THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA’S MINISTER OF JUSTICE URGES SUPPORT FOR NATIONAL ID SYSTEM
Delroy Chuck, Jamaica’s Minister of Justice, is calling on Jamaicans to lend their support to the National Identification System (NIDS), which is designed to prevent identity theft over cyber channels. Chuck described the critical nature of support for the system at the third Joint Select Committee on National Identification & Registration Act, 2020, Virtual Town Hall Meeting. He noted that one of the benefits of NIDS when it is implemented is avoidance of identity theft and said that many Jamaicans have experienced the negative consequences of identity theft and seen their bank accounts robbed by criminals who use their stolen personal information.
POLICE COMMISSIONER OF JAMAICA SAYS IT IS SAFE TO RETURN TO THE ISLAND
In response to concerns from Jamaicans around the world who have not wanted to return to Jamaica on a permanent basis because of its high crime levels, Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson is providing reassurance that the crime situation is not as bad as publicized. He said that the media portrays the problem in an exaggerated way. Specifically, Anderson said that what remains untold in many cases is who has committed the crimes and who are affected by them. For example, the media does not say when a crime is the result of a domestic problem as opposed to a stranger situation. The Jamaican government has implemented states of emergency in areas of St. James, Kingston, and St. Catherine, as well as zones of special operation (ZOSO), which have contributed to a decline in major crimes in recent years.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
LEADERS OF CARIBBEAN NATIONS WELCOME BIDEN/HARRIS ADMINISTRATION
Caribbean leaders have welcomed the official start of the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris presidential administration in the United States, with the Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit saying he was looking forward to working with the new administration to enhance the prosperity of both nations. Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados also welcomed the change in the US top-level administration. The President of Guyana Irfaan Ali said his country is ready to stand with the new US president and vice-president in calls for unity and democracy. Vice-president Kamala Harris is the first Black and Caribbean American to serve in that role in US history, and she thanked Caribbean American voters for helping to ensure the victory of the Biden/Harris ticket.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICANS IN DIASPORA SEE NEW HOPE WITH BIDEN/HARRIS LEADING U.S.
Thousands of Jamaicans and other Caribbean nationals in the Diaspora are feeling hopeful about their status as immigrants in the United States with the coming to power of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. Biden has already put forward a new immigration law providing a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million-plus people who currently live in the US illegally. The proposed legislation would allow undocumented individuals to apply for temporary legal status, and after five years, pending criminal and national-security background checks and proof of tax compliance, they would be able to apply for green cards.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMPRO SIGNS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH CARIBBEAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN EUROPE
The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) has entered into an agreement via a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Europe (CCCE) to increase trade and commerce between Jamaica and the United Kingdom and Europe. The MOU is also meant to increase European investment in Jamaica. It covers four critical areas of partnership: provision of market intelligence and market information, new matchmaking for business partners, technical assistance and support, and allowing the sourcing of investment partners and funding. The MOU is a one-year agreement that targets the Jamaica sectors of Agriculture and Agri-business, Creative industries, Energy, Global Digital and ICT and Knowledge Services, Logistics and Infrastructure, and Manufacturing.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
REGGAE HISTORIAN CALLS FOR JAMAICAN REGGAE HALL OF FAME
Roger Steffens, a noted reggae historian, is calling for a Reggae Music Hall of Fame, criticizing local authorities for the lack of such an institution. He made his remarks following his efforts to have the late Toots Hibbert inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff were inducted in 1994 and 2009, respectively. Steffens says other Jamaicans should be inducted, but says it would be better to have a Jamaican Reggae Hall of Fame to recognize artists like Peter Tosh, Joe Higgs, Coxsone Dodd, King Tubby, Roy Shirley, Alton Ellis, Slim Smith, Jimmy Riley, Justin Hinds, Dennis Brown, Jacob Miller, Prince Buster, Duke Reid, King Tubby, the Mighty Diamonds, and Culture. Steffens is said to have the largest collection of Jamaican music memorabilia in the world and believes it was “full time” that Toots Hibbert, credited with giving the reggae genre its name, be recognized at a high level.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
NEW ATHLETICS CLUB FORMED TO RECOGNIZE NEW YOUNG TRACK-AND-FIELD TALENT
Omar Hawes, the head coach of the new Calabar-based Legacy Athletics club, believes that the organization has already gathered an impressive group of athletes to meet its goal of positioning itself as one of the major track-and-field clubs in the world. Legacy Athletics was created in 2020 at Calabar High School and included Olympians Deuce Carter and Jura Levy, Tyreke Wilson, Michael Bentley, Anthony Carpenter, Dejour Russell, Crystal Morrison, and Malik James King among those training with the club. Hawes is along-time coach at Calabar and said the club was formed to enhance the energy surrounding Jamaica’s track-and-field athletes and to develop top-class senior athletes at the global level. He wants to duplicate the energy spurred by Olympian Usain Bolt in past years.