THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
U.S. SAYS JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT FAILS TO ADDRESS CORRUPTION—03/03/07
The International Narcotics Control Strategy Report 2007, which was recently released by the U.S. State Department, criticizes Jamaican authorities for their failure to prosecute highly ranked officials in the government who are involved in corruption. The reported noted that, In spite of the commitment made in 2006 by National Security Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips, who promised the government’s total support in fighting corruption, there were no prosecutions of high-ranking officials on charges of corruption for the past year.
GIRLS’ HOME THE TARGET OF SEXUAL PREDATORS—03/04/07
Teenage girls at the Windsor Child Care Facility in St. Ann are the victims of men who lure them away from the institution and rape them. At least one girl, 16, has been impregnated by such an encounter. Allegedly, men cut the chain-link fence surrounding the facility to gain access. According to Norma Hill, regional director for the northeast region of the Child Development Agency, three cases of rape at the home have been recorded since January 2006. One arrest has been made in regard to these incidents, while suspects in the other two cases have left the area. The institution cares for girls between the ages of 12 and 17.
PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS LINK DRUGS-FOR-GUNS TRADE WITH MALARIA—03/04/07
Local health officials believe there may be a connection between recent malaria outbreaks and the illegal drugs-for-guns trade occurring between Jamaica and Haiti. These experts continue to warn that a failure to stop this trade could mean additional outbreaks of malaria and other communicable diseases. While there is no empirical evidence supporting this theory as yet, officials say there is anecdotal evidence that links the spread of malaria to illegal trade with Haiti.
PRIME MINISTER SAYS JAMAICAN IS READY FOR CRICKET TOURNAMENT—03/05/07
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says that Jamaica is “ready for the world,” as she praised the country’s preparations for the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC). Simpson Miller said early challenges were overcome, and she is pleased by the enthusiasm showed by everyone in Jamaica. The Prime Minister made her remarks during her official trip to Europe to meet with the president of the European Union and the Prime Minister of Belgium.
ORGANIZERS SATISFIED WITH CRICKET WORLD CUP OPENING DAY—03/06/07
The organizers of the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) said they were satisfied with how the opening day proceeded. Managing director of the ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007 Inc. Chris Dehring, said, “the stage is now set for a super tournament in the Caribbean.” Dehring also said the Caribbean should be proud of the first day’s performance.
VAUXHALL HIGH STUDENTS HOLD PEACE DAY CEREMONY—03/07/07
Students from Vauxhall High in Brown’s Town, a volatile area in east Kingston, rallied during a Peace Day ceremony, sponsored by the Peace and Love in Society (PALS) organization together with the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA). The ceremony was observed with a theme inspired by the Cricket World Cup, “No Violence, Jus’ Bat for Peace.” A concert sponsored by the Community Security Initiative features students singing and dancing, while several entertainers performed songs for them as well. According to Andrew Holness, Opposition Spokesman on Education, the best place to begin working for peace is in the schools.
GANGS AND GUNMEN CAUSE FAMILIES TO FLEE TORRINGTON PARK—03/08/07
In Torrington Park, lower St. Andrew, residents are panicked and fearful, and over 20 families have already left the area. Residents suffer attacks, and some have been killed, while children are too traumatized to attend school. Gunmen invade the houses of the families who have left and steal their appliances. Some women say they run away at night and return to their homes in the morning. The fighting is not political, says Superintendent Delroy Hewitt, but results from an internal gang feud. Hewitt said additional resources have been put into the area to help resolve the problem.
CHAOS AT EMMET PARK ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP OPENING CEREMONY—03/09/07
Over 1,000 performers for the opening ceremony of the ICC Cricket World Cup arrived to get their accreditation passes at Emmet Park, St. George’s College, and police and security guards had to help control the crowd. Confusion about where to obtain the documentation and a lack of communication contributed to the chaos and created a long line of performers, some with their parents. When several performers got their passes, others became frustrated with the wait, and some pushing and disorderly conduct occurred at the gate.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
PRIME MINISTER TO MAKE WEEKLONG OFFICIAL VISIT TO EUROPE—03/03/07
Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister, is traveling to Europe on an official visit, which will include meetings with leaders in England, Belgium, Spain, and Switzerland. She will meet with Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Union, and with Guy Verhofstadt, the Prime Minister of Belgium. Prime Minister Simpson Miller will also address the town hall of the Jamaican Diaspora in London.
