THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
HOLNESS SAYS JAMAICA WILLING TO SEND SOLDIERS AND POLICE TO HAITI
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness stated that his government is prepared to send military and police aid to Haiti as part of a multinational security aid program. His announcement follows that of Helen La Lime, Haiti’s special envoy to the United Nations (UN) who hoped that the UN Security Council would take positive action on her country’s pending request for international armed forces to help restore stability and peace disrupted by the actions of powerful criminal gangs. Holness told Jamaica’s House of Representatives he wanted to help restore peace, which he said was necessary to sustain any attempt at implementing democratic processes. Holness’s offer of aid is the first time a country in the Western Hemisphere publicly offered troops to Haiti after leading officials there requested immediate deployment of foreign troops.
JAMAICAN FINANCE MINISTER SAYS F.B.I. TO EXTEND INVESTIGATION OF SSL SCANDAL
According to Dr. Nigel Clarke, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance, the government advised that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will become increasingly involved in the investigation into the major fraud at the investment firm, Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL), which resulted in large financial losses to some30 investors, including sprint legend Usain Bolt. The investigation by the FBI will go beyond what was initially proposed, Clarke said, in order to discover all the details of the fraud, which continued over more than ten years. Jamaica’s government is also in the process of hiring a global forensics firm to help with the SSL investigations and will find funding in the budget to pay for the additional help.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
FOUR MEN CHARGED IN PLOT TO MURDER PRESIDENT OF HAITI
On February 1, 2023, four men made an appearance in a United States court in connection with the murder of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021. The men had been transferred to face the criminal charges brought against them for their alleged involvement in the killing. Charged were James Solages, 37, Joseph Vincent, 57, who have dual Haitian and American citizenship, and Alejandro Rivera Garcia, 44, a Colombian German. Separately charged was dual Haitian-American citizen Christian Sanon, 54, who faced smuggling charges. A total of seven individuals have been charged in connection with the crime by US authorities.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICA’S YOUTH CHORALE PERFORMS IN U.S. ON “REDEMPTION SONGS” TOUR
The Jamaica Youth Chorale (JYC) is showcasing its talents in the United States on its “Redemption Songs” tour. The tour is highlighting the choral music of Jamaican and African American composers in honor of Black History and Reggae Month during February 2023. The first stop on the tour was at Washington National Cathedral in Washington DC on February 2, where the group gave a free concert. Greg Simms, the founder and musical director of the Chorale, thanked its partners for their support in making the tour possible. The group hopes to use their tour to exchange and network with other composers, choirs, and creatives, and with the Jamaican Diaspora. The group will participate in a cultural exchange event with students at the Duke Ellington School of Arts in Washington DC and visit the National Museum of African and American History and Culture.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
CLAYTON TWINS NAMED BRAND AMBASSADORS FOR WATA
The Wisynco Group Limited, which includes the WATA brand, has contracted with the twin athletes Tina and Tia Clayton to become the organization’s newest brand ambassadors. The company made its announcement over social media. The Claytons signed professional contracts in 2022 and currently train under world-famous coach Stephen Francis at the MVP Track and Field Club in Kingston. The twins have also signed with Nike, the American apparel brand. Other WATA brand ambassadors include Yohan Blake and Shericka Jackson.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
TWO EVENTS COMMEMORATE BIRTH OF REGGAE “CROWN PRINCE” DENNIS BROWN
Jamaica’s Corporate Area held two events on February 1, 2023, to mark the 66th birthday of Dennis Brown, known as the “Crown Prince of Reggae.” A tribute concert was held at National Heroes’ Park in Kingston, and a celebration was also held at the Festival Marketplace in downtown Kingston. According to Joseph Junior Lincoln, the chair of the Dennis Brown Foundation, it is important to commemorate Brown’s birth because of he was integral to the development and popularity of the reggae community. The concert at National Heroes’ Park was hosted by Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport, who also spoke at the event. Performances by saxophonist Dean Fraser, guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith, Inna Di Yard Binghistra, and others were featured. In attendance in addition to Lincoln were Ewan Simpson, chair of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association, representatives of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, family members of Dennis Brown, among others. Brown died in Kingston on July 1, 1999.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
REGGAE GIRL ALLYSON RENNE SWABY SIGNS WITH PARIS SAINT GERMAIN
Allyson Renne Swaby, Jamaican-American member of Jamaica’s national team, the Reggae Girlz, has singed on to play for Paris Saint Germain (PSG), the first Jamaican player to do so. With her signing, she joins other Jamaicans playing the French League, including Yazmeen Jamieson, Deneisha Blackwood, and her younger sister, Chantelle Swaby who plays for FC Fleury 91 and the Jamaican women’s national team. Swaby, 26, has made a six-month loan deal, moving from Angel City FC, a team in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). While the contract will expire in June, Swaby can be retained if PSG desires. PSG is one of the largest clubs in the world and currently holds second place in the women’s French League, Division 1 Feminine. She attended and played for Hall High School in Connecticut and for Boston College in the US from 2014 to 2017. Her international career began in 2018 with Jamaica and played in Jamaica’s World Cup 2019 qualifying campaign in the World Cup tournament in 2019.