THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
GREGORY URGES GOVERNMENT TO SHARE ECONOMIC BURDEN—04/26/14
The government of Jamaica expects its citizens to make sacrifices in light of the country’s economic condition, but Anglican bishop Dr. Howard Gregory wants it to share the burden. Gregory made his remarks at the 144th synod of the Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. He believes that the government’s willingness to make economic sacrifices will be a positive sign of support to Jamaicans.
INCREASING NUMBER OF MURDER CHARGES FOR JAMAICA’S POLICE—04/27/14
Residents of Jamaica’s poorest neighborhoods continue to report negative behavior among the police and security forces there, including indiscriminate shootings, planting firearms next to the dead bodies of their victims, and collecting spent shells. Police in places like May Pen impose dusk-to-dawn curfews and use excessive force regarding alleged suspects.
JAMAICAN GOVCERNMENT FAVORS MORE PLANNING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE—04/28/14
Representatives from various agencies and ministries in Jamaica will be trained in risk assessment and planning for climate change. The training forms part of the government’s efforts to enhance Jamaica’s preparation for the impacts of climate change, which include rising sea levels, higher water surface temperatures, and disastrous storms.
INVESTIGATORS TRACE $300,000 TO DRUG KINGPIN—04/29/14
Jamaican investigators have managed to trace only $300,000 in dirty money back to convicted drug kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke, who benefitted from government contracts while leading a global crime syndicate. The Finance Ministry has found bank accounts linked to Coke that hold just $300,000. Coke is serving a 23-year prison sentence in the United States.
JAMAICA SCRAPS PLANS TO TAX BANK WITHDRAWALS—04/30/14
Peter Phillips, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance, reported that the government will not go ahead with plans to tax bank withdrawals made by island residents. The proposed action had been strongly opposed. Jamaica’s opposition party had threatened to begin street demonstrations unless the government ended its plan to impose a 15-percent withholding tax on some insurance premiums and to modify tax rules for imported services.
ELLINGTON SAYS KARTEL RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE THAN 100 MURDERS—04/30/14
Jamaica’s police commissioner Owen Ellington has stated that dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel, who was given a life sentence in prison for the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams, was the head of a gang that masterminded more than 100 individuals. During his trial, fans accused police of being unfair to Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer.
LANGUAGE TRAINING BENEFITS JAMAICAN STUDENTS—05/01/14
The Jamaican Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment introduced a six-week Russian and Spanish Languages Skills Training Program in November 2013 though the Tourism Product Development Company. Now the first group of program students is seeing positive results from their visitor interactions. According to Melody Haughton-Adams, president of the National Craft Traders and Producers Association, individuals who participated in the training are now able to use their language skills to make more money through more successful interactions with foreign buyers.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS A CONSULATE IN GHANA—05/02/14
Nii Kpobi Tettey Tsuru, La Mantse and Vice-President of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs in Ghana, reports that his country is ready to develop stronger economic links with Jamaica. He noted that while there is a Ghanaian consulate in Jamaica, Jamaica does not yet have a consulate in Ghana. He urged the government to move forward with its consideration of establishing a consulate in his home nation.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN-BORN BASKETBALL PLAYER SIGNS WITH OKLAHOMA STATE—04/26/14
Anthony Allen, a 7-foot-1-inch Jamaican who is originally from Kingston, has signed on to play basketball at Oklahoma State University. According to the university’s coach, Travis Ford, Allen is joining OSU from Lamar State College in Port Arthur, Texas. During his time at Lamar, Allen averaged 11 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.2 blocked shots per game in the past season.
DUNCAN STARS IN “THE LION KING” IN NEW YORK—04/27/14
Teisha Duncan, Jamaican actress, dancer, and singer, is a star of the Disney Theatricals production of “The Lion King” in New York. One of several Jamaicans performing in the musical, she received the call to audition for the show from the president of Disney Theatrical.
FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF JAMAICAN WOMEN’S GROUP CELEBRATED—04/28/14
The Jamaican women of Florida (JWOF) celebrated its first anniversary with a Reggae Jazz Brunch and Fashion Show in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The event attracted about 200 participants who expressed their support to the 50 professional women members and their associates, including founding members who organized the group in order to mentor, network, and encourage personal development among Jamaican women.
OUTREACH FOUNDATION MAKES CONCERT AVAILABLE TO DIASPORA—04/29/14
The “He’s Alive” concert performed by Sound of Man at the Swallowfield Outreach Foundation in St. Andrew was made available to Jamaicans in the Diaspora through pay-per-view. Approximately 400 Jamaicans throughout the world, some in Abu Dhabi in the Middle East, were able to watch the concert through this technology facilitated by LIME.
