JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending July 27th, 2007

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THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
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MORE POLICE TO PATROL VOLATILE COMMUNITIES ON ELECTION DAY—07/21/07
The police in Jamaica have indicated that they are preparing for the general elections on August 27, 2007, by increasing their presence in a number of communities expected to experience high political tensions. Woodford Park, Mountain View, Stony Hill, and Brandon Hill in St. Andrew, along with Central Village in St. Catherine have been identified as potential areas for trouble on election day. Some areas of Torrington Park and Common in Kingston, as well as parts of the second city, Montego Bay, will be under a watch as well.

JAMAICAN DANCEHALL STAR PLEDGES TO CONTROL HIS HOMOPHOBIA—07/22/07
Buju Banton, popular Jamaican dancehall star, has signed a petition stating he will control is public homophobia. The petition represents an effort by several international gay-rights groups that have joined in targeting dancehall gay-bashing lyrics by staging protests. Some question whether the group’s efforts will be able to reform dancehall musicians or have much of an impact on the hostility the Jamaican society has toward homosexuality.

INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION OFFICE CAN HELP RETURNING JAMAICANS—07/23/07
The so-called “irregular” Jamaican migrants who live in the United Kingdom, but who want to return to their homeland have somewhere to turn for help in doing so. If these individuals have not been issued a deportation order, the International Office of Migration (IOM) can help them make the journey home. Once they arrive in Jamaica, they can participate in the IOM’s local reintegration projects. The IOM has offices in Jamaica and four other territories in the Caribbean, but its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. Help for returning Jamaicans is offered through the IOM’s Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Program (VARRP).

JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO OPEN SHELTERS FOR VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING—07/24/07
Carol Palmer, Jamaican Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, promised that the government will provide shelter to victims of human trafficking in Jamaica as the country attempts to improve its handling of the problem. Jamaica is a source nation for women and children who are victims of trafficking in the country. These individuals are brought from rural regions to the cities for purposes of sexual and labor exploitation.

JAMAICA TO CELEBRATE BAHA’I DAY—07/25/07
Baha’i Day is celebrated in Jamaica every year on July 25. It was proclaimed as an annual festival in July 2003 as part of the 60th anniversary of the date on which the faith was established in Jamaica. In 2007, Baha’i Day will be celebrated with a weeklong exhibit at the Baha’i National Center in Kingston, beginning July 23. The exhibit will show the introduction, growth, and contributions of the Baha’i faith in Jamaica.

JAMAICAN MAN ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES IN THE BAHAMAS—07/26/07
Dwayne Gomez, 26, a Jamaican, is being held on charges resulting from a drug bust in the Bahamas. Marvin Jones, 38, and Omar Ferguson, 25, were also held. The three men were charged with possessing more than 500 pounds of marijuana. Gomez also faces several other charges associated with the intent to supply the drug. While he first admitted his guilt, Gomez altered his plea to not guilty, saying he did not know the drugs were on the boat that was to take him to the United States. Gomez says he was left on the cay for days without food. He was reduced to eating berries before the other two men rescued him. The three were then arrested on their way to the Coast Guard, according to Gomez.

PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY THRASHED FOR HURRICANE RECOVERY FEE—07/27/07
The Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) criticized the Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd. (JPS) and demanded the firm explain to its customers why they were not notified about a hurricane recovery charge added to their bills in July. According to Clive Mullings, Opposition Spokesman on Energy, the public has a right to know beforehand when they are required to pay additional fees. Mullings says the JPS already is allowed to collect on damage from Hurricane Ivan through the Z-factor, which received the approval of the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) in August 2005. The JPS did not choose to impose the charges until now, however.

NWU PRESIDENT CONCERNED ABOUT JLP HEALTH COMMENTS—07/27/07
Vincent Morrison, President of the National Workers’ Union (NWU), is concerned about remarks made by the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) stating it would eliminated the Regional Health Authorities (RHA). Karl Samuda, General Secretary of the JLP, said a JLP administration plans to reform the structure of the health service call for an elimination of the authorities if the Opposition comes to power. Morrison says his union cannot support these plans, since the authorities, while not perfect, work well.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS

JAMAICA ELECTIONS DEBATE TO BE HELD IN FLORIDA—07/21/07
A debate on the national elections in Jamaica will be presented in Miramar, Florida, to former residents of the island, and to Jamaicans throughout Europe and the United States. The Jamaican Diaspora of Southern United States, a group based in south Florida, has organized the debate, which will be held on July 26 at the Miramar City Hall. The program gives Jamaicans who live overseas the chance to give feedback on the announcement by Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, that called for national elections on August 27, 2007. Simpson Miller will run against Bruce Golding of the Jamaica Labor Party.

JAMAICAN DOGSLED TEAM TO TRAIN FOR 2009 YUKON QUEST—07/21/07
The lead musher of the Jamaican dogsled team, Devon Anderson, knows his team is often confused with the bobsled team of “Cool Runnings” fame, but it is indeed a “different animal.” The founder of Jamaica’s dogsled team, Danny Melville, say he started the team using a bunch of stray, mixed-breed dogs he found on the streets or through the SPCA in Jamaica. The team began as a way to attract attention to the need for humane care for dogs in Jamaica. Now, Devon Anderson is in training to take part in the 2009 Yukon Quest 1,000-mile race.

