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Positive articles, news and events in the Caribbean.

Rastafari RootzFest 2016 Ready to Showcase Jamaica’s Indigenous Trendsetting Cultural Heritage

Rastafari RootzFest 2016 Ready to Showcase
Jamaica’s Indigenous Trendsetting Cultural Heritage

Negril, Jamaica (December 7, 2016). Rastafari RootzFest 2016 recently staged its Western Launch on November 29, 2016 at Boardwalk Village, Negril. The event, hosted by Sharon Parris-Chambers, Health & Wellness Consultant with Let's Do it in the Caribbean, brought together sponsors, stakeholders, community members, including a representative of Negril Police Force and the Media. Key outcomes from the launch catapulted Rastafari RootzFest to another level of success far above expectations, identifying Rastafari RootzFest 2016 as Jamaica’s indigenous cultural heritage showcase on the world stage. The second staging of RootzFest is from December 9-11, 2016 at Long Bay Beach Park. Gates open daily at 12 Noon.

Brian Wallace, Director, Tourism Enhancement Fund Board and Sponsor, said “The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) believes that the Rastafari RootzFest is special; it is worth the investment. Negril grew out of a sleepy fishing village… look at us now! Our people know more about the Rastafari religion, in fact, my family knew Iyah V from McNeil’s land (in Westmoreland). He was the original Rastaman and is the epitome of Rastafari…There is virtue and value of ganja to Jamaica.” 

Rastafari Rootzfest is poised to build on the natural human and cultural capital of the philosophy and sacrament of Jamaica’s indigenous people that has captured the imagination of the world. Firstman (Edward Wray) a co-producer of the event announced that an Indigenous Chief from Canada will be attending the RootzFest, adding to the richness and diversity of the programme.

Ras Iyah V, CEO of RASTAFARI IN INITY and founder of Rastafari RootzFest, gave the festival overview. He said “I become an advocate for de-criminalization of Ganja at an early age.” It is his persistence and commitment to Rastafari ideology, which has led to this moment of historical importance in Jamaica. He urged Jamaica to follow the lead of Colorado in the use of Cannabis oil to treat epilepsy. He complimented the work of Manley West, a Jamaican, in developing Canasol eye drops and Asmasol (asthma relief) for the Jamaican marketplace and called for greater standards in processing Medical Cannabis with the use of cutting edge extraction machines.

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Jamaica Cops Top Awards at the 23rd Annual World Travel Awards

Jamaica Cops Top Awards at the 23rd Annual World Travel Awards

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has been bestowed the distinctive award of World’s Leading Personality for Outstanding Services to Travel, at the 23rd Annual World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final held in the Maldives, Southern Asia on December 2, 2016. Destination Jamaica and local tourism partners also copped several prestigious awards at the event.

 “I am very pleased to receive this award. It is truly humbling to be recognized in this manner at such a major event attended by many of the world’s leading travel and tourism stalwarts,” said Minister Bartlett.

The award is the most prestigious honour in the travel industry each year and is presented to an individual who has made a monumental contribution to the travel and tourism industry. The recipient also had to make a positive, defining impact on the industry, not only over the last 12 months, but over the course of a lifetime.  

In making the decision, World Travel Awards President, Graham Cooke shared that their academy met to review suitable candidates and Minister Bartlett’s name unanimously came to the fore.“We are deeply privileged to be able to formally honour and recognize such a pioneering and inspirational man and to present to the global industry an exemplary torch bearer of undisputed industry excellence and a power of good to the world of travel,” said Mr. Cooke.

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All Roads Lead to Negril for Rastafari RootzFest Dec. 9-11

All Roads Lead to Negril for Rastafari RootzFest Dec. 9-11

Negril welcomes the return of Rastafari Rootzfest™ for a second year at Long Bay Beach Park December 9-11. The unique three day and night festival, offers a sensory immersion experience for fans looking for an authentic cultural celebration of Rastafari livity and the importance of ganja as a sacramental right of Jamaica’s indigenous people.

