THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
HEALTH MINISTER ENCOURAGES AWARENESS OF PERSONAL HIV STATUS—12/01/12
Dr. Fenton Ferguson, Jamaican Health Minister, believes it is important for all Jamaicans to become aware of their personal HIV status in honor of World Aids Day. Knowing one’s HIV status can protect partners and babies from infection, and it also allows the application of appropriate medical treatments to ensure the longest life possible, said Ferguson. HIV testing is free in the public sector, but only half of an estimated 50,000 Jamaicans with HIV know their own status.
MANY FIRE HYDRANTS IN JAMAICA NOT OPERATIONAL—12/02/12
According to a survey conducted by the Jamaica Fire Brigade and the National Water Commission, almost 5,000 of the 13,000 fire hydrants on the island do not work. This represents about 40 percent of the total number of hydrants in the country and that nearly 1,300 hydrants have become non-operational since the previous survey was completed in 2006. According to Assistant Commissioner Samuel McIntosh, chief fire prevention office of the Brigade, there was a 13 percent increase in the number of fire hydrants in Jamaica between 2006 and 2012.
HOPES ABOUND FOR REOPENING OF RUSSIAN-OWNED BAUXITE FIRM—12/03/12
Phillip Paulwell, Jamaican Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, announced that discussions with the majority shareholders and operators of the UC Rusal plant are going well and that another series of talks is scheduled for the coming months. Paulwell wants to re-open Alpart as part of a plan to get the island’s bauxite/alumina industry back on track. The economics of St. Elizabeth parish have been negatively impacted by the downturn in the bauxite sector.
LOUIS SIMPSON, WELL-KNOWN JAMAICAN POET, DEAD AT 89—12/03/12
The Jamaican poet Louis Simpson has died. He was 89. Simpson was son of Aston Simpson, a prominent lawyer in Kingston, and attended Munro College in his youth. He then joined his mother in New York. He received a PhD at Columbia University and lived in Paris for two years. He had most recently been a professor of English at New York University, Sunny Brook, and has published 12 collections of poetry in addition to critical studies.
NEW SPECIES OF BUTTERFLY FOUND IN JAMAICA—12/04/12
Scientists from the University of Florida have found a new species of butterfly in the Cockpit Country of Jamaica. It is the first new butterfly discovered on the island since 1995. Researchers are hoping that the discovery of the new butterfly will encourage people to save the wilderness area in the Cockpit Country. The new butterfly is called Troyus turneri and has a wingspan of just over one centimeter. It is named after the town near where it was found and in honor of Thomas Turner, an expert on the island’s butterflies.
JAMAICAN SCHOOL STUDENTS RELIEVED OF 600 WEAPONS—12/05/12
Over 600 weapons were confiscated from students in Jamaican schools thus far in 2012. According to Constable Ricardo McCalipin, school resource officer with the Safe Schools Program, stated that knives were the most common weapon seized between January and September of 2012. The police also found 37 ice picks and nine machetes and made 157 arrests total in schools across the island. The large number of weapons in schools was attributed to the influence of gangs and a lack of positive role models.
JPS TO REFUND MILLIONS TO CUSTOMERS—12/06/12
The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) plans to give out over $84 million in deposit refunds and annual interest payments to customers who have up-to-date accounts. The company indicated that its customers would get payments on security deposits they made on their electric power accounts between November and December of 2012. The JPS is the only firm that currently pays interest on such deposits.
OVER $1 BILLION SPENT IN HOUSING THE GOVERNMENT AT PRIVATE PROPERTIES—12/07/12
Taxpayers in Jamaica pay more than $1.1 billion every year to finance property rentals for ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). The total rental cost of the properties is under-estimated, since four government ministries have not submitted their costs for 2012 to the Public Sector Transformation Unit (PSTU). The agency is performing an analysis to determine which government properties might be renovated or refurbished and used instead of the private rentals.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
THWAITES IN FLORIDA FOR EDUCATION BENEFIT WALKATHON—12/01/12
Jamaica’s Minister of Education, Ronald Thwaites, is slated to lead the third annual benefit walk on behalf of the island’s education system. The Walkathon of the Coalition of Jamaican Alumni Associations of Florida (CJAAF) will hold the yearly event at Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill on December 8, 2012. Thwaites will launch a series of activities that weekend that will include a church service and brunch, featuring Rev. Horace Ward.
JAMAICAN REJECTS DEAL TO AVOID DEPORTATION—12/02/12
Asani Wahid Elliott, 20, will face trial now that the Jamaican immigrant has rejected a plea agreement that would have spared him deportation from his home in Brooklyn, New York. Elliott is charged with attempting to kill a co-worker during a fight outside of a Pennsylvania hotel. The deal would have caused his crimes to be downgraded to misdemeanors. The incident involved a fight between the two men after they were denied alcohol at a liquor store.
