THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA’S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSES SHIPPING (AMENDMENT) ACT
The House of Representatives in Jamaica has passed a law designed to improve standards in the merchant shipping industry on both national and international levels. According to Robert Montague, Jamaica’s Transport Minister, the proposed Shipping (Amendments) Act seek to secure the rights of seafaring people. He said the proposals will benefit some 10,000 Jamaicans who work onboard ships, including those employed in the hospitality sector. The Act will allow Jamaica to meet and honor obligations imposed by the Maritime Convention.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE AID TO DIABETIC, HYPERTENSIVE PATIENTS
A $100 million pilot project funded by the Jamaican government is designed to benefit about 5,000 diabetic and hypertensive patients on the island. The program will help these people access health care at four privately-operation health facilities, reducing their risk of contracting COVID-19 by using the island’s public health system. The pilot program was created in recognition of the fact that many Jamaicans have one of more non-communicable diseases that place them a higher risk of suffering severe outcomes if they catch COVID-19. The program will launch at eight health centers and four private practices in Clarendon, St Ann, and Kingston and St Andrew.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
THOMAS, COZUMEL TO SEE FLIGHTS FROM FRONTIER AIRLINES
Frontier Airlines has decided to expand into the Caribbean with two new destinations. St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and Cozumel off the coast of Mexico in the Caribbean Sea have been added to the airline’s available flights. Saturday service between Denver and Cozumel will begin on February 13, 2021, while the first-ever flights from Orlando to St. Thomas will begin on February 19, 2021 and will operate twice a week. Joseph Boschulte, tourism commissioner in the US Virgin Islands said the government was grateful and encouraged by the partnership with Frontier Airlines and its support in creating flight access to the islands. The choice of Orlando by Frontier for its expansion plans illustrate the rising importance of the Orlando International Airport to the Caribbean region.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
CARIBBEAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM OPENS IN SOUTH FLORIDA
South Florida is home to a one of the most rapidly growing Caribbean American communities in the United States, having a population of about 600,000 to date. Now this community has a museum that celebrates their rich history through exhibitions of artifacts and programs to educate the public about their culture. The museum Island SPACE opened on November 16, 2020, in Plantation, Florida. It was made possible through the efforts of the Island Society for the Promotion of Artistic and Cultural Education. Planning had gone on for several months before being brought to reality by the organization’s president David Muir and its executive director Calibe Thompson. The museum is actively seeking donations of artifacts from around the Caribbean. Cash and in-kind contributions are needed, as well.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
PLANNING INSTITUTE OF JAMAICA REPORTS RECORD DOWNTURN IN JOBS
The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) has announced that some 135,000 fewer Jamaicans had jobs at the end of July 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. This represents the biggest decline ever recorded. Dr. Wayne Henry, director general at the PIOJ, noted the new unemployment figures were recorded despite growth in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and construction sectors, which benefitted from government aid. Other sectors of Jamaica’s economy were negatively impacted by COVID-19, which was one of the factors contributing to the loss of jobs.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
NEW VERSION OF 1970s BOB MARLEY REGGAE SUNSPLASH DOCUMENTARY TO BE RELEASED
Tricoast Entertainment announced that it is releasing a new version of the Bob Marley Reggae Suns plash documentary, which is meant to target the film market in the United States. The original version was released in 1980 and is available on YouTube. The documentary was directed by Stefan Paul of Germany, who also directed two other Marley concert films. The new documentary has been described by Tricoast as a “new 4k version of this iconic 70’s music documentary, which will also feature additional performances which were done by Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Third World Band, Eek-a-Mouse, and Steel Pulse.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
LATANYA WILSON SIGNS WITH AUSTRALIA THUNDERBIRDS
Jamaican netball defender Latanya Wilson will join Sunshine Girl teammate Shamera Sterling as a member of the Adelaide, Australia, Thunderbirds. Pitre Bourdon, manager of the Australian team, said he was excited about having Wilson in the club for the coming Super Netball League season. Wilson is finalizing the signing process and has said that she can’t wait to be in Adelaide and meet the team. She added that going to the Thunderbirds was a great opportunity for her. Wilson caught the attention of Bourdon when she played with the Celtic Dragons in the Netball Superleague in 2020. Bourdon cited the defender’s athleticism and energy as positive elements she will bring to her new team.