For the promoter “Rastafari Rootzfest showcases a wholistic mix of activities, speakers, exhibitors, food vendors and performers for a growing fan base to fulljoy” stated Ras Iyah V.  “Continuing with the standard set in our debut last year,” he continued, “we work to meet the audience’s expectations and therefore invite performers whose music strike a positive chord with the many thousands of Rastafari and Ganja enthusiasts.”  Friday night’s beach concert will feature Freddie McGregor, Half Pint, Sister Carol, Chezidek, Daweh Congo, Dre Island, Rocktop Band as well as Negril’s own Alicee and backing band Hiyah Grade.  Also appearing will be Canadian artistes Comfort and Isax.  Saturday, December 10, the beach concert stage will feature Protoje and The Indiggnation, alongside Richie Spice, Andrew Tosh, Lutan Fyah, Sevana, Yvad, Elan as well as Michie Mee and Tony Anthony from Canada and Negril rising star Prince J. Nyahbinghi House drummers will perform throughout the festival along with guest selectors Mutabaruka and DJ Jesse will provide the music soundtrack for the 2016 edition of the festival led by Reggae legend Peter Tosh’s ganja anthem 'Legalize It' which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.  The festival will close on Sunday evening with the Ganjamaica Cup Awards Ceremony.

Rastafari Rootzfest™ is designed as a celebration of indigenous Rastafari livity and includes the Ganjamaica Cup, a cannabis competition inviting island-wide submissions from the country's best growers to showcase indigenous plant strains and products to be judged by an expert panel.  This year’s seminar series will be presented in association with Oaksterdam University, the festival's International Education Partner and America’s first cannabis college.  Topics will be explored through two growers workshops and seminars on various aspects including Standards, Extracts, Intellectual Property, Innovation and Technology.  Sponsored by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Alpha Cat, Yellow Bird Resort, Skunk Magazine, Bess FM, IRIE FM and endorsed by the Jamaica Tourist Board, Jamaica Hotel & Tourism Association (JHTA), Negril Chamber of Commerce and the Westmoreland Hemp & Ganja Farmers Association (WHGFA).

Gates open 12 noon daily with the opening ceremony on Friday December 9th kicking off 14 educational seminars and workshops, Rasta reasonings and featuring 50+ exhibitors and ital food vendors as well as yoga, networking and two nights of beach concerts where old school meets new for a mystical Reggae experience. Tickets on sale at:

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A Banana Exporter Wins Haiti’s Presidential Election

A Banana Exporter Wins Haiti’s Presidential Election

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Tuesday November 29, 2016 – Preliminary results show a second round in Haiti’s presidential elections won’t be necessary, after the winner in the first round of elections – banana exporter Jovenel Moïse – took more than 50 per cent of the vote.

Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) reported that Moïse took 55.67 per cent of the vote in the November 20 election, far ahead of his closest rival Jude Celestin who won 19.52 per cent of the vote, followed by Jean-Charles Moïse with 11.04 per cent and Maryse Narcisse with 8.99 per cent.

With Moïse’s simple majority, a planned January runoff will be avoided once the losing candidates do not contest the results.

Moïse, 48, who runs a banana export company that he sees as a model for rural development, also won the first round in the October 2015 elections that was scrapped following allegations of widespread fraud. His margin, however, was not as large.

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Hilton Is Opening a Rainforest Resort in Costa Rica

Hilton Is Opening a Rainforest Resort in Costa Rica

Hilton is heading to the Costa Rican rainforest.

The global hospitality giant has announced the signing of the Botanika Osa Peninsula hotel to its Curio – A Collection by Hilton brand.

The hotel, which is being developed by Sinergo Development Group, is slated to open in 2018.

The new resort will be located near the Golfo Dulce, home to one of the world’s few tropical fjords, and set on the Osa Peninsula, home to 2.5 percent of the world’s biodiversity.

