THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
MAN IN ST.JAMES KILLS GIRLFRIEND AND HIMSELF—03/27/10
Kenyouth Brissett, 35, attacked his estranged girlfriend and the mother of his children Shadae Barker, 22, with a knife and machete, killing her, and then hanged himself. His actions have left two children, aged one and three years, orphaned. According to police, Brissett and Barker had an intimate relationship for some time, when Barker discovered they were cousins and wanted to end their relationship. Brissett did not agree and confronted Barker on a road where he killed her. He ran from police, but was later found hanging from a tree by area residents.
ILLEGAL TRADE IN PARROTS PROHIBITED—03/28/10
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) has reaffirmed the illegality of buying and/or selling Jamaican parrots, either locally or internationally. Two indigenous parrots, the Yellow-billed Parrot and the Black-billed Parrot are protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Wild Life Protection Act. The parrots are important to Jamaica’s environment, since they eat fruits and disperse the seed over a large area and contribute to the regeneration of the forests. These parrots are found only in Jamaica and represent a part of the island’s natural heritage. Fines for possession and trading of the parrots range from $100,000 to $2,000,000.
SUSPENSION OF CET REQUESTED AGAIN—03/29/10
Jamaica is looking to obtain an extension of the Common External Tariff (CET) at the next meeting of regional trade authorities, according to Karl Samuda, the island’s Minister of Industry and Commerce. Samuda will make the request at a meeting of the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development to be held in May 2010. The agency denied Jamaica’s request for an extension of the waiver in November 2009. The CET is a duty rate imposed by CARICOM on products imported from a country that is not a member of the market.
NEW DIPLOMATIC POSTINGS MADE—03/30/10
Anthony Johnson, former parliamentarian, will leave his position as Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States to take a diplomatic position in the United Kingdom. Dr. Kenneth Baugh, Jamaican Foreign Affairs Minister, announced Johnson’s move. Johnson has served as U.S. Ambassador since 2008. He will now fill the highest diplomatic position at the Jamaican High Commission in London in May 2010. Audrey Marks, a career entrepreneur and current deputy chair of the Urban Development Corporation will replace Johnson in the U.S.
MINOTT WANTS CAREER COUNSELORS IN SCHOOLS—03/31/10
Dr. Dennis Minott, Jamaican scientist and education consultant, would like the government to place career counselors in schools to help students make the appropriate academic and career choices. Dr. Minott’s organization AQUEST has been responsible for sending over 100 Jamaicans to Ivy League universities worldwide. He believes that Jamaican schools need career counselors because “our young people are confused.”
HAITIAN HOUSING COSTS LOWER THAN EXPECTED—03/31/10
The cost of housing the 62 refugees from Haiti who arrived in Jamaica last week is expected to be less than the $9 million budgeted for their aid by the government. The Haitians returned to their homeland on a Jamaica Defense Force ship after Jamaican authorities stated there was not enough funding available to house them for a lengthy period of time. Daryl Vaz, Jamaica’s Information Minister, said the government is currently collecting the bills to pay those who offered services to the Haitians while they were in Jamaica. Vaz believed the total would be lower than $9 million.
JAMAICA IMPACTED BY CLIMATE CHANGE—04/01/10
Dr. Michael Taylor, head of the physics department at the University of the West Indies and the director of the Climate Change Group, reported that Jamaica will get progressively warmer between 2010 and 2050 by between one and five degrees. The change will lead to lower crop yields, an increase in disease, and more problems for farmers in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean region. Vision 2030 is a development plan designed to address the effects of climate change and to develop sustainable agricultural practices. In spite of the government’s efforts, however, Jamaica’s farmers say they are not seeing any benefits yet. There needs to be better deployment of resources to areas where agriculture is the main source of livelihood, said Horace Fisher of the Mocho Community Development Association.
WINDALCO CLOSES FOR GOOD—04/02/10
The West Indies Alumina Company has laid off all remaining workers and will close its two refineries located in Jamaica. The firm, known as Windalco, can produce 1.2 million tons of alumina every year. The company stopped mining bauxite and suspended its operations at the Kirkvine and Ewarton refineries in 2009 because of a drop in the global demand for aluminum. At that time, the firm said the suspension would last a year, but since the sector has not recovered from the effects of the worldwide recession and decrease in alumina prices, operations will end for good.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
HONOLULU INFORMANT FIGHTS DEPORTATION TO JAMAICA—03/29/10
Dennis Rozetta, a Jamaican tennis professional who is facing deportation, will be allowed to argue his case in a court in Honolulu. Rozetta maintains that the help he can offer in catching a murder suspect should permit him to remain in the country. However, he will no longer be allowed to play tennis on the private campus at Punahou because of his immigration problems and his role as confidential information for a federal fugitive task force. Rozetta has no criminal record, and is facing deportation because he overstayed his visa some years ago.
JAMAICAN WOMAN TRAVELED ON FALSE PASSPORT—03/30/10
Yasmine Morgan-Harris, 31, a black woman from Jamaica, obtained a passport using the identity of Vanessa Turner, a white woman from Kent in the United Kingdom, and used it to travel to and from the United Kingdom. Using the passport, Morgan-Harris has remained in the UK since 1997. She also used the passport to return to Jamaica under another’s name so that she could get married.
