THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
TEEN SMOKERS IN JAMAICA HAVE GREATEST RISK OF CANCER—11/09/13
Teenagers who smoke tobacco represent the population in Jamaica at greatest risk of developing cancer, according to a report from the Pan American Health Organizations (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The report, Cancer in the Americas: Country Profiles 2013, found that adolescent tobacco smokers in Jamaica represented 28.7 percent of the teenage population, compared to 15.1 percent of the adult population represented by adult smokers. This places them at greater risk for cancer-related diseases.
OPPOSITION LEADER MEETS LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE—11/10/13
Andrew Holness, the leader of Jamaica’s chief opposition party, managed to hold off a challenge to his leadership from a top deputy who had fought him for two months. Holness, a former Prime Minister who had led the Jamaica Labor Party for two years, came out on top at a conference to determine who will lead the party into the next parliamentary elections in 2017.
JAMAICA, JAPAN SIGN ENERGY, MINING AGREEMENT—11/11/13
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaican Prime Minister, signed a cooperation agreement with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe while on her official visit to Japan. The agreement between the two nations involves the development of energy and mineral resources. The agreement also recognizes other opportunities in various other economic sectors, and provides for a dialogue to improve the business environment and expand investments.
DEFAMATION DECRIMINALIZED IN JAMAICA—11/12/13
The Jamaican Parliament gave its approval to legislation seeking to abolish the offense of criminal defamation. The move represents a major milestone in the history of freedom of the press on the island. Defamation Bill 2013 was passed with a unanimous vote by the Senate in July 2013, and then passed recently by the House of Representatives. The new legislation restructures the nation’s libel legislation to better bring it in line with international standards. The law will replace the 19th-century Libel and Slander Act and the 1963 Defamation Act.
JAMAICAN AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY ENCOURAGES USE OF LOCAL FOODS—11/13/13
A new campaign from the Jamaica Agricultural Society, “Eat Jamaican,” is designed to encourage Jamaicans to eat more foods that are produced locally. The campaign forms part of a month-long initiative designed to promote local foods. Ron Blake, acting executive director for Jamaica 4-H Clubs, stated that encouraging Jamaicans to eat local foods represents an investment in the growth of the island economy.
IMF CALLS FOR RAPID POLICY CHANGES TO FUEL GROWTH IN JAMAICA—11/14/13
After the second review governed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, authorities emphasized the need for Jamaica’s government to implement reforms faster in order to facilitate investments and create jobs. The mission making the recommendation had been in Jamaica to consult with government officials and private sector interests since November 6, 2013. It confirmed that Jamaica had met its targets for the quarter that ended in September 2013.
U.S. DOPING AGENCY OFFERS HELP TO JADCO—11/15/13
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has stated that it will help the troubled anti-doping authority in Jamaica address its problems. According to USADA chief executive Travis Tygart, Jamaica’s athletes “deserve better,” and noted that the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) asked for help after the inspection of Jamaica’s program by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). JADCO hopes to benefit from a partnership with another anti-doping authority.
RICHARD AZAN REAPPOINTED JUNIOR MINISTER—11/15/13
It has been less than two months since Richard Azan resigned as Jamaica’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, but Azan has been reappointed as junior minister. Azan, Member of Parliament for North West Clarendon, quit his post in September 2013, as a result of his role in using the services of a private contractor to build ten shops at the market without permission from the Clarendon Parish Council. After no basis was found to charge Azan with any crime, the Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn, dropped the matter, and the People’s National Party Youth Organization president, Alric Campbell, asked Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to reinstate Azan to his former position.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
KELLIER DEFUSES SITUATION INVOLVING JAMAICAN WORKERS IN ONTARIO—11/10/13
After the mayor of Leamington, Ontario, labeled Jamaican farm workers as “serial sexual harassers,” Jamaica’s Labor Minister Derrick Kellier traveled to Canada for talks about the alleged inappropriate behavior. The Canadian group, Justicia for Migrant Workers, was outraged by Mayor John Paterson’s characterization of the workers and had questioned the lack of response by Jamaica’s government to the situation.
JAMAICA ADDRESSES CLAIMS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT BY MIGRANT WORKERS—11/11/13
In Leamington, Ontario, in Canada, there are about 1,200 migrant workers from Jamaica. Recently, the town mayor John Paterson publicly criticized Jamaican migrant workers for making “lewd comments” to town women. At a meeting of the police board in August 2013, Paterson said Jamaican migrant workers were making inappropriate remarks to women and making them uncomfortable. He has since met with Jamaican officials, including Derrick Kellier, Minister of Labor and Social Security, and reported that the meeting was productive and positive. Paterson said the Jamaican officials promised to help find a way to make the community more reception to workers. Liaison officers from Jamaica are also meeting with the migrant workers.
