THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
SCHOOLS SHOULD PROMOTE FOREIGN LANGUAGES SAYS SMITH—11/30/13
Evelyn Smith, the president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), believes that students in Jamaica’s schools should learn foreign languages. Smith expressed this opinion at the official start of the first language skills training program for Russian and Spanish for workers in the tourism industry in Negril. The program, funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund, is offered by the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment and the Tourism Product Development Company.
PRIME MINISTER’S TRIP TO CHINA COST $20 MILLION—12/01/13
Jamaica’s government confirmed that the official visit to China by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and her delegation cost over $20 million. A.J. Nicholson, leader of government business in the Senate, provided this figure in response to questions from Opposition member Senator Robert Montague. The funds came from budgetary allocations in the ministries of foreign affairs and foreign trade, along with the ministries of water, land, environment and climate change; national security; and the Office of the Prime Minister.
STEM FOCUS KEY TO DEVELOPMENT IN JAMAICA, SAYS MORRISON—12/02/13
Professor Errol Morrison, the president of the University of Technology, and Professor Claude Packer, president of the Institute of Technological and Educational Research at Mico University, have called for a greater focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). These areas are critical for development in Jamaica, they believe.
GOVERNMENT CLARIFIES “MISSILE WARHEADS” STORY—12/03/13
The government of Jamaica is clarifying reports in the media suggesting that “missile warheads” were found during a seizure of items at the port of Kingston. According to Sandrea Falconer, Minister of Information, the items actually seized are not to be confused with the projectiles used in missiles, torpedoes or rockets. Instead, the items found when police seized two bullet-making machines and more than 3,000 rounds of ammunition, are used to make nine-millimeter bullets for handguns.
GONSALVES SAYS ANTI-JAMAICAN FEELINGS PREVALENT IN SOME COUNTRIES—12/04/13
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said there is some anti-Jamaican feeling among some authorities in a number of CARICOM nations. He said that these sentiments exist despite general admiration and acceptance of Jamaican culture. He also noted that immigration officials throughout the region are depending on out-of-date laws that were enacted in order to be restrictive.
JAMAICAN COURT OF APPEAL TO MAKE HISTORY—12/04/13
Jamaica’s Court of Appeal will site outside of the Corporate Area for the first time in its history. The Court, which was created in 1962, will sit in the western part of the island in Hanover between December 9 and December 13, 2013. The move was made in response to requests from the Cornwell Bar Association to bring the justice process beyond the Corporate Area’s boundaries.
DUDUS HAD J$300 MILLION IN ASSETS—12/05/13
Christopher “Dudus” Coke, the Jamaican drug lord now serving 23 years in a United States federal prison, had assets worth J$300 million when he was taken into custody. Coke was extradited to the U.S. after a two-month standoff that led to a violent battle and left a number of people dead in 2010. The government has established a board of inquiry to investigate the incident.
PRIME MINISTER HAILS MANDELA AS FREEDOM FIGHTER—12/06/13
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller expressed her sadness at the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela, who has died at age 95 at his home. Simpson Miller called Mandela a friend of the Jamaican people and a hero for those of African descent around the world.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN DIASPORA CAN “GIVE LIFE” TO HOME ISLAND—12/01/13
According to David Mullings, who has served on the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board, Jamaicans living overseas are committed to making life on their home island better, especially by volunteering time and money to the causes that are important to them. Some of these causes are the Jamaica Kideny Kids Foundation, which raises money for treatment costs for children whose families cannot afford them. Other medical facilities, including the University Hospital of the West Indies, do not have the funding to pay for current supplies. Mullings has called on the Diaspora to raise the J$134,136 the hospital needs this Christmas season.
DIASPORA MEMBERS PRAISE THWAITES FOR GUIDELINES ON DONATIONS—12/02/13
The efforts of Jamaica’s Education Minister Ronald Thwaites to create guidelines and provide contact information in order to make it easier for Jamaicans in the Diaspora to donate to education institutions have received accolades from those overseas. The guidelines are helpful in moving donations to where they are needed. The “Guidelines for Charitable Donations of Educational Material from the Diaspora to Jamaica” is forwarded to the Diaspora by Jamaica’s High Commissioner.
