THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
IMMIGRATION AUTHORITY MAKES APOLOGY TO SANGSTER ARRIVAL—09/07/13
A passenger from the United Kingdom who arrived at Sangster International Airport on Virgin Atlantic Airlines complained about being asked for the departure portion of the Immigration/Customs C5 card. Immigration officials explained that standard procedures require prescreening of the immigration card and that this ensures the card is completed before a passenger is sent to the appropriate place for processing by immigration. Some Jamaican nationals or people who claim Jamaican citizenship travel with non-Jamaican passports with unconditional landing stamps included. These stamps permit these people to stay on the island for an indefinite period of time. Jamaican nationals and those who have the unconditional landing status living in Jamaica do not have to complete the departure section of the C5 card, so an apology was made to the traveler.
AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATE DISCREPANCIES IN EXAM AT JAMAICA COLLEGE—09/08/13
The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) will soon determine whether 70 students in the sixth form at Jamaica College (JC) will get a grade for physics in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) for 2013. Discrepancies found during an investigation by an Overseas Examinations Commission (OEC) resulted from a complaint sent to CXC headquarters stating that JC had “fabricated” internal assessment grades for its CAPE physics students.
JAMAICANS FACE FINANCIAL PROBLEMS AFTER CANCER DIAGNOSIS—09/09/13
According to Dr. Fenton Ferguson, Jamaican Minister of Health, cancer is one of the non-communicable diseases that leads to serious financial difficulties for Jamaicans and high costs for the government. Ferguson said that a cancer diagnosis can mean financial ruin for a family, with drugs for breast cancer treatment costing $200,000 per dose and 18 doses required to treat the disease. Jamaicans can’t afford to pay the resulting $3.6 million cost of just this one element of treatment, he said.
LABOR MINISTER SAYS CHINESE WORKERS NOT GIVEN PREFERENCE—09/10/13
Derrick Kellier, Jamaica’s Labor and Social Security Minister, stated that the ministry does not randomly distribute work permits and rejected the idea that Chinese nationals were given preferential treatment over Jamaicans in getting jobs. Protecting the Jamaican worker is the top priority of his ministry, Killier said. Qualified Jamaican workers are always considered before foreign workers for job positions. Kellier reported that a total of 4,098 new work permits were issued between April 2012 and July 2013, with 1,741, or 43 percent, of these given to Chinese nationals.
MARIJUANA FARMS NOW OFFERING TOURS—09/11/13
Tourists in Jamaican can now sample various cannabis strains during tours of the island’s pot farms. Growers on the island have begun to provide ganja tours for cannabis connoisseurs. Similar to tours of the wine region, ganja tours travel to places like Nine Mile, home of Bob Marley and offer smokers a taste of the original sinsemilla strain that was a favorite of the reggae legend. American, German and Russian tourists are happy to pay $50 to tour the farm and sample this crop. Travelers are required to smoke a marijuana “spliff” with the tour guide before taking the tour to show they are not members of law enforcement.
BRAWL AT JAIL LEAVES ONE PRISONER DEAD, OFFICERS INJURED—09/12/13
One prisoner died and several Jamaica Constabulary Force officers were injured when a fight broke out at a police station jail. One officer was hospitalized in serious condition due to repeated blows to the head with a baton seized by a prisoner. The melee in Mandeville began when officers were escorting prisoners to court. Prisoners overwhelmed officers as they exited the holding area, and the violence spread from there.
REMARK ABOUT GIVING OUT WORK CONCERNS GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE—09/13/13
Edmund Bartlett, the chairperson of the Jamaican Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC), said the remarks by committee member Richard Parchment were “dangerous.” Parchment said he “gave out (government) work” in his constituency. The remark was dangerous because members are not allowed to do this, said Bartlett. Parchment is the MP for South East St. Elizabeth.
PRIME MINISTER CAUTIONS AGAINST CRITICIZING CHINESE INVESTMENT—09/13/13
Some Jamaicans have questioned the motives of China in making a growing number of investments in the Caribbean, especially in Jamaica. Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has called for “caution” on these criticisms, however. Before criticizing China, people should consider their own investment in Jamaica, she said. Those who criticize are free to invest in the country’s development. China has recently agreed to provide funds for building two new schools and will provide a grant of $16 million for development project. It will also make a loan totaling $300 million to Jamaica’s new infrastructure development program.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
NONPROFIT IN FLORIDA ANNOUNCES 2013 AWARDS—09/07/13
The South Florida/Caribbean Council of the Urban Land Institute has announced the winners of its 7th Annual Vision Awards. The group is a nonprofit organization that provides leadership in sustainable and responsible real estate development. Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve that was designed by SB Architects, was named Project of the Year. Scott Lee, president of SB Architects, which is based in Miami and San Francisco, said the award culminated five years of commitment to the Caribbean resort project.
