THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
SHAGGY COMMITTED TO HELP CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL—01/04/14
Orville “Shaggy” Burrell, famous international recording artiste, continues to help Bustamante Hospital for Children. His financial contributions over the past nine years have proved of great help to the hospital’s operation. He has made these contributions largely without publicizing them and has recently gone public with his efforts only because he understand that needs help to provide the hospital with the things it needs.
RICHARD HART, JAMAICAN ACTIVIST AND HISTORIAN, DEAD AT 96—01/05/14
Richard Hart, who is recognized as a major figure of the Jamaican political left, has died in Bristol, England. He was 96 years of age. Born in Kingston, Hart immersed himself in the island’s labor and political battles. He was active with railroad workers, a leader and founder of the Trade Union Council, the Caribbean Labor Congress, and the People’s National Party.
MINIMUM WAGE TO INCREASE BY 12 PERCENT—01/06/14
Jamaica has raised its minimum wage by 12 percent as the local currency loses value and inflation grows. Individuals who work at minimum wage for 40 hours a week will see an increase from the $47 they current receive to almost $53. Security guards at private firms will see an increase from $69 to $77. The current exchange rate is 106 Jamaican dollars for a single U.S. dollar.
ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP WANTS MORE GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY—01/07/14
The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) says that the government has admitted that it has deferred the application for UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status for the Portland Bight Protected area. According to Diana McCaulay, chief executive of JET, the final application was submitted in November 2013, but a few weeks later, it was found to have been deferred by the government. McCaulay has called for greater transparency in the process.
GOVERNMENT URGES USE OF LED BULBS TO REDUCE ENERGY COSTS—01/08/14
Jamaica’s government is promoting a new kind of light bulb to consumers in an effort to reduce electricity costs. LED bulbs (light-emitting diode) offer an alternative energy-saving bulb, producing more light with less energy. According to Phillip Paulwell, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, the government is committed to providing thousands of these bulbs to consumers in 2014.
MONTEGO BAY HOSTS DELEGATES TO TOURISM CONFERENCE—01/09/14
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s first tourism marketing event will take place in Montego Bay and offer an opportunity to showcase Jamaica’s tourism potential. According to Wykeham McNeill, Minister of Tourism, the Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2014 is the biggest and most consequential business-to-business marketing event in the Caribbean hospitality industry. It is estimated that 1,200 delegates from over 28 nations will attend the event.
NEW ASSOCIATION LAUNCHED FOR GANJA GROWERS—01/10/14
Supports of the decriminalization of ganja are set to launch a cannabis growers’ association as part of the introduction of a formal ganja industry on the island. The Cannabis Future Growers and Producers Association has been influenced by the legalization of the product in several states in the U.S. and believe growing and selling ganja will bring billions of dollars to Jamaica’s economy.
LAWYERS GROUP SAYS COURTS NEED MORE FUNDING—01/10/14
Ian Wilkinson, the president of the Jamaican Bar Association, is worried that there will not be a significant reduction in crime on the island unless authorities give adequate support to the courts. Justice cannot be the chief goal of the courts, however, when less than five percent of the government’s budget is provided to the justice department, said Wilkinson. He noted that when criminals wee that justice is not valued by the country, they feel they can disrespect the system.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
NEW INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS PROVIDED BY INTERCARIBBEAN AIRWAYS—01/04/14
InterCaribbean Airways, which operates from Turks and Caicos, has announced a new schedule of air service that will link Kingston in Jamaica with Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. There will be three weekly flights and a fourth non-stop flight to Providenciales in Turks and Caicos. There will also be four-times-a-week service to San Juan, Puerto Rico from Providenciales. The affordable new travel choice opens new business and leisure possibilities for Jamaicans.
JTA, DIASPORA TASK FORCE JOIN TO PRESENT EDUCATION SUMMIT—01/07/14
The Jamaican Diaspora Task Force and the Jamaica Teacher’s Association (JTA) have partnered to present the first education summit in Jamaica in February 2014. The event will host more than 300 education stakeholders from overseas and from western Jamaica. According to Leo Gilling, representative to the Diaspora Board for the Midwest United States, the goals of the summit are to find ways to improve education in Jamaica, understand the goals of stakeholder organizations, recognize gaps in planning, and build on past successes.
