THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
SIMPSON-MILLER TELLS CRIMINALS TO “STOP IT”—11/01/08
Jamaica’s Opposition Leader, Portia Simpson-Miller of the People’s National Party (PNP), is pleading with criminals in Jamaica to end the violence, describing the island’s society as “heartbroken.” Simpson-Miller says Jamaica cannot continue to experience crimes such as those committed against Aamir Scotts and Ananda Deans. Aamir, 11, was murdered and his body was cut into pieces and dumped near his home. The body of Ananda, 11, was found in a shallow grave two weeks after she was reported missing.
BANANAS IN DOUBT FOR JAMAICAN EXPORT CROP—11/02/08
Jamaica Producers (JP) has not completely decided to end banana exports from the island, but there are signs that its return to that market could be in doubt. Charles Johnston, chairman of JP, said that his firm would return to exporting bananas if the frequency of serious storms changed. Specifically, he said the company would return to the banana business if severe storms were to happen no more than once every ten years. Since 2004, the industry has experienced major storm damage nearly every year.
JAMAICA COULD SUFFER IF U.S. LIFTS CUBAN EMBARGO—11/03/08
The economy of Jamaica could be negatively impacted if the new United States president decides to end the 40-year-long trade embargo against Cuba. According to John Rapley, president of the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) at the University of the West Indies, Jamaican policymakers should be careful what they wish for. He cited potential slowdowns in Jamaica’s tourism industry that could result from the end of the embargo.
MOODY’S SERVICE MAY DOWNGRADE CREDIT RATINGS FOR JAMAICA—11/04/08
Moody’s Investors Service has placed Jamaica’s credit ratings on review for a possible downgrade because the continuing financial crisis is pressuring the nation’s external and fiscal positions. Analyst Alessandra Alecci noted, that in spite of the government’s response and strong commitment to servicing its obligations, the challenges facing the global financial sector are too severe for Jamaica to avoid increasing its credit risk.
JAMAICAN DIPLOMAT TO HEAD CARICOM DEVELOPMENT FUND—11/05/08
Lorne McDonnough, Jamaica’s diplomat ambassador to Guyana, has been appointed the first Chief Executive Officer of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF). He started in this position on November 1, 2008 at the CDF’s headquarters in Bridgetown, Barbados. McDonnough will oversee the administration and programs of the Fund, as well as coordinate all of its activities.
JAMAICAN TO HEAD THE HAGUE—11/06/08
Jamaican judge Patrick Robinson has been elected president of the Hague Tribunal in the Netherlands. The permanent judges used an extraordinary plenary session to make Robinson’s appointment. Robinson will replace Judge Fausto Pocar of Italy as the leader of the United Nations war crimes court.
GOVERNMENT APPROVES ACCESSION TO CHILD ABDUCTION CONVENTION—11/07/08
Olivia Grange, Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, announced that Jamaica’s Cabinet has given its approval to Jamaica’s accession to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 1980. Grange said that this is an agreement that creates a framework for the timely return of a child who was abducted by a parent, guardian, or close relative. Some 80 nations are parties to the Convention.
BYRON LEE DIES AT AGE 73—11/07/08
Byron Lee, one of the best musical ambassadors to come from Jamaica, died at University Hospital of the West Indies after a long fight with cancer. Lee was the founder of the band, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, and for more than 40 years, he was known as “the Dragon.” He is credited with popularizing soca music around the world.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
GRACE JONES’ “MUSIC WITH ATTITUDE”—11/05/08
Jamaican-American Grace Jones, fashion model, villain in a James Bond film, and muse to Andy Warhol, is combining rock music and rebellion to ensure her place in pop culture. She has released her first new album in 19 years. At age 60, Jones believes that album, called “Hurricane,” will put her back on top of the charts.
ENERGY MINISTER TO VISIT BRAZIL’S BIO-DIESEL INDUSTRY—11/06/08
Clive Mullings, Jamaica’s Minister of Energy, plans a trip to Brazil to get information and knowledge about that nation’s bio-diesel industry. According to Mullings, he will be looking at bio-fuels in general for use in Jamaica and expects to learn how to improve the island’s situation by reviewing bio-diesel implementations in Brazil.
JAMAICANS IN U.S. ENJOY OBAMA’S VICTORY—11/07/08
Jamaicans in the United States are very happy about the victory of Barack Obama in the race for the U.S. presidency. Many Jamaicans regard Obama’s win as the fulfillment of the dreams of civil rights activities. Jamaican clergyman Bishop Cecil G. Riley says he was confident that one day a black man would become America’s president. Neville Tomlinson, a Jamaican who participated on Obama’s campaign team in New York, says Obama’s victory will inspire unity among Americans.
COLIN POWELL CRIES AS OBAMA WINS ELECTION—11/07/08
Jamaican-American Colin Powell, the former Army general and United States Secretary of State, said he could not stop his tears when he heard the announcement that Senator Barack Obama had been elected to the presidency of the U.S. “I’m not ashamed of it,” Powell said, noting that his entire family cried when hearing of Obama’s victory.
JAMAICAN BOXER WINS IN PANAMA—11/02/08
Jamaican featherweight Nicholas Walters got his fourth career victory when he defeated Javier Jiminez in the final round of their four-round non-title fight in Panama City, Panama. Walters, 22, fought Jiminez strongly, forcing the referee to stop the fight in the last round. Walters’ record now includes four wins and three knockouts.
BOLT, CAMPBELL-BROWN, WALKER VIE FOR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR—11/03/08
The Jamaican Olympic champions, Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell-Brown, and Melanie Walker, are among those contending for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) male and female Athlete of the Year awards. Bold is at the top of a list of five men who could potentially be named for the honor.
A DRAW FOR ST. ANDREEW, EXCELSIOR MATCH—11/06/08
St. Andrew Technical denied Excelsior all three points of their 1-1 draw to level out the ISSA/Pepsi/Digicel Manning Cup Group Two. Excelsior coach Leebert Halliman cited a lapse in concentration as the reason for his team’s loss.
JOHN BARNES TO BOND WITH REGGAE BOYZ—11/07/08
The new technical director of the Reggae Boyz, John Barnes, and the team’s head coach Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore, will be participating in an intensive one-week training camp in the Cayman Islands. The camp aims to prepare the team for the Digicel Caribbean Championship Finals, which will be held in Jamaica.
Keeping It Real
I love reading the Scriptures, especially from different versions. There is the Victorian richness in language and expression in some, while others bring the Word in today’s English that makes it easier to understand. When I read the latter, especially the Psalms, I feel more “real” before God and that is not a bad thing.
Recently I was reading Psalm 51 from Eugene Peterson’s “The Message”, and here I found David’s expressions of such that I thought, “God, if only we could be that real before you all the time!” Peterson’s paraphrase of verses 1-12 read:
“Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I’ve been; my sins are staring me down.
You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. I’ve been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What you’re after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. Don’t look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails!”
We do not need to use those exact words next time we pray, but how about we try to keep it real before our Heavenly Father? Let’s call a spade a spade, and trust His redeeming grace to not only forgive and cleanse, but to lead us in ways that are pleasing to Him.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.