THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
CORAL REEF CONDITIONS IMPROVING, FISH STOCK DECLINING—03/31/12
The Pedro Bank is nearly three-quarters the size of the mainland of Jamaica and most of it is under water. It is located about 50 miles south southwest of Jamaica and is one of the largest offshore banks in the Caribbean. It represents one of the area’s last healthy marine ecosystems, and it is the chief harvesting region for the largest export of Queen Conch in the area, as well as a refuge for endangered coral species. The coral reefs of the Pedro Bank are important to the long-term conservation efforts of Jamaica. However, intensive fishing and too many people living on Pedro Cays may threaten the survival of this major environmental resource, say researchers.
ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY WANTS JAMAICANS TO STOP STONING OWLS—04/01/12
Jamaicans are advised that it is illegal to hunt or bother owls, states the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). The people of Jamaica are being asked by the agency to leave the birds alone and not harm or injure them, since they are protected under the Wild Life Protection Act (WLPA). There has been an increase in the number of injured owls reported to NEPA. Many of the birds have been hurt by stoning. Two kinds of owls are found in Jamaica, the Barn Owl and the Jamaican Owl, both of which are threatened species.
TWO MEN ARRESTED WITH 1,000 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA—04/02/12
A routine traffic stop in southern Jamaica resulted in the arrest of two men after police found almost 1,000 pounds of marijuana in their automobile. Police in Clarendon signaled for the driver to stop on a main road, and in a subsequent search of the vehicle, found a large amount of marijuana packed in plastic bags. According to the United States State Department, Jamaica is the largest producer and exporter of marijuana in the Caribbean.
NEW PROCEDURES AIM TO REDUCE POLICE SHOOTINGS—04/03/12
Owen Ellington, Jamaica’s Police Commissioner, says police will adopt a number of new strategies designed to address the use of force during their operations. Police want to decrease the incidence of fatal shootings that occur. Ellington made his announcement after Jamaica’s National Security Minister stated his intention to hold police accountable for a reduction in the fatal shootings. Fifty-six individuals were killed by police in the first quarter of 2010, and another 56 were killed during the same period in 2011. Ellington said there must be a change in how police use deadly force during their operations.
GROUP WANTS JAMAICANS TO ELIMINATE OPEN TRASH FIRES—04/04/12
The Jamaica Environment Trust has asked the government to create air quality tests in areas that are impacted by dump fires and to publish their findings on a regular basis. Jamaica should stop the practice of open trash fires because these fires release dangerous pollutants into the air and create major health hazards. Chemicals such as benzene, which causes cancer, have been found in the smoke rising from a fire at the Riverton City dump in February 2012, which burned for over a week. Long-term exposure to such chemicals may be the cause of an increase in respiratory diseases noted by the Ministry of Health in areas near the dump site.
PSYCHOLOGIST LINKS SLAVERY TO FAILURES OF FATHERHOOD—04/04/12
Dr. Barry Davidson, a family psychologist, says that most households in Jamaica are single-parent families headed mainly by women, but most Jamaican men want to be the providers and protectors of their families and good fathers to their children. Davidson believes that the legacy of slavery among Caribbean peoples has left Afro-Jamaican men from all societal classes struggling to fulfill their roles as fathers because they were not taught or socialized to participate in parenting. The problem is especially evident among the poor, says Davidson.
JAMAICAN CHILDREN HARMED BY EATING TOO MUCH JUNK FOOD—04/05/12
According to Professor Errol Morrison, president of the University of Technology, government and non-governmental organizations have conducted surveys showing that junk food is having a dangerous impact on the children of Jamaica. About 10,000 children under age 15 are said to have diabetes, according to the studies. Morrison said he himself was shocked at these results and said that too little exercise and too much junk food are the chief reasons for the high and rising rate of diabetes among children in this age group.
NURSE FROM CUBA WANTS TO HELP JAMAICA—04/06/12
Juan Gonsalez, an experienced nurse from Cuba who worked in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010, as well as in Guyana, will apply his knowledge in Jamaica’s health care sector. Gonsalez, one of 18 male nurses among a group of 45 who traveled to Jamaica to work according to a bilateral agreement between Cuba and Jamaica, is looking forward to improving the levels of health care for Jamaicans. The 45 nurses will cover specialist areas like dialysis, emergency care, and ophthalmology. They will also create stronger ties between Jamaica and Cuba.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN MAN ARRESTED IN SOMALIA, SAID HE WANTED TO JOIN AL-QAEDA—03/31/12
Clive Dennis, 45, a Jamaican man who lives in Britain, was arrested at the airport in Mogadishu, Somalia, after he said he had come to join al-Qaeda to be with fellow Muslims. Police in Somalia are holding Dennis on suspicion of entering the nation illegally and planning to join radicals who want to control the country. Dennis is expected to face charges of illegal entry, but officials do not view him as a serious threat.
