THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICANS SPLIT ON OFFERING CASH INCENTIVES TO SENIORS TO TAKE COVID-19 VACCINES
The Jamaican government’s plan to provide senior citizens with cash incentives to get a COVID-19 vaccine has met with a divided response from the nation’s citizens. An initiative to allow fully vaccinated Jamaicans aged 60 or older to apply for a $10,000 grant from the government went into effect on July 15, 2021. According to a RURGLEANER-Don Anderson poll, most respondents said cash incentives are not a good idea. Forty-two percent of individuals surveyed did not support the plan, while 35 percent believed it was a good approach. Some respondents characterized the incentive as a bribe, others said it was a trick, and still others believed the cash incentive should be larger. Seventy-six percent of those polled said they would not take the vaccine even if offered money, while 24 percent said they would get the vaccine if they were paid.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT SHIFTS WEEKDAY LOCKDOWN STRATEGY AND RETURNS TO NIGHTLY CURFEWS
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that the government will scrap its multi-weekday lockdowns and replace them with nightly curfews instead. Holness believes the implementation of curfews offers a more sustainable way to limit the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring that businesses can continue their operations. According to Holness, the government has reached the point where it “cannot apply these blanket measures,” adding that the stringent multi-day lockdowns are overly strong for addressing the existing problems. The government will consult with stakeholders to determine the most acceptable timeframe for the curfews. Measures imposed under the Disaster Rick Management Act will remain in place, however, with a limit of 20 people allowed to attend church services, wedding ceremonies, and funerals and only 15 individuals allowed to be present at burials.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
REPRESENTATIVES OF AFRICA UNION AND CARICOM MEET AT HISTORIC INAUGURAL SUMMIT
The 55 member nations of the Africa Union joined the 15 member nations of CARICOM at a meeting on September 7, 2021, in Barbados. According to David Comissiong, the ambassador to CARICOM from Barbados, the inaugural meeting was “truly an historic event.” A live telecast of the event was available to people in the Caribbean community on various platforms, including national television stations. He was pleased with be able to convene the meeting of Pan-African leaders despite the necessity of doing so virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The inaugural meeting was held at a time that marked the 48th anniversary of the establishment of CARICOM; 58 years after the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU); and 76 years after the fifth Pan-African Congress held in Manchester, England, uniting African and Caribbean leaders to address decolonization and self-governance; and 500 following the start of Europe’s enslavement of Africans in the Caribbean. The meeting was designed to facilitate an exchange of ideas with the goal of uniting continents and developing nations.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
MARLEY-INSPIRED AFC AJAX KIT BANNED BY EUROPEAN FOOTBALL AUTHORITY
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has banned the AFC Ajax, one of the biggest clubs in European football, from wearing their new shirt that was inspired by Bob Marley’s song “Three Little Birds.” The shirt features the image of three little birds embroidered on the back below the collar. The team wore the new kit for the first time on September 11, 2021, at PEC Zwolle. According to the UEFA, the shirt includes imagery that does not comply with its regulations and that its design had changed from that initially provided in May of 2021. According to a statement from AFC Ajax, the UEFA views the image of birds in red, gold, and green added to its third-choice strip, “as a different expression than the club logo, logo clothing sponsor or sleeve sponsor. Other expressions are not allowed.” Ajax adopted Marley’s 1977 song as their unofficial anthem for home matches in 2008, and they have played at their stadium ever since.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICAN DANCER LAUNCHES LODGING AND EXCURSION SERVICE
Chad “Global Bob” Torrington, a Jamaican dancer, has been taking the island’s dancehall moves around the world for some time. Now he has launched a lodging and excursion service called “Ease N Sekkle Yaad” with the goal of allowing foreign visitors the chance to really experience Jamaica. His brand is named after his popular Ease N Sekkle dance, which he began in 2013. It is based on the interest his students showed in visiting “the Mecca of dancehall.” Whenever he traveled to South America, Europe, or Asia, dancers would ask him for recommendations for hotels and places to visit on the island, and then he realized what they really wanted to “to come directly to me.” He expanded his private property in Kingston and created a studio to accommodate five people, and with his wife and co-operator Amanda, he added details like reggae colors and the Jamaican flag to the space. While they started out with dancers, they are expanding their service to tourists and cultural travelers. Torrington has a degree in marketing from the University of Technology, and he differentiates his business from the typical commercial attractions in Jamaica to offer what he describes as a real “local experience.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN FILMMAKER RUEL SMITH NAMED HEAD OF ANIMATION AT STEPT STUDIOS
Jamaican filmmaker Ruel Smith, who is currently based in Los Angeles, has joined Stept Studios and their post division Lockt Editorial as the head of animation and visual effects. Smith has long collaborated with the studios and is valued for his passion for story telling and his 16=plus hears of experience in visual effects and animation. His animation experience include working on projects with directors Ryan Coogle, Jon Favreau, David Fincher and Clint Eastwood, while his film credits include work on Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Flags of Our Fathers, Riddick and The Jungle Book, while his game credits include Disney’s Tron Legacy, Medal Of Honor, Resident Evil 5, Mortal Kombat X and Gears Of War 4. Smith has also directed several short films and how others in development. He was co-director and visual effects supervisor on Stept’s campaign for Riot Games’ League of Legends World Championships to life as co-director and VFX supervisor. Smith said he was honored to lead the animation and visual effects department at Stept where “everyone is so dedicated and talented.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN SHELLY-ANN FRASER-PRYCE ENDS HER SEASON WITH IMPRESSIVE FORM AND STYLE
Following her silver medal win in the 100-meter event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce continued to impress by setting a new meet record at the Gala Dei Castelli competition in Switzerland, clocking 10.78 seconds for the gold medal. This final win concluded her exceptional season and was her 13th consecutive 100-meter time of under 11 seconds, the most in a single season. She easily defeated Mujinga Kambundji and Ajla Del Ponte, both of Switzerland.