Jamaica Seeks World Heritage Status For Reggae

 

Jamaica is bidding to have reggae music admitted to a list of global cultural treasures worthy of protection, the UN’s cultural agency UNESCO announced on Tuesday.

Paris-based UNESCO keeps a list of so-called “intangible heritage” found around the globe, which groups together traditional cultural practices such as horse games in central Asia to pizza-making in Naples.

Jamaica has asked for reggae to be added this year at a meeting of the UN agency on the island of Mauritius, where 40 proposals are set to be considered from November 26 to December 1.

So far, 399 examples of world heritage including dances, food-making practices, boat-building, games, festivals and even coaxing rituals for camels in Mongolia have been added.

A successful application is largely symbolic but can serve to raise the profile of the country and the practice.

Other applications this year have been filed for the Irish game of hurling, the making of perfume in the French town of Grasse, and traditional wrestling in South Korea known as Ssireum.

Reggae emerged in the late 1960s in Jamaica and quickly become a global phenomenon thanks to singers such as Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff and the famed producer Lee “Scratch” Perry.

The music, with its heavy bass lines and drums, has influenced countless artists since and spawned new sounds such as dub.

AFP

Jamaica Seeks World Heritage Status For Reggae

 

Jamaica is bidding to have reggae music admitted to a list of global cultural treasures worthy of protection, the UN’s cultural agency UNESCO announced on Tuesday.

Paris-based UNESCO keeps a list of so-called “intangible heritage” found around the globe, which groups together traditional cultural practices such as horse games in central Asia to pizza-making in Naples.

Jamaica has asked for reggae to be added this year at a meeting of the UN agency on the island of Mauritius, where 40 proposals are set to be considered from November 26 to December 1.

So far, 399 examples of world heritage including dances, food-making practices, boat-building, games, festivals and even coaxing rituals for camels in Mongolia have been added.

A successful application is largely symbolic, but can serve to raise the profile of the country and the practice.

Other applications this year have been filed for the Irish game of hurling, the making of perfume in the French town of Grasse, and traditional wrestling in South Korea known as Ssireum.

Reggae emerged in the late 1960s in Jamaica and quickly become a global phenomenon thanks to singers such as Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff and the famed producer Lee “Scratch” Perry.

The music, with its heavy bass lines and drums, has influenced countless artists since and spawned new sounds such as dub.

Emotional Bolt Runs His Final Race In Jamaica

Usain Bolt, Mo Farah Make Final IAAF ShortlistAn emotional Usain Bolt recovered from a moderate start to win his final 100 metres sprint on home soil, clocking 10.03 seconds at the 2nd Racers Grand Prix in Kingston on Saturday.

The multiple Olympic and world gold medalist, who will retire after August’s world championships in London, confessed to being a nervous wreck before running his last race on Jamaican soil.

“The run, it was just ok. I must say it was ok. I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous running a 100m,” Bolt said after a lap of honor before a packed stadium, including International Association of Athletics Federations President Sebastian Coe and the top brass of Jamaican politics including Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

“Just the atmosphere and the people, the support they came out and give me tonight, it was really nerve racking. I never expected this, I knew it was going to be Big, the stadium was ram packed so thank you guys for coming out and supporting me.”

Running from lane five, Bolt took control of the race before the halfway mark and pulled away to the delight of more than 30,000 spectators.

The double sprint world record holder, who has amassed eight Olympic golds and 13 world championship medals, will make his final bow in August in the British capital, where he will only run the shorter sprint despite having a wildcard for the 200m.

David Rudisha, the reigning Olympic and world championship winner in 800m, posted a season-best one minute 44.90 seconds but was caught and passed by his little known fellow Kenyan Willy Tarbei, who won in one minute 44.86 seconds.

British multiple Olympic and world championship gold medalist Mo Farah clocked seven minutes 41.20 seconds to land the 3,000 ahead of Australian Patrick Tierman and Jamaica’s Kemoy Campbell.

Okagbare Sets 11.11 Seconds In Rabat

Blessing Okagbare, RabatAfrican record holder, Blessing Okagbare, has put up a good show to finish second behind Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson in the women’s 100 metres at the Rabat Diamond League in Morocco.

The Nigerian international proved that she had been making progress in her efforts to get back to her best after setting a new mark of 11.11 seconds compared to her previous season’s best of 11.30 seconds in Kawasaki.

