THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICAN “DEATH SQUADS” ALLEGED—01/18/14
Hamish Campbell, a former Scotland Yard Detective Chief Superintendent who moved to Jamaica after his retirement is conducting an independent investigation into allegations that the police have killed a civilian every day since the beginning of 2014 and that “death squads” operate on the island. Allegations of police violence have hounded the Jamaica Constabulary Force since the 1980, and Amnesty International has called for an investigation into the new claims, which the police have denied.
TOLERANCE FOR LGBT PEOPLE GROWING IN JAMAICA—01/19/14
Jamaica has been criticized for its homophobia, but there are signs that tolerance of the LGBT community is growing, and there is a move to push for their rights as equals in Jamaican society. The government will conduct a non-binding “conscience vote” on discontinuing the Jamaican Offenses Against the Person Act.
PROPERTY WORTH $55 MILLION FORFEITED TO GOVERNMENT—01/20/14
The Jamaican government has received a $55 million house in Montego Bay that was forfeited by a Jamaican who is allegedly involved in money laundering and drug trafficking. The property also includes some 20 acres of farmland in Hanover. The Financial Investigations Division (FID) has the Supreme Court for the order of forfeiture. The FID is also going after eight additional properties linked to the alleged criminal.
CANADA SAYS IT WILL BUY JAMAICAN GANJA—01/21/14
According to Blaine Dowdle, chief executive officers of MedCannAccess, is calling for quick action in Jamaica in legalizing marijuana and creating an export market for the herb. Dowdle said Canada wants to take part in the CDN$1.2 billion medical marijuana industry, but that it is expensive to grow the product in Canada. Therefore, investors are eager to import it from Jamaica.
POLICE SAY NON-TRADITIONAL HIGH SCHOOLS PRODUCE CRIMINALS—01/22/14
According to a report by the Planning and Legal Services Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, 70 percent of the inmates incarcerated in adult prisons attended non-traditional high schools. The profile of a typical inmate describes a male under age 34 from the Corporate Area or St. Catherine and had some secondary-level schooling at a non-traditional high school. The typical prisoner also dropped out of school before Grade 11.
SOME POLICE UNITS IN JAMAICA TO RECEIVE WEARABLE CAMERAS—01/23/14
Some of the police units in Jamaica will receive wearable video cameras. The cameras represent a response from the Jamaica Constabulary Force to allegations that its members are “trigger happy.” The cameras are also to stem the high rates of killings by law enforcement officers. Peter Bunting, Minister of National Security, said “select” units will be wearing the cameras.
NEW GROWTH STRATEGY READIED BY JAMAICA LABOR PARTY—01/24/14
Andrew Holness, Opposition Leader, stated that the Jamaica Labor Party, plans to implement a new economic strategy. The new approach is based on developing a knowledge-based society that is necessary for growth. A new Jamaican economy requires citizens who are educated and who can use technology for innovation.
TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION CRITICIZES STUDY ON CRIMINALS—01/24/14
The Jamaica Teachers’ Association describes a government study that links prison inmates to poorly performing schools as “faulty” and “hypocritical.” Dr. Mark Nicely, president of the association, stated that schools are the reason more people are not in prison. He noted that schools must often take on parental roles in addition to their educational duties.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
WAITES BRINGS SOUNDS OF JAMAICA TO NEW HAVEN—01/18/14
Musician Basil Waites knew he wanted to sing at the age of 12, growing up in Montego Bay. He continued in his career as a singer-songwriter and performs music that reflects the culture of his Jamaican home, as well as he adopted home of New Haven, Connecticut.
WOMEN TRAVELING TO JAMAICA HELD FOR TRANSPORTING US$100,000—01/22/14
The United States Customs and Border Protection agency seized almost US$100,000 from two women who were traveling to Jamaica. The women, who have not been identified, were in violation of federal currency reporting regulations. The first woman was apprehended when attempting to get on a flight to Montego Bay. The next day, the second woman was also attempting to board a plane to Montego Bay. Both women reported having far less cash than was ultimately found in their possession.
