THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
MYRIE VERDICT MEANS CHANGES FOR TRAVELERS IN CARICOM COUNTRIES—11/02/13
Caribbean nationals who experience mistreatment while traveling to other CARICOM countries will have more avenues by which to make complaints. Sandrea Falconer, Jamaica’s Minister with responsibility for information, said the Secretariat of CARICOM is developing a complaints form as part of efforts to handle problems more efficiently. The change initiative follows the case of Shanique Myrie, a Jamaican woman who was mistreated upon arrival in Barbados in 2011.
MYRIE COULD WAIT FOR MONTHS TO RECEIVE AWARD FROM CCJ—11/03/13
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) awarded Jamaican Shanique Myrie J$3.6 million in the lawsuit she brought against Barbados for her mistreatment by immigration authorities at that country’s airport. Senator Mark Golding, Minister of Justice, said that there is little guidance available on what “prompt compliance” as stated by the court means in terms of when Myrie will receive. Based on the jurisprudence of the CCJ, however, Golding said the award must be made in less than four months.
WOMEN BETTER DRIVERS, SAYS STUDY BY JCF—11/03/13
According to statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), women are better drivers than men. Of the 12,945 accidents reported on the island in 2012, those in which women drivers were involved represented just 1,979, or less than ten percent of the total. Comparatively, male drivers were involved in 9,541 accidents. The gender of drivers in the remaining cases was not specified. Orville Johnson, general manager of the Insurance Association of Jamaica, women have a much better record in terms of crashes and are “quite competent.”
INCREASE IN DRUG TRAFFICKING PROMPTS LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO ACT—11/04/13
In 2013, seizures of cocaine from South America increased by 200 percent in Jamaica over 2012 totals. This has prompted local authorities on the island to dispatch more patrols to remote locations, including rocky coastal areas and fishing villages on the southern shores. Jamaica is not alone in being on watch for South American traffickers; the entire central Caribbean is experiencing an increase of drug cartel activity.
FISHERMEN IN WESTMORELAND GIVEN LESSONS IN CHOLERA PREVENTION—11/05/13
The Westmoreland Health Department and Sandals Whitehouse are partnering to provide fishers with education about how to prevent cholera. The initiative was prompted by an outbreak of the disease in Cuba and a growing threat to other islands in the Caribbean. The education presentations cover causes, symptoms, life span of the cholera bacteria, the conditions that cause the bacteria to multiply, risk factors for contracting the disease, and ways to prevent and control it.
PRESS ASSOCIATION WELCOMES REFORM OF JAMAICA’S LIBEL LAW—11/06/13
Media organizations and the Jamaica Press Association are pleased that the country’s libel law has been overhauled. The press has complained for some time about the problems and cost associated with fighting libel lawsuits. Some in the profession say that stories have been quashed due to the risk of being sued for high damages. The new defamation act amends libel and slander laws, removing criminal libel and allowing local media to use reports from external sources without checking their accuracy first.
GORDON-HARRISON CALLS FOR STREET CHILDREN TO BE COUNTED—11/07/13
Diahann Gordon-Harrison, a children’s advocate, is calling for a national census of street children to be mad. She says that because the actual numbers of these children are not known, appropriate interventions cannot be developed. Data collected from the census should be classified by parish, age, gender, and the circumstances that forced the children to take to the streets.
INDECOM: POLICE INVESTIGATING KILLINGS BY OTHER COPS VIOLATES LAW—11/08/13
According to Terrence Williams, the Commissioner of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), it is a violation of Jamaica’s constitution for members of the police force to investigate killings by other police officers. Williams says that when the police alone are the investigators, it is a breach of the right to life. Williams made his remarks in response to Peter Bunting, National Security Minister, who asked if such investigations represented a constitutional breach.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
BERMUDA ASSOCIATION RAISES FUNDS FOR NEW HOSPITAL—11/02/13
The Jamaican Association of Bermuda gave a donation of $2,000 toward the building of a new hospital. The money will be part of the $40 million goal established by Bermuda’s Charitable Trust. The money was raised when 350 residents joined in celebrations of Jamaica’s 51st anniversary of independence in August, 2013. The plan is designed to support the cause in Bermuda and to help with renovating Kingston Public Hospital in Jamaica.
RADIO STATION IN LONDON TAKES 200 LISTENERS TO JAMAICA—11/03/13
Two hundred listeners of Vibes FM, a community radio station based in London, and their friends, will be taken on a visit to Jamaica in November 2013 by the station. Vibes FM is known for its support of reggae, roots, and dancehall music. Many of the travelers are second and third generation Jamaicans and range in age from 23 to 60. This is the third trip sponsored by the radio station.