JAMAICAN BOBSLEDDER “NOT OFFENDED” BY HALLOWEEN COSTUMES—11/12/13
A member of Jamaica’s 1988 bobsledding team, Devon Harris, says that he is flattered and not offended by costumes worn by two San Diego high school coaches who wore blackface makeup on Halloween in addition to their “Cool Runnings” attire. While civil rights groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP strongly criticized the costumers, Harris stated that people are hyper-sensitive when it comes to race and racism.
DIASPORA ALUMNI TO HELP WITH EDUCATION—11/13/13
A group of 34 Jamaican alumni associations plan to hold a summit meeting in February 2014 to provide stakeholders in the education system the opportunity to have input on how the Diaspora can help to resolve its problems. According to Karlene Largie, president of the Union of Jamaican Alumni Association, there are many resources in the Diaspora that can be harnessed to make a positive impact on schools.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN AIRLINES HAS US$20 MILLION, OWES US$100 MILLION—11/10/13
CARIBBEAN NEW YORKERS CELEBRATE DE BLASIO WIN—11/11/13
CARIBBEAN PRO LEAGUE SUPPORTED BY SKEENE—11/12/13
NEW CANADIAN HEALTH INITIATIVE TO BENEFIT CARIBBEAN NATIONS—11/13/13
GREATER CARIBBEAN REPRESENTS FIRST TOURISM ZONE—11/14/13
WATER SALES DROP DUE TO GREATER RAINFALL—11/15/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
PAULWELL SAYS JAMAICA LEADS IN ADDRESSING ENERGY NEEDS—11/09/13
Phillip Paulwell, Jamaica’s Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, believes the government is capable of addressing the energy problems of the country and noted that Jamaica is a pioneer in energy among Caribbean nations. Paulwell noted as examples of Jamaica’s commitment to renewable energy the two new wind projects will be coming online in addition to the Wigton plant scheduled to begin operation in 2015.
JAMAICA LOOKING FOR RENEWABLE ELECTRIC POWER SOURCES—11/12/13
Jamaica’s government will use the Sustainable Energy Roadmap from the Worldwatch Institute to examine ways to transition the existing electricity sector to a sector that is socially, financially, and environmentally sustainable. Greater use of high renewables will result in significant savings, more energy security, enhanced competitiveness, and additional benefits to the island nation.
OFFSHORE BANK ACCOUNTS TO BE PROBED BY IRS—11/14/13
A district court in the United States has given the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the authority to issue summons for the records of U.S. taxpayers on offshore bank accounts located in the Caribbean. The U.S. Justice Department said that the court will require five banks to produce data on U.S. taxpayers who may be guilty of evading U.S. federal taxes by keeping interests in undisclosed accounts. The accounts are held at The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Ltd. and its affiliates in the Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Malta, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
COGLE ACCEPTS CHALLENGE—11/15/13
Banking veteran Roger Cogle, who has been appointed head of RBC Royal Bank Jamaica, says he has the opportunity to impact the performance of all lines of business. Previously, Cogle headed personal banking. He will take over a banking institution that is deep in debt. The bank is owned by the Royal Bank of Canada, but answers to Caribbean headquarters in Trinidad.
Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
BLACKBERRY Z30 AVAILABLE IN CARIBBEAN BY HOLIDAYS—11/11/13
CARIBBEAN REPRESENTATIVES ATTEND WARSAW CLIMATE DISCUSSIONS—11/13/13
SUSTAINABLE TOURIST ZONE ESTABLISHED—11/14/13
MOBILE APP COULD SAVE LIVES IN A HURRICANE—11/15/13
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
FILM PRODUCERS IN CARIBBEAN LOOKING FOR AFRICAN PARTNERS—11/10/13
Hero Films and CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution, an organization of media firms producing, marketing, and exhibiting films with Caribbean themes, showcased content from the Caribbean Diaspora and are seeking potential co-production partners in Africa. According to Frances Anne Solomon, head of the organization, and Nicole Brooks, a producer and director based in Toronto, Africa is a natural partner for Caribbean producers; Caribbean stories represent an extension of African history and culture.
CONTEMPORARY CARIBBEAN ART EXHIBITED IN HARLEM, NEW YORK—11/11/13
The Dwyer Cultural Center in Harlem, New York, has launched a visual art exhibit showcasing contemporary artists from across the Caribbean region. The exhibition features work of twelve artists who were participants in the Barbados Caribbean Fin Art Fair between 2011 and 2013. Organizers say the venue is perfect for highlighting the contributions of Caribbean representatives of the African Diaspora, since it is the “cultural Mecca” for people of color.
MCGREGOR ASKS FOR GREATER RECOGNITION—11/12/13
Freddie McGregor, veteran reggae artiste, is calling for more recognition for his contributions to the music of the island. McGregor made his remarks as he celebrates 50 years on the local music scene. McGregor receive an Order of Distinction from the government in 2004 for his contributions noted that many music veterans have not received enough credit in their own country.