MIGRANTS TO UK MAY FACE ADDITIONAL TESTS FOR CITIZENSHIP—03/04/07
Many of the Jamaican nationals who live in the United Kingdom and want to obtain British citizenship could face more restrictions. Gordon Brown, chancellor and the man expected to become the next Prime Minister, wants migrants to perform community service work as part of their orientation to the country’s society and lifestyle. Brown believes that the process of becoming a UK citizen should be more focused. This focus could be achieved by doing community work. Currently, individuals seeking citizenship must pay fees, take a citizenship test, and become naturalized before swearing allegiance to the Queen.
BAPTIST GROUP NOMINATES JAMAICAN FOR GENERAL SECRETARY—03/07/07
Neville Callam, a 55-year-old Jamaican pastor, has been nominated to be the general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance. If he is elected in July 2007, Callam will be the first non-white chief executive of the organization and the first general secretary in the 101-year history of the group to come from a place outside the United States or Europe. The Alliance represents about 110 million Baptists around the world.
JAMAICAN MIGRANT KILLED IN PHILADELPHIA—03/07/07
Jamaican-born grandmother Cotneita Hanchard, 64, was fatally shot, together with a co-worker, Dwayne Bell, 41, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police detectives are attempting to discover the cause of the homicides. The two, who suffered several gunshots, were found inside Bell’s automobile in a parking lot of an apartment complex in the Mantua area of the city. Their wallets and identification papers were missing. Both worked for ABM Janitorial Services at the Bellvue Hotel, and Bell was giving Hanchard a ride home after work. Hanchard helped in sponsoring 17 relatives from Jamaica to the United States.
CRICKET BOARD TAKES ZERO-TOLERANCE APPROACH TO DRUGS—03/03/07
The West Indies Cricket Board (WIBC) is following the lead of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and has warned players to stay away from performance-enhancing drugs. According to Tony Deval, corporate services manager for WIBC, the West Indies team has been briefed on the topic of anti-doping and the requirements set out in the ICC regulations.
GREAT PERFORMANCE BY WEST INDIES AT WORLD CUP TOURNAMENT—03/06/07
Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Daren Powell, and Corey Collymore led the way for the West Indies win at Trelawny’s Multi-Purpose stadium in Falmouth. Gayle and Samuels entertained the crowd with excellent batting, while Powell and Collymore bowled well and picked up two wickets each.
LARA NOT WORRIED ABOUT BATTING FORM—03/07/07
Brian Lara is not worried about the batting form of his team, particularly in regard to the experienced players like Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and himself. Players hardly hit a ball during the opening practice match played by the West Indies against Kenya in the new stadium in Trelawny. Lara says he knows his experienced team can “hot up” the game when required.
KING SAYS LARA READY TO PLAY—03/08/07
Bennett King, coach of the West Indies, says that Brian Lara, star batsman, is ready to play in the Cricket World Cup, despite the fact that he has not played much cricket recently. King says there is no reason to worry about Lara because he has played for 16 years and has a lot of experience. Lara’s mental attitude is good, according to King, and he is eager to play in what could be his last major outing for the West Indies.
Talking About Praise
One of my favorite part of Scripture is Psalm 34, especially verses 1-3; “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.”
My fascination with this Psalm lies in David’s determination to bless (praise, salute) the Lord no matter what. So many times we allow our emotions to influence our praise, but here we see the Psalmist making the conscious decision that he would bless the Lord at all times; the two importants phrases being “I will” and “at all times”. We cannot always trust our emotions, and there are times when it feels like we are passing through endless valleys, and that may be the case for some, but even then, we can resolve to bless the Lord. To praise or not to praise is a decision that we make. When and how often we praise are also decisions that we make. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nothing external to you have any power over you”, and once we realize this, we will also realize that there is nothing, nor no one, that can stop our praise but ourselves.
We cannot afford to be situational praisers. True praisers see praise as an offering to God for who He is; a celebration of His attributes. Inspired by the Holy spirit, David wrote, “Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 150).
I am with David. “From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the LORD’s name is to be praised” (Psalm 113:3), so come and “magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together”. Praise ye the Lord!
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.