THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA MORE PRODUCTIVE THAN TRINIDAD—12/08/15
According to a study from the International Labor Organization (ILO), Jamaicans are more productive than residents of Trinidad and Tobago. Kelvin Sergeant, an ILO specialist in the organization’s office in Trinidad, commissioned the study, and expressed “shock” at the results when he spoke at a forum on that nation’s productivity. The report also indicated that productivity is declining overall in T&T, Barbados, Jamaica, the United States and Canada, however.
JAMAICA’S MUSLIMS CONDEMN U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TRUMP—12/09/15
Muslims in Jamaica have strongly condemned the remarks of United States presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is calling for banning all Muslims from entering the U.S. According to the Islamic Council of Jamaica (ICCJ), his comments are unfair and offensive. Mustafa Muhammad, president of the ICCJ, said it was very “unfortunate” that such a statement would come from an individual who wants to hold one of the more important positions in the world. He noted that of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, less than one percent “have hostile thoughts” and of those, even fewer actually carry out acts of violence. Sheikh Musa Tijani, head of education and propagation at the ICCJ, said that Trump’s comments are “absolute nonsense” and that the ICCJ has always condemned all violent attacks by radicals and will continue to do so.
1,500 NEW HOUSING SOLUTIONS SET FOR ST. JAMES, SAYS PRIME MINISTER—12/10/15
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced arrangements nearly finalized in regard to a joint venture involving the National Housing Trust (NHT) and a private sector develop to provide 1,500 new housing options in St. James. Simpson Miller also noted that the NHT is making arrangements to provide interim financing options for three housing projects in Hanover, St. James, and St. Catherine. Interest rates have been reduced by one percentage point for new borrowers as part of the arrangement.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN AMBASSADOR TO U.S. TO LINK GOVERNMENT, DIASPORA—12/10/15
Ralph Thomas, Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States, has decided to make it a high priority for him to connect the Diaspora to the government via direct outreach. Thomas said he plans to bridge the gap between the two with information, improved communications, and acting as a spokesperson for mutual interests. Thomas said he was instructed by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and A. J. Nicholson, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, to pay special attention to the Diaspora. To that end, the Ambassador has already met with Diaspora members in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Seattle, Washington.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
PAY GAP BETWEEN MEN, WOMEN IN JAMAICA, GROWS LARGER—12/10/15
According to the Global Gender Gap Report for 2015, women in Jamaica receive 60 percent of the pay amount provided to men. In other words, for every $100 received by a male worker in Jamaica, a woman receives $60. Jamaica ranked 65 among the 145 nations included in the report, one of the worst rankings in the Caribbean. The nation ranked best for equal pay in the region was Barbados at 24, followed by Cuba at 29. Average annual pay for women in Jamaica totaled US$6,730 (J$800,880), compared to US$11,109 ($1.3 million) for men.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
J CAPRI, DANCEHALL STAR, DIES OF ACCIDENT INJURIES—12/05/15
J Capri, a rising star in the dancehall community, has died at the age of 23. She sustained serious brain and head injuries in an automobile accident in November 2015, and succumbed to those injuries at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Jamaica on December 4. She had undergone surgery and was put into a medically induced coma for recovery purposes but never regained consciousness. J Capri was known for her vocal style of toasting and was able to transform her songs into major Jamaican dance anthems.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA NOT INTERESTED IN HOSTING 2016 WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS—12/10/15
Warren Blake, the president of the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA), has announced that Jamaica has decided not to submit a bid to host the 2016 World Junior Championships. He cited the need to obtain funding in excess of US$10 million to host the event, which would require the government to issue a bond to cover the cost. Due to constraints imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrangements, this could not be accomplished.