THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
GREEN ENCOURAGES GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE MORE SUPPORT TO POLICE—07/07/12
Les Green, former assistant commissioner of police, ended an eight-year tenure in that position by calling for Jamaica’s government to provide more financial and legislative support. While he said he was happy with some of the improvements made to the police force during his time, he was disappointed with the fact that the police had not received more support overall. He singled out more investment in forensics and DNA legislation as areas needing particular attention from the government.
WORKERS UPSET AS EMPLOYER USE BIOMETRIC TIME-CLOCK SYSTEM—07/08/12
A growing number of employers in Jamaica have demanded that their employees provide fingerprints for time-clock purposes. In some cases, employees who refuse to provide fingerprints are threatened with loss of their jobs. Companies say they must use the fingerprint system to protect their revenues. The time-card system has been abused by some workers who punch cards for their coworkers if they are absent or late. Jamaican law provides that an individual can only be compelled to provide fingerprints in specific criminal matters and gives people the right to refuse to give fingerprints.
CARIBBEAN MAROONS LOOK TO TOURISM TO SAVE THEIR CULTURE—07/09/12
Descendants of the 18th-century fugitives from slavery in Jamaica, the Maroons, have started to perform their traditional dances for tourists, filmmakers, academics, and other visitors in a fenced dancing yard in Charles Town. Charles Town was previously a moribund settlement of Maroons in eastern Jamaica. Maroons have increasingly showcased elements of their unique culture to visitors, hoping that heritage tourism will provide jobs for coming generations, as well as save what remains of their centuries-old traditions.
JLP WANTS GOVERNMENT TO JUSTIFY HIRINGS—07/10/12
The Opposition Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) has called for the government administration to justify the number of people it employed to act as consultants. The government hired 40 consultants at a cost of almost $100 million to work out of eight of the administration’s ministries. Senator Arthur Williams, Opposition spokesman, noted that the People’s National Party (PNP) had criticized an 18-member JLP Cabinet in the past, but has instituted a 20-person Cabinet. The JLP believes efforts should be made to reduce the number of consultants working for government.
TRENCH TOWN HIGH SCHOOL HAS TROUBLE FILLING SPACES—07/10/12
Because of its history of violence, the Trench Town High School in St. Andrew is having a difficult time attracting students. Most Jamaican schools do not have enough spaces for students, but Trench Town in south St Andrew is advertising space availability. For 120 grade seven spaces, the Ministry of Education sent only 60 students to the school, and the entire student population totals 600, although it can accommodate 1,200 students.
AAJ TO GIVE ISLAND AIRPORTS MORE CULTURE—07/11/12
The Airport Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) has given its promise to airports on the island to provide a more cultural environment at the facilities. The Norman Manley International Airport recently unveiled a sculpture of Norman Washington Manley, a national hero, as part of the initiative. According to Alfred McDonald, senior director of commercial development and planning at the AAJ, the move is in keeping with a mandate from the organization. Island airports can be important in enhancing the Jamaican brand with cultural displays, said McDonald.
TECH SCHOOL ABOLISHES SHIFT SYSTEM—07/12/12
The Marcus Garvey Technical High School in St. Ann’s Bay has decided to eliminate the shift system. According to Leslie Riley, school principal, the action is just one of several changes made by the school for the coming academic year. The changes are part of the school’s effort to alter the label of “failing school” imposed by former Education Minister Andrew Holness. The school has a new building in Mansfield Heights, which will form its second campus and represents a chance for the school to abolish the shift system, which has compromised its education programs for some time, said Riley.
NO DECISION HAS BEEN MADE ON CLOSING JAMAICAN BAUXITE PLANT—07/13/12
According to UC Rusal, the Russian aluminum company, there are no plans to close its last operational bauxite plant in Jamaica, contrary to reports from Jamaica’s Minister of Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell. Paulwell told Parliament that Rusal intends to close the Ewarton Alumina Refinery in October 2012 for one year. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer, said no decisions on the issue will be made until September.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER GUEST OF HONOR AT NEW YORK GALA—07/07/12
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, will be the guest of honor at the 50th Independence Gala sponsored by the Jamaican Independence Celebration Foundation Inc. and the Consulate General of Jamaica in New York City. Paulette Willoughby, chair of the Foundation, said the organization is honored that the Prime Minister will join with her fellow Jamaicans to celebrate the anniversary in New York in August 2012.
JAMAICAN DUB POET RECEIVES BRITISH HONOR—07/08/12
Jean Binta Breeze, the first woman to write and perform dub poetry, has received membership in the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her service in Literature. She was born in Hanover, Jamaica, and moved to London on invitation of Linton Kwesi Johnson. She has worked as a poet, script writer, dancer, choreographer, actor, and teach, and studied at the Jamaica School of Drama. She has written eight books and performed worldwide. Breeze received a National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts fellowship at the School of English, University of Leicester in 2011.
