THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
GOVERNMENT LOOKING FOR RETROACTIVE PROTECTION FOR BREACH—02/23/13
The Jamaican Government is looking for support for legislation that will validate its actions concerning the misuse of funds collected under the Bauxite Act since 1999. The Bauxite Act, tabled by Minister of Finance Dr. Peter Phillips, has not gained much interest among those inside or outside of Parliament. It is viewed as a departure from how other governments have handled the Capital Development Fund.
CEMEX TO ESTABLISH HYDRO-LIME PLANT—02/24/13
Cemex Jamaica plans to spend US$1 million to establish a new liquid limestone plant in Clarendon. This plant will increase the firm’s total investment on the island to US$32 million. The plant will produce hydrated lime, which is an essential element in paint, agroproducts, construction materials and water treatment chemical. The plan will eliminate the need to import hydrated lime from outside Jamaica. Cemex also plans to trade the product in overseas markets.
CONFUSION ABOUT KILLER’S MONEY—02/25/13
Convicted murdered Donald “Zeeks” Phipps cancelled an attempt to get back some $24 million seized by police after the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) government challenged his claim. Then, Phipps renewed his application for the refund when the People’s National Party (PNP) came to power and dropped the state challenge. The PNP government agreed to refund his money, and the former “strongman” of West Kingston was on his way to becoming a multimillionaire, despite the fact that he is serving a life sentence in prison. Patrick Atkinson, attorney general, believes there was no legal reason for the State to keep the money; other lawyers say Phipps should have been made to prove how he obtained the money before receiving a refund.
GERMAN FIRM WITHDRAWS AD SHOWING BURNING OF JAMAICAN FLAG—02/26/13
Saturn, a German electronics company, apologized for a television advertisement that showed the burning of the Jamaica flag. The ad has been withdrawn as well. Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducted diplomatic talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Germany and with Saturn to resolve the issue. Saturn said that it had not meant to offend the Jamaica people with the ad, which was intended to be “tongue-in-cheek.”
GOVERNMENT WANTS TO PREVENT LOSSES WITH CARIBBEAN AIRLINES—02/26/13
The government of Jamaica plans to implement permanent measure that will prevent Caribbean Airlines from incurring huge debts with agencies in Jamaica. The carrier, which is based in Trinidad, reduced the large debt accumulated in fees and other duties in Jamaica. Dr. Omar Davies, Minister of Transport, noted that it is necessary to prevent such a situation from arising in the future. A new arrangement will be negotiated between officials from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
JAMAICAN TEACHERS MAY BE LICENSED—02/27/13
Teachers in Jamaica could face additional stress due to the proposed licensing initiative. The Jamaica Teaching Council, created by the Ministry of Education, wants to have all teachers on the island licensed, believing that this will ensure improvements in children’s school performance. The bill stipulates that all teachers will be required to be licensed every five years.
LEGISLATION AIMED AT LOTTO SCAM TO BE ENACTED BY END OF MARCH—02/28/13
According to Mark Golding, Jamaica’s Minister of Justice, legislation designed to prosecute individuals who are involved in the illegal lottery scam is scheduled to be passed by the end of March. The Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act, 2012 was tabled by Peter Bunting, Minister of National Security, on February 26, 2013. It targets advanced fee fraud and creates an offense for possessing paraphernalia involved with scamming. It also focuses on elderly theft and future technologies that could access financial accounts.
GOVERNMENT TO AMEND NHT ACT—03/01/13
Jamaica’s government has stated that proposed amendments to the National Housing Trust (NHT) Act do not signal admission of illegal doings. Instead, the changes are meant to ensure that pending legal action by one civil society group does not have a negative impact on the nation’s economic programs. A planned $45.6 billion drawdown from the state-owned NHT has been characterized as illegal. Patrick Atkinson, attorney general, believes that there are those who want to imperil the deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for political advantage, but the deal must go through if economic conditions are to improve.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN STUDENTS IN CANADA DISAPPOINTED BY LACK OF JOBS—02/23/13
Some of the students from Jamaica who enrolled for courses in British Columbia hoping it would help them get jobs as resident-care aides in Canada report that the jobs have not been made available. The students also say they have had a difficult time getting refunds for fees they paid to Marmicmon, the company in BC that operated the program. Michael Patterson, principal of Marmicmon, was the “matchmaker” between students and prospective employers in Canada. One student spent $8,000 on the program in hopes of obtaining Canadian employment. This included $1,500 to Patterson to find her a job. Most Canadian provinces prohibit charging workers fees for jobs
UK WOMAN PUTS CARIBBEAN HISTORY ON SHOW—02/24/13
Annette Robinson, a community worker in Birmingham in the United Kingdom, is committed to showing a different side of the region’s history. She has organized a new exhibit, “Caribbean Through A Lens,” which involves many thousands of photographs of the West Indies that date back to the 1860s. Robinson worked with the National Archives and sorted through huge files of photos to select 50 that highlight specific areas of the Caribbean, including the Windward and Leeward Island, and the Greater and Lesser Antilles.
