Top 7 Jamaican & Caribbean News Stories You Missed The Week Ending November 19th, 2021

THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES

weekly news stories you missed this week
Top 7 Jamaican & Caribbean News Stories

UNITED STATES MONITORING JAMAICA-CHINA RELATIONSHIP
According to John McIntyre of the US Embassy in Kingston, he as charge d’affaires will follow the lead of President Joe Biden in regard to Jamaica’s relationship with China. McIntyre said that Biden is clear about how the US views the situation and that the US is “concerned” about Jamaica’s ties to China in particular where there are violations of ethical and environmental norms. The US will continue to engage with Jamaica and the Caribbean but have specific concerns about China’s activities in the area’s of telecommunications, cyber security, and infrastructure as Jamaica moves forward. The US wants to ensure that Jamaica remains open to investments in a way that is transparent and fair.

AUDIT OF JAMAICA CUSTOMS AGENCY FINDS VIOLATIONS RESULTING IN SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL EXPOSURE AND AMOUNTS OF UNCOLLECTED REVENUE
Jamaica’s Auditor General has examined the period between 2016 and 2021 in an audit prompted by allegations of a whistleblower related to the Protected Disclosures Act. The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) conducted a special audit of private bonded warehouses and bunkering operations that discovered violations of the law resulting in a financial exposure estimated at $2.1 billion and uncollected revenues of $664.24 million. While the whistleblower allegations could not be confirmed, a review of the JCA operations did find breaches of the Customs and Special Economic Zones Act, the auditor general reported.

THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS

KITTS AND NEVIS STRENGTHEN TIES WITH UNITED ARAB EMIRATES BY OPENING EMBASSY IN ABU DHABI
According to Dr. Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the country plans to create stronger times with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by opening an embassy in Abu Dhabi. A statement from the government stated that Harris signed an agreement with the UAE Minister of State Khalifa Shaheen Almarar to establish the embassy. Opening the embassy in Abu Dhabi had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic but will now move ahead to help strengthen the relationship between the Caribbean nation and the UAE.  

THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS

JAMAICAN OLYMPIAN SHELLY-ANN FRASER PRYCE HONORED BY POCKET ROCKET FOUNDATION IN FLORIDA
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce was honored at a fundraiser for her Pocket Rocket Foundation in South Florida at the Miramar Cultural Center. The event, “An Evening with an Olympian,” successfully raise thousands of dollars for the foundation with an auction of a pair of Fraser Pryce’s running spikes, wig, competition gear, a painting of the athlete with her son, and a weekend stay at the Altamont West Hotel. The high-point of the event was the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to the four-time 100-meter World Champion by Jamaica’s Consul General Oliver Mair. Fraser Pryce was also presented with the keys of the city of Miramar and Broward County. Miramar city commissioner, Alexandra Davis, declared November 16 to be Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce Day. During the event, Fraser Pryce spoke with guests and had her photograph taken will everyone who asked. Mair noted that Fraser Pryce has made Jamaica proud in a “most respectable and humble manner” and emphasized her focus on empowering others. The athlete expressed her thanks for the high turnout at the event and for the support given to her foundation.

THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS

JAMAICA’S OPPOSITION SPOKESPERSON JULIAN ROBINSON OPPOSES RAISING OF INTEREST RATES
Julian Robinson, Jamaica’s Opposition Spokesperson on Finance, believes that the continuous increase in interest rates by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) imposed significant pressure on the island’s economy as the cost of living continues to rise. Robinson argued that higher interest rates will be passed on to customers and will not reduce inflation as touted by supporters of the higher rates. The BOJ decided to raise interest rates by another 50 basis points, increasing from 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent. Raising domestic interest rates will have no impact on the inflation in Jamaica, which is driven chiefly by constraints on the global supply chain. Instead, the hike will have devastating effects on manufacturers and producers in Jamaica who already face projected higher costs for imported raw materials and will force them to raise costs to consumers.

THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

KOFFEE’S MANAGER CONGRATULATES 2021 MOBO AWARD NOMINEES
Tammi Chang, manager of Jamaican star performer Koffee, has congratulated the nominees for the 2021 Music of Black Origin (MOBO) award. She noted that there had been many setbacks for the entertainment industry during the past COVID-19 lockdowns, but artists continued to be creative and responded positively to the unexpected challenges posed by the pandemic. The MOBO awards, the largest celebration of Black music in the United Kingdom, was streamed in December of 2021 for the first time in its 24-year history. Koffee was nominated for the Best Reggae Act award that year. She was not nominated for the 2021 MOBO awards, but her recognition by MOBO significantly impacted her career and she continues to make her mark in the UK and internationally. Lila Iké, Popcaan, Sean Paul, Shenseea, Skillibeng, and Spice have been nominated in the Best Reggae Act category at this year’s MOBOs; Skillibeng is the only Jamaican to also be nominated in the Best International Act category. The ceremony will be held with a live audience on December 5, 2021, at the Coventry Building Society Arena. Chang said that she always tells the artists she manages that whether they win or lose a nomination, they will continue to focus on having a positive impact on others’ lives. She added that she values hard work and that hard work will always pay dividends. 

THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS

JAMAICA HOLDS U.S. TO DRAW IN 2022 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING MATCH
Jamaica’s national team remained unbeaten at home after holding its rival United States national team to a 1-1 draw in a 2022 World Cup qualifier on November 16, 2021, in Kingston. While the Reggae Boyz were scoreless against a goal from Timothy Weah of the US early in the match, Jamaica’s team star Michail Antonio scored an equalizer in the 22nd minute, and the 1-1 score stood as the final tally. Antonio has been impressing Reggae Boyz coach Theodore Whitmore. Leon Bailey, who currently plays for Aston Villa, also contributed to Jamaica’s draw, as he completed the assist on what would have been a game-winning goal if it had not been called back due to a foul. Whitmore stated that Antonio and Bailey made an enormous difference to the outcome of the qualifier. Jamaica is currently ranked in sixth place on the CONCACAF table for World Cup qualifiers.