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Freddie McGregor and Joe Bogdanovich join ‘Entertainers Against Crime & Violence’

Freddie McGregor and Joe Bogdanovich join ‘Entertainers Against Crime & Violence’

Montego Bay, Jamaica, W.I. (November 17, 2016). The ‘big ship’ captain Freddy McGregor and Reggae Sumfest boss Joe Bogdanovich are now on board the entertainment music Call to Action: "Entertainers Against Crime and Violence". The Mega Concert, envisioned to draw up to 50 Jamaican entertainers, is destined for Dump up Beach, December 4, 2016 and scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m.

"Entertainers Against Crime and Violence" is a voluntary effort of entertainers, both gospel and secular, coming together as one voice. Together they make a statement that crime and violence is crippling the entire entertainment industry as people are not coming out to see performers, neither are police giving permits for events in what is considered a war zone. This further affects the persons who make a livelihood from these events.

McGregor was quick to get on board, being dissatisfied with the current crime situation and its effect on the music industry. Bogdanovich, the new owner of Reggae Sumfest, feels his contribution to this venture will help to bring about stability to the life of the people.  Like a jolt of energy, it will also help to reinvigorate the music industry, and prepare for the staging of the ‘greatest reggae show on earth’ coming up in July 2017. 

PHOTO CAPTION: Joe Bogdanovich

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Rudi Page appointed Director of International Diaspora Relations by CCTN/VAB

Rudi Page appointed Director of International Diaspora Relations  by CCTN/VAB

Mandeville, Jamaica, W.I. (November 15, 2016) Rudi Page's appointment as Director of International Diaspora Relations for Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses (CCTN/VAB) is timely and fortuitous. He is an award-winning management consultant specialising in policy implementation for International Trade Support, Healthcare Management Systems, Workforce Development (Equalities) and Corporate Social Impact. Page has recently developed the Caribbean Diaspora Delivery System (CDDS), a facilitated framework for the digital transformation of the traditional Diaspora leadership, management and involvement model by providing strategic leadership in communication, governance, structure and implementation.

Based in London, England, Mr Page has been receiving a stream of welcoming remarks from the CCTN/VAB management team. Chief among them is the remarks of Founder and President, Diana McIntyre-Pike: “CCTN/VAB has always wanted to have an active representative from the Diaspora on our management team and we are delighted to have Rudi Page to manage this area and assist us, on a voluntary basis, to further develop and promote our Community Tourism network. He has informed that one of his first duties is to develop a Diaspora Engagement Plan for 2017.”

Lou D’Amore, Founder & President, International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT,) having recently completed the launch of the 30th IIPT Anniversary on November 9th at World Travel Market, in Support of UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, took time out to offer these words to Mr Page: “Congratulations on your appointment as Director of International Diaspora Relations for the Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses. Your experience and expertise will certainly prove to be a great asset in promoting Community Tourism to Jamaica and the Caribbean.” 

Page’s own remarks herald a time of bridge-building and inclusiveness:  "I am pleased to become a team member and look forward to building relationships across all sectors throughout

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Jamaica and Airbnb to sign a major deal

Jamaica and Airbnb to sign a major deal

Honoring his commitment to develop new tourism-partnerships, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett today announced that the Ministry of Tourism is set to sign a major agreement with Airbnb to augment and drive growth within the tourism industry.

The Minister, who made the announcement during a meeting with Airbnb executives, at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices, is very optimistic about the potential impact this will have on community tourism and is eager to finalize a memorandum of understanding to concretize the partnership.

“We are very happy to be partnering with Airbnb and know that it will be mutually beneficial to both entities involved. Once drafted, I know that the agreement will take into account our goal of destination assurance, which ensures our credibility in the marketplace. It will also allow us to utilize analytics across their social platforms. This will be a great tool for us to build a better collective resource management platform for our destination,” said Minister Bartlett.

According to Airbnb’s executive with responsibility for Public Policy in Latin America and the Caribbean, Shawn Sullivan, the market for Airbnb in Jamaica is rapidly growing and is extremely lucrative. The site currently accounts for 2,300 active hosts and 4,000 active listings in the past year from Jamaica.

