THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
PORT ROYAL, JAMAICA’S “WICKEDEST CITY,” MAY RECEIVE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE DESIGNATION
Jamaica is moving ahead in trying to obtain World Heritage Site recognition from UNESCO for Port Royal, which was a major shipping and trade center in the 17th century and the country’s largest city. Once labeled Jamaica’s “wickedest city,” it was destroyed in 1692 by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and a tsunami and sank into the sea. If it receives the World Heritage designation, Port Royal would be just the third sunken city in the world to do so, joining Alexandria in Greece and Baia in Italy. The UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage is designed to protect evidence of sunken civilizations over 100 years of age. Port Royal is archaeologically significant because it is categorized as a “catastrophic site,” or a place that was devastated by a natural disaster that preserved it “in situ.” According to Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, World Heritage Site designation will have a major impact on the country’s heritage tourism product.
PETER PHILLIPS SAYS POLITICAL SYSTEM HAS NOT IMPROVED LIVES OF JAMAICANS
Dr. Peter Phillips, the Member of Parliament for St. Andrew East Centra and the former leader of the Opposition, states that lives of average Jamaicans have not been significantly improved in spite of the efforts of various administrations in the past four decades. He said the per capital domestic product (GDP) is the same now as it was 40 years ago, and educational performance on the island has not changed much either. Jamaica’s failure to achieve economic growth and improve citizens’ quality of life represents a “grave indictment” on the country’s political system. Phillips noted the “tribalist” nature of politics in Jamaica, which has led the political parties to cast blame on each other for all policy failures and to claim all successes for themselves. He believes a nonpartisan approach is needed to move Jamaica forward and to develop programs to address crime, the housing problem, and the educational crisis.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
BARBADOS TO OFFICIALLY REMOVE BRITISH QUEEN AS HEAD OF STATE ON NOVEMBER 30, 2021
After years of trying to cut its ties to the British monarchy, Barbados will officially remove Queen Elizabeth II of England as its head of state. The monarch will be replaced by Governor General Sandra Mason, who will serve as president. This is the first time in 30 years that Britain has lost a realm. Suleiman Bulbulia, a member of the committee that analyzed the change, called the move “monumental” for Barbados, even though the action chiefly symbolic as Barbados has been a sovereign nation since 1966. Governor General Mason said that it is time to leave the country’s colonial past behind and to install a Barbadian as its leader. The change will not affect the nation’s economic conditions but will boost morale for its 287,000 citizens.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
AUSTRALIAN SUBURB TO BE RENAMED AFTER ITS LINK TO SLAVERY DISCOVERED
The City of Moreland, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, plans to change its name after the city’s council learned that it had been named after a Jamaican slave plantation that was in operation in the 18th century. Mark Riley, the city’s mayor, said the council was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the discovery. According to traditional owners and community representatives, the City of Moreland’s name came from land acquired by Farquhar McCrae in 1839. McCrae named this land “Moreland” after a slave plantation operated by his father and grandfather from 1770 to 1796, which produced sugar and rum and participated in the slave trade and had between 500 and 700 enslaved people there in any single year. Mayor Riley said the “painful, uncomfortable, and very wrong” history of the naming must be addressed, adding that Moreland is firmly against racism and is a proudly diverse community. The council plans to find a new name in consultation with the Wurundjeri people and the Moreland community, but that the state government has the ultimate authority to make a change.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA’S PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE SIGNS SPONSORSHIP DEAL WITH KONNEXX
A sponsorship deal between Professional Football Jamaica Limited (PFJL) and Konnexx worth $10 million will go into effect in January 2022. Konnexx, a telecommunications engineering firm, will also provide 360-degree electrostatic body sanitizers. According to Christopher Williams, the chair of the PFJL, Konnexx is a good addition to the 2021-2022 season as it will facilitate the accommodation of vaccinated fans in person in the stands at matches. The electrostatic services of Konnexx offer a definite benefit to the PFJL. Dean Nevers, the founder and CEO of Konnexx, said he is looking forward to providing support for the JPL, knowing that players and fans will both benefit from the new partnership.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
SIX ARTISTS RECEIVE GRAMMY NOMINATIONS FOR BEST REGGAE ALBUM 2022
Six artists have been nominated for the 2022 Best Reggae Album award. They include Etana for the album “Pamoja,” Gramps Morgan for “Positive Vibration,” Sean Paul for “Live N Living,” Jesse Royal for “Royal,” Spice for “10,” and SOJA for “Beauty in the Silence.” Spice and Jesse Royal received their first Grammy nominations, while this is Sean Paul’s ninth Grammy nomination. Paul won the Best Reggae Album Grammy in 2003 for “Dutty Rock.” Gramps Morgan won the award in 2015 for “Strictly Roots.” This is the first time that two women have been nominated in the category at the same time. The 64th annual Grammy awards ceremony will be held on January 31, 2022, in Los Angeles.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN ELAINE THOMPSON-HERAH NOMINATED FOR FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR TITLE
World Athletics has nominated Jamaican Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah for the title of Female Athlete of the Year. She earned her spot among the five finalists for the title with her phenomenal performances during the 2021 track season. These included winning the 100-meter gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics with a time of 10.61 seconds and a gold medal in the 200-meters with a time of 21.53 seconds. These two victories made Thompson-Herah the only women to win the Olympic sprint double twice; she had won the gold medals in the 100-meters and 200-meters in Rio five years earlier. She ran a personal best in the 100-meters at the Prefontaine Classic, setting a national record of 10.54 seconds. Thompson-Herah ran the 100-meter distance four times under 10.7 seconds during the season. The other female athletes nominated for the World Athletics title include distance runner Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, hurdler Sydney McLaughlin of the United States, triple jumper Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela, and middle distance runner Faith Kipyegon of Kenya.