THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
GOVERNMENT CHANGES DATE FOR ETHANOL INTRODUCTION—08/09/08
The government has changed the date by which Jamaica is to have a mandatory 10-percent ethanol content in its motor vehicle fuel. Prime Minister Bruce Golding had announced the date as being September 2008. However, Clive Mullings, Minister of Energy, has said that there would be a “phased roll-out” instead. The roll-out is to begin on November 1, 2008, and would end with a government mandated use of E10/87 octane fuel, nationwide, by April 2009. Golding’s deadline was viewed as unrealistic.
SRC DIRECTED TO AID SMALL BUSINESS—08/10/08
Jamaica’s Scientific Research Council (SRC) will expand its ability to facilitate new and future small businesses and provide them with better services in regard to product development, research, marketing, and protection of intellectual property. The directive was issued by Bruce Golding, Jamaican Prime Minister, to Karl Samuda, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce.
AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY TO BACK CHEAP FERTILIZER IMPORTS—08/11/08
The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) has decided to support the decision of the government to import less costly fertilizer into the country. According to Senator Norman Grant, the president of the JAS, the government has a fiduciary responsibility to become involved with the issue, and the JAS supports its efforts. The only local producer of fertilizer, Fersan, will have to realign its operations, but the current need is for survival of the farmers and the security of Jamaica’s food supply.
NEW NURSING SCHOOL OPENS—08/12/08
The Hyacinth Chen School of Nursing was officially opened by Michael Lee Chin, chairman of the AIC Fund Management and the National Commercial Bank. The state-of-the-art nursing school, which was named in honor of Chin’s mother, is located across from the main campus in Mandeville, Manchester. It can handle 800 students and is expected to graduate at least 250 nurses within two years and ease Jamaica’s nursing shortage.
AIRONE TO BEGIN FLIGHT SERVICE IN APRIL 2009—08/13/08
AirOne Ventures Limited, which has promoted its as-yet unnamed airline as the first “low-budget carrier” in the Caribbean region, plans to begin service to nine regional and United States destinations by April 2009. The flight fares will range from a low of US$10 to an average of 40 percent to 70 percent below the fares of current airlines. The Jamaican government has not yet decided whether AirOne will be allowed to use Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport under a “fifth freedom rights” agreement, however.
JAMAICAN MILITARY OFFICER DEFENDS DOMESTIC CRIME FIGHTING—08/14/08
Garfield Predergast, a lieutenant and commanding officer of the first battalion of the Jamaica regiment, says that the use of the military in fighting domestic crime has been successful on the island. He also stated that the military’s involvement with crime fighting dates back a number of decades. The military takes a support role to the police and does not have the power to make arrests, he says.
JAMAICA TO HAVE TOBACCO CONTROLS BY 2009—08/15/08
Dr. Eva Lewis-Fuller, director of the Health Promotion and Protection Division at Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Environment, hopes that comprehensive tobacco control laws will be in place by early 2009. Lewis-Fuller made her remarks to reporters at the Caribbean Regional Workshop on the Implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
OVER 40 GUNS REMAIN UNCLAIMED WITH JCF—08/15/08
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has been unable to locate the owners of more than 40 firearms confiscated when their owners traveled overseas. The JCF advertised the existence of the guns and asked that the owners of some 81 firearms come to retrieve their weapons from the police in Clarendon. The identification tags on the guns, which showed the names and addresses of the owners, had been destroyed by dry rot. Some of the guns have been stored in the facility since the 1950s.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
SEAN PAUL ARRESTED AT SWEDISH MUSIC FESTIVAL—08/11/08
Musician Sean Paul was arrested at the Uppsala Reggae Festival in Sweden on suspicion of possessing marijuana. He was swept up in a raid conducted by police at the yearly music festival in Sweden. Sean Paul was among 200 to 300 people, including ten performers, taken to the local police station for questioning. An investigation is ongoing.
