THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
EMPLOYEE OF AIR JAMAICA ALLEGED TO STEAL $70 MILLION—03/07/09
According to Fitz Bailey, head of the Organized Crime Investigation Division (OCID), a junior employee at Air Jamaica has reportedly absconded with over $70 million of the national carrier’s money. A team of local and international authorities, including Jamaica’s Constabulary Force, is investigating the fraudulent transfer of the money to a foreign account.
4 KILLED IN MONTEGO BAY NIGHTCLUB—03/08/09
Four people were killed and another four were wounded when shots were fired at the dance floor of a crowded nightclub in Montego Bay. According to Maurice Robinson, police superintendent, five gunmen came into the club and started randomly shooting at patrons. It is believed the shooting was gang-related. No arrests have been made as yet.
JAMAICAN RANKS 96 of 180 NATIONS IN CORRUPTION—03/09/09
According to Transparency International’s 2008 Corruption Perception Index, only Guyana, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic rank lower than Jamaica in the group’s ranking of countries in the region. Jamaica dropped from 61 to 84 between 2006 and 2007, and in 2008, fell to 96. Jamaica received only four of a possible ten in the ranking system.
MINISTER OF LABOR CITES U.S. REQUESTS FOR FARM LABOR—03/10/09
Pearnel Charles, Jamaica’s Minister of Labor and Social Security, reports that American companies have asked for 5,000 Jamaicans to fill jobs on farms in the overseas employment program. Charles noted that the program plans to send 200 workers per week to the U.S. between March and August 2009.
TEACHERS ESTABLISH SCHOOL WELFARE COMMITTEE—03/11/09
Carol Jennings-Smith, Jacquelin Greenland, and Curline Christie, teachers at St. Andrew Technical High School, have joined with other educators to create a school welfare committee. The committee will raise money to be applied to the school’s breakfast program and to buy shoes for needy students.
JAMAICA NOT A HAVEN FOR DRUGS—03/12/09
The mayor of Kingston, Jamaica, Desmond McKenzie, says that it is not true that Jamaica is a drug haven and defended the island as being a law-abiding nation. McKenzie cited the perception of some countries abroad that every Jamaican uses an ounce of marijuana every day. “This is not so,” says McKenzie, making his remarks at the International Drug Treatment City Partnership Conference in St. James.
JAMAICA TO RECEIVE CONTINUED SUPPORT FROM EUROPE—03/12/09
In spite of the global economic crisis, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchie Alemanni, head of the European Commission’s delegation to Jamaica, has provided assurance that Europe will continue to give total support and continued aid to the island. Alemanni said that the EU is committed to continuing its assistance to Jamaica.
ROBERT SUTHERLAND ON TRACK FOR HONORS IN OCTOBER 2009—03/13/09
Robert Sutherland, a Jamaican and the first known black university student and graduate in Canada, could be given posthumous honors in his home country at the National Honors and Awards ceremony. Sutherland was also the first know lawyer of color in British North America. He attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, between 1849 and 1852, winning 14 academic prizes and graduating with honors in math and classics.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
IMMIGRATION CASE DECISION MAY IMPACT OTHERS IN U.S.—03/07/09
Osserritta Robinson, the Jamaican widow of a United States citizen, was denied a green card application by immigration officials in New Jersey because she and her husband had been married only eight months and not the two years required by law. Appeals have been filed, and advocacy group Surviving Spouses Against Deportation states that 170 widows and widowers may be deported because their citizen husbands and wives died before two years of marriage had passed.
JAMAICAN WOMAN HONORED WITH PLAQUE IN LONDON—03/09/09
Una Marson was born in Jamaica in 1905 and became the first black female program maker and broadcaster at the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) in the United Kingdom. She joined the BBC in 1939 and worked on a program called “Calling West Indies.” A plaque to honor her has been installed in Brunswick Square, Camberwell, near a house where Ms. Marson lived.
JAMAICAN AUTHOR INTRODUCES NOVEL IN WASHINGTON, D.C.—03/12/09
Jamaican writer Marlon James launched his second novel in Washington, D.C. The novel, “The Book of Night Women,” covers the grim oppressiveness of slavery as told from the perspective of a woman. The book focuses on a type of slavery that existed in the West Indies, but ultimately ends with the victory of freedom.
