THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
SAMUDA SAYS JAMAICA’S CLIMATE CHANGE COMMITMENTS SHOW NATION’S MORAL LEADERSHIP
According to Jamaica’s Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Matthew Samuda, the island’s commitment to addressing climate change issues represents the moral leadership of Jamaica and consideration of the global community. He made his remarks at the CANCarib Climate Smart Opportunities Summit Business Bootcamp on September 20, 2022. Samuda added that national leaders cannot remain idle and expect funds to be provided from elsewhere for adapting and developing resilience to climate change without honoring their environmental commitments to the international community. Samuda has responsibility for the Environment, and Jamaica’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Implementation Plan provides an outline for its strategies for reducing emissions of greenhouse cases, seeking to cut these emissions by 60 percent by 2030.
“SHOOT TO KILL” ORDER FROM JAMAICA’S MINISTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY CRITICIZED
Jamaica’s Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang, has been criticized for advice to agents of law enforcement telling them to implement a zero-tolerance policy when approached by armed criminals. Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), a human rights advocacy organization, and the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) strongly condemned Chang’s statement. According to news reports, Chang said anyone who pulled a gun on police must accept whatever consequence arise from that action: “And when him get hurt, him get hurt. Once him pull a gun on a police officer, him must be prepared to deal with it.” Chang added that it would be preferable if the criminal did not require medical attention in such cases as it would cost the country J$10 million (US$66,000) to preserve his life. INDECOM said that a ”shoot to kill” strategy cannot be the official response of the State to crime. Actions must be based on Jamaica’s Constitution. The JFJ called Chang’s remarks an “unfortunate stance” that could be perceived as approval for “extra judicial killings,” and called for all Jamaicans to oppose Chang’s recommendation.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
PUERTO RICO REELS FROM IMPACT OF HURRICANE FIONA
Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico’s southwest coast on September 18, 2022, cutting power throughout the island and causing flooding and landslides that washed away bridges and roads. Fiona’s impact on Puerto Rico come five years after the nation was devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria and was still recovering from the effects of that catastrophic storm. According to the El Nuevo Dia newspaper in Puerto Rico, winds reached 103 miles per hour and between eight and 13 inches of rain fell as hundreds of people were rescued and evacuated. Hurricane Fiona’s path caused a hurricane warning to be issued for the Dominican Republic, and heavy rains were forecast for Haiti and Turks and Caicos and other Caribbean islands.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
COUNCIL IN AUSTRALIA CUTS SYMBOLIC LINKS WITH JAMAICAN SLAVE PLANTATION BY CHANGING CITY’S NAME
The Moreland City Council in the northern part of Melbourne, Australia, will adopt a new, indigenous name of Merri-bek on September 26, 2022, and cut its symbolic connections to a Jamaican slave plantation. The council will remove the name “Moreland,” which was adopted in 1839 by Farquhar McCrae, a Scottish settler. His paternal grandfather, Alexander McCrae, had been the owner of the Moreland Estate in Vere, Jamaica, where he was known as the “sugar Lord.” The name “Merri-bek” means “rocky country” in the language of the indigenous Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung. The name change process has been criticized by some 2,000 people who signed a petition calling for a review of the process due to its lack of transparency. Several place names in Australia have been scrutinized recently for their racist connotations.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICAN TOURISM MINISTRY TO HOLD TOURISM AWARENESS WEEK
Tourism Awareness Week, which will be held in Jamaica from September 25 to October 1, 2022, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, will focus on “rethinking tourism.” According to the country’s Minister of Tourism, the event will emphasize the importance of tourism to economic development and call for stakeholders to “rethink” their approach to tourism in the post-COVID-19 environment. The theme of “Rethinking Tourism” was established by the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) theme for World Tourism Day on September 27, 2022. Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, noted that the post-COVID period has been marked by uncertainties, but also by an unprecedented opportunity to review strategies to build resilience in the island’s tourism sector. Bartlett added that tourism is the biggest contributor to Jamaica’s GDP, its main source of foreign revenue, and one of the main sources of exports.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
CALIFORNIA REGGAE BAND PUTS END TO BOB MARLEY’S HOLD ON NUMBER 1 SPOT ON BILLBOARD REGGAE ALBUM CHART
The iconic Jamaican reggae album, “Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers,” no longer occupies the Number 1 position on Billboard’s Reggae Album Chart after maintaining the spot for 140 weeks, or two years and seven months. The new Number 1 reggae album is ”Wisdom” from Stick Figure, a band from Southern California. “Wisdom” also sits at the top of the iTunes Reggae Album chart, while the band’s “World on Fire” is at Number 4, “Set in Stone” is Number 5, and “Burial Ground” is at Number 10. Sean “Contractor” Edwards, a music marketer and executive producer of the series, “Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica,” views the situation as “ominous,” saying it is clear evidence that Jamaican musicians have lost their dominance of the United States reggae music market. He believes that Stick Figure has captured the market and fan base in the US with better marketing and better market penetration than Jamaican bands. Jamaican Gramps Morgan of “Morgan Heritage” does not think Stick Figure’s achievement is especially significant. Instead, he believes it shows how Brand Marley continues to have a long-lasting impact on the world’s music. Morgan said he was proud of Stick Figure and that they do great work, while also saying marketing is of critical importance for artists.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN OLYMPIC SPRINT GOLD MEDAL WINNER JOINS TITANS INTERNATIONAL TRACK CLUB
Briana Williams, 20, Olympic gold medalist who was born in Miami, Florida, and competes for Jamaica, has opted for new coaches for the 2022-2023 track season and will join the Titans International Track Club based in Kingston, Jamaica. She is making the move with the blessing of Ato Boldon, her former coach, who encouraged her to join the Titans. Boldon has coached Williams for a decade during which she ran the World U15 age-group 100 meters with a record time of 11.13 in 2018, won gold medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4×100 meters in the U17 category at the Carifta Games in 2016, and won the Austin Sealy Award. She broke the U20 national record held by Veronica Campbell-Brown at the World Championships and won three more golds at the Carifta Games in 2019. Commenting on the move, Williams said she was ready for a change and is happy to be training in Jamaica. Titans’ roster of athletes includes Yohan Blake, Akeem Blake, and Kemar Bailey Cole. Williams is a Nike athlete, a Digicel Brand Ambassador, and a Brand Ambassador for Grace Foods.