THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
RJR GROUPS SAYS ATHLETES ‘DISRESPECTED’ THEM—02/20/10
The sponsors of Jamaica’s Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, RJR Group, feels disrespected by some Jamaican athletes because of their behavior at a January 2010 function. According to Gary Allen, RJR Group’s managing director, some athletes threatened to boycott the event because they opposed Sanya Richards, American World 400 meter champion, as being the guest speaker. Some of the athletes came late to pick up their special awards, disappointing RJR Group with their attitude.
ARMORY THEFT CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST JAMAICAN POLICE OFFICER—02/21/10
Russell Robinson, a Jamaican police sergeant assigned to oversee the police armory in Kingston, is facing 24 charges as the mastermind behind the theft of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition from the armory. The charges include 18 counts of illegal firearms possession. The armory has been closed and an audit has been requested. No court date has been set for Robinson yet.
OLYMPICS COMPETITOR CLAIMS SKI CROSS JUMPS “TOO EASY”—02/22/10
Errol Kerr, the single Winter Olympics competitor to represent Jamaica, has claimed that the jumps in the men’s ski cross, his event, are “too easy” because they are designed with female athletes in mind. The ski cross course at Vancouver, Canada’s Cypress Mountain was built for use by both skiers and snowboarders. Kerr believes that, as a result, the jumps are too small for male skiers. Kerr failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the ski cross competition.
NEW NATIONAL AIRLINE CARRIER SLATED FOR JAMAICA—02/23/10
Caribbean Airlines, owned by Trinidad and Tobago, has agreed to become the exclusive designated national carrier for Jamaica. The agreement was part of a non-binding letter of intent signed by the Jamaican government, Air Jamaica Ltd., Air Jamaica Holdings Ltd., and Caribbean Airlines. The parties have agreed to make their best efforts to sign legally binding agreements by the end of March 2010, with service operations to begin on or before July 1, 2010.
JAMAICA DEBT RATING RAISED—02/24/10
Standard & Poor’s raised the sovereign foreign currency debt rating for Jamaica to B-minus after a successful restructuring of the island’s domestic debt. The action came following an offer by the Jamaican government to exchange its estimated $7.8 billion debt for longer-dated, lower-yielding securities as part of an arrangement to support the island economy.
SUGAR INDUSTRY IN JAMAICA TO BE REVIEWED BY COMMISSION—02/25/10
The Cabinet of Prime Minister Bruce Golding has approved the creation of a commission to review and provide recommendations for Jamaica’s sugar industry. Dr. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Agriculture, stated that the general goals of the review is to establish the relevance of current institutional and pricing arrangements in the industry in the light of changes in the domestic and international environment.
MAN JUMPS FROM HOSPITAL STRUCTURE—02/26/10
A 72-year-old man jumped from a balcony at the University Hospital of the West Indies. Clifton Hardware, who was a patient at the hospital and who had been ill for some time, jumped to his death. Hardware went to the balcony without any warning and jumped in spite of a nurse’s attempts to restrain him.
MATH STRATEGY TO IMPROVE, SAYS HOLNESS—02/26/10
Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s Minister of Education, has suggested that the teaching of mathematics in the country must improve if Jamaica wants to meet its 2030 goal of becoming a developed nation. Holness stated that his Ministry had taken steps to improve the situation, but that much more remained to be done. He said that everyone entering teachers’ colleges should include math among their qualifications, regardless of whether they planned to teach the subject or not.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
ANOTHER JAMAICAN STOPPED FROM PERFORMING IN GRENADA—02/23/10
Grenada has stopped a second Jamaican rapper from a performance on the island. Grenada’s Ministry of Labor did not grant a permit for Clifford Smith, aka Mr. Vegas, to perform at a nightclub show on the island. While no reason was given, Steve Duncan, event promoter, believes that a song that was derogatory toward women was the reason for the musician’s treatment.
JAMAICAN MURDER-SUICIDE INVESTIGATED IN NEW YORK—02/24/10
New York investigators are looking into an incident where a Jamaican man allegedly shot and killed his family and then killed himself in Rosedale. Mark Bailey reportedly shot his wife Dionne Coy and his daughters, who were 19 and 14 years of age. Bailey was a school bus driver in Nassau County. He left a note and was holding the gun when the bodies were found.
COCAINE WOVEN INTO WIGS OF JAMAICA WOMEN—02/25/10
Two Jamaican women who lived in London were sent to prison for attempting to export cocaine at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana. A Guyanese woman was also sentenced to prison for allegedly handling the drug when she sewed it into the wigs of the Jamaicans. The three women were charged separately for trafficking in more than one kilogram of cocaine.
JAMAICAN CANCER SOCIETY TRAVELS TO MINNESOTA—02/26/10
Four delegates from Jamaica’s Cancer Society’s Relay events traveled to the Midwest Division in Minneapolis, Minnesota to attend a Relay Regional Roundtable. The event featured mutual learning opportunities, and Jamaica’s delegates were interviewed on a local Caribbean radio talk show.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY
CARIBBEAN TO BENEFIT FROM ECB CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PROBLEM—02/21/10
The West Indies may field two sides in the Twenty20 Champions League if Britain does not resolve its scheduling problems with the organizers of the tournament. Champions League commissioner Lalil Modi asked the England and Wales Cricket Board to make some “minor” adjustments in their county schedule so England could participate in the 2010 tournament. Thus far, however, the Board has refused to make the changes. If the situation stands, the West Indies could have an extra spot in the tournament, since the English teams could be ruled out.
