THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
GOVERNMENT GETS MILLIONS IN ALLEGED ILLICIT ASSETS—08/09/14
Investigators from the Financial Investigations Division in Jamaica have turned over to the government what they believe to be millions of dollars worth of unauthorized assets obtained from a suspected drug dealer. An agreement formalized in the Supreme Court provides for the forfeiture of two BMW automobiles and a $20-million St. Ann house by the father, female friend and former girlfriend of Gauntlett Gallimore.
WATER MANAGEMENT CONTRACT SIGNED BY JAMAICA AND BRAZIL—08/10/14
Jamaica and Brazil have signed a contract worth US$98,000 to improve the capacity for managing the island’s water resources. Robert Pickersgill, Jamaican Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, stated that the project represents the ministry’s continued commitment to ensuring sustainable water resources and that Brazil has the experience and expertise in the field to provide aid to Jamaica’s efforts.
DE LA HAYE SAYS GANJA DECISION SHOULD BE BASED ON SCIENCE, NOT VOTES—08/11/14
Dr. Winston De La Haye, a consultant psychiatrist and the deputy chairman of the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), believes that policymakers should base decisions about the medicinal, recreational and religious uses of ganja on scientific findings instead of votes. He says that the decision has a potential impact on public health and should not be a political one.
JLP WANTS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION CREATED—08/12/14
Andrew Holness, Jamaican Opposition Leader, has called for the creation of a Human Rights Commission with the responsibility for protecting basic rights of individuals. He has suggested the promotion of the Office of the Public Defender to establish the commission. According to Holness, the commission would not only respond to issues of human rights but monitor trends indicating abuses of those rights and develop interventions in such cases.
HARRIS CALLS FOR MORE RECOGNITION OF MAROONS—08/13/14
Dahlia Harris, the principal director of culture in Jamaica’s Ministry of Youth and Culture, is calling for more recognition of the Maroons by the nation. She made her remarks in the final presentation in a series of Signature Conversations in Kingston’s Jamaica Lecture Hall. The theme was “The Jamaican Maroon: Towards Recognition of an Indigenous People.” Harris believes a discussion of the culture is important because it is viewed in different ways at the national level, depending upon who is involved in the conversation.
NATIONAL NEWS NETWORK IN U.S. FEATURES JAMAICAN BAMBOO HOUSE—08/14/14
One of the chief attractions at the Denbigh Agricultural Show was a bamboo-framed house totaling 250 square feet. This is the first building to be built in the country that used local bamboo and skilled Jamaican builders. The building features earthquake-resistant technology and illustrates how local bamboo, which is plentiful in Jamaica, can offer ecologically friendly, sustainable, and economical solutions for construction. The building was shown on NBC News, one of three major TV networks in the United States.
DEANE DEATH PROMPTS AUDIT OF ALL THOSE IN POLICE CUSTODY—08/15/14
Peter Bunting, Jamaica’s National Security Minister, has implemented a national audit of all individuals currently in police custody following the beating death of Mario Deane. Deane died as the result of severe head injuries he received at the Montego Bay Barnett Street Police Station following his arrest for possession of a ganja spliff several days earlier. Bunting expects the audit to be completed rapidly and will be used to determine how many people are in custody for minor offenses.
IMPROVEMENT NEEDED STUDENTS’ ENGLISH PERFORMANCE, SAYS THWAITES—08/15/14
Jamaica’s Minister of Education, Ronald Thwaites, noted the two-percent increase in the number of passing students in English A in the 2014 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams, but said more work needs to be done in this area to improve the performance of students in the subject. Of the 64 percent of students who sat the exam, 66 percent passed this year, compared to 64 percent in 2013. Most received an “A” for comprehension, but most also received an “E” for expression. Thwaites has called for more speaking and reading in English and urged teachers to provide sufficient opportunities for practice and feedback on writing assignments.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
ENTERPRISE GOLF AND TENNIS EVENT SCHEDULED FOR LABOR DAY WEEKEND—08/09/14
The 21st annual Black Enterprise Golf and Tennis Challenge will take place from August 28 through August 31, Labor Day weekend, at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The event will feature numerous celebrities, including Jeffrey Osborne, Bell Biv DeVoe, Chris Spencer, and Beverly Johnson, in addition to over 800 of the top African American executives, professionals and entrepreneurs in the United States. The event will also include a Caribbean-themed welcome party on its opening day.
