THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
51,000 CHILDREN RECEIVE GSAT RESULTS—06/09/07
Charlene Ashley, director of communications at the Ministry of Education and Youth, reported smooth operations as 51,000 children who took the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) in March 2007 received the results of their tests. The Ministry received no reports of problems at any schools in releasing the test results.
MONTEGO BAY RAID FINDS SUSPECTED CRIMINALS, M-16 RIFLE—06/09/07
A joint police and military raid in parts of Hendon and Glendevon, Montego Bay, resulted in the holding of 19 people and the seizure of an M-16 rifle and several bullet-proof vests. Police have not released the names of any people detained after the pre-dawn raid because several will face identification parades, and others are being processed. Corporal Peter Salkey, liaison officer for the St. James Constabulary Communication Network, said at least three wanted men were among those in custody. The men are wanted in connection with several serious crimes, including murder, illegal firearm possession, and shooting.
THE END OF THE INVESTIGATION INTO WOOLMER’S DEATH—06/10/07
The Jamaican Constabulary Force is expected to make a statement in the controversy surrounding the investigation of the death of Bob Woolmer, Pakistan cricket coach, who was found dead in his hotel room on March 18, 2007. Dr. Ere Sheshiah, government pathologist, stated that Woolmer had been a victim of manual strangulation. However, reports from Dr. Nat Cary, British Government pathologist, determined later than Woolmer had died of heart failure and had not been strangled. Lucius Thomas, Police Commissioner, wants to close the case on Woolmer and settle the question of whether Sheshiah “bungled” the investigation.
TWO ELDERLY WOMEN ATTACKED IN BROKERY DISTRICT—06/11/07
Tessie Stubbs, 65, and Pearline Miller, Stubbs’ 81-year-old aunt, are in critical condition in the hospital after an attack by Theophillus Stubbs, 65. It appears that Theophillus, Tessie’s husband, chopped her four times in the head and then set her house on fire. The women were attacked on the first floor of the 2-story building and managed to get down the stairs to escape, but collapsed in a room near an exit. Stubbs was burned on her hands and head, while Miller was burned on 90 percent of her body.
CONTRACTOR GENERAL REPORT FINDS BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN BREACHES—06/12/07
Greg Christie, Contractor General, has found billions of dollars in breaches in the annual review of government contract awards. One of the main breaches involved obtaining health services of members of the public service, a contract worth some $2 billion that was never put out for bid. Christie says evidence of such breaches has reached an alarming level.
JAMAICAN ARMY SERGEANT KILLED IN IRAQ —06/13/07
Kimel L. Watt, 21, has died of wounds received when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded near his vehicle in Iraq. Watt was with the 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany. Watt moved from Manchester, Jamaica, to the United States with his family with he was six years old.
SHAKE-UP IN HEALTH INSURANCE LOOMS—06/14/07
There will be a major overhaul of the health insurance industry when the Government Employees’ Administrative Services Only (GEASO) health plan, the single largest health insurance plan in Jamaica, changes hands. The plan covers 65,000 individuals and is valued at over $2 billion per year. The change in health care provider was prompted due to the aggressive actions of Greg Christie, Contractor General, and his investigation of the awarding of the large contract. The health insurance contract has not been out for competitive bid for ten consecutive years.
AUDITOR GENERAL CRITICIZES MINISTRY OF FINANCE AND PLANNING—06/15/07
Adrian Strachan, Auditor General, has spoken out against the Ministry of Finance and Planning led by Dr. Omar Davies for its role in helping to perpetuate the continual breach of governmental guidelines. Strachan says the Ministry should decide whether it will monitor police public spending adequately or continue to aid public entities that want to circumvent proper procedures. The breaches have resulted in millions of dollars in unauthorized spending.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN ON NEW YORK EDUCATION COMMISSION—06/09/07
Dr. Marcia Keizs, Jamaican educator, was appointed to a new commission, the Commission on Higher Education for New York. Elliot Spitzer, the governor of New York, confirmed her appointment, which was recommended by state senator Malcolm Smith. Dr. Keizs, president of York College of the City University of New York, will participate with the 21-member commission to review and analyze academic standards and performance at the state’s colleges and universities.
PRIZE AWARDED TO JAMAICAN SOLDIER IN UK—06/09/07
Second Lieutenant Brandon Chambers, 22, a member of Jamaica’s Defense Force Air Wing, won the Overseas Students Prize at a ceremony for initial officer training at the Royal Air Force College Ctranwell in the United Kingdom. The prize is given to the international officer cadet who has shown the best overall performance in the areas of professional studies, officer qualities, and leadership. Chambers is a past student of St. Georges College and the University of the West Indies.