JAMAICAN SHOULD “BUY INTO” REGGAE, SAYS GYPTIAN—11/13/13
Gyptian, a prominent reggae artiste, believes that Jamaica should give more respect to its local talent, noting that many of the biggest names in Jamaican music were ignored until they achieved popularity in foreign countries. According to Gyptian, this indicates that Jamaicans are not as patriotic as they might be. He cited the low album sales of reggae stars on the island, the capital of reggae.
JAMAICA PROUD OF UNDER-17 REGGAE GIRLZ—11/09/13
Captain Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Federation, said that although the Reggae Girlz fell short in its attempt to qualify for the World Cup, he was proud of the Under-17 women’s team. He said they played with honor, quality, and passion. Burrell, also vice president of CONCACAF, said the Girlz success in teaching the semifinals of this high-level tournament for the first time is a strong indication of how women’s football in Jamaica is on the rise.
NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE REPS TO VISIT JAMAICA—11/11/13
Representatives of teams in the North American Soccer League (NASL), which are based in the United States and Canada, will visit Jamaica in December 2013, giving local players a chance to show off their talents. According to Juergen Sommer, director of soccer operations and the head coach of the Indy Eleven, a U.S.-based team, the league is looking to work with Jamaica’s professional football leagues to do combines and other things.
WRIGHT SAYS ANTI-DOPING SCANDALS “TIP OF ICEBERG”—11/12/13
According to Dr. Paul Wright, Jamaica’s top drug tester, the recent number of failed drug tests among Jamaican athletes may only represent the “tip of the iceberg.” Wright said that the anti-doping regime in Jamaica had fallen below international standards. He made his remarks shortly after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) made a visit to the island to investigate claims that its athletes were not receiving adequately rigorous testing.
HOLDING, DRAVID DISAGREE OVER CHANDERPAUL PROMOTION—11/14/13
Michael Holding, former fast bowler with the West Indies, has stated his disagreement with Rahul Dravid, former Indian captain, that Shivnarine Chanderpaul, a middle order batsman, receive a promotion in the order. Dravid suggested the move after the defeat of the Windies by 51 runs and an innings in the first Test match in Kolkata.
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Some time ago I had the very challenging task of driving in heavy misty fog and rain. Visibility was poor and it was nearly impossible to read road signs ten meters away. As if that was not bad enough, it was very difficult to see other vehicles on the road even with their four-way flashers on. The car’s navigational system was working beautifully and with turn-by-turn instructions it would take me to my exact destination. But of what use was it if I couldn’t even see the road and my exits? How could I even be sure I was staying in the right driving lane? In situations like these I take advantage of what my eyes could see, the white lines on my left. As long as I stayed close to those lines, I wouldn’t have to worry about drifting across other lanes. They were my guide to let me know I was in the correct driving lane.
The spiritual truth in the experience was not lost on me. As I drove confidently on, the words of the Psalmist came alive in my being: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (119:105, KJV). In the quietness of my thoughts, pondering the magnitude of the verse, the Holy Spirit reminded me that He was like my navigational system; always pointing the way to where I needed to go, but in the darkness of the world that is ours and in the course of day-to-day living, the word of God were my white lines. As long as I stayed within the boundaries, I would be fine.
It is interesting that in Psalm 119 there are thirty-eight references to “thy word”, and the first time David used it, he wrote, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (v.9). It is no wonder then that two verses later he continued, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Or as The Message translation paraphrases it, “I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.” Like driving in heavy misty fog and rain, staying within the boundaries of the Word can be extremely challenging but they are our white lines. “By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path” is how The Message puts verse 105, an acknowledgment of the fact that if our every step is not guided by the Word, we cannot be assured that we are in the right lane.
On the nature of the word of God and the use we should make of it, Bible Scholar Matthew Henry wrote, “1. It discovers to us, concerning God and ourselves, that which otherwise we could not have known; it shows us what is amiss, and will be dangerous; it directs us in our work and way, and a dark place indeed the world would be without it. It is a lamp which we may set up by us, and take into our hands for our own particular use (Pro. 6:23). The commandment is a lamp kept burning with the oil of the Spirit; it is like the lamps in the sanctuary, and the pillar of fire to Israel. 2. The use we should make of it. It must be not only a light to out eyes, to gratify them, and fill our heads with speculations, but a light to our feet and to our path, to direct us in the right ordering of our conversation, both in the choice of our way in general and in the particular steps we take in that way, that we may not take a false way nor a false step in the right way. We are then truly sensible of God’s goodness to us in giving us such a lamp and light when we make it a guide to our feet, our path.”
Have you checked your steps lately? Who or what has been guiding them?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.