THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
11-YEAR-OLD GIRL KILLED IN GANG-RELATED INCIDENT—08/03/13
Tashanique James, 11, of Denham Town, Kingston, was shot and killed in a gang-related incident. She was one of five individuals shot in two such incidents in the community as residents celebrated Emancipation Day. A 12-year-old girl injured at the same time was treated and released
STATE AGENCIES LISTENING IN ON PRIVATE PHONE CALLS—08/04/13
A number of state agencies in Jamaica are tapping private phone calls, and no one will reveal how often calls are intercepted or who the targets of the intrusion may be. The silence of official agencies on the matter is happening at the same time as telecommunications companies in the United States and the United Kingdom have been found to be secretly collaborating with spy agencies by providing details of customers’ phone, email, and Facebook information. Attempts to obtain information from Jamaica’s Ministry of National Security, police, and army have been unsuccessful thus far.
JPS REPORTS ARRESTS OF 150 ELECTRICITY THIEVES SINCE JANUARY 2013—08/04/13
Over 150 people were arrested for stealing electricity since the beginning of 2013, according to the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS). Winsome Callum, JPS head of corporate communications, noted that this was much higher than in 2012, when only 62 power thieves were arrested. Callum also said that more than 200 employees of JPS have been assigned to investigating the ongoing problem of electricity theft.
JAMAICA’S ANTI-DRUG EFFORTS TO BE AIDED BY BRITISH NAVAL SHIP—08/05/13
The continuing problem of drug trafficking in Jamaican waters will receive help from Britain’s Royal Navy. Her Majesty’s Ship Lancaster, currently docked in Kingston, will soon begin its voyage in search of drug smugglers. According to Commander Steve Moorhouse, the 400-foot-long ship will provide added help in finding and apprehending drug runners in the Caribbean near Jamaica.
CONTE CRITICIZES JAMAICA’S ANTI-DOPING PROGRAM—08/06/13
Victor Conte, who was involved with the BALCO drug scandal, is critical of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO). Conte said his chief concern is that the program lacks transparency and does not provide routine annual drug testing statistics as is common in other countries.
UWI MONA OFFERS COURSE ON SLAVERY REPARATIONS—08/07/13
The University of the West Indies Mona campus plans to offer a course on reparation. It will be an investigation of the issue of compensation for slavery in the Caribbean region. Dr. Clinton Hutton, lecturer in the Department of Government in Political Philosophy and Culture, is designing the course, which will focus on the argument in favor of reparation within the context of history.
POLICE INVESTIGATE FRAUD AT TEACHERS UNION—08/08/13
Jamaican police are looking into a case of fraud at the teachers union. All members of the union’s accounting staff have been placed on leave during the investigation. According to the Jamaica Constabulary Force, investigators are working hard to gather statements and interviews on the fraud in question. The action follows “accounting irregularities’ that were revealed during an audit of the Jamaica Teachers Association.
JLP WINS BY-ELECTION IN CASSIA PARK—08/09/13
The Jamaica Labor Party has retaken the Cassia Park Division of Kingston and St. Andrew. Beverly Prince of the JLP had 1,586 votes when all 41 boxes of ballots were counted, while the People’s National Party (PNP) candidate Sheryn Bromfield had 1,176 votes. Prince had been elected to three consecutive terms in Cassia Park before moving to the Hagley Park division in the 2012 local government elections. She lost that bid to the PNP candidate, Norma Wilson.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
UK HOUSING ASSOCIATION PRAISED BY JAMAICAN COMMUNITY HEADS—08/05/13
Pastor Bruce Fletcher and Pastor Bobby Wilmot, two leaders of the Jamaican community, had praise for a housing association in the Midlands. On a visit to the UK, the pastors visited Charles Pearson Court, a retirement housing arrangement that is managed by the Midlands Housing Association Nehemiah UCHA. After talking with the mostly African Caribbean residents, they expressed how impressed they were with the facility and its management.
FRANKFURT BOOK FAIR TO FEATURE HOMESTYLE JAMAICAN FOOD—08/06/13
The annual Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany will provide visitors with Jamaican culinary treats via the book, “Enid’s Homestyle Authentic Jamaican Cuisine” by. Enid Clarke Watson. Watson introduces readers to the pleasures of home-cooked Jamaican foods and provides recipes that use foods easily obtained in any market. Menus for different occasions are included, along with a glossary of cooking terms.
WEEKEND OFFERS READING TENT AT INDEPENDENCE EVENT—08/07/13
A weekend of activities celebrating Jamaica’s 51st anniversary of independence will feature a dance party, music, a family fun day, and performances by a variety of artistes. The centerpiece of the event is to be the Reading Tent, in which adults can read to children from their favorite books. The location of the event is Negril on the Green in Hollywood, Florida.
