THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
Top 7 Jamaican & Caribbean News Stories
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT PREFERS A CEREMONIAL HEAD OF STATE FOR REPUBLIC
According to Marlene Malahoo Forte, Jamaica’s Minister of Constitutional Affairs and Legal Reform, there is a consensus among those working on severing ties with the British monarchy and becoming a republic to create the office of the president of Jamaica as separate from the political head of government. The office of the president would be vested with executive powers similar to those that have been held by the governor general. A vote on the issue will be taken in Parliament although the details of that vote have not been resolved to date. It is the position of the opposition People’s National Party (PNP) that the vote should be taken in a manner that reflects current constitutional rules, namely two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the members of the Senate. A consensus also stated that a requirement to serve in Parliament under the reformed constitution would be Jamaican citizenship.
TRANSITION TO A REPUBLIC COULD MEAN HOLDING SEVERAL REFERENDA
Marlene Malahoo Forte, Jamaica’s Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, said she the Jamaica’s transition to a republic could require several referenda. She communicated this to the House of Representatives on April 18, 2023, in statement describing the work of Jamaica’s Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC). Noting that the CRC will only move forward on matters in which a consensus has been achieved, which means that Parliament and the entire nation should be prepared to hold more than one referendum if the need arises. The CRC has met five times since its membership was announced.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CARICOM LEADERS AGREE ON PLANS TO CURB GUN VIOLENCE BY BANNING ASSAULT-STYLE WEAPONS
An agreement has been reached among the member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to introduce bans on assault-style weapons in their countries in order to curb the rise in gun violence and weapons smuggling within the 15-country bloc. Most of these weapons are manufactured in the United States. The agreement followed a two-day summit meeting on crime held in Trinidad. The bans would combine legislation and alterations in licensing rules. CARICOM’s action came shortly after several of its member nations said they plan to join with Mexico to sue American gun makers over the weapons that are smuggled into their countries.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
MAN IN EDINBURGH WANTS TO REPRESENT JAMAICA IN WINTER OLYMPICS SPORT OF CURLING
Luke Samuels, 38, a council worker in Edinburgh, Scotland, is hoping to represent Jamaica in at the 2026 Olympics in Italy as a member of the island’s first curling team. He was inspired to play the sport for Jamaica, the country of his late grandfather, Edwin Luther Samuels, after watching the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on television. Edwin Samuels was one of the first Jamaicans to travel from their island home to the United Kingdom on the ship Windrush in June 1948. Luke Samuels currently plays for the 37 Club of Murrayfield and plans to travel to Canada to join the Jamaican team, which trains there. Jamaica’s curling team was accepted as an Olympic competitor as the 67th member of the World Curling Federation in September 2022. Although Samuels only took up the sport of curling a year ago, he believes he is a natural. The Jamaican curling team includes players who were born in Jamaica and who have dual nationality like Samuels does.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
BARTLETT PROMOTES POTENTIAL OF COFFEE TOURISM FOR JAMAICA
According to Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, there is significant potential for Jamaica to enhance its tourist arrivals through coffee tourism. He made his remarks at the sixth annual Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival in St. Andrew, noting that coffee could be a main attraction for visitors who want experiential travel options. He added that coffee could be utilized in many areas and that Jamaica should maximize the experiential value of the coffee chain. He believes there is potential for creating a coffee innovation town in the hills of St. Andrew and Buff Bay.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
REGGAE INDUSTRY HONOR AWARDS CEREMONY HELD IN KINGSTON
The annual Jamaican Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) Honor Awards were celebrated on April 10, 2023, in Kingston. The awards celebrated the “greatest music genre” in the world with in-person festivities for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. The first awardee was Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, who was recognized as a producer. Other awardees included Leroy “Fatman” Thompson, the late Sugar Minott, Pat Kelly, and Style Scott. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Astley “Grub” Cooper of the Fabulous Five Band. The Female Artist Icon Award was presented to Dawn Penn who sent in her acceptance speech from England. Guitarist Errol Gayle accepted the award on behalf of Byron Lee and The Dragonaires, before Sharon Marley entered the stage in a stunning pink dress to thank JaRIA for honoring the Melody Makers. The Silver Hawk and Volcano Hi-Power sound systems were honored, and Sharon Marley was present to honor the Melody Makers. Other awards included
Song of the Year (Somewhere Wonderful by Ras-I), Dancehall Album of the Year (Scorcha by Sean Paul), Reggae Album of the Year (The Kalling by Kabaka Pyramid) and Gospel Album of the Year (Freedom by Wayne Stoddart). Marcia Griffiths was honored and celebrate for her 60 years of contributions to the music industry.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
U.S. VS. JAMAICA MATCH TO OPEN 2023 CONCACAF GOLD CUP COMPETITION
On June 24, 2023, the CONCACAF Gold Cup competition will begin with a match between the United States and Jamaica at Soldier’s Field in Chicago. The competition will be hosted at 15 stadiums in 14 US and Canadian cities. Four quarterfinals will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Two semifinals will be played at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on July 12, 2023. The final will be held at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, on July 16, 2023.
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