THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE ON GOVERNMENT DUE TO “DUDUS”—04/17/10
The Washington Post newspaper in the United States has issued a negative report concerning the extradition request for Christopher “Dudus” Coke and the possible involvement of an American law firm. The paper reports that the U.S government had no reason to think that the firm represented anyone other than the government of Jamaica. The link has caused problems for the Golding administration, which has denied any wrongdoing.
ROADS IN JAMAICA WASHED OUT FROM FLOODING—04/18/10
Many people in Jamaica were stranded by floods and mudslides in the eastern part of the country due to days of heavy rain. Six parishes reported flooding, including Kingston, which had been experiencing a drought. In Portland, roads collapsed and cut off several regions from the rest of the island.
WILKINDSON SAYS LAW ASSOCIATION TO DO MORE ABOUT ETHICS—04/19/10
Ian Wilkinson, vice president of Jamaica’s Bar Association, says that the organization will do more to educate its members about its code of ethics. The Association plans to hold seminars for members to address issues such as the need for transparency when handling clients’ money, the importance of appropriate account-keeping, and improving communications between lawyers and clients.
UK EDUCATORS LIKE ISLAND SCHOOL SYSTEM, CRITICIZE BEHAVIOR—04/20/10
A group of British educators visiting Jamaica to observe its teaching methods has praise for the school system overall, but believes more must be done to address behavioral problems. The group from Ark Academy schools made a seven-day visit to Jamaica to observe teaching in the classroom in order to devise plans to improve its own educational system.
POLICE TO INVESTIGATE PETROLEUM CORPORATION—04/21/10
It is likely that Jamaica’s police will investigate alleged financial mismanagement at Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica after a forensic audit. The Fraud Squad will be looking into the matter, focusing on the contracts granted by the firm and payments made in an inappropriate manner. Of particular interest to the police will be a contract valued at over $5 million, which was granted to a security company for work performed in the constituency of former junior energy minister Kern Spencer.
JAMAICAN POLICEMAN CHARGED WITH STARTING FIRE—04/22/10
Constable Lawrence Burrell of the Jamaican police has been charged with starting a fire at a juvenile lockup facility, which killed seven girls. Burrell allegedly set the fire intentionally at the Armadale Juvenile Center with a tear gas canister thrown during a disturbance among the inmates in May 2009. The fire trapped 23 girls inside. Six girls died in the fire, and one died later from burns received in the conflagration.
RUSSIAN FIRM TO RESUME WORK—04/23/10
The Russian aluminum company UC Russal has decided to reopen a refinery in Jamaica in June 2010 after being forced to cut back its operations in 2009 because of a significant reduction in demand for alumina on the international market. Jamaica’s government welcomed the Russian firm’s plans and has introduced energy policy that would support a new tax and royalty system.
SIMPSON MILLER WANTS CLARITY FROM GOLDING—04/23/10
Portia Simpson Miller, leader of the opposition, has demanded an end to the mystery surrounding the Manatt, Phelps and Phillips law firm controversy. Simpson hopes that Prime Minister Bruce Golding will provide a truthful accounting of the situation.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
KINGSTON AND PAUL NOMINATED FOR BEST REGGAE VIDEO IN JAPAN—04/17/10
Sean King and Sean Paul have received another nomination for the Best Reggae Video at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2010. If the musicians win, it will be the first time that non-Japanese entertainers receive the award, and it could raise record sales for the artistes in Japan. Japan is the second-largest music market in the world.
JAMAICAN ARRESTED IN FLORIDA FOR DRUGS, MONEY LAUNDERING—04/19/10
Special agents from Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement arrested two individuals reported to be involved in the trafficking of marijuana and money laundering. Alexis Anthony Foster, 26, and Kesha Vashanda Jennings, 35, were charged with racketeering, conspiracy to traffick over 25 pounds of marijuana, and money laundering. The arrests followed that of Jamaican Carlton Wayne Smith 43, who had previously been deported from the U.S., but then returned to the country illegally.
ST. LUCIA BANS JAMAICAN DANCEHALL ARTISTES—04/20/10
St. Lucia has joined with other countries around the world to ban dancehall music and Jamaican dancehall performers. Some have questioned why these artistes were banned when other adult entertainments continue to be offered in the country.
