THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN STUDENTS RETURN HOME FROM UKRAINE
Twenty Jamaican students studying in Ukraine returned home to Sangster International Airport after Russia initiated a military invasion that began on February 24, 2022, via Frankfurt, Germany, on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. State Minister Leslie Campbell of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs greeted the students at the airport. The students had been in Poland for two days following a walk of over 20 kilometers from L’viv to the border with Poland prior to flying to Jamaica. A busload of students from L’viv to the border was attacked by a mob on Sunday, according to Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, which is when they decided to walk rather than turn back. One of the group’s members was allegedly held at gunpoint by a white Ukrainian in an incident described as racist on his way to L’viv. Activists and politicians have expressed their concerns over the reported incident.
JAMAICAN HIGHWAY TO BE NAMED IN HONOR OF ACTOR AND ACTIVIST HARRY BELAFONTE
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced on March 1, 2022, that a highway in Jamaica will be named to honor the singer, actor, and civil rights activist of Jamaican descent, Harry Belafonte. March 1 was Belafonte’s 95th birthday, and the Jamaican government decided to mark the occasion in the 60th year of the nation’s independence by naming a highway in Belafonte’s honor. Holness described Belafonte as “an icon” whose voice and music matched the power of his activities to promote equal rights, justice, and the empowerment of people. Holness also emphasized Belafonte’s humanitarian work and defense of the dignity and integrity of the people and his battle against racial prejudice in the United States and South Africa. Belafonte was born in Harlem, New York, to Jamaican parents and was inspired by poets of the Harlem Renaissance, including Jamaica’s Claude McKay, his mentor Paul Robeson, and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
DECISIONS ON SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA TO BE LEFT TO INDIVIDUAL CARICOM MEMBER STATES
The decision of whether or not to impose sanctions on Russia related to its military action against the nation of Ukraine will be left to the individual member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The decision followed intense consideration at the 33rd Inter-Sessional Meeting of Heads of Government in Belize and after a wide variety of sanctions were imposed on Russia by the European Union and the United States. According to John Antonio Briceño, the chair of the regional bloc, CARICOM believed the issue would best be handled by individual countries. CARICOM as a whole issued a condemnation of Russia’s invasion just hours after it began. Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados noted that the impact of the situation in Ukraine will be difficult for the Caribbean region as Russia supplies over 10 percent of the world’s oil and 30 percent of its wheat. Both Russia and Ukraine are major markets for corn and soy as well. She said CARICOM will establish an economic recovery transportation subcommittee on the matter that will include the Caribbean Development Bank, the CARICOM Development Fund, and the CARICOM Commission on Economy.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
PAST STUDENTS AT CORNWALL COLLEGE MOVE TO END TECHNOLOGY LEARNING LOSSES
The Cornwall College Old Boys’ Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter (CCOBAMA) is heading a project involving the shipment of more than $5 million in IT equipment to over 30,000 students in 25 high schools and primary schools in Jamaica. The equipment includes access points, desktop computers, iPads, laser printers, and server racks, among other items. The equipment will be disseminated to the schools on March 9, 2022, at Cornwall College in Montego Bay. The association partnered with past students in the Diaspora and local education organizations to acquire the equipment, which is key to providing professional skills to the schools. According to Neville Bell, the project coordinator and past president of CCOBAMA, the expertise includes help in identifying what equipment is needed, network layout, and technical advice. The professionals providing the help are alumni of Cornwall College, Maldon High School, and Wolmer’s High School. Most of the IT equipment in the shipment was donated by private firms in New York and New Jersey. The program is meant to be a continuing effort into the future to ensure Jamaican students have the chance to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the IT sector.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICAN TOURISM MINISTER OPTIMISTIC ABOUT SECTOR IN SPITE OF WAR IN UKRAINE
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett acknowledged the devastating occurrences in Ukraine and emphasized the need for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, but he added that despite the situation in Europe, Jamaica remains on the path toward a strong recovery in the tourism sector. He noted that tourism is in a prime growth environment and that assurances from travel partners in the United States and Europe have promised more flights to Jamaica, beginning in April and May of 2022. The conditions in Ukraine could impact decisions of airlines concerning flights between Russia and other countries, however. According to Bartlett, the Ministry will be analyzing progress reports from Tourism Recovery Task Force Committees and enter into discussions concerning recommendations from its tourism partners to establish future programs.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
MARLEY BROTHERS TO PERFORM AT MAESTRO MARLEY CUP IN FLORIDA
On Saturday, March 5, 2022, Ky-Mani, Julian, Damian, and Stephen Marley will perform at the Maestro Marley Cup at Florida’s Hollywood Arts Park. Ky-Mani Marley said that the event allows him to pursue two of his passions: his first love, football, and his music. The event was established to raise funds for the Love Over All Foundation by Ky-Mani and David “Big Hari” Brisacher of The Dubplates, and they are hoping to make the family-oriented day a yearly occurrence. He noted that it will feature “clean music” and “nice, clean vibes” with a global feel that is appropriate for all ages. Also appearing at the event will be Yellowman, Lila Ike, Jesse Royal, Safaree, Maja Hype, Jo Mersa Marley, Locos Por Juana, KJ, Future Fambo, The Dubplates, Dubwise, and Renaissance.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
FEMALE JAMAICAN CRICKET UMPIRE SEEKS TO INSPIRE OTHER WOMEN TOWARD SIMILAR GOALS
Jamaican Jacqueline Williams, 45, is making a major move in her career as an international cricket umpire when she serves in that role in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. Williams made history when she became the first woman umpire to work in the finals of the ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup. She is in New Zealand preparing for the top event in women’s cricket. She wants to be an inspiration to other female sports officials, serving as an example to show that it is possible to advance in the sector for those willing to put in the work. A number of women will make their debuts at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, which begins Friday, March 4, 2022, and will run until Sunday, Apr 3, 2022.