THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA’S NEW BEACH POLICY DESIGNED TO INCREASE ACCESS AND IMPROVE MAINTENANCE OF PUBLIC BEACHES
Pearnel Charles Jr., Jamaica’s Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, provided details of a draft policy meant to improve access and maintenance of public beaches on the island. According to Charles, the policy targets improving access rights to the foreshore, the area covered and uncovered by water. He also noted the government has committed to ensuring locals and visitors have access to good quality beaches. The new policy is part of the government’s move toward the implementation of more sustainable practices.
JAMAICA SLATED TO RECEIVE COVID-19 VACCINES IN MID-TO-LATE FEBRUARY 2021
Dr. Christopher Tufton, Jamaican Minister of Health and Wellness, stated that the government has been informed by the COVAX Facility that Jamaica will receive between 146,400 and 249,000 does of the AstraZeneca vaccine by mid to late February of 2021. Tufton added that this means about 125,000 Jamaican may receive the vaccine by the end of February or into early March. Those eligible to receive these shots include front-line workers like nurses and doctors, followed by vulnerable people, chiefly those 60 years of age or older. If additional vaccine supplies are received, the Ministry will be able to provide about 450,000 Jamaicans with shots by the end of 2021.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES DEBATED IN HAITI
Haiti’s government is considering several proposed changes in regard to an overhaul of the nation’s Constitution. Officials plan to present the proposals to votes in time for the pending referendum scheduled in the face of growing unrest. Public meetings will be held across the country over the next three weeks prior to the April 25th Constitutional Referendum. This will be the first such referendum held in Haiti in over 30 years. One of the most significant issues of debate is the omission in the draft that states a president cannot serve more than two term, without mentioning whether these terms can be served consecutively. The draft also eliminates the requirement for those seeking to be Haiti’s president to have lived in the country for five consecutive years prior to the date of a general election. This change would allow those in the Diaspora to run for president, an activity that is currently banned.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN AMERICAN LAWYER TO BE FIRST BLACK WOMAN TO HEAD ACLU
Deborah Archer, a Jamaican American lawyer and law professor, has been named as the first Black woman to lead the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). She will replace Susan Herman, who left the post after 12 years. Archer is an experienced civil rights lawyer, scholar, and teacher who began her career as the Marvin M. Karpatkin Legal Fellow at the ACLU. Archer has been an ACLU board member since 2009, as well as general counsel and member of its executive committee since 2017. Archer’s parents are Jamaican immigrants. She attended Smith College and Yale Law School prior to joining the ACLU. She noted that the organization has been part of every significant civil liberties battle since its inception and that it is committed to continuing that legacy as it enters its second century of operation. Archer added that she is excited to get to work in her new role.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS IN CLARENDON BENEFIT FROM JSIF INVESTMENT
In Clarendon, the operators of 14 small businesses have received $2.2 million in equipment to improve their businesses through the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF). The initiative was facilitated via the Integrated Community Development Project II (ICDP-II), which also impacted seven communities and 511 small business owners across Jamaica. According to Omar Sweeney, managing director of JSIF, the COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the need for investment in entrepreneurial ventures. He noted that with a small investment, the local economy can be made stronger in the face of COVID-19 as people are more dependent than ever on their local businesses. Polly Anna Bailey, secretary of the Treadlight Youth Community Club Benevolent Society, thanked the JSIF for supporting Treadlight, and the youngest recipient of the equipment Nicolus Grant, 23, expressed appreciation for the deep freezer and water tank that helps him in his poultry farming business.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
REMIX OF SHAGGY’S “IT WASN’T ME” TO FEATURE IN SUPER BOWL AD
Shaggy, who first released his song “It Wasn’t Me” 21 years ago, will appear performing a remix of the hit in a commercial for Cheetos’ Crunch Pop Mix to be aired during the third quarter of the Super Bowl on February 7, 2021. He posted the 60-second commercial to social media ahead of the game. It features Ashton Kutcher catching his wife Mila Kunis “orange handed,” with Shaggy encouraging her to deny it by claiming, “It wasn’t me.” Shaggy’s video got 100 million views to date. The song is considered Shaggy’s breakthrough recording and is his highest charting song.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
SEVEN JAMAICANS ESTABLISHED TOP SCORES AT JUNIOR COLLEGIATE MEETS IN U.S.
A total of seven Jamaican set leading times at junior collegiate competitions in the United States this past week. Five established National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) leads at the Region IV Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) Invitational in Pittsburg, Kansas. They included Courtney Lawrence, show set a new personal best in the shot put with 18.92 meters, a distance that also set a new Cloud County Community College record. In addition, Tyrese Reid of Barton County added a top mark with a new lifetime indoors best 1:52.62 minutes to win the 800 meters. The former Edwin Allen star, Kayan Green, won the women’s 800m with a new personal best of 2:14.28, and Annia Ashley’s mark of 5.74 meters tied for first place in the long jump, Former St. Elizabeth Technical hurdler Dashinelle Dyer turned in a 60-meter hurdles time of 7.94 seconds. Two other Jamaicans took leads in their events as well: Nickisha Pryve, former Vere Technical runner, set a personal best of 55.39 seconds at the Hershel Neil Invite, while former Buff Bay High School jumper Romaine Beckford of South Plains topped the men’s high jump competition with 2.15 meters.