JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending November 2nd, 2007

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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PROPOSED PRISON EXCHANGE NOT A SIGNIFICANT COST TO THE ISLAND—10/27/07
The British and Jamaican Governments have agreed to a proposed memorandum of understanding (MoU) in which at least 40 individuals who are serving prison time in the UK will be transferred to Jamaica. According to Gilbert Scott, permanent secretary in the Ministry of National Security, says the program would impose only minimal costs on Jamaica, since the country will not be increasing its prison population as a result of the action. The UK has requested that Jamaica take one of their prisoners, so they must pay the cost, says Scott. The MoU involves only 40 individuals in prison due to minor offenses.

EXPERT FROM UK SAYS NO TRACE OF PESTICIDE IN WOOLMER—10/28/07
Forensic specialist John Slaughter, a British expert who performed analyses on toxicology tests performed on Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan cricket coach who was found dead in his hotel room in March, says he found no traces of a potentially deadly pesticide. His findings have cast a pall over those of Dr. Ere Sheshiah, Jamaica’s government pathologist. Sheshiah has stated that Woolmer was poisoned by the pesticide and then strangled.

UNEXPECTED CONFLICT OVER APPOINTMENT OF HEAD OF TOURIST BOARD—10/28/07
John Lynch has been appointed to the chairmanship of Jamaica’s state-operated Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) by Edmund Bartlett, the newly elected Minister of Tourism. Bartlett told Lynch that Jamaica “needed” him. Lynch has over 30 years of experience in the travel industry. His appointment has caused controversy, however, The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) is claiming Lynch has a conflict of interest, since he is an executive vice president of Unique Vacations Inc., worldwide representatives for Sandals Resorts, the successful hotel chain owned by Jamaican Gordon “Butch” Stewart.

LAB ANALYST SAYS WOOLMER TOXICOLOGY TESTS INCONCLUSIVE—10/29/07
Marcia Dunbar, a Jamaican laboratory employee who analyzed toxicology tests on Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan cricket coach who was found dead in his hotel room on March 18, 2007, testified at an inquest that the tests were inconclusive. One of the tests showed there were low levels of the pesticide cypermethrin in Woolmer’s system, but another test showed no sign of the chemical. Dunbar’s testimony cast doubts on the claims of Dr. Ere Sheshiah, government pathologist, who stated that Woolmer was poisoned with cypermethrin and then strangled.

JAMAICA TO SERVE ON MORE SUBSIDIARY COMMITTEES AT UNESCO—10/30/07
Jamaica will serve on three additional subsidiary committees at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Jamaica has been elected to serve on the legal committee, the intergovernmental Council of the International Program for the Development of Communication, and the intergovernmental committee on bioethics. Jamaica now serves on six UNESCO committees.

BEENIE MAN TO FACE CHARGES OF TAX EVASION—10/31/07
Beenie Man, the Jamaican singer and rapper whose real name is Anthony Moses Davis, is out on $21,000 bail following a court appearance on tax evasion charges. Authorities say Davis owes approximately $661,000 in overdue taxes. Davis, 34, hit the music charts in the U.S. in 1998 with his single “Who Am I”? He won a Grammy Award in 2001 for his “Art and Life” album. Davis has been criticized by gay rights groups in the UK and U.S. for some of his songs, which allegedly have anti-gay lyrics.

UNDER UK-JAMAICA PRISONER DEAL, FEW JAMAICANS TO BE TRANSFERRED—11/01/07
Under an agreement between the governments of Jamaica and the United Kingdom, less than one percent of the Jamaicans in prison in the UK will return to Jamaica to serve their time. There are currently 1,400 Jamaicans in prison in England and Wales. The agreement bars repatriation of dangerous criminals as well, including Jamaican yardies. Only 40 Jamaicans will be transferred from jails in the UK to serve their sentences. Many of these are expected to be women.

SCHOOLS ORDERED TO STOP USE OF CONTROVERSIAL TEXTBOOK—11/02/07
The Ministry of Education has ordered schools to stop using a textbook in the secondary school system. The textbook states that homosexual unions can be considered a type of family. Andrew Holness, Minister of Education, has instructed schools to remove the book. Holness said the book was apparently being used in several Jamaican schools.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN WANTED IN U.S. ON DRUG CHARGES—10/27/07
Jamaican Conroy Taylor, 40, also known as “Tammy,” has been deported back to the United States to face drug charges. The farmer of Wire Fence, Trelawny, is wanted in Florida for the distribution of a banned substance. Conroy fled to Jamaica after selling cocaine to drug enforcement agents in Florida in 1995.

JAMAICAN-AMERICAN CONGRESSWOMAN GIVEN “D” GRADE—10/28/07
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke received a “D” grade for her performance during her first year in Congress. The Jamaican-American Clarke was given the grade by a black congressional watchdog group, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Monitor. Clarke received 65 percent out of 100 in a ranking given by the group of non-partisan African-America activists. Clarke attributed her poor ranking to the six weeks of work she missed due to surgery for uterine fibroids.

