JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending May 18th, 2007

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THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
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EARL PRATT TO BE RELEASED—05/12/07
Over 10 years after the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in the United Kingdom recommended that Earl Pratt’s death sentence for a 1977 murder be commuted to a life sentence in an historic ruling, Pratt will be released from prison. According to Major Richard Reese, commissioner of corrections, the Department of Correctional Services is waiting for formal notice about the status of parole applicants for May. Authorities say that Pratt, who is in his 50s, and Mary Lynch, 62, who has served time for the murder of her husband, are both expected to be released in May.

SCOTLAND YARD SAYS WOOLMER DIED OF HEART FAILURE—05/13/07
Investigators from Scotland Yard, who were asked to help with the case of Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan cricket coach who was found dead in his hotel room in Jamaica, have found that Woolmer died of heart failure and was not murdered. A pathology report that was submitted by the team of Scotland Yard investigators states that Woolmer died of natural causes and not manual strangulation, as was originally reported by Mark Shields, the Deputy Commissioner of the JCF. If Scotland Yard is proved correct in its assessment, it will be a major embarrassment for local investigators and the Jamaican government.

JAMAICAN POLICE STILL BELIEVE WOOLMER WAS MURDERED—05/14/07
Karl Angell, a spokesperson for the Jamaican police, says the police maintain their contention that Bob Woolmer, former Pakistan cricket coach, was murdered, in spite of a report from a team of Scotland Yard investigators who were called in to help with the case. These investigators found that Woolmer died of natural causes and not from “manual strangulation,” as the Jamaican police believe. The police are sticking by their original assessments in the case because the result of all forensic and pathology tests are not yet in.

EIA CLEARS OPERATORS OF FUNERAL HOME, PROTEST ENDS—05/14/07
A report from t Environmental Management Consultants Ltd., an independent assessment firm, has found that the operators of Delapenha’s Funeral Home did not breach environmental rules at its cemetery at Burnt Ground, Hanover. The Minister of Local Government ordered the environmental review after suspending work on the cemetery’s development plans.

DSP BARRETT-LATCHMAN FIGHTS OFF ATTEMPTED ATTACK—05/15/07
According to Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Dorrett Barrett-Latchman, the person who tried to rape her was someone she has known for at least a decade. Barrett-Latchman has concluded that the intent of her attacker was to murder her after the rape, since he knew she could identify him. She said she had been fighting off her attacker for at least 10 minutes before anyone came to her aid.

GIRL FROM TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO READS FOR PEACE—05/16/07
Choc’late Allen, a 13-year-old girl from Trinidad and Tobago, wants Jamaican young people to know that they have the power to succeed in anything as long as it is positive. Allen will continue to communicate her message during a 12-hour-per-day fasting and reading program. She is reading for peace and purity at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library. Allen says the response to her “100 percent crime-free initiative” has been overwhelmingly positive.

ATTORNEYS CRITICIZE COMMENTS MADE BY JUSTICE MINISTER—05/17/07
Lawyers and other interest parties have been critical about the response of A.J. Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, to comments made by Almarie Sinclair-Haynes, Supreme Court Judge. The judge made remarks about the Ministry’s failure to provide her with hotel accommodations. The Minister’s statements were characterized as “interference in the independence of the judiciary” by the Independent Jamaican Council for Human Rights.
PORTIAL SIMPSON MILLER RISING IN POLLS—05/18/07
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller continues to have the approval of most Jamaicans, in spite of her handling of the Trafigura situation and the ongoing bickering of her party colleagues. According to a poll commissioned by the Jamaica Gleaner, Simpson Miller’s favorability rating outpaces those of Bruce Golding, Opposition Leader. Of 1,008 residents polled in communities across the island on May 5 and 6, 2007, Simpson Miller’s approval rating rose by 6 points, compared to the poll conducted in January 2007. Fifty-four percent of the survey respondents said they approved of Simpson Miller’s performance, while only 28 percent said they disapproved of her performance as Prime Minister.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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POLICE IN UK ASK FOR HELP TO FIND JAMAICAN FUGITIVE—05/12/07
Police in the West Midlands of the UK are asking Jamaica for help to track down Lozen Thompson, 41, one of the most-wanted men in the area. Thompson is wanted in Birmingham for his alleged involvement with a double murder, as well as a murder attempt on his girlfriend. Thompson is said to have shot his girlfriend in November 2006 during a fight at their home. He is also wanted by Dutch police, who claim he is connected with two people who were murdered 12 years ago. There is an international warrant for Thomson’s arrest.