JAMAICAN HONORED BY CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS—01/08/14
Jamaica’s Dr. Goulda Downer has received the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus health Brain Trust Leadership in Advocacy Award of 2013. The award honors her work to strengthen the HIV clinical workforce in the United States. Dr. Downer overseas the distance-based HIV technology program at Howard University Capital Region AETC Telehealth Training Center.
MORE JAMAICAN STUDENTS LEAVING ISLAND TO STUDY OVERSEAS—01/09/14
The number of Jamaican students who want to leave the island and pursue education opportunities abroad has been increasingly steadily, according to education consultants associated with overseas school placements. There is also a greater move toward obtaining places at top boarding secondary schools in the United Kingdom and North America.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
IDB REPORTS CARIBBEAN ECONOMIES IMPROVED IN 2013—01/04/14
CARIBBEAN AIRLINES OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2014—01/05/14
MURDER RATE DROPS IN BELIZE—01/06/14
FIRST SPORTS TOURISM CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN MARTINIQUE—01/07/14
VENEZUELAN EMBASSY IN ST.KITTS DESTROYED BY ARSON—01/08/14
DISCUSSIONS BEGIN BETWEEN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND HAITI—01/09/14
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICA CAN ALSO MAKE TABLET COMPUTERS—01/04/14
Brian Pengelley, president of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), noted the example of Haiti and said that Jamaican could also produce the high-tech products. Although Haiti continues its recovery from the earthquake in 2010, its small manufacturing sector is moving toward greater value by beginning to build on the of the most technologically advanced consumer products in the world, the tablet. Jamaica could follow Haiti’s lead, says Pengelley, and use the skills of its workers to enhance the island’s economy in the same way that Haiti is improving its economy.
NCB CANCELS MONEYGRAM AGENT RELATIONSHIP—01/08/14
Some 40 retail locations in Jamaica will be gone when the National Commercial Bank Jamaica cancels its agent relationship with MoneyGram Services. The bank has announced that it plans to leave the remittance market in February 2014. The action follows others taken by the bank to distance itself between the money services sector due to pressures from banking partners abroad.
PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY PROVIDES SCHOOLS WITH BASICS—01/09/14
The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) Foundation has partnered with United Way of Jamaica to provide needed equipment to schools on the island in order to enhance its nutrition and safety programs. A school in south Clarendon will receive a freezer, a six-burner stove, and two fire extinguishers. This will be the first refrigerator at the school, which has been without electricity for over 70 years.
DIGICEL DAMAGED BY VANDALISM—01/10/14
Digicel, the telecommunications provider, was vandalized and is offering a reward to find those responsible for disrupting service to thousands of its customers. According to Shelly-Ann Harris, senior communications manager at the company, rebates are being considered to those affected. The firm lost a number of fiber pairs in the underground fiber route from the switch building in the Caymans. This alone would not have caused disruption in service, but some 50 minutes later, the backup fiber route was found to be damaged as well.
Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
WOODING RECEIVES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD—01/04/14
CLIMATE CHANGE HAVING STRONG IMPACT ON CARIBBEAN—01/05/14
GUYANA SAYS CARICOM SHOULD BE MORE AGRESSIVE ABOUT CLIMATE ISSUES—01/06/14
CASE STUDY IN CARIBBEAN SHOWS HOW TO DEAL WITH VOLCANO ERUPTION—01/07/14
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
SUPER CAT MAKING A COMEBACK—01/04/14
Super Cat, the legendary dancehall artiste, helped to bring Jamaican dancehall music to the world during the 1990s, but he has been absent from the music scene for about ten years. In the past few months, however, he is slowly making a comeback. He cited travel restrictions, the death of his manager, and changes in Jamaican music for his absence. He is now ready to return with a new point of view.
NINJA MAN, TEDDY BRUCKSHUT TO TAKE ACTING ROLES IN FILM—01/08/14
Ninja Man, the Jamaican dancehall artiste, is preparing to take an acting role in a film that also features Jamaican actor Leonard “Louie Rankin” Ford, otherwise known as teddy Bruckshut. The film is “Scotch Bonnet” and will feature both actors as gangsters, with each playing the role of “don” in competition with the other. Both are excited about the film, which has not yet begun production.
