THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
VENEZUELA, JAMAICA MAKE OIL-FOR-FOOD ARRANGEMENT—08/02/16
Jamaica is exchanging food, medicines, farming materials, and construction supplies to Venezuela for oil. Jamaica plans to provide as much as $4 million worth of goods and services in the exchange. According to Dr. Wesley Hughes, the CEO of PetroCaribe Development Fund, it will be up to Venezuela to decide just what products and services they need. The trade pact will provide Venezuela with desperately needed food and medicine. Currently, the people there wait for hours in line to purchase basics like eggs, flour and milk, and often, even these products are not available. In spite of the shortages, however, the government of Venezuela refuses the help of global humanitarian organizations like the United Nations and Amnesty International, believing that accepting aid from these groups is an acknowledgment that the crisis is of its own making.
HUNDREDS OF PARTICIPANTS AT JAMAICA PRIDE EVENTS—08/03/16
The series of LGBT Pride events taking place during a week-long celebration is expected to attract many hundreds of people. PRIDE JA 2016 began with a sports day at the University of the West Indies that took place on the national holiday commemorating the emancipation of slaves in the former British colony. The High Commission of Canada to Jamaica also hosted a reception to open PRIDE JA 2016, which was attended by academics, members of Parliament and other leaders.
JAMAICAN ATHLETES IN RIO SAY VILLAGE ACCOMMODATIONS ARE “A MESS”—08/04/16
The Jamaican athletes who arrived to participate in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro were confronted with a number of unfinished accommodations and workmen still making efforts to create livable spaces. Each of the quarters is designed to house four athletes in two rooms with two bathrooms and a common area. However, these quarters were incomplete at the time of the athletes’ arrival, with buckets of paint and other materials still on site, plastic coverings on the floors, and shower areas, electrical wiring and tiles that were not finished. However, the Chef de Mission of the Jamaica team, Vishu Tolan said he thought the village was “extremely wonderful” outside of these problems and believed things would get better as the games got underway.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
USAIN BOLT INVITES KIDS FROM RIO FAVELA TO TRAINING BASE—08/03/16
Jamaica’s Olympic champion sprinter and world’s fastest man Usain Bolt brought a group of underprivileged children from Rio’s nearby favela communities to visit the training base of his national team. Taking time out from his training schedule, Bolt posed in the classic “lightning bolt” stance at the Navy Physical Education Center for photographs with the kids. On his Facebook page, Bolt wrote, “They say these children are from the most dangerous communities (favelas) here in Rio. They are our future and I’m very happy I got to meet them.” Bolt came to Rio looking to repeat his 2008 and 2012 Olympic victories in the 100, 200 and 4×100-meter events.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAPAN TO FUND PLASTICS RECYCLING PROJECT IN JAMAICA—08/03/16
According to the National Solid Waste Management Authority of Jamaica, Japan will provide most of the funding to develop a recycling pilot project in three island communities. Japan will fund some US$600,000, with the remainder paid by Jamaica’s government. The Japanese funding will come via the Japan International Cooperation Agency and will go toward waste separation, waste diversion and recycling to reduce the large amounts of polyethylene waste, which arises chiefly from plastic bottles. The project is designed to collect the equivalent of 347 tons of solid waste or 3.8 million plastic bottles.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
GRANGE PAYS TRIBUTE TO LOUIS MARRIOTT, THEATER ICON—08/02/16
Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia “Babsy” Grange paid tribute to the actor, director, broadcaster and writer Louis Marriott who died at age 81. Grange described Marriott as a “multi-talented and creative man” who made significant contributions to the culture of Jamaica. Marriott was one of the last local theater practitioners; he passed away on Emancipation Day. While saddened by his passing, Grange said his achievements will live on in his works, including “Bedward,” which is considered a Jamaican and Caribbean classic. Marriott was also a public relations specialist, highly regarded media practitioner, and served as press secretary to former Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
41 MEMBERS OF JAMAICA TEAM FIRST-TIME OLYMPIC COMPETITORS—08/03/16
The 2016 Olympics in Rio will be the first Olympic competitions for 41 members of Jamaica’s track and field team. At least 18 of these will be making their first appearance on a senior international team. The 2016 Jamaican team is the largest ever named by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association; 59 athletes will represent the island at the games. This is the first time Jamaica will have female discus throwers at the Olympics. There are also several high-profile first-timers: Elaine Thompson, who won a silver medal at the 200-meter World Championships; Omar McLeod, world-leading 100-meter hurdler; Janieve Russell who was the top Jamaica 400-meter hurdler this year; Stephenie-Ann McPherson and Shericka Jackson for the quarter-mile runs; and World Championship bronze medal winner in the shot put, O’Dayne Richards.