THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
SMALL BUSINESS ENCOURAGED BY JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT —09/29/07
Michael Stern, Minister of State for Industry, Commerce, and Investment, says the government of Jamaica wants to encourage small business development in order to create more jobs and contribute to the country’s economic growth. Stern says the government will evaluate programs that focus on small businesses and micro enterprises to design incentives, soft loans, and training.
HOLNESS FAVORS FREE TUITION INITIATIVE—09/30/07
Andrew Holness, Minister of Education, believes that the government’s free tuition program will ensure that all Jamaicans have a way to become educated. With the government initiatives, says Holness, parents have no excuse for not sending their children to school. Free tuition will begin at the secondary level in November 2007.
MURDERS IN ST. CATHERINE INCREASE—10/01/07
The St. Catherine police report that the area has seen an increase in crime during 2007. There was a higher number of murders in the area in 2007 than in 2006. Detective Inspector Gladston Ellis says the police will need to review their efforts and strategies to address the growth in crime.
POLICE SEARCH FOR COP KILLER—10/01/07
Police in Jamaica are looking for three gunmen who shot and killed Constable Richard King, who had been assigned to the Kingston Central Police Division. Fourteen members of the Police Force have been murdered since the beginning of 2007, according to the police’s own official statistics. Derrick Smith, National Security Minister, has called on the public to support the police in finding King’s killer.
GOLDING WANTS TO IMPROVE JAMAICAN ECONOMY—10/02/07
Prime Minister Bruce Golding believes the economy of Jamaican must be improved, and he is encouraging business leaders to help meet this goal. Golding told the members of the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica (AMCHAM) that the island’s business progress must be based on “transformation.” Golding says Jamaica is being left out of regional trade opportunities.
HUNDREDS OF JOB APPLICANTS TRY FOR ONE OF 450 CONSTRUCTION JOBS—10/03/07
Hundreds of individuals went to the offices of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in an effort to get one of the 450 construction jobs on offer from Canadian employers. Of those that came, nearly 50 percent were uncertified, and some were illiterate. According to Dr. Leahcim Semaj, CEO at Job Bank, this is a recurring problem, which shows that Jamaican men do not realize the importance of getting an education.
STATE-OWNED HOUSES NEED MAJOR REPAIRS—10/04/07
A number of houses owned by the government and reserved for use by public officials are in serious disrepair and could cost the state millions of dollars in restoration fees before they can be inhabited again. The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands could not say exactly how much it would cost to repair the houses under its authority.
PANTRY WANTS KILLER POLICE ARRESTED—10/05/07
Kent Pantry, Director of Public Prosecutions, has instructed authorities to arrest the four policemen implicated in the controversial killing of Andre Thomas, 18, in Grants Pen, St Andrew. The decision to arrest the police was reached after a meeting of several senior members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN JERK FESTIVAL CELEBRATED IN FLORIDA—09/29/07
Thousands of food lovers attended the Jamaican Jerk Festival at Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida to celebrate Jamaican culture and to enjoy spicy Jamaican foods. Dwight Lauderdale, new anchor and a judge in the cook-off competition, says the festival was similar to the R&B Festival held in Montego Bay. The crowd at Markham Park numbered about 10,000 people, according to Lauderdale.
JAMAICAN DIASORA WANTS CHANGES IN NATION”S CONSTITUTION—09/30/07
Some members of the Jamaican Diaspora would like amendments made to the Jamaican Constitution that would permit individuals who have a dual citizenship to participate in representational politics. Irwine Clare, Jamaican-born director of the Caribbean Immigrant Services nonprofit organization in Queens, New York, believes the Constitution should be changed. In order for someone like Clare to run for office, he or she would have to renounce the non-Jamaican citizenship.
MARIO KEITH STODDART SUCCEEDS AT UNIVERSITY—10/01/07
Mario Keith Stoddart, the son of Reverend Mervin and Lizette Stoddart, both of whom come from western Jamaica, is majoring in New Media at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He is using one of the more than 15 scholarships in received upon leaving high school. He was the only person in the graduating class of 246 to receive that many offers, and he was the only Jamaican.