YUTZY TO LEAD FOOD FOR THE POOR 5K WALK/RUN ON NOVEMBER 8—08/10/14
Eric Yutzy, co-anchor on the Local 10 Morning News at WPLG-TV, will lead Food for the Poor’s 5K Walk/Run for Hunger in Hollywood, Florida, on November 8, 2014. Donations to the event will be matched dollar-for-dollar by an anonymous donor, with the proceeds providing food to families in need in the Caribbean region and in Latin America. Yutzy stated he was honored to be part of the event.
CLARE SAYS FEWER JAMAICANS WILL LIVE IN U.S. IN THE FUTURE—08/11/14
According to Irwine Clare, a member of the advisory board of the Jamaica Diaspora in the United States, Jamaicans are likely to see significant decreases in the number of nationals who will be granted immigration status in the U.S. following pending changes in that country’s immigration policy. Fewer Jamaicans will migrate to the U.S., especially of the sibling petition, which allows individuals to file for their brothers and sisters, is eliminated. This would cause a break-up of families and reduce the incidence of whole-family migrations.
GOVERNMENT TO HELP KIMANI FFRIEND, INCARCERATED BASKETBALL PLAYER—08/12/14
The Jamaican government will provide help to national basketball player, Kamani Ffriend, who is currently incarcerated in Serbia. Ffriend was a member of the national team in 2012 when Jamaica qualified to the FIBA Championship of the Americas. He has been on trial in Serbia since 2013 in connection with the death of a senior account executive, Nevena Dragutinovic, in December 2012. She was killed when hit by a car driven by Ffriend in Belgrade. A. J. Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, denied claims made by Ffriend that he was not being backed by the Jamaican government and said he is being interviewed by the Honorary Consul who has been aiding him.
DIASPORA REVIVAL SOUGHT BY JAMAICANS IN SOUTHERN UNITED STATES—08/13/14
Jamaicans in the Southern United States plan to revive their Diaspora movement, which was attributed to the reduced visibility of the Jamaican Diaspora, which covers 13 states, According to Wayne Golding, attorney-at-law, the problem derives chiefly from changes in political administration. Golding, who lives in Orlando, Florida, said that before the changes were made, both the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) and the People’s National Party (PNP) administration were supportive of the movement. Golding is looking for new partnerships to be created with the government to facilitate future support for the Diaspora.
JAMAICAN DOCTOR HELPS WITH EBOLA CRISIS IN WEST AFRICA—08/14/14
Dr. Louisa Baxter, a Jamaican doctor who lives in the United Kingdom but spent her early years in St. Mary, is part of the international medical team addressing the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. She has given Jamaica high praise for taking the precautions necessary to prevent a local outbreak of the serious disease. Baxter had just returned from treating patients in Sierra Leone and Liberia when she commented on Jamaica’s activities and noted how worrying the issue of Ebola is for the international community.
JAMAICAN STUDENTS HEAD TO CANADA FOR JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT COMPETITION—08/15/14
Seven top students from seven Jamaican schools will compete in the Junior Achievement Next Generation Leaders’ Forum at Trent University in Ontario, Canada. The Jamaicans will join other top youth leaders from around the world to participate in competitions, product exhibitions, and interactions with global business leaders. The students were selected on the basis of their potential as determined in the Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurs (JACE) program, which began in October of 2013.
