THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
HANNA FIGHTING FOR LEADERSHIP OF PNP
Lisa Hanna and Mark Golding are in a political fight to attain leadership of the People’s National Party (PNP) in a run-off for the presidency of the 82-year-old party on November 7, 2020. Hanna is set to leave her role as the PNP’s treasurer and has committed to fighting for the party’s presidency in order to protect its legacy. She lost her bid to become vice-president in the general election on September 3, 2020 but retained her St. Ann Eastern seat in the traditionally strong PNP region. Golding is also a former PNP treasurer and current serves Member of Parliament for St. Andrew Southern. Hanna and Golding had major roles in the fierce presidential campaign battle in 2019 between Peter Bunting and the PNP’s outgoing president, Dr Peter Phillips, which Bunting narrowly lost.
ADMINISTRATORS OF PRIMARY, SECONDARY SCHOOLS CONCERNED ABOUT INTERNET ACCESS IN FACE OF REOPENING
Primary and secondary school administrators have expressed concerns about the large gaps in internet access for students across Jamaica. They are also worried about whether or not students will have smart devices to use when schools open on a virtual basis. While the Ministry of Education has assured schools that it will implement multiple teaching and learning approaches in response to the COVID-19 environment, many students face limited internet access or none at all to take advantage of online learning initiatives. Concerns have also arisen about proposed free television broadcast of lessons. According to Fayval Williams, Minister of Education, schools have been provided with funding and told to get laptops for students in grades 10 through 13 who are on PATH, as well as for other vulnerable students as they are identified.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
U.S. IMPOSES MORE SANCTIONS ON CUBA PRIOR TO NOVEMBER ELECTIONS
The United States has decided to target Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja, the son-in-law of Raul Castro, retired Cuban leader, with sanctions. The US moved to do so as it expands its campaign against Cuba’s government ahead of the presidential election on November 3, 2020. The US State Department and US Treasury Department added Lopez-Calleja to the list of “specially designated nationals and blocked persons” and accused him of helping to finance abuses of human rights and working with Venezuela to suppress the freedom of Cuban citizens. López-Calleja leads the financial arm of the Cuban military, known as GAESA, that controls state-owned businesses like hotels, factories, stores and an airline. The new sanctions were announced two days after the US imposed sanctions on a debit card that permitted Cubans to purchase food and appliances with money sent to them by relatives in the US.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN HOPES TO MAKE HISTORY AS FIRST WOMAN, PERSON OF COLOR, CARIBBEAN IMMIGRANTS TO BE MAYOR OF PALM BAY, FLORIDA
Kay Maragh, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica, is set to face a Republican opponent in the race to become the mayor of Palm Bay, Florida. If she succeeds in winning the election on November 3, 2020, Maragh will be the first woman, person of color, and immigrant from the Caribbean to fill that role. Currently a real estate agent and small business owner, Maragh moved with her family from Kingston to Ocho Rios, where they settled. She attended Oracabessa and Ocho Rios primary schools, Ferncourt High School, and The Moneague College before moving to the United States in 1998, where she lived in New Jersey, In 2001, she returned to Jamaica and ran her own business with her husband until 2009 when she resettled in Florida. Maragh is a member of the Palm Bay Community Development Advisory Board and Planning and Zoning Board and is vice-president of the Caribbean Sports and Cultural Association of Palm Bay. According to her platform, she plans to create affordable housing in the city, provide arts and cultural facilities, and eliminate corruption.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA TO PURSUE WELLNESS-FOCUSED TOURISM
On October 2, 2020, Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism, and members of the Jamaica Cycling Association will participate in the first leg of the “Discover Jamaica by Bike” initiative, a local event designed to be a pilot program for a consumer cycling experience set to debut in the spring of 2021. The pilot bike ride will act as the basis for a new tourism initiative in active travel and outdoor programs that allow tourists to enjoy Jamaica’s natural beauty while also adhering to physical distancing rules imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to White, the “Discover Jamaica by Bike” plan builds on the island’s legacy of emphasizing health and wellness combined with safe activities to attract tourists during the pandemic. The initiative takes advantage of the fact that cycling is a popular fitness activity for many people worldwide. The event will run through October 5 and will showcase the varied landscape of the island.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
KOFFEE CALLS COLLABORATION WITH BUJU BANTON “A PERFECT FIT”
Koffee, popular Jamaican reggae artist and Grammy winner, has collaborated with legendary performer Budju Banton to launch the official remix of “Pressure.” In the track, the duo addresses the social issues of poverty and injustice, and they encourage listeners to remain firm in facing the “pressures” of life. When interviewed, Koffee said that she was influenced by Banton’s music and understands that he shares the ideas expressed on the track, which makes him “a perfect fit.” She also called Banton “a perfect example of resilience and not giving up.” She added that she wanted to remix to bolster those who connect with its lyrics. The remix has received positive reviews from fans, amassed hundreds of thousands of views, and is listed among the top 20 of trending songs on YouTube.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
COURTNEY WALSH NAMED AS NEW HEAD COACH OF WINDIES WOMEN’S TEAM
West Indies cricket legend Courtney Walsh has been named the new head coach of the West Indies Women’s team by Cricket West Indies (CWI). Walsh will head preparations and develop of the women’s team at least until the end of 2022. This will include competitions like the next International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Cricket World Cup and the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, The former CWI fast bowler has worked at assistant coach with the Bangladesh Men’s team and then with the West Indies Women’s team under a short contract. Walsh is the top wicket-taker in the history of West Indies Tests, with 518 wickets in 132 Test matches. He is also a former Jamaica and West Indies captain. Commenting on his appointment, he said it presented an exciting challenge and that he has always wanted to give back to the sport in any way he can. He honored to be named head coach and believes his experience and knowledge of cricket and his organizational skills will be major elements in moving the women’s team toward a winning culture.