LINE-UP FOR JAMAICA JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL NOTED—01/09/14
The 2014 Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, scheduled for January 30 to February 1 on the north coast of the island, will feature Marcia Griffiths, Chronixx, Chalice and Moses Davis, better known as Beenie Man. Other big stars slated to perform are Chaka Khan, Toni Braxton, Aaron Neville, and Crystal Gayle from the United States.
NATIONAL GALLERY HAS NEW CURATOR—01/10/14
The National Gallery of Jamaica will have a new head curator on January 13, 2014. Charles Campbell, artist, educator, environmental activist, and arts writer, has been appointed to fill the role. Campbell, who was born in Kingston but moved to Canada as a child, sees great potential for growth and development in Jamaican art. He hopes to use his considerable experience to facilitate the growth of art on the island.
UNDER-20 WOMEN’S TEAM TRAINING IN MIAMI—01/05/14
Jamaica’s under-20 women’s national team has opened a week of training at a camp in Miami, Florida, to prepare for the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship in the Cayman Islands in January. The camp features daily training sessions and two practice matches played against women’s college teams. The Florida camp offers “quality” preparation for the championships, according to Vin Blaine, technical coordinator for the Jamaican women’s football program.
SIMPSON BLAMES TRAINER FOR POSITIVE DOPING TEST—01/07/14
Jamaican sprinter Sherone Simpson tested positive for a banned substance in 2013, but has told a disciplinary panel that she did not see anything wrong before she took the supplement given to her by her trainer. She faces a two-year ban from the sport if she is found guilty of a doping violation. Simpson was one of five Jamaica athletes who tested positive at the national championships in June 2013. She said she was not familiar with the supplement, but did not see anything on the bottle indicating that it contained any of the substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
CARIBBEAN NOT READY FOR PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE, SAYS BURRELL—01/08/14
While discussions continue about reviving a Caribbean Professional Football League in the region to bring back professional football by creating a multi-national league, Captain Horace Burrell, Jamaica Football Federation president and CONCACAF president, says there is no infrastructure in place in the Caribbean to accommodate such a competition. He does not see a professional league appearing at this time.
JAMAICA, GUATEMALA PLAY TO TIE IN OPENING MATCH—01/09/14
At the opening match of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, Jamaica and Guatemala played to a 0-0 tie. Xavier Gilbert, Jamaica’s coach, said he hoped that playing in a country with a strong Jamaican presence would motivate the team. He says they are ready to put on a good show, and of course, to advance to the World Cup.
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“Render to God the Things That are God’s”
It was yet another trap and the synoptic writers said as much. The scribes and chief priests had sent certain of the Pharisees and some followers of Herod to try and bait Jesus, “hoping to catch Him saying something incriminating” (Mark 12:13, The Message). Mark continues, “And when they were come, they say unto Him, ‘Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give?’ But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, ‘Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And He saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at Him'” (vv. 14-17, KJV).
The groups of men working in collusion to trap Jesus had their own differences and were not always amiable towards each other. However, they were united in a common cause. Wise in their own eyes, the question asked of Jesus was a political hand grenade for if Jesus answered “yes” He would be branded a friend of the Romans, and if He answered “no” He would be branded a traitor. Of course, Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and gave them an answer that was so profound, they “marvelled at Him”. Because Caesar’s image was etched on the coin, it was due to Caesar. Or as Matthew Henry observes, “The circulation of the money is from him as the fountain, and therefore it must return to him.” Interestingly, Jesus did not stop there for while rendering to the emperor what belonged to the emperor, they were to render to God what belonged to God. What does that mean? What was Jesus getting at?
The clear implication in Jesus’ statement is that in the same way that the coin, imprinted with Caesar’s image, was ultimately his and so was due to him at tax time, so we who are engraved with the image of God ultimately belong to Him. The Bible is clear that we are created in the image or likeness of God (Gen. 1:26). The created belongs to the Creator and so in the same way that we give to the various levels of governments their due, so we must be diligent to give to God His due; ourselves and all the gifts and talents we possess. Like the hymn writer Francis R. Havergal, our prayer should always be, “Take my life and let it be / Consecrated, Lord, to Thee / Take my moments and my days / Let them flow in endless praise”. A life of endless praise is the “perfect” offering we can offer to the One to whom we belong.
“Render to Ceasar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” How are you doing in that regard?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.