THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
BARTLETT SAYS AIR JAMAICA WILL NOT “FADE AWAY”—11/15/08
According to Edmund Bartlett, Minister or Tourism, the Jamaican government is committed to Air Jamaica, the national airline. He stated that the carrier would not “fade away,” but would continue to be an important part of the travel industry.
MAN KILLED, OTHERS WOUNDED AT ANNUAL JAMAICAN CONFERENCE—11/16/08
One man was shot and killed at the annual conference of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) and two others were wounded shortly before Prime Minister Bruce Golding was scheduled to speak. The shooting happened behind the stages where members of the JLP were seated. Police say there was no immediate threat to the Prime Minister or to Audley Shaw, Finance Minister.
GOLDING SAYS GOVERNMENT TO STAND BY DOLLAR—11/17/08
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has issued a warning to speculators, stating that his Government will not allow them to create additional depreciation in the Jamaican dollar. Golding said that pressure on the Jamaican currency results, in part, from the activities of speculators and other persons who are hoarding money.
JAMAICAN TO HEAD INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL—11/17/08
Jamaican Judge Patrick Robinson has officially taken over as the president of the International Criminal Tribunal, which is located in the former Yugoslavia. Robinson was first elected to the Tribunal in 1998 and was the only black man elected to the position. Since then, Robinson has been reelected twice. He oversaw the trial of former President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic and has had a long career in international law.
SHIELDS TO LEAVE JCF—11/18/08
Mark Shields, deputy commissioner of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), will leave the organization in February 2009. According to the Ministry of National Security, Shields has decided not to accept an offer of a one-year extension to his contract. The Ministry plans to acknowledge Shield’s contribution and service to the JCF.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN SIGNS CONTRACT TO BUILD NEW CRUISE TERMINAL—11/19/08
Royal Caribbean International has agreed to build a new cruise terminal in Falmouth. The terminal will be designed for the firm’s 220,000-ton ship, Oasis of the Seas. The new pier will include retail areas, entertainment facilities, and restaurants. It is scheduled for completion in May of 2010. Jamaica’s government will invest $122 million in the project, with Royal Caribbean contributing $102 million.
BAUXITE ALUMINA LOSING MONEY DUE TO FUEL THEFTS—11/20/08
Jamaica’s bauxite company is losing millions of dollars as a result of theft. The Bauxite Alumina Industry Security Committee revealed that US$8.6 million in diesel fuel was stolen from the industry between 2005 and 2008. The company spent US$7 million for salaried security officers, but fuel theft from machinery and heavy equipment continues.
IMPENDING JOB LOSSES PROMPT MEETING WITH TRADE UNIONS—11/21/08
Jamaican Labor Minister Pearnel Charles has called a meeting with trade unions to address the looming crisis rising from thousands of potential job cuts. The loss of jobs has been attributed to the global economic downturn. Charles reports that several companies have told the Ministry that they will send home hundreds or even thousands of workers in the near future. Charles says preventive measures must be in place to manage these losses.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
BRITISH COLUMBIA READY FOR JAMAICANS—11/16/08
While the Jamaican Bobsled Team did not qualify for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, they believe they will be formidable contenders in the 2010 Games when Whistler and Vancouver, British Columbia, host the competition. The village of Pemberton is looking forward to the team’s performance in the Games and has come forward to house the athletes for free at Pemberton Lodge during for the next 15 months.
JAMAICAN MAN DEPORTED FROM BERMUDA—11/18/08
According to authorities in Bermuda, a Jamaican man, who has been living illegally in Bermuda for the past decade, has been deported. The unnamed man was sent back to Jamaica under escort by immigration authorities under the “zero tolerance” policies of that country. The policies are designed to eliminate foreigners who are working in Bermuda without a permit.
OFFICIAL MEETS WITH JAMAICANS IN KUWAIT—11/19/08
The Foreign Undersecretary of Kuwait, Khalid Suleiman Al-Jarallah, met with Ronald Robinson, Jamaica’s State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and Sharon Saunders, Jamaica’s Deputy High Commissioner to discuss enhancing relations between the two countries, especially in economic and trade areas. The Jamaican officials presented the nation’s intention to set up a diplomatic mission in Kuwait.
VANDERBILT PROFESSOR RELIES ON JAMAICAN ROOTS—11/20/08
Vanderbilt associate professor of English, Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo, says that it was living with her Jamaican grandparents on the island that encouraged her to find overlooked histories of past generations, particularly those with African and Caribbean ancestors. Nwankwo is the chief investigator and founding director of Voices From Our America, a cross-cultural and cross-generational project designed to foster understanding among the peoples of the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America through stories and history.
JAMAICAN SURFERS SHOW SKILL AT JUPITER CLASSIC—11/17/08
The best surfers in Jamaica were showing off their skills at the 2008 Jupiter Fall Classic surfing contest in Jupiter Beach, Florida. Ivah Wilmot, 11, obtained the team’s best results by posting a fourth-place finish in the US Eastern Surfing Association Junior Amateur Division.
BUCKNOR DELAYED IN RETURN TO TEST CRICKET—11/18/08
Steve Bucknor, 62, the controversial Jamaican cricket umpire, plans to return to international cricket after 11 months, but his return has been delayed because he was removed from umpire duties at the two-Test series between Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane. Instead, Rudi Koertzen of South Africa will take Bucknor’s place in the first Test between these two teams.
BOLT NOT YET THE GREATEST SPRINTER—11/19/08
Glen Mills, Usain Bolt’s coach and the man who led Bolt to winning three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, has not yet declared the Jamaican “the world’s greatest sprinter.” Mills believes that Bolt still has more to prove. While his performance in Beijing was great, “that’s one performance,” says Mills, who wants Bolt to back it up with other outstanding performances.
JAMAICA DEFEATS CANADA IN WORLD CUP QUALIFIER—11/20/08
Jamaica defeated Canada by a score of 3 to 0 in the World Cup qualifying match. Scoring for the Reggae Boyz were Luton Shelton, Marlon King, and Omar Cummings. Jamaica remains behind Mexico, which has advanced on a better goals difference.
No Other Day Like Today
When we woke up this morning, for most of us in the familiarity of our homes, doing the same chores, doing the same commute, basically following the same routine, it is easy to lose sight of an important fact; today is a day like none other. Yes, in today’s case it is another Friday, but it is not a Friday we have seen before, nor will we ever see it again. Every twenty four hours, God graciously give us a clean sheet of paper to write on, and it is up to us what and how we choose to write. For sure on some days there will be all kinds of aggravations and temptations, but in the final analysis, we alone determine our response to the situations we face.
Reaching for that first cup of hot beverage, listening to the news, checking our email, making that first phone call, or whatever else we do all have their place, but the greatest way to start any day is with the right attitude. In Psalm 118:24 David wrote, “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” From the moment we shake ourselves from our slumber, and realize that we have been blessed to see another day, clothed in our right minds, there should be an attitude of praise and rejoicing. When we stop and consider that many who went to bed didn’t make it through the night, we realize just how gracious God has been. We didn’t wake up because of anything we did, or because we’re that special, but all because of His mercy. The prophet Jeremiah declared, “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (3:22-23, KJV).
As you go about your business today, it is my prayer that amidst the hustle and bustle of things around you, there will be a quite place within from which will flow a steady stream of praise. The heart that is full of praise will not be easily distracted by much else. The added bonus is that the peace of God will stand guard over our hearts and minds thus making it a bit easier to deal with the challenging situation.
Today is the day which God hath made; rejoice and be glad in it! At the end of the day, God willing, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you were able to “write” on the sheet of paper, called today, that you were given.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.