THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
HOLNESS NAMES SAMUDA, HENRY TO FILL VACANT CABINENT POSITIONS
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that Karl Samuda, Member of Parliament (MP) for St Andrew North Central who had been serving as Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Education has been moved into the position of Minister of Education. Samuda had conducted Ministry oversight in his previous role since Ruel Reid was removed as Education Minister due to allegations of corruption over a year ago. Before moving into his new role, Samuda was assigned to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation. Prime Minister Holness had been asked to name a full Education Minister since he requested Reid’s resignation in March of 2019. Holness also named Clarendon Central member of Parliament Mike Henry to head the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, a position left vacant after the passing of St Ann North Eastern MP Shahine Robinson in May of 2020.
HOLNESS APPROVES CHANGES AT CARIBBEAN MARITIME UNIVERSITY
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has given his approval to the organizational changes that have been put in place at Caribbean Maritime University (CMU). Holness is confident that the appropriate systems are now in operation at the Ministry of Education to provide effective oversight of CMU’s activities. Holness expressed his approval during his announcement that Karl Samuda will take over as full Minister of Education following the departure of Ruel Reid in 2019. Holness stated that he believes the Ministry has implemented sufficient changes to ensure that the CMU board operates with integrity, competence, and commitment to Jamaica.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CARIBBEAN CONGRESS OF LABOR SUPPORTS BLACK LIVES MATTER
The Caribbean Congress of Labor (CCL) has expressed its support with the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. The CCL issued a statement expressing condolences to the family of George Floyd and supporting the demonstrators who took to the streets in in protest of the continuing incidents of brutality committed by US police against black individuals. The CCL expressed its concerns about the state of policing in the US and supports calls from the Black Lives Matter organization for an overhaul of police and state structures to remove systemic racial biases from their operations.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
LISA HANNA CALLS FOR DIASPORA ACTION TO ELIMINATE ALL TYPES OF INJUSTICE
Lisa Hanna, Jamaica’s Opposition spokesperson for foreign affairs and foreign trade, marked Diaspora Day on June 16, 2020, by urging those in the Jamaican Diaspora to use their influence to remove all kinds of injustice. Hanna also called for the Diaspora to develop policies in foreign countries that will support all people and move the world toward greater unity in recognition of their shared humanity. In her statement, Hanna saluted the pioneers of the Jamaican Diaspora and their nation-building efforts and noted the extraordinary achievements of Jamaicans on the international scene in their areas of expertise.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
PORT AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE LEASES TO PRIVATE LOGISTICS FIRMS
The Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) will lease lots at Kingston’s port to logistics companies that are willing to make investments. According to Edmond Marsh, vice-president for business development at PAJ, the agency plans to commission a new warehouse hub for private firms to lease at the Kingston Freeport Terminal by 2020’s third quarter. Marsh said there are provisions for as many as four clients to test logistics. The new warehouse covers 18,000 square meters of logistics space at the port and 4.3 hectares of land. Each of the four prospective tenants would be provided with 4,500 square meters, including office space.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN BRIAN HEAP WINS REGIONAL COMMONWEALTH SHORT STORY PRIZE
Retired educator Brian Heap, who had previously led the Philip Sherlock Center for the Creative Arts at the University of the West Indies Mona campus, is the Caribbean regional winner of the 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. He received the prize for his story entitled “Mafootoo,” which follows a Jamaican immigrant of Maroon heritage living in the United Kingdom. The story was selected from among more than 5,000 submissions and has been published in Granta magazine. Heap has worked in education and theater sectors in Jamaica for more than 40 years, serving as director of studies at the Jamaica School of Drama at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and artistic director for the University Players. His productions have recognized with numerous awards, including the yearly International Theater Institute Actor Boy Awards.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
PARENTS CONCERNED ABOUT SAFETY OF RETURN TO YOUTH SPORTS
Local sports administrators in Jamaica are planning for a return to competitive sports in the upcoming school year, but Stewart Jacobs, the president of the National Parent Teachers Association of Jamaica (NPTAJ), noted that serious concerns persist about the safety of taking this action. Sports events were suspended or cancelled as of March 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As restrictive measures to control the virus’s spread are being loosened and officials plan for reopening schools in September 2020, Jacobs notes that parents will prevent participation by their children unless they can be assured that conditions will be safe. Some parents have suggested that sporting events by postponed until January 2021.