THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
GOVERNMENT CONFIDENT IT WILL PASS FIRST TEST FROM IMF—07/06/13
Horace Dalley, Minister without portfolio n the Ministry of Finance and Planning, believes that Jamaica’s government will be able to pass the first quarterly test under its agreement with the International Monetary Fund. While results are not yet available, Dalley said the government is certain it will pass successfully because it has followed the program faithfully as set out by the IMF.
A “MEDIA COMPLAINTS COUNCIL” PROPOSED BY FALCONER—07/07/13
Sandrea Falconer, Jamaica’s Information Minister, has proposed the creation of a Media Complaints Council, which would be charged with handling those who claim their reputations have been damaged because of media publication. Many people can’t afford to go to court to seek damages or redress for the dissemination of erroneous information, noted Falconer, and a council would provide them a way to be heard. Falconer also said that such a council could result in more censorship and that she would be opposed to that, having been a journalist herself.
JAMAICA TO PUT MILLIONS INTO OCHO RIOS TERMINAL UPGRADES—07/08/13
The cruise terminal in Ocho Rios will receive millions in funding to upgrade its cruise ship terminal and make improvements to Main Street and the boardwalk. The Ocho Rios project is the first of four major projects to receive funding from Jamaica’s Tourism Enhancement Fund. The fund has set aside about $12 million for the projects in resort areas around the island, according to Wykeham McNeill, Minister of Tourism.
DIVERSIFICATION OF ENERGY WILL LOWER OIL COSTS, SAYS RAINFORD—07/09/13
According to Angella Rainford, managing director of Rekamnia Frontier Ventures, which is based in the United Kingdom, Jamaica’s move toward diversifying its energy sector is likely to result in reductions to the nation’s oil bill. In 2011, oil imports cost Jamaica US$2.4 billion. Once renewable energy plants are operating, however, the country will see almost instantaneous lowering of costs, Rainford said. Her company has partnered with France’s Neoen to form a local consortium Eight Rivers Energy Company. This firm is looking for investment opportunities in renewable energy projects in Jamaica.
GOVERNMENT STILL CONSIDERING “STOP-AND-FRISK” POLICY—07/10/13
Jamaica’s Attorney General Patrick Atkinson said that the government is continuing its review of an opinion issued by a high court judge concerning the constitutionality of police to stop and search vehicles arbitrarily. Justice David Batts ruled in June 2013 that the Road Traffic Act does not afford police the power to perform such searches. He ordered then to stop the activity. Police, however, say that their actions are legal and will continue to perform them as Commissioner Owen Ellington has told them to ignore the opinion of the justice. Atkinson said his office is still reviewing the decision in order to provide clarity to the public about the issue.
TWO FARMERS FOUND MURDERED IN ST. THOMAS—07/11/13
The bodies of two Jamaican brothers, both of whom were farmers, were found on the farm they worked in Golden Grove, St. Thomas. According to police, the family was worried when the brothers did not return home at their usual time. After a search was launched, their bodies were found; apparently they both had been shot in the head.
REP, JPS SHOULD WORK TOGETHER TO FOSTER SOLAR POWER, SAYS PAULWELL—07/12/13
Phillip Paulwell, Jamaican Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, believes that the Rural Electrification Program (REP) and the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) should work together in promoting the use of solar energy systems to reduce electricity theft. Paulwell says the REP will work in combination with other theft reduction initiatives, such as regularizing supply to various communities. The REP is also under mandate to complete its goal of providing electrical power to all rural areas.
JLP UPSET AT ROLE OF SECURITY MINISTER IN “DUDUS” DOCUMENTARY—07/12/13
The Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) is angry at National Security Minister Peter Bunting for remarks he made in an American television documentary about the alleged involvement of the party with Christopher “Dudus” Coke. The documentary presented the life of Coke, a drug kingpin, on the A&E network’s Biography Channel in a serious about gangsters. Opposition Leader Andrew Holness said he was “shocked” to hear Bunting’s statement that Jamaica’s government acted as “an agent of Dudus.”
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN CHEF WINS AWARD—07/08/13
Jamaican chef Brian Lumley was awarded the Caribbean Chef of the Year title at the “Taste of the Caribbean 2013 Culinary Showcase” held in Miami, Florida. This prestigious honor is given only to the very best practitioners of the culinary arts. Chef Lumley prevailed over ten other chefs from around the Caribbean region.
DIASPORA CONFERENCE ATTENDEES ENTERTAINED BY COMEDIANS—07/09/13
Ity and Fancy Cat, Jamaican comedians, entertained those participating in the 5th Biennial Diaspora Conference in Montego Bay. The two performers were the headliners in ““Supn’ fi Laugh ‘Bout,” a concert held at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and sponsored by the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS). The comedians use recollections of everyday life in Jamaica as the basis for their routines.