JAMAICAN-BORN LAWYER TO BE TOWN JUDGE IN NEW YORK—10/01/07
Arlene Gordon-Oliver, a partner at Rattet, Pasternak & Gordon-Oliver, has been appointed by the Town Board of Greenburgh, New York, to be a judge in the Town Court. Greenburgh will thus be the only town in Westchester to have three women judges. Gordon-Oliver is replacing James Hubert, who left Greenburgh to become a County Court judge for Westchester.
POWELL CONFIRMED AS WORLD’S FASTEST MAN—09/29/07
The Jamaican Asafa Powell really is the fastest sprinter in the world. His position has been confirmed by the International Association of Athletic Federations. Powell, 24, se the world record of 9.74 seconds in Rieti, Italy, on September 9, 2007. This time was ratified by the IAAAD
ASAFA POWELL INJURED IN YOKOHAMA—10/01/07
The 2007 record-breaking season ended for Asafa Powell when he injured his hamstring at the Super Track and Field Meet in Yokohama, Japan. Powell broke the 100-meter world record this year with a time of 9.74 seconds. According to Paul Doyle, Powell’s manager, Powell suffered a strain of some kind when he came of the turn in the 200-meter race in Yokohama.
REGGAE BOYZ TO PLAY GHANA—10/02/07
The Reggae Boyz football team will play a friendly match against Ghana at the Leyton Orient football field in London. The meeting between the teams was announced by the Ghana Football Association.
“RAMBO” VASSELL WANTS TO COMPETE WITH MARTA—10/03/07
Women’s football captain Tanesia “Rambo” Vassell wants to meet the Brazilian Marta, FIFA Player of the Year. This is not likely to occur unless Jamaica can qualify for the Olympic Games in China in 2008. Vassell says she has played against Marta in the past and wants to play her again. “She is difficult to play against,” says Vassell.
Loving One Another (Part III)
One of the fascinating things about the command to love one another is the ease with which some Christians rationalize, or justify, not doing so. Of course, we would never confess to “hating” them; that’s a very strong word, and so not Christ-like. Yet ever so often at the root of what we often describe simply as “avoiding so and so”, or “I’ve forgiven them but I just won’t speak to them”, is a reflection of our inability, or unwillingness, to – by God’s grace – agape one another. I’ve been there, and more than likely, so have some of you. However, if we judge our actions by the Word, the only standard that really matters, how do those actions stand up?
In 1 John 4:20 we read, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, cannot love God whom he hath not seen.” If you’re like me, your mind rebels, “But I don’t hate him/her, I really don’t!”, however through God working on me as I read the Word, I came to realize that the word translated “hate” also means “to detest; to love less”. That last part got my attention because what it implied was, paraphrasing John, if I love (agape) God, and love (agape) my brother less, I’m a liar because I cannot unconditionally, self-sacrificially, actively, volitionally, and thoughtfully love God, who I cannot see, and deny my brother, whom I can see, the same love. Does it mean we love others the same way we love God? No, of course not. Jesus made the clear distinction when He said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength … Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” In other words, we’re to love one another with the highest and purest form of love that can be offered to another human being. It is not a suggestion; it is a divine command.
But what does loving like that mean? A long time ago I read the profound statement, “Loving someone is wanting what is best for that person, even if that best does not include you.” That’s hard for most of us to accept because our human nature is more selfish in its approach. Can we truly want what is best for someone else if it means watching on the sidelines as they pursue or achieve that best? Sure we can. We would do well to remember Jesus’ words, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12, 13). At the heart of that command is self-sacrifice, one of the attributes of agape love. If we desire the best for ourselves, we should desire no less for our brother, even if that best has nothing to do with us.
As we close our look on this theme, I’m struck by Jesus’ next statement – so profound in meaning, yet one we could easily overlook; “Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you” (v.14). Friends, IF …
Are you a friend of God? As you ponder the question, bear in mind who defines the terms for the friendship. He does.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.