THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
GUARDS FIRED FOR ATTACK ON GAY STUDENT—11/03/12
Two security guards at the University of Technology in Kingston, Jamaica, have been fired from their positions due to an assault on a student they believed to be gay. The attack was caught on video and shows one of the guards slapping, punching and kicking the student as the other guard held him down. Police are investigating the incident. Jamaicans for Justice has called for the government to take actions to address violence and intolerance toward gays on the island.
JAMAICANS MORE TOLERANT OF GAYS, SAYS STUDY—11/04/12
The National Survey of Attitudes and Perceptions of Jamaicans Towards Same-Sex Relationships indicates that Jamaicans are becoming more tolerant of homosexuals, although they still retain strongly negative attitudes toward homosexual acts. The 2012 study found that about 20 percent of Jamaicans is tolerant of lesbians, gays, bixexuals, and transgendered individuals.
JAMAICAN COMMISSION TO STUDY SLAVERY REPARATIONS—11/05/12
A commission charged with investigating the impact of slavery on Jamaica and whether the island should seek reparations from Britain for conditions under slavery in colonial times is being formed again. A similar commission was created in 2009 but disbanded due to financial difficulties. Verene A. Shepherd, historian and director of the Institute of Gender and Development Studies at the University of the West Indies, will lead the commission of academics, attorneys, Rastafarians, and students.
CAMPAIGN AIDE SAYS JAMAICANS WILL VOTE FOR OBAMA—11/06/12
Roger Archibald, Jamaican-born attorney in the United States, believes that Jamaican-Americans will vote for President Barack Obama in the presidential election. He says this is especially true now that former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who had Jamaican parents, has endorsed Obama. Archibald, a member of the Obama campaign, bases his opinion on feedback from Jamaicans living overseas.
IMF SAYS GOVERNMENT MUST TAKE STRONGER ACTION—11/07/12
In order to change the debt dynamics facing Jamaica, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on the government of Jamaica to take stronger action. The IMF made its remarks as the two entities continue their negotiations toward a new support agreement. The IMF wants more action aimed at vulnerabilities and risks of the Jamaican economy that can also sustain more growth and achieve fiscal sustainability.
SCHOOL VENDOR, GRANDSON SHOT IN ST. CATHERINE—11/08/12
Panzie Morgan, 62, a school vendor, and her six-year-old grandson were both shot during a home invasion. Gunmen entered Morgan’s home and questioned her briefly before shooting her several times. She died at the scene. The gunmen then shot the child while he was sleeping in his bedroom. He remains on life support. The attack shocked neighbors who said Morgan had no quarrels with anyone and could give no motive for the murders.
SECURITY AT REMITTANCE FIRMS INCREASED—11/09/12
Remittance companies have filed over 270,000 reports of suspicious transactions since the beginning of 2012, according to the Financial Investigations Division (FID). Leesa Kow, the president of Jamaica Money Remitters Association, said that the costs of security have increased significantly in response to ongoing scams.
DEPUTY MAYOR OF MONTEGO BAY READY TO RESIGN—11/09/12
Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Michael Troupe, says he is ready to end his political career in order to pursue a defamation lawsuit he has brought against the Jamaican government. Troupe says that his reputation is more important to him than party positions. It has been suggested that he was involved in an illegal lottery scam after the police’s Anti-Lottery Task Force raided his home.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
CCJ SUPPORTS EDUCATION—11/03/12
The Chicago Concerned Jamaicans (CCJ) organization has contributed more than US$700,000 to education in Jamaica since its inception 25 years ago. The group’s funding is meant to provide books, computers, scholarships, and library improvements for Jamaican students. It was originally established in 1988 in response to the needs of victims of Hurricane Gilbert.
JAMAICAN ACTRESS PERFORMS, CELEBRATES JAMAICA’S 50TH—11/05/12
The 50-year anniversary of Jamaican independence was celebrated with a performance by Jamaican-born actress Debra Ehrhardt at the Kreeger Theater in Rockville, Maryland. She performed in the monologue “Jamaica Farewell,” a play that follows the early years of the former Debra Phillips and highlights the challenges she faced when leaving Jamaica. Ehrhardt is now based in Los Angeles, California, and is leading the play on tour.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT SHOULD ACT ON FATCA—11/08/12
Jamaica’s government needs to take action and implement a plan that will aid Jamaican financial institutions and citizens in dealing with the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The law is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2014. It requires all non-U.S. financial institutions to provide information to the internal Revenue Service about accounts maintained by Jamaican citizens that generate income or capital gains.
