JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending October 16th, 2009

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THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
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ELEPHANT MAN’S SHOW CANCELLED—10/10/09

Elephant Man, Jamaican dancehall artist, had to cancel his show in Toronto after promoters succumbed to protestors concerned about his controversial, homophobic song lyrics. Elephant Man, whose real name is O’Neal Bryan, saw his scheduled performance at Downsview canceled due to outage from gays.

JAMAICA WANTS FAITH-BASED TOURISM—10/11/09

In recent years, Jamaica’s Tourism Ministry has touted the island as the perfect setting for Christian-based events. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, commissioned a faith-based committee in 2008 to investigate the potential of this type of tourism for Jamaica. The committee is led by Reverend Al Miller and Bishop Herro Blair, who plan to target large churches in the U.S., UK, Europe, and Canada with the attractions of the island.

SONNY BRADSHAW DIES—10/12/09

Sonny Bradshaw, the legendary Jamaica band leader, died at the age of 83 in a London hospital. Bradshaw suffered complications of a stroke he had two months previous and had battled a heart condition for almost a decade.

SEAGA PLACES HOPES WITH HUMAN AND AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES—10/13/09

Edward Seaga, former Jamaican prime minister, believes that the nation’s economic hopes involve developing its human and agricultural assets. Seaga says that since most of the island’s earners experiencing an economic downturn, the two resources not fully developed represent the best potential.

NON-PERFORMING TEACHERS SHOULD BE DISMISSED, SAYS BENNETT—10/14/09

Hyacinth Bennett, Jamaican senator, believes that most of the teachers and principals in the country do their best to provide education for children “in trying circumstances.” However, she also believes that teachers who do “very little effective work” should be dismissed from their jobs.

IMF NOT SATISFIED WITH JOB REDUCTIONS—10/14/09

The International Monetary Fund has urged Jamaica’s government to implement reforms that would eliminate tax exemptions and incentives that cost the country over $150 billion in 2009 alone. While the IMF has called for “rationalization” of the public sector, which is likely to result in job losses, cutting staff will not be sufficient to close a $50 billion shortfall in the balance Jamaica must satisfy to make the IMF happy.

ORANE SIMPSON STABBED IN KINGSTON—10/15/09

Orane Simpson, Jamaica defender, was killed in Tivoli Gardens, Kingston, the area in which he grew up, said police. Simpson, 26, was stabbed in the neighborhood that was the first government housing project in Jamaica. Simpson had been a Jamaica International player since 2005.

GOLDING SAYS NO TO GAY MARRIAGES DURING HIS TERM—10/16/09

Jamaican prime minister Bruce Golding says that there will be no same-sex marriage in Jamaica on his watch. He insisted that the island’s parliament will not recognized such marriage while he is in office. Golding’s government is opposed to the recognition, legitimization, or acceptance of same-sex marriage or same-sex unions of any kind.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN SINGER SPOTLIGHTS H1N1 FLU IN A SONG—10/13/09

Mikey Jarrett, Jamaican-born singer based in New York, is focusing on the swine flu in song. With J.D. Smooth, Jarrett has released a new song called “Swine Flu.” Jarrett was born in Trench Town and says he is trying to education people about the flu through music.

TWO JAMAICAN FOODS ON SHORT LIST FOR WORLD FOOD AWARDS—10/15/09

Two products from Jamaica – Caribbean Food Delight’s patties and Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Jerk Sauce – was put on the short list as two of the best new food items at the inaugural World Food Awards in London, England. Caribbean Savouries Ltd. distributes the patties in the UK.

LA GRANGE JOHNSON RECEIVES AWARD—10/15/09

Former Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, Brenda La Grange Johnson, has receive the International Humanitarian Award for her success in raising funds for Jamaican nonprofit organizations involved in education, health care, and economic development. The award is given by the American Friends of Jamaica in the 28th Annual Hummingbird Gala in New York City.

JAMAICAN-OWNED FIRMS WIN AWARDS AT FLORIDA CONFERENCE—10/16/09

Three Jamaica-owned companies received recognition from the United States Department of Commerce Minority Business Enterprise Center. The firms were among the top-ten performing minority businesses in Florida. They included Patty King, Inc., McBayne’s Construction and Renovation, Inc., and LEASA Industries, Inc.

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SPORTS
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JOHN BARNES FIRED BY TRANMERE—10/10/09

John Barnes, Jamaican-born legendary player for Liverpool, was fired as manager of the Tranmere Rovers. Tranmere fired Barnes and assistant Jason McAteer after achieving only two league victories in 11 matches.

BURRELL WARNS ISSA—10/11/09

Captain Horace Burrell, Jamaica Football Federation president, has warned the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA) that it must pass measured to address the disturbances in recent times that involved spectators at school football matches.

JAMAICAN GOALIE SIGNED BY CALEDONIA AIA—10/13/09

Kevin Graham, Jamaican goalkeeper, has been signed by Caledonia AIA, along with Ryan Stewart, former national midfielder. The two were signed to play for the remaining portion of the 2009 football season. Caledonia is in second play in the Digicel Pro League points standing.

CAMPBELL-BROWN LEAVES LONG-TIME COACH—10/15/09

Jamaican athlete and double-Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown has reportedly split up with her long-time coach, Lance Brauman. Sources say the separation has occurred, but Campbell-Brown’s manager, Claude Bryan, would neither confirm or deny the rumor. 

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DEVOTIONAL
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A Time to Ponder
 
On the occasion of the angels announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, Luke tells us that the shepherds then proceeded to Bethlehem to “see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us” (2:15b, KJV).  He continues, “When they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart” (vv. 17-19).
 
I have always been intrigued by the last sentence.  Eugene Peterson paraphrases it beautifully, “Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself” (The Message).  The town was abuzz with the news that in the city of David a Saviour was born among them, which is Christ the Lord. However, though she was bestowed with the honor of being the mother of The One, Mary did not get caught up in the excitement but “kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”  It is worth noting that there are times when the Lord speaks to our hearts things that are not necessarily to be shared at the time.  Like the cow chewing its cud and repeatedly regurgitating and chewing, so it is that there are times when we need to meditate, ponder on, the things impressed in our hearts.  This can be challenging for some, especially in a time when people seem to take pride in professing “The Lord told me” as a sign of their spirituality, yet it is often prudent to simply hold some things deep within ourselves and allow God’s purpose to manifest itself in our lives.  When we allow God to do His work, the work often speaks for itself.  Confidence in God comes not from telling everything He speaks or impresses, but from the inner assurance that He speaks and that His every word is true.
 
In Isaiah 30:15 God told the Israelites, “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” and this word still holds true for us today.  Let us commit to praying for wisdom to know when to speak and when to ponder.  Our individual breakthroughs may just depend on it.

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.