THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
BAUXITIE FIRM TO CUT 150 JOBS—01/17/09
St. Ann Bauxite Limited, a Jamaican bauxite company, plans to reduce its workforce by 150 due to the worldwide financial crisis and a decrease in demand for bauxite and alumina. The job cuts represent 20 percent of the firm’s workforce. Alumina Partners of Jamaica has also announced that it will lay off 250 workers in Jamaica for the same reasons.
DEVELOPMENT BANK TO PERFORM SECOND STUDY—01/18/09
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) plans to spend US$60,000 to perform a study complementing continuing work on a project designed to determine the feasibility of introducing agricultural insurance in Jamaica. The study will review existing laws and regulations to see if they can be used to facilitate a parametric insurance product. The study will last for six months.
TOURIST BOARD, AIR JAMAICA JOIN FOR WINTER RESCURE PROMOTION—01/19/09
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is collaborating with Air Jamaica, the national airline, to give people in New York a chance to win a tropical vacation on the island. The promotion encourages individuals to find taxis that carry special Jamaican advertisements in January. Once a cab is spotted, individuals in New York can log onto a radio website, say when and where they saw the cab, and enter the sweepstakes. The winner will receive a free trip to Jamaica’s Riu Palace Tropical Bay.
WORLD BANK APPROVES LOAN TO JAMAICA—01/20/09
The Board of Directors at the World Bank has approved a loan to Jamaica totaling US$100 million. The Fiscal and Debt Sustainability Development Policy Loan will provide support for a wide range of measures designed to control overall public sector monies, enhance the efficiency of financial management and budget processes, and increase the fairness and efficiency of Jamaica’s tax system.
JAMAICAN BROADCASTING COMMISSION WANTS ELECTRONIC MEDIA RULES—01/21/09
Cordell Green, the executive director of the Jamaican Broadcasting Commission, has praised the electronic media firms on the island that are taking disciplinary action against workers who breach broadcast regulations. Green believes, however, that much more should be done. He cites “systemic and management weaknesses” and recommends more scrutiny of the candidates selected as broadcaster, as well as improved training for these individuals.
JAMAICAN SENT TO PRISON FOR RAPE IN UK—01/22/09
Peter Delisser, 36, has been convicted of rape by the Bristol Crown Court in the United Kingdom and will serve five and a half years in prison for the offense. Delisser was convicted of bigamy in 2001 and previously deported, but he returned to the United Kingdom using false names.
MEDICAL WORKERS IN MANDEVILLE RETURN TO JOBS—01/22/09
Employees at the Accident and Emergency Department of the Mandeville Regional Hospital in Manchester have returned to work. The employees, who include physicians and nurses, walked off the job to protest the poor working conditions at the medical facility. In particular, they cited overcrowding as a problem. They returned to their jobs after meeting the Rudyard Spencer, Health Minister.
TRIAL FOR KERN SPENCER SET FOR JUNE 22—01/23/09
Kern Spencer, the Member of Parliament for North East St. Elizabeth, will be tried In connection with the Cuban light-bulb scandal in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court on June 22, 3009. Spencer and Colleen Wright, his companion, will be the only ones facing criminal charges on that date. Defense attorneys had attempted to postpone the trial, but were unsuccessful
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN-BORN STUDENT GETS INVITATION TO INAUGURATION—01/17/09
John-Henry Noel Marley, 15, is a Jamaican-born student living in Tampa, Florida. The high-achieving student at King High School participates in the school’s International Baccalaureate Program (IBP) and was one of several students chosen by the United States Congressional Youth Leadership Council and National Your Leadership Forum for an invitation to go to the historic U.S. presidential inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington, D.C.
JAMAICAN LESBIAN POET TO READ WORKS IN MIAMI—01/19/09
Staceyann Chin, a well-known lesbian poet from Jamaica, has read her poetry on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and will also share her works at Speak Out, a program for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender teenagers sponsored by Tigertail Productions. Chin, who is of Jamaican and Chinese descent, co-wrote and co-starred in the Russell Simmons Def Poetry show on Broadway in New York.
