THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
INTERNET ACCESS COULD BE BASIC HUMAN RIGHT, SAYS HOLNESS—05/28/16
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness believes that access to the Internet could be seen as a basic human right around the world within 10 or 15 years. According to Holness, the fact that Jamaicans must produce a physical identification document to do business with the government could become obsolete. He said he is ready to take action to empower people to become more prosperous in the future, and guaranteed Internet access could be a part of that effort. Countries that take action to promote all-digital transactions will have a competitive edge in the near future. He is calling for Jamaica to create a digital platform that allows easy access to government services for citizens.
ETHIOPIA LOOKING TO DEVELOP COLLABORATION WITH JAMAICA—05/31/16
Girma Birru, the Ethiopian Ambassador to Jamaica, North America, and Mexico, is visiting Kingston to find ways his country and Jamaica can enhance their collaborations in tourism, education, sports, culture, and air transportation sectors. According to Jamaica’s Ministry of Commerce, Ambassador Birru will meet with the Minister of Education, Youth and Information Ruel Reid; Minister of Gender, Culture, Entertainment and Sport “Babsy” Grange; Minister of Transport and Mining Michael Henry; and representatives of the Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Ministry to discuss bilateral agreements. He will tour private-sector businesses, including Sutherland Global and Red Stripe as well. Birru is the first Ethiopian Ambassador to visit Jamaica.
SIXTEEN CASES OF ZIKA VIRUS CONFIRMED IN JAMAICA—06/02/16
Dr. Christopher Tufton, Jamaican Health Minister, announced that there have been 16 confirmed Zika cases on the island to date. He also noted that the total number of possible Zika virus cases is higher than that of the confirmed cases. Dr. Tufton stated that 1,387 notifications have been classified as suspected Zika cases. There have been no cases of microcephaly or Guillain Barre Syndrome confirmed. The Health Ministry has acknowledged that the current system for reporting suspected Zika cases is not functioning well. The system relies on a manual process in which doctors fill out forms that are sent to the Ministry or a health department. A new reporting system is nearly ready to be implemented, however, and should be in operation with a few weeks.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
ITY AND FANCY CAT HEADLINE THREE-CITY COMEDY TOUR IN UK—05/31/16
Jamaica’s popular comedians Ity and Fancy Cat traveled to the United Kingdom to perform in a three-city tour of Bristol, Manchester, and London. The tour, called “Laff from Yaad,” included British comedians Slim and Smash and Dizzle the Comedian. Ity and Fancy Cat were two of the Jamaican performers who also included Prince Pine and Danell Di “The Rebel.” The Jamaicans were hosted at a reception sponsored by the Jamaica National Building Society UK in Brixton.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
CHINA INVESTS OVER $100 BILLION IN JAMAICA DEVELOPMENT—06/01/16
Jamaica has received more support from China for development than from any other nation or funding agency. It is estimated that the People’s Republic of China has provided Jamaica with $103 billion in loans and grants for nearly a dozen separate projects on the island. The funds were approved over a period of several years and do not include the costs associated with the North-South Highway. The cost of that project alone was US720 million. China is the second largest economy in the world. Most of the loans to Jamaica for infrastructure upgrades and development, according to a 2015 Economic and Social Survey Jamaica (ESSJ) from the Planning Institute of Jamaica. The survey found that development aid from China to Jamaica totaled US$880.4 million for 11 projects, while loan financing represents over 90 percent of the amount.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
ZANJ RADIO: ONLINE MUSIC STATION THAT HAS A SOCIAL MESSAGE—06/02/16
Zanj Radio creator Orrin Carr, 28, also known as Zanj Rracc, says his Internet radio station is “radio with a purpose.” Carr started the station in 2010 from his dormitory room at Kingston’s University of the West Indies Mona campus. It takes its name from the Zanj People of Eastern Africa who, after being enslaved by Arabs, conducted the first successful slave revolt of Africans outside of Africa. For 15 years, the Zanj had their own state within the Muslim Caliphate, which was a safe place for Africans who fled enslavement and persecution in that region. The station itself broadcasts a wide range of African-based music, and while it currently broadcasts only from Friday night to Monday morning, Carr wants to create a platform to showcase lesser known musicians. The station’s four DJs include DJ Afifa, who is the founder of Di Institute for Social Leadership, a grassroots education project that applies art and creativity in learning for people living in violence-prone neighborhoods. Carr has an English degree and has taught English at Tower Street Adult Correctional Center and St. Catherine Adult Correctional Center, as well as at maximum security prisons in Kingston and Spanish Town. He has been offered a place at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology to study for a Master’s degree in media management. Alumni of the program include the founders of Spotify and SoundCloud.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
RUSSELL CONTINUES IMPRESSIVE SEASON IN 400-METER—06/02/16
Janieve Russell of Jamaica, the former World Junior Champion, continued to give an impressive performance when she competed in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at the Golden Gala Rome Diamond League. She achieved a world-leading time along with the top spot in the race. Russell ha already won at the Rabat Diamond League in a field that included fellow Jamaican Kaliese Spencer, who finished sixth, Russell finished in 53.96 seconds, the fastest time in the world in 2016 and her personal best result.