THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION MOVES FORWARD, RASTAS WELCOME CHANGES—09/13/14
Rastafarians in Jamaica are ready to smoke marijuana without fear as the movement to decriminalize the practice moves forward in the country. According to Bunny Wailer, legendary reggae performer and Rastafarian, Rastas have long treated marijuana as legal, despite the fact that some have been sent to prison for using it in their prayer practices. Now, the legalization of the herb has occurred in several places in the United States, and Jamaican authorities are rethinking their position on the matter.
FAMILY OF MARIO DEANE REJECTS GOVERNMENT HELP WITH BURIAL—09/13/14
The family of Mario Deane, the man who died of injuries received while he was in police custody, has rejected an offer by the Jamaican government to help with the costs of his funeral. According to Miguel Lorne, the family’s attorney, the State should admit its role in Deane’s death and accept responsibility. As a matter of principle, the family has chosen not to accept the government’s offer of aid.
JAMAICA EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR “CUBAN FIVE”—09/14/14
Groups in Jamaica have joined in an international solidarity campaign that has issued demands for the government of the United States to release three remaining Cuban anti-terrorist agents imprisoned in 2001 following their convictions for spying and treason. Two of the original five agents are set for release. All five were members of a network meant to infiltrate extreme right-wing groups in Miami, Florida.
NO NEED FOR DEEP-WATER SEARCH EQUIPMENT, SAYS LEWIN—09/15/14
Rear Admiral Hardly Lewin, the former head of the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) and police commissioner, says that criticism of the force’s capacity to perform searches in deep water is unwarranted. Criticism occurred during the search for the plane and its passengers that went down off Portland’s coast. According to Lewin, the JDF does not need equipment for deep-water searches.
MILLION MAN MARCH COMES TO JAMAICA—09/16/14
Jamaican authorities who met with representatives of the Nation of Islam welcomed the group and its mission to make an official announcement that the 2014 anniversary of the Million Man March will be marked in Kingston on October 19. The delegation was headed by Ishmael Muhammad, Student National Assistant to Minister Louis Farrakhan, and met with Jamaica’s Opposition Leader, Kingston’s mayor, the president of a theological college, and others to prepare for the 19th anniversary of the event.
PARLIAMENT WILL REVIEW SEXUAL OFFENSES ACT—09/17/14
Jamaica’s Parliament has agreed to review the nation’s Sexual Offenses Act, which has been characterized as anti-gay for the penalties it imposes for same-sex sexual activities. Jamaica has long had a history of prohibiting sex between men via the criminal code, and in 2009, introduced additional criminalization of same-sex relations with the Sexual Offenses Act. Maurice Tomlinson, an LGBT civil rights attorney, has called for reform in this area.
WILLIAMS OFFICIALLY TAKES LEADERSHIP OF POLICE—09/18/14
Dr. Carl Williams is set to take the leadership role of Commissioner of Police and will inherit a Jamaica Constabulary Force (JDF) that has seen a significant decrease in the number of murders in Jamaica during the past year. Williams will be the 28th Commissioner in the JDF’s 149-year history. His experience includes heading Police Area 5, which includes Spanish Town, March Pen, and Lauriston, among other places.
REGULATOR TAKES OCG TO COURT OVER REPORT ON PROCESS OF PROJECT BID—09/19/14
Jamaica’s Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has taking the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) to court over issues related to a report concerning the 381MW project process. In part, the suit involves a process that allowed one multilateral agency to refuse to provide non-equity funding to the firm chosen as the preferred bidder for construction of the power plant in Jamaica.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
FUNERAL FOR HOPETON LEWIS HELD IN NEW YORK—09/13/14
Jamaican rocksteady musician Hopeton Lewis was laid to rest in the Bronx, New York. Lewis was best known for “Take It Easy,” a hit tune from 1966 that introduced the rocksteady sound to the word. He is also known for the 1970 Festival Song “Boom-Shacka-Laka.” Lewis died at his home at the age of 66 on September 4, 2013. Born in Kingston, he turned away from secular music in the 1990s.
NAMBIAN FILM TO FEATURE JAMAICAN INTELLECTUAL STUART HALL—09/14/14
The documentary film “The Stuart Hall Project,” will be presented by the British Council of Namibia at the third staging of the EUNIC Festival. The theme of the 2014 festival is “Heroes.” Hall died in February 2014 and was well known in British society, which hailed him as a hero in the United Kingdom. The film follows Hall as he explores memory, identity, and politics in the 20th century.
WINNER OF JAMAICA INDEPENDENCE ESSAY CONTEST 2014 ANNOUNCED—09/15/14
Ashleigh Chin is the winner of the 2014 South Florida Jamaica Independence Essay Competition. She received her award at the Office of the Consulate General of Jamaica in Miami, Florida. The award was presented by Consul General Franz Hall. She was the winner in the 9 to 12 years of age category. In her essay, she wrote that her Jamaican heritage gave her many opportunities and made her proud of who she is.