CARICOM TO SUPPORT VICTIMS OF HURRICANE SANDY—11/09/12
According to the Secretary-General of CARICOM, Irwin LaRocque, the organization is committed to providing support to the victims of Hurricane Sandy in Jamaica, Haiti, and Cuba. LaRocque acknowledged the particular damage to the agriculture and tourism sectors of the Caribbean and the need for support in these areas.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
HURRICANE RELIEF HEADS TO CARIBBEAN—11/03/12
IMF SAYS ANTIGUA, BARBUDA ECONOMY TO RECOVER—11/04/12
WORLD BANK PRESIDENT HOPEFUL ABOUT HAITI—11/06/12
CUBA PROVIDES SUBSIDIES TO HELP HURRICANE VICTIMS REBUILD—11/08/12
PUERTO RICO SUPPORTS STATEHOOD—11/08/12
FRANCE TO AID JAMAICA, HAITI, CUBA—11/09/12
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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JPS: SELF-INSURANCE FUND SUFFICIENT TO PAY FOR RECOVERY—11/04/12
The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) believes it can absorb the costs associated with repairing its transmission network’s damage suffered during Hurricane Sandy. The firm says that its self-insurance fund, which totals US$20 million at present, should be enough to cover all necessary repairs.
JAMAICAN COMPANIES TO CREATE SUPER-FIRM FOR REDEVELOPMENT—11/07/12
Jamaican companies have become frustrated with the slow pace of redevelopment in the downtown Kingston area and so they have decided to establish a super-firm designed to fund the project. GraceKennedy Group will host a meeting to top business leaders to further the plans for the super-company, the first mandate of which would be to develop two master plans. One would focus on attracting new economic drivers, and the other would involve a social intervention facet of urban development.
FARMS IMPACTED BY HURRICANE TO RECEIVE FERTILIZER AID—11/08/12
One thousand bags of fertilizer will be donated by Newport-Fersan Jamaica Ltd. to help the farmers who suffered damages due to Hurricane Sandy. In addition to the donation of 1,000 bags of the product, the company will reduce its price to storm-hit farms. The fertilizer donation is being facilitated via the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS).
JAMAICA TO MERGE CARGO PORT AND CAYAMANAS INDUSTRIAL PLANS—11/09/12
The Chinese company that plans to expand the trans-shipment port in Kingston, Jamaica, in order to accommodate large ships, is waiting for the government to make a decision on the project’s scope. Once that decision is made, the China Harbor Engineering Company is ready to move on a project to which it has already committed US$600 million for a 50-mile highway connecting the south coast of Jamaica to tourist resorts in the north.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
PUERTO RICO TO BUILD LARGE SOLAR ENERGY PARK—11/03/12
JAMAICA ENERGY PROJECT FUNDED BY EU—11/06/12
BIGGEST CARIBBEAN WIND FARM BEGINS ENERGY PRODUCTION—11/07/12
FEWER SARDINES BECAUSE OF OVERFISHING, CLIMATE CHANGE—11/08/12
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UNIQUE STORYTELLING CONFERENCE TO BE HELD—11/06/12
The Ananse Sound Splash will feature a dozen of the most famous storytellers in the world, together with their Jamaican counterparts, in November 2012 for a unique conference and festival. The event is designed to honor the oral tradition and its importance in human development. It is also a contribution to the year-long celebration of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence and will feature discussions, presentations, workshops, and performances.
DANCER RIVERO-WALKER MOURNED—11/07/12
The dance community is mourning the death of Eduardo Rivero-Walker, the artistic director of Cuba’s top modern dance company. The passing of this legendary Afro[centric choreographer and adopted Jamaican dancer has left a major void among the members of the National Dance Theater Company of Jamaica and the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble.
POPULAR TALENT SHOW TO RETURN IN JANUARY 2013—11/08/12
What may be Jamaica’s most popular talent program, the “Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall,” is scheduled to return to television in January of 2013. This will be the show’s sixth season and will feature Pretty Boy Floyd and Yanique Barrett. Barrett, who will be making her third season appearance on the show, will showcase more of her fashion designs in addition to acting as co-host.
