THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
HOLNESS WELCOMES DANCEHALL DUBPLATES
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness has welcomed the political songs provided to his reelection campaign by music artists like Shenseea and Skillibeng. The dancehall industry in Jamaica has entered election mode, as artists and designers are getting in on one of the few opportunities to promote themselves during the COVID-19 quarantine conditions. While the activity has some critics, the “campaign dubplate craze” has continued with the Prime Minister obtaining a long list of endorsements from major stars, including Masicka, Jahvillani & Teejay. Shenseea, Ishawna, Skillibeng, and Intence. Pollsters and political observers believe that Holness is the top contender in the General Elections, which will be held on September 3, 2020.
JAMAICA’S GENERAL ELECTION FEATURES OVER 130 CANDIDATES
According to information from the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (EOJ), the nation’s two major political parties have nominated candidates to contest all 63 seats at stake on September 3, 2020. Candidates from the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP, the current ruling party, and the opposition People’s National Party (PNP) have filed nomination paperwork in all 63 constituencies, with the total number of candidates reaching 139. There are also 13 independent candidates seeking office in the General Election. The independents are contesting seats in Those independents will contest the seats in St Ann North Western, Trelawny Northern, Trelawny Southern, St James Central, Westmoreland Central, Westmoreland Eastern, Manchester Central, Clarendon North Western, St Catherine North Western, St Catherine South Western and St Catherine North Central. The 139 candidates include 34 women. Both current Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips have said they are confident they will win the election.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
“UNDERWATER SPACE STATION” SLATED FOR CURACAO
Ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau has announced that he is planning a project that will build an “underwater space station” in the Caribbean island of Curacao. The project, named PROTEUS, which is described as an “underwater version” of the International Space Station. It is designed to be the most advanced scientific research station and habitat in the world. Cousteau noted that the ocean is “out life support system” and must be part of solving the planet’s problems arising from climate change, rising sea levels, extreme weather, and viruses. These issues represent a multi-trillion-dollar risk to the world’s economy, he said. PROTEUS is planned as the first in a network of underwater habitats meant to find meaningful ways to protect Earth’s future. It will be four times larger than any previous underwater habitat and be powered by wind, solar, and ocean thermal energy sources.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
WEST INDIAN COMMUNITY IN HARTFORD EXCITED BY KAMALA HARRIS CANDIDACY
The candidacy of Senator Kamala Harris, who is running for Vice President of the United States on the Democratic Ticket with presidential candidate Joe Biden, is breaking many barriers. As the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, Harris is the first Black woman and first Asian-American politician to run on the presidential ticket of a major US political party. As such, the West Indian community in Hartford, Connecticut, is extremely proud and excited, with community members calling it a “monumental” occurrence, and they see her candidacy as a real expression of the American dream. They also see themselves in her story of being raised by two immigrants. Connecticut has the fifth-largest Jamaican immigrant community in the United States with a population of more than 50,000. It is also home to significant numbers of immigrants from Haiti, Barbados, and other West Indian countries.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
SHARKIES SEAFOOD WINS TRIPADVISOR TRAVELERS’ CHOICE AWARD
Alwyn Brown, the owner of Sharkies Seafood in St. Ann, announced that his restaurant has received a 2020 Travelers’ Choice Award as the best eatery in the region. The award is based on reviews from actual diners provided in 2019. Browns said that the award illustrates what Jamaica represents, as Sharkies and its sister Plantation Smokehouse, are locally owned and operated. The restaurants purchase and use only Jamaican products and services and consider themselves part of a community that provides wholehearted support for its members and creates jobs for them. Sharkies has hosted numerous food initiatives, including the annual Seafood Festival, and its partnership with Appleton Estate Signature Nights brought artists like Beenie Man, Agent Sasco, Romain Virgo, Richie Spice and others to local audiences.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
POPCAAN LISTED ON BILLBOARD TOP 200 CHART, MAKES OBAMA PLAYLIST
Jamaican dancehall artist Popcaan has achieved two significant global achievements recently as he made the Billboard Top 200 hits chart and also was listed by former United States President Barack Obama on his summer playlist for 2020. Both these goals were attained through the recently release “Fixtape” compilation, which debuted on the Billboard chart at Number 94. Popcaan’s song “Twist and Turn” was featured on the Obama playlist. The song also showcases Drake and PartyNextDoor. According to Popcaan’s sister, Squid, the whole “unruly” camp is overwhelmed by her brother’s achievements, but she is happy that the hard work he put in is returning real results. Popcaan was listed on the Billboard R&B/HipHop chart in 2012 for his single “Only Many She Want” and had top positions on the Billboard Reggae charts on several occasions.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
REGGAE BOYZ PREPARING FOR WORLD CUP QUALIFING VERSUS MEXICO
Jamaica’s senior Reggae Boyz squad plans to start its pursuit of a 2022 FIFA World Cup spot against the strong opposition of rival Mexico. This is the first of the CONCACAF qualifying campaign, which begins in June 2021. The details of the campaign were announced during a live official draw at FIFA’s base in Zurich by the FIFA and CONCACAF. The new qualifiers will feature three rounds and give all contending associations an equal chance to compete for the three-and-a-half spots to the showpiece. The Reggae Boyz team, which is ranked 48th, is the fourth in CONCACAF and so is safely positioned in the third and final round where they will wait for three other teams to complete the final eight battling for these coveted sports. Others in the so-called “big five” teams are top-ranked Mexico, the United States, Costa Rica, and Honduras. Thirty CONCACAF teams will compete in the first round, but only six group winners will advance to the second round. First-round games will be played in October and November 2020, with the second round played in March 2021.