DEFEATED NY CANDIDATE EXPRESSES GRATITUDE FOR SUPPORT—09/16/14
Rickie Tulloch, a Jamaican-born candidate for the New York State Assembly seat for the 42nd district, was defeated in the election, but stated that he plans to continue working to ensure that his community receives fair representation in the state legislature. Tulloch said he was grateful for the support he received during the campaign.
PATTERSON REIGNS AS MISS JAMAICA UK—09/17/14
The current Miss Jamaica UK, Cherelle-Rose Patterson, is the winner of the top beauty pageant in the United Kingdom for women of Jamaican heritage. For entrants aged 18 to 26, the contest opens doors to numerous types of careers. Patterson is no exception and has represented Jamaica with pride since receiving her crown in 2013.
COLLECTION OF SOUND SYSTEM OPERATOR IN UK STOLEN—09/18/14
Mark Banton, 82, is the owner of Mighty Marritone, a London sound system. He has been victimized by thieves who took his entire vinyl record collection, which numbered over 1,500 prized recordings. The records were in the family’s residence in St. Mary, which had been unoccupied for a time and under the care of a daily monitor. Banton, who lives in the UK, was so upset upon hearing of the theft that he returned to Jamaica immediately to help investigators track down the perpetrators of the crime.
AVIATION INDUSTRY LOOKING TO MAKE CARIBBEAN TRAVEL EASIER—09/19/14
On Caribbean Aviation Day, at a one-day conference in St. Thomas designed to find ways that would make air travel easier and cheaper in the Caribbean region, International Air Transport Association Regional Vice President of the Americas Peter Cerda noted the competitiveness of the business, which supports 140,000 jobs in the region, and emphasized the need for policies and programs that facilitate travel for visitors to grow the industry.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
PHILLIP READY TO HOST CARIBBEAN TELECOM UNION REPRESENTATIVES—09/13/14
MIAMI BOOKFAIR FOCUSES ON CARIBBEAN WRITERS—09/14/14
$7.5 MILLION RAISED FOR RE-DO OF OLD FIREHOUSE BUILDING—09/15/14
CHIKUNGUNYA DEATH TOLL REACHES 113 IN CARIBBEAN—09/16/14
MARIJUANA THROWN INTO THE SEA, SMUGGLERS ESCAPE—09/17/14
CUBA TO HOST LATIN AMERICAN CONGRESS ON FOOD SCIENCE—09/18/14
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
START UP JAMAICA SUPPORTED BY CARIBBEAN EXPORT—09/13/14
The Caribbean Export Development Agency, known as Caribbean Export, is promising to provide financial support for the launch of Start Up Jamaica. The funding will be offered as part of the Regional Private Sector Development Program sponsored by the European Union. Start Up Jamaica is a project of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, and is designed to support young, technologically talented individuals and facilitate their entry into global markets for technology innovations.
DOCTOR DREAD STARTS JERK SEASONING BUSINESS—09/14/14
Gary “Doctor Dread” Himelfarb, a promoter of reggae music in the United States, is turning to a jerk seasoning business called Doctor Dread’s Famous Jamaican Jerk. The company is based in Himelfarb’s hometown of Washington, D.C. He says the food venture is similar to his experiences at RAS Records in that both promote the positive side of Jamaica’s culture.
DIGICEL GETS APPROVAL TO BUY SUBMARINE FIBER NETWORK—09/15/14
Jamaica’s government has given its approval to Digicel to purchase an under-sea fiber network across the Caribbean from Guadeloupe-based Loret Group and Caribbean Fiber Holdings. The transaction is now completed and marks a significant step for Digicel in its move from a mobile provider to a complete global communications provider.
TOURISM AWARENESS WEEK HAILED BY JAMAICA’S TOURISM MINISTRY—09/16/14
Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment is observing Tourism Awareness Week by focusing on the major contributions the industry makes to the nation’s social and economic development. Tourism Awareness Week begins on September 1, 2014 and runs through October 1, 2014. It will incorporate World Tourism Day on September 27. The theme of the event is “Tourism and Community Development.”
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
FILM FEATURES MASHUP OF STANDUP, KARAOKE, REMIX CULTURE, KUNG FU—09/15/14
The film “Ching Pow: Far East Yardies in Kingston, Jamaica” has been described as a mixture of kung fu with Jamaican comedians and reggae music. The story follows a bouncer at a red-light business who must fight evil, with the help of Bob Marley as a martial arts guru who gives out essential instruction and transforms the bouncer into a hero.
EMPOWERMENT INITIATIVE STARTED BY SHAKA POW—09/17/14
Dr. Garth “Shaka Pow” McDonald, a physician and recording artiste, has launched an empowerment initiative called “Best Baby Father.” The event was attended by representatives of the music industry, as other artistes recognize how important such an initiative is for Jamaica. The campaign seeks to re-socialize Jamaican fathers toward having a role in their children’s development. He believes that the current situation of Jamaica in terms of crime and violence can be mitigated with better parenting.