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The Best Small Islands to Retire To

The Best Small Islands to Retire To

Everyone dreams of retiring in the Caribbean. And the ultimate dream is retiring to a small, far-off island away from the hustle and bustle of the world. Retirement in the Caribbean certainly has its share of sacrifices and challenges, and that’s particularly true on a small island. But what you get in return is total independence, unmatched relaxation, island charm and a completely different rhythm to your days. Another unheralded benefit is you really become part of a community, something that isn’t necessarily true in many larger “retirement” destinations. These are the small islands we think are the best starting points to make a decision like this — they’re small, they’re beautiful and they’re not really like anywhere else.

Bocas del Toro, Panama

Panama has become one of the world’s hottest destinations for retirees, especially from the US. That’s in large part due two factors: the country’s pensionado programme, which offers retirees a series of discounts on everything from medical exams to entertainment, and a cost of living that’s among the lowest of any destination in the region. And Bocas del Toro is full of tiny islands to choose from, from the “main” island of Isla Colon to the popular Red Frog Beach development on the island of Isla Bastimentos.

Treasure Cay, Bahamas

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10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites You Need to Visit in the Caribbean

10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites You Need to Visit in the Caribbean

UNESCO has a big footprint in the Caribbean’s historical offering

In 1972, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) established the World Heritage Site program, which recognizes landmarks of natural and cultural significance and promotes their protection for the benefit of the entire world. There are now 19 of these must-see sites in the Caribbean, stretching from Cuba westward to Barbados and embracing everything from towering volcanoes to colonial neighborhoods and thriving barrier reefs. Here are 10 of our favorite reasons to rouse yourself from your beach chair and explore beyond the sand. How many Caribbean World Heritage Sites have you seen?

UNESCO HISTORICAL SITES

 

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Regional Tourism Ministers to Examine Sector Policies

Regional Tourism Ministers to Examine Sector Policies

LUXOR, Egypt; November 2, 2016:  In an effort to bolster Caribbean Tourism, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, recently announced that he will be hosting a Summit of Caribbean Ministers, as a highlight of this year’s staging of the Tourism Outlook Seminar (TOS) to be held in Montego Bay in December.

Speaking at the 104th Session of the inaugural United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council Meeting in Luxor, Egypt, Minister Bartlett outlined that the summit will give the tourism leaders within the region a forum to discuss the collaborative approach that needs to be taken to generate increased growth in the sector.

“This Summit of the Caribbean Ministers is an innovation that we have never had before. We are going to be saying to our minister colleagues, ‘let’s look at the Caribbean together and discuss how we can change the game from the highly competitive strategies that have not given us growth’,” said Minister Bartlett.

Minister Bartlett emphasized that at the end of the discussions, he hopes that strategies can be discussed which will emphasize the harmonization of a number of policies in the region.

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New Year’s Womban Retreat to Renew Mind, Body & Spirit

New Year’s Womban Retreat to Renew Mind, Body & Spirit

The first ever Womb-an Retreat and Fair will be staged January 27 - 29, 2017 at Negril Escape Resort and Spa, West End, Negril, Jamaica. The event will explore the many Stages of Womb-an (women) aged 35 yrs. –80 yrs. at a three-day weekend Retreat.  Over the weekend, patrons will meet and consult with female Medical, Paramedical, Wellness Professionals in a relaxed, environment that facilitates sharing and personal introspection. The event, re-scheduled to incorporate New Year’s resolutions and transformations, is the brainchild of Cosmetologist, Debra Barrett.

Patrons will participate in a Bonfire Cleansing Ceremony after settling on Friday evening on January 27, 2017. On Day two (2), they will engage in Mind-Body Yoga and Meditation sessions to start the day, followed by a Health & Wellness Services Expo, Entertainment, topped off with an exciting Fashion Show by Fashion Designer Cleopatra Charles.

The highlight of the day are the networking opportunities, consultations with professional and para-professional wellness practitioners, who will also have products for sale. Tables will be available for participating exhibitors. The Retreat & Fair will attract a high profile keynote and special guest speaker to be announced shortly. Watch for FB page to facilitate daily discussion.

