THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
FERGUSON EMPHASIZES CUBAN COOPERATION IN REPORT—07/05/14
Jamaica’s Minister of Health Fenton Ferguson focused on the cooperation between Cuban and Jamaica in a report made to Parliament. The bilateral Technical Cooperation Agreement involves 36 Cuban medical professionals who were sent to various regions in Jamaica beginning in 2013. The doctors handled specialty care such as neonatology, nephrology and odontology. More workers are expected to arrive in Jamaica before the end of 2014.
HYLTON, BAUGH ARGUE OVER ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT—07/06/14
Anthony Hylton, Jamaican Minister of Investment, Industry and Trade, and Dr. Ken Baugh, opposition member of Parliament, disagree about the benefits of signing onto the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU). The EPA involves requiring signers to develop duty-free access to markets in the EU and the Caribbean. While some 13 percent of CARIFORUM nations’ markets are protected, the other 87 percent of governments are prohibited from imposing tariffs on the EU. Hylton believes the decision to sign the agreement in 2008 was a poor one.
CANADIAN GROUP TO CONDUCT DISASTER PREPAREDNESS EXERCISE—07/07/14
A nation-wide disaster preparedness exercise will be conducted in Jamaica by C4i Consultants of Canada on July 14 through 18, 2014. The Jamaican Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) will host the exercise, which will feature Emergency and Disaster Management Simulation software (EDMSIM). The exercise is designed to develop and test plans to address the coming hurricane season and is the first nation-wide computer simulation exercise in history to be tried in the Caribbean.
AIRPORTS TO IMPLEMENT NEW SECURITY PLANS—07/08/14
Officials in Jamaica are preparing for new changes in airport security to be adopted by authorities in the United States. The new plans require some airports overseas that provide direct flights to the U.S. to step up their screening of electronic devices. According to John McFarlane, senior director of operations at the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), local officials have yet to receive specific directives concerning the new requirements.
HANNA SAYS JAMAICA NOT READY FOR SAME-SEX FAMILIES—07/09/14
While there has been a change in what constitutes a “family” in many countries, Lisa Hanna, Jamaica’s Minister of Youth and Culture, says that Jamaica is not ready to accept international proposals for redefining families to include same-sex couples and their children. The International Human Rights Commission has been talking with nations like Jamaica and encouraging them to recognize the increasing diversity of families in regard to sexuality, ethnicity, race, and religion.
JAMAICAN WILL NOT EXTRADITE “DEATH SQUAD” EX-POLICEMAN—07/10/14
According to Paula Llewellyn, director of public prosecutions (DPP) in Jamaica, a request from the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) to extradite from Canada a Jamaican ex-policeman charged with being part of a “death squad” has been denied. Llewellyn said that this particular case is “fraught with issues” that do not meet the threshold required for extradition.
JAMAICAN PURPLE YAMS HAVE CANCER-FIGHTING PROPERTIES—07/11/14
According to researchers at the University of the West Indies, Mona, anti-cancer properties have been found in Jamaican purple yams. Dr. Dennis Bailey of the Biotechnology center made the discovery during a study that focused on various yams grown on the island. Purple yams have powerful phytochemicals that slow the growth of cancer cells, said Dr. Bailey.
TAVARES-FINSON SAYS NO NEED FOR CARICOM COMMISSION ON GANJA—07/11/14
Tom Tavares-Finson, the leader of Opposition Business in the Jamaican Senate, believes the government should ignore a plan to create a CARICOM Ganja Commission. Instead, Jamaica should move ahead using its own 20-year-old ganja commission report. He said that Jamaica does not need to participate in any CARICOM commission to talk about ganja because the government already knows what its position on the matter is. Mark Golding, Minister of Justice Senator, noted that Jamaica is sharing leadership on the ganja issue already on the basis of its own Cabinet decisions.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
PROGRAM AT MIAMI ART MUSEUM EXAMINES CARIBBEAN FILMS—07/05/14
The Perez Art Museum Miami is hosting a program throughout July 2014 that features weekly videos and films from the Caribbean that “challenge conventional notions” of the region. The program, “Crossroads” Critical Film and Video from the Caribbean,” examines stories and images that have been inspired by the complex social, cultural and political elements in the Caribbean. At the first event in the series, two films by Oneika Russel, a Jamaican artist, were screened. The films included a series of short video animations designed to provide perspective on Jamaican culture and the Diaspora.
