THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICAN SENATE CONSIDERS MOTION ON TRADE WITH TRINIDAD & TOBAGO—06/22/13
Dr. Christopher Tufton, Opposition Senator, has called on Jamaica’s government to create a procedure to permit private sector consultations on issues relating to trade disagreements with Trinidad and Tobago. Tufton intends to make a private members motion on this matter, noting in particular concerns involving breaches of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, which forms the legal basis from CARICOM.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS IN JAMAICA HOLD “SICK-OUT”—06/23/13
Jamaica’s air traffic controllers staged a “sick-out” to protest wage issues, lack of confidence in the current equipment they must use on the job, and additional problems they see with how the civil aviation authority is managed. The Jamaica Air Traffic Controllers Association believes its action will have an impact on international airports as well as local Jamaican airspace. Most flights continued to operate on schedule in spite of the protests, however.
CHURCH LEADERS DEMONSTRATE TO OPPOSE END OF ANTI-SODOMY LAW—06/24/13
A number of church leaders and some 1,500 demonstrators gathered for a revival meeting to protest attempts to overturn Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law and eliminate acceptance of homosexuality. The demonstrators held their service two days before the Jamaican Supreme Court will hear a petition from an activist for gay rights challenging the constitutionality of the 1864 law under the charter of rights, which was updated in 2011.
JAMAICA’S ADOPTION ACT BEING REVIEWED—06/25/13
The 50-year-old Adoption Act is being reviewed in an attempt to align the island’s adoption process more with international laws and to make it less “tedious.” Janet Cupidon Quallo, child protection specialist at the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF), remarked that the adoption process in Jamaica is “very off putting.” In past years, she said, people have become so frustrated with the process that they have given up trying to adopt a child in Jamaica. In Jamaica, anyone 25 years or older can adopt children, and those 18 years old may adopt younger relatives.
GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST CHALLENGES JAMAICA’S ANTI-SODOMY LAW—06/25/13
Javed Jaghai, an outreach worker for the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals & Gays, the only gay rights group in the country, received his first court hearing in his attempt to challenge a colonial-era anti-sodomy law on constitutional grounds. The 1854 law was heard in Jamaica’s Supreme Court, which gave the nation’s attorney general until the middle of September 2013 to respond to the challenge. The next hearing on the matter is scheduled for October 2013.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS RETURN TO WORK—06/26/13
Jamaica’s air traffic controllers returned to work after holding a “sick-out” in protest of pay arrangements. The two-day protest action required the civil aviation agency to call in supervisors to operate the control towers; safety was not compromised at the island’s airfields and international airports as a result. The Jamaica Air Traffic Controllers’ Association continues to demand an increase in salary, noting the “severe stress” of the job and a significant need for higher pay.
TAX COLLECTION TO IMPROVE IN JAMAICA—06/27/13
The House of Representatives of Jamaica enacted the Revenue Administration (Amendment) Act on June 19, 2013, in response to concerns about some of the law’s provisions. The new law will make major improvements in the ability of tax officials to collect taxes. Tax evasion is a large problem on the island, said Patrick Atkinson, attorney general. The new legislation gives the Commissioner General of Tax Administration Jamaica the authorities to demand useful information, facilitate efficient exercise of investigative powers, and enhance enforcement efforts.
JAMAICA TO BAN SMOKING IN PUBLIC AREAS—06/28/13
Jamaica will soon ban all smoking in public spaces, said Fenton Ferguson, the nation’s Health Minister. Businesses now have six months to display “No Smoking” signs in public areas, and all tobacco products will also need to display new warnings about the health effects of smoking.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
EDUCATORS IN DIASPORA TO PROVIDE HELP TO JAMAICA—06/22/13
Susan Davis, member of the Diaspora Board in the United States, states that there are education experts among the expatriate Jamaican community that are ready to work toward filling gaps in the island’s education system as defined by the Ministry of Education. Davis said that overseas education experts are willing to work with local teachers to make improvements in Special Education, Science, Math, and Information Technology.
MEMBERS OF DIASPORA READY TO INVEST IN HOME ISLAND—06/23/13
At least three overseas Jamaicans attending the Fifth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference are interested in making investments in the country of their birth. Kim Watson, vice president of the Corporate Philanthropy and Communication Partnerships, which is based in the U.S., reveals that she has already started to prepare for making investments in education.
JAMAICAN HISTORY, LANGUAGE HONORED BY MISS JAMAICA FLORIDA—06/27/13
In 2013, the Miss Jamaica Florida Pageant celebrates its 24th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the pageant theme will be “Language and Labrish – A suh dem say – A Tribute to our Spoken History.” The event will take place June 30, 2013, in Coral Springs, Florida. There are 19 contestants in the year’s pageant, ranging in age from five to 21. They will compete in four age categories and will show off their talents in song, dance, and drama. The pageant will also pay tribute to Olive Lewin, O.J., author, anthropologist and musicologist, who died in April 2013.