DISASTER RISK FINANCING SHOULD EXPAND, JAMAICAN AMBASSADOR SAYS—05/14/07
Professor Gordon Shirley, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, says that the Caribbean States have shown much political will in the joint development of ways to finance risk mitigation for disasters, but an urgent need for more action remains. Shirley addressed a seminar on financial instruments for disaster risk management in Washington, D.C., where he called for a partnership between international donors and civil society in the Caribbean to improve the range and relevance of catastrophe risk management and financing in the area.

BRITISH-JAMAICAN PLAYWRIGHT DESCRIBES ISLAND’S SINISTER SIDE—05/15/07
Paul Anthony Morris, the British-Jamaican playwright, has written a play called “35 Cents,” which is meant to show a side of the island not generally considered by tourists looking for rum, reggae, and white sand beaches. According to Morris, 65 cents of every Jamaican dollar goes to repay external debt, leaving only 35 centers for the island’s government to put toward housing, education, health care, security, and all the other things residents need. The play shows a country caught in a cycle of poverty, violence, and corruption. It is described as “a scathing political satire.”

POWELL TO RACE WITH THE STARS AT PREFONTAINE CLASSIC—05/17/07
Asafa Powell, Jamaica’s 100-meter record holder, is ready to take his place with other racing stars in the 200 meters at the Prefontaine Classic in the United States on June 10, 2007. Powell has not yet opened his outdoor season in the 100 meters, but he will face Xavier Carter, Wallace Spearmon, Jeremy Wariner, and Chris Williams in the 200 meter match. Carter has the second-fastest time in the 200 meters at 19.63 seconds, while Spearmon has the third fastest at 19.65. Spearmon is also the Olympic 400-meter champion.

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SPORTS
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WINDIES BEGIN UK PRACTICE—05/12/07
The West Indies cricket team is preparing for their tour of England with a three-day match versus Somerset in Taunton, England. The team expects to play a challenging Test series against its UK hosts. Captain Ramnaresh Sarwan and coach David Moore have already stated their concern about the lack of preparation before the Tests. The team will enter the match against Somerset after only two practice sessions.

MORTON AND CHANDERPAUL RESCUE WEST INDIES—05/13/07
The West Indies were saved by Runako Morton and Shivnarine Chanderpaul who provided an unbroken, 5th-wicket century stand before crowds suffering in the rain during the opening day of a three-day tour match against Somerset. Morton had 91 and Chanderpaul 59 as the West Indies won the toss and reached 195 for four before the rain stopped the match in the post-lunch session.

RAIN RUINS PRACTICE EFFORTS OF WINDIES IN UK—05/15/07
The West Indies was denied critical practice time before the first Test at Lord’s in the United Kingdom when rain spoiled the third and last day of the tour match against Somerset. The match was the only one to be played before the beginning of the Test series, and it was called off just before 1:00 pm due to a heavy rain that saturated the outfield. The lack of practice concerns the Windies.

KERRON STEWART A STAR AT SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ALABAMA—05/17/07
Jamaica’s inform sprinter, Kerron Stewart, is showing that she will be a major contender at the IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan, in the summer of 2007. Stewart impressed the crowd at the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championships in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, by running into a headwind to do the 100-meter race in 11.10 seconds, outpacing challengers, Sherry Fletcher and Shalonda Solomon.

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DEVOTIONAL
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Search Me, O God

One of the buzz words in relationships is transparency. We want the people in our lives to “open up” and share their innermost thoughts and feelings; we want to know their heart. Most of us are afraid of this transparency because we feel extremely vulnerable, and for the most part, uncomfortable. We are told to “not tell everything”, “don’t say anything that could come back to haunt you”, among other things, and so even though we can comfortably connect with others on an intimate level, being transparent is another matter.

The irony is that genuinely intimate relationships require transparency in order to be fully effective. There cannot be any areas of our lives that is considered “off limits”because, in a number of ways, transparency speaks to our integrity and character; the very core of who were are individuals. In the natural, the absence of transparency breeds hurt, insecurity, uncertainty, confusion, to name a few.

In the spiritual realm, it is mandatory to have transparency with the Almighty if we desire fellowship with Him. David wrote, “Behold, thou desirest in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom” (Psalm 51:6), and answered his own question, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?” with “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (24:3-5). Jesus Himself told the woman at the well, “…the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (John 4:23). Genuine worship involves purity of heart and mind; a state that can only be attained when we lay ourselves open to the will and workings of the Holy Spirit.

That is why I love David’s prayer in Psalm 139:2, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”, to which we could add, “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin … Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (51:2, 10). For the expressed purpose of enjoying a healthy relationship with God, he laid himself bare, made himself transparent before Him who knew him better than he knew himself.

How far are you willing to go in your relationship with the Father? How transparent are you willing to become? Remember, if He is not Lord of all areas of our lives, He is not Lord at all.

CEW

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CREDITS/SOURCES
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The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.