UK INDEPENDENCE CHURCH SERVICE ATTENDED BY HUNDREDS OF JAMAICANS—08/08/13
Jamaicans from throughout the United Kingdom joined to participate in the annual service of praise and thanksgiving that is hosted by the Jamaican High Commission. The service was held at Southwark Cathedral in London and generally marks the beginning of Jamaican Independence events in the UK. Jamaican High Commissioner Aloun Ndombet Assamba told those in attendance that there was determination and confidence in Jamaica among the Diaspora and that the nation will be successful in creating more opportunities for future generations.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
DO NOT EXPLORE FOR OIL IN CARIBBEAN, COLOMBIA TELLS NECARAGUA—08/03/13
GRADUATES OF COMMUNITY TRAINING PROGRAM OFFER HOPE FOR BEES—08/04/13
VICE PRESIDENT OF SENATE IN TRINIDAD RESIGNS—08/06/13
50 PERCENT OF CHILDREN IN DOMINCAN REPUBLIC LIVE IN POVERTY—08/07/13
4.1 EARTHQUAKE SHAKES TRINIDAD—08/08/13
POLICE SUSPECTED OF $1.5 MILLION THEFT IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—08/09/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
AGRICULTURE COULD BE AFFECTED BY CLIMATE CHANGE—08/05/13
Robert Pickersgill, Jamaican Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, has called for a new focus on the significant of climate change and how it could have a negative effect on Jamaica’s local agricultural sector. He recommended developing decisive actions and plans to raise awareness of the issue. In particular, those living at the lower economic strata who are most likely to rely on the agriculture sector for their living could be impacted by climate change to the greatest extent.
READY-TO-DRINK JAMAICAN ICED COFFEE INTRODUCED BY MARLEY BEVERAGE CO.—08/06/13
The Marley Beverage Company has launched a new product, Marley’s One Drop, which is a ready-to-drink iced coffee made with coffee from Jamaica. According to Rohan Marley, son of Bob Marley and a coffee expert, Jamaica’s coffee is considered the best in the world. The company hopes that its product will take a share of the lucrative ready-to-drink coffee market.
BANANA FARMERS ABANDONING THEIR FIELDS IN CARIBBEAN—08/07/13
Banana farmers in the Caribbean are leaving their fields where crops have been impacted by disease. Their leaving has made an already bad situation worse, however, according to United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and country ministers throughout the region. Efforts to eradicate Black Sigatoka, a disease that has ravaged several countries, by cutting back the crops is being hindered by farmers who fail to replant with disease-free products or other crops.
FIRST FEMALE CEO AT SCOTIA JAMAICA—08/08/13
Scotia Group Jamaica (SGJ), the most profitable bank in the country, has announced the appointment of its first female president and CEO. Jacqueline Sharp will take over the CEO role in September 2013. She follows Bruce Bowen who has been appointed to a regional position after five years at Scotia Jamaica. Sharp is currently the firm’s executive vice president, CFO and chief administrative officer.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
ENTERASYS, UCT MAKE APPEALING PARTNERS IN CARIBBEAN—08/03/13
BRIGHTPATH TECH CAMP IN TRINIDAD SUCCESSFUL—08/04/13
CROWD-FUNDING SITE BENEFITS TECHNOLOGY START-UPS—08/07/13
ROAMING CHARGES TO END OCTOBER 1, 2013 IN CARICOM, SAYS DIGICEL—08/08/13
JAMAICAN DAVE PERFORMS ALL-DAY EVENT—08/03/13
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dave Russell, know as Jamaican Dave, a transplant to the city from his native Kingston, Jamaica, is on a mission to bring reggae and Rastafari culture to the area. He has produced significant reggae shows for over 15 years and recently produced “Reggae in the Park” at the Mann Music Center in Fairmount Park. The 2013 show had a line-up of major reggae performers, including Shaggy and Beres Hammond. The event is the largest Jamaican music festival on the East Coast and attracts large audiences from Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia.
FETED JAMAICAN WRITER PUBLISHES”STEAMY” NEW NOVEL—08/04/13
Claudette Beckford-Brady, the author of “Return to Fidelity,” has managed to focus on the unique qualities of Jamaican life in her writing. Twenty years ago, she was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia in the United Kingdom, and since she thought she was dying, she moved back to her home island. Once in Jamaica, her health improved and she fully embraced her writing career. Her first two novels were “Sweet Home Jamaica,” and “The Missing Years, provided her with high praise from critics, and her third is on its way to join them.