JAMAICAN LAWYER IN BARBADOS “SICK” OF DRUG-SMUGGLING JAMAICANS—09/08/13
Jaydene Thomas, a Jamaican attorney who practices in Barbados, says she is “sickened” by the number of Jamaicans who are apprehended when trying to smuggle drugs into the country. Thomas said that at least one Jamaican every week is in court on drug-related charges in Barbados. She says she is “tired of helping” the drug smugglers.
THREE JAMAICANS RUNNING IN NEW YORK BOROUGH ELECTIONS—09/09/13
Three Jamaican nationals are running for political office in the New York boroughs. In the Bronx, Kingston native Mark Escoffery-Bey hopes to win the race against Ruben Diaz, the incumbent. Joan Flowers, an attorney born in St. Mary, wants to represent the 27th Council District, and while Michael Duncan, community activist, wants the position of representing the 31st District. All three of the candidates are stressing education, affordable housing, and economic opportunity as their priorities.
SEVEN JAMAICAN STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN CULTURAL EXCHANGE—09/10/13
Seven students from Jamaica and two teachers will be participants in a cultural exchange program sponsored by the United States State Department Youth Ambassadors Program. The students and teachers were chosen by the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Section. They will take part in learning experiences in Denver, Colorado, and Washington, D.C., during October 2013.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN LIFE ALREADY IMPACTED BY CLIMATE CHANGE—09/07/13
JUDGE IN GUYANA CLARIFIES ANTI-CROSS-DRESSING RULE—09/08/13
CUBA APPROVES DIRECT PRIVATE FARM SALES IN TOURISM SECTOR—09/09/13
FUEL SUBSIDY FOR AIRLINE REMOVED—09/10/13
FOUR MEN FROM ST. VINCENT ADRIFT AT SEA FOR 12 DAYS—09/11/13
NO INCREASE IN TICKET PRICES FOR CAL—09/12/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
INNER-CITY OVERACHIEVERS SCHOLARSHIP AWARDED TO FIVE STUDENTS—09/07/13
Five winners of the first LIME-Gleaner Inner-City Overachievers scholarship will receive over $30,000 in supplies for going back to school and a tablet computer. The initiative has encouraged additional support from Jamaicans on the island and in the Diaspora. A Jamaican studying in Spain, Krishna Brown, who had previously been at Kingston College, was inspired to start his own charity, One Love Jamaica, to give back to his home country and to his college.
JAMAICAN COOKING TO BE FEATURED IN WEBISODES—09/09/13
Lovers of Jamaican food around the world will be able to learn about island cooking in their own homes by watching the Island Potluck Series. Sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board, the series consists of 12 webisodes that will run on the YouTube channels of the Board. Different parts of Jamaica’s culture and cuisine will be highlighted in each part. The series follows Michelle and Suzanne Rousseau, sisters who will travel across the island exploring its foods and personalities.
AGRICULTURE MINISTER PUSHES TO ENHANCE SUGAR PRODUCTION—09/10/13
Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries wants to encourage more sugar production on the island. It is planning a “massive” effort to plant and replant sugar cane. The initiative, which is part of the Cane Expansion Fund, is designed to raise production to some 1.4 million tons of sugar by 2018. The fund represents a partnership between the government of Jamaica and the European Union.
JP SHOE FIRM SUED BY CHUCK TAYLOR CREATORS—09/11/13
The creator of iconic Chuck Taylor shoes has brought legal suit against a firm in Jamaica Plain, New York, claiming that they copied the original design. Converse is suing Autonomie Project for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, trademark dilution, and unfair business practices. Autonomie Project produces its own version of the Chuck Taylor design.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
DRINKING WATER IN CARIBBEAN UNDER THREAT—09/07/13
ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY LOOKS TO MOBILE APPS—09/08/13
YOUTH IN DOMINICA LAUNCH SOFTWARE APPS TO DELIVER LOCAL CONTENT—09/09/13
CARIBBEAN START-UP FIRMS LEARN TO PITCH THEIR IDEAS AT BOOMCAMP—09/10/13
MAVADO SUES JAMAICAN POLITICIAN—09/07/13
Mavado, Jamaican dancehall star, is suing a politician following a bad business deal. Mavado has hired Tamika Harris as his attorney to file the suit against a prominent Member of Parliament in a suit that involves the sale of a home in the Norbrook area of Kingston. Millions of dollars are believed to be at stake in the suit,
JAMAICAN THRILLER TO DEBUT AT NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL—09/08/13
The Jamaican thriller “Home Again” is scheduled for its debut at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City, September 18 through 22, 2013. The film was shot in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Canada. It tells the story of three young people who are deported home to Jamaica after being raised overseas from infancy. When they are deported to a place they have never known, the film follows them as they try to survive and discover who they really are.
