THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
HOLNESS SAYS DEPRECIATION OF JAMAICAN DOLLAR “GROWING PAINS”
In response to the depreciation of the Jamaican dollar, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that the activity represented “growing pains.” He also said that the depreciation indicated “very poor fundamentals” in the national economy discovered by a review. Holness sought to eliminate any panic about the situation while saying he understood “from a psychological perspective” that Jamaica, which has valued its progress in terms of US dollars, experiences a devaluation of its currency with fear. Jamaica’s dollar has traded at $136.44 per US dollar recently, which represents a 12 percent depreciation, Holness noted.
COASTAL EROSION MONITORING TOWER ON TAP FOR JAMAICA
Jamaica will become the first Caribbean country to receive a coastal erosion monitoring tower. The tower will be built at Hellshire Beach in Portmore, St. Catherine. This area has experienced critical erosion of its coasts, which has been described as “dire” by authorities. The tower will be raised under an initiative of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) known as the Impact Assessment of Climate Change on the Sandy Shorelines of the Caribbean Project. The project’s goal is to create a network in the region to gain a better understanding of how climate change impacts its coastlines. The US$4 million project is being funded by the Republic of Korea via the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). Technical aid will be provided by the Government of Cuba.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CAYMAN ISLANDS SENDS IGUANA MEAT TO UNITED STATES MARKET
More than 200 pounds of iguana meat has been sent to the United States by the Cayman Islands as the private sector believes opening this market could help with the problems associated with the invasive reptiles. The green iguana meat was shipped by Spinion Limited to its subsidiary in the US. It will be processed and then offered for sale online. According to Maria Yapelli, a founder of the company, The current exports are meant for a niche market of human consumption, but once the markets for dog food and dog treats begins, Spinion expects to take “field-slaughtered” animals and begin sending about 2,000 pounds of the iguana meat to the US each week. Processing the meat for dog food requires investment in research and development, but it is viewed as a way for the Cayman Islands to profit from removing the unwanted iguanas.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN VISUAL EFFECTS ARTIST SUCCEEDS OVERSEAS
Frederick Lyn, one of just a few Jamaicans who work in the visual effects (VFX) global film industry, left the island in 2011 to pursue his career. He began by attending the Art Institute of Vancouver to study three-dimensional modeling for animation and games. He ultimately changed his plans to become an animator after watching a science film from Japan and then the Hollywood feature films “Terminator 2” and “Avatar.” A graduate of Monro College, he currently works with DNEG, an Academy Award-winning VFX firm based in Vancouver, doing lighting and digital artistry. During his short career, Lyn has already contributed effects to blockbuster films like “Furious 7,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1,” “The Emoji Movie,” “Batman vs. Superman: Death of Justice,” and “Thor: Ragnarok.” Several of these films have received top award nominations in the category of visual effects in the US and the UK. Lyn said he might have still been doing this work if he had stayed in Jamaica, “but not at the level” that it is offered to him overseas.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICAN STOCK EXCHANGE PLANS TO TRADE CRYPTOCURRENCIES
While no specific tokens have been identified to date, the Jamaican Stock Exchange (JSE) announced that it will begin trading on the digital asset platform sometime before the end of 2018. A press release stated that Blockstation, a fintech firm based in Toronto, Canada, will work with the exchange to ensure that investor can trade cryptocurrencies “within a recognized and secure regulatory framework.” The agreement between the company and JSE states that the exchange has a chance to become one of the first global stock exchanges to use a digital currency and token-trading platform. The activity will include trading, quotes, execution, and settlement services that reflect current regulations and compliance standards. According to Marlene Street Forrest, the managing director of the JSE, “We are excited to implement this service with our clients, satisfying considerable investor interest in digital assets.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICA’S CULTURE MINISTER MARKS PASSING OF ARETHA FRANKLIN
Olivia Grange, Jamaican Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, said that the world is “a little less bright” following the death of superstar American singer and civil rights icon Aretha Franklin. Franklin died on August 16, 2018. Grange stated that Franklin had been one of the best singing voices in the world for many decades, earning her title as the “Queen of Soul.” A press release from the Ministry noted that Aretha Franklin was very popular in Jamaica and visited Montego Bay in 1982 for the Jamaica World Music Festival. While mourning Franklin’s passing, Grange expressed gratitude for the “treasures” she left the world in the form of her powerful music.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN MAKES HISTORY AT CARIBBEAN JUNIOR CYCLING EVENT
Lori Sharpe of Jamaica made history at the Caribbean Junior Cycling Championships in Bermuda by winning a silver medal in the 50k road race. Sharpe, a tri-athlete, is the first Jamaican junior cyclist to win a medal while participating in a regional championship/ Speaking of her medal, Sharpe said she had no expectations about the event since it was her first cycling championship competition. She said she was “over the moon” about taking the silver medal. Sharpe also competed in the 10k time trial where she came in fourth. She went on to say that it felt good “to be able to do well for Jamaica” and to represent Jamaica in a regional race for the first time.