JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending May 22nd, 2009

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THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
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FARMER INJURED DURING ROBBERY DIES—05/16/09
Ansel Jones, 73, also known as “Doc,” was shot during a robbery at his home in the Farm Pen district of Westmoreland. Awakened by strange noises in his home, Jones was shot when he went to investigate. The robbers took $9,000 from Jones’ wife before leaving. Mr. Jones was taken to Sav-La-Mar Hospital and transferred to Kingston Public Hospital where he died.

JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT DISCUSSING BAUXITE PLANT RE-OPENING—05/17/09
The Jamaican government is in talks with stakeholders overseas to determine the fate of three bauxite plants on the island that have seen their operations reduced.

DESIGNERS FROM 50 NAATIONS TO MEET IN KINGSTON—05/17/09
In June 2009, some 50 designers from 20 countries will come to Kingston to participate in a six-day fashion event, the ninth Caribbean Fashionweek (CFW). The event includes performances by international stars and will provide a picture of the multi-billion-dollar worldwide fashion industry.

AUTHORITIES SEIZE POUNDS OF DRUGS AT MONTEGO BAY AIRPORT—05/18/09
Jamaican authorities at Montego Bay Airport report seizing 165 pounds of cocaine and 175 pounds of compressed marijuana. The drugs were discovered in two suitcases that were left unclaimed on a luggage cart at Sangster International, one of the two major airports, said Sgt. Jubert Llewellyn. No arrests have been made as yet.

COSTA RICA TOUTS ITS BENEFITS FOR JAMAICAN INVESTORS—05/19/09
Marco Vinicio Ruiz, Foreign Trade Minister of Costa Rica, says his country’s diverse economy allows it to keep unemployment rates low. The Minister is extolling the benefits of a free trade agreement signed with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and noted its positive indications for Jamaican investors interested in Costa Rica. Ruiz says his country is “very open” and already has an international business sector.

GOLDING CRITICAL OF CONTRABAND SEARCH—05/20/09
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has criticized contraband agents for their actions in searching a plane in which a former premier and representatives of the Digicel company were traveling. Jamaican agents searched the plane, which had been chartered by Digicel, after it landed in Kingston, saying they had reason to believe drugs were on board. Former Prime Minister P.J. Paterson was on board the plane as a company consultant.

CASE OF JAMAICAN HIJACKER POSTPONED—05/21/09
The case against Stephen Fray, a 21-year-old Jamaican who attempted to hijack a Canadian jet in Montego Bay and took 182 passengers hostage, has been delayed for two weeks. Preparations for the case were not finished, according to Fray’s lawyer who said an ordered psychiatric evaluation was not ready. Fray was placed in police custody after the court determined that several statements had not been delivered as well, postponing the case to June 3.

GOVERNMENT TO RECEIVE AID FROM MICROSOFT CORPORATION—05/22/09
The Microsoft Corporation will provide Jamaica with software to help its police track missing children. The software, called the Child Abducting Tracking System, has an estimated value of J$18 million (US$200,000). Microsoft will also provide training to the Jamaica police force in how to use the software, and the firm will also be responsible for upgrading the equipment to run it.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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DESIGNER WITH JAMAICAN ROOTS VOTED ONE OF BEST IN UK—05/17/09
A British designer of Jamaican heritage, Georgina Harley-Smith, was named one of the top talents in the United Kingdom by Courvoisier The Future 500. This is an exclusive network for up and coming stars in the UK. Five hundred entrepreneurs were named in the fall of 2008, and the top 100 were chosen as the “most exciting “ talents in their respective categories.

BOB MARLEY HAD FAMILY TIES TO NORTH DEVON IN THE UK—05/20/09
The closest living British relative of Jamaican music legend Bob Marley is Carole Tovey, 66, (born Carole Marley) who lives in North Devon in the United Kingdom. Tovey and Bob Marley share a great-grandfather. It has been well documented that the musician was the son of a white Jamaican of British-born heritage, Norval Marley. Tovey was unaware of her relationship to Marley until visited by The Times of London, which informed her of the information.

ROLLINS HONORED BY AMERICAN FRIENDS OF JAMAICA—05/21/09
Mrs. Michele Rollins, a philanthropist and businesswoman, has received the 2009 International Humanitarian Award from the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) in Miami, Florida. Rollins was honored for her role in strengthening Jamaica’s tourist industry and her philanthropy toward the island’s people.

