JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending October 23rd, 2009

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THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
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GUNMEN ON SPREE IN ROCKFORT—10/17/09

Rockfort residents in east Kingston are recovering after a gang  feud escalated in violence. While there were no injuries in the feud, at least five families are homeless after their houses were set on fire. The houses were all on Oliver Road. Other individuals have fled the area, and one shopkeeper had her business looted by the gunmen. Residents fear the violence could spread to neighboring communities.

JAMAICAN DRUG MULES HEAD TO TRINIDAD—10/18/09

A growing number of drug mules from Jamaica go to Trinidad, making it their first stop in efforts to smuggle ganja into Europe and North America. Both international and local law enforcement agencies are investigating this gateway. In September 2009, 72 “drug swallowers” were held by police as they tried to leave the island, and over 70 percent of these were heading to the eastern Caribbean. The majority were on their way to Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

FUTURE FOR JAMAICAN AGRICULTURE MAY BE ORGANIC—10/19/09

Dr. David Lowe, head of the Jamaican Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Agro-Investment Corporation, believes that organic farming could grow significantly on the island in the near future. There is room for development and growth of organic agriculture in Jamaica, Lowe said at the opening session of a workshop on business opportunities in the European organic products market.

RANGEL RECEIVES JAMAICAN HONOR WHILE UNDER INVESTIGATION—10/20/09

Charles Rangel, United States Congressman from New York, received the Order of Jamaica for his contributions in promoting the interests of the island and the Caribbean region. There was some awkwardness associated with the timing of the award, since Congressman Rangel is currently under investigation by the U.S. House Ethics Committee in regard to trips made to the Caribbean that were sponsored by lobbyists.

JAMAICAN POLICE HOLD SUSPECTS IN SLAYING OF HONORARY CONSUL—10/21/09

Two suspects are being held by Jamaican police in the slaying of John A. Terry, British honorary consul found beaten and strangled in his home.  According to Less Green, assistant police commissioner, the two men were arrested in the southern part of the island. A 23-year-old man arrested in September in connection with Terry’s death remains in custody as well, although he has not been charged with a crime.

CONSENSUS ON FINANCIAL LITERACY REACHED—10/21/09

Leaders of Jamaica’s financial regulators achieved a consensus on an initiative for financial literacy. Derick Latibeaudier, governor of the Bank of Jamaica, and Rohan Barnett, executive director of the Financial Services Commission, believe that once the initiative is put in place throughout the educational system, Jamaican attitudes toward investment and savings will change.

JAMAICA EXPECTS HIGH NUMBER OF CANADIAN WINTER TOURISTS—10/22/09

Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, believes that a record number of  tourists from Canada will visit the island this winter in spite of the economic downturn. Bartlett says that Canada represents Jamaica’s fastest growing market. In 2007, Canada provided some 150,000 stopover visitors, and in 2009, Bartlett expects this number to increase to almost 300,000, or a 28-percent increase over 2008.

COKE EXTRADITION DELAYED—10/23/09

Jamaica’s Ministry of Justice will send a second request to the United States asking for additional details as the Government ponders the extradition request for Christopher “Dudus” Coke from west Kingston. Local justice authorities wrote a second letter after considering the initial request for more than a month. The Government has said it is committed to protect the rights of Coke and other Jamaicans whose extradition is asked for. American authorities charged Coke with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana and to illegally traffic in firearms in August 2009.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICANS CAUGHT IN CRIME SWEEP IN ARIZONA—10/17/09

Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, announced the arrest of 60 people in a two-day crime sweep. About 50 percent of the individuals arrested were suspected of being illegal immigrants and included two Jamaican nationals, who were arrested for drug sales. Sweeps conducted by Arpaio in the past have been criticized for alleged racial profiling.

YOUNG JAMAICAN IS MODELLING SENSATION IN PARIS—10/18/09

Shena Moulton, 15, is the youngest Jamaican model signed by an international agency, Muse Models. The firm signed her in 2007 when she was 13, and now she is making a splash in the international fashion area. In her first season, Moulton modeled for Louis Vuitton, Kenzo, and Calvin Klein. 

