JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending September 25th, 2009

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THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
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JAMAICAN AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY PROMOTES LOCAL FOODS—09/19/09
Senator Norman Grant, president of the Kingston and St. Andrew branch association of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), says that the organization’s “Eat Jamaican” campaign has contributed in a major way to the increase in agricultural production on the island since 2008. Excluding a disaster, agricultural production could be ten percent higher in 2009 than in 2008, according to Grant, who notes this would represent a significant recovery from Hurricane Gustav.

PNP NEEDS TO CHANGE, SAYS PATTERSON—09/20/09
The People’s National Party, which has been in existence for 71 years, must “rebuild and repackage” if it wants to survive, says P.J. Patterson, the party’s only surviving former president. Patterson says the party must not lose faith, but must renew its energy and purpose.

JAEVION NELSON WINS CHEVENING SCHOLARSHIP—09/21/09
Jaevion Nelson has received the Chevening Scholarship from the British Council. Nelson attended primary schools in York Town and Mineral Heights, then Clarendon College and the University of the West Indies. He received a Bachelor of Science honors degree in management studies. He is also involved with organizations that address issues of sexual and reproductive rights, violence prevention, and community development. Until recently, he worked for the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network.

CHINESE FIRM OFFERS BOLT US$100 MILLION CONTRACT—09/22/09
A Chinese company has reportedly offered Jamaican Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt a five-year contract valued at US$100 million. The firm may also permit Bolt to spin off his own division of the company. Bolt currently receives about US$1.5 million per year from sporting goods maker Puma AG.

FINANCE MINISTER SAYS JAMAICA NOT SLOW ON IMF NEGOTIATIONS—09/23/09
Jamaica’s Finance Minister Audley Shaw denies claims by the Opposition that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is unhappy with the pace of the government’s handling of negotiations for a loan of US$1.2 billion.

JAMAICA COURTING CANADIAN FILMMAKERS—09/24/09
Over 150 films are shot in Jamaica every year, and the organization Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI) wants Canadian filmmakers to add even more films to that total. JTI representatives met with filmmakers at a trade networking reception in Toronto to inform them of the incentives available through JTI’s Creative Industries Unit.

GOVERNMENT WANTS US$168,000 FOR ATHLETE CELEBRATION—09/24/09
Jamaica’s government is attempting to raise money to stage a three-day celebration for the athletes who participated in the Berlin World Championships. Daryl Vaz, minister responsible for information, the budget of J$15 million (about US$168,549) is below the J$110 million spent on the Olympics celebration in 2008.

JAMAICAN FOUND GUILTY IN JETLINER HIJACKING—09/25/09
Stephen Fray, 21, has been found guilty of charges that include robbery and assault in connection with his hijacking of a Canadian airliner at the Montego Bay airport. Fray was accused of firing a gun into the air, stealing money from the 167 passengers on board, and demanding that the plane take him away from Jamaica. Police arrested Fray after a standoff of six hours.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN NATIONALS PLED INNOCENT IN MURDER TRIAL—09/21/09
Three Jamaican nationals have pled not guilty to the murder of Dorcas Rhule, also a Jamaican national, in Little Dix Hill, East End, British Virgin Islands. Andrew “Ratty” Milton, Dennis “Soupy” Campbell, and George O’Connor are charged with throwing Rhule from her fourth-floor apartment during an argument. The three men also claimed innocence to a charge of conspiring to murder Kerrian Ebanks, Milton’s sister, in 2006.

AMBASSADOR TO PARTICIPATE IN GLOBAL AGRICULTURE CONFERENCE—09/22/09
Anthony Johnson, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, will participate in a Food Security Conference in October 2009. The conference will be held in Washington, D.C. Ambassador Johnson believes there is a need for Jamaica to build capacity in its agricultural sector in order to enhance food security and income for people living in rural areas.

