THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA MOVES UP ON GLOBAL ENERGY INDEX
Jamaica has risen 74 places on the Global Energy Index, which determines a nation’s transition toward more secure, sustainable and affordable systems of energy. According to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, the new ranking places Jamaica among the 127 countries found to be making significant progress in the energy sector since 2009. Holness also said that his government is continuing to increase and diversity the renewable energy options within Jamaica’s energy sector to drive more economic growth. For the nation to grow, it must become energy efficient, Holness said.
LEGISLATORS PASS BILL TO CREATE NATIONAL SERVICE CORPS
The Defense (Amendment) Act, was passed in Jamaica’s House of Representatives. The bill is designed to create the Jamaica National Service Corps (JNSC) inside the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF). According to Andrew Holness, Jamaican Prime Minister, the intent of the bill was not to reduce the army’s recruitment requirement, but to establish an additional “arm of the army.” Under the Act, individuals will join the National Service for a year and then choose if they want to sign on with the army for a longer period.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
AUTHOR FROM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC WINS CARIBBEAN LITERATURE PRIZE
Rita Indiana Hernandez of the Dominican Republic received the Grand Prix Littéraire Région Guadeloupe for her novel “La Mucama de Omicunlé (Omicunle’s Room Maid).” The prize was awarded at the 5th Caribbean Writers Congress. Rita Indiana, who was born in Santo Domingo, is also a singer-songwriter whose writings focus on social and ethical issues of the Caribbean region. In her prize-winning novel, Rita Indiana describes how the world will be destroyed if the process of dehumanization and violence is not stopped. The Grand Prix Littéraire Région Guadeloupe is awarded to a literary work published in French, English or Spanish during the previous three years by a jury of major writers and literary figures from the Caribbean.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
HOLNESS ANNOUNCES “GLOBAL CONNECT JAMAICA”
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the creation of a new entity called “Global Connect Jamaica (GloJam)” to make the ties between the country and members of the Diaspora stronger. According to Holness, GloJam is meant to encourage more individuals to invest in Jamaica via public-private partnerships. The entity will be developed by reshaping the Jamaica Diaspora Foundation and the Jamaica Diaspora Institute. Its creation is in line with the government’s commitment to finding ways to facilitate greater involvement in the island’s social and economic growth among Diaspora members.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JOB LOSSES LOOM DUE TO MERGER OF ITA AND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY
The proposed merger of Jamaica’s Transport Authority and the Island Traffic Authority (ITA) could mean job cuts, according to Mike Henry, Minister of Transport and Mining. He said that the merger represented a portion of the stipulations imposed by a standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund to avoid duplicating staff, administration and expenditures. The merger is scheduled for completion in 18 to 24 months.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
TESSANNE CHIN TO RETURN AS MENTOR AT JAMAICA MUSIC CAMP
Singer Tessanne Chini will make her second appearance as a master class mento at the yearly Jamaica Music Camp in 2017. Chin said she was grateful for the chance to share her musical knowledge at the camp, noting in a Gleaner interview that she decided to return because she had been so moved by the amazing young people she had met. Chin said she was inspired by their talent and their eagerness to learn. Chin favors a hands-on approach to mentoring instead of sticking to specific lesson plans. She likes to allow her classes to evolve in a natural way as she participates in her sessions with the campers.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
CHAMPIONS THOMPSON AND BLAKE TO HEAD JAMAICA’S IAAF/BTC TEAM
Elaine Thompson, Jamaica’s double Olympic sprint champion and Yohan Blake, the 2011 100-meter world champion, also of Jamaica, will lead their country’s 41-member team at the IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas 2017. The event will be held in Nassau on April 22-23. Thompson will run in the 4×100-meter and 4×200-meter races will be joined at the shorter distance by Natasha Morrison and Christania Williams, Simone Facey and Sashalee Forbes. The longer distance team includes Christine Day, Shericka Jackson and Stephenie Ann McPherson. Five of the six male athletes who helped Jamaica win Olympic gold in 2016 in the 4×100-meter relay were chosen for the team. Along with Blake will be Asafa Powell, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Jevaughn Minzie. Nickel Ashmeade, who was on Jamaica’s winning 4×100-meter team in Rio, plans to lead Jamaica to its third successive 4×200-meter title at the IAAF World Relays, running with teammates Rasheed Dwyer and Warren Weir.