GRANT-BRYAN ON MISSION TO PARTICIPATE IN JAMAICAN DEVELOPMENT—07/09/12
Elaine Grant-Bryan, who was 2011 Counselor of the Year in Georgia, and her husband Gregory, are focused on taking action to participate in the national development process of Jamaica. She is well-known as an educator and business woman, and has received several awards for contributions in those areas. She has had a leading role in youth empowerment in Atlanta, Georgia, and believes she is well place to help Jamaica achieve world-class education and training.
JAMAICAN WOMEN CELEBRATE ANNUAL EVENT IN D.C.—07/10/12
Jamaican Women of Washington, Inc. celebrated the organization’s tenth Annual Tea-Off to Good Health fundraiser and silent action. According to Dr. Jacqueline A. Watson, founder and president of the group, the organization has made donations totaling over $275,000 to various charities in Washington, D.C., and in Jamaica. Its support focuses on public health and social issues.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
HAITI’S PRESIDENT ASKS CARICOM FOR HELP—07/07/12
CARICOM MEMBERS WANT DISCUSSIONS WITH U.S. ABOUT RUM TRADE—07/08/12
CARIBBEAN LEADERS CONSIDER CSME AND FOREIGN POLICY—07/09/12
TRINIDAD WORKERS CRUSH SEA TURTLE EGGS ON BEACH—07/10/12
CARIBBEAN CRUSTACEAN NAMED AFTER BOB MARLEY—07/11/12
SNAKE THOUGHT EXTINCT FOUND IN ST. LUCIA—07/12/12
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICA’S TOURISM PROMOTED AS CHIEF ECONOMIC DRIVER—07/07/12
Dr. Wykeham McNeil, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, says that increasing efforts are underway to make tourism the chief driver of the nation’s economy McNeil said that global trends are showing the way and that local sector performance is on track to be of critical importance to the overall economic condition of the country. To accelerate the growth of tourism, however, Jamaica must enhance connections between that sector and the rest of the economy, particularly agriculture and manufacturing.
HYLTON SAYS MANUFACTURERS MUST MODERNIZE—07/08/12
Anthony Hylton, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, believes that Jamaican manufacturers need to modernize and retool their plants in order to be competitive in the marketplace. Hylton stated that global investments in technology are increasing, and unless manufacturers can raise their investments in this sector, long-term competitiveness will be compromised. He noted that the high cost of energy is not the only hindrance to Jamaican competitiveness. Modernization is a key element as well.
BEE FARMERS TO FOCUS ATTENTION WAX PRODUCTION—07/10/12
Caribbean bee farmers have decided to focus on the production of beeswax in response to growing demands for the product. According to Delroy “Oronde” McNish, president of the St. Thomas Bee Farmers’ Association, demand for beeswax is not being satisfied, and wax in Jamaica is currently sold for between $800 and $1,000 per pound. There is great commercial demand for beeswax among cosmetic and pharmaceutical firms, and Jamaica is just beginning to tap into this lucrative market sector.
DICIGEL LOSES ATTEMPT TO CHALLENGE NEW CALL RATES—07/12/12
Digicel’s bid to challenge an Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) decision to establish new call rates has been ended by Justice Ingrid Mangatal. According to the justice, the parties will receive written comments on the reasons for turning down the request shortly. Digicel had sought to leave testing of the law to the Judicial Review Court, which granted to OUR the power to reduce interconnection rates. Digicel also wanted the Supreme Court to grant stay of the interim rates, which are due to become effective on July 14, 2012.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CRUISE LINER OUTFITTED WITH ULTIMATE CONNECTIVITY SOLUTION—07/09/12
NEW ONLINE DIRECTORY TO MARKET CARIBBEAN PRODUCTS AND SERVICES—07/10/12
JAMAICA WELCOMING UNITED NATIONS ENERGY PROJECT—07/11/12
UPS EXPANDS TECHNOLOGY TO CARIBBEAN—07/12/12
JAMAICAN DJ “MIGHT MIKE” JONES DIES—07/09/12
Popular FM deejay Michael “Mighty Mike” Jones, well known for his performance on radio station Irie FM, was found dead at his Ocho Rios home on July 5, 2012. He was 52. According to Charles Smith, constable in Ocho Rios, no foul play is suspected in Jones’ death, but investigations continue. It is believed that Jones died of complications from diabetes.
FESTIVAL SONG CHOSEN—07/10/12
“Real Born Jamaican” has been selected as the Festival Song 2012 in celebration of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence. The song was written by Abbygaye “Abby” Dallas. Other winners included Tashina McKenzie, who won the Facebook Votes and Best Performer prizes. Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) plaques were awarded to Rudolph Tomlinson, Denton Bedward, Old and New, Calvin Wisdom, Nester Chung, and Sheldon Howell.
