JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending February 29th, 2008

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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MANCHIONEAL WATCHED FOR ILLICIT DRUGS, GUNS—02/23/08
The coastline of Manchioneal, Portland, is being closely watched by the Ministry of National Security. The area has reportedly been used by criminals involved in the drugs-for-guns trade, as well as narcotics trafficking. Derrick Smith, National Security Minister, said the area was frequently used by persons in the cocaine trade.

DESMOND RICHARDS WELCOMES REVIEW OF LIBEL LAWS—02/24/08
The president of the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ), Desmond Richards, has expressed his support of a government decision to review Jamaica’s libel laws. The move is intended to give the press more clout in uncovering public abuse and mishandling of power. Richards says the review is “long overdue” and will allow the press to perform its job more effectively to protect the public interest.

JAMAICAN “JERK” CUISINE NAMED BEST STREET FOOD—02/25/08
The famous Jerk cuisine of Jamaica has been named by the Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom as the among the best “Street Food to Die for.” Boston Bay was named as the best place to eat jerk food.

JAMAICAN CHURCH SAYS CONDEMING GAY VIOLENCE IS LUDICROUS—02/25/08
Church leaders in Jamaica are not working to stem violence against gays or the anti-gay speech occurring on the island, saying that condemning such attacks is “ludicrous.” Human Rights Watch is lobbying the government and clergy to take action against the violence, and the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) held protests outside Jamaican consulates to call for gay-friendly policies in Jamaica.

JAMAICAN IN UK CHARGED AS A TERRORIST—02/26/08
Another Jamaican man has been found guilty of terrorism in the United Kingdom. Kibley DaCosta, 24, was convicted with a terror gang he belonged to. The London media focused on his Jamaican origins. DaCosta, a former bus driver, was raised in Jamaica but moved to the UK at age 11 in 1995. He converted to Islam in 2004 and took the name Abdul Kalik.

PRIME MINISTER ENCOURAGES SUPPORT FOR MEDICAL SYSTEM—02/27/08
Bruce Golding, Jamaican Prime Minister, wants the Organization for Strategic Development in Jamaica (OSDJ), a nonprofit based in Minnesota, to help configure the medical system on the island. The aid would focus on wiring the system into a network of advancement in medicine, so Jamaica can reap the benefits of medical research occurring worldwide.

FORMER ENERGY MINISTER ARRESTED—02/28/08
After nearly a week of questioning, former junior energy minister Kern Spencer was arrested by the Organized Crime Investigation Division (OCID) on charges of fraud, corruption, and money laundering. The charges involve the Cuban light bulb scandal. Also charged was Spencer’s former executive assistant and supervisor at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), Coleen Wright, and Rodney Chin, a businessman.

REGGAE SINGER SHOT DEAD—02/29/08
Police in Baltimore, Maryland are trying to find a motive for the fatal shooting of Alton Anthony Ashman, alias “Rraw Dawg,” a Jamaican reggae singer. He was found shot to death in the driver’s seat of his vehicle on February 23, 2008. Ashman was born in Kingston and traveled to the United States with his mother at a young age.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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MONTY ALEXANDER TO PLAY AT LINCOLN CENTER—02/23/08
Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander was raised on the calypso sounds of Lord Kitchener. Alexander will bring this music to the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center with an all-star ensemble well-versed in traditions of Jamaican folk music and Trinidadian calypso. The program, the Lords of the West Indies, will honor calypso singers who took their names from British generals, such as Lord Kitchener.

JAMAICAN TO OPEN PLAY OFF-BROADWAY—02/24/08
Jamaican playwright and actor Debra Ehrhardt will premiere the play, Jamaica Farewell, which is based on her true-life experience, off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse in New York City. The play is the story of Ehrhardt’s journey from Jamaica to the United States, including an encounter with an American CIA agent.

UK IMMIGRATION CHANGES WORRY JAMAICANS—02/25/08
A proposed change to the immigration rules in the United Kingdom seeks to increase citizenship fees and landing fees for visa holders who arrive in the UK. The move worries Caribbean nationals and other non-European residents in Britain. A major concern centers on the thousands of people who have been working and residing in the UK for many years and who may receive few social security benefits or none at all.

NEW JAMAICAN CONSUL GENERAL FOR NEW YORK—02/26/08
Geneive Brown Metzger, public relations maven, is scheduled to replace Dr. Basil Bryan as consulate general for Jamaicans in New York. She is the founder of Geneive Brown Associates, a public relationship agency specializing in international and trade relations, diversified marketing communications, and market research. Brown Metzger has a BA in political science from the City College of New York and a MM in political science and government relations from Columbia University.

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SPORTS
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JAMAICA LOOKS TO DEFEAT GUYANA—02/23/08
The match between defending champions Guyana and Jamaica will feature the Jamaican team, led by Christopher Gayle, trying to overturn its disappointment in being beaten by Guyana in the last Stanford 20/20 tournament. Jamaica wants to move closer to the prize of J$71 million, while Guyana will be attempting to protect their record in the Stanford 20/20. Junior Bennett, Jamaica’s coach, says his team is ready for the challenge.

JMAA GIVEN NEW LEASE ON LIFE—02/24/08
The presence of Val Barnwell of the United States and Chris Grant of Jamaica has enhanced the position of the Jamaican Masters Athletic Association (JMAA). Led by Dr. Maynard McIntosh, the JMAA wants retired and retiring athletes to transition to masters competitions, while the organization attempts to reinstate business house track and field. McIntosh said JMAA proposes to work with the Healthy Lifestyle Project of the Ministry of Health and with Corporate Jamaica to renew business house track.

GAYLE DEFENDS NOT OPENING—02/26/08
Christopher Gayle, Jamaica’s senior cricket captain, is defending the decision that he not open the innings against Trinidad and Tobago in the final of the Stanford 20/20. Gayle, one of the most destructive openers in the game, was originally scheduled to bat at number four, then dropped to number five. The decision to do so was made during a team meeting on strategy for the final game.
KINGSTON COLLEGE STUNS ARDENNE IN BASKETBALL—02/29/08
Recovering from a first-quarter deficit of 14 points, Kingston College surprised Ardenne with a 54-40 loss in the first game of the ISSA/KFC Under-19 schoolboy basketball Southern Conference finals at National Stadium.

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DEVOTIONAL
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Praying Your Earnest Desire

When was the last time you prayed for someone other than yourself, and what did you ask God to do in his or her life? When was the last time you prayed for someone simply because they came to mind? In the hustle and bustle of our days, I believe we tend to miss tremendous opportunities to sow into the lives of others. It really doesn’t matter who they are, whether we get along with them or not, it is a good thing to pray a sincere prayer of faith for somebody else.

I thought of that as I was reading through Paul’s letter to the Colossians, who, when he heard of their love, wrote in part, “since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (1:9-11). I absolutely love that prayer, not only because there’s no mention of material blessings, as important as those were, but primarily because Paul recognized the things that were most important in the life of the believer. Above everything else, we all need to be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. We all need to walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in our knowledge of God. We all need to be strengthened with his might unto all patience. Yet, more times than not, we do not pray that prayer for ourselves.

How about if we all prayed for those things for someone else? I believe Paul’s prayer reflected his earnest desire for his hearers. What is your earnest desire for the next person that crosses your mind? The next person you speak with? Regardless of whether the thought or sight of such a person causes you to smile or frown , why not pray for them? Just maybe, they could really use your prayers. And not only that, but someone reading this could very well be praying for you.

 

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.