THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JOHNSON SMITH ISSUES WARNING ABOUT ENGAGING IN ILLEGAL MIGRATION
According to Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaicans who are involved with illegal migration are placing themselves at risk for kidnapping, human trafficking, and even death. She urged Jamaicans not to attempt unlawful migration by journeying through Mexico, Panama, or Belize. Illegal entries by Jamaicans have a negative impact on the reputation of the Jamaica passport. She noted that data from Mexico and Panama indicate that 143 Jamaicans were refused entry to Mexico between 2018 and the end of March 2023, while 2,167 Jamaicans were refused entry to Panama over the same period, and 81 were deported. Illegal migration impedes the efforts of Jamaica’s government to improve travel situations for lawful travelers.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO CONSULT WITH PUBLIC ON IMPACT OF TOURISM ON THE NATION’S ECONOMY
The government of Jamaica plans to launch a series of public consultations throughout the country to discuss matters of tourism and how the industry impacts the nation’s economy. According to Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, the tourism sector has grown by 36 percent over the past 30 years, while total economic growth has totaled ten percent. He stated that all stakeholders should understand the potential opportunities of the sector. He wants to create a framework in which the integrity and promise of brand Jamaica are assured, noting that when the tourism sector succeeds, the entire nation succeeds because the industry is a key driver of the country’s economy.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
THE BAHAMAS RECEIVED US$100 MILLION LOAN FROM CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
A policy-based loan (PBL) amounting to US$100 million has been approved for The Bahamas by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The loan is meant to provide support to The Bahamas as it works on an economic recovery following the disastrous consequences of Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic on the country. The loan is the first in a two-part series of PBLs; a second loan of US$25 million is expected in fiscal 2023-2024. The funds will allow the government of the country to implement a program of legislative, institutional, and policy reforms designed to strengthen fiscal discipline, raise revenue mobilization, and protect the vulnerable.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
KINGSTON NATIVE PRESENTED WITH AWARD BY U.S. NAVY
Jamaican Warren Allen, who is serving as a fireman apprentice in the United States Navy on the USS Iwo Jima, received an award that recognizes him for his “superior dedication.” The leadership on the USS Iwo Jima presents an award each month to the sailors who demonstrate dedication to the ship’s values of learning, improvement, wellness, ownership, and safety. Warren, who is from Kingston, was honored for exemplifying the ship’s core value of ownership. He said the award was very meaningful to him as it shows that his work and his achievements have been recognized. Warren is a graduate of Wolmer’s Boys’ School and currently serves as a machinist’s mate on the amphibious assault ship in the Amphibious Readiness Group/Expeditionary Strike Group. These groups provide ship-to-shore movement via helicopter to the Marine Corps as well as by landing craft.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
ICONIC RED STRIPE BRAND EXPANDS INTO READY-TO-DRINK COCKTAIL MARKET
Jamaica’s iconic Red Stripe brand has acknowledged that ready-to-drink cocktails are becoming very popular, and the company has responded by introducing its first rum-based drinks, Red Stripe Rum Punch and Red Stripe Rum Mojito. The new beverages represent a portion of the firm’s “unprecedented venture beyond beer.” The drinks are made with rum, mango, and lime juice in combination with natural flavors and had an ABV of 5.9 percent. According to Oscar Martinez, the senior director of marketing and innovation at Red Stripe’s parent company, Heineken USA, spirit-based cocktails are the most rapidly growing segment of the beer, wine, and spirits industry. Red Stripe is now able to tap into the trend and attract a new generation to the iconic brand. Red Stripe beer has been made in Jamaica since 1928.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
RECORDING ARTISTS APPEARING AT CHILDREN CHARITY CONCERT ANNOUNCED
The reggae artists scheduled to appear at the Issa Trust Foundation for the Children Charity Concert on May 27, 2023, include Ky-Mani Marley and Tarrus Riley. They will be joined by Grammy Award-winning vocalist Michael Bolton at the concert to be held at Couples Sans Souci in Ocho Rios. It is hoped that the concert will raise sufficient funds to begin construction of the Mary Issa Health Center near Richmond in St. Ann parish, said Issa Foundation chair, Paul Issa. The facility will provide pediatric and adolescent care. The Foundation was established in 2005 and focuses on pediatric health care for the children of Jamaica. It also addresses education and has provided computer labs at Three Hills Primary School. A charity gala event held by the Trust Foundation in 2022 that featured Third World raised US$417,000, more than doubling its stated goal of US$200,000.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA WINS MOST MEDALS AT 50TH STAGING OF CARIFTA GAMES
For the 37th consecutive year, Jamaican athletes are bringing home the highest number of medal awarded at the CARIFTA Track & Field Championships, which were held at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau, The Bahamas. Jamaican won a total of 78 medals: 40 gold, 22 silver, and 17 bronze. Among the top three medal-winning nations were the host country, The Bahamas, with 10 gold, 13 silver, and 23 bronze medals for a total of 46, and Trinidad and Tobago, which won nine gold, 10 silver, and 12 bronze for a total of 31 medals. Thirty-six of the CARIFTA medals were attained on the boys’ side, while 42 medals came on the girls’ side.