THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
PRIME MINISTER WANTS INDEPENDENT PROBE OF POLICE USE OF FORCE—09/22/07
Prime Minister Bruce Golding declared that his government will move rapidly to address the concerns of the country about alleged abuse and excesses in the police force. Golding has instructed an immediate creation of a single independent authority to investigate abuse by security forces. Golding made his announcement after a week in which there were at least two cases of alleged police abuse in St. Thomas and St. James that left three people dead.
GOVERNMENT TO MEET WITH HEAD OF ARMY AND CONSTABULARY—09/23/07
As part of its effort to investigate allegations of police abuse, the government of Jamaica will meet with leaders of the Army and the Constabulary to discuss current violence levels. Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Derrick Smith, the new Minister of National Security, will meet with Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, the Chief of Staff of the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) and Police Commissioner Lucius Thomas. The Prime Minister has also given instructions to establish immediately a single independent authority to investigate police abuse allegations.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA HIGHLIGHTS INVESTMENTS—09/24/07
The Northeast Region of the Jamaican Diaspora Trade and Investment Council will hold a major conference to highlight the wide range of investment opportunities available in Jamaica. The conferences will be held in the United States on October 19, 2007. Organizers say the event will connect Jamaican and American businesses, policymakers, investment bankers, investors, and venture capitalists. Its goal is to promote Jamaica as a major destination for investments.
GOVERNMENT TO CLAMP DOWN ON ILLICIT DRUG TRADE—09/2507
Derrick Smith, Minister of National Security, says the government plans to intensify its efforts to fight the trade in illicit drugs. According to Smith, the change in government does not mean a change in how the country will fight the narcotics trade. Instead, it means that there will be stronger efforts placed against drug traffickers and others involved in the illicit drug trade.
WORK PERMIT MONEY TO BE USED FOR TRAINING—09/25/07
Pearnel Charles, Minister of Labor and Social Security, says that funds resulting from the issuance of work permits to foreign nationals will be used to train Jamaican workers as part of the government’s effort to develop the workforce on the island. Charles says the Ministry decided that money obtained from work permits should be used to train workers in the categories that the permits have been issued in. He made his remarks in a meeting with managers of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU).
NURSES HOLD SHOW TO PROMISE ON SALARIES—09/26/07
Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) members insist that they will require Audley Shaw, the new Finance Minister, to keep a promise made to provide a substantial increase in their pay, and quickly. They say they have the promise “on tape,” and they want to see an early delivery on Shaw’s commitment. The nurses claim that Shaw promised to double the pay of public-sector nurses when he took office. His remarks were made at a Founder’s Day event on July 19, 2006.
JAMAICA MORE CORRUPT, SAYS INTERNATIONAL SURVEY—09/27/07
According to the latest Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, Jamaica ranked 84 of 163 countries for 2007. In 2006, Jamaica ranked 61 or 163 nations. The report ranks countries on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 representing the least corrupt country, and zero representing the most corrupt. Jamaica had a score of 3.3 of 10 in 2007, compared with 3.7 out of 10 in 2006.
OPPOSITION PARTY TO CHAIR SIX HOUSE COMMITTEES—09/28/07
True to his promises, Prime Minister Bruce Golding has invited the Opposition to name members of Parliament to head at least six select committees. Golding took the first steps to change the Standing Orders to allow every member of Parliament the change to make statements to the House. Portia Simpson Miller, Opposition Leader, clearly signaled that her party would uphold the Constitution, defend Jamaica’s laws, and protect the rights of all Jamaicans.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
ELECTION IN JAMAICA SIDELINED HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORT IN NYC—09/22/07
Although Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and other officials spurred a relief effort to provide aid to Jamaicans impacted by Hurricane Dean, questions have arisen as to whether the General Election eclipsed news of relief efforts in New York City. Irwine Clare, head of the Caribbean Immigrant Services, has suggested that the focus on the election as front-page news convinced people that the hurricane damage was not as bad as it really was. A source at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington also believed the severity of the hurricane was downplayed in the media because of the election.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA CONGRATULATES NEW GOVERNMENT—09/23/07
The Jamaican Diaspora Southern United States has sent its congratulations to newly elected Prime Minister Bruce Golding and the leaders of the Jamaica Labor Party on winning the General Election. The group looks forward to working with the new government to further the “integration of the relationship with Jamaicans in the Diaspora. The group also thanked the People’s National Party and former Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller for being a “catalyst” in bringing structure to the work with Jamaicans who live overseas.
