THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
SPANISH TOWN FACES TRAFFIC CONGESTION—05/17/14
Jamaica’s Spanish Town, which was built in the 16th century, is facing serious traffic congestion problems. The problem stems from the area’s narrow streets, and efforts over the years to provide alternatives have not been effective. Daily congestion hampers the ability of emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks to move through the neighborhood and places residents at risk. Authorities have called for a comprehensive review of the situation.
MORRISON NAMED JAMAICA’S FIRST SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY “CZAR”—05/18/14
The Jamaican government has called on Professor Errol Morrison to be the National Director General of Science and Technology. His chief mission is to “demystify” science and technology for ordinary Jamaicans in order to encourage and develop policies to encourage innovation in these sectors.
RIGHTS ACTIVIST SAYS PRIME MINISTER “BETRAYED” GAY VOTERS—05/19/14
Maurice Tomlinson, legal advisor to AIDS-FREE World and a top Jamaican gay rights attorney and activist, believes that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller betrayed gay voters by refusing to end the country’s prohibition of sex between men. The current criminal code specifies penalties for the behavior that include ten years in prison at hard labor.
ENTERTAINMENT REGISTRY TO BE CREATED IN JULY 2014—05/20/14
Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism will establish an entertainment registry on July 31, 2014. The registry is designed to register and certify those individuals involved in the local entertainment industry. Damion Crawford, Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, said that the registry will offer a central point at which Jamaican entertainment companies and services can be listed. This will facilitate transparency in the entertainment industry and hopefully lead to greater economic benefits for the local entertainment sector.
UNIVERSITY REMOVES PROFESSOR BRENDAN BAIN FROM DIRECTORSHIP—05/21/14
The University of the West Indies (UWI) has removed Professor Brendan Bain from his position as director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network. The Medical Association of Jamaica was disappointed at the university’s action of removing one of the pioneers in HIV/AIDS diagnosis and treatment from the organization. The university stated that Bain had “lost the confidence and support” of many in the community targeted by the Training Network.
CHILDREN A MAJOR PRIORITY FOR JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT—05/22/14
Jamaica’s government has made it a priority to care for the needs of the island’s children, particularly those who have special needs in early childhood. To this end, the Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Voluntary Contribution Organization to Benefit the Children, is considering an indicative that will provide diagnostic services for minor children with special needs. During its first phase, the program will be limited to Kingston, spreading to other areas in the coming years, said Ronald Thwaites, Education Minister.
TWO KINGSTON POLICE ARRESTED WITHOUT BAIL—05/23/14
Two police officers, based in Kingston and allegedly part of a “police death squad,” were denied bail during a court appearance in the Corporate Area. The officers are Constable Shannon Allen and Sergeant Mario Taylor. Both were stationed at Mobile Reserve. They were charged in the shooting death of Adolphus Reader in May Pen, Clarendon, on February 28, 2014.
UWI PICKETED IN SHOW OF SUPPORT FOR FIRED PROFESSOR—05/23/14
Concerned citizens protested in front the main gate at the University of the West Indies (UWI) campus to protest the firing of Professor Brendan Bain. The university had earlier stated that it had “lost confidence” in Bain in his role as director of the Regional Coordinating Unit of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network. Gay lobby groups had criticized an opinion he gave in a court in Belize about the risks for men who have sex with other men. The protestors believe the university has made an attack on intellectual freedom by firing Bain.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
LONDON TO CELEBRATE 52ND ANNIVERSARY OF JAMAICAN INDEPENDENCE—05/17/14
On July 26, 2014, the Jamaican High Commission in London will host a special event to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the nation’s independence. The event will be held at the Emmanuel Center in London beginning at 11 am. Efforts are being made to allow as many Jamaicans and their friends as possible, event organizers note the capacity of the Center is 1,000, so seating will be first-come, first-served.
JAMAICAN DESIGNERS FEATURED AT BLACK DRESS EVENT IN NYC—05/18/14
Samantha Black and Michael Francis of Jamaica were among the designers chosen to show their work during the legendary “Black Dress: Ten Contemporary Fashion Designers” showcase in New York City. The exhibition has been on show at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery since February 2014. The show, which recently ended, was meant as a celebration of black designers, according to Adrienne Jones, Pratt Institute fashion professor, and Paula Coleman, art dealer. The show was also designed to raise awareness in the United States of the contributions of black designers to the fashion industry.
JAMAICAN CARNIVAL EXPECTED TO TRANSFORM COMMONWEALTH GAMES—05/19/14
Those who visit Royal Exchange Square in Glasgow, Scotland, during the 2014 Commonwealth Games will be treated to some Jamaican carnival ambiance due to the celebration of Jamaican culture exhibited around the 29 Private Members Club. There will be traditional food and beverages, flags and reggae music at Jamaica House during the live coverage of the track and field events. The Jamaica Tourist Board and Barrhead Travel have partnered to provide the venue for “all things Jamaican” during the Games.