WADE LYN APPOINTED HONORARY COUNSUL—11/06/13
Jamaica has a representative in Birmingham, England, now that Wade Lyn, award-winning patty maker, has received his appointment as Honorary Consul for Birmingham and the West Midlands. Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Aloun Ndombet Assamba awarded Lyn with his title at a ceremony in Aston. Lyn was made a CBE in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honors for his service to businesses in the community. He has been making Jamaican patties in Hockley since 1986.
VASCIANNIE PRAISES JAMAICAN DIASPORA IN FLORIDA—11/07/13
Stephen Vasciannie, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, recognized the significant contribution made by those in the Jamaica Diaspora in South Florida toward national development. While addressing a gathering of some 400 Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica at the second annual Jamaica-American Bar Association, the Ambassador acknowledged that Diaspora groups contributed to Jamaica in a variety of ways, including direct grants, remittances, and social work.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN STAKEHOLDERS CONSIDER FUTURE OF ACP IN GRENADA—11/02/13
INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATED IN ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA—11/03/13
GOVERNMENTS IN CARIBBEAN ENDANGERED BY DONATED COMPUTERS—11/04/13
CARIBBEAN NATIONS SHOULD ENCOURAGE GOVERNMENTS TO SUPPORT CCJ—11/05/13
FACTORY TO HELP PEANUT FARMERS IN HAITI—11/06/13
JAPAN WANTS MORE EMBASSIES IN THE CARIBBEAN—11/07/13
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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
FARM UP JAMAICA ENCOURAGES INTEREST AMONG AGRICULTURE STAKEHOLDERS—11/04/13
After its introduction in New York City in early October 2013, Farm Up Jamaica has succeeded in attracting considerable interest from stakeholders in the agricultural sector. Farm Up Jamaica is a program that promotes the cultivation of more organic foods on the island. The initiative seeks to help Jamaican farmers grow targeted organic crops in order to reduce imports of some produce and increase the export of other products. Overall, the program’s goal is to create jobs and stabilize the nation’s currency.
JAMAICAN AND JAPAN AGREE TO BILATERAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION—11/05/13
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller issued a joint statement with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announcing an agreement between the two countries for more economic cooperation in areas including investments in energy conservation, renewable energy, and the development of mineral resources. Japan has promised to continue aid to Jamaica to protect its environment, reduce risks of natural disasters, and enhanced job opportunities.
MORE WINTER TOURISTS EXPECTED IN JAMAICA—11/06/13
According to Wykeham McNeil, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the tourist industry on the island is doing well and is anticipating higher numbers of tourists in the winter season. Between the beginning of 2013 and October, Jamaica welcomed over 1.659 million tourists, an increase of 0.2 percent over the same period in 2012. The increase was attributed to market diversification and more air transport from Europe and Asia.
CANABIS INCLUDED IN JAMAICAN BRAND SAFEGUARDS PACT—11/07/13
Jamaica is taking action to protect certain names and brands against fraudulent use. The country has signed a bilateral agreement with Switzerland to protect geographical indications, including “Blue Mountain Coffee,” “Jamaica Rum,” and “Trelawney Yellow Yam.” Also included in the agreement is “Cannabis Sativa.” Geographical protections are important when particular quality and reputations are indicated by the location of a product’s origin.
Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
INNOVATOR IN TRINIDAD PROMOTING CARIBBEAN REGION VIA AN APP—11/02/13
CIVIL AVIATION EMISSIONS AGREEMENT COULD BENEFIT CARIBBEAN—11/03/13
DIVERS FIND TREASURE IN 500-YEAR-OLD SUNKEN GALLEON—11/04/13
PAULWELL TELLS TELECOM FIRMS TO REDUCE COSTS OF BROADBAND—11/07/13
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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
REBEL HELPS JAMAICAN STUDENTS—11/02/13
Jamaican musician Tony Rebel has created the Rebel Salute Foundation to help Jamaicans in need through his “Teach the Children” scholarship fund. The fund was introduced at the Marcus Garvey Technical High School’s Mansfield Campus in St. Ann. Two four-year scholarships of $60,000 have been awarded to Kezia Williams and Jevaughn Smith. The foundation merely formalizes what Rebel ahs always done: been involved in local communities and donating to education causes.
CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY INTRODUCES STORY ANTHOLOGY—11/03/13
The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), which is an agency in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, plans to launch its “Gold Anthology,” a collection of short stories that have won gold medals at various festivals between 1999 and 2006. The launch will occur during the Jamaica Creative Writing Awards Ceremony and Exhibition.
