THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
OPPOSITION PARTY UNHAPPY WITH GOVERNMENT REVIEW OF BERNARD LODGE DEVELOPMENT
Dr. Peter Phillips, Jamaica’s Opposition party leader, is dissatisfied with the review of the Bernard Lodge development in St. Catherine as undertaken by the government. The Opposition’s concerns include the terms of reference used in the review and the names of the individuals who conducted it. Prime Minister Andrew Holness has stated that reports from the review to date suggest that farming will not be impacted by the project, but Dr. Phillips believes efforts must be made to take into account the farmers’ concerns, along with those of environmentalists, and other stakeholders. Questions about the transparency of the procurement process involving the lands of Bernard Ledge have also arisen.
INDUSTRY MINISTER SAYS CORRUPTION AND INEPTITUDE HURT AGRICULTURE SECTOR
Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries, Audley Show, believes that “rampant corruption” in his North East Manchester constituency, plus incompetence of some technical staff members under his supervision, combined with an “out of step” Jamaica Agriculture Commodities Regulatory Authority hare some of the factors harming the nation’s agriculture sector.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
2,500 MISSING IN BAHAMAS AS RECOVERY EFFORTS BEGIN
Emergency services in the Bahamas have reported 2,500 people missing after Hurricane Dorian devastated the islands. The count suggests that the death toll is likely to rise from the initial total of 50 dead. Additionally, there are many thousands of people in the Bahamas that need assistance. Hurricane Dorian brought the highest winds ever recorded at landfall when it hit the nation’s Abaco Islands. The list of the missing was communicated by Carl Smith, spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency of the Bahamas. He noted, however, that the list was preliminary and had not been checked against government records of people in shelters or those who evacuated.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
21 JAMAICANS EVACUATED FROM BAHAMAS ABACO ISLANDS
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness stated that 21 Jamaicans were evacuated from the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian. The Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama were hit hard by the devastating storm that moved slowly across the country. Holness said that 31 Jamaicans had asked to be evacuated in total and that efforts were underway to rescue the other ten. Those individuals already removed are being housed by the honorary counsel. Thousands of Jamaicans live and work in the Bahamas, and Holness noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade receives updates on the situations of Jamaicans in most seriously impacted areas of the country. No reports of any death among Jamaicans there has been reported to date.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
RED STRIPE AND SEPROD CONDUCT CASSAVA PARTNERSHIP NEGOTIATIONS
Seprod, a manufacturer and distribution firm seeks to begin exports of gluten-free flour made from cassava by the early part of 2020. However, its plans depend on developing a partnership with Red Stripe Jamaica, the brewery company. The two firms are in the early stages of negotiations, which include a non-disclosure agreement. According to Richard Pandhie, CEO of Seprod, the talks concern plant redesign, investment, and supply chains. Confident of an ultimate agreement, the CEO said the goal is to find markets and opportunities and then to capitalize on them with local products. He cited Red Sprine’s cassava production as a target of collaboration between the two firms.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAIINMENT NEWS
REGGAE SINGER AZA LINEAGE THANKS MISS LOU FOR “PAVING THE WAY”
Reggae singer Aza Lineage expressed gratitude for the efforts of Louise Bennett Coverley, the folklorist, poet, and patois advocate better known as “Miss Lou.” Lineage makes reference to Coverley’s poem “Dutty Tough” which describes the struggles of life despite signs of hope and advancement, thanking Miss Lou for “paving the way” for Jamaican self-expression. Lineage specifically cites the ability to express herself in her native language as an honor that she attributes to the work of Miss Lou. The singer is based in Hermitage, Greater August Town, and is among those happy with the celebrations of Miss Lou in Jamaica, the most recent being the renaming of Gordon Town Square. Miss Lou put the focus on the Jamaican language and dialect, said Lineage, this has become how Jamaicans express themselves around the world today. This year is the 100th anniversary of Miss Lou’s birth, and numerous celebrations have been scheduled to mark the event.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
BRIANA WILLIAMS CHOSEN FOR DOHA DESPITE DRUG CHARGES
Sprinter Briana Williams will represent Jamaica at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, in spite of proceedings that continue concerning a failed drug test. Williams, 17, is scheduled to have a doping hearing on September 23, 2019, which is only four days before the Doha competition. The Jamaica Athletics Administration Association selected her despite concerns that there would not be sufficient time for her to compete in Doha even if she is cleared at the hearing. However, in spite of the right schedule, the Association says it believes in the principle of being innocent until proven guilty and went ahead with Williams selection. If she is cleared she will be on the team, according to the Association. She is to compete in the 100 meters and the 4×100 meter events at Doha.