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Jamaica Carnival Celebrations Moved To October

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Carnival in Jamaica is a celebrated and well-attended event every year. The parade is normally is held on the Sunday after the Easter holidays but for this year, 2020, it will be held the weekend following our Heroes holiday in October.

Supporters of the annual Jamaica Carnival celebrations were left in limbo earlier this year when the announcement that 2020 carnival events would move from the original date in April to Sunday, October 25, due to the continued spread of the coronavirus.

Refunds for costumes already paid for became a hot topic, but with the strict no-refund policy that most of the participating bands enforce, it appeared that individuals would have to wait to see how the pandemic would pan out.

“Obviously, with the current situation of COVID-19, not issuing permits, no entertainment events being held, at this stage in the final week of September, we would have needed to have a full 180-degree change to have carnival safely. With the impossibility of that happening, based on all the professional healthcare advice and discussions with other arms of government, we have no choice but to reschedule the date of our Carnival in Jamaica road march again from October 25, to April 11, which would have been the date set for 2021,” said Kamal Bankay, chairman of the Carnival in Jamaica stakeholders committee.

“We believe strongly we’ll be able to have it next year, with the world reaching back to some level of normality, we can follow suit once persons abide by the rules and stick to the necessary health and safety protocols for COVID-19.”

He said that it’s too early to predict if Carnival in Jamaica will surpass expectations for next year, but noted that all the bands involved are committed to their supporters and to having a safe carnival.

“When the proclamation is made that globally we have overcome the virus, whether through the production of a vaccine or by eradication, there is going to be non-stop celebrations and that will filter all over the world. In my opinion, people will cherish the opportunity to come out and party, but also see it is as a blessing. We were born or grow up being able to travel and party, it’s second nature, so people never imagined a world where you can’t do these things – social liberties are not automatic, so we need to cherish them,” Bankay expressed.

Tabanca

Bacchanal Jamaica’s Michael Ammar Jr said that despite persons experiencing tabanca, added to the losses stemming from the cancellation of the road march and associated events, Jamaicans must focus on the positives.

“We are just as disappointed as you are. Any card can play in the next six to seven months leading up to our 2021 carnival celebrations; if they come out with quick tests or the vaccine scientists have been working on, either way, if the numbers locally, and in our major markets — US, Canada and Europe — will start trending down, I think one thing people will be starving for, is our carnival,” said the co-director of the 20-year-old band.

“This is an unprecedented pandemic never experienced by our generation and we are erring on the side of precaution that we could never put on a mass festival, as we remain mindful of our social responsibility. Keep healthy and see you in April for a vibrant 2021 celebration.”

It is true that all three bands, Bacchanal Jamaica, Xodus and Xaymaca International, would have already had plans to launch their new themes and designs in preparation for the 2021 staging of Carnival in Jamaica immediately after this year’s celebrations, but in light of the cancellation, they will honour all tickets and costumes purchased for 2020. It was communicated that most costumes would have been made, with finishing touches, such as feathering, left for last.

Andrew Bellamy, CEO of Xaymaca International, told The Gleaner, “This delay gives all stakeholders an opportunity to work on investing more creative juices into making our carnival experience more Jamaican and unique, including more of our rich culture,” for next year’s carnival and for years to come. “Xaymaca is ready to provide a unique and unforgettable carnival experience for our masqueraders whenever it is safe to execute the road march, so we are completely aligned with Minister Bartlett’s decision to postpone Carnival in Jamaica until April 2021.”

Dream Entertainment Limited, the company behind the Xodus Carnival band, may have suffered the greatest loss with many of its events, including Dream Weekend in Jamaica and New York, taking a hard hit; but the company’s managing director, Scott Dunn, reassured that this does not affect the performance and dedication of his team to providing the best service to their supporters.

“We have always delivered and we will continue to, once allowed the opportunity to. Our message to our Xodus family is not to lose faith in our band, and, most importantly, stay safe,” Dunn said.

 

Jamaica Gleaner

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America

US Honours Victims of ‘September 11’ Terror Attacks

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Memorial events are being held this saturday across the United States in honour of victims of the September 11 terror attacks on its territory 20 years ago.

