THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
AZAN RESIGNS AFTER CONTRACTOR GENERAL REPORT ISSUED—09/21/13
Jamaican Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Richard Azan, has decided to resign from the Cabinet. His action followed a report by the Contractor General alleging that Azan had committed “improprieties” in awarding a government contract for the reconstruction of shops at Clarendon’s Spalding Market. The Contractor General referred Azan for prosecution.
HALL NAMED NEW CONSUL GENERAL TO MIAMI—09/21/13
Franz Hall, a career diplomat, has been named as the new consul general to Miami, Florida. Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator A. J. Nicholson, announced Hall’s appointment. Hall will take up his new post on October 3, 2013. He has more than 20 years of experience in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and has most recently been the acting head of the Trade Agreements Implementation Coordination Unit.
OFFICIALS TO TESTIFY IN TRAFIGURA CASE—09/22/13
A court in Jamaica is requiring several highly placed officials of the government to testify in open court against Trafigura Beheer BV, a Dutch oil trading company that is accused of paying the People’s National Party (PNP) $460,000 before the elections in 2007. The PNP is the party of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. Trafigura claims that it was not prohibited from donating to political parties in Jamaica. Burt Samuels, defense attorney, argues that government officials had diplomatic immunity and so did not have to testify, but the Constitution Court of Jamaica did not accept that argument and ruled against him.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT PROVIDES SUPPORT TO U.S. IN LOTTERY SCAM BATTLE—09/23/13
According to United States Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater, the government of Jamaica has provided “unprecedented” support to the U.S. in fighting against the wide-ranging lottery scam. Bridgewater says the Homeland Security Office in the U.S., the Coastal Inspection Service, and other law enforcement officials have received high levels of cooperation from Jamaica’s government via the Ministry of National Security and other agencies.
LAWMAKERS CONSIDER DECRIMINALIZING MARIJUANA—09/24/13
Jamaican lawmakers are debating whether to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use by adults on the island. Many local residents have expressed their dissatisfaction with existing drug laws. While no bill has been drafted and no vote is currently scheduled on the issue, it has becoming a topic increasingly discussed among Jamaicans. Some supporters of the policy believe marijuana could become a driving force to improve the nation’s poor economy.
BUSINESSWOMAN IN JAMAICA CHARGED WITH HUMAN TRAFFICKING—09/25/13
Hermalinda Parker, a Jamaican businesswoman, has been charged by law enforcement with facilitating human trafficking. Parker was charged along with her daughter Liz Scantibury and her husband Anthony Parker by the Organized Crime Investigation Division (OCID) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. She has also been charged with human trafficking and withholding passports. The charges stem from a trip to Guyana Parker made in May 2010 where she convinced the family of a teenage girl to allow her to come on a trip to Jamaica. On arrival, the girl was forced to become a dancer at a nightclub, and according to prosecutors, forced into prostitution as well.
NETBALLERS DONATE HISTORICAL MAP TO JAMAICA’S NATIONAL LIBRARY—09/26/13
Jamaica’s Under-21 basketball team has made a donation of an 18-century map of Jamaica to the National Library. Marva Bernard, President of Netball Jamaica, and members of the Junior Sunshine Girls team plan to attend the official event scheduled to present the map to the library. The map was a gift to the national team by Professor Emeritus Godfrey Palmer of Heriot Watt University n Edinburgh, Scotland. Palmer is a proud Jamaican who attended the third-place play-off game of the World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow, where the Junior Sunshine Girls beat England 52-33 and won the bronze medal.
CONCERNS EXPRESSED ABOUT SECURITY DURING DIGICEL 5K NIGHT RUN/WALK—09/27/13
The Digicel Foundation will sponsor the second annual 5K Night Run/Walk, and organizers are paying close attention to security after several incidents of violence recently occurred in downtown Kingston. According to Judine Hunter, program manager for special needs at the foundation, there are some concerns and everyone is working to ensure that the event will be safe and injury-free. The run/walk is meant to raise funds for the support of special-needs schools and institutions in Jamaica. Digicel hopes to add to the $100 million the special needs sector has raised to date.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
NEW YORK FIRM SEEKS TO EDUCATE YOUTH IN PATOIS—09/23/13
New York-based Jamaica Patois Media wants to make sure that young Jamaicans learn Patois. The firm is bringing out a series of books that will teach young Jamaicans to read and write “in their own language.” The first book in the series is the “Jamaican Patois Puzzle Book,” which shows JamaicanPatois words alongside English translations. The company feels it is important to publish the series because there is almost no literature available in the language for the common people of Jamaica.
