THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
POLICE COMMISSIONER RESPONDS TO CALLS FOR HIS RESIGNATION—09/08/12
Owen Ellington, Jamaican Police Commissioner, responded to calls for his resignation from the People’s National Party Youth Organization by saying he respects the public’s rights to question the use of deadly force by police and to demand accountability for such incidents. He takes full responsibility for policies and procedures designed to ensure that the use of force by police is in agreement with the rights of citizens. He said the use-of-force policy of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has been revised and that all education provided in the JCF includes instruction on human dignity and human rights. He also said that fatal shootings by police declined in 2012 and could be the lowest in seven years.
POLICE TO HAVE MORE NON-LETHAL DEVICES—09/09/12
Owen Ellington, Commissioner of Police, has issued an order to increase the number of batons, pepper spray, and other non-lethal devices to police. Ellington’s order was given almost a week after Corporal Dwayne Smart of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) allegedly shot and killed Kayann Lamont, 27, who was eight months pregnant during an attempted arrest for cursing in public. Owens said that police are not routinely issued non-lethal devices when on duty and that this is unacceptable and not in keeping with the goals of the JCF’s use-of-force policy.
40,000 JAMAICANS COULD GET JOBS THROUGH NEW AGREEMENT—09/10/12
An agreement between the Jamaican government and the Chamber of Commerce could result in work for 40,000 Jamaicans. The agreement would implement the “Jamaica Employ” initiative, which is designed to create a link between job seekers and potential employers via a registry. The initiative would also enhance the flow of information between the Chamber and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
“JAMAICA EMPLOY” PROGRAM GAINING MOMENTUM—09/11/12
A program designed to bring public and private sectors together for the benefit of job seekers in Jamaica is gaining momentum following its low-key launch in January 2012. The “Jamaica Employ” program is moving forward under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said the effort was critical that the two sectors work together to resolve the island’s unemployment problems.
JAMAICANS SHOULD TAKE MEASURES TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM DENGUE—09/11/12
Jamaica’s Ministry of Health is telling Jamaicans to take appropriate measures to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and thus protect themselves from dengue fever. Dengue is endemic to the island, and periodically, there is a seasonal increase in the number of cases reported. Dr. Kevin Harvey, director of the Health Promotion and Protection Branch of the Health Ministry, stated that the outbreaks usually occur in the rainy season, which fosters the breeding of mosquitoes. Since the start of 2012, there have been 180 cases of dengue confirmed in Jamaica.
REGGAE ARTISTES, POLITICIANS UPSET BY MUGABE COMMENTS—09/12/12
A number of Jamaican reggae artistes and politicians have expressed their ire at comments made by the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. Mugabe said that Jamaican culture is dominated by drunkards and weed smokers. “The men are always drunk,” Mugabe allegedly said, and that is why “women are now taking charge.” Mugabe’s adherence to such stereotypes has angered musicians who have performed for him in Zimbabwe.
GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATES ROBERT MUGABE—09/13/12
Jamaica’s government has launched an investigation of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, who recently ridiculed citizens of Jamaica by calling them drunkards and marijuana smokers. A.J. Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, said his office will attempt to verify whether Mugabe actually made the remarks attributed to him. If so, a diplomatic stand-off between the two countries will occur. Some government officials, including Dr. Christopher Tufton, Opposition spokesman, have called for Mugabe to issue an apology for his remarks.
INVESTIGATION OF DETAINED AMERICAN CONDUCTED BY U.S., JAMAICA—09/14/12
Authorities in the United States are providing support to investigators in Jamaica in their probe of a United States citizen who was detained at an airport on the island with undeclared cash. Sohail Muhammad Siddiq was detained at the airport in Montego Bay when customs agents found he was traveling from Dubai with over $400,000 in cash, mostly in Euros. He is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan who has addresses in both Illinois and Texas.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICA PERFORMS WELL AT CHESS OLYMPIAD—09/08/12
The Jamaica Chess Federation reached at least one of its goals for the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey. After eight rounds, National Champion Damion Davy was named a Candidate Master. He gained four points in seven games. Improving international titles was a major goal of the Chess Federation listed by its president Ian Wilkinson before leading the team on the trip to Turkey.
