THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
GOVERNMENT TO DISCOURAGE TOBACCO CULTIVATION—04/05/14
Jamaica’s government plans to implement a strategy designed to discourage tobacco cultivation on the island. Tobacco farmers will receive training and education about alternative crops, including ginger, tomatoes, and Irish potatoes. Lenworth Fulton, the CEO of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) disclosed the plan, which is meant to ensure and promote a healthy population.
TWO KILLED, 13 SHOT IN KINGSTON—04/06/14
According to police, unidentified gunmen shot 13 individuals and killed a 12-year-old boy and one adult in Denham Town near Kingston. Law enforcement authorities attribute the shooting to gang activity and attempts by gang members to control areas previously run by Christopher “Dudus” Coke. Eleven of the injured people remain hospitalized.
SIMPSON MILLER MOVES AWAY FROM ACTION ON SODOMY LAW—04/07/14
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has stated that constituents must be consulted before any review of the nation’s anti-sodomy law can occur. She did not indicate whether the consultation will actual happen, however, and did not provide a timeline for the matter because it “doesn’t impact, in a very serious way, the majority of our people,” she said.
ALPHA BOYS’ HOME WILL CLOSE—04/08/14
The Alpha Boys’ Home in Kingston, which has operated for 135 years, will be closed. The home has been run by the Roman Catholic Sisters of Mercy. According to Lisa Hanna, Minister of Youth and Culture, the government has assessed the status of the 120 boys now living at the home and will determine which of them may be returned to their parents or placed in other care facilities. The educational and music program of the Alpha Boys’ Home will continue.
U.S. HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION TO ADDRESS DEATH-SQUAD CLAIM—04/09/14
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in the United States has received reports from a coalition of groups in Jamaica concerning charges against the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), which claim the existence of “death squads” that engage in illegal killings. These claims were first made public in January 2014 when a former officer revealed being aware of special teams ordered by senior authorities in the JCF to kill suspected criminals in their jurisdictions.
23 YOUNG JAMAICANS RECEIVE YOUTH AWARDS—04/10/14
The recipients of the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence for 2013 included 23 young individuals and two youth groups. The groups are the Youth Organization for Upliftment and the National Interschool Brigade. The awards were presented on April 6, 2014 at Jamaica House in Kingston by Portia Simpson Miller, the nation’s Prime Minister.
BUS ATTACKS COST TRANSIT FIRM $2.5 MILLION—04/11/14
The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) must pay $2.5 million for repairs to buses damaged by vandalism during a two-day spree by hoodlums. Reverend Garnett Roper, JUTC chairman, said there were 18 incidents of vandalism that resulted in damage to the buses, including smashed windscreens, the smashing of a door, and tampering with two of the bus engines.
MORE CONCRETE ROADS, SAYS DAVIES—04/11/14
Jamaica’s Minister of Transport, Works and Housing believes that concrete road construction and repairs should be expanded. According to Dr. Omar Davies, he supports the use of concrete to construct and repair roads and has engaged with proposals for such roads. While using concrete will cost about seven percent more than current materials, it will last longer.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
EX-POLICEMAN RECOGNIZED FOR BRAVERY—04/05/14
Lester Anderson, 52, a former Jamaica Constabulary Force member, is being celebrated as a hero in South Florida for his role in saving people during a shooting incident in February 2014. Anderson said his training as a police officer in Jamaica helped him save lives during the shooting, which occurred in a train station. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA).
SINGER TESSANNE CHIN PROVIDES LESSONS ABOUT DIVERSITY—04/07/14
When Tessanne Chin auditioned for The Voice television competition, judges were amazed that some of Chinese descent spoke like a Jamaican. The promotion of Chin as winner of the competition has highlighted the diversity of Canada’s population, and particularly, to the small Diaspora represented by Chinese-Jamaicans. Toronto, her home city, has the highest population of Chinese-Jamaicans outside of Jamaica’s borders.
INAUGURAL JAMAICA OPEN NY FEATURED AT CARIBBEAN HERITAGE CELEBRATIONS—04/08/14
The first Jamaica Open NY will tee off on June 9, 2014, in Brooklyn at the Marine Park Golf Course. Chris Arceneaux, founder and CEO of the Darby Foundation, and Alsion Roach, Manhattan finance executive and president of the Alsion Roach Group, spearheaded the event, which will be part of the Caribbean Heritage celebrations in June. The Open will incorporate the culture of the Caribbean and stage a “Reggae on the Green” presentation on June 8.
