THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO AID BANANA INDUSTRY—04/23/11
The government of Jamaica plans to match the 650,000 euros to be provided by the European Union to help the banana industry address market changes arising from globalization. Banana Board General Manager Janet Conie announced that the Board will spearhead the change initiative over a period of 18 months. The grant funding from the EU will allow the industry to access new markets.
SURVEY SHOWS JAMAICAN TEENS IN TROUBLE—04/24/11
High school students in Jamaica feel stressed out, suicidal, and bullied. They smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol, and they are obese and lonely. So says a survey on students’ health from the National Council on Drug Abuse. The survey also found that teens’ parents are unaware of the problems facing their children. Most students surveyed said their parents do not understand their problems and don’t know what their children do in their free time.
DISPUTE BETWEEN JAMAICA, BARBADOS COULD REACH HIGH COURT—04/25/11
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) may hear a case involving the alleged mistreatment of a Jamaican woman at the Barbados airport. According to Dr. Kenneth Baugh, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the CCJ may be asked to rule in the dispute between the two countries. This would represent the first time the government of Jamaica takes a case to the CCJ since its establishment in 2001.
CONTRACTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE CALLS FOR ACTIONS ON CORRUPTION—04/25/11
Jamaica’s Office of the Contractor General (OCG) wants more aggressive efforts to be made in battling corruption on the island. The call for stronger action came after the arrest of Suresh Kalmadi, chief organizer of the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010 on charges of widespread corruption in the awarding of contracts involving the event. Kalmadi’s arrest emphasized the failings of Jamaica’s institutional framework to address corruption, according to the OCG.
RASTAFARIANS DEMAND GREATER RESPECT FROM GOVERNMENT—04/26/11
Bungo Isaacs, a Rastafarian elder, wants Jamaica’s government to show more respect and recognition of the Rastafarian faith. Isaacs made his plea during a lecture at the University of the West Indies attended by many Rastafarians, attorneys, and students. The lecture discussed the so-called Coral Gardens Incident,, which two days of violence involved Rastafarians in 1963. The incident resulted in a crackdown on Rastas by government agents, and some were killed, imprisoned or targets of serious harassment.
PRELATE IN JAMAICA CRITICAL OF “BLASPHEMOUS” SCULPTURE—04/27/11
Archbishop Emeritus Donald Reece has been critical of the decision of a newspaper to publish a photo of what he believes to be a “blasphemous sculpture” of Jesus in its Easter Sunday edition. Reece says he cannot understand how the Observer newspaper would include a three-page “exposition” of Christ naked. Laura Facey, the artist, defended her sculpture and said she is happy that her work is sparking controversy.
SKIN BLEACHING A PROBLEM—04/28/11
Although most Jamaicans know that skin bleaching is dangerous and can lead to skin cancer, they continue with the practice, hoping to lighten the color of their skin. Most of those who perform skin bleaching use over-the-counter products, but poorer individuals tend to use cheaper products that they buy on the black market. Many such products come from West Africa. People bleach their skin in the belief that lighter skin tones lead to a better life, but in reality, long-term use of skin bleaching products has been linked to ochronosis, a condition that causes dark splotches on the skin.
NO POLITICAL BIAS IN DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM, SAYS GOVERNMENT—04/29/11
The Jamaican government has denied that there is a political bias in the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Program (JDIP). The program, which totals US$400 million, is designed to improve roads and other infrastructure on the island. Mike Henry, Jamaica’s Minister of Transport and Works, says that roads are chosen under the program on the basis of economic importance, and not because of any political connection. Opposition party members have suggested that politics influences the use of JDIP funds.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN IMAM DEPORTED FROM GERMANY—04/23/11
Abu Ameena Bilal Philips, a Jamaican-born Islamic leader, or imam, has been expelled from Germany because of certain speeches he made. In these speeches, Philips argued that homosexuals should receive the death penalty for living their lifestyle. He gave this speech to some 2,000 Muslims in Frankfurt. The law in Germany permits deportation of any individual who incites hate. While born in Jamaica, Philips grew up in Canada and was a member of the Communist Party before converting to Islam at age 25.
JAMAICAN AMBASSADOR BONDS WITH FLORIDA DIASPORA—04/24/11
Audrey P. Marks, Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States, has made her first official visit to Florida. While in the state, Marks met with members of the Diaspora to strengthen the ties between these individuals and Jamaicans on the home island. Marks was on a six-day tour of Florida and emphasized enhancing the relationship between Jamaica and the U.S., which has been historically amiable.
