THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
AFRICA UNITE CONCERT TO BE HELD IN JAMAICA FOR THE FIRST TIME—12/15/07
The African Unite Concert, a global initiative of the Bob Marley/Rita Marley Foundation, will be held in Jamaica on Saturday, February 23, 2008. In St. Mary. This is the first time the concert has been held on the island. It will combine two events and host many national and international artists. The features documentary “Africa Unite” will make its debut in the Caribbean as part of the festivities celebrating the anniversary of the birth of reggae star Robert Nesta Marley.
INVESTIGATORS LOOKING FOR SOURCE OF MONTEGO BAY OIL SPILL—12/16/07
Officials of the National Environment and Planning Agency are searching for the source of an oil spill affecting the mangrove thickets on the coastline near Montego Bay. A floating boom and absorbent pads were placed at the mouth of a canal to stem the spread of the oil. The government agency is monitoring the cleanup efforts.
JAMAICA CALLED “UNGRATEFUL NATION” BY KAMEKA RELATIVE—12/17/07
Sidjea Robinson, niece of slain assistant police commissioner Gilbert Kameka, accused Jamaica of being “ungrateful” in the disrespect it shows to the country’s policy force as it fights murderers every day. Robinson made her remarks at Kameka’s funeral in Montego Bay. Robinson said Jamaica continually criticizes the police and discounts the value of the work they do.
JAMAICA DOMINATES 2007 WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS—12/17/07
Jamaica was the dominant player at the tourism industry’s prestigious World Travel Awards, which are considered to be the “tourism Oscars.” Jamaica won the title of the leading Caribbean destination and the leading cruise destination. Air Jamaica was held to be the region’s top airline, the best business class airline, and had the best airline website. Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, expects a record 1.8 million visitors to Jamaica for the 2007-2008 winter season.
LEWIN WANTS TO MAKE JAMAICA A PLACE OF PEACE AND SECURITY—12/18/07
The new Police Commissioner, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, states that his first actions as head of Jamaica’s police force is to control crime and violence. Lewin, who is a former army chief, says his vision is to make the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) the best police service in the world. He also wants to improve public safety for everyone.
OPPOSITION LEADER SAYS NEW GOVERNMENT HAS “FAILED”—12/19/07
Portia Simpson Miller, Opposition Leader, stated at a press conference that the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) should receive a “failing grade” for its performance during its first 100 days of governing. Simpson Miller says the government has broken promises, and those it did not break, it changed. She says the JLP has spent its first months blaming its problems on the former People’s National Party (PNP) administration.
REMAINS OF GANG LEADER FOUND—12/20/07
Remains found in a burned automobile in Clarendon are said to be those of One Blood gang head, Seymour “Lenky” Smith. Relatives identified the remains as belonging to Smith, say police. Smith was reported missing three weeks ago.
LEWIN TO SHUT DONW SOME POLICE STATIONS—12/21/07
Newly appointed Commissioner of Police, Read Admiral Hardley Lewin, moved quickly to shut down of the island’s police stations, believing these are “inadequate and ineffective.” Lewin said that most of the police stations currently in operation do not operated effectively. So he will shut some of them down and reallocate police resources. Too many policemen are guarding stations and performing administrative duties, instead of being out on the streets.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN WINS ARTS AND CULTURE SCHOLARSHIP—12/16/07
Daniel Ellis, 18, has won the 2007 Arts and Culture Jamaica Inc. Scholarship. Ellis, who is a second-year student at the University of Toronto in Canada, received the award at the organization’s “Christmas in the Caribbean” concert. Originally from Jamaica, Ellis is studying theater arts at the university.
NEW CONSUL GENERAL FOR NY JAMAICAN CONSULATE—12/17/07
It appears that a new Consul General as been named to the Jamaican Consulate in New York and could be on the job by early 2008. Geneive Brown Metzger, public relations leader, has been tapped to fill the post. The Consulate has not yet officially confirmed Metzger’s appointment.
JAMAICAN MUSICIANS FORCED TO STAY IN GUYANA—12/18/07
A Jamaican band, Tantrum, must stay an additional night in Guyana after the musicians were denied permission to leave the country. Tantrum had gone to the South American nation as backing for reggae star, Shaggy. Upon arriving at the airport after the performance, the eight members of the band were told they could not leave because the promoter of the show had “outstanding entertainment taxes.”
MINISTER OF LABOR LAUDS WORK OF CENTRAL LABOR ORGANIZATION—12/20/07
Pearnel Charles, Minister of Labor and Social Security, commended the Jamaica Central Labor Organization (JCLO) for helping thousands of Jamaicans to find work in the agricultural and hospitality industries in the United States and Canada. Charles made his remarks at the annual JCLO awards luncheon in Washington, D.C. where Larkland Stone and Pearleta McKoy, two longtime organization employees, were honored.
JAMAICA DOMINATES KARATE TOURNAMENT IN JAPAN—12/15/07
The Seido Jamaica karate team won 14 medals at the World International Karate Tournament in Nagoya, Japan. The team won five gold medals, two silver medals, and seven bronze medals at the competition. Bruce McFarlene also won the Grand Champion Trophy in the heavyweight division for the third year in a row.
JAMAICA ON TRACK TO WIN FRIENDSHIP FOOTBALL CUP—12/18/07
Jamaica’s All Manning Cup team defeated the All-Schools team from Trinidad and Tobago 2-1 in the first of two legs in the Friendship Football Cup at Winchester Park. The victory suggests Jamaica could receive their fourth straight lien on the Cup.
JAMAICANS CHOSEN FOR WEST INDIES RUGBY TEAM—12/19/07
Elroy Graham and Donald Walters, Jamaican rugby players, have been chosen to play on the 12-member West Indies squad in the coming North American round of the IRB’s Sevens World Series. The competition will take place in San Diego, California on February 9-10, 2008.
ONTONG HELPS SOUTH AFRICA TAKE LEAD OVER WINDIES—12/21/07
On the second day of a four-day tour match, Justin Ontong helped South Africa beat the West Indies. South Africa A had 351 for seven, 158 runs ahead in the first innings, at the end of the day.
Joy to the World
Mary was startled when she saw the angel. Barely in her teens but already engaged to Joseph, the salutation of the angelic being perplexed her even more: “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” Being aware of her state, that angel was compelled to reassure her: “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God” (Luke 1:28-30). What followed was the greatest announcement the world would ever know. “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. … The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (vv. 31,35).
How would she tell this to Joseph? For the next three months she stayed with Elizabeth, and by the time she returned to Joseph, she was already pregnant! What would he think? What would the neighbours think? Who would believe her? Six months later, amidst all that controversy, Mary gave birth to her baby in a Galilean stable, in the city of Nazareth, where he was placed in a feeding box. Couldn’t the Sovereign God have done it differently? Of all the places, why Galilee? The reputation of the place was of such that years later when the disciple Philip told Nathaniel that they had found Jesus of Nazareth, of whom Moses and the prophets spoke, Nathaniel asked, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?”, to which Philip replied, “Come and see” (John 1:45,46). Only God could have planned it this way; Jesus coming into the world in relative obscurity and in a place one would least expect.
The commercialization we see at this time of year tend to blur the real reason for the season. It’s more than the exchange of gifts, the spreading of cheer, and sharing hearty meals with families and friends. God in the flesh, what a thought! Stepping out of the spleandours of heaven into the drudgery of a condemned world, He was in Christ, and in the fulness of time, reconciling the world unto himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). For those of us who have found Him, we raise our voices and sing “Joy to the world, that Lord is come”, and to those who are still looking, we say “Come and see”.
To you and yours, a safe and blessed Christmas.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.