THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
HOLNESS PROMOTES COOPERATION WITH ISRAEL TO BOOST NATIONAL SECURITY
Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, has indicated that his administration favors creating a cooperative framework with Israel to address national security issues, including cybersecurity. Holness is making it clear, however, that the government is not moving away from current cooperation frameworks made with its traditional partners, the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. He went on to say that the existing cooperation with traditional partners has been intensified.
GOVERNMENT BAN ON PLASTICS AND STYROFOAM PRODUCTS WELCOMED BY SAMUDA
Jamaican Senator Matthew Samuda supports the government’s ban of various plastic and Styrofoam products. Daryl Vaz, the government minister with responsibility for the environment, announced the ban on importing, manufacturing, and distributing three kinds of plastic/Styrofoam products. The ban will go into effect on January 1, 2019. Samuda welcomed the announcement as “good news” for both current and future generations of Jamaicans. The ban, which was instituted following consultation with stakeholders, shows that the democratic parliamentary process is alive and well in Jamaica and can be used to make positive moves toward sustainable development, he said.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
RIHANNA TO BE AMBASSADOR FOR BARBADOS
The pop star and fashion icon Rihanna has been chosen by the government of Barbados to be an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. The singer, who is from Barbados, will be responsible specifically for the promotion of education, tourism, and investment for the country. According to Mia Mottley, the nation’s prime minister, the government is honored to confer the title on the “outstanding” Barbadian star, noting that Rihanna has made significant contributions to raising the island’s profile throughout the world. Mottley went on to say that Rihanna has demonstrated considerable skill in business and that it is appropriate to engage and empower her to take a definitive role toward transforming Barbados. Rihanna said she “couldn’t be more proud to take on such a prestigious title in my home country. Every Barbadian is going to have to play their role in this current effort, and I’m ready and excited to take on the responsibility.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
BROADCASTER PATRICK LAFAYETTE HONORED IN NEW YORK
The veteran Jamaican broadcaster Patrick Lafayette was among 18 individuals recognized for his contributions to preserving Jamaican culture and music. Lafayette said this was his first award and that he was happy that his work was recognized. Lafayette is principal of the online radio station chrismixradio.com, which he started in 2014. He has worked on Jamaican radio for more than 30 years and was instrumental in the creation of KLAS FM and Kool 97FM. His online radio station features Jamaican and Caribbean content and music and has a large number of listeners in the Diaspora.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
CARIBBEAN AIRLINES CUTS SERVICES FROM MONTEGO BAY TO FORT LAUDERDALE
Caribbean Airlines has decided to cut its services from Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. According to a statement issued by the airline, the changes will be effective as of January 7, 2019, and represent part of a “strategic review.” The company also stated that passengers with bookings from January 8, 2019, have been provided with offers of full refunds or reallocation to other services. Caribbean Airline services from Kingston to Fort Lauderdale will continue as usual, according to the announcement.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
BUJU BANTON FREEDOM TOUR SET FOR 2019
Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton is scheduled to be released from prison on December 8, 2018, and plans for post-incarceration performances are on track, according to the team representing him. The Grammy-Award-winning artist’s representatives confirmed that a tour is in the works following his release. A social media campaign announced “The Long Walk to Freedom Tour” is slated for the summer of 2019. Although no announcement of start and end locations was provided. Banton’s release and concerts caused some controversy in March 2018, when it was announced that his first post-incarceration concert would take place in Trinidad and Tobago. Jamaican fans were angry about this decision to perform first outside of Jamaica as an insult to the support they had shown him. Banton has been in prison in Georgia on drug-related charges.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JOHN LOPEZ HONORED FOR WORK WITH PARAPLEGIC ATHLETES
John Lopez, veteran swim coach, has been awarded the Order of Distinction at the Rank of Officer on National Heroes Day on October 15, 2018. He will be recognized for his contributions to the welfare of people with disabilities through his work with paraplegic sports in Jamaica. Lopez has coached some of the best Paralympians. He began swimming competitively at a young age and represented Kingston College in water polo. He started the Marlin Swim Club in 1959 and a swimming program at the Mona Rehabilitation Center in 1963. In working with the disabled, Lopez found that in spite of physical disability, those who benefitted from the facility’s service were strong mentally and decided to push these individuals to understand they can do what other people are doing. “Give me the person who has tried and failed over the person who has never tried at all, as failing is an experience that you can learn from,” Lopez said. He credits his wife Vivian Carmen Lopez who worked with him at the rehabilitation center with the success of the coaching program.