JAMAICAN MIGRATION PROFILE DEVELOPED—09/09/12
Jamaica’s government has created a migration profile that will help to inform policy makers. The profile is called “Migration in Jamaica: A Country Profile 2010.” It is the first profile of its kind in the Caribbean and was created by the Planning Institute of Jamaica and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. Funding was provided by the European Union and the International Organization for Migration. The profile includes data relevant to the labor market, human capital, remittances, well-being of families, human rights, and the Diaspora.
PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE LABELS JAMAICANS “DRUNKARDS, WEED SMOKERS”—09/10/12
Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe, has indicated his displeasure at the influence Jamaica’s culture is having on the people in his country. He reportedly described Jamaican men as “weed smokers” and “drunkards” during a lecture at the Research and Intellectual Expo 2012. He described Jamaica as a nation of “marijuana smokers, where women are now taking charge since men are always sloshed.” He cautioned Zimbabweans to not follow in the footsteps of Jamaicans.
JAMAICAN PRISONER DIES IN BARBADOS—09/12/12
Deshawn George Campbell, 25, died while service time in a Barbados prison. Campbell was from St. Andrew in Jamaica and had served one year of a three-year sentence at the HMP Dodds prison on drug trafficking charges. Campbell had allegedly been feeling unwell since July 2012 and was given painkillers, but on September 3, his condition deteriorated, and he died. Jamaica’s government is waiting for the results of an autopsy, and the Jamaican High Commission will conduct a follow-up on the case.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
JAMAICAN ATTORNEY WARNS AGAINST JOINING CCJ—09/08/12
CARIBBEAN WELLNESS DAY OBSERVED BY CARICOM DEPUTY SECRETARY—09/09/12
BAHAMIAN FILM WINDS “BEST PITCH” CONTEST—09/10/12
TRINIDAD TO REPEAL LAW DISMISSING COURT CASES—09/11/12
CARIBBEAN NATIONS TO KEEP MONITOR OIL DRILLING—09/12/12
GOVERNOR OF VIRGIN ISLANDS VETOES BILL ON SPENDING TRANSPARENCY—09/12/12
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
LNG INTRODUCTION COULD BE ABANDONED—09/09/12
The introduction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) into Jamaica’s energy mix may not come to fruition. Because of the current price of LNG, the Jamaican government will not obtain the expected reduction in electricity costs for consumers. This was to be between 30 percent and 40 percent. Without these expected discounts, the idea of using LNG may be scrapped.
GOVERNMENT AWARDS CONTRACTS FOR DRUGS—09/10/12
The Jamaican government has awarded 43 pharmaceutical drug contracts for two years’ supply of essential medications via public health facilities. The contracts are worth $3.3 billion for the period. Contracts were signed by the National Health Fund with local and global suppliers. The largest contract was given to Lasco Distributors Ltd. and totaled $763 million.
IMPORT FOOD BILL RISES SIGNIFICANTLY—09/11/12
The amount spent by Jamaica to import food rose by over US$10 million in the first five months of 2012, according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica. Food imports had a value of over US$395 million between January and May of 2012. Comparatively, total food imports during the same months in 2011 had a value of more than US$364 million. The Institute also reported that food exports in 2012 rose as well, up 18 percent over 2011 totals.
JAMAICAN INSURANCE FIRM PURCHASED BY GHL—09/12/12
Globe Insurance Company of Jamaica Ltd. has been bought by Guardian Holdings Ltd. for US$38 million from Lascelles de Mercado. A joint statement from Lascelles and Guardian Holdings announced the cash acquisition, which represents a 100 percent share of Globe. Globe Insurance is considered a major firm in the general insurance market in Jamaica.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN NETIZEN REPORT ISSUED—09/09/12
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, ST. KITTS TO BE LINKED BY FINGERPRINTING SYSTEM—09/10/12
CTEX CREATES VIRTUAL TOUR OF ADVANCED CARIBBEAN DATA CENTER—09/11/12
WIND ENERGY FAVORED BY JAMAICA’S GOVERNMENT—09/13/12
DOCUMENTARY FILM TRACES RASTA AWAKENING OF SNOOP LION—09/08/12
A documentary film called “Reincarnated” chronicles the personal and spiritual journey of the rap musician formerly known as Snoop Dogg. He has since taken the name Snoop Lion and become a reggae artiste. The documentary follows the musician as he examines the Rastafarian movement. The film, directed by Andy Capper, had its premiere in Toronto, Canada at the Toronto International Film Festival.
