THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
NORTH-SOUTH HIGHWAY RENAMED TO HONOR EDWARD SEAGA
Jamaica’s North-South Highway, which connects the island’s two economic centers of Kingston and Ocho Rios, was renamed the Edward Seaga Highway to honor the country’s former Prime Minister. Current Prime Minister Andrew Holness officially announced the new name at a ceremony at the Unity Valley Toll Plaza in Moneague, St. Ann. Holness stated that the renaming of the highway was designed to recognize Seaga’s contributions, work, dedication, sacrifices, and life. It was also appropriate, according to Holness, as Seaga was responsible for the development of downtown Kingston and spurred the development of Ocho Rios into a major tourist destination.
LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES SEIZE $400 MILLION IN ILLEGAL CIGARETTES
In one of the largest illegal cigarette busts of 2018, Jamaican law enforcement agencies confiscated some $400 million in illegal cigarettes from a location in Montego Bay. The Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) and the Jamaica Defense Force’s Narcotics Division went to a house in the Westgate Hills community of St. James and found the illicit products stored throughput the premises. A man at the location was arrested pending additional investigation.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
MARINE LIFE AT RISK AS SEAWEED THREATENS TOURISM IN CARIBBEAN
Sea turtles and other marine life were threatened when a strange outbreak of Sargassum, a brown seaweed, massed off the shores of Barbados on June 4, 2018. Many sea turtles were rescued from the heavy, foul-smelling, thick, brown layers of seaweed, but others, along with baby dolphins, were found deaf, according to the Barbados Sea Turtle Project. A similar incident occurred in 2015 and killed hundreds of eels, crabs, and fish. Continuing incidents of seaweed inundation could threaten popular vacation spots and have a negative impact on Caribbean tourism. Sargassum is a brown algae species that usually floats on the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean, but have recently been found in the waters between Africa and northeastern South America. The outbreaks may be related to ocean currents, sea temperature, patterns of rainfall, hurricanes, and nutrient levels.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICA ON DISPLAY AT NEW YORK CITY”S CARIBBEAN WEEK
Jamaica showed off its celebration credentials during Caribbean Week in New York City. The event is sponsored by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). Jamaica was celebrating the fact that it saw a record number of stopover arrivals between January and May 2018, reaching some 1,025,997 visitors. The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) participated in several events during Caribbean Week, targeting the media, the Diaspora community, and local New Yorkers. Among these events were cooking demonstrations by celebrity Jamaican chef Wenford Patrick Simpson, who made Jamaica’s national dish, ackee and saltfish. Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett was a guest speaker at the annual City Nation Place Americas Conference, which was held during the week, He discussed his views on how tourist destinations can build more resiliency into their countries to withstand threats from climate change, cyber warfare, and epidemics.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
NEW BRANCH OF FONTANA PHARMACY TO OPEN IN ST. ANDREW
Fontana Pharmacy plans to open a new store in Waterloo Square in St. Andrew in the summer of 2019. This new branch, the company’s sixth, will be its largest store to date, comprising 35,000 square feet and two levels with escalators and elevators. The new store will also feature a one-stop “beauty hub,” a large selection of baby and children’s goods, an extensive selection of house and home décor items, a complete business center, a photo lab, and bill payment and courier services, in addition to its state-of-the-art pharmacy. According to Kevin Chang, the director at Fontana Pharmacy, the company believes its investment in St. Andrew will further strengthen its position as Jamaica’s premier pharmacy and to its customers.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
AUTHOR MARLON JAMES ANNOUNCES RELEASE DATE OF FANTASY EPIC
Award-winning Jamaican author Marlon James has announced the release date for the first book in his new fantasy epic “Dark Star” trilogy. The first book, which is entitled “Black Leopard, Red Wolf,” is scheduled for release by publisher Riverhead Books in February 2019. James has described his trilogy as the “African ‘Game of Throne.’” James is best known for his 2015 novel about Bob Marley’s assassination “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” which won the Man Booker Prize. James is the first Jamaican author to receive the prestigious award. The book is being adapted for film by Amazon Studios.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JUMPER THOMAS-RICKETTS BREAKS RACES GRAND PRIX RECORD
Shanieka Thomas-Ricketts set a new record at the JN Racers Grand Prix, making a jump of 14.39 meters on her final effort. She broke the record despite having arrived back in Jamaica from the Oslo Bislett Games in Norway, where she finished fourth with a jump of 14.44 meters only hours before having to perform at the competition. Thomas-Ricketts said she was grateful to have accomplished such an achievement because she was very tired at the time and is taking nothing for granted. She managed jumps of 13.94 meters, foul, 14.26 meters, 14.04 meters,and 13.92 meters before breaking her own record in her final jump.