THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
PRIME MINISTER TELLS JAMAICA’S OLYMPIC ATHLETES TO FOCUS—07/28/12
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, was a special guest at the Olympic Village near London when organizers of the 2012 Olympic Games welcomed Jamaica’s athletes to their new “home.” Simpson Miller participated in ceremonial flag-raising to welcome the teams and expressed excitement at the reception the teams received in both London and Birmingham, where they are training. She hoped that the athletes would be “given the opportunity to remain focused” and not succumb to pressure at the games so they can perform at their best.
JAMAICANS READY TO CELEBRATE OLYMPICS—07/29/12
Jamaicans throughout the nation are making final preparations to watch the 2012 Olympic Games being held in London. Led by triple world record holder Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, Jamaicans are looking for improvements on the performance of the nation’s athletes during the 2008 games in Beijing. Jamaica took home 11 medals in 2008. Many areas are planning big celebrations to mark the beginning of the games, which run until August 12, 2012.
GOLDING TO HAVE ADDITIONAL BACK SURGERY IN FLORIDA—07/30/12
Bruce Golding, Jamaica’s former prime minister, will have a third back surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. The operation is to provide remedial treatment for an ongoing back infection. Golding was flown to Miami of his own volition following two operations in Jamaica. The operation will clean the infection, which is a common occurrence after the type of surgeries Golding had. Daryl Vaz sought to defuse rumors about the reason Golding was receiving medical treatment overseas.
JCF SAYS INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATIONS WILL BE SECURE—07/31/12
According to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), plans have been implemented to ensure the highest level of safety and security for Jamaicans attending celebrations to mark the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence. Assan Thompson, senior superintendent of the JCF, security plans focus on an increased deployment of police officers in all 19 island divisions. The staff has been “significantly bolstered” by recent Police Academy graduates, and most JCF administrative offices have been closed to make more personnel available for duty.
JAMAICAN PINS SCARCE AT LONDON OLYMPICS—08/01/12
At the 2012 Olympics in London, Jamaica Olympic souvenir pins are eagerly sought after by collectors and are increasingly difficult to find. According to Olympic attendee Vilma Wooll who has attended the games since 1984, Jamaican pins are the hardest for collectors to find because everyone wants them. Many people, including athletes, are asking for the pins, creating a shortage and making them even more desirable.
NEW JAMAICAN AMBASSADOR APPOINTED TO VENEZUELA—08/02/12
Sharon Weber has been named as the new Jamaican ambassador to Venezuela. Her appointment was announced by Foreign Minister A.J. Nicholson, who stated that her skill and expertise will serve Jamaica well. Weber is a board director of the PetroCaribe Development Fund. She will begin her duties as ambassador in September 2012.
POWELL FRUSTRATED BY DRUG TESTING AT OLYMPIC GAMES—08/02/12
Asafa Powell, Jamaica’s former 100-meter world record holder, has expressed frustration with what he described as “excessive drug testing” at the Olympic Village near London. Powell was awakened from sleep by doping officials who performed his third drug test in a five-day period. Paul Doyle, Powell’s agent, said everyone supports doping control and finding cheats, but the officials should be more sensitive to the athletes.
SAGICOR REVIVES JAMAICAN HISTORY—08/03/12
Staff members of Sagicor conducted a re-enactment of Jamaica’s cultural history by recreating legends like Bob Marley, Miss Lou, and Cudjoe on the eve of Emancipation Day. The employees of the insurance firm were inspired by the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence and decided to resurrect important parts of the nation’s history. These included Jonkannu dancers, a Taino village, British great house, and the coming of Africans to Jamaica. The employees spent days creating their presentation at Sagicor’s Premium Accounting Department.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION POSTPONED DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS—07/29/12
An event organized by Black Music Promotions and Jamaica Pennsylvania Association to be held August 4, 2012, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence has been postponed following a shooting in Delaware. According to Randolph Fisher, CEO of Black Music Promotions, concerns were raised in the Jamaican community after Herman Curry, 47, a Jamaican man, and a 16-year-old male were shot at a soccer tournament in Wilmington, Delaware. Curry was not involved in planning the celebration, said Fisher, but people were worried that similar incidents could take place at the venue.
WELFARE PROGRAM FOR JAMAICAN WORKERS OVERSEAS REINSTATED—07/30/12
Jamaica’s Ministry of Labor has reinstated a program that permits Jamaicans on employment programs overseas to make contributions toward their welfare. In 2009, the collection of deductibles was prohibited by the introduction of new regulations imposed by the United States. As a result, the government could not collect monies from Jamaicans towards savings, health insurance, or pensions. Following ongoing discussions between Jamaica and the U.S., however, the welfare program has been allowed to start up again.