JAMCCAR TO CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARY OF JAMAICAN INDEPENDENCE—07/10/13
On August 3, 2013, the Jamaican Civic and Cultural Association of Rockland, Inc. (JAMCCAR) will hold its 23rd anniversary and commemoration of Jamaica’s 51st year of Independence. The event will be held at the Sheraton Mahwah in Mahwah, New Jersey, and feature a cocktail reception, music and a display and sale of Jamaican art works by Paul Blackwood and Courtney Morgan. Master and Mistress of Ceremony will be Mr. Irwin G. Clare and Ms Jamila Hale McKnight.
GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO FATCA DESCRIBED TO DIASPORA—07/11/13
Jamaica’s government has decided that it will start negotiations with the government of the United States to reach a final agreement concerning the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The Act was approved in the U.S. in 2010. The actions of the government pertaining to the law, which governs local financial institutions and the impact of FATCA on the Diaspora were discussed at the recent 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference in Montego Bay.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN MUST ADDRESS DRUG TRADE, SAY OAS—07/06/13
HAITI HAS GREAT HOPES FOR HIGH-END TOURISM—07/07/13
AID TO CARIBBEAN NATIONS OFFERED BY VENEZUELA—07/08/13
PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY LAUNCHED IN CARIBBEAN—07/09/13
TROPICAL STORM TARGETS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, HAITI—07/10/13
CARIBBEAN NATIONS LOSE TO MEXICO AT SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS—07/11/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
CAR DEALERS CONTENDING WITH MODEL-YEAR CONFUSION—07/06/13
Over half of the members of the Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association (JUCDA) have been caught up in a mix-up involving manufacturer and model years. Lynvalle Hamilton, president of the organization, said at least 25 dealers have sold misdated vehicles. Over 2,500 vehicles sold to customers are suspect, Hamilton said.
IFC BACKS MBJ RUNWAY PROJECT—07/07/13
A deal between the World Bank affiliate IFC and FirstCaribbean International Bank will finance the runway expansion project at Sangster International Airport. The funding totals US$15 million, two-thirds of the project’s total cost of US$23.5 million. the remainder of the money will be provided by the internal resources of MBJ Airports Ltd. The work includes replacing runway lighting, overlay of the runway, building of a perimeter road, and construction of a new fire hall.
PIG FARMERS BENEFIT FROM CPJ EXPORT EFFORT—07/08/13
The local pig farming industry welcomes efforts by the Caribbean Producers Jamaica Ltd. (CPJ) in finding several markets for commercial exports of pork from Jamaica. Hundreds of pig farmers will reap the benefits of this program. Markets targeted include St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, the Caymans, Turks and Caicos, Aruba, and Curacao. CPJ is partnering with Sweet River Abattoir, a top slaughterhouse in Jamaica that handles pigs from about 400 farmers on the island.
KEMTEK PLANS NEW GATED DEVELOPMENT—07/09/13
Kemtek Development and Construction Ltd. is planning a new gated development to be known as “Drax Hall Country Club” on 62 acres owned by the Tulloch family in St. Ann. According to Sylvester Tulloch, managing director, the firm will invest J$3 billion to develop mid-range homes. There will be 358 single-family homes with two-three bedrooms in the project, which will be constructed in six phases beginning in 2013.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
JAMAICA’S SOLAR PANEL MANUFACTURING TO BE AIDED BY CUBA—07/06/13
E-LEARNING JAMAICA LOOKING FOR SUPPLIER OF TABLET COMPUTERS—07/10/13
PARTNERSHIPS DEVELOPING TO PROVIDE MOBILE WALLET TECHNOLOGY—07/11/13
JAMAICAN CONSUMERS BECOME MORE ENERGY-CONSCIOUS—07/12/13
MR LEXX SAYS DANCEHALL PROGRESS SUFFERS FROM CLASH OF CULTURES—07/07/13
According to Mr Lexx, a veteran dancehall artiste, the progress of the musical genre has been hindered by a clash between foreign and domestic cultures. Dancehall artistes have tried to sell music to Americans, but have failed to do so because of the clashes. Those who do succeed join with other musicians in collaborations, such as Bounty Killer with No Doubt, and Assassin with Kanye West.
PIANIST JOHNSON TO MAKE DEBUT IN WESTMORELAND—07/09/13
Mikhail Johnson, a promising Jamaican pianist, will make his concert debut in Westmoreland on July 21, 2013. He will play selections from J.S. Bach, Haydn, and Rachmaninov. Johnson said he chose these works to reflect the Mountainbrin Theatre Gallery, where the event will be held.
