THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
BIG OIL SPILL IN KINGSTON’S HARBOR
Jamaica’s National Environmental and Planning Agency (NEPA) reported a major oil spill in Kingston Harbor near Petrojam at about 10 AM on June 20, 2017. At the time of the reporting the spill was extending toward the Gordon Cay area. A NEPA team was on site to assess the situation and work with first responders, which included the Jamaica Defense Force Coast Guard, on clean-up efforts. According to Richard Nelson, Senior Manager for the Environmental Management Division at NEPA, most of the oil was contained inside the permanent boom at Petrojam, and a skimmer was being used to remove the top layer of oil that floated on the water. As the oil sinks, containment booms or absorbent pads will be used to control its spread. NEPA and Petrojam have implemented two separate investigations to determine what led to the oil spill. The situation was upgraded to a Tier 2 spill later in the day, which allows other agencies, including the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) to assist with the clean-up effort.
BILLIONS OF DOLLARS MARKED FOR ROLL-OUT OF SPECIAL OPERATIONS ZONES
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness is providing $2.574 billion more for the Ministry of National Security to use in the introduction of the Zones of Special Operations, a crime fighting initiative. The program targets communities most impacted by high crime rates. The government was prompted to take action in response to the more than 700 reported murders that occurred since the beginning of 2017. The Zones are intended to uphold the rule of law and ensure the safety of residents inside specific geographic areas.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
BERMUDA SWEARS IN NEW PREMIER
David Burt was sworn in as Bermuda’s new Premier on July 19, 2017, after his Progressive Labor Party (PLP) won the election on the previous day. Voters put the party into office with a clear victory and mandate to govern, with 59 percent voting against the previous ruling party, One Bermuda Alliance. Burt, 38, is the youngest Premier to serve in the history of Bermuda. He has a background in technology and is viewed as having a good understanding of “the business of the future.” In a press statement, the PLP stated that the people of Bermuda had chosen a party that knows “international investment is key to economic prosperity.” On winning, Burt said that his government is “ready and willing” to work with everyone who supports putting Bermudians first.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICA’S PARA ATHLETES WELCOMED IN LONDON
Team Jamaica received a warm welcome in London where it is competing in the Paralympic Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium. According to Chef de Mission Jacqueline Cowan, who is marshalling the Jamaicans, the team combines committed and experience athletes with newcomers who want to make their mark on the international level. Chadwick Campbell, who is new to the competition, placed sixth in Men’s T13 100-meter preliminaries with a time of 11.49 seconds, but did not advance. Campbell expressed disappointment at not being in the final. His teammate, Santana Campbell, also a first-time competitor, did better than she expected in the Women’s F55 shot put, gaining sixth place with a throw of 5.95 meters in the final.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
A RECORD NUMBER OF TOURISTS VISITED JAMAICA IN JULY’S FIRST WEEK
According to Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, the island welcomed about 52,000 stopover visitors during the first week of July 2017, the highest number of arrivals in a week in recorded history. The total represented an increase of 17.6 percent over the same period in 2016. Bartlett made his announcement at an awards event of NAJASO, a nonprofit association of Jamaican organizations. Since the beginning of 2017, Jamaica has seen 2.2 million visitors and earned about $1.46 billion from the tourist sector. Bartlett attributed the popularity of Jamaica as a tourist destination to “the best attraction any country can have,” its people.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
NATIONAL DANCE THEATRE OPENS 55TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
The National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) was established at the time Jamaica became independent, and together with the country, the NDTC will celebrate its 55th anniversary in 2017. The company will host a special gala opening event at The Little Theatre in Kingston on July 21,2017. The season will feature 16 dance and musical works, including two new creations by NDTV Principal Dancers Tony Wilson and Professor Chris Walker. The season’s theme is “Reflection, Celebration and Continuity,” and the company will share with its audience the journey it has taken over the past 55 years as shaped by its exploration of the rich Jamaican and Caribbean cultural heritage.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
DARREN MATTOCKS TOP JAMAICAN SCORER IN GOLD CUP HISTORY
Reggae Boyz player Darren Mattocks, a native of Portmore, made history on July 16, 2017, when he scored in a match against El Salvador. With that score, Mattocks became Jamaica’s top scorer in the history of the CONCACAF Gold Cup with four goals. He has now achieved 14 goals for Jamaica and helped his team to the 2-0 win against Curacao. The team advanced to the quarter-finals. Mattocks was chosen for the Copa America and CONCACAF Gold Cup rosters in 2015.