JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending July 10th, 2009

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THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
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AIR JAMAICA MAY HAVE NEW OWNER—07/04/09
In its second attempt at privatization, Air Jamaica is most likely to become a discount carrier. Investors in Spirit Airlines – Oaktree, Capital, and Indigo Partners – are expected to align operations to extend Spirit’s reach in the Caribbean. If the government approves the sale, it will relieve the treasury of a $100 million yearly deficit. The debt of $650 million will remain, however.

RULE-BASED TRADE IN SINGLE MARKET REQUIRED, SAYS GOLDING—07/04/09
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding believes that trade must be rule-based in a single market and not dependent on exporters using government authorities to sort out problems. Golding says Jamaica must be able to send goods to Trinidad, Barbados, or Antigua as easily as goods can be sent from place to place within the country.

PNP CHAIRMAN’S ABILITIES QUESTIONED—07/05/09
A divide has developed in the People’s National Party (PNP) over whether Bobby Pickersgill, its long-time chairman, is suited and capable of alleviating the internal conflicts of the organization. Some PNP members view Pickersgill as ineffective at a time when the party needs a major overhaul.

18 CULINARY WORKERS ON THEIR WAY TO CANADA—07/06/09
Eighteen Jamaicans have left the island for Canada to participate in a training program lasting eight months at Red River College, in Manitoba, Canada. Pearnel Charles, Minister of Labor and Social Security, urged the workers to be serious about the opportunities the program presents them.

JAMAICA TAKES STEPS TO END CHILD PORNOGRAPHY—07/07/09
Jamaica has moved closer to creating legislation that will confront the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Senator Dorothy Lightbourne, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, tabled the Child Pornography (Prevention) Bill in Parliament. This bill notes that the island has no existing law to specifically address child pornography as a separate criminal offence.

FIRST CONFIRMED H1N1 DEATH ON ISLAND—07/08/09
Jamaica’s Ministry of Health has confirmed reports of the first death on the island due to the H1N1 flu virus. A young man was transferred from the Spanish Town Hospital and died at University Hospital in St. Andrew. Rudyard Spencer, Jamaica’s Health Minister, has requested a review of the circumstances of the death by doctors.

GOVERNMENT INCREASES EFFORTS TO GET YOUTH INTO FARMING—07/09/09
The Jamaican government plans to enhance its efforts to encourage young people to become involved with farming. In 2008, the government introduced the Youth in Agriculture initiative, which is designed to encourage people up to 30 years of age to become “agro-entrepreneurs.” This program will be expanded to include additional young people in 2009.

JAMAICAN POLICE ARREST SIX IN DRUGS-FOR-GUNS DEAL—07/10/09
The Jamaican police report the confiscation of over 400 pounds of marijuana and the arrest of six individuals in connection with an international drugs-for-guns exchange. Six men were arrested when the drug was found on a boat on its way to Haiti. According to Jamaican police, fishermen often transport homegrown marijuana to Haiti, returning with firearms, including revolvers and sub machine guns.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN WOMAN DEPORTED FROM ANTIGUA—07/04/09
Samantha Tanya Peart, a Jamaican woman, was forced to leave her children behind when she was deported from Antigua for overstaying her immigration permit by nine years. Peart was reprimanded by St. John’s Magistrate Court before receiving her deportation order. Her two children have birth certificates showing Antiguan nationality.

JAMAICANS IN UK CONDEMN TELEVISION PROGRAM—07/06/09 
In the United Kingdom, members of the Jamaican community have issued condemnations of a television program entitled “The Secret Caribbean.” They say the program, which they believe to be riddled with inaccuracies and erroneous statistics, presented a distorted and negative view of Jamaica.

JAMAICAN MUSICAL PRODUCTION ON TAP FOR SOUTH FLORIDA—07/09/09
The popular musical “Harder They Come” will be performed for the first time in North America at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in August 2009. The production is based on the first feature-length Jamaican film of the same name. The North American debut of the production follows record-breaking performances in London. The musical has a cast of 22 and features all Jamaican-born actors.

FUTURE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE SLATED—07/10/09
According to Dr. Ronald Robinson, Jamaican Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Future Leadership Jamaican Diaspora Conference, which will be held in August 2009, will give Jamaican youth in the Diaspora to contribute to the island’s development, while continuing to network with their counterparts locally and overseas.

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SPORTS
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POWELL AND STEWART WIN AT BISLET GAMES IN NORWAY—07/04/09
Asafa Powell, former world record holder in the 100 meters, was victorious in the men’s 100-meter competition at the Golden League Bislet Games in Oslo, Norway. He won with a time of 10.07 seconds. Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart won the women’s 100-meter race with a time of 10.99 seconds.

HEAD OF IFNA NOT OPTIMISTIC ABOUT OLYMPIC CHANCES—07/05/09
Molly Rhone, a Jamaican and the president of the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA), is not optimistic about the chances that netball will be added to the Olympic sports roster for the 2012 and 2016 games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is scheduled to meet later in 2009 to discuss the issue. Rhone does not expect the sport to be included even in 2020, in spite of an increase in the number of countries that play netball.

BOLT READY TO BREAK MORE RECORDS—07/06/09
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s triple Olympic champion runner, will run in the 200 meters at the Athletissima race Lausanne, Switzerland. Bolt, 22, says this race will be a test of his ability to beat the records he set in the 100 meters and 200 meters in Beijing in 2008. He is also setting his sights on beating the record of Michael Johnson in the 400 meters, a record that has stood for 10 years.

BOLT WINS IN LAUSANNE—07/07/09
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt won the 200-meter race at the Athletissima meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, with a time of 19.59 seconds, the fourth-fastest time in history. The triple Olympic champion defied the cold weather and wet track to run the 200 meters just 0.01 slower than Tyson Gay ran it in May in good weather with the wind at his back. 

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DEVOTIONAL
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Setting Your Sail

In his account of Paul’s journey to Rome, Luke tells of a brewing storm, a very strong wind blowing down from the island of Crete (Acts 27:14).  He continues, “It hit the ship, and since it was impossible to keep the ship headed into the wind, we gave up trying and let it be carried along by the wind. We got some shelter when we passed to the south of the little island of Cauda. There, with some difficulty we managed to make the ship’s boat secure. They pulled it aboard and then fastened some ropes tight around the ship. They were afraid that they might run into the sandbanks off the coast of Libya, so they lowered the sail and let the ship be carried by the wind” (vv. 15-17, GNB).

The last phrase is crucial; in light of the circumstances, “they lowered the sail and let the ship be carried by the wind.”  In that sentence is a profound truth – the setting of the sail determines the direction in which the ship goes. This truth is carried over into life in that it is our response to the situations around us that determines the effectiveness of our lives.  In her poem, ‘Tis the Set of the Sail, Ella Wheeler-Wilcox writes, “But to every man there openeth / A high way and a low / And every mind decideth that way his soul shall go / One ship sails East and another West / By the self-same winds that blow / ‘Tis the set of the sails and not the gales / That tells the way we go / Like the winds of the sea / And the waves of time / As we journey along through life / ‘Tis the set of the soul / That determines the goal / And not the calm or the strife.”

We do not have to be victims of our circumstances.  Regardless of what we face, the winds of life that are blowing, we decide how we set our sails.  What will our response and attitude be in the face of hurts, provocations, trying times, discouragements, to name a few?  Remember, ’tis the set of the sails and not the gales (winds) that tells the way we go.  Given the winds blowing where you are, have your checked your sails lately?

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.