The 27 year-old would be looking forward to setting new season’s best in her other events as the outdoor season progresses.

Okagbare’s best performances so far in 2016 are 22.82 seconds in the 200m, and 6.25m in the long jump.

The track and field athlete, who hails from Delta State, in southern Nigeria specialises in long jumping and short sprints.

She is an Olympic and World Championships medalist in the long jump, and a world medalist in the 200 metres.

Zika Virus Triggers Pregnancy Delay Calls

zika virusOfficials in four Latin American and Caribbean nations have warned women to avoid getting pregnant amid concerns over an illness causing severe birth defects.

Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica have recommended delaying pregnancies until more is known about the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

This follows an outbreak in Brazil where nearly 4,000 babies have been born with suspected microcephaly – or abnormally small heads.

Meanwhile, the US health authorities had warned pregnant women to avoid travelling to more than 20 countries in the Americas and beyond, where Zika cases had been registered.

Brazil is experiencing the largest known outbreak of Zika, with most cases in the north-east. Others have been detected in the south-east, an area which includes Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

There has been a sharp rise in the number of cases of Zika in several other Latin American countries.

In Colombia, more than 13,500 cases had been reported.

 

Nigeria, Africa Collaborations To Come Before Others – Vector

VectorNigerian rapper, Vector has said he has no plans to have collaborations with artistes outside Africa for now as he plans to tidy up first.

In a recent chat with Entertainment News on Channels Television, Vector commented on the recent increase in America/Nigeria music collaborations and said “I’ve had my moments with international collaborations in Jamaica, Miami, ATL and parts of New York. I’ve had that buzz and mention over there.

“However, Nigeria is big enough.

“At this point, I think I should tidy my house first,” he said and added that Nigeria and Africa come first.

Vector’s track, ‘King Kong’ has also been gaining a lot of traction with a remix featuring artistes including Reminisce, Sarkodie, Phyno on the way.

Also, Vector disclosed that his ‘Lafiaji’ album is on the way.

“The art with this album is pretty much going back to the place of birth. I was born on Lagos Island and I grew up around Lafiaji.

“It’s high time I made a track or album dedicated to the place I grew up, so it will have plenty Lafiaji kind of lifestyle.”

Asked about his relationship with music label YSG, Vector said: “The new movement is GRAP”, adding that “YSG is still very good” and “we would still work together”.

However, the Shiga rapper made it clear he was operating solo at the moment and that fans should expect Nigerian music that would compete internationally from him.

“This year, it’s just basically me bringing the world and Nigeria together with music,” he said, noting that Nigerian music can compete anywhere in the world whilst still being Nigerian.

Okagbare Wins Second Medal In 200m Final

Blessing Okagbare once again took Nigeria to the podium at the on-going IAAF World Athletics Championship in Moscow.

The African record holder put up a strong fight to win the bronze medal in the women’s 200m event.

Okagbare clocked 22.32 seconds to finish behind 100m champion shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica who picked the gold medal with a time of 22.17 seconds.

Murielle Ahoure of Cote d’Ivoire posted a time of 22.32 seconds to clinch silver medal even though she and Okagbare crossed the finish line the same time.

Meanwhile Nigeria is in for another medal haul as its 4×400 women’s relay team qualified for the final of the event.

The quartet of Reginal George, Omolara Omotoso, Patience Okon and Josephine Ehihie clocked a season’s best time of 3 minutes 27.39 seconds to finish second behind Great Britain.

The performance of the women quartet has raised expectations that Nigeria might pick a medal when the final takes place on Saturday.

Athletes On High For Diamond League Meet In Shanghai

Top athletes expected to be competing with each other in the Diamond League meet holding in Shanghai this weekend are in high spirits as they gear up to outdo one another.

America’s 110-metre hurdles world record holder, Aries Merritt, said that he would try his best to compete and hope not to fail his fans in Shanghai for the second leg of the 2013 Diamond League series on Saturday.

The Athlete who won gold in the event at last year’s London Olympics said he hoped that he would be at his best come Saturday after he just regained fitness  as he picked up an injury in the indoor season.

“Every time I’m doing a rep, whether it’s sprinting or jogging, anything that has to do with having the leg in front, I just put that leg in front from now on. So I practice when I’m running repeat one fifties, I just put my weaker leg in front to start and it’s just something I’ve just been doing. I’m also doing a series of drills that allows me to balance out both sides,” he said referring to his injured leg.

