THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA’S GOVERNOR SUSPENDS PERSONAL USE OF BRITISH ROYAL ENGAGEMENT
Sire Patrick Allen, Jamaica’s representative of the British monarchy, has suspended the personal use of his engagement title as part of the Order of St. Michael and St. George because of its depiction of Satan as a dark-skinned man under the foot of a white archangel. The image has caused outrage in the country, and Allen wrote to the Chancellor of the Order of George requesting that the image be changed to be more inclusive and reflect the “common humanity of all peoples.” The Order of St. Michael and St. George serves in foreign countries or regarding foreign and Commonwealth businesses, including the work of diplomates and foreign service officers.
STUDY BY UNITED NATIONS FINDS JAMAICA WILL SUFFER MOST SERIOUS ECONOMIC DOWNTURN DUE TO DECREASE IN TOURISM CAUSED BY COVID-19
A study from the United Nations indicates that Jamaica will experience the greatest effects of a drop in tourism rates due to the COVID-19 pandemic of any nation in the world. The report, which was published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), predicted an estimated decline in Gross National Product for Jamaica of 11 percent. According to Jamaican Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, the projected impact emphasizes the need to reopen the tourism sector in a phased and safe manner. The UN report also stated that the global tourism sector could see losses to at least US1.2 billion resulting from the four-month economic shut-down caused by the coronavirus. Jamaica is expected to lose 146 billion dollars from April of 2020 to March of 2021, said Bartlett.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
FIVE CARIBBEAN DESTINATIONS PLAN TO REOPEN IN SUMMER OF 2020
As the Caribbean experienced a loss in tourism dollars when the COVID-19 pandemic hit at the height of tourist season, the region is ready to reopen to global travelers and to take advantage of the trend in places like Puerto Rico and the Bahamas of enjoying summer business from bargain travelers, families, and adventure tourism. Countries in the Caribbean are reopening to recover from the major losses suffered during the winter months, while acknowledging that hurricane season could be a problem. Most countries are requiring visitors to wear face masks when indoors and to practice social distancing. Aruba reopened to Canadians, Europeans, and most Caribbean nationals on July 1, 2020. Tourists from the US will be allowed in on July 10. St. Maarten, the Cayman Islands, St. Barts, and Bonaire and Curacao also plan to open to some European visitors on July 1, but the US will not be included in this phase of reopening as it is considered high risk.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON DC REOPENS
According to Audrey Marks, the Jamaican ambassador to the United States, the Offices of the Jamaican Embassy in Washington DC have reopened following a three-months’ closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the city’s response to the outbreak. The Jamaican Embassy will open its service gradually until it returns to normal operations. The Consular Section will not open for in-person applications until July 15, 2020, but online appointments are still being processed. Under the reopening restrictions, only six people will be allowed in the waiting area and will be required to wear face masks. Just one applicant will be permitted in the interview room. Physical distancing protocols will be in effect, and all visitors to the Embassy must wear masks.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
DIGICEL JOINS FACEBOOK ADVERTISING BOYCOTT
Digicel, the telecommunications firm, has joined with other high-profile brands like Adidas and Coca-Cola to stop all of its paid advertising on Facebook’s platforms internationally for the month of July 2020. The action is being taken to protest online hate speech and racism promoted online. Digicel is joining the boycott in solidarity with the other brans that have sent a strong message of outrage to Facebook’s leaders that the platform is not doing enough to stop the spread of racist hate speech and “negative, damaging, and violent messaging.” Digicel will also make a donation of US$30,000 to Jamaicans For Justice to support its efforts to ensure the rights of all Jamaicans.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
CRICKET STAR CHRIS GAYLE FEATURED IN VIDEO WITH STYLO G
Chris Gayle, one of the biggest stars in cricket, is appearing in a music video with Stylo G, a Jamaican-English artist in a remix of the musician’s song “Too Hot.” Gayle performs a rap verse in the song, speaking mostly about his status as a global cricket star. According to reports, the video was shot in Gayle’s house by St. Andrews Hill. The athlete has been promoting the song on social media. Recently, Gayle decided not to participate in the Caribbean Premier League for “personal reasons.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
SIR EVERTON WEEKES, WEST INDIES CRICKET LEGEND, DIES
Sire Everton Weekes, a legendary former batsman for the West Indies, has died at his home in Barbados following a long illness. He was the oldest surviving West Indies cricket player and the third oldest surviving’ Men’s Test player. He was 95 years of age, and his death marks the end of a remarkable period of West Indies and world cricket. He has been described as one of the greatest cricket players of all time and remained active as a mentor and supporter of the sport until his death.