JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending June 8th, 2007

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THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
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POLICE FIND $10 MILLION IN STOLEN VEHICLE PARTS—06/02/07
Police in Spanish Town have recovered some $10 million in stolen vehicle parts and scrapped vehicles in the Kingland area neighboring KitsonTown, St. Catherine. Anthony Castell, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) says the police acted on a tip and went to an area where over 10 vehicles were found, cut up for parts. Several men who were at the site ran into the bushes and escaped the police.

DISASTER ZONES TO BE IDENTIFIED—06/03/07
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) wants to require disclosure of disaster zones so it can discourage development in the areas. Ronald Jackson, director general of ODPEM, says developers who deliberately build homes or sell land in disaster zones should be prosecuted. Jackson wants strong laws to prohibit human development near watersheds and riverbeds and to stop illegal dumping in gullies and drains, which causes flooding in some areas.

CARIBBEAN TERROR ALARM—06/04/07
Raymond Kelly, New York Police Chief, warns of a growing terror threat from the Caribbean following the discovery that four men from the region allegedly conceived a plot to blow up the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Kelly says the plot was different from others in its direct ties to the Caribbean, an area that is not typically considered as a place of terrorist activity. Now the region will be viewed as a place of growing Islamic radicalism.

JAMAICANS FACE COURT ON DRUG TRAFFICKING CHARGES—06/05/07
A Jamaican youth, 21, has been convicted of drug trafficking in an Antigua court and fined $250,000 for possession of a kilo and 536 grams of cannabis. He attempted to import the drug in jars that contained hot pepper sauce. Another Jamaican, Omar Kirk Goldson, 23, tried to smuggle 906 grams of cannabis in a sealed can of processed cheese.

CONSTRUCTION FIRMS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA WANTS JAMAICAN WORKERS—06/06/07
In an attempt to relieve a labor shortage, construction companies in British Columbia are looking to import skilled Jamaican workers. Terry Brown of Greyback Construction says this is a good opportunity for electricians, plumbers, and welders with five to 15 years of job experience. Brown also says that workers from Jamaica are willing to work extra hours. Greyback, McKillop Stucco and Wescor Contracting will travel to Jamaica to make job offers.

FORMER PAKISTAN CRICKET CAPTAIN WANTS TO SUE JAMAICAN POLICE—06/07/07
Imran Khan, the former Pakistan cricket captain, is asking the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to sue the Jamaican Police and Sarfraz Nawz, former fast bowler, for casting suspicion on the team after the death of its coach, Bob Woolmer, on March 18, 2007. Khan says the whole Pakistani World Cup team was fingerprinted, tested for DNA, and faced allegations of match-fixing because of a “totally wrong diagnosis” of Woolmer’s death. Khan wants the PCB to sue for defamation.

REACTIONS TO CANDIDACY OF FORMER MISS WORLD ARE MIXED—06/08/07
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has sent a team of high-level officials from the People’s National Party (PNP) to meet with executives and residents of South East St. Ann in order to stem the resistance to the candidacy of Lisa Hanna, former Miss World. The team reported that many constituents say they will not support Hanna’s candidacy and the majority feel that her candidacy would not be welcomed by residents.

THREE YEARS LATER, NO ONE CHARGED UNDER CHILD CARE ACT—06/08/07
While Parliament passed the Child Care and Protection Act (CCPA) three years ago, some provisions of the law remain unenforceable because mechanisms have yet to be implemented to prosecute individuals who do not report child abuse. The Children’s Registry, which was established to obtain information from people who suspect a child is in danger, has received 93 reports of abuse, but persons who do not report these incidents have not been prosecuted because the Registry regulations have yet to be approved.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN TEACHERS MAY LOSE JOBS IN UK—06/02/07
Many Jamaican teachers, who have been in the United Kingdom for several years, have been told they will lose their jobs at the end of the 2006-2007 academic year if they do not have Qualified Teacher’s Status. Several teachers said they will not be able to obtain this status by the deadlines. Additionally, without employment, the teachers will not be able to apply for a renewal of their work permits, which allow them to stay in the UK. The teachers say there were misinformed by the recruitment agency and that no provision was made for them to upgrade their qualifications.

