THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
PNP CONCERNED ABOUT JAMAICA’S RANK ON CORRUPTION PERCEPTION INDEX
Jamaica’s Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) has expressed concern about the results of the 2016 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), which indicated a significant drop in the nation’s standing. The latest CPI ranking for Jamaica is 14 places lower than other countries and a major contrast to the rise by 16 places the country enjoyed in 2015’s index. In 2015, Jamaica was one of just 11 nations to have an improved ranking of 16 or more places. It is believed the improvement in 2015 resulted from a deliberate strategy of enacting legislation that promoted good governance and enhanced transparency, accountability and the rule of law. PNP spokesperson Mark Golding noted that Jamaica had lost momentum in fighting corruption since the change of governments in February 2016.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT JOINS WITH SINGAPORE TO CREATE ECONOMIC ZONE
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness met with the director of the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) Daniel Seah and representatives of the Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZA) to talk about creating a partnership that would develop a special economic zone (SEZ) in Jamaica. According to Holness, the development of a SEZ will have a positive impact on the island’s economic development and benefit all Jamaicans. A memorandum of understanding was signed between Jamaica and the SCE in 2016 to create a comprehensive road map aimed at fostering an SEZ environment on the island.
MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS TO PATIENT CARE VIA UHWI-UWI PARTNERSHIP
The University Hospital of the West Index (UHWI) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) are joining to make significant improvements in patient care for 2017. The entities have had a standing memorandum of understanding dating from 1953 when the hospital opened by which UWI would facilitate teaching, research and patient care to support the medical science faculty at UWI Mona. The partnership has resulted in an integrated management system designed to handled all clinical entities of UWI Mona. Some of the changes expected by the hospital include integrated information systems management, which will improve recordkeeping. This is especially important for international patients. The hospital has started to see a considerable increase in such patients.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
YVETTE CLARKE, OTHER CARIBBEAN AMERICAN LEGISLATORS, EXPRESS ANGER OVER TRUMP IMMIGRATION ORDERS
Caribbean American legislators serving in the United States Congress are outraged by executive orders issued by the Trump Administration on illegal immigration. The orders represent a “sweeping crackdown” on Caribbean and other immigrants to the US. The orders also penalize communities that offer sanctuary to undocumented immigrants. According to Jamaican American Congresswoman Yvette Clarke of Brooklyn, New York, the orders are a “vicious attack on families.” She noted that there are over ten million people in US communities who want to get legal status, including thousands of young people enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA] program. Under the recent executive orders, “our immigration laws are under the control of individuals whose dislike of the ‘other’ now dictates policy,” said Clarke.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
HIGH-END LUXURY TOURIST MARKET TO BENEFIT JAMAICA
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett stated that the country is in a good position to benefit from the high-end, luxury tourist market. Bartlett noted that there is considerable interest from investors. Just returned from a week’s trip to Spain to attend the FITUR Trade Fair, the largest international tourism show for Ibero American markets, Bartlett said that Jamaica will see new investments from top players in the luxury market, and this will boost Jamaica’s position as a “marquee destination.” Bartlett said the deal signed with the Excellence Group of Luxury Hotels and Resorts on January 19, 2017, to construct two hotels in Oyster Bay is “only the beginning of things to come.” AMResorts and Finest are also planning Jamaican projects.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
POPULAR TROMBONIST “NAMBO” ROBINSON DIES
Ronald “Nambo”” Robinson, a singular presence at Jamaican recording studios for more than 40 years, has died at age 67. Robinson began his career in the early 1970s. He recorded and toured with Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Lloyd Parks and We The People Band. In 2016, he toured the United States with The Wailers and The Taxi Gang. Trombonist Robinson, together with saxophonist Dean Fraser and trumpet player Chico Chin, helped keep horns active in contemporary music. According to keyboardist Robbie Lyn, who knew Robinson for 40 years, Nambo was a mentor to young musicians and always searching for ways to “move the music along.” Sly Dunbar, member of the rhythm duo Sly and Robbie, collaborated with Robinson on many hit songs as members of The Taxi Gang. Robinson was inspired by the Skatallites and Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, both of which emerged from East Kingston in the 1970s, and played on Bob Marley’s “Survival” and “Confrontation” albums. Robinson is survived by his wife, one daughter and two sons.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
CARTER, JOA CONSIDERING APPEAL OF IOC’S 2008 RELAY DISQUALIFICATION
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has stripped Jamaica’s relay team of the 2008 gold medal it won in the 4×400 meter event at the Beijing Olympics. The IOC took action following a reexamination of blood and urine samples submitted by team member Nesta Carter, which were found to be positive for a banned substance. In a meeting that included Carter, Bruce James, Carter’s MVP club president; Mike Fennell, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA); Christopher Samuda, secretary general of the organization, and Dr. Warren Blake, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), it was determined that Carter, other relay persons, and the organizations involved could join in an appeal of the decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.