THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
NEW BASE FOR JAMAICA DEFENSE FORCE TO BE ESTABLISHED IN ST. ANDREW
One hundred acres of land in St. Andrew’s Wareika Hill will be used as the site for a new special operations base for the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF), according to an announcement from Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness. The base represents part of strategic plan to control the area, which is known as a thoroughfare for gangs. Holness noted that the JDF is critical for Jamaica’s security and that the government has been in the process of expanding its capabilities. The new base is part of an effort to increase security in the land domain of Jamaica in response to a trend in which criminals create camps in remote locations from which they launch attacks on surrounding communities and then return to the remote regions. The JDF will be charged with expanding its patrols, surveillance, and presence in hard-to-access areas across the island. The base at Wareika Hill is the first of many planned installations, Holness added.
JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER FINES FIVE GOVERNMENT MINISTERS FOR ATTENDING SHENSEEA PARTY
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness responded to outrage from the general public, which claimed special preference given to the promoter of the Shenseea album-launch party in Kingston, by fining five government ministers who attended the event $100,000 each. Holness announced his action during a budget presentation and following an announcement that as of March 18, 2022, the entertainment sector would officially reopen from its COVID-19-required shutdown. Holness called the five ministers “starstruck” and appointed Minister Olivia Grange to collect the fines and donate them to a worthy charity. Those fined for attending the party were Minister of Finance Dr. Nigel Clarke, Minister of Health Dr. Christopher Tufton, Minister of National Security Dr. Horace Chang, Minister of Culture Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, Minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Floyd Green, and State Minister Alando Terrelonge. They were all photographed not wearing masks at the event.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
NORWEGIAN CRUISE SHIP RUNS AGROUND OFF DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The cruise ship “Norwegian Escape” ran aground off the northern coast of the Dominica Republic after leaving the port of Puerto Plata with about 3,000 tourists and 1,600 crew members on board. According to Vice Admiral Ramon Gustavo Betances Hernandez, the ship ran aground because of strong winds clocked at some 30 knots. The ship, which will be able to exit its position during high tide, was on the way to the US and British Virgin Islands and then to the Bahamas. Representatives of various government agencies have been working with the crew at the site to facilitate the ship’s journey. There were no reports of damage to the ship from the incident.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICANS IN DIASPORA DONATED OVER J$500 MILLION TO ISLAND’S COVID-19 RESPONSE
According to Jamaica’s State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Leslie Campbell, the Jamaican Diaspora has donated over J$500 million in supplies to support the response of the nation’s government to the COVID-19 pandemic. Campbell added that the government will continue its efforts to partner with the Jamaican Diaspora as the Diaspora also continues its support of Jamaica for charities, fundraising initiatives, and the sharing of skills and transfers of knowledge. He also noted that the government has recognized the “significant impact” COVID has had on the Diaspora community and praised the way the community came together to provide emotional support and resources in the pandemic’s early stages.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
MARKET FOR JAMAICAN ACKEE EXPECTED TO GROW BETWEEN 2022 AND 2032
Business intelligence experts believe that the market for Jamaican ackee fruit will grow substantially between 2022 and 2032. According to a market study, there is a marked increase in demand for exports of non-traditional Jamaican crops worldwide, and demand for ackee is expected to grow along with the trend of buy local products via traditional trade methods. The flavor of ackee continues to increase in popularity and has made the fruit one of the most popular products at both mainstream and gourmet stores globally. Manufacturers are making canned ackee with less sugar more available to meet consumer demands. The value of total exports of canned ackee from Jamaica rose from US$13 million in 2014 to US$20 million in 2016 and was expected to surpass US$29 million in 2020.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
SHENSEEA HOLDS ALBUM RELEASE PARTY IN JAMAICA
Jamaican recording star Shenseea, 25, made an appearance at the release party for her album “Alpha” in Kingston, Jamaica, accompanied by London On Da Track, who is rumored to be her boyfriend although she has denied it. The singer turned heads at Romeich Entertainment’s headquarters for the Jamaica portion of an album-release party series, which included parties held in New York and Miami. The events have attracted celebrities such as Busta Rhymes, Diddy, Romeich Major, Mary J. Blige, and Trina. With the appearance in her native city of Kingston, Shenseea seeks to dominate the dancehall genre. The Kingston party attract numerous local celebrities, including politicians such as Olive Grange, the island’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN BASKETBALL PLAYER KOFI COCKBURN NAMED TO ALL-AMERICAN FIRST TEAM
Kofi Cockburn, a Jamaican basketball forward from Kingston who plays for the “Fighting Illini” of the University of Illinois in the United States has been named an Associated Press (AP) First-Team All-American. This is the one of the most prestigious honors to be awarded to college basketball players in the US. Cockburn, how is seven-feet-tall, has averaged 21 points and 10.6 rebounds per game during his junior season. He is likely to be a draft lottery pick in the 2022 NBA draft. Cockburn will be featured at the NCAA tournament as the Illini, who are seeded fourth, confront the Team from Chattanooga, Tennessee, on March 18, 2022. In 2021, Cockburn was named to the AP All-American second team.