THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
AIRPORT EXPANSION NOT READY IN TIME FOR ICC WORLD CUP —02/03/06
Expansion work at Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) will not be finished by the time the ICC Cricket World Cup begins in March. Earl Richards, president of the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), said that several important areas of the airport will be completed, however. Richards said the dual carriageway entrance and car park will be completed for March. Contractors are working to make the airport ready by focusing on the construction of the double-level pier, ticketing concourse, arrival and departure concourses, and car park, which are scheduled to be ready in time for the tournament.
OPERATION KINGFISH INVESTIGATES FINANCING OF SMUGGLERS—02/03/06
A number of business interests thought to be involved in the financing of a guns-for-drugs smuggling operation between Jamaica and Haiti are under investigation in Operation Kingfish. The police seized four powerful handguns in the Hampton Court area of St. Thomas. The police also detained 11 individuals in connection with the gun discovery. The police believe the guns had just arrived from Haiti. According to Glenmore Hinds, head of Operation Kingfish and the Assistant Commissioner of Police, says he has intelligence suggesting that individuals who operate legitimate businesses are hiring fisherman to transport drugs to Haiti and to exchange it for drugs.
BUREAUCRACY HINDERS PARISH DEVELOPMENT—02/04/06
The development of parishes is hindered by excessive bureaucracy in the Central Government, say local stakeholders. Parish leaders want the Government to reduce the red tape associated with getting approval for projects. They also want more power to be given to the parish councils so they can administer any development occurring within their jurisdiction. Officials from local government report that parish councils are underfunded and do not have the ‘institutional capacity’ to handle the issues arising in developments with significant investment.
BAD ROAD CONDITIONS HALT TOURISM IN PORT ANTONIO—02/05/06
The terrible condition of the roads that lead into Port Antonio have caused many tour operators to suspend their tour, essentially ending tourism in the resort town. The work being performed on the third segment of the North Coast Highway from Ocho Rios to Port Antonio has made it unsafe to travel on this route. Since most of the roads are impassable, it takes as long as four hours to get from Ocho Rios to Buff Bay, Portland, says Fabian Taylor. Taylor is the vice president of operations for Tour Wise Ltd. And on the return trip, he says, the company must take detours on lonely roads that bring additional risk. Rather than take the chance, Taylor’s company has decided to suspend its tours to the Blue Mountains.
KINGSTON PUBLIC HOSPITAL DEFENDS ACTIONS—02/06/06
The Kingston Public Hospital has defended its action in the face of charges that it neglected to provide immediate medical aid to Corporal Scarlett Briggs, who was taken to the facility after being shot. He died later the same night after being transferred to the University Hospital of the West Indies. Briggs required emergency surgery, but did not receive immediate medical attention, according to Corporate Raymond Wilson, chairman of the Police Federation. Donald Farquharson, the hospital’s chief executive officer, said that Briggs was treated as quickly as possible. The one operating theater dedicated to emergencies during late hours and weekends was already in use when Briggs was admitted.
VICTOR CUMMINGS TO CHALLENGE McKENZIE FOR POSITION AS MAYOR—02/07/06
Kingston is likely to see its first direct election for the office of mayor in a contest between Victor Cummings, outgoing member of Parliament for Central Kingston, and Desmond McKenzie, incumbent. McKenzie has been widely recognized for his work as mayor in the past three and a half years. If Dean Peart, Local Government Minister, gets his way, the election could be the first direct election of several mayors in addition to the mayor of Kingston.
BATSMAN MARLON SAMUELS CAUGHT, LEAKED STRATEGY TO BOOKMAKER—02/08/06
Marlon Samuels, Jamaica and West Indies middle-order batsman, may be removed from the West Indies World Cup team after allegations that he gave information to an Indian bookmaker. According to police, there are taped telephone conversations in which Samuels can be heard discussing team strategy with an illegal bookmaker during a recent series in India.
MAJOR RICHARD REESE RECOMMENDS RAISING AGE OF CONSENT TO 18—02/09/06
Major Richard Reese, commissioner of corrections, wants to see the age of consent for sexual intercourse to be increased from 16 years to 18 years of age. Reese made his recommendation in an appearance before a joint select committee of Parliament. The committee is considering amendments to laws that address sexual offenses. However, Mary Clarke, children’s advocate, opposed the recommendation, saying it would only encourage young people who need help to go further underground. She also said it would “increase the criminalization of children” rather than protect them.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
POLICE IN BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS SEEK ILLEGAL JAMAICAN MIGRANT—02/03/06
Malverm Brathwaite, acting Chief Immigration Officer in the British Virgin Islands, reports that members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force and immigration surveillance officers are looking for Coy Robinson of Jamaica. Robinson evaded immigration officials at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport. According to Brathwaite, Robinson had returned to the Territory after being denied entry just the day before. His entry was denied because he had an expired permit. When immigration officers detained him, he ran from the terminal building onto the airport tarmac and climbed over a perimeter fence. The public is urged to contact immigration or police officials with any useful information about Robinson’s whereabouts.
