THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
GOLDING ADMITS MEETING “DUDUS”—04/02/11
After months of denying a request for his extradition by the United States, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding testified to having a face-to-face meeting with alleged drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke. Golding denied that he wanted Coke’s endorsement during his political candidacy in 2006, however.
AIR JAMAICA DEAL STILL UP IN THE AIR—04/03/11
Questions continue to arise concerning the deal allegedly made between Caribbean Airlines and Air Jamaica. Authorities in Jamaica want the deal finalized quickly, but concerns remain in Port-of-Spain about closing the deal. According to some sources, one of the parties may be looking for a way out. Caribbean Airlines has until April 30, 2011, to walk away from the arrangement without incurring a penalty. Under the deal, Jamaica would own 16 percent of Caribbean Airlines.
GROWTH FOR OCHO RIOS, NOT FOR ST. ANN’S BAY—04/04/11
St. Ann’s Bay, the capital of St. Ann, still shows slower job creation rates, business and population growth than Ocho Rios, according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica. Between 1962 and 1991, St. Ann’s Bay had a population growth rate of 19.8 percent, while Ocho Rios had a rate of just 3.95 percent. Statistics for 2001 indicates that St. Ann’s Bay grew at a rate of 16.2 percent, while the population of Ocho Rios increased by 129 percent.
RULING POLITICAL PARTY VICTORIOUS IN BY-ELECTION—04/05/11
The party of Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding retained its majority in parliament with a win in the by-election. The election was called following the acknowledgement of a governing party legislator that he had U.S. citizenship. This was a violation of constitutional rules. Everald Warmington, Jamaica Labor Party candidate, won his election with 64 percent of the vote in St. Catherine parish. Warmington, who was born in Jamaica, only acknowledged his U.S. citizenship in March 2011. He resigned his post and gave up his American passport and joint citizenship at that time.
CHARTER OF RIGHTS IMPLEMENTED—04/06/11
Debates lasting for 16 years finally culminated in the creation of legislation to implement the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. This charter will replace Chapter III of Jamaica’s constitution, since it has now been approved by Parliament. The new charter offers more complete and effective protections of the basic rights of all Jamaican citizens.
BILL ACCOMPANYING CHARTER OF RIGHTS APPROVED BY SENATE—04/07/11
The passage of the Charter of Rights Bill passed Jamaica’s Senate on April 1, 2011. After the passage, the Constitutional Amendment Act, an accompanying bill, also passed. This bill amends Sections 90 and 91 of the nation’s Constitution, while the Charter of Rights Bill replaces Chapter III of the Constitution. The amendment bill provides additional protections for individuals receiving the death penalty.
GROUP SAYS HUMAN RIGHTS IN JAMAICAN REMAIN “APPALLING”—04/08/11
The group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) believes that the nation still has an “appalling” record on human rights. The group cites an increase in extra-judicial killings from 253 in 2009 to nearly 400 in 2010. The JFJ’s report was issued in partnership with George Washington University Law School and presented to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington D.C.
According to the JFJ, the findings in the report indicate respect for human rights has declined since the State of Emergency was issued.
GOVERNMENT SADDENED BY DEATHS—04/08/11
Mike Henry, Jamaica’s Minister of Transport and Works, expressed his sadness at the tragic motor accident occurring in Manchester’s Christiana area. The accident resulted in the deaths of several school children. Henry said he planned to visit the accident scene and discuss the incident with the victim’s family members and the community. The discussions will also touch on general road safety and the implications of major auto accidents. Three students from Holmwood Technical High School died in the accident, and 20 other Holmwood students sustained injuries when the minibus in which they traveled crashed into a wall.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
CANADA WANTS MORE TRADE AND INVESTMENT IN JAMAICA—04/05/11
JAMPRO, the national trade and investment promoter, is optimistic about the potential of increased business between Canada and Jamaica. The recent mission from Canada, which showed investors and business persons the opportunities that exist in Jamaica, brought various interests and investors together. Robert Kerr, regional manager of JAMPRO North American Regional Office based in Toronto, says the mission will lead to increased business in the near term.
JAMAICAN NATIONALS HEAD CARIBBEAN-AMERICAN STUDENT BODY—04/06/11
Danika Russell and Courtney J. Greene, both Jamaican nationals, have been selected to lead the largest representative body for Caribbean-American students in the state of Florida. Russell will be the new president of the Florida Caribbean Students Association, and Greene will be vice-president of the student body, which numbers 3,600 students. Russell is a graduate of Immaculate High School in Kingston, while Green is majoring in finance at the University of Central Florida.