JAMAICAN TAINO WOMAN PROUD OF HER HERITAGE—07/06/14
When Erica Dennis was going to school in St. Elizabeth, her teacher said the Tainos in Jamaica were dead and that their culture was extinct. Because students didn’t argue with teachers in those years, Dennis remained silent about the fact that she and her family were proud Tainos living in Jamaica. Dennis is now Dr. Erica Neeganagwedgin and a professor at the Center for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research at Canada’s Athabasca University. She has lived in Canada for over 25 years. At the Charles Town Maroon conference, she presented her paper “My Taino Nation: Identity, Indigeneity, Resurgence, and Self-Determination,” which she hopes will help to increase awareness in Jamaica of the Jamaican Taino people.
SOCCER TEAM IN PHILADELPHIA TO GET STRIKER BRIAN BROWN ON LOAN—07/07/14
The Philadelphia Union soccer team has decided to acquire Jamaican striker Brian Brown, 21, on loan for the remainder of the 2014 season. Brown said his strength is speed and shots on goal, but plans to work on improving what he sees as his weakness, heading the ball. The announcement of Brown’s participation was made by the Harbor View FC of Jamaica’s Red Stripe Premier League.
“INSPIRING WOMAN” HONORED BY NEW YORK LIBERTY—07/08/14
Sonia Wilson, administrator of Medgar Evers College, has been honored by the Women’s National Basketball Association’s New York Liberty basketball team as an “inspiring woman.” Wilson, who is a Jamaican-American, will receive recognition on the floor of Madison Square Garden when the team holds its celebration of women who demonstrate leadership in business. The honor is part of a league-wide program that honors women throughout the United States for their outstanding contributions.
JAMAICAN SPORTS STAR, FORCED TO LEAVE HOME, HAS NEW LIFE IN NORWICH—07/09/14
In Jamaica, Donine Wiles was a celebrity and top table tennis star at the age of 15, but as she walked home with a friend from training one day, she was violently attacked by a gang of men who wanted to “cure” her of homosexuality. She left her homeland after identifying the attackers. Now, at age 32, she is speaking out to help other women who may be living in similar circumstances. While it took her 15 years to receive asylum in the UK, she is now living in Norwich and finally feels free.
NOMINATIONS UNDERWAY FOR SOUTHERN USA DIASPORA REPRESENTATIVE—07/10/14
The nomination process is now open for a new Diaspora Advisory Board Representative for Southern USA. Any Jamaican national or individual of Jamaican descent who lives in any of the 13 southern states in the U.S. may be nominated. These states include Florida, Georgia and Texas. Applications are due by July 22, 2014, and those interested may visit the website www.JamaicaDiasporaElection2014.com for more information. All nominations will be collected and distributed throughout the community of the USA Southern States.
VP RECORDS MARKS 35TH ANNIVERSARY—07/11/14
VP Records has been a leader in the evolution of Jamaica’s music for 35 years. Since moving their headquarters from Kingston to New York, Vincent and Patricia Chin succeeded in creating the largest reggae company in the world. On July 20, 2014, the firm will celebrate its history and the history of reggae music with a pop-up exhibit debuting at the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival. The event will feature a storyboard, detailed map of the global impact of reggae, and a timeline covering each musical era beginning in 1958 with the establishment of Randy’s Record Mart and Studio 17 in Kingston.
