Digicel appoints Usain Bolt as Chief Speed Officer

August 25, 2016

Digicel Caribbean Limited has announced Usain Bolt, as its Chief Speed Officer (CSO).

With his unprecedented “triple triple” at the Olympic Games in Rio, Bolt has arguably sealed his position as the greatest athlete ever.

 

The unique “job for life” comes in tandem with the agreement of a lifetime partnership between Digicel and Bolt – an honour only a very small number of the absolute greatest athletes in the world have ever achieved – and is a first for Digicel.

Digicel has been a sponsor of Bolt since 2004 when he was fresh out of high school. Now, 21 major championship victories later, Bolt continues to entertain the world with his speed and captivating personality.

In his role as Digicel CSO, he will get up close and personal with Digicel customers in a number of ways from both a commercial and community point of view and will continue to inspire, motivate and captivate customers and fans across the globe for many years to come.

Robot tested to cull invasive lionfish

August 25, 2016

A US non-profit company has designed an innovative method of controlling the spread of lionfish threatening to devastate fish stocks and coral reef ecosystems in warmer ocean waters.

Robots In Service of the Environment (RISE) joined deep ocean research charity, Nekton, on its maiden voyage in the North Atlantic to test a prototype being developed to operate remotely in deep water to locate and deliver a fatal electric shock to the invasive species.

Nekton's research vessel was off the Bermuda coast conducting the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey, a pioneering multi-disciplinary marine research programme assessing the health and resilience of the deep ocean.

RISE, a start-up born in the robotics industry, joined Nekton's team of scientists to observe how the lionfish reacted to the prototype electrical paddles which will deliver the current. Once the fish's behaviour is understood the paddles will be connected to an underwater robot operated via video link. The carcasses will be collected for disposal or sold at market.

Caribbean to be on G20 Summit agenda

August 25, 2016

Earlier in the year and in reference to China and the Caribbean relationship, President Xi Jinping had dubbed 2016 the China-Latin America and the Caribbean Year of Cultural Exchange with the goal of promoting greater understanding among the people of China, the Caribbean and Latin America.

 

To implement this intention, Beijing recently hosted the Latin America and Caribbean Music, Film and Art Exhibition Series organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Embassies of the Bahamas, Jamaica, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana and Suriname.

This year also bears witness to China’s presidency of the G20 Heads of State Summit slated to take place between September 4 and 5 in the country’s eastern province of Zhejiang’s capital city, Hangzhou.

Recent media reports highlight that China is dedicated to bolstering economic growth through its steadfast commitment to multilateralism. In keeping with this mandate, China has not only been working closely with the Global North, but has become a reliable development partner for many countries of the Global South.

In recent years, Chinese investors have become more aware of the market potential in the Caribbean Basin.

 

Companies like China Harbour Engineering Company, Jiuquan Iron and Steel Group Company Ltd. (JISCO) and SINOPEC are among some of the top investors in the Caribbean. What the region needs now, are airline companies that are willing to invest in direct routes from major cities in China to key Caribbean capitals like Kingston, Nassau, Havana, St. George’s, Bridgetown, Port of Spain, Georgetown and Paramaribo. 

Several Caribbean governments recognize the importance of the tourism sector for many of our islands. As such Chinese nationals can travel to Jamaica, the Bahamas and Grenada without a visa for the first 30 days. These governments have indicated their willingness to work with Chinese investors and the relevant industry leaders to make the Caribbean a destination of choice.

In Jamaica for instance, it’s always the latest delight to dine at Usain Bolt’s Restaurant called Tracks and Records or plan a visit to the Bob Marley Museum - the birthplace of Reggae. Then visitors may hop over to the Bahamas’ magical kingdom of Atlantis; go scuba diving or swim with the dolphins in the pristine aqua marine waters that are particularly characteristic of the Bahamas.

credit: Guangming Daily/Guo Hongson

Jamaica contemplating cannabis kiosk at airports

June 30, 2016

Jamaica is contemplating giving tourists arriving in the country the chance to get high as soon as they clear customs. Talks are underway on installing cannabis kiosks at airports and seaports, which Jamaica believes could boost government revenues.

