THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
BLUE LAGOON TO BE DECLARED NATIONAL MONUMENT
The Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) plans to preserve the Blue Lagoon as a national heritage site. The organization wants the government to declare the area a national monument by the end of 2017. A plan to manage the area has already been drafted. The plan would prevent waste from being channeled into the lagoon and prevent the enclosure of the Blue Hole – another name for the lagoon – by private individuals or groups. The lagoon is a nesting place for turtles, manatee, and a home to stingrays. According to Dorrick Gray, executive director of the JNHT, the declaration is expected to be completed by the end of the year. All that remains is a ministerial sign-off.
JAMAICA ABSTAINS FROM UN VOTE ON JERUSALEM
Although seven CARICOM member states joined with the majority at the United Nations to support a resolution that urged the United States to rescind its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Jamaica abstained from the vote. Prior to the vote, the US president and its ambassador to the UN warned that aid would be withheld from states that “disrespected” the US and did not vote in favor of its decision.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
PRIME MINISTER OF DOMINICA CONSIDERS “BLACKLISTING” SOME COUNTRIES
Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica, has apparently suggested that CARICOM nations think about putting international firms on a blacklist. His remarks were viewed as expressions of frustration following the inclusion of some Caribbean countries on a list of tax havens from the European Union (EU). The EU contends that these countries are not doing enough to stop the practice. This action angered some regional leaders. While CARICOM works to ensure the security of the world, said Skerrit, people should appreciate that there are capacity constraints linked to the small jurisdictions in the Caribbean and that maybe CARICOM should make a list of its own.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
CIN, JAMAICAN DIASPORA DISPLAY STRONG TIES
The Caribbean International Network (CIN) held its 13th annual lecture in New York at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, which featured Diana McCaulay, the outgoing CEO of the Jamaica Environmental Trust, speaking on the history of Jamaica’s environmental policy and its progress. The CIN Lecture offers a chance of Diaspora members to engage on topics of critical importance to Jamaica and helps to maintain and strengthen connections between the Diaspora and the needs of the home island. CIN serves as the chief source of Jamaican TV news and programming, which keeps the Diaspora informed about issues affecting Jamaica.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
DEBT REFINANCING AT JAMAICAN ENERGY PARTNERS TO BRING SAVINGS
The Jamaica Energy Partners (JEP), an independent power provider, has refinanced $17 billion in debt, which allows the firm to begin plans for a new national gas facility. The government’s utility regulator’s request for proposals for more energy capacity in Jamaica’s grid will impact the timeline for the plant. According to Wayne McKenzie, CEO of JEP, says a plan is being put together so everything will be ready whenever the government is prepared to move ahead. The refinancing arrangement is expected to result in US$500,000 in yearly savings for consumers.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
LITTLE THEATRE MOVEMENT TO BRING ANANSI TO DANCEHALL
The Little Theatre Movement (LTM) plans to stage its 2017 national pantomime, “Dapper Dan the Anansi Man” starting on Boxing Day. The performance will be LTM’s 76th pantomime. It tells the story of a dancer-producer-businessman who is considered a trickster by most people, but who is only looking for ways to make money from the dancehall entertainment scene. Dapper Dan, who will be played by LTM 14-year veteran Ray Jarrett, is said to be based on a real person that writer Barbara Gloudon, who is in her 80s, actually met sometime in her life.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN SIGNED TO PHILADELPHIA UNION
Kingston native Cory Burke will leave the Bethlehem Steel FC and move to the Philadelphia Union. Burke made 13 goals in two seasons with the Steel FC and lead the club to its first-ever appearance in the USL Cup Playoffs. According to Earnie Stewart, sporting director of Union, the team is glad to sign Burke for its First Team and cited his excellent performance while at Steel FC. Brendan Burke, coach of Steel FC, wished Burke well and said he was excited for him as he takes this next step in his career.