JAMAICAN DEPORTED FROM U.S. TRIED TO ENTER AGAIN—01/21/09
Winston Anthony Cargill, 46, is a convicted felon and Jamaican citizen who had been deported from the United States a decade ago. Cargill attempted to enter the U.S. again by presenting a passport having the name of Alfonso Dickerson. He now faces federal charges, according to Customs and Border Patrol Protection authorities. He has been charged with making a false claim to citizenship for claiming birth in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Other charges include illegal reentry after deportation and misuse of a passport.
JAMAICAN CONSUL GENERAL IN NY SEEKS SUPPORT—01/22/09
Jamaica’s Consul General to New York, Geneive, Brown Metzger, spoke to Bostonians of Jamaican descent about how they can support the economy of the island. Two key elements are the promotion of new business ventures in Jamaica and promoting the island as a vacation destination. Greater investment in Jamaican means more opportunities for its people, says John Wilcox of the Jamaica Tourist Board.
JAMAICANS RATED AT THE TOP IN 2008 TRACK AND FIELD—01/19/09
Shelly Ann Fraser and Veronica Campbell-Brown were at the top of the ranking of the 2008 Track and Field News edition of the Women’s World rankings. Fraser, an Olympic champion, headed the list of Jamaicans for being the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic title in the 100 meters. Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson were also among the top four in the ranking.
RAIN STALLS JAMAICA AT WICB—01/20/09
The champion Jamaica team dominated Trinidad and Tobago during a brief stint at playing on the second day at the WICB Regional Four-Day cricket match. The match was called off at 4:30 PM on account of rain. The bad weather also impacted the first day of the tournament, causing a loss of two hours and 38 minutes of play.
BURRELL FULLY BACKS UNDER-20 MEN’S TEAM—01/21/09
The head of the Jamaica Football Federation, Captain Horace Burrell, has promised to do all he can to help the Under-20 men’s team obtain what they need to qualify for the FIFA Youth World Cup, scheduled in Egypt during September and October of 2009. Burrell says that negotiations have already started with several countries for practice matches for the team in advance of their final CONCACAF qualifying games in Trinidad and Tobago in March.
JAMAICAN SKIER DOES WELL IN LAKE PLACID WORLD CUP—01/22/09
Errol Kerr, Jamaica’s national skier, qualified second at the Lake Placid Ski Cross World Cup. He finished behind the Cup leader Andreas Matt of Austria. Kerr decided to represent Jamaica, where his father was born, instead of the United States in the Cup. Kerr finished 1/100 of a second ahead of former U.S. downhill champion Daron Rahives.
For the Glory of God
Lazarus of Bethany was sick, and his sisters Mary and Martha had sent an interesting message to Jesus to let Him know. According to Luke’s gospel the message was simply, “Lord, behold he whom thou lovest is sick” (11:3, KJV), and without even being told a name, Jesus not only knew exactly who it was, but He also knew the exact nature of the illness. There are many profound truths in the realization of that truth, but for our purposes we note Jesus’ immediate response – “When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (v.4).
In a time when Christians are tempted to think that their walk with Christ should be characterized by material blessings and a life free of illnesses and difficulties, Jesus’ statement is a sobering reminder of our place in the unfolding of the plan of God. While we see and judge things from our human perspective, God sees and judges them from His divine perspective. Through the prophet Isaiah He declared, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (55:8), or as The Message paraphrases it, “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” Neither the sisters, nor Lazarus, knew of the workings of God in their circumstances, but through the sickness, God would be glorified.
This is great encouragement for the believer. Because the steps of those who are in right standing with the Lord are ordered by Him (Psalm 37:23), the events in our lives are not by chance or coincidence but are opportunities for God to demonstrate His glory through us. Paul got a hold of this truth when in writing about God’s denial of His request to remove his thorn in the flesh, he told the brethren, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Instead of complaining when things do not seem to be going right from our vintage point, let us keep in mind that God is at work in our lives. The events of Job’s life seemed all out of control, yet God was in control. So it was with him, so it is with us. As Sovereign God, He can orchestrate events that are designed for no other purpose than to bring Him glory, and for Him to demonstrate that glory in our sphere of influence. “Lord, as difficult as this situation seems, let your will be done in my life, and may you be glorified through it. For in my moments of weakness your grace makes me strong. I yield me and my life, all for your glory.” Isn’t that a good way to pray?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.