The Cannabis Licensing Agency (CLA), which is behind the idea, is already planning to install kiosks where tourists will be able to purchase small amounts ofmarijuana. The initiative will also benefit those who want to use marijuana for medical reasons. 

The kiosks will also have trained medical personnel on site who will be responsible for issuing permits to visitors to Jamaica, allowing for the purchase of cannabis. 

“It would primarily be for people who have a prescription and, in effect, you’re doing it for medicinal purposes with a permit from the Ministry of Health,” CLA chairman Hyacinth Lightbourne says.

“If they don’t have a prescription, then they can do what we call ‘self-declare,’ and this will allow them to have the two ounces while they are here,” Lightbourne added. 

The CLA believe that making the drug more accessible could prove profitable for the island nation as long as it is properly regulated. Members of the CLA cite the success that certain areas of North America have had in profiting from legalizing cannabis as proof that their idea may prove to be a real cash cow. 

Jamaica Attorney General under fire

June 13, 2016

Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte has come under criticism and is being asked to explain herself, after saying that the United States Embassy in Jamaica was disrespecting the island’s laws by flying a rainbow flag, following the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on Sunday.

The rainbow flag, which is symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, has been flying at half mast next to the US flag at the Embassy in Kingston.

Malahoo Forte made it clear, in a post on Twitter, that she did not agree with that expression of solidarity.

Stressing that it was her personal opinion, Malahoo Forte tweeted yesterday that while she condemned the gun attack by Omar Mateen, which left 50 people dead and 53 injured, she found it “disrespectful of Jamaica’s laws” to have to the rainbow flag flying there.

 

Buggery remains illegal in Jamaica.

Zika virus - CARPHA takes action regionally

February 28, 2016

Caribbean Community leaders have endorsed a course of action to counteract the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus and other diseases.

 

CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow announced an agreement to undertake continuous public education on the virus and other diseases spread by mosquitoes. 

 

The agreement also outlines specific action to be taken at ports of entry, health facilities, schools, hotels and tourism facilities throughout the region as well as the designation of Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week, during the second week of May. 

 

Governments are being asked to consider implementing a temporary reduction in import tax on essential public health supplies such as insecticide-treated beds and insect repellent for the duration of the epidemic in the region which has so far been detected in five Caricom countries.

Commonwealth Youth Awards

January 03, 2023

Three Caribbean nationals are among the 17 youth leaders named as finalists for the prestigious 2016 Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work. 

 

The awards recognise outstanding young people under the age of 30 from Commonwealth countries whose work has significantly contributed to local, national, regional and global development. With over 300 nominations received this year, the Caribbean finalists are Asha Farrell of Barbados, Shamoy Hajare from Jamaica and Tevin Shepherd of St. Lucia.

 

The judging panel for the awards included representatives of High Commissions, Commonwealth organisations and young leaders. Four regional winners will be announced in London during Commonwealth Week in mid-March, when the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year will also be revealed.  In addition to a cash prize, the four regional winners will receive a trip to London.

Bahamas to host 60th CAGC

February 23, 2023

The Bahamas is set to host the 60th Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships (CAGC) in July 2016.

 

Bahamas Golf Federation (BGF) President Glen Archer assured that preparation for the event is on schedule.  The championships are set for July 24th-31st, with a venue yet to be named.

Black female MP 'mistaken for cleaner'

February 29, 2016

Labour MP for Brent Central, Dawn Butler has revealed that she was once mistaken for a cleaner by fellow MPs in the House of Commons.  Butler declined to name the fellow MP who told her, 'This lift really isn't for cleaners.'

 

Asked if she had ever faced racism in Parliament, Butler said: "Yes - God, there are so many incidents.  In 2008 she wrote an article in which she described how former Tory minister David Heathcote-Amory had accused her of not being an MP. He said, 'What are you doing here? This is for members only'." "He then proceeded to ask me, 'Are you a member?'." "And I said, 'Yes I am, are you?' And he turned around and said to his colleague, 'They're letting anybody in nowadays'.

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