HALL NAMED NATIONAL SUPERINTENDENT OF 2009—03/13/09
Dr. Beverly L. Hall has been named Superintendent of the Year for 2009 by the American Association of School Administrators. This is the highest professional honor given to K-12 school administrators. Hall was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the U.S. after high school. She received a doctoral degree from Fordham University. She is a nationally recognized educator and chairs the Urban Superintendents Program Advisory Board at Harvard University. She is also a member of the board of the Urban Education Research Task Force of the U.S. Department of Education.
TRACK LEADER PROPOSES U.S./JAMAICA COMPETITION—03/07/09
Doug Logan, head of USA Track & Field, has proposed a “showdown” between American and Jamaican sprinters in the spring of 2009. The proposal attempts to build on a rivalry spurred by the Jamaicans’ outstanding performance at the Olympics in Beijing in 2008. Logan took his idea to Neville McCook of the Jamaican Amateur Athletic Association, proposing a “mini-meet” in each country.
BOLT TO RACE IN TORONTO IN SUMMER OF 2009—03/08/09
Ricky Simms, Usain Bolt’s agent, has confirmed that Bolt will race in Toronto, Canada at the Toronto Festival of Excellence on June 11, 2009. Bolt will compete in the 100 meters. Simms noted that Bolt is happy to participate in the newly forged meet, which will provide Jamaicans living in Canada the chance to see him compete.
JAMAICAN DEFEATS TRINIDAD & TOBAGO—03/10/09
Eight wickets between them, fast bowler Andrew Richardson and left-arm spinner Nikita Miller, lead Jamaica to a 124-run victory over Trinidad & Tobago in the ninth-round WICB Regional four-day competition at Alpart Sports Club in St. Elizabeth.
YOUNG REGGAE BOYZ FAIL TO SECURE PLACE IN FIFA FINALS—03/12/09
Jamaica’s Young Reggae Boyz lost 4-0 to Honduras, failing to win a place in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup Finals. Their defeat eliminated them from competition at the preliminary stage of the Finals. The Finals will be held from September 24 to October 16, 2009, in Egypt.
Always On Time
When Jesus received news of Lazarus’ illness, John was careful to note that “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, but oddly, when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed on where he was for two more days” (11:5-6, The Message). Finally declaring Lazarus to be dead, He then proceeded with His disciples to Bethany “only a couple of miles away” – exactly fifteen furlongs (v.18, KJV) or approximately two miles – but somehow by the time Jesus got there, Lazarus had already been buried for four days! Jesus’ delay seem orchestrated for a reason. Earlier He had said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (v.4), and again when Martha pointed out why the stone could not be moved from the grave, He reminded her, “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” (v.40).
Obviously, Jesus’ delay was deliberate, as was John’s emphasis on the four days Lazarus was dead, but why was this significant? Back in the day the rabbis taught that resurrection of the dead was only possible within the first three days after death, and it was only the Messiah that could resurrect anyone that had been dead longer. Lazarus’ resurrection was for the glory of God and the glorification of the Son, and so as Jesus called he who was dead by name and he came forth from the grave, it would affirm what Martha had confessed of Him,”thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world” (v.27).
During the course of His friend’s illness and subsequent death, for those looking on, Jesus was detached. Some even protested, “Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?” (v.37). Little did they know that God had something greater in mind, and for the most part, we are much like them. We look at our individual circumstances and feel that God has fallen asleep on us, or has lost our address, yet nothing could be further from the truth. In every situation He is in control, and if we believe, despite the evidence, we too shall see the glory of God. It is important to understand however, that all of this happens in God’s time. His timing and purposes will not be hindered by our wishes for the immediate. The resurrection of Lazarus would do far more to advance the purposes of God, and the glorification of both the Father and the Son than his healing could.
Be encouraged; nothing is over until God through Christ says it’s over. Equally important, He is never late. What we consider late, dead and buried is His playground, and it is in those situations that His glory is best displayed. Lest we forget, everything is all for His glory. Do you have the faith to trust Him?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.