THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA TO DENY ENTRY TO TRAVELERS FROM YELLOW FEVER COUNTRIES—06/25/16
Jamaica’s Health Ministry has decided to deny entry to travelers coming from countries designated by the World Health Organization as “Yellow Fever Active” unless these individuals can prove they have been vaccinated against the disease at least ten days before their arrival on the island. There have been outbreaks of Yellow Fever recently in some parts of Africa and South America; a number of passengers flying to Jamaica from Panama were denied entry on June 24, 2016, because they lacked proof of vaccination. While most cases of the disease are mild and cause headache, fever, muscle pain, and fatigue, about 15 percent of individuals suffering from Yellow Fever enter a second, toxic phase that causes serious conditions like liver damage.
HOLNESS DISMISSES IDEA THAT JAMAICA IS PREPARED TO LEAVE CARICOM—06/29/16
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that speculations about plans to leave CARICOM are wrong and that the country is not preparing its exit from the organization. According to Holness, the debate regarding CARICOM began with the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom, whereby the UK voted to leave the European Union. He said, however, that there are no plans for “Jaxit,” a term created by individuals thinking that Jamaica might be ready to follow the UK in a similar action. Holness said there was never an intention to prepare for an exit from CARICOM, only plans to strengthen the nation’s position in the regional integration process.
SECOND MAN IN CUSTODY FOR MURDERS OF U.S. MISSIONARIES—06/30/16
Dwight Henry, 25, of Wentworth in St. Mary, has been arrested in connection with the murders of two U.S. Missionaries in April 2016. He faces criminal charges for the murders of Randy Hentzel, 48, and Harold Nichols, 53, according to a report from the Jamaican Constabulary Force. Henry was designated a “person of interest” following the arrest of Andre Thomas, 25, for the murders. Both of the missionaries were shot; their bodies were found about 500 meters apart. The men were missionaries with Teams for Medical Missions, which is based in Pennsylvania, and had lived in Jamaica for several years.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICA’S FOREIGN MINISTER PROMISES CHANGE FOR DIASPORA—06/29/16
Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, noted the need to pass a National Consular Policy in order to make improvements in the relationship between the nation’s government and the Diaspora. The Minister was in Orlando, Florida, attending the Jamaica Diaspora Summit, when she said the policy approved by the Cabinet indicated that the administration of Prime Minister Andrew Holness is dedicated to creating a Diaspora network that is tied to the home island in a “real” way. Johnson-Smith stated that the policy will standardize service levels at overseas missions and allow Jamaicans in the Diaspora to feel part of the island’s culture, food, and language, even if they live overseas.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
FILM DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ON TAP IN JAMPRO, JAFTA PARTNERSHIP—06/29/16
PROPELLA! Is an initiative created via a partnership between the JAMPRO and the Jamaica Film and Television Association (JFTA) designed to support the production of five Jamaican short films. The films will be screen in September 2016 at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. The PROPELLA! Program is meant to provide support for talented Jamaican filmmakers and to gain global exposure for Jamaica’s culture through film. The five film projects include Origins (Kurt Wright and Noelle Kerr), Shock Value (Adrian Lopez), Shoot the Girl (Tony Hendricks and Natalie Thompson), Sugar (Laurie Parker, Sharon Leach, Michelle Serieux), and The Silent Ones (Gregory Lopez and Janet Morrison). The films were chosen in a blind selection process and will receive support that includes training in how to “pitch” projects, festival strategy, script consultation, directing short films, deal-making and funding. The initiative is part of JAMPRO’s strategy to help development via its Script to Screen program, which is designed to nurture Jamaica’s film talent.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
REGGAE SUMFEST 2016 TO INCLUDE VIRTUAL REALITY STREAMING—06/28/16\
The 2016 Reggae Sumfest, which is in its 24th year, will introduce live, 360-degree, virtual reality streaming to the public, including music fans around the world. The streaming program will allow the festival to be enjoyed on any device over the Internet at http://www.reggaesumfest.com/. Joe Bogdanovich, the new owner of the Sumfest franchise, believes the streaming is one of the changes that fans have expected for some time. According to Bogdanovich, Sumfest is designed to showcase local acts as they offer an authentic reggae and dancehall experience to fans. Reggae Sumfest is scheduled for July 17 through 23, 2016. Thousands of reggae fans are expected to attend the festival in Montego Bay. The festival has been called the “Greatest Reggae Show on Earth” and will include beach parties and performances by local and internationally recognized Jamaican reggae and dancehall artistes.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
BOLT EASILY MOVES ON TO 100-METER SEMIFINALS—07/01/16
In the official start to his quest for a third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter dash, Jamaica’s sprint champion Usain Bolt easily found his way through the quarterfinals at the Jamaica National Senior Championships. The competition acts the Jamaica’s trials for athletes hoping to participate in the Rio Olympic Games in August 2016. While no one in history has won three gold medals in the 100 meters, both Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce could achieve this milestone in Rio. Bolt was not the fastest sprinter in the 100-meter race – Nickel Ashmeade was faster at 10.07 seconds – but he easily qualified with a time of 10.15 seconds in the quarterfinals.