JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending June 19th, 2009

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THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
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JAMAICA TO CHANGE SHOPPING LAWS—06/13/09 
Jamaica plans to alter the laws that regulate duty-free shopping in order to let travelers make purchases when they arrive at the island’s ports under the same terms as when they leave the island. The change will let tourists buy up to US$500 per person without the imposition of customs and excise duties.

MARLEY HILL RESIDENTS FEEL IGNORED BY REPRESENTATIVES—06/14/09
The residents at Marley Hill in south Manchester believe they are being ignored and neglected by those who promised to serve their interest. They are calling on authorities to respond to their demands, particularly the shortage of piped water in their community. Residents say they have lived without piped water for almost ten years and that nothing is being done to resolve the problem because of a long-standing feud between their member of parliament and the councilor for the area.

NEW TOURISM CAMPAIGN TO PUT KINGSTON ON THE MAP—06/15/09
Christopher Issa, the managing director of the Spanish Court Hotel and head of the Crissa Group, unveiled a boutique property and launched the “Kingston 360 Degrees” campaign to publicize the fact that Kingston has become a major tourist destination once again. Issa has opened the first major hotel to be built in the nation’s capital in 40 years.

FULLERTON FRAUD CONVICTION OVERTURNED—06/16/09
Nicole Ann Fullerton, who was the acting operations manager of Caldon Merchant Bank, was freed by the Jamaica Court of Appeal. Fullerton was out on bail pending the appeal of her fraud conviction and said she was relieved that the issue has finally ended. Fullerton was convicted in 2006 on three counts of defrauding depositor and businessman Colin Karjohn of some US$15 million. The court ruled, however, that she was not acting in a personal capacity when she invested Karjohn’s money for the Caldon Merchant Bank, which subsequently failed.

RULING PARTY RETAINS PARLIAMENT MAJORITY—06/17/09
The ruling party in Jamaica has retained its small majority in Parliament following a by-election prompted by the dual citizenship of a legislator. Gregory Mair, member of the Jamaica Labor Party, received over 6,000 votes and will represent the northeastern region of St. Catherine parish. Granville Valentine, member of the People’s National Party, received almost 3,700 votes. This means that the Jamaica Labor Party will keep its 32 to 28 seat majority.

REGULATORS TO PROTECT JAMAICAN CHILDREN FROM ADULT RADIO—06/17/09
The Broadcasting Commission plans to submit several recommendations relating to its desire for the Jamaican government to introduce new regulations to protect children on the island from adult content on the radio. The commission made its presentation to the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee of Parliament.

DEFENSE UPSET WITH CASE AGAINST JAMAICAN POLICE—06/18/09
K. Churchill Neita, who represents three policemen charged with the 2004 disappearance of Kemar Walters and Oliver Duncan, intends to file a complaint with the Police High Command about the “victimization” of these officers. Paul Edwards and Louis Lynch, police corporals, have been charged with murder. Assistant Superintendent Victor Barrett is charged with accessory after the fact to murder and perverting the course of justice. Neita says that senior police have told personnel of the Organized Crime Investigations Division not to attend court in support of their colleagues.

JAMAICAN TO GET FUNDS FOR INFLUENZA A—06/19/09
Jamaica will benefits from a grant of US$5 million from the Inter-American Development Bank for a program designed to support the prevention and control of the H1N1 pandemic and for the control and prevention of other infectious diseases in the area.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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GOVERNOR GENERAL KNIGHTED BY QUEEN ELIZABETH IN UK—06/13/09
Sir Patrick Linton Allen, Governor General of Jamaica, was knighted by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The pastor, former teacher, and leader of the West Indies Union of Seventh-day Adventists, urged Jamaicans living overseas to support his “I Believe” campaign to ensure a positive future.

UTA CELEBRATED IN GERMANY FOR UNUSUAL NAME—06/14/09
Uta Smith, a businesswoman of Montego Bay, received an all-expense-paid trip to Munich, Germany to participate in a festival celebrating her unusual first name. Uta means “I will praise God,” and for Germans, the name is a source of reverence because of its connection to one of the 12-century founders of the Namuburg Cathedral. German newspapers announced the arrival of the “Princess of Peace” as she accepted the invitation of the Lord Mayor of Namuburg to make a visit. Smith was among 250 ‘Utas” at the festival.

ALLEGED JAMAICAN DRUG TRAFFICKER ARRESTED IN RHODE ISLAND—06/16/09
State police in Rhode Island arrested an alleged Jamaican drug trafficker for possessing more than 50 pounds of marijuana and a .40-caliber Glock pistol. Arrested on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm while committing a crime of violence, and conspiracy was Orville G. Watson, 31, of Providence.