RETURN OF NKENGAS—08/05/13
Clinton “Sonny” Roberts, Jamaican music producer, first encountered the Nigerian band Nkengas in the early 1970s, and while he did not have much knowledge about the music coming from Africa at the time, he took a chance and recorded the group in a London studio. Two albums were recorded and released in the 1970s, and now they have been digitally released via a new distribution deal between Orbitone and Secret Stash Records, an American firm that specializes in roots music. The albums are “Destruction” and “The Nkengas in London.”
JFLAG DISAPPOINTED BY PERFORMANCE OF QUEEN IFRICA AT GRAND GALA—08/07/13
The Jamaica Forum for Lesbian, All-Sexuals and Gays (JFLAG) wants Jamaica’s government to ensure that those who perform at national events do not use these performances to discriminate against any segment of society. JFLAG said it was disappointed by what it has characterized as anti-gay expressions by Queen Ifrica, reggae singer who performed at the Grand Gala. The performer called on Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to uphold the nation’s anti-sodomy laws.
BOLT KEEPS WORLD COMPETITION ALIVE IN SPITE OF ATHLETE WITHDRAWALS—08/04/13
The biennial world championship track and field meet in London 2013 has been plagued with the withdrawals of many top athletes for various reasons, including charges of doping and physical injuries. Usain Bolt remains the one runner capable of generating excitement for the meet. He has no real competition because of the withdrawals of Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell/
JAMAICAN BASKETBALL TEAM GOES TO CANADA—08/05/13
The Jamaican men’s senior basketball team will soon leave for Canada to play in a two-game practice series against the host nation in Toronto. The Jamaican team plans to use this match to get ready for its first appearance at the Americans Tournament later in August 2013 in Venezuela. The 11 team members do not include several of the top players, but Jerome Jordan and Patrick Ewing Jr. plan to rejoin the team when it returns from its Canadian trip.
ALL 44 JAMAICAN ATHLETES DRUG-TESTED AT WORLDS MEET—08/06/13
All of Jamaica’s 44 athletes scheduled to participate at the world championships in Moscow have been tested for drugs, including Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt. The athletes were tested at the Moscow training camp, an action confirmed by team officials. Agents from the World Anti-Doping Agency came to the camp and collected blood from all the athletes. It is unclear whether an entire national team has ever been tested in just this way in the past.
JAMAICAN INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYER, TEAM OFFICIAL SUSPENDED—08/07/13
An international football player from Jamaica and an official of a Jamaican team have received a provisional suspension from the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. The individuals were suspended for an initial period of 30 days after a doping test returned an “adverse analytical finding” after a qualifier for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Honduras on June 11, 2013.
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An Attitude of Ingratitude
English novelist and essayist Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) posits an enduring truth when he states, “Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” It is not that we purposefully set out to be that way, but it is easy for us to become so accustomed to certain things that we become indifferent to them; we accept them without thankfulness or a thought.
Let us stop and consider some of these things. When was the last time you thanked God for the ability to feed yourself? To tie your shoe laces? For the sense of seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, touching? For family, friends, spiritual leaders? When was the last time you thanked your children for helping with the chores? Your spouse for taking care of the home; for being a hard working husband or wife who put his or her family’s needs ahead of himself or herself? A friend for always being there when needed? When was the last time you thanked anybody for anything and really meant it? If we take the time to stop and count our blessings, we would be surprised at how much there is to be thankful for. Yet how much have we given thanks for?
Our inability to be aware of and express thankfulness for what God has blessed us with is indicative of an attitude of ingratitude. The Apostle Paul exhorts the church at Colosse to “cultivate thankfulness” (Colossians 3:15, The Message). The same message applies to us today. Instead of being murmurers and complainers, let us resolve to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. To the Thessalonians Paul affirms, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Yes, it is God’s will that we have an attitude of thankfulness not only towards Him but towards those in our sphere of influence.
To be unthankful is to be in a dangerous place; it is to live on the level of the depraved (Romans 1:21, 28-30). In Deuteronomy 28:47-48 we see it is an attitude that God frowns upon: “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of [mind and] heart [in gratitude] for the abundance of all [with which He had blessed you], Therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord shall send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and in want of all things; and He will put a yoke of iron upon your neck until He has destroyed you” (Amplified). If we are not attaining a thankful spirit then we are slipping toward a depraved mind.
The worship most acceptable to God comes from a thankful and cheerful heart. Such a heart does not know ingratitude but seeks to continually thank God for His blessings, no matter how routine and insignificant they may seem. Do you have such a heart? If not, how about asking His help, starting today, to cultivate a thankful heart? Try it! I guarantee it will change your life and that of at least one person around you.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.