SAMUELS CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY WITH FOUNDATION LAUNCH—11/04/13
Oliver Samuels, a legend in Jamaican comedy, celebrated his 65th birthday by launching the Oliver Samuels Foundation. He received the paperwork required to start the foundation from Michael Dawson, the chief executive officer of Whirlwind Entertainment, who noted Samuels lifelong commitment to helping others.
JAMAICAN SURGING IN POPULARITY ON “THE VOICE”—11/05/13
According to a poll in the United States, Tessanne Chin of Jamaica is the favorite of audiences watching “The Voice” talent competition on television. When asked which singer was their favorite after a night of live performances, 82 percent of those surveyed named Tessanne.
WEBB ANNOUNCES CONCACAF TO NAME PRO LEAGUE TASK FORCE—11/02/13
Jeffrey Webb, president of CONCACAF, told participants at the FIFA Grassroots Community Seminar in St. Lucia that the organization will name a new task force to investigate the creation and sustainability of a Caribbean Professional League. The task force members will be announced on at CONCACAF’s executive committee meeting in Montego Bay.
USAIN BOLT NAMED TO SHORTLIST FOR MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR—11/04/13
Jamaican Olympic champion and world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, is on the list of male athletes under consideration for Athlete of the Year 2013. Also on the list are Bohdan Bondarenko, world high jump champion, and Mo Farah, world champion in the 10,000 meters and 5,000 meters. Bolt has received the International Association of Athletics Federation award four times in the past five years.
GOLD MEDAL FOR ATKINSON AT FINA WORLD CUP—11/06/13
Alia Atkinson of Jamaica won a god medal in the 100-meter breaststroke competition at the FINA World Cup swim meet in Singapore. Her winning time was 1:03:48. Atkinson is swimming faster in general in 2013 than in 2012, achieving a Jamaican record of 1:02:91 in Dubai.
FRASER-PRYCE SHORTLISTED FOR FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR—11/07/13
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, a world champion runner in the 100-meters and 200-meters, has been shortlisted for the award of female Athlete of the Year for 2013. Also in the running are shot-putter Valene Adams of New Zealand and Zuzana Hejnova, a 400-meter hurdler from the Czech Republic. The winner will be announced at the World Athletics Gala in Monaco on November 16, 2013.
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Taking God Out Of the Box
We do not know much about her. According to the narrative in 1 Kings 17, she was a widow living with her son in Zarephath, a Baal-worshipping city on the Mediterranean coast of Phoenicia between Tyre and Sidon out of the borders of Israel. We also know that she was poor because at the time we met her, she was down to her last “handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, [she was] gathering two sticks, that [she] may go in and dress it for [her] and [her] son, that [they] may eat it, and die” (v. 12). That she had to gather the sticks herself confirms her lowly status as it was clear she had no slaves to do such a menial task. Being a widow with no one to look after her, she had resigned herself to the fact that after this last meal she and her son would die; there was nothing else to eat. Even if spurred on by the will to survive and a mother’s instinct to provide for and protect her offspring, she had no money to buy whatever, if anything, that was available. The famine had taken its toll. Yet it was to this woman that God had sent Elijah: “Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee” (v.9).
To sustain him? What was God thinking? Didn’t He see the woman’s condition? She was one meal away from her and her son starving to death. Then there was Elijah. God was sending him into Gentile territory to be fed by a widow when, as we discovered later, there were many widows in Israel at the time (Luke 4:25-26). Why not send him to one of them? Lest we forget, Elijah was a hated man in Israel because he was held responsible for the drought and the resulting hardships. Israel had embraced the worship of Baal and was being punished by God. So, here we have God, to whom all things are possible, sending His prophet from among His chosen people to a Gentile widow in a Baal-worshipping city for sustenance. Couldn’t He have provided for Elijah some other way? In a way that made some sense?
Because He is omnipotent, of course He could have but why should He? When God does something we typically expect Him to do so in ways that make sense to us. If we could figure Him out or always understand His ways He would not be much of a god. He reminds us that His ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). His dealings in this situation clearly demonstrate His ability to provide for and bless His people in any way, in any situation, and through whomever He chooses. When we are looking for and expecting Him to act in a certain way, we need to remember He is not limited in the ways He operates in our lives.
We would be remiss if we did not observe two important truths in the narrative: Elijah’s obedience in going where he was sent, and the widow’s obedience in doing what God had commanded her to do regardless of the external situation. Both acts of obedience were responsible for the miracle that followed (vv. 15-16). One of the lessons for us is that as children of God we can expect Him to work in our lives and situations in ways that we would least expect. In other words, with God always expect the unexpected. Take Him out of the box and watch Him do the things He alone can do, and bring to pass all the things He alone can make possible.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.