JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending July 11th, 2008

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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DEAF TO GET DRIVING PRIVILEGES IN JAMAICA—07/05/08
Andrew Gallimore, State Minister for Labor and Social Security, reports that the current government is determined to provide the deaf with the right to drive on the island. He notes that many nations worldwide have enacted laws to allow deaf persons to have driver’s licenses. The government will provide basic and advanced training in sign language for 25 inspectors from the Traffic Authority in anticipation of the move.

JAMAICAN FIRMS REDUCE INVESTMENT PLANS—07/06/08
Jamaican companies have pulled back their near-term investment plans dramatically in the face of weak profits and growing pessimism about the economy. A survey for the Conference Board, shows that only 27 percent of companies believe this is a good time to invest in expanding their businesses, down from 36 percent in the last quarter.

KINGSTON MAYRO SAYS HE IS MARKED FOR DEATH—07/07/08
Desmond McKenzie, the mayor of Kingston, believes he is one of several public officials who are on a “hit list.” Security for these officials has been strengthened after the disclosure by McKenzie. He put the threat on his life in the context of what happened after the death by shooting of Jamaica Urban Transit Company Chairman Douglas Chambers. Chambers was killed at the entrance to the Spanish Town bus depot in St. Catherine. The subsequent shooting of Shalman Scott, former mayor of Montego Bay, added to the idea that there may be a coordinated attack on public officials.

JAMAICAN PLANT MAY HOLD KEY TO HIV/AIDS CURE—07/08/08
Dr. Henry Lowe, Jamaican scientist, believes the Jamaican ball moss plant has anti-cancer and anti-HIV/AIDS properties. Dr. Lowe and his partner Dr. Joseph Bryant, have worked to prove the connection for two years. Ball moss extract was shown to be stronger than Taxol, the leading cancer drug, and had fewer side effects, according to Dr. Lowe. Research test by Dr. Bryant at the University of Maryland Institute of Human Virology also found that the plant controlled the HIV/AIDS virus as well.

JAMAICAN FARM LANDS BURNED IN BUSH FIRE—07/09/08
Fire destroyed over 100 acres in St. Elizabeth parish, leading to millions of dollars in losses to the 100 farmers residing in Nembhard, Chocolate Hole, and Cheapside. These farmers are still recovering from a huge fire that occurred earlier in 2008.

JAMAICA, SPAIN SIGN DOUBLE TAXATION TREATY—07/09/08
Jamaica has entered into an agreement with the government of Spain to remove the nation from Spain’s list of “tax havens” and open the way for Spanish investors to pay income taxes in a single jurisdiction instead of in two. According to Audley Shaw, Minister of Finance and Public Service, the treaty allows businesses from Spain to choose whether to pay taxes either in Jamaica or Spain.

PROBE LAUNCHED INTO TRANSIT CONTRACTS—07/10/08
The Office of the Contractor General (OCG) has begun an investigation of several contracts that were awarded recently by the state-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC). Among these are a multi-million dollar deal given to a security company owned and operated by Dennis Morgan, chairman of National Solid Waste Management Authority.

DISASTER COMMITTEE TO AID FARMERS—07/11/08
The Ministry of Agriculture has created a disaster subcommittee to give farmers information about how to mitigate their exposure to catastrophic events like bush fires, drought, pest epidemics, floods, landslides, and hurricanes. According to Phillip Chung, the subcommittee’s chairman, the subcommittee has already given hurricane-disaster preparedness brochures to farmers. The goal of the subcommittee is to function at the national level to develop a comprehensive program for agricultural disaster preparedness in cooperation with police, fire officials, and the bauxite industry.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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NEW YORK RESTAURANT OWNER AND CHEF FEATURED—07/07/08
Nigel Spence, Jamaican chef and restaurateur in New York, will appear in the in-flight program called “Island Stylee” on Air Jamaica, the island’s national airline. The episode featuring Spence will air in mid July 2008. The award-winning series is hosted by formed Miss Jamaica and BET host Rachel Stuart and focuses on the accomplishments of Jamaican nationals.

