THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
NEW BILL APPLYING TO FIREARMS LICENSING IN JAMAICA TO MAKE PROCESS EASIER
According to Dr. Horace Chang, Jamaica’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, a new Firearms Bill will make applying for and licensing a firearm must easier by incorporating policies that improve the existing vetting process and make sure that those who want to obtain legal firearms are “law-abiding citizens who want to protect themselves.” The bill separates legal from illegal firearms, stating that quality service and transparency are designed for applications for legal firearms and that licenses are issued within a reasonable period of time. A new facility, the Licensing Authority’s fourth location, will expand service delivery of individuals in St. Ann, St. Mary, and Trelawny. Jamaicans’ privacy, security, and convenience will be improved, and applicants will have to participate in training and sensitization processes to emphasize the serious responsibilities that come with owning a firearm.
JAMAICA’S MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE MOVES TO ADDRESS FOOD CRISIS WORRIES
Pearnel Charles Jr., Jamaica’s Minister of Agriculture, announced that the Ministry is working to enhance food security and resilience to address food crisis concerns. He noted that the risks that impact the inflow of goods, especially those in the manufacturing sector, and that the Ministry is joining with stakeholders to identify alternative supply sources and advance research and development of alternatives for fertilizer, animal feed, and food options. The Ministry has also strengthened its effort to achieve sustainable food security through a deliberate and strategic approach that invests in the agricultural sector, boosts products, and improves its resilience to potential disruptions and shocks.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CANDIDACY OF KAMINA JOHNSON-SMITH FOR COMMONWEALTH SECRETARY GENERAL SUPPORTED BY MALDIVES
The Maldives government has given its support to Kamina Johnson-Smith of Jamaica in her campaign to become Commonwealth Secretary General. The Maldives president, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, confirmed his government’s support for Johnson-Smith in the elections that will be held at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, in June of 2022. He made the commitment in a phone call to Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness, calling Johnson-Smith the most qualified candidate. He added that he believes his country and other small developing island states will receive excellent representation in the Commonwealth under the tenure of Johnson-Smith.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
MAYOR OF NEW YORK PLEDGES AID TO STOP FLOW OF GUNS AND DRUGS TO JAMAICA
Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, promised to help Jamaica’s government stop guns and drugs from reaching the island. Adams made his promise in an address at the launch of celebrations marking Jamaica’s 60th anniversary in New York. He noted that the largest percentage of Jamaicans living in the US live in New York, which causes him to worry about the illegal gun and drug trade between the two locations. New York is home to nearly 1 million Jamaicans, and Adams voiced concern over how the trade in guns and drugs is to blame for the destruction of public safety in both countries. Calling New York “the heart and soul” of the Jamaican Diaspora in the US, Adams went on to thank Jamaicans for their contributions at all levels of public safety, health, innovation, education, and commerce, and praised the strong ties in education, trade, and business between the two countries.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
TRAVELERS FROM U.S. RANK JAMAICA AS TOP CARIBBEAN DESTINATION FOR SUMMER
According to Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the country has ranked at the top of summer bookings made by travelers from the United States, outpacing all other destinations in the Caribbean. Bartlett called the ranking “great news” as Jamaica continues its attempts to recover business from the US, the island’s largest source market. Bartlett expects the summer of 2022 to be the best summer for tourism since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
HISTORY MAN RELEASES FIRST ALBUM SINCE 2001
“Time With Patience” is the title of History Man’s new 2022 album, an album that has been 21 years in the making. Andrew Black, who first came to popular attention in 1996, released his first album, “Chronology Vol. 1,” in 2002, but as the artist pointed out, he has released over 100 singles during those 20-plus years as he continued his “edutainments” that are designed to teach Jamaican history. In the past, he has released songs like “Bob Marley History” and “Miss Lou History.” In an interview with The Gleaner newspaper, Black cited constant traveling delayed production of a full-length album, but the lockdowns associated with COVID-19 provided the time needed to do so. His new album includes 16 tracks, covers many topics, and showcases his versatility. Released on April 23, 2022, the album features collaborations with other artists, including Jah Mason and Natural Substance. At its official launch, Dr. Michael Barnet of the University of the West Indies was the guest speaker.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO HELP FUND PREMIER LEAGUE CLUBS PARTICIPATION IN CONCACAF CARIBBEAN CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS
Jamaica’s government will provide financial support for the nation’s Premier League clubs to compete for Caribbean Club Championships. The government will provide some US$13,000 to the Cavalier and Waterhouse clubs toward their participation in the CONCACAF competitions. The two clubs will represent Jamaica at the championships, which will be held in the Dominican Republic from May 13 to May 25, 2022. Other Caribbean teams competing at the tournament include Haiti and the Dominican Republic. According to Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Gender, Culture, Entertainment, and Sport, the current situation presents many challenges, but the Sports Ministry is happy to help these teams because of its love for the Jamaican people and sports. The games will be broadcast live on television in 26 countries, she noted.