THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICA CONSIDERS CUBA A VALUED PARTNER—01/19/13
A.J. Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade for Jamaica and also a Senator, said that Cuba has always been and continues to be a highly respected and valued partner in the region. Nicholson highlighted Cuba’s aid and cooperation in helping developing nations in spite of its own problems and challenges. Nicholson made his remarks at a reception honoring Cuba’s National Day at the residence of the Cuban ambassador in Kingston.
GUILTY GO FREE IN ST. JAMES DUE TO FEAR AMONG JURORS—01/20/13
Judges working in the St. James Circuit Court have expressed concern that guilty men are walking free because jury members are afraid to hand down appropriate verdicts. The judges noted an “overwhelming” number of not-guilty verdicts in jury trials within the past two weeks. Even when cases show good evidence of guilt, defendants are found not guilty, said High Court Judge Paulette Williams. Few people are willing to be jurors in the area, she said, and those who do serve may not be able to assess the quality of evidence effectively.
MAJOR BOOST FOR CORNWALL REGIONAL HOSPITAL—01/21/13
Dr. Fenton Ferguson, Jamaica’s Minister of Health, was a guest at the launch of an event designed to raise funds for Cornwall Regional Hospital. Organizers hope the proceeds from the event, the Rainforest Seafoods Festival, will total some $5 million to fund the We Care for Cornwall Regional Hospital Foundation. The festival will be held on Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013 in Montego Bay.
ILLEGAL BUS DRIVERS WARNED—01/22/13
Jamaica’s Transport Authority will enhance its efforts to minimize illegal school base operators in 2013. According to Petra-Keane Williams, communications manager at the Transport Authority, a new slate of stringent measures will be imposed on school bus operations. The Transport Authority is particularly focusing on Portmore, since there is where many school bus services providers base their operations. Some illegal vehicles were found to be transporting students between February and September of 2012 without the appropriate licensing.
JAMAICAN KILLED IN MARABELLA—01/23/13
Michael Williams, 24, a Jamaican man who faced accusations of infidelity from a female relative, was stabbed and killed in Marabella. A Jamaican woman, 33, who was found walking on the road with blood on her clothes, was detained by police shortly after the stabbing, according to police. The woman gave birth to twin girls in December 2012 and lived with Williams and his family.
LAWMAKERS IN U.S. CONSIDER ADDRESSING JAMAICAN SCAM ARTISTS—01/24/13
Two United States legislators, Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Congressman Mike Michaud, also of Maine, are considering bringing the Jamaican lottery scam industry to the attention of the U.S. Congress. Authorities have found that the lottery scammers continue to operate at will in at least three states. The average victim of the lottery scam in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont lost US$70,000, according to law enforcement.
LIQUID EGGS OKAYED BY CABINET—01/25/13
Jamaica’s Cabinet has given its approval to the use of liquid eggs as a substitute for imported butter oil in the manufacture of nutri-buns in the school-feeding program. According to Roger Clarke, Minister of Agriculture, using liquid eggs will cost more, but it will be of more benefit to Jamaicans. Tests run by Nutrition Products Ltd. in 2012 indicated that liquid eggs used as a substitute for imported butter oil could reduce the use of the oil by 33 percent. Some legislators are concerned that using liquid eggs could cause allergic reactions in school children.
THWAITES ENCOURAGES HIGH SCHOOLERS TO LEARN BASICS—01/25/13
Jamaican Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites has urged high school students who want to become entrepreneurs to focus on literacy, numeracy, and other basics of education if they want to succeed. Thwaites spoke to a group of students from 41 high schools across Jamaica at eh Jamaica Conference Center in Kingston as part of a one-day workshop focused on business. The Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurs Annual General Meeting is part of a six-month program designed to provide hands-on economic education for students.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
AUSTRALIAN SPRINTER LEARNS ABOUT HIS JAMAICAN HERITAGE—01/19/13
Jordan Williams Caldow was born in Australia, but his father is Jamaican, and he had always wanted to experience the culture of this part of his family. Caldow, 19, has now been invited by Hayden Knowles of Competitive Edge, an athlete training/management and events group, to join a three-week training program at GC Foster College in St. Catherine. Caldow, the fastest beach sprinter in Australia, quickly made contact with his Jamaican grandparents and cousins who saw him on the television news. Caldow said he is the only black person in his South Australian community and expects to tell everyone about Jamaican culture upon his return.
JAMAICAN ACTIVIST STARTS BID FOR NYC CITY COUNCIL SEAT—01/20/13
Michael Duncan, a Jamaican community activist, has decided to run for a seat on the New York City Council. Duncan, who is originally from Kingston, is one of the six candidates vying for the position resulting from the election of James Sanders to the state senate in 2012. A special election will fill the vacancy left by Sanders to represent the 31st district in Queens, which is home to many Jamaicans and other Caribbean nationals. Duncan has initiated and promoted may programs in this district and has been president of parent-teacher associations at several schools. He revived the Rosedale Soccer Club and founded the African Caribbean and American Organization, which is dedicated to community development and immigration.
