THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA SEES SIGNIFICANT DECREASE IN CRIMINAL ACTIVITY SINCE BEGINNING OF 2023
According to Major General Antony Anderson, Jamaica’s Police Commissioner, there has been a decrease of 31 percent in all major crimes in the country since January 1, 2023. This includes a decline in the murder rate over the same period in 2022 of 34 percent. He also said that shootings have dropped by 26 percent, rapes by 44 percent, and break-ins by seven percent. However, he acknowledged that gang conflicts continue to account for the majority of all murders committed during the surveyed period at 65 percent. To date, Jamaica has recorded 86 murders since the start of the year, compared to 137 for the corresponding period in 2022. Additionally, there were 71 shootings in 2023, compared with 94 shootings in 2022. Jamaica had a total of 1,498 murders in 2022, he said. Twenty-seven percent of the murders resulted from interpersonal conflicts, while three percent occurred during the commission of other criminal acts.
GOVERNMENT OF JAMAICA URGES CITIZENS TO USE RESTORATIVE JUSTICE TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS IN THEIR COMMUNITIES
Because Jamaica faces a murder rate of over 1,000 murders per year, the government hopes that churches will become more involved in encouraging Jamaicans to utilize restorative justice (RJ) to resolve their conflicts and maintain the peace in their communities. Delroy Chuck, Minster of Justice, said the use of alternative dispute resolution strategies have been proven effective, but few cases are being referred to the Restorative Justice Centers located throughout the island. He said there were hundreds of facilitators and millions of dollars available through the Ministry to pay them, but they are not seeing a sufficient number of referrals. Therefore, the Ministry plans to visit churches, schools, and communities to promote the use of restorative justice. Church members in particular will be trained in the practice as a preemptive method for preventing disputes among family members from escalating into violence. He plans to establish a two-day program in every church that will work to sensitive some 25 people in the practice of RJ.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
49TH ANNIVERSARY OF POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE MARKED IN GRENADA
Grenada celebrated 49 years of political independence from Britain on February 7, 2023, with a traditional military parade. Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell acknowledged that it has not been an easy journey for the country since gaining its independence in 1974, but he encouraged its citizens to continue their collaborations on the way forward. The anniversary was organized on the theme of “The Journey to 50: Reflecting on the Past, Planning for the Future,” and the Prime Minister assured Grenadians that his government is committed to the vision held by the nation’s fore-parents. He urged people to continue moving forward in spite of the challenges they face as the descendants of enslaved people and the lasting effects of colonialism.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
RECEPTION IN BEIJING CELEBRATES “GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY” OF DIPLOMATIC TIES BETWEEN CHINA AND JAMAICA
A reception to honor the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Jamaica and China was hosted at the Jamaican Embassy in Beijing, China, with Antonia Hugh, Jamaican ambassador to China in attendance. He noted that Jamaica was one of the first nations in the English-speaking Caribbean to establish a diplomatic relationships with China and that Jamaica is proud to support the one-China policy. Jamaica is also seeking new areas for cooperation between the two countries, including in culture, health, human resources, and education. The country looks forward to having China further promote elements of its domestic modernization plans, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the Global Development Initiative, Hugh said. He also noted the establishment of landmark institutions like the Confucius Institute at the University of the West Indies in 2009, which serve to enhance the spread of China’s language and history in Jamaica.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
HUGE DEMAND FOR NEW JAMAICAN FOOTBALL KIT OVERWHELMS ADIDAS WEBSITE
When the new kit for Jamaica’s national Reggae Boyz and Reggae Girlz teams was unveiled by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), the Adidas sportwear brand, and designer Grace Wales Bonner, the massive demand for the apparel by fans who sought to purchase it before it sold out crashed the Adidas website. While Wales Bonner was born in Britain, she is of Jamaican heritage, and she always tries to ensure that all her designs are inspired by her cultural identity. The goal of the deal between Adidas and the JFF in designing the kit was to highlight the diversity of Jamaica’s environment and its essence while simultaneously celebrating the link between football and Jamaica’s culture. The kit, which features JFF and Adidas logos also honors Jamaica’s Rastafarian roots and celebrates Jamaican sunshine in the gold color of the anthem jacket. The new kit will be worn by the senior Reggae Boyz in March, while the Reggae Girlz will first appear in the new outfits on February 16, 2023.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN SHERYL LEE RALPH TO SING AT SUPER BOWL PREGAME SHOW
Actor and singer Sheryl Lee Ralph, who won her first Emmy Award for her role in television’s “Abbot Elementary” series, will be a featured performer at the pregame show of the Super Bowl on February 12, 2023. She will sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and while she is thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the event, she wishes that her late parents could share her accomplishments. Her father, a college professor, and her mother, a Jamaican fashion designer, always believed in her abilities and they would have loved to see her perform on the Super Bowl stage. Other stars performing at the pregame show will be country singer Chris Stapleton and R&B musician Babyface. Rihanna will star in the halftime show.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION AND ADIDAS INTRODUCE OFFICIAL TEAM JERSEYS FOR NATIONAL TEAMS
Sports brand Adidas, in partnership with the Jamaican Football Federation (JFF), have revealed the first collection of official team jerseys for Jamaica’s national Reggae Boyz and Reggae Girls football teams. The collection is the first to be introduced under a four-year deal designed by the famous Wales Bonner fashion label. The apparel include home and away kits, a pre-match jersey, and a reversible anthem jacket. All three entities are united in their ambition to celebrate the relationship between Jamaica’s culture and football in the new collection that fuses the sport, the culture, and fashion. It offers a mix of classic Adidas looks and Wales Bonner elegance and hopes to encourage participation of young players.