THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
POLICE OFFICERS SHOT IN TRENCH TOWN—05/24/08
Constables Cornell Grant and Delano Lawrence were ambushed and repeatedly shot by gunmen in Trench Town, where they and two other policemen were on foot patrol. The killings of the two officers of the Kingston Western Police Division has brought the total number of police personnel killed since the beginning of 2008 to five. The gunmen escaped with a nine-millimeter pistol belonging to an officer and an M16 rifle, but police say they have identified the shooters.
TRENCH TOWN RESIDENTS CONDEMN POLICE KILLINGS—05/25/08
Two members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) were shot and killed in Trench Town, and residents and community leaders are condemning the violence. They fear that the incident could have a negative impact on their relationship with the police, says Dr. Henley Morgan, social activist. Morgan, who is leading a “culture of renewal” in the community, says that community leaders were working to transform their area. The killings were “an aberration,” says Morgan. Residents do not want to see a return of violence in their community.
WORK PROGRAM TO BE EXPANDED—05/26/08
According to Pearnel Charles of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the agency’s Overseas Work Program will be expanded to provide more employment opportunities for Jamaican workers. Charles noted that the existing program has worked well, but recently, has faced competition and problems from other nations in North America, China, and Mexico. Therefore, the program will make an effort to meet the growing demand for skilled workers in a number of trades, including masons, carpenters, electricians, and health care workers.
GOLDING HOPES TO AID AIR JAMAICA STAFF—05/27/08
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding wants to secure the jobs of Air Jamaica staff members as the government moves to privatize the national airline. According to Golding, a major worry in the negotiations to privatize the carrier is retaining staff and preserving Jamaican jobs. Golding also noted that a condition of any agreement would be the continuation of the airline’s brand, including its colors.
PARDON FOR POLICEMAN CONSIDERED—05/27/08
Bishop Herro Blair has petitioned Governor General Sir Kenneth Hall to allow a pardon for convicted cop Carey Lyn-Sue to be considered by Jamaica’s Privy Council. Lyn-Sue has been in prison for six months for admitting to fabricating evidence in an attempt to convict a man from Montego Bay in a murder case.
STEWART OBJECTS TO GOLDING’S POSITION ON POLICE KILLINGS—05/28/08
The general secretary of the Jamaica Police Federation (JPF), Corporal Hartley Stewart, disagrees with Prime Minister Bruce Golding in the matter of extrajudicial killings by police. Golding has sided with human rights lobbyists who say that the police are guilty of such activities. Stewart rejects the Golding’s assertion, noting that not a single example, conviction, or “proper report” has been found by an independent authority to substantiate these claims.
KILLINGS IN KINGSTON AND ST. JAMES—05/29/08
The spate of murders continued with an afternoon attack that saw seven people shot and two killed near National Heroes Circle in central Kingston. The dead are Margaret Campbell, 26, and Lenroy Moreland, 23. Crowds on the scene called on police to do more to end the violence. Three other murders were also added to the list kept by the St. James police. These increased the number of murders in that area to at least 70 since January 2008.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL ISSUES SCATHING REPORT ON JAMAICA—05/30/08
Amnesty International, the human rights lobbying group, strongly criticized Jamaica’s constabulary forces in its annual report, stating that police brutality worsened in 2007. There were 203 police killings between January and September of 2007, according to Amnesty. Most of the victims were young men living in the inner city. The Amnesty report notes that while police “routinely claimed’ the killings were the result of gun fights with criminal gangs, witnesses said the police had “extra-judicially executed” the victims.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
MIAMI CONSULATE GENERAL REACHES OUT TO LESS FORTUNATE—05/24/08
The Consulate General in Miami, Florida, is extending aid to Jamaican nationals living in Belle Glade and facing financial and health difficulties. These individuals received help in completing applications for Jamaican passports and birth certificates at a community fair held by the Consulate. Volunteers from the Jamaica Nurses Association of Florida (JNAF) offer a number of routine health checkups and health education. Pro bono services were provided by members of the Florida Chapter of the Caribbean Bar Association (CBA) as well. Many Jamaicans are among the 3,000 residents of Bell Glade and Clewiston, which are located in the sugar cane area of western Palm Beach County.
JAMAICAN DRUG BOSS GETS NEARLY 37 YEARS IN PRISON—05/25/08
Leebert Ramcharan, a Jamaican who was called an “international drug kingpin” by the White House in the United States, received a prison sentence of almost 37 years for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine in the U.S. Ramcharan headed a sophisticated smuggling operation and received as much as 15 metric tones of cocaine from Columbia between 1998 and 2004.
