THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
HOUSING TRUST COOPERATES WITH GOVERNMENT—01/09/10
The National Housing Trust of Jamaica reports that it will cooperate completely with investigations by the Office of the Contractor General. The authorities are looking into allegations of irregular re-registrations of contractors that benefit from Trust contracts. Certain irregularities concerned collusion among certain interests to provide false information, which may have compromised the process used by the Housing Trust to award contracts.
RADICAL SHEIK FLOWN BACK TO KENYA—01/10/10
Sheik Abdullah el-Faisal, the radical Jamaican-born Muslim cleric who was the head of a mosque in Britain linked to convicted terrorists, was returned to Kenya after a deportation attempt failed. Nigerian authorities refused to provide a transit visa for el-Faisal and sent him back to Kenya.
PORTMORE LEADERS WANT MORE RECREATION SPACE TO DETER CRIME—01/11/10
Representatives in Portmore want greater efforts to preserve the little green space still available in the area in order to promote sports as a deterrent to crime. The elected authorities believe that sports in general and cricket in particular are the answer to Portmore’s high crime problem.
OFFICIAL FROM U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE TO VISIT JAMAICA—01/12/10
Julissa Reynoso, United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central America and the Caribbean, will visit Jamaica, with Kingston her first stop in the area. She will meet with foreign affairs, foreign trade, and finance officials, as well as young Jamaican leaders, civic leaders, and representatives from the private sector. The purpose of her visit is to become acquainted with the island.
GOVERNMENT APPROVES DETAILS OF IMF LETTER OF INTENT—01/13/10
The government of Jamaica has signed off on the details of the program developed by the International Monetary Fund, according to Prime Minister Bruce Golding. A debate concerning the IMF program, as well as other economic programs, will occur in Parliament next week.
POLICE CATCH THREE INDIVIDUALS CARRYING SMUGGLED WEAPONS—01/14/10
Jamaican police apprehended two men and one woman who were carrying weapons smuggled from New York. According to Jubert Llewellyn, police inspector, the three individuals were arrested for smuggling 12 high-powered guns and 700 rounds of ammunition, along with a telescopic lens and 28 magazines, from New York.
GOVERNMENT TO AID HAITI IN WAKE OF EARTHQUAKE—01/15/10
Bruce Golding, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, and a team of officials will fly to Haiti to meet with its president Rene Preval to discuss aid for the country after its devastating 7.0 earthquake. Golding said he has assured President Preval of Jamaica’s support. The government is also attempting to account for any Jamaicans who may be trapped in Haiti. A ship carrying 150 soldiers from the Jamaica Defense Force is on its way to help Haiti as well, and a bank account has been established in Jamaica for donations.
U.S. GOVERNMENT WILL NOT WITHDRAW REQUEST FOR “DUDUS”—01/15/10
The government of the United States is increasing its pressure on Jamaican officials to sign the extradition request for Christopher “Dudus” Coke. The U.S. is eager to see Coke answer his drug-trafficking charges as quickly as possible, since the indictment was imposed nearly five months ago. The U.S. will not use economic pressure on Jamaica to force compliance with the request, however, said Julissa Reynosos, deputy assistant secretary for Central America and the Caribbean.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN ARRESTED IN NEW ZEALAND FOR BOMB SCARE—01/10/10
Paul-Martin Williams, 34, of Kingston, was charged with four counts related to a bomb scare made in December in New Zealand. He also faces charges of threatening to kill a bank employee and her family, demanding money with intent to steal it, and threatening to cause major property damage. Williams threatened the employee, demanded $100,000, and made threats to blow up the bank. During the bomb threat, streets were closed, and traffic was re-routed. No bomb was found at the scene, however.
TRAVELER SAYS HE WAS HUMILITATED BECAUSE OF HIS NATIONALITY—01/11/10
Yenique Chance, a former student who traveled to Peru for a six-month course in Spanish, reported that she was humiliated at the Lima Airport on Christmas Day and that airport officials told her that her treatment was given because she was Jamaican. Chance says that once authorities saw her Jamaican passport, she was singled out for humiliating treatment.
OFFICIALS MONITOR HOSPITAS IN NY WHERE JAMAICAN WOMAN DIED—01/12/10
New York City agreed to make a payment of US$2 million to the family of Esmine Green, 49, a Jamaican woman who died in the psychiatric ward of Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn in 2008. Officials from the Justice Department said this agreement ends the two-year battle with the hospital. The court’s judgment also stated that it was designed to improve the quality of care provided in the psychiatric unit.
JAMAICAN FOLK PAINTINGS TO BE DISPLAYED—01/13/10
The paintings of Madge Scott, who is of Jamaican heritage, will be showcased at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus during January and February 2010. Scott is a self-taught artist and storyteller, and her paintings will be featured at the reception in the Salena Gallery.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY
MICHIGAN STATE SENDS MEDICAL GROUP TO DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—01/09/10
Thirty-two medical students and faculty members from Michigan State University are visiting the Dominican Republic to get a personal view of medical conditions in the country. The group is on a tour of Third World nations and has already visited a leper colony. They will visit a refugee camp and a trash dump that is home to some Dominican residents.
U.S. PLANE DID NOT ENTER VENEZUELAN AIRSPACE—01/10/10
The United States military says that an American plan did not enter Venezuelan airspace, contradicting a statement from President Hugo Chavez that a U.S. P-3 plane did so. Chavez also said he sent two F-16 jets to intercept the American plane, which came into his country’s airspace from the nearby Dutch Antilles.
