THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
NEW IMF LOAN APPROVAL EXPECTED—08/23/14
A new loan totaling US$71 million is expected to be approved for Jamaica by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The acceptance follows the fifth consecutive quarter in which Jamaica passed the IMF test. The loan is designed to “promote growth and employment” in the island’s economy.
PRIVATE SECTOR REPRESENTATIVES NOT IMPRESSED BY GOAT ISLANDS—08/24/14
Leaders from the local private sector made a visit to Greater Goat Island to view the location of a proposed development. The group making the visit, which was organized by the Caribbean Maritime Institute and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce along with major private sector interests, include business leaders and environmentalists. Members of the group were “unimpressed” by the wildlife on the island, the protection of which has been cited as a reason to refuse the proposed development.
POLICE SEIZE COCAINE ON JAMAICAN WHARVES—08/2514
The Jamaican Constabulary Force announced that its officers had seized 267 pounds of cocaine that was packaged in black bags and included in a shipment of lumber. The cocaine was found hidden in a container at Kingston’s seaport. The container came from Suriname in South America and was to have been delivered to China. The value of the seizure was estimated at almost $1.3 million.
DEMONSTRATORS PROTEST BUS FARE INCREASE—08/26/14
Demonstrators in Kingston came out by the hundreds in protest of an increase in fares for public transportation imposed by the Jamaican government. Under the government’s increase, adults would pay 20 percent more within Kingston; students and senior citizens would see their fares increase by 50 percent and 200 percent, respectively.
JAMAICAN FBI AGENT REJECTED BY POLICE SERVICES COMMISSION—08/27/14
Wilfred Rattigan, an agent with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), had his application for the position of Police Commissioner denied by Jamaica’s Police Services Commission. Rattigan, a Jamaican, currently holds the position of Unit Chief for the FBI’s Africa, Asia and Middle East Operations Unit in Washington, D.C. He was one of 17 applicants who applied to replace Owen Ellington.
RATTIGAN SURPRISED TO SEE APPLICATION REJECTED—08/28/14
Wilfred Rattigan, who was born in Jamaica and is now an agent with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was surprised to have his application to be the next Police Commissioner rejected by Jamaican authorities in charge of the candidate search. He is “baffled” by the approach taken by the authorities as they look to fill the position vacated by Owen Ellington.
WATER COMMISSION PARTNERS WITH PRIVATE FIRM—08/29/14
Jamaica’s National Water Commission (NWC) is partnering with Jamaica Wells/Talawah Investments, a privately owned firm, in order to provide 1 million gallons of water per day to a number of communities in the Corporate Area. The agreement will link Ballater Avenue Well to the network of the Water Commision to augment the area’s water supply, which has been severely impacted by current drought conditions.
FORMER AGRICULTURE MINISTER CLARKE DIES—08/29/14
Roger Clarke, former Jamaican Minister of Agriculture, died of a suspected heart attack in United States. According to reports, Clarke was at the airport awaiting a return flight to Jamaica when he felt ill and was taken to a hospital. Clarke had been in the U.S. for back surgery. Clarke attended Mannings School and then obtained management training at the Jamaica Industrial Development Corporation and Harbridge House in the U.S. He had a successful career in politics, winning two local government and six general elections. Clarke leaves a wife and two children.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN DIASPORA READY TO PARTNER WITH GOVERNMENT—08/23/14
According to Irwine Clare, Sr., the founder and chief executive officers of Team Jamaica Bickly Inc., the Jamaican Diaspora is ready to partner with Jamaica, but he wonders if the country is actually ready to join the partnership. Clare noted that Jamaicans in the Diaspora care about their country and are very patriotic, but that there is a “trust deficit” between Jamaicans living overseas and Jamaica. He believes that when positions become available in Jamaica, qualified members of the Diaspora should be considered to fill them.
SOUTH FLORIDA ENJOYS INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATIONS—08/24/14
Jamaicans living in South Florida and the Orlando recently commemorated the home country’s 52nd anniversary of indepdence. The yearly Ecumenical service to mark the anniversary was held at Faith Center on August 3, 2014, with chapter members of the Jamaica Ex-Police Association and Ex-Soldiers Association of South Florida carrying the Jamaican and U.S. national flags. One thousand people attended the two-hour service.
HEALTH SECTOR IN JAMAICA AIDED BY DIASPORA—08/25/14
According to Dr. Fenton Ferguson, Jamaica’s Minister of Health, the Jamaican Diaspora is a major source of help to his Ministry and its work toward improving the island’s health sector. Ferguson said the Diaspora has helped the Ministry close its spending gap as the country faces challenges imposed by the continuing agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
PROTEST PLANNED IN NEW YORK TO ADDRESS DEATH OF MARIO DEANE—08/26/14
Michael Lorne, attorney for relatives of Jamaican Mario Deane, plans to head a protest outside of Jamaica’s consulate in New York City. Mario Deane, 31, died on August 9, 2014, after being beaten by police in connection with an arrest for possessing a small amount of marijuana in Montego Bay. Jamaican police charged two prison inmates with Deane’s beating, but according to Lorne, the death was the result of police brutality or misconduct.
