THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER TRAVELS TO U.S. FOR MEETINGS AND TO UK TO ATTEND FUNERAL OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness left Jamaica on September 14, 2022, to visit the United States and the United Kingdom. His first stop will be a working visit to Boston, Massachusetts, to participate in a conference at Harvard University. He will then go to the UK to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, which is scheduled for September 19, 2022. Following the funeral, Holness will attend the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York. He will return to Jamaica on September 24, 2022. Dr. Horace Change, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security will head Jamaica’s government during the absence of Prime Minister Holness.
JAMAICANS SPLIT OVER MONARCHY; DEATH OF QUEEN ADDS TO CALLS FOR A REPUBLIC OF JAMAICA
Jamaicans are divided over their feelings about the British monarchy, with many having a fondness and good memories of Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8, 2022, while others believe the moment has arrived for Jamaica to demand reparations from Britain for damages imposed during the colonial period and to eliminate the British monarch as head of state. Calls for the country to become a republic, which have been discussed for some time, have strengthened with the death of the Queen. Ties to the monarchy are generational, with younger people generally pushing for real independence from Britain and for the nation to have its own head of state as a republic. According to Jamaican politician and Opposition spokesperson on foreign affairs, the death of the Queen has “cemented” the idea of Jamaica moving toward becoming a republic, noting that individuals in Generation Z and Millennials believing it is time to “have our own people leading us.” She has also called on Britain to acknowledge its colonial past and make reparations for slavery and its consequences.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
POLITICAL SITUATION IN HAITI HAVING DAMAGING EFFECT ON DIGICEL SERVICES
Digicel, the telecommunications company, reports that the political conditions in Haiti are have a “major impact” on its operations there as many optical fiber lines have been badly damaged. According to Digicel statements, it is very difficult to move throughout the country, so maintenance and repairs operations of fiber optics and antennas have been hampered. In some areas of Haiti, optical fiber lines have been damaged by trees cut down to build barricades; roads have been dug for similar reasons. Haitian police are investigating the death of a Digicel employee, Marie Lydie Duvivier, who was murdered during an attempted kidnapping in the commune of Tabarre on September 13, 2022.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
THINK-TANK EVENT TO DISCUSS STATE OF THE SOUTHERN JAMAICA DIASPORA
The State of the Southern Jamaica Diaspora reception and dinner for 2022 will take place on September 17 and the Chateau De Thierry in Hollywood. The event is open to all Jamaicans in the Diaspora and will feature several speakers, including the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council representative for the Southern USA, Dr. Allan Cunningham, who will give the keynote address. The event has been organized by Peter Gracey, a real estate broker and literary advocate who was born in Kingston but is now based in Central Florida. Gracey is concerned about a “disconnect” within the Diaspora, noting that while Diasporas are not easily managed, it is possible to create a centralized strategic plan. It is hoped that the inaugural event will attract influential people from both public and private sectors in the Jamaica Diaspora Southern Region, which includes Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Plus, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Sunderland noted her own conflicted feelings. She grew up in Canada with a positive image of the Royal Family in childhood. She remembers, for instance, her mother’s upset upon the death of Princess Diana.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA WILL HOST INAUGURAL GLOBAL TOURISM RESILIENCE DAY
On February 15, 2023, Jamaica will serve as host to the first Global Tourism Resilience Day at the regional headquarters of the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Mona. According to Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, UWI is home to the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center. The Center has six satellite facilities in six nations around the world. The event will be held in partnership with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) based in Barbados, the World Travel Awards, the International Tourism Investment Conference, and the Global Tourism Resilience Council of London. It will run for three days and be dedicated to the investment forum, which will bring in investors from around the world and provide Caribbean investors the chance to view prospects for tourism investment in the region. The forum will focus particularly on links between Africa and the Caribbean and the Middle East and the Caribbean.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
ACTOR SHERYL LEE RALPH WINS HISTORIC EMMY FOR ROLE IN “ABBOT ELEMENTARY”
Jamaican American actor Sheryl Lee Ralph won the 2022 Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Comedy Series at the 74th annual Emmy Awards ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. This was the first time a Black woman had won in this category in 35 years. Ralph was presented with the award for her performance in the role of a 30-year veteran elementary school teacher in the ABC series “Abbot Elementary.” The series is described as a “mockumentary sitcom.” Ralph, who sang some lines from a 1993 Diane Reeves’ song “.
Endangered Species” before making her acceptance speech, told the audience that “This is what striving looks like.” Her inspirational speech counseled listeners “don’t you ever, ever give up on you.” She also said that her win was an example to anyone who every had a dream and thought it could never come true, telling them, “I am here to tell you what believing looks like.” Ralph made her screen debut in 1977 and had her breakthrough role in 1981 as “Deena James” in “Dreamgirls.” She also starred in several TV comedies, including “It’s a Living,” “Instant Mom,” and “Moesha.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
ICELANDER HEIMIR HALLGRIMSSON SELECTED AS NEW HEAD COACH FOR REGGAE BOYZ
Heimir Hallgrimsson is the new head coach of Jamaica’s senior men’s football team, the Reggae Boyz. He replaces Theodore Whitmore, who was removed from the post in December 2021 after achieving poor results with the team. Following Whitmore’s removal, his assistant Paul Hall took over as interim head coach for six months. Hallgrimsson was selected by the Jamaica Football Federation. He previously served as Iceland National Coach and together with Lars Lagerback led Iceland to the quarterfinals of the UEFA European Championships in 2016. Hallgrimsson also lead Iceland to the 2018 FIFA World Cup before moving to coach Al-Arabi, the team from Qatar, in 2018. Authorities believe that the success of the new coach will depend on his ability to develop a robust core of local talent and to communicate his philosophy to the players. The coach is also advised to improve the technical capacity of local coaches as part of broader developmental approach.