THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO ENACT LEGAL RIGHT TO SECONDARY EDUCATION—07/26/16
The government of Jamaica plans to implement legislation that will make barring or denying children access to education illegal, particularly for secondary education. Prime Minister Andrew Holness pointed out that access to education is not currently defined as a legal right in the Charter of Rights. However, he also noted that the Education Regulations and Child Care Protection Act imposes an obligation on the government to provide access to educational opportunities as a matter of law. Therefore, children in Jamaica have an entitlement to have free access to education up to the age of 18.
GREATER OVERSIGHT OF PUBLIC FUNDS PROMISED BY REID—07/28/16
Jamaica’s Minister of Information Ruel Reid assured Jamaicans that the government will take action to address the growing number of reports about blatant breaches of regulations and guidelines concerning the use of public resources and funds. Reid said the matter was “under review” and that the government is committed to ensuring that regulations are followed and that legislative provisions would be crafted to ensure better accountability from the relevant personnel. The government is “very serious” about eliminating any type of corruption in the use of public funds, Reid said.
JAMAICA TO PROVIDE AID TO VENEZUELA—07/29/16
According to Information Minister Ruel Reid, Jamaica is set to provide US$4 million in assistance to Venezuela. The financial assistance will be used to provide food, medicine, and fertilizer to Venezuela, which has experienced high rates of inflation and serious food shortages. Conditions in Venezuela have driven its citizens to violence in the form of foot riots and mass looting. In May 2016, Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro participated in bilateral discussions with the Jamaican government looking for solidarity from Caribbean nations to counteract calls for a referendum designed to remove him as leader of the country. Jamaican and Venezuela have had close ties for years and are both members of regional organizations like PetroCaribe and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICANS IN U.S. TO ATTEND CELEBRATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE—07/25/16
Jamaicans in Washington DC, Baltimore, and Atlanta are ready to attend events scheduled to mark the 54th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence. Activities are slated to begin on August 1, 2016, with the official start of an art exhibit of works by Jamaican artist Michael Escoffrey at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington. In Baltimore, Maryland, the Jamaica Association of Maryland will stage its yearly independence ball, which will feature the presentation of the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Public Service to Jamaican-born state senator Shirley Natham-Pulliam. On August 7, 2016, the Jamaican Embassy will host the yearly Independence Thanksgiving Service on the campus of Howard University’s School of Theology, where a message from Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness will be read.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
MORE PROTECTION OF FISHING TERRITORY PLANNED BY GOVERNMENT—07/28/16
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that his government plans to take stronger action to protect the nation’s territorial waters against poachers. Holness stated that securing Jamaica’s natural resources will allow companies such as Rainforest Seafoods to succeed and thrive. Rainforest Seafoods in the largest supplier of top-quality fish and seafood in the Caribbean, supplying both foreign and domestic markets. According to Holness, Jamaica loses some US$10 million per year to illegal fishing. He stated that fishing jurisdiction is critical and if protected appropriately can provide major contributions to the nation’s growth and development. Jamaica’s jurisdiction of the fishing space is 25 times the size of the country’s landmass, yet its economic value has not been fully tapped.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
FILM ABOUT MISS LOU STILL IN THE WORKS FOR LITTLE-WHITE—07/27/16
Filmmaker Lennie Little-White continues his quest for funding to make a film that celebrates the life of Jamaican folklorist Louise Bennet-Coverly, better known as Miss Lou. On the tenth anniversary of her death, Little-White renewed his commitment to making the film “as soon as possible.” He has exhausted his own financial resources and is seeking sponsors to fund the rest of his project. The major portion of the film was shot when he conducted an in-depth interview with Miss Lou during a visit to Jamaica in 2003, three years before her death in Toronto, Canada. Little-White hopes to add some of the dramatic works written by Miss Lou performed by local theater artistes, plus comments from other entertainers, such as the Rastafarian dub poet Mutabaruka, who had previously done recordings with Miss Lou.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
HYDE EAGER FOR RIO OLYMPICS AFTER HISTORIC PERFORMANCE IN POLAND—07/28/16
Jaheel Hyde, two-time world Under-20 400-meter hurdles winner, is focusing on the Rio Olympic Games after defending his title in the obstacle event at the Champions in Poland. Hyde retained the title with a time of 49.03 seconds, defeating Taylor McLaughlin of the United States and Kyron McCaster of the British Virgin Islands. Hyde, 19, said the win helped him to reach his goals for the season, but he is keeping his greatest expectations for the Rio Games.