THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
HOLNESS TO REVIEW NATION’S FOREIGN POLICY
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness disclosed that his government will begin a review of the country’s foreign affairs and foreign trade policies. On his way to a working visit in Singapore, Holness told foreign affairs officers that the nation’s policies must move on from a utilitarian approach to one that is more supportive of economic and social developments. According to Holness, the policies have not brought any real benefits to Jamaica and a new strategic view must be applied. The government needs to build relationships in the global market with countries that will complement Jamaica’s activities.
JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER TO CELEBRATE JAMAICA 55 AT GALA IN NEW YORK
Celebrations of Jamaica’s 55th anniversary of independence will culminate in a grand gala event to be held in New York City on August 26, 2017. This will be an historic event because it will be the first time that two Jamaican Prime Ministers will attend the gala. Holness will be joined by former Prime Minister Edward Phillip George Seaga. Seaga will be recognized for his contributions to the country. Patrick Ewing, Jamaican American retired Hall of Fame basketball player and head coach of the Georgetown Hoyas, will also attend and receive the Son of the Soil Award.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
PRIME MINISTER OF BAHAMAS SAYS POLITICIANS NOT ABOVE THE LAW
Bahamian Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis stated that he is “disturbed” that some believe the nation’s politicians are above the law and should not be accountable for any alleged misconduct while they hold office. According to Minnis, it is not fair and it is unjust for politicians to become wealthy from corrupt practices while their citizens are left behind. He called for a new era of public integrity and reform. Minnis made his remarks about Philip Brave Davis, opposition leader, was alleged to have abused the power of his office. Minnis emphasized his belief that all individuals must be treated equally under the law.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
MIGRANT WORKERS SENT BACK TO JAMAICA FROM CANADA
Some Jamaican migrant workers in Canada are being sent back to their home island against their will and with weeks remaining in the growing season because there is not enough work. The early returns are catastrophic for the workers who depend on the season for their annual living. Workers at Kinglake Freshpac Farm near Vienna in Ontario receive $11.41 per hour while harvesting cucumbers and asparagus. The workers say they send most of their pay back home so their families can eat and that they must pay significant costs just to travel to Canada for things such as work permits, background checks and medical examinations. Some of the workers say they were singled out for return because they complained about problems with their paychecks. Frank Pihokker, the owner of the farm, says this is not true; there just isn’t enough work because lack of rain limited his cucumber crop. The Jamaican migrants receive work in Canada through the seasonal agricultural workers program in Jamaica, which sends over 20,000 workers to Ontario every year.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
BANKS STAY CLEAR OF GANJA INDUSTRY REVENUES
There is some fear among the stakeholders in Jamaica’s ganja industry that its growth could be hampered by uncertainty about where business revenues may be banked. Local financial institutions are afraid they could risk being dissociated from their counterparts in the United States for taking money from those in the marijuana industry. Federal law in the US still takes a dim view of weed in keeping with the United Nations Conventions on Dangerous Drugs. Concern about the issue was raised by Hyacinth ‘Cindy’ Lightbourne, chair of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), at the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference. According to Lightbourne, US banks are the “lifeblood” of Jamaican banks and that US banks must comply with federal laws and regulations. Jamaican banks rely on US banks for international transactions.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
VOGUE WEBSITE FEATURES SPICE, “FASHION-FORWARD QUEEN OF DANCEHALL
Grace Hamilton, who is better known as Spice, has garnered the attention of Vogue, the top authority in the fashion world. A few days following her performance at Reggae Sumfest 2017, Vogue singled her out as the “fashion-forward queen of dancehall.” According to Diedre Dyer writing for Vogue, there was considerable festival style at Sumfest, but the top show-stopping moment came with Spice on center stage to perform her late-night set. She arrived on a four-poster bed with satin sheets and fluffy pillows and performed her hit “Sheet.” Vogue noted her “fearless ever-changing wardrobe” is redefining dancehall style. Spice’s stage shows are marked by her attire, which includes elaborate bodysuits and many colorful wigs. She developed her high fashion sense at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
ANDRE BLAKE RECEIVES GOLDEN GLOVE AWARD AT GOLD CUP FINAL
Andre Blake, the captain and goalkeeper of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz team, received the Golden Glove award at the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup competition following his team’s loss to the United States. Blake is the first Jamaican to be awarded the Golden Glove at the Gold Cup. He was recognized as being the best goalkeeper at the tournament and lived up to his MVP status. The Jamaican team was defeated after Blake, the top goalkeeper at the Gold Cup, had to leave the match due to an injury of his right hand. The loss in the final was Jamaica’s first loss at the tournament.