THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA’S FIRST CASE OF MONKEYPOX CONFIRMED
Jamaican Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton confirmed that the monkeypox virus has appeared on the island. At a press conference, Tufton shared that a man contacted the public health system on July 5, 2022, having returned to Jamaica from the United Kingdom five days earlier, and was placed in isolation. His close contacts are also in quarantine, and contact tracing will continue if necessary. According to Tufton, the nation’s emergency response protocols have been activated, and no one should panic. No new recommendations for social interaction protocols are forthcoming from the Ministry at this point, but Tufton did say the Jamaicans should continue to observe current COVID-19 protocols to prevent spread of the virus.
JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER INTERVENES TO HELP WITH POPCAAN’S IMMIGRATION ISSUES
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has intervened to help the dancehall artiste Popcaan address issues facing him in clearing immigration protocols overseas. Holness asked Dr. Horace Chang and Police Major General Antony Anderson to look into the artiste’s situation “with a view to help facilitate his ease of travel as an entertainer.” The difficulties stem from a green notice, which is issued by Interpol to member nations to provide a warning about an individual’s criminal activities where that individual is considered a potential threat to the public’s safety. A green notice was issued in regard to a drug-related conviction of Popcaan that may have triggered the immigration problem. The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) reported that it has not issued an order against Popcaan, as did a statement from Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, which stated that the government had no part in the artiste’s “stop and check” order at Heathrow Airport in London.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
LEADERS OF CARICOM NATIONS MAKE NEW MULTILATERAL AIR SERVICES AGREEMENT
Continuing to address regional air transportation matters, the leaders of CARICOM reached an agreement on a new and modern Multilateral Air Services Agreement (MASA). The agreement will create a new framework for air transportation operations in the Caribbean region. According to Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Caribbean nations, especially those in the Eastern Caribbean, were seriously impacted by the loss of thousands of seats due to the problems with the Leeward Islands Air Transport Services (LIAT). LIAT is a regional airline with headquarters in Antigua and Barbuda that operated flights to 15 destinations in the area.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
BFI TO SCREEN DOCUMENTARIES ON REGGAE MUSIC AND CULTURE
BFI Southbank will celebrate reggae music and culture and its relationship to cinema with the screening of documentaries at its August 2022 “From Jamaica To The World: Reggae On Film” event, including films on Bob Marley and Trojan Records. The 2022 season coincides with the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence from Great Britain. Films to be screened include “Bob Marley: The Making Of A Legend” (Esther Anderson, 2011); “Burning An Illusion” (Menelik Shabazz, 1981); “Sprinter” (Storm Saulter, 2018); “Dancehall Queen” (Don Letts, Rick Elgood, 1997); “Rudeboy: The Story Of Trojan Records” (Nicolas Jack Davies, 2018); and others. The Marley film in particular is considered a major highlight of the season, which is presented by African Odysseys, an entity that programs monthly BFI Southbank events and celebrations of work by and about the African Diaspora. The organization’s 15th anniversary is being celebrated in 2022.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA OPENS ITS FIRST PUBLIC NUCLEAR MEDICINE CENTER
A public nuclear medicine center has opened at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) in Kingston with the support of the “Rays of Hope” initiative of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The first-of-its-kind facility in Jamaica will provide diagnoses and treatments for cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases. Prior to the opening of the new center, Jamaica operated just four teletherapy machines in public medical facilities and had no nuclear medicine facilities, despite experiencing over 7,000 new cancer cases each year. Some private organizations offer nuclear medicine on the island, but at a price that is unaffordable to average Jamaicans. With the new center, all Jamaicans will have access to the advanced care at a much lower cost.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
SKIP MARLEY TO SERVE AS YOUTH AMBASSADOR TO 2022 JAMAICA POETRY FESTIVAL
Now that poetry has been added as an award category for the 65th Grammy Awards ceremony in 2023, according to an announcement from the Recording Academy, Jamaican two-time Grammy winner and recording artist Skip Marley has been named to be the youth ambassador for Jamaica’s 2022 Poetry Festival (JPF). Marley said he was excited to perform and present the award because, as a singer and songwriter, he focuses on the power and energy of words and music to take listeners “to a higher place.” The Grammy’s have added the category “Best Spoken World Poetry Album” for 2023, and Marley believes that it makes sense for poetry to be included in the awards, noting that lyrics are poetry, and “poetry is a form of music,” made up of various cadences and rhythms. He said it was an honor to be named youth ambassador and thanked the Academy for the invitation.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA FALLS TO USA IN CONCACAF MATCH IN MEXICO
Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz were defeated by the World champion United States team in the second Group A match at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship in Monterrey, Mexico. The final score was 5-0, with Sophia Smith of the US scoring in the fifth and eighth minutes for an early lead over the Jamaican team. Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis, and Trinity Rodman scored for the US in the 59th, 82nd, and 86th minutes, respectively. Eleven of the 20 shots for the US were on goal, compared to two on-target shots of four total for the Jamaicans. The US now lead Group A with six points, and Jamaican have three. Lorne Donaldson, Reggae Girlz coach, acknowledged the team “didn’t play well” and “We weren’t good.” Jamaica has another chance to qualify automatically for the 2023 Women’s World Cup when the team plays Haiti in the final group game on Monday, July 11, 2022.