THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
GOVERNMENT EXPECTS DEAL WITH IMF BY JANUARY 2013—11/24/12
Sandrea Falconer, Jamaica’s Minister with the responsibility for information, said that it is possible a deal with the International Monetary Fund may not be finalized until December 2012, but also noted that the agreement with be in place by January 2013. According to Dr. Peter Phillips, Minister of Finance, negotiations with the IMF are proceeding according to plan, but that the deal’s conditions have yet to be settled.
GRANT WANTS JAMAICANS NOT TO EAT FOREIGN FOODS DURING HOLIDAYS—11/25/12
Jamaican senator Norman Grant is encouraging all Jamaican residents to abstain from eating imported foods during the holiday season. Grant believes all Jamaicans should work to protect the agricultural sector of the local economy and that local farmers can provide everything they need. Dependence of foreign foods like wheat has increased among Jamaicans for several years, costing the island money and negatively impacting producers of local crops like cassava and yams.
ROMAN CATHOLIC COMMISSION SLAMS GOVERNMENT SPENDING ON VEHICLES—11/26/12
Roman Catholic Social Justice Commission members have criticized Jamaica’s government for spending $60 million to buy high-end vehicles for its officials. In a released statement, the Commission called the decision “imprudent” in the light of the nation’s poor socio-economic conditions and government demands for “everyone else” to make sacrifices.
GOVERNMENT PREPARES DRAFT BILL ON LOTTERY SCAMS—11/26/12
The government of Jamaica will soon present its first draft of a bill designed to address the problem of lottery scams. Mark Golding, Minister of Justice, said the draft is expected by the end of November 2012. The Evidence (Special Measures) Act has already passed in the Senate. It will be utilized in the fight against lottery scamming on the island by providing measures that aid in providing evidence from witnesses, including video and audio evidence, said Golding.
PUBLIC SERVANT OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED—11/27/12
Senior Public Health Nurse Beverly Davis Samuels was named Public Servant of the Year for 2012 during Civil Service Week 2012 in Jamaica. The week-long celebration features displays and concerts, along with the award announcement. Horace Dalley, Minister with responsibility for Public Service, says the event encourages and reinvigorates interest and attention to public sector service in spite of the currently economic challenges facing the country.
PRIME MINISTER URGES COMPLIANCE WITH FATCA—11/28/12
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, has urged financial institutions in the Caribbean region to make sure they meet international standards, particularly in regard to the Foreign Accountant Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which has been introduced by the United States. Financial entities should not respond to the law in a “knee-jerk” manner, said Simpson Miller, since they should give the impression that they are in favor of controlling money laundering and illegal financial transactions.
By putting myself in the shoes of the American authorities, I understand only too well the factors which
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING SIGNED FOR PORT SECURITY—11/29/12
The government of Jamaica has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) of the United Nations and the World Customs Organization (WCO). The Container Control program is designed to provide better security at Jamaica’s ports. According to Dr. Peter Phillips, Finance and Planning Minister, the MoU creates a funded partnership between the Jamaican government and the two agencies. This improves prevention efforts aimed at the use of cargo containers for smuggling, drug trafficking, tax evasion, and possible terrorism.
NWC LOSES BILLIONS TO THEFT, LEAKS SINCE BEGINNING OF 2012—11/30/12
Jamaica’s National Water Commission (NWC) has lost some $2.1 billion since the beginning of 2012. This means that the agency is collecting only 32 percent revenue on water piped into local communities. The NWC is planning to apply for a rate increase. Officials at the agency said it does not collect revenue for 68 percent of the water produced, noting recorded losses attributed to leakage and theft during the current financial year.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
THE POTENTIAL OF DIASPORA ENGAGEMENT—11/26/12
Supporters of increased engagement among the Jamaican Diaspora in home affairs have called for the creation of a Jamaica House Prime Minister’s Fellowship program that would encourage young professionals, both in the Diaspora and at home, to foster more action among such individuals for the good of the public and private sectors on the island. The program would be modeled on the White House Fellows Program offered in the United States. The United Kingdom Department of International Development, the Canadian International Development Agency, the European Union, the United Nations Country Team, and the U.S. Agency for International Development could join in sponsoring the fellowship.
IDB AWARD EARNED BY JAMAICAN—11/28/12
Dr. Winsome Leslie, a senior specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank (DB) who was born in Jamaica, has received the Antonio Ortiz Mena Award of 2012. The award is presented each year in recognition for making outstanding contributions to the banking institution. Dr. Leslie is only the fifth IDB staff member from the Caribbean region to win the award. She currently holds the position of Coordinator for the English-speaking Caribbean and Haiti at the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a grant project.