QUEEN’S DIAMOND AWARD GIVEN TO JAMAICAN—01/22/13
Paulet Biedermann of Jamaica was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in Canada in recognition of her more than 20 years of humanitarian work in the country. Biedermann, who was born in Hanover, worked as a motivational speaker and social worker in Ontario, where she has lived for over 30 years. Biedermann says her goal is to help people affected by racism, child abuse and bullying. She has written a book on personal growth and empowerment as well. The Queen’s Diamond Award is given in honor of outstanding Canadians.
DIASPORA HAS GREAT EXPECTATIONS FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM IN U.S.—01/23/13
The Jamaican Diaspora hopes that the reelection of Barack Obama as President of the United States will bring about real immigration reform there. According to Irwin Clare, co-founder and managing director of Caribbean Immigrant Services in Queens, New York, hopes that Obama will consider his legacy and pay close attention to how he implements immigration reforms. Obama has firm supported comprehensive reforms and pledge to make this a priority in 2013.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
AFRICAN CARIBBEAN DIASPORA PARTICIPATES IN OBAMA INAUGURATION—01/19/13
LARGEST LAKE IN CARIBBEAN CONTINUES MYTERIOUS GROWTH—01/20/13
REAL ESTATE MARKET IN CARIBBEAN TARGETING INTERNATIONAL CLIENTEL—01/21/13
LARGEST IDB LOAN IN CARIBBEAN GIVEN TO TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO—01/22/13
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC THE DRUG TRAFFICKING CENTER OF THE REGION—01/23/13
HAITIAN ECONOMY TO IMPROVE IN 2013—01/24/13
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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
NCB NO LONGER IN BUSINESS WITH CAMBIOS—01/19/13
The National Commercial Bank (NCB) of Jamaica has told the cambio sector of the country that it no longer wants to do business. This has had a serious impact on the foreign exchange market. The Cambio Association of Jamaica has asked that the government’s Minister of Finance intervene and mediate a solution to the problem with the NCB. The bank is closing accounts for firms registered as money-service businesses in advance of its planned IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.
JAMAICAN TO HOST 2014 CARIBBEAN TRAVEL MARKETPLACE SHOW—01/21/13
Jamaica will be the host for the most important tourism industry trade show in the region, the Caribbean Travel Marketplace, in 2014. This will be Jamaica’s fourth time hosting the show, which began 31 years ago. According to Nicola Madden-Greig, first vice president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), the Montego Bay Convention Center in Rose Hall will be the location for the 2014 trade event.
ECONOMIC OPTIMISM AMONG BUSINESSES AT FOUR-YEAR LOW—01/23/13
According to the Jamaica Conference Board, businesses are not very optimistic about the economy. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the rate of optimism among businesses dropped to its lowest level in four years. The drop was largely attributed to the delay on the bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Consumer confidence also remained flat during the same period. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the business confidence index measured 92.3, down from 109.3 in the third quarter.
TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS HELPS FIRMS MEET CLIENTS’ NEEDS—01/24/13
The relationship between science and technology has been strengthening in Jamaica over the past twenty years, facilitated largely through the efforts of Technological Solutions Ltd. (TSL). The company opened for business in 1996 and has worked to help and prepare organizations to handle technological demands of the global market. It provides a variety of technology services to support organizations and make them more marketable, both locally and globally.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
COUNTRIES AGREE TO FIRST GLOBAL TREATY BANNING MERCURY EMISSIONS—01/22/13
IP VIDEO DELIVERY IN CARIBBEAN SIMPLIFIED BY COLUMBUS—01/23/13
UNDERSEA DATA CABLE CONFIRMED BY CUBA—01/24/13
DIGICEL GROUP USES eVOLUTION SOFTWARE IN JAMAICAN NETWORK—01/25/13
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JAMAICANS USE VIDEO CAMPAIGN TO FIGHT HOMOPHOBIA—01/19/13
A number of prominent Jamaicans have taken their fight against homophobia to video, launching a campaign from Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG). The campaign is called “we Are Jamaicans,” and it is designed to increase awareness among citizens about the discrimination faced by the homosexual community on the island. The campaign is hosted on YouTube and features prominent Jamaicans like Susan and Alexis Goffe and Javed Jaghai. It was developed through recommendations with LGBT individuals, activists, and friends to show the experiences of these people in a diverse manner.
KARTEL’S TRIAL DELAYED DUE TO LACK OF JURORS—01/22/13
The murder trial of Vybz Kartel, one of Jamaica’s most famous dancehall artistes, has been delayed due to lack of jurors. The trial was scheduled to begin on January 28, 2013, but it was not possible to find enough jurors so it had to be rescheduled. Kartel (Adijah Palmer) and five co-defendants face charges of killing Jamaican Clive “Lizard” Williams, who was allegedly beaten to death at Kartel’s house. No body has ever been found, but police say they have a phone with images of the killing in their possession.
