THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO AID ISLANDS IMPACTED BY HURRICANE IRMA
Jamaica’s government has sent help to Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas, joining efforts to help the islands recover from Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm. Desmond McKenzie, local government minister, informed Parliament that upon receiving a request for help from Ronald Jackson, the executive director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDMEA), the government took quick action to activity its local sub-regional coordination center. The emergency response team includes Jamaica Defense Force members, the National Environmental Planning Agency, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency management, National Works Agency, and other technical support factions.
JAMAICA TO PULL LOW-VALUE COIINS FROM CIRCULATION
According to Ruel Reid, Jamaica’s Minister of Information, the government will pull all one-cent, ten-cent, and 25-center coins from circulation. The action is relating to the Bank of Jamaica Act, which gives the bank the power to call in any monetary notes and coins on payment of their face value upon the provision of three months’ notice. Once the notice expires, the notes/coins will no longer be legal tender. The decision to remove the currency was reached following an assessment showing that the use of coins has been decreasing since 2005. Once these low-value coins are withdrawn, the only legal coin denominations will be the $1, $5, $10, and $20.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
HISTORIC BUT DECREPIT STRUCTURES IN CUBA NO MATCH FOR IRMA
Havana was home to numerous historically significant Cuban colonial buildings, as were many other cities in the country, but these structures could not withstand the force imposed by Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm that cut a path across the island nation. Seven individuals were killed when one of these buildings collapsed. Three others were killed by falling objects or drowning, bringing the death count to ten in Cuba and 24 in the Caribbean. Irma brought Cuba’s worst death total since 2005 when 16 people died in Hurricane Dennis. With the average state salary at about $25 per month, and government agencies struggling with a lack of cash, most of the buildings had seen little maintenance since the 1950s. Havana was not alone in the catastrophe. Over 100 houses were destroyed in Matanzan Province, leaving hundreds homeless in all neighborhoods..
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
NEW YORK ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS HOSTED BY SHAGGY, TARA WALLACE
The Image Entertainment and Distinction (IED) Awards honor influential women, celebrities, business people, and philanthropists for service to their communities. The awards, which have been given since 2013, were hosted in Brooklyn on September 30, 2017, at the restored Kings Theatre by Grammy-winning reggae artiste Shaggy and Tara Wallace of the television program “Love and Hip-Hop New York.” IED CEO Madonna Williams said the organization is proud to honor individuals who have made contributions or established trends in their careers and communities. The awards’ mission is to empower, encourage, and honor those all areas of life. Receiving the Lifetime Achievement in Music Awards were reggae singer Marcia Griffiths and calypso king, The Mighty Sparrow. Receiving the International Award in Music was Maxi Priest, while R&B singer Mel’isa Morgan received the Lifetime Image Award.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
NEW WEBSITE LAUNCHED FOR PROMOTION OF SMALL INNS, BOUTIQUES
Jamaica is well known for its variety of all-inclusive resorts, but the island is also home to small Jamaican-owned inns and boutique hotels. Scattered along the coastline and on mountain peaks, these smaller accommodations sometimes have difficulty gaining attention from the broader tourist market. Now, Jamaica has provided an online marketing and reservation system that allows these venues to have more visibility. Guests can make direct bookings through the site as well. The site is a project of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and already has some 300 boutique hotels and inns participating. According to Marcia McLaughlin, deputy director JTB’s tourism marketing, industry trends show that visitors are looking for the more intimate experiences offered by boutique inns and hotels. Website is partnered with GuestServe Inc., a Canadian-based provider of online reservations services.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
FASHION DESIGNER IN CLARENDON TAKES DANCEHALL FASHION GLOBAL
Jerome Johnson, a fashion designed based in Clarendon, has created a brand of clothing that he thinks has global potential. J-Jays Clothing emphasizes dancehall fashion, which Johnson says is “captivating” and deserving of being on the world stage. With a crew of talented designers and manufacturers in Jamaica, the brand is moving toward an “international way of thinking” that will grow the business. J-Jays clothing line is preparing to expand its current line of caps, swimwear, t-shirts, tanks and dresses overseas. Ultimately, the brand will include footwear, cologne, and jewelry.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
BOLT OLYMPIC RELAY CASE SCHEDULED FOR HEARING IN NOVEMBER 2017
The Court of Arbitration for Sport(CAS) in Switzerland will hear an appeal in the case of the 2008 Olympic title taken from Usain Bolt and Jamaica’s men’s relay team. In November 2017, the court will hear Nesta Carter challenge the disqualification of the team by the International Olympic Committee. The verdict is expected to be reached within weeks. Carter tested positive for use of a banned stimulant at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He and Bolt were members of the 4×100 meter relay team, which won its event with a world record time of 37.10 seconds. Carter ran the opening leg, with Bolt taking the third leg. The team also included Michael Frater and Asafa Powell. Carter and the team was disqualified in January 2017, a ruling that spoiled Bolt’s perfect Olympic triple-triple record: gold in the 100, 200, and 4×100 meters in three consecutive games.