THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
THWAITES OPPOSES PRO-GAY MATERIAL IN EDUCATION SYSTEM—05/18/13
Ronald Thwaites, Jamaica’s Minister of Education, says that discussions of homosexuality will be prohibited in the nation’s educational system and will be left out of the Health and Family Life Program revisions for schools. According to Thwaites, care must be taken so that tolerance of minority interests does not defeat the position of the majority.
GROUP PRESSURES JAMAICA TO INVESTIGATE ABUSE BY SECURITY FORCES—05/19/13
Amnesty International, a human rights organization, is calling for the government of Jamaica to conduct a full and complete investigation into reports of abuse committed by security forces during the state of emergency declared in 2010. Allegations state that these forces were responsible for arbitrary arrests, disappearances, and illegal killings. Amnesty wants authorities in Jamaica to create a commission that has the power and resources adequate to carry out a total investigation.
JAMAICAN CHILDREN INTENTIONALLY INJURED BY ADULTS—05/20/13
According to statistics from the Economic and Social Survey Jamaica 2012 (ESSJ), thousands of children in Jamaica are treated in hospital emergency rooms every day with injuries intentionally perpetrated on them by adults. The injuries spanned all age groups. According to the survey, 324 children from birth to five years of age were treated for such injuries in 2012 alone.
FORMER JAMAICAN SENATE PRESIDENT TO LEAVE FOR CANADA—05/21/13
Stanley Redwood, the former President of the Jamaican Senate, will emigrate to Canada with his family, following his formal resignation from the post. Redwood said he was leaving the island for family reasons.
Redwood has faced wide criticism, including accusations of “moral dishonesty” from Kevin O’Brien, a political analyst. He said that Redwood knew the potential outcome of his decision to seek Canadian citizenship in 2008, but chose to accept the appointment to the Senate post knowing he would leave shortly. He will be replaced by Floyd Morris.
GOVERNMENT SEEKS VIOLENCE INSURANCE FOR TEACHERS—05/22/13
Jamaica’s Ministry of Education is considering a violence insurance package to help teachers who have been attacked and hurt by pupils in the classroom. Ronald Thwaites, Minister of Education, explained that the coverage was under consideration because teachers in these situations would have “normal recourse against (the) employer if there was any negligence or want of care.”
50 PEOPLE BENEFIT FROM HOUSING MINISTRY INITIATIVE—05/23/13
Jamaica’s Ministry of Housing is ready to write off the mortgages of 50 individuals as part of the Jubilee Housing Initiative. This is part of the Ministry’s activities designed to celebrate the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence. Beneficiaries were chosen from all parishes and who live in housing programs operated by the Ministry.
FLOYD MORRIS APPOINTED NEW SENATE PRESIDENT—05/24/13
Floyd Morris has been appointed to the position of President of the Jamaican Senate. He will replace Reverend Stanley Redwood, who resigned and moved with his family to Canada. Morris warned Navel Clarke of the government that he will be watching him to ensure no one in the Upper House is distracted. Valerie Curtis, deputy clerk of the Houses of Parliament, and Heather Cooke, clerk, will act as “eyes” for Morris, who is blind.
HANNA WANTS JAMAICAN YOUTH TO USE LABOR DAY—05/24/13
Lisa Hanna, Jamaican Minister of Youth and Culture, is calling on young people to make use of Labor Day, which gives them the opportunity to give back to their communities through service to the elderly and others who helped with their development. While many young people may not be able to make monetary contributions, making personal efforts to help would be welcomed. The theme of Labor Day 2013 is “Lend a Hand, Build Our Land” and is designed to emphasize responsibility to the community.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN-BORN BROADCASTER HONORED IN U.S.—05/18/13
Pat Baccas-Bowen, who was born in Jamaica and is now the founder, CEO and host of Future Movement Radio in Atlanta, Georgia, has been named lieutenant colonel aide de camp by the state’s governor, Nathan Neal. Baccas-Brown also received a state commendation from Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, and he is the first Jamaican in Georgia to receive the honor. While it is a ceremonial appointment, it recognizes the broadcaster’s contributions to the citizens of the state.
JAMAICA, BIRMINGHAM U.K. STRENGTHEN BONDS—05/20/13
The bond made between Jamaica and Birmingham in the United Kingdom, which was made during the period leading up to the London 2012 Olympics, has been made stronger by a special expression of thanks from Jamaica to people in the UK who aided the country’s track and field athletes at the games. An appreciation luncheon was given at Birmingham’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. It was organized by the Jamaica National Building Society.
