THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
QUALITY OF JAMAICA GAS QUESTIONED—03/13/10
Concerns have been raised about the quality of fuel Jamaicans use in the vehicles. The concerns have arisen because engines are more technically proficient and the Jamaican market is opening to brands requiring higher octane levels. In 2009, the government decided to use an ethanol blend, and many motorists have complained about the negative effect the new fuel had on their cars. The high cost of oil has hindered Jamaica’s balance of payments so authorities are looking for ways to reduce it.
UNTREATED WATER SOLD FOR DRINKING—03/14/10
Three of the untreated water sources visited by water trucks do not pass a standard bacteria test. As a result, many residents are drinking dirty water that appears to be clean. Public health officials have issued a warning that Jamaica may face an outbreak of water-borne diseases if the authorities do not stop the sale of untreated water.
MILLER SIDES WITH GOVERNMENT ON “DUDUS” ISSUE—03/14/10
A popular religious leader, Al Miller of Fellowship Tabernacle, has taken the side of the government on the matter of Christopher “Dudus” Coke. Miller says there is nothing for the courts to consider in terms of the request for extradition presented by the United States. Prime Minister Bruce Golding has taken the correct position on the matter as a “principal of law,” says Miller.
FRASER LOOKS FORWARD TO WORK WITH UNICEF—03/15/10
Shelly-Ann Fraser, 23, Jamaican Olympic gold medalist, and the first Jamaican woman to win a gold medal in the 100-meters, has been appointed Jamaica’s first national UNICEF Ambassador. She earned the title through her commitment to inspiring and influencing young people. Fraser raised approximately $5,000 to support the work of UNICEF in Haiti at a fundraiser in February.
AIR CANADA WILL EXPAND SERVICE TO JAMAICA—03/16/10
Air Canada has announced that it will make significant increases to its service from Toronto to Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. Beginning in May 2010, the airline will double the number of weekly flights to the capital and use larger aircraft on specific days. The airline will provide special introductory fares as low as $149 each way. Air Canada has served Jamaica for 62 years.
BUREAU HONORS JAMAICAN WOMEN—03/17/10
The Bureau of Women’s Affairs (BWA) has recognized Olivia “Babsey” Grange and Portia Simpson Miller for their achievements in fulfilling the charge for women’s rights in their work as ministers responsible for women’s affairs. The honors represent part of the celebration of the Inter-American Year of Women.
GAY JAMAICAN CHRISTIANS MUST WORSHIP “UNDERGROUND”—03/18/10
Gay, bisexual, transgender, and lesbian Christians in Jamaica must congregate in hidden and secluded places for their Sunday worship. They await calls that inform them at the last minute of where they will be able to hold their Christian service each week. They must worship in a different place each week because there is too high a risk if it is discovered they are queer.
CHRISTIE INVESTIGATES GOVERNMENT LINKS TO MANATT AGREEMENT—03/19/10
Jamaica’s Contractor General Greg Christie is looking into the government’s involvement with Manatt, an American law firm. Questions have arisen about the issue, and Christie will examine documents posted on the U.S. Justice Department website concerning the alleged agreement. Prime Minister Bruce Golding has said that his government has not engaged any law firm in connection with any extradition matter.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN RASTAFARIANS WANT EMBASSY IN ETHIOPIA—03/14/10
A number of Rastafarians who live in Ethiopia have asked a Diaspora Affairs Committee of Parliament for aid in convincing the government to establish a Jamaican embassy in the East African nations. The embassy would offer greater representation for the Jamaicans who live there. Ethiopia is home to the largest group of Jamaicans living in Africa, and a Jamaican embassy could negotiate with the Ethiopian government on their behalf.
JCF OFFICER APPOINTED DIASPORA LIAISON—03/15/10
Superintendent Anthony James Forbes of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) was appointed the Diaspora Liaison Officer at a meeting of the Lauderhill City, Florida Commission. The JCF is expanding its partnership and will include collaborations between the public and private sectors, with the Jamaican Diaspora representing one of the links.
THIRD JAMAICAN KILLED BY NY POLICE IDENTIFIED—03/16/10
The name of a Jamaican man shot to death with two others in an apartment located in a suburb of Rochester, New York has been identified. Police say he was Robert Moncriffe, 29, who was shot and killed a week earlier by attackers who also shot Christopher Green, 40, and Mark Wisdom, 38. All three were from Jamaica and lived together in an apartment complex. The crimes may be drug-related, say police.
