THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
COMMITMENT TO REPARATIONS REAFFIRMED BY JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT
According to Olivia Grange, Jamaican Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, the government continues in its commitment to the cause of reparations in the Caribbean as part of CARICOM’s Reparation Commission. The country will continue to lobby for reparatory justice, Grange said, and will implement stronger Collaboratory efforts with its Caribbean neighbors toward this goal. She went on to note how the nation’s ancestor and leaders never relented in the call for justice for the people. Jamaica’s National Council on Reparations is set to continue island-wide consultations in order to create a National Policy on Reparatory Justice for Jamaicans, she said. The CARICOM Reparations Commission was established in 2013 by the heads of governments in the region to pursue redress from the former slave-holding and colonizing nations of Europe.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT REQUIRES SENIORS AGED 75 AND OLDER TO STAY HOME
Beginning on July 21, 2020, only those Jamaican citizens aged 75 or older will be mandated to remain inside under the government’s stay-at-home order related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This represents a loosening of the restrictive order, which had applied previously to those aged 65 and older. According to Desmond McKenzie, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, the order is meant to protect senior citizens, who he recognized as having contributed significantly to Jamaica’s development. The government is gradually reopening the Jamaican economy while maintaining important public health standards designed to minimize the spread of the virus.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
HAITI HAS MOST COVID-19 CASES OF ANY CARICOM COUNTRY
Haiti continues to show increases in the number of COVID-19 cases over 24 hours, with a death toll reaching 143 to date. This is the highest number of cases recorded by any CARICOM nation. Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health reported that 104 new cases of the virus noted on July 15, 2020, was up from the 37 cases reported just 24 hours earlier. The total number of active cases in the country was 3,405, 259 more than the previous day. The number of suspected COVID-19 cases in Haiti is 15,424. The health ministry urged the nation’s citizens to continue social distancing at work and in public spaces and to use public transportation to reduce the spread of the disease.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN BOBSLED PILOT DELIGHTS QUEEN ELIZABETH WITH HIS LOCKDOWN EXERCISE REGIME
Lance Corporal Shanwayne Stephens, pilot of the Jamaican bobsled team and a gunner in the Royal Air Force (RAF), elicited a smile from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth during her video call from Windsor Castle with members of the Armed Forces around the world. Stephens told the Queen of the exercise regime he follows to prepare for the Jamaican team’s bid to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 during the COVID-19 lockdown. Stephens’ approach to training involves pushing the Mini Cooper belonging to his fiancée Amy up and down the streets of Peterborough to get in shape. Stephens is a member of the Queen’s Color Squadron and was one of three members of the military to speak with the Queen during her video call to learn about what work the military was doing during the coronavirus pandemic. When hearing about the bobsledder’s exercise program, Queen Elizabeth first remarked,” Oh” in surprise and then chuckled and said “Well, I suppose that’s one way to train.” After the video call, Stephens said, “She had a big smile on her face when I said about pushing the car. I think she was quite impressed with that.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
RED STRIPE RESPONDS TO COVID-19 WITH CRITICAL MEASURES
Red Stripe acted quickly to respond to the pressures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It implemented measures to keep production underway during the pandemic and to address the needs of employees at the same time. According to Red Stripe managing director Luis Prata, the firm’s health decisions were made via protocols issued by the Jamaican government and from its parent company Heineken. The firm took action on the basis of three principles: health and safety of workers, protecting the continuity of the business, and making contributions to communities most impacted by the virus. Management meets at least twice a week to ensure everyone is kept up to date with the data needed to make appropriate decisions in regard to COVID-19 protective protocols.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
CALABASH LITERARY FESTIVAL CANCELLED FOR 2020
The annual Calabash International Literary Festival originally slated for May 29 through 31, 2020, and then rescheduled for September 11 through 13, has now been cancelled for the year due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers have decided to move the event to May 29 to 31, 2021. According to Justine Henzell, director of the festival, when organizers looked at the situation in the country and the uncertainties imposed from the virus, they decided the best thing to do was postpone it until 2021 when it will celebrate its 20th anniversary.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
KONYA PLUMMER OF REGGAE GIRLZ NOMINATED FOR 2020 NCAA WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
Konya Plummer, the captain of Jamaica’s historic Reggae Girlz 2019 participation at the Women’s World Cup in France, has received the nomination from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for its Woman of the Year award for 2020. The award was established in 1991 to honor graduating female student athletes for their accomplishments in athletics, academics, service and leadership throughout their college careers. She was named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. Plummer is the first Jamaican-born player drafted in the history of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft. She is competing for the Woman of the Year award with 605 female college athletes who represent multiple sports. The final selection will be made in the fall of 2020.