JAMAICANS CELEBRATE DIASPORA DAY—06/19/09
Jamaicans in Miami, Florida, along with all Jamaicans around the world, are encouraged to think about the reach of their Jamaican family on Jamaican Diaspora Day. In 2004, the first Jamaican Diaspora Conference was held in Kingston, Jamaica, with representatives from the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, as well as other nations worldwide. It was resolved then to recognize June 16 as Diaspora Day. The Jamaican government also adopted the observance of Jamaican Diaspora Day.

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SPORTS
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JUMPER WILLIAMS WINS TRIPLE JUMP FINAL—06/13/09
Kimberly Williams, Jamaican jumper who represents Florida State University, was the winner of the triple jump final at the NCAA Athletics Championship in Arkansas. She jumped 14.38 meters to finish as the top Jamaican individual at the championship. She claimed the long jump title earlier in the meet.

BOLT AIMS FOR UNDER-TEN SECONDS AT GOLDEN SPIKE MEET—06/16/09
Usain Bolt is planning to run the 100 meters in under 10 seconds for the first time in this season at the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Bolt ran the 100 in ten seconds in Toronto, and 14.35 in the 150 meters on a temporary street track in Manchester, England. Both of these races were held in wet weather and were the first for Bolt after foot surgery resulting from an auto accident. Since fine weather is predicted for the Golden Spike, and Bolt’s foot is healed, he thinks he can finish the 100 meters in less than 10 seconds, hoping for 9.8.

BOLT RUNS 100 METERS IN 9.77 SECONDS—06/17/09
Olympic champion Usain Bolt ran the 100 meters in 9.77 seconds at the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Bolt had a following wind that was just over the legal limit of two meters per second. Asafa Powell set the record for the Golden Spike in 2005 with 9.85 seconds. Powell’s record stands, since it occurred inside of the legal wind limit.

JAMAICAN BOBSLED FANS MUST BOOK ONLINE TO SEE OLYMPIC GAMES—06/18/09
Fans of the Jamaican bobsled team, which finished 14th in the 1994 Olympics in Norway, will have to book their tickets from CoSport.com online. This is the only authorized agent for the US Olympics. Ludus, official tour operator, will create tour and hotel packages for fans who want to watch the Olympic Bobsleigh events in Whistler, Canada. 

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DEVOTIONAL
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Are You Walking Alone?

“And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” (Ex 33:15, KJV).

To the spirit filled believer, the presence of God means everything. The thought of being somewhere or in any situation where this Presence does not abide is not one that is entertained. Yet in our everyday lives, we often make the mistake of proceeding without making sure that we remain in the presence, and in the will, of God. Decisions seem to be made on the basis of our own evaluation. We often pretend as if we cannot bother our Heavenly Father with the routine things of our lives, choosing instead to take matters into our own hands. More times than not, we fail miserably in our own efforts.

In our reference text, Moses made it clear to God that unless He was prepared to go with them, He should not carry them anywhere! Having being chosen by God to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, he would refuse to go anywhere without the abiding presence of the Almighty. What is interesting here is that in the preceding verse, God had already assured Moses that His presence would go with him. The man of God however sought the confirmation of the Creator that this would be the case. If not, “carry us not up hence.”

Today’s believer is also assured of God’s abiding presence. In Hebrews 13:5b we are reminded of the promise “I (God) will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” We however need to bear in mind that the holy presence of God cannot go, and will not abide, any and everywhere. In the face of Israel’s transgressions resulting from their resolve to walk in their own way, the Holy One said “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face.” (Hosea 5:15). Seeing it is possible to proceed without God’s presence, and outside of His will, it is imperative that as believers we seek to ensure that wherever we go, and whatever we are involved in, God is there.

As we go about our daily lives, the spirit-filled Christian resolves to be led by the Spirit of God. A picture on my wall reminds me constantly that “God’s will never lead me where His grace cannot protect me.” As we walk what seems like a fine line, such a Christian can, and will know the mind of God providing we remain in submission to the Spirit. There is no point taking a job that pays quite a lot if it is in an area where the presence of God would not dwell. There is no point in marrying someone, regardless of what they bring to “the table”, if the presence of God will not abide in that union. The only place we can find fullness of joy is whenever we are in the presence of God. David reaffirmed this when he said, “In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forever more.” (Psalm 17:15)

As you live your life I challenge you to do it differently, bearing in mind that if God’s presence does not go with you there is no point in going anywhere. Purpose in your heart to say as Moses did, “If thy presence go not with me, carry (me) not up hence.” God will watch over those who place themselves in His care. Is that where you are? 

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.