JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending December 5th, 2008

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THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
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SNACKS REPLACE BANANAS AT COMPANY—11/29/08
Jamaica Producers (JP) Group decided to make a strategic change from focusing on banana exports to developing tropical snacks. The firm has already seen weekly sales of 900,000 bags of banana chips and plans to develop similar markets for cassava chips.

DEATH PENALTY VOTE CRITICIZED BY AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL—11/30/08
Amnesty International wants Jamaica to reform its system of justice instead of reinstating the death penalty to address violent crimes. Kerrie Howard, Deputy Director of the Americas for Amnesty International, says that executions only offer “an illusion of action against crime.” Amnesty would like Jamaica to establish an independent commission to study police abuse as well.

DABDOUB ASKS APPEALS COURT FOR RULING ON DUAL CITIZENSHIP—12/01/08
Abe Dabdoub, People’s National Party candidate, has requested that the Court of Appeals provide a strict interpretation of Jamaica’s Constitution in regard to dual citizenship. Dabdoub brought the dual-citizenship case against Daryl Vaz, Member of Parliament for West Portland.

SAMUDA BLAMES “INEFFICIENT LEADERSHIP” FOR FALLING STANDARDS—12/02/08
According to Milton Samda, president of Jamaica’s Chamber of Commerce, Jamaican standards are low because leadership is lacking at many levels in the private and public sectors. He says that many leaders cannot pass even the low standards set for them. He also believes that too many people “speak about integrity but facilitate corruption.”

U.S. INVESTORS LOOK TO JAMAICAN REAL ESTATE—12/03/08
Investors from the United States are purchasing property in Jamaica as a lower cost investment option that yields a yearly rate of return of more than 10 percent, as well as providing a steady rental income. The Caribbean islands have become increasingly attractive to investors as European and Asian markets collapse.

JAMAICAN STILL COURTING TOURISTS FROM U.S. IN SPITE OF MONEY CRISIS—12/04/08
Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, says the advertising campaign to attract American tourists to the island will go ahead in spite of the global economic downturn. Bartlett says the aggressive marketing campaign includes ads in major media outlets in the U.S., including television network CNN.
 
MAN CLAIMS TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO SAND—12/05/08
A man who refuses to give his name says that he “knows everything” about the 500 truckloads of sand stolen from three properties in Trelawny during the night in late June 2008. He knows, he says, because he was there. According to the informant, the sand was removed on June 26, 28, and 29 by trucks owned by a “former politician from down in the west” and truckers form Montego Bay. He says that 477 truckloads were taken, and not 500.

GOVERNMENT TO HELP BAUXITE INDUSTRY—12/05/08
Derrick Smith, Minister of Mining and Telecommunications, says the Jamaican government will provide aid to the bauxite industry in any way it can, if the industry is impacted by the continuing global economic crisis. Smith believes this is an important industry, and the government will do all it can in the interest of the revenues linked to the industry.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JOSEPH WHITTAKER ELECTED TO SIGMA XI PRESIDENCY—11/30/08
Joseph A. Whittaker, Jamaican professor, was selected to be the 73rd President of Sigma Xi at the 2008 annual meeting of the group in Washington, D.C. Whittaker is from Falmouth, Trelawny, and has been a Sigma Xi member since 1988. He is Dean and Professor of Biology at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

WAUL WINS RHODES SCHOLARSHIP—12/01/08
Michael Waul, 21, has received the 2009 Jamaican Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Waul was chosen from among eight candidates for the scholarship. He will pursue the two-ear Master’s Degree in Medicinal Chemistry at Oxford. Waul says that medical research is his passion.

RASTAFARIAN MAY SUE JIFFY LUBE—12/03/08
Bobby T. Brown, who follows the Rastafarian religion, will be able to sue Jiffy Lube in connection with its grooming policy, according to a ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Brown can sue the company for religious discrimination. The company had told Brown in 2006 that he could not have contact with customers because of a policy that employees who worked with customers had to be clean-shaven.
 
JAMAICAN MUSIC IN RUNNING FOR 2009 GRAMMY AWARDS—12/04/08
Five Jamaican albums have been nominated in the Best Reggae category for the 2009 Grammy Awards. “Jah Is Real” by Burning Spear, “Let’s Get Physical” by Elephant Man, “Intoxication” by Shaggy, “Amazing” by Sly and Robbie, and “Repentance” by Lee Scratch Perry were nominated for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, which will be held in February in Los Angeles.

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SPORTS
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JAMAICAN BOXER INDUCTED INTO QUEBEC HALL OF FAME—11/29/08
Otis Grant, former Jamaican world middleweight boxer, became the first athlete to be inducted into Quebec’s Sports Hall of Fame. Grant also held the World Boxing Council intercontinental super middleweight championship, and several other middleweight titles. His induction to the Hall of Fame came just two years after he retired from the boxing ring.

USAIN BOLT LOOKING TO BREAK JOHNSON’S RECORD—12/02/08
Usain Bolt, triple gold medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in China, has targeted the 400-meter world record set by Michael Johnson in 1999. Bolt’s coach, Glenn Mills, says he could not “rule out” that the runner was working to break Johnson’s record. Johnson had a one-lap record of 43.18.

REGGAE BOYZ WIN 2-1 IN OPENING DIGICUP MATCH—12/04/08
The Reggae Boyz of Jamaica came from behind to win their opening match at the Digicel Caribbean Championships against Barbados. The Boyz achieved a 2-1 victory, with Rudolph Austin and Luton Shelton rescuing the team and brought them back for a win after going down to a goal in the 46th minute.

TAYLOR HONORED AS CRICKETER OF THE YEAR—12/05/08
West Indies top strike bowler Jerome Taylor has been selected a Jamaica’s Cricketer of the Year for 2008. Taylor played seven Test matches for the Windies in 2008, with 28 wickets at 28.46 and a best return of 4-52 against Sri Lanka in a two-Test series.

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DEVOTIONAL
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Divine ‘Accident’
 
Intersections.  Who really stops to think about them?  As drivers we pull up to them, drive through them, wait in them, and perhaps for an unfortunate few, the experience of an accident or two.  The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines an intersection as, among other things, “a place or area where two or more things … [meet].”  Naturally, good and bad things can happen at, and in, these common meeting areas!
 
While doing a recent study on the Atonement, it occurred to me that the greatest “accident” to ever take place at an “intersection” happened over two thousand years ago at a place Christians call Calvary.  When mankind trangressed the laws of God, His holiness and justice demanded the ultimate punishment for such transgressions.  In Ezekiel 18:4 God reiterated, “Behold, all souls are mine … the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (KJV).  In the New Testament Paul declared, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 3:23; 6:23).  Jesus, the spotless lamb of God, and the only one qualified to lay down His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45), not only demonstrated the Father’s love for mankind (Romans 5:8), but in paying the price for our sins, appeased or satisfied the wrath of God against said sins (Romans 1:18; 3:25).
 
As Jesus hung on the cross, two great attributes of God were on display; His love intersecting with His justice.  Having declared us guilty, which automatically evoked the death sentence, God the Righteous Judge stepped down from throne, “wrapped” Himself in love and came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ.  He took our sentence upon Himself,  and when the work was done, triumphantly declared “It is finished” (John 19:30).  In that moment our redemption was complete; by His stripes [bruises, wounds], we were made whole (Isaiah 53:5).
 
As we ponder this “intersection” and reflect on the Cross standing there, may we never forget what was on display.  Love and justice met, and by God’s grace we came away victors. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  To Him be all honor, glory, and praise.

CEW

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CREDITS/SOURCES
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The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.