PAUL SHAW, JAMAICAN PIANIST, TO PLAY AT IOWA MUSIC SCHOOL—04/09/14
The School of Music at the University of Iowa will feature a free recital by Paul Shaw, Jamaican pianist. Shaw has given concerts on three continents and is known for his technical expertise and sensitivity. He won the top prize at the William Kapell International Piano Competition and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. He has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center.
CARIBBEAN INTELLECTUAL, NORMAN GIRVAN, DIES—04/10/14
Professor Norman Girvan, who was born in Jamaica, was a pioneer of regional integration and a top scholar in the Caribbean. Professor Girvan passed away in Cuba. According to Irwin LaRocque, secretary General Ambassador of CARICOM, Girvan was a visionary and the chief author of “Towards a Single Development vision and the role of the Single Economy,” a document that guides CARICOM. He had also served as special envoy from the United Nations during the Guyana-Venezuela border dispute.
CALIBE THOMPSON TO HOST WEEKLY VIDEO BROADCASTS—04/11/14
The Jamaican-born entertainment personality, Calibe Thompson, has been selected to host the Caribcast.tv/Jamaicas.com weekly news and entertainment broadcasts from South Florida. She has more than 15 years of experience in the industry and her experience includes television and radio producing and presenting. Xavier Murphy, CEO of Jamaicans.com, believes Ms. Thompson will begin a new chapter of digital journalism in her new role.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
VENEZUELAN NATIONALS ARRESTED IN COCAINE BUST—04/05/14
CARIBBEAN GARDENER SHARES PLANTS WITH TORONTO—04/06/14
GUYANA DEVELOPMENT ENCOURAGES NATIONAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY—04/07/14
NEW MUSIC COMPILATION TO INTRODUCE SOUNDS OF DUVALIER PERIOD—04/08/14
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC EXPOSED TO MOSQUITO-BORNE VIRUS—04/09/14
FORMER LEADER OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO DEAD AT 87—04/10/14
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
EXPO JAMAICA 2014 HOSTS OVER 600 FOREIGN BUYERS—04/05/14
More than 600 buyers from 28 nations around the world participated in Expo Jamaica 2014, the largest trade show in the Caribbean. Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, opened the event on April 3, 2014, at National Arena in Kingston. She noted the need to enhance intra-regional trade with Caribbean neighbors as well as with global export markets.
SECOND ANNUAL JAMAICA DIASPORA GOLF OPEN HELD IN MONTEGO BAY—04/06/14
The Jamaican-American Chamber of Commerce will present the 2nd Annual Jamaica Diaspora Golf Open at Cinnamon Hall Golf Course in Montego Bay. The event will span three days in June and provide a chance for members and non-members of the Chamber of Commerce to network and create new business alliances.
U.S. EMBARGO OF CUBA IMPACTS JAMAICAN SHOPPERS—04/08/14
PriceSmart Jamaica Ltd., a subsidiary of PriceSmart Inc., has suspended accounts of the residents and staff of Cuba’s Embassy and consular offices in Jamaica due to the embargo imposed on Cuba by the United States. Because the firm is a subsidiary of a U.S.-member-based warehouse club, it had no choice but to comply with U.S. laws. To be reinstated, residents or staff members of the embassy who have proof of permanent residency in Jamaica may rejoin the warehouse club.
SMALL BUSINESS ORGANIZATION SAYS GANJA COULD IMPROVE SECTOR—04/09/14
The Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ) believes that decriminalizing marijuana for personal use could bring significant benefits to the nation’s economy and offer major opportunities for small businesses. Dee Kyne, social entrepreneur and co-CEO of the organization, said the group should seriously consider the possibilities available if Jamaica makes personal use of marijuana legal.
Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
SURINAM TO HOST REGIONAL MEETING ON TECHNOLOGY—04/07/14
ISLAND NATIONS TO BENEFIT FROM OCEAN THERMAL ENERGY—04/10/14
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
NOT ENOUGH MARLEY PROMOTION, SAYS DIRECTOR OF GRAMMY MUSEUM—04/05/14
Reggae singer Bob Marley has become an iconic figure in his home country of Jamaica and around the world. However, according to Bob Santelli, the director of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, Jamaica does not do enough to capitalize on the link to Marley or sufficiently promote the island’s influence on the legendary musician’s legacy.
