JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending June 6th, 2014

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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JILANI PRESENTS CREDENTIALS TO JAMAICA’S GOVERNOR GENERAL—05/31/14
Jalil Abbas Jilani, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, has presented his credentials to the Governor General of Jamaica, Sir Patrick Allen. The High Commissioner brought greetings from the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan to Allen, Jamaica’s government, and to the people of Jamaica. Jilani plans to strengthen political and economic ties between the two countries and build on the friendly relations enjoyed by Pakistan and Jamaica.

ALTERED SEASONAL WORKER PROGRAM UNLIKELY TO HURT JAMAICANS—06/01/14
A planned reform of the program by which Jamaican workers travel to Canada for seasonal employment is not likely to result in any significant disruptions for Jamaicans, according to Ken Forth, President of Mississauga’s Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services and a top recruiter of workers in Jamaica. Because there are few Canadians who want seasonal farm work, the requirement that foreign workers not take jobs desired by Canadians will have little impact on the Jamaican work program.

ELECTRICITY THIEVES RESPONSIBLE FOR INCREASE ON JPS BILLS—06/02/14
According to a study by the Caribbean Policy Research institute, about 150,000 Jamaicans are stealing electric power from the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) and forcing customers to pay an estimate addition of $100 for every $1,000 in electric power used legitimately. JPS did note that other factors contribute to the costs of power, including production costs and how much electricity customers actually use.

JAMAICAN LAND AUTHORITIES OFFER LAND TITLES—06/03/14
Land authorities in Jamaica are looking for 1,000 individuals who are allotted land titles resulting from their occupation of land settlement plans island-wide. In all, 8,000 people received titles in settlement programs, but 1,000 of them cannot be located, according to Robert Pickersgill, portfolio minister. The administration wants to find these people who will be able to use the titles to create wealth and to enhance community and nation building, he said.

VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR JAMAICANS GOING TO WORLD CUP REVISED—06/04/14
Jamaicans planning to travel to Brazil to view the 2014 FIFA World Cup will have an easier time getting after Jamaica and Brazil have entered into a special arrangement concerning visas. A. J. Nicholson, Jamaican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, made the agreement with Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

PRIME MINISTER CRITICIZED BY HOLNESS ON ENERGY PROJECT—06/05/14
Andrew Holness, Jamaican Opposition Leader, believes that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has jeopardized a large energy project by ignoring the report issued by the contractor general. The project ran into difficulty in Mary 2014 after Energy World International, the preferred bidder, had problems with funding from the Inter-American Development Bank.

EX-POLICE TO BE TRACKED—06/06/14
The Jamaica Constabulary Force has implemented systems that will track, detect, and monitory the activities of former police personnel, particularly those individuals who were dismissed for criminal conduct. Few details are available about the new tracking system, but according to Devon Watkis, assistant commissioner and head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, it will be possible to track individuals to the extent that they are involved with criminal activity.

PRIME MINISTER WILL NOT FIRE PAULWELL—06/06/14
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has stated that she has confidence in Phillip Paulwell, Minister of Energy, and told the House of Representatives that he will remain at his post unless he somehow does something wrong that seriously displeases Jamaicans. Simpson Miller was responding to questions raised by Opposition Leader Andrew Holness about the 381-megawatt energy project.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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EVENT FEATURES COMEDY TO END HUNGER IN SOUTH FLORIDA—05/31/14
Six comedians from a variety of cultures will join together on June 14, 2014, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the ALL Laugh Comic Relief Party. The event will celebrate Father’s Day and to raise money in aid of the Joshua’s Heart Foundation and its efforts to end hunger in the region. In partnership with the Lifestyle Agency of New York, the organization’s goal is to deliver 1 million pounds of food to those who need it.

PROGRAM AIMS TO HELP LEGAL RESIDENTS GAIN CITIZENSHIP—06/01/14
The New Americans Campaign will provide help to individuals who have been legal residents of the United States for at least five years to fill our citizenship applications. A group of legal service providers and volunteers are partnering to help all those who are eligible become U.S. citizens. The service is free, and the application fee of $680, which is usually required, may be waived for those receiving food stamps. The aid event will be held June 14, 2014, at Broward College’s South Campus in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

CONNECTICUT HOME TO MANY JAMAICAN IMMIGRANTS—06/02/14
According to the Pew Research Center, more of the immigrants to Connecticut in the United States were born in Jamaica than in any other country. The research was surprising, since there has been an increase in the number of Latino immigrants to the region. Most of the Jamaicans moved to Connecticut in the 1980s, according to Gregory Martin, 35, who said the state is a god place to raise a family.

OBAMA NAMES JUNE AS MONTH RECOGNIZING CARIBBEAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE—06/03/14
Barack Obama, President of the United States, has named the month of June to be National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. He noted that the U.S. is expanding relations with the Caribbean in the areas of social justice and improving prosperity throughout the Americas. In June, the U.S. will honor the history, culture and role of Caribbean-Americans as contributions to the American story.

JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT INTERVENES IN DEPORTATION OF TOMMY LEE—06/04/14
It has been four months since Jamaican dancehall star Tommy Lee was arrested and deported from Dominica. Now the Jamaican government has taken steps to investigate the deportation of Lee and three other men from Dominica after a Christian community cancelled a show in which Lee was scheduled to perform. In addition to being denied entry to Dominica, Lee claims that he and the others were held under inhumane conditions. Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs Ministry is investigating the matter.

GRACE JAMAICAN JERK FESTIVAL SLATED FOR JULY IN NEW YORK—06/05/14
The fourth annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival will occur on July 20, 2014, at Roy Wilkins Park, in Queens, New York. According to Eddy Edwards, who was born in Jamaica and who is preparing for the event along with VP Records, the New York edition of the event has grown substantially since its inception. In 2013, he estimates 16,000 people took part in the festival.

JAMAICAN ARRESTED IN BAHAMAS FOLLOWING US$3 MILLION POT FIND—06/06/14
Police in the Bahamas arrested a Jamaican and two Bahamians after they seized an amount of marijuana worth more than US$3 million. Police discovered a number of large marijuana fields in Grand Bahama, including 15 plots with more than 32,000 plants.

EX-CONVICT FROM JAMAICA FIGHTS DEPORTATION IN U.S.—06/06/14
A federal district judge in the United States ruled that the government may not keep some immigrants in Massachusetts longer than six months without providing them a chance for a bond hearing. The decision is expected to benefit many people detained throughout southern New England. The ruling resulted from a class-action lawsuit brought by Mark Reid, an ex-convict from Jamaica who lives in Connecticut, but was detained in Massachusetts for over a year by U.S. immigration authorities. Judge Michael Ponsor found that permitting the indefinite detention of an individual without providing a chance to make bail puts the rights of immigrants at risk.

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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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JAMAICAN WILL LEAD ELECTRICITY FIRM IN GRENADA—05/31/14
 
CARIBBEAN IMMIGRANT CELEBRATED AT AGE 100—06/01/14
 
CASES OF DENGUE RISE SIGNIFICANTLY IN CARIBBEAN—06/02/14
 
MOU SIGNED BY CARIBBEAN EXPORT TO SUPPORT FOOD EXPORTERS—06/03/14
 
TOURISM A “TOOL OF DEVELOPMENT,” SAYS ST. MAARTEN’S PRIME MINISTER—06/04/14
 
DIRECT FOREIGN INVESTMENT GREATEST IN ST. KITTS AND NEVIS—06/05/14

 

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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PERMACULTURE BECOMES MORE POPULAR IN CARIBBEAN—06/03/14
Erle Rahaman-Noronha is working to make permaculture, or permanent agriculture, a way of life in the Caribbean. He is cooperating with a group of like-minded agriculturalists working on their home islands toward the goal of encouraging the adoption of permaculture as a way to address climate change, water and food insecurity, and the high costs of living.

LOCAL AGRICULTURE BOOSTED BY $2 BILLION CANADIAN INVESTMENT—06/04/14
Small farmers and food processors in the Caribbean are losing out on the multi-million-dollar market for fresh produce in Canada due to changing market conditions and problems in meeting quantity, quality, and safety needs of buyers throughout the year. The Canadian Hunger Foundation plans to address this issue via a project called Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages, or PROPEL.

JAMAICA PRIVATE POWER COMPANY PURCHASED BY ISRAELI FIRM—06/05/14
The Israel Corp Group subsidiary IC Power has purchased the shareholding interest of AEI Power Ltd. in Jamaica Private Power Company (JPPC). IC Power has thus increased its holdings of JPPC to 100 percent from 15.5 percent. The firm plans to be a major player in the power generation industry in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

JPS MAKES DEAL TO BUY US$8.1 MILLION IN WIND-SOLAR TURBINES—06/06/14
The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has contracted with Windstream Technologies, a renewable energy start-up based in the United States, to purchase US$8.1 million in wind-solar turbines. The plan builds on the more than US$14 million in orders from the Jamaican company during the first quarter of 2014. The wind turbines can be seen on the rooftops of JPS headquarters in New Kingston. JPS also sells the turbines to customers via its e-Stores.

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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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LITERARY EVENT ATTRACTS TOP AUTHORS—06/01/14
Jamaica’s Calabash International Literary Festival, which is held every two years, attracted major authors and appreciative tourists from around the world to its venue at Treasure Beach. The event has taken place since 2001 and attracts Nobel Prize winning authors, new writers, and has become a major international literary event. The 2014 edition of the festival drew even more visitors and authors and emphasized its growing importance as a literary destination.

JAMAICAN SCULPTOR TO LAUNCH INTERACTIVE iARTBOOK—06/02/14
Laura Facey, a Jamaican sculptor, plans to introduce an interactive digital iArtBook, the first book of its kind. The work will be launched in July 2014 at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, England. The iArtBook, Radiant Earth, was finished over the past ten years. It is a virtual book that provides insight into Facey’s art practice. Facey’s work “Their Spirits,” has been endorsed by the Jamaica Ministry of Culture for its handling of the issue of slavery.