JAMAICAN SOUVENIRS IN HIGH DEMAND AT UK MARKET—07/31/12
Sellers of Jamaican t-shirts and souvenirs at the Dalston market in Hackney, East London, are having a hard time keeping Jamaica-related Olympic flags, arm bands, earrings, t-shirts, and pins in stock. The Jamaican items are especially popular at the 2012 Olympic Games, and much of the merchandise is being purchased by non-Jamaicans. Vendors attribute the interest to the fact that Jamaica’s Usain Bolt is an Olympic sprint champion and the world’s fastest man.
JAMAICA 50TH DIASPORA HONOREES ANNOUNCED—08/01/12
Sandra Grant Griffiths, Consul General of Jamaica, announced the names of honorees of the Jamaican Diaspora Honors 2012. This recognizes Jamaicans who have made significant contributions to the Florida and South USA Jamaica Diaspora community. The honorees will be officially honored on August 18, 2012, at the Jamaica 50th Gala sponsored by the Consulate General of Jamaica in Miami, Florida. Notable among the honorees are several members of the Jamaica Nurses’ Association of Florida recognized for their outstanding community service.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
MINNEAPOLIS CELEBRATES CARIBBEAN CULTURE—07/28/12
CARIBBEAN DESIGNERS FEATURED AT 2012 OLYMPICS—07/29/12
U.S., CARIBBEAN FIGHT OVER RUM SUBSIDIES—07/30/12
VIOLENCE IN HONDURAS PROTESTED BY MASKED ARTIST—07/31/12
ADVISER TO PUERTO RICAN LAWMAKER FACES CALLS TO RESIGN—08/01/12
CUBA GAINS SPOT IN U-20 SOCCER FINALS—08/02/12
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
HAYLES CALLS FOR SUPPORT FOR LOCAL PRODUCE—07/28/12
Jamaicans should support their local agricultural sector by purchasing and consuming Jamaican products, says Ian Hayle, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Hayle made his appeal to Jamaicans in all walks of life, imploring them to show their love of the country by buying Jamaican products. According to Hayles, supporting the local economy is a civic duty for Jamaican citizens.
NEW CIGARETTE PRODUCTS DEVELOPED TO DETER SMUGGLERS—07/29/12
Two new cigarette products will be introduced in September 2012 by Carreras Ltd. in an attempt to battle the illegal cigarette trade. The products include a new local brand called “Turf,” and the globally recognized brand “Pall Mall.” Illegal cigarette activities are estimated to cost Jamaica over J$1 billion each year in lost taxes. Carreras also indicated that it may again manufacture cigarettes in Jamaica. The new products will sell for about J$25 per stick, compared to J$30 per stick for current brands.
LIME REDUCES LANDLINE-TO-MOBILE RATE—07/30/12
LIME, the telecommunications company, will reduce the rate on landline-to-mobile calls to $6.99 effective August 1, 2012. It will also begin billing such calls on a per-second basis. According to Garry Sinclair, managing director for LIME in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the decision is possible due to the OUR amendment to the Telecommunications Act. Following a favorable court ruling for OUR in a challenge brought by Digicel, LIME petitioned the agency to lower its landline rates.
POWER COMPANY APPEALS MONOPOLY RULING—07/31/12
The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) will appeal a ruling from the Supreme Court that invalidates the organization’s exclusive license to transmit and distribute electricity. According to Justice Bryan Skyes, the minister does not have the authority to grant the license to the JPS on terms that prevent other entities from seeing their applications considered. In 2001, JPS was given a 20-year exclusive license. Michael Hylton, attorney for JPS speaking for the entity, said he judge was mistaken and the utility firm plans to challenge the ruling.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
NEWNET COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES MAKES PRESENTATION AT FORUM—07/28/12
TOP REGIONAL TECHNOLOGY AWARD GOES TO ANTIGUA—07/29/12
ONLINE AUTO DIRECTORY EXPANDS—07/30/12
JAMAICAN TV STATION NOW ON THE INTERNET—08/02/12
HBO HIGHLIGHTS JAMAICAN MUSIC, CULTURE—07/29/12
HBO, the cable television channel, will present “Where the Music Is Always Alive,” a program featuring the 2012 Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, which was held at Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium in January. The program includes snapshots of Jamaica’s natural environment and discusses the history and development of Jamaican music. The documentary includes artistes like Shaggy, Marcia Griffiths, Tami Chynn, and Ky-Mara Marley.
