What I Learnt During Pandemic During week ending 20/6/20

In Jamaica I Learnt

  • George Williams, 71, appeared in court this week having spent 48 years imprisoned without trial and will be released. Williams was arrested and charged with the murder of a man in July 1970 and was declared unfit to plead. The psychiatric unit within the prison service was closed in 1975 and the impact of that decision has cost lives.  The media and historians should request access to the government papers that led to such an ill-conceived decision by the then Michael Manley administration. Makes you wonder how many other inmates have died in prison since the 1970s who were incarcerated for over 5 years without facing a trial.
  • In his address to parliament over current prison scandal Horace Chang, National  Security Minister, described the situation over the late Noel Chambers (40 years on remand without trial) as a comedy of errors. Comedy of errors Dr Chang? Chang did pin the blame mainly at public servants. But no one in the system including parliament can be absolve of blame here.
  • Mike Henry, 85, has been appointed Minister of Labour and Social Security  (MLSS). Karl Samuda,78, has been confirmed as Minister of Education, Information and Youth having covered those portfolios in an acting capacity since early 2019.  I know the pc machine is spinning the age-is-just-a-number claptrap but this is just ridiculous given they are talented Labourites who deserve promotion to the cabinet. Zavia Mayne, 42, the current junior minister at MLSS must feel insulted.  (Leslie Campbell was just made a cabinet minister which is a good decision by the PM.)
  • Peter Phillips, People’s National Party leader, made some smart staffing changes in preparation for the upcoming elections. Peter Bunting (Shadow Education) will co-lead the party’s election campaign as well take over as Leader of Opposition Business in the lower house. Lisa Hanna has been appointed chief election campaign spokesperson. A good move given Hanna’s popularity, star appeal and her own future leadership ambitions.
  • Television Jamaica’s (TVJ) replaying of some of their archived local current affairs programs shows that the issues that were covered then – e.g. crime, religion, children, public transport – are still been discussed today.
  • TVJ’s popular School’s Challenge Quiz final was won by Ardenne High despite luckily getting through the semis, when the judges messed up on an answer given by Ardenne that would have given Kingston College a nail biting win. Some will say Ardenne was lucky to have won the quarter finals over Munro College following another blunder by quiz officials.
Karl Samuda - Jamaica Information Service

Karl Samuda, 78, Minister of Yout


Globally I Learnt

  • Taiwan has reported no local case of the coronavirus for over two months.
  • John Bolton vs Donald Trump over a book release.
    • Trump’s worst decision as POTUS (there are many) was appointing the war hawk Bolton as his National Security Adviser in 2018.
    • With his new position Bolton was masterminding all sorts of regime change war games. Bolton even dragged that Iran-Contra holdover – Elliott Abrams – from the grave to drive hardline measures on Venezuela and Cuba.
    • It was no coincidence that Nikki Haley resigned as US Ambassador to the UN months after Bolton was hired by Trump. As Bolton wanted a big say on UN issues and Haley was having none of it on her watch.
    • In the book Bolton boasted at how he, Mike Pompeo and Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu ensured Trump could not speak directly with Iran’s leaders, despite Trump’s willingness to do so. Shame. But it tells you how weak and naive a president Trump really is, if his own staff can block his intentions of such needed peace talks.
  • Kenya, India, Ireland, Mexico and Norway are the new 5 non-permanent members of the UN Security Council. Canada made a big play for a seat and lost out which has caused consternation for many in Ottawa.
  • The British government is planning to merge the Foreign Office and Department for International Development. Just like when the Labour govt merged the Inland Revenue with Customs & Excise in the 2000s this move is just an awful decision.
  • With 210.9 deaths per 100,000 population, the London Borough of Brent was the worst affected of all areas in the UK for coronavirus deaths.
  • To ease their debt concerns Angola has opened up its oilfield holdings to Chinese interest.
  • Zimbabwe’s Health Minister, Obadiah Moyo, charged with corruption regarding a $60m deal to procure COVID-19 test kits and medical equipment.
  • New Zealand government has enjoyed plaudits for its handling of pandemic. But that praise came crashing down this week over blunders which included  two new imported cases of Covid-19 who visited a dying parent under compassionate grounds. The new arrivals had not been tested for Covid-19 before leaving isolation, despite new rules saying they should be tested on the third and 12th days of isolation. PM Jacinda Ardern was slammed for this failing.  Ardern has now put the military in charge of border quarantine processes which is embarrassing for her government.
  • Israel’s parliament – the Knesset – passed the ‘Norwegian Law,’ that allows political parties to replace newly appointed ministers with more Member of Knesset (MKs).
  • English football is back (spectator free) and I love how we can hear the comments made by players and managers alike during the games. I like the 5 substitutes rule, let’s hope it stays.
  • Facebook joined Google in rejecting Australia’s ‘pay for news’ proposal, telling publishers: You need us more than we need you:
  • Montreal has been accused of turning ‘blind eye’ to systemic racism and discrimination in police and the city administration.
  • Three US senators (Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz & Rick Scott) introduced a bill named “Cut Profits to the Cuban Regime Act” would require the US State Department to publish the list of countries that contract with the Cuban government for its medical missions program. I doubt this proposal will get must traction in the House but Caribbean and African nations must feel concerned about this move and must push back hard with effective lobbying.
  • Mary Elizabeth Taylor resigned from her senior position within the Trump administration (State Dept) due to his chaotic limp response to the current race related crisis.
  • With a vote of 6-3 U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring sex discrimination in the workplace protects LGBTQ employees from being fired because of their sexual orientation. Decision was a big deal when you see that a Trump Supreme Court nominee – Neil Gorsuch – wrote the majority opinion. Not a good week in the courts for Trump as he also got scorched over his plans to remove DACA.
Who is Mary Elizabeth Taylor? Social Media Loses It Over Woman at ...

Judge Neil Gorsuch and Mary Elizabeth Taylor – 2 Conservatives who pissed off Trump this week

About africanherbsman1967

Ideas Man
This entry was posted in Current affairs, jamaica, politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to What I Learnt During Pandemic During week ending 20/6/20

  1. Hope Carruthers says:

    GG Great piece!

    Could you please expound on the changes made by Israel . It seems like corruption to me. So I vote for a member and then they can give their seat to someone else!

    I wonder who would want to buy Bolton’s book. Very unpatriotic. What people will do for money


    Hope Carruthers “ In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.” Anne Frank


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