JAMAICAN POET WINS EMMY FOR PROJECT ON HIV—09/23/09
Dr. Kwame Dawes, poet-in-residence at the University of South Carolina, has received an Emmy Award for his Web-based HIV project, “Hope: Living & Loving with HIV in Jamaica.” Dawes accepted his News & Documentary award at a ceremony at Lincoln Center in New York City. The project was inspired by several trips to Jamaica in which Dawes learned and wrote about how HIV/AIDS impacts his home country.

JAMAICAN DIASPORA CONFERENCE SCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER—09/25/09
The Jamaican Diaspora United States Inaugural Conference will be held October 2-4, 2009, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The U.S. Jamaican community will host the first Conference of Diaspora representatives held in the continental USA. The Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board and the Embassy of Jamaica will sponsor the Conference.

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SPORTS
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JAMAICAN BOBSLED VIDEOGAME TO APPEAR IN 2010—09/19/09
Fans of Jamaica’s bobsled team will have a chance to try their hand at the only Jamaican bobsled videogame in the world. Sled Shred will be available for the Wii videogame system in early 2010. The game offers several sled vehicles, including inner tubes and toboggans, and over ten wintry courses. The Wii Balance Board accessory will be supported to give the total sledding experience.

BOLT WELCOMED AS PART OF ATHLETE DELEGATION—09/20/09
Usain Bolt, who holds the world record for both the 100-meter and 200 meter sprints, is a member of a delegation of Jamaican athletes and administrators visiting Antigua. Bolt and the rest of the delegation were met by Antigua’s Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack.

JARRETT WINS LONG JUMP EVENT IN PEDRO CUP—09/21/09
Jamaican Jovanee Jarrett was victorious in the Long Jump event competition at the Pedro Cup International Track and Field. Jarrett jumped 6.39 meters to defeat Ksenija Balta of Estonia, who finished second with a jump of 6.28 meters. Jarrett is a professional long jumper from Hanover and a graduate of St. Hago High School and Auburn University.

TRACK CLUB CONSIDERS LEGAL ACTION AGAINST MUSCLE SPEED MAKER—09/25/09
Racers Track Club is thinking about pursuing legal action against the maker of Muscle Speed, the banned supplement at the center of the doping scandal that has resulted in a three-month ban for two club members. The president of the club, Glen Mills, is Usain Bolt’s coach. Mills says the club has obtained the services of an American legal firm to investigate the issue. At the time the club bought Muscle Speed, the supplement’s label indicated that it was compliant with standards of the World Anti-doping Agency.

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DEVOTIONAL
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A Lifestyle of Praise
 
When was the last time you really praised the Lord?  Not the ritualistic kind that some people do simply because a worship leader or minister asked us to “lift your hands and praise the Lord”, but simply because something deep inside compelled you to do so?  Truth be known, there are so many distractions around us at times that taking time to praise the Lord can get lost in the shuffle.  Yet for the child of God there should be no greater delight than praising our Lord for whom He is and all He has done. 
 
The Psalmist David opens Psalm 150 with the words, “Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness” (NIV), and concludes that chapter with the charge, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD” (v.6).  In Psalm 34:1 he writes, “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (KJV), or as Eugene Peterson paraphrases it, “I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise” (The Message).
 
Two important phrases “jump out” at us from that text: “I will” and “at all times.”  First is the decision to praise, and to praise at all times.  Praising God is not dependent on our state of mind, or how things are around us.  Whether stuck in traffic, doing piles of laundry, cleaning our homes, reconciling our finances (especially when the bank balance is not to our liking), mowing the lawn, or whatever activity we are engaged in, we should be praising the Lord. 
 
What’s in it for us?  Knowing that the Lord inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3), we are assured of His intimate presence when we praise Him in spirit and in truth. So whether you clap your hands or wave them high, dance or stand still and cry, shout for joy or make no noise at all, whatever you do, just praise.  For when the praises go up, the blessings are sure to come down. 
 
Why not make it your business to praise the Lord at all times?

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.