DR. BASIL MORGAN RECEIVES MARCUS GARVEY UNIA AWARD—08/15/14
Dr. Basil Morgan, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, has received the Marcus Garvey Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) Award for 2014. Dr. Morgan was recognized for his contributions to eye care and general health in Jamaica and the Caribbean Diaspora.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
AFRICAN CARIBBEAN HISTORIES USED IN QUILTS MADE BY WOMEN IN UK—08/09/14
CROWDFUNDING EFFORT LAUNCHED BY CARIBBEAN DIASPORA TV SHOW—08/10/14
GUYANA AMAZON WARRIORS COMPLETE HIGHEST EVER CHASE IN CPL—08/11/14
U.S. IMMIGRATION LAWYER CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING CARIBBEAN IMMIGRANTS—08/12/14
EXPOCOMER 2015 SEEKING EXHIBITORS—08/13/14
ARREST WARRANT ISSUED FOR BERTRAND ARISTIDE—08/14/14
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
GRANT FUNDING TOTALING $1 MILLION FOR 33 JAMAICAN COMPANIES—08/09/14
A total of US$1 million in grants will be provided to 33 Jamaican firms so that they can enhance their export potential. The funds are part of the US$4.02 million in support provided to private sector businesses in the region by the Caribbean Export Development Agency via the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme. The program is funded by the European Union.
TELECOM MINISTERS IN THE CARIBBEAN UNDECIDED ON HOW TO DEAL WITH VOIP—08/12/14
Service providers and telecommunications ministers in the Caribbean region have not yet decided how to handle VoIP platforms like Viber. Providers complain that they lose significant revenues through illegal practices. Digicel says users of VoIP use their data resources without paying for them. According to Patrick James Mara, Digicel Group Board Director, VoIP providers are involved in illegal activity, since they avoid paying taxes and license fees that other providers pay.
FIRST “AVIATION UNIVERSITY” IN CARIBBEAN LAUNCHED IN JAMAICA—08/13/14
The first aviation industry-oriented university in the Caribbean region has been launched in Kingston. The Aviation University of the Americas will be sited at the Denbigh Agricultural grounds in Clarendon. Classes will start in October 2014. The university will provide both undergraduate and graduate programs in aviation technology, aviation finance, aviation management, and other related courses, as well as courses in security, entrepreneurship, customer service, languages, and information technology.
JAMAICA FIRE BRIGADE RECEIVES $3 MILLION FROM PETROJAM—08/14/14
The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PETROJAM) has taken action to help train firefighters in the country by providing a donation of $3 million to the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB). The firm’s manager of safety, environment, quality assurance and security, Leon Jarrett, said PETROJAM has had a long relationship with the JFB and responded to the brigade’s statement of need for further training for firefighters in automobile extrication, confined space rescues, and urban search and rescue.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
SIX FILMMAKERS UNITE TO CREATE SINGLE WOKR—08/11/14
“Ring Di Alarm!” is the first work from a collective of six filmmakers. In the work, the filmmakers tell seven different stories in an attempt to create a more vibrant cinema and to encourage the development of a movement, according to “Storm Saulter, producer of the project. The work represents a mix of ideas in seven films that were shot across Jamaica and produced between 2011 and 2012.
YRNEH GABON BROWN, JAMAICAN MULTI-MEDIA ARTIST, TO EXHIBIT IN CALIFORNIA—08/13/14
Jamaican multi-media artist Yrneh Gabon Brown will have his first six-month solo show and sale at the California African American Museum, one of the top museums in the state. The exhibit will be on display from August 29 to March and represents a major achievement for any artist. The theme of the exhibit is “Visibly Invisible.” It tells stories of the artist’s personal journey and experiences in researching and documenting the impact of prejudice, ignorance and violence imposed on individuals in Jamaica, Tanzania, and the United States who are affected with albinism. The show will also include a piece linked to the theme of albinism by Grammy and Emmy-nominated actress and artist C.C. Pounder, who is Brown’s mentor.
VERDICT REACHED IN “KENTUCKY KID” MURDER—08/14/14
Jamaica’s Coroner’s Court determined that charges will be brought against three police officers and two civilians for the murder of Robert “Kentucky Kid” Hill during what police characterized as a shoot-out at his home in Ivy Green Mews in December 2009. The police charged with the crime are Uriel Anderson, Gary Thomas, and Norval Warren. The civilians are Marvia Morgan and Donovan Brown.
PANTRY PLAYOUSE CLOSES—08/15/14
The Pantry Playhouse in New Kingston closed following the last performance of David Tulloch’s “For My Daughter.” The theater, which had operated for 14 years, had to close due to financial pressures in the theater business and the economy in general, according to Karl Hart, the theater’s proprietor. Hart did not want to close, but cited the financial obligations associated with keeping productions on stage. He had been using his catering business to subsidize the theater by paying for security, utilities, and staff.
