THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
PNP SAYS GOLDING HAS “INADEQUATE” RESPONSE TO FINANCIAL CRISIS—10/11/08
The opposition People’s National Party (PNP) is calling for the government of Prime Minister Bruce Golding to facilitate a full debate in Parliament concerning Jamaica’s economic status and ability to meet the challenges arising from the global financial crisis. Omar Davies, opposition spokesperson on financial and planning, said he welcomed Golding’s acknowledgement of the negative effects on Jamaica’s finances from the crisis, but that his response was “inadequate.”
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES ENERGY FUND—10/12/08
After a five-year period of planning and deliberation, Jamaica’s government has introduced a $1 billion Development Bank of Jamaica-PetroCaribe SME Energy Fund. The Fund is designed to help small and midsized enterprises with renewable energy projects. Companies can borrow funds capitalized from the PetroCaribe Fund totaling as much as $5 million and representing no more than 75 percent of a project’s cost at a fixed rate of 10 per cent. The loan can be repaid over seven years.
SALES OF JAMAICAN CDs DROPS WORLD WIDE BECAUSE OF PIRACY—10/12/08
The sales of Jamaican music CDs around the world are falling as a result of Internet access and piracy. Increased Internet access has had a major impact on the sales of actual CDs for some time. The easy access to pirated “bootleg” recordings also means the fewer individuals are purchasing CDs and vinyl records.
JAMAICA’S TOURISM MINISTER HAS PLAN TO ADDRESS FINANCIAL CRISIS—10/13/08
Edmund Bartlett, Tourism Minister in Jamaica, has described several initiatives designed to battle a potential economic crisis on the island resulting from the downturn in the global economy. He has created a task force that will make recommendations and travel to London to meet with Spanish partners and find a way forward. Jamaica has experienced a continuing increase in Spanish investments, chiefly in the area of hotel developments on the island’s north and west coast resort regions.
GOLDING CRITICIZED BY SIMPSON-MILLER—10/14/08
Portia Simpson Miller, leader of the opposition People’s National Party (PNP), has leveled strong criticism against Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding for the way his government is addressing domestic crime and the economic challenges facing the country. Simpson-Miller made her remarks at the PNP Convention and called on Jamaica to hold Golding and the ruling Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) to account for promises they made during their electoral campaign.
JAMAICAN POLICE ASK FOR HELP TO FIND SERIAL KILLERS—10/15/08
Jamaica has a high murder rate, and several individuals are wanted for committing multiple murders, but local police have a difficult time providing a list of these known serial killers because there has been no research in this area. The police want help from local universities to profile some of the murder cases. Jamaican murderers do not fit the clinical profile of well-known serial killers. The island has its own unique type of killers, many of whom murder just for the thrill of killing.
GOLDING OPENS LAWYERS’ CONFERENCE—10/16/08
The 25th anniversary of the Conference of the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association (CLA) will be opened by Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding at the Ritz Carlton resort in Rose Hall, Montego Bay. The conference is held every four years and is expected to be “a most forceful intellectual event” according to attorney Clayton Morgan, president of the Cornwall Bar Association.
GOLDING FIRES URBAN DEVELOPMENT BOARD—10/17/08
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding is demanding the immediate resignation of the entire board of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC). The board members have allegedly been instructed to resign because of Golding’s dissatisfaction with their performance. The Prime Minister has reportedly been unhappy about the level of infighting on the board, as well as its failure to make good on several promises.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN MUSICIAN TO RECORD WITH LOCAL ARTISTS IN MALAWI—10/11/08
Bri-Yah-Naan Thompson, best-selling Jamaican artist, has indicated an interest in visiting Malawi to record music with some of that nation’s local musicians. Thompson is in Zambia to complete recordings with several Zambian artists.
JAMAICAN WOMAN TO REPRESENT CARIBBEAN IN FLORIDA LEGISLATURE—10/13/08
Hazelle Rogers is the first Caribbean American national to represent the English-speaking nations of the Caribbean in Florida’s House of Representatives. Before her victory in the state election, Jamaican-born Rogers was one of six commissioners in the City of Lauderdale Lakes, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. Rogers has been a commissioner since 1996. She will now represent several cities in Broward County, Florida, the home of the largest population of Jamaicans in the South.
