THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
ZACCA EMPHASIZES NEED TO CREATE TAX INCENTIVE ACT—07/27/13
Christopher Zacca, president of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ), believes Jamaica should take action and establish an Omnibus Tax Incentive Act in order to meet benchmarks included in the country’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). According to Zacca, the act will replace current tax incentive laws and go further toward the IMF’s focus on tax and incentive reforms.
ANTI-DOPING LAB UNDER CONSIDERATION—07/28/13
Jamaica’s government is considering the establishment of an anti-doping laboratory. The lab would have international accreditation. According to Neita Headley, the Minister with responsibility for sport, creating this type of institution requires significant investments of capital and support from other nations. Unless such support is obtained, Jamaica could not sustain an anti-doping lab on its own.
GOVERNMENT TO ADDRESS PROBLEMS AT SEABED AUTHORITY—07/29/13
Leaders of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) have complained about the condition of its headquarters in Jamaica, noting its varying degrees of disrepair. According to the Jamaican delegation, which noted “lingering problems,” the government is committed to keeping its promises as host nation. Extensive repairs and upgrades have already been made to the elevators and air conditioning system at the facility.
JDF ACCEDES TO INCLUSION IN NDECOM ACT—07/29/13
Major General Antony Anderson of the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) has stated that the army no longer believes it should be excluded from investigations by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INIDECOM). The change of opinion followed strong criticism from Opposition Senator Tom Tavares-Finson, who said the people would not allow the JDF to continue operating as it had in the past. Members of a joint select committee charged with reviewing the INDECOM Act noted controversial shootings by the JDF in Green Bay where five of ten men at the range in St. Catherine were shot and killed.
ELECTORAL COMMISSION TO REVIEW LIMITS ON CONTRIBUTIONS—07/30/13
The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) is considering an increase to the amount individuals and donors may contribution to political parties and candidates. The proposed increase would double the contribution amounts allowed. According to Dr. Herbert Thompson, chairman of the ECJ, the requirement enacted in 2011 that no individual be allowed to contribute over $1 million will be adjusted to $2 million to reflect the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar.
50 JAMAICAS GET FREE MORTGAGES UNDER SPECIAL PROGRAM—07/31/13
Fifty Jamaicans from different locations throughout the island will receive free mortgages under the special Jubilee Year debt forgiveness program, Jubilee ’50 for 50 Housing Initiative. The program is offered by the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller noted the commitment of her administration to putting more land titles into the hands of Jamaicans.
JAMAICAN COURT AFFIRMS COMMISSION’S POWER OF ARREST—08/01/13
A court in Jamaica ruled that the Independent Commission of Investigations has the authority and power to arrest and charge accused police officers. The judgment of the Constitutional Court represented a “major victory” for the Commission and followed three years of argument on the issue. The police federation and three other police organizations had filed with the court to question the Commission’s powers.
HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION INTO TRANSGENDER KILLING—08/02/13
Human Rights Watch, a human rights organization based in New York, is calling on police in Jamaica to perform a full investigation into the killing of Dwayne Jones, a transgender teen, at the hands of a mob near Montego Bay. The group issued a statement asking authorities on the island to “spare no effort” in finding those responsible for the murder. Activists note that gays in Jamaica are frequently the victims of discrimination.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
U.S. WHITE HOUSE HIRED DEAF JAMAICAN-BORN ATTORNEY—07/27/13
Claudia Gordon, a deaf Jamaican-born lawyer, has been appointed to provide oversight in the efforts of the United States White House in regard to disability matters. Gordon will move from the U.S. Department of Labor, where she handled potential discrimination by federal contractors, to work as a liaison between the Obama Administration and the disability community. Her experiences with discrimination as a deaf child in Jamaica prompted her to become a lawyer. Previously, Gordon has worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Association of the Deaf Law and Advocacy Center.
JAMAICAN NATIONALS LAUNCH ELECTION BIDS—07/28/13
Three Jamaican nationals in New York are seeking elected office. Joan Flowers and Michael Duncan are looking to be elected to the New York City Council. Mark Escoffery-Bey wants to be borough president for the Bronx. All three candidates have obtained the necessary number of signatures required by the New York City Board of Elections. They must first make it through primary elections in September before getting to the November 2013 general elections.
ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF JAMAICAN INDEPENDENCE SCHEDULED IN FLORIDA—07/31/13
The celebration of Jamaica’s 51st anniversary of independence has been scheduled for August 4, 2013, at Miramar Regional Park in South Florida. The event will feature Jamaican food and entertainment from Roy Rayon, a four-time Festival Song Winner. A children’s talent contest will be held for those between 11 and 15 years of age.
51ST INDEPENDENCE ANNIVESARY TO BE CELEGRATED IN ATLANTA—07/01/13
Jamaicans and their friends will celebrate the nation’s 51st anniversary of independence in Atlanta, Georgia, at major events scheduled between August 4 and August 10, 2013. The Atlanta Jamaican Association (AJA) will begin its program with a Thanksgiving Service featuring music, songs and poetry. The event will close with the Annual Independence Ball and Scholarship Awards, a formal event that will honor Van Martin, former Jamaican Honorary Consul in Atlanta who is retiring after 16 years in the position.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
UNITY ON GUYANA’S HYDRO ELECTRIC PROJECT URGED—07/27/13
NOVEMBER CONCERT IN BARBADOS SCHEDULED BY RIHANNA—07/28/13
CARICOM MEMBER STATES FALL SHORT FOR FEMALE ENTRPRENEURS —07/29/13
KING OUT AS LEADER OF OPPOSITION IN ST. LUCIA—07/30/13
MEMBERS OF PILOT ASSOCIATION HAVE NO PLANS TO STRIKE—07/31/13
EIGHT SUSPECTS DETAINED IN MURDER OF ENVIRONMENTALIST—07/01/13
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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
MORE RESEARCH INTO CATTLE, URGES MCGLASHAN—07/27/13
Don McGlashan, director general at Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, believes that there should be ore investment and research into exporting cattle species to China. Speaking to the Jamaica Red Poll Breeders’ Society, he said that Jamaica has a great potential in offering cattle genetics. Jamaica showcased the Jamaica Black and Jamaica Red poll at a forum for agriculture ministers attended by 22 nations.
INDEPENDENCE ALLOCATIONS TO GENERATE INCOME FOR SMALL BUSINESS—07/28/13
Sydney Bartley, Jamaica’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, said the government’s allocation of $100 million to the 2013 Emancipation and Independence celebrations will provide ways for medium, small, and micro businesses in the country. Bartley says the event should be considered less as an entertainment activity and more as part of a creative industry that can generate jobs and economic opportunity for many Jamaicans.
WATER COMMISSION CONSIDERS BOTTLED WATER BUSINESS—07/29/13
Albert Gordon, the president of the National Water Commission, says the agency plans to produce bottled water for local and export markets. The full launch of the program must be delayed until the piped water demands of Jamaicans have been met, however. Bottled water represents an option for the agency, which will offer plain water and possibly also flavored water that uses local fruit extracts.
TOURISM MINISTER WELCOMES NEW MARRIOTT HOTEL—07/30/13
Dr, Wykeham McNeil, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, welcomes plans to build a $2 billion Marriot Courtyard Hotel in New Kingston. The 130-room hotel will be operated by the internationally recognized Marriott conglomerate. The brand will enhance Jamaica’s product offering and add to the island’s appeal as a global tourist destination.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CENTRAL BANK ISSUES FIRST PRIVATE MOBILE MONEY LICENSE—07/27/13
STRATEGIC ALLIANCE DEVELOPED BY CARIBBEAN TELECOM UNION—07/28/13
NEW TECHNOLOGY FROM INTERPOL DETECTS FAKE TRAVEL DOCUMENTS—07/31/13
CUBA OPENS FIRST SOLAR FARM—08/01/13
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YOUNG REGGAE PERFORMERS SOUGHT BY EUROPEAN FESTIVALS—07/28/13
Jamaica’s reggae musicians have had great success in Europe for years, even when the genre was rejected in the American marketplace. Veteran acts continue to play in Europe, but a new generation is moving in to replace them. According to Copeland Forbes, a book agent for more than 30 years, the new reggae artistes are attracting significant attention at concerts overseas. Christopher Martin, Richie Spice, Mr. Vegas, Busy Signal, Queen Ifrica and others are among those in demand in Europe.
MELLO GO ROUN’ HOSTED BY CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION—07/29/13
On August 1, 2013, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) will present Mello Go Roun’ 2013, the top family entertainment event in the country. It will take place at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Center with a theme of “Mello MANIA,” in keeping with the 50-year anniversary of the JCDC.