JAMAICAN WOMAN EXPERIENCES ORDEAL AT BARBADOS AIRPORT—04/01/12
Shonae Proverbs, 23, said that the two days she spent with immigration officials at Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados represented the “worst experience of my life.” Proverbs married Gladston Bridgeman, who is from Barbados, in Jamaica in January 2012 and was traveling to the Barbados to visit him. She was detained at the airport and threatened with deportation because officials said she had been deported previously for overstaying her time, Proverbs says she has never been deported before. She was held in a cell with two other Jamaican women for two days before being temporarily released into the custody of her husband. She must appear in court in Barbados on May 30.
CONVICTED JAMAICAN DRUG DEALER LOSES DEPORTATION FIGHT—04/02/12
Willston Davis, a Jamaican who was convicted on drug dealing charges, may have to leave his Bermudian wife and children when he is deported back to his home island. Davis lost a battle to stay in Bermuda when the court found his right to a family life is not protected by the national constitution. Davis has 13-year-old twins born in Bermuda and argued that he should be allowed to stay with his family under European law. His lawyer, Peter Sanderson, may appeal the deportation decision to the European Court of Human Rights.
TEAM JAMAICA BICKLE PAYS HIGH COSTS FOR HOSTING ISLAND ATHLETES—04/03/12
Team Jamaica Bickle, a nonprofit organization designed to provide various catering services to athletes from Jamaica who participate in the yearly Penn Relays in the United States, announced that its services will cost US$143,000 in 2012. The group, which is based in New York, plans to raise US$60,000 to help subsidize the accommodation costs for the Jamaican teams and lower the expense from US110 per room to US$50 per room for the schools.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
ANTIGUA BLAMES VIOLENCE AMONG YOUTHS ON DANCEHALL MUSIC—03/31/12
MARRIAGES OF CONVENIENCE BY JAMAICANS A CONCERN TO BARBADOS—04/01/12
CARIBBEAN CORAL REEFS DECLINING BEFORE CLIMATE CHANGE—04/02/12
WEBB TO LEAD CONCACAF—04/03/12
TRINIDAD REVOKES REDJET LICENSE—04/04/12
CARIBBEAN DIPLOMAT ARRESTED IN NEW YORK—04/05/12
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
EARLY HARVEST FOR SUGAR IN 2012—03/31/12
Jamaica has produced more sugar in the first two months of the current 2012 harvest than it did during the same period in 2011. For 2012, there has been a 29 percent increase in sugar production totaling 34,900 tones. The harvest starts in the middle of December and ends by July or August, depending on environmental conditions. Officials in the sugar industry expect to see a steady increase in production as new local and foreign investors replace old equipment with new machinery, something the Jamaican government could not afford to do.
BRAZIL ENCOURAGES DISCUSSIONS ON ETHANOL—04/04/12
Ambassador Antonio Francisco da Costa e Silva Nieto of Brazil is encouraging manufacturers of ethanol to enter into negotiations with Brazilian firms to re-energize the trade in biofuels with the United States. According to the Ambassador, this topic requires a dialogue, and if Jamaica does not contact major parties in Brazil, opportunities to form partnerships would be lost. Currently, it is less expensive for Brazil to make direct deals with the U.S. than to ship wet ethanol to Jamaica for processing into a fuel-grade product destined for the U.S.
MORTGAGE FIRM BASED IN JAMAICA TO GIVE AWAY HOUSES—04/05/12
The Victoria Mutual Group, which is based in Jamaica, plans to celebrate the island’s 50th anniversary of Independence by giving away new homes in a prime Jamaica location. Suzette Rochester, manager with Victoria Mutual Building Society’s Florida Representative Office, announced that the Win 50 Promotion will include three grand prizes that focus on the firm’s long tradition of helping Jamaicans reach their goal of home ownership.
SUGAR CREDIT LINE IGNORED FOR YEARS—04/06/12
According to Antonio F. Da Costa e Silva Nieto, the Brazilian ambassador, Jamaica has basically ignored a US$100-million credit line from Brazil designed to bolster the domestic sugar industry for almost six years. The Brazilian government is now asking for Jamaica to create the projects relevant to the funding. Karl James, Jamaica Cane Products Sales General Manager, asked about the funds at a meeting of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica. James wants to know if the money is still available and how to access it. He blames the Jamaican government for the delay of projects.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
MANY JAMAICANS FIND SOLAR ENERGY AN “IDEAL” OPTION—03/31/12
JAMAICA TO LAUNCH PUBLIC AWARENESS PROJECT ON CLIMATE CHANGE—04/02/12
NEW TECH DISTRICT FORMED BY BICSI—04/04/12
CABINET ASKED TO APPROVE 2015 A YEAR OF DIGITAL SWITCHOVER—04/05/12
DIRECTOR OFFERS “DIFFERENT” ENTERTAINMENT TO PATRONS—03/31/12
When director Pablo Hiolett debuts the play “Chain Reaction” on April 7, 2012, he will provide a different kind of entertainment to art patrons and attempt to “raise the standard” of Jamaican plays, he says. Hiolett is always looking for good plays and found what he was seeking in “Chain Reaction,” which focuses on an unscrupulous realtor and the con games he uses to improve his position in business. The play, which is still in process, stars Munair Zacca, Clive Duncan, Totlyn Oliver, Claudette Pious, and Dainty Bellenfantie.
