THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
GIFFORD WANTS JAMAICA TO REMOVE QUEEN AS HEAD OF STATE—07/12/16
Lord Anthony Gifford, Queen’s Counsel, believes that Jamaica should remove Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as head of state, saying that Marcus Garvey would be “shocked and disappointed” at the way Jamaica has structured its social, legal, and constitutional environments. Gifford made his remarks at the Fifth Annual Marcus Garvey Lecture, which was organized by the St. Ann Homecoming and Heritage Foundation. Gifford believes that the country’s monarchical constitution and continuing reliance on the Privy Council represent a total contradiction of Garvey’s vision for Jamaica.
GRANGE ANNOUNCES MINISTRY TO STUDY ISSUES AFFECTING MEN—07/13/16
Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, says that the ministry will research masculinity and other matters that affect men in order to better understand the problems they face. Some of the issues to be investigated include men’s health, employability, parenting, education, and the role of men in eliminating gender-based violence. Grange noted the “apparent marginalization” of men in Jamaican society and believes this should be addressed. She cited the fact that some 60 percent of men on the island are functionally illiterate, while almost 70 percent of all violent crimes are committed by males between 16 and 29 years of age. Grange says that the research will lead to actions that will counter this trend and that gender equality requires that both men and women are equally valued by society.
PARLIAMENT TO REVIEW LAWS THAT RELATE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE—07/14/16
The Parliament of Jamaica plans to conduct a review of existing laws that apply to domestic violence in order to focus on preventing crimes committed against women and children. The decision to undertake the review comes after the recent murder of a three-year-old girl. Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, believes it is time for the government to “make its voice heard” on the issue by ensuring that appropriate sentences are imposed for such crimes. In the past 14 years, over 1,700 Jamaican children and teens were killed, and that women represented another portion of the population vulnerable to incidence of violence. The review is slated to consider at least four laws applying to sexual offenses for reform as well.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
MIGRANT WORKER GROUP IN CANADA OPPOSES DNA SWEEP REVIEW—07/13/16
The organization Justicia for Migrant Workers, which advocates for migrants in Canada, has rejected the findings from a review of a DNA sweep conducted in 2013. The action involved taking DNA samples from Jamaicans and other migrant workers in Ontario following the statement of a rape victim that she thought the rapist was a farm worker and that he spoke with an accent that “appeared to be Jamaican.” The organization states that it opposed the finding of the Independent Police Review Director that no racial profiling was done in the DNA sweep of 99 men of color in Bayhem, Ontario. According to the advocacy organization, the review perpetuates racist policing of radicalized communities of color, and Chris Ramsaroop, Justicia advocate, said the migrant workers were targeted only because of the color of their skin. The review director says he does not believe the DNA canvassing was based on racial profiling.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICAN ARTISANS TO BE EMPOWERED BY TOURISM MINISTRY—07/12/16
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett plans to reduce the number of imported art and craft items coming to the island by empowering local Jamaican artisans. In a speech before the Craft Enhancement Project Recognition and Awards ceremony, Bartlett said the government is going to emphasize the development of creative talents in Jamaica, introducing Artisan Villages and an Institute of Craft Development. These initiatives are designed to allow artisans to accept designs from visitors when they arrive on the island and complete the work by the time the visitor is ready to leave. The Ministry will work with the Edna Manley School of Art while building out the Institute of Craft Development in Ocho Rios, which is scheduled for completion by 2018, according to Bartlett.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN PRODUCER GETS RIGHTS TO “PURPLE RAIN”—07/14/16
Kemar “Flava” McGregor, an internationally known Jamaican producer, has obtained the rights to release a new version of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” The song is scheduled to be released on July 22, 2016, as the official reggae remix of the global hit. McGregor is president of FM Records, LLC, and has been working to obtain the rights to the song since before Prince died on April 2016. While McGregor said it was easy to transform the tune into a reggae song, finding the right singer proved more difficult. When he hears Ayron Michael, however, he knew he had found the voice he was looking for. McGregor said that obtaining permission from Prince’s estate to record the song was very easy. “You just have to know the right administration or publisher” to get the clearances.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA’S WOMEN’S BOBSLED TEAM PREPARES FOR 2018—07/13/16
Jamaica is hoping to be represented in both the men’s and women’s bobsled events at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018, after its success In recruiting Jazmine Fenlator to join the nation’s women’s program. Fenlator, 30, is from New Jersey, and headed USA-3 at the Sochi games in 2014. She and Lolo Jones, former world indoor 80-meter hurdles champion, came in at 11th place in that competition. Fenlator can qualify to represent Jamaica because her father is from the island. While she had considered retiring after Sochi, she has now decided to make a bid to lead the first Jamaica women’s bobsled team at the 2018 Olympics.