“KKK” AND CROSS BURNED AT JAMAICAN’S HOME IN OREGON—05/27/08
Police in Medford, Oregon, have reported that someone burned a cross and the letters “KKK” (which stand for “Ku Klux Klan”) into the lawn of Sol Whyte’s home. Whyte says she went outside her house in the middle of the night and saw the burning. Whyte’s husband is from Jamaica, and she says she has never seen such racism before.
JAMAICAN BUSINESS EXPO TO BE HELD IN SOUTH FLORIDA—05/29/08
The Jamaican Business Expo will be held at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The event is sponsored by the Jamaica USA Chamber of Commerce and will features hundreds of Jamaican and other Caribbean and American small businesses, investors, and marketing professionals. There will be exhibits, product samples, networking opportunities, and the chance to learn how to do business with Jamaica.
POWELL, GAY AGREE TO PRE-OLYMPIC “DUEL”—05/24/08
An agreement has been made between Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay to meet in a 100-meter “duel” at Crystal Palace in the London Grand Prix, three weeks before the Olympics. Gay, 27, won three gold medals at the World Championships in 2007. His fastest time is officially 9.84 seconds, but he has clocked 9.76 with help from the wind. Powell, also 27, is best a running under 10, but his speed is associated with some problems in performing on the “big stage.” Powell has the most to gain from this race in London, having been defeated by Gay for the first time in Osaka.
WEST INDIES FIGHTING BACK—05/25/08
At the end of the third day of play in the first Test between the Windies and Australia at Sabina Park, Australia had 431 and 17 for four, while the West Indies had 312. Australia leads by 136 with only six wickets in hand, ad the odds appear to favor the Windies. The pitch shows signs of deteriorating, and the Windies will be fighting last on it.
WINDIES SEE RETURN OF GAYLE—05/27/08
Chris Gayle, captain of the West Indies cricket team, is in line to return to play after being named as one of the 14 players to meet Australia in the second Test. Gayle had been unable to play due to a groin injury suffered in a match against Sri Lanka in April, which caused him to miss the first Test defeat in Jamaica. John Dyson, Windies coach, is confident that Gayle and pace bowler Jerome Taylor who has also been sidelined with an injury, will be ready to play at the start of the second Test in Antigua.
OMAR BROWN DETERMINED TO GO TO THE OLYMPICS—05/29/08
Omar Brown, 200-meter champion of the Commonwealth Games, says he is determined to make the Jamaican team and go to the Olympics in Beijing. His determination is unrelated to the fact that his wife, Veronica Campbell, is almost certain to make the team. Campbell Brown competes in the 100-meter and 200-meters, while Omar Brown runs the 200 meters. Track & Field News ranked Brown ninth in the world in 2006.
Boldness In Asking Equals Blessings
I watched him as he went from person to person in the Food Court asking for spare change “to buy some food.” He wasn’t having any success and so he came over to where I was standing in line, and in broken English, asked the people serving for something to eat. Husband and wife looked at each other, before the wife took up a plate and prepared a small serving. Before she could hand it to him, he asked, “More, please?”
Those in line chuckled at the man’s boldness, but as soon as he spoke, the words from James 4:2b sprung to life in my mind, “Ye have not, because ye ask not.” Right before me was someone who had asked not only for what he needed, but confidently asked for the amount that he felt would satisfy his hunger. He needed food, and a small amount was not going to do. As I watched the events unfold, the lady smiled, doubled the portions on the plate, and this time he took it without hesitation, said his thanks, before walking off to find a seat to have his meal.
The thought occurred to me that his request matched the severity of his need. In a spiritual sense, how many Christians fall short in that regard? From the old hymn we recall the words, “Oh what peace we often forfeit / Oh, what needless pain we bear / All because we do not carry / Ev’rything to God in prayer!”, a striking indictment on the believer’s inability to recognize and appreciate that the severity of our needs will never exhaust the resources of God. The writer to the Hebrews encourages us to come boldly unto the throne of grace (4:16); there we find Him of whom it is written, He “calleth those things which be not as though they were” (Romans 4:17). It really doesn’t matter the needs, or the severity of those needs, God is more than able to meet them. I believe this was what Peter had in mind when he wrote, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). There is no justifiable reason to keep some of our cares (worries, anxieties, doubts, fears, needs) to ourselves; we are to cast them ALL upon Him.
Knowing God’s inexhaustible supply, Jesus encouraged His disciples to “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7,8). No limits, no restrictions; just the assurance that the things that conform to the will of God for our lives are ours through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). With that in mind, let us not be afraid to ask for what we need. We serve a God who specializes in meeting every need, even the ones that seem impossible.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.