THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
LAWMAKERS IN JAMAICAN CONSIDER RETURN TO HANGING—11/17/07
Legislators are considering a return to hanging as punishment. The resurgence of the idea of hanging has been prompted by the rising rate of violent crime on the island. It has been nearly 20 years since the last person was executed by hanging in Jamaica. Lawmakers believe there is strong support for the resumption of hanging among the people.
PAULWELL DENIES ANY CORRUPTION—11/18/07
Phillip Paulwell, former Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy, and Commerce (MITEC), is not upset by the public’s perception of corruption in the ministry during his watch. Paulwell says his “hands are clean,” but he was forced to resign as the Opposition Spokesman on Mining and Energy due to mounting pressures. Paulwell’s junior minister in the former MITEC, Kern Spencer, also resigned his shadow minister position. Both individuals are under suspicion in regard to the Cuban light-bulb distribution project, which posted a questionable $276 million in distribution costs.
INSURANCE PROBLEMS LEAD TO TWINS’ DEATH—11/19/07
A Jamaican mother lost her premature twins at a hospital in the Cayman Island just one month after another Jamaican woman gave birth to a premature baby on a flight to Jamaica on Cayman Airways. The twins, weighing just 1.2 pounds, were born after only 24 weeks of gestation. The babies could not be sent off the island to get the medical care they needed because the mother had no insurance.
POLICE OFFICIAL IN JAMAICA SAYS BRUISES FOUND ON WOOLMER’S NECK—11/20/07
During the inquest into the death of Bob Woolmer, Pakistan cricket coach, Colin Pinnock, Police Deputy Superintendent, stated he was surprised by a finding of bruises by the Jamaican government’s pathologist. Pinnock believed Woolmer had died of natural causes after Pakistan’s loss to Ireland in the Cricket World Cup. The pathologist testified that the bruises were caused by strangulation.
JAMAICAN WHO VOTED IN PINEWOOD HAD TWO BAHAMIAN VOTER CARDS—11/20/07
A Jamaican man who had voted in the Pinewood Constituency on May 2, 2007, had to voter’s cards from the Bahamas, according to information from the Election Court. Lambert Campbell, Deputy Director of Immigration, testified in regard to Manani Taylor, one of 159 people whose votes are the subject of challenge by PLP Senator Allyson Maynard Gibson. Campbell stated that Taylor had a permit to live in the Bahamas in 1996.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO BACK BANANA LOAN—11/21/07
The government of Jamaica will guarantee a loan totaling US$4.2 million from the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) in an attempt to retain banana jobs and to maintain the export market in the European Union for bananas. The EU is the main buyer of Jamaican bananas. The plan is designed to save approximately 800 banana jobs.
JAMAICAN DANCEHALL ACTS CANCELLED FOR HOMOPHOBIC LYRICS—11/22/07
A joint effort by gay, black, and human rights groups has been successful in preventing Jamaican dancehall musicians Capleton, Baby Cham, and Beenie Man from performing in Canada. All three were to have performed in southern Ontario in November and December of 2007. The coalition of rights groups, the Stop Murder Music Canada (SMM), opposed the entry of the musicians into Canada because of their homophobic lyrics, which violate Canada’s hate laws.
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS TO REPORT FUNDS AS “SUSPICIOUS”—11/23/07
According to a recent report, financial institutions in Jamaica have decided to report all funds coming to them via unregistered o schemes” as suspicious. This classification is allowed under the Money Laundering Act. The action is having a negative impact on such unlicensed schemes, including the operations of Cash Plus.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
YVETTE CLARKE PUSHES THREE BILLS IN U.S. CONGRESS—11/17/07
Criticized for her slow start in the U.S. House of Representatives, Yvette Clarke, Jamaican-American Congresswoman from New York, has introduced three bills in the past month alone. The Fair, Accurate, Secure, and Timely Redress Act would require that the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security develop a more effective process of redress for the removal of an erroneous name from the “No Fly” listing. Clarke also introduced bills to provide economic relief for military service people and the Immigration Backlog Reduction Bill, designed to make a dramatic reduction in delays for people applying for asylum, permanent residence, or naturalization.
