THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
WOMEN’S 4X100 METER TEAM SETS NATIONAL RECORD—08/11/12
Jamaica’s Olympic 4×100 meter women’s team set a national record for the race, running the distance in 41.41 seconds to take the silver medal at the London 2012 Games. The team included Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Sherone Simpson, Veronica Campbell-Brown, and Kerron Stewart. The team added to Jamaica’s total medal count, which numbered 10 as of August 10, 2012. Jamaica’s runners took second to the United States team, whose anchor Carmelita Jeter, ran her distance in a world record time of 40.82 seconds.
ENERGY INVESTOR PLANS TO EXPLOIT JAMAICA’S GARBAGE—08/12/12
Naanovo, a renewable energy company, is partnering with a Jamaican firm to establish a power plant in Riverton City to convert garbage into electric power. Jampro, the Jamaican investment agency said that the new project will be led by Anthony Fiddy, Naanovo UK managing director, and Mark Dennis, a Jamaican businessman. The plant will be created under a “Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT)” agreement, meaning that it will be transferred to government ownership after a 25-year period. The plant would bring an investment of US$140 million to US$180 million to the country and put about 300 people to work during the construction phase. Once operational, 250 jobs would be created.
JAMAICA’S SPRINTERS CAN EXPECT MORE DRUG TESTS, SAYS ANTI-DOPING HEAD—08/13/12
Dick Pound, former chief of the World Anti-Doping Agency, says that the athletes who dominated the sprint competitions at the 2012 Olympics in London can now expect to see more visits from drug testers. These athletes include Nesta Carter, Yohan Blake, Usain Bolt, and Michael Frater. Pound says it is difficult to test Jamaicans because “it is (hard) to get in and find them and so forth.” Pound, who is now a member of the International Olympic Committee, said the “extraordinary results” obtained by the Jamaicans will put them on “everybody’s radar” in terms of drug testing.
JAMAICA RANKED HIGH IN ATHLETICS, BUT LOW IN ECONOMY, SOCIAL CRISIS—08/14/12
Trevor Munroe, the executive director of National Integrity Action, a corruption watchdog organization, is urging service clubs across Jamaica to call a national conference to talk about ways to overcome existing social and economic crises on the island. According to Professor Munroe, performances by Jamaican athletes at the 2012 Olympics placed the nation on top of the world, but it remains at the bottom on the basis of economic performance. Poor economic conditions in Jamaica are the result of corruption, says Munroe, who believes there should be a broad coalition of citizen groups to mitigate the “harmful consequence of tribalism, of corruption and its offshoots.”
CUSTOMERS OF JPS TO SEE RATES DROP 10 PERCENT IN AUGUST—08/15/12
The customers of the Jamaica Public Service company (JPS) can expect to see a ten percent decrease in their monthly electricity costs for August. The lower price is the result of a significant drop in the fuel charge on their bills. The Fuel and IPP Charge for August 2012 will total $16.748, the lowest price on electric bills in over a year. For the average customer, this means paying nearly $700 less for electricity in August, compared to July.
BAUXITE/ALUMINA PARTNERS SAY LNG NOT ENOUGH—08/15/12
Jamaica’s bauxite/alumina partners are warning the government that it is not enough to depend on natural gas as an alternative source of fuel for the nation. Instead, the government is being encouraged to implement a diversification strategy that would also include renewables and compressed gas. According to executives a UC Rusal and Jamalco, if the government would diversify further in terms of energy sources, fluctuations in fuel prices could be mitigated.
JAMAICA CRITICIZED FOR PRISONER RIGHTS FAILURES—08/16/12
The Privy Council, which is based in the United Kingdom, has issued criticism of Jamaica’s failure to provide legal aid for prisoners once the Court of Appeals dismisses their petitions in murder cases. Several other Caribbean nations also fail to provide legal aid in such cases. The Privy Council is therefore permitting two Jamaican men to pursue appeals in their murder convictions. Carlos Hamilton and Jason Lewis were found guilty of murder in 2001. In 2003, their application to the Court of Appeal was dismissed.
JUST 16 PERCENT OF JAMAICA MATH TEACHERS ARE COMPETENT TO TEACH—08/17/12
According to Ronald Thwaites, Jamaica’s Minister of Education, only 16 percent of math educators on the island are competent to teach their subject. Thwaites made his remarks at the JPS and Partners Cooperative Credit Union 2012 scholarship awards event in new Kingston. The result of this reality is that the Education Ministry will have to develop methods for upgrading teachers’ standards in order to improve the statistics.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
UK SAYS JAMAICAN, NIGERIAN PRISONERS WILL NEVER BE SENT HOME—08/11/12
The government of the United Kingdom is giving considerable monies to the Jamaican and Nigerian governments to improve conditions in their prisons. This program has generated outrage in Britain. The reason for the program is that there are some 900 Jamaicans serving prison sentences in Britain, as well as almost 600 Nigerians. It costs approximately £38,000 annually to hold a prisoner in an English jail. If all these prisoners had been transferred right after their convictions to prisons in their home countries, the UK would have saved £57 million a year. However, it is difficult to get foreign prisoners back to their own nations because of the “Prisoner Transfer Agreement.” This agreement requires prisoners to agree to the transfer, and those in the UK do not want to go back to the poorly maintained and operated prisons in their own countries.