JOHNSON-LEE TO RUN FOR CITY COURT JUDGE POSITION—04/30/14
Barbara Johnson-Lee, Jamaican-born attorney in New York, has decided to become a candidate for the position of Buffalo City Court Judge. Her candidacy is the culmination of over 20 years practicing law in the New York area. She believes her experience and commitment to her career in law has prepared her to serve as City Court Judge.
JUDGE IN CANADA DECLARES MISTRIAL CITING LACK OF LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS—05/01/14
Superior Court Justice Clayton Conlan in Brampton criticized the Canadian province and declared a mistrial in a drug case due to the serious shortage of qualified interpreters of Jamaican Patois. Conlan said he was “shocked” that in a place with a diverse population like Brampton, which also has a caseload that includes drug issues that involve Pearson International Airport, there was a lack of available and accredited Jamaican Patois interpreters. There are only two such interpreters listed with the Ministry of the Attorney General.
SHARON GORDON TO BE HONORED IN NEW YORK—05/02/14
Sharon Gordon, Jamaican cultural activist and co-founder of the Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music, will be one of four women honored during the 18th annual Women of Great Esteem Emerald Awards. The 2014 awards are being given to those women who seek to develop their communities and work for their advancement. As a Jamaican who lives in New York, Gordon has been active in preserving the purest form of reggae music.
ROBERTS CALLS FOR BILATERAL COOPERATION BETWEEN JAMAICA AND AFRICA—05/02/14
Taylor Roberts, the Jamaica’s outgoing ambassador to Namibia, is calling for more cooperation between the two countries. He made his remarks on a visit to Namibia’s President Hifikepunye Pohamba. Roberts noted that her country of Jamaica and most states in African should renew the cooperation in the fight against colonialism that they shared before independence.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
“KEYSTONE SPECIES” MAY BE LOST TO CLIMATE CHANGE—04/26/14
CULTURAL DELEGATION FROM CARIBBEAN TRAVELS TO CHINA—04/27/14
COCAINE SEIZURES IN THE CARIBBEAN INCREASE—04/28/14
VIDEO ON FACEBOOK SHOWS TRINIDADIAN WOMAN WHIPPING DAUGHTER—04/29/14
CARIBBEAN REPRESENTATIVES MEET WITH NETWORKING EXPERTS FROM UK—04/30/14
FOUR NEW NONSTOP FLIGHTS TO CARIBBEAN FROM JETBLUE—05/01/14
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICA IN FINAL STAGE OF FATCA IMPLEMENTATION—04/26/14
Jamaica and the United States are scheduled to sign an intergovernmental agreement that will implement the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The signing will place Jamaica far ahead of its counterparts in CARICOM. According to John Robinson, senior deputy government at the Bank of Jamaica, the nation has signed off on the text of the agreement, and Jamaica’s finance minister and the charge d’affaires of the U.S. will officially and formally sign it in the first week of May 2014.
WORLD HERITAGE RECOGNITION FOR BLUE AND JOHN CROW MOUNTAINS—04/28/14
The recognition by UNESCO of Jamaica’s Blue and John Crow Mountains is expected to enhance the tourism industry as well as community businesses. The inclusion of these sites on the World Heritage List represents a major enhancement for the nation in terms of tourist arrivals and local business opportunities, said Joe Issa, chairman of Cool Corporation.
HYLTON AFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO GROWTH OF MICRO, SMALL ENTERPRISES—04/29/14
Anthony Hylton, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, has again stated the commitment of the government to continued growth among micro, small and midsized enterprises (MSMEs) on the island. The government will establish policies and legislation designed to support growth among these entities and to recognize the importance of MSMEs to the overall economy.
ECONOMY GETS BOOST FROM $510 MILLION VIA WORLD BANK—04/30/14
The World Bank has given its approval to a loan package worth $510 million to help Jamaica make reforms to its public and private sectors. The loan represents part of the nation’s attempt to encourage growth in its troubled economy. The loan amount will be provided over the next four years to help pay taxes, modernize collections of customs duties, and register businesses.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
WOMEN’S HEALTH GROUP BRINGS SOUTH AFRICAN SINGER TO JAMAICA—04/29/14
The Women’s Health Network (WHN) is preparing for a benefit concert on May 16, 2014, which will feature South African singer Lorraine Klaasen in her debut performance in Jamaica. Klaasen is the winner of the 2013 Juno prize. Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffins are also expected to perform, along with Shuga, Nickieshia Barnes, and dancers from the L’Acadco.