JAMAICAN FILM FESTIVAL INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL DIRECTORS—07/30/13
The Jamaica International Film Festival, which opens August 1, 2013, at the beginning of the celebrations for the country’s 51st anniversary. It will run for five days in Ocho Rios, with over 20 international film directors scheduled to participate. Many of the films to be screened were directed by women as the 2013 festival honors Women in Film with a special tribute to actress Madge Sinclair.
RASTAFARI CULTURE EXPLORED IN NEW EXHIBIT—07/31/13
The Rastafari culture of Jamaica is the topic of a year-long exhibit currently underway at the Institute of Jamaica in Kingston. The exhibition, “Rastafari Unconquerable,” explores the “Revelation of Rastafari,” the philosophy and evolution of the movement. John Lynch, Director of Tourism in Jamaica, welcomed the staging of the exhibit, which illustrates the diversity of the island’s culture.
JAMAICAN PARALYMPIAN BREAKS WORLD RECORD IN JAVELIN EVENT—07/27/13
Alphanso Cunningham of Jamaica has broken the world record in the men’s F52-54 Javelin Final at the International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships in Lyons, France. Cunningham, 32, threw the javelin 24.30 meters. The gold medal he won was the second for Jamaica in the competition. Sylvia Grant, 50, achieved a silver medal in the women’s F57-58 Javelin.
FOOTBALL LEADERS IN JAMAICA STEP DOWN AFTER PLAYER FAILS DOPING TEST—07/28/13
Alfredo Montesso, technical director of the Jamaican Football Federation (JFF), and Luciano Gama, national under-20 coach, resigned their positions after a doping scandal in which a football player testing positive during a World Cup qualifying match against Honduras in June, 2013. Fifa is taking care of the testing and disciplinary process, but the JFF medical committee is looking into the positive test by the player.
JAMAICAN RELAY TEAM WINS 4X 100 IN LONDON—07/29/13
Jamaica’s relay team, anchored by Olympic champion Usain Bolt, ran to victory at Olympic Stadium in London at the Diamond League meet. The Racers Track Club ran the 4×100 event in 37.74 seconds. In addition to Bolt, the team included Mario Forsythe, Kemar Bailey-Cole, and Warren Weir.
USAIN BOLT WINS 100-METER EVENT AT DIAMOND LEAGUE—07/30/13
Jamaica’s Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt won the 100 meters at the London Diamond League competition, overcoming a bad start to win in 9.85 seconds. He finished well ahead of Michael Rodgers of the United States who had a time of 9.98 seconds. The race represented a successful return to the stadium where he won three gold medals at the London Olympic Games.
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Faith: Walking the Walk
The story is told of a village that was in the midst of a drought and the local minister called upon his parishioners to come out for a day of prayer; they would pray from rain. On the day designated quite a number of people including the church’s officers turned out. Standing out like a sore thumb among them was a little boy. Not because of his physical appearance, or what he was wearing, but because he was the only one who came with an umbrella.
What is the point of praying if one isn’t going to believe that the thing being prayed for is going to be received? In Christian circles it is called praying in faith. The writer to the Hebrews reminds us, “FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]” (Hebrews 11:1, AMP). While most of us are familiar with that portion of text, how many of us have actually walked it out? I recall sometime ago asking someone, “If you have no food to cook and prayed for God to provide some, what do you do next?” The reply was, “I believe God so I would wait for the answer.” Now while that sounds fairly reasonable, the fact is that because faith moves a person to action, the person standing in faith would not just wait for an answer but actually put the pot on the stove while thanking God for the food that hadn’t yet arrived. Remember, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (NIV). In our example, to wait until we see the food to put on the pot doesn’t require faith. That is an action based on what is in front of us; it takes faith to put on the pot when the food hasn’t yet arrived.
Without doubt that goes against our natural way of being and thinking. Jesus reminds His disciples, “Have faith in God. 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 11:22-24, KJV). Notice that it is faith coupled with the act of speaking to the “mountain” that produces the desired result.
Genuine faith in God demands action. We have to do something that demonstrates our conviction that we have those things which we said will come to pass and which are consistent with God’s will for us. Just like the little boy with his umbrella. If you were standing in the crowd that day, would you have had yours?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.