REGGAE RADIO LEGEND MAKES APPEARANCE IN SOUTH FLORIDA—04/28/11
Barry “G,” Jamaica’s legendary radio performer, is making a special guest appearance at the Reggae Runnin’s event in South Florida. He will perform live on WHQT-FM HOT 105, where he will co-star with Tanto Irie, the host of Reggae Runnin’s. Barry “G” is known as the “Godfather” of Jamaican radio, dating back to 1975.
FORMER JAMAICAN RADIO LEADER IN NY NEEDS KIDNEY TRANSPLANT—04/29/11
Brenda Letford, former vice president of Irie Jam Media/Radio, a Jamaican radio station in New York, was diagnosed with lupus in 2007. Now 36, Letford must find a kidney donor in order to claim victory over the disease. Her diagnosis was put at Stage 4 lupus, and she has been on kidney dialysis since 2008.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
COLLINS WINS THRILLING RACE—04/23/11
U.S. NAVY FLOATS HOSPITAL SHIP IN LATIN AMERICA—04/25/11
CARIBBEAN OFFICIALS TO ATTEND ROYAL WEDDING IN UK—04/26/11
CARIBBEAN, LATIN AMERICA TO CREATE NEW BLOC—04/27/11
BERMUDAN ENTREPRENEUR TO LAUNCH SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FIRM—04/28/11
IGT MAKES AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE VIDEO LOTTERY TERMINALS—04/29/11
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
EXPANSION OF JP BRAND PLANNED—04/23/11
JP Tropical Foods, the largest banana producer in Jamaica, was devastated by the damage caused by Tropical Storm Gustav in 2008. In 2011, the cultivation of bananas remains a mainstay of the firm’s operations in St Mary, but other crops, including sweet potatoes, pineapples, and cassava, represent a growing amount of cultivated acreage. According to Jeffrey Hall, the head of Jamaica Producers Group Ltd., this expansion of the crop line is part of a plan that builds on lessons learned after Gustav. The firm decided to reinvent itself and to develop a strong branded presence in fresh produce.
BANK COACHES SMALL, MIDSIZED BUSINESSES IN PROFITABILITY—04/24/11
The National Commercial Bank (NCB) is helping more than 40 businesses in Jamaica through its business training program aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The bank has partnered with ActionCOACH, a coaching company, to provide seminars on building a better business.
PUBLIC SERVICE FIRM TO “LEGITIMIZE” POWER THIEVES—04/25/11
The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) plans to reduce the number of its illegal users by 30 percent by the end of 2011. The power firm will enhance its efforts against electricity theft by attempting to bring illegal users, which number an estimated 100,000 chiefly residential users, into the fold. The firm has implemented a tamper-proof system in several areas to combat electricity theft.
TRADE UNION SAYS FORMER BAUXITE WORKERS NEED AID—04/26/11
According to the National Workers Union, former bauxite workers need financial aid from the Jamaican government to counteract the effects of job redundancies occurring as a result of the economic recession. Union president Vincent Morrison says many of the workers remain unemployed and need government aid to fulfill their basic needs.
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
U.S. AIR FORCE OPENS SUPERCOMPUTER TO RESEARCHERS—04/26/11
The PlayStation 3-based supercomputer of the U.S. Air Force has been opened up for use by university researchers. The Air Force has completed its Condor Cluster, the PS3-based supercomputer, and it has been rated as among the 40 fastest computers in the world. While it was used exclusively by the Air Force to analyze images of spy plans, it is now available for additional research purposes, including artificial neural network research.
SECURITY BREACH IN PLAYSTATION 3—04/27/11
Sony is facing major litigation resulting from a leak of personal data of users of its PlayStation 3 devices. The security breach affected users and businesses alike. Critics of Sony say the company believed its security was good enough to keep out hackers, but was proved wrong. The huge breach of personal information affected over 75 million individuals worldwide, including users who stream video from Netflix or Hulu to their PS3 devices.
