THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
WOOLMER CASE CLOSED—12/01/07
The investigation into the death of Bob Woolmer, Pakistan cricket coach following a World Cup match in March 2007 has been closed, say Jamaican police. After a long investigation, an inquest jury of 11 did not find enough evidence of either death by natural causes or murder to make a ruling. Therefore, an open verdict resulted in the case. This verdict does not rule out the finding of government pathologist Ere Sheshiah, who found that Woolmer had died of strangulation. The police are not required to continue their investigation, however.
HIGH-RANKING JAMAICAN POLICE OFFICER KILLED—12/02/07
Assistant Police Commissioner Gilbert Kameka, 56, was shot to death by three gunmen in Irish Town, north of Kingston. Kameka was killed just hours after the body of a junior colleague, Valentino Chambers, was found in his car in Hannah Town, West Kingston. Kameka was the highest-ranking police officer in Jamaican history to be murdered.
POLICEMAN KILLED IN MONTEGO BAY—12/03/07
Sergeant Alan Lindsay, a sub-officer with the Motorized Patrol Unit of the St. James police, was shot and killed in Dallas, Glendevon, Montego Bay. The death was the 20th murder of a police officer in 2007. Lindsay had been on the Jamaican Constabulary Force for over 20 years.
GOVERNMENT IN JAMAICA TO DIVEST ITSELF OF AIR JAMAICA HOLDINGS—12/03/07
The Jamaican government reports that it will divest all of its financial holdings in Air Jamaica, the state-owned airline, by 2009. The government has called the airline carrier “a drag” on the island’s budget. Sen. Don Wehby, who has a senior position in the Ministry of Finance and Public service, says that additional disbursements to the airline would be “at the expense of the country’s social services.” He also said that the decision was “difficult politically.”
JLP GROUP TARGETED BY GUNMEN—12/04/07
While James Robertson, member of Parliament for West St. Thomas and a member of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) was shot at by gunmen as he did some last minute campaigning for the local government elections. Robertson was walking with members of his team and some local government representatives when several men began shooting at the group. Three people were injured during the gunfire.
47 PEOPLE SHOT TO DEATH IN A WEEK—12/05/07
In spite of the military personnel stationed at 142 high-risk areas across Jamaica, the bloodshed continues. The murder toll for 2007 has reached 1,442, with the 12 most recent victims being killed in two days, 47 in the past seven days. Most of the murders were committed in Clarendon. Over 113 individuals have been killed there since the beginning of 2007.
JLP WINS IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION—12/06/07
The Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) won its second straight victory, sweeping the local elections. By the end of the preliminary counting, the ruling JLP won nine of 13 parish councils. St. Ann Parish Council was said to be a tie, with both the JLP and the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) winning eight divisions each in the 16-seat council. The PNP won in Hanover, Manchester, and Westmoreland.
MASKED MEN LURK AT HOME OF BANKER—12/07/07
The group managing director of the National Commercial Bank (NCB), Patrick Hylton, has received death threats and has been stalked at his home in St. Andrew by men who wear masks and dark glasses. Hylton, who is also the president of the Jamaica Bankers’ Association (JBA), is being watched by unknown individuals who park their cars near his property and made visits to his home, both day and night. The St. Andrew police are conducting an investigation into this matter.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
MURDERED JAMAICAN-BORN POLICE OFFICER HONORED IN NEW YORK—12/03/07
Officer Dillon Stewart, 35, was killed in the line of duty in 2005, but his memory will live on in a park playground, which will bear his name. Stewart, who was born in Jamaica, grew up in Brooklyn and had been with the New York Police Department for five years when he was shot and killed by Allan Cameron in a traffic case. Cameron was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
JAMAICAN TEACHERS IN UK LOBBY FOR HIGHER PAY—12/04/07
The National Union of Teachers in the United Kingdom wants Jamaican and other foreign-trained teachers to help in lobbying the government for better wages. The Union says that teachers in England had obtained pay increases that were lower than the rate of inflation for the past two years. The Union, the largest teachers’ union in Britain, wants teachers to sign its petitions to the government.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE SEEKS EXCHANGE WITH COLLEGE IN JAMAICA—12/06/07
Nash Community College in North Carolina is discussing a possible partnership with Moneague College in Jamaica. The schools are considering student and faculty exchanges and online programs in the technology and hospitality departments. Both colleges offer classes in these areas.