JJ THOMAS PUBLISHES BOOK ON RACISM—09/09/12
The Jamaican author JJ Thomas, who lives in St. Mary, has published a new book entitled “Black America Why?” The book discusses the topic of racism and centers on Detroit, Michigan, where Thomas lived for two years and developed the thoughts expressed in the book. Thomas has formed a negative impression of the city after his time there and described his experiences and observations, highlighting problems that affect Black Americans.
MAJOR EVENTS PLANNED TO COMMEMORATE MISS LOU—09/10/12
During September 2012, Jamaica will hold a series of major events to remember the life and work of Louise Simone Bennett0Coverly, known as “Miss Lou.” She was one of the island’s most renowned cultural ambassadors. Activities have been organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) and will include tribute concerts, debates, library exhibits, storytelling, drama, and dance presentations. The events will occur in all parishes of Jamaica.
KK HOLLIDAY WINS SECOND DPLACE IN MUSIC COMPETITION—09/13/12
The Jamaican artist KK Holliday received second place in the first year of the Unsigned Only Music Competition. Holliday’s song “Shugga Daddy” was entered in the Pop/Top 40 category and won over the other nearly 7,500 submissions. Holliday was raised in Kingston, and her music is produced by her husband, Doc Frank CEO of Monstarz Ink.
JAMAICA BEATS U.S. IN WORLD CUP QUALIFIER—09/08/12
Jamaicans frustrated the United States national World Cup team by handing it a defeat in the semifinals of the CONCACAF qualifying competition. Jamaica won with a score of 2 to 1. Rodolph Austin and Luton Shelton of Jamaica were standouts in the match, which was Jamaica’s first win over the U.S. team in 19 attempts.
BOLT WINS 100 METERS IN BRUSSELS—09/09/12
Usain Bolt finished his 2012 season with a 9.86-second victory in the men’s 100 meter race at the Diamond League competition in Brussels. Bolt won three gold medals at the London Olympics earlier in 2012
U.S. SOCCER TEAM DEFEATS JAMAICA IN 2014 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING MATCH—09/11/12
Jamaica was defeated by the United States soccer team in the qualifying match for the 2014 World Cup. Jamaica beat the U.S. for the first time in history in Kingston just days before, but the American team took its revenge at a home match in Ohio.
FRASER GETS WARM WELCOME ON RETURN TO JAMAICA—09/13/12
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was warmly received by a large crowd upon her homecoming from the Olympics in London. Fraser-Pryce won the gold medal in the women’s 100 meters at the 2012 event. Among the dignitaries on hand at Norman Manley International Airport to welcome her home were Sports Minister Natalie Neita Headley, Industry and Commerce Minister Anthony Hylton, and Jamaica Olympic Association president Michael Fennell.
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More Than Lip Service and Rituals
Jesus was at it again. Going head-to-head with the scribes and Pharisees who, this time, were questioning why His disciples transgressed the tradition of the elders by not washing their hands when they eat bread (Matthew 15:1-2). Jesus answered their question with one of His own: “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” (v.3), proceeded to give them an example (vv. 4-6), before delivering the finishing blow, “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men'” (vv. 7-9). That was some serious stuff!
Two thousand years later, the words of Jesus continue to resonate through time. How many of us are caught up in diligent observation of church and other traditions while being less than diligent in our observation of God’s Word? For the religious leaders of the day, this custom of washing extended not just to their hands before eating, but in coming from the market; and also to cups, and pots, and brass vessels, and tables (Mark 7:3-4). On this point, Bible Scholar Albert Barnes observes, “They did this professedly for the sake of cleanliness. So far it was well. But they also made it a matter of superstition. They regarded external purity as of much more importance than the purity of the heart. They had many foolish rules about it respecting the quantity of water that was to be used, the way in which it should be applied, the number of times it should be changed, the number of those that might wash at a time, etc.” It could be said that they majored on the minors. They failed to recognize that God’s primary concern was not the cleansiness of their hands but rather the cleansiness of their hearts.
God’s priority in that regard has not changed. Like the scribes and Pharisees, we may be regular in the forms of worship; strict in certain observances and doing things that demonstrates our religiousness outwardly; but God requires the heart, and that some of us have not surrendered. In other words, we honour Him with our lips but our hearts are far from Him. This is not true worship (v. 9).
True worshippers are those who “worship the Father in spirit and in truth,” those who engage in the offering of the soul rather than the formal offering of the body – the homage of the heart rather than that of the lips. These are the people “the Father seeketh … to worship Him” (John 4:23, KJV). How do you measure up? What kind of worshipper are you?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.