JAMAICAN DRUG “POSSE” JAILED IN UNITED KINGDOM—09/2407
Ten members of a Jamaican drug gang were sent to jail for 26 years in the United Kingdom for laundering over 1 million UK pounds in drug money through the shop of a news agent. Rajia Iqbal, 43, a newsagent of the Spital Hill News, allowed his shop to be used in the money-laundering plan. He was given a sentence of 11 years after being found guilty of conspiracy to launder money. Iqbal had permitted over 1,500 payments to Jamaica through the money-transfer service he operated in the shop.
TORONTO POLICE TO MONITOR JAMAICAN CONCERT FOR ANTI-GAY LYRICS—09/26/07
Toronto police will monitor the performance of Jamaican dancehall artist, O’Neil Bryan, who is also called Elephant Man. The police have received complaints that Bryan incites violence against gays through his music. According to Detective Gary McQueen of the Hate Crimes Unit, the lyrics “tend to step over the line in regards to hate propaganda and advocating harm” to an identified group. Immigration officials have issued visas to Bryan and Miguel Orlando Collins, known as Sizzla, who has also received similar complaints, in spite of protests by Canadians. Collins was banned from the UK in 2004 for inciting anti-gay violence.
ASAFA POWELL HAPPY WITH WIN IN STUTTGART—09/22/07
Asafa Powell says he is “delighted” to win the 100 meters at the World Athletics Finals in Stuttgart, Germany. Powell won with a time of 9.83 seconds, ahead of the Norwegian Jaysuma Saidy Ndure, who reached a new national record of 10.06 in the first day of the Stuttgart competition.
JAMAICAN TO COMPETE IN YUKON QUEST IN 2009—09/23/07
The Yukon Quest is the most difficult dog sledding race in the world. It is held every February between Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory and Fairbanks, Alaska, a distance of 1,000 miles across frozen wastes. The “mushers” survive in the countryside for 10 days with only their dogs, facing blizzards and temperatures that can drop to -40C. Devon Anderson, 44 and a Jamaica, plans to leave the island to compete in the Quest, even though he only saw snow for the first time in 2007. He believes that his team of dogs will be ready to take part in the Yukon Quest by 2009.
JAMAICAN SPECIAL OLYMPICS TEAM OFF TO CHINA—09/27/07
Olivia “Babsy” Grange, the new Minister of Sports, offered her best wishes to members of Jamaica’s Special Olympics team as they got ready to leave for the World Summer Games in Shanghai, China. The games will be held October 2-12. Grange spoke to the team members, board and committee members of Special Olympics of Jamaica and their sponsors at the National Arena. Jamaica will be represented at the games by 55 athletes, 14, coaches, and two officials.
REGGAE BOYZ PROPOSED GAMES VS. NIGERIA, GHANA APPEAR SET—09/28/07
According to Crenston Boxhill, president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), the Boyz are waiting for the African nations to reply. An announcement will be forthcoming once the agreements are finalized. It does appear, though that the Reggae Boyz, who have not played in any international friendlies since late in June 2007 on an unsuccessful tour of Asia, will be able to use coming FIFA friendly match dates.
Loving One Another (Part II)
Most people do not realize that Paul’s chapter on love, 1 Corinthians 13, is a continuation of his thoughts on spiritual gifts (Chapter 12). As wonderful as these gifts were, having being given to the Church by God for its edification and the advancement of Christianity, Paul, in encouraging the brethren to “earnestly desire the greater gifts”, also exhorted them to a “more excellent way” (12:31). What could be more excellent than the pursuit and use of spiritual gifts? Listen to his argument: “… whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away, but love never faileth” (13:8). The gifts were temporary, but love, in this case, agape love, that “divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful love” would never cease, and it is for this gift, above all other spiritual gifts, for which we should strive.
Interestingly, when Jesus commanded us to love one another (John 13:34), it was the same Greek word, transliterated agape, that was used. In other words, love one another freely, actively, unconditionally, and self-sacrificially. Actively suggests the demonstration of our love to one another in tangible ways! Paul expanded on this thought when he gave a description of love’s properties and its fruits; “Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth” (1 Cor. 13:4-8a). We could add far more properties, but we do get the idea. It is hard, almost impossible, to love another person that way without the help and power of the Holy Spirit. Yet it is this love that we who have accepted the call to be disciples of Christ, are called to demonstrate.
How important is loving one another in God’s way of thinking? John captured His heart when he wrote, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. Herein was the love of God manifested in us, that God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:7-11).
Have you noticed what I’ve noticed? He started and ended with the same admonition – love (agape) one another. How are you doing in that area? Can you think of anyone you need to love like that?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.