THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
POLICE KILL THREE GUNMEN IN ST. ELIZABETH—08/15/09
The police in St. Elizabeth participated in a gun battle with about nine gunmen in Lacovia during an early morning shoot-out. Three of the gunmen were shot and killed, and 27 live rounds as well as two AK-47s were confiscated. Only one of the dead gunmen has been identified. He was Alric Green, alias “Bulla,” “Scar Face,” and “Bun Up.” He was 35 and lived in Lacovia.
BOOKSELLERS DISCUSS PRICE HIKES—08/16/09
Local book distributors say that they are not to blame for the huge increases in the price of schoolbooks. A study by the Consumer Affairs Commission found that price differences of hundreds of dollars might accrue to some school texts. The survey also found that Jamaicans could save money by shopping around for the best price before buying.
JAMAICAN CREDIT UNION CREATES MICROFINANCE MODEL—08/17/09
The St. Thomas Cooperative Credit Union has begun a series of consultations to obtain recommendations and technical advice from parish stakeholders concerning the creation of a sustainable micro-finance loan model that would be indigenous to the area.
GOLDING PRAISES BOLT—08/17/09
Bruce Golding, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, congratulated Usain Bolt on setting a record in the 100 meters at the World Championship in Berlin. Golding called Bolt’s win “another proud moment for Jamaica” and another indication that Jamaicans “can succeed at whatever we put our hearts to.” Bolt broke his own record with a time of 9.58 seconds.
VATICAN DAILY PAPER PRAISES BOLT’S VICTORY IN 100 METER RACE—08/18/09
The daily newspaper of the Vatican, L’Osservatore Romano, called the performance of Usain Bolt in the 100-meter race at the World Championships in Berlin “outstanding.” Bolt’s time of 9.58 seconds broke his own previous world record of 9.69 seconds in the 100. The paper noted that it took the athlete only “41 steps to reach 100 meters” in that time.
ISLAND OUTPOST TO EXPAND IN JAMAICA—08/19/09
The group of hotels and villas known in Jamaica as the Island Outpost has started to expand its GoldenEye resort. An official groundbreaking was held on August 14, 2009 to inaugurate Phase One of the development, scheduled for completion at the end of 2010.
IMF’S DEAL WITH JAMAICA REQUIRED TO AVOID FINANCIAL DEFAULT—08/20/09
The Jamaican government is negotiating an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to obtain financial stability, fiscal consolidation, and reduce external liquidity pressures. Jamaican needs $1.2 billion from the IMF to avoid financial default arising from the island’s current precarious financial situation.
FORBES QUITS MINISTRY POST—08/21/09
Marcia Forbes has left her position as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mining. Forbes resigned, effectively immediately, after serving in this role for 11 months. She will be reassigned to the Office of the Prime Minister as part of the government’s intention to shuffle top-level officials in the Ministry. Forbes will act as director general of information and telecommunications.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN RECEIVES LIFE-SAVING CANADIAN VISA—08/17/09
Roger Phillip Ebanks, diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2007 when he was working as an agricultural worker at Niagara-on-the-Lake fruit farm, received a Canadian visa that will permit him to stay in Canada past the expiry date of his work permit so that he may receive treatment for his cancer. Ebanks, 60, has worked at the farm for almost 27 years.
BIRMINGHAM PRAISED FOR SECURING JAMAICAN OLYMPIC TRAINING CAMP—08/20/09
Lord Coe, head of the London Olympic Games, praised Birmingham in the United Kingdom for securing the Jamaican and United States athletes training camps for the 2012 Olympics.
JAMAICAN ART ON EXHIBIT IN FLORIDA—08/21/09
Some 30 art pieces by three Jamaican artists are on exhibit at the South Broward Regional Library in Pembroke Pines, Florida. These artists are Jerry Craig, Vaughn Tucker, and Corrine Wakeland, and the exhibit is part of the celebration of Jamaica’s 47th anniversary of independence. Through various events, the celebration is occurring throughout South Florida.
GRACE KENNEDY USA SIGNS ON AS SPONSOR OF JAMAICAN JERK FESTIVAL—08/21/09
The biggest Caribbean food festival in South Florida has joined with Grace Kennedy USA Inc. to develop the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, scheduled for November 8, 2009 at Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida. Patrons will be able to sample Caribbean foods from Grace Kennedy at the festival.
BOLT BREAK 100-METER WORLD RECORD—08/16/09
Usain Bolt, Jamaican Olympic champion, won the men’s 100-meter race at the IAAF Athletics World Championships in Berlin. Bolt break his own record of 9.69 seconds in the 100 meters, which he set at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with a time of 9.58 seconds.
FRASER VICTORIOUS IN WORLD 100 METERS—08/17/09
Shelly-Ann Fraser, Olympic champion, won the women’s 100-meter race at the World Champions, defeating teammate Jamaican Kerron Stewart for the victory. Fraser’s win gave Jamaican its second gold medal in the sprints.
JAMAICAN ATHLETES IN DOPING CASE CAN RUN AT CHAMPIONSHIPS—08/18/09
Five Jamaican athletes who had been cleared on a provisional basis in a doping case are eligible to run in the World Championships in Berlin. Because the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission will not rule on their fate until after the games end, they can compete in the world games, says Pierre Weiss, secretary general of the IAAF.
BOLT WINS 200 METERS IN BERLIN—08/19/09
Usain Bolt easily made it to the second round of the 200 meters at the World Championships in Berlin, Germany. Bolt, 22, cruised through his heat to victory to win a place in the second round, clocking 20.70 seconds.
Longing After God
When David decided to write what we know as Psalm 42, I believe in his mind was a picture of a tired and thirsty deer. Hunted for meat and sport, the speed of the deer was crucial to his survival. As a speedy animal, its moments of thirst is characterized by a panting, a longing, a condition that is only satisfied when it finds and drinks from the object of its search – the water brook.
As the Psalmist reflected upon the longing in his soul, he realized it was no different than that of the thirsty and panting deer. He writes, “As the [deer] panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” (vv. 1-2). This is not unlike the longing we feel when we are separated from those we love; the longing to experience the joy and comfort of being in their presence. As long as we are in that state, nothing else really matters. In context, David was banished to the land of Jordan away from the the courts of the temple and as such was deprived from serving in, and receiving the comforts of being in, the temple. In exile, his soul longed for God and the joys of going into His courts with praise.
It is one thing to love God but something different to long after Him. There are times when God place us in positions where our soul cries out for after Him. As Bible Scholar Matthew Henry writes, “If God, by [H]is grace, has wrought in us sincere and earnest desires towards [H]im, we may take comfort from these when we want those ravishing delights we have sometimes had in God, because lamenting after God is as sure an evidence that we love [H]im as rejoicing in God.” The soul cannot truly lament after that which it does not love. David knew the joys of being in the presence of his God and when he no longer had that, his soul was restless; he could not be satisfied. Like the thirsty deer, he longed for the refreshing restoration that came with drinking from the fountain of living water.
In our world of mixed-up priorities, what is it that your soul longs for? If not for God and the things of God, could it be that your priorities are misplaced?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.