JAMAICAN PATOIS BIBLE TRANSLATOR VISITS LONDON—10/14/08
On a visit to London, Rev. Courtney Stewart, the General Secretary of the Bible Society of the West Indies and one of the pioneers of a new translation of the Bible into Jamaican patois, said, “Patois defines us. It is instinctively Jamaican.” To date, 40 percent of the New Testament has been translated into patois in draft form. The Bible Society, in partnership with the University of the West Indies, is also developing a writing system to put patois on paper for the first time. The 12-year-long project is the first official recognition of patois.
SIX JAMAICAN FIREFIGHTERS LEARN FROM FLORIDA COUNTERPARTS—10/15/08
Firefighting techniques are the newest export from South Florida to Jamaica. Six firefighter from the island took their classroom knowledge and used it in a 40-fout training container, which represented a real-life fire scenario. Teaching the Jamaicans were firefighters from Margate, North Lauderdale, and Coral Springs, Florida.
JAMAICA TO FACE MEXICO IN CRUCIAL WORLD CUP QUALIFIER—10/11/08
The Reggae Boyz of Jamaica have a new coach and a new belief that the home advantage will count in their match against Mexico. The match is a must-win contest in the World Cup qualifying games. Coach Theodore “Tappa” Whitemore and assistant coach Bradley Stewart have been preparing the Boyz for the make-or-break game at National Stadium.
BOLT AHEAD IN JAMAICAN NOMINATIONS FOR IAAF AWARDS—10/15/08Usain Bolt, who won three gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, is among three Jamaicans nominated by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for the 2008 Athlete of the Year awards. The other Jamaicans nominated were Veronica Campbell-Brown and Melaine Walker, both Olympic champions as well. The winners will be announced in Monaco at the IAAF World Athletics Gala on November 28.
REGGAE BOYZ CONTINUE ON ROAD TO WORLD CUP QUALIFICATION—10/16/08
The Reggae Boyz of Jamaica continued their effort to get into CONCACAF Group Two World Cup qualification by winning over Honduras 1-0 at the National Stadium. Luton Shelton scored the match’s single goal in the 16th minute, keeping Jamaica in third place but well positioned for the final semi-final round game versus Canada on November 19, 2008.
BARNES TO RELY HEAVILY ON WHITMORE—10/17/08
John Barnes is planning to depend on Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore, the interim football coach, when his time as Jamaica’s senior national football coach begins officially on November 1, 2008. Barnes says there will be “no major overhaul” of existing staff when he takes over, although he may decide to add one more coach. Barnes trusts Whitmore’s expertise and knowledge of the local game.
In my neighborhood is a fenced lot dotted with some fairly large holes, mounds of dirt, and some construction equipment. Among the other commercial buildings in the area, this plot of land is a bit of an eye sore and undoubtedly, were it to be left that way, the protests would be loud and many. In big bold letters however, were the words “Coming Soon”, and above it, an artist’s rendition of a beautiful structure showing what the finished product would look like. The holes in the ground were the start of a process, which, along with numerous construction activities over time, would eventually result in a building that complemented those around it.
As I drove past the lot, the Spirit of the Lord reminded me that the process for the believer is no different. Spiritually, there is not much about some of us that look like representatives of Christ. The world looks at us and scoff at our lack of appeal. Some point fingers at our mistakes, our failures, and often we struggle with seeing ourselves as children of God because we seem to fail Him so many times, in so many areas of our day to day lives. Yet it is worth remembering that we are under construction; a process that as long as we yearn for God and the things of God, He will continue to shape us to conform to the image of Christ.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote, “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears” (1:6, The Message). God will finish what He started. The way we are is not the finished product, but as with the artist’s rendering to remind us of what is to come, we look at Christ as representing what we will eventually be. It is no wonder Paul said to the Christians in Rome, “God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him” (Romans 8:29).
If you are nowhere close to what you should be in Christ, take heart. You are under construction, and God isn’t through with you yet. At times in the process you may seem “ugly”, but the finish will be beautiful. Yield yourself to Him, and allow Him to “Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ” (Hebrews 13:21, KJV). He can be trusted. As the Master Builder, He knows what He is doing.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.