THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
REID TAKES LEGAL ACTION TO CLEAR HER NAME—02/17/07
Stephanie Reid, chief executive officer of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), plans to take legal action against the hospital, saying that politics is behind the controversy surrounding her and the hospital board. Reid decided to pursue a legal remedy to order to clear her name.
WARDERS HELP INMATES RECEIVE PACKAGES OF GANJA—02/18/07
According to an inmate held in one of Jamaica’s penal institutions, prison officials facilitate the receipt, sale and use of ganja inside the prison. The officials are said to do so for a cut of the price, and once they have their money, they leave inmates alone to smoke without penalty. The amount of money warders receive depends on the price of the product and the quantity they bring into the prison.
THREE PRISON OFFICERS FIRED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING—02/18/07
Major Richard Reese, Commissioner of Corrections, reports that three prison officials have lost their jobs for trafficking in illegal drugs to inmates. More than 40 officers are under interdiction or leave due to investigations underway by the Department of Correctional Services. Major Reese says investigations are conducted in regard to all security breaches, and all criminal offenses are reported to the local police. Most of the officers are committed to getting rid of delinquent officers, says Reese.
POLICE THE TARGET OF LOTTERY SCAM INVESTIGATION—02/19/07
Several police officers involved in a lottery scam operating from Montego Bay, St. James, have been targeted by Operation Kingfish. Glenmore Hinds, Assistant Commissioner of Police, reports that investigators are ready to make more arrests in the case. Fourteen of 32 people arrested in raids are thought to be high-level operatives in the scam. The lottery scam involves convincing elderly Americans that they are winners in the Jamaican lottery. Once convinced, they are told to wire money so their alleged winnings can be processed.
JAMAICAN FISHERMEN TRADING MEAT FOR HAITIAN GUNS—02/20/07
While trade between Jamaica and Haiti that exchanges drugs for guns is common, a new element has been added. Jamaican fishermen have started to trade meat to the Haitians in exchange for high-powered guns. Police believe the Haitians are trading the guns to get meat for food. It is not known how the meat is preserved during the long trip between Jamaica and Haiti, which can take as long as eight hours. Cattle have been reported stolen in St. Elizabeth, but authorities cannot say for certain whether these animals have been part of the trading activity.
POLICE COMMISSIONER REASSIGNS 36 SENIOR JCF OFFICERS—02/21/07
Lucius Thomas, police commissioner, has decided to reassign 36 senior officers of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). The reassignments represent a major change implemented to address a rising crime rate. The increase in crime threatens to undo gains made by the policy in 2006. More seasoned officers have been put into zones with higher crime rates. Steve McGreggor, a newly promoted superintendent, is among those transferred. He will now be working in St. James, which has had a very high homicide rate since January 2007.
GREENE POSSIBLY FIRED FROM JOB AT NATIONAL SOLID WASTE AUTHORITY—02/22/07
There is some controversy over whether or not Errol Greene has been relieved of his post as executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA). Minister of state Harry Douglas of the Ministry of Local Government and Environment states that the agency removed Greene from his job after a recent board meeting. Greene himself says he has not been advised of his release by the board. The board has been concerned about finance irregularities under the management of Greene since last year.
SENATOR TUFTON QUESTIONS MONEY TRANSFER TO PNP IN 2006—02/23/07
Opposition Senator Dr. Christopher Tufton has questioned the transfer of $31 million to an account linked to People’s National Party (PNP) in 2006. The transfer should have been reported under requirements of the Money Laundering Act, since it could have been considered a suspicious transaction. Tufton queried whether there was a reporting mechanism in place regarding the money, which was transferred to CCOC Associates, a dormant account connected to the PNP, by the Dutch oil firm, Trafigura Beheer.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN HONORED AT WHITE HOUSE AWARDS RECEPTION—02/16/07
Lissette Wade, a Jamaican, was honored by George Bush, the President of the United States, as a person who has worked to enhance African American culture. Wade was among the 100 African Americans receiving awards at a reception at the White House in Washington, D.C. during which President Bush declared February 2007 as National African American History month. Wade, who left Jamaica in 1979, said he was honored to receive the high award. He currently owns nine McDonald’s franchises in Lake Park, Florida, where he now lives. Wade helped to enhance black culture by transforming one of his restaurants into a black history museum so that young African Americans could learn about their history. According to Professor Gordon Shirley, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, this is probably the first time a Jamaican has been so honored by a United States president.
