THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
NATIONAL SECURITY MINISTER TO HEAR MONTEGO BAY POLICE CONCERNS—12/08/07
Derrick Smith, National Security Minister, plans to address the issues raised by police in the St. James division of Montego Bay. He also said he was surprised by the remarks made by the Police Federation. Smith and the action commissioner of police went to Montego Bay and met with more than 200 police officers in the St. James division, after which they met with senior police staff from the same division. The issues raised included resource requirements, which are scheduled for a quick resolution.
GOVERNMENT IN JAMAICA TO REDUCE TRUCK WEIGHT DAMAGE TO ROADS—12/08/07
The Jamaican Government will again check the weight of vehicles that travel on the islands network of roads in an attempt to reduce the damage caused by overloaded trailers and trucks. According to Desmond McKenzie, Government Senator, six fixed scales will be installed under the Commercial Vehicle and Safety Weight Limit Enforcement Program.
PUBLIC HOSPITALS PRESSURED TO PROVIDE FREE CARE—12/09/07
Health care providers fear that any further efforts to free up care in public health facilities could be a disaster. The public hospitals are already feeling the pressure from the policy of the previous People’s National Party (PNP) administration to provide free care for children. The government must act to upgrade public hospitals and improve staff and equipment before freeing up can occur.
ALLEGED “MOST WANTED” CRIMINAL SHOT AND KILLED—12/10/07
While authorities are not yet sure of his identity, a man who was fatally shot during a police-military operation at Rosemount Gardens in Montego Bay is believed to be one of the 12 most wanted outlaws in Jamaica. The man is thought to be Gerado “Rado” Taylor. Three other criminals were taken into custody after the same operation. Three illegal guns – a rifle and two handguns – were recovered as well.
HIV CONTROLLED IN JAMAICAN PRISONS—12/11/07
The prison system in Jamaica has one of the lowest rates of HIV in the world, says Derrick Smith, National Security Minister. Smith disclosed this information at the passing out parade of over 100 new correctional officers, which was held in Runaway Bay, St. Ann. Smith noted that, contrary to common perceptions, the prevalence rate of HIV in Jamaica’s prisons totaled just 3.3 percent. Comparatively, Trinidad has a rate of 4.5 percent.
JAMAICA NEGATIVELY IMPACTED BY “BRAIN DRAIN”—12/12/07
Approximately 20 percent of the specialist nurses in Jamaica, and eight percent of the island’s registered nurses, leave every year to find better working conditions overseas. Professor Elizabeth Thomas-Hope, head of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Geography and Geology department, says that the rate of emigration is a cause for concern. Between 2000 and 2002, about 2,000 teachers also left the country.
BABY LATEISHA FINALLY REGISTERED—12/13/07
Lateisha Julene Clarke, who was born during a flight between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica on October 2, 2007, has finally been registered. Shellesha Woodstock, Lateisha’s mother, had experienced problems getting the birth of her daughter documented, since officials in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands were not sure of where the birth had actually occurred. Officials are now convinced that the birth took place in Jamaican airspace.
STUDENTS SHOW POORLY IN CORE GSEC SUBJECTS—12/14/07
Students in Jamaica continue to perform poorly in core subjects in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) assessment examination, which they take after five years in high school. According to an analysis of 2007 results by Dr. Ralph Thompson, education advocate and businessman, 89 percent of the students in non-traditional high schools failed English, and 37 percent of students in traditional schools also failed the subject. Ninety-six percent of students in non-traditional schools failed math, compared to 59 percent in traditional high schools. Thompson has called the results “appalling.”
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
CAYMAN HEALTH MINISTER ADMITS MISTAKE—12/08/07
The Cayman Islands Ministry of Health ordered an independent investigation into the case of a Jamaican woman who had gone into labor and was advised by hospital authorities to fly back to Jamaica to give birth. That investigation has concluded that this advice was given in error. Anthony Eden, Caymans Minister of Health, admitted that mistakes were made by the staff of the Cayman Islands Health Service Authority (HSA) when the woman was told to return to Jamaica. She ultimately gave birth on a Cayman Airways flight on the way to the island.