JAMAICAN FILM INDUSTRY EARNS US$1 MILLION FROM “NEXT TOP MODEL”—11/09/12
The Film Commission of JAMPRO reports that it received earnings totaling US$1 million from the filming of four episodes of the reality television show “America’s Next Top Model” in Jamaica. The filming also created 70 jobs for local residents. Among the four episodes shot in Jamaica was the show’s finale, which will be shown November 16, 2012.
FOOTBALL OFFICIALS DISAPPOINTED BY KING’S DEPARTURE—11/06/12
Jamaican football officials expressed disappointment at the decision of Marlon King to end his career at the international level. Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), as well as former national coach Carl Browne, were saddened by King’s action. King announced his resignation a day before a proposed meeting with officials designed to “mend fences” with the striker, who had seemed alienated from the team.
FIGHTER PLEASED WITH BRONZE MEDAL—11/07/12
Jason McKay won a bronze medal for Jamaica at the International Sport Karate Association’s Amateur World Championships match in the Netherlands, and he is “pleased” with it. Jamaicans Oshane Murray and Nicholas Dussard won gold and silver medals, respectively, for Jamaica at the event. McKay was disappointed that he could not improve on his six the medal of the 2012 season, but was happy to have medaled in the heavyweight division.
BURRELL CONFIDENT IN BOYZ SHOWING AT CONCACAF IN MEXICO—11/08/12
Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Federation, believes that the Reggae Boyz will perform well against Mexico at the opening of the CONCACAF final-round World Cup qualifier in Mexico City in February 2013. While the Boyz are ranked 50 against Mexico’s 14 in the FIFA latest rankings, Burrell is confident that the Jamaican team will be ready to provide a top performance when the time comes.
BLAKE PREDICTS IMPROVEMENT IN NEXT SEASON—11/09/12
Yohan Blake, Jamaican sprint champion, is working to fine-tune his defense of the 100-meter World Championship for 2013. Blake won the 100-meter title in 2011 after Usain Bolt was disqualified for a false start. Blake and his coach Glen Mills have been working on making corrections to a number of technical issues in advance of next season’s competitions.
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Take Off the Limits
The night before Jesus stepped into his boat, Simon Peter, along with the men in his fishing cooperative, had spent an unsuccessful night fishing. The nets that had trawled the bottom of the lake had felt heavy when they were lifted, but when checked they contained everything else but fish. It was not the first time and it would not be the last. On this morning the nets were cleaned, washed, and if needed, repaired. The men would have been tired and exhausted. There was no catch to sell that day so it was a chance for them to rest, regroup, and perhaps go back out later.
However, what they had in mind had to wait because according to the narrative, Jesus asked to use Peter’s boat from which He would teach the people that had gathered to hear “the word of God” (Luke 5:1-3). “Now when He had left speaking, He said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught” (v.4). In the natural, there were at least two things wrong with those instructions. First, Peter’s immediate protest was valid, “Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing” (v.5a). The unasked question being, “Why should we go back out there?” Secondly, experienced fishermen knew that the best time for a catch was in the late evening and early morning hours. It was in these cool hours that fish cruised in the shallow water looking for food on or near the surface. Jesus’ instructions ran counter to that.
Amidst Peter’s logical objection, and what may have been going through his mind at the time, was a realization of who was speaking to him. He continued, “Nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net” (v.5b). In verses 6-11, we have the rest of the story that resulted. An important observation is that by letting down one net, instead of “the nets” as instructed, Peter placed limits on his miracle. What does all of this have to do with us? Often times when we look at our circumstances, our minds, based on our previous experiences, tell us what is possible and what is not. At this stage, it is easy to object to an instruction from God because it does not line up with our experiences. Yet we are reminded that His ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts. In other words, His ways of doing things can be and often is much different from anything we could imagine.
In the same way that Peter righted himself and took Jesus at His word, we can do the same thing too. For it is not the way we see, feel, or think that is important; it is what He says and our obedience to His instructions that is. We, however, can take it one step further and take off the limits we put on God. When He moves, there is not enough room to hold the blessing (see Ephesians 3:20). Just ask Peter.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.