deductible contributions or through volunteerism. In 2017, the nonprofit raised over US$20,000 in scholarships that were given to six Jamaican students. The gala also recognized the outstanding contributions made by board member Dennis Sherwood; Dr. Fitzclaud Grant, internal medicine specialist in Elmont, New York; and Kaye Chong, sales executive at Caribbean Airlines. These individuals received the COJO and Community Development Award.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
UPDATED TRANSPORT POLICY IN JAMAICA WILL INCLUDE USE OF DRONES
Jamaica’s government plans to review the nation’s transport policy in order to address the use of drones. According to Tanya Bedward, the director of the projects unit at the Ministry of Transport, the review is scheduled for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The transport policy was last reviewed in 2007. Updates to the policy will consider the aviation industry and its new technologies, including drones, said Bedward. She noted that both public and private stakeholders will have the chance to comment on the review process.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
INTERNATIONAL PERFORMERS TO PLAY FOR FREE IN SHAGGY SHOW
The biannual charity concert hosted by Shaggy is set for January 6, 2018. The concert event, Shaggy and Friends, will be celebrating its sixth anniversary, and organizers promise that its 2018 staging will be something special. The show will take place at Jamaica House and features a line-up of global stars. For the first time in the event’s history, all of the artistes are performing free of charge. Shaggy made this announcement at the official launch of the show at the Bustamante Hospital for Children. While it can be difficult to schedule international acts without adequate financing, “This year, we’re lucky. We have some international acts that have come on board, and they have come on board for the first time absolutely free,” Shaggy said. The performers include STING, Fetty Wap and Wyclef Jean. Also performing are Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons, Christopher Martin, Aidonia, Dexta Daps, Junior Reid, Shenseea, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Third World, Barrington Levy, Capleton, Professor Nuts, and Wayne Wonder.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JFF PRESIDENT SAYS HOSTING FIFA SUMMIT BRINGS OPPORTUNITY
Mike Ricketts, the president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), says that hosting the FIFA Executive Football Summit (FIFA EFS) in Jamaican in January 2018 will provide potential benefits for football and the nation. Scheduled for January 18, 2018, in Montego Bay, the international football summit will help to “raise the profile” of football in Jamaica, Ricketts said. It is also expected to have a positive effect on tourism for the island. Ricketts noted that the FIFA representative Antonetta Santagata was sent to inspect the site and address planning issues was impressed,