THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT COMMITS TO PROVISION OF HOUSING—08/29/15
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said that her administration is committed to providing housing to the nation’s citizens. The government realizes that it is the right of every Jamaican to have appropriate housing. To achieve its goals, the government is prioritizing access to housing via renewal projects for the inner city and additional projects for low-income housing and informal settlement development. According to Simpson Miller, housing provision represents more than just a shelter issue for her administration. It is part of a policy to encourage the creation of an ownership society in the country.
PILOT HELD IN QATAR NOW FREE, LASHING OUT AT FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY—08/30/15
Paul Stephens, the airline pilot who had been held in a prison in Qatar for the crime of mistrust of a minor, which he says he did not commit, has been freed from the five-year sentence imposed upon him in that country. After almost four years in prison, Stephens is now criticizing Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT), saying that his situation had been handled badly. According to Stephens, the agency “needs new blood” and a “new life.” He said he had called A.J. Nicholson, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, for help while he was in Qatar and that Nicholson told him he had done all he could and that Stephens “should know who he is calling” and then hung up the phone.
PNP WOMEN EXPRESS OUTRAGE AT THOSE SUPPORTING IMPRISONED PILOT—09/02/15
The PNP Women’s Movement is expressing its outrage at what it sees as the Opposition’s inappropriate support for Paul Stephens, the Jamaican pilot who had been convicted in Qatar of mistrust of a minor and who spent four years in a Qatari prison for the crime before being released back to Jamaica. Stephens appeals the conviction, but Qatar, citing definite evidence of his guilt, rejected the appeal. The Women’s Movement has condemned Opposition attempts to politicize the issue by making Stephens a “poster boy.” According to Movement representatives, the victim, a 14-year-old, is being blamed for the crime perpetrated against her and is calling for the focus to be placed on protecting the physical and mental well being of children, rather than emphasizing Stephens’ imprisonment. Stephens has always maintained that he is innocent of the charges.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
OPPOSITION LEADER TO MEET WITH JAMAICAN DIASPORA IN NEW AYORK—09/03/15
Andrew Holness, the leader of the Opposition and Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), is scheduled to meet with the Jamaican Diaspora in New York and New Jersey in mid September 2015. The meetings, which will discuss the JLP’s vision for taking Jamaican society from poverty to economic prosperity, will also be held to raise funds for the Opposition party. According to Angella Beeson, member of the Proud Jamaica Foundation, said that issues associated with making investments in Jamaica and how the JLP will handle them will be part of the discussions with Holness.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
CHINESE RECEIVE WARNING FROM MONTEGO BAY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE—09/03/15
Gloria Henry, a businesswoman and the president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has expressed unhappiness with a lack of participation by the Chinese business community in the development of Montego Bay’s social fabric. Henry said that unless the Chinese alter their attitude toward the community, she believes Jamaicans should boycott their businesses. A representative of the Chinese business community said that the commercial entities were involved with Montego Bay’s people and that Henry’s characterization of them was unfair. Businesses often provide special deals to their regular customers, he said, which is why the Chinese entities are popular with local consumers. He also noted that the reason the Chinese businesses do not join the Chamber is that their business practices differ from those of that organization.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
INTERNATIONAL CHOREOGRAPHER SAYS DANCE A PROFITABLE PROFESSION—09/02/15
Tanisha Scott, a world renowned dancer and choreographer, was a guest judge at the Digicel Rising Stars Talent Show. She has been a professional dancer for over ten years and has been nominated for MTV VMA awards three times. During her visit to Jamaica, Scott, who was raised in Canada by parents of Jamaican heritage, encouraged performers to consider becoming professional dancers. Scott says the profession can be profitable if dancers take their craft seriously. She pointed to her own experiences traveling around the world, teaching, and being involved in the transformation of her clients from good dancers to memorable performers Scott began her dance career because of the strong impact of dancehall and sound-system culture in her early environment in Canada.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
BURRELL WANTS ORDER OF MERIT FOR BOLT—09/01/15
The president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Captain Horace Burrell, is requesting that Jamaica’s fourth-highest honor, the Order of Merit (OM), be given to Usain Bolt, the country’s legendary sprint champion. Burrell believes that Bolt deserves the honor for his achievements in athletics, particularly after his victories at the 2015 Beijing World Championships in China.