THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JLP CANDIDAATE ANN-MARIE VAZ WINS IN PORTLAND EASTERN
Supporters of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) celebrated the by-election victory of Ann-Marie Vaz in Portland Eastern. Vaz received 9,917 votes, compared to Damion Crawford of the People’s National Party (PNP), who received 9.611. According to Glasspole Brown, Director of Elections, there was a 53-percent voter turnout rate by the time the polls closed. The by-election was held to fill the seat of previously held by Dr. Lynvale Bloomfield of the PNP, who was killed. The PNP had represented Portland Eastern since 1989.
FARMERS TO RECEIVE FUNDING TO HELP RAISE PRODUCTIVITY, IMPROVE MARKET ACCESS
A grant from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) will make it possible for the Southern Plains Agricultural Development Project (SPAD) to lease 795 hectares of land owned by the Jamaican government to farmers in Amity Hall, St. Catherine, and Parnassus in Clarendon. The grant was provided under the UK’s Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund administered by the Caribbean Development Bank. The grant will provide systems focused on essential agricultural production, market infrastructure, and marketing for farmers.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
U.S. CONCERNS RISE OVER CHINESE INVESTMENT IN CARIBBEAN
A firm based in Hong Kong has spent some $3 billion to develop and expand a deep-water container port in Grand Bahama Island. The Chinese and Bahamian investors plan to benefit from the Frereport Container Port’s ability to increase shipping through the region due to the expansion of the Panama Canal. The port will also generally enhance trade between China and countries in Latin America. The Chinese have links to the site that extend back many years, but they are under increased scrutiny from the United States, which is concerned about China’s influence and potential control over a major shipping and naval sea route and the strategic importance of Caribbean islands in general.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
UNITED KINGDOM ANNOUNCES PLAN TO COMPENSATE WINDRISH GENERATION
Asil Ahmad, the British High Commissioner to Jamaica, provided details concerning a compensation plan announced by the government of the United Kingdom for the Windrush Generation. He made his remarks at a press conference at the High Commission in St. Andrew on April 3, 2019. The plan will focus on those in the Windrush Generation who have not been able to prove their right to reside in the UK. The plan will pay eligible people who did not have the appropriate documentation to prove their status in the UK, which resulted in negative effects on their lives. These difficulties could range from loss of employment or access to housing to emotional distress or poor mental health.
Certain children and grandchildren of those arriving before 1973 and some close family members may also be eligible to apply. People who were wrongfully detained or removed from the UK could also be able to make a claim.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
BITCOIN, ETHEREUM LISTED ON JAMAICAN STOCK EXCHANGE
Through a partnership with Block Station, a Canadian technology firm, the Jamaica Stock Exchange agreed to list bitcoin and ether tokens as part of a test program designed to determine how popular these cryptocurrencies are in Jamaica. The stock exchange and Block Station have been working together since the beginning of 2019 when they announced a plan to introduce a “live digital currency trading terminal” in Jamaica. Jamaica’s stock exchange has recently been listed as one of the strongest markets in the world. The digital currencies have been growing in popularity on the island and reflect a general change in the way financial markets view them.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
DALTON HARRIS CONCERNED ABOUT HIS SAFETY AT SUMFEST
The winner of Jamaican S Factor winner Dalton Harris expressed some concerns about his personal safety after being added to the line-up for 2019’s staging of Sumfest. There had been some discussion on social media that Harris was “not yet ready” to perform at the leading reggae festival in the world. However, Joe Bogdanovich, the CEO of Downsound Entertainment and the major organizer of Reggae Sumfest, assured Harris that he will be safe when making his Sumfest debut in July 2019. Bogdanovich said that he will be contacting Harris himself to let him known he will not be hurt in any way when appearing in his home country of Jamaica. Bogdanovich added that he makes a personal representation that everything at Sumfest is “very positive, safe, and good.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
KINGSTON TO BE SITE OF CONCACAF GOLD CUP MATCHES
The CONCACAF GOLD CUP will be played in the Caribbean region for the first time on June 17, 2019, in Kingston, Jamaica, when a group-stage double-header takes place. The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football, or CONCACAF, announced that Jamaica will join Honduras in Group C. Group C will also play in Houston, Texas, on June 21 and Los Angeles, California, on June 25. The full schedule will be announced on June 10, 2019. The US will open June 18 in St. Paul, Minnesota, will play four days later in Cleveland, Ohio, and finish the first round on June 26 at Kansas City, Kansas. Semifinals are slated for July 2 at Glendale, Arizona, and the following day at Nashville, Tennessee. The final is July 7 at Chicago.