THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT PROPOSES BUDGET CUTS DUE TO COVID-19 COSTS
The Jamaican government has proposed making serious cuts to the national budget to address an $81 billion “hole” in revenues due to COVID-19. According to Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke, the coronavirus pandemic is devastating Jamaica’s economy and various initiatives will be reduced or eliminated for fiscal 2021. The Student Loan Bureau is one of the first agencies to be targeted in the reduced budget plan.
GOVERNMENT MUST PREPARE FOR ARRIVAL OF 1,000 CRUISE SHIP WORKERS
Fritz Jackson, Jamaica’s Opposition spokesperson on National Security, has called for the government to develop adequate plans for addressing the arrival of over 1,000 Jamaican cruise ship workers who are slated to return to the island on May 17, 2020. Sufficient planning is required to avoid potential health risks and chaos that could result if appropriate protocols are not put in place and followed, Jackson said. He is concerned about bringing the workers back into the country safely in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
ARUBA PLANS TO RE-OPEN BORDERS
The Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba is set to re-open its borders. According to a government announcement, Aruba will “tentatively” re-open its borders for inbound travel. The date of the proposed re-opening will be between June 15 and July 1, 2020. However, the date could change if the government decides to impose additional precautions. The decision to re=open will not go forward without serious consideration, as the health of Aruba’s residents is of utmost importance.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN STUDENT PILOT DIES IN SOUTH FLORIDA PLANE CRASH
Jamaican student pilot Mark Scott, 25, died in a plane crash in Miramar, Florida, and his death is mourned by the entire community. The plane, a Piper PA-34 aircraft, went down at about nine in the morning of May 12, 2020, and burst into flames, Scott was a resident of Miramar and a student at the Wayman Aviation Flight School of Miami. His instructor Andres Bastidas, remains hospitalized. Scott was nearly finished with the training course and was considered an advanced student. Scott attended Wolmers Boys High School and the Caribbean Aviation Training Center in Jamaica.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
PARENT OF FLOW JAMAICA PROMISES NOT TO DISCONNECT CUSTOMERS
The parent firm of the telecommunications company FLOW, Liberty Latin America, has indicated that it will retain current prices and not disconnect its customers for late payments during the COVID-18 pandemic situation for now. The policy has been put in place in response to pleas from governments for telecom firms to be lenient on customers who must work from home due to stay-in-place orders arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
SINCERS RITCHIE STEPHENS AND OMI JOIN ON “DON’T STOP”
Two singers of different generations have joined together on the song “Don’t Stop.” Ritchie Stephens and OMI released the feel-good tune on May 11, 2020, along with an energetic music video made in Jamaica. Stephens, who has a long 30-year career in the music industry, was happy to collaborate with a younger performer. He believes the song is the right combination for the duo.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
DANIELLE WILLIAMS ENDS HER 2020 SEASON
Jamaican sprint hurdler Danielle Williams has decided not to participate in the 2020 condensed version of the Diamond League if it is held. Williams is the only defending champion from the 2019 event. Williams has medaled in two World Championships and is based in South Carolina. Her decision to end the season was prompted by her inability to prepare appropriately for competition at world-class events.