Meanwhile, Silver medallist in London 2012, Jason Richardson, who is a fellow American has taken up serious discussions with his trainer and coach, John Smith, to see what and how he can challenge Merritt’s world record time of 12.80 which was set in Brussels last September.

“John Smith and I actually had plenty of conversations about where we think the record could go and we’ve actually discussed that it could go further than 12.80. So our approach has actually stayed the same, which is to always have a foundation of change,” he said.

Olympic 100-metre champion in 2012, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, said that she looked forward to racing against Carmelita Jeter, who took silver in London, on Saturday.

Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce proved to be the sprint queen of the track when she retained her Olympic 100-meters title in London last year.

Fraser-Pryce was little known when she stormed to gold in 2008, but followed up a year later by winning the world title in Berlin.

Nigeria To Play Mexico, Jamaica Ahead Of Kenya Return Leg Clash

The Super Eagles will train in Germany ahead of a return leg World Cup clash against Kenya with warm-up games against Mexico and Jamaica confirmed.

The Super Eagles will be hosted by Kenya in Nairobi on June 5 in a crunch World Cup qualifier return leg after the Harambee Stars snatched a draw in Calabar at the weekend. They will also face hosts Namibia a week later in continuation of the qualifying series.

The Nigeria Football Federation have now concluded plans for the African champions to set up a training camp in Germany ahead of a hectic month of June, when they are also to feature at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.

Super Eagles spokesman, Ben Alaiya, says the team will regroup at the Adidas camp site in Germany in the middle of May to prepare for  the two crucial World Cup qualifiers and the friendlies against Mexico and Jamaica.

The Eagles must win their next two World Cup qualifiers away to Kenya and Namibia to stay in contention for a place in the final round of the qualifying tournament for Brazil 2014 after they laboured to a 1 all draw with Kenya at home.

Hurricane Sandy hits Jamaica, kills one

Hurricane Sandy on Wednesday crushed a man to death in Jamaica, moving north to Cuba.

The hurricane struck the island unleashing heavy rains and winds of 125km/h (80mph).

According to BBC reports, schools and airports are closed, and a curfew has been imposed in major towns. A police officer was shot and injured by looters in the capital, Kingston.

A hurricane warning has also been issued in Cuba, where Sandy is expected to make its next landfall.

Moving at 22km/h, the hurricane struck Kingston on Wednesday evening and headed north, emerging off the island’s northern coast near the town of Port Antonio.

Sandy has prompted a hurricane watch in the Bahamas, while Florida has been placed on tropical storm watch.

“It’s a big storm and it’s going to grow in size after it leaves Cuba,” said forecaster Michael Brennan from the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami.

The NHC predicts that Sandy could dump up to 50cm (inches) of rain across parts of Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and eastern Cuba.

“These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially in areas of mountainous terrain,” the Centre warned in a statement.

More than 1,000 Jamaicans have sought refuge in shelters, with residents reporting widespread power outages, flooded streets and damages to buildings.

An elderly man was crushed to death by stones that fell from a hillside as he tried to get into his house in a rural village, authorities said.
Much of the island’s infrastructure is in a poor state of repair, and a lack of effective planning regulation has resulted in homes being built close to embankments and gullies.

“A part of the roof of my veranda just went like that [and] at least five of my neighbors  have lost their entire roofs,” a resident of the coastal city of Iter Boreale told Reuters news agency.

The country’s sole energy provider, the Jamaica Public Service Company, said 70% of its customers were without electricity.

Authorities have imposed a 48-hour curfew in all major towns. But looters in Kingston ignored the order and wounded a senior officer in a shooting, police said.

While Jamaica was ravaged by winds from Hurricane Ivan in 2004, the eye of a hurricane hasn’t crossed the island since Hurricane Gilbert in 1988.

Almost 50 people were killed by that storm, and the then Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, described the hardest hit areas near where Gilbert made landfall as looking “like Hiroshima after the atom bomb”.

Olympics 2012: Nigeria finishes fourth in 4x100m women relay

Even though they finished fourth in the final of the 4 x 100m women relay, Nigeria’s quartet of Oludamola Osayomi, Gloria Asumnu, Endurance Abinuwa and Blessing Okagbare posted a season best of 42.64 seconds.