JAMAICANS IN UK ENCOURAGED TO GIVE BACK TO HOME COUNTRY—05/21/13
Reverend Rose Hudson Wilkin, vicar for Queen Elizabeth and the chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons in London, is urging Jamaicans in the United Kingdom to continue their contributions to their home island communities. She made her comments during the main sermon given to mark the 25th anniversary of the Jamaica national Building Society.
JDAF SAYS JAMAICAN DIASPORA STRATEGIC FOR ISLAND’S DEVELOPMENT—05/23/13
According to the Jamaica Diaspora Institute (JDI), Jamaicans in the Diaspora are of great importance to the home country as it seeks sustainable development. The chief indicators of the value of the Diaspora are remittances, which total 17 percent of the nation’s GDP, and tourists, which represent between 11 percent and 15 percent of the island’s total visitors. Diaspora organizations and missions contribute greatly to health care, investment, trade, education, and sports in Jamaica.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
EX-PREMIER OF CAYMANS DENIES ALLEGATIONS—05/18/13
CARIBBEAN LITERATURE SHOWCASED—05/19/13
NUMBERS OF GIANT LEATHERBACK TURTLES RISE IN CARIBBEAN—05/20/13
WORLD BANK SAYS CARIBBEAN WILL DOMINATE GLOBAL INVESTMENT, SAVINGS—05/21/13
NEW BOARD APPOINTED TO OVERSEE CARIBBEAN AIRLINES—05/22/13
FARMING IN CARIBBEAN HOPES TO GET A BOOST—05/23/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICAN ECONOMY LOWER DURING MARCH QUARTER—05/18/13
The Bank of Jamaica estimates that the economy of Jamaica contracted by as much as 1.2 percent between January and March 2013. This is the fourth consecutive quarter of negative growth and has reduced the growth of the gross domestic product for fiscal 2012-2013. The bank also predicts a fifth quarter of negative growth on the basis of technical indicators.
AIR JAMAICA NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR CARIBBEAN AIRLINES’ LOSSES—05/19/13
Denis Lalor, the only director of Caribbean Airlines (CAL) who did not lose his position on the board stated that he is concerned about the financial condition of the national air carrier. After the CAL board was fired by Larry Howai, Trinidad’s finance minister, Lalor said he did not think that CAL’s acquisition of Air Jamaica’s routes was the cause of the losses.
GOVERNMENT WORRIED ABOUT PRIVATE SECTOR CARICOM REPRESENTATION—05/20/13
The government of Jamaica is concerned about the inaction of the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC). This has resulted in a lack of representation for the private sector at the regional level. Arnaldo Brown, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, noted that resolving regional issues requires adequate representation at this level. The private sector must actively participate in the process.
IMF WELCOMES JAMAICAN DOLLAR DEVALUATION—05/21/13
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is welcoming the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar, according to Jan Kees Martijn, the leader of a staff mission to the island. Martijn said the devaluation represents a major correction. Jamaica’s dollar has fallen more than 11 percent over the past year.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN INTERESTS DISCUSS CONSERVATION ON PRIVATE ISLAND—05/18/13
IGUANAS RELEASED IN RECORD NUMBERS AS PART OF RECOVERY PLAN—05/20/13
NATIONS PARTNER TO TEST SCIENTIFIC DIPLOMACY—05/22/13
FIBER-OPTIC CABLE LINK WITH JAMAICA ACTIVATED BY CUBA—05/23/13
JAMAICA INTERNATIONAL OCHO RIOS JAZZ FESTIVAL LINE-UP ANNOUNCED—05/18/13
The Jamaica International Ocho Rios Jazz Festival will be held between June 8 and 16, 2013, and will celebrate its 23rd anniversary. There will be more than 30 events throughout the island, and the festival is expected to attract over 5,000 visitors. The program includes jam sessions, community concerts, and a competition of school bands over the course of the event. The line-up will include Kiralina, Ginetta, Mynta, Jamaica Big Band, Karen Smith, Kathy Brown, Desi Jones, Mari Isaacs-Black, among others.
THIECKO RELEASES “STAND TALL” ALBUM—05/19/13
Thiecko, the reggae entertainer from Senegal, spent time in Jamaica in January 2013 to add some island flavor to his newest albums “Stand Tall.” He is pleased with the final product, which was produced partly at Stephen Stanley’s Recording Studio on Red Hills Road. Thiecko said he found the sound he wanted for his album in Jamaica and praised Stanley for his work on the album.