JAMAICANS IN NEW JERSEY CELEBRATE OLYMPIC PERFORMANCES—08/12/12
Some 100 people sang the Jamaican national anthem outside Paterson City Hall on the anniversary of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence. The group heard speakers praise the Jamaican medalists at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, including Usain Bolt. Stanley Redwood, Jamaican Senate president, noted the world now knows that Jamaica is the “most athletic country in the world.” The event was sponsored by the Jamaica Organization of New Jersey.
BIRMINGHAM ENJOYS “BOLT EFFECT”—08/14/12
Olympic champion Usain Bolt praised the city of Birmingham where he was based before the 2012 Olympic Games. He thanked the people of the city for their help and their support. Now, Birmingham hopes to capitalize on its new fame and welcome more visitors to its attractions. Local businesses and the government are working together to publicize the city through a Twitter campaign to raise global awareness of the city.
TWO JAMAICANS FIRST NON-BRITISH TO WIN DIANA AWARD—08/15/12
Two young Jamaicans are the first winners of the Diana Award to come from a nation other than Britain. The award was created to honor the late Princess Diana of Wales and recognizes young people who exhibit a spirit of volunteerism or who excel in spite of adversities. The award was first given in 1999, and to date, 36,000 British youth have received it. The Jamaican winners were Alex Newman and Chrislyn Winter, who work for the nonprofit Rise Life Management
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
GRENADA HONORS OLYMPIC ATHLETE—08/11/12
OIL-COVERED CARGO REMOVED FROM STRANDED SHIP NEAR PUERTO RICO—08/12/12
TWO DIE, TWO MISSING IN TROPICAL WAVE INCIDENT—08/13/12
OPPOSITION OFFICIAL IN BAHAMAS DIES WHILE CAMPAIGNING—08/14/12
GRENADA, JAMAICA, TRINIDAD RANK HIGH IN OLYMPIC MEDAL PERFORMANCES—08/15/12
WALCOTT WELCOMED AS HERO IN TRINIDAD—08/16/12
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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICAN FOOD SPECIALTIES SHOWCASED AT OLYMPIC GAMES—08/13/12
Some 61 Jamaican brands, including Tortuga Golden Original Rum Cakes, Jablum Blue Mountain Coffee, and St. Mary’s Banana Chips were on sale at the 2012 Olympics Games in London, as well as in Birmingham and Victoria Square. The Jamaica Business Development Corporation implemented its “Meet Jamaica” campaign at the Olympics with temporary pop-up retail stores designed to showcase many products produced on the island.
JAMAICA’S SHORT-TERM RATING REVISED BY STANDARD & POOR’S—08/14/12
Standard & Poor’s has altered the methods used to link short- and long-term ratings for corporate and sovereign issues, and this has raised the short-term rating on Jamaica to “B” from “C.” The outlook remained negative, which reflected the likelihood of a downgrade if the Jamaican government does not increase its primary surplus, stabilize accounts, and meet other requirements imposed by official creditors.
DIAGEO WILL NOT ENTER DISPUTE WITH CARIBBEAN RUM PRODUCERS—08/15/12
Diageo Plc has decided not to enter the dispute over subsidies provided to multinationals in the rum production business by the U.S. Virgin Islands. Diageo considers the argument expensive and unnecessary, but it is looking for support from its partners at Clarendon Distillers Ltd. to contact the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association concerning the trade issues in question. Diageo owns about 27 percent of Clarendon Distillers.
UK TAX LAW PUNISHES ATHLETES’ SUCCESS—08/16/12
Policy makers in the United Kingdom are turning their attention to helping athletes and ensuring the future of British sports events by modifying UK tax laws. Usain Bolt, who won three gold medals at the 2012 Olympics in London, told reporters he does not compete in the UK more often because of the tax laws, noting that he would “be here all the time” as soon as these laws change. Britain usually takes a percentage of an athlete’s global endorsement earnings proportional to the time the athlete spends in Britain. Many athletes avoid competing in the UK to avoid having to pay these taxes.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
BOLT DOMINATES TWITTER DURING LONDON OLYMPICS—08/13/12
CARIBBEAN CONSIDERS BROADCAST TRANSITION FROM ANALOG TO DIGITAL—08/14/12
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA SUPPORT TECHNOLOGICAL GROWTH—08/15/12
BLUE IGUANA NUMBERS REBOUND IN CAYMANS—08/16/12
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BOLT ACTS AS DEEJAY TO CELEBRATE HIS OLYMPIC VICTORIES—08/12/12
Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt became a deejay at a party held in East London shortly after the end of the 2012 Olympics. He went to the stage and grabbed the microphone, said DJ Manny Norte, entertaining the large crowd attending the event. Norte said it was a “historic event” as Bolt proved he was up to the professional deejay standards, exciting the crowd with his performance.