REGGAE SUMFEST GETS SUPPORT OF MAJOR SPONSORS—04/03/12
According to Summerfest Productions, Digicel, Red Stripe, Pepsi, and the Jamaica Tourist Board will provide support for the 20th annual Reggae Sumfest event. The event, which has been called the best reggae show on the planet, will be held in Catherine Hall, Montego Bay between July 19 and July 21, 2012. The week-long production will begin with a beach party on July 15 staged at Aquasol.
RILEY TO PERFORM AT GRACE JAMAICAN JERK FESTIVAL IN NEW YORK—04/05/12
Tarrus Riley, Jamaican reggae star, is scheduled to perform at the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival in New York. The festival, which is in its second year, celebrates Jamaican food, culture and music. Because the initial event was so successful in 2011, organizers are promising an even more impressive celebration in 2012 to mark Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence. The festival will be held July 22, 2012, and is sponsored by Grace Foods, the top Caribbean food manufacturer and distributor, which is having its 90th anniversary in 2012.
SOCA PROMOTERS STAGE APRIL EVENT—04/06/12
Promoters of I LOVE SOCA “Soca Bliss” are staging the second annual Carnival Wednesday event on April 11, 2012 at The Palms. The event was introduced in 2011 during carnival week. This year it is designed to provide the best entertainment for an affordable price and will feature music, a safe venue without parking problems, and a festival atmosphere. Top quality beverages provided by Appleton Estate, Patron, Baileys and Johnny Walker will be available, according to promoters Andrew Bellamy, Ian Bourne, Denver Holt, and Ricki Walsh.
GUYANA LIMITS JAMAICA IN WICB REGIONAL SEMI-FINAL—03/31/12
Guyana succeeded in restricting Jamaica’s team to 196 on the opening day of the WICB Regional Four-Day Semi-Final match. Jamaica, defending its championship, managed to get a late wicket and set up a battle for first innings honors, however. Captain Tamar Lambert and Donovan Pagon of Jamaica both achieved half centuries. The rest of the batting failed to shine, however.
YOUNG JAMAICAN FOOTBALLERS TO TRAIN WITH VALENCIA ACADEMY—04/01/12
Nearly 200 young Jamaican football players will vie for the chance to train with Spain’s Valencia Football Club in as part of the Next Generation Valencia Football Camp. The program takes place annually and involves two groups aged seven to 11 and 12 to 17. The program, which affects 190 players, is designed to develop careers for young people and give them the chance to go overseas to play, according to Sports Minister Natalie Neita-Headley.
CRICKET COACH CONCERNED ABOUT TEAM’S BATTING—04/03/12
Junior Bennett, the head coach of Jamaica’s senior cricket team, is concerned about its batting as it goes into the final of the 2012 West Indies Cricket Board Regional Four-Day Tournament versus Barbados. The team is looking for a fifth consecutive win at the title, a record-breaking situation. In spite of a victory over Guyana, the batsmen had a hard time making runs in the match. Bennett believes the team needs to be more consistent with its batting.
FRATER AIMS TO WIN IN 2012 OLYMPICS—04/04/12
Jamaican Michael Frater has several sprint challenges to meet before he can turn his attention to winning gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics. He aims to win the Stawell Gift and then survive the Jamaican Olympic trials. Jamaica had six 100-meter runners beating 9.90 seconds in 2011, but only three can run individual 100-meter races in London. The others will compete for places on the 4×100-meter relay team. Jamaica is considered the team to beat for the relay gold medal.
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The Unexamined Life – Part II
Renowned psychologist Albert Bandura states, “What people think, believe, and feel affects how they behave.” In other words, our behaviours are the result of our thoughts. With great insight, someone summed up the interaction between our thoughts and our actions with the words: “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits, Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” Reread those five sentences – slowly. Thoughts become words; words become actions; actions become habits; habits become character; and character becomes destiny.
When Bandura made his statement, he was not revealing to the world something new. He was echoing a truth the Bible made clear centuries before. Thoughts contrary to the Word make mischief in one’s heart and because it is from the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks, our actions, spurred on by our beliefs and feelings, are tied to our thoughts. Careless words born out of wrong thoughts not taken captive to the obedience of Christ lead to mistakes and bad behaviours.
Recognizing the power of one’s thought life in its impacts on actions and destinies, the Psalmist David was on to something when he prayed, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). Everything starts at the root. To correct a behaviour without first changing the way we think about that particular issue is an exercise in futility. However, as difficult as it may be to wrestle ingrained thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, we have the Holy Spirit to help us in that regard, if we allow Him to.
That is why the unexamined life is a dangerous life. It is not enough to just live and act without understanding what drives our behaviours and whether or not those behaviours are consistent with the Word of God. Paul’s advice was solid; “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Everything starts with a thought; that thought eventually shapes our destiny. To that end, it is imperative that we examine our lives to determine if we need to change the way we think.
Again, “If you had friends who spoke like your thoughts, would you hang out with them?”
From my house to yours, a safe and blessed Easter.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.