THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
PNP UPSET AT GOLDING REMARKS—08/01/09
The People’s National Party (PNP), the Opposition, is shocked and disappointed at statements made by Prime Minister Bruce Golding, the head of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP). Golding accused the Opposition party of reneging on an agreement in which it would not contest the North West Clarendon seat, which had been held by Michael Stern. According to Robert Pickergill, chairman of the PNP, no such agreement had been made.
HEALTH MINISTRY TO INVESTIGATE PAYMENTS TO HEALTH WORKERS—08/02/09
Jamaica’s Ministry of Health plans an investigation into allegations of abuse and mismanagement of an approved on-call payment facility designed to compensate public health nurses for extra work performed during the 2006 malaria outbreak. About $1 billion was paid under the special payment arrangement “long after” the spread of the disease had been controlled. And some payments had been made to public health nurses who had not handled a single malaria case.
POLICEMAN KILLED BY GUNMEN, SON WOUNDED—08/03/09
Anthony Simpson, 56, an off-duty Jamaican police officer was shot and killed, and his adult son was wounded, during an incident in which gunmen riddled their automobile with bullets. Simpson was shot several times by three gunmen in rural Westmoreland. His son was in the hospital in stable condition. The reason for the shooting is still unknown, and no arrests have been made.
JAMAICAN WANTS STRONGER RELATIONSHIP WITH VENEZUELA—08/03/09
Jamaica’s government would like to have stronger ties with the government of Venezuela in the light of growing energy costs and its search for less expensive sources of energy. Bruce Golding, Jamaican Prime Minister, plans to encourage stronger cooperation between the two nations during the visit to Jamaica of Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez.
DRUG PLANE CRASHES: TWO DEAD, FOUR MEN IN CUSTODY—08/04/09
A twin-engine plan, which is believed to have been on a drug mission, crashed on a private road in Jamaica. The road is owned by Windalco Bauxite Company and located near the resort town of Ocho Rios. Two occupants of the plan were killed. Police report having information that the plane was scheduled to pick up a shipment of compressed ganja. Four men were in custody after some 2,000 pounds of the drug was found in their vehicle.
CRACKED WINDSHIELD CAUSES ABORTED AIR JAMAICA FLIGHT—08/05/09
An Air Jamaica plane on its way to New York was forced to return to Kingston after a crack appeared on its windshield. The flight left Norman Manley International Airport and was flying in Cuban air space when the crack was discovered. According to Bruce Nobles, president and CEO of Air Jamaica, there was no emergency, and no one was at risk. The situation was not unusual, he said, noting that the same thing happened three times in 2008.
MORRIS RECOGNIZED FOR WORK WITH ORDER OF MERIT—08/06/09
Mervyn Morris, professor and lecturer at the University of the West Indies, has been awarded the 2009 Order of Merit, Jamaica’s third highest honor. Morris is recognized for his contribution to the field of West Indian literature and will receive his award in October on National Heroes Day.
JAMAICA ADOPTING STANDARDS FOR FOOD SAFETY—08/07/09
Dr. David Lowe, the new head of Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Agro-Investment Corporation, stated that several initiatives are underway to ensure food safety standards and facilitate global trade in Jamaican foods. Among these is the creation of the Jamaica Import/Export Inspection Center, which combines seven regulatory agencies responsible for the safety of food.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
CANADA LOOKING FOR SUPPORT FROM JAMAICA FOR PAN-AM 2015—08/02/09
Sports officials in Canada want Jamaica’s support in their country’s bid to host the Pan Am Games in 2015. David Peterson, former Premier of Ontario and the Chairman of the Toronto bid, is leading the call, noting that both Jamaica and Canada have shared a strong relationship and that the island’s support would be welcomed.
JAMAICAN TEENAGER TO PUBLISH SECOND NOVEL IN USA—08/03/09
Jesu Mills, 17, has lived in the United States for most of his life, but he considers Jamaica his home. The Jamaican teen is one of several active young novelists being published in the U.S. His first book, “Singers Undercover,” is currently on sale there, while his second novel will be available in 2010.
