THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
INTERCEPTION OF COMMUNICATIONS ACT CHANGED IN SENATE—07/30/11
Senator Dwight Nelson, Jamaican Minister of National Security and sponsor of the Interception of Communications Act, noted that his bill will be amended to address its lack of extraterritorial application. This is meant to make it easier to share information with agents of foreign states.
BILLIONS OF POTENTIAL POWER SAVINGS POSSIBLE, SAYS JPC—07/31/11
Consumers and businesses in Jamaica could reap savings totaling J$15.4 billion on their power bills if two critical measures of fuel and system losses line up with regional and sector averages. This is the conclusion of a study from the Jamaica Productivity Center (JPC). The savings would represent about 20 percent of Jamaicans’ power bills.
TUFTON GETS MORE SECURITY IN LIGHT OF THREATS—08/01/11
Christopher Tufton, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, is receiving more security after being threatened by those who oppose his ban on the scrap metal industry. The Jamaican government has been more closely scrutinized since it decided to enact a complete shutdown of trade in scrap metal due to the high theft levels in that sector. Anthony Hylton, Opposition Spokesperson on Industry, wants the administration to reconsider the ban to remain in compliance with international treaty obligations.
GOLDING OPENS TOURIST ATTRACTION IN TRELAWNEY—08/02/11
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding officially opened the country’s newest tourist attraction at Falmouth Pier in Trelawny. Captain Hook Adventures is a “pirate dinner show” that features sword fights, Jamaican dance, and live cannon. Golding noted that the new attraction represents part of a renewed expansion of tourist options for Jamaica.
ABUSE OF GIRLS RARELY PUNISHED—08/02/11
According to Betty Ann Blaine, a child advocate and founder of Hear the Children’s Cry, an organization focused on protecting Jamaica’s children, child rape represents one of the most rapidly growing crimes on the island. However, the crime brings little or no outcry from the public when its perpetrators are not punished. Blaine believes there are cultural norms at work in Jamaica that promote sex with young girls, and inner-city families are often paid by gang leaders to hand over their daughters for sexual activity or to cover up sexual abuse of minors to avoid “shaming” their families..
THWAITES CITES “OBSTACLES” TO WORKING CLASS LAND OWNERSHIP—08/03/11
Ronald Thwaites, a deacon and member of the Opposition People’s National Party, states that Jamaican laws and the extremely high costs linked to regularizing tenure are responsible for denying the nation’s working class the right to own property. This keeps this population from full participation in the economy of the country.
CHILDREN’S LIVES SAVED BY EARLY HIV PLANNING EFFORTS—08/04/11
There has been a decrease of 31 percent in the number of children’s deaths in Jamaica, according to Rudyard Spencer, Minister of Health. Dr. Tracy Evans-Gilbert, a pediatrician based at Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, believes this is because of sustained effort by those fighting HIV on the island, beginning in the 1990s. This is when antiretroviral drugs first became available to those who could afford them.
SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN WOMEN’S BEHEADINGS—08/05/11
Police have arrested three suspects in connection with the beheadings of Charmaine Rattray and Joyette Lynch, 19, Rattray’s daughter. The two were killed during a home invasion in Spanish Town. According to authorities, the murders appear related to a gang power struggle involving the Clansman gang and the One Order gang. These two killings occurred just two days after Scott Thomas, 18, was beheaded by a gang of men in Spanish Town, and the same week, an apparent “copycat” crime decapitated Gary Smith, 37, of August Town, Kingston.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICANS IN U.S. CELEBRATE INDEPENDENCE—07/30/11
Jamaicans who live in the Washington, D.C. area celebrated Jamaican independence by participating in numerous official events. The Jamaican Embassy, led by Ambassador Audrey Marks, will have an open house designed to give the public a chance to meet the ambassador. The Jamaica Association of Maryland and Team Jamaica Bickle will sponsor independence balls and other events.
NEW CHIEF MAGISTRATE OF BELIZE IS JAMAICAN—08/02/11
Ann-Marie Smith, a Jamaican national, is slated to become the new foreign chief magistrate of Belize. She will take office on September 1, 2011, succeeding Margaret McKenzie, who has served in the position since 2007. Magistrate Smith brings a reputation for being tough on criminals, which stems from her own experiences as a victim of violent crime in 2010. Smith was shot by masked gunmen in an ambush outside her home.
MORRISON PLANS TO OFFICIATE AT LONG OLYMPICS IN 2012—08/03/11
Kevin Morrison, FIFA award-winning referee from Jamaica, is ready to bring his skills to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Morrison, 33, was selected FIFA Referee of the Year by the Jamaica Football Referees Association. This was the second major award for Morrison, who also received the Digicel Premier League Referee of the Year award in 2010.
