JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending September 5th, 2014

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST DROPS CHALLENGE TO 1854 LAW—08/30/14
Javed Jaghai, a Jamaican gay activist, has decided to withdraw his legal challenge to Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law. In 2013, he brought a constitutional court challenge to the 1864 law, but because he now feels that his life is in danger and his “loved ones are under threat” from those who do not agree with his action, he will drop the case although he still believes in the cause.

UWI ONLY ISLAND UNIVERSITY ENDORSED BY UCJ—08/31/14
The University of the West Indies (UWI) is the only university in Jamaica that is fully accredited by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ), the national quality assurance agency that oversees college-level education on the island. Tertiary institutions in Jamaica must submit their programs to the agency for evaluation against set criteria and standards.

2014 COFFEE CROP SMALLEST IN FIVE YEARS—09/01/14
According to the president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society, Senator Norman Grant, price negotiations for the new crop year for Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee will begin during a visit to the Specialty Coffee Association of Japan in September. Japan is the biggest buyer of the Jamaican coffee. Due to drought, disease and low productivity will impact the price discussions. Currently the price for one pound of the roasted coffee ranges from US$20 to US24.95 in Japan.

NATIONAL GALLERY OF JAMAICA PRAISED BY HANNA—09/02/14
Lisa Hanna, Jamaica’s Minister of Youth and Culture, praised the National Gallery of Jamaica at an event marking the institution’s 40th anniversary. Hanna said she was proud of the high standards set by the artists who contributed pieces to the anniversary exhibit, “Retrospect: the 40 Years of the National Gallery of Jamaica Exhibition.” Over 130 pieces were displayed to reflect various stories of the island.

U.S. CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY JOINS LEGAL TEAM REPRESENTING DEANE FAMILY—09/03/14
Jasmine Rand, an attorney who practices civil rights law with the Florida firm of Parks & Crump is one of the lawyers representing the family of Mario Deane. Deane, 31, died while in police custody in Montego Bay on August 6, 2014. Rand’s law firm represented the family of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager shot by George Zimmerman in Florida. While two prison inmates are charged with Deane’s murder, Michael Lorne, attorney, believes the death was the result of police brutality or misconduct.

OPPOSITION PARTY OBJECTS TO JAMAICA’S IMF-ORIENTED POLICY—09/04/14
Andrew Holness, leader of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), criticized the current Jamaican government for the austerity measures imposed to meet requirements of the International Monetary fund (IMF). Holness said that while the measures were designed to meet IMF economic targets, the ruling People’s National Party (PNP) government has caused more Jamaicans to fall into poverty.

FOUR JAMAICA POLICE OFFICERS ARRESTED ON BLACKMAIL CHARGES—09/05/14
Four police officers have been arrested for blackmail, according to Jamaica’s anti-corruption authorities. The four will participate in an identification parade and will be charged with breaching the Corruption Prevention Act and other offenses pending additional investigation. Earlier in 2014, the four officers stopped a motorist they suspected of involvement in “lotto scamming” and demanded money from him.

DEANE AUTOPSY CONFIRMS DEATH FROM BEATING—09/05/14
Famer American pathologist Dr. Michael Baden confirmed, following his autopsy, that Jamaican Mario Deane died from a beating received after his arrest on minor drug charges. Dr. Baden was hired by Deane’s family to review the autopsy headed by a Jamaican pathologist in Montego Bay. According to Baden, Deane died of “multiple impacts” to his head and brain. He noted that investigators must determine who is at fault for the beating death. Police say he was beaten by fellow inmates.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMPRO TO HEAD DELEGATION AT CHINA BUSINESS CONFERENCE—08/30/14
JAMPRO will be at the head of a group of representatives of the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) and local export businesses at the 8th annual China-LAC Business Summit scheduled for September 5 through 14, 2014, in Changsha, Hunan, China. The summit will include executives, policymakers and top public officials and allow them to exchange ideas concerning trade and investment opportunities in the Caribbean region.

IMPACT OF CARIBBEAN AMERICANS COULD INCREASE WITH CENSUS NUMBERS—08/31/14
The influence wielded by the Caribbean American community in the United States could increase once the population’s actual numbers are accurately reflected in the United States Census tally. Felicia Persaud, publisher and founder of Hard Beat Communications, is hoping that a Caribbean category will be added to the U.S. Census forms. A census advisory group will recommend to the U.S. Census Bureau to suggest that “Afro-Latino, Afro-Indian, Indo-Caribbean, and Caribbean/West Indian” be included as options on the next forms.

HUGE CROWDS CELEBRATED WEST INDIAN DAY PARADE IN BROOKLYN—09/01/14
Large crowds of appreciative onlookers watch the floats, costumes, and marchers in the yearly West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn, New York. The event featured dancing and music in addition to the parade of costumed participants who march two miles through some of New York’s most diverse neighborhoods. About one million people attended the event, which is also popular with politicians looking for support in the primary election scheduled for September 9, 2014.