EXECUTION OF JAMAICAN DELAYED IN U.S.—02/27/13
The United States Supreme Court made a last-minute ruling that spared the life of Paul Howell, a Jamaican man schedule to die by lethal injection in Florida. Howell was convicted of killing Jimmy Fulford, a Highway Patrol officer, in 1992. The Court denied an emergency motion filed by prosecutors who want to vacate the temporary stay of execution granted by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal. A hearing will be scheduled by that court to allow his attorneys to present evidence not considered during the sentencing hearings.
JAMAICA’S HEALTH CARE AIDED BY DIASPORA—02/28/13
Representatives from the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation met in Kingston to plan future aid from the worldwide Diaspora to the health care system in Jamaica. The Ministry of Health is working with the Jamaican Diaspora Healthcare Sector and Friends of Jamaica to develop stronger ties between health care professionals in the overseas groups, which plan to create a framework to integrate overseas health care outreach to Jamaica into the Ministry’s Strategic Plan.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
$100 MILLION IN ENERGY INVESTMENT MADE BY IFC—02/23/13
PARLIAMENT OF CUBA TO SELECT PRESIDENT—02/24/13
U.S. SUPREME COURT ALLOWS CARIBBEAN IMMIGRANTS TO BE DEPORTED—02/25/13
AIRPORT IN PUERTO RICO TO BE PRIVATIZED—02/26/13
RESEARCHERS INVESTIGATE WHERE FISH GATHER IN CARIBBEAN SEA—02/27/13
NEW REGIONAL POLICY TO REDUCE FISH-IMPORT COSTS—02/28/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
PORK PROFITS FALL AGAIN—02/25/13
Many pig farmers in Jamaica are just wasting their time raising the animals, since profit margins continue to fall, said a current report from World Bank researchers. The drop is attributed to high feed costs, high mortality among pre-weaners, and insufficient conversion of pork into differentiated products. However, researchers believe the sector still has potential to make meaningful contributions to the community and the nation’s economic development.
US$20 MILLION TO BE INVESTED IN DISCOVERY BAY PORT BY NORANDA—02/26/13
Noranda Aluminum Holding Corporation will increase its initiation investment plan in the expansion of the Discover Bay port by 200 percent. The company will increase its investment to US$20 million and widen the project’s scope from dredging to also include infrastructure works. Noranda, based in the United States, told shareholders in St. Ann that it will increase the project from US$11 million to as much as US$20 million.
MOZIDO ASKS POLITICIANS FOR ACTION ON MOBILE BANKING—02/27/13
The president and CEO of Mozido LLC, Gregory Corona, has asked top officials in the Jamaican government to support his firm to the Bank of Jamaica in a mobile banking deal with the credit union group that has stalled due to a regulatory review. Mozido, based in Texas, operates Mozido Jamaica, a local subsidiary. Corona has written to Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, and Dr. Peter Phillips, Minister of Finance, noting inequalities in the regulation of the business environment, particularly in regard to delays in approval for e-payment services developed by Mozido for the Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union League.
JPS RECORDS HIGH LOSSES IN FOREIGN EXCHANGE IN 2012—02/28/13
The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) lost nearly US$15 million in foreign currency exchanges in 2012. This illustrates the terrible impact of depreciation of Jamaica’s currency on one of the island’s biggest local firms. These losses chiefly reflect a rise in cost to service the agency’s borrowing. The JPS said in 2011 that it manages its foreign exchange exposure by keeping sufficient liquidity resources in the appropriate currencies.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
JAMAICAN MOBILE MONEY PROJECT IMPLEMENTED BY ALARIC TECHNOLOGY—02/26/13
RESEARCHERS EXPLORE DEEPEST KNOWN UNDERSEA VENTS IN CARIBBEAN—02/27/13
SPATIAL DATA TO BE SUED TO MANAGE DISASTER RISK—02/28/13
UK TELECOM TARGETS CARIBBEAN—03/01/13
MINISTRY SHOWCASES JAMAICAN ARTISTS—02/24/13
The Jamaican government is committed to making Kingston the entertainment capital of the world and is promoting the “Arts in the Park” event that will feature all local artistes. The event is organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment. It will be open to the public in order to give participants exposure to reggae music at its best. According to Damion Crawford, State Minister of Entertainment, the government realizes that it must provide more marketing of local talent to the world. The initiative is designed to provide a boost to development in the island’s entertainment sector.