UN PROMOTES JAMAICAN METHOD TO PRESERVE COCONUT WATER—02/21/07
A method that was developed in Jamaica for preserving coconut water is being promoted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The technique will increase the shelf life of the bottled liquid and increase potential sales for small farmers. The UN favors the Jamaican cold preservation process, which retains the natural taste of the coconut water for up to three weeks and avoids the loss of nutrients associated with commercial canning methods.
JAMAICAN AUTHOR SHORT-LISTED FOR COMMONWEALTH WRITERS’ PRIZE—02/21/07
The first book by a Jamaican author has been placed on the short list of the Caribbean/Canada region of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. “The Fear of Stones” by Kei Miller is one of six books on the list. Winners will be announced in Jamaica on May 27, 2007. The winner of the overall Best Book award receives a prize of 10,000 pounds.
ARTIFACTS FROM PORT ROYAL ON DISPLAY IN THE UNITED STATES—02/22/07
Artifacts from Jamaica’s Port Royal are being displayed for the first time in the United States. The Historical Museum of Southern Florida in Miami is sponsoring the exhibition together with the Institute of Jamaica. Port Royal had been characterized as the “Wickedest City on Earth” before it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1692. It was the center of the African slave trade in the 17th century and a base for the British Royal Navy in the 18th and 19th centuries.
ASAFA POWELL AND SHERONE SIMPSON AT UWI INVITATIONAL MEET—02/16/07
The fastest man and fastest woman in Jamaica will lead a group of top track and field athletes at the University of West Indies (UWI) Invitational meet at the National Stadium East Complex. Asafa Powell ran 400 meters at 47.46 seconds in his season opener at the Queen’s/Grace Jackson Invitational Track Meet. Sherone Simpson also ran the 400 meters at the Queen’s/Grace Jackson meet, at 53.40 seconds
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO DEFEAT WINDWARD ISLANDS AT KFC CUP—02/18/07
Trinidad and Tobago were victorious over the Windward Islands at the KFC Cup in an exciting final game at the Amos Vale Sport Complex. The team withstood an opening stand of 82 and took three wickets at the death to limit Windwards to 205 in 49.4 overs. In a significant comeback, Trinidad and Tobago defended a total of 210 for eight from 50 overs.
FIVE GOALS IN PENALTY SHOOT-OUT PROVIDE WIN FOR REGGAE BOYZ—02/19/07
By making a perfect five goals during a penalty shoot-out, the Jamaican Reggae Boyz defeated the Hong Kong League XI 5 to 3 in the opening game of the Lunar New Year Cup tournament at Hong Kong Stadium. Fabian Taylor had a first-half goal that put the Jamaicans in the lead for most of the match. The Lunar New Year Cup is held in celebration of the first day of the Chinese New Year. It is one of the most important sporting events in Hong Kong.
REGGAE BOYZ TAKE TITLE AT LUNAR NEW YEAR CUP IN HONG KONG—02/22/07
The Reggae Boyz of Jamaica won their first tournament title outside of the local region by defeating China 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out at the Lunar New Year Cup games in Hong Kong Stadium. Allien Whittaker stopped two penalties and scored one when the Reggae Boyz recovered from missing their first penalty.
What’s In Your Bucket?
How many times have you said something to someone and immediately wished you could take it back? Whether it was in the “heat” of the moment, the result of pent-up frustration, or we were just simply having a bad day, I would guess most, if not all of us, have had that experience at least once. Some have called it “a slip of the tongue”, but is it really? The more I think about it, I keep coming back to Jesus’ words to the religious rulers of the day; “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” (Matt. 12:34-35, KJV).
Sometime ago I heard a Pastor say that the words we speak are like water in a bucket. When someone bumps our “bucket”, i.e. offends us, whatever is inside will flow out. There is quite a lot of truth in that statement. In the Proverbs we read, “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water…” (20:5), and I would guess, so are other things, good and bad. The condition of our hearts is of such that Jeremiah wrote it is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (17:9). Unless the love of God fill our heart continuously, and without the exercise of much diligence, the things that pour out from it can be very destructive. As we read also in the Proverbs, “…grievous words stir up anger” (15:1). On the opposite side, “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” (15:23).
I quite like David’s prayer request in Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Paul beautifully encouraged us when he wrote, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8). God is so good He even tells us the things we should think / meditate on. What’s in your bucket? Are you words / meditations pleasing to God? As we make David’s prayer our prayer, may we take Paul’s words to heart as well. Today is as good a time as any to start doing so.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.