GRACE JAMAICAN JERK FESTIVAL HELD IN NY—07/10/13
The annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival is scheduled for July 21, 2013, at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York. The park will become a hub of Caribbean culture and include food, music, and other cultural presentations. Eddy Edwards, chairman of Jamaican Jerk Festival USA, says organizers want those who come to the event to have the best possible experience, from rapid admissions to seating and excellent entertainment. Among the entertainers will be Shaggy, Blakka Ellis, Sons of Mystro, gospel sensation George Banton, and New York’s DJ Roy and Dubmaster
VYBZ KARTEL FOCUSES ON JAMAICAN JUSTICE SYSTEM IN NEW ALBUM—07/11/13
Dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel, who is currently in prison, is turning his attention to the Jamaican justice system in his new CD “Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto.” As the government attempts to make elements of dancehall music into crimes, Kartel is defending the genre and show he remains an innovator in the dancehall community despite being incarcerated.
CAMPBELL-BROWN TO AVOID TWO-YEAR BAN FOR DOPING—07/06/13
Veronica Campbell-Brown, champion sprinter from Jamaica, will not likely receive the standard two-year ban as punishment for testing positive for a banned diuretic in May 2013. The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has indicated it views her action as a “lesser offense,” noting she did not use the substance to cheat. She is under a provisional suspension by the Jamaica athletics federation.
BOLT ACHIEVES RECORD IN 200 METERS AT DIAMOND LEAGUE—07/07/13
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt ran the 200 meters at the Areva Diamond League Meet in Paris, France, in the fastest time ever at the event. He ran the distance in 19.73 seconds, 0.01 second less than the previous 2013 record time of American Tyson Gay at June trials in the United States.
CAC RECORD FOR RICHARDS’ THROW—07/08/13
O’Dayne Richards of Jamaica was among five gold medal winners from that country at the XXIC Central American and Caribbean Senior Track and Field Championships in Morella, Mexico. Richards set a new record for men’s shot put at the event with a throw of 20.97 meters.
HORROBIN TO PLAY IN SENIOR OPEN—07/10/13
Peter Horrobin will be the first Jamaican to play in the U.S. Senior Open golf tournament. He moved from Jamaica to the United States with his family when he was 14. Horrobin learned to play golf with a broken club repaired with PCV pipe. He later received a scholarship to Florida International for college. At 53, he receives some financial aid from Nat Moore, former Miami Dolphin, and friends in Miami.
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On the Winning Side
Elisha’s servant could not believe his eyes as he stepped out that morning. The city of Dothan, where he and his master were staying, was surrounded by soldiers from the army of Ben-Hadad, king of Syria, and he knew they had come for Elisha (see 2 Kings 6:8-17). Filled with fear and trepidation he ran to the man of God and exclaimed, “Oh, master! What shall we do?” (2 Kings 6:15, The Message). In other words, “How are we going to get out of this? We are surrounded; there is much more of them than they are of us. They are armed and we are not and even if we were, we stand no chance against them. We are doomed!”
Elisha listened intently. Unmoved by the report, he answered, “Don’t worry about it–there are more on our side than on their side” (v. 16). One could excuse the servant if he thought, “What? Don’t you get it? There is an army out there!” However, he did not get a chance to say a word as according to the narrative, “Then Elisha prayed, ‘O GOD, open his eyes and let him see.'” (v. 17a). Before the young man could even think “My eyes?”, “The eyes of the young man were opened and he saw. A wonder! The whole mountainside full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha!” (v. 17b).
What does all of that have to do with us? One important principle we take away is that there are eyes that look and there are eyes that see (perceive, discern). The JFB Commentary on this portion of text notes, “The opening of the eyes, which Elisha prayed for, were those of the Spirit, not of the body – the eye of faith sees the reality of the divine presence and protection where all is vacancy or darkness to the ordinary eye.” When we look it is easy to be intimidated by what is happening around us; we experience times when the pressure gets to us and it feels there are more of those against us than there are for us. Like the servant, it is difficult to see past what we are looking at. At a time when he thought they were all alone, two against an army, he seemed unaware of what the psalmist David would later declare: “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7, KJV). He was on the winning side and he did not know it.
Years after this incident, when the prophet Nehemiah and the Israelites were threatened by other enemies, Nehemiah told the people, “Our God will fight for us!” Or, as the apostle Paul puts it, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). We do not have to be intimidated even if we feel surrounded and overwhelmed. It is worth remembering that as Christians we are not fighting for victory but from a position of victory. Read that sentence again and get it into your spirit. Because of Christ’s victory we are also victorious and as long as we are in the will of God, He will indeed “fight for us” and that puts us on the winning side. Every time. Is there a better place to be?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.