JAMAICAN CITIZENS GET VISA WAIVERS IN MEXICO—12/03/12
Mexico has decided to eliminate visa requirements for citizens of Jamaica, according to a statement released by the Mexican Embassy in Kingston. Travelers from Jamaica only need to present a valid passport to travel in the Latin American nation. Mexico hopes this action will lead to stronger ties between the two nations.
GAY ACTIVIST FROM JAMAICA REJECTS INVITATION FROM T&T—12/04/12
Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaican gay activist, has turned down an invitation issued by Trinidad and Tobago to travel to that country and plans to sue the island republic instead. Tomlinson was invited to Trinidad to attend a United Nations Family Planning Workshop. He has decided to appeal Section 8 of the country’s Immigration Act, which characterizes gay relationships as being “immoral.” The provision states that homosexuals may not enter T&T. Tomlinson will pursue legal action on behalf of the AIDS-Free World organization.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
MASKED MEN STEAL GOLD BARS FROM FISHING BOAT—12/01/12
MOST CARIBBEAN NATIONS SUPPORT UPGRADING PALESTINE’S STATUS AT UN—12/02/12
TWO SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS FOR POLITICS IN ANTIGUA—12/03/12
CARIBBEAN NATIONS WANT ACTION AT CLIMATE CONFERENCE—12/04/12
CARICOM CONCERNED ABOUT ARMS TRAFFICKING, GANGS—12/05/12
REPSOL TO EXPLORE FOR OIL OFF NICARAGUA COAST—12/06/12
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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
OFFER FOR LASCELLES EXTENDED BY CAMPARI—12/01/12
Gruppo Campari of Italy has decided to extend a bid to take over Lascelles, the Jamaican rum manufacturer. The bid deadline is now December 10, 2012. The deal is expected to enhance the company’s presence in the growing market in the United States. Campari also said it intends to delist the rum making firm from the Jamaican Stock Exchange.
BANANA FARMER SHARES MESSAGE OF FAIRTRADE—12/04/12
Nicholas Faisal, a Fairtrade banana farmer in St. Lucia has carried his message to school children on the Isle of Man. Faisal grows bananas that are exported to the United Kingdom. He spoke to pupils from six elementary schools about how his crop is grown and his life on St. Lucia. He also communicated how Fairtrade aids producers in the Caribbean region to receive fair wages and how to implement business development plans for the future. Faisal’s visit followed the first primary school children’s Fairtrade conference, which was sponsored by the One World Center.
LASCELLES PLANS TO UPGRADE, NOT REBUILD—12/06/12
A project scheduled for implementation by J. Wray & Nephew for Lascelles deMercado will involve upgrading of the existing facility and not construction of a new facility. The plan represents part of the capital commitments of the Lascelles group. According to Paul Henriques, managing director of J.Wray, investments are intended to upgrade current distillery equipment and continual upgrades to the existing facility.
HURRICANE SANDY, OTHER DISASTERS IMPOSE $1.7 BILLION IN REPAIRS—12/07/12
Damage from Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters in the region in 2012 have a repair bill totaling $1.7 billion. The funds are required for temporary and ongoing restoration of infrastructure, and the money is needed before the end of the fiscal year in March 2013, according to Morais Guy, Minister without Portfolio in Jamaica’s Ministry of Transport, Works, and Housing. Interim restoration has been estimated at $710 million by the National Works Agency. Heavy rainfall on island between September and October of 2012 caused major road damage totaling $300 million, and the hurricane passing through Port Marie and surrounding areas has been estimated at $100 million.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
PCCS OPERATORS ENHANCE BROADBAND ACCESS IN CARIBBEAN—12/01/12
GOVERNMENT LOOKS FOR ENERGY SOURCES BEYOND COSTLY LNG—12/02/12
SOLAR MODULES PROVIDED TO CARIBBEAN PROJECT BY YINGLI GREEN ENERGY—12/03/12
KARIB CABLE ENHANCES BARBADOS OPERATIONS—12/04/12
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CARIBBEAN CELEBRATED BY TEMPO NETWORKS—12/01/12
T-Pain, Jamaican singer, songwriter, rapper and record producer, is the headliner at the TEMPO networks seventh anniversary event in St. Maarten. The week-long celebration will feature well-known musicians and singers from the Caribbean region and the United States. The event highlights the Seven Principles of Tempo, which focus on unity, spirituality, nature, health, education, respect, and work designed to uplift the region.
