THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO MARK 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF WORKERS PROTEST
Jamaica’s Ministry of Labor and Social Security plans to mark the 80th anniversary of the workers’ protests in 1938 and the creation of the Labor Department. Commemorative events will take place during Workers Week, which runs from May 14 to May 23, 2018, and will also include Labor Day activities. According to Shahine Robinson, Portfolio Minister, Workers Week in 2018 is themed “Presenting Our Legacy…Unfolding Progress.” It is dedicated to the people who participated in the 1938 labor protests that represent the beginnings of collective efforts to improve working conditions and obtain higher pay. Robinson said that Jamaica would not be where it is today without the “fortitude, resilience and devotion” shown by the workers. The Ministry is collaborating with numerous partners to host public forums on various topics and commemoration at the Workers Monument in downtown Kingston, the site of the 1938 riots.
OPPOSITION PARTY CHALLENGES NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION ACT
Jamaica’s Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) filed an application with the Supreme Court designed to challenge portions of the National Identification and Registration Act (NIDS) on grounds of constitutionality. According to Dr. Peter Phillip, president of the PNP, the party holds that sections of the law breach rights to privacy, the right to a passport, and the right to due process. The Act was passed in November 2017. The PNP believes that there are many benefits in organizing Jamaica’s public administration, but not with a flawed bill that was rushed through Parliament. Phillips said the law was poorly drafted, a fact reflected in the 264 amendments made to the bill in Parliament, a possible record in terms of public legislation.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CARIBBEAN AIRLINES SEES INCREASE IN REVENUE
The regional carrier Caribbean Airlines (CA) reported an increase in revenue of 21 percent for the first quarter of 2018 over the same period in 2017. According to CA representatives, the recent increase comes after a seven percent rise in the demand on passenger revenue. With the revenue increase from strong customer demand and more cargo business, together with improvements in cost management, CA got a good start in 2018.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
TWO JAMAICANS READY TO COMPETE IN 2018 SCRIPPS SPELLING BEE
There will be a “double dose” of Jamaica at the 2018 Scripps Spelling Bee. Nathaniel Stone, of Glenmuir High School who is the 2018 Gleaner Children’s Own Spelling Bee champion, and Assana Thompson, of Ardenne High School who took third place in the competition, will both participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the United States. This will be the first time in over a decade that Jamaica will have more than one competitor at the Scripps competition. Stone, as winner of the local bee, will go to the Scripps championships, and because the new RSVBee invitational program permits parents to apply on behalf of their children for consideration, Thompson will join him at the competition. According to Thompson’s coach Roger Allen, she is an experienced speller and is ready to take on the more than 500 competitions that occur from May 29 through 31, 2018, at National Harbor in Maryland.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
TOURISM ENDANGERED BY MONEY “LEAKING”
According to Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, “leakage” represents a serious setback for any type of growth. Bartlett said that more effort must be made to keep the revenue generated from the island’s tourism sector in the hands of ordinary Jamaicans. Leakage arises from the undesired leaving of money via taxes, wages, and profits paid outside of the country, preventing money from coming back into the local economy and benefitting Jamaican residents. If it is not stopped, the situation could “foster resentment” of the tourism industry among locals. It is critical that more linkages between the tourism industry and the local economy be made, said Bartlett.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
TOP CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYERS TO REPRESENT BOB MARLEY’S GRANDDAUGHTER
Donisha Prendergast, the granddaughter of reggae legend Bob Marley, has retained the services of top civil rights lawyers in the United States to represent her in a case against the Rialto Police Department in California. The case stems from an April 30, 2018, incident in which Prendergast, a motivational speaker, and her friends, renowned Nigerian-Canadian visual artist Komi-Oluwa Olafimihan and filmmaker Kelly Fyffe-Marshal, were unlawfully detained by police and suspected of burglary as they left an Airbnb rental. Attorneys Jasmine Rand of Rand Law LLC and Benjamin Crump of Ben Crump Law, who are known for their representation of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Tamir Rice, will defend Prendergast and two other women who say they were victims of racial profiling. Police were called to the scene by a neighbor who found the women to be “suspicious” when they did not wave to her.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
REGGAE GIRLZ BEAT GUADELOUPE IN OPENING GAME OF WOMEN”S QUALIFIERS
The Jamaican women’s team had an impressive start to the CONCACAF Caribbean Women’s Qualifiers in Group B when they defeated Guadeloupe by a score of 13-0. Khadia Shaw, striker, scored six goals and led Jamaica to the biggest victory at the competition to date. Shaw is a veteran of women’s football in Jamaica. After missing some opportunities, the Jamaican women scored a flurry of goals, and their exceptional performance places them in the lead over tournament host Haiti. Jamaica will next face Martinique on May 11, 2018.