THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
HOLNESS CONTINUES REVIEW OF NIDS LEGISLATION AFTER RULING BY COURT
The Constitutional Court struck down Jamaica’s National Identification and Registration Act, which was designed to permit the introduction of a national ID system (NIDS) in the country. However, Prime Minister Andrew Holness continues to review the situation and his administration will decide on what actions to take as reports of a split in his Cabinet arise. According to Naomi Francis, press secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister, some members of the administration want to hear the government’s position on several options that remain on the table.
JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER ORDERS STUDY ON BERNARD LODGE PROJECT
In response to concerns from Jamaicans about the cost of the Bernard Lodge city in St. Catherine about costs of the project, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has ordered a review, indicating that he may be rethinking the buildout of Jamaica’s third city. His concerns are said to involve “the spreading nation of housing development” and how this may cause costs of homes to rise. Longer and more expensive travel times are also a concern. The project proposes some 17,000 houses and supporting infrastructure and an estimated 18 years to completion. It would be the first Jamaican city to be built “from scratch” in centuries.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
EIGHT CARICOM COUNTRIES OPPOSE APPOINTMENT OF VENEZUELA’S TARRE
Eight of the member nations in CARICOM in the Caribbean have sent a letter to the chair of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) to oppose the naming, by simple majority, of Gustavo Tarre to be the new Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the OAS. According to the April 22, 2019, letter, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, St Kitts-Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago had signaled their opposition to Tarre’s appointment.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS MAKES OFFICIAL VISIT TO NORWAY
Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, is making an official visit to Oslo, the capital of Norway, with the goal of strengthening trade ties and cooperation between the Scandinavian country and Jamaica. In particular, greater cooperation in the areas of renewable energy and maritime issues will be the focus of her visit. Jamaica established diplomatic missions with Norway in 1997, and the collaboration between the two nations since then has chiefly been at the multi-national level through the United Nations and bilaterally on maritime matters. Johnson Smith will call on Prime Minister Erna Solberg and sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the creation of bilateral consultations with her counterpart in Norway.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
CLIENTS OF JAMPRO CREATE OVER 14,000 JOBS
Audley Shaw, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, announced that the number of jobs created by JAMPRO clients in the 2018-2019 year totaled 14,404. The total exceeded the target of 14,156. Shaw also noted that the value of export sales by JAMPRO clients totaled US$762 million, or 43 percent above the target.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
SUMFEST GEARS UP TO BE GREAT SUCCESS
The 2019 staging of Reggae Sumfest organized by Josef Bogdanovich, the CEO and founder of Downsound Entertainment. The event, which is scheduled for July 14-20, 2019, has already sold out of its early release tickets online. The demand for VIP tickets is so high that the organizer had to tap into the advanced ticket sales market, he said/ and a platform to accommodated an extra 500 people had to be built. Many of the VIP section tickets were purchased by fans from overseas. Some industry predictions believe Sumfest will become as popular as California’s Coachella festival. To place Reggae Sumfest on that scale, Bogdanovich says, requires finding international sports.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA WINS 12 MEDALS ON DAY 3 OF CARIFTA SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Jamaica added to its CARIFTA medals total, earning 12 on the third day of the swimming competitions. Jamaica received four gold medals, four silver, and four bronze to bring the total to 46 medal won thus far. The four gold medals were won by the girls’ team led by Sabrina Lyn who turned in outstanding performance for her country. Lyn won gold in the 100-meter freestyle, 13-14 girls, with a time of 57.89 seconds. She then took a second gold in the 12-13 individual Medley with a time of 34.41 seconds. Kokolo Foster won the 11-12 girls’ 50-meter breaststroke in a record time of 34.86 seconds. The fourth bold medal was won in the 15-17 girls’ 4×200-meter freestyle relay with Britney Williams, Simone Vale, Karci Gibson and Emily MacDonald taking first place in 8:59.60 minutes.