POLICE IN JAMAICA TRAINED TO REDUCE USE OF LETHAL FORCE—11/15/14
Twenty-six Jamaican police officers are being trained by United States authorities in how to subdue individuals without inflicting permanent injury or killing them. The officers, who are members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), are taking a course focused on using batons and pepper spray instead of lethal force. After the training, these officers will return to their divisions and train other JCF members there.
HOLNESS WANTS CHANCE TO BE PRIME MINISTER—11/16/14
Andrew Holness, leader of Jamaica’s Opposition Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), wants Jamaicans to help him become the next Prime Minister. He says he wants a chance to lead the nation and that he is different from the current Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller. He made his remarks at the JLP’s 71st annual conference in Kingston.
NARCOTICS POLICE FIND 500 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA, ARREST SEVEN PEOPLE—11/17/14
Police in Jamaica conducted several operations that resulted in the seizure of over 500 pounds of marijuana and the arrest of seven individuals. Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force narcotics division found the majority of the drug when they stopped a vehicle in Kingston. They found 445 pounds of marijuana, and arrested six men in connection with the find. A smaller amount of the drug was found and one arrest made during a search at Sangster International Airport.
BOB MARLEY TO BE FACE OF MARIJUANA BRAND—11/18/14
Reggae legend Bob Marley will become the face of the first international marijuana brand in the world. His family has joined with a private equity firm to introduce Marley Natural, which will involve “heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains” that are inspired by the types enjoyed by Marley. According to Cedella Marley, Bob Marley’s daughter, her father would be happy to see people learn more about the healing power of the herb, which he viewed as a spiritual item that enhanced creativity and allowed humans to connect to nature.
JAMAICA WANTS A FAIR CLIMATE TREATY—11/19/14
Caribbean countries must come to an agreement on a new treaty in 2015 that will address climate change in the region. According to Dr. Arun Kashyap, United Nations resident coordinator and representative for Jamaica, there are key issues left to be settled, and members of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) must become more innovative to make progress. The small islands have unique circumstances that require appropriate mechanisms to address loss and damage from climate change through the development of finance, technology, and capacity initiatives.
NURSE ATTACKED AT HOSPITAL IN MANDEVILLE—11/20/14
Nurses at Mandeville Regional Hospital held a sit-in demonstration to increase awareness about their safety on the job. A nurse at the hospital was attacked by a patient and suffered multiple injuries as a result. This is the second attack by a patient on the nursing staff in recent times. Police arrested in attacker.
BARTLETT QUESTIONS TOURISM PROJECT—11/21/14
Ed Bartlett, the chairperson of Jamaica’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC), has questioned whether a high-end tourism project will be implemented during fiscal 2014. The Harmony Cove development is unlikely to become a reality this year, admitted Onika Miller, permanent secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. Bartlett expressed his disgust at the slow pace of actions related to the project.
MILLER NOT TOLD ABOUT PURCHASE OF OUTAMENI SITE BY NHT—11/21/14
Onika Miller, permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, is claiming that she had no knowledge of the National Housing Trust (NHT) decision to purchase the Orange Grove property in Trelawny before it was made public in the media. Miller also said that the Prime Minister’s Office receives quarterly reports from the NHT about its operations, but little attention is given to its portfolio of investments.
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What Are You Concerned About?
It is easy to put oneself above others and we start to do so very early in our lives. To look at a toddler who believes everything is “mine, mine” is to see a human being perfecting the art of looking out for him or her self. To explain this seemingly universal trait, some would argue that we are predisposed to being selfish. Evolutionists tell us this predisposition is the result of the evolutionary principle of “the survival of the fittest.” Yet, all ethical systems emphasize the essential value of helping others.
Regardless of its source, the selfish trait is still in play even after we become Christians. It is one thing to put oneself above others, but what about putting oneself above the things of Christ? This was the problem facing some of the Apostle Paul’s compatriots. In his letter to the church at Philippi he laments, “For I have no man likeminded [as Timotheus], who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s” (Philippians 2:20-21, KJV), or as Eugene Peterson paraphrases both verses, “I have no one quite like Timothy. He is loyal, and genuinely concerned for you. Most people around here are looking out for themselves, with little concern for the things of Jesus” (The Message). While the narrative is short on details, it could very well be that Paul’s observation grew out of the refusal of some to go visit the church he was writing to (see v. 19). Maybe something was asked of them that required making sacrifices, putting others above themselves, risking death, or whatever else, these people had no interest. They were the ones who would later abandon Paul during his trial; “they all ran like scared rabbits” (2 Timothy 4:21, The Message).
It is easy to criticize these people. However, as Albert Barnes cautions, “Let us not be harsh in judging them. How many professing Christians in our cities and towns are there now who would be willing to leave their business and their comfortable homes . . . who would not seek some excuse, and show that it was a characteristic that they ‘sought their own’ rather than the things which pertained to the kingdom of Jesus Christ?” It is necessary to remind ourselves that to be concerned about the things of Christ means practicing self-denial. Indeed, saying “yes” to Christ often means saying “no” to ourselves. For many of us, that does not come naturally. Yet deny ourselves we must, if we are going to strive to please our Lord.
“Most people around here are looking out for themselves, with little concern for the things of Jesus.” Is he talking about you?