JAMAICANS IN UNITED KINGDOM WARN AGAINST PRIVATIZATION—07/11/14
A public forum hosted by the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) saw the participation of over 500 individuals from across the United Kingdom. They attended the meeting in Birmingham to learn about how their home island will be changed from a chiefly agricultural environment to a business and holiday tourist destination with a world-class transportation network through various multi-million-dollar projects underway. Dr. Omar Davies, Jamaica’s Transport Minister, was a presenter at the forum and informed the audience of opportunities available to them from these projects. During a question-and-answer session after the presentations, however, audience members urged the government to be cautious about privatization.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN AIRLINES DENIED FLORIDA LANDING, STRANDING PASSENGERS—07/05/14
SPAIN, CARIBBEAN TO DEVELOP STRONGER PARTNERSHIP—07/07/14
ST.KITTS AND NEVIS CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM SUPPORTED BY CARICOM—07/08/14
MONTSERRAT USING “VOLCANO POWER” TO PRODUCE ENERGY—07/09/14
BALTIMORE CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL PARADE FEATURES SYMBOLIC COSTUMES—07/10/14
AUTHOR LAUNCHES FIRST CHILDREN’S BOOK AT D.C. MUSEUM—07/11/14
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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
$500,000 FOR COMPETE CARIBBEAN—07/05/14
The Information and Communication Technology and Business Process Outsourcing sector received a boost from a US$500,000 grant via the Compete Caribbean Program. The grant is being allocated through the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica, which made an application for technical support aid to create a call center incubator in the Montego Bay Free Zone. The initiative is designed to support start-ups of new business processing, information, and communications entities.
PRICESMART PROHIBITION ON CUBAN DIPLOMATS VIOLATES LAWS—07/08/14
The government of Jamaica believes that the ban on Cuban diplomats imposed by PriceSmart, a retailer based in the United States, violates Caribbean laws. The ban imposed by the American business on diplomats from Cuba doing business with its outlet in Jamaica runs against non-discrimination provisions operating in the Caribbean region, Jamaican law and its constitution, and the laws of the 15 member states of CARICOM.
VOIP PROVIDERS OPERATING AFTER START OF TATT INVESTIGATION—07/09/14
VoIP operators, including Viber and Nimbuzz, are operating again in Jamaica after an investigation was launched by the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT). The operators had been banned from providing services in Jamaica by Digicel. TATT recommended that Digicel put plans to block the VoIP apps on hold during the investigation,
ENERGY GRASS SUPPLY CONTRACT SIGNED—07/10/14
The producer of Giant King Grass, which is a low-carbon fuel that can be used to provide clean generation of electricity, has signed a supply contract with ReSource Bioenergy. The contract between Viaspace and ReSource means that Viaspace will provide energy grass for Jamaica’s bioenergy projects. ReSource is working to create a commercially beneficial business model that will offer positive energy results for people, the planet, and corporate profits.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
VOLUNTEERS FIND COMPLEX JEWISH HISTORY IN JAMAICA—07/06/14
Marina Delfos works with a group of volunteers who visit Jamaica every year via Caribbean Volunteer Expeditions. She and the group are taking an inventory of all the Jewish gravestones in Jamaica in an attempt to uncover the 360-year-old history of Jewish Jamaicans. She recently found evidence of a cemetery in Black River. In the 1800s, it is estimated that as many as 3,000 Jews were living on the island, compared to about 400 today.
VYBZ KARTEL FILES DEFAMATION CASE AGAINST POLICE COMMISSIONER—07/09/14
Vybz Kartel, the dancehall artiste who is currently serving life in prison for the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams in 2011, plans to sue Owen Ellington and Television Jamaica (TVJ) on defamation charges. He cites comments Ellington made during TV show, which stated that the deejay was the leader of a gang that committed some 100 murders across Jamaica. Ellington, who recently retired, led the Jamaica Constabulary Force since 2009.
CALIFORNIA FESTIVAL BOOSTED BY REGGAE MUSIC—07/10/14
The founder of the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, Warren Smith, said that organizers’ decision to emphasize the diversity of reggae contributed to the success of the 2014 staging of the event. Located in Boonvile, California, the 21st annual music festival was characterized as “a feast for music lovers” and focused on reggae roots. Performing was Derrick Morgan, Bob Andy and Carlton and the Shoes, as well as Sly and Robbie, and Tarrus Riley.