TOYOTA INVESTING IN WIRELESS AUTO CHARGING—04/28/11
If Toyota Motor Company has its way, users may charge their hybrid or electric vehicles wirelessly. The company has made an agreement with WiTricity to partner in a project to create wireless automotive chargers that do not require a point of contact to charge a car battery. WiTricity has developed technology that could ultimately allow plug-in vehicles to be charged just by parking near a car charger. The technology is already in development for use with consumer electronics like cell phones and laptops.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
SOFTWARE, DIRECTORY PUBLISHERS INTEGRATE—04/24/11
NEW VISION REQUIRED IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS SECTOR—04/25/11
BARBADOS CLOSE TO PROVIDING FREE WI-FI TO ALL—04/28/11
COMPANY SAYS MOBILE PHONES ARE ITS FUTURE—04/29/11
GAYLE WINS WITH NEW TEAM—04/23/11
Jamaican Chris Gayle defeated his former franchise Kolkata Knight Riders and achieved a nine-wicket win with his new team Royal Challengers Bangalore. Gayle took some time to gauge conditions and bowlers, but ultimately unleashed an excellent performance that appeared to have a note of revenge in it, according to some observers.
PUMA AND BOLT A GREAT MATCH—04/24/11
According to Christian Maximilian Voigt, the head of global sports marketing and sports law for PUMA, Jamaican Usain Bolt represents a perfect partner for the company. Voigt believes that PUMA is very lucky to have the talented Olympic champion sprinter as a representative of the global shoe firm. Bolt is one of many internationally recognized sports legends that represent the 87-year-old firm.
JAMAICAN ATHLETES READY FOR LIME CARIFTA—04/25/11
Jamaica’s team was prepared to win its 26th straight title in the Carifta games at Montego Bay Sports Complex. The games involved two sessions each day, but the team was feeling good about competing. The injury suffered by Kevaughn Robinson, who was to run in the 800 meters Under-17 class race, was a concern for head coach Leacroft Bolt, but he was hopeful of winning several gold medals during the meet.
SUNSHINE GIRLS WIN THRILLING GAME—04/27/11
Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls were victorious over England, defeating the team 56-55 in the first match of the Supreme Ventures Sunshine Series at National Indoor Sport Center. The game was tense until the end, and former captain Simone Forbes, provisionally suspended for a positive doping test, had some shaky moments, but these difficulties were overcome with the win for Jamaica.
A Matter of Standards
Have you noticed how truth seems fairly relative these days? In other words, society would have us believe that truth is whatever a person, group, or culture deem it to be and to some extent, that is true. But what about absolute truth? Things that are true regardless of time, place, or culture? Beliefs that transcend individual and collective perceptions and opinions?
To say that “all truth is relative” is self-defeating because such a statement within itself is absolute. In effect it says, “There is one absolute truth, that all truth is relative,” at which point all truth would no longer be relative. The cunningness of the enemy in perpetuating the lie of relative truth extends to the Word of God, and it is not unusual for the absoluteness of divine declarations to be treated with relativism. The prevailing attitude is “that may be true for you but it isn’t for me.” However, authentic worshippers everywhere understand two truths: whatever is true at one time and in one place is true at all times and in all places, and whatever is true for one person is true for all people. God’s Word is not true because we believe it to be true; it is true regardless of what we believe.
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, on all three occasions He rebuffed the Tempter with the words, “It is written” (Matthew 4:4, 6, 10). He taught the authority and complete reliability of the Bible in everything it teaches. Whether our generation accepts or rejects it or not, the Bible is still God’s Word and is inerrant in whatever it teaches. Jesus affirmed the Bible’s total inspiration, inerrancy, and indestructibility when He said, “The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35b, KJV). The Bible is still the supreme authority for Christians in all matters. It is not what we think Jesus would do or how we feel He would interpret the Scriptures, but “Thus says the Lord.”
What does all this mean for us today? Firstly, let us recognize that God stands behind His Word. Secondly, when we reject the unique, divine character of the Bible, we reject its authority, too. Thirdly, our attitudes and behaviors should not be informed by the world’s standards, no matter how popular, but by the standards outlined in God’s Word. The Apostle Peter reminds us that Jesus has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him (1 Peter 1:2-4). In other words, whatever He says is absolute; we don’t get a vote. This is not a negative thing; rather we can rest comfortably in the knowledge that the truths of God’s Word are timeless and sure. When we stand on the Word, we are not standing on something that is shifting; it is not true for someone else and not true for us. We can all lay claim to the promises of God.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday living, Which standards are you following?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.