BRIAN WYNTER TO BECOME BANK OF JAMAICA GOVERNOR—11/21/09
Audley Shaw, Minister of Finance and Public Service, announced that Brian Wynter will take his position as governor of the Bank of Jamaica a week early. Shaw also noted that the services of Audrey Anderson, who had been acting governor of the central bank, and her management team had allowed for an efficient and smooth transition to Wynter’s leadership.
CHINA TO BE NEW MARKET FOR COFFEE—11/22/09
Jamaica’s Coffee Industry Board will be targeting Chinese markets for Jamaican Blue Mountain and High Mountain coffee in the coming year and into the future. The focus on China is intended to mitigate declining sales in other Asian locations. According to Christopher Gentles, Director General of the board, the recession has caused reduced demand in all markets, including Japan. Japan had been a major consumer of Jamaican coffee. Russia and Germany are also being considered by the board as new markets.
SENIOR MILITARY OFFICER WANTS MORE POWER TO REDUCE CRIME—11/22/09
Major General Stewart Saunders of the Jamaican military believes that military troops should have enhanced powers to help them fight growing crime on the island. Saunders wants legislation allowing soldiers to search, detain, and arrest criminal suspects. Troops already help police in some Kingston neighborhoods with high crime rates. Bruce Golding, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, said the soldiers will have a greater role as crime fighters in rural areas., but Saunders is proposing further action.
GOLDING PROMISES TO MEET DEBT OBLIGATIONS—11/23/09
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has provided assurances that his government will not renege on its obligations to pay its debts, in spite of the slow progress being made to reinstate a borrowing arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Golding told his supports that he would not “sully Jamaica’s good name” by moving away from its debt obligations.
FITCH RATINGS CUTS JAMAICA’S LONG TERM ISSUER DEFAULT RATING—11/24/09
Jamaica’s long-term issuer default rating has been reduced by Fitch Ratings and is now highly speculative. The ratings service reported that Jamaica’s economic problems have resulted in “unsustainable debt” and increased the risk of some type of debt restructuring.
DEVELOPERS SECURE PRIME REAL ESTATE FROM GOVERNMENT—11/25/09
Pan Jamaican Investment Trust, a conglomerate controlled by the Facey family, has secured prime Kingston real estate from Jamaica’s government. The firm expects to develop a hotel and additional commercial ventures on the property and will pay J$454.5 million for the Knutsford Park property. The property totals 161,610 square feet between Knutsford Boulevard and Oxford Road. The site will be developed into a mixed-use complex, said Stephen Facey, the firm’s CEO.
HIV-POSITIVE RESIDENTS SUPPPORT ANTI-STIGMA EFFORT—11/26/09
A new HIV anti-stigma campaign has been developed by the National HIV/STI Program. The campaign involves two HIV-positive Jamaicans revealing their HIV status. Jason Richards and Mrs. Rosemarie Stone are the new faces of the “Yes You Can” campaign. The campaign’s slogan is “Yes I Can Support Someone Living with HIV/AIDS.” It is designed to encourage Jamaicans to change how they behave toward individuals who are living with the disease and will include radio, print, and TV ads. Richards and Stone will participate in community, workplace, and school workshops and give interviews to the media.
DOMINOES FOR PEACE—11/27/09
Police in Kingston’s Western Division are using Jamaica’s national pastime in their efforts to reduce crime in high-risk communities. Dominoes for Peace is the newest initiative imposed by police who patrol Arnett Gardens, Tivoli Gardens, Rema, Trench Town, Rose Town, and parts of Maxfield Avenue. According to police superintendent Hugh Bish, the effort is designed to show people that there are ways of life other than violence. The game of dominoes is being used to break down the imaginary barriers that have grown up between these communities. Teams of domino players from gangs in the areas participate in the police-sponsored competition.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN CHARITY BASED IN UNITED STATES CELELBRATES MILESTONE—11/23/09
Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO), a Jamaican charity based in New York, will celebrate 15 years of outreach at its annual scholarship gala event in December 2009. The event will feature Professor Rex Nettleford, vice-chancellor emeritus of the University of the West Indies, as a special guest. Nettleford, a Rhodes Scholar, is credited with enhancing the appreciation of Caribbean culture and identity around the world.