JAMAICAN WOMAN IN IRELAND VICTIM OF HATE CRIME—05/20/14
The home of Jamaican Kerry Ann Brown in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, in Ireland, was targeted in what has been characterized as a racist attack. The front window of the house was smashed when a brick was thrown at it. This is the second time the house has been attacked in under a year. Previous vandalism included racist graffiti drawn on the house. Brown can think of no reason for the attacks other than her race, and police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
FOUNDATION BRINGS JAMAICAN CULTURE TO DIASPORA—05/21/14
Jamaicans and their friends in South Florida will have the chance to learn about Jamaica’s rich culture and heritage as the Olive Lewin Heritage Foundation launches on Mary 31, 2014. The event is free to the public and will feature former Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga. It is a cooperative effort linked with the Caribbean Law Programs at the Nova University Law center. Mr. Seaga worked closely with Dr. Lewin to collect and preserve Jamaica’s folk culture.
CANADA SUFFERS SHORTAGE OF PATOIS INTERPRETERS—05/22/14
In Ontario, Canada, an association of language interpreters has noted a shortage of professionals who can interpret Jamaican Patois. According to Antonn Brown, a local attorney and expert on immigration, the shortage has become critical, especially in regard to criminal justice system there. Ontario has the highest percentage of Jamaicans in Canada, and the lack of qualified Patois interpreters leaves many Jamaicans charged with drug smuggling in legal limbo.
JAMAICAN ONE OF 12 DESIGNERS TO WIN AWARD OF EXCELLENCE—05/23/14
Carmichael Byfield, a Jamaican designer who is based in the Netherlands, is one of 12 designers from the Caribbean to be awarded the Karib Nation Inc. Award of Excellence in Maryland. Byfield has called the award a “major achievement” for his design firm, the House of Byfield. Byfield was born in Kingston, and then migrated to Brooklyn, New York, when he was a teenager.
JAMAICAN DAVE PRODUCTIONS TO PROVIDE SHOW IN PHILADELPHIA—05/23/14
Dave Russell of Jamaican Dave Productions, a firm that promotes live performances in the United States, got his start in the business in Kingston during the 1980s at the Epiphany nightclub. His firm’s latest venture is the presentation of “Reggae in the Park” in Philadelphia,, Pennsylvania, in August 2014. The show will feature dancehall stars Konshens and Mavado, as well as other top musical acts. Russell says one of his goals is to create a sense of unity in the East Coast reggae festival community.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN NATIONS ON THE ALERT FOR SHIPWRECKS—05/17/14
PUERTO RICAN GOVERNMENT WANTS TO DEMOLISH HISTORIC PRISON—05/18/14
NSA RECORDS EACH CELL PHONE CALL IN BAHAMAS—05/19/14
CANNONIER, PREMIER OF BERMUDA, RESIGNS—05/20/14
CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS BURDENS CARIBBEAN HOSPITALS—05/21/14
TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED CLASSROOM PROGRAM BEGINS IN TRINIDAD—05/22/14
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
SUGAR COMPANY TARGETS REGIONAL MARKETS—05/18/14
The Pan Caribbean Sugar Company (PCSC) has not provided any of the 60,000 tons of sugar produced during the most recent crop year for export. Instead, it has decided to target regional markets for export in the future. The targeted local sales were the result of depressed global prices. Local sales are also the focus in order to meet obligations to the local market.
CANADIAN BANKS SEE NEGATIVE IMPACT IN CARIBBEAN—05/19/14
Canadian banks are not having the profitable experience in the Caribbean that they have enjoyed in the past. The downturn has been attributed to the poor economic conditions in the region over the past few years, which have caused market volatility and reduced bank earnings. Industry analysts are predicting another “unspectacular” quarter.
NEW CEO FOR CARIBBEAN AIRLINES—05/21/14
Caribbean Airlines (CAL) announced that Michael DiLollo of Canada will be its new chief executive officer. DiLollo has spent 20 years of his career at Air Transat and will replace Robert Corbie, who resigned in 2013 after the entire board of the airline was fired by Finance Minister Larry Howai after “breaches in government.”
MEDICINAL MARIJUANA PRODUCTS LAUNCHED BY HERBAL FIRM—05/22/14
Jamaica’s Timeless Herbal Care made an official launch of its various medicinal marijuana products at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in St. Andrew. According to Courtney Better, CEO and president of the company, the firm has allied itself with resources in Israel and Canada, as well as Jamaica, to position itself as a leader in the field.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
JAMAICA READY FOR COMPETITION IN HOLLYWOOD—05/17/14
Jamaica performers are ready for participation in the World Championships of Performing arts (WCOPA), the only global competition designed to find the best aspiring performers from around the world. The competitors come from every age group and are judged on their acting, singing, dancing, instrumental, and modeling abilities. The competition has been compared to the Olympics in regard to qualification and invitation elements. There are 37 performers from Jamaica entering the competition, which takes place in Hollywood, California.
