THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
ONLINE PASSPORT RENEWAL APPLICATION AVAILBLE FOR ADULTS
Jamaica’s Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) has made available to adults the capability pursue the passport renewal application policy online. By logging into the PICA website, individuals can begin the application process from anywhere in the world and at any time of day. The profess requires an applicant’s original passport, Jamaican citizenship document, digital photograph of relevant passport size that is stored on a computer, a valid Visa or Mastercard credit card for paying fees, and a valid operational email address at which to receive messages from the government. The online system is expected to improve PICA’s services to its clients, according to Andrew Wynter, CEO of the agency.
JAPAN PROVIDING PATROL VESSELS TO AID MARINE SECURITY IN JAMAICA
Japan has announced that it plans to provide Jamaica with patrol and rescue vessels in order to help with making the country’s maritime security stronger and to aid with disaster response capability. The announcement followed an agreement made between Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in recognition of the importance of “free and open” maritime order during the meeting between the two leaders in Tokyo recently.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES TAKE REGIONAL APPROACH TO ADDRESS DISASTERS
In recognition of the recurring natural disasters and the costs associated with recovery, nations in the Caribbean have decided to work together to mitigate the consequences. While some countries in the region continue to lobby for aid from the United States, which has reduced its contributions to the Caribbean, others are partnering to strengthen adaptive initiatives at the regional level. The organizations involved in this approach include the Association of Caribbean States, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, and the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN AND MIRAMAR PARTNER IN STAGING OF REGGAE MONTH 2020
The Jamaican government is entering into a partnership with the city of Miramar in Florida to stage the 2020 Reggae Month celebration in February. The celebration, which will last 29 days, is headed by Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, and had its formal launch at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on December 3, 2019. Reggae Month comprises nearly a month’s worth of live reggae music events that will occur in Jamaica and in Miramar. The celebration’s theme for 2020 is “Come Ketch de Riddim.” Miramar is located in Broward County and has a population of almost two million., which includes a large population of Jamaican nationals. It is considered a center of the Jamaican Diaspora in South Florida.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA’S RATING RAISED BY MOODY’S
The ratings agency Moody’s has upgraded Jamaica’s rating to B-2 from its previous long-term issuer and senior unsecured rating of B-3. Moody’s also categorize Jamaica’s outlook as Stable. According to Moody’s, the upgraded rating is reflective of Jamaica’s “steady track record’ of making improvements in its management of fiscal policy. Jamaica’s move to inflation targeting was also a factor in the upgraded Moody’s rating.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAIINMENT NEWS
JAMAICA WINS TALENT CONTEST AT MISS WORLD COMPETITION
Miss Jamaica World Toni-Ann Singh was the winner of the talent competition at the 69th annual Miss world pageant. The Miss world contest is currently being staged in London. The talent contest is considered a “fast-track” competition within the pageant at which the contestants show off their abilities in areas including song, dance, poetry, and others. Singh won the contest with her rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” The win earned her an automatic place in the Top 40 contestants at this premier beauty pageant. Singh has been touted as having a good chance to win the Miss world title as support for her increases.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
WORLD ATHLETICS CONTINENTAL TOUR ADDS RACERS GRAND PRIX
Racers Grand Prix has been added to new format of the 2020 World Athletics Continental Tour, which will begin in May of 2020. The competition set for June 13, 2020, in Kingston, will be one of the nine meets included in the newly designed format of the tour. The new format is meant to make accommodation for athletes from a number of disciplines cut from the Diamond League in 2020. These athletes will now be able to still show their skills and talents to the world via the new World Athletics format.