JAMAICAN-BORN GLENN CHIN IS MISSION MANAGER AT NASA—10/29/07
Glenn Chin, 43, is now a mission manager at NASA, where he is in charge of 30 to 40 engineers on a multidisciplinary team. On October 23, 2007, Chin’s project was taken into space on the Discovery. Glenn is responsible for “Harmony,” a module that will offer six more docking ports on the International Space Station once it is installed. Chin has been associated with the Harmony project since the late 1990s. Chin became a NASA mission manager in 2002, and he has worked on 16 missions since then.

JAMAICAN TO CONTINUE AS PRESIDENT OF COMMONWEALTH GAMES—10/31/07
Mike Fennell will continue in his position as president of the Commonwealth Games Federation. He was the only candidate for the job. The Federation stated that its general assembly will endorse another four-year term for Fennell, a Jamaican. Fennell was elected as had of the CGF in 1994 at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, serving as chairman until 2003, then as president after his post was renamed. He is also president of the Jamaica Olympic Association and has been since 1977.

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SPORTS
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JAMAICA BEATS TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, WINS KFC CUP REGIONAL—10/29/07
Jamaican was victorious over the defending champions Trinidad & Tobago at the KFC Cup regional limited-overs title. Jamaican scored 28 runs. Trinidad & Tobago had 202 off 49.3 overs, chasing Jamaica’s 230 all out off 50 overs. In addition to winning the title, members of the Jamaican team also won top awards. Jerome Taylor was named Man of the Match, while Brendan Nash received the title of Best Bowler of the Final Four. It was the team’s first win since 1999.

CPPL IN TURMOIL AFTER GAME SUSPENSIONS—10/31/07
The Cash Plus Premier League (CPPL) is only a month old, and already it is experiencing uncertainty after a suspension of a day’s games by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF). Burchell Gibson, general secretary of the JFF, places the blame on the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA), which is led by former Prime Minister and president of Tivoli Gardens Football Club, Edward Seaga.

REGGAE MARATHON TO BE HELD IN NEGRIL ON DECEMBER 1—11/01/07
The 7th annual Reggae Marathon, a world-famous event, will be held on the western side of the island of Negril on December 1, 2007. The top three men and women to finish the marathon will take home prizes of $75,000, $50,000, and $25,000. The half-marathoners top three will receive prizes of $37,000, $25,000, and $12,000. The top five schools will receive between $20,000 and $40,000. The Ministry of Health is one of the sponsors, and it will offer cash prizes totaling $250,000 for corporate teams, with first-place winners receiving $100,000. Competitors from the U.S., Canada, and Japan are expected to participate in the run.

SMITH WORKING TO WIN GOLD AT BEIJING OLYMPICS—11/02/07
Maurice Smith, decathlete, is not prepared to reveal his strategies, but he says he is working on changes that will lead him to the gold at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Smith, who won a silver medal at the Osaka World Championships, says he is working only many things and that “it’s looking good so far.”

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DEVOTIONAL
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He Is Faithful…

The year was 1998, and there I was sitting in the lobby of a well-known company, a bit early for my scheduled interview. As I was thumbing through a “Times” magazine, minding my own business, from deep within my being and into my mind came the word of God to Joshua: “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you” (Joshua 1:3). At the very moment, I was absolutely convinced the job I had applied for was mine, but little did I know the surprise I was in for.

After four interviews, I received a call that the company had decided to hire a bilingual person instead. I fully understood the reasons as it was explained to me, but as I put the phone down, my spirit spoke to my mind: “Are you going to take that for an answer?” I immediately recalled God’s promise in the lobby and I responded with a verbal “No”, as if speaking to a visible person. I then prayed, “Lord this wasn’t what you told me. I have no idea how you’re going to fix it, but you’ll have to because you were the one that promised!” For seven days, every day, God heard those words from me. The following week, the company called to ask if I was still interested in the position. They had in fact hired the bilingual person, but someone else had just resigned and I was the preferred candidate. I could barely contain my excitement, not only at the offer but moreso because God had once again proven Himself faithful. Three more interviews later, I signed the job offer.

What promise has God spoken to your heart lately? What is your level of trust in the Word? David wrote: “O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame … Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame” (Psalm 25:1a, 2a). In Joel 2:27, God reminded Israel through the prophet that “I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.” The writer of Hebrews declared, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (10:23). Webster defines ‘faithful’ as “firm in adherence to promises”, and of God, Jeremiah declared, “Great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:23b). He will keep His promises (Numbers 23:19).

On that day sitting in the lobby, I chose to believe the promise and I proved God faithful. Regardless of what we are each faced, the same God speaks a Word to us in those situations. There is absolutely nothing that He cannot do. When the word of the Lord regarding the promised seed came to Abraham, of him it was simply said, “And he believed the LORD” (Gen. 15:6a). What about you? Do you believe?

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.