INTERNATIONAL REGGAE DAY TO SEE OPENING OF REGGAE POSTER CONTEST—05/18/14
International Reggae Day will kick off on July 1, 2014, with the international Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC). The contest was started by Michael Thompson, a Jamaican graphic artist, and Maria Papaefstathiou, a Greek designer, in 2011. Since its inception, the contest has seen more than 2,000 entries from 90 countries.
TESSANNE PERFORMS ON MEMORIAL MONDAY IN NY—05/19/14
Music fans in the New York area will have a chance to see Jamaica’s singing sensation Tessanne Chin. The Oracabessa Festival will feature Tessanne at its presentation at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens. Beenie Man, Konshens and Assassin will also perform at the event.
JAMAICAN FILM IN RUNNING FOR AFRICAN MOVIE ACADEMY AWARD—05/20/14
The African Movie Academy Awards program will make its announcements on May 24, 2014. It launched at the Cannes Film Market on May 19. The celebration of African culture and heritage is celebrating its tenth anniversary as well. “Kingston Paradise,” described as an offbeat, urban thriller, will be shown at the event to potential international distributors and buyers.
JAMAICAN WILLIAMS-MILLS WINS 400 METERS IN SHANGHAI—05/18/14
Novolene Williams-Mills of Jamaica beat Amantle Montsho of Botswana to win the women’s 400-meter race at the Shanghai, China, Diamond League competition. The finish was so close that race officials first gave the victory bouquet to Montsho before they reversed their decision.
BOLT NOT INCLUDED IN JAMAICAN SQUAD—05/19/14
Olympic champion and world’s fastest man Usain Bolt has not been named as a member of the Jamaican squad for the first IAAF World Relays to be held in the Bahamas on May 24 and 25, 2014. It was expected that Bolt would not be included because he has not been running all season and indicated that his participation depended on the decision of his coach.
JAMAICAN IN SECOND ROUND OF TENNIS COMPETITION IN GERMANY—05/20/14
Dustin Brown, a German who was born in Jamaica, advanced to the second round of the tennis tournament held in Dusseldorf, Germany. He beat Yen-Hsun of Taipei 7-6 and 6-2. Brown’s victory was a surprise, since he is ranked 86th in the world and took just one hour and 25 minutes to dispatch the fifth seed.
KEMARLEY BROWN CLOCKS 9.93 —05/21/14
Jamaican sprinter Kemarley Brown was the first Jamaican to beat the 10-second barrier so far this season with 9.93 seconds. It was also his personal best and first time under ten seconds. Brown, 21, also ran the 200 meters in 20.29 seconds. Brown’s time was the fastest for a Jamaican in 2014.
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Paul and his companions were on their way to prayer when they were constantly interrupted by “a certain damsel [slave girl] possessed with a spirit of divination” (Acts 16:16, KJV). According to the narrative, “The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days” (vv. 17-18a). Now, one day would probably not have been a bad thing. Two days, probably tolerable. But “many days” saying the same thing over and over would be aggravating, especially when one was trying to go about one’s legitimate business. Therefore, it was not surprising that the time came when “Paul, finally fed up with her, turned and commanded the spirit that possessed her, ‘Out! In the name of Jesus Christ, get out of her!’ And it was gone, just like that” (v. 18b, The Message).
In this passage of text, we often marvel at the immediacy of the effect of the apostle’s words. However, let us take notice of something equally significant. Paul did not address the girl but rather the spirit that was at work in her. It was clear that she had no control over what she was doing and as such it would have been pointless to rebuke her for her actions. By walking in the authority that is in the name of Jesus, Paul was able to not only speak to the spirit but to command it to come out of her. Because at the name of Jesus everything in the heavens, on the earth and under the earth must bow (Philippians 2:10), the spirit had no other choice but to obey.
These thoughts came to mind as I reflected on how we approach our obstacles/problems. By habit we “take our burdens to the Lord” by telling Him about them and trusting Him to work them out. However, Jesus also said, “Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea’; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:22-23, KJV). From what I can tell, “say to this mountain” means speaking to the problem. In other words, it is one thing to tell God about the problems, but it is another thing to tell our problems about God!
Just maybe we need to take our faith to the next level and start speaking to oppressive spirits and situations. As long as we are in the will of God, we have the assurance that if we do not doubt, we can have whatsoever we say. Instead of “fighting” with people and situations, let us combine faith with action. Start speaking to those “mountains” and watch the move of God unfold as said “mountains” do as we command. All in the name of Jesus.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.