THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT DEMANDS REPARATIONS FOR SLAVERY FROM QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Stating that the damage done to Jamaica from the effects of slavery continue, Jamaica plans to present a petition for reparations from Queen Elizabeth II or the government of the United Kingdom to compensate the descendants of enslaved people. The petition cites Britain’s role in the transatlantic slave trade, which made its merchants rich. Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister for Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, announced that the move toward seeking reparatory justice for victims of the slave trade and their descendants is advancing and is supported by Jamaica’s Opposition People’s National Party (PNP).
ASSASSINATION OF HAITI’S PRESIDENT SHOCKS AND SADDENS JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER
Andrew Holness, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, said he was shocked and sadden by the news of the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, who was killed by gunmen at his home on July 7, 2021. Holness took to social media to post, “This morning the world awoke to the shocking and tragic news of the assassination.” He said he had spoken with President Moïse numerous times in the context of CARICOM and that the Haitian president was committed to “seeing Haiti take her place in the world.” Holness called the assassination a “heinous act” that was a “stain” on Haiti. Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, reported that Jamaica and CARICOM are monitoring the situation in Haiti closely.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
JOVENEL MOÏSE, PRESIDENT OF HAITI, ASSASSINATED IN HIS PRIVATE RESIDENCE
The president of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, was fatally attacked by gunmen in his home on July 7, 2021. His wife, First Lady Martine Moïse, was injured in the attack and taken to hospital. She is in stable but critical condition and is being moved to Miami, Florida, for treatment. Prior to the assassination, Haiti had become increasingly unstable as Moïse ruled the nation by decree for a period of more than two years after the failure to hold elections. Opponents of Moïse called for him to leave his post in recent months. Haiti’s security is now in the hands of the National Police of Haiti and the Armed Forces of Haiti. The Haitian National Police detained two suspects in the crime late on July 7th and killed four other individuals linked to the assassination, according to Haiti’s ambassador to the US Bocchit Edmond. Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph declared a state of siege in Haiti following the assassination, which means the army is replacing the police in handling public security, and some freedoms, including movement of people and demonstration, have been severely limited.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN-BORN NURSE LEADS PARADE HONORING ESSENTIAL WORKERS IN NEW YORK CITY
Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse who was born in Jamaica and was the first individual in the United States to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, was named the Grand Marshall of the New York City Parade of Heroes. She headed the parade on June 7, 2021, that was held in honor of essential and other workers who made major contributions toward fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Lindsay was also honored by United States President Joe Biden on July 4, 2021, at a naturalization ceremony held at the White House to recognize “outstanding Americans by choice.” At the ceremony, Lindsay called the US “a country of possibilities and opportunities.” The Parade of Heroes was the first ticker-tape event held in the city in almost two years.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
BANK OF JAMAICA SET TO BEGIN DIGITAL CURRENCY PILOT PROGRAM IN AUGUST 2021
The Bank of Jamaica is preparing to test its central bank digital currency (CBDC), which is slated for roll-out in August of 2021. The program is being implemented in collaboration with other financial institutions in Jamaica. Bank of Jamaica Governor Richard Byles announced the program at a Rotary Club event in July 2021, revealing that the bank was working on the technical facets of the CBDC in a sandbox environment. The Bank of Jamaica selected the Irish tech firm eCurrency Mint as the provider of technology for the program in March of 2021. Byles said that more banks will be recruited to the initiative from September to December. Because the CBDC is designed as a complement to Jamaican banknotes, financial institutions will be able to issue digital currency to account holders at a rate of one CBDC “coin” to one Jamaican dollar.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
“LOCKDOWN” BY KOFFEE NAMED SONG OF THE YEAR BY JAMAICA REGGAE INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION
“Lockdown,” the toast by Grammy award-winner Koffee has been called the “anthem” of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been named “Song of the Year” by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), edging out rival nominees, which included “Loco Remix” by Agent Sasco featuring Bounty Killer, “Lighter” by Tarrus Riley featuring Shenseea, “Like Royalty” by Protoje featuring Popayan, and “Cool as the Breeze” by Chronixx. “Song of the Year” is the top prize awarded at JaRIA’s Honor Awards, which was held virtually and streamed on July 4, 2021. Koffee recorded an acceptance speech in which she thanked her fellow nominees and noted that the purpose of music is to inspire. The awards program has traditionally been held as a finale to Reggae Month in February, but it was rescheduled in 2021 as organizers addressed the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 global health crisis.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN KEANAN DOLS BECOMES FIRST PENN OLYMPIC SWIMMER IN 45 YEARS
Keanan Dols, 22, of Jamaica, will be the first Penn swimmer to compete at the Olympic Games in 45 years. Robert Lewis Cragg Jr., competed for the United States at the Montreal Olympics in 1976. Dols will swim for the Jamaican national team by virtue of his performance in the 200-meter individual medley event at the 2021 Pro Swim Series in Mission Viejo, California in April 2021. Dols has been representing Jamaica in swimming for seven years and set Jamaica’s national record in the event with a time of 2:02.15. The Olympic “B” qualifying time was 2:03.26, and when he beat it, Dols was assured of a place on the team. Dols was born in Savanna-la-Mar, Jamaica, and moved to the US when he was three years old. He attended high school at Pine View School in Sarasota, Florida.