JAMAICAN NATIONAL ARRESTED IN PHILADELPHIA FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING—08/27/14
Dwight Langley of Jamaica, 45, was arrested near his home in the Stonehurst neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after law enforcement authorities said they found several barrels of marijuana totaling 83 pounds at his home. Officers also confiscated more than US$8,000 in cash and drug paraphernalia. Police said they have been investigating Langley for months in connection with a major drug trafficking operation.
DIASPORA FEELS “DISSED” BY REJECTION OF FBI OFFICER’S JOB APPLICATION—08/28/14
The Jamaican Diaspora in the United States noted the anger of its members over the rejection by the Police Service Commission (PSC) of Wilfred S. Rattigan’s application for the position of head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). Despite being born in Jamaica and serving as an agent with the U.S. Federal Bureau of investigation (FBI), the PSC did not even include his name on a short-list of candidates. Diaspora members are feeling “dissed” by the Commission’s decision, which was reached without giving Rattigan any reason for rejecting his application.
HOWARD UNIVERSITY 2014 FRESHMEN INCLUDE 22 JAMAICANS—08/29/14
Howard University, the historically black college located in Northwest Washington in the United States is known for the global nature of its campus. In 2014, the incoming freshman class will include 22 students from Jamaica. This is the highest number of scholars from outside the U.S. starting this year; Jamaicans are outnumbered only by students from Nepal, who total 26.
JAMAICAN FILM MAKER NOMINATED FOR AWARD AT T&T FILM FESTIVAL—08/29/14
Karen Marks Mafundikwa, Jamaican film maker, has been nominated in the Best Documentary Feature and People’s Choice category at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. Her film “The Price of Memory” is up for the award at the festival, which will be held in Port of Spain September 16 through 30, 2014. Mafundikwa is Senior Consulting Officer in the Film Commission and Creative Industries Unit at JAMPRO. Her film explores the legacy of slavery in Jamaica and the movement for reparations.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN FESTIVAL CANCELED IN HAMPTON, VIRGINIA—08/23/14
CARIBBEAN IMMIGRANT CHILDREN AT RISK OF FAST-TRACK DEPORTATION—08/24/14
LEEDS HOSTS CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL—08/25/14
STORM CAUSES THREE DEATHS IN CARIBBEAN—08/26/14
NORTHERN CARIBBEAN RECOVERS FROM TROPICAL STORM—08/27/14
FIRST MODEL ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES HOSTED IN ST. KITTS—08/28/14
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICAN GIRLS LEARN TO CODE AT SUMMER CAMP EVENT—08/26/14
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector has recognized that there is a serious gender gap in the industry. To remedy this situation, the Jamaica Coalition of Services Industries (JCSI) hosted a four-week coding summer camp for 20 teenage girls. The “Jamaican Girls Coding” camp was made possible by a partnership between JAMPRO and the UK Department for International Development. The camp focused on website development and design, and also featured an introduction to computer animation.
ENERGY PARTNERSHIP DEAL EXPECTED BY END OF 2014—08/27/14
An energy partnership between Cement Jamaica Limited and Rusal Jamaica, a mining company, is expected to be finalized by the end of 2014. The preliminary agreement involves Rusal providing 100 acres at Port Esquivel where Cement Jamaica will develop a cement plant and a coal-fired power plant. The site will also feature a coal storage facility.
CAROL CLARKE NAMED INTERIM MICO PRESIDENT—08/28/14
Dr. Carol Clarke, English lecturer, will be appointed as the interim president of the Mico University College, taking over from Professor Claude Packer who is retiring. She will start in her new capacity on September 1, 2014, and will remain in the job until a permanent replacement is named. She currently serves as the vice-president of academic affairs at Mico.
HEAD OF IMF INVESTIGATED IN FRANCE—08/29/14
The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde is under official ivnestigation in France charged with negligence. Lagarde’s charges date back to the time she acted as finance minister of France. she says there is no basis for the investigation and plans to return to work in Washington, D.C.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
4TH ANNUAL HOLY FAMILY EPISCOPAL CHURCH MUSIC FESTIVAL SCHEDULED—08/23/14
In response to the enthusiasm shown by those who attended the Holy Family Church’s Annual Music Festival over the past three years, producer Fr. Easton Lee, Rector Fr. Horace D. Ward, and the congregation are excited to present the 2014 staging of the festival. It will feature a number of internationally known vocalists and musicians from Jamaica and other nations in the Caribbean. The event is scheduled for September 13 and 14 at the church, which is located in Miami Gardens, Florida.
REGGAE REVIVED IN JAMAICA, HARKS BACK TO THE 1970S—08/24/14
There is a musical and social roots movement occurring in Jamaica known as the “Reggae Revival.” It is beginning to overshadow the dancehall genre of music that has been so popular over the past 20 years. The revival features music from the “golden era” of reggae in the 1970s, when it was dominated by Bob Marley, who brought attention to reggae with his spiritual and socially relevant lyrics set to catchy tunes. According to Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, which introduced Bob Marley and the Wailers, reggae is finding itself again after becoming lost in a “negative and violent direction.”
