JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending June 5th, 2009

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THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
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JAMAICAN SCHOOL RENOVATED BY AMERICAN SERVICEMEN—05/30/09
Several officers from the United States Army finished renovating the Bull Bay all Age School in Western St. Thomas. The servicemen paved a walkway, repaired the bathroom water system, installed new toilets, painted parts of the school, and revamped the kitchen. All the repairs were completed in two weeks.

GOLDING TO GO AFTER PNP MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT—05/31/09
Since the People’s National Party (PNP) refused to cooperate with the governing Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), Bruce Golding, Jamaican Prime Minister, decided to go after opposition parliament members Ian Hayles and Sharon Hay-Webster. Golding told attorneys representing the JLP to file constitutional motions against the two members in regard to the issue of foreign citizenship.

SECURITY MINISTER MAKES POLITICAL GAFF—06/01/09
Dwight Nelson, Jamaican security minister, was forced to withdraw a remark he made concerning people killed by the police. According to his initial statement, Nelson said that those killed by police can be considered as “collateral damage” during crime-fighting efforts. Nelson made the remark in a talk to Jamaica’s police federation.

JAMAICAN ANNOUNCES FIRST SWINE FLU CASES—06/01/09
The first cases of H1N1 flu, also known as swine flu, have been reported. The report makes Jamaica the fourth nation in the Caribbean to confirm the presence of the flu virus. According to Marion Bullock-Ducasse, spokeswoman for the Jamaican Health Ministry, laboratory tests indicate that two Jamaicans contracted the virus during visits to New York City. These individuals have since recovered from the illness. An additional nine flu cases were reported.

WOMEN FARMERS JOIN IN SUPPORT—06/02/09
In Dumfries, St. Thomas, a group of women farmers have decided to join in order to provide support to one another. The Dumfries Farmers’ Group comprises 33 members, chiefly women, who cooperatively work on each others’ farms. They have also joined with a similar organization in Leith Hall to provide more workers for each farm. The women sell their produce at any market and operate a barter system in their community.

JAMAICAN BROTHERS HELD FOR NARCOTICS CRIMES—06/03/09
Roger Dean Folkes, 38, and Romeo Anthony Folkes, 26, were apprehended by Jamaican police on charges related to drug smuggling. The brothers are said to belong to an organization that shipped drugs from Jamaica and St. Lucia to the United States. Police in the U.S. requested the brothers be taken into custody by the Fugitive Apprehension Team (FAT).

JAMAICAN POLICE LOSE JOBS FOR LINKS TO LOTTERY SCAM—06/04/09
Ten Jamaican police officers were fired on suspicion of being involved in lottery scams that stole over $30 million from Americans in 2008. The police officers stand accused of recruiting a civilian to pose as an officer as part of the crime, according to Hardley Lewin, Police Commissioner. The officers will not face criminal charges.

JAMAICA HAS WELCOMED CUBA BACK INTO THE OAS—06/05/09
Dr. Kenneth Baugh, Jamaica’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, shared the response of CARICOM with the 39th General Assembly of the Organization of American States in Honduras regarding the return of Cuba to the Inter-American system. Cuba’s participation in the OAS was suspended in 1962. Jamaica and CARICOM welcomed the decision of the organization to rescind the suspension.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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WOMEN”S STORIES TO BENEFIT KINGSTON SCHOOL—05/31/09
Author and performer Marcia Douglas will share her “Natural Herstory, Voices of Jamaican Women” on June 5, 2009 in Boulder, Colorado, in order to benefit Balmagie Primary School in Kingston, Jamaica. The school needs books, computers, and basic supplies. It serves a depressed area of Kingston.

JAMAICANS IN US DIASPORA SUPPORT TRELAWNY STADIUM PROPOSAL—06/01/09
Jamaicans in the United States Diaspora have indicated their support for a proposal to for the University of Technology to operate the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium as its western campus. Support was given at the Trelawny Business and Investment Symposium in New York. The meeting was organized by the Friends of Trelawny Association and resolved to ask authorities to lobby the government for approval of the proposal.