ROBINS FLOURISHES DURING EARLY MISS WORLD STAGES—08/14/12
Deanne Robins competed in the talent portion of the Miss World 2012 pageant in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, choreographing a piece to “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley. Robins, 21, is a strong contender for the title of Miss World. She was chosen to represent the island in June 2012. Robins has been a consistent winner since her victory in the local pageant in June and made it into the top ten of the Top Model competition. She also qualified for the finals of the Sports and Beach Beauty fast-track competition and was among the top five in the talent portion of the 2012 Miss World event. The winner will be announced on August 18, 2012.
NEW GRAMMY AWARD FOR BOB MARLEY—08/15/12
Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley received a new version of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys, in addition to the Lifetime Award he received in 2001. A replacement version of the award was provided to Marley after staff from the Recording Academy visited Jamaica and found that the original version of the award had been damaged. The organization decided to create a new version of the award for Marley as a result.
C2W MUSIC LIMITED SIGNS TWO NEW SONGWRITERS—08/16/12
The new intellectual property firm C2W Music Limited has taken on two new songwriters and has now obtained the rights to publish approximately 550 songs. Jamaican/Canadian songwriter Rupert Gayle and singer/songwriter Shazelle of Trinidad are the recent signees. Gayle is the only Jamaica signed up with the firm, but has contributed 200 songs to the company catalog.
BOLT WINS THREE GOLD MEDALS IN THREE EVENTS—08/11/12
Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt won gold medals in three events at the London 2012 Olympics and broke a world record as the relay anchor in the 4×400. Bolt had a perfect three-for-three performance in London, and described his experience anchoring the relay team as a “wonderful end to a wonderful week.” Bolt ran the 100 meters in 9.63 seconds, the second-fastest time in history, and the 200 meters in 19.32 seconds.
U.S. COACH INSPIRED JAMAICA’S SPRINT SUCCESS—08/12/12
American sprint coach Bud Winter acted as mentor to a generation of world record holders and held several seminars in Jamaica in 1966. Among those attending the seminars were Glen Mills and Steven Francis, coaches of today’s Olympic stars like Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell, and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Winter ‘s influence contributed to the three individual gold medals and three silver medal won by these athletes at the 30th Olympiad in London.
ONLY A FEW JAMAICAN OLYMPIANS HEADED BACK HOME—08/13/12
Just one day after the end of the 30th Olympiad in London, only a few of Jamaica’s athletes headed back to the home island. Most team members went on to various camps in Europe to continue their preparations for upcoming events. These included members of the Racers Track Club like Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake and members of the MVP camp like Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
JAMAICAN AUTHORITIES DISMISS IOC CLAIM AGAINST ATHLETES—08/14/12
The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCo) has dismissed a claim from Dick Pound, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that it is hard to test Jamaican athletes because they are difficult to find. JADCo noted that data from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) shows the exact opposite of the allegations made by Pound. Pound made his claim during an interview with Reuters Television.
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Our Great Cloud of Witnesses
At the recently concluded 2012 London Olympics, over four billion viewers watched Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt enter the history books by becoming the first man ever to retain the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m Olympic gold medals. Eighty thousand of the viewers packed the Olympic stadium and witnessed the spectacular runs of this gifted athlete, and other performances by other gifted athletes like him in their respective sports across this and other venues. Though naturally and extraordinarily talented, the men and women were spurred on by the cheering of the crowds; giving of their best even when it seems there was no more left to give – emotionally, physically, and mentally.
There is something about positive encouragement that causes one to strive for what he or she is capable of being or doing. As Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” That is because striving takes a lot of work. Henry Longfellow was right when he said, “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained in sudden flight but, they while their companions slept, they were toiling upwards in the night.” In the midst of striving, there is often the potential for setbacks, discouragement, resignation, and defeat. We all need good encouragers.
The Christian is no different. Living in a world system that persistently challenges and wears on the believer, many have become weary in well doing. It becomes harder and harder to run the race; to remain true to The Call. However, the writer to the Hebrews reminds us that we are not without an audience that is watching and cheering us on. He writes, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1, KJV). It is instructive that this chapter follows Hebrews 11, the listing of some of the Bible’s “Hall of Fame” faith-walking members. According to the writer, lets us run the race as if they are the ones who are cheering us on. What august company!
The Christian life is not a sprint; it is a marathon. It takes determination and perseverance to complete the race. Amidst the intensity of the race and the numerous distractions, if you listen intently enough you will hear the cheers. Not of eighty thousand voices, but those of all of heaven. Every single one of them saying, “You can make it!” All of them rooting for you to win. So, amidst the spiritual fatigue and exhaustion we often feel, let us keep stride, let us keep going, we must run this race to win.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.