JAMAICAN BOY TRAVELS TO MASSACHUSETTS FOR HEART SURGERY—07/22/07
Baby Imanuel Morgan’s slow growth was first attributed to his premature birth, but when he was two months old, his parents, Janet and Calvin, found out their son had a hole in his heart and a very large vessel. The defect could be corrected through surgery, but it would cost $100,000. The Morgans live in Jamaica and have seven children; they wondered how they would pay for the treatment to save their youngest child. The answer came through the generosity of strangers in Massachusetts. Medical care for Imanuel, now 15 months old, is being sponsored by the Framingham Rotary through Gift of Life New England. This Rotary project has saved more than 44 children from 22 nations since 2000.

JAMAICAN, CANADIAN BASKETBALL PLAYERS MEET AT PAN AM GAMES—07/23/07
Lizanne Murphy from Canada and Vanessa Gidden from Jamaica spent four years together building up a basketball program at Hofstra University in the United States. They were instrumental in revitalizing the women’s basketball program at the University in 2003. When they graduated in May 2007, they separated, but found each other again at the Pan American Games in Brazil. Both were powerful basketball players in the Division 1 conference during their college years. At the Pan Am contest, Murphy did not score for her team, but the Canadians won the match against Jamaica 58-46. Gidden had nine points and nine rebounds in the game.

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SPORTS

ATKINSON BREAKS OWN RECORD—07/21/07
Alia Atkinson, 18-year-old swimmer from Jamaica, bested her own national record in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke competition at the XV Pan American Games in Brazil. Atkinson also set new records in the 100-meter butterfly competition managed a time of 2:37:61 to break the 2:38:31 record she set at the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games.

REGGAE BOYZ DEFEAT ARGENTINA IN PAN AM GAMES—07/22/07
The Jamaican soccer team surprised everyone by winning over Argentina in the Pan Am Games held in Brazil. The Boyz are the national under-20 team that dropped to 93rd place, the lowest ranking for Jamaica since 1994, when the team was ranked 96th. In a recent tour of Asia, the Jamaican team lost three of four matches, losing to Indonesia, Viet Nam, and Iran. However, the team rallied in Brazil, where the Boyz beat Argentina 2-0.

JAMAICAN ATHLETE “JIMMY” GRANT DIES OF CANCER—07/24/07
James “Jimmy” Grant has died after a two-year fight against cancer. He died in Iowa in the United States. Grant represented Jamaica at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston. He was the head coach of the women’s track and field team at the University of Iowa. Grant was 60 years old. Since Grant left Jamaica, he worked to help Jamaican athletes in the United States by obtaining scholarships for them, according to Howard Aris, president of the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association. Aris also said that Grant had done much to promote track and field in Jamaica.

DECATHLON RECORD BROKEN AT PAN AM GAMES—07/25/07
Maurice Smith, a Jamaican athlete, provided a record-breaking performance at the XV Pan American Games and won the Decathlon on the third day of the competition in Brazil. Smith ended the competition with a career best score of 8278 points to win the gold in the Decathlon. His score places him among the top-ten performers in 2007.

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DEVOTIONAL
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Knowing The Opponent (Part 1)

In sports, players and coaches on successful teams attribute some of that success to not taking any opponent lightly. Whether in corporate boardrooms, or when planning military strategies, the same principle is adhered to. Knowing one’s opponents, the strengths and weaknesses, their characteristic patterns and styles of work are crucial to gaining victory. To not take these factors into consideration is to invite failure, and perhaps disaster. One thing we can be assured of; the enemy is studying us as well, intent on exploiting every weakness that could bring about our downfall.

The Christian is involved in a spiritual warfare (2 Cor. 10:4), and our enemy is out to steal, to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10). In the natural, if we knew of such an enemy, we would take every step to protect ourselves and those we hold dear, yet in the spiritual realm, how easy it is to overlook, to not recognize the style and pattern of how this enemy works. Earlier in his letter, Paul cautioned the Corinthian Church to not be ignorant of the devil’s sly ways (2:11, MSG). Webster defines being sly as “clever in concealing one’s aims or ends”; in other words, if we are not careful and able to discern what the enemy is about, we can be deceived and be made to believe that what seems like a right course of action only ended up leading us down the wrong path.

In the Scriptures, we find the perfect example; the story of Eve. Even before we’re given the account of her conversation with the serpent, we are told something about him; he “was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made” (Gen. 3:1). It was this subtlety, this uncomplimentary cunningness, that provoked Eve to believe the half-truths of the serpent over the sure Word of God, and so committed the first recorded sin. As Bible Commentator Matthew Henry noted, “There is not any thing by which the devil serves himself and his own interest more than by unsanctified subtlety.”

The child of God cannot be ignorant of how the devil works. We are confronted every day by choices: take the easy way out over doing what is right by the Word; overlook this/that because it is not so bad; do this/that, who will know?, and it continues. Yet in every decision that looks like the right one is the potential to fall into the devil’s trap; to sin against God. How well do you know the enemy of your soul? Do you know how he operates?

May God grant us the wisdom to be aware of the enemy’s schemes, and may He enable us to discern the way we should go when we arrive at the crossroads of our experiences.
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.