JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending February 1st, 2008

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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JAMAICA TRADE AND INVEST TO OPEN OFFICES WORLDWIDE—01/26/08
The Jamaican government’s agency for promoting investment in the island, Jamaica Trade and Invest, plans to open new offices at various locations around the glob. Karl Samuda, Industry Minister, reported that the agency will have offices in Brussels, New York, and Trinidad and Tobago. The aim of the new offices will be to attract significant investment in Jamaica.

NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR JPC—01/27/08
The Jamaica Productivity Center (JPC) has a new board of directors. The board will be chaired by Joseph Matalon, Jamaican businessman. The JPC’s goal is to act as a catalyst for the promotion and enhancement of a competitive Jamaican economy at individual, enterprise, industry, sector, and national levels.

GOLF REPRESENTS $14 BILLION IN TOURIST BUSINESS FOR JAMAICA—01/28/08
Visitors coming to Jamaica for the express purpose of playing golf brought in over US$200 million (J$14 billion) to the island’s economy during 2006, according to estimates from the Jamaica Golf Association. Taxes obtained from the golf industry have been estimated at over J$1.5 billion. The influx of monies was achieved with little promotion or advertising of golf as a tourist attraction in Jamaica, but with minimal effort, annual earnings from golf can doubled over the next five years.

POLICE SAY DRUG MULES FEWER—01/29/08
According to reports from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), there has been a major reduction in the number of drug mules who smuggle narcotics out of the country. The decrease is attributed to increased surveillance activity and intelligence. The number of drug mules arrested in 2007 dropped by 19 percent, according to statistics from the Narcotics Division.

JAMAICAN IN RUNNING FOR WTO POSITION—01/30/08
Gail Mathurin, Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna, wants to become the next chair of the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Mathurin is competing with Columbia’s Claudia Uribe for the WTO position.

FORMER PRIME MINISTER LOSES APPEAL IN LIBEL CASE—01/30/08
Edward Seago, former prime minister of Jamaica, must pay a former police chief damages in a libel case after losing his final appeal. Seago must pay J$1.5 million to Leslie Harper, Deputy Police Commissioner, because the Privy Council of London upheld an earlier decision that Seago had “disparaged” Harper in a speech to political supporters in 1996.

JAMAICAN FARMERS TO RECEIVE FERTILIZER SUBSIDY—01/31/08
Farmers in Jamaica have been promised once more that they will receive the benefits of a government subsidy on fertilizer. Dr. Christopher Tufton, Agriculture Minister, said that, “any time now,” the farmers will see the impact of the subsidies. A monitoring mechanism has been established, and an audit put in place at 120 retail locations across the nation, to obtain reference prices. The high price of fertilizer in recent years prompted the government to create measures to aid farmers in meeting the additional costs.

JAMAICA, WORLD BANK TO DISCUSS DEBT—02/01/08
The government of Jamaica will likely receive some aid form the World Bank in repositioning the nation’s debt. Financial specialists from the World Bank will visit Jamaica to investigate and discuss new ways to handle debt challenges. The team will look at Jamaica’s financial situation and consult with the government to develop a proposal to address issues raised by Bruce Golding, Jamaican Prime Minister.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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AIKEN TO PLAY FOR QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS—01/26/08
Vicki Wilson, coach of the Queensland Firebirds netball team, has convinced Jamaican Romelda Aiken to play for the Queensland in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship. The Firebirds did not confirm that a deal had been made, but it is understood that Aiken, bronze medalist in the World Championships, will arrive in Australia in February to begin training with the team. At 19, Aiken is one of the best goal shooters in netball.

JAMAICAN ANGLICAN PRIEST APPOINTED CHAPLAIN TO THE QUEEN—01/27/08
The Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, previously of the St. Francis Mission in Glendevon, St. James, will preach in the Queen’s Chapel at St. James Palace in London. Hudson-Wilkin, a Jamaican Anglican priest, will be chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II. She was trained as an officer in the Church Army and served at St. James Parish Church before moving to London.

