THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JCF HAS ONE YEAR TO CREATE ANTI-CORRUPTION PLAN—03/01/08
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has a plan designed to stop corrupt police in the force and reduce the cases of corruption. The plan was approved by Hardley Lewin, Commissioner of Police in December 2007.
MORE AIR JAMAICA FLIGHTS FROM NY—03/02/08
Air Jamaica plans to increase the number of flights between JFK in New York and Jamaica beginning on April 1, 2008. Air Jamaica will have four nonstop flights between New York and Jamaica every day. The airline is responding to demand from leisure travelers, businesses and Diaspora communities in New York.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS LEGALIZING MARIJUANA—03/03/08
Marijuana, a drug held in high regard among the Rastafarians of the island, may be legalized by the nation’s government. A government commission is developing possible amendments to the anti-drug laws of Jamaica and will submit a report on the issue to the Prime Minister. Jamaica is reportedly the biggest producer and exporter of the drug in the Caribbean region.
BANK GIVES AWARD IN RECOGNITION OF WOMEN’S CONTRIBUTIONS—03/04/08
First Global Bank has established a special award to recognize the contributions of women to Jamaican society. The First Global Bank Vision Award was designed to honor women who use “extraordinary insight and foresight” in working in any sector that ultimately had a positive impact on the lives of others.
J-FLAG REJECTS TOURIST BOYCOTT—03/04/08
The Jamaican lesbian and gay rights organization, J-Flag, is opposed to calls for a tourist boycott to protect homophobia in the country. Newspapers in Canada have focused on the violence and prejudice faced by gay people in Jamaica as a result of a leading gay activist who has taken asylum there. There have been calls for Canadians to boycott Jamaica as a holiday destination in protect.
U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT RELEASES “DAMNING REPORT”—03/05/08
In its International Narcotics Control Strategy Report 2008, the United States State Department stated that Jamaica was the “major drug transit country” and the “largest producer” of marijuana and marijuana products in the Caribbean region. The report also added that seven Eastern Caribbean nations were “vulnerable” to drug trafficking from South America to U.S. and European markets.
GOLDING PLANS FOR REDEVELOPMENT OF DOWNTOWN KINGSTON—03/06/08
Bruce Golding, Jamaican Prime Minister, announced that major plans are in place to redevelop downtown Kingston. The plans may even include a cruise shipping port in Port Royal as well. Golding says there are major plans in the works to “transform” downtown and link it to Port Royal so that the city can “come alive again.”
KILLING OF INFANT SPARKS PROTESTS IN SPANISH TOWN—03/07/08
An 11-month-old child was fatally shot, allegedly by police, and the shooting resulted in parts of Spanish Town erupting into chaos as residents protested the killing by erecting roadblocks on March Pen Road. The shooting occurred as the police were pursuing an unlicensed taxi. According to reports, the police started shooting when the driver tried to get away. After the incident, it was found that the infant, a passenger inside the vehicle, had been shot in the head and died at the scene.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN LOTTERY SCAMS IN INDIANA—03/02/08
In the United States, police in Indiana are warning state residents that lottery scam artists from Jamaica are fleecing US residents by telling them they have won large amounts of money. Jamaican swindlers allegedly have been targeting residents in Indiana by phone.
JOURNALISTS OFF TO NORWAY—03/03/08
Jamaican journalists are making a trip to Norway in order to study the Norwegian seafood industry. The Norwegian Seafood Export Council (NSEC), which is the official marketing group for Norway’s seafood industry, is hosting a press tour in an effort to educate Jamaican media people about the characteristics and quality of the saltfish consumed by Jamaicans. Journalists will also see the harvesting and manufacturing processes associated with the saithe fish.
FIRST JAMAICAN WORKERS TO LEAVE FOR CANADA—03/06/08
The first group of Jamaicans going to Canada to take jobs as window cleaners will leave the island on March 22, 2008. Six of the 12 men who will be employed in British Columbia have already received training and met their potential employer at the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in Kingston. The workers will have jobs with Sun Valley Window Cleaners.
ATHLETIC SUPPORT GROUP AND VP RECORDS RAISE OLYMPIC FUNDS—03/07/08
A large-scale reggae concert is being organized by Team Jamaica Bickle and VP RECORDS to raise money in support of Jamaican athletes who will be going to the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, in August 2008. Proceeds from the concert will go to Jamaican and Caribbean high school athletes participating in the 114th Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania in April of 2008 as well.
CRICKET BOARD DEFINES GOALS—03/02/08
The West Indies Cricket Board has stated three goals for implementation over the next four years to restore cricket in the region to the top of world cricket. The plan defines three major goals, including improving the standing of the West Indies team, which will lead it to be among the top four teams in the world by 2012. The WICB also plans to be a world-class organization by that year, and it will develop cricket at all levels and all nations in the region. It hopes to have a 300-percent increase in the pool of players available by 2012 as well.
NPL TEAM WILL NOT USE BAILEY AS COACH—03/04/08
Edward Seaga, president of Tivoli Gardens, stated that the National Premier League (NPL) second-place team has no intentions of taking on Glendon “Admiral” Bailey as coach, even if he contacts the club after being absent-without-leave for the last six games. According to Seaga, Bailey “just disappeared” after the team lost to Portmore United.
JAMAICAN IN LEAD AT BARBADOS OPEN—03/06/08
Delroy Cambridge is the leader after the first day of the ninth annual DGM Barbados Open Golf Tournament. Cambridge was playing his “A” game at the Royal Westmoreland Golf Club and ended the first day with a score of 68, four under par on the course.
JAMAICANS READY TO WIN—03/07/08
The Jamaican team needs a win in the fifth-round match against Barbados at Kensington Oval in order to get beyond the reach of remaining teams. There are two rounds of matches left to play. Captain Chris Gayle believes that “battling” will be the key factor in a victory.
“Oh Yes, He Cares!”
On Jesus’ instructions, the disciples had sent the crowd away and had set out to go over to the other side of the lake into the country of the Gadarenes (Mark 5:1). At some point in the journey, Jesus, being tired after ministering, fell asleep, head on a pillow, in the back of the boat. Everything seemed fine as they left out, but then the narrative tells us that after a while, “there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full” (Mark 4:37, KJV). The word translated “storm” could also have been translated “squall”, which Webster defines as “a sudden violent wind often with rain or snow.” Despite some of the disciples being seasoned fishermen, they seemed overwhelmed by what had overtaken them. So much so that Mark wrote, “and they awake him (Jesus), and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (v. 38).
The disciples’ words reflect the feelings of some of us when we are overtaken by life’s storms and circumstances. When it seems that the phrase “God doesn’t give us more than we can bear” seem more of a cruel joke than it is our reality. “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” rings true from the depths of our soul as we face our respective challenges, but let us not despair because Jesus did not sleep through the disciples’ despair, but “he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (v.39). Those of us who profess Jesus as Lord should be encouraged that he responds to the cries of the sincere, and not only does he respond, but he has all power and authority to rebuke every adverse wind in our lives, and speak peace to our troubled hearts and minds.
Though they woke Jesus in a moment of despair, the disciples recognized that he was the only one that could do something about the situation. Once he had calmed the storm, he looked at them and asked ” Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” (v.40).
As you face the squalls in your life, how do you respond? What would he say to you? I trust and pray that whenever we find ourselves asking if God really cares, we can sing triumphantly with the hymn writer:
“Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Saviour cares”
“(Casting) all your care upon him, for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7, KJV).
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.