THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
ENVIRONMENTAL LEVY IMPOSED ON IMPORTED GOODS—05/26/07
All goods imported to Jamaica will have an environmental levy of 0.5 percent imposed upon them. The 0.5 percent will be based on the cost of goods, insurance and freight value. Goods that are imported by Jamaican residents that have a value up to US$500 will be exempted from the charge.
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL FINDS DAILY POLICE ABUSE—05/27/07
According to the Independent Jamaican Council for Human Rights (IJCHR), at least one citizen every day reports being the victim of abuse by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The Council is currently handling 34 cases of assault by the police. The Council is also dealing with cases that involve killings, property damage, and malicious prosecution or false imprisonment at the hand of the police. While all classes report abuse, the poor are most affected.
EARL PRATT RETURNS AFTER 30 YEARS—05/28/07
Earl Pratt returned to Central Village, St. Catherine, after 30 years and was welcomed as a prodigal son. Pratt and another man were convicted in 1977 for murdering Everton Junior Missick. Their death sentences were commuted to life in prison after a 1994 ruling from the United Kingdom Privy Council, which made it illegal to execute a person who had been on death row for over five years.
FLOODING AFFECTS SEVERAL PARISHES—05/29/07
More rain is expected to fall on Jamaica as the nation experiences unstable weather conditions impacting the Caribbean. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) reported several cases of flooding and land slippages in various parishes across the island. Flooding was reported in the Race Track area of Clarendon and in the Big Pond area of St. Catherine.
ESPINOLA SAYS MORE MUST BE DONE VERSUS CORRUPTION—05/30/07
Jamaica and the Caribbean must do more to address the corruption and links that exist between politics and criminality, says Juan Carlos Espinola, outgoing resident representative for the United Nations (UN). Espinola cited a report from the World Bank/UN on crime in the region. The report stated that criminal gangs had created much political influence throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.
FIRST WOMAN APPOINTED CHIEF JUSTICE IN JAMAICA—05/31/07
Zaila McCalla, a judge on the Court of Appeal, has made history by being the first woman appointed Chief Justice in Jamaica. Her appointment will go into effect on June 27, 2007, after the retirement of Chief Justice Lensley Wolfe on June 26. Governor-General Professor Kenneth Hall appointed McCalla to the top job at the judiciary. The appointment was made on the recommendation of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Opposition Leader Bruce Golding.
POLITICAL CODE OF CONDUCT BREACHES INVESTIGATED—06/01/07
Three cases involving breaches of the Political Code of Conduct in two constituencies are under investigation by the Office of the Political Ombudsman. The areas being examined are North East Manchester and South East St. Andrew. In North East Manchester, the breach involves the vandalizing of the constituency office and an area shooting. In South East St. Andrew, the fatal shooting of a man in that constituency is being investigated.
JHTA NOT HAPPY WITH AIR JAMAICA/VIRGIN ATLANTIC DEAL—06/01/07
The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) is dissatisfied with Air Jamaica for obtaining too little from the Virgin Atlantic London code-sharing deal. Starting in October, Virgin Atlantic will take over Air Jamaica’s route to London. Horace Peterkin, president of the JHTA, is concerned that Virgin Atlantic is adding only two flights into Kingston.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN MUSLIM DEPORTED FROM UK—05/26/07
Abdullah Al Faisal, a Jamaican who converted to Islam, has been accused of having influence over one of the July 2005 suicide bombers in London. He has now been deported from the United Kingdom back to Kingston in Jamaica. He will never be allowed back in the UK. Al Faisal was said by the UK government to have strongly influenced Germaine Lindsay, another Jamaican, who was involved in the explosions in the underground on July 7, 2005.
PLAY BY JAMAICAN IMMIGRANT TOUCHES AUDIENCE—05/27/07
The play, “Jamaica, Farewell,” by Debra Ehrhardt offers Jamaican immigrants in the Atlanta, Georgia, area a chance to bond. Mostly Jamaican audiences have attended the play, which is shown in a 130-seat theater. The Jamaican population of Atlanta has almost doubled, growing from 13,500 individuals in 2000 to 24,000 in 2005. Atlanta is a popular destination for Jamaican immigrants who know all about Martin Luther King Jr. and Andrew Young.
JAMAICA HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY WINS ROYAL AWARD—05/28/07
The Jamaica Horticultural Society received Silver-Gilt at London’s Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show. The Society won for its “Ode to Old Jamaica” display of flowers, plants, and fruits. The display was led by Pearl Wright, Jamaican floral designer and horticulturalist.
JAMAICAN ADVANCES IN SPELLING BEE—05/31/07
Regina Bish of Jamaica was one of 59 students who distinguished themselves by advancing to the semi-finals of the 80th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington. Bish advanced to the semi-final by correctly spelling the following words: academic, alnico, and encephalopathy.
AT HEADINGLEY, WEST INDIES LOSES TO ENGLAND—05/26/07
The West Indies failed once again to keep a consistent line and length, which allowed England captain Michael Vaughan and star Kevin Pietersen to hit hundreds in the second Test. Vaughan celebrated his return as head of the England Test side with 106, while Pietersen got his second straight hundred.
WINDIES FACE BIG LOSS—05/27/07
England was in a commanding position in the second Test against the West Indies at Headingley after Kevin Pietersen’s first Test double century and Ryan Sidebottom’s six wickets. England declared on 570 for seven on the second day of the matches.
ENGLAND STALLED BY RAIN, WINDIES STILL FACE DEFEAT—05/28/07
The West Indies had time to think about their position when the third day of the second Test versus England was ended without a single ball being bowled. The Windies, following on 424 runs behind on first innings were scheduled to continue from their total of 22 for two after being dismissed for 146 in their first innings.
JAMALCO CLOSE TO FIFTH CHAMPIONSHIP—06/01/07
Jamalco, the defending champions, need only one more victory to secure their fifth title in a row in the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) Berger Paints Super League. The team managed to win a very close game 47-45 against Waulgrovians A at National Arena.
Someone once said that when it comes to serving the Lord, the “pay” is excellent and the benefits out of this world. This thought came to mind as I reflected on the words of the Psalmist, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (103:2). In the New Living Translation this verse reads, “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”
Among the many benefits David mentioned are: he forgives all my sins, he heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things, my youth is renewed like the eagle’s. He gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly, is compassionate and merciful; slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. The love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!
There is absolutely no one that can top such a benefit package! The beauty of all this is that it is not a one time deal, but benefits that are available to us daily. David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation” (Psalm 68:19, KJV). The greatest miracle is the salvation of our souls, but our Heavenly Father did not stop there. In addition to giving us the gift of His Son, He threw in the best benefits package the world has ever known, and it is available to all who will put their trust in Him.
The next time we are tempted to complain, may we reflect on those things. May our prayer be like that of the Psalmist; “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.