THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
ALPART REFINERY TO CUT 150 JOBS—09/20/08
The Russian-owned bauxite and alumina producer Alpart has decided to reduce the workforce at its Jamaican refinery by 150 jobs. St. Patrice Ennis, a union official, said Alumina Partners of Jamaica will lay off 70 employees by the end of September, but it is unclear exactly why the firm is cutting the workers. According to Ennis, union workers agreed to a number of severance packages.
JAMAICAN LANGUAGE IS GREATEST EXPONENT OF CULTURAL IDENTITY—09/21/08
According to Paul H. Williams, a writer for the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper, the dynamism of the Jamaican language should be appreciated, since it is the greatest example of the island’s cultural identity. New words are created every year, while others die out. He mentioned the longevity of words like “buttu, skettel, boops, and squidel” as standout examples.
JLP CRITICIZED AS “UNCARING”—09/22/08
Karl Samuda, general secretary of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) and Minister of Industry, Investment, and Commerce, believes that criticism launched against the government by Portia Simpson Miller, president of the People’s National Party (PNP) were “backward and unconstructive.” He urged Simpson Miller to review her position and work with the government of Bruce Golding to improve the lives of Jamaicans.
TRAVELOCITY PROVIDES BOOKING ENGINE FOR JAMAICA TOURIST BOARD—09/22/08
Travelocity announced that it is providing the booking and shopping engine online for the Jamaica Tourist Board, which is called VisitJamaica.com. The Travelocity Partner Network, which provides online engines for over 100 destination-marketing organizations worldwide, will offer various travel products for visitors planning a vacation to Jamaica.
JAMAICA SENDS AID TO HURRICANE VICTIMS IN CUBA—09/23/08
The Jamaican government has sent donations of food, water, mattresses, and other items to the port Santiago de Cuba in order to help the victims of two hurricanes, Gustav and Ike. The Middlesex, a coastguard vessel, brought the load to Cuba together with four specialists from the island’s Office for Disasters Preparation and Emergencies.
BANANA PRODUCERS IN JAMAICA QUIT EXPORTS—09/24/08
Banana production for export from Jamaica to the United Kingdom will end, according to a decision from the Jamaican Producers Group (JPG). The decision results from “massive” losses suffered from a number of hurricanes in the past four years. Charles Johnston, chairman of JPG, says the firm will focus on growing less vulnerable crops like breadfruit and cassava. The decision will cause some 400 individuals to lose their jobs.
KINGSTON MAYOR BLAMES POLITICS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS—09/25/08
Desmond McKenzie, mayor of Kingston, believes that politicians are to blame for the environmental devastation experienced across Jamaica, particularly in the Corporate Area where there is a lot of unapproved building and construction. Building in riverbeds, on hillsides, and gully banks in this area, which was approved by politicians seeking votes, is having a negative impact on the environment and quality of life in Jamaica’s capital.
PHILLIPS, OTHERS BACK OUT OF PNP “SHADOW” CABINET—09/26/08
Dr. Peter Phillips has told Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller of the People’s National Party (PNP) that he is “not interested” in being part of a shadow Cabinet. Simpson Miller had planned to announce her shadow Cabinet at a media briefing, but the press conference was delayed. The PNP did not give a reason for the delay, but there are indications that Simpson Miller has not yet put together a team and that some members of the Arise and Renew group are backing out.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
MEMBERS OF DIASPORA URGED TO INVEST IN JAMAICA—09/20/08
About 150 Jamaicans who are now living in South Florida were told of various investment opportunities in Jamaica at a special event hosted by the Ocho Rios/Runaway Bay Chapters of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association (JHTA), the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and Air Jamaica. They saw presentations concerning the island’s economic climate and opportunities by Earl Jarrett, deputy chairman of the JTB and general manager of the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS).
NEW JAMAICAN CONSUL GENERAL EAGER TO WORK WITH MEDIA—09/21/08
Sandra Grant Griffiths, the newly appointed Consul General of Jamaica in South Florida, intends to continue the branding theme for Jamaica (Brand Jamaica) in the overseas communities that fall under her jurisdiction. She has interacted with some 30 representatives of the local media at a media reception hosted by the Consulate General and the Jamaica Information Service in Miami, Florida.