NEW TV REALITY SHOWS PRODUCED BY EX-POLITICIAN—12/02/12
Kern Spencer, former Member of Parliament for St. Elizabeth northeastern, is producing a number of new reality television programs via his Super K Studios. The programs will air in the near future. Spencer temporarily disappeared after leaving politics in the light of the Cuban light bulb scandal, but is now working in the entertainment field. Spencer is excited about “Celebz,” a reality show featuring behind-the-scenes looks at the lives of Jamaican celebrities. Four episodes of the show have been shot so far, featuring Tommy Lee Sparta in the first episode.
RUGS WANTS THE BUSINESS OF REGGAE FIXED—12/04/12
William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke, legendary reggae musician and lead singer of the Third World band for 40 years, was recently honored at the Caribbean American Heritage Awards in Washington, D.C. While Clarke believes Jamaicans appreciate reggae for its part in promoting the island around the world, the nation falls short on the business side. Locally, he sees a lack of respect for artistes in regard to honoring business agreements. Internationally, the business aspect is “much tighter,” according to Clarke.
FILM DIRECTOR ENCOURAGES HIGH SCHOOLS TO TEACH ENTREPRENEURISM—12/05/12
Kimala Bennett, the managing director of the Production Lab and the Business Lab, who is also well-known for her work as a film director and television and radio producer, has written a do-it-yourself manual for entrepreneurs. This is her second book on the issue and is called “The Young Entrepreneurs Handbook.” Bennett started her own production company and has since parlayed her experience into teaching others how to succeed. She urges more teaching of entrepreneurship in schools.
COCHRAN TAKES LEAD AT JAMAICA OPEN GOLF TOURNEY—12/01/12
Russ Cochran took a one-shot advantage over Peter Horrobin at the three-day Jamaica Open Golf Championship at the Half Moon Golf Club in Montego Bay. Cochran, an American, was grouped with Jamaica’s Wesley Brown and Guy Stewart III.
FRASER-PRYCE TAKES LEAD IN ATHLETICS POLL—12/03/12
Jamaican sprint champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 25, is in the lead to be selected the best of Latin American and Caribbean athletes of 2012. She won three medals at the London Olympics in 2012. Fraser-Pryce is four votes ahead of Idalis Ortiz of Cuba, who world judoka title in London. The Prensa Latina Sports Poll reflects the choice among news media outlets for the best athletes of the year.
SAMUELS HELPS WEST INDIES BEAT BANGLADESH—12/06/12
West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels was instrumental in bringing victory to his team over Bangladesh as he made his fifth one-day international (ODI) century. The Windies beat Bangladesh by four wickets to put an end to its two-game losing streak. Samuel achieved 126 from 149 balls to secure the win at the match in Dhaka.
BOLT GIVES BACK TO HIS SCHOOL—12/07/12
Jamaican sprint super star Usain Bolt is giving his old school a new bus. William Knibb Memorial High School in Trelawney received the much needed bus from Bolt, who presented the key to the vehicle principal Dr. Mark Nicely at a ceremony on the school grounds. Accompanying Bolt to the ceremony were his parents, Wellesley and Jennifer Bolt.
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Do you remember the last time you tried to stay focused on a task and was constantly distracted by something happening around you? For some of us, it has happened so many times that it has become our normal. Sometimes we become so distracted that we end up not doing what we wanted or started to do. We have the best of intentions but we veer off course. We are drawn away from what is important by other things that get our attention.
I thought about the power of distraction as I reflected on the words of the great British politician Sir. Winston Churchill, “You’ll never reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks.” Sir Winston has been dead since 1965 but those words continue to ring true. If we are going to complete whatever task or mission we started, we must learn to effectively deal with what is happening around us. We must develop the habit of staying focused, of keeping our eyes fixed on our goal despite the “noise.” The noise could be anything. Emails that come in when we are in the midst of something important, people trying to get our attention for whatever reasons, something someone said about us, unfinished chores, and the list goes on. For each person, they are different but they are all the same. Distractions that, if we are not careful, will cause us to fall short of what we want to accomplish.
As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. Satan is very aware of that and he challenges the child of God in the same way. As we try to live our lives as God intended, Satan throws all kinds of distractions along our way. Some may seem to our advantage and may prove hard to resist. However, it is worth remembering that Satan gives us nothing for free. At the end of the day, his plan is for us to fail. Regardless of what he whispers, ultimately he comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy. If the believer is not spiritually disciplined and in tune with the leading of the Holy Spirit, he or she will become Satan’s victim; another notch on his belt.
It is no wonder the apostle Paul writes, “I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us” (Philippians 3:14, The Message). That message to the church in Philippi is still relevant for us today. Keep focused on the goal; avoid the distractions. Through the power of the resurrected Christ we can experience victory; we can get to our God-ordained destination. How are you doing in that area?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.