JAMAICANS WIN HONORS AT HERITAGE AWARDS—11/29/12
Jazz legend Monty Alexander and singer William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke were among four Jamaicans who received awards at the 19th Annual Caribbean American Heritage Awards (CARAH) Gala, which was held in Washington, D.C. Four other Caribbean nationals were also honored for their contributions in their various fields of work. The gala celebration also recognized Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence, along with that of Trinidad and Tobago.
FORMER PRIME MINISTER SEAGA VISITS MIAMI—11/30/12
Jamaica’s former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, is visiting Miami, Florida, to promote his Reggae Golden Jubilee album, a set of historically important recordings. The reggae recordings, on four discs, are meant to mark the occasion of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence. Seaga, who was Prime Minister from 1980 to 1989, curated the collection, which includes 100 hits from the likes of Peter Rosh, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Shaggy, Buju Banton, Sean Paul, and others.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
HAITIAN VETERANS RENEW DEMANDS ON GOVERNMENT—11/24/12
FARRAKHAN MEETS WITH PRIME MINISTER OF GRENADA—11/25/12
FIFTH CARIBBEAN CULTURE CONGRESS ANNOUNCED—11/26/12
CARTER RETURNS TO HAITI TO BUILD MORE HOMES—11/27/12
PORTS RUSH TO MEET CHALLENGES LINKED TO EXPANSION OF PANAMA CANAL—11/28/12
CANDIDATE FROM RULING BERMUDA PARTY PULLS OUT OF RACE—11/30/12
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
AFRICAN, CARIBBEAN NATIONS SEEK CLARIFICATION ON BANANA SUPPORT—11/26/12
The African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations are looking for clarification from the European Union (EU) about promises to support the banana sector. Ragin Parmessar, a representative to the 24th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, has questioned reports that the EU has decided to reduce the amount of promises financial support to the banana industry.
CALL CENTER PUT ON HOLD—11/27/12
According to a spokeswoman for Convergys Corporation, Brooke Beiting, the firm may decide to delay its entry into the Jamaican market, postponing the creation of 1,000 jobs on the island. The decision is being reviewed by the firm, said Beiting. In December 2011, Andrea Ayers, current CEO of the company, said the Jamaican operation would be of benefit to Jamaicans in terms of jobs and to the firm’s clients in terms of a new, near-shore, English-speaking facility. The operation was to have been located in Montego Bay.
WOMEN’S COALITION IN JAMAICA CELEBRATES FIRST ANNIVERSARY—11/28/12
Some 15 organizations from all sectors of Jamaican society, including government, private business, and NGOs, participated in a forum celebrating the first anniversary of the 51% Coalition: Women in Partnership for Development and Empowerment through Equity. The group, which is designed to increase the participation of women in high-level decision-making, includes 11 groups as its members. According to Linnette Vassell, a key figure in the coalition, the group plans to obtain a targeted mix of 40 percent to 60 percent representation for either gender on public commissions and boards.
PRIME MINISTER PREDICST CONSTRUCTION BOOM—11/29/12
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaican Prime Minister, is encouraging young people in Jamaica to avail themselves of the expected growth coming in the construction industry. With investors becoming more confident, and with greater interest in the construction sector, Simpson Miller predicts that there will be many opportunities for young workers there.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN BETA2012 MAKES MARK—11/24/12
GLEANER AWARDS ANNOUNCED—11/26/12
SUCCESSFUL TECH MEETING HOSTED IN GRENADA—11/27/12
BETTER INTERNET SERVICE AVAILABLE IN GRENADA—11/28/12
JAMAICAN FOLK SINGERS PERFORM IN MONTEGO BAY—11/24/12
To mark Western Jamaica Campus Week, the award-winning Jamaican Folk Singers will perform a concern in Montego Bay. The funds generated by the performance will be used to address the social responsibilities of the Western Jamaica Campus of the University of the West Indies at Mona. Money will be placed toward the Student Financial Support Fund and the Pediatric Ward of Cornwall Regional Hospital. Western Jamaica Campus Week ends on December 2, 2012.
SCHOOLS IN JAMAICA HIGHLIGHTED IN NEW TV SERIES—11/25/12
Innovative use of technology at two Jamaican schools is the topic of a new television series shown on Flow TV. The program, called “Flow in My School,” shows how primary and secondary schools use technology in the teaching and learning environment and how they are used to preserve Jamaican culture. The schools featured in the series include Rollington Town Primary, St. Elizabeth Technical High, Jessie Ripoll Primary, Meadowbrook High, Windward Road Primary and Junior High, and Angels Primary. The TV series is part of the “Flow in My School Technology Competition,” which is designed to encourage the use of technology to enhance the performance of students and teachers.