ETANA COMPLETES FIRST PART OF EUROPEAN TOUR—07/12/12
Reggae star Etana has finished the first portion of a summer tour through Europe, bringing reggae music to thousands of listeners as she travels through 14 cities in 11 countries. Etana said that she never tires of performing and will be participating in some of the largest festivals in Europe. Etana also said it was “exciting” to perform in Europe where audiences really appreciate Jamaican music and culture. The tour began in Lisbon and visits Vienna, Madrid, Rotterdam, Stockholm, Oslo, Zurich, and Berlin.
MAJOR NETWORK PROGRAM FEATURES MYSTICAL REVOLUTION—07/13/12
Jamaica’s up-and-coming musical group, Mystical Revolution, is featured with an interview on NBC’s “Today Show.” The crew of the television program traveled to Jamaica to talk with the band, calling it the “hottest band currently in Jamaica.” The interview and a live performance was shot at Grafton Studios and represents a major achievement for the band, which won the music category at the Heineken Inspire competition in June 2012. Mystical Revolution is known for creating its own niche in the reggae space by producing, recording, and performing music that is described as “uplifting.”
WILLIAMS-MILLS FINISHES SECOND IN WOMEN’S 400—07/07/12
Jamaican Novelene Williams-Mills provided the best finish of any Jamaican in the 400 meters at the Diamond League competition in Paris, France, with her second-place ranking in the event. Botswana’s Amantle Montsho was the winner. Williams-Mills ran the distance in 49.95 seconds, while Montsho won with 49.77 seconds.
JAMAICAN BOBSLEDDER READY TO COMPETE—07/08/12
Winston Watts, Jamaican bobsledder, and the entire Jamaican bobsledding team, is looking for sponsors for their entry in the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. Watts, 47, is a military veteran who currently lives in Wyoming, joined the Jamaican bobsledding effort in 1993. Watts was instrumental in popularizing Jamaica’s bobsledding program via the film “Cool Runnings,” which told the story of the team’s first Winter Olympics venture in 1988.
GAYLE, SAMUELS POWER WINDIES TO WIN OVER NEW ZEALAND—07/09/12
Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels achieved centuries that allowed the West Indies cricket team to win over New Zealand 315 to 5 in the second one-day international meet at Sabina Park. Gayle continued to show the top form he has exhibited since returning to the Windies in June. Gayle hit nine sixes and eight fours in 125 off 107 balls, while teammate Samuels hit 101 off 103 balls with seven fours and six.
BOLT CONTENDS WITH FITNESS ISSUES—07/10/12
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s Olympic champion sprinter, provided a disappointing performance at the Olympic Trials and was unhappy about his defeat by Yohan Blake in the 100 and 200 meters. Bolt has called these defeats a “wake-up call” and intends to use the time before the London Olympics to “get it right.” Bolt is expected to arrive at the London Games in top condition.
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Denied By a Friend
Jesus had warned him but it seemed he had forgotten. In the aftermath of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest, he sat outside the palace contemplating the turn of events when he was accused of being one of Jesus’ followers. He denied it. Two more times similar accusations were made and on both occasions, he did the same thing. Immediately after the third denial, mixed with cursing and swearing, the cock crew. According to the narrative, “And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, ‘Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.’ And he went out, and wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:75, KJV).
Peter must have been devastated. He was one of Jesus’ most solid supporters. It was he who had acclaimed of Jesus, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). He was there at Jesus’ transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-6). He had witnessed just about every miracle. Jesus was not only his Lord but also his friend. He had meant it when he said earlier, “Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee” (Matthew 26:35). Yet when faced with the reality of the cost of following Jesus, the pressure got to him. He denied his friend; denied even knowing Him.
Fast forward almost two thousand years and as disciples of Jesus living in a world increasingly hostile to Christ and His followers, our challenge is no different than Peter’s. Filled with good intentions of standing up for and with Jesus, how do we respond when those around us challenge our stand? Do the people in our sphere of influence even know we are with Jesus? Peter knew that if he admitted being one of Jesus’ disciples, he would be arrested and possibly killed. To save himself, he denied any association with Him. At a time when it is not cool to be a Jesus follower, do we take our stand with Him or do we give Him up when we deem the cost of standing with Him to be too high?
The next time you sing Israel Houghton’s “I am a friend of God,” ask yourself exactly what does that mean. Jesus was both betrayed and denied not by people who were hostile to Him but by friends. What kind of a friend are you to Him? Friend enough to say, regardless of cost and circumstances, “I am with Him?”
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.