THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
FIRED GENERAL MANAGER AT PETROGAM CRITICAL OF EMPLOYMENT NDA
Howard Mollison, former general manager at Petrojam, has stated that Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) have no place in employment arrangements of public-sector employees. He also signaled that he is willing to discuss the management of the state-owned refinery in order to settle a long-running contract dispute, but will not “make the first move.” His comments were made in response the revelation by Prime Minister Andrew Holness that Petrojam and Yolanda Ramhanrrack, former human resource manager, had agreed on a separation agreement totaling $9.2 million that also included an NDA. Mollison noted that Petrojam is owned by Jamaica’s people and consequently there should be no privacy in how taxpayers’ resources are treated.
LAW PENALTIES TO BE REVISED
The Jamaican House of Representatives tabled the Law Reform (Amendment of Penalties) Act of 2019. The Memorandum of Objects and Reasons stated that it has been decided to revise penalties when appropriate and where not currently provided for. Additionally, a way to amend monetary penalties concerning a number of Act within the purview of the Minister of Justice will be provided via Ministerial Order. Delroy Chuck, Jamaica’s Minister of Justice tabled the bill, noting that penalties have been brought up to date. He also hoped that other Ministries will provide their updates of the law in the near term.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
38 MILLION EUROS TO BE GIVEN FOR CUBAN MILITARY BY RUSSIA
Russia has given its approval to a 38-million-ero loan ($43.27 million) for the defense sector in Cuba. According to a senior Russian defense officer, the agreement was announced in November 2018 following a meting in Moscow between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Cane. The deal has now been finalized, said Dmitry Shugayev, head of the Russian Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation. Moscow had planned to provide a loan to Cuba to purchase Russian tanks, armored vehicles and helicopters. Cuba is a close ally of Venezuela, where President Nicolas Maduro, who is backed by Russia, is being pressured to leave office.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICA’S MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ADDRESSES POLICE PRESENCE
Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, addressed the presence of police at a protest staged at he Jamaica High Commission in London. The protesters gathered in front of the High Commission on February 6, 2019, to oppose the deportation of Jamaicans from the UK. According to a statement from the Ministry, staff at the High Commission felt threatened by two people who became verbally abusive, and it was deemed necessary to diffuse the situation with aid from the diplomatic police. Johnson Smith said the call to police was not made in regard to the peaceful protesters, but to aggression shown to the High Commission’s staff inside the building. She went on to say that the overseas Missions of Jamaica would continue to protect the interests of all Jamaicans worldwide.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN EPICAN AND DANCEHALL ARTIST AIDONIA ANNOUNCED
The Jamaican medical cannabin brand Epican is partnering with dancehall deejay Aidonia in which the artist will act as the brand’s ambassador. The addition of Aidonia reflects the addition of “entertain” to Epican’s mandate, which previously read “Educate, Medicare, and Elevate.” According to Dwayne McKenzie, president of Epican, music has a close relationship in connecting people’s emotions and has provided Jamaicans with the chance to express themselves. In its quest for new frontiers, Epican has moved into the entertainment sector and is creating partnerships with entertainers, including the sponsorship of events like the Herb Curb at Rebel Salute.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
SHAGGY TO HOST GRAMMY AWARDS PREMIERE CEREMONY
Jamaican dancehall/reggae icon Shaggy will host the Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony,, and will also release a new 12-track album entitled “Wah Gwaan?!” in May 2019. The album will include a collection of songs that embody Shaggy’s Jamaican roots, international influence, joy, and his introspective side. The artist is also preparing for his role as host of the 61st Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony in Lost Angeles on February 10, 2019
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
LAUREN SILVER OF REGGAE GIRLZ SIGNS WITH CLUB IN NORWAY
Reggae Girl defender Lauren Silver, 25, has signed on to play with the Norwegian club Trondheims Ørn. The club is one of the most popular women’s football clubs in Norway and has attained seven Norwegian Women’s Premier League titles. Silver, who is based in Florida, has 18 caps with the national women’s senior team. She is the first major signing by Head Coach Steinar Lein in 2019. Silver announced her move on her Instagram page, saying she is excited to sign with the top Norwegian team.