CENTRAL ALABAMA DISAPORA GROUP WELCOMES TRINIDAD AMBASSADOR—01/23/14
The Central Alabama Caribbean American Organization welcomed Neil Parsan, the ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago to the United States. The meeting took place at the group’s third annual Christmas dinner dance. Ulato Sam, a native of Jamaica, performed a dance representing an introduction to Caribbean culture and explained the various accents heard in Caribbean speech.
GRANT-BRYAN TO LEAD GLOBAL EDUCATION TEAM—01/24/14
Dr. Elaine Grant-Bryan, a former counselor at Chamblee High School, will lead a team at the Global Education Consultants Group, offering services to her Jamaican community in Atlanta, Georgia. She decided to make the career change in order to provide more help to Jamaicans in the Diaspora and in the Caribbean.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
A THIRD FIRE DAMAGES GOVERNMENT OFFICE ON NEVIS—01/18/14
HUNTE CONGRATULATED BY WICB—01/19/14
ALUMINUM CAN PLANT IN PUERTO RICO RECEIVES $60 MILLION INVESTMENT—01/21/14
ENTREPRENEURSHIP USED TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE IN CARIBBEAN—01/22/14
DOUGLAS PRAISED FOR TRAINING CENTER OF EXCELLENCE—01/23/14
UN REPORT SAYS CRIME AFFECTS DEVELOPMENT IN CARIBBEAN—01/24/14
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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
INTERNET SUCCESS FOR JAMAICANS—01/18/14
While Jamaica continues to experience a struggling economy, there are opportunities for innovative Jamaicans who are using the Internet to obtain income. Many individuals are using their knowledge and skills to make money online. Oneil Wright, 25, earned his first online money by singing happy birthday in a video while dressed in rags. The uploaded video was a hit and he made US$750 in December 2013 just from the Internet. Wright said he was unemployed before this, but now he is making sales worldwide.
IOC GIVES OLYMPICS BROADCASTING RIGHTS FOR CARIBBEAN—01/22/14
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave exclusive broadcast rights for the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, to International Media Content Ltd., the parent of SportsMax. The company will have exclusive English-language broadcasting rights on all media platforms, outside of the Internet and mobile.
EGG PRODUCERS EXPECT SUPPLY TO STABILIZE IN FEBRUARY—01/23/14
The Caribbean Broilers’ Corporate Affairs Manager Dr. Keith Amiel believes that “panic buying” during the holiday season contributed to the existing egg shortage in Jamaica. The shortage has lasted into the third week of January 2014 and persisted in spite of predictions from the Jamaica Egg Farmers Association that conditions would improve in January.
OPERATOR FOR KINGSTON HARBOR SOUGHT—01/24/14
The Jamaican government is looking to select an approved bidder who will manage operations at the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT) following the dredging of Kingston Harbor. Gordon Shirley, chairman in CEO of the Port Authority of Jamaica, announce that the request for proposal was issued to three pre-qualified bidders: Singapore Port Authority, Dubai Port World, and CMA-CGM in a partnership with a number of other entities, including China Merchant Marine.
Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
ANTIGUA TO EXPLORE JOINT ACTIVITIES WITH JAMAICAN UNIVERSITY—01/19/14
SUSTAINABLE GROWTH TIED TO ICT, HUMAN RESOURCES—01/20/14
INCREASE IN CLIMATE-SENSITIVE DISEASES WORRIES CARIBBEAN NATIONS—01/21/14
DIGITAL CURRENCIES USED TO FUND JAMAICAN BOBSLEDDERS—01/22/14
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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
JAMAICAN ARTIST USES BARBED WIRE FOR DESIGNS—01/18/14
Sean Wallace, a Jamaican artist, works in barbed wire, using the material to create portraits, logos, monograms and sculptures. His works combine strength, softness, and beauty using barbed wire to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional art. His pieces will be on display at Hopkinsville Community College in Kentucky through January 2014.