JAMAICAN ARTISTES LOSE OUT ON RADIO ROYALTIES—09/09/13
Paul Barclay, chairperson of the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (JACAP), is calling for local radio stations to play more Jamaican music so that musicians will receive more in royalties. According to Barclay, JACAP had to pay 65 percent of the nearly $150 million collected in royalties to creators from overseas because radio stations do not play enough Jamaican music. A large part of the money collected by JACAP has been sent off the island to its affiliates instead of staying in Jamaica and shared among its local members.
PRINCE JAZZBO, JAMAICAN RAP REGGAE ARTISTE, DIES—09/12/13
Rap reggae star Prince Jazzbo has died from lung cancer at the age of 62. He died at his home in St. Catherine, according to his daughter Princess Omega Carter. The performed began his career in the early 1970s at the first black-owned music studio on the island, Clement “Sir Coxsone” Dodd’s Studio One. He was an early performer of dancehall toasting. He is best known for the tunes “Croaking Lizard,” ‘’Penny Reel” and “Crab Walking.”
BACKUP DOPING TESTS POSITIVE FOR POWELL, SIMPSON—09/07/13
The results of the backup doping tests for Jamaican track stars Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson have tested positive for banned substances. The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission said the samples were tested in Montreal, Canada. The athletes have been notified and the samples passed on to the Jamaican Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel so that hearings can be scheduled.
DIAMOND LEAGUE TITLES FOR JAMAICANS FRASER-PRYCE, WEIR—09/08/13
Warren Weir, Jamaican sprinter, won the Diamond League 200-meter title for 2013 and its $40,000 first prize. He ran the men’s 200-meters in 19.87 seconds. Jamaica’s women’s sprint star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took the top spot by defeating her opponent in the women’s 100-meter race with a time of 10.72 seconds. This time beat the meet record as well.
CARRIE RUSSELL TAKES FOURTH WIN—09/09/13
Carrie Russell continued her impressive performance for 2013 by winning her fourth race since setting of Jamaica’s women’s 4×100 meter gold medal team at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Moscow. Russell won the 200-meter gold at the Rieti World Challenge meet in Italy with a time of 22.62, a season and personal best for her. Russell is the tenth Jamaican woman to run the 100 meters in under 11 seconds with a time 10.98 in Zurich in August 2013.
MCDONALD SETS NEW RECORD IN 300-METER RACE—09/10/13
Jamaican Rusheen McDonald established a new record time in the rarely-run 300-meter race at the final IAAF World Challenge competition in Rieti, Italy. McDonald ran the distance in 31.97 seconds, breaking a 34-year-old record time of 32.23 seconds set by Italian Pietro Mennea. McDonald beat two Italians for the victory.
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When Fear Overcomes Faith
When Jesus said to Peter “Come” and he immediately jumped over the side of the boat and started walking on water (Matthew 14:25-29), I have often wondered what was going through his mind. Lest we forget, the sea at the time was not calm for the boat he and the other disciples were in was “in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves, for the wind was contrary” (v.24, KJV). Conditions were of such that Peter could not see Jesus clearly, but despite the howling winds he had no problem hearing His voice and in his mind that was good enough for him. Have you ever been there?
If we could have spoken to Peter afterward, I think he would have said he got out of the boat because the safest place to be in a storm is wherever Jesus is. Very few would argue with that. However, let us not not forget that before Peter got to where Jesus was, he almost didn’t make it. We are told that “when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me” (vv.29-30). Isn’t that like so many of us? Wanting so much to be where Jesus is but often overtaken by the circumstances around us. Like the boisterous wind, the situations we often face leave us feeling shaken and afraid. Many times we do not feel His presence neither can we “see” Him, yet it is comforting to know that in the wee hours of the morning, the darkest part of the night, He not only knows where we are but we can hear His reassuring voice bidding us to “Come” towards Him.
For Peter, and many of us, fear sometimes overtake faith. It is in those moments that our knees buckle and we start to falter. Some people say Peter took his eyes off Jesus but the text does not support that. Despite his steadfastness in obeying the voice of his Lord, again like some of us who have tried to do the same, he fell victim to his humanness; he became afraid. That fear interrupted his walk but not his focus, for “beginning to sink, he cried saying, Lord, save me.” Who do you call when your walk becomes interrupted by fear and personal failure?
There was no hesitation in Jesus’ response to Peter’s cry. Matthew tells us, “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him” (v.31a). Immediately. Yes, He also did rebuke him for his lack of faith but His immediate response should be comforting to believers everywhere. Despite ourselves and our failures, and regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in, Christ’s love for us never wavers. As soon as Peter began to sink, he called out and to Jesus and was saved. Let that be our example for when we feel we can’t go much further, for it is when we come to the end of ourselves that we will find Him to be more than enough.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.