THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN TOURISM MINISTER TO CELEBRATE WORLD TOURISM DAY
Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, will join with the international community to celebrate the United Nations World Tourism Day on September 27, 2021. The celebration is designed to recognize the ability of tourism to fuel inclusive development policies and programs while creating opportunities for millions around the world. The theme of the 2021 celebration is “Tourism for Inclusive Growth.” Bartlett noted that World Tourism Day offers the chance to go beyond looking at tourism statistics to acknowledge that behind every number is a person and that tourism has the ability to ensure that no one is left behind as the world starts to open up again after the COVID-19 shutdowns. Bartlett added that the theme will serve as a guide to Jamaica’s own activities for Tourism Awareness Week, which will be celebrated from September 26 to October 2, 2021.
MINISTER OF HOUSING IN JAMAICA CALLS FOR ACCESSIBLE CLIMATE CHANGE FINANCING
Jamaica’s Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Pearnel Charles Jr. believes that having ambitions to implement climate change efforts is useless unless “predictable, accessible and equitable financing” is available to support such efforts in developing nations. Charles made his remarks at a virtual United Nations General Assembly meeting where he represented Jamaica at the “Accelerating Adaptation Finance” event during the launch of the Informal Champions Group on Adaptation Finance. The meeting was one of several events scheduled for Climate Change Week in New York. He added that the Government of Jamaica is moving toward the creation of a Green Bond on the nation’s stock exchange and plans to explore additional benefits that can arise from the carbon market.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CONCACAF PLANS TO EXPAND THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE IN THE CARIBBEAN
According to an announcement from CONCACAF, three regional cup competitions will be scheduled for the autumn of each year beginning in 2023 to qualify clubs in an expanded CONCACAF Champions League. The new men’s club competitions environment will provide for individual regional cup competitions in North America and Central America as well. At the conclusion of the three cup competitions, an expanded 27-club Confederation-wide league will be played in the spring to determine the best club in the region. Victor Montagliani, the president of CONCACAF and vice president of FIFA, described the development as “hugely significant” and noted that the new format will be a “major boost” to competition, as the three regions will be able to name their own champions before the CONCACAF Champions League. Caribbean clubs will qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League through a new Caribbean Cup tournament that will feature a Group Stage and a Knockout Stage.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
WORK BY JAMAICAN NURSE DURING COVID PANDEMIC HIGHLIGHTED BY U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE
Anthony Blinken, the United States Secretary of State, highlight the work of Jamaican Registered General Nurse Sister Antonia Richards Stewart for her work during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the “additional training and equipment” provided by USAID to Stewart, she and her colleagues at Kingston Public Hospital were able to save lives. Stewart said that the critical element in winning the fight against the coronavirus “is us, the people.” Blinken made his comments about Stewart at the White House Victual COVID-19 Summit on September 21, 2021, which was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
TELECOMMUNICATIONS FIRMS SAW REVENUES FALL TO $15 BILLION DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
While the COVID-19 pandemic drove much of the business and social activities of Jamaica to the online virtual environment, there was only a 4.5 percent rise in the availability and use of internet service on the island between March 2020 and March 2021. Revenues of telecom firms dropped by 3.5 percent during the same period, according to regulatory data covering the telecommunications sector and includes 105 licensees, the largest of which are Flow Jamaica and Digicel Jamaica. Between January and March 30, 2021, the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) found that the telecommunication sector generated revenues totaling about $15 billion, or approximately $200 million less than they generated in the final three months of 2020. Revenues from international calls also dropped by about 12 percent during the same period, a decline that has significant negative implications for the financing of government-led buildout for internet coverage and other technological developments.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
NEW YORK REGGAE PIONEER DIES AT AGE 69
Earl Moodie, a pioneer in reggae music and the New York recording industry, died on September 17, 2021. Moodie was instrumental in promoting Jamaican culture and creating a meeting place for Jamaicans in the area at his Moodie’s Records store. He was 69. For more than 40 years, the store served the Jamaicans in the Bronx community as it carried hard-to-find records and tapes and recent reggae hits. The shop helped to put reggae on New York City’s musical map, along with the independent record label VP Records founded by Vincent “Randy” Chin and wife Patricia. The Chin family know Moodie for 45 years. The influence shown by Moodie increased in the 1980s when the population of Jamaicans in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx also rose. He helped many up-and-coming artists and aided show promoters through his music store. Moodie was originally from Papine in St. Andrew and migrated to the US in 1969. He began his career in entertainment as the lead singer of The Stepping Stones reggae band.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
STEPHEN FRANCIS, ELAINE THOMPSON HERAH MAY END THEIR COACHING RELATIONSHIP
Elaine Thompson Herah, twice an Olympic double sprint champion, is said to be considering ending her long relationship with her coach Stephen Francis and the MVP Track Club. Francis did not provide a conclusive statement on the matter amid reports that Thompson Herah had declared her intention to leave. Francis has been her coach throughout her career, which culminated in 2021 when at age 29 she repeated her 2016 feat and won gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter events at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Francis said he is not “in the habit” of discussing communications between himself and his athletes. He added that he did not think his relationship with Thompson Herah was any different than usual. In the 2021 season, Thompson Herah reduced her personal best time in the 100 meters to 10.54 seconds. Reports of problems between the MVP Track Club and Thompson Herah have circulated for some time.