VYBZ KARTEL CO-AUTHOR OFFERS CHALLENGE TO JAMAICA—08/25/14
Michael Dawson is asking Jamaicans who have water problems to post pictures of their issues so he can raise awareness of the water crisis facing the poor in Jamaica. Water problems include lack of running water, low water pressure, dirty water, and lock-offs. He has also pledged to donate a bucket of clean water to the poor for each of the first 1,000 verifiable photos or videos posted to his website. He is also looking to make investments in products designed to bring water to those who cannot afford it.
LINTON KWESI JOHNSON TO BE HONORED ON HEROES’ DAY—08/27/14
London-based Linton Kwesi Johnson, 62-year-old Jamaican poet, will be honored on Jamaica’s Heroes’ Day during celebrations held each year on the third Monday in October. Johnson is being recognized for his consistent documentation of the condition of Caribbean nationals and other people of color who face injustice in the United Kingdom and Europe. He is best known for combining reggae music with poetic commentary on police brutality.
BOLT SETS NEW INDOOR RECORD—08/23/14
Jamaica’s champion sprinter Usain Bolt has set a new 100-meter indoor record at National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland. Bolt ran the distance in 9.98 seconds, beating the previous record of 10.05 set by Frankie Fredericks of Namibia in 1996.
WHYTE WINS GOLD IN WOMEN’S 200 METERS—08/24/14
Jamaican Natalliah Whyte won the first medal for Jamaica by a woman at the Youth Olympics at the National Stadium in Nanjing, China. She took the gold medal in the women’s 200 meter race with a time of 23.55 seconds. This was the first female medal for Jamaica in the history of these championships.
SPENCER, THREE OTHER JAMAICANS WIN AT BIRMINGHAM—08/25/14
Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica won her fourth Diamond League title with an impressive showing in the 400-meter hurdles at the Birmingham Diamond League meet in the United Kingdom. She was one of four Jamaicans who won at the meet. The others were Kemar Bailey-Cole, Kerron Stewart and Nickel Ashmeade.
SPRINTER BOLT TO PLAY CRICKET IN INDIA—08/27/14
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s superstar sprint champion, will make his first visit to India in early September 2014 to compete in a cricket match against Yuvraj Singh. Both of the athletes are Puma ambassadors and will meet at a September 2, 2014, event organized by the sportswear firm at Chinnaswamy Stadium. The match is being billed as a “battle of legends.
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Speaking to Your Situation – Part III
When Jesus flung wide open the door on the “secret” behind dealing effectively with challenges and how to get results, following immediately on the exhortation to “have faith in God” was His lesson on the effectiveness of such faith: “For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea’; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:23-24). As always, Jesus used the things around Him, in this case the mount of Olives which was nearby and the Sea of Galilee which was several miles away, to incorporate into His teaching. It is to be understood that “what He designed to teach was the great lesson, that no obstacle should be able to stand before a confiding faith in God” (JFB Commentary).
The words “whosoever shall say unto this mountain” put on the believer the responsibility to be an active participant in the work of faith. It is instructive to note that Jesus did not say to pray and ask God to remove the obstacle but rather they should “say unto” or “speak to” said obstacle. How often we impulsively do the former! Of course, Jesus was not discounting prayer as an important discipline in the life of believers. To paraphrase the hymn writer, it is a privilege to carry everything that pertains to us to God in prayer and in other instances Jesus exhorts us to do just that. However, here He was teaching that when our faith in God is rooted in a) the moral conviction of His goodness, truthfulness and faithfulness, and b) a strong unwavering belief that He is able to “accomplish things that appear most difficult with infinite ease, as the fig-tree was made to wither away by a word”, we shall have whatsoever we say.
The assurance of the effectiveness of the prayer of faith is to tempered with a word of caution. Jesus did not give the disciples, and by extension us, a signed blank cheque for us to fill in all our wishes and desires. As Walter Martin reminds us, “All faith is subsumed [contained] under the overarching biblical doctrine of the sovereignty of God.” God is not a cosmic errand boy at the beck and call of His creation. How then should we understand this teaching? Bible Scholar John Gill puts it well: “Whatever is asked in faith, agreeable to the will of God, which is contained in His covenant, word, and promises, and makes for His glory, and the good of His people, shall be given, be it what it will; though to the carnal sense and reason it may seem impractical and impossible.”
As we close our study of these verses, it is worth remembering that we can put our faith in God because He is faithful (firm in keeping His promises), immutable (unable to be changed), and sovereign (has unlimited power and is free from external control). It is comforting to know that we do not have to feel defeated, frustrated or helpless in the face of life’s challenges. We serve an awesome God to whom nothing is impossible. It is in Him and His character that Jesus exhorts us to place our unwavering faith, assuring us that we will see results of whatever we say.
When faced with an obstacle, Jesus spoke to it. What do you do with yours?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.