THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
MINISTER OF STATE EXPRESSES CONFIDENCE IN AT-RISK YOUTH PROJECT
Jamaica’s Minister of State in the National Security Ministry Peernel Charles Jr. says that he is confident that the Democratizing Innovation in the Americas (DIA) lab project to help at-risk youth through training in cutting-edge technologies. The project has already benefits more than 100 young people in Jamaica. It is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Citibank and implemented by The Trust for the Americas, Organization of American States (OAS) and Institute of Law and Economics (ILE). Speaking at the DIA Lab inauguration, Charles endorsed the effort, noting that as a developing nation, Jamaica is “thirsty for innovative minds” to help address the challenges it faces.
JAMAICA AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY HONORS 65 FARMERS
The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) has presented 65 farmers with the President’s Medal of Appreciation. The awards were given in recognition of their contributions to the island’s agricultural sector. Particularly highlighted was the “Eat What You Grow” campaign, which saved the country more than US$500 million since its inception in 2003. JAS president Norman Grant presented the medals during a ceremony at the 65th Denbigh Agricultural Industrial and Food Show in May Pen on August 6, 2017. Grant noted that the 250,000 farmers in Jamaica have done exceptionally well in contributing to the general development and stability of the nation’s economy. The agricultural sector employs about 20 percent of the island’s work force.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CARICOM LEADERS HOLD EMERGENCY MEETING TO DISCUSS VENEZUELA
Meeting in St. George’s in Grenada, the heads of CARICOM member states, met in a special gathering to discuss issues concerning the situation occurring in Venezuela. The three-hour meeting was marked by a variety of views, but focused on the promotion of a dialog among all the stakeholders in Venezuela to resolve the country’s political and social challenges. As the leaders met, the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres expressed concern that the developments in Venezuela could result in further escalation of tensions; he again sought to encourage the government and the opposition to try again to negotiate solutions that would benefit the Venezuelan people.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
THOUSANDS IN BIRMINGHAM CELEBRATE JAMAICA’S INDEPENDENCE
As many as 10,000 people attended the celebration of Jamaica’s 55th anniversary of independence at the “Jamaica in the Square” event in the heart of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. The Jamaican flag was raised in Victoria Square, while the cooking aromas of dozens of BBQs permeated the air. The flag was hoisted by Royal Navy officers, and as the 3-day festival celebration came to a close, Dean Alexander, the organizer of the event, expressed pride at Birmingham’s recognition of the independence anniversary and their expressions of love for the land of Jamaica.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
MONTEGO BAY CONVENTION CENTER RECEIVES $200 MILLION RENOVATION
The Jamaican government hopes that the $200 million renovations of the Montego Bay Convention Center in St. James will make the venue more appealing to sponsors of large events and help to stem the center’s recent financial losses, which have been totaled in the millions since the venue opened in 2011. Ownership of the center has been transferred to the Ministries of Tourism, Finance and Public Service, and over the past nine months, authorities say that $2 million losses have been transformed into a $300,000 profit. The renovations are to be completed in late November 2017 when the venue will host the global conference of the United nations World Tourism Organization.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICA POETRY FESTIVAL TO FEATURE GLOBAL ACTS
The Jamaica Poetry Festival for 2017, which is entitled “The Feast of Poetree,” will be stage August 13, 2017, at he Louise Bennett Garden Theater in Kingston. Presented by SenyAcum Edutainment together with the JCDC will feature local and international acts from Africa and the United States. This is the seventh edition of the family-friendly event. The festival pays special tribute to accomplished literary figures and poets each year. In 2017, the festival will honor Delroy Gordon, former executive director of the JCDC who was instrumental in developing the festival, Professor Mervyn Morris will receive the festival’s second annual Lifetime Achievement Award for his pioneering and visionary role in Jamaican poetry. Performing at the event will be Mutabaruka, Yasus Afari, Kabu Ma’at Kheru, Jessica Mbangeni, Kim Gaubault, Dr. Clinton Hutton, Antonia Valaire, Kimberley Wright, and special guest artiste Asante Amen, among others.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICANS MEDAL AT 2017 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN LONDON
Jamaica’s Omar McLeod won the country’s first gold medal at the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships in London on August 7, 2017. McLeod took first place in the men’s 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.04 seconds, adding the World title to his Olympic victory. Also winning medals in London were Usain Bolt, who took the bronze medal in the men’s 100-meter sprint, a surprising result for the multiple Olympic medalist in his signature event. Ristananna Tracey won the bronze medal in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. Jamaican Olympic champion Elaine Thompson finished in fifth place in the women’s 100-meter event with a time of 10.98 seconds and did not compete in the 200-meter race.