THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
CEMEX ENCOURAGES BUILDING OF CONCRETE ROADS—08/02/14
While most expensive, concrete roads provide better value than roads with asphalt surfaces, said Rafael Villalona, the general manager of Cemex Jamaica. The use of concrete would raise the cost of road building by five percent to eight percent, but the return on investment is general obtained after three years, chiefly because of a reduced requirement for maintenance. Concrete roads can go 20 years without the need for maintenance, compared to five years for asphalt.
JAMAICA STUDENTS OPT FOR STUDYING IN CHINA—08/03/14
According to Halcian Gallimore, an officer at the scholarship unit of China’s Embassy in Jamaica, the number of students applying for scholarships to be used for undergraduate and graduate studies in several Chinese universities has steadily increased. While only five scholarships were made available initially, another six full scholarships were added to meet the growing demand.
GOVERNMENT RECEIVES DONATION OF C$5 MILLION FROM CANADA—08/04/14
Jamaica’s government will reap the benefits of a contribution from the Canadian government totaling C$5 million. Canada has also made an allocation of C$10 million to other countries in the eastern Caribbean. The funds are to be used between fiscal 2014 and 2017 to help with public financial management in the region. Canada is hoping to help Caribbean nations improve their financial status via reforms supported by the International Monetary Fund.
“SMART” TECHNOLOGY TO BE APPLIED IN JAMAICA’S SHANTYTOWNS—08/05/14
According to Anthony Clayton, professor of sustainable development at the University of the West Indies, most buildings in Jamaica are not energy-efficient, but if improvements were made to make them more efficient, it could significantly reduce the poverty of the Caribbean region. He is working with Professor Tara Dasgupta to develop a prototype of a “smart” building that is called a “net zero energy” building and that will be the first project of its kind in the Caribbean.
GOVERNMENT TO CREATE FBI-TYPE NATIONAL AGENCY TO FIGHT CRIME—08/06/14
The government of Jamaica will announce its plans to develop a national agency to fight crime similar to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agency in the United States. Peter Bunting, National Security Minister, said this announcement would be “bad News” for criminals who think they can continue their operations without consequences. One of the tasks for the new organization would be to collect all intelligence gathered by other law enforcement agencies, including the Military Intelligence Unit, for use in battling crime.
JAMAICANS URGED TO TAKE ACTIVE ROLE IN SHAPING FUTURE OF THE NATION—08/07/14
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, is encouraging Jamaicans to view themselves as having a stake in the nation’s development. At the same time, Andrew Holness, Opposition Leader, wants to see Jamaica create a vision for the next 50 years of statehood, and Governor General Sir Patrick Allen is urging Jamaicans to took towards the future and making the country a place where people want to live, work and raise families. These were some of the messages provided to mark the 2014 anniversary of Jamaican independence.
TWO DAYS OF STATE MOURNING FOR FORMER GOVERNOR GENERAL COOKE—08/07/14
Jamaica will hold two days of state mourning to mark the passing of former Governor General Sir Howard Crooke. Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, will lead Cabinet members at the viewing and laying-in-state at Mico University. The internment ceremony will be held at National Heroes Park on August 8, 2014.
HENRY SAYS JLP A MAJOR HELP FOR NORTH-SOUTH HIGHWAY LINK—08/08/14
Mike Henry, Jamaica’s former Minister of Transport and Works, did not attend the official opening of the Mount Russer bypass, the second leg of the North-South Highway link, because he believes the Opposition Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) did not receive enough credit for making the project possible. Henry expressed disappointment with the JLP for not highlighting its own significant role in facilitating the new highway link.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
FOOD FOR THE POOR HAS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR—08/02/14
The Jamaican office of Food for the Poor has a new executive director. David Mair was selected to fill the position on the basis of his experience and skills in working with the Jamaica Broilers Group and his role as managing director of Tropical Battery, the oldest distributor of consumer automotive parts and batteries in Jamaica. Robin Mahfood, president and CEO of Food for the Poor, says the organization is counting on Mair’s executive international experience and his success at raising productivity while reducing costs.
