THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA TO BECOME A REPUBLIC BY 2025 GENERAL ELECTIONS, SAYS MALAHOO-FORTE
According to Jamaica’s Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Marlene Malahoo-Forte, Jamaica will declare that it is a Republic in the next general elections scheduled for 2025. The Minister provided this update during the House of Representatives 2022/23 Sectoral Debate. The decision to remove the British Queen as Jamaica’s head of state comes as the island is celebrating 60 years of independence from the United Kingdom. Malahoo-Forte also announced the establishment of a Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC) that will include member of the opposition and said she has already written to the Opposition Leader asking for the appointment of two Opposition members to join the reform committee. Support of at least two-thirds of all members of either House is required in the final vote to remove the Queen as head of state. While the Jamaica Labor Party government had the required two-thirds majority vote in the House of Representatives, it will need at least one of the eight Opposition senators to vote with the government. She also advised that a referendum on the issue should be held among Jamaica’s people.
JAMAICA’S MINISTER OF CULTURE SAYS MINISTRY WORKING TO ADDRESS SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, reported to the House of Representatives that the Ministry is establishing a Sexual Harassment Unit to investigate complaints. Recruitment to staff the unit has begun, with some officers ready to work as of July 1, 2022. She also said Danny Roberts, an expert in labor relations, will serve as a consultant to help create the Sexual Harassment Tribunal and related issues. The Tribunal is the entity charged with hearing and determining complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace and other institutions, and to adjudicate complaints by workers of employer failure to act on their complaints. Grange added that, thus far, the Bureau of Gender Affairs has helped 200 organizations draft Sexual Harassment Workplace Policies. In 2021, Jamaica’s government passed the Sexual Harassment (Protection and Prevention) Act, which is designed to stop sexual harassment in the country.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
STUDENT IN ST. VINCENT GRADUATES WITH HONORS FROM HARVARD UNIVERSITY
Gerard Porter, a student from St. Vincent, has graduated from the prestigious Harvard University with first-class honors in Chemistry. Porter is also the recipient of the Sophie Freund Prize, which is awarded to Harvard’s most outstanding seniors each year. Porter is the son of Pastor Gilbert Porter and Educator Samantha Porter. He was among the top CXC-CSEC performers, having 12 grade-one passes in 2016. The grade-one passes were achieved in Pure Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Communications Studies, and Caribbean Studies. Porter was named the most outstanding national scholar in 2018. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the most prestigious academic honor society in the United States.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
SATELLITE HUBS TO BE ESTABLISHED FOR JAMAICA 60 DIASPORA CONFERENCE
Jamaicans living overseas will have the opportunity to participate in the Jamaica 60 Diaspora Conference through a number of satellite hubs hosted by overseas missions. The conference is scheduled to run from June 14, 2022, to June 16, 2022. Its theme is “Reigniting a Nation for Greatness.” According to Leslie Campbell, the State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, announced that four hubs have been planned for Miami, New York, London, and Tokyo. Participants will be able to join the Conference periodically via those hubs. Franz Hall, the Undersecretary of the Diaspora, Protocol and Consular Affairs Division, noted that particular Diaspora locations will be featured at moments during the conference. Members of the Diaspora can join from wherever they are in the world and access plenary session, the virtual marketplace, and “Government at Your Service” online.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
NEW DEPUTY GOVERNOR APPOINTED AT BANK OF JAMAICA
Dr. Jide Lewis, a career central banker, has been appointed a deputy governor at the Bank of Jamaica where he will be responsible for the Financial Institutions Supervisory Division. He will also serve as deputy supervisor of banks, financial holding companies, and other specific financial institutions. He will begin in his new role on June 16, 2022. Lewis has a Ph.D. in economic development policy from the University of the West Indies and is a chartered financial analyst and is certified in financial risk management. He has been working as Chief Prudential Officer for the bank’s Financial Institutions Supervisory Division since 2010.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
FESTIVAL SONG COMPETITION ELIMINATED FOR 2022
Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport, announced that there will be no Jamaica Festival Song Competition in 2022. Grange said that she has implemented plans to enhance the Jamaica Festival Song workshops over the coming year to ensure the competition returns in 2023 with better entries. The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) will refund all entry fees already paid – a total of $123,000 for 123 entries. According to Grange, there has been enormous growth in the competition and that in 2021, the Jamaica Festival Song album was shortlisted for nomination for the Reggae Grammy award. The panel charged with selecting songs for the 2022 edition of the competition was unable to choose ten songs deemed suitable from the entries received, even though it had extended the deadline for submissions.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
14-YEAR-OLD JAMAICAN WINS KARTING CHAMPIONSHIP
Jamaican Alex Powell, 14, made history by becoming the first person from Jamaica to achieve victory at the FIA Karting European Championships in Kristianstad, Sweden, on June 8, 2022. He is also the first karter from the Caribbean region to win at the championships. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness congratulated Powell via social media, noting the historic achievement and Powell’s success in making a name for himself and Jamaica in a sport frequently dominated by drivers from Scandinavia. Powell has steadily enhanced his reputation in the karting world over the past several years. In 2019, at age 11, he became a member of the Mercedes Junior Method One (F1) staff, the youngest driver to do so, and won several races, including the ROK Cup Superfinal and the 24° South Garda Winter Cup (Mini ROK) in the 2019 season.