COLUMBIA LAW STUDENTS HELP JAMAICAN WITH OBTAINING ASYLUM IN U.S.—11/19/07
Four law school students at Columbia University have helped Ven Messam to secure asylum. Messam is a gay Jamaican man who fears persecution if he is forced to return to the island. Jamaica has become a dangerous place for homosexual, bisexual, and transgender individuals, and the government has failed to take action against what has been characterized as “social cleansing” that led to the murders of several lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jamaicans in the past month.
IMMIGRATION AGENT IN U.S. ARRESTED FOR RAPE OF JAMAICAN DETAINEE—11/20/07
Wilfredo Vazquez, 35-year-old agent for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was arrested in Tampa, Florida, on charges of sexually assaulting a 39-year-old Jamaican woman with two children. The complaint alleges that Vazquez was transporting the Jamaican woman from a detention center in Miami-Dade to another center in Broward County when he took her to his house and raped her.
JAMAICAN MARCHING BAND GAINS POPULARITY—11/21/07
The marching band from St. Judes was popular with the visitors to the Landing Pirates Week. The band from Jamaican made an excellent impression at the Pirates Week Festival in Grand Cayman, and event officials are making arrangements to have the band return next year as well. The band is associated with St. Judes School in Kingston and is a volunteer organization supported by the Waltham Gardens community.
JAMAICA GOLF ASSOCIATION BRINGS BACK AMATEUR GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP—11/17/07
According to an announcement from the Jamaica Golf Association (JGA), the Jamaica Amateur Golf Championship (JAGC) will return after an absence of eight years. The match will take place between November 23 and 25 at the Caymanas Golf and Country Club. The event had traditionally been the top match for local amateur golfers.
RICARDO CARDENER MAKES TWO GOALS FOR WIN—11/18/07
Ricardo Gardener scored two goals, leading to Jamaica’s win over El Salvador. The victory came on the 10th anniversary of the team’s qualification for the World Cup in France. Gardener made a score in the 38th and 83rd minutes of the match.
REGGAE BOYZ DEFEAT EL SALVADOR—11/19/07
The Reggae Boyz, Jamaica’s national team, began its new era of leadership by winning over El Salvador in the first game of the Digicel International Series. Newly elected Prime Minister Bruce Golding and several cabinet ministers cheered the Boyz on to their 3-0 victory.
GRANGE PRAISES SUNSHINE GIRLS—11/20/07
Olivia “Babsy” Grange, government Sports Minister, heaped praises on Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls for winning the bronze medal at the 2007 World Netball Championships (WNC) in Auckland, New Zealand. The team defeated England 53-52 to take third place. Grange spoke at a reception for the team, which was held when they arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport.
More times than not, knowing the right people can result in our being granted all kinds of favors. Even better when we know people of tremendous influence. We can bypass long line-ups, get access to places we normally wouldn’t have, or couldn’t afford, and the list goes on and on. Favor, obtained under the right circumstances, is not a bad thing.
I thought of this as I read the interaction between the LORD and Moses as recorded in Exodus 33. The LORD was speaking with Moses “face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (v. 11), during which time Moses said, “See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.” (vv. 12-13). I’m intrigued by the rest of the conversation as we are told the LORD said, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest”, to which Moses replied, “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth” (vv. 14-16). This was some serious negotiation, but the LORD was not to be outdone. He responded, “I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name” (v. 17).
The word translated “grace” in the verse could also be translated “favor”. The LORD, Jehovah, the Self-Existent, Eternal One, granted Moses’ request because of favor. Talk about knowing Someone of tremendous influence! The wonderful thing is that this was not something that was obtainable by Moses. All of us who are born into the family of God are intimately acquainted with the LORD, and as long as we are walking in His ways, we too can find favor with Him. Can you imagine at the end of your prayer, hearing the whisper in your ear, “I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.”? Let us keep making our request known to God, in faith. We can rest assured that He not only hears us, but stand ready to act on our behalf because of the intimate relationship we have with Him. That really excites me. How about you?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.