FT. LAUDERDALE TO CELEBRATE JAMAICAN DIASPORA DAY—06/09/07
Jamaican Diaspora Day will be celebrated on June 16, 2007, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The celebrate will be held together with a commemoration of Caribbean-American Heritage Month. The Jamaican Diaspora Southern United States will act as host for a Health Awareness and Celebrity/Media Mini Sports Day at Delevoe Park as well. The family-centered day will feature favorite personalities from the media, community leaders, and Consuls General, who will compete in old-time games like the three-legged race, sack race, egg-and-spoon race, and more.
SURVEY OF JAMAICANS IN UK FINDS RACISM IS COMMON —06/10/07
The results of the first major survey of Jamaicans in the United Kingdom has discovered that these individuals believe there is a very high level of racism in their adopted country. Most Jamaicans in the UK believe that racism has become stronger and more prevalent in recent years as well. The survey polled 400 Jamaicans, who were either born in Jamaica or were born of Jamaican parents in Britain. Of Jamaican-born survey respondents, 95 percent say racism exists in England, while 96 percent of the English-born respondents believe there is “wide-spread” racism in the UK.
WEST INDIES SUFFERS EMBARRASSING BATTING FAILURE—06/09/07
The West Indies saw their batting fail in an embarrassing way, ending their first innings on 229 and providing England control of the third Test on the second day at Old Trafford. The Windies were making progress in answer to England’s 370 when they attained 216 for four. They then lost their last six wickets for 13 runs in 44 balls. Their innings lasted for only 52.4 overs. David Moore, West Indies coach, says the performance was “disappointing, obviously.”
ENGLAND WELL-POSITIONED TO TAKE SERIES AT OLD TRAFFORD—06/10/07
After experiencing a third day characterized by major incidents, England is poised for victory after the third Test against the West Indies. The Windies were looking for an unlikely victory target of 455 and were 22 for one at the close, having bowled England out for 313. Steve Harmison, paceman, had the only West Indies wicket.
KERRON STEWART VOTED TOP FEMALE COLLEGE TRACK ATHLETE IN U.S.—06/13/07
Jamaican Kerron Stewart was ranked the leading female college track and field athlete in the United States. Stewart will receive the Honda Award. Stewart comes from St. Jago and currently competes for Auburn University. She was selected in a national ballot at 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the Collegiate Women’s Sports Awards program.
WEST INDIES READY TO GO FORWARD—06/15/07
The West Indies team plans to prove that their competitive showing at Old Trafford was not an aberration as they confront another strong challenge in the final Test at Chester-le-Street. The West Indies showed signs of improvement at Manchester, although they lost the third Test by 60 runs and went 2-0 down in the four-Test series.
Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?
Jesus’ encounter with the man at the pool of Bethesda as recorded in John 5: 1-9, is a fascinating story. Here was a man, afflicted with infirmities for thirty-eight years, whose excuse for his prolonged condition was that “I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me” (v. 7). I have often wondered where was his family? His friends? Did he not have anyone who cared about him to get him to the edge of the pool so that when the angel troubled the water, he would be among the first to step in? That aside, I have always been intrigued by verse 5, “When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?”
It seems to me that Jesus’ question spoke to the man’s will; his desire. Had he become so comfortable in his condition that healing would have been nice, but it was a need for him anymore. I think of some people, Christians included, who seem to relish the role of victims, constantly rehashing and reliving all the negatives that have happened to them. They themselves will admit that such a state is stressful and make them unhappy, yet no matter how many people have tried to help them move along in their lives, they are stuck. Like the man at the pool, their total identity is now wrapped up in their condition; it defines them.
Yet how liberating it is when Jesus comes on the scene. It is not His will to leave us in our present state, but He comes asking the question: “Will thou be made whole?” I found it interesting that Jesus did not ask him if he wanted to be healed. That would only address his current blindness, but by asking him if he wanted to be made whole, I believe that Jesus was not only speaking of his physical blindness but to the total man. He was asking, “Do you want to be healthy, spiritual, emotionally, and physically?”
The Healer is asking the same question of us today. I do not know what condition has held – and continue to hold you – hostage, but whatever it is, rest assured that Jesus can set you free. John tells us, “Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked.” He can do the same for you. He’s just that kind of God.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.