BOOK LAUNCH IN WASHINGTON FOR BEVERLY EAST—09/24/13
Beverly East, a Jamaican-born handwriting specialist and writer, has launched her third book “Bat Mitzvah Girl: Memories of a Jamaican Childhood,” in Washington, D.C. The event was held at the Embassy of Jamaica and attracted a number of officials, including the Jamaican Ambassador to the United States and former Ambassador Richard Bernal and his wife. Representatives of the World Bank and the Organization of American States also attended. The book tells the story of a girl coming of age in two countries.
JAMAICAN SINGER MAKES IMPRESSION ON “THE VOICE”—09/25/13
Tessanne Chin, a Jamaican singer, debuted on Season 5 of the United States NBC talent competition “The Voice.” She was last to perform on stage, and all four judges had a serious interest in working with her. She ultimately selected Adam Levine as her coach. The judges expressed their fascination with her Jamaican accent and her powerful voice.
“MISS LOU” THE FOCUS OF A TRIBUTE—09/26/13
A tribute to Caribbean icon Dr. Louise Bennett-Coverly, better known as “Miss Lou,” will be presented by Deja Vu Theatre Productions in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Miss Lou was the inspiration for many poets in the Caribbean. Miss Lou used the language of her ancestors, Jamaican Patois, as a means of cultural expression in poetry. She was born in Kingston in 1919 and became known around the world for her writing and her poetry performances.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
NICARAGUA WANTS MORE OCEAN TERRITORY—09/21/13
U.S. SENATOR WANTS INVESTIGATION OF CARIBBEAN SCHOOLS—09/22/13
BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT CRITICIZES U.S. FOR HANDLING OF MADURO TRAVEL—09/23/13
ST.KITTS MARKS 30 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE—09/24/13
BIG DROP IN HIV/AIDS INFECTION RATE IN CARIBBEAN—09/25/13
MORE PRIVATE BUSINESSES, NEW REGULATIONS APPROVED BY CUBA—09/26/13
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
TOP OFFICIALS IN JAMAICA TO TESTIFY AGAINST TRAFIGURA—09/21/13
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller is under court order to testify publically as part of an investigation into the Dutch oil trading company Trafigura Beheer BV. Other Jamaican officials are also required to testify, according to the court. The company is charged with paying the political party of the Prime Minster $460,000 prior to the 2007 elections. It is illegal for Dutch firms to make contributions to political parties. Trafigura claims it is not barred from doing so under Jamaican law, however.
BUSINESS IN MILE GULLY HAMPERED BY LACK OF PHONE, WATER—09/22/13
The growth of Mile Gully in Manchester has been hindered by a lack of running water and telephone lines. According to Everton Palmer, a local businessman operating a farm store in the area, business owners have long complained about the lack of infrastructure. Businesses cannot grow without running water or telephone lines, he says. He has tried to set up a Western Union facility at his business through GraceKennedy, but without a landline, he could not take advantage of training he received. LIME says it would not be profitable to bring a telephone line to Mile Gully from Grove Place.
SMALL BUSINESS SECTOR SAYS IT IS “SUFFERNG”—09/26/13
Leaders in the small business sector say they agree with Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller that economic growth in the country will come from small and mid-sized businesses. But they also say that this sector needs more support from the government. According to Collette Campbell, president of the Small Business Association of Jamaica, there is no mechanism for facilitating growth and development among small enterprises on the island.
STUDY COMMISSIONED BY ANDREW HOLNESS—09/27/13
Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s Opposition Leader, has commissioned a study to discover what has been happening in the business community since 2012. Holness noted that Jamaica is fast approaching another quarter of no economic growth, and he is concerned for the future. He pointed to the many business closings and downsizings, as well as low foreign exchange earnings as reasons for worry.
Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
SOLAR PANELS COME TO DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—09/21/13
JAMAICAN IGUANA BATTLES EXTINCTION—09/23/13
LAWS NEEDED TO REGULATE WASTE IN CARIBBEAN WATERS—09/26/13
CARIBBEAN BEHIND OTHER AREAS IN WIRELESS BROADBAND USE—09/27/13
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
JAMAICAN DANCEHALL STAR TO GIVE CONCERT IN GAMBIA—09/21/13
Jah Turban, reggae dancehall artiste, will stage a concert in Gambia, Africa, in November 2013, according to industry reports. The musician is expected to perform with other artists from Jamaica, the United Kingdom, Ghana, and South Africa. Several venues have already been confirmed for the concerts. Jah Turban was born in Spanish Town.