WEBBY AWARDS RECOGNIZE BOBSLED TEAM’S KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN—04/30/14
The 2014 Webby Awards will recognize the Jamaican Bobsled Team for its innovative crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the Winter Olympics. Kickstarter will be noted as Webby Breakout of the Year, while the Jamaican Bobsled Team will be honored as Athlete of the Year.
TWO JAMAICANS WIN AWARDS FOR LITERARY WORK—05/01/14
A-dZiko Simba Gegele was the winner of the first Burt Award for Caribbean Literature for the novel “All Over Again.” Additionally Diana McCaulay, a writer and environmental activist, won the Hollick Arvon Prize for emerging writers for “Loving Jamaica” at the Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival of 2014.
ALL-STAR CAST FOR BOB MARLEY TRIBUTE ALBUM—05/02/14
Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones is one of many major stars to participate in a tribute album to Jamaica’s Bob Marley. Keb’ Mo’ and Sherieta Lewis will also be featured on the album, which includes songs from Los Lobos, Toots Hibbert, and Taj Mahal. Richards has had a long relationship with reggae music dating from the 1970s when they recorded at Dynamic Sounds in Kingston.
JAMAICANS WIN GOLD AT PENN RELAYS—04/26/14
Jamaicans Claudette Allen, long jumper from Edwin Allen High School, and Rochelle Frazer, a discus thrower also from Edwin Allen, achieved victory in their respective events on the first day of the Penn Relays of 2014. Krista-gay Taylor of Convent of Mercy Alpha Academy won the high jump.
JAMAICA, PENN RELAYS PARTNERSHIP CONSIDERED—04/28/14
Natalie Neita-Headley, Jamaica’s minister with responsibility for sports, wants to make stronger links between Jamaica and Philadelphia, the city in which the Penn Relays are held. According to the minister, discussions are continuing toward a goal that will mutually benefit both agencies. She also congratulated Kingston College and several Jamaicans honored at the 2014 meet at the University of Pennsylvania.
AMATEUR SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMERS WILL COMPETE IN FLORIDA—04/29/14
Jamaica’s Amateur Swimming association will send seven synchronized swimmers from the Island Aquatics Synchro Club to a competition in Florida. The Florida SE/SW Association Age Group Synchronized Swimming Championships will be held in Coral Springs, and Jamaica’s entries will include Ajoni Llewellyn, Hannah Smith, and Nyouka Baugh.
HENRIQUES TOP PERFORMER AT SHOOTING TOURNAMENT—04/30/14
Orville Henriques from Mandeville had the highest overall performance at the Jamaica International Practical Shooting Tournament of 2014. The two-day event was held at the headquarters of the Jamaica Rifle Association in Mountain View. Henriques received the maximum score possible in his specialty event, beating 34 other competitors by receiving 1,255 points.
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Running into God is like running into a brick wall; you are literally stopped in your tracks. I discovered this (again) first hand when a couple months ago I was talking to Him about some personal things I was struggling with, and throwing in some questions for good measure, when suddenly He spoke. There were no lightening bolts, no writing on the wall, no audible voice, but in the quietness of my time with Him the words from Psalm 127:1a came alive in my spirit: “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (KJV).
I didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to know what that meant. As the weeks passed and as I reflected on that moment, it became clear to me that the struggles I was experiencing were all because I had tried to resolve some things in my own strength instead of trusting Him as I know I should. To try to build a life, a relationship, a home, a business, a marriage, a career, or anything else for that matter, is all for naught unless God Himself is the builder. That means putting Him first by building in accordance with His Word. It is no wonder Jesus reaffirms, “Thus, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock” (Matthew 7:24-25). The opposite is also true: “And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined” (vv. 26-27).
Deconstructing the way I was building was not easy as I felt out of control. It was a struggle that lasted weeks and came at great personal cost as everything else seemed secondary at that point, but it was important to heed the voice of the Lord and ensure I was building on the right foundation. It is interesting that in the examples Jesus used, both builders did manage to build the house. However, when adversity presented itself only the one that was built on the rock was left standing.
What is the foundation on which you are building your present and future goals and dreams? If God is not at the center of it all, it is time to demolish and rebuild. Anything else will ultimately result in frustration and failure. “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it.”
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.