REGGAE ALBUM PRESERVED AT U.S. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS—12/07/07
The 1973 Island Records album, Burnin’, which was the last recorded by core Wailers Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Peter Tosh, has been selected for “perpetual preservation” at the Library of Congress in the United States. The Library chooses a few audio recordings every year for preservation in the National Recording Registry. The choices are based on the historical, artistic, or cultural importance of a recording.
WINDIES WIN OVER ZIMBABWE—12/03/07
Captain Chris Gayle and Runako Morton led the West Indies to a win over Zimbabwe of 110 runs in the second one-day international (ODI) cricket match. The victory was welcomed after the Windies’ opening game loss. Morton was named Man of the Match with a top score of 79 and a critical 120-run second wicket stand with Gayle. Gayle scored 58 before suffering a hamstring injury and retiring.
RENE SIMOES TO RETURN TO JAMAICA—12/05/07
The man who led Jamaica to its single World Cup appearance in 1998 will return to the island to manage the country’s national team, the Reggae Boyz. Although he resigned from the team in February 2000, he will return to that position in 2008, according to the Jamaica Football Federation. The Brazilian Simoes will bring Glydston Ananias, Alfredo Montesso, and goalkeeper coach Chio Santos with him as his assistance. He will be in charge of both men’s and women’s teams.
HABOUR VIEW DISAPPOINTED—12/07/07
The chances of Harbour View, the defending champions, of going on to the first end-of-round final at the Cash Plus Premier League (CPPL) were lessened in the team’s defeat by Boys’ Town, 2-1.
The loss means that Harbour View are tied for third place with St. Georges and Tivoli Gardens on 15 points.
JAMAICAN WOMEN VICTORIOUS OVER CUBA—12/07/07
The Jamaican Women won the first match in the Caribbean Second Round Series to the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualification, defeating Cuba at Estadio Pedro Marrero in Havana, Cuba. In front of a crowd of 3,000, Christina Murray scored the game-winning point for Jamaica in the 63rd minute. Murray had come into the game as a substitute player just 12 minutes earlier. Jamaica and Cuba will have a rematch in the second leg of the series, with the winner qualifying to the six-team CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualification Final Round in Mexico.
Free in Christ
Tucked away in the New Testament and nestled between the books of Titus and Hebrews is the little book of Philemon. Only one chapter of 25 verses and void of Paul’s usual pastoral discourse, it’s very likely that only a few readers are familiar with it. In essence, Paul wrote to Philemon, a fellow labourer in the Lord, regarding Onesimus, a slave of Philemon who after committing a theft had fled from punishment to Rome where he hid with Paul. Paul converted him, then sent him home with this canonical letter to Philemon encouraging him to receive Onesimus “not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved” (v.16).
As I read that portion of the text, I thought of Jesus interceding with the Father on our behalf. Like Onesimus we were runaway slaves, yet in 1 John 2:1 we read, “if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” He has undertaken, and is fully able, to plead (advocate) in behalf of every one who applies for pardon and salvation in His name. Of Him Isaiah said, “he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (53:12), and in his letter to the Romans Paul reminded them that Christ “is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (8:34). Who better to advocate to the Father on our behalf but the Son of the Father himself?
As Paul advocated for Onesimus, he said to Philemon, “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account” (v.18). I believe that’s the exact nature of Jesus’ advocacy on our behalf. Again Isaiah said “the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (53:6). As Philemon accepted Onesimus and released him, so God “made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). In the words of the song writer, “He paid the debt he did not owe, I owed a debt I couldn’t pay”. Jesus took upon himself all that we owed to God, and God stamped that invoice “Paid In Full!”
In Christ we are no longer slaves, but free men. Free to walk and to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1). It is my prayer that we make full use of that freedom.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.