THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
INDECOM REPORTS 340 CIVILIANS KILLED IN POLICE OPERATIONS FROM 2013 TO 2015
A report from the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) stated that 340 civilians were killed during several police operations between July 2013 and December 2015. The report also stated that 125 of the deaths – 36 percent – happened during situations described by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) as “planned police operations.” All of the operations in which deaths or injuries occurred during the study period were conducted in breach of JCF Use of Force policies. According to INDECOM, the study of these operations revealed routine disregard for JCF internal policies and protocols. Only in one case of death during these operations dd the JCF commanders have a recorded plan, and this plan was deficient as it failed to show any steps to minimize the risks of death or injury as required by policy.
CARICOM COMMITS TO CONTINUED EFFORTS TO EMPOWER WOMEN AND GIRLS
The member nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have resolved to create positive outcomes for the empowerment of women and girls in the region as part of a global movement spurred by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in celebration of his legacy. A reception convened by the Secretary General on the initiative called “Everyone, Every Child High-Level Initiative was addressed by Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of CARICOM. He praised the Secretary General for the vision to focus on enhancing the health and well-being of women and girls worldwide.
JAMAICA’S PRIME MINISTER VISITS NEW YORK
Andrew Holness, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, is on a week-long visit to New York City where he will participate in several activities, including attending the eighth and final speech to the United Nations General Assembly by United States President Barack Obama. According to the Office of the Prime Minister, Jamaica’s participation in the UN session will include discussions of the challenges facing efforts toward sustainable development and encouraging more collaboration between the Small Island Developing States by donor nations and enhancing South-South cooperation. The Prime Minister will also participate in high-level activities, such as delivering a keynote speech at Columbia University and engaging with the Jamaican Diaspora.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO ENCOURAGE ENGAGEMENT WITH DIASPORA YOUTH
Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith announced that the government is moving to engage young people in the Jamaican Diaspora on issues of mutual interest. According to Johnson Smith, it is extremely important to build a bridge between generations and create new ways for young people to make contributions. The government will focus on obtaining more input from Diaspora youth in Jamaica’s decision-making process through facilitation efforts. In particular, Johnson Smith noted the Ministry’s plan to establish an appropriate platform that will engage youth’s full participation via a dialogue with youth leaders at each of the Diaspora location she has visited thus far: New York and Orlando in the United States and Toronto in Canada.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
DAMIEN MARLEY OPENS A MARIJUANA DISPENSARY IN THE UNITED STATES
Damien “Jr Gong” Marley, the youngest son of reggae legend Bob Marley and an international reggae artiste in his own right, has opened Stony Hill, a marijuana dispensary in Denver, Colorado. The business has been established jointly with Tru Cannabis, a dispensary company, and will provide a new retail store featuring a complete line of cannabis-based products that will include edibles, extracts, and various strains of weed. Marley said he was excited about his new project and never thought that he would be opening a dispensary, despite always being an advocate for the legalization of marijuana. Marley, 32, explained that Stony Hill is where he grew up in Jamaica. A Grammy-winning musician, Marley has also named his fourth album, which is due out in 2017, Stony Hill.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
FEMALE ARTISTE NOMINATED FOR BEST REGGAE ACT AT UK MOBO AWARDS
Female dancehall act Spice has been nominated to receive the Best Reggae Act award at the United Kingdom’s Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards ceremony. It is the first time in eight years that a female artiste has been nominated in this category. Vying for the award alongside Spice are Alkaline, Popcaan, Kranium, and Protoje, all men. Three female reggae artistes have been nominated for Best Reggae Act to date: British reggae singer Sylvia Tella in 1997 and Jamaica’s Etana in 2008. It is the fifth nomination for Popcaan, who won in 2015. Protoje and Alkaline earned their second nominations in 2016, while this is the first nomination for Jamaican-born Kranium. The MOBO Awards recognize artistes of any nationality or ethnicity who perform black music.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
REGGAE BOYZ SCHAFFER AND COLEY TO BE REPLACED
The Reggae Boyz of Jamaica are taking direction from a new panel of coaches in preparation for the Caribbean Cup competition in October 2016. According to IRIE FM Sports, there was an emergency board of directors meeting at which Carl Brown, a veteran coach, and Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore, a former national midfielder, will replace Winfried Shaffer and Miguel Coley on the Reggae Boyz coaching staff. While Shaffer is under contract until 2018, there are indications that he is being encouraged to leave his job. The Reggae Boyz have fallen by nine places in the latest FIFA Coca Cola Rankings, following a failure to advance to the CONCACAF Hexagonal round earlier in September 2016.