THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
TRAVEL BAN IMPOSED BY JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT ON SIX SOUTH AMERICAN NATIONS
The government of Jamaica expanded its restrictions on visitors coming to the island to apply to travelers from six countries in South America. These include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, and Peru. According to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the expanded restrictions were imposed following a review of conditions in South America where several countries have experienced significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases. The OPM statement also noted that more countries in South America are showing an increasing number of cases of the Brazilian variants of COVID-19, which are believed to be more easily passed from person to person. The travel ban was imposed on April 1 and will last until April 13, 2021.
GRANGE SAYS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IS A NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE
Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport, Olivia Grange, to the country’s House of Representatives that violence against women and girls represents a national security issue that must be addressed. Her statement was prompted by the disappearance and death of Khanice Jackson, 20, whose body was found in St. Catherine. Grange said that many Jamaican boys and men “develop a toxic masculinity” that is often defined by violence and aggression against women and girls. She made an appeal to the music and entertainment industry and to the media to join the effort to eliminate the “scourge of violence” against women and girls in Jamaica. She also called for collective action in the country to find solutions to this “issue of national security and justice.” Jamaicans should also praise and support law enforcement activities on the matter as evidence indicates they are improving their responses to the problem, she added.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CARLA BARNETT NOMINATED BY BELIZE FOR TOP JOB AT CARICOM
Dr. Carla Barnett, the former deputy secretary-general of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), has been nominated by Belize to fill the most important civil service job in the region. Barnett hopes to replace Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, who has been secretary-general of the regional group for two consecutive terms of five years each. Barnett served as deputy governor of the Central Bank in Belize and as the financial secretary during the nation’s first successful debt restructuring efforts in 2007. She has also been vice-president of the Senate and Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance. Dr. Barnett’s vision is for CARICOM to be something that ordinary people will defend because they feel its positive effects on their daily lives through the economic and social advances that can take place from community action.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICA COULD BENEFIT FROM PROPOSED DIASPORA CRIME FUND
A new Diaspora crime fund totaling US$10 million could provide benefits to Jamaica. The proposed fund is supported by some of the major Jamaican groups in the United States as a way to help reduce the murder rate on the home island. Under the proposal, Jamaicans living overseas would be asked to contribute US$10 to the fund, which would be headed by former members of groups like the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF), Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF); Department of Correctional Services; and Jamaica Fire Service who are based in the US. The fund proposal was initiated by former JDF Lance Corporal Mark Parkinson, who is a founding member and a past president of the Jamaica Ex-Soldiers Association (JESA).
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
NEWMAN SAYS JAMAICA’S CURRENT PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM WILL NOT SUSTAIN AN UBER-TYPE SERVICE
Egeton Newman, the president of the Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services (TODSS), said that Jamaica lacks the kind of public transportation system that will sustain a service like that provided by Uber. Newman said that he and the local public transport sector do not object to Uber, a ride-sharing company based in California, introducing its service to Jamaica, but believes “it will not last.” Uber has invited local car owners to sign up as drivers and work for the company in Jamaica. Newman noted that this is not the first time such a service has been attempted in Jamaica and that these previous attempts have not been successful. Newman strongly objects to the use of private vehicles in the transportation sector, noting that Jamaica already has a good taxi service system, but it is difficult to provide high quality service without sustainable income. He called for the discovery of “creative ways to survive.” He also said that the TODSS is not interested in joining the US-based Uber “at this time.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
BERT ROSE, A FOUNDER OF NATIONAL DANCE THEATER COMPANY OF JAMAICA, DIES AT 81
Bert Rose, one of the founding members of the National Dance Theater Company of Jamaica (NDTC), has died at the age of 81. He was admitted to the University Hospital of the West Indies in St. Andrew for observation on March 30 and passed away on April 1, 2021. Marlon Simms, NDTC artistic director, said the company is saddened by his passing as he was one of the founders of the company launched by Professor Rex Nettleford and Eddy Thomas 59 years ago. Simms called Rose a “master storyteller” that immortalized the history of Jamaica in his works and depicted the essence of the Jamaica people by telling their stories. Simms shared his personal grief at Rose’s death, describing him as “a dear friend, motivator, and mentor.” Rose joined with Sheila Barnett and Barbara Requa, also founding members of the company, to create the Jamaica School of Dance in 1970. The school was absorbed by the government later on and became part of the Cultural Training Center now known as the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA OLYMPIC ASSOCIATION PARTNERS WITH LOTTERY AND GAMING FIRM
The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) announced a “historic” three-year partnership with the lottery and gaming company Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL). The deal, which is worth $J45,000,000, the equivalent of £224,000, $308,000, or €263,000, will provide the JOA with the financial support that its president, Christopher Samuda, hopes will benefit a number of sports by inspiring a new generation of participants. Samuda said the deal reflects a mutual commitment to use sports to “inspire aspirations and to fuel ambitions of a generation of enterprising youth.” He added that the Olympic values and ideals will “characterize” the partnership and via the Olympic Invest program, will “give pursuits in sport hope to the hopeless, courage to the discouraged, faith to the faithless, dreams to the undreamt, possibility to the impossible, realism to the unreal and victory in conquering emotions of defeat.” SVL, which is based in Jamaica, launched in 1995 and has an exiting association with Jamaican sports as a sponsor of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association National Championships and as a supporter of Netball Jamaica.