BAKR BLAMES T&T FOR DEPORTATION FROM JAMAICA—10/18/14
Yasin Abu Bakr, a Muslim leader, has blamed Trinidad and Tobago for his deportation from Jamaica. Bakr was detained and put into handcuffs at Norman Manley International Airport when he was told he would not be allowed to enter the country and subsequently became agitated. He said he is not a threat to the national security of Jamaica.
STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED FOR CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS—10/19/14
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has declared a national emergency in response to the chikungunya virus. The virus, which is carried by mosquitoes, has symptoms similar to dengue fever. Simpson Miller characterized the fight against the disease as a “national emergency” and has taken the lead in moving the country toward mobilizing its resources and coordinate national action in connection with the virus.
WELLINGTON HONORED FOR CONTRIBUTION TO STUDY OF ANIMAL GENETICS—10/20/14
Karl Everard Wellington will be among eight individuals who will receive the Order of Jamaica during the National Honors and Awards Ceremony. The ceremony recognizes Jamaicans for their contributions to the nation in their fields of expertise. Wellington, who is well known around the world as a scientist, academic, and cattleman, will be honored for his work in the field of animal genetics, particularly as related to cattle.
CATHOLIC CHURCH SHOULD PAY REPARATIONS, SAYS FARRAKHAN—10/21/14
Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam, has called for countries in the Caribbean to demand slavery reparations from the Roman Catholic Church, as well as from European nations. Farrakhan made his remarks at the 19th anniversary celebration of the Million Man March. He noted that the Church issues several Papal Bulls that authorized slavery and that the Bull issued by Pope Nicholas V granting Spain and Portugal permission to put “unbelievers” into slavery is seen as “an endorsement” of slavery even today. Farrakhan says discussions of reparations must include both Europe and the Catholic Church.
GOVERNMENT SHOULD HELP JAMAICAN PILOT, ACCORDING TO BARTLETT—10/22/14
Edmund Bartlett, Opposition spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, believes that the Jamaican government should take action on behalf of Paul Stephens, a Jamaican pilot imprisoned in Qatar. Stephens has been in prison for three years on apparently fraudulent charges. Bartlett is calling on A. J. Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, to say what is being done to ensure the best interests of Stephens.
EBOLA INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED AT MANDEVILLE REGIONAL HOSPITAL—10/23/14
An investigation has been launched at Mandeville Regional Hospital concerning how medical staff members there treated a Nigerian man they believed to be showing symptoms of the Ebola virus. According to Dr. Bob Banjo, a Nigerian who has lived in Jamaica for 28 years, criticized nurses and other hospital workers, saying they were not prepared to deal with an Ebola patient. He noted how some of them became “hysterical” when he told them he had traveled to his home country in July 2014. He had gone for treatment of dizzy spells and profuse sweating, but said when nurses discovered he had been to Africa, they refused to treat him.
FEVER SCAN MACHINE INSTALLED AT JAMAICAN PORTS TO DETECT EBOLA—10/24/14
A donation of $4.3 million from Sagicor Group Jamaica will be used to buy a fever scan machine for the Ministry of National Security. The Ministry will deploy the machine to help in detecting the Ebola virus at Sangster International Airport, the busiest port on the island. The machine, which relies on infrared technology, will be used to scan the temperatures of passengers passing through the airport. The scanning machine will not arrive in Jamaica for four to eight weeks.
JAMAICA’S PARLIAMENT APPROVES RESOLUTION TO END U.S. BLOCKADE OF CUBA—10/24/14
The Jamaican Parliament gave its approval to a resolution that demands an end to the economic, commercial, and financial blockades of Cuba by the United States. Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Trade of the People’s National Party, presented the motion for the resolution. He emphasized the role of Cuba in international solidarity and cooperation and referred to the impact of the U.S. blockade on the country as unfair.
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From the Wall to the Hall
Rahab, the harlot. There she is right there in the Bible’s “Hall of Fame” (Hebrews 11) standing tall, shoulder-to-shoulder as one of two women (Sara being the other) among the mentioned giants of faith. Of her the writer states, “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace” (v. 31, KJV). How did this Canaanite woman, a resident of the city of Jericho and one with such a questionable past, end up being memorialized for all times in such august company?
Over three thousand years ago and while on their way to the Promised Land, Joshua sent two men to “spy secretly” on Jericho (see Joshua 2) to get information that would help in the attack on the city. Rahab, the woman with whom the spies were staying and whose house was located on the city wall, protected the two men by hiding them from the city’s soldiers on her roof and agreed to cover for them on condition that she and her family are spared in the upcoming battle. The spies agreed as long as Rahab “utter not this our business” (v.14) and provided three conditions to be met (vv. 17-20) to which Rahab agreed (v. 21). Safely escaping the city, the two returned to Joshua and reported the whole land [of Jericho] was melting with fear (see v. 24). Subsequently, the city was destroyed and everyone and everything in it killed by Joshua’s army on God’s command (Joshua 6:21). That is, all except Rahab and her family (v.25) who were later incorporated among the Jewish people.
What would provoke this woman, at great risk to herself and family, to take such risks? In her own words to the spies, “I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath” (Joshua 2:9-11). A remarkable confession of faith in a God she did not know but had certainly heard about. Some of the things she mentioned occurred some forty years earlier! God’s works among His people spoke for themselves then and long after.
What Rahab heard provoked her to demonstrate active faith in the God she had heard about. What about those of us who profess to know Him? Do what we know of God as revealed in nature and the Scriptures provoke us to active faith in Him? If not, why not?