JAMAICAN ENTREPRENEUR TO MEET THE POPE—04/07/11
Arnold Foote, Jamaican diplomat, advertising entrepreneur and philanthropist, has received permission for an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. Foote is president of the World Federation of Consuls, and he will be joined by the members of the group’s board of directors when he visits the Vatican in May 2011. Foote says he is happy about meeting, since this is he first time that members of the Federation will be received by the Pope.
BARBADOS AUTHORITIES QUESTION POLICE IN ALLEGED ASSAULT CASE—04/08/11
High-level investigators in Barbados have questioned three police officers concerning the alleged assault on a Jamaican woman in their custody. The woman, who is from Spanish Town, St. Catherine, was arrested at the airport in Barbados in February after two kilograms of marijuana was found in her baggage. The assault allegedly occurred when she was at the Central Police Station.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
RULING AWAITED IN CASE OF DUAL-CITIZENSHIP IN DOMINICA—04/02/11
AUTHOR ADDRESSES COLD WAR PERIOD IN CARIBBEAN—04/03/11
SMITH PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING INVESTORS—04/04/11
HAITI’S MARTELLY RECEIVES 68 PERCENT OF VOTE—04/05/11
INCREASE IN MALARIA DEATHS CONCERNS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—04/06/11
FUTURE OF CARIBBEAN REEFS FOUND IN ANCIENT CORALS—04/07/11
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
CREATION OF 3,000 JOBS FROM JAMAICAN TOURISM—04/02/11
Jamaica’s government reports that the expanding facilities for tourism in the northwest region of the island will result in the creation of 3,000 jobs. According to Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, the expansion of the resort Grand Palladium in Lucea will add 900 new hotel suites and numerous golf courses and convention centers to the region. He also announced the opening of the Dolphin Cove attraction in Lucea. Visitors to Dolphin Cove will be able to interact personally with actual dolphins.
SAMUDA PROMOTES MORE INVESTMENT FROM TRINIDAD—04/03/11
Karl Samuda, Jamaican Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, wants to encourage more investors from Trinidad to look to Jamaica for opportunities. He made his remarks at a meeting of members of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association. Samuda said Jamaica’s current administration welcomes Trinidadian investors.
$300,000 IN GRANTS TO AGRIBUSINESS ANNOUNCED—04/05/11
The Churches Cooperative Credit Union (CCCU) is focusing on Jamaica’s agriculture industry in 2011 by awarding grants under its Entrepreneur’s Awards Scheme to tertiary students with business plans targeting the agricultural sector. The awards will provide $300,000 to applicants who provide viable and innovative business plans with an agribusiness focus.
CHINA TO RECEIVE JAMAICAN COFFEE SHIPMENTS—04/06/11
Jamaica’s Minister of Agriculture Dr. Christopher Tufton says new shipments of coffee to China will allow the island to expand its coffee production and relieve the pressures arising from dependence on a single market. The Coffee Industry Board made its first shipment of green coffee beans to China in a deal that will ultimately sell 70,000 kilograms of coffee to an Asian firm. The contract totals US$2 million and reflects Jamaica’s efforts to expand its coffee market outside of Japan.
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
BEGINNING OF 2011 SEES INCREASE IN MALWARE—04/05/11
In the first three months of 2011, there has been a significant increase in cyber attacks and malware, according to a Panda Security report. The firm has determined that an average of 73,000 new kinds of malware threats are released every day, a 28-percent increase in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2010.
THUNDERBIRD GROUP ABSORBED BY MOZILLA LABS—04/06/11
Mozilla announced plans to make the Thunderbird group, known as Mozilla Messaging, a part of Mozilla Labs. This is a research center, and not a profit center. Mozilla had previously hoped that the Thunderbird email software would become financially self-sufficient like the Firefox project. Mozilla will continue to develop the email program under its new organization, but its focus will be on online communications on the Web and not standalone email software products.
GOOGLE’S SEARCH DOMINANCE TO BE REVIEWED BY FTC—04/07/11
The United States Federal Trade Commission may start investigations into the dominance of Google over search on the Internet. The FTC is waiting for the U.S. Justice Department to decide if the planned acquisition b Google of ITA Software is allowable before beginning a review of the firm. ITA Software is an airline flight and ticket information provider. The deal worries other search engine firms and online travel agencies, which have claimed the deal would provide Google with a monopoly over online travel searches.
