THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
CHRISTOPHER “DUDUS” COKE HAS NOT DIED
Despite a flurry of alleged news stories announcing the death of Jamaican drug kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke, the man is not dead. A spokesman from the Edgefield Federal Correctional Institution in the United States where Coke is serving a sentence of 23 years confirmed that Coke is alive and well. Stories circulated on social media platforms that he had hanged himself in his cell with a rope tied to a window. Coke pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges in New York in 2011. He is scheduled for release in 2030.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT FINDS JAMAICA FOSTERS “CULTURE OF FEAR”
According to a report from international human rights organization Amnesty International, Jamaica encourages the development of a “culture of fear” and police impunity. The report found these elements tied to a high right of killings by police that have gone unpunished for years. Amnesty International found just two Jamaican police officers have been convicted of murder since 2000, while some 3,000 private citizens were killed in police-related incidents during the same period. Local rights activists have made similar allegations against the police for years, and residents in poor communities often protest what they say are unjustified killings by authorities.
HOLNESS ADMINISTRATION SAYS IT IS COMMITTED TO PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS
In response to a report from Amnesty International, which called attention to the high rate of killings by police and the low incidence of police convictions for murder, Prime Minister Andrew Holness met with members of the human rights organization to assure them that his government is committed to protecting the rights of all Jamaicans. The organization made several recommendations for police force reforms, including actions to address the failure of internal accountability in the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN AMERICAN CONGRESSWOMAN CALLS FOR SAFER DETENTION CENTERS FOR IMMIGRANTS
Yvette Clarke, Jamaican American Congresswoman representing the 9th District in Brooklyn, New York, is calling on the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to consider community-based alternatives to the current immigrant detention centers, which she says are unsafe due to overcrowding. Clarke states that there are over 40,000 immigrants in detention to date and that the number is expected to grow by several thousands in the near future. According to Clarke, the current standards for detaining immigrants in the U.S. are “unacceptable” and “threatening” to those detained who are isolated from their communities and families. These individuals are at risk of physical and emotional injury and even death. At least 164 people have died while in detention, Clarke said. ICE does not provide adequate medical care or respond to emergencies appropriately, she said, and these problems are worse at privately-owned for-profit detention facilities.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
ROYAL CARIBBEAN PLANS TO SEND A NEW LUXURY VESSEL TO FALMOUTH
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has committed to sending a fourth Oasis-class luxury vessel to the Caribbean, including Jamaica. The vessel is still being built and has not yet ben named. It will replace the “Harmony of the Seas,” as the largest cruise ship in the world, and it could dock in Falmouth as early as 2018. This will provide Jamaica with the distinction of hosting the four largest ships in the world, as there are three Oasis-class ships currently calling on the port of Falmouth. The company says that security is the biggest issue in the choice of port and is satisfied with the steps taken by Jamaica to ensure the safety of cruise ship visitors.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
SINGER SEAN PAUL WANTS A MOVIE MADE ABOUT MARCUS GARVEY
Sean Paul wants to see a movie made about the life and works of Jamaica’s first National Hero Marcus Garvey, and he could soon get his way. Paul mentioned during an interview in New York that he discussed the idea with Nick Cannon, who is currently doing a film called “The King of Dancehall,” which focuses on dancehall culture in Jamaica. Paul said that he was willing to put money into the project and sees the film “as a big blockbuster “ of a movie that will be very profitable. Paul noted that Garvey is an important figure in black history and believes a movie similar to one that was made about Malcolm X should be made about Garvey. Paul also said that Jamaican movies tend to show gangsterism “and that kind of stuff,” but Garvey goes beyond that part of the culture and is an important figure in black liberation.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
BURRELL CONGRATULATES ANDRE BLAKE ON GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Captain Horace Burrell, the president of the Jamaica Football Federation, has congratulated Andre Blake, Jamaica’s first-choice goalkeeper, who received the MLS Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year Award for 2016. Blake, the top pick in the 2014 SuperDraft, plays for the Philadelphia Union. He played at the National Under-17,20 and 23 levels for Jamaica, consistently displaying a high level of passion, commitment and patriotism for the national team, according to the JFF The organization is “delighted” that Blake continues to excel.