JAMAICAN DIASPORA CANADA TO HOST SUMMIT ON FUTURE LEADERS—06/02/09
The Future Leaders group of Jamaican Diaspora Canada will hold the third annual summit meeting on June 5, 2009. The theme of the summit will be “The Business of Culture.” It is open to all Jamaicans, aged 18 to 34 and will act as a precursor to the Global Jamaican Diaspora Future Leaders Conference in Kingston, Jamaica, August 3 and 8, 2009.

JAMAICAN TO PRESENT REPORT IN GENEVA—06/03/09
Jamaica’s National Report on progress in meeting eight goals established under the United Nations Millennium Development Goals program will be presented at the UN Economic and Social Council Annual Ministerial Review in Geneva, Switzerland, in July 2009. The report was compiled jointly by the Planning Institute of Jamaica and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. It addresses key issues of national and regional importance.

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SPORTS
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PRO SURFING CONTEST DRAWING TOP ATHLETES TO JAMAICA—05/30/09
Jamaica’s premiere professional surfing event, the Suzuki Makka Pro contest, will take place July 4 and 5 at the Makka surfing beach in Southaven St. Thomas. The 2009 contest is the first time the island will host the region’s top professional surfers. The surfers will be competing for more than J$500,000 in prize money.

JAMAICAN SPRINTERS UPSTAGED AT REEBOK MEET—05/31/09
Tyson Gay, the 200-meter world champion, was at the top of his game at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York. Asafa Powell, Jamaica’s former 100-meter world record holder, came in seventh. Yohan Blake, national junior 100-meter record holder, was the only Jamaican to win at the meet. He took the top spot in the men’s B 100-meter race, clocking 10.20 seconds.

JAMAICANS TO BE MEMBERS OF WORLD NETBALL TEAM—06/02/09
Romelda Aiken, Althea Byfield, and Simone Forbes have received invitations to participate in a World Netball team scheduled to tour New Zealand and Australia late in 2009 for a four-match series. The three Jamaicans will join other international players from around the world in the series.

BOLT WILL NOT TRY FOR TRIPLE GOLD—06/04/09
Usain Bolt says he will not attempt to win triple gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. According to Bolt, he never actually said that he would try for triple gold, since it would take a lot of work and very hard training. Bolt said it was possible he would combine the 100/200 or 200/400 meter events.

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DEVOTIONAL
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Mustard Seed Faith

In Mark 11:22-24 Jesus said to His disciples, “Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”  That seems relatively easy to do, yet for countless Christians the exercise of faith is quite the struggle.

How much faith does it take to believe that God will do for us the things He has promised in His Word? It is not unusual to hear people talk about not having enough faith, neither is it unusual to others praying for increased faith.  In the case of the latter, I have often wondered: if they can activate their faith to believe for increased faith, why not use the faith they already have to believe that the things they have asked for they will receive?  In Luke 17:5 we see the disciples having the same problem.  As Jesus taught them about forgiveness they said unto Him, “Increase our faith”, to which Jesus replied, “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you” (v.6).

Commentator Albert Barnes tells us, “The seeds of this tree were remarkably small, so that they, with the great size of the plant, were an apt illustration of the … nature of faith.”  As the large sycamine tree came from the small mustard seed, so the exercise of our faith, though it seems small, can accomplish great things.  The good news is that every believer has a deposit of faith on the inside. Paul reminds us, “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3), and as we note Jesus’ response to the disciples request for more faith, we realize that all we need to do is to exercise the amount we already have.

We can rest assured that we do not need a trailer load of faith to believe God will do as He promise.  It is true that the more we exercise faith the “easier” it becomes to believe, but we have to start somewhere.  What better place to start than with what we have been given?  Remember, no matter how big the challenges in front of you, ALL things are possible to those who believe (Mark 9:23).  I really like the “all things”; how about you?

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.