THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT STIFFENS COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS DUE TO RISE IN INFECTIONS
In response to rising rates of COVID-19 infections in Jamaica, the government has imposed stronger restrictions to combat what it views as a third wave of cases. Approximately 1,318 new cases were reported for the month of July, with an average of 135 new cases per day in the past week. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness therefore plans to implement new COVID-19 measures immediately after the Independence period. The new measures would remain in place for two weeks from July 27 to August 10, 2021. If there is no improvement in COVID-19 numbers on August 11, additional measures would be imposed. Currently, the coming restrictions include night curfews for 8 pm to 5 am from Monday through Saturdays and 3 pm to 5 am on Sundays and public holidays, including Independence Day. Capacity for events will be reduced from 70 percent to 50 percent, and beaches and rivers will be operation from 6 am to 4 pm Monday-Saturday and 6 1m to 2 pm on Sundays and public holidays. Holness said that the government is taking action now given the nation’s plans to reopen schools for in-person instruction in September 2021.
JAMAICA AND COSTA RICA CELEBRATE 50 YEARS OF COOPERATION AND GROWTH
The governments of Jamaica and Costa Rica will remain committed to cooperating for the advancement of both nations, according to Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. She made her remarks at the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of Diplomatic Relations held virtually on July 21, 2021. She added that both countries are united by challenges facing middle-income developing nations and that both continue to serve as advocates internationally for actions to be taken to ensure sustainable economic recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
NEW PRIME MINISTER OF HAITI PROMISES TO HOLD NEW ELECTIONS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
After being installed on July 20, 2021, Ariel Henry, Haiti’s new Prime Minister, held a press conference on July 21, 2021, at which he pledged to hold elections in the country as soon as possible after the murder of former president Jovenel Moise. Henry said the elections would be “free, honest, and transparent” with large voter turnout. He acknowledged the need for security at the elections as well. He emphasized the importance of unity and reconciliation in the country and stated that he wants to implement a new model of government that is “transparent” and “above all, free of corruption.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ANNOUNCES PLANS TO PROTECT WELFARE OF STUDENTS IN CUBA
In response to concerns about the government’s efforts, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith said there a plan to protect the welfare of Jamaican students in Cuba who are experiencing challenges arising from the impact of COVID-19 in that nation. She acknowledged the distress and anxiety among the students, but emphasized her government’s empathy with nationals participating in the Jamaica-Cuba Bilateral Medical Scholarship Program. The Jamaican ambassador in Havana received permission in 2020 for duty-free purchase of items for the students and that her Ministry facilitated the shipment and receipt of donations from parents in compliance with Cuban regulations. Johnson Smith sought to reassure the public that the Ministry is working to improve the government’s broad and coordinated support for students in Cuba and is exploring alternative shipping arrangements as well.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
“HIDDEN GEMS” DIGITAL SERIES LAUNCHED BY APPLETON ESTATE JAMAICA RUM AND COMPLEX CANADA PARTNERS
A four-part digital series celebrating Jamaican excellence in Canada has been launched jointly by Complex Canada Partners and Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum. The series will feature creatives who explore Jamaica, Winnipeg, Montreal, and Toronto. The series will highlight trailblazers and new creative talents in music, style, and visuals arts in Canada. Joy Spence, Master Blender at Appleton Estate, expressed her pride at being involved with a project that communicates and “uplifts” stories of Jamaican excellence. She is looking forward to seeing audiences view the series and meet “remarkable Jamaican-Canadian ‘hidden gems.’”
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
CELEBRATIONS FOR JAMAICA 59 TO BE HELD ONLINE
In response to COVID-19 restrictions, the celebrations for Jamaica 59 will be held virtually online. Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, announced that, in fact, the theme for the 2021 celebration is “’Jamaica 59: Come Mek We Celebrate Online.” The decision to hold celebrations online was made in the interest of Jamaicans’ safety, and Grange said that everyone can still celebrate with their families and enjoy the offerings produced by the JCDC and her Ministry. The celebration will last for ten days and conclude with a made-for-television event on Independence Day on August 6, 2021, entitled “A Jamaica Independence Story.” The celebrations will also include Festival Queen finals, fine arts finals, and an evening of entertainment hosted by Jamaica’s Governor General. Emancipation Day will be celebrated online as well with a virtual ceremony on July 31, 2021.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
USAIN BOLT FAVORS FRASER-PRYCE TO WIN 100-METER EVENT AT TOKYO OLYMPICS
Jamaica’s eight-time Olympic gold medal winner Usain Bolt believes that Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will win her third 100-meter Olympic title at the Tokyo Games. If she wins in 2021, she will have achieved a feat completed only by Bolt himself by taking home three consecutive medals I the event. Bolt said he looked forward to watching her performance and worried only that she will put too much pressure on herself. Fraser-Pryce ran the fastest 100-meter time in over 30 years on June 5, 2021, when she clocked 10.63 seconds in Kingston. She also comes to the Tokyo Games as the second-fastest woman in the 200-meters in the 2021 season.