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JAMAICAN NEWS: Decemer 27th – January 2nd, 2015

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Ludlow Powell, the head of Jamaica’s Island Traffic Authority (ITA), is urging a committee charged with review of the Road Traffic Act not to provide the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) with its own licensing regime. Currently, the JCF operates its own licensing regime, which violates the Road Traffic act. Powell believes it should not have the same privilege as given to the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) under the existing law.

A fight continues over allegations of an effort to block Jamaicans from filling vacant spots on the board of the Tryall Club, which is located in Hanover. The board provides leadership for the famous property. It has been claimed that some members of the board want to prevent any Jamaicans from joining the body, after the Supreme Court smoothed the way for elections by lifting an interim injunction.

The Jamaica Defense Force (JDF received a donation of counter-terrorism equipment from the Canadian Special Operations Forces. The donation was provided in Jamaica during the Tropical Dagger training exercise. The Canadian forces have participated in training the JDF for the past six years. The equipment includes non-lethal tactical gear, such as gloves, protective eyewear, and ropes.

According to Joseph J. Issa, chairman of Cool Corp and an advocate for education interests, believes that declining resources, decreased membership, and utilization of technology in libraries in Jamaica will preclude the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) from delivering the highest quality service to its customers. Issa made his remarks as the JLS, which is the largest provider of free access to the Internet on the island, introduces its US$3 million project, “Using Technology to Employer Individuals and Communities for Development.”

An accident involving a minibus and a truck near Savanna-la-mar on Jamaica’s coast took three lives and injured 17 other individuals. According to witnesses, the accident occurred at 7:15 AM when the minibus lost control while overtaking and colliding into the rear of a truck parked on the side of the road. Early investigations suggest that improper overtaking and high speed caused the fatal accident.

Survivors of the Tivoli Gardens incident are describing their experiences to a truth commission in order to provide information about a law enforcement operation that occurred in 2010 designed to capture Christopher “Dudus” Coke, head of a criminal gang in that neighborhood. Coke was scheduled for extradition to the United States, and the operation to capture him resulted in one of the most violent incidents in Jamaican history. Residents reported to the commission about violent and legally questionable activities by police and military forces.

As 2015 begins, leaders in all sectors of Jamaica’s economy are acknowledging the important of certain matters that had a significant impact in 2014. The top item listed was the performance of Jamaica under the economic program imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF); other items include the outbreak of the chikungunya virus, the reduction in number of murders, and West Kingston Commission of Enquiry.

The Supreme Court will have a number of new members when it starts on January 7, 2015. The new individuals at the Court include Chester Stamp, Vinette Graham-Allen, Kissock Laing and Senior Resident Magistrate (RM) Lorna Shelly Williams. Stamp, Graham-Allen, and Shelly-Williams will be judges, and Laing was named puisne judge.


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New Year’s Resolutions

So, what is/are your resolution(s) for the New Year? According to the experts, most resolutions are broken within the first week of the New Year, yet despite the futility, some of us start the year committing to changes we hope to carry out during the year. Perhaps most of the desired changes are behavioral; things that we have struggled with from time to time. In some cases, perhaps for a very long time. It could be that we have made the same resolution before and failed despite our best efforts, so we start this year with a new resolve.

These thoughts came to mind as I reflected on the words from Proverbs 4:21-23, “Incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” These words seem so appropriate for the start of 2015. As Solomon instructed his own son, so I believe God instructs us. What better resolution to make than to incline our ears to the sayings or the words of our God? Words that are “life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” Seeing all of our actions, thoughts, and the issues of life springs from our heart, we are also admonished to keep/guard our heart “with all diligence.” Two great resolutions: 1) Incline your ear to my sayings, and 2) Guard your heart with all diligence! If we can do both things, most of the times, if not all of the times, we would be in good shape towards becoming the kind of persons we were intended to be.

In my own experience, committing to resolutions on January 1st is not enough. Given all the various challenges we experience in our individual lives, I find it absolutely necessary to remind myself of the Lord’s sayings daily while guarding my heart. In a somewhat cold and unforgiving world, the word of God provides me with an inner peace that stands guard over my heart and mind (see Philippians 4:6-9). They help me not to be too anxious about anything, often a challenge within itself, but to think of God’s sovereignty over all things, while reminding myself that regardless of my outside circumstances, as long as I remain under His care, I am in good hands.  

Most of us who have tried to walk in our own way from time to time can profess to the fact that at the end of the day we are sometimes rudely reminded that there really is no other way but His way. That His way is best, and if we hope to rest in the comfort of His care, we have to surrender our own desires, plans, and methods under the Lordship of Christ and allow Him to have His own way. So, my New Year starts the same way the old ended; with the resolve to incline my ears unto even more of His sayings while guarding my heart with all diligence. What’s yours?

To you and yours, God’s favour and abundance of blessings for 2015 in all areas of your lives.




FOR MORE NEWS VISIT:  Jamaican Diaspora Weekly News  Caribbean Weekly News  Jamaica Entertainment & Arts Weekly  Jamaica Business Weekly News  Jamaica Sports Weekly

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Written by Staff Writer