NEW LAYOFFS DISMISS 2,400 WORKERS IN PUERTO RICO—01/11/10
The government of Puerto Rico has slashed over 2,400 workers from its payroll as it attempts to control the country’s $3.2 billion deficit and avoid shutting down. Other jobs are likely to be targeted for elimination later one. Most of the fired workers were janitors and office administrators in the Department of Education.
UN LEADER IN HAITI MAY HAVE DIED IN EARTHQUAKE—01/13/10
Bernard Kouchner, the French Foreign Minister, says that the mission chief of the United Nations in Haiti is likely among those who died in the 7.0 earthquake that devastated the island nation. According to Kouchner, Hedi Annabi was probably among those U.N. staff members who died.
WORLD BANK PROMISES HAITI $100 MILLION—01/14/10
The World Bank says it will provide $100 million in emergency aid to Haiti in an effort to help the Caribbean nation recover from the damage suffered in the recent massive earthquake. The Red Cross has estimated that at least 3 million people need urgent help, such as search and rescue teams, medical supplies, food, shelter, and water.
CARIBBEAN RISK POOL WILL PAY LESS THAN $8 MILLION TO HAITI—01/15/10
The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility reports that the government of Haiti, as a member of the risk pool, will receive under $8 million for damage suffered in the 7.0 earthquake. Damages have been estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The risk facility say it will pay Haiti 20 times what the nation’s $385,500 premium for its earthquake coverage policy.
BOLT, FRASER WIN ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARDS—01/09/10
Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser were honored as Jamaican male and female Athletes of the Year at the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association “Golden Cleats” Awards. The awards are sponsored by Scotiabank.
BOLT TO MISS 2010 COMMONWEALTH GAMES—01/10/10
The timing is not right for Usain Bolt to participate in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Dehli, says Ricky Simms, Bolt’s manager. Simms says Bolt cannot consider these games a priority, since he will be concentrating on his four-year plan for the next Olympics.
JAMAICA LOOKING FOR WIN OVER WINDWARDS—01/11/10
Defending champion Jamaica was looking for a victory over the Windward Islands in the WICB regional first-class competition. Jamaica reached 20 for two in the second innings, when bad weather stopped the play before the scheduled ending time of the third day of the first round match.
FRASER EXPECTS “GREAT YEAR” IN 2010—01/12/10
Shelly-Ann Fraser, Jamaica’s World and Olympic 100-meter champion, believes that the 2010 season will be very productive. She says that she can’t wait to begin. Fraser, who is a full-time student at university, said she will be in better shape than she was at the 2008 Olympics and the world championships in Berlin in 2009. Fraser says she is “expecting great things” for the new season.
BOLT LEADS 400-RELAY TEAM TO A WIN—01/02/10
Usain Bolt and his teammates ran the 400-relay in the fourth-fastest time in history at the London Grand Prix. Bolt, triple Olympic gold medalist, said it was a good race and a good effort by the team. Bolt anchored the team, which included Jamaicans Yohan Blake and Mario Forsythe and Daniel Bailey from Antigua. The team represented Kingston’s Racers Track Club.
BROWN SAYS TENNIS GETS NO SUPPORT IN JAMAICA—01/03/10
Jamaica’s top tennis player, Dustin Brown, has criticized the system on the island that does not give enough support tennis. Jamaicans have earned 38 Commonwealth gold medals and12 World Championships golds, but not many of its 2.6 million citizens know much about the sport. Brown, ranked 140th in the world, is playing at the Aircel Chennai Open tournament.
BOLT UNLIKELY TO RACE JOHNSON—01/04/10
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s triple Olympic champion, and Chris Johnson, sixth player in the NFL to rush over 2,000 yards, are not likely to face off in a head-to-head race. A race over a distance of less than 100 meters, where Bolt holds a world record, is unlikely to happen, said Johnson. Bolt will only consider the 100 meters and not the 50, Johnson reported.
JAMAICAN SURFERS HAPPY ON NEW YEAR’S DAY—01/05/10
Surfers in Jamaica received a nice gift from the ocean on New Year’s Day, have a “great swell,” according to participating surfers. There were perfect glassy conditions and great waves all day, and surfers hope that this was a harbinger of things to come for the rest of the year.
Is God Deaf?
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.” (Daniel 10:12, KJV)
As human beings, most of us dislike waiting. We become restless and are liable to take things into our own hands. It is no different in our Christian walk. In waiting upon God, we often move before we receive a Word. It is the plan of the enemy to take that Word before it gets to us. His job is to steal, to kill, and destroy (John 10:10a), but since we are assured that God hears our petitions from the time we speak them, yea even while we yet think them, we need to have a heart of praise and thankfulness as we wait upon Him. Isaiah declared “I will wait upon the Lord… I will look for Him” (8:17).
After twenty-one days without any movement from God, can you imagine Daniel’s relief to be finally told that God had indeed heard him from the very first day? The committed child of God can take comfort in the knowledge that despite the evidence, God has heard the petitions from the very first day they were offered up to Him. God Himself stated “Before (you) call I will answer; and while (you) are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24). As with Daniel, we can take comfort in the knowledge that if the enemy attempts to hold up our answers, our Heavenly Father can and will dispatch His forces to do battle on our behalf, so we can receive what He has in store for us. We can take comfort in knowing that when we called He did answer; when we cried, He did hear (Isaiah 58:9).
Are you tired of waiting? Are you discouraged? Does it seem like God is deaf? The closing verses of Isaiah 40 are the rope to hold on to as we hang in there while trusting Him to come through for us. “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understand. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (vv 28-31). He is not deaf. From the first day you presented your case to Him, your words were heard. Though your answer seems late, it will come. Probably not when you think it should, but rest assured that God will be there right on time. Hang in there; He is working it out just for you.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.