MISS JAMAICA WORLD 2007 TO STEP DOWN—07/08/08
Yendi Phillipps, Miss Jamaica World 2007, will hand over her crown in August, leaving behind a legacy that showed she was a “beauty with a purpose.” She was among the first group of citizens to tour areas afflicted by Hurricane Dean, and she organized a celebrity fashion and music show to raise funds for the victims before going to the Miss World Pageant in China in 2007. Her efforts won international attention when she received the Beauty with a Purpose prize at the Miss World contest.
 
FAMILY OF JAMAICAN WOMAN SUES NEW YORK HOSPITAL—07/10/08
The family of Esmin Green, a Jamaican woman who was left unattended on the floor of Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, New York, and who subsequently died, is suing the hospital for US$25 million. Green’s oldest child, Tecia Harrison, filed the wrongful death notice and is being represented by civil rights attorney Sanford “Sandy” Rubenstein. Rubenstein is highly respected in New York’s Caribbean immigrant community.

ROGERS FIRST CARIBBEAN-AMERICAN WOMAN COMMISSIONER—07/11/08
Hazelle Rogers, who came from humble beginnings in Jamaica, is the first Caribbean-American woman commissioner of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida. She believes she has a mandate to make her community and society better, and she is looking to win a seat in the Florida State Legislature. If she does so, she will be only the second Caribbean-American woman to achieve this position.

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SPORTS
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POWELL WANTS REVENGE ON GAY—07/06/08
Asafa Powell, Jamaican sprinter, wants to avenge his defeat by Tyson Gay, an American, when the two runners met at the Aviva London Grand Prix in July 2008. Powell, who is the former 100-meter record holder, wants to “get this behind me” because people think he can’t beat Gay. He wants to prove them wrong.

JAMAICA WINS NAWIRA OPENING MATCH—07/07/08
Jamaica, the defending champion, achieved a 22-11 victory over hosts Barbados in the NAWIRA Rugby Under-20 Championships. The Jamaicans got their win in the second half of the competition.

POWELL LOOKING FOR SALVATION AT OLYMPICS—07/08/08
Asafa Powell, the champion Jamaican sprinter, almost quit racing, but despite the loss of two brothers, he is looking to win the 100-meters in Beijing, China and the 2008 Olympic Games. His brother Michael was shot and killed in a New York taxi, while his brother Donovan died from a heart attack while playing American football.

JAMAICAN WINS SPRINT AT WORLD JUNIORS—07/10/08
Dexter Lee, 17, was victorious in the 100-meter sprint at the 12th IAAF world junior championships in Poland. The sprinter clocked 10:40 seconds and outpaced Wilhelm van der Vyver of South Africa, who came in second with 10:42 seconds and Terrell Wilks of the United States, who was third with 10:45 seconds.   

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DEVOTIONAL
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Sharing What We Have

Crippled from birth and unable to fend for himself, Luke tells us that they (maybe his friends and family) brought the man to the Temple Gate every day to ask alms of them that entered the temple (Acts 3:2).  There was something to the strategy, because who better to have compassion on a beggar than those who were going into the house of God.  Undoubtedly, he had become a fixture there.  Nobody may have known his name but for sure they knew his face, and if seen around town, would have been referred to as the fellow who “sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple” (v.10).

Amidst the people going to worship that day were Peter and John, and on seeing them, the man did what he knew best – he asked for money.  For him it was a matter of survival; trying to get enough to make it through the day. But on this divinely appointed day, Peter, empty in the pockets but filled with the Holy Ghost, got the man’s attention and said, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”  The narrative continued, “And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.  And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God” (vv. 4-8, KJV).

In a lot of ways, the lame man is like those who are outside of an intimate and personal relationship with Christ.  Every day is one of existence instead of being one of purpose.  The longing in the soul is to satisfy its immediate wants, totally ignorant to that which is its greater need. It is as Jesus said, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).  All the silver and gold he would collect that day would not have made the man whole. Only an encounter with the living Christ, through Peter and John, could change his situation and ultimately his life.

Who are you passing today who needs more than a temporary fix?  There’s no real satisfaction outside of knowing and experiencing Christ, and that is one truth every believer is empowered to carry and share.  You may not have money, or any of the other material things a person is asking for, but you do have a life transforming message to share.  Perhaps someone in your immediate sphere of influence needs to hear it through 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.