JAMAICAN BECOME WEAPONS EXPERT IN UNITED STATES NAVY—11/24/09
Nasstacia Daley, who graduated from May Day High School in Manchester in 2005, has become an aviation ordanceman (AO) in the United States Navy. She is one of 16 Jamaicans working on the USS Wasp, a multi-purpose assault ship. “I build and assemble bombs and missiles and rockets,” Daley explained. “I work in the weapons department.” Daley’s mother lives in Kingston.
JAMAICAN IN MARRIAGE SCAM JAILED—11/25/09
Verona Walters, 33, pled guilty to charges of conspiring to breach immigration law in the United Kingdom and received a sentence of one year in jail from the Birmingham Crown Court. Walters was one of five Jamaican women arrested in part of larger investigation into “marriages of convenience” that were organized by Venrick Clarke to facilitate illegal entry into the UK.
OWNER OF JAMAICAN-ME-CRAZY CHARGED WITH CRIMES—11/26/09
Steve Tyman, 51, the owner of the Jamaican Me Crazy stores in New Jersey, was arrested on charges of aggravated arson and burglary. The charges stem from an incident in November 2009 in which a rented storefront was on fire. Police found Tyman at the location hiding behind a mattress. He confessed to starting the fire when discovered.
STATUE of McKENLEY READY TO BE UNVEILED—11/21/09
A monument designed to commemorate the legacy of the Honorable Herbert McKenley, OM, OJ, CD, has been erected at the National Stadium. The statue of the legendary Jamaican runner is the result of efforts by Olivia Grange, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture. The official unveiling of the statue will be performed by Prime Minister Bruce Golding at the stadium.
GAYLE TO PLAY FIRST TEST AFTER VISITING SICK MOTHER—11/22/09
Chris Gayle, captain of the West Indies cricket team, will travel to Australia to play in the first Test of the Tour of Australia, after quitting to attend to his sick mother. Gayle’s mother is said to suffer from a cardiac problem and was admitted to a Kingston hospital. When Gayle heard of the hospitalization, he flew back to Jamaica with permission from his team’s management.
USAIN BOLT WINS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR—11/23/09
Usain Bolt, Jamaican sprinter and Olympic medalist, has been named IAAF World Athlete of the Year. It is his second such award. He obtained the title by winning the 100-meter and 200-meter finals, both in record time, at the World Championships in Berlin, Germany. Bolt says it has been an “amazing year” for him.
JAMAICAN MUSHER TRAINS FOR IDITAROD—11/24/09
Oswald “Newton” Marshall, plans to become the first Jamaican to complete the 1,150-mile Iditarod dogsled race in Alaska. He will join with Lance Mackey, three-time Iditarod champion, who will attempt to win the Yukon Quest race Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Chukka Caribbean Adventures, WestJet Vacations, Alpine Aviation, Yukon Harley-Davidson, Annamaet Petfoods, Northern Outfitters and the Jamaica Tourist Board.
“Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?”
Like a faithful companion, for thirty-eight years his infirmity was with him. Sitting in the five porches of the pool by the sheep market in Bethesda were probably hundreds of sick people – some blind, some crippled, some paralyzed. They were “all waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had” (John 5:3b-4, KJV).
We are not told the nature of the man’s infirmity but John tells us, “When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked” (vv. 6-9a). It is interesting to note that the man did not call out to Jesus, but despite the crowd at the Feast and the hundreds by the pool, Jesus saw him. Not only did He see him but He also knew his condition and as a result proceeded to ask him the most important question of all: “Wilt thou be made whole?”
The narrative tells us how this encounter ended and the application for our lives is tremendously significant. In Hebrew, the pool was called Bethesda, which means “House of Grace,” and it is here that we see Jesus extending grace to someone who had done nothing to merit it. It is one of many word pictures in the Bible that reflects Paul’s reminder to the early church, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). While in our sinful state Jesus came along, called out to us and extended His grace. Like the man at the pool there was nothing we could have done and nothing we can do to earn this divine favor. However, grace met him at the point of his need, and Jesus is still capable of meeting all of us at the point of our greatest need.
“Wilt thou be made whole?” The same question is asked of us today. I guarantee that regardless of the nature of our “infirmity,” there is more than enough grace to take care of it.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.