JAMAICA’S GOVERNMENT ATTEMPTS TO “MAP” DIASPORA—08/03/14
The Jamaican government is planning to “map” the Jamaican Diaspora in order to enhance growth and development of the country. The “Mapping Jamaica’s Diaspora” project, organized through the International Organization for Migration, is designed to identify the skills of those in the Diaspora through an online survey and then determine what these individuals can contribute to the island’s development.
DEMONSTRATION AT LONDON EMBASSY TARGETS ANTI-GAY LAW IN JAMAICA—08/04/14
A protest is scheduled to take place at the Jamaican Embassy in London to show opposition to anti-gay law in force in Jamaica. Protestors believe that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has failed to take action to repeal the law as she promised during her 2011 election campaign. Human rights activists are calling for the repeal and renewing their efforts toward that end. The protest is to take place on the 52nd anniversary of Jamaica Independence.
DIASPORA ADVISORY BOARD ELECTIONS OPEN FOR SOUTHERN USA—08/05/14
Voting is now open for candidates vying for the position of member on the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board for the Southern USA. Elections will close on August 15, 2014, and the winner will be announced on August 25. Three Jamaican nationals have applied for the two-year volunteer position: Wayne C. Golding, Sr., of Orlando, Florida; Courtney G. McFarlane of Atlanta, Georgia, and Alexander A. Williams of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
CLARKE SUPPORTS OBAMA ON IMMIGRATION PLANS—08/06/14
Yvette D. Clarke, Jamaican American congresswoman from the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, is urging her colleagues to retain basic legal protections for children while resolving the humanitarian crises on the border between Mexico and the United States. Some 50,000 children are currently in limbo as to their status and many could be eligible for asylum in the U.S. on grounds of persecution in their home country. Clarke supports President Barack Obama in believing these children should receive access to legal advice and the chance to present a case for asylum.
COURT RULES JAMAICAN MAY STAY IN CAYMAN ISLANDS PENDING LEGAL REVIEW—08/07/14
Birdy Evadney Blake Morrison from Jamaica has lived in Cayman for 20 years, but was ordered to leave after losing an appeal to receive permanent resident status earlier in 2014. She will now be allowed to remain in Cayman and continue working for her current employer, immigration attorney Sherri Bodden-Cowan, until the appeal decision has been reviewed.
JAMAICAN PROSECUTOR IN RUNNING TO LEAD HIGH COURT IN FLORIDA—08/08/14
Orley Burey, a Jamaican prosecutor, is now in the running to be elected judge of one of Florida’s highest courts, the Ninth Judicial Circuit, which represents Orange and Osceloa counties. Burey grew up in Newport and Waltham in Manchester and attended Bethabara Primary and All Age School, as well as West Indies College High School and West Indies College.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN EXPORT AGENCY PROVIDES MULTIPLE SERVICES—08/03/14
EXETER BELIEVES TAIWAN “EXPLOITS” FISHING RIGHTS IN ST. VINCENT—08/04/14
TROPICAL STORM BERTHA MOVES ACROSS CARIBBEAN—08/05/14
CARIBBEAN AMERICANS VYE FOR ELECTED OFFICE IN FLORIDA—08/06/14
CARIWEST FESTIVAL IN EDMONTON MARKS 50 YEARS OF CARIBBEAN CULTURE—08/07/14
NEW YORK’S FIFTH AVENUE EXPERIENCES CARIBBEAN CUISINE—08/08/14
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
HEXAGON GEOSPATIAL, GEO-ORBIS ANNOUNCE DISTRIBUTION PARTNERSHIP—08/04/14
A new Caribbean distribution partnership has been announced between Hexagon Geospatial and GeoOrbis. The new arrangement will facilitate the distribution of Hexagon’s complete line of solutions to the English-speaking Caribbean. GeoOrbis is a GIS consultant with headquarters in Barbados and offers project management and application development to organizations in the region. Hexagon provides solutions for government agencies, environmental groups, and natural resource planners.
