THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICANS HONORED ON NATIONAL HEROES DAY 2020
Jamaica honored its outstanding citizens on National Heroes Day, October 19, 2020, as the nation’s Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen conferred the awards. Professor Orlando Patterson received Jamaica’s fourth highest honor, the Order of Merit, at the event, the only recipient of the OM in 2020. Five Jamaicans received the Order of Jamaica, the fifth highest honor. They included Karl Samuda, Minister of Labor and Social Security; Thomas Tavares-Finson, President of the Senate; Brian Wynter, for service to central banking and the financial services sectors; Merlene Joyce Ottey, Olympian, for service to international and national track and field; and Patrick Hylton, for contributions to the financial sector and philanthropy. Thirty-one Jamaicans received the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander, and 40 individuals received the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer for their outstanding work in their fields. The 2020 National Honors and Awards ceremony was broadcast live from National Heroes Park on television and social media.
LISA HANNA BECOMES FIRST OFFICIAL CANDIDATE FOR PNP PRESIDENCY
Member of Parliament for St. Ann South Eastern Lisa Hanna was the first candidate for the presidency of the People’s National Party (PNP) to register for the November 7, 2020, election. She was accompanied by several PNP women who marched to the party headquarters in St. Andrew for the occasion. Supporters chanted and sang, waving flags with her image on them as they marched. Hanna has received endorsements from PNP Vic President Phillip Paulwell and Donna Scott Mottley, leader of the Opposition in the Senate. Hanna is running against Mark Golding, MP for St. Andrew Southern, who has received the endorsement of Former Deputy General Secretary of the PNP, Luther Buchanan, Senator Gabriela Morris and Joan Gordon Webley.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CARIBBEAN DIASPORA TO HAVE CULTURAL HOME IN SOUTH FLORIDA
A new Caribbean museum will soon be opened in Broward County, Florida. Described as the first Caribbean museum in the United States, the Island SPACE Caribbean Museum will hold a “soft” opening on October 29 and 30, 2020. The “SPACE” acronym stands for the “Society for the Promotion of Artistic and Cultural Education.” Its grand opening will occur in January of 2021. According to Calibe Thompson, who was born in Jamaica and is the executive director of Island SPACE, the soft opening will allow people to see the “work in progress.” The museum has three spaces that cover 5,000 square feet and include archives of the story of the Caribbean from the times of its indigenous people to the colonial period to the emancipation and independence of the islands. The museum’s sections will explore arts and entertainment, Caribbean religions, and notable people of Caribbean heritage, including US vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN JACKIE GORDON LOOKS TO MAKE HISTORY IN U.S. ON NOVEMBER 3
Jackie Gordon is running to unseat Republican Peter King as representative of the Second Congressional District in Long Island, New York, in 2020. If she wins, the Democratic candidate will be the first person born in Jamaica to gain a seat in the United States House of Representatives, as well as the first person of color to represent that congressional district, and the first woman to be elected from the district. Gordon attended White Marl School in St. Catherine, joined the US military and served 29 years, and was an educator in New York’s school system for nearly 30 years. She says her childhood in Jamaica taught her “to help others and the importance of community.” She wants to be a role model “for every little girl growing up in Jamaica.” Her platform is focused on keeping costs of health care and prescription drugs low and to protect those with pre-existing conditions, encouraging economic opportunities, promoting tax relief, protecting veterans, and supporting teachers and education.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
USE OF CHEQUES REDUCED BY 33 PERCENT DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC
While Jamaicans are still using cheques, the need for physical distancing that results from restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic has made them less efficient. In July 2020, a little more than $100 billion worth of cheques were processed, compared to $160 billion in July of 2019. The use of retail point-of-sale processing has been boosted and surpassed that of 2019, which indicates that retail consumers are spending money again, but not with cheques. According to the BOJ Payment System Data Bulletin, cheque transaction had been increasing for many years, but began fading in March of 2020. This was the same month COVID-19 was detected in Jamaica.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
ASHANTI FINDLEY CROWNED MISS UNIVERSE JAMAICA WEST
Ashanti Findley, 18, is the new Miss Universe Jamaica West. Findley is in the sixth form at Frome Technical High School. The pageant’s grand finals were held at Beaches Negril in Westmoreland. Findley says she entered the pageant in order to influence young people and to create “a platform” for fostering female empowerment. She noted that her experiences during the Miss Universe Jamaica West pageant were marked with love and support from all the other contestants. At the pageant, Findley wore the sash proclaiming her Miss Caribbean Sea Food. She also won the sectional prizes of Best in Swimwear and Best in Evening Wear. She will join other regional title holders in competing in the 2020 Miss Universe, Beauty, Fashion and Wellness Pageant, which is scheduled for November 2020.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
NETBALL JAMAICA WORRIES ABOUT AVAILABILITY OF AIKEN FOR TEST SERIES VERSUS ENGLAND
Doubts have arisen over whether Romelda Aiken, goal shooter, will be available to join the Sunshine Girls in their pending three-Test series against England. They must obtain the funds necessary to pay for a mandated quarantine for Aiken upon her return to Australia, her country of citizenship. The nation requires those returning from overseas travel to stay in a quarantine facility upon their return due to COVID-19 management policies. Netball Jamaica has approached its sponsors and the Jamaica Olympic Association for help in covering the required fee. Aiken, 31, last represented the Sunshine Girls in 2019 at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool. She was drafted into the team following the departure of Jhaniele Fowler who left for personal reasons. Aiken, a top scorer in the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball League, signed onto a one-year extension with the Queensland Firebirds for 2021.