THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA’S GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL AID TO OLYMPIC, PARALYMPIC ATHLETES
The government of Jamaica will provide $45 million in direct financial aid to support Jamaican athletes who are preparing to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2021. Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport stated that the Ministry is collaborating with the Institute of Sports to provide the financial assistance. The funds will be given at two-week periods from now to the Olympics. Athletes in swimming, rugby, gymnastics, boxing, karate, and track and field will start receiving the funds within days. Stipends to Paralympic athletes will begin in three weeks.
ANGLICAN CHURCH SYNOD FAILS TO ELECT NEW BISHOP FOR KINGSTON
Although Canon Garth A. Minott was the only nominee under consideration to become the new bishop of Kingston at the 150th synod of the Anglican Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the synod failed to elect a new bishop on the first day of the elective assembly. Minott is deputy president, Anglican warden, and a lecturer in Christian ethics and pastoral studies at the United Theological College of the West Indies. Minott received the required votes in the House of Laity, one of the two houses that makes up the assembly, but did not receive enough votes in the House of Clergy. He also failed to receive adequate votes in a second round of voting. To succeed, a candidate must receive a two-thirds vote in each of the houses. The election was held virtually for the first time in the history of the diocese due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The position of Kingston bishop has been vacant since former Bishop Robert Thompson retired in September of 2020.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
VINCENT DECLARES RED ALERT, ORDERS EVACUATIONS AS RISK OF VOLCANIC ERUPTION RISES
The Caribbean island of St. Vincent announced a “substantial prospect of disaster” arising from says of increased seismic activity near the La Soufrière volcano indicating that an eruption is imminent. Therefore, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves issued an evacuation order. People will be evacuated to safe areas from North Union to Kingstown, on the Windward side of the island, Barrouallie to Kingstown on the Leeward side and the Grenadine Islands. Monitoring stations on the island have reported long earthquakes, suggesting that fresh magma is attempting to reach the surface and that the volcano is approaching “an explosive stage.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
MEASURE IN NEW JERSEY CITY SEEKS TO RENAME STREET TO HONOR JAMAICANS
Councilman Michael Jackson in Paterson, New Jersey, has introduced a measure that would rename a portion of 10th Avenue in the city to “Jamaica Heroes Way.” The idea has been under discussion for some time, forcing Jackson to bypass the council’s street-naming committee and place the measure on its workshop agenda. Former school board member Erroll Kerr supports the measure and submitted 500 signatures in July 2019 showing support among city residents for the renaming, which is designed to recognize the contributions made by Jamaican Americans. While the Jamaican measure has not been advanced by the street-naming council, the council has approved other naming measures, including on changing part of Grand Street to “Mexico Boulevard.” Kerr believes that Jamaicans, who have been in the city since the 1960s, are being “victimized” and not treated fairly by the council.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA’S TOURISM MINISTER EXPECTS CRUISE TOURISM TO RESUME IN AUGUST 2021
Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, announced that plans are being finalized to homeport a cruise ship from the Norwegian Cruise Line Company in advance of a return to cruise activities that have been on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bartlett welcomed the cruise line back to the island and stated that cruise activity is expected to resume in August of 2021. The local tourism sector was hit hard by the lockdown resulting from coronavirus but is expected to recover along with the rest of Jamaica’s economy now that conditions are improving. While some concerns linger about the safety of the cruise industry, Bartlett said he is confident that cruise lines are following strict COVID-19 safety protocols and assures the public that all necessary policies and strategies are being implemented to ensure a safe, seamless, and secure reopening of the tourism sector.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
CRIME STOP LAUNCHES NEW CAMPAIGN FEATURING LOCAL ENTERTAINERS
A new campaign featuring artists like Bounty Killer, Sevana and Agent Sasco has been launched by Crime Stop, a nonprofit designed to reward Jamaicans who provide anonymous information about criminal activity. The new “Take a Stand” campaign calls on Jamaicans to “take a stand” against crime. Others involved with the new video advertisement include beauty entrepreneur Tanaania, media personality Dahlia Harris, disc jockey Brush Chromatic, and social media influencer Prince Pine. Crime Stop hopes that its new public education campaign will change the “culture of silence” surrounding criminal activity on the island. In the first three months of 2021, the murder rate in Jamaica rose by six percent, compared to the same period in 2020.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
RECORD NUMBER OF JAMAICAN REFEREES CHOSEN FOR 2021 CONCACAF GOLD CUP
The 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which beings on July 10, 2021, in the United States, will see a record number of Jamaican referees officiating at the competition. Five Jamaican referees will serve, and among them is Jassett Kerr-Wilson, one of two female assistant referees to participate in the competition for the first time. The other will be from the US. The other four Jamaican referees are Daneon Parchment and Oshane Nation, who will be accompanied by assistants Nicholas Anderson and OJay Duhaney. Parchment and Nation recently completed Video Assistant Referees (VAR) training in Costa Rica. All the Jamaican referees will now participate in a hectic local and international preparatory program.