REGGAE SUSTAINED BY ASWAD—01/24/13
The British reggae group Aswad, which formed in 1975, continues to exist with members Angus “Drummie Zeb” Gaye and Tony “Gad” Robinson. They have kept the group playing in order to deliver roots reggae to fans around the world. The group performed in Jamaican at Rebel Salute in 2013. It was the first appearance in Jamaica in two decades. Drummie Zeb said it was good to be in Jamaica and attributed the long period between performances to the great travel distance between England, where the band members live, and Jamaica.
JOLLY BOYS MAKE CLASSIC ALBUM, EUROPEAN TOUR—01/25/13
The Jolly Boys performed at Rebel Salute in St. Ann and left the stage satisfied. The 58-year-old mento band experienced a revival in 2011 when it toured Europe, the United States, Hong Kong, and other country. During the last year, it has been relatively quiet, but according to Dale “Dizzle” Virgo, the band’s producer, this will change in 2013. The band is making several tours of Europe in the summer and is working in the studio as well.
CCC CRUSHED BY GAYLE BLITZKRIEG—01/19/13
Chris Gayle, in his first game at the tournament, brought Jamaica an easy seven-wicket victory against the Combined Campuses and Colleges in St. Lucia. Gayle had four fours and nine sixes in his knock of 85 off 44 deliveries. The CCC could not sustain its early performance as Gayle hit 24 runs off the fourth over, 18 off the 10th over, and hit a couple of sixes in the 14th over. Jamaica will face Guyana in the playoff.
JAMAICAN A RISING STAR IN MARTIAL ARTS—01/23/13
Neita Headley, Jamaica’s Minister of Sports, praised Shekema Cunningham, a rising star in the martial arts world, for her history-making gold medal at the Dutch Open in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The medal was Cunningham’s first European championship gold medal. She is the only non-European and only black female World Martial Arts participant to have achieved this victory among the 750 competitors. Headley said Cunningham has “made Jamaica proud” with the skilled performance at the tournament.
WHITMORE ASKS FOR “BASIC FUNDING”—01/24/13
Theodore Whitmore, Jamaica’s national senior men’s football team head coach, believes it is time to achieve a common goal in terms of the Reggae Boyz. The team is preparing for the opening game at the hexagonal phase of qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Jamaica will play Mexico in the opener. Whitmore used the launch of the Sandals/ATL St. James FA Senior League to drum up support for the team’s players. He said it will take considerable resources for the Boyz to compete against teams like Mexico, Honduras, and Panama. Funding is what makes the difference, he said.
USAIN BOLT LOOKING FOR DOMINANCE AT 2013 IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS—01/25/13
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, twice Olympic 100-meter and 200-meter champion, says he is free of injuries and is training well. He is looking forward to continuing his dominance of the sprint competition at the IAAF World tournaments in the summer of 2013. Bolt is the first man to win back-to-back sprint doubles at the Olympics, and he announced that his goal is to win three gold medals at the 2013 IAAF meet and repeat the success he achieved at the Olympics in London.
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Longing After God
When David decided to write what we know as Psalm 42, I believe in his mind was a picture of a tired and thirsty deer. Hunted for meat and sport, the speed of the deer was crucial to his survival. As a speedy animal, its moments of thirst are characterized by a panting, a longing, a condition that is only satisfied when it finds and drinks from the object of its search – the water brook.
As the Psalmist reflected upon the longing in his soul, he realized it was no different than that of the thirsty and panting deer. He writes, “As the [deer] panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” (vv. 1-2). In context, David was banished to the land of Jordan away from the the courts of the temple, and as such was deprived from serving in and receiving the comforts of being in it. In exile, his soul longed for God and the joys of going into His courts with praise. This is not unlike the longing we feel when we are separated from those we love; the longing to experience the joy and comfort of being in their presence. As long as we are in that state, nothing else really matters.
It is one thing to love God but something different to long after Him. There are times when God places us in situations where our soul cries out for after Him. As Bible Scholar Matthew Henry writes, “If God, by [H]is grace, has wrought in us sincere and earnest desires towards [H]im, we may take comfort from these when we want those ravishing delights we have sometimes had in God, because lamenting after God is as sure an evidence that we love [H]im as rejoicing in God.” The soul cannot truly lament after that which it does not love. David knew the joys of being in the presence of his God, and when he no longer had that his soul was restless; he could not be satisfied. Like the thirsty deer, he longed for the refreshing restoration that came with drinking from the fountain of living water.
In our world of mixed-up priorities, what is it that your soul longs for? If not for God and the things of God, could it be that your priorities are misplaced?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.