EDWARDS “ROBBED” OF WIN AT TAEKWON-DO MATCH —06/03/07
Kenneth Edwards, heavyweight, impressed the crowd at his first-round match versus Demi Hodusoy, a Germany, at the International Taekwon-Do Federation World Championship in Quebec, Canada. Edwards was disappointed when the judges gave the win to Hodusoy, however. The German appeared overwhelmed by Edwards at times and showed no confidence before the judges made their decision. Hodusoy landed only a single clean kick in the entire 4-minute match. The decision left the Jamaican delegation stunned.

JAMAICAN ARTISTS EXHIBITED IN UNITED STATES—06/04/07
Some 200 art lovers enjoyed an exhibit of Jamaican artists held at the Pan American Art Gallery in the United States. The exhibit was dominated by works by Dr. David Boxer, who was co-organizer of the show, and Milton George. The exhibit also included works by Paul Stoppi, Omara Ra, and Stanford Watson. The works displayed interpretations of personal experiences of the artist on the island.

JAMAICAN APPOINTED MAYOR OF MERTON IN UK—06/07/07
John Dehaney, Jamaican-born Councillor, is the second Jamaican in two weeks to be appointed to the position of mayor in the United Kingdom. Dehaney will be Mayor of Merton. He has been the Councillor for Graveney in London for the past five years.

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SPORTS
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CAMPBELL WINS AT REEBOK GRAND PRIX—06/03/07
Veronica Campbell achieved an impressive win at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York City. The victory offset Campbell’s defeat to Tori Edwards at the Adidas Track Classic two weeks previously. Campbell, who won two gold medals at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, ran the 100 meters in 10.93 seconds. Edward had a time of 10.96 seconds.

WINDIES DRAW MATCH VS. MARYLEBONE CRICKET CLUB—06/04/07
Denesh Ramdin, wicketkeeper and batsman, led the West Indies in building a solid total against the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) XI with a hundred. Ramdin hit 131 on the last day for his third first-class hundred. This led the Windies to declare at 534 for eight and take a 274-run first innings lead.

JAMAICANS TO BE ASSISTANT REFEREES IN OPENER AT CONCACAF—06/06/07
Anthony Garwood and Ricardo Morgan, Jamaica’s assistant referees will work with Enrico Wijnaarde of Surinam at the opening game of the 9th Bi-Annual CONCACAF Gold Cup in Miami, Florida. Costa Rica, the Central American champion, will face Canada in the opening Group A game.

WEST INDIES CELEBRATE THIRD TEST—06/08/07
The West Indies dominated the first day of the third Test at Old Trafford. While England had a good start, winning the toss and choosing to bat. They were looking for a decisive victory and record 21st Test win for captain, Michael Vaughan. However, West Indies attacked after England reached 112 for one, and removed several players by tea. Corey Collymore and Jerome Taylor of the Windies took two wickets each, while Darren Sammy got his first wicket in his first Test by removing Alastair Cook for 60.

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DEVOTIONAL
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Abiding in the Vine

Several days after cutting the grass in my backyard, I noticed that the grass clippings were no longer green, but brown. Of course, that made perfect sense because having being cut off from their source of food and nutrients, they could not survive. As I looked out at this natural occurrence, I thought of the words of Jesus as recorded in John 15:1, 4b-5: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman….As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me….I am the vine, ye are the branches…without me ye can do nothing.”

In our increasingly secular humanistic age where reliance on self and one’s abilities are highly touted, the Christian, if not careful, can lose sight of this profound spiritual truth. I’m sure most of us know, or at least have heard, those words spoken by Jesus, but have we taken the time to really understand them? The word “abide” implies staying/remaining in a given place or state, and Jesus used the word seven times in the first seven verses. Talk about emphasizing a point! The successful Christian is not the one who sings/pray the loudest, has the biggest Bible, speaks spiritualese, or has a perfect record of Church attendance. It is the one who constantly stays connected to the source of all that pertains to life and godliness, Jesus Christ, the true Vine.

The aforementioned grass clippings didn’t have a choice to stay connected to their life source, but when He spoke the words “If ye abide in me” (v.7), Jesus made abiding in Him a matter of personal choice. Amidst the hustle and bustle of our days and the many distractions we experience, sincere Christians have to make the time to nurture this most important of relationships. Disconnected from Christ we wither away spiritually, yet it doesn’t have to be that way. Jesus made it possible for us to experience the richness of being sustained and kept by the richness that flows from Him, for as long as we choose to stay connected to Him. As you examine your own life, what choice does it reflect?

“Without me ye can do nothing.” Lord, may the profoundness and reality of that truth provoke us to do whatever it takes to stay connected to you.

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.