LADY SAW NAMED INDUCTEE TO CARIBBEAN HALL OF FAME—11/26/12
Lady Saw, the popular dancehall music star, will be inducted into the Caribbean Hall of Fame in recognition of her long-time contributions to the music industry. She was chosen to receive the award by the Committee of the Caribbean Development for the Arts, Sports, and Culture Foundation, in partnership with the Caribbean Community. This honor comes just five months after Lady Saw received the title “Queen of Dancehall” at the 2012 Reggae Sumfest event.
SHAGGY AND FRIENDS CHARITY SHOW REVAMPED—11/27/12
Shaggy, the popular Jamaican entertainer, has decided to perform his “Shaggy and Friends” yearly event after revamping its setup. The event has raised more than J$90 million to help the Bustamante Hospital for Children. It will not be staged for a second time in 2012. Instead, the concert will be changed. No details were available concerning the changes. The event was first staged in 2009
U.S., JAMAICAN SPRINTERS SEE VICTORY AT IAAF AWARDS—11/25/12
Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix were selected as athletes of the year at the International Amateur Athletics Federation awards ceremonies. Jamaican Bolt won three gold medals at the London 2012 Olympics, while Felix of the United States won three golds in London as well.
JAMAICAN GIRLS PREPARED FOR VOLLEYBALL QUALIFYING MATCHES—11/27/12
Jamaican captain Shedieky Barnes says members of her team are ready “as individuals” to play in the NORCECA qualification matches of the 2014 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championship. However, she also notes that the lack of players and availability of venues has caused the team to “make the best use of what we have.” The final 12 are yet to be chosen, and many foreign players from college and professional experiences have yet to join. Jamaica is ranked 53rd in the world and will host Aruba, the Cayman Islands, and Barbados at the qualifiers.
MEL SPENCE, JAMAICAN OLYMPIAN, DEAD AT 76—11/28/12
Melville “Mel” Spence has died at the age of 76 in Florida. Spence was All-American at Arizona State in the 800-yard event in 1959. He was also a three-time Olympic athlete representing Jamaica. He and his twin brother Malcolm “Mal” Spence competed together on three 4×400 relay teams at the Border Conference championships. Spence won a bronze medal at the 1960 Olympics as part of the 4×400 relay team.
EATMON, JACKSON VERSUS BLAKE FOR PRESIDENT OF JAAA—11/29/12
Over 370 delegates to the yearly general meeting of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) are electing a new president to lead the nation’s track and field efforts for four years. The incumbent president, Dr. Warren Blake, and his officials are being pressured to continue their work while facing a challenge from the former first vice-president of the organization, Lincoln Eatmon and Grace Jackson. Jackson, who is an Olympic athlete, is hoping to become the first woman to lead the JAAA. Observers believe that there will be significant support for Blake, who took over the presidency after the death of Howard Aris in 2011.
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Only an Instrument
It is interesting how when some people go out and do things in the name of the Lord, they end up bragging about it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in reporting victories on the battlefield, but one of the worse things the child of God could do is to draw glory from God unto themselves. We note the response of the seventy disciples when they returned from their commission. Luke reports, “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name” (10:17). As Bible Commentator Matthew Henry noted, “They give Christ the glory of this: It is through thy name.” They recognized that nothing they did was possible, but through Christ.
Back when I was a graduate student, during a class on ‘Spiritual Leadership,’ the professor used a practical example to make what I thought was a very profound point. In the hand of a world class surgeon, a scalpel is simply a surgical instrument. Regardless of the number of surgeries the surgeon would perform with that scalpel, at the end of each one the now sterilized instrument goes back among the other instruments until the next time it is needed. No matter how life saving a particular surgery was, or the accolades that came with a successful outcome, the scalpel does not take a bow, it does not get mentioned. Like the scalpel in the hand of the surgeon, so is the Christian in the hand of God; an instrument that is used to carry out God’s purposes. We do not come out for an applause, we do not take a bow.
I quite like how Jesus brought the seventy back to what was really important. After expanding their ministry capabilities, He continued, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (10:20). The theology in this statement is too great to cover in this space, but suffice it to say that Jesus deflected any intent they had of feeling special or better than everybody else. If we are to rejoice it is not as instruments being used, but rather because by God’s grace we have a place in God’s kingdom.
As we fulfill our respective calling, may we be mindful of the words of John, the Revelator: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11). He gets ALL the attention and ALL the glory; we simply go back to work when called upon. How are you doing in that area?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.