THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
LABOR MINISTER CALLS FOR MORATORIUM ON LAYOFFS—02/28/09
Pearnel Charles, Jamaica’s Minister of Labor, has called for a halt on job layoffs, proposing several alternatives. One alternative is a reduction in workdays and hours for employees. Charles made his suggestions after meeting with members of Jamaica’s trade unions and employer representatives.
PRIEST SAYS JAMAICA SHOULD REJECT ‘BLOOD MONEY’—03/01/09
Jamaican legislators have faced considerable debate surrounding the proposed legalization of abortion. Richard Ho Lung, founder of the Missionaries of the Poor, has urged the government to reject monetary aid from international agencies if they require the legalization of abortion or homosexuality to obtain the funds. Ho Lung has called such aid “blood money.”
NEW GOVERNOR GENERAL FOR JAMAICA—03/02/09
Patrick Linton Allen has been named Jamaica’s sixth governor general since the nation became independent of Britain in 1962. The office of governor general is chiefly a symbolic position, which represents the interests of the Queen of England.
CHINA TO SPEND BILLIONS IN JAMAICA—03/02/09
China is becoming one of the best friends of the Latin American and Caribbean region. It plans to provide a billion-dollar loan and aid to the nations in the region. According to Xi Jinping, China’s vice-president, China plans to announce its aid packages in the next few weeks.
JAMAICA WILL HOST MEETING OF HEMISPHERIC PARLIAMENTARIANS—03/03/09
Jamaica is slated to be the host of the next meeting of the executive committee of the Parliamentary Confederation of the Americas (COPA). This organization links the democratic Parliaments in the Americas.
GOLDING FIRM ON SODOMY LAW—03/04/09
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding says the government will not yield to pressure from individuals, organizations, or foreign countries that attempt to make Jamaica liberalize the laws related to “buggery.” Golding made his remarks during a debate on a new sexual offense law designed to fight rape and child abuse.
STEWART FEELS HE IS HATED FOR DOING HIS JOB—03/05/09
Police Superintendent Ezra Stewart may be one of the most hated people in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). Stewart, a 32-year veteran of the JCF, has laid claim to bringing in the highest number of corrupted police since joining the force. Over the past 15 years, Stewart has arrested almost two dozen police personnel.
SUTHERLAND HONORED POSTHUMOUSLY—03/06/09
Robert Southerland, the first known black university student and graduate in Canada, and the first known attorney of color in British North America, receive posthumous honors from Queen’s University, his alma mater. The University has named a building on its campus after Sutherland, who died in 1878 at the age of 48.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
FORMER BOXING CHAMPION SCORES KNOCKOUT—03/01/09
Glen Johnson, former world light-heavyweight boxing champion from Jamaica, won easily over the American Daniel Judah in a non-title 10-round match held in Hollywood, Florida. Johnson, 42, is ranked second in the world by the World Boxing Council (WBC), avenging a controversial draw decision in a fight with Judah in 2003.
CIBT TO EXPAND HOSPITALITY AND HOTEL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS—03/03/09
The CIBT Education Group Inc. has announced that its subsidiary, Sprott-Shaw Community College, has made an agreement with the Ministry of Training and Social Security in Jamaica to provide hospitality and tourism training to Jamaican students in partnership with the island’s government. The program will include studies at the college’s Kelowna campus, practicum studies in Vancouver, and self-directed learning over the Internet.
REGGAE STAR VISITS BULGARIA—03/04/09
Warrior King, a world-renowned reggae musician, has been invited to play in celebration of the fifth anniversary of Zionlionz Soundsystem. Warrior King says his music is meant to raise the spirit and soul in a positive way. The event, “Reggaelight Your Mind,” is designed to unite musicians from several nations.
SOUTH FLORIDA JAMAICANS REMINDED OF POSITIVE CONTRIBUTIONS—03/06/09
Consul General Sandra Grant Griffiths says that as Jamaicans continue to rise above their troubled history, they continue to excel and create new heroes. Grant Griffiths made her remarks at the “Voices of Jamaica” reception in North Miami. The reception was hosted by the Jamaica USA Chamber of Commerce and was held to celebrate Black History Month.
JAMAICA IN CONTROL AT WICM REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP—02/28/09
Jamaica, which is defending its championship, remains in a good position to take first-innings point versus the Leeward Islands. The Jamaicans are ahead in the championship standings overall at the WICB Regional Four-day Championship Match at Sabina Park.
POWELL TAKES FOURTH-PLACE FINISH—03/01/09
Asafa Powell ran the 400-meters more than one second faster than his personal best time, but he only attained fourth place in the single-circuit Sydney Track Classic. Powell, who once held the world record for the 100-meter race, competed in the single-circuit event to prepare for his attempt to regain the title of world’s fastest man.
JAMAICAN MUSHER FINISHES RACE OF 1,000 MILES IN YUKON—03/02/09
Newton Marshall, a former horseback-riding guide, is the first Jamaican and the first black man to participate in the Yukon Quest dog race in Alaska. Marshall finished in 13th place in what has been called the most difficult dogsled race in the world. Marshall, 25, was born in St. Ann and saw his first snow just two years ago.
SEASON STARTS FOR BOLT ON MARCH 14—03/04/09
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s world record holder, will begin his 100-meter racing season in Jamaica in March. He then plans to race in at least six other international settings before the world championship matches in August 2009. His first 100-meter race will take place in Spanish Town, Jamaica.
Alive and Stinking No more
When Jesus stood before Lazarus’ tomb and asked for the stone to be removed, we can only imagine how shocked the crowd must have been. For sure Jesus had lost it, and just in case He was overtaken with grief and had some momentary lapse, Lazarus’ sister Martha was quick to reminded him, “Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days” (John 11:39, KJV). Ah, the stench. Martha’s claim was legitimate because after 4 days in the grave, the body was in a state of decomposition and its smell would have been very foul. However, that did not stop Jesus who was intent on demonstrating the glory of God (v.40). We know how the narrative ended. They rolled the stone away, Jesus called Lazarus by name, and “he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go” (v.44).
There must have been a wave of emotion on the part of those watching; shock, bewilderment, tears, laughter, and possible relief. But nowhere in the narrative was concern about the smell mentioned again. In the presence of Jesus, and the resurrected Lazarus, it was a non-issue. A stinking smell was representative of something that was dead; Lazarus was alive! The power and glory of God was revealed.
In this story is a snapshot of ourselves. Dead in sin, and stink to the core, God was nevertheless determined to bring us back to spiritual life. Jesus, sent by the Father, came to sin stained earth, not as a spectator, but that through His obedience we “might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b). He ignored the stench, called us by name, and God “who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us … quickened us together with Christ, … raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-7).
Alive and stench-free! God called us out of our stink and funk to sit in heavenly places with Him. That’s more than enough for me to shout and rejoice over. How about you? I believe today is as good a time as any to give God some praise.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.