SAN FRANCISCO COLLECTOR, DJ, OFFERS $1,000 FOR LOST JAMAICAN RECORDS—05/20/13
A record collector and deejay from San Francisco is looking for a bag of rare records that he recently lost, and he is willing to pay $1,000 to have them back, no questions asked. The man, whose name has not been given, advertised in Jamaican papers for the return of the records. The rare recordings include late 1960s singles by Derrick Harriott, Keith and Tex, The Gay Lads, and others. He had just returned from spinning at Radio Valencia when he left the bag in a cab.
FUNDING OBTAINED FOR MUSIC RESEARCH PROJECT—05/21/13
Earl Jarrett, the chairman of the JN Foundation, has agreed to provide funding for a two-year project by the Music Unites Foundation to research and document the life and works of Jamaican composers of classical and patriotic music, church music, dance, and theater music. While Jamaica is well known for its indigenous musical forms like reggae and dancehall, its contributions to classical music have not gained as much attention. Rosina Moore, executive director of Music Unites Jamaica, says that the island has made significant contributions to this genre, the earliest of which date to the late Baroque period of European classical compositions.
JAMAICA DOMINATES DIAMOND LEAGUE IN SHANGHAI—05/18/13
The Jamaicans dominated the sprints at the Diamond League meet in Shanghai, China. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the women’s 100 meters, while Warren Weir took gold for the men’s 200 meter race. Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, who were slated to run, had withdrawn from the competition. Blake suffered an injury, and Bolt decided to take a break from the 200 to focus his energy on the 100 meters.
CAMPBELL-BROWN HEADS CARIBBEAN ATHLETE CONTINGENT—05/19/13
Veronica Campbell-Brown, who has won three Olympic gold medals and four World championships, will lead some 36 Caribbean athletes at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York. This meet is the third in the multi-million-dollar Diamond League, and it will feature many of track and field international superstars. Campbell-Brown will run the 200 meters. Fellow Jamaicans Warren Weir, Shericka Williams, and Sherrone Simpson will also compete at the event.
JAMAICAN TEAM ENTHUSED ABOUT MOTOR RACE CHAMPIONSHIP—05/20/13
Five nations, including Jamaica, the defending champion, will compete in the Caribbean Motor Race Championship (CRMC), scheduled for May 26, 2013. Drivers from Suriname, Guyana, Barbados, and the Cayman Islands will participate at the event at Dover raceway in St. Ann. According to Chris McFarlane, the cars are on the island, and he expects 12,000 or more supporters to view the race. McFarlane is president of the Jamaica Race Drivers Club.
HEATHER CAMPBELL, KARATE QUEEN—05/21/13
Heather Campbell is the founder and operator of First Generation Rising Sun Karate School and has a fifth degree black belt in the sport. She is the first person in her family to participate in karate. While many athletes begin the sport as children, Campbell began in her 20s. She has impressed many audiences with her skills at martial arts tournaments, both in Jamaica and at the international level.
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Gifted For Service
When we think of ministry gifts in the church, we usually think of the “five-fold” gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher (Ephesians 4:12). Most Christians would not readily claim any of those gifts, and quite rightly so, but that does not mean each believer has not been blessed with at least one spiritual gift that should be used for the glory of God and the edification of the body of Christ. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul reminds them, “God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people!” (12:4, 7, The Message).
Some of the gifts given to Christians in the early church were for the spreading of the gospel as well as one-on-one ministry. What was true then is still true today. Some of our gifts can be exercised in everyday life with people we meet. We can encourage someone who needs an encouraging word; help someone with a task that few would probably notice; be an organizer where those skills are needed; pray, intercede, and comfort. These are just some of the ways in which God’s people can impact the spheres of influence we find ourselves in, if we take the time to look out for and recognize the opportunities that God has placed before us to represent Him. Maybe a young mother could use some help; your local food bank another volunteer; your child(ren)’s school another pair of hands in the lunch room; and your local church, another helper. The opportunities are endless. As ambassadors of Christ, the only Jesus that some people will ever see is the one they see in us and the things we do.
God expects us to be productive (John 15:2), and for that we need to use our gifts. For some of us that gift may be underutilized, and in others, it may be dormant. Isn’t it time to “stir up the gift of God which is in thee”? (2 Timothy 1:6, KJV). The appeal of Jesus was, “Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35), yet “the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few” (Matthew 9:37). Every committed Christian has a responsibility to answer that call and to become harvesters of souls for the kingdom of God.
There is an area of service for which you have been gifted, and which is waiting for you to step into. What has God gifted you to do?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.