THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMPRO ENHANCES IMAGE WITH NEW OFFICE—07/26/14
According to Anthony Hylton, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, relocating the regional office of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) to the Montego Bay Convention Center in St. James will improve the organization’s image. The move indicates Jamaica’s intent to better accommodate the needs of international investors.
NEW PREPAID ELECTRICITY SERVICE SLATED FOR END OF 2014—07/27/14
Jamaicans will be able to utilize a new prepaid billing system for their electric services by the end of 2014, according to the Jamaica Public Service (JPS). The system will allow consumers to pay a set price for a specific period of service. The prepaid system has been rolled out as a pilot project in Portmore already.
WOMEN’S FEDERATION BORN OF HISTORY OF STRONG WOMEN—07/28/14
The Jamaica Federation of Women (JFW) has its roots in a history of strong Jamaican women, including Mary Seacole, who aided soldiers in the Crimean War in the 19th century, and Jessie Ripoll, the founder of Alpha in 1880. The organization marked its 70th anniversary in July 2014. According to President Gloria Millwood, the JFW is ready to reclaim its glorious past through revitalization with a special focus on helping children.
OFFICIALS PLAN “ZERO TOLERANCE” ON RULES FOR PERSONAL WATERCRAFT—07/29/14
Maritime officials in Jamaica promise to enforce new rules and procedures governing the use of personal water craft (PWC) following the termination of a ban on these vehicles. The pan on PWCs was imposed in February 2014 to “regularize” commercial PWC actions island-wide. Now, the new policy requires operators and PWCs to be registered with the Maritime Authority of Jamaica and to display identification decals indicating whether they are private or commercial. Those with private designation cannot operate in tourist areas such as the Blue Lagoon or public beaches in Montego Bay, Negril, and Hellshire Beach.
CONTROVERSIAL TAX BILLS PASSED BY SENATE—07/30/14
The Jamaican Senate gave its approval to two tax bills that have caused some controversy among lawmakers. Under the new bills, application to the court must be made before a lien can be imposed on property held by delinquent taxpayers. The absence of the court requirement was cited in questions concerning the constitutionality of the bills as they were debated and passed in the House of Representatives.
JAMAICA RARE EARTHS PROJECT ON HOLD—07/31/14
A project planned by Nippon Light Metals of Japan and the Jamaica Bauxite Institute is being delayed due to a drop in the market prices of rare earths. Meanwhile, the two entities will continue attempts to refine the technology to be used to extract rare earth elements (REE) from the residues remaining when bauxite is refined.
DROUGHT IN JAMAICA RESULTS TO CROP LOSSES OF $8 MILLION—08/01/14
According to Derrick Keller, Jamaica’s Acting Agriculture Minister, reported that a serious drought in Jamaica, coupled with brush fires, have resulted in crop losses amounting to approximately $8 million. Over 16,000 small farmers in Jamaica suffered losses due to the drought.
EIGHT JCF MEMBERS FINED $650,000 EACH FOLLOWING CONVICTION—08/01/14
The seven men and one woman members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) previously convicted for failing to obey a legal notice issued by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) will pay fines totaling $650,000 each. They have eight weeks to pay the fine or service six months in prison.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
U.S. PRESIDENT HONORS RETIRED JAMAICAN-BORN AIR FORCE OFFICER—07/26/14
Barack Obama, the President of the United States, commended Jacqueline Motherselle Payne-Borden, a Jamaican-born Air Force colonel, for her service of 28 years. Payne-Borden’s service years were spent in the U.S. Air Force Reserve Nurses Corps. She received her accolades at a retirement ceremony at the Fort McNair Officers’ Club in Washington, D.C.
100TH ANNIVERSARY OF MARCUS GARVEY ORGANIZATION CELEBRATED—07/27/14
In Washington, D.C., the Jamaican Embassy marked the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Universal Negro Improvement Association-African Communities League (UNIA), which was formed by Marcus Garvey, a national Jamaican hero. Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Stephen Vasciannie, noted Garvey’s status throughout the world and his “special combination of vision and commitment” he expressed to the cause during his lifetime.
IN ATLANTA, JAMAICANS CELEBRATE 52ND ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE—07/28/14
Jamaicans living in Atlanta, Georgia, plan to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of Jamaican Independence with three activities scheduled between August 3 and August 16, 2014. The Atlanta Jamaica Association (AJA) has organized a thanksgiving service, a cultural concert featuring Lady Genius and Anthony Malvo among others, and the annual Independence Ball, scholarship awards and “black-tie” gala.
