THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
STUDENTS AT UWI FACE STEEP RISE IN TUITION COSTS
Students at the University of the West Indies Mona (UWI) are alarmed at the news that their tuition costs will increase by more than $100,000 for the upcoming academic year. In spite of a promise that fees would be frozen during the COVID-19 pandemic, students could see a hike of $128,000 because the costs are quoted in United States dollars. The increase will impact students in the medical sciences, law, and engineering the most. Students are angry that the fees are based on the US dollar, and many say that they may not be able to attend UWI as a result and must postpone their educational plans.
JAMAICAN TONI-ANN SINGH WILL RETAIN MISS WORLD TITLE FOR ANOTHER YEAR
Reigning Miss World Toni-Ann Singh of Jamaica will retain her title for another year as the international pageant has been cancelled until later in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Julia Morley, the chair and CEO of the Miss World pageant, safety is the major issue in the coronavirus environment, but noted that organizers are looking forward to “very special celebrations” next year for the delayed 70th staging of the global event. Singh, 24, is the fourth Jamaica to be crowned Miss World.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS POUNDS PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico was hit hard by Tropical Storm Isaias as it continued on its path toward the United States mainland. The country suffered small landslides, widespread flooding, and power outages. Puerto Rico is still trying to recover from several previous hurricanes and continuing earthquakes. Winds reached 60 miles per hour in the southern part of the country, which is experiencing daily earth tremors. Many thousands of residents are still using tarps for roofing since 2017 when Hurricane Maria devastated the country as a Category 4 storm.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
ANOTHER JAMAICAN WOMAN SUCCEEDS IN POLITICS IN THE UNITED STATES
Phacelia Nembhard, who is originally from Whitefield Town in Kingston, was elected mayor of New Carrolton, Maryland, in June of 2020. She is the first woman and the first person of color to serve in this position. Nembhard received a degree in management and accounting at the University of the West Indies where she attended on a scholarship. She was named Student of the Year at the university in 1996. Upon migrating to the US after college, she worked with Citizen Bank and Presidential Bank. Nembhard sees herself as a community activist rather than a politician and has done much volunteer work in the school system. Parents at the school where she volunteered urged her to run for mayor. Since taking office, Nembhard has instituted several reforms, working with the city police department on reforms in particular.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
APPLETON SUGAR FACTOR TO CEASE OPERATIONS
J Wray & Nephew Limited, a rum producer, has confirmed that the Appleton Estates Sugar Factory in St. Elizabeth will close. The firm said it will offer “a generous separation package” to the 370 employees of the plant who will lose their jobs. No date has been set for the closure, but the firm and its stakeholders will meet on August 5, 2020, with unions and their representatives. Management of Appleton will be divested to a third-party firm Frome Sugar Estate in Westmoreland, which is set to re-employ some of the employees impacted by the closure. Plans are also in place to mitigate the blow for third-party farmers as the Appleton Estate Distillery and the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience will continue under normal operations. The firm will also continue to purchase molasses from local producers.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN FESTIVAL SONGS RANK ON U.S. REGGE CHART
A complication set resulting from the yearly Jamaica Festival Song Competition has been listed on the US Current Reggae Albums Chart for the first time in history. The 10-song complication was released on July 3, 2020, through VPAL, and debuted at Number 15 on the sales-driven ranking. The recording features Freddie McGregor, Toots & The Maytals, Buju Banton, Papa Michigan, LUST, and Shuga. Other tracks include Nazzle Man, Xtra Bigg, Radix OD, and Sakina Deer. The Current Reggae Albums chart is available only by subscription. In addition, Buju Banton’s “Upside Down 2020” album was ranked as the top-selling title on the chart just four weeks after its release.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE HONORS JAMAICAN
The International Olympic Committee has honored Jamaica’s Stoddart Nieto, who competed at two Olympic Games for Jamaica, to recognize “the fight and path of an Olympian.” Nieto said that achieving this accomplishment helped to shape her life as an athlete and as a person. She noted that her journey as an Olympian has prepared her for “the most important race, which is life’s race.” She thanked the committee and President Thomas Bach for honoring her with the President’s Award. Nieto, a 2005 Central American and Caribbean Championships 400-meter hurdles medalist, married high jumper Jamie Nieto who suffered a major injury that left him partially paralyzed. She thanked her husband as well “for bringing out the best in me.”