CARIBBEAN AND LATIN AMERICA DISCUSS NEW BLOC ARRANGEMENT—02/22/10
The president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, opened a summit of Latin American and Caribbean countries that is scheduled to explore the possibility of creating a new regional bloc of nations. Calderon called for a “union of Latin American and Caribbean nations for development, freedom, justice, and democracy.” Twenty-four country leaders from the region attended the summit.
RAUL CASTRO ATTENDS SUMMIT MEETING—02/23/10
President of Cuba, Raul Castro, led the Cuban delegation to the Latin America and Caribbean Unity Summit in Cancun, Mexico. The meeting was opened by Mexico’s president Felipe Calderon. It seeks to move toward the creation of a true regional organization designed to bring together the 33 countries in the area.
CARIBBEAN CITIZENS ENCOURAGED TO IDENTIFY THEMSELVES ON CENSUS—02/24/10
The 2010 United States Census questionnaire will allow individuals who identify themselves as “Black, African American or Negro” currently do not have a place on the form to show whether their ancestors came from the African continent or a Caribbean island. Caribbean American representatives want their communities to write in their nationalities under the “some other race” line on the form. They are encouraging participants in the census to write in their nationalities in addition to checking the provided racial categories.
ST. LUCIA FACES WATER EMERGENCY—02/25/10
The government of St. Lucia declared a water emergency as a result of a prolonged period of drought. The action is designed to manage and protect the potable water supply on the island and is being implemented under the Water and Sewage Act, which allows the country’s Minister of Agriculture to declare an emergency if there has been an “exceptional” shortage of rain or if water supplies are contaminated.
U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE TO TOUR LATIN AMERICA—02/26/10
Hillary Clinton, the United States Secretary of State, will begin a tour of Latin American on February 28, 2010, and will visit Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, and Guatemala. She will meeting with country leaders and be the keynote speaker at the Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas meeting in Costa Rica on March 4.
USAIN BOLT HAS TWO-BOOK DEAL WITH PUBLISHER—02/20/10
Jamaica’s Olympic champion sprinter has agreed to write two books for publisher HarperSport. One book will be about the runner’s career and his roots in the Caribbean. The second will be a longer autobiography that is due to come out after the London 2010 Olympics. Bolt plans to provide his fans with insight into his life.
JAMAICAN-BORN SLEDDER QUALIFIES FOR BOBSLED—02/21/10
Lascelles Brown, 25, has qualified as brakeman along with pilot Lyndon Rush for the bobsled contest in the Vancouver Olympics. Brown received a silver medal at the Turin Olympics in 2006.Brown currently lives in Calgary, Canada, and is a candidate to reach the Olympic podium to receive a medal for the second time.
WILMOT WINS SECOND STAGE IN SURFING CONTEST—02/22/10
Inilek Wilmot, top Jamaican surfer and brother of 2009 National Open champion Icah Wilmot, receive 1,000 points for the win at the Peenie Wally surfing beach at Buff Bay in Portland. The event was the second in the Jamaica Surfing Association’s 2010 National Open Series. Wilmot leads the race with a perfect score of 2,000 points in the five-event series, which will end in December 2010.
FRASER NAMED UNICEF GOODWILL AMBASSADOR—02/26/10
Shelly Ann Fraser, World and Olympic 100-meter champion, is the latest of several Jamaican athletes to be named as a UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador. She accepted the position at a fundraising dinner at which she raised money for the Haitian Relief Fund in Kingston. Fraser says she is “really, really pleased” to be named ambassador and is looking forward to helping the organization meet its goals.
Serving Others With Our Gifts
Generally speaking, most of us like receiving gifts. We look forward to doing so at those special times of the year, and some of us are often surprised with the occasional “just because” ones. Those are gifts given to us by those around us who take the time to “reward” us for a job well done, to show appreciation for some gesture, or simply because of who we are. When given to us they become our gifts and we are at liberty to do with them as we please.
However, there are gifts given to the Christian that are for specific purposes. In 1 Peter 4:10 we read, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” In other words, we are not at liberty to do whatever we want with the gifts God blesses us with, but we are to use them in their various forms specifically to serve others. The Apostle Paul reminds us that there are different kinds of gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4), and in the same chapter he enumerates some of these gifts. In his letter to the Roman Church he writes,
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
If a man’s gift is prophesying. let him use it in proportion to his faith.
If it is serving, let him serve;
If it is teaching, let him teach;
If it is encouraging, let him encourage;
If it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously;
If it is leadership, let him govern diligently;
If it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (Romans 12:6-8).
finally exhorting Christians everywhere, “…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Because every believer is gifted with at least one gift, each and every one of us have a responsibility to exercise the one we have been given. By the providence of God, we are placed where we are with it because “God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased [H]im” (1 Corinthians 12:18). It would delight the heart of God if we exercised those gifts where we are “planted,” each one of us serving others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. Who will you be serving today?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.