RETREAT/FAIR SCHEDULE:

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New Chairman for Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority

New Chairman for Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority

The Honorable Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, Asot Michael, has announced  the appointment of Richard ‘Ricky’ Skerritt as Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) Board of Directors. Skerritt will also serve as an advisor to the Minister. As Non-Executive Chairman of the ABTA, Mr. Skerritt will be responsible for overseeing the development of policies and strategies designed to strengthen Antigua and Barbuda’s reputation as a world-class tourism and travel destination. In announcing the recent appointment Minister Michael said, “I am very excited that Ricky Skerritt has agreed to join our Tourism leadership team.  We have already begun taking a number of important steps towards revitalizing our tourism product, and Mr. Skerritt’s advice and leadership will be invaluable to us going forward.”

Mr. Skerritt thanked Minister Michael for his warm words of welcome and said that he was honored to become involved in helping Antigua & Barbuda shape an exciting future for the tourism sector. Skerritt said, “I am pleased with the commitment I have seen from Minister Michael and his colleagues to grow tourism in ways that will impact positively on the livelihoods of all local stakeholders. I look forward to doing what I can to assist Minister Michael and his tourism leadership team.”

Minister Michael also thanked outgoing ABTA Chairman, Mr. Rohan Hector, for the hard work he put in during his two-year tenure as Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. “Mr. Hector answered my call to serve in an unfamiliar field at a very challenging time, and I am grateful to him for helping us to get to this moment of further change,” said the Tourism Minister.

Source: http://etn.travel/article/new-man-charge-antigua-barbuda-tourism-authority/

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Minister Bartlett to Attend Important UNWTO Summit in Egypt

Minister Bartlett to Attend Important UNWTO Summit in Egypt

KINGSTON, Jamaica; October 28, 2016:   Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett, who also chairs the Board of Affiliate Members of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), is set to attend the 104th Session of the UNWTO Executive Council Meeting in Luxor, Egypt from October 30 - November 1, 2016.

Minister Bartlett, who is being accompanied by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Mrs. Jennifer Griffith, left the island earlier today October 28, 2016. He outlined that the council meeting will examine: tourism trends and activities; mainstreaming tourism in the global agenda; as well as review administrative and statutory matters of the council.

The Hon. Minister will then travel to London on November 4, 2016, where he will also be joined by the Director of Tourism, Mr. Paul Pennicook.  While there, they will meet with key stakeholders and members of the Diaspora and attend the World Travel Market which runs from November 7-9, 2016.

The World Travel Market is the leading global event for the travel industry to meet industry professionals and conduct business deals. Through its industry networks, unrivalled global reach, WTM London creates personal and business opportunities, providing customers with quality contacts, content and communities. It is expected to attract some 50,000 patrons from 182 countries across the globe.

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MTV for OCEAN Style Weekend

MTV for OCEAN Style Weekend

Star-Studded Weekend Set for Secrets Resorts & Spas in Jamaica

(Montego Bay, Jamaica – October 24, 2016) Montego Bay has in recent times become the epicenter of celebrity sightings in Jamaica, and that’s due in large measure to OCEAN Style.  The Caribbean luxury lifestyle brand having already produced three celebrity events in Jamaica this year  - Taye Diggs’ Book Signing Tour, Vivica Fox’s Birthday Celebration and High Vibes Roots & Reggae Festival featuring Rick Ross, Beenie Man and Ky-Mani Marley.  Now the tourism capital of Jamaica is gearing up to host the 9th annual OCEAN Style FashionShowcase Weekend and Celebrity Golf Tournament.

Global entertainment giant MTV will be in Jamaica as one of the many recognized entities when the weekend kicks off November 24-27, 2016.  Billed as a weekend of parties, fun, fashion and celebration, the annual event is well-known for pulling international names in fashion, having presented brands: Etro, Reem Accra, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Agent Provocateur, Victoria’s Secret and the Caribbean’s own Meiling, Anya Ayoung-Chee and Heather Jones, just to name a few. In terms of celebrity attendance, OCEAN Style has hosted over 50 celebrities including the likes of Anthony Anderson, Angela Simmonds, Vivica Fox, Lennox Lewis, Taye Diggs, Don Benjamin, Rockmond Dunbar, Nicole Murphy and Mekhi Phifer and in the process successfully established itself as the quintessential celebrity and socialite playground of the Caribbean.

