THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN HEALTH MINISTRY EXPANDS TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
In response to the coronavirus, Jamaica’s Ministry of Health has decided to expand the travel restrictions previously imposed to include four additional countries. Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tipton announced that the travel ban now applies to travel from Italy, South Korea, Singapore, and Iran. Previous restrictions included China, A decision on whether to include Japan among the restricted nations is pending. There are currently 164 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Japan, with one death from the illness. Under the new restrictions, Jamaicans returning from any of the four added nations will be subject to a health assessment and quarantine upon arriving in Jamaica.
JACKSON SAYS CYBER SECURITY REPRESENTS SERIOUS CONCERN FOR JAMAICA
Fitz Jackson. Shadow Minister of National Security from the People’s National Party (PNP), believes that cyber security is a major worry for Jamaica and should be handled as a serious risk. He notes that small island nations are particularly vulnerable as they tend to be targets of money laundering, scams, and narcotics trafficking. Jackson recently attended the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association workshop on cyber security in London. A forum at the workshop raised matters relevant to the crime challenges faced by Jamaica, including cyber crime.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CAYMAN ISLANDS, JAMAICA DENY PERMISSION FOR CRUISE SHIP ARRIVAL
The Cayman Islands and Jamaica both denied docking privileges to the cruise ship Meraviglia. The ship from MSC Cruises, a privately held firm, denied disembarkation permission for passengers and crew, fearing that a sick crew member may have contracted the coronavirus. MSC issued a statement saying that the individual has the common flue and not the novel coronavirus and that the crew member had not traveled to any of the most affected countries recently. MSC expressed “extreme disappointment” that it was denied arrival as scheduled. The decisions to turn the ship away came one day after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised travel warnings for several countries in Asia and Europe.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN DIASPORA TASKFORCE PROJECT RECEIVES AWARD
The Tree Planting Project of the Jamaica Diaspora Taskforce Action Network and Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance was recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) with the organization’s Commitment to Action Award. The award was presented at the CGI Action Network Post-Disaster Recovery meeting in Puerto Rico on February 18, 2020. Former United States President Bill Clinton presented the award. The Tree Planting Project is designed to plant one million trees in the Caribbean, with at least 100,000 trees planted in Jamaica, in order to address climate change and food scarcity via the planting of fruit-bearing trees.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
YAM PRODUCTION IN JAMAICA INCREASES
According to Floyd Green, Jamaica’s State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, reported that yam production on the island shoed an increase 2019. Major improvements were seen in the lifecycle and yields in crops of sweet yams. According to the Ministry, the increase results from its intervention via the Production Incentive Program (PIP) implemented by the Rural Agriculture Development Authority.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
MORTIMER SONG “LIGHTNING” WINS SONG OF THE YEAR AT JaRIA AWARDS
“Lightning,” a song from Mortimer was named “Song of the Year” at the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) Awards ceremony. Mortimer also won the “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” title at the event. The song has attained over four million views on YouTube to date. Mortimer stated that his wife provided the inspiration for the song, and he thanked her in his acceptance speech for a “constant source of inspiration.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMACA GETS IMPORTANT VICTORY AT CONCACAF WOMEN”S UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIPS
Jamaica’s Under-20 women’s team achieved what is being called a “historic” win in its defeat of Canada with a score of 3 to 1 at the women’s football championships held in San Cristobal, in the Dominican Republic. Captain Judy Brown, Lacey Murray, and Marlee Fray brought the young Reggae Girlz team to the top of their group. According to Andrew Price, the coach of the senior women’s team, and Charles Edwards, former national women’s coach, believe tat the young team has the ability to compete in the championship game and to qualify for the Women’s Under-20 World Cup as well.