SPRINTERS ARRIVE AT OLYMPIC VILLAGE IN CHINA—08/12/08
Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, two of the fastest men in the world, have checked into the athletes’ village in Beijing, China, to prepare for the Olympic games. They had a three-hour bus ride from the Jamaican training camp to the village and arrived four days before the first heats in the 100-meter race.
NO DEPORTATION FOR JAMAICAN LESBIAN—08/13/08
A judge in Florida has decided to defer the deportation of a Jamaican lesbian because there is a possibility for her to experience physical harm if she is returned to her native country. The woman, 29, was to be deported because of two drug convictions, but Judge Irma Lopez-Defillo, who had ordered the deportation, decided to defer it after hearing arguments that the woman faced threats of violence in Jamaica. Jamaica has been cited by human rights organizations for its violent homophobia.
GRANGE NAMES ANTI-DOPING BOARD IN BEIJING—08/14/08
Jamaican Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, has sought the approval of the Cabinet to create a board of 11 to 13 members to oversee Jamaica’s Anti-Doping Commission, which is scheduled to be ready for operation before August 15, the start date for the track and field program at the Olympic games in Beijing, China.
JAMAICAN EQUESTRIAN RISES IN RANKINGS AT OLYMPICS—08/11/08
Samantha Albert has moved to the 42nd position in the equestrian competition at the Olympics in China, after completing the individual cross-country event. She jumped 29 obstacles on the five-kilometer course in nine minutes and 44 seconds. She received 41.60 in penalty points, however. Her horse is a 13-year-old mare names “Before I Do It.”
“BABSY” OFF TO THE OLYMPICS—08/12/08
Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and sports, is traveling to Beijing, China to represent the nation’s government at the 29th Olympiad. Grange says she is eager to arrive in Beijing to be with “our people.” She is there to support the team and officials in any way she can on behalf of Jamaica’s government and people.
JAMAICANS FREQUENTLY TESTED FOR DRUGS IN BEIJING—08/13/08
According to the team doctor, Herb Elliott, Jamaica is one of the top teams facing numerous drug tests at the Beijing Olympics in China. Asafa Powell, former 100-meter record holder from Jamaica, voiced concerns that the team had been singled out for testing and that the number of tests was excessive, but Elliott said he thought the drug testing regimen was “in keeping” with the circumstances at the games. Many top teams were targeted, he said, not just the Jamaicans. The Jamaican team has experienced some 30 tests so far.
JAMAICAN WOMEN SPRINTERS LOOK TO BE FASTEST AT OLYMPICS—08/14/08
Sprinters from Jamaica and the United States want to gain the title of “fastest woman in the world” at the Olympics in Beijing, China. The sprint contests will be held without two of the women who had been favored to win gold. Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica and Allyson Felix of the United States both failed to qualify for Beijing in the national trials.
Living In The Moment
To live in the moment is very easy to do. Things are constantly changing, and with so many things demanding our time and attention, it seems there is always something immediate to think or worry about. My favorite analogy is that it is like trying to fill twelve holes with ten fingers. Most people who have tried it would agree it can be very stressful. Medical science tells us that stress is harmful to our overall well-being. Among it’s symptoms are headache, back ache and neck pain, depletion of energy, aggravation of peptic ulcers, and memory disturbances, to name a few. Definitely, not good.
The reality is that we do have to live in the moment, but the degree to which we allow things to impact us is what we can control. One way to do this when we’re challenged by the events of the moment is to look at the big picture. This was the principle Jesus applied when he told the disciples: “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26, KJV). I would suggest that such an approach can be applied to any area of our lives. No matter what we are faced with, it fades into insignificance in the light of God’s inexhaustible provision.
Despite knowing that fact, most of us however are like Peter. When Jesus challenged him, in the middle of a storm on the Sea of Galilee, to step out of the boat, Matthew tells us: “Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!'” (14:30). He was overwhelmed by the moment, but “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?'” (v.31).
It takes faith to live in the moment, because to survive the moments we have to keep our eyes on the big picture. Just because we are confused doesn’t mean God doesn’t know what to do. Faith; in your challenging moments, how much of it do you use? How much of the big picture do you see?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.