COMMUNITY COLLEGE TO OPEN JAMAICAN CAMPUS—01/28/08
Broward Community College in Florida will open a campus in Jamaica in the fall of 2008. This campus is expected to attract more international students and enhance the school’s profile. The Caribbean-American Institute of Higher Learning will be located in Montego Bay. Currently, Jamaicans represent the largest population of students born outside the United States enrolled at Broward Community College. The Jamaican campus will offer courses leading to an associate of arts degree.

JAMAICAN CELEBRITY WANTS MORE HELP FOR AT-RISK YOUTH—01/31/08
Jamaican-born celebrity, Roger Cross, wants the island’s government to do more for at-risk youth. Cross, who starred in the film “Mad Money,” is involved with a multi-million-dollar program in the United States that helps with projects in Jamaica. Cross is in Jamaica implementing a mentorship program with youth at risk of human trafficking. Cross thinks the crime wave on the island can be halted if more attention is given to the personal development of youth.

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SPORTS
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STRIKER KING SIGNS WITH WIGAN—01/26/08
Jamaican striker, Marlon King, signed on with Wigan in the UK, shortly after reports that he had signed with Fulham. King apparently did not pass a physical, which caused the Fulham deal to collapse. King passed the physical for Wigan, who quickly signed him. Wigan is 17th in the Premier League.

SIX JAMAICANS NOW HALL-OF-FAMERS—01/27/08
Bertland Cameron, Juliet Cuthbert, George Kerr, Devon Morris, Winthrop Graham, and Raymond Stewart have been inducted into the Central American and Caribbean Athletics Confederation (CACAC) Hall of Fame. The six Olympians joined other Jamaicans so honored, including the late Herb McKenley, Donald Quarrie, and Grace Jackson.

WINDIES SUFFER TWO LOSSES—01/28/08
The West Indies experienced a second defeat in two games at the one-day international series versus South Africa. The Windies lost the first match by six wickets in spite of excellent bowling by Jerome Taylor. They then failed to control the batsmen of South Africa, who passed the 250 mark while losing nine wickets in 50 overs.

WILSON OF LSU NOMINATED FOR HONOR IN JAMAICA—01/29/08
Nickiesha Wilson has been nominated for the title of 2007 Jamaican Sportswoman of the Year. Wilson represented Jamaica at the World Championships and earned a fourth-place spot in the 400-meter hurdles. A native of Kingston and currently at Louisiana State University, Wilson was the only collegiate athlete to win a place in the final of this event.

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DEVOTIONAL
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“It is Well”

Her son was dead. The miracle baby – born to her and her much older husband at a time when she no longer expected fruit from her womb. As a matter of fact, when Elijah had told her nine months earlier that she would embrace a son, she had replied, “”O my master, O Holy Man, don’t play games with me, teasing me with such fantasies!” (2 Kings 4:16, The Message). She didn’t believe him. But in the very next verse we read, “The woman conceived. A year later, just as Elisha had said, she had a son.” However, some years later, in what seemed like a cruel twist of fate, the child lay dead at home, in the same bed Elijah slept in when he was in that part of town.

She asked for an ass and with her servant, went hastily to Mount Carmel to meet Elijah, who, when he saw her in the distance, sent his servant to her with questions of concern – “Is something wrong? Are you all right? Your husband? Your child?”, to which she answered, “Everything’s fine”, or as the KJV renders it, “It is well” (v.26). Didn’t she hear the last question clearly? Nowhere do we read of a public mourning over the death of her only child. Her husband did not know the child had died; she had simply told him, “Don’t ask questions; I need to go right now. Trust me” (v.23b). She had not told the neighbors, no expression of anger at God, but even as she laid the boy in the room, and despite her soul being in distress (v.27), deep within her was a quiet resolve that if she could get to the man of God, all would be well.

In verses 28-37, we see how after a series of events, the boy was miraculously brought back to life. But as this story ends with a mother and son reunion, we’re individually challenged by a lingering question: How would you and I respond if God, in His Sovereignty, took someone or something from us that was very near and dear to our hearts? I have to admit, I really don’t know.

When Horatio Gates Spafford received news from his wife that their four daughters were lost at sea, he made his way to his grieving wife. Later when the two met Dwight Moody, Spafford told him quietly, “It is well. The will of God be done.” Spafford would later write the words:

When peace like a river, attendeth my way;

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

What would you do? Could you say, and believe, those words?

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.