THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA’S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DELAYS LOCAL ELECTIONS
Local government elections in Jamaica will be delayed by another year, according to the House of Representatives. The latest delay, however, is not backed by both the government and the opposition. A 37-7 vote followed a proposal by Opposition Leader Mark Golding to delay the local elections only until February 27, 2022. Members of Parliament who supported the government voted with Desmond McKenzie, the Minister of Local Government and Community Development, who headed the debate for the year-long extension. McKenzie said there should be no “political confrontation” between the two major political parties during Jamaica’s 60th anniversary celebration of independence.
JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER AND FINANCE MINISTER CRITICIZE BANKS FOR DECISION TO RAISE FEES
Banks in Jamaica have been strongly criticized by the nation’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness and its Finance Minister Nigel Clarke for deciding to raise fees and charges. The government leaders called the decision “tone deaf” to the situations and needs of customers, saying they seemed to display a “callous disregard” for the economic circumstances of most Jamaicans. Some of the charges to be raised include a fee to use automated teller machines (ATMs).
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
HONDURAS INSTALLS ITS FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT
Xiomara Castro, the head of the Libre Party in Honduras, was sworn in as the nation’s first female president on January 27, 2022. Castro, 62, takes on her historic role at a ceremony in the capital city of Tegucigalpa. In her inaugural address, Castro promised to address the corruption and inequality that she described as “rampant” in the past administration. She also promised to enforce the country’s Constitution and to address poverty. Honduras faces several severe problems, including persistent violence, unemployment, inadequate health care and educational systems, and corruption.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN AMERICAN BRIANA RIDDOCK TO APPEAR ON NEW FOOD NETWORK PROGRAM
Jamaican American food blogger Briana Riddock will appear as a contestant on the new Food Network television show “Raid the Fridge.” Riddock has a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University and writes the popular blog seasoningbottle.com. On “Raid the Fridge” chefs will compete in specific challenges presented by having to use the ingredients they find inside a set of refrigerators, which are new in each round of competition. The chefs choose a fridge on the basis of its exterior decorations, which may or may not reflect what ingredients are inside. The show will aid at noon on February 1, 2022 on the Food Network and on Discovery+.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
CHAIR OF JAMAICA STOCK EXCHANGE CALLS FOR BETTER RETURN ON EDUCATION
Julian Mair, the chair of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), is not concerned about markets, but instead wants to focus on obtaining a better return on investments in education. He believes that the lack of delivering education to Jamaicans has a direct link to crime and how attractive crime is to young people. If Jamaica does not improve its return on education, it will face a larger number of criminals, Mair said, adding that stock market firms should participate in private-sector lobbying to improve conditions in the 20 communities in Jamaica that are impacted by crime.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
RIHANNA’S CLARA LIONEL FOUNDATION PLEDGES US$15 MILLION TO CLIMATE CHANGE MOVEMENT
Recording star and entrepreneur Rihanna’s foundation, the Clara Lionel Foundation, has promised to donate US$15 million to address climate change. The superstar singer announced that the funds will be donated to 18 climate justice organizations working in seven countries in the Caribbean and the United States. They include the Climate Justice Alliance, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and the Movement for Black Lives. In making the announcement, Rihanna focused on the increasing frequency and intensity of climate disasters, noting that communities of color and island nations are most impacted by the ramifications of climate change. Her foundation has partnered with the #StartSmall philanthropic program of Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter. The grants target groups with female, LGBT, and Black and indigenous leaders as their communities face the greatest risks from climate change.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
ISSA TO CONTINUE WITH FORMAT DESIGNED TO ALLOW MORE TEAMS TO WIN TITLES
The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) has decided to retain the format in which teams that do not qualify for semi-finals at the da Costa and Manning Cup competitions can play for respective knockout trophies. According to the ISSA president, Keith Wellington, the change is meant to protect young athletes from “overworking.” He added that it would be “cruel” to expect these athletes to compete for every title offered. In 2018, ISSA decided to separate the teams, which ended the possibility of schools winning the Corporate Area or Rural Area double. Critics of the decision believe that when only schools that are not eligible for the Manning or da Costa titles may play for the Walker Cup or Ben Francis knockouts these titles have been “watered down;” some have labeled them “loser cups.”