TURKEY WILL PROVIDE FINANCING FOR JAMAICAN PROJECTS—08/05/14
Jamaica will receive US$200,000 from the Republic of Turkey to perform a number of project activities through a development co-operation agreement. Jamaica is one of the CARICOM member states that will benefit from a total of US$2 million provided by Turkey. The nations emphasized the need to co-operate to make stronger links between countries in southeastern Europe, western Asia, and the Caribbean region in tourism.
COFFEE INDUSTRY IMPACTED BY DROUGHT AND BUSH FIRE—08/06/14
The coffee industry in Jamaica is experiencing a downturn linked to a sustained drought and a bush fire that destroyed 50 acres of coffee plantations. According to the president of Jamaica’s Agricultural Society, Norman Grant, production and export targets are unlikely to be met due to these occurrences. Grant said the island lost about 10 percent to 15 percent of its projected. Monetary losses total an estimate US$2.5 million.
MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY TO HOLD ENTREPRENEUR EVENT—08/07/14
In South Florida, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center has scheduled the 32nd Annual Minority Enterprise Development Week (MEDWeek 2014) for October 16 and 17, 2014. MEDWeek will host corporations, government agencies, entrepreneurs, career professionals and students from southern Florida and around the U.S. for discussion and information about business growth, strategic networking, and diversity of suppliers. A special feature will be “BizTank,” an investment competition based on the “Shark Tank” television show, which will allow selected businesses to pitch their businesses to investors.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
WEBSITE FOR CARIBBEAN ENTERTAINMENT NAMED TO TOP 100 MUSIC BLOGS—08/03/14
The website “largeup.com” represents a major source of information and forums for fans looking for the latest news about Caribbean music artistes and trends. It has been names as one of the 100 most influential music publications and blogs in the world by Style of Sounds, a well known British magazine. The site, which operates from Kingston under the guidance of Dave Susser, Jesse Serwer and Martei Korley, is based on the fact that fans don’t just buy music; they want a buy-in to the artistes’ lifestyle.
FESTIVAL SPIRIT RECAPTURED BY HAL ANTHONY—08/04/14
Hal Anthony, roots singer, has made his contribution to a number of popular festival songs. His new album, “Jamaican Festival Countdown: 1966-1987,” is set for release in conjunction with celebrations for Jamaica’s Independence Day. The album is produced on Anthony’s and Willie Lindo’s Heavy Beat label and is designed to honor the mix from those years, Anthony stated.
“JAMAICAN MAFIA” SETS OFFICIAL PREMIER DATE—08/05/14
“Jamaican Mafia,” an independent film that stars Paul Campbell, will have its official premier in New York City on August 27, 2014. Film producer Orville Matherson has not stated the location but he expects a good reception for the film, which is based on incidents from real life. It was filmed in New York in 2014 and was directed by Vafomba Donzo of Nigeria. In addition to Campbell, the film stars Mykal Fax who also wrote the screenplay.
MARCIA GRIFFITHS RECEIVES ORDER OF DISTINCTION—08/07/14
Long-standing reggae talent Marcia Griffiths will be one of the entertainers who will receive awards at the National Honors and Awards ceremony. She will be awarded the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) at King’s House on October 20, 2014. This is Jamaica’s highest honor. She previously was awarded the Order of Distinction (Officer Class). Griffiths, 64, is marking her 50th year in the music business.
SPENCER RECEIVES FIRST GOLD FOR JAMAICA IN WOMEN’S 400-METER HURDLES—08/02/14
Kaliese Spencer last won a gold medal eight years ago, but now she can celebrate her win of the first gold medal for Jamaica in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Spencer, 27, ran the course in 54.10 seconds.