RAYMOND CHANG, BUSINESSMAN AND PHILANTHROPIST, DIES—07/29/14
Raymond Chang, Jamaican philanthropist and businessman, has died in Canada. He was honored with the Order of Jamaica in 2011 and had been ill for some time. He was always ready to give back to the home island and encouraged others in the Diaspora to do the same.
FOOD LOVERS JOINED TOGETHER AT JAMAICAN JERK FESTIVAL IN QUEENS—07/30/14
VP Records and Grace Foods partnered to stage the annual Jerk Festival for food lovers from all around the United States. Over 15,000 patrons attended the event on July 20, 2014, and were happy to wait in long lines to savor jerk pork, chicken, fish, and lobster. The event also celebrated the 35th anniversary of VP Records in New York.
FIRST ONLINE VIDEO PORTAL FOR BLACKS IN UK LAUNCHES—07/31/14
IC3tv.com is the first online video portal that is dedicated to the black community in the United Kingdom. The portal was introduced in May of 2014 and it receives more viewers each day that London LiveTV received in its first month of broadcasting. The website targets “Black People” of all ages who are tired of waiting for mainstream broadcaster to give them the kind of content they want to watch.
GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO MAKING STRONGER TIES WITH DIASPORA—08/01/14
Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica, is assuring Jamaicans in the United Kingdom of her government’s commitment to stronger ties with the Diaspora as part of the process of nation building. According to Simpson, Jamaica’s government is looking forward to its continued partnership and strong connections with the UK’s Jamaican community.
JAMAICANS IN DUBAI TO CELEBRATE 52ND ANNIVERSARY ON AUGUST 6—08/01/14
The Jamaican community in Dubai plans to celebrate Jamaica’s 52nd anniversary of independence on August 6, 2014, and on August 9, it will mark the anniversary with its first Jamaica independence Party. The event will feature several sound systems operated by selectors from the United Kingdom, Africa, and Jamaica. The Party is the idea of Kenya Don, a dancehall/reggae show promoter working in Dubai since 2002.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
POSSIBLE BLACKLISTING SLATED FOR GUYANA—07/27/14
ARUBA PLANS TO RELEASE VENEZUELAN DIPLOMAT WANTED BY UNITED STATES—07/28/14
CARIBBEAN CRIME TRENDS HURT REGIONAL ECONOMY—07/29/14
CARIBBEAN RECEIVES US$15 MILLION FROM JAPAN FOR CLIMATE PROJECTS—07/30/14
CASES OF CHIKUNGUNYA RISE BY SEVEN PERCENT IN CARIBBEAN—07/31/14
IN TORONTO, CARBBEAN CARNIVAL KING AND QUEEN COMPETITION SCHEDULED—08/01/14
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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
US$80 MILLION REVENUE FOOD BUSINESS IN U.S. ACQUIRED BY GRACEKENNEDY—07/26/14
GraceKennedy, continuing its strategy of becoming an international consumer group and increasing its exports, has made an agreement to buy the business and assets of La Fe Foods Inc., including its brand. This is a major Hispanic brand in frozen foods in the northeastern part of the United States. The agreement was made via GraceKennedy’s wholly owned subsidiary GraceKennedy Foods (USA) Inc.
JAMAICA HOLDS TOP SPOT IN REGIONAL VENTURE CAPITAL MARKET—07/27/14
Jamaica has become the first nation in the Caribbean to develop a venture capital industry. Therese Turner Jones, the country representative in Jamaica for the Inter-American Development Bank, believes that other countries can learn from Jamaica and that the partnership created between the Development Bank of Jamaica and private sector entities can be a model for others that want to establish a venture capital industry.
GRACEKENNEDY GROUP MAKES CHANGES TO SENIOR MANAGEMENT—07/28/14
In addition to acquiring LaFe Foods Inc. in the United States via its subsidiary GraceKennedy Foods (USA) LLC, GraceKennedy plans to make some changes in senior management. The changes, which will go into effect right away, include the appointment of Michael Ranglin as president and CEO of the USA unit. He will also keep his position as CEO of the GK Foods Division. Ranglin will be based in New Jersey.
WOMEN IN MANCHESTER TO DEVELOP BAMBOO INDUSTRY, ALLEVIATE POVERTY—07/29/14
A group of women in Manchester, known as the Network of Women (NOW) for Food Security, intends to develop the island’s emerging bamboo industry to help alleviate the poverty in which women and rural families currently live. They are promoting a project to create bamboo charcoals for use by locals and for possible export. The group began operations in 2012 and has conducted considerable research about using the Vortex Rocket retort (VRR2000) Bamboo charcoal kiln system, which can produce some 96,390kg of charcoal every year.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
MANY TOP MUSICIANS HAVE BIRTHDAYS IN JULY—07/27/14
July represents the birth month of many early Jamaican musical artistes who have made major contributions to the development of the island’s pop music. They include Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, Gregory Isaacs, Eric ‘Monty’ Morris, and Roy Shirley. All have had a role in promoting Jamaican reggae and ska around the world.
