THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
DAVIES PROMOTES NATIONAL HEROES PARK AS MAJOR TOURIST DRAW—11/09/15
Dr. Omar Davies, Jamaica’s Minister of Transport, Work and Housing, believes that the re-development project at National Heroes Park will transform the location into a major attraction for visitors to Kingston. The project, which will cost an estimated $2.3 billion, will be completed in phases and will ultimately involve a Parliament building, a recreation area, and better spaces to accommodate monuments, as well as the remains of national heroes, cultural icons, and Prime Ministers. Davies is leading the group responsible for coordinating the development plans and seeks to make the park a world-class attraction that will foster more appreciation among Jamaicans for their country’s history.
FERGUSON REASSIGNED OVER INFANT DEATHS AT HOSPITALS—11/10/15
Fenton Ferguson, Jamaica’s Minister of Health, was reassigned from his post in response to controversy concerning the deaths of 19 infants at two hospitals due to bacterial infections. The deaths of the infants first began in June 2015. According to a statement from Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, the government feels the pain of the parents whose babies died and is “truly sorry” for the losses. Simpson Miller went on to say that the government has worked to reduce deaths of both mothers and children during childbirth since 2011 and noted that she had instructed Horace Dalley, the new Minister of Health, to work quickly as possible to correct the problems in the health care sector. The deaths at Cornwall Regional Hospital and University Hospital of the West Indies were caused by two common types of bacteria, serratia and klebsiella.
JAMAICA, U.S. SIGN AGREEMENT TO SHARE DEPORTEE INFORMATION—11/11/15
Jamaica’s government has entered into an agreement with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) to allow the U.S. to share data about deportees. The memorandum of cooperation, known as the Criminal History Information Sharing (CHIS) agreement, was signed by Peter Bunting, Jamaica’s National Security Minister, and Matthew Albence, assistant director of ICE. Under the agreement, the U.S. will share records that contain immigration and criminal history information of Jamaican nationals who are being repatriated to the island. The U.S. has signed similar agreements with Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
PRIME MINISTER HAILS THE LATE DR. CHARLES ANDERSON—11/10/15
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller praised the accomplishments and commitment of Dr. Charles Anderson in regard to applying his skills to restore health to others. Born in Jamaica, Dr. Anderson was based in Buffalo, New York, and was celebrated at a thanksgiving service and celebration of life at Bethel AME Church. Among those attending was Jamaica’s Counsel General to New York, who read the Prime Minister’s remarks at the event. Dr. Anderson was noted for remaining closely linked to Jamaica as a licensed medical practitioner, as well as for his service as chairman of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organization (NAJASO and as a member of the HELP Jamaica medical mission. Dr. Anderson died October 28, 2015, at the age of 81.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICANS UNCLEAR ABOUT BENEFITS OF IMF PROGRAM—11/11/15
While Jamaica’s government has noted the positive economic indicators resulting from an improved economy since 2013, Jamaicans do not see the government as taking sufficient action to communicate the importance of its economic support program under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the nation’s citizens. According to Richard Byles, the co-chair of the Economic Program Oversight Committee (EPOC), most Jamaicans don’t understand the real impact of the program on key indicators. The government should do more to inform citizens about the IMF program and how it benefits them.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
“SILENT DISCO” CONCEPT INTRODUCED TO JAMAICA—11/08/15
The idea of the “silent disco,” which is popular in the United Kingdom, United States, and Taiwan, involves entering an entertainment venue and encountering nearly total silence instead of loud music. The atmosphere allows visitors to have conversations without screaming over the tunes. The concept has been introduced to Jamaica by Skyy Vodka and Quiet Jamaica, which provided the general island public with a chance to experience the new environment. Damion Crawford, Jamaica’s State Minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, believes the concept will help promoters host events without worrying about the Noise Abatement Act, which has hampered efforts to hold some events since 2009. At “silent disco” events, participants wear headsets provided by the organizers. When they are turned on, each individual headset receives high-quality sound. Crawford noted that technology continues to change and provide additional dimensions to the entertainment experience.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN-BORN TEEN BREAKS WEIGHT-LIFTING, POWER-LIFTING RECORDS—11/11/15
Sixteen-year-old LeeAnn Hewitt, a Jamaican-born athlete who attends high school in the United States, has broken a series of records in weightlifting and powerlifting at regional and national competitions. LeeAnn is the daughter of Errol Hewitt, graphic designer, and Pauline Hewitt, a school teacher. She is the youngest lifter to be chosen as a representative of the U.S. at the 2016 World Championships in Texas.