TAYLOR BRINGS TALLAWAHS THREE WINS IN A ROW AT CPL—08/03/14
Jerome Taylor provided a sterling performance to lead Jamaica’s Tallawahs to a 19-run victory over the Barbados Tridents in the T20 match of the Caribbean Premier League at Sabina Park. Taylor took 2-11 off his four overs. Final score was 147-8 (20 overs) for the Tallawahs, compared to the Tridents 128-6 (20 overs).
BOLT ADDS TO JAMAICAN GOLD WITH WIN IN 4×100-METER RELAY—08/04/14
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s Olympic medalist, anchored the men’s 4×100-meter relay team at the Commonwealth Games to provide Jamaica with a gold medal in the event. The team, comprising Bolt, Nickel Ashmeade, Kemar Bailey-Cole, and Jason Livermore won the race in a slight drizzle on a very wet track. Bolt ran his leg in a record time of 37.58 seconds.
COACH ARTHUR SAYS TALLAWAHS STILL HAVE WORK TO DO—08/07/14
The Jamaica Tallawahs are traveling to St. Kitts where they will compete in the two remaining first-round matches at the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20. They are currently in second place with 12 points and are scheduled to play St. Lucia and Barbados over the weekend. Coach Mickey Arthur said it felt good to win home matches, but the team still has “a lot of work to do.” The team needs to double its efforts in the remaining matches in order to achieve its goal of attaining the automatic place in the final, he said.
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Just Missed It!
I saw him as he hustled up the stairs to catch the train. An elderly gentleman, he was moving as fast as he could; however, as he got up the last of the stairs and only a few steps away from the door of the train, it closed. Cursing under his breath, he could not believe he had missed it. We made eye contact at which point I told him the next train would arrive in ten minutes. After a bit of small talk, I asked him how far he was going. When he told me, I chuckled and said words to the effect: “In which case you should be thankful you missed that train as it was an express train and would not have stopped at your stop. You need to take the one coming next!” “Is that right?” he asked with a priceless look of bewilderment on his face. “Yes, sir”, I replied. “Your missing the train was a blessing in disguise!” We both laughed.
On the ride home, it occurred to me that what that man thought was a disappointment was in fact to his benefit even though it did not seem that way at the time. Then the light bulb went off in my mind; some of us as Christians are just like him! How many times have we strived for something only to have the door of opportunity close in our faces? Unaware of God’s hand in our affairs, guiding our steps as we probably asked Him to, we feel extreme hurt and even feel like God has disappointed us when we “miss our train”. Yet like a good father, God is constantly watching over His children. For those who put their trust in Him, He is constantly at work in our day-to-day lives orchestrating events, opening and closing doors, to accomplish His plans and purposes for our lives (see Jeremiah 29:11).
Because we do not always know what is best for us, we have to trust the Lord that He will sometimes step in and disrupt our plans; to protect us from ourselves. From our perspective, everything may seem right and in place. Like the man hustling up the stairs, we are convinced in our minds that our courses of actions are right. However, just as how some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers, we can include closed doors as well. What we see as a disappointment — that job or promotion we did not get, that failed relationship, being stuck in traffic, being late for an important appointment, the friend who was not there when we needed them, to name a few – could very well be a part of God’s providence. If God gave us everything we wanted, some of those things would probably destroy us. Maybe, over time, one of more of them would pull us away from an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father. Often times it is only in looking back that we see His hand at work and we realize He knew what He was doing all along.
Of course, not every disappointment is a result of God’s providence; sometimes they are the result of our own behaviours, disobedience, and attitudes. However, as long as we sincerely trust our lives into the Lord’s care, like the sheep under the watch of a faithful shepherd, we can rest comfortably in the fact that He is guiding our steps while working things out on our behalf. The Psalmist reminds us, “The LORD guides us in the way we should go and protects those who please Him” (Psalm 37:23, GNB). And yes, that includes closing a few doors just as we are about to go through them.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.