Okagbare who ran the last lap for Nigeria was almost close to picking the bronze but could not outdo Ukraine’s Elizaveta Bryzgina.

US quartet of Tianna Madison,Allyson Felix,Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter created a new world record as they ran a time of 40.82 seconds to claim gold medal.

Jamaica clinched silver in a time of 41.41 seconds while Ukraine won bronze in time of 42.04 seconds.

Only yesterday,the minister of Sports Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi admitted that Team Nigeria have had a woeful performance at the London 2012 Olympics.
It is now left to be seen where the medals will come from,as Nigeria has only few competitions to compete in,the Women’s 4×400 meters finals

UK to refurbish prisons in Nigeria ahead of deportation

Taxpayers in the United Kingdom are to foot the bill to revamp jails in Nigeria and Jamaica so that the convicts in British prisons can be deported without breaching their human rights, The Daily Mail reported on Thursday.

This is the latest move by the UK’s coalition government to persuade foreign convicts to serve their sentences at home.

It was revealed that a project is currently on going in Nigeria which supports the provision of “human rights training for prison officers” while another project will construct new facilities at a women’s prison in Lagos, to reduce overcrowding.

The report also claimed that funds are currently being spent in Jamaica to “assist Jamaican authorities in modernising their prison service and rehabilitation and reintegration activities.”

Jamaica tops the list of the nations with most prisoners in British jails, with 900 inmates, followed by Poland-750, Republic of Ireland-737 and Nigeria, with 594 inmates.

“Ministers have resorted to the tactic – designed to satisfy the human rights of inmates – after it emerged that the UK’s own prison system has turned into a ‘United Nations of crime” the British Tabloid reported on its website.

Research by the House of Commons library reveals how British jails contain inmates from 156 countries and the total number of foreign prisoners is rising despite pledges by the Prime Minister, David Cameron to address the issue.

It is estimated that by March 2012, there were 11,127 foreign inmates behind bars, at an estimated cost to the UK public purse of more than £420million. This is up from 10,778 in 2011.

The convicts, which includes rapists, murderers and burglars, now makes up more than one in every eight convicts. The figures were disclosed as the British Prime Minister faced more criticism on Wednesday over his foreign aid commitments.

Mr. Cameron was taking part in a radio phone-in when a pensioner called to tell him it was wrong that she was denied a cancer drug while billions were spent on overseas aid.

Meanwhile, it emerged that the dire need to create space in the packed jails has prompted ministers to take the extraordinary step of establishing a £3million annual pot to make it easier for convicts to serve their sentences back home.

The Mail argues that “splashing money on prisons abroad is certain to prove controversial.” But officials insist it will be cheaper in the long run than the annual £38,000 bill for keeping a single prisoner locked up here.

Tory MP Priti Patel said “Prison is always the best place for dangerous criminals, but our jails should not be used as hotels for foreigners. Ministers need to take action to deport them to serve their sentences in the countries they come from and then stop them from coming back to Britain.”

“Living in Britain is a privilege and foreigners who come here and flout our laws should be sent packing without delay” he added

Breaches of human rights at home

In November 2010, the Mail revealed how the Prime Minister had decided to spearhead a campaign for foreign criminals to serve their sentences back home.

To do this, ministers must be able to convince the courts that the offenders will not suffer breaches of their human rights by being made to stay in squalid conditions.

The Ministry of Justice said it had just signed a new agreement which should see a greater number of Albanian prisoners being transferred from the UK to complete their sentences.

Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt said: ‘We are already removing thousands of foreign criminals at the end of their sentence, or under transfer agreements to serve the rest of their sentence back home.

“We believe that, wherever possible, foreign national prisoners should serve their sentences in their own country. Not only will it save money for the UK, it will also mean that these prisoners will be closer to family and friends. This helps to support prisoners’ social rehabilitation and reintegration into society.”

He also added that the transfers will “help their home country to put in place any appropriate public protection measures on their release.”

“I hope this compulsory prisoner transfer agreement will be the first of many arrangements to free up prison spaces and reduce the burden to taxpayers of foreign criminals who should rightly become the responsibility of their own country and not the UK.”

The last government tried a string of desperate tactics to reduce the number of overseas inmates. Offenders were offered credit cards pre-loaded with more than £450 – funded by the taxpayer – if they agreed to return home.

The perk was part of a package worth up to £5,000 designed to ‘bribe’ them to leave the UK.