JAMAICAN DOGSLEDDERS PARTICIPATE IN MINNESOTA WINTER CARNIVAL—02/04/06
The Margaritaville Jamaican dogsled team made an appearance at the oldest and biggest winter festival in the United States. At Winter Carnival Park in St. Paul, Minnesota, Danny Melville of Chukka Caribbean Adventure, and Devon Anderson, Jamaican musher, celebrated the screening of the documentary film ‘Sun Dogs,’ which features Jamaica’s first dogsled team. The film, made by Palm Pictures, tells the story of the founding of the Jamaica team. The mushers then joined four other teams in the Carnival’s first Nestle Purina Petcare Dogsled Rally, an exhibition race.
ANGELA KING, FORMER UN OFFICIAL, HAS DIED—02/07/06
Angela King, a former official for women’s equality from Jamaica at the United Nations, has died. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that she will “be mourned with profound affection and respect” worldwide. King was appointed by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 1997 as an assistant secretary-general for gender issues and the advancement of women. She died of cancer at New York hospital. King was 68.
MICHAEL LORNE, JAMAICAN ATTORNEY, TO SPEAK IN SOUTH FLORIDA—02/07/06
Michael Lorne, Jamaican attorney, will speak in South Florida on “Contributions of African-Americans to the growth and development of the American society” in celebration of Black History Month. Lorne is well known for his interest and passion about Black struggles and the contributions made by Blacks to society. Lorne, a former student at Kingston College, is the owner/publisher of a publishing firm in Jamaica.
BARBADOS DEFEATS JAMAICA IN KFC ONE-DAYER—02/03/06
Jamaica lost to Barbados by four runs in a one-day KFC thriller at Kensington Park. Wayne Blackman and Floyd Reifer had centuries. Blackman had his first century in regional cricket, while Reifer had a second one-day century. Barbados gained 284 for six in the 50 overs. Despite the effort by Skipper Wavell Hinds and Bevon and Odean Brown, Jamaican ended at 280-9.
YOUNG ATHLETES WARM UP FOR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS—02/04/06
Preparing for the National Boys’ and Girls’ Athletic Championships, young athletes showed promise at the Youngster Goldsmith Hurdles and Field Classic. Claudia Calder of Alpha and Shantel Thompson of Vere both were successful at clearing 1.70. Calder won the gold medal. Third place was held by Khadeen Isaacs of Manchester.
VENUS AND SERENA WILLIAMS, TENNIS STARS, VISIT THE ISLAND—02/06/06
Venus and Serena Williams, often called the Williams sisters, arrived at Norman Manley International Airport for a two-day visit. They held a tennis clinic at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in which more than 300 children from 27 schools participated. The Williams sisters were presented with a plaque from the Pegasus hotel from Sharon Dolandson, hotel tennis manager, and Philbert Palmer, tennis pro. A reception was held in their honor at the hotel as well.
JAMAICA WINS LEAD, CONTINUES TOWARD CHALLENGE TROPHY FINAL—02/07/06
Jamaica managed to get the lead and the ability to continue on toward the Challenge Trophy final in the four-day series. Captain Wavell Hinds went from one bowler to another as he attempted to wrap up the innings, and Tamar Lambert save Jamaica by trapped Jaggernauth leg before wicket after the extended tea break. Jamaica needed to win the match and prevent Trinidad and Tobago from getting any points in order to get to the final.
Praying Effectively II
“Lord, teach us to pray…” (Luke 11:1). This was the profound request of Jesus’ disciples, and which should be the request of all of us. By ourselves we can do nothing (John 15:5), and so even in prayer, we need to be taught by Him who had the most intimate of prayer relationship with the Father. Jesus did not trivialize the disciple’s request, but Luke opens verse 2 with the words: “And he said unto them, When ye pray,say…”, and what follows is a prayer that we refer to as The Lord’s Prayer. The brevity of this prayer, 58 words recorded by Luke, is a reminder to us that it is not the length of our prayers that matters, but rather the sincerity of our hearts, a belief in God’s sovereignty, and a right relationship with Him.
It is important to note the elements of The Prayer. At the very beginning it honors God, it sought the replication of the will of God on earth as it is in heaven, it recognizes God as the source for our daily provisions, it seeks the forgiveness of our sins in direct proportion to the extent we forgive others, and it seeks God’s leading in our daily walk. Obviously, the words of Jesus were well chosen because in effect, the essence of His teaching was faith in God and purity of heart. We cannot hope to pray effectively if we have unforgiveness in our hearts. The Psalmist David wrote: “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart…” (Psalm 23:3,4). It is interesting that Jesus did not simply teach asking for forgiveness, but He made it conditional upon our forgiving those who had wronged us. The spirit of unforgiveness is the padlock that chains our prayers to the ground. Whenever Jesus taught on prayer and faith, He made the effectiveness of those prayers conditional on our forgiving those who have wronged us. In Mark 11:25, 26 we read: “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Heavy words indeed, but there is certainly no ambiguity to them.
As we enter our respective times of prayer, may we come to God with an openness that reflects all Jesus taught. Of course, we cannot hide who we are from our Him. Whether we choose to be transparent or not, He is fully aware of the condition of our hearts, and lest we forget, it is He who has set the terms and conditions on which He will answer our prayers. Who better to know what pleased God than God’s Son? The words of Mary, Jesus’ mother, was never more profound: “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5). I submit that is advice worth following.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.