BOBBY CLARKE TO LAUNCH INTERNET TV FOR CARIBBEAN NATIONALS—12/09/07
Bobby Clarke, Jamaican-born entrepreneur, plans to introduce an Internet Protocol Television network service aimed at Caribbean nationals who are overseas. The digital network service will be known as “Irie TV.” It will begin with an event in Times Square in New York featuring top entertainers like Shaggy and Wyclef Jean.
COURT RETURNS DISABLED MAN TO CANADA—12/10/07
A schizophrenic man was deported to Jamaica in 2007, but he has been returned to Canada under a rare court order when law enforcement officials did not take him to a hospital for psychiatric care as he had been promised. Christopher Smith, 44, was “dumped” at the Jamaica airport, and was found by a relative later on, “naked, roaming the streets” in Kingston. Smith was hospitalized ten days later. He had been stripped of landed-immigrant status due to criminal convictions, and he was escorted back to Toronto, Canada, by the Canada Border Services Agency under a court order.
JAMAICAN WINS SCHOLARSHIP IN CANADA—12/11/07
Daniel Ellis, 18, is in his second year at the University of Toronto in Canada, and he has just won the Arts and Culture Jamaica Inc. Scholarship. Ellis, originally from Jamaica, is studying theater arts at the university. One of six students applying for the scholarship, his victory was announced at the organization’s “Christmas in the Caribbean” concert at Hillcrest Christian Church in Toronto.
LAING PAYS RESPECTS TO McKENLEY—12/08/07
A teammate of Herb McKenley’s, Leslie Laing, who ran with him on the historic 4×400-meter team that won a gold medal at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, was among those who paid their last respects to the Jamaican sprinter. Carmen Phipps, another Olympian, was also expected to be in the group of sports personalities at the McKenley funeral.
FOUR TEAMS HAVE CHANCE TO JOIN PORTMORE UNITED IN FINAL—12/09/07
At the CASH Plus Premier League (CPPL) first round, four teams are vying for a chance to join Portmore United in the end-of-first-round final. Seba United, the former leaders, lost three of their past four matches. They continue to have the best chance to make it to the final, however.
REGGAE BOYZ FACE HARD TIMES—12/12/07
Carl Brown, assistant to Rene Simoes in the 1998 World Cup campaign, believes that it will be tough for Jamaica to qualify for the 2010 event in South Africa. Jamaica qualified for the 1998 finals, but Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras, all of which did not play in France, are returning. Brown says it will be “tougher” to qualify in competition with some of the better Guatemalan players.
SUNSHINE GIRLS FETED BY JAMAICA NETBALL ASSOCIATION—12/13/07
The Sunshine Girls, Jamaica’s World Netball Championship bronze-medal winners, their coaches, team sponsors, and media were feted by the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) at a “thank you” luncheon. The team members and their supporters received gift baskets, plaques, and boxes of chocolate.
At His Service
Mother Teresa. Speak her name and immediately one gets a picture of unselfish love, devotion, and advocacy on behalf of Calcutta’s poor, orphaned, sick, and dying. Being a great admirer of her work, I was reflecting on the satisfaction she must have derived from finding what she deemed to be her purpose in life. Webster defines purpose as, among other things, an “end to be attained”, and I can think of no greater way to live one’s life than to fulfill the purpose God intended.
In the closing days of his life, the Apostle Paul wrote: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). One could say that he faced his executioner knowing full well that he had done the things God had called him to do. Unfortunately, a lot of Christians are still trying to find their calling, but certainly it has to be more than mere living. To that end, I’m reminded of the great prayer of St. Francis of the Assisi. As you contemplate on the words, I pray that it will become your prayer, and that you will be receptive to what it is that God would have you do while in your sphere of influence.
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.