THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
CHINA VISIT ON TAP FOR PRIME MINISTER—08/17/13
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller is traveling to China for a six-day official visit. With the Prime Minister are Arnold Nicholson, Foreign Minister; Robert Pickersgill, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change: and business representatives seeking trade and investment opportunity in China. The Prime Minister will meet with China’s president, Xi Jinping and other officials during her visit.
RIGHTS ADVOCATES BATTLING OVER CHILD WELFARE—08/18/13
A human rights group in Jamaica is calling for reforms in how children are treated under state care programs. A rally sponsored by Jamaicans for Justice was held a day following government statements describing advocacy work as “dangerous” and of harm to the nation’s reputation. The group has made previous complaints about the island’s state-operated children’s homes and juvenile correction facilities. Chief among the complaints is the remanding of juvenile girls to be housed at an adult women’s prison.
LOWE WELCOMES CNN DOCTOR’S ENDORSEMENT OF GANJA—08/18/13
Dr. Henry Lowe, well-respected Jamaican scientists, is welcoming the change of mind of CNN celebrity physician Dr. Sanjay Gupta and his endorsement of the beneficial medical properties of ganja. Gupta had previously been opposed to use of ganja for any reason, but recently changed his attitude after investigating the matter again. Dr. Lowe, who is a specialist in medicinal chemistry, has supported ganja for its medicinal properties for some time and wants more people to be able to use it.
GOVERNMENT TO ENGAGE RASTA COMMUNITY ON 1963 UPRISING—08/19/13
Jamaica’s government has decided to name a special team to meeting with Rastafarian community leaders and discuss the Coral Gardens uprising of 1963. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced the action on the 50th anniversary of the incident in the Coral Gardens area of St. James, which left eight people dead, including two police officers. The Rastafarian community has long said that none of its members were involved in the matter and has wanted an official apology and reparations from the government for what it sees as an unjustified humiliation and brutality.
PRIME MINISTER ARRIVES IN CHINA FOR FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT—08/20/13
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller arrived in China to begin her official visit, which is designed to reaffirm the deepening relationship between the island and the Asian nation and to celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. She was greeted by China’s Assistant Foreign Minister, Zheng Zeguang; Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, Zheng Quingdian and Jamaican Ambassador to China, Ralph Thomas, and other officials. The Prime Minister will be meeting with business representatives as well.
LABOR COMPLAINT FILED BY JAMAICAN GUEST WORKERS—08/21/13
Six Jamaican guest workers in Florida have claimed that they had to borrow money to come to the state on the promise of having full-time jobs, but those jobs have never appeared. According to Dwight Allen, one of the workers, there was a breach in the agreement from the beginning. Allen said he borrowed $2,000 to travel from Jamaica to Florida, believing he would work as a cleaner in luxury condos in Destin and Panama City. He said he was promised a fully furnished room, 40 hours of work per week, and insurance coverage. Instead, he was required to live in a two-bedroom apartment with over 12 other guest workers, had no minimum work hours or medical insurance.
CPL BLACKOUT POSSIBLE FOR SABINA DUE TO LACK OF FLOODLIGHTS—08/22/13
Jamaican may losing its Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) franchise if it does not install lights at Sabina Park by the beginning of the second staging in approximately six months. James Stewart, LCPL’s commercial director, warned about the loss while attending the Jamaican portion of the competition. He said he hoped a solution to the problem could be found quickly.
CHINA MAY CONSTRUCT PORT IN PROTECTED AREA OF JAMAICA—08/23/13
According to Robert Pickersgill, Jamaican environmental minister, a transshipment port to be built by China is under discussion. The location of the port would in Jamaica’s largest protected area, the Goat Islands. Pickersgill said that the Goat Island site is under “serious consideration” for the port. Conservationists oppose this plan, believing it will have a seriously negative impact on the coastal environment of the region of Portland Bight, which was protected in 1999 to ensure the survival of its reefs, fish nurseries, and wetlands.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
BROOKLYN STREET TO BE NAMED FOR ORTHODOX JEWISH JAMAICAN—08/18/13
Brooklyn, New York, has renamed an intersection for Yoseph Robinson, an Orthodox Jewish Jamaican who was killed while attempting to protect his girlfriend during a botched robbery at a kosher liquor store. The location that had been called Avenue J and Nostrand Avenue will now be Yoseph Robinson Avenue in honor of the 34-year-old Jamaican. He was killed in 2010 at a store close to the intersection. His killed, Eion Klass, received a prison sentence of 35 years.