LADY PATRA HONORED IN SONG BY IGGY AZALEA—06/03/14
Iggy Azalea, internationally known hip-hop artiste, is paying tribute to Lady Patra, one of Jamaica’s famous dancehall divas with a single, “Lady Patra.” The song is the 11th track on the new album called “The New Classic.” Also featured on the album is Mavado, the dancehall deejay. In the song, Azalea calls Lady Patra the “queen of the pack” and makes several mentions of Jamaica.

RECORD COMPANY CLAIM TO MARLEY SONGS DISMISSED BY COURT—06/04/14
The rights to 13 songs by Bob Marley, including “No Woman, No Cry,” were claimed by a record company, but a judge on a British High Court has dismissed the company’s claim after hearing evidence in the case. The case involved the construction of a 1992 agreement, over a decade after the death of the reggae legend, by which copyrights to various works were allegedly transferred to Cayman Music.

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SPORTS  
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CICCONE TO REPRESENT JAMAICA AT DAVIS CUP—05/31/14
Vincenzo Ciccone of the Xavier University of Louisiana men’s tennis team has been selected to represent Jamaica at the Davis Cup in Group III. Ciccone lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is eligible to play for Jamaica because of his mother, who is Jamaican. Ciccone qualified for the post by winning two out of three singles matches at trials in Kingston in April 2014.

KALIESE AND NOVLENE WIN, FRASER-PRYCE COMES IN LAST—06/01/14
Novlene Williams-Mills and Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica won at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. Williams-Mills took first place in the women’s 400 meters with 50.40 seconds, while Spencer took the women’s 400-meter hurdles in 54.29 seconds, a world record.  Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce finished last in the women’s 200 meter race to the surprise of viewers.

GAYLE TO CREATE BRANCH OF ACADEMY IN JAMAICA—06/03/14
The Chris Gayle Academy will have a branch in Jamaica as the champion cricketer brings his youth empowerment program to the island. The Chris Gayle Foundation has partnered with Cricket 4 Change, British Airways, Spartan and Digicel Jamaica to act as host to 20 Jamaicans between the ages of 16 and 20 from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program runs for a period of 12 months and will share its expertise in the use of the sport to motivate young people to take advantage of their education with other Caribbean nations.

FRASER-PRYCE WINS IN SWITZERLAND—06/04/14
Jamaica’s Olympic champion sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran to victory in the women’s 100-meters at the fourth Gala dei Castelli International meet in Switzerland. She ran the distance in 11.21 seconds, reclaiming her winning reputation after a surprising loss at the Diamond League meet in Eugene, Oregon.

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JAMAICAN JOBS
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DEVOTIONAL
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“Come…and rest a while”

In his book The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciples for Ordinary People, John Ortberg observes, “We suffer from what has come to be known as ‘hurry sickness’,” a condition Meyer Friedman defines as “above all, a continuous struggle and unremitting attempt to accomplish or achieve more and more things or participate in more and more events in less and less time, frequently in the face of opposition, real or imagined, from other persons.” Ortberg goes on to note that “hurry will keep us consumed by the ‘cares and riches and pleasures of life,’ as Jesus put it, and prevent His way from taking root in our hearts.”

Our society is one steeped in hurriedness. We have become experts at justifying our being busy and hurrying all the time.  Too busy for the people we love and care about, too busy to take time for ourselves, too busy for God outside of the obligatory two hours on a Sunday morning, too busy and hurried to slow down and enjoy the only time we have which is now. For some of us, there is always one more thing to attend to, more phone calls to make, more people wanting our time, more church events to attend or ministries to be involved in, and we can rationalize it all. Running around like chickens without heads, pleased without ourselves for “getting things done,” for “doing the work of the Lord.”  We are so busy that we fail to recognize that we are doing what Jesus did not do. He often took time out of His busy schedule to engage in solitude, to go away by Himself and rest a while. He knew what was really important.

Jesus also taught this principle to His disciples.  According to Mark’s narrative, when the disciples returned from a busy but successful time of ministry, Jesus “said unto them, ‘Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while’: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately” (Mark 6:31-32, KJV). Too busy to even eat!  If taking time out was important for Jesus and the disciples, how much more is it important for us! These times of retreat are important to not only get away from the pressures of a society that would seek to conform us to its ways, but to enable us to recalibrate spiritually while maintaining a fresh and vibrant relationship with God. We learn to truly prioritize what is really important in our lives.

I once read that if the devil cannot stop you, he will push you. Carl Jung took it one step further when he said, “Hurry is not of the devil; hurry is the devil.” With that in mind, let us resolve to start slowing down; to eliminate hurriedness from our lives. Paul’s words to the Roman church is ours for today: “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Romans 12:2, The Message). One way to get started is to “come ye yourselves apart into a [quiet] place, and rest a while.” 

 

CEW

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CREDITS/SOURCES
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The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.