CARIBBEAN CULTURE CELEBRATION MARRED BY KILLING, INJURIES—09/02/14
The heavily attended annual West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn, New York, was marred by the shooting death of at least one individual and the injury of four others in the early morning of the event. Michael Sampson, 53, was shot in Crown Heights in Brooklyn, according to police, who also said a suspect had been arrested. The same suspect was linked with the shooting of two other individuals. The police department deployed over 4,000 officers to monitor the route of the parade. Police do not know if the either the victim or the shooter were part of the parade.

JAMAICAN RUNNING FOR STATE ASSEMBLY SEAT TO REPRESENT BROOKLYN—09/03/14
Rickie Tulloch, a Jamaican-born resident of Brooklyn, New York, announced his candidacy for the 42nd State Assembly District seat which will be vacated by the retirement of current representatives Rhoda Jacobs. Tulloch migrated from the home island at the age of 14. He is ready to continue Jacobs work in protecting the environment, supporting policies to fight climate change, and encourage the adoption of  renewable energy sources. He is particularly committed to supporting the three-year moratorium on hydraulic fracking in New York State.

“JAMAICAN MAFIA” PATRONS DISAPPOINTED AT SCHEDULED PREMIERE EVENT—09/04/14
The patrons who expected to see the premiere of the film “Jamaican Mafia” at the Sunrise Multiplex Cinemas in Valley Stream, New York, were disappointed when the film never arrived to the theater. Vafomba Donzo of Nigeria, the film’s director, was in possession of the only copy of the film. He suffered a stroke on the way to the venue and was rushed to the hospital. The organizers of the event apologized but noted the situation was out of their control.

GOLDEN KRUST FOOD CHAIN SUES RIVAL OVER NAME RIGHTS—09/05/14
The owners of the Golden Krust food chain, a joint United States-Jamaican business, has filed suit to stop Silver Krust, a rival Jamaican food company, from being able to partially use its name. Golden Krust claims that it is one of the most successful minority-owned businesses in the U.S. and that Silver Krust is harming its reputation. The suit notes how the rival firm uses the same distinctive spelling in the word “krust” and says that Silver Crust also sells some Golden Krust products and is expanding its operations until they become more and more like the original Golden Krust restaurants.

MARIE GILL, JAMAICAN ENTREPRENEUR, NAMED INFLUENTIAL BUSINESSWOMAN—09/05/14
Marie Gill, a Jamaican entrepreneur, is one of 24 prominent businesswomen in South Florida to be honored by the South Florida Business Journal with the title of Influential Businesswoman of 2014. Gill and the other honorees have been recognized for leadership, business savvy, accomplishments and advocacy for small and minority-owned businesses in the community. Gill has spent 30 years working in the fields of marketing, public relations, and economic development through her service with government and economic growth organizations.

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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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NOMINATIONS FOR CARIBBEAN HALL OF FAME OPEN—08/31/14
 
HARRY BELAFONTE TO RECEIVE HUMANITARIAN AWARD AT OSCARS—09/01/14
 
FLIP FRASER, FIRST EDITOR OF “THE VOICE” NEWSPAPER, DIES—09/02/14
 
MINISTERS OF LOCAL CARIBBEAN GOVERNMENTS MEET IN BAHAMAS—09/03/14
 
NEW YORK MAYOR WELCOMES CARIBBEAN NATIONALS—09/04/14
 
POPULAR DEEJAY JAILED FOR RAPE IN CANADA—09/05/14

 

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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RISE IN NUMBER OF VISITORS TO CARIBBEAN IN FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2014—08/30/14
According to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), there was a 4.3 percent increase in the number of visitor arrivals in the region in the first six months of 2014. Destinations hosted nearly 14 million overnight visitors in the period between January and June 2014. About half of these – 6.87 million – came from the United States.

SORREL PROCESSING PLANT OPENS IN BETHEL TOWN—09/02/14
A new sorrel processing facility built at a cost of $27.8 million had its official opening on August 28, 2014. Attending the opening ceremonies in Bethel Town was Derrick Kellier, Jamaica’s Acting Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. The plant was established through a partnership between the Jamaica Social Investment Fund Rural Economic Development Initiative and the Bethel Town Sorrel Value Chain Improvement project. The plant will process sorrel to provide juices, jam, jelly and other value-added products.

DR. PETER PHILLIPS IN WASHINGTON TO DISCUSS ISLAND’S ECONOMIC FUTURE—09/04/14
Dr, Peter Phillips, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and Planning, has traveled to Washington, D.C., to talk with officials at the United States Treasure Department, State Department, International Monetary Fund, Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank about the island’s economic path. The meetings will focus on macro-economic issues and how Jamaican can achieve economic growth.

PALACE AMUSEMENT COMPANY EXPERIENCE LOSS—09/05/14
The Palace Amusement Company, a cinema operator, lost $12.2 million for the year ending on June 30, 2014. This represents a drop of almost 188 percent from the previous year and was attributed to decreased sales and rising administrative costs.