JAMAICA’S U.S. AMBASSADOR WORRIED ABOUT DEPORTATIONS—08/19/13
Stephen Vascianne, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, is concerned about the high number of Jamaicans who are deported from the U.S. to the home island every month. According to the Ambassador, too many Jamaicans are being deported. About 75 Jamaicans are sent home each month, he said. Some of them may have come to the U.S. as children and spent their lives here and are not expected to return to a country they are unfamiliar with. He hoped that the U.S. would reconsider its policies and reconsider deportation of people who are currently being deported for minor infractions of the law.
DOWNER TO LEAVE UK TO WORK IN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS IN JAMAICA—08/20/13
Lincoln Downer, the Minister Counsellor for Diaspora and Consular Affairs in the United Kingdom, is leaving that position to work at Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His co-workers and constituents were sad to see him go, hoping that he would one day become Jamaican High Commissioner in the UK. According to Beverly Lindsay, chair of the Association of Jamaican Nationals (Birmingham) UK, Downer has been a “true friend” to the people of Birmingham.
MINORITY GROUPS IN UK LOVE “GADGETS,” LATEST TECHNOLOGY—08/21/13
Consumers in ethnic minority groups in the United Kingdom are more likely than the average to have a love for gadgets and a desire to use the latest technology, according to research from Ofcom. The Ethnic Minority Groups and Communication Services report collected data from over 72,000 people, or whom some 7,600 were ethnic minorities. Thirty-seven percent of those in these groups “loved gadgets,” compared to 30 percent of the British population overall. Thirty-five percent of Black Caribbeans cited a love for gadgets, and 45 percent of them said that having the latest technology was important.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
NICARAGUA TO EXPLORE FOR OIL IN CARIBBEAN—08/17/13
ECONOMIES OF CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES DAMAGED BY STORMS—08/19/13
GUYANA GETS APOLOGY FROM CARIBBEAN AIRLINES—08/20/13
U.S. SUSPEND AID TO POLICE IN ST. LUCIA—08/21/13
U.S., CAYMAN ISLANDS AGREE ON REPORTING OF ASSETS BY AMEIRCANS—08/22/13
PUERTO RICO MARINA TO GET $450 MILLION IN RENOVATIONS—08/23/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
MARLEY COFFEE, GARDEN OF LIFE (R) PARTNER TO LAUNCH NEW PRODUCTS—08/17/13
Garden of Life(R) is partnering with Marley Coffee to provide new flavors of its Raw Protein and Raw Meal. Brian Ray, president of Garden of Life believes the association reflects the firm’s commitment to supporting sustainable, organic local family farms while continuing to offer innovative whole food products and nutritional supplements. Ray says he is happy to be partnering with Marley Coffee, a well-respected and recognized brand throughout the world.
LIME RECEIVES J$150M FROM SALE OF ASSETS TO ERICSSON—08/21/13
LIME, which is traded as Cable and Wireless Jamaica, obtained J$130 million from a sale of its assets to Ericsson, is management partner. The firm did not say what the sale entailed, however. LIME’s field operations were outsourced to the Swedish firm in 2013 in hopes of diminishing its losses. The sale will help LIME deal with first-quarter losses of J$827 million.
JPG EXPANDING MINE BUSINESS AFTER BUYING OUT SNACK PARTNER—08/22/13
Jamaica Producers Group (JPG) will expand its mining operations in Clarendon to take advantage of construction projects that have been proposed on the southern coast of the island. The plans follow the buy-out of JPG’s snack partner in the Dominican Republic. Jeffery Hail, JPG CEO, has described the company’s activities as a “push for growth.” JPG owns the majority of aggregate processing subsidiary Four Rivers Mining Company Ltd., which it co-owns with Lydford Mining Ltd.
PBS JAMAICA GIVES 40 COPIERS TO MINISTRY OF EDUCATION—08/23/13
Productive Business Solutions (PBS) Jamaica has made a donation of 40 Xerox ColoroQube 9303 copy machines to Jamaica’s Ministry of Education. The copiers, which are valued at $15 million, have been given for distribution to 40 primary and all-age schools on the island. Ronald Thwaites, Portfolio Minister, thanked PBS for the donation, saying there was no way that the Ministry or the schools could have bought the equipment on their own.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
BAHAMAS PHARMACEUTICAL TECHNOLOGY IN “EMBRYONIC STAGE”—08/17/13
CARIBBEAN SHOULD USE TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE AGRICULTURAL YIELDS—08/18/13
JAMAICAN-BUILT WINDOWS PHONE APP INTRODUCED—08/19/13
ELECTRONIC BUSINESS CARD PRODUCED BY NCU GRADS—08/20/13
JAMAICAN JAZZ PIANIST PERFORMS IN NEW YORK CITY—08/17/13
Monty Alexander, the international jazz piano legend from Jamaica, celebrated the 51st anniversary of Jamaican independence with a performance a Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in New York City. Alexander played with his Harlem-Kingston Express band, which has received a Grammy nomination for reggae. Alexander is the recipient of Jamaica’s Commander of Distinction and ‘Luminary Award’ for 2012.