JAMAICAN POLICEMAN DESCRIBES CRIME BY BRITISH WOMEN AS “ROUTINE”—09/22/08
Steve McGregor, superintendent in charge of police in St. James Jamaica, said that the attempt by two British women to smuggle a huge amount of cocaine off the island was a “minor offense.” Shereen Hardy, 18, and Tanisha Samuel, 20, will spend a year in jail in Jamaica after admitting to possession, dealing, and attempting to export cocaine. McGregor says their crime was “routine” for his officers.
GOLDING TO USE UN VISIT TO PRESS FOR GLOBAL REFORMS—09/23/08
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding will address the United Nations in New York, focusing on the need to reform multilateral structures. He mentioned his topic during a speech to Jamaican nationals who had paid $85 each for a lunch event at a club in Manhattan. This was Golding’s first visit to New York since taking office.
McINTOSH WANTS TO CAPITALIZE ON OLYMPIC SUCCESSES—09/20/08
Football has the potential to make a significant contribution to Jamaica’s economy, according to Howard McIntosh, head of the Jamaica Football Federation’s Technical Committee. He urges the football group to learn from the example set by the track and field athletes as it attempts to create a technical development plan.
POWELL WILL NOT CHANGE COACH—09/23/08
The parents of Asafa Powell suggested that he try a new coach and dismiss his present coach, Stephen Francis. However, Asafa Powell, who is the second-fastest man in the world, has said this will not occur. Powell said he would have to explain things better to his parents so they would understand why he is staying with Francis.
POWELL SAYS JAMAICAN SPRINT DOMINANCE CAUSING ENVY—09/25/08
According to Asafa Powell, Jamaican sprint star, the dominance of the island’s athletes in the Beijing Olympics has resulted in expressions of envy from other runners. Powell says the negative talk concerning Jamaica’s performance comes from countries that “used to do well in the sport” but that are “not doing well again. They are questioning a lot of things,” he remarked.
CARTER AND WILLIAMS WIN IN SOUTH KOREA—09/26/08
Olympic winners Nesta Carter and Shericka Williams were the only victorious Jamaicans at the Colorful Daegu Pre-championship meet in Daegu, South Korea. Williams won a silver medal in Beijing in the 400 meters and won over a strong field in the 200-meter race, clocking 22.94 seconds. Nesta Carter won the men’s 100-meter competition.
“Who Is this Man?”
The disciples had just witnessed what they thought to be impossible. Mark recorded that on Jesus’ instructions they had left out the go across the lake, and with Jesus asleep in the back of the boat, “Suddenly a strong wind blew up, and the waves began to spill over into the boat, so that it was about to fill with water” (4:37, GNB). Terrified, they woke and rebuked Jesus for not caring enough. We are then told, “Jesus stood up and commanded the wind, ‘Be quiet!’ and he said to the waves, ‘Be still!’ The wind died down, and there was a great calm. Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Why are you frightened? Do you still have no faith?’ But they were terribly afraid and began to say to one another, ‘Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’ (vv.38-41).
Who is this man? According to Mark’s account, from the start of Jesus’ ministry, these men had seen a lot. They saw Him heal the man with the evil spirit in Capernaum (1:24-26); He had healed Peter’s mother-in-law and “many who were sick with all kinds of diseases and drove out many demons” (vv.29-34); among others. Those they could accept, but to command the winds and the waves? That was something quite different. But as with Jesus’ other miracles, they had a front row seat to this one! He had in fact commanded the winds, He spoke to the waves, and they obeyed Him! As The Message paraphrased their reaction, “They were in absolute awe, staggered” (v.41).
Before we rush in to chide them for doubting, how much different are we? We acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God, one who is able to do miracles, yet in the middle of our own storms, do we remain calm or do we become perplexed? Is it that despite what we profess with our lips, in the challenging moments of our lives we believe there are some things that are too big, even for God? In the person of Jesus Christ, the very image of God, we have one with whom all things are possible. He is everything the believer will ever need for every situation we will ever find ourselves in. John reminds us “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (1:3, KJV). If He made it, He has dominion over it; always have and always will. The child of God can rest assured that there’s absolutely nothing that is outside of His control. Why not allow Him to speak to your situation?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.