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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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CARIBBEAN FILM ACADEMY PROMOTES FOLKLORE VIA FILMS—08/31/14
The Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA), which is based in Brooklyn, New York, plans to promote the folklore of the Caribbean region via Studio Anansi Films, said Romola Lucas of Guyana who was a co-founder of the organization in 2012. The new studio will offer short and feature-length stories, animated films and documentaries provided through a video-on-demand (VOD) service. The goal is to provide exposure for the film makers to a worldwide audience.

“EVENING WITH MISS LOU” TO HONOR HER LIFE AND WORK—09/02/14
An event honoring the life and work of Dr. Louise Bennett-Coverly, Jamaican cultural icon, will be held to commemorate the 95th anniversary of her birth date on September 7, 2014, in St. Andrew. “An Evening with Miss Lou” is being organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission. It will offer reflections and recitals by Deon Silvera, Amina Blackwood-Meeks, Fae Ellington, and Karen Harriot, performing on a replica of Miss Lou’s verandah where she would tell her stories.

TESSANNE, CHRONIXX NOMINATED FOR IRAWMA AWARDS—09/04/14
Popular Jamaican singers Chronixx and Tessanne Chin have received nominations for the International Reggae and World Music Award (IRAWMA). The awards will be presented in Florida at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts on October 4, 2014. Chronixx has been nominated for four IRAWMA awards, including the Bob Marley Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. Tessanne is nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year.

DIRECTOR LOOKING FOR ACTOR TO PORTRAY BOB MARLEY IN MUSICAL—09/05/14
Kwame Kwei-Armah, playwright, actor and director of a new musical about Bob Marley to be staged in Baltimore, Maryland, is looking for the right actor to play the lead role. The musical is slated to open in May 2015, featuring several of Marley’s songs. The work is supported via an agreement with Blue Mountain Music and Tuff Gong Pictures in Jamaica.

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SPORTS  
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SENIOR TEAM WINS GOLD AT TAEKWONDO WORLD CUP—08/31/14
Jamaica’s senior men’s team took the gold at the 5th annual Taekwondo Federation World Cup in Montego Bay. Kenneth Edwards and Nicolas Dusard, the team captain, led the team to its victory. The team overtook Argentina in the final with a score of 10 to 4.

IN SPITE OF ILLNESS KERRON STEWART WINS 100 METERS IN BERLIN—09/01/14
Jamaican Kerron Stewart battled through illness to win the 100-meter competition at the ISATF World Challenge in Berlin, Germany. Stewart was the only Jamaican athlete to win at the meet. She said she had not felt well since a meet in Zurich and was surprised that she achieved the victory in Berlin.

BOLT WINS HONORS IN CRICKET; SINGH WINS IN 100 METERS—09/02/14
In what was billed as “Team Yuvi vs. Team Bolt” in Bangalore, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt was in India for the first time to play a cricket match with India’s Yuvrah Singh. The two champions engaged in some banter good-humored banter before the match, in which Bolt’s team was victorious. In a 100-meter run-off, Singh took the win, and both competitions were applauded by the thousands of fans.

WICB KEEPS POLICY INTACT FOR REGIONAL PLAYERS—09/04/14
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is insisting that the policy of “West Indies First” be maintained in spite of a decision by two players to withdraw from the selection for the Test series versus Bangladesh. Michael Findlay, a former chairman of selectors, had brought a challenge to a WICB statement saying that the decision of these players would have not negative impact on their future selection.

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JAMAICAN JOBS
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DEVOTIONAL
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Finishing Strong – Part I

If anyone doubted the fact that the Christian life is one of spiritual warfare, they need look no further than in the closing words of Paul’s second letter to Timothy in which we read: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7, KJV). In his first letter to his son in the Lord, Paul admonishes him to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). This was a constant theme in a number of his letters as to the brethren at Ephesus he encourages them to “put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:10-13), and to the Corinthians he speaks of fighting “not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:26, 27).

It is obvious that this apostle sees the Christian life as a noble conflict with sin, the world, the flesh, and the devil; a conflict that not only has to be fought, but for the Christian it is one that we have to win. Knowing that his death was imminent (see 2 Timothy 4:6), Paul, in looking back over his life, was content with how he had fought the fight of faith. In his commentary on the text, noted Bible Scholar Matthew Henry observes: “[Paul] did not fear death, because he 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.”

Every athlete knows it is important to finish an event strong. There is a certain pride that is present when representing one’s club or country that propels an athlete to overcome adversity for a chance to stand on the top of the podium. For the Christian it should be no different. As representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ and the kingdom of heaven, we have a responsibility to not only fight the good fight of faith, but to finish strong. Failure is not an option.

If we could know when it is our time to leave this world, and were we to look back on how we fought the good fight, what would we conclude? What would our loved ones write on our tombstones? Now that you have time to ponder, how are you doing in your fight?

 

 

CEW

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CREDITS/SOURCES
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The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.