DANCE COMPANY DELIVERS UPLIFTING MESSAGE—08/18/13
Jamaica’s One Body One God (OBOG) dance company has a goal of providing a musically uplifting message to its audience. It follows the words of dance legend Martha Graham in believing that dance is the “hidden language of the soul.” The dance ministry includes 19 dancers who have a love of God and want to share it. The company performs together with other dance ministries from across Jamaica.
ROTOTOM SUNSPLASH FESTIVAL CELEBRATES 20 YEARS—08/19/13
The staging of the Rototom Sunsplash Festival of 2013 celebrates its 20th anniversary and includes Chaka Demus and Pliers and Third World Band in its line-up. The event is being held in Benicassim, Spain, and runs until August 24, 2013. Wayne Marshall and Chris Ellis are featured, along with Damian “Jr Gong” Marley on the final day.
AIDONIA MARKS BOLT’S BIRTHDAY WITH TRIBUTE SONG RECORDING—08/21/13
Aidonia decided to celebrate champion sprinter Usain Bolt’s birthday by recording and releasing a tribute song to the legendary athlete. The single, called “Run Road,” features the Jag One Productions protege, Deablo, and was recorded the night before Bolt defended his 200-meter title at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.
THREE JAMAICANS QUALIFY IN 200 METERS—08/17/13
Warren Weir, who won a bronze medal at the Olympics, was the first Jamaican to the track in the 200-meter semi-finals at the World Championships, qualifying with 20.34 seconds. Nickel Ashmeade, fellow Jamaican, followed him to qualify in Heat 4, and was in turn followed by Jamaican Jason Livermore in Heat 5.
BOLT WINS GOLD AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 4X100—08/18/13
World champion sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica easily managed to win a third gold medal on the last of the World Championship meet in Moscow. He ran the anchor leg of the 4×100 meter relay and ran to win the finish with time to spare. It was the last race of the meet.
JAMAICAN WOMEN SEE VICTORY IN 4X100—08/19/13
Jamaica’s women regained the 4×100-meter relay title at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow. They ran a record time of 41.29 seconds, taking the gold medal, while France took second place with 42.73 seconds. Jamaica’s win made Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce the first woman sprinter to win both her individual events in the 100 and 200 meters and the 4×100 relay at a world championship meet.
WADA SAYS ALLEGATIONS BY SHIRLEY ARE “SERIOUS”—08/22/13
The World Anti-Doping Agency’s director general has stated that officials from Jamaica must respond to allegations made by Renee Anne Shirley, former executive director of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission. Shirley has alleged that drug-testing procedures in Jamaica are “lax” and that the agency had many “troubling” problems while she was its top official. She said that Jamaica’s Commission did not have enough staff to carry out the anti-doping programs and that only one out-of-competition test was performed between February 2012 and the start of the London Olympics. “The current program – while improved – makes a mockery of Jamaica’s posturing and flames suspicion more than it douses it,” Shirley has written.
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Someone once said that when it comes to serving the Lord, the “pay” is excellent and the benefits out of this world. This thought came to mind as I reflected on the words of the Psalmist: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (103:2). In the New Living Translation this verse reads, “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”
Among the many benefits David mentioned are: he forgives all my sins, he heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things, my youth is renewed like the eagle’s. He gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly, is compassionate and merciful; slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. The love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!
There is absolutely no one that can top such a benefit package! The beauty of all this is that it is not a one time deal, but benefits that are available to us daily. David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation” (Psalm 68:19, KJV). The greatest miracle is the salvation of our souls, but our Heavenly Father did not stop there. In addition to giving us the gift of His Son, He threw in the best benefits package the world has ever known, and it is available to all who will put their trust in Him.
The next time we are tempted to complain, may we reflect on those things. May our prayer be like that of the Psalmist:d “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.