JAMAICAN REGGAE ARTISTE PRAISES HEAD OF GAMBIA—02/26/13
Jahseen Foster, also known as Tenza (Boss Lady), a Jamaican reggae dancehall artiste, has praised Dr. Hayha Jammeh, president of Gambia, for his vision and philosophy. She describes Jammeh as an “exemplary leader.” President Jammeh and several Cabinet ministers and government officials attended a concert celebrating Gambia’s 48th independence anniversary, at which several Gambian artistes and Tenza aka Boss Lady performed with Peetah Morgan, one of the world’s great dancehall masters.
DUANE STEPHENSON RETURNS HOME—02/27/13
Duane Stephenson, reggae singer and songwriter, will spend more time at home in Jamaica over the next few months to work on his third studio album. He hopes it will be released in June. He is working at the sound studio at Grafton Studios in east Kingston. Stephenson writes songs that deal with topics of romance and social issues. His latest project is “Story of Minds,” which addresses the mind in different place and the journey from August Town to the present. The album reflects his attempt to reconnect with his home and returning to music at the local level.
HORACE FORBES CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY—02/28/13
Horace Forbes, the Jamaican singer, radio personality, and impresario, will mark his 80the birthday with a group of friends on March 9, 2013 in Hollywood, Florida. The celebration will be themed as a Hollywood-style dinner-dance and will offer performances by his friends in the entertainment industry. Performing will be Eugene Grey, Dobby Dobson, Audley Rollen and the Mighty Sparrow. Top DJ Janice D Empress will provide music for dancing.
FRASER-PRYCE ACHIEVES NEW PERSONAL BEST—02/23/13
Jamaica’s Olympic 100-meter champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the XL Galan competition in Stockholm, Sweden, by obtaining a third personal best time in a row. She is competing in the indoor circuit for the first time in her athletics career. She won her race at the British Athletics Grand Prix with a time of 7.18 seconds, and then ran the distance in 7.09 and 7.04, her fastest time to date, in two respective heats.
TOP IAAF AWARD GIVEN TO McCOOK—02/25/13
Neville “Teddy” McCook was awarded the Gold Order of Merit from the IAAF posthumously in recognition of his work as leader of the North America and Central America and the Caribbean Area (NACAC) and president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA). Bob Hersh, vice-president of the IAAF, presented the award at St. Augustine’s Kingston Chapel at Kingston College.
BOLT GETS US$300,000 TO RUN IN FRANCE—02/28/13
Organizers of the Paris, France, Diamond League have decided to give Jamaica’s six-time Olympic champion runner Usain Bolt to participate in the 200 meter competition. Bolt, who holds the world record in the event, is scheduled to compete with the European 100-meter champion, Christophe Lemaitre of France. Bolt plans to use the event, which will be held July 6, 2013, as preparation for the Moscow World championships in August.
CRICKET COULD BECOME AN OLYMPIC SPORT—01/03/13
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London wants Twenty20 cricket to become an Olympic sport, perhaps as soon as the games in 2024. Supporters believe that this could make more people aware of the sport. The World Cricket Committee of the MCC recognizes that it could take some effort to include the sport at the Olympics of 2024, but it has already pass the first selection hurdle by obtaining full Olympic recognition in 2010.
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The God of All Comfort
There are very few of us that have not been hit with at least one of life’s tragedies. Whether the loss of something or someone we hold dear, or dealing with an event we never expected to happen, it is the kind of thing that leaves us scrambling for answers. Deep within we feel inexplicable pain and would welcome a shoulder to lean on, and if necessary, to cry on.
The writer of the book of Hebrews reminds us of one of the many attributes of Christ. He writes, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities…” (4:15, KJV), and it is a great source of comfort to know that regardless of what we are going through, our Lord and Saviour can and do fully identify with our feelings. In Biblical Greek the word translated “infirmities” actually means “feebleness of body or mind”, and therefore it is not just our physical infirmities that touches Him, but also the mental, emotional, and psychological things we have to deal with.
The good news is not just that He can identify with our feelings, but that He is also able to provide comfort (relief) from those stresses. Paul writes to the Corinthians, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation” (2 Cor. 1:3-4a). Note the word “all”; it means the ability to comfort is not limited to any specific set of circumstances but transcends all circumstances. Again, the word translated “tribulation” actually means, among other things, “pressure, trouble”. The God of all comfort is able to comfort us in all our troubles, in all the situations that pressure our bodies and minds.
It is no wonder that we are encouraged to cast our cares / burdens upon Him; we are assured that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). I believe that caring extends to every area of our lives, and so during the times when we need Him most, He is always there with open arms of comfort. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, He is there. As we face and deal with our individual circumstances, may we find peace of mind and heart in that care, and relief from life’s stresses when we find ourselves in our valleys of life’s experiences.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.