THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
GANGS IN WATERHOUSE AREA INVESTIGATED—11/07/09
Jamaican police with the help of the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) are showing a greater presence in Waterhouse, St. Andrew. The police are attempting to end a violent gang feud that has resulted in the killings of 11 people in the area in the past two months. According to Deputy Superintendent Owen Robertson, head of operations at Hunts Bay Police Station, the killings are believed to be gang-related.
BIO-ETHICIST URGES LEGISLATORS NOT TO CRIMINALIZE ABORTION—11/08/09
Dr. Derrick Aarons, one of the top bio-ethicists in Jamaica, hopes that lawmakers will not confuse their personality morality with public morality by criminalizing the termination of pregnancies. Dr. Aarons urges legislators and the public to recognize the difference between legality and morality.
EX-POLICE COMMANDER SEEKS TOP LAW ENFORCEMENT JOB—11/09/09
Reneto Adams, who headed a top anti-crime unit before his retirement in 2008, is looking to become Jamaica’s next police chief. Nicknamed “Rambo” for his effective but ruthless style, headed the Crime Management Unit to fight increasing violence in the Kingston area. The unit was tied to some 40 extra-judicial killings before was disbanded in 2003.
GOLDING SAYS COLLABORATION NOT SUFFICIENT FOR INTEGRATION—11/09/09
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding says that it is not enough for Caribbean and Latin American nations to collaborate or partner in actions in strategic areas if they want to achieve integration. Golding says there must be broader cooperation between the nations to obtain the desired benefits of joint action.
SHORTAGE OF STORAGE BAGS HINDERS BLOOD SUPPLY—11/10/09
Jamaica’s blood collection and testing system is facing a serious crisis. The National Blood Transfusion Service is experiencing a shortage of the bags required to store blood, as well as the reagent necessary to test blood collected. The problem has become so critical that some blood collection centers are turning away individuals who want to donate blood because they have not bags in which to store it. Blood collection drives were cancelled in September and October, and those for November could face cancellation as well.
JAMAICA IS TOP CRUISE DESTINATION IN THE WORLD—11/11/09
For the fourth year in a row, Jamaica has been named the Leading Cruise Destination in the world by the World Travel Awards. The island also received its fifth consecutive victory as the top cruise destination in the Caribbean. Ocho Rios won the designation of the Caribbean’s Leading Port. The awards have been called the “Oscars” of the global tourism industry, being decided by a vote among travel professionals from 183,000 firms and 160 countries.
COOKE WINS BEST PLAY AWARD SPONSORED BY CULTURE GROUP—11/12/09
Ashton Cooke, Jamaican playwright, has won the Best Play award for his entry to the National Literary Competition of 2009, which is staged by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC). Cooke accepted the award for his play, “Jonkanoo Jamboree,” at the Rex Nettleford Hall at the University of the West Indies.
BANK ACHIEVES PROFITS—11/13/09
The National Commercial Bank Jamaica (NCB) Ltd. obtained profits of $10.2 billion for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, taking the top position among Jamaican financial institutions.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
US VETERANS’ DAY CONCERT RECOGNIZES JAMAICAN CONTRIBUTIONS—11/09/09
Jamaica’s contributions in the fight for freedom were recognized in the United States on Veterans’ Day, November 4, in Washington, DC. The Veterans National Musical Group recognized the role of ex-service people from Jamaica and 12 other nations at the annual concert held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral.
FORCE FEEDING ADVOCATED BY IMMIGRATION AUTHORITIES—11/11/09
Immigration officials in the United States want judicial approval for the force-feeding of a Jamaica immigrant who has been on a hunger strike since October 28, 2009. Jesselee Hainsworth Hanson, 23, has refused to eat food, although he is accepting water. Hanson is being held at the Port Isabel Detention Center in Harlingen, Texas.
JAMAICAN JERK FESTIVAL DELIGHTS FLORIDIANS—11/12/09
About 18,000 people attended the 8th Annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival in Markham Park in the City of Sunrise in Florida on November 8, 2009. Festivalgoers enjoyed jerk chicken, jerk pork, jerk ice cream, and jerk peanut butter, along with music and lessons about Jamaica’s history provided by the Jamaica Folk Revue.
JAMAICAN DRUMMER TAKES MUSIC TO FLORIDA SCHOOLS—11/13/09
William “Willie” Stewart, Jamaican drummer, has been teaching the art of drumming in schools in Broward County, Florida, since 2001. His commitment to working with and motivating young people resulted in the creation of his firm, Solutions in Music. Stewart teaches children the history and art of drumming and helps them focus on using their creative talent. In addition to being a drum instructor, Stewart is also a drum therapist, and he will hold a workshop at the Broward Center Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale for 60 students from two South Florida schools on November 16, 2009.
FRANCIS NOT INTERESTED IN REPLACING MILLS—11/08/09
Stephen Francis, who has coached several of Jamaica’s best athletes, including Asafa Powell, says he is not interested in taking the job of Glen Mills, who has been the head coach of Jamaica’s national team. Francis says that taking this position would not be in the best interests of his other athletes.
FRANCIS SEEKS RECONCILIATION WITH ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION—11/10/09
Stephen Francis, Jamaican athletics coach, and officials at the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA), have had a historical difficult relationship, but things could be changing. Francis, 45, has called for more respect for the top officials at the JAAA. Francis is now interested in pursuing a peaceful solution to the feud between the JAAA and himself.
BOLT GOES BACK TO WORK—11/11/09
Usain Bolt, current world and double Olympic sprint champion, has returned to work in Jamaica in order to be in peak condition for his return to active training. Bolt has been doing stretching and physical workouts at his training camp at the Mona Campus of the University of West Indies. Glen Mills, Bolt’s coach, says the exercises represent the first steps toward a return to the full training program, which will begin in earnest when Bolt returns from the IAAF Gala in Monaco on November 22, 2009.
BOLT IN THE RUNNING FOR 2009 ATHLETE OF THE YEAR—11/12/09
Usain Bolt, Jamaican Olympic and world champion sprinter, is at the top of a list of nominees for the 2009 Athlete of the Year award presented by the International Association of Athletics (IAAF). Bolt has a good chance to winning the title for a second consecutive year.
Coming Boldly to the Throne of Grace
In his letter to the Hebrews, the writer exhorts the brethren, and by extension us, to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (4:16, KJV). Most of us are familiar with this passage and it has served us well in our prayer lives. It is a wonderful thing to know that we do not have to feel intimidated or be afraid to approach the throne of grace. Not only are we invited to approach it boldly, but we are assured that there “we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
In reflecting on some of the reasons the child of God may feel a sense of fear or reluctance in approaching God, it occurred to me that this is a direct result of our awareness of our shortcomings and failures. At least this has been the case in my own life. Despite our best intentions, we are not always where we long to be in our walk with Him and there are times when feelings of guilt and shame overwhelm the words “come boldly.” Lost in the process is the realization that God knows us exactly for who we are, and despite what He sees in us, He still says, “Come”.
In looking closer at our reference text, the writer makes such an argument. He writes, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in [H]is sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of [H]im with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (vv. 12-15). The realization that “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do,” serves to demonstrate that not only are we invited to come boldly but we can come as we are.
Having been tempted as we are being, Christ understands our humanity, He understands our failures. David said of Him as God, “He knoweth our frame; [H]e remembereth that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). There is nothing about us that will surprise Him; nothing that we can tell Him that He doesn’t already know. Therefore, come boldly. It is an invitation I gladly accept; one I find powerfully liberating. It is my prayer that you will too.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.