LUTAN FYAH WANTS RECOGNITION FOR JAMAICA FROM FOREIGNERS—04/06/14
Lutan Fyah, reggae artiste, has called for foreigners to give more recognition to the players in Jamaica’s music industry. According to Fyah, musicians outside Jamaica have copied its reggae and dancehall genres, and language barriers hide the significant amount of infringement suffered by Jamaican music. He singled out reggaeton as the most popular global genre that has borrowed sounds identifiable as coming from dancehall music.
NEW BOOK FOLLOWS JAMAICANS’ HISTORY IN U.S.—04/07/14
A new book, “The Jamaicans- Children of God in the Promised Land,” offers personal stories to illustrate the strength and spirit of Jamaicans as immigrants to the United States and other countries. The book’s author is Dr. Basil Bryan, historian and sportsman who was consul general to New York and 38 other states between 1998 and 2007. Dr. Bryan is recognized in the Diaspora for developing relationships and treaties between Jamaica, communities in the Caribbean, and African American people.
STEELE PREPARES TO STRENGTHEN LINK TO JAMAICA WITH NEW SONG—04/10/14
Although he has been away from Jamaica’s music market for some time, Steele, the international recording artiste, is ready to make a strong connection with Jamaica in his song “She Believes in Me.” Steele is from Lucea, Hanover, and he has visited the island many times to perform at Sumfest. His cover of the classic Kenny Rogers song is already very popular in Canada, and Steele says that he wants to share this song with his Jamaican home.
SIMPSON GETS BAN OF 18 MONTHS FOR DOPING—04/06/14
Olympic relay champion Sherone Simpson received an 18-month suspension after have a positive test for oxilofrine, a banned substance, during the Jamaican trials in June 2013. She received her doping ban on same day as discus thrower Allison Randal got a suspension of two years for failing a drug test at the trials. Simpson admitted the anti-doping violation, saying a supplement given to her by her Canadian trainer was the cause of the positive test.
HANSLE PARCHMENT WORKING TOWARD COMMONWEALTH GAMES—04/08/14
Hansle Parchment, Jamaican sprint hurdle, is recuperating well after an ankle injury received during the 2013 season at the National Senior Championships. He is now focusing on attaining his best performance level for the pending Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Parchment won the bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2012 Olympics in London.
DOCTORS RECOMMEND FRASER-PRYCE WITHDRAW FROM ATHLETIC EVENTS—04/11/14
Shelly-An Fraser-Pryce, Jamaica’s champion sprinter, has been told by doctors to withdraw her participation from two major athletic events. Therefore, she will miss the UTech Classic at National Stadium and the Penn Relays in Pennsylvania. She will be able to compete in the Jamaica International Invitational in May 2014, however.
19-MONTH BAN FOR POWELL ON DOPING OFFENSE—04/10/14
Jamaica’s Asafa Powell, former 100-meter world record champion, received an 18-month suspension after testing positive for oxilofrine, a banned substance. The suspension is effective from June 21, 2013 to December 20, 2014. The Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel handed down the suspension for the positive test Powell gave at the Jamaican trials in June 2013.
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Power in Unity
For some people, the biblical narrative surrounding the building of the tower of Babel speaks to the dangers and consequences of pride. However, there is a positive lesson that we can take from it that can serve us well; something that God Himself took a note of. According to the Genesis account, at a time when “the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech,” a group of people journeyed from the east and found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there, resolving to build a city with a tower “with its top in the heavens …lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the Earth” (Genesis 11:1-4, KJV).
As they embarked on their project, “The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the children of men built. And the Lord said, ‘Behold, the people are one and they have all one language, and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be withheld from them which they have imagined to do'” (vv. 5-6). In these verses, we find a united people, having “one language,” with one determination, and the divine observation that with these attributes, “nothing will be withheld from them which they have imagined to do.” In them, we see the power and possibilities in unity.
Having a collective common cause or goal is not unusual. Families and organizations have them as well. However, achieving the end goal is another matter. Jealousy, internal fighting, disagreements, greed, to name a few, often stall and cripple efforts to goal realization. Author J.K. Rowling succinctly observes, “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided” and there is a lot of truth in that statement. Regardless of whatever it is that we endeavour to do collectively, a divided people is a liability to such efforts. A house [business, family, church] divided against itself cannot stand. “All for one, one for all” is the springboard for optimal success.
The power in unity was affirmed by the Lord regarding the builders of the tower. As we go about our day-to-day lives, let us strive for unity in the areas that matter most. Yes, there will be times of disagreements; however, if we keep our eyes on the end goal, what we are striving to achieve together, our individual preferences should yield to the greater good. One heart, one mind, one purpose. Taken together, that is a mighty unstoppable force. Just ask God.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.