THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
LGBT ADVOCACY NEEDS POLICE APPROVAL FOR PUBLIC MARCH—06/30/15
The Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) is preparing for a week-long celebration of increased tolerance for the LGBT community in Jamaica and plans to begin its events on Emancipation Day. Considerable speculation has arisen about whether or not the group will stage the first gay pride parade in the country as part of its celebration. According to Mark Golding, Minister of Justice, if the group wants to march, it must take certain steps, beginning with approval from the police, just as any public march is required to do. If there is no breach of the peace or commission of any offenses, and they get police approval, the march can be held, said Golding.
KEN JONES, JAMAICAN NATIONALIST AND JOURNALIST, DIES AT 86—07/02/15
The Jamaican author, journalist and newspaper columnist Ken Jones died in Maryland at the age of 86 after a long illness. He worked as a journalist for 68 years, beginning his career with the Jamaica Daily Express as a sport writer in 1947. He was also the editor of the Welfare Reporter, a community development paper from the Jamaica Social Development Commission from 1957 to 1962. This publication was listed by the United Nations as one of the top publications of its type in the world. Jones worked at the Jamaican Information Service (JIS) in the1960s and was the first television producer and presenter for the JIS. He went on to become the agency’s executive director for four years in the 1980s.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT DENIES MONITORING ONLINE ACTIVITIES OF CITIZENS—07/03/15
Jamaica’s government reports that it has not performed any monitoring activities on private online communications without obtaining the required legal authority to do so. The government response was prompted by claims made in a United States State Department report on human rights, which stated that Jamaica did not limit or disrupt access to the internet, nor did it censor online content; however, the report also stated that it had evidence that the Jamaican government did monitor private online communications without appropriate legal authority. Similar claims were made by the U.S. State Department against the government of Trinidad and Tobago.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
IN NEW YORK, JAMAICAN-AMERICAN LEGISLATOR JAILED FOR BRIBERY—07/02/15
Malcolm Smith, a Jamaican-American former state senator in New York, received a prison sentence of seven years for attempting to bribe his way onto the 2013 ballot for New York City mayor. He also received two years of supervised release and is required to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on September 21, 2015. According to prosecutors, Smith, 58, abused the public trust and also encouraged others to do the same for his personal benefit.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICAN SEEKS ADDITIONAL HYDRO-ELECTRIC CAPACITY—07/03/15
The Jamaican government has given its approval to awarding a contract designed to perform a pre-feasibility studies on six small hydro-electricity projects across the island. The goal is to determine whether hydropower generation in Jamaica represents a viable energy option under the nation’s National Energy Policy. US$1.1 million will be awarded in the contract, which also includes sites in St. Thomas, the Rio Cobre Dam Head in St. Catherine, and the Rio Grande Valley and Swift River in Portland. At least 20 percent of the country’s energy supply must come from renewable sources by 2030 under the terms of the National Energy Policy.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
GOVERNMENT REPS, ATTORNEYS, ARTISTS MEET FOR REGGAE CONFERENCE—07/01/15
Representatives from many segments of Jamaican society gathered to participate in a conference on reggae music. According to Anthony Hylton, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, reggae represents “part of the heart and soul” of the country. He recognized that the music industry on the island is struggling, however, and should have better protections so it can reap financial gain from its creativity. Hylton noted that reggae has given Jamaican much prestige around the world, but more needs to be done to enhance its achievements on the “economic side of things.” He said the government increasingly views reggae and other cultural enterprises as having economic potential for the country.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN-GERMAN DEFEATS TENNIS LEGEND AT WIMBLEDON—07/02/15
Dustin Brown, 30, of Germany beat Rafael Nadal at the prestigious Wimbledon tennis championships in the United Kingdom. Brown, whose father is Jamaican, was born in Germany, but emigrated to Jamaica in 1996. He represented Jamaica until 2010. Brown, a German qualifier at Wimbledon, is ranked 102, but beat Nadal 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, hitting 13 aces and 58 winners during the match. The victory was Brown’s second win against Nadal, beating him on a grass court in 2014. Brown had never played on Center Court at Wimbledon before.