JAMAICAN AMBASSDOR TO JOIN UN—06/28/13
Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, has received the credentials of Jamaica’s new Permanent Representative to the UN, H.E. Mr. Courtenay Rattray. The Presentation of Credentials occurred on June 25, 2013, at the headquarters of the UN in New York City. The ceremony was 15 minutes late in starting, prompting media to joke about “soon come” Jamaican time.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
FILM PRODUCTION BIG IN CARIBBEAN—06/22/13
FIRST CARIBBEAN NASCAR DRIVER HOPES TO REMAIN IN THE LEAD—06/23/13
HAITI RECEIVES GRANT TO IMPROVE WATER SERVICES—06/24/13
CARIBBEAN NATIONS WORRY ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE DANGERS—06/25/13
SUNRISE AIRWAYS TO EXPAND SERVICE TO JAMAICA, TURKS AND CAICOS—06/26/13
DRUG TRAFFICKING INCREASES IN CARIBBEAN, SAYS U.S.—06/27/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
CAL GETS ONE MONTH, SAY JAMAICA—06/22/13
The new board of Caribbean Airlines (CAL), the airline based in Trinidad, has been given one month by Jamaica to show how it plans to use the Air Jamaica brand in the future. According to Dr. Omar Davies, Jamaica’s Minister of Transport, discussions with T&T’s Trade Minister and CAL board members included the reduction in number of flights between Jamaica and North America and how things should proceed going forward. Related to this discussion was the continued use of the Air Jamaica brand by CAL.
NO RESOLUTION IN DECADES-OLD BEEF IMPORT BAN—06/26/13
The Jamaican government says that the risk assessment process associated with the importation of beef and beef products from Canada has not yet been finished. The ban was imposed in May 2003, immediately following announcements that “mad cow disease” had been found on one cow at a Canadian farm. Because the importation of animal products is subject to risk assessment, the requirements of that assessment, which include visiting Canada and reviewing disease surveillance procedures, have yet to be satisfied, according to an official at the Ministry of Agriculture in Jamaica.
JAMAICA TO DISCUSS PETROJAM UPGRADE DURING PETROCARIBE SUMMIT—06/27/13
The government of Jamaica plans to create a schedule for implementing the upgrade and expansion of the Petrojam refinery during PetroCaribe Summit to be held in Nicaragua on June 29, 2013. The government wants to modernize operations there, said Phillip Paulwell, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining. He said there have been discussions about upgrading the refinery for 40 years and it is now time to move forward. He cited the commitment of the Venezuelan government to forming a value-added relationship.
DIGICEL AND PARTNERS LOSE TELECOMS LICENSE BID IN MYANMAR—06/28/13
A consortium involving Digicel has not succeeded in winning the bid for a license to operation a telecommunications system in Myanmar, Southeast Asia. According to the firm, the consortium is disappointed that its bid was not successful, but that it is still committed to finding commercial opportunities in Myanmar in the future.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
KACO NEW ENERGY USES POWER PRO-TECH SERVICES FOR INVERTER SUPPORT—06/25/13
OLDEST BIOMEDIAL LAB IN JAMAICA GETS ACCREDITED—06/26/13
FIRST CROWD-FUNDING WEBSITE IN JAMAICA TO SUPPORT MICRO BUSINESSES—06/27/13
ARUBA TO USE ONLY SUSTAINABLE ENERGY BY 2020—06/28/13
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE JAMAICAN PEOPLE TO OPEN—06/22/13
The Jamaican government plans to open a National Museum of the Jamaican People. The museum will house displays concerning the history of the Caribbean country, as well as its traditions and culture. According to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, the museum will provide a place for Jamaica’s children to learn about their history and foster pride in the achievements of the country. The museum is scheduled to open in July 2013.
CREATIVE INDUSTRY IN JAMAICA MAKES CONTRIBUTIONS TO NATIONAL EARNINGS—06/23/13
According to Jamaica Promotions (JAMPRO), more efforts will be made to attract jobs from overseas to the island’s growing animation industry. The agency expects creative industries to triple the year-to-year earnings of the country and total more than J$1.1 billion. JAMPRO plans to leverage Jamaica’s talent, language skills, and geographic location near chief markets for creative output in its efforts to obtain foreign exchange. Kevin Jackson, local animator, warns that the idea will now come to fruition without funding support for establishing studios and training workers.
