THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO ALLOCATE $9.2 BILLION TO UNIVERSITY OF WEST INDIES
Fayval Williams, Jamaica’s Minister of Education, Youth, and Information, announced that the government plans to provide the University of the West Indies (IWI) with an allocation of $9.2 billion to help alleviate the financial challenges faced by the institution due to COVID-19. The government will also provide a grant of $2.9 billion to the University of Technology. Williams noted that the government is reviewing the way tertiary education in Jamaica is funded.
JAMAICA’S NATIONAL FAMILY PLANNING BOARD (NFPB) SAYS HUMAN RIGHTS SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN BASIC SCHOOL CURRICULUM
According to Nicola Cousins, the Technical Officer in the Enabling Environment and Human Rights Unit of the National Family Planning Board (NFPB), human rights, which are not currently part of the teaching curriculum in Jamaican schools, should be taught as early as the basic school level. Cousins said the NFPB believes that early education in human rights is one of the “most sustainable ways” to help people understand their human rights. Such a long-term solution is necessary to ensure that the Jamaican people have the knowledge necessary to prevent violation of their rights.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CARIBBEAN PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY REPORTS OBESITY A CRITICAL ISSUE FOR CARICOM COUNTRIES
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) stated that obesity presents a critical issue for developing countries, including CARICOM countries. The statement was made in conjunction with the marking of World Obesity Day. The agency noted that the Caribbean has some of the highest obesity rates in the Americas, with 18.9 percent of adults in Antigua and Barbuda and 31.6 percent of adults in the Bahamas being overweight. Additionally, obesity levels among children between the ages of 5 and 9 in CARICOM countries are rising, with the Bahamas having the highest level at 39.5 percent and St. Lucia having the lowest at 26.1 percent. Obesity rates among children among children in the Caribbean is two to three times that in the rest of the world, putting them at higher risk for non-communicable diseases in the future. The agency also noted the vulnerability of obese people to COVID-19, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
CLARKE INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO ALLOW CARIBBEAN “DREAMERS” TO EARN LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN U.S.
Yvette D. Clarke, a Caribbean American Democratic Congresswoman, has introduced legislation in the United States House of Representatives to permit Caribbean and other “Dreamers” to obtain legal permanent residence in the US and US citizenship. The legislation, called the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, would grant temporary conditional residency to Dreamers – those unauthorized Caribbean and other immigrants who came to the US as minors – and the right to work. Additionally, if they later satisfy additional qualifications, they will attain permanent residency. Clarke is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants and represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York. The legislation is co-authored by New York Democratic Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and California Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL RETAILER DUFRY WINS 6-YEAR EXTENSION TO SANGSTER AIRPORT CONCESSION CONTRACT
Dufry, a global travel retailing firm, has won a six-year extension to its current retail concession business at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The agreement covers duty-free and duty-paid shops at the airport. Under the extension, MBJ Airports, manager of Sangster, and Dufry, which operates travel retailing entities in 63 countries, includes a six-year duty-paid concession that will go into effect in June 2021 for a number of the retailer’s specialized shops and a new five-year duty-free contract that will be effective from August of 2021. The new shops include a walk-through shop, two last-minute duty-free shops in departure areas, and a duty-free arrivals shop.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
REGGAE LEGEND BUNNY WAILER DIES AT AGE 73
Bunny Wailer, the legendary reggae artist and last surviving founding member of The Wailers group, died in Jamaica at the age of 73 on March 2, 2021. The Wailers formed in 1963 with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. The group gained international attention with its album “Catch a Fire.” It also helped to popularize Rastafarian culture among Jamaicans in the 1970s. Wailer died at Andrews Memorial Hospital in St. Andrew of complications from a stroke he suffered in July 2020. His death was mourned by people around the world.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
REGGAE BOYZ SEEK ADDITIONAL PLAYERS IN MOVE TO QUALIFY FOR 2022 WORLD CUP
The Jamaica football federation is working to acquire citizenship for some high-profile players so that they can join the Reggae Boyz national team. The Reggae Boyz have recruited Mason Holgate, Demarai Gray, Ivan Toney, and others in the team’s bid to qualify for the World Cup in 2022. According to Michael Rickets, president of the Jamaican Football Federation, discussions have occurred with a number of players in the top two divisions of English football concerning their availability to represent Jamaica. The federation is in the process of getting these players Jamaican passports.