JAMAICANS IN NYC PROTEST SALE OF AIR JAMAICA—03/17/10
Members of the Jamaican Diaspora in New York City plan to protest the sale of Air Jamaica. The group is being headed by Jose Richards, founder of Sons and Daughters of Jamaica. He will lead a demonstration outside the Jamaica Consulate on March 18, 2010. The protestors believe the sale of the airline should be halted, and Prime Minister Bruce Golding should consider the plan proposed by the Jamaican Pilots Association.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY
CARIBBEAN GOVERNMENTS HURTING TOURISM WITH SUPPORT OF JAPAN—03/14/10
Several governments in the Caribbean are damaging a sustainable tourism industry by continuing to support Japan’s activities in killing whales. A number of International Whaling Commission countries have considered a recommendation that Japan, Iceland, and Norway receive permission to hunt whales in spite of the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling.
JONES-FERRETTE READY TO WIN WORLD INDOOR SPRINT TITLE—03/15/10
LaVerne Jones-Ferrette, the favorite to win the women’s 60-meters at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, went into the final with the fastest time. Jones-Ferrette, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ national record holder and woman with the fastest time this season at 6.97 seconds, ran a fast 7.05 seconds.
CARIBBEAN-AMERICAN ADVOCACY GROUP TO LAUNCH IN JERSEY CITY—03/16/10
A new advocacy organization, Caribbean One, has decided to launch its activities at the same time as the U.S. 2010 Census. The group, which is based in Jersey City, New Jersey, will take on as its first task the distribution of information encouraging people in the Caribbean-American community to fill out the census forms and include their Caribbean background as part of the census data.
JOURNALIST KILLING IN HONDURAS SPARKS PROTEST—03/17/10
Dozens of journalists demonstrated in the streets of northern Honduras as a protest against attacks on their colleagues. Gunmen shot and killed a television journalist as he drove home, the third such killing in a two-week period. It was not clear if the killing of Nahum Palacios, the director of a television station in Tocoa near the Caribbean coast, was related to his work. His car was riddled with 42 bullet holes.
CARIBBEAN GROUPS URGE FILLING IN RACE ON CENSUS FORM—03/18/10
CaribLifeCentral.com and Caribbean One are two of several groups that have joined the Carib ID movement, which was formed to make sure that Caribbean nationals are counted in the U.S. 2010 Census. The groups are encouraging Caribbean nationals to write in their country of origin in the “Some Other Race” section of the census form.
WOMEN SURVIVORS OF HAITI EARTHQUAKE NOW FEAR RAPE—03/19/10
For the women and girls who are fighting to survive in the damage and destruction is left in Haiti following the January 2010 earthquake, rape is their new fear. The women and children, some as young as two years old, are becoming victims of rapists in the tent cities where they now live. Survivors of the quake are increasingly terrorized by violence, with rapes becoming more common.
WILLIAMS-MILLS LOOKS FOR WIN IN 400 METERS AT DOHA—03/13/10
Novlene Williams-Mills, who won the bronze medal at the 2007 world outdoor 400 meter race in Osaka, Japan, is moving toward a victory at the 13th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar. This would be the first medal for Jamaica at the games.Williams-Mills won her place in the finals by clocking 51.77 seconds for a second-place finish in the semi-finals.
CAMPBELL-BROWN WINS 60 METER TITLE—03/14/10
Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown surprised everyone by winning the women’s 60-meter race at the World Indoor Championships. Campbell-Brown, a two-time Olympic medalist in the 200 meters, ran a personal best time of seven seconds. Laverne Jones-Ferrette of the U.S. Virgin Islands was second, while American Carmelita Jeter was third.
BOLT WILL RUN 300 METER RACE AT OSTRAVA IN MAY—03/17/10
Usain Bolt, Jamaican sprint champion, plans to run a 300-meter race at the Golden Spike event in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia in May 2010. This will be Bolt’s fourth appearance in Ostrava and his only race outside the Diamond League, according to Alfonz Juck, sports manager of the event.
JAMAICAN MUSHER TO FINISH IDITAROD WITH HELP FROM JIMMY BUFFETT—03/18/10
Newton Marshall, the first Jamaican musher to run the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska, is on the last part of his journey to Nome. The race has already been won by a four-time champion, but Jamaica’s musher continues on his way to the finish line. Newton has experienced 40-below-zero temperatures and crossed the highest mountain range in North America. Marshall was able to participate in the race with the financial support of Jimmy Buffett, musician, storyteller, and restaurant owner.
Quite recently I came across a wonderful poem by an alleged anonymous writer that reminded me of the benefits of persistence; the ability to stay the course regardless. There are times when in our moments of weakness quitting seem such a viable option, yet we who trust in God can take heart in the fact that amidst everything that is going on, we can stand on the promises of His Word. The writer to the Hebrews reminds us that faithful is He who has promised (10:23), and so no matter how challenging our circumstances we can stay the course with Him who never fails.
Today I share the words of that poem with you and trust that it will encourage you as it encouraged me. It is titled, “Don’t Quit”
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.