SOCIAL NETWORK LAUNCHED BY LARGEST ONLINE JAMAICAN COMMUNITY—05/22/09
Jamaicans.com, the largest Jamaican community website on the Internet, has introduced a new social networking feature, which is meant to link Jamaicans, friends of Jamaica, and others interested in the same ideas. Jamaicans.com has operated from Ft. Lauderdale in Florida since 1996 and now offers features comparable to sites like Facebook and MySpace. Xavier Murphy, CEO and president of Jamaicans.com, says his goal has always been to “offer a combination of content, community, and personalization.”

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SPORTS
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BOLT BELIEVES HE CAN BEAT HIS OWN RECORD—05/16/09
Usain Bolt, Olympic gold medalist, believes he can beat his own 100-meter record. Bolt, 22, says he thinks he can run the 100 meters in about 9.50 seconds. Bolt is recovering from injuries suffered in a car crash. His ultimate goal for 2009 is the world championship track and field meet in Berlin, Germany.

BOLT WINS 150-METER STREET RACE—05/17/09
Usain Bolt ran the fastest 150-meters in the world during a wet street sprint in Manchester, England, marking his return to track and field after foot surgery for injuries suffered in an automobile crash in Jamaica. Bolt ran down the main street in Manchester at 14.35 seconds, breaking the 12-year record set by Donovan Bailey, which totaled 14.99 seconds. Bolt’s last 100 meters was run in 8.72 seconds, much faster than his world record of 9.96 seconds at the Olympics in 2008.

MULLINGS RUNS 400 METERS IN 44.98 SECONDS—05/19/09
Dwight Mullings, a former athlete at St. Jago High, ran a personal best of 44.98 seconds in the 400 meters to finish second in the men’s event at the SEC Outdoor Championships in Gainesville, Florida. Mullings’ time means he is the sixth ranked athlete in the world in the 400 meters.

IAAF PRESIDENT REMINDS BOLT OF HIS RESPONSIBILITY—05/21/09
Lamine Diack, president of the IAAF, wants to remind Usain Bolt, triple Olympic gold medal winner, of the responsibility he has as a champion. According to Diack, he has talked with Bolt, 22, about the pressures he would face after his wins at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Diack believes Bolt has a “major responsibility” because he is a “major star.”

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DEVOTIONAL
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Baring the Soul

When was the last time you told God how you really felt?  Not the last time you spoke to Him, but the last time you bared your soul and told Him exactly how you felt?  It seems every time someone is asked “How are you?”, a “I am fine” or something similar is guaranteed.  We have become very good at masking our feelings, our innerselves, and unfortunately we take that into our relationship with God as well.  Sure we talk to Him at different times but how many of those prayers were petitions for things on our laundry list of needs?  If we didn’t have physical and/or material needs that we have to rely on Him to meet, would we find a reason to talk to God?

These thoughts came to mind as I read David’s cry, “Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak” (Psalm 6:2a, KJV), and it occurred to me that we could just as easily substitute a number of words in place of “weak”.  For starters, how about “worried”, “frustrated”, “angry”, “discouraged”, “fearful”, “troubled”, “overwhelmed”, “heartbroken”?  For some of us, these are emotions that often go unacknowledged in our prayer times because we fail to realize and appreciate that God cares about how we feel.  This is even more important in these challenging economic times when despite our best intentions we find ourselves troubled by life’s uncertainties.  However, regardless of whatever emotions we experience, we can rest assured that “As parents feel for their children, GOD feels for those who fear [H]im.  He knows us inside and out, keeps in mind that we’re made of mud” (Psalm 103:13-14, The Message).  In other words, nothing about what we feel or the way we feel will surprises Him.

Someone may ask: “If nothing surprises Him why do we need to tell Him still?”  One of the characteristics of functional relationships is vulnerability, the state of being vulnerable or exposed.  In our natural relationships we want the people we care about to “expose” themselves to us when they are having those valley experiences that seem to sap their mental, emotional, and physical resources.  Truth be told, we are hurt if they do not trust us enough to share those difficult times.  It is that same kind of open relationship that God desires to have with us; one in which we trust Him enough to tell Him not only what is going on with us, but exactly how we feel.

From personal experience I can assure you that there is no greater balm for the soul than to bare our soul to the one who invites us to do so.  The next time you speak with your Father, why not give it a try? 

CEW

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CREDITS/SOURCES
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The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.