JAMAICAN COMEDIAN PERFORMS AT GRAND OPENING OF CLINIC IN FLORIDA—04/22/10
Oliver Samuels, actor and noted Caribbean comedian will join other performers at the grand opening of the Douglas Chiropractic and Orthotic Lab in Coral Springs, Florida. Elected officials, radio celebrities, and Caribbean athletes will meet the public and participate in the festivities at the opening on April 24, 2010. The clinic is designed to help those injured in accidents and those suffering from joint pain, particularly athletes who need specialized treatment.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
GATES URGES REGIONAL DRUG CONTROL EFFORT—04/17/10
MOTHER WINS SMALL PERCENTAGE OF ARMY DISCRIMINATION CLAIM—04/18/10
US PROVIDES MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO HIV/AIDS EFFORTS—04/19/10
MOST U.S.TROOPS WILL LEAVE HAITI BY JUNE 2010—04/20/10
AIR TRAN PROFITS IMPACTED BY FUEL COSTS—04/21/10
STRANDED TOURISTS REPRESENT ECONOMIC GAINS—04/22/10
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CAMPBELL-BROWN SETS RECORD AT KANSAS RELAYS—04/18/10
Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown achieved a record in the women’s 200-meter dash at the Kansas Relays at Memorial Stadium. She finished with a time of 22.32 seconds. The two-time Olympic gold medalist signed autographs and waved to fans after winning the race by more than one second over Natalie Knight, who clocked 23.39 seconds.
BROWN WINS SOWETO OPEN—04/19/10
Dustin Brown won the men’s singles final at the 2010 Soweto Open tennis tournament. The Jamaican easily won over South African Izak Van der Merwe with a 7-6, 6-3 performance. Brown’s powerful serves were cited as the reason for his victory.
JAMAICAN NATIONAL ENTERS NBA DRAFT—04/22/10
Samardo Samuels, a Jamaican national, is among the basketball players entering the NBA draft for 2010. He will participate to “test the waters,” according to his coach, Rick Pitino. Samuels, who is 6-foot-9-inches tall, was instrumental in helping the Louisville Cardinals to a tournament bid in the NCAA. He was also one of two players to start in all of the team’s 33 games and led in scoring with an average of 15.3 points per game.
BOLT TO RACE IN KOREA—04/23/10
Usain Bolt, three-time Olympic champion, will run a 100-meter race in Daegu, Korea, in May 2010. The race will be the first 100-meter competition for Bolt in the season. This will also be his first appearance in Korea.
The phone rings and it’s the dreaded automated response: “If you’re calling for ABC, Press 1; for DEF, press 2” and so it goes. Another unsuccessful attempt, and depending on the number of times experienced, maybe a bit of frustration. As if by conspiracy, this happens, more times than not, when we really need to talk to a real person, but as businesses engage in cost reductions, and life demand more from us as individuals, answering machines and other automated response systems have become a part of our culture. As I put the phone down, I wondered, somewhat amusingly, “What if God had an automated response system?” With angelic music in the background, maybe we would hear something like, “God is busy at the moment, but to leave a request, press 1; for thanksgiving, press 2; to complain, press 3”, and so on. Then again, how many of us would simply hang up?
It can be frustrating trying to urgently reach someone by phone, and not being able to do so. At certain times of the year, international circuits are busy, connections may be bad, lines may be down, yet how incredibly comforting it is to know that when we try to ‘connect’ with our Heavenly Father, we do not have to worry about those limitations.
In his conversation with God, David said, “I will call upon you, for you will answer me” (Psalm 17:6a, ESV). There was no doubt in his mind that his “connection” was clear both ways – him to God and God to him – and we too can have the same assurance. God Himself declared, “Call to me and I will answer you” (Jeremiah 33:3), and even better, through Isaiah, “Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear” (65:24). These attributes of God did not disappear with the Old Testament believers, because God is unchanging in nature. Of Jesus, God in the flesh, it is said He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), and so we too can rest in the comfort of His assurances.
God has made available to us an instantaneous connection to Him that is always on; 365 days per year, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. It doesn’t go down in leap years either. If our calls are not going through, we need to check our side of things for possible obstructions. Are we properly ‘plugged’ in to Him? Any ‘wires’ crossed? Once things are in order, one thing we know for sure – no automated responses, no voice mail.
“I will call upon you, for you will answer me.” What comfort!
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.