CARIBBEAN NATIONALS FOCUS ON AUTISM AWARENESS—10/19/09

Thanks to the efforts of Jamaican journalist Maia Chung-Smith, Jamaican author Rosetta J. Jamieson-Thomas, and Dr. Mathieu Eugene, Haitian-born councilman for Brooklyn, New York, experts in autism will share what they know with the public at the Autism Awareness International Share Day and Autism Book Drive at the Flatbush Library. Countries like Jamaica currently have few resources to educate children with autism, says Chung-Smith who has an autistic child herself.

JAMAICANS FLEEING UNITED STATES—10/20/09

The poor economy, strict enforcement of immigration policies, and other factors are prompting more Jamaicans to join the 1.7 million illegal immigrants in the United States to return to their home countries. The U.S. Center for Immigration Studies reports that the number of undocumented people in the country dropped by 14 percent between summer 2007 and spring 2009.

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SPORTS
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BRAUMAN DOWNPLAYS SPLIT WITH CAMPBELL-BROWN—10/17/09

Coach Lance Brauman, who coached Veronica Campbell-Brown to Olympic victories in the 200 meters during a six-year relationship, says the split with the athlete is “no big deal.” It is thought that Brauman did not receive proper information about his separation from his pupil, however. Campbell-Brown said she felt it was time for a change.

BOLT HONORED BY JAMAICA—10/19/09

Usain Bolt received the medal of the Order of Jamaica at a national honors ceremony. The triple gold medalist and world champion runner is the youngest recipient of the order in history. Bolt, 23, received the award in Kingston at Kings House.

USAIN BOLT NOT RULING OUT COMMONWEALTH COMPETITION—10/20/09

Jamaican triple Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has not totally ruled out competing in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, but says he will leave the decision to his coach, Glen Mills. Bolt, 23, said he was interested in running in the match to be held in New Delhi in October 2010.

SUNSHINE GIRLS VERSUS SILVER FERNS IN WOMEN’S NETBALL—10/21/09

Jamaican netball team the Sunshine Girls hopes to defeat New Zealand’s Silver Ferns in the first of two tests in Kingston. The match will finish off the 10-week international netball season. The Sunshine Girls were defeated by the Ferns in the final of the World Netball Series earlier in October 2009.

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DEVOTIONAL
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Change Your Language

It is of no surprise to me that the Christians who seem to prosper and do well are the ones who understand the power of their words. On the other hand, there are some who you do not want to make the mistake of asking them how they are doing, as it would take an entire day to listen to their litany of woes. For the most part David understood this truth as he pledged, “I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.” (Psalm 17:3), and in Psalm 39:1, “I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle…” Of God he asked: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:34).  This is the same Psalmist who wrote, “I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (34:1), and “Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honor all the day”, (71:8). We could go on and on, but here we have beautiful examples of proper speech and needed inspiration that we can indeed resolve to control our tongue and speak that which edifies.

The most important motivation for changing our language however is the knowledge that as we have spoken in the ears of God, so will He do to us. In the parable of the fig tree found in Mark 11:12-25, Jesus taught the very important principle of speaking to our circumstances and the manner in which we ought to do so: “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Mark 11:23). So, to that negative bank balance we say: “God will supply all my needs so my bills will be paid!”; to the sickness in our body, we say: “Body you may not be well, but by His stripes you are healed!”; to the storms in our lives we say: “I am not going under because Jesus says I should go over, so no matter how hard you blow, I will be victorious!”.

It is high time we tap into the “secret’ of our success. As long as we walk in the will of the Lord, He promises to make us the head and not to tail, above and not beneath; but to claim that position, we have to change our language and speak the things that lines up with the Word. God is bound to honor His covenant and the sooner we recognize that, the sooner we start doing out part. Change your language! By so doing, you will change the direction of your life!

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.