TESSANNE CHIN RAISED IN WORLD OF MUSIC—01/19/14
The newly famous international singing star, Jamaica’s Tessanne Chin, is the granddaughter of Kes Chin, the leader of Kes Chin and the Souvenirs Band of the 1970s and 1980s. His daughter, Ingrid, created a female band, Ingrid Chin and the Carnations; while his son played drums in several bands. He built the home studio where Tessanne and sister Tami, also a singer, practiced their craft. Tessanne went on to win “The Voice” and become extremely popular among the Jamaican Diaspora, which was very instrumental in her success.
PARAGONS REMAIN BIG DRAW AT CONCERT SHOWS—01/20/14
John Holt of the Paragons continues to draw large audiences even after 50 years in the music business. His name represents the sound of the 1960s, when he was performing with the Paragons. The group became a major force in music during those years. He was not one of the initial members of the group when it formed at the Kingston Parish Church in the early 1960s, but quickly became its driving force.
FIRST MUSIC SYMPOSIUM TO BE HOSTED BY INSTITUTE OF JAMAICA—01/21/14
The Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) and the Jamaica Music Museum (JaMM) are preparing to hold the first music symposium to address the potential for cultural industries on the island, particularly in music, to make measurable contributions to the island’s economy. The symposium is funded by CHASE and is themed “The Business of the Jamaican Music and Cultural Industries.”
THREE JAMAICANS AMONG TOP TEN SELECTED IN SOCCER SUPERDRAFT—01/18/14
Three Jamaicans have the honor of being among the top ten players chosen in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft. Andre Blake is the first goalkeeper in the history of premier professional competition in North America to be so selected. Midfielder André Lewis and defender Damion Lowe were also in the top ten.
JAMAICAN NATIONAL WRESTLING TEAM AT GUELPH OPEN—01/19/14
The Jamaican national wrestling team competed in Canada’s Guelph Open meet at the Mitchell Athletics Center. Kevin Wallen “is” the team, in terms of wrestlers. He said that wrestling was a major part of his life and kept him from getting into trouble in his childhood. Wallen, 44, decided at age 35 upon moving back to Jamaica that he could make the same difference in the lives of other children. And he is happy being an example to them.
JAMAICA ON WAY TO BOBSLEDDING COMPETITION AT OLYMPICS—01/21/14
Fans of Jamaica’s bobsledding team helped to raise over $150,000 to cover the expenses of a trip to the Winter Olympics of 2014 in Sochi, Russia, for the Jamaicans. The team used crowdfunding websites like Crowdtilt and Indiegogo to raise money. This will be the first Olympic bobsledding event for the team in 12 years.
JAMAICAN ANTI-DOPING PANEL CONSIDERED FATE OF EDWARDS—01/23/14
The Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel continues is deliberations concerning the fate of Kenneth Edwards, Olympic tae kwon do athlete. Edwards failed a drug test in August 2013 for using Hydrochlorothiazide. Edwards says the use of the drug was not caused by fault or negligence on his part.
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Someone once said that when it comes to serving the Lord, the “pay” is excellent and the “benefits” out of this world. This thought came to mind as I reflected on the words of the Psalmist, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (103:2). In the New Living Translation this verse reads, “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”
Among the many benefits David mentions are: He forgives all my sins, He heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things, my youth is renewed like the eagle’s. He gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly, is compassionate and merciful; slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. He is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him. He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust. His love remains forever with those who fear Him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to His covenant, of those who obey His commandments.
There is absolutely no one that can top such a “benefits package”! The beauty in all this is that it is not a one time deal, but benefits that are available to us daily. David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation” (Psalm 68:19, KJV). The greatest miracle is the salvation of our souls, but our Heavenly Father did not stop there. In addition to giving us the gift of His Son, He threw in the best benefits package the world has ever known, and it is available to all who will put their trust in Him.
The next time we are tempted to complain, may we reflect on those things. May our prayer be like that of the Psalmist, “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me.”
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.