THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY WARNS AGAINST HARMING PROTECTED SPECIES
Jamaica’s National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) warned against killing, capturing, or maiming any of the island’s protected species. Violators will face substantial fines or a jail sentence. Jamaica’s four most endangered species include crocodiles, turtles, snakes and the yellow-billed parrot. Since 2015, 19 individuals have been charged with violation of the Wildlife Protection Act, but NEPA believes the number would have been greater if Jamaicans reported incidents of cruelty to wild animals. Those convicted un the law for hunting protected animals or birds or having possession of protected species can be fined up to %100,000 or imprisoned for up to a year. According to Morjom Wallock, NEPS’s director of legal and enforcement, said ignorance of the law is not a defense.
MINISTRY OF NATIONAL SECURITY SAYS JAMAICAN EYE WILL NOT HARM PRIVACY
Jamaica’s Ministry of National Security wants to assure the nation’s citizens that the national closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance system known as Jamaica Eye will not infringe their privacy rights. According to Arvel Grant, the senior director of modernization and strategic projects at the Minister, Jamaica Eye’s implementation will continued to be reviewed by authorities to ensure no privacy rights are breached. He also said that the CCTV feeds are monitored at the Joint Information and Operations Centre at the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) and requests for video footage are accommodated via an “established security protocol.” Private citizens will not be allowed to request footage, but those making police reports can say whether they saw a CCTV camera in the vicinity of an alleged crime.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
BRANSON CROUP BUYS SOLAR FARM DAMAGED BY HURRICANE
BMR Energy, part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, has purchased a four-megawatt solar facility from NRF Energy on St. Croix that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Maria. BMR will take over the power purchase agreement and the efforts to restore the solar facility. The company develops and operates clean energy projects in Latin America and the Caribbean and was purchased by Virgin Group in 2016. Branson, who owns an island in the Caribbean, said the region has a lot of clear energy resources and helping to create zero=carbon energy supplies while rebuilding the storm-damaged area is personal for him. Branson himself experience Hurricane Irma, which completely devastated the virgin Islands. Long an environmentalist, Branson met with British and US government representatives in 2017 to establish a green fund designed to rebuild the Caribbean.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
SANGSTER AIRPORT BRINGS US$52 MILLION IN REVENUE IN SIX MONTHS
The total revenues brought into Jamaica by the nation’s largest airport, Sangster International, rose by six percent between January and June in 2018. The revenues totals US$52 million according to an analysis by Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico (GAP). The amount represent $7 billion in Jamaican currency. The airport, which is located in Montego Bay, made some US$10 million in operating profit during the first six months of 2018. The increase was attributed to a rise in total passenger movements from 2.16 million in 2017 to 2.32 million in 2018. Aeronautical revenues accounted for US$38.3 million and a greater patronage at the airport shops totaled US$13.7 million.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICA SOUND SYSTEM FESTIVAL SLATED FOR AUGUST 11, 2018
The Jamaica Sound System Festival will be held at Grizzly’s Plantation Cove on Saturday, August 11, 2018. According to Yaniq Walford, part of the second-generation sound system of Alexandrea, St. Ann, the anniversary event has been renamed to reflect its contribution to a broad-based Jamaican entertainment and economic sector that goes beyond the party scene. Walford, the daughter of Keith Walford, is emphasizing the difference between the Bass Odyssey Entertainment group that puts on the event and the Bass Odyssey south system that participates in it. At the Saturday even in Priory, which is the 29th anniversary of Bass Odyssey, the group will be “capping off something that is at the core of Jamaican entertainment. We have something that is thriving.” Walford said. The festival features Bounty Killer in a sound system performance, with Black Blunt; Kosmik and Atlantic One carrying their equipment, as will Bass Odyssey Other participants include Dynamiq from South Sudan, and Chiqui Dubs from Panama. The event is sponsored by Wray & Nephew. says that Wray & Nephew Ltd has come on board as a major sponsor. “We are about
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
BOLT READY TO TRAIN WITH AUSTRALIA CENTRAL COAST MARINERS CLUB
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s eight-time Olympic gold medal champion, will train with Australia’s Central Coast Mariners football club in what the club is describing as an “indefinite training period.” According to reports, Bolt is not receiving a guarantee of a professional contract with the club, but is being welcomed “with open arms,” according the Shaun Melekamp, the club’s chief executive. According to Melekamp, the club’s goal is to be the most entertaining, innovative and community-minded brand in Australia and sees Bolt as a contribution toward that goal. Having the sprint legend train with the club and hopefully become a professional football player is a perfect fit with this portion of the club philosophy.