THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
HOLNESS SAYS NO POLICIES MADE JUST TO FAVOR TOURISM
Critics have accused Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness with making COVID-19 policies that favor tourism revenue over the health of Jamaicans. Holness responded by saying that his government does not make policies to favor tourists, but to favor the people of Jamaica. He emphasized that tourism must be handled as a business and that the country needs to get as much economic value as it can from that sector. However, he noted that Jamaica has done well in managing the COVID-19 pandemic when compared to other countries and that the government will expand testing visitors for the virus by using antigen testing.
GOVERNMENT OF JAMAICA TIGHTENS CURFEW FOR HEROES DAY WEEKEND
In response to reports of more than 7,000 COVID-19 cases and 100 deaths from the virus in Jamaica, the government has decided to impose new measures that will close all evening and nighttime activities planned for the Heroes Day weekend. A stricter curfew will be imposed as the government attempts to limit the coronavirus spread in Jamaica. The curfew will begin at 3 pm on October 18, 2020 and remain in place on National Heroes Day on October 19, 2020. After that date, the curfew will extend from 9 pm to 5 am daily. Several communities have also been put under tighter restrictions with a curfew that begins at 6 pm every day and lasting until 5 am the next morning. This curfew will be in effect until October 20, 2020, for the communities of Whitfield Town in lower St. Andrew and in Waterford in Portmore, St. Catherine. The enhanced curfews are being imposed to avoid a repetition of the large gatherings and parties that occurred across the island during “EmanciPendence” week in August 2020.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
BIRD CONSERVATION GROUP SUPPORTS DOMINICA GOVERNMENT PLAN FOR PROTECTION OF ENDANGERED PARROTS
A plan devised by the government of Dominica to protect the rare and endemic Sisserou and Jaco parrots has received the support of BirdsCaribbean, a bird conservation non-governmental organization (NGO). A letter from Dominica’s Ministry of Environment, Rural Modernization, and Kalinago Upliftment stated the government’s promise to work with local and global partners to facilitate the return of parrots taken in secret to Germany in March of 2018 after Hurricane Maria had caused major damage to the island. The action was strongly criticized from international environmental groups that called for repatriation of the birds. The Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots (ACTP) took rare parrots from the Dominica without the approval of the government, including two Sisserou and 10 Jaco parrots, that had hatched in the wild following the hurricane, to a private facility in Germany.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
UK BUSINESSMAN WINS GREAT TASTE AWARD FOR JAMAICAN FOOD BRAND
The Marshall and Brown luxury Jamaican food brand founded by businessman Dr. Carlton Brown in the United Kingdom has received a one-star Great Taste Award for its “The Jerk House” Caribbean Hot Mustard Sauce. The Great Taste Awards represent the biggest and most trusted food and drink award in the UK. The Marshall and Brown product line is prepared with a holistic approach that takes the entire eco-system into consideration, working with local farmers and providing appropriate packaging. The firm is named for Dr. Brown’s mother Olive Brown and mother-in-law Eugenia Marshall, both of whom were born in Jamaica and whose family food traditions inspired Dr. Brown to honor his heritage with a commercial product line.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT PLANS ECONOMIC STIMULUS VIA SPENDING ON SOUTH COAST HIGHWAY
The government of Jamaica has proposed spending more on public infrastructure as a means to stimulate the economy oh the island, according to Dr. Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance and Public Service. The proposal includes an increase in the capital spending portion of the nation’s budget by J$6 billion; J$4.6 bill would go toward the South Coast Highway Improvement Project. Clarke said the government believes the project meets the definition of the type of public investment that spurs economic activity and job growth. He added that as the COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on the island’s economy, the government plans to raise its investment to help revive economic activities and retain jobs, as well as to send a signal to the private sector that the government has confidence about the future.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
INSTITUTE OF JAMAICA WILL NOT PRESENT MUSGRAVE AWARDS IN 2020
The Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), which organizes a yearly event honoring Jamaicans for their contributions to literature, science, and the arts, has confirmed that it will not present the annual Musgrave Awards in 2020. The awards program is the oldest one of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. According to Vivian Crawford, the executive director of the organization, the absence of a governing council at the IOJ is a major reason for not holding the event. The council was dissolved prior to the general election on September 3, 2020, like all other state-appointed boards. New governing boards will be appointed by the minister with the responsibility for the relevant agencies and organizations. Once a council is appointed, four sub-committees will be established to review the awards’ applications, which are ready to be reviewed. The Musgrave Awards are traditionally presented in October in conjunction with National Heritage Week which ends with National Heroes Day. In 2020, National Heroes Day will be held on October 19, 2020.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN ALEX POWELL MOVES CLOSER TO FIA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Jamaican driver Alex Powell has moved closer to attaining the FIA World Championship with his sixth-place finish in Lonato, Italy. He initially placed third, but a controversial penalty imposed by the judges removed him to sixth place. The setback did not represent much a disappointment to Powell, however, who recently became the first Jamaican to obtain a pole position at a karting championship even. He also had the highest placing among Caribbean drivers in history. Powell, 12, said he was happy with his overall performance at the competition. One of his main goals is to be on the podium at the World Championship, and his run in Italy added to his determination to accomplish this feat. He said he was returning to train for the World finals in Portugal, which will include 120 of the world’s drivers.