BLAIR TO SPEAK AT SENTENCING OF DAVID SMITH—08/04/11
Jamaican pastor Reverend Ainsley G. Blair, who is based in the United States, will speak at the sentencing of David Smith in Orlando, Florida. Smith is the head of Olint Corporation. He faces 20 years in prison on 23 counts of fraud for a Ponzi scheme that took over $220 million from thousands of Jamaican investors. Blair invested US$15 million with Olint to build a hospital in Portmore, St. Catherine. This project has stalled since the loss of these funds through Olint’s actions.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN AIRLINER CRASHES IN GUYANA—07/30/11
VIOLENCE RESULTS FROM HOTEL CLOSINGS IN COSTA RICA—07/31/11
SUNKEN SUBMARINE IN HONDURAS CARRYING COCAINE—08/01/11
HEROIN SEIZED IN PANAMA—08/02/11
MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE FOUND OFF TURKS AND CAICOS—08/03/11
TROPICAL STORM BRUSHES DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, HAITI—08/04/11
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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
ST. ELIZABETH’S HOPES TO IMPROVE POSITION IN TOURIST INDUSTRY—07/30/11
Stakeholders in Treasure Beach in St. Elizabeth are making efforts to improve the bed-and-breakfast accommodations in the area. According to Jason Henzell, chairman of the Treasure Beach Foundation, the market for villas continues to grow, and considerable investment is being made in high-end facilities. To appeal to the overseas market, the tourist industry in St. Elizabeth must focus on promoting bed-and-breakfasts and villas, rather than guest houses. Currently, there are 51 tourist accommodations in Treasure Beach.
HIGH ELECTRIC BILLS NEGATIVELY IMPACT MANUFACTURING BUSINESSES—07/31/11
Jamaican manufacturers want the government to take action and take care of the high electricity bills that are crippling their business. According to Rosalee Hamilton, president of Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Alliance, business must continually decide whether to pay the Jamaica Public Service company, their bank, or their workers. Costs have become so high that many firms cannot pay their bills, and ultimately they must close. The planned construction of two new power plants in Jamaica may lower the island’s dependency on oil and reduce the costs of electricity as well.
TRANSPORTATION SECTOR TO SEE CHANGES—08/02/11
While no decision has yet been reached on proposed changes to how the transportation center in downtown Kingston will operate, changes of some type will occur. The Transport Authority, the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation, and the Urban Development Corporation have partnered to review the system implemented in January 2011 and to recommended changes. Transport operators and the public have registered complaints about the underutilization of the transportation center.
NCB CAPITAL MARKETS BROKERS DEBT DEAL—08/03/11
The National Water Commission has asked NCB Capital Markets Ltd., to be the lead broker in an effort to raise US$37 million of debt guaranteed by Jamaica’s government. The money will be used to fund the water monopoly’s new subsidiary treatment company. The debt will be raised via private placement of three bonds. NCB Capital Markets will underwrite US$30 million of this debt.
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
TOYOTA BIKE ALLOWS GEAR SHIFTING WITH THE MIND—07/30/11
Toyota has made a mind-controlled bicycle. The bike, developed in partnership with Saatchi LA, Parlee Cycles, and Deeplocal, has a built-in smartphone dock, a frame made of carbon fiber, and a helmet designed to read electrical brain activity. The helmet allows riders to shift gears using only thought. The helmet was developed by Deeplocal, human-digital interface specialists.
LEAPFROG MAKES TABLET COMPUTER FOR BABIES—08/01/11
Two new tablet computers have been designed for children under the age of 10. LeapFrog, the educational toymaker, is offering a 5-inch tablet aimed at four to nine-year-olds. Amazon has begun to take pre-orders for the Vinci, a tablet computer targeting babies as young as under one month old. The Vinci has a 7-inch touch screen in a soft-covered case that is easy for a baby’s hands to hold. It uses the Android OS and is priced at $369.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
RIM OFFERS NEW SOCIAL APP EXPERIENCE—08/01/11
AXION INTERNATIONAL GETS FIRST PURCHASE IN CARIBBEAN—08/02/11
HAITI’S PRESIDENT BELIEVES TECHNOLOGY IS THE KEY TO IMPROVEMENTS—08/03/11
CYBER ATTACKS FOUND BY MCAFEE—08/04/11
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U.S. ISSUES VISA TO BEENIE MAN—07/30/11
Dancehall deejay Moses “Beenie Man” Davis will receive a United States visa just over one year from the date on which it was taken from him for unknown reasons. The deejay was one of four popular deejays who had visas cancelled by the American Embassy in Kingston in 2010. Beenie Man wanted the visa in order to work on a new album, which requires him to travel to the U.S.
JAMAICAN MUSIC 50 INTRODUCED DURING SUMFEST—08/02/11
Jamaica Music 50 had its launch during the Reggae Sumfest event in Montego Bay. Jamaica Music 50 involves an examination of how Jamaican music evolved over the years since the nation’s independence from Britain in 1962. According to Maxine Stowe, the leader of Jamaica Music 50, the early years of reggae music will be the subject of an in-depth study. Bunny Wailer, Junior Lincoln, and Wayne Chen are also involved with Jamaica Music 50.