DOCUMENTARY EXPLORES PLIGHT OF LGBT YOUTH IN JAMAICA—07/29/14
A documentary film released by VICE News follows the lives of LBGT youth living in a Kingston sewer and constantly fearing attacks on their lives. The film “Young and Gay: Jamaica’s Gully Queens” is the latest in a line of films released in 2014 that cover these youths living in the gully in Jamaica’s capital city.
STONEHOUSE TO HOST JAMAICA EMANCIPATION DAY CELEBRATION—07/31/14
Sammy Dread, legendary reggae artist, will play at a celebration of Jamaica’s Emancipation Day in Nevada City, California. Popular local favorite Jah Mikey One Sound will also provide reggae music for dancing. Gio Giza, the promoter of the event who was born in Jamaica, will discuss the importance of the holiday.
INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATIONS TO FEATURE LITERARY FESTIVAL—08/01/14
The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) will stage the Aunty Roachy Film, Television and Literary Festival on August 5, 2014, as part of its efforts to promote Jamaican narrative arts in all forms. The event will begin with a book fair with the theme of “Lunchtime Book Stew,” which will showcase book launches, dramatic readings, open mic poetry slam, and a tribute to Professor Edward Baugh. Films will feature tributes to Miss Lou, Jamaican folklorist.
JAMAICAN WOMEN SPRINTERS TAKE MEDALS IN 100-METERS IN GLASGOW—07/28/14
Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart won silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the 100-meter competition finals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Campbell-Brown placed second with a time of 11.03 seconds, while Stewart earned bronze with 11.07 seconds.
RILEY WINS MEN’S 110-METER HURDLES GOLD MEDAL—07/29/14
Jamaica’s Andrew Riley was victorious in the 110-meter hurdles at the Commonwealth Games and won a gold medal for his efforts. His medal complemented his teammate Kemar Bailey-Cole’s gold in the 100-meter track competition.
RICHARDS, BAILEY-COLE ACHIEVE GOLD-MEDAL FINISHES—07/30/14
Kemar Bailey-Cole kept Jamaica’s sprinting legend going as he won gold in the 100-meter race at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Jamaica’s O’Dayne Richards made history in the shot put, winning the nation’s first gold medal in shot put at the Commonwealth Games and setting a new national and Games record as well.
JAMAICANS WIN WOMEN’S 400-METERS, TRIPLE JUMP, 110-METER HURDLES—07/31/14
Jamaicans made a great showing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games as they won a historic women’s 400-meter medal sweep. Kimberly Williams and Andrew Riley added to Jamaica’s tally with their third, fourth and fifth gold medals. The total for Jamaica was 12 medals: five gold, three silver, and four bronze.
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Seeing As God Sees
When Abram received his marching orders to leave the idolatrous region of Mesopotamia for a land he did not know, for his obedience the LORD promised him, in part, “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2, KJV). As he and his household made their way through the plain of Moreh, again the LORD assured Abram, “Unto thy seed will I give this land” (vv. 6-7). The promise of heirs made a lot of sense for Abram’s name meant “high father”. The fly in the ointment was that Sarai, his wife, was barren (Gen. 11:30); she could bear him no children.
We are not told that Abram thought about the reality of his situation and how that fit into the plan of God. However, when God reassured him “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (15:1), he did not hesitate to bring it up: “And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir” (vv. 2-3). The LORD countered, “This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir” (v. 4). He then took Abram out of his tent and said to him, “Look now toward heaven, and tell [try to count] the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be” (v.5). I would imagine that for a moment there was silence. As Abram gazed up into the skies looking at the countless stars, the promise of God echoing in his ears, something happened to him for the narrative tells us, “And he believed in the LORD” (v. 6a). In other words, he was able to see what God was seeing.
We do not know for sure if he understood everything at that point. Outwardly, his situation had not changed. Sarai, his only wife, was still barren, but in spite of that he believed in the promise of the LORD. He did not know how his LORD was going to pull off what He had promised, but they had traveled this far together and he was learning that his task was to trust and leave the outcome to Jehovah, the LORD.
We are in the same position today. As we journey with the LORD we find ourselves facing seemingly impossible situations. There are times when in our moments of weakness, like Abram, our faith wavers and we devise our own solutions (Gen. 16:1-4). However, “let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised)” (Hebrews 10:26). Let us change our perspective from being circumstances-centered to being God-centered. Let us remind ourselves of His promises and start to see as He sees. It is the only perspective that matters.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.