Secrets Resorts & Spas will play host to the guests and a number of the events as the presenting partner for the second consecutive year. Emilio Huhn, General Manager said: "For a luxury resort like Secrets it's a very good fit. We are happy to be associated with world class events and that is what OCEAN Style delivers."

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 FREE CONCERT “ENTERTAINERS AGAINST CRIME & VIOLENCE"

 FREE CONCERT “ENTERTAINERS AGAINST CRIME & VIOLENCE"

With great concern about crime, especially in western Jamaica, Mackie Conscious and a team of entertainers and musicians have collaborated with Queen Ifrika, who also hails from Montego Bay, holding similar concerns, will host a Free Major concert dubbed “ ENTERTAINERS AGAINST CRIME & VIOLENCE” to be held at Dump up beach Sunday, December 4, 2016 starting at 3:00 p.m.

This event is designed to have the major Jamaican recording artistes, both home and abroad, participate in donating their time to activate a Call to Action from the music fraternity that we need a change. For too long we have been losing too many of our valuable Jamaicans through crime and violence. This has placed Jamaica in a position that is crippling all sectors of our society, for example: Music, Tourism, businesses, families. This situation is grossly affecting the entire economy. 

To date we have a list of over 50 branded entertainers from which to choose and who are expected to make themselves available live or via video link on a large screen. This list include some who have already confirmed: Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths, Diana King, Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrika, Mackie Conscious, Spice, Ninja Man, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Beenie Man, I Octain,  Jimmy Cliff, Mutabaruka, Hezron, Carlene Davis, Lt. Stichie, Kevin Dowenswell, just to name a few. 

We have come to the conclusion that music is one of the greatest influences, both negatively and positively, which has played a role in the development of this generation. We are also cognizant of the fact that in the escalation of crime and violence in the society, music’s negative lyrical content is a contributory factor. 

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CLICK TO ACCESS JAMAICA

CLICK TO ACCESS JAMAICA
Negril, Jamaica (October 24, 2016). Access Jamaica is Jamaica's premier distribution and repository channel for Jamaican products, services and information. The portal helps consumers find easily accessible links and information under one umbrella,  www.AccessJamaica.com . The portal's founder and chief solutions coach, Theo Chambers, official...
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Antigua & Barbuda Pitched As A Hot Investment Spot

Antigua & Barbuda Pitched As A Hot Investment Spot
ABU DHABI, Dubai, Monday October 24, 2016 – Hollywood actor Robert De Niro recently went to Dubai to endorse Antigua and Barbuda as a top choice for investment. He was part of a delegation, that also included Prime Minister Gaston Browne, on a mission to promote investments in the picturesque twin islands. De Niro, a Special Envoy of Antigua and Ba...
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‘I Am Bolt’ Documentary On Track To Premiere In Kingston And London

‘I Am Bolt’ Documentary On Track To Premiere In Kingston And London
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday October 20, 2016 – The documentary "I Am Bolt", a film chronicling the life and triumphs of the world's fastest man Usain Bolt, is on track to premiere in Kingston and London. The Jamaican sprint superstar is recognized as a legend in his time after winning nine Olympic gold medals and nailing world records for the 100 a...
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Mandeville Peace Coalition Launch Sparks Community Action

Mandeville Peace Coalition Launch Sparks Community Action
​Mandeville, Manchester, October 6, 2016. Manchester Peace Coalition (MPCo) led by its Interim President, Dr Clifton Reid, is a force to be reckoned with in a Jamaica racked by escalating crime in urban centres. In fact, the Coalition's mission as peacemakers makes them a positive force to help transform the parish of Manchester through collaborati...
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