THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER TELLS UK ROYALS HIS COUNTRY HAS “MOVED ON” AND WILL BECOME INDEPENDENT OF COMMONWEALTH
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness took the opportunity of a visit from Britain’s Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, that Jamaica has “moved on” and plans to fulfill its destiny as an independent nation. Holness made his remarks following a series of protests that have confronted the royal couple from the start of their Caribbean tour. Holness said the visit provided the chance to address “unresolved issues” and while he said Jamaica was happy to host them, Jamaicans are “very expressive,” referring to demonstrators demanding reparations for slavery. Holness aid the presence of William and Kate offered an opportunity for the issue of slavery to be put in context as a central matter for discussion. William expressed his “profound sorrow” for Britain’s participation in the slave trade during the colonial period but did not offer an apology. Holness said that Jamaica wants to follow the example of Barbados, which recently gained its independence.
INTEGRITY COMMISSION CLEARS OLIVIA GRANGE OF WRONGDOING IN CONTRACTS MATTER
Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Olivia Grange, has been exonerated by the Integrity Commission of wrongdoing in connection with the award of a contract to the business partner of one of Grange’s special advisers on the 55th Independence Grand Gala anniversary event. Grange had been the subject of investigation after an audit of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) found that Trevor Nairne, a partner of Grange’s senior adviser Lenford Salmon, had received a $15 million contract to be artistic director of the 2016 Grand Gala via an unsolicited proposal. Lisa Hanna, Opposition spokesperson, increased the pressure on Grange by accusing her of links to corruption and nepotism. The Integrity Commission found that there was no evidence that Grange had direct involvement in getting, awarding, or executing the Nairne contract.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
UK ROYALS SUBJECTED TO PROTESTS DURING TOUR OF CARIBBEAN
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, embarked on a tour of the Caribbean that included stops in Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign. The couple faced protestors from the start of their tour in Belize, where a scheduled engagement had to be canceled due to opposition to their appearance from local residents. Many Caribbean residents are protesting the role of the British in slavery in the region during its colonial period and have demanded reparations and the removal of their countries from the British Commonwealth. Not all Caribbean locals favor cutting ties to the UK, however, and the royal couple received a warm welcome during their visit to Trench Town in Jamaica, the birthplace of reggae music.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN DIASPORA PRAISED FOR ITS CONTRIBUTIONS TO EDUCATION
The Jamaican Diaspora Education Task Force was praised by Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks for its contributions to education. The task force staged the seventh education summit, which was designed to enhance the skills of Jamaica’s educators’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the summit’s opening at Marymount College in New York, Ambassador Marks noted the significant investment the government of Jamaica makes in the education sector. As many as 60 Jamaican educators participated in the workshops, seminars, school tours, and discussion at the summit meeting. Ambassador Marks also noted the critical role that members of the Diaspora played in enhancing the Jamaican educational system during the past two years of the pandemic.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
DELTA SPORTS MAKES AN IMPACT ON JAMAICAN’S SPORTING LANDSCAPE
Delta Sports founder and Alphansus Davis High School graduate Glenroy Walker discussed how the firm is making its influence felt on the sporting landscape via sponsorship and philanthropic activities at schools and sports organizations throughout Jamaica. He cited its current involvement with the girls’ track and field team at Alphansus, where the company has provided the gear it needs to operate and compete. Co-found Dr. Judith McLaren has also provided her expertise in the areas of health and wellness, and Vita Life Products were issued in care packages delivered to the schools. Delta Sports has distributed equipment from its store in Mandeville and has provided aid to the Alphansus school feeding program, wired its surveillance system, and helped to program coursework in the educational system. According to the school track team’s head coach Megan Wilson-Copeland, Delta Sports has made financial contributions to the team since 2018, contributed to the boarding of girls, and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, contributed to the team’s participation at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
USAIN BOLT WANTS TO DOMINATE MUSIC INDUSTRY
Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt has set his sights on getting to the top of the music industry now that he has been working in the industry for about a year. He is serious about his goals, like winning Grammys, and he believes that the public understands his commitment to the business. While acknowledging that he is not a singer, Bolt said that his roll model is record executive and producer DJ Khaled, someone who loves music and dedicates himself to connecting with various musicians to produce successful albums. Bolt is moving into the NFT (a Non-Fungible Token is a digital unit of data that can be associated with digital files like photographs, videos, and audio) space with “Tracks and Records,” an NFT that will feature five of his records set to his favorite tracks from his debut “Country Yutes” album. The digital collection will also include Bolt’s signature “lightning” pose. Bolt views the NFT business as another way to connect with fans and believes it offers him a way forward in his chosen profession.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
SABINA PARK SEES RETURN OF MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
The regular Monday night football schedule is set for reinstatement at Sabina Park, according to an announcement from the Professional Football Jamaica Limited (PFIL) organization. Two matches are slated at the venue for Monday, March 28, 2022, including a match between Waterhouse and Arnett Gardens at 9 pm. Christopher Williams, chair of the PFIL, encouraged fans to attend, promising them prizes and surprises from the league sponsors. He called the return of Monday night football to Sabina Park a special occasion and urged fans to come early and support their favorite teams.