SCHOOLS IN JAMAICA TO BECOME HIGH-TECH—04/08/11
The Jamaican government has begun an ambitious initiative meant to provide high-speed Internet access in all schools, post offices, and public libraries on the island in the next year-and-half. According to Daryl Vaz, technology minister, all communities, even those in remote locations, that have public secondary or high schools, will be given Internet access capabilities. The project is designed to make it easier to provide teleconferencing services and to use teaching resources more efficiently via virtual classrooms. The five-year project is financed by the Universal Access Fund, and LIME and Flow, two telecommunications providers.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
AMPER, ELANDIA INTERNATIONAL MAKE AGREEMENT—04/02/11
ICT MINISTERS FROM CARIBBEAN SEE NOVA SCOTIA BROADBAND—04/03/11
BAHAMIAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM PRVATIZED—04/06/11
CAYMAN RECEIVES TECHNOLOGY TO DETECT LIGHTNING—04/07/11
TYSON GAY LOOKS FOR SPRINT LEGACY—04/04/11
Tyson Gay, American sprinter, likes to run in Jamaica, being close to Jamaican runner Veronica Campbell-Brown and her husband Omar. Gay is the only man to defeat world-record holder Usain Bolt in 2010 in Sweden. He plans to build on his past achievements, and is ready to expect more of himself in the coming competitions with Bolt.
JAMAICA ADVANCES IN CRICKET TOURNEY, BUT CONTROVERSY ARISES—04/05/11
Jamaica has qualified for the four-day tournament sponsored by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) after a semi-final against Trinidad and Tobago. The match ended with a controversial no-decision. According to WICB authorities, in such a case, the team on top during a meeting in the preliminary round would advance.
ICC CONFIRMS 10 TEAMS FOR WORLD CUP 2015—04/06/11
According to the International Cricket Council (ICC), only ten teams will vie for the next two World Cup championships. The action was prompted by criticism that recent tournaments in the West Indies and India included too many teams of poor quality and took too long to play out. Haroon Lorgat, ICC chief executive, says the ICC has not yet settled on a format, but that work on this issue will begin in the near future.
MILLER REPLACES DEWAR FOR CCC FINAL—04/07/11
Nikita Miller will join the members of Jamaica’s senior cricket team at the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) final in Barbados. Miller was a member of the West Indies team that left the ICC World Cup at the quarter final. Miller will replace Akeem Dewar, 19, as a member of the 13-man team.
A Great Day to Be Alive
Every time I turn on my BlackBerry phone, I am greeted with a customized message: “It’s a great day to be alive!” I had it on my previous phone as well. Why? Because it serves as a personal reminder that things could have been a whole lot worse. Stop and think about it. If God did not allow you to wake up this morning, everything else would be irrelevant. All your unfinished business would remain unfinished, your friends and family would be without whatever it was that you brought into their lives, and your purpose for being on earth would have come to an end. Consider, however, that God in His graciousness allowed you to wake up, in your right mind (even though for some of us others would say that was questionable), and so we are blessed to have at least one more day to not only do the things we want to do, and things we love to do, but equally important – to get things right with man and God if that is where we are in our lives. Another day to glorify God in everything we do.
In Psalm 118:24 the Psalmist David declares: “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (KJV). We can “borrow” the verse from its original context and say this should be the attitude of every believer at the start of each new day. Yes, it is easy to take for granted the fact that we have been waking up every morning for the past twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, or whatever number of years we have been doing so. We tend to somehow forget that tomorrow is promised to no one. Truth be known we have a sense of entitlement to it. How many times have we casually said to a colleague: “See you tomorrow” or “See you on Monday”? James reminds us: “Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (4:13-15). Simply put, we cannot and should not take tomorrow for granted.
Our reality is that every morning we wake up is a good reason to praise God. He didn’t have to allow us that privilege. We may have gotten up with a million things on our minds and with seemingly endless chores to do, but amidst all of that let us remember none of that would matter if we had entered into our eternal sleep. So amidst the hustle and bustle, let us purpose to declare: “This is the day which the LORD hath made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Regardless of whatever you are dealing with today, it is still a great day to be alive!
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.