DRUG TRAFFICKER WANTS TO DO PRISON TIME IN JAMAICAN JAIL—03/31/10
Derrick Brooks, 45, is serving a life sentence in a Cuban prison for drug trafficking, and he has accused the government of Jamaica of refusing to facilitate a transfer to a Jamaican jail. The Cuban authorities are willing to send him home, and according to Brooks, there are over 30 Jamaicans in Cuban prisons who need help. They do not receive rehabilitation and are denied any chance to study or even visit the library. Brooks says he is on “lockdown” 24 hours a day and that he has not seen his wife or children since 2002.Brooks was sentenced for trafficking 500 grams of cocaine. He has been appealing for a transfer since 2005.
FLORIDA WEBSITE LAUNCHED FOR JAMAICAN ALUMNI GROUPS—04/01/10
A new website at www.jaasf.info has been developed by the Coalition of Jamaican Alumni Associations in Florida. The site is designed to be a central location for information about the alumni organizations in the area. The coalition of groups based in Florida has joined with other fraternities in the Diaspora that have created an information network. The site will provide information on some 50 Jamaican alumni groups in Florida and include a monthly newsletter describing projects and initiatives undertaken by the groups.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARICOM WILL GO BANKRUPT, SAYS GUYANA’S PRESIDENT—03/27/10
RUM PRODUCERS MAY LOSE EUROPEAN MARKETS—03/28/10
HAITI STILL SUFFERING TEN WEEKS AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE—03/29/10
NEW CARIBBEAN LEAGUE DEVELOPED FOR FOOTBALL CLUBS—03/30/10
MEXICO CLUBS WILL CONTINUE IN THE COPA LIBERTADORES—03/31/10
ROYAL BANK OF CANADA EXPANDS SERVICES IN BARBADOS—04/01/10
PULIS PRAISES FULLER FOR WINNER—03/27/10
Tony Pulis heaped praise on Jamaican Ricardo Fuller after he scored against West Ham. The Jamaican striker scored a “fantastic” individual effort in the 69th minute to put the Potters in 10th place. Pulis says the team’s aim is to get 40 points as fast as possible and see if it can out-do the achievement of 2009.
TEAM JAMAICA BICKLE TO HOST 50 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, COACHES—03/28/10
Team Jamaica Bickle has agreed to host 50 high school students and coaches from Trinidad and Tobago for the Penn Relays track and field meet in Philadelphia, despite losing its main financial sponsor. It will need additional support from the Trinidadian and Jamaican communities in New York in 2010, as well as new fans and new corporate sponsors, to meet all of its needs, said Irwine Clare, founder of Team Jamaica Bickle. The Penn Relays, a top track and field event for high school and Olympic-level athletes is scheduled for April 22 to 25.
BOLT, POWELL TO MEET IN PARIS—03/29/10
Usain Bolt, world and Olympic 100-meter champion will compete with fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell at the IAAF Diamond League in Paris in July 2010. Bolt’s participation in the meet had been in doubt, but he has confirmed that he will participate in the 100-meter race. Powell, world bronze medalist, gave Bolt his last defeat in the 100 meters in Stockholm in 2008.
THOMPSON COMPLETES MEN’S SPRING DOUBLE—03/30/10
Oral Thompson finished the men’s sprint double on the last day of the Falcons Games in Bacolet, Tobago. The Jamaican ran 10.53 seconds for a victory in the 100 meter dash. He won the 200 meters previously.
Born to Die
Today, Good Friday, Christians all over the world reflect on the death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It was over 2,000 years ago that He came into the world as God in the flesh, born to a virgin in a manger, and ironically, wrapped in swaddling clothes, the cloth normally reserved for a person’s death. Back then in the Middle East, people traveling long distances were often met with many hardships and trials on their journeys. In the event of a death in travel, the body could not continue to be transported for many days. For that reason, travelers wrapped a thin, gauze-like cloth around their waist many times. If someone died on the journey, the others would use this cloth, referred to as “swaddling clothes” to wrap the corpse in before burying them.
And so we see that even at His birth, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords was destined to die. Not for anything He had done but for the sins of all mankind. So innocent was He that when He stood before Pilate on trumped up charges of “perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King,” Luke tells us, “And Pilate asked [H]im, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And [H]e answered him and said, Thou sayest it. Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man” (Luke 23:2-4, KJV). Yet even as He was declared innocent, the people cried, saying, “Crucify him, crucify him. And [Pilate] said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath [H]e done? I have found no cause of death in [H]im: I will therefore chastise [H]im, and let [H]im go. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that [H]e might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required” (vv.21-24).
The angel of the Lord had said of Mary to Joseph, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for [H]e shall save [H]is people from their sins.” Over thirty years later the son of God would hang on a cross, stretched out between two thieves, paying the ultimate price for sin as required by God the Father for our salvation. Jesus paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay. In the words of the old hymn writer, “Jesus paid it all / All to Him I owe / Sin had left a crimson stain / He washed it white as snow.” Because of His death, we have “redemption through [H]is blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of [H]is grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
As we pause to reflect on the events of that day, I pray that we avail ourselves of what was made possible. As He gave His life for us, how about we give our lives back to Him?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.