THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO USE BIOMETRICS IN PASSPORT SYSTEM—07/20/15
The Government of Jamaica has decided to stem fraud in passport applications by making use of a geometric facial recognition system. The new system will be implemented in addition to the current passport issuance and control system (JPICS). The government noted that similar systems have been implemented worldwide. The new approach uses machine-readable photographs in a database, which the Facial Recognition System can use to lessen or eliminate any problems related to multiple identities during the application process.
SECOND MURDER OF JAMAICAN POLICE OFFICER CONDEMNED BY BUNTING—07/22/15
Peter Bunting, Jamaican Minister of National Security, issued a strong condemnation of the second murder of a police officer in one week. Lyndon Barrett, a constable with the force for five years, was shot and killed by gunmen in downtown Kingston while on patrol. His murder occurred only a week after Woman Constable Crystal Thomas was gunned down on a public bus. Bunting expressed a deep regret at the killings, saying the nation will not allow such attacks to go unpunished. He called on Jamaicans to cooperate with authorities to find the criminals.
HUNDREDS OF FOREST ACRES DESTROYED BY BUSH FIRES—07/23/15
According to Marilyn Headley, Jamaica’s Conservator of Forests, hundreds of acres of forest lands have been lost since the beginning of 2015 as a result of bush fires. Headley urged Jamaicans to stop lighting fires in and near wooded areas. About 960 acres of forests were lost in May 2015, and since that time, there have been several other fires in St. Andrew and St. Thomas. Headley, who is also the CEO of the Forestry Department, said the authority has joined with the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) to raise public awareness about the dangers of lighting fires to burn trash or clear land. Farming communities in particular are being targeted in the information campaign.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN WOMAN BENEFITS FROM STUDIES AT DIPLOMATIC SCHOOL IN SPAIN—07/20/15
Marva Campbell, a Protocol Officer in Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, received a scholarship to study at the Diplomatic School in Madrid, Spain. The scholarship was offered through the former Spanish ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Celsa Nuño. Campbell joined 73 others from countries around the world to take advantage of the opportunity to obtain advanced training designed to lead to a Masters Degree in Diplomacy and International Relations. Campbell’s participation in the program was facilitated by major input from the private sector in Spain, the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation, and Indra Systems, a Spanish technology company. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Spain paid for her airfare.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
HYLTON SAYS JAMAICA “COMMITTED” TO PROTECTING TRADEMARKS—07/21/15
Anthony Hylton, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, made it clear that the Ministry is serious about protecting Industrial Property. Industrial Property includes industrial design, trademarks, patents, and geographical indications. The government’s efforts to provide protection include amending the Trademarks Act to protect the name of the country, Jamaica, from being used by foreign companies around the world that want to capitalized on the international recognition and goodwill attached to the Jamaican name.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN AUTHOR, MUSICIAN “UPBEAT” ABOUT NEW BOOK—07/19/15
Sheldon Shepherd, a member of the band No-Maddz, has a range of activities planned around the launch of his new book, “The Morning Yah.” Shepherd will hold some readings in August 2015 and also provide an audio version and an online version of the work. He said he has received positive feedback from people who have read his book. “The Morning Yah,” a collection of 52 poems, was published by Pelican Publishers in April 2015. Shepherd, a singer, received the Best Actor Award at the American Black Film Festival for “Better Mus’ Come.” He calls his work a “journey of oneness” and says it is “representative” of his thoughts.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
THREE JAMAICAN ATHLETES PLAN TO REPRESENT BAHRAIN—07/22/15
Three of Jamaica’s top athletes will be switching their allegiance from the island to the country of Bahrain, announced Dr. Warren Blake, the president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA). Shericka “Wire” Williams, 2008 Olympic 400-meter silver medallist, and sprinters Kemarley Brown and Andrew Fisher, submitted applications to the JAAA with the intention of competing for Bahrain. The athletes said it has become difficult to represent Jamaica and want the chance to represent Bahrain as they consider moving to that country and becoming citizens. Williams received a silver medal for Jamaica at the Berlin world Championships in 2009, while Fisher is the latest Jamaican to run under the 10-second barrier. Brown also clocked below that mark with a personal best on July 20 of 9.93 seconds.