THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
GAY RIGHTS GROUP OPPOSES JAMAICA BOYCOTT—04/12/08
The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, Allsexuals, and Gays (JFLAG), believes that the boycott of Jamaica called for by a coalition of human rights and gay rights groups, will only make things worse. Stop Murder Music Canada (SMMC) is a coalition that wants to prevent the sale and performance of Jamaican musicians whose songs include violently homophobic lyrics.
AIR JAMAICA MUST FACE FACTS—04/13/08
The new Jamaican government continues to ask taxpayers to support Air Jamaica, despites its reputation for inefficiency and mismanagement. In 2007, Air Jamaica lost US$170 million. In 2008, the losses are projected to reach US$200 million. The board of the airline has not improved under the leadership of Shirley Williams, who replaced Vin Lawrence.
ANTI-DRUG LOBBY WANTS BAN ON PUBLIC SMOKING—04/14/08
Victor Roach, president of the International Commission for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (ICPA) – Caribbean Bloc, wants to see the ban on smoking in public places implemented. Roach said he wants Jamaica’s government to impose laws to ban smoking in public buildings and also to prevent young people from buying alcohol and tobacco.
NEW JAMAICAN AMBASSADOR TO U.S. MEETS WITH BUSH—04/15/08
Anthony Johnson, Jamaica’s new ambassador to the United States, presented his Letters of Credence to the U.S. president, George W. Bush, at the White House. Johnson is a former member of Parliament and was Minister of State in the Ministries of Industry and Commerce and Agriculture in the 1980s. Johnson reaffirmed the “bonds of friendship” between Jamaica and the U.S.
UNITED KINGDOM WRITING OFF MILLIONS IN JAMAICAN DEBT—04/16/08
The United Kingdom has decided to write off some J$703 million in Jamaican debt in order to make the money available to fund services and poverty programs. Jamaica owes the United Kingdom over $1.6 billion. The write-off represents a reduction of about 43 percent of the debt.
JAMAICA HOTEL GROUP PRESIDENT CITES RISKS FOR TOURISM—04/16/08
Wayne Cummings, president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), believes that the economic downturn in the United States will have a negative impact on the island’s tourist industry. Additionally, the high level of violence in Jamaica represents a challenge to the development of the tourist sector. Almost 1,500 people died of violent causes in Jamaica in 2007.
LICENSE OF RADIO STATION NOT SUSPENDED—04/17/08
Olivia Grange, Minister of Information, Culture, Youth, and Sports in Jamaica, has decided to allow a radio station to keep its broadcast license. Newstalk 93FM will not have its license suspended because it has made commitments to implement several remedial measures. Grange made her decision after consulting with the Cabinet. A letter of reprimand will be issued to Dr. Kingsley Stewart as part of the station’s commitment.
HUNDREDS OUT OF THEIR HOMES DUE TO RAINS—04/18/08
Many people in sections of St. Ann were battling floodwaters after very heavy rains dumped on the parish. The Meteorological Service has predicted continuing shows and isolated thunderstorms for the next few days until the storm weakens.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
BAPTIST CLERGY FROM CARIBBEAN REGIONI FORM ASSOCIATION—04/12/08
The new Caribbean Diaspora Baptist Clergy Association (CDBCA) was formed at a church service at Grace Baptist Chapel in the Bronx, New York. The idea for such a group was suggested first in 1993 when Reverend Dr. Roy Henry, president of the Jamaica Baptist Union, met with Caribbean Baptists at Bronx Baptist Church. This church was founded by the Jamaican, Samuel Simpson in the 1960s.
REGGAE GROUP TO PERFORM IN TEL AVIV—04/15/08
Israel Vibration, a Roots-Reggae group of musicians, is slated to play in Tel Aviv, Israel, on April 22, 2008. The concert is part of an effort by Guil Bronstein, an Israeli promoter, to bring the music of Jamaica back to the Middle East. According to Bronstein, reggae culture is widespread and reggae shows happen ever week at Israeli kibbutzim and clubs.
US MARSHALS SEARCHING FOR JAMAICAN IN MURDER CASE—04/16/08
A reward of US$25,000 has been posted by United States Marshals for David James Clarke, 26, in connection with the killing of two people in South Florida. Clarke, a Jamaican known also as “Biggs” or “Big Boy,” is now on the 15 Most Wanted Fugitive list, following the discovery of the bodies of Chris Thompson and Cassandra Williams in the trunk of a car. The couple was shot to death.
JAMAICAN INDICTED IN NEW YORK CITY—04/17/08
Asquith Reid, the former chief of staff for a New York City councilman, has been indicted in a case involving the embezzlement of thousands of dollars in city funds from a Brooklyn charity over a three-year period. Also named in the case is Joycinth “Sue” Anderson, another employee of the councilman, Kendall Stewart. The pair is accused of embezzling some $356,000 dollars from the Donna Reid Fund.
WALTER KEEPS SWIM TEAM AFLOAT—04/13/08
The national swimming program has been able to continue for the past 15 years because of the efforts of its leader, coach Jacky Walter. Jamaica is again on track to have a swimmer at the Olympic Games. Natasha Moodie, 17, has qualified for the 2008 games in Beijing, China. Walter has been head of the national program since 1992.
COACH DYSON SAYS WINDIES’ VICTORY WAS “SENSATIONAL”—04/14/08
John Dyson, coach of the West Indies’ cricket team, is very happy about his team’s victor over Sri Lanka in the second Digicell One Day International (ODI) at the Queen’s Park Oval. Dyson says team members did a “sensational job overall.”
JAMAICAN-BORN ATHLETE COMPETES FOR SOUTH DAKOTA UNIVERSITY—04/16/08
Shaneaka Parkes, a Jamaican-born track and field athlete, had to make many adjustments when she transferred to the University of South Dakota from GC Foster College in Jamaica. In addition to language barriers, a higher competition division, and new teammates, Parkes had to adjust to the colder weather at her new home. Parkes hopes to qualify for national competition in the 100, 200, javelin, and 4×100-meter relay.
CORPORATIONS HELP HIGH SCHOOL TEAMS—04/17/08
Communications firms Cable & Wireless have provided $30,000 and telephone cards to help seventeen high schools and the University of Technology offset the costs of fielding teams at the Pennsylvania Relay Carnival at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Alpha Academy, Ardenne, Calabar, Camperdown, Campion, Clan Carthy, Edwin Allen, Kingston College, Jamaica College, Manchester, Mona, St Andrew, St George’s College, St Jago, The Queen’s school, University of Technology, Vere and Wolmer’s Boys received checks and telephone calling cards worth $1000 each.
The Refiner’s Fire
Earlier this week I received an email forward that was simply profound in its theology on Malachi 3:3, which reads, “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” I do not know the author of the commentary, which I’ve titled as above, but it was simply too profound not to share. I pray that it blesses you as much as it did me. Here goes:
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.
That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: ‘He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.’
She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time.
The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, ‘How do you know when the silver is fully refined?’
He smiled at her and answered, ‘Oh, that’s easy — when I see my image in it.’
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.