RURAL JAMAICA CRITICAL FOR SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE—09/18/14
Japan and Europe have adopted the sound system culture, but Jamaican operators believe that this culture remains viable in the rural parts of the home island. They believe that rural Jamaica remains the source of the most prolific sound systems in the world, but the media tends to focus on Kingston and the Corporate Area and leads fans to think the culture has disappeared in Jamaica. In fact, according to Anthony Keming, a sound system operator based in St. Elizabeth, the culture flourishes in the parish with at least 15 sound systems in every five miles.
“JAMAICAN MAFIA” GETS NEW PREMIERE—09/19/14
Because of unexpected events, the world premiere of the film “Jamaican Mafia” was postponed. However, the premiere finally took place at the Sunrise Multiplex Theater in New York, with organizers leaving nothing to chance this time and having more than one copy of the film available for screening. Large crowds participated in spite of the two-week delay for the highly anticipated premiere event.
CAMPBELL BROWN MOTIVATED AFTER VICTORY AT IAAF CONTINENTAL CUP—09/14/14
Jamaican champion sprinter Veronica Campbell Brown says she has become even more motivated to do her best following her victory in the 100-meter race at the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco. Campbell Brown was cleared of doping charges in March 2014. She was one of the two individual Jamaican winners at the IAAF competition. She took the 100 meters with a time of 11.08 seconds.
WEST INDIES HAS HUGE WIN OVER BANGLADESH—09/17/14
Sulieman Benn provided five wickets, Jerome Taylor offered three more, and Shiv Chanderpaul had a century to bring the West Indies a huge victory over Bangladesh in the second Test in St. Lucia. The victory allowed the team to claim a 2-0 series, with the Windies upsetting the opposing team by 296 runs.
RUSSELL LEADS TEAM TO THREE-WICKET VICTORY—09/18/14
A stellar performance from Andre Russell, all-rounder for the West Indies, led the Kolkata Knight Riders to a victory over the Chennai super Kings by three wickets at the opening match in the Champions League Twenty20 in Hyderabad, India. The Knight Riders made a strong recovery to reach their goal with an over to spare.
SCHAFER PROMISES JAMAICA TO BE STRONG FOR FINALS OF 2014 CARIBBEAN CUP—09/19/14
Winfried “Winnie” Schafer, the head coach of the Reggae Boyz, has promised that Jamaica will be fully prepared when the island hosts eight teams in the 2014 Caribbean Cup final phase in Montego Bay on November 9 to 18, 2014. He says there will be a chance to choose the best team because the tournament will be played on FIFA dates. Schafer acknowledged that it will take a very strong team to win, but that the Boyz will do their best.
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Finishing Strong – Part III
Maintaining the faith was important to the apostle Paul. Being aware that his physical death was not far off, he summed up his life to his spiritual son Timothy in three profound statements – “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7, KJV). Here, as was his custom, Paul alludes to the contests at the Grecian games. As the laws of these games must be diligently observed and kept, so he maintains that he kept the rules of the spiritual combat and race.
It is not important just to win; the rules must be observed if one is not to be disqualified. Here we see Paul, in his reflections, steadfastly maintaining that he had spent his life faithfully serving his Lord. John Darby, in commenting on this verse, notes, “As to the apostle, he had finished his work; if others were unfaithful, he had been faithful. In the good fight of the gospel of God he had fought to the end, and successfully resisted all the attacks of the enemy. He had finished his course: it only remained for him to be crowned. He had kept the faith committed to him.”
Bible commentator John Gill posits, “[Paul] means … the profession of faith, which he had held fast without wavering; and chiefly the doctrine of faith, which was committed to his trust, which he had kept pure and incorrupt against all opposition; … [he had] been faithful to [his] trust, as a good steward of the mysteries of God; not concealing and keeping back anything that was profitable, but declaring the whole counsel of God.”
Matthew Henry, Bible Commentator, observes that the apostle “had the testimony of his conscience that by the grace of God he had in some measure answered the ends of living. As a Christian, as a minister, he had fought a good fight. He had done the service, gone through the difficulties of his warfare, and had been instrumental in carrying on the glorious victories of the exalted Redeemer over the powers of darkness. His life was a course, and he had now finished it; as his warfare was accomplished, so his race was run. ‘I have kept the faith. I have kept the doctrines of the gospel, and never betrayed any of them.'”
What outstanding commendations! As we admire the man and his faithfulness to God, let us be reminded that we too are in a fight, we have a course to run, and we have to keep the faith. There are many oppositions and obstacles in our way but if we are to be crowned as victors we must overcome based on the principles in the Word of God. As we wrap up our thoughts on finishing strong, it is worth remembering that it is not the person with the most money, the most “toys,” or the biggest house that wins, but rather the one of whom the Lord can say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
As you contemplate your fight, your course, and the extent to which you are true to the faith that has been entrusted to you, how would you describe it? Could one of your last wishes be that the words from 2 Timothy 4:7 be etched on your tombstone to sum up your life? I am striving for that and I pray that you are too.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.