JAMAICAN-AMERICAN LOSES CHANCE AT BEING FOOD NETWORK STAR—08/04/09
Jamika Pessoa, 30, a Jamaican-American born to Jamaican parents, lost her bid to win the title of “The Next Food Network Star” after making the final four. Pessoa is a personal chef in Atlanta, Georgia.
SOUTH FLORIDA JAMAICANS CELEBRATE EMANCIPATION—08/07/09
Reverend Dr. Merrick “Al” Miller, the pastor of the Fellowship Tabernacle in Kingston, has called on Jamaicans in the Diaspora to be more actively involved in creating a “new Jamaica.” Miller made his remarks to some 1,300 Jamaicans who attended the yearly Ecumenical service commemorating Jamaica’s 47th anniversary of independence in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
BOLT’S GROUP HAS TWO OF FIVE ATHLETES TESTING POSITIVE—08/01/09
Glen Mills, Usain Bolt’s coach, trained two of the five athletes from Jamaica who tested positive for taking the banned drug methylxanthine at recent track championships. Yohan Blake, who was ranked fifth in the world 100-meters for 2009, is a member of Bolt’s Track Club, as is Marvin Anderson. Both face the threat of being banned from the sport for a long period.
CAMPBELL CONTEMPLATING WORLD CUP—08/02/09
Courtney Campbell, 40-year-old Jamaican referee, is seriously considering his chances at participating in the World Cup after his success at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which was held in the United States. With his work in the final between the USA and Mexico, Campbell was the first Jamaican to complete such a task.
JAMAICAN ATHLETES THREATENED—08/03/09
The Jamaican athletes who received positive drug tests at the National Championships in June 2009 have received threats. The five athletes tested positive for the use of a banned stimulant. The location of their court hearing is being kept secret because of concerns for their safety, which has been threatened by fans of track and field sports. It is unclear if there were death threats.
SPRINTER BROOKS CLEARED OF DOPING CHARGE—08/06/09
Sheri-Ann Brooks, Jamaican sprinter, and one of five athletes testing positive for a banned stimulant at the national championships in June 2009, has been cleared to participate in the world championships after an “irregularity” was found in the test of her second sample. Brooks was cleared after a disciplinary hearing, according to Jamaican anti-doping authorities.
Speaking Gracious Words
“It’s only words.” Have you heard that statement before? Stated with good intent, the speaker seeks to soften the impact of words spoken. In one way or another we can all bear witness to the fact that the school yard taunt, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me” is not quite true. Words are powerful. Author Nan S. Russell writes, “Poorly chosen words can kill enthusiasm, impact self-esteem, lower expectations and hold people back. Well chosen ones can motivate, offer hope, create vision, impact thinking and alter results.”
Christians are not immune from using poorly chosen words. At one point or another we have spoken or received words tainted with sarcasm, irritation, anger or frustration; words packing quite an emotional punch. Intentionally or unintentionally, we have been hurt by the words of others and we have hurt others with our words. In addressing the use of words among Christians in the early church, Paul writes, “Let your word be always with grace, having been seasoned with salt, to know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6, Literal Translation). Salt not only preserves but in right amounts, makes our food tasteful. The goal at all times is for our words to be edifying and pleasing. Eugene Peterson paraphrases the verse, “Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out” (The Message). There is no ambiguity as to our responsibility to choose our words wisely and carefully.
Solomon, the wisest of men, observes, “The right word at the right time–beautiful!” and goes on further to say, “The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry” (Proverbs 15:23; 25:11, The Message). Even when stating truth, we are not at liberty to do so irresponsibly but rather to do so “in love” (Ephesians 4:15). By ourselves we are prone to get it wrong every time, but with the power of the Holy Spirit we can speak our words with grace at all times regardless of circumstances. He stands ready to help all those who ask it of Him.
How do you speak to those around you? How about those at home? Are your words spiced with grace?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.