THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
STATE OF EMERGENCY ISSUED TO ADDRESS RISING CRIME RATE
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared a state of emergency in several areas of the country, responding to a rising crime rate that has impacted areas popular with tourists, including Montego Bay. Some of the nation’s central and western parishes and it capital of Kingston were also covered by the state of emergency declarations in order to provide authorities with greater powers to search buildings and arrest suspects without warrants.
JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER CALLS FOR COMPULSORY NATIONAL SERVICE
Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica is calling for compulsory national service by the nation’s citizens. He believes such a program is necessary to promote more active participation by Jamaicans in their country’s development. He also believes that it would engage young people and steer them away from pursuing gang membership and other criminal activities. Holness is concerned about whether the nation’s society is ready for such a system. He wants legislation to introduce an apprenticeship system to enhance the population’s skills and that “as society progresses,” a system of national service could be established.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CANADIAN MAN CHARGED WITH TERRORISM IN HAITI FOR ALLEGEDLY PLOTTING TO OVERTHROW MOISE GOVERNMENT
Canada’s federal police charged Gerald Nicolas, 51, of Quebec with terrorism for an alleged plot to end the government of Jovenel Moise in Haiti. Moise was killed by gunmen in July 2021 in his home in Port-au-Prince. The charges against Nicolas are unrelated to Moise’s assassination, however. According to the Canadian police, Nicolas traveled to Haiti to coordinate a group of people who planned a coup to bring down the government headed by Moise. Investigations revealed that Nicolas planned to start an armed revolution in Haiti and then seize power. He faces three terrorism-related charges: leaving Canada to participate in terrorist activity, facilitating such activity, and providing property for the purposes of terrorism.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICANS ATTENDING FLORIDA JERK FESTIVAL EMBARRASSED BY BOOING OF JULIET HOLNESS
Jamaicans in the Diaspora who were attending the jerk festival in the City of Miramar in Florida on Sunday, November 13, 2022, were shocked and embarrassed when some in the crowd began booing Jamaica’s Deputy Speak of the House of Representatives, Juliet Holness. Holness, the wife of Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and member of Parliament for St. Andrew East Rural in Jamaica, was booed shortly after being introduced by Oliver Mair, Jamaica’s consul general who is based in Miami. Dr. Allan Cunningham, member of the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council, does not believe Holness was the target of the crowd’s animosity, however, and that anyone who was representing Jamaica’s government would have been treated the same way. Cunningham believes that the boos indicated the frustration of some people about the direction of their home country, especially in regard to crime and corruption.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA HAS SECURED A RECORD NUMBER OF AIRLINE SEATS FROM CANADA TO JAMAICA
According to Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, the country has secured a record 283,000 airline seats from Canada to Jamaica for the coming winter. This is 26,000 more seats that ever before and represents a record. The airline seats are being provided by major travel partners, including Air Canada Vacations, WestJet, Transat, and Sunwing.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN REGGAE ARTIST BLVK H3RO RECEIVES NOTABLE GRAMMY NOMINATION
The Jamaican reggae artist Blvk H3ro is ready to make the most of his Grammy Award nomination and appearance at the award ceremony on February 5, 2023. He has been nominated in the Best Global Music Performance category for his featured performance on the song “Neva Bow Down,” by Rocky Dawuni, a Ghanaian musician and activist. Blvk H3ro actually wrote a song about being nominated in 2021. His single recording, “Greatness,” included the line, “Pull up Grammy night with my crew in $10,000 suits.” He said that he has put in the work for the nomination, being on tour since May 2022 with dates continually added to the original tour schedule. The Best Global Music Performance award is given to international performers who exhibit “non-European, indigenous traditions. Blvk H3ro is the first reggae artist to receive a nomination in that category.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA INTERESTED IN ESTABLISHING WOMEN’S RUGBY LEAGUE TEAM
The Jamaica Rugby League Association, which was established in 2004, has recently seen the men’s national side compete at the Rugby World Cup for the first time in 2022. Due to the growth in the sport in Jamaica and rising interest in the sport, the Association believes it is time to develop a path for women to also compete for Jamaica in rugby. According to Roy Calvert, the men’s lead coach, there are plans to start a women’s program for rugby league in Jamaica. Sophie Robinson and Elychia Watson of the Leeds Rhinos have represented Jamaica in Rugby 7s and said Alex Simmons, operations director for the Jamaica Rugby League, is “really big” on creating a Jamaica women’s rugby league team.