OVER 1,000 PARTICIPANTS REGISTER FOR TAE KWON DO WORLD CUP—08/09/14
Over 1,000 individuals have registered to participate in the fifth International Tae kwon do Federation World Cup event at Montego Bay on August 28-30, 2014. Martial artistes from 27 nations and 52 clubs are slated to compete. The hosting of the event by Jamaica is the first since the inaugural staging to be located in this hemisphere.
FRASER-PRYCE TO RUN IN BIRMINGHAM GRAND PRIX—08/10/14
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the fastest woman in the world, will participate in the Sainsbury Birmingham Grand Prix scheduled for August 24, 20114. She will be accompanied by her Jamaican teammates, who are happy to return to the site where the team was hosted during the London Olympic Games in 2012. At that time, the city embraced the team whole-heartedly and created a summer’s worth of Jamaican events, music, and festivals with Caribbean themes.
POWELL ACHIEVES FIRST WIN IN MORE THAN A YEAR—08/11/14
Asafa Powell, Jamaica’s champion sprinter, achieved his first victory on the track in more than a year at the Brazilian Grand Prix. He ran the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.02 seconds on August 10, 2014. Powell overcame a year of problems linked to charges in a doping scandal, which ended in July with a ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport that reduced the length of his ban from competition and allowed him to participate in track events again.
JAMAICA BEATS TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO IN FIRST CPL PLAYOFF—08/14/14
Andre Russell provided an exceptional late-order batting performance to help the Jamaica Tallawahs to defeat the Red Steel from Trinidad and Tobago at the first play-off match at the 2014 Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL). When Russell came to bat, Jamaica was five wickets down and needed 12 runs an over. His contribution resulted in the Tallawahs winning with two balls to spare.
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Speaking to Your Situation – Part 1
According to the narrative, it was in the morning and Jesus was hungry. They were in the area of Bethpage, which means “House of Figs”, and Bethany which adjoined it. Gospel writer Mark tells us, “And seeing a fig-tree with leaves afar off, He went to it, if perhaps He might find anything on it. And when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season of figs” (11:13, MKJV). He continues, “And Jesus answered and said to it, ‘No one shall eat fruit of you forever.’ And His disciples heard” (v. 14).
If you read those verses too quickly, you would have missed a point of extreme significance. Read them again (and again) and see if you can spot it. Notice that when Jesus came to the tree and found nothing but leaves, He “answered” and spoke to it. Yes, He answered! What was Jesus answering to? Did the tree spoke to Him? If so, what did it say? Our answers rest in the appearance of the tree. Jesus came up to this particular tree because it had leaves on it (see v.13). By having leaves, it promised fruit and so Jesus “went to it, if perhaps He might find anything on it.” However, the narrative tells us that “it was not the season of figs” so why did He expect to find any? The short answer is that “the fruit of the fig tree generally appears before the leaves, and, because the fruit is green it blends in with the leaves right up until it is almost ripe. Therefore, when Jesus and His disciples saw from a distance that the tree had leaves, they would have expected it to also have fruit on it even though it was earlier in the season than what would be normal for a fig tree to be bearing fruit.”
In other words, by having leaves the tree “told” Jesus He could expect to find fruit but “When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves.” As the writers of the JFB Commentary observes, “In this case [the leaves had] prematurely and unnaturally developed.” On a lighter note, one could argue that this was not a good message for the tree to send to a hungry man! One can only imagine that Jesus was not amused and so He “answered and said to it, ‘No one shall eat fruit of you forever.’ And His disciples heard.”
As I reflected on this provocative portion of Scripture, a few questions come readily to mind. Could it be that the situations we encounter, especially the negative ones, are actually speaking to us and we are not consciously aware of it? Why do we feel fear, intimidation, inadequacy, doubt, hopelessness, among other negative emotions? When faced with a negative situation, Jesus answered it. What do you do with yours? Just maybe there is an invaluable lesson from Jesus for us to learn?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.