SEAN KINGSTON HAD HEART SURGERY AFTER HIS JET SKI ACCIDENT—08/03/11
Sean Kingston, the Jamaican-American music star, admitted to having had open heart surgery following his jet ski crash in Miami Beach on May 29, 2011. The accident nearly resulted in his death. Kingston said that as he was being released from the hospital after the accident, he reported feeling pain in his chest. After several diagnostic scans, the doctors decided to operate to repair a torn aorta. Kingston is making a full recovery from his ordeal.
SHURWAYNE WINCHESTER DESERVES ATTENTION, SAYS JAMAICAN PRODUCERS—08/04/11
Shurwayne Winchester, a soca hit-maker from Trinidad and Tobago, is receiving lots of attention in the Caribbean music scene. He has been working with some of the best of Jamaica’s artistes and producers. Some producers believe Winchester could be the musician to “bridge the gap” between soca music and dancehall music.
DIAMOND LEAGUE DOMINATED BY JAMAICA—07/30/11
Usain Bolt took a first place finish in the men’s 200 meter race at the Diamond League in Stockholm, Sweden. His time was 20.03 seconds. Ainsley Waugh, another Jamaican team member took third place in the 200 meters with 20.56 seconds. Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer, Melaine Walker, and Nickiesha Wilson took first, second, and third places, respectively in the women’s 400 meter hurdles.
POWELL LEADS JAMAICAN TEAM IN HUNGARY—07/31/11
Asafa Powell, the national 100-meter champion, wants to be the first man to run the 100 meters in under 10.00 seconds in Hungary. Powell is leading a strong Jamaican team in the Istvan Gyulai Memorial in Budapest. Powell has previously run the 100-meters in under 10.00 seconds a total of 71 times.
UNDER-23 FOOTBALL PLAYERS SEEK OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION—08/03/11
The Under-23 football team from Jamaica plans to begin their efforts at qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games in London with a match against St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the first round of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) phase in Suriname. According to head coach Alfredo Montesso, the team has had very productive training sessions and expects to perform well in the coming match.
JAMAICAN GOLFERS COMPETE IN AMATEUR GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS—08/04/11
Jamaican golfers plan to participate in the RBC Royal Bank’s 55th Caribbean Amateur Gold Championships in Trinidad. Jamaica’s national team is one of nine regional teams competing in the tournament. Manager Teddy Richards will aid the team members and encourage them to bring their “reggae rhythm” to the championships.
Have you ever felt excluded from an event or group because you did not meet someone else’s standards? How about feeling rejected by others because you were considered not “good enough”? According to social scientists, inherent in the process of growing and developing as a person to achieve individual potential is our need to be accepted for who we are. Nevertheless, it seems parts of the media have done and continue to do a masterful job in making some people feel personally inadequate. Advertisers tell us we are too fat, too slim, we need to buy this or that to get a desired look, to become more attractive. For some people, it is pressure from our families, friends, and most regrettably, our spouses. It is as if we are encouraged to strive for something that is always out of our reach. And some of us have spent hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars trying.
These thoughts came to mind as I reflected on Romans 5:8 where Paul writes, “But God commendeth [showed] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (KJV). Stop and read the verse again. Paraphrased in The Message it reads, “But God put His love on the line for us by offering His Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to Him.” That is right. While we were yet sinners, while we were of no use whatsoever to Him, God accepted us as a people worth saving. It is easy to gloss over this wonderful truth. To fully understand the extent to which God pursues the sinner is to understand that to be a sinner is to be His enemy. We came into the world as sinners, as enemies of God, and so from the very beginning we were not “good enough.” Yet God, because of His great love, looked beyond our sins, our faults, our imperfections, our weaknesses and saw something in us that He deemed valuable. Not only did He have warm thoughts towards us, covered as we were in the ugliness of sin, but He demonstrated His love and acceptance by giving His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Jesus took our place and through dying on the cross, saved us from an eternal hell.
It is important to note that God did not stipulate that for Him to love us we first had to become “good enough.” While we may struggle with our insecurities in our efforts to be accepted by those around us, God accepts us the way we are. Our thoughts and feelings about ourselves should be based on this unshakeable truth and not on some secular media-driven standards. While we may not be able to meet and live up to the standards of others, we can rest comfortably in the fact that God loves and accepts us the way we are. His intent is that we enter into a relationship with Him, through Christ, and allow Him to work out His purposes in our lives. It is difficult to struggle with low self-esteem when we embrace His love and acceptance. No matter who you are, what you have done, what you look live, God loves you and He has demonstrated that love for the whole world to see.
Unconditional love and acceptance feels wonderful, doesn’t it? Think about that the next time you look into the mirror.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.