AWARD TO BE GIVEN TO JAMAICAN DANCER IN NEW YORK—12/03/13
Saladin Ali, the son of Jamaica ska and rocksteady legend Prince Buster, is scheduled to present Alphonso Castro, a veteran dancer, with the “Icons of Soul Ska Ambassador Award.” The award recognizes Castro’s contributions to Jamaica culture and his efforts to promote Jamaican music and dance locally and internationally.
PUBLIC INVITED TO MAKE NOMINATIONS FOR YOUTH AWARDS IN EXCELLENCE—12/05/13
Members of the public, including the Jamaican Diaspora, may nominate young people to receive the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award for Excellence. The awards are given to young Jamaicans between the ages of 15 and 24 who have excelled in academics, agriculture, arts, entrepreneurship, journalism, leadership, sports, service, or international achievement. Ohene Blake, chairman of the award’s selection committee, said special focus in 2013 will be place on youth who have overcome great odds and attained excellence.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
BELIZE BLACKLISTED BY TASK FORCE—11/30/13
THOUSANDS OF PROTESTERS MARCH IN HAITI—12/01/13
CARIBBEAN, LATIN AMERICAN NATIONS MOVE TOWARD UNIVERSAL HIV TREATMENT—12/02/13
BARBADOS AMONG LEAST CORRUPT NATIONS IN THE WORLD—12/03/13
BEVAN NAMED CHAIRMAN OF NEW LEAGUE—12/04/13
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO IDENTITY TRAFFICKING—12/05/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
T&T, JAMAICA LINKED BY TRADE—11/30/13
Vasant Bharath, Trade Minister, does not believe there will be a trade war between Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica arising from the denial of entry to T&T of 13 Jamaicans. The incident involved an immigration issue, not a trade issue, and so there is unlikely to be an official boycott of goods from Trinidad. Abrahim Ali, president of the San Juan Business Association, disagrees, saying that T&T will suffer if a trade war erupts, since a considerable volume of goods from the country go to Jamaica.
BULLOCK SAYS KEYNESIAN STIMULAS PLAN NOT EFFECTIVE FOR JAMAICA—12/01/13
Colin Bullock, the Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), does not agree with a suggestion that more stimulus spending by the government will led to economic growth. Bullock stated that the “Keynesian economy will not work everywhere.” They are not effective in small open economies like Jamaica, he said. Also, Jamaica’s spending is chiefly on imports, so more government spending will not stimulate the island’s economy.
IMC COUNCIL SEES RE-ELECTION OF JAMAICAN—12/02/13
Jamaica succeeded in winning a place in Category C of the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for 2014-2015. Dr. Morais Guy led the Jamaican delegation to the 28th IMO Assembly. Guy is Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing in Jamaica.
JAMAICAN SCIENTIST STARTS MEDICAL MARIJUANA FIRM—12/04/13
Henry Lowe, a renowned Jamaican scientist and entrepreneur, is starting a company that seeks to capitalize on the worldwide market for medical marijuana. Lowe, who specializes in medicinal chemistry research and who is the chairman of an organization that creates therapeutic and cosmetic products from indigenous plants in Jamaica, calls his new firm “Medicanja.” It will focus on finding the medicinal compounds in the cannabis plant and will not violate local or international laws governing the drug.
Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
TECH REVOLUTION IN CARIBBEAN HAS STARTED—12/02/13
LARGE TECHNOLOGY PARK TO BE BUILT BY JAMAICAN COMPANY—12/03/13
CARIBBEAN LEADERS MAKE ICT TOP PRIORITY—12/05/13
VISION 2030 TARGETS TRACKED BY e-DASHBOARD—12/06/13
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
CARIBBEAN FILMS TO SCREEN AT EVENT IN CUBA—11/30/13
A showcase of films from the Caribbean will be screened at the Havana Film Festival in Cuba starting on December 6, 2013. The festival is named “Caribbean Calling,” and will show four feature-length films and five shorter films. Documentaries will also be shown. This is the second consecutive year that Caribbean films have been included at the Havana festival.
JUNIOR MURVIN DIES AT 67—12/02/13
Junior Murvin, reggae singer, died at a hospital in Port Antonio at the age of 67. He is best known for his song “Police and Thieves,” which was recorded in 1976. Murvin had been treated for diabetes and high blood pressure. He started his career as a hotel entertainer on the island and then became a recording artiste in Kingston.
TESSANE MAKES IT TO SEMI-FINALS ON “THE VOICE”—12/04/13
Jamaica’s Tessanne Chin has been chosen as a semi-finalist on the United States television talent show “The Voice.” The judges praised her ability, calling her a “world-class vocalist.” The audience watching the show agreed and voted her through to the semis.
