THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
AUTHORITIES IN JAMAICA IMPOSE STATE OF EMERGENCY ON EIGHT PARISHES
Eight Jamaican parishes were brought under a declared state of emergency as of December 29, 2022, because of high crime levels, according to Jamaican officials. States of emergency were declared in Kingston, Clarendon, Hanover, Saint Andrew, Saint Ann, Saint Catherine, Saint James, and Westmoreland. The duration of the state of emergency in each parish was not made clear, but is expected to remain in force until the middle of January. Authorities could also extend the status with approval from Parliament if necessary. Authorities have taken the action to battle high levels of violent crime and gang activity in the eight parishes. During states of emergency, security forces are granted additional powers to conduct searches and arrests without court warrants.
JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER PRESENTS LAPTOPS AND TABLETS TO NATION’S STUDENTS
Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, presented laptop computers to students at Jamaica House on Christmas Day. Celebrating the season, Holness said it was his pleasure to provide young students with gifts they wanted. He also stated that some students and children received tablet computers that will help their with their school work and other educational activities. Holness said that seeing the excitement and joy with which the students received their gifts was one of the best things about hosting the ceremony. Holness and his gifting initiative was praised by many Jamaicans who welcomed the Prime Minister’s support for the nation’s students and children.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
PRIME MINISTER OF GRENADA DECLARED “PERSON OF THE YEAR” BY POPULAR CARIBBEAN MAGAZINE
The Caribbean magazine, “Everybody’s,” based in Brooklyn, New York, has named Dickon Mitchell, the Prime Minister of Grenada, as its “Person of the Year” for 2022. The publisher of the magazine, Herman Hall, was born in Grenada. Prime Minister Mitchell was given a warm welcome by Grenadian nationals during his first official visit to Brooklyn in September 2022 after his election. Mitchell, 44, is a lawyer by professional and took on the leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Grenada in October 2021, leading his party to victory in the nation’s general election on June 23, 2022.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
CONNECTICUT CELEBRATES “JAMAICA DAY” UPON TAKE-OFF OF FIRST NON-STOP FLIGHT TO JAMAICA
The governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont, proclaimed December 15, 2022, as “Jamaica Day” to honor the first non-stop flight from Hartford’s Bradley International Airport to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The route will be flown by Spirit Airlines four times a week. The inaugural flight carried 160 passengers via an Airbus A329 aircraft. Donnie Dawson, Deputy Director of Tourism for the Americas at the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), said the agency was “delighted” to have the new Spirit airline service begin, and a team from the JTB were at Sangster International to greet the passengers from Connecticut upon their arrival. Audrey Marks, Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States, was on the inaugural flight and said that the new service is of great benefit to passengers, tourism, and business in both Jamaica and Connecticut.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA SEEKS CLOSER TIES WITH CUBA TO DEVELOP LOCAL AGRICULTURE
Jamaica wants to create closer ties to Cuba in order to develop the nation’s agricultural sector. According to Pearnel Charles Jr., Jamaican Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, the potential exists for the two countries to join their efforts at research and development of weed and pest control and to discover alternatives for fertilizers and animal feed. There are the areas of focus cited by Charles because they have a direct impact on the ability of Jamaica to increase and improve agricultural production. These matters also form part of Jamaica’s “Grow Smart, Eat Smart” strategy. Further collaboration with Cuba would be appropriate in the realm of sharing expertise in the repair of farming equipment, he added.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
REGGAE ARTIST JO MERSA MARLEY, BOB MARLEY’S GRANDSON, DIES AT AGE 31
Jo Mersa Marley, the son of reggae musician Stephen Marley and grandson of reggae legend Bob Marley, died at the age of 31 in Miami, Florida. Marley was discovered in his parked vehicle, and while the coroner of Miami-Dade is conducting an examination to determine the cause, police stated that there is no suspicion of foul play. Marley was born in Jamaica and grew up in Miami. He was a reggae artist like his father and grandfather and released his first EP, “Comfortable,” in 2014. Another EP, “Eternal,” was released in 2021. Jo Mersa Marley was best known for the songs “Burn It Down” and “Rock and Swing.” He is survived by his wife, daughter, father, and several siblings.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN LEADERS JOIN WORLD TO MOURN PASSING OF PELE
Jamaica’s leaders, including Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Sports Minister Olivia Grange, and Opposition Leader Mark Golding, joined with football fans worldwide to mourn the death of Brazilian soccer legend Pele who died at age 82 on December 29, 2022, after a battle with cancer. Pele is widely recognized as one of the greatest soccer players of all time. Holness posted on Twitter that “true legend” Pele is the reason that so many Jamaicans are fans of Brazil’s team, noting that Pele’s name was synonymous with the “beautiful game.” Grange called Pele the “greatest footballer of all time,” adding that no one to date has achieved what he did and that he is one of Brazil’s national heroes for his football achievements and for his support of policies to improve conditions for the poor. Golding tweeted that Pele was the “original and legitimate GOAT” who raised football to an unsurpassed level of artistry and skill.