KINGSTOON FESTIVAL FOCUSES ON OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVESTMENT, JOBS—06/25/13
The major animation festival in Kingston, known as KingstOOn, used its two-day run to feature animation talent and fans. It also brought the KingstOOn Animation Competition, in which Jamaican animators competed for prizes. Participating in the event were major animation experts, including Joel Kuwahara of Bento Box Entertainment, Josh Lamb, cofounder of The Shadow Gang studio, and Joan Vogelesang of Toon Boom, a top software firm that develops animation and storyboarding products used by Disney and other major studios.
SUMFEST FEATURES GRAMMY AWARD WINNERS—06/27/13
Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest, celebrating its 21st year, will entertain thousands of music fans in Montego Bay from July 21 to 27, 2013. Featured artistes for 2013 include Grammy award winners Miguel and Flo Rida. Jamaican legends like Beres Hammond and Barrington Levy will also perform. John Lynch, Jamaican Tourism Director, notes that reggae is popular worldwide, and Sumfest provides a way for fans to experience the music they love in the country where it was born.
JAMAICAN SPRINTERS CLOSELY WATCHED AFTER FAILED DOPING TEST—06/22/13
After champion Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown failed a doping test and receive a provisional suspension from the national federation, all of Jamaica’s top runners were tainted by the announcement. Officials have said that 12 Jamaican athletes have received sanctions that ranged from three months to life following violations for doping in the past five years. Campbell-Brown is the most successful of the female sprinters from Jamaica, being the first to win a global 100-meter title.
BOLT WINS 100 METER FINAL AT JAMAICAN NATIONALS—06/23/13
World champion sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica ran the 100 meters that the Jamaican nationals in 9.94 seconds. Bolt is working toward the world championship meets in August 2013 and hopes to be in top form for the competition in Moscow. Bolt said his start and execution weren’t his “best,” but he felt good about the race overall.
JAMAICAN HURDLER INJURED IN WARM-UP—06/24/13
Hansle Parchment, Jamaica’s top hurdler, season world leader, and recipient of a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, was injured during his warm-up and could not participate in the 100-meter hurdles final at the Jamaica Athletics Championships meet. However, officials said he may be able to run at the Moscow World Championships in August if he can recover in time. Andrew Riley, who won the 110-meter final, blamed the organizers of the meet for the accident that caused injury to Parchment’s ankle.
FRASER-PRYCE, WARREN WEIR, WIN 200-METERS—06/25/13
Jamaicans Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce and Warren Weir, both of whom medaled at the 2012 London Olympics, won the 200-meter titles on the last day of the Jamaica Athletics Championships. Fraser-Pryce ran the course in 22.13 seconds. Weir won his race with a time of 19.79 seconds.
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“Why Troublest Thou the Master Any Further?”
Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue, had a pressing need. According to the narrative, when he saw Jesus “he fell at his feet, and besought Him greatly, saying, ‘My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.’ And Jesus went with him” (Mark 5:22-24a, KJV). However, the walk back to Jairus’ house was not without incident because there were many who wanted Jesus’ attention. Among them was the woman with the issue of blood and even before Jesus was finished with her (vv. 25-34), Jairus’ situation had become tragically worse.
The narrative continues, “While [Jesus] yet spake [to the woman], there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, ‘Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?'” (v.35). From their perspective, with death now a reality there was nothing Jesus could do; there was no need to bother Him any further. Jesus, recognizing that the ruler had come to Him in faith and knowing that the news had the power to shatter that faith, spoke immediately to him, “Don’t listen to what everybody else is saying, trust me” (v.36, The Message). As a father, Jairus could be forgiven for whatever inner turmoil he might have experienced. His daughter was dead and here was Jesus telling him to ignore what he was just told and to trust Him. Prior to this, if Jesus had a history of raising people from the dead, it would have been easier for Jairus to trust Him. However, in the face of unimaginable loss, Jairus would have to trust Jesus simply because He had told him to. Can you relate?
As we go about our day-to-day lives, we are faced with various difficulties and some seemingly dead situations: layoffs at work; troubles at home; a relationship that looks like it is over; a rebellious child; a house that is about to be foreclosed. Maybe you were told you would never go to college; you will be just as worthless as your father; you are going to end up with a bunch of kids and no husband just like your mother; you are from the “wrong” side of the city. Maybe things are so bad that others question the point of more prayer, of serving God, of going to church. Why not, as Job’s wife suggested, just curse God and die? In other words, “Why troublest thou the Master any further?”
Like Jairus, the problem we face is that of trusting Him in the midst of our situations. Interestingly, we are not told of any words spoken by Jairus after his initial encounter with Jesus. It was as if he was at a loss for words; not knowing for sure if Jesus could do what He had promised. But Jesus proved His authority over all things by raising the girl from the dead (vv. 37-42). Some two thousand years later, He is still a specialist in the things that seem impossible. Amidst all the negativity and impossible circumstances, He is still saying to you and me, “Don’t listen to what everybody else is saying, trust me.” Personally, I have no other choice but to trust Him. What about you?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.