JAMAICAN STUDENTS TRAVEL TO BARBADOS FOR DRAMA FESTIVAL—12/05/13
Eleven students from high schools across Jamaica will represent their country at the Caribbean Secondary Schools’ Drama Festival in Barbados on December 8 to 15, 2013. The student actors come from different high schools on the island who participated in the Schools’ Drama Festival of Jamaica. Six students from Ardenne High School will participate, along with students from Munro College, Mona High school, Black River High School, and Waterford High School.
HUTCHINSON, BRYAN QUALIFY FOR YOUTH OLYMPICS—11/30/13
Rojey Hutchinson and Shevar Bryan of Jamaica’s Under -19 boys’ beach volleyball have qualified for the Youth Olympic Games for 2013, defeating their rivals from Barbados. The Youth Olympics will take place in Nanjing, China.
BLAKE DEFENDS TRACK STARS—12/01/13
Warren Blake, president of the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA), has strongly defended Jamaican athletes after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) threatened to ban them from competing at international events. Blake said Jamaica’s athletes are the “most tested in the world” and that about 125 drug tests were done before the Olympics in London.
BOLT, FRASER-PRYCE EACH UP FOR ADDITIONAL AWARD—12/03/13
Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jamaican sprint champions, are on the short list to receive the Athlete of the Year Award from the United States Sports Academy for 2013. The award will be announced on December 20. Bolt is competing with Lebron James, Tiger Woods, Raphael Nadal and Lionel Messi. Fraser-Pryce is on the list with Serena Williams and Missy Franklin. Eleven countries and 12 sports are in the running for the prize.
NO DECISION ON JAAA RECOMMENDATION YET—12/05/13
There has been no decision reached as yet by the IAAF Doping Review Board on a recommendation from the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Disciplinary Panel. The JAAA has proposed that Veronica Campbell-Brown receive a public warning for a doping violation involving a positive test for a banned diuretic at the Jamaica International Invitations in May 2013.
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Spending Time in God’s Waiting Room
Wait. Some Christians would rather cut off an arm. In addition to words like “forgiveness”, “patience”, and “submission”, the word “wait” has to be on the Christian’s top ten list of most disliked words! Whether in the doctor’s office, the supermarket line or stuck in traffic, most of us are galled at the idea of waiting. Advances in technology have ensured that to a large degree we are living in the age of the instant. We want things done and we want them done right now. Patience it seems is no longer a virtue, and in corporate circles the saying is that time is money. No one wants to wait.
Unfortunately, most Christians bring this “instant mindedness” to their spiritual life. While it is true that God can and often times do the instant miracles, the prevalence of certain teachings have blinded some to the sovereignty of God; His right to do as He pleases, when He pleases and with whomever He pleases. The Scriptures are filled with accounts of godly men who spent very long periods in God’s waiting room. For example, who can argue with Abraham’s faithfulness, yet he who was a friend of God spent 25 years waiting for the promise of a son. Joseph endured 13 years of trials, tribulations and jail before realizing the manifestation of what God had ordained for him. Moses waited 40 years in the wilderness. David, a man after God’s own heart, waited 15 years to become king. It is true that these men were not always poster boys for lessons in unwavering patience, but no matter how many times they wavered, they always found their way back into God’s waiting room where they waited patiently for Him.
In many of the places we are required to wait, we have the option of leaving. We can go to another store, another doctor’s office, and so on, but with God there are no other gods to go to (Isaiah 45:5; 14). When we need for Him to do what He is the only one capable of doing, we have no viable option but to wait.
In Psalm 37 David encourages believers to “rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him” (v.7), but not before setting the groundwork for this trust. “Fret not thyself” (v.1), “Trust in the LORD” (v.3), “Delight thyself also in the LORD” (v.4), and “Commit they ways unto the LORD” (v.5). Until we have done those preliminary steps and until we come to truly accept God sovereignty in and over our lives, waiting upon Him can become a long and frustrating experience.
But there is good news. Jesus said unto Mary, “If thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God” (John 11:40). The same truth applies if we “wouldest” wait. Waiting is not easy, especially when it seems like nothing is happening, but He promises that “they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). If He says it, or promises it, we can believe it, no matter how long it takes. He is that kind of God.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.