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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS: October 11th – 17th, 2014

HOLNESS HEADLINES MEETINGS IN NEW YORK AND TORONTO—10/11/14
Former Prime Minister Andrew Holness, the head of Jamaica’s Parliamentary Opposition, is headlining the 11th staging of the “Outlook for the Future” meetings, which will be held in New York City and Toronto at the end of October 2014. The series is organized by the Jamaica National Building Society and is designed to bring together key leaders and representatives of various administrations to discuss issues of national importance to Jamaica both locally and in the Diaspora.

HIGH COURT IN KENYA ORDERS BOY TO CUT OFF DREADLOCKS—10/12/14
A six-year-old boy of Jamaican parentage in Kenya has been ordered by that country’s High Court to cut off his dreadlocks before being allowed to attend school. A judge ruled that the boy did not convince the Court that his culture and religious beliefs were violated by the order. The boy sued Rusinga School after he was told to cut off his dreadlocks. The judge found that the boy’s mother wanted him to keep the dreadlocks for fashion reasons and not religious ones.

AGRILHACK TALENT CARIBBEAN CONTEST WON BY JAMAICAN TEAM—10/13/14
The Jamaican team Node420 created an application that provides real-time weather analysis and automatic yield forecasts for farmers. The application won the team the AgriHack Caribbean contest, which is sponsored by CTA and its partners during the 13th Caribbean Week of Agriculture in Suriname. The agricultural app lets farmers improve crop yields. Over 150 young technology specialists participated in the contest

JAMAICANS DENIED ENTRY TO TRINIDAD & TOBAGO VIOLATED REGULATIONS—10/14/14
According to Gary Griffith, National Security Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the 13 Jamaicans who were denied entry to the country at Piarco international Airport violated regulations by providing conflicting information about the reason for their visit. The Jamaicans claimed they had been treated badly by immigration authorities while they were detained. They said they were made to sleep of the floor, were cold and hungry during the detention period. According to Griffith, the Jamaicans had a five-hour wait at the airport after being interviewed for a return flight to Jamaica. This length of time did not require authorities to put them up at a hotel, he said.

JAMAICAN STUDENT TELLS OF WOES IN TEMPORARY WORK PROGRAM—10/15/14
Natalia Webber, a 26-year-old law student from Kingston, participated in a temporary work program designed for university and college students. She entered the United States on a J-1 Visa and traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with 30 other Jamaican students. Webber said her experience was “all lies” and with her living situation in Panama City Beach not being the two-bedroom hotel situation described to her but a crowded dorm arrangement. Additionally, she did not receive the number of work hours that had been promised her.

JAMAICAN-BORN ATTORNEY KEEPS TIES TO ISLAND ROOTS—10/16/14
Sodette Kay Marie Plunkett-Simeonidis, a successful immigration attorney in the United States, went to the U.S. from her native Jamaica at the age of 11, but she refuses to cut her ties to the island. She returned to her home parish of St. Ann to celebrate her 40th birthday. She marked the day with family and community members, who joined to celebrate the lawyer who is having a significant impact on many immigrants to the U.S., including those from the Caribbean. She wanted to celebrate her birthday to show her patriotism to Jamaica and to tell young women in Jamaica that they can be successful too.

LECTURE SERIES TO FEATURE DR. PETER PHILLIPS—10/17/14
The Caribbean International Network (CIN) series of lectures will feature Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and Planning Dr. Peter Phillips. On October 28, 2014, Phillips will lecture on “Jamaica’s Path to Prosperity” at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City. The series is intended for business leaders, media, and religious representatives, along with diplomats, professors and other Caribbean community members. Phillips plans to provide information about the current state of Jamaica’s economy in his remarks.

JAMAICANS INVITED TO TRINIDAD FOR DISCUSSION ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION—10/17/14
Gary Griffiths, the National Security Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, has invited A.J. Nicholson, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit Port of Spain for discussion on issues related to immigration between the two nations. Griffiths also invited Opposition spokesman on foreign affairs and foreign trade Edmund Bartlett to join in the discussions. The deportation of 13 Jamaicans from Trinidad in September 2014 was cited as the impetus for the invitation.

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Written by Staff Writer