RECORD LABEL TO PROMOTE ARTISTES FROM CENTRAL JAMAICA—07/11/14
Manchester was the center of the dancehall roots revival in the 1990s, and now Zionnoiz Freeze Records plans to make central Jamaica a major market again. The production company is operated in Mandeville by Sanjay Pennant, Norris Griffiths, and Hasani Jones, as well as Manuel Sieber, who is based in Munich, Germany. The label is working with artistes like Laden, Jah Mason, Ray Tay, Regal, Libran, Saige and Ngeno and has produced songs by Sipple Steppa, Bounty Killer, Konshens, and Peter Morgan, among many others.
PARCHMENT SETS HURDLES RECORD—07/05/14
Hansle Parchment has set a new Jamaican national record in the 110-meter hurdles at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Paris, France. Parchment achieved a personal best of 12.94 seconds, becoming the first Jamaican male hurdler to break the 13-second barrier. Parchment won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics.
BOLT, FRASER-PRYCE TO JOIN JAMAICAN TEAM IN COMMONWEALTH GAMES—07/06/14
Jamaica’s 68-member team set to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in August will include Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who were both named to the team. Both of the sprinters are only entered to compete in the 4×100-meter relays.
JAMAICA LOOKS OVERSEAS TO RECRUIT FEMALE FOOTBALL PLAYERS—07/07/14
In order to improve the squad aiming to compete at the 2014 Women’s Caribbean Cup in August 2014, Jamaica is looking for players with Jamaican heritage in nations as far away as England. The competition will take place in Trinidad and Tobago. Jamaica will be attempting to qualify for the 2014 Canada FIFA World Cup.
BOOTHE WINS SIX MEDALS AT SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS—07/10/14
Danielle Boothe won six of 20 medals received by Jamaica at the 20th Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships in Barbados. She won four silver and two bronze medals, leading the Jamaican 12-member team, which won a total of four golds, nine silvers, and seven bronze medals. Boothe, 18, won medals in the 200-meter backstroke, the 200-meter and 400-meter individual medley, the 50 meter backstroke, and the 100-meter backstroke and butterfly competitions.
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“The Problem is Me”
The prayer was simple but rather profound. Eight words that zeroed in on the problem. “Dear God: I have a problem. It’s me.” There is no doubt that in our Western culture we are more individualistic than in other cultures. Generally speaking, things are centered on ourselves – the things we like or don’t like, our desires, our needs, our wants. It is said that the three big issues facing our generation are consumerism, individualism and a sense of entitlement. Everything around us seems to reinforce that message – our individual rights to this, our individual rights to that. “What about me?” “How does this or that affects me?” “What is it in for me?” are just some of the questions we ask ourselves when faced with certain situations. It is as if we are wired for selfishness.
Not surprisingly, we take the same attitude into our spiritual lives. If we are not satisfied with what is happening in our places of worship, it’s “their problem” because our attendance is dutiful and we come only to be entertained and be served. Let someone else work with the children, including ours. Let someone else be a ministry volunteer. All of this while we sit critically of those who are giving of themselves, finding fault with what they do, how they do them, while thinking to ourselves we could do it much better. If only we had the time or the interest.
Jesus calls us to live above ourselves. In Luke 9:23-24 we read: “And He said to them all, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.'” In another instance Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal” (John 12:24-25). The words “verily, verily” underscore the importance of the truth of His Words. Though speaking of His death, we can apply the very same principle to our lives. As long as we live for ourselves, individualistically, we live alone. It is only when we die to self and start living for God and others that we bring forth much fruit.
“Dear God: I have a problem. It’s me.” My self, my ways, my desires, my attitudes. Isn’t it time we yield to His lordship over our lives and allow Him to live through us? A time to surrender ourselves to His will and His ways? In the words of the hymn writer, “Let me lose myself and find it Lord in thee / May all self be slain, my friends see only thee.” It is only then that our lives will be transformed from being centered on ourselves to being sweet smelling fragrances of God’s grace. A grace that we willingly extend to others. How are you living?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.