According to White House, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden plan to visit all three sites where the attacks unfolded: The World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., and the field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed.

Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Shanksville with second gentleman Doug Emhoff before they join the Bidens at the Pentagon.

The 20th anniversary comes amid the backdrop of the United States’ chaotic withdrawal from its war in Afghanistan, which was started in response to the attacks.

Biden last week also directed the declassification of certain documents related to the attacks, which the families of some victims have sought in hopes of implicating the Saudi government.

Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attacks when 19 al-Qaida attackers hijacked four commercial airplanes in a plot orchestrated by Osama bin Laden.

Two planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, crashed into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center before American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.

The passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 fought back against the hijackers before the plane crashed into the filed, missing its intended target in Washington.

The anniversary marks a transitional moment as awareness of the attacks moves from memory to history, said Alice Greenwald, president and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

“The 20th anniversary, in my view, … is the first of the next generation of remembrances,” said Dan Murphy, who is on the team designing the planned visitor education center at the Pentagon’s 9/11 memorial site.

“There’s been 19 times we’ve read the names, we’ve talked about that moment, we’ve somberly looked back. That will never, ever go away. But … on the 20th anniversary, I think this is the first time we talk about 9/11 into the future.”

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America

Trump Acquitted For Second Time Following Historic Senate Impeachment trial

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The USA Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial Saturday, voting that Trump was not guilty of inciting the deadly January 6 riot at the US Capitol — but the verdict amounted to a bipartisan rebuke of the former President with seven Republicans finding him guilty.The final vote was 57 guilty to 43 not guilty, short of the 67 guilty votes needed to convict.

Held exactly one month after the House impeached Trump, the number of Republican senators who voted against Trump ended up higher than even what Trump’s legal team had anticipated, marking a stark departure from the first impeachment trial last year when only one Republican senator, Mitt Romney of Utah, found Trump guilty.

This time, Republicans Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowksi of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Romney voted to convict Trump.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was Burr, the former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman who led the Senate’s Russia investigation, after he voted earlier in the week that the trial was unconstitutional.

Both Burr and Toomey are retiring from the Senate at the end of 2022.

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America

Obama Presidential Center Groundbreaking For August

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On Wednesday, the US federal review process concluded and effectively paving the way for Obama Presidential Center that had stalled for four years.

“Today, after a comprehensive federal regulatory review process, I’m proud to announce the Obama Presidential Center will break ground in 2021,” Former US President Barak Obama said on Wednesday.

“Michelle and I couldn’t be more excited to bring this new center of energy, connection, and growth to the South Side of Chicago. Along with the thousands of jobs it will create, our hope is that the Obama Presidential Center can serve as a catalyst for long-overdue investment in and around historic Jackson Park. That’s why we’re working with local partners to create a new destination to help inspire visitors from hope to action, breathe new life into the park, and deliver real benefits to the community we love,” Obama added.

He explained that getting to this point would not have been possible without the many Chicagoans who have been a part of this process. “So I want to thank each and every person out there who helped us reach this milestone—and for their continued partnership in the years to come.”

Federal agencies closed the final review into the project after determining the Obama center’s construction and nearby roadway fixes would not pose a “significant impact” on the environment, according to city and Obama Foundation officials.

With other federal reviews looking into factors such as the project’s effects on historic properties also recently ending, that means preliminary work can start in April and groundbreaking can likely begin as early as August. The Obama Foundation estimates construction will take about four years.

In 2016, Obama announced that Jackson Park, sandwiched between Lake Michigan and Woodlawn, would be the destination of his future presidential center, at the time scheduled to open in 2021.

His choice was heralded by supporters who hoped the project would help revitalize neighboring communities and become a source of pride for South Side locals and visitors alike.

The groundbreaking of the $500 million campus will include a museum, Obama Foundation offices, a public library branch, an athletic center and an outdoor recreation space.

Its opening initially had been set for this year, but four years of obstacles have stood in the project’s way, at times leaving supporters with dashed hopes as groundbreaking repeatedly was delayed.

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