SNOOP DOG CHANGES NAME, SAYS HE IS REINICARNATION OF BOB MARLEY—07/31/12
The musician Snoop Dog took on a new identity, changing his name to Snoop Lion with the assistance of Rastafarian priests. He is also releasing his first reggae album. The musician, who was born as Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr., experienced a spiritual awakening and visited Jamaica looking for a “new path.” He believes he has always been a Rastafari and says he is Bob Marley reincarnated.
JAMAICA 50 PHOTO EXHIBIT IN LONDON GETS RAVES—08/02/12
The Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) mounted a photography exhibit at the Elephant and Castle Shopping Center in London to showcase the journey of the nation over the past 50 years. The retrospective collection of photos celebrates Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence from Britain. The opening of the exhibit featured a number of highly ranked Jamaican and British officials, including Jamaican-born Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II.
EMANCIPATION JUBILEE CELEBRATION DRAWS THOUSANDS—08/03/12
Thousands of Jamaicans participated in the Emancipation Jubilee at Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann to mark a week-long recognition of 50 years of independence. The week’s ceremonies will end with the Golden Jubilee of Independence on August 6, 2012. Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller was on hand at the launch to encourage all Jamaicans to continue liberating their minds and rising to the challenges facing their country.
BOLT HELPS JAMAICAN EQUESTRIAN—07/28/12
The lone equestrian competitor to the 2012 Olympics in London, Samantha Albert, was only able to travel to the United Kingdom with the help of Usain Bolt, Jamaican sprint champion. Bolt helped Albert raise money to enter the eventing discipline with a horse on loan from British team member Tina Cook. Bolt donated three shirts and two signed book to be included in a raffle designed to raise money for Albert’s Olympic participation.
JAMAICA’S TOP FOUR SPRINTERS JOIN IN 4X100 METERS—07/29/12
Asafa Powell, Usain Bolt, Nesta Carter, and Michael Frater, the top Jamaican sprinters in the world, believe they can achieve a record in the 4×100-meter competition at the Olympic Games in London. Observers expect the Jamaicans to be the first team in history to achieve a time of less than 37 seconds in the 4×100.
ATKINSON IN 100-METER BREASTSTROKE FINALS—07/30/12
An historic performance from Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson in the preliminary round heat of the women’s breaststroke competition at the 2012 Olympics in London put her into the finals. The preliminary required a swim-off, the first of its kind at the Olympics, in order for Atkinson to take her place in the final competition. Atkinson, 23, clocked a time of one minute, 7.39 seconds during the second heat to defeat South African Suzaan van Biljon and Morocco’s Sara El Bekri.
BOLT, BLAKE READY TO DOMINATE OLYMPIC SPRINT COMPETITION—08/01/12
Jamaicans Yohan Blake, world champion sprinter, and Usain Bolt, Olympic sprint champion, are preparing for what many believe will be the biggest competition in the Olympics of 2012. The two top sprinters will race against each other and expect to dominate the sprint races at the London Olympics. Blake defeated Bolt in two Jamaican Olympic trial races, but Bolt says he is in top condition and ready to perform to the best of his ability in London.
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Power in Unity
For some people, the biblical narrative surrounding the building of the tower of Babel speaks to the dangers and consequences of pride. However, there is a positive lesson that we can take from it that can serve us well; something that God Himself took a note of. According to the Genesis account, at a time when “the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech,” a group of people journeyed from the east and found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there, resolving to build a city with a tower “with its top in the heavens …lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the Earth” (Genesis 11:1-4, KJV).
As they embarked on their project, “The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the children of men built. And the Lord said, ‘Behold, the people are one and they have all one language, and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be withheld from them which they have imagined to do'” (vv. 5-6). In these verses, we find a united people, having one language, with one determination, and the divine observation that with these attributes, “nothing will be withheld from them which they have imagined to do.” In them, we see the power and possibilities in unity.
Having a collective common cause or goal is not unusual. Families and organizations have them as well. However, achieving the end goal is another matter. Jealousy, internal fighting, disagreements, greed, to name a few, often stall and cripple efforts to goal realization. Author J.K. Rowling succinctly observes, “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided” and there is a lot of truth in that statement. Regardless of whatever it is that we endeavour to do collectively, a divided people is a liability to such efforts. A house [business, family, church] divided against itself cannot stand. “All for one, one for all” is the springboard for optimal success.
The power in unity was affirmed by the Lord regarding the builders of the tower. As we go about our day-to-day lives, let us strive for unity in the areas that matter most. Yes, there will be times of disagreements; however, if we keep our eyes on the end goal, what we are striving to achieve together, our individual preferences should yield to the greater good. One heart, one mind, one purpose. Taken together, that is a mighty unstoppable force. Just ask God.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.