RESEARCH STUDY EXAMINES MUSIC INDUSTRY IN JAMAICA—09/23/13
A doctoral degree student at the Victoria University of Wellington has presented research indicating that while reggae music is very popular around the globe, Jamaica receives very little economic return from it. Most music rights are foreign-owned, according to Sharma Taylor’s dissertation. Many singer/song writers interviewed for the research did not fully appreciate the copyrights they own. Taylor believes this could result in musicians being exploited and cheated by foreign-owned firms.
SHAGGY GOES BACK TO BASICS IN NEW ALBUM—09/26/13
Reggae artiste Shaggy has gone back to his roots in his new album. He noted his crossover appeal to audiences in Jamaica and the United States, which has lead to his success. He says everything changes when your reggae music is popular in the U.S., since the recognition is so overwhelming. The album, Out of Many, One Music, is designed to excite his fans and has already received good feedback in the music industry.
NESTA FOCUSING ON POPULARIZING BRAND IN JAMAICAN MARKET—09/27/13
Gary “Nesta” Pine, Jamaican reggae artiste, wants to make his brand better known in the Jamaican market. He has gained considerable international success through collaborations with other artistes. Pine has been the lead singer for the City Heat Band in the 1990s, and also the lead singer for the Wailers for nearly ten years beginning in 1998. He has been writing and recording songs since the late 1980s, but he remains little known in Jamaica.
WICB president pleased about exchanges with India—09/22/13
President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Dave Cameron, is offering congratulations to the players and management of the West Indies A team which recently defeated their India equivalent in the three-game one-day series.
Cameron says he is “pleased with the performance of the team so far and wish them best of luck for the upcoming games. The matches have been competitive and we are pleased with the outcome thus far”.
The president, who identifies India as a great market for cricket, has also offered best wishes to the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force team, which is participating in this year’s Champions League tournament, also in India.
“On behalf of the board of directors, the WICB and the people of the region, I want to wish T&T all the best in the Champions League. I know the T&T team will represent the region to the best of their abilities, and we look forward to winning performances,” noted the president.
PRESIDENT OF WICB HAPPY ABOUT INDIA EXCHANGE—09/23/13
Dave Cameron, the president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), has expressed his satisfaction with the team and the management of the West Indies following their defeat of their Indian counterpart. Cameron said he was “pleased” with the performance and with the matches, which have been competitive. He called India a “great market” for cricket and is looking forward to future matches.
GAYLE SAYS BOLT IS JAMAICA’S BEST AMBASSADOR—09/26/13
Chris Gayle, the top Twenty20 batsman in the world, believes that Jamaica’s sprint champion Usain Bolt is the country’s biggest ambassador. Gayle was at a loss for words to describe how much Bolt has done for Jamaica. “He has rewritten history,” said Gayle of Bolt.
HUE SUSPENDED BY FIFA FOR DOPING—09/27/13
Jamaica’s Jermaine Hue, 35, has received a nine-month suspension from FIFA after testing positive for a banned substance at the World Cup qualifiers. The team doctor, Carlton Fraser, was banned for four years for administering dexamethasone. According to FIFA, the suspension applies to all kinds of matches, international, domestic, official and friendly.
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The Refiner’s Fire
Sometime ago I received an email forward that was simply profound in its theology on Malachi 3:3, which reads, “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” I do not know the author of the commentary, which I’ve titled as above, but it was simply too profound not to share. I pray that it blesses you as much as it did me. Here goes:
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: ‘He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.’ She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, ‘How do you know when the silver is fully refined?’ He smiled at her and answered, ‘Oh, that’s easy — when I see my image in it.'”
Did you catch that last statement? The silver is not fully refined until the silversmith sees his image in it. I am reminded of the words of hymnwriter Tom M. Jones: “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me / All His wonderful passion and purity / Oh, thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine / Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.” If today you are feeling the heat of the Refiner’s fire, remember that He has His eyes on you and will keep watching you, for as long as it takes, until He sees His image in you.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.