THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JUSTICE MINISTER URGES CREATION OF A CULTURE OF TOLERANCE—02/11/12
Mark Golding, Jamaica’s Minister of Justice, believes Jamaicans must adopt a “culture of tolerance and healing” during its 50th year of Independence. One of the goals of the Restorative Justice Program is to help those citizens who have become perpetrators or victims of crime to resolve conflicts. While this is just a start on the road to healing and acceptance, it represents a significant effort to make the country a better environment for all Jamaicans.
U.S. GOVERNMENTS GIVE JCF VEHICLES AND PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT—02/12/12
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has received protective equipment and vehicles from the United States government totaling a gift of about $64 million. The donation is designed to enhance the organization’s crime fighting ability. Peter Bunting, Jamaican Minister of National Security accepted the items, which include 20 vehicles, 500 ballistic vests, and 500 tactical uniforms.
KINGSTON IMPACTED BY FIRE AT LANDFILL—02/13/12
Large areas of Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city, were covered in thick smoke from a fire at the Riverton City Landfill. The fire has been raging for four days and poses a significant health risk to thousands of Jamaicans. The Ministry of Health advised residents in Kingston, St. Andrew, and parts of St. Catherine to make an effort to protect themselves from the hazards until the fire and its smoke can be controlled by emergency personnel from the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).
POLICE IN SPANISH TOWN AREA ON HIGH ALERT—02/13/12
Jamaican police officers working in Spanish Town and areas nearby are on high alert due to threats of violence in St. Catherine. The escalating violence has created an imminent possibility of attacks on police in the area. The Jamaican constabulary has advised residents and individuals who work in these areas to be careful and to take the warnings seriously. The alert was imposed following several incidents targeting police. Threats were made following the shooting death of Renard Harrison, a Klansman gang member, during police operations in Cherry Gardens.
VICTIMS REPORTING RAPES MORE OFTEN DESPITE THREATS—02/14/12
Victims of rape and other sex crimes have become more willing to report the crimes, despite threats against those who would do so. This is a major difference from 2010 when girls and women living in the inner city communities were afraid to report such crimes to the police. According to Superintendent Gladys Brown-Campbell, head of the Center for the Investigation of Sexual Offenses and Child Abuse (CISOCA), many people are coming forward to report carnal abuse and rape. She noted the success of the sensitization programs in making people less fearful of the so-called dons that control their neighborhoods.
AISK TO AID FAILING PUBLIC SCHOOLS—02/15/12
The American International School (AISK), a private school in St. Andrew that caters chiefly to the children of wealthy Jamaicans and diplomats, is willing to share ideas about education from the United States that have successfully motivated 100 percent of its students to attend institutions of higher learning. Leaders of AISK, which teaches students from kindergarten to 12th grade, want to be part of the community and to be instrumental in helping to resolve problems that result in underperformance at Jamaica’s schools.
PROSECUTORS IN U.S. WANT GUN CONVICTION AGAINST BUJU REINSTATED—02/16/12
Prosecutors in the United States filed documents and asked the Appeals Court to overturn a lower court ruling that found dancehall star Buju Banton not guilty of a firearm charge. They argue that the lower court acted in an improper manner when it entered a judgment of acquittal after the jury found Banton guilty in 2011. The prosecutors addressed the issue of entrapment included in Banton’s appeal by noting that he was predisposed to engage in drug transactions, and so the action was a “valid entrapment” under the law.
COSTS TO RESOLVE RIVERTON FIRE PROBLEM INCREASE BY 100 PERCENT—02/17/12
Jamaica’s government could spend up to $60 million to resolve an issue that could have been avoided if $34 million had been spent on preventive efforts. Agencies of the government have accepted that the fire and smoke problems from the Riverton landfill fire would have been avoided if money had been spent to cover the dump in the first place. Colonel Allan Douglas, director of operations at the National Solid Waste Management Authority, said budget constraints precluded the agency from covering the dump to the necessary degree in the past year. Ronald Jackson, director general of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), provided figures showing that the government had been “penny wise and pound foolish” in regard to the dump.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN GAY RIGHTS SUPPORTERS WANT REPEAL OF LAWS—02/11/12
Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaica lecturer in law and the legal adviser to Aids-Free World, is heartened by the change of mood on the island since new Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said there should be no discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation. He hopes to overturn Jamaica’s current anti-gay law. Simpson Miller also said she would be willing to include gay people in her cabinet. In the United Kingdom, Tomlinson, a noted gay rights activist and winner of an award for his advocacy on the issue, said he was told to go into hiding after receiving death threats for marrying his male partner in Canada. Police in Jamaica told him that anti-gay attitudes on the island will not change until the law changes
HAIR GLUE SUSPECTED CAUSE OF DEATH IN JAMAICAN WOMAN—02/13/12
Anastasia Graham, 34, was born in Jamaica but lived in London and died as a result of a reaction to the chemicals in her hair glue. Her death has started a debate about the dangers of a commonly utilized solvent. Graham had worn hair extensions for 14 years, but collapsed after spending an evening dancing at a London nightclub. Pathologist Michael Heath believes the latex glue she used could have caused her to go into anaphylactic shock, resulting in her death. He said there are 10 to 20 deaths every year in the United Kingdom due to the latex glue used to apply hair extensions, and even more such deaths in the United States. Traces of the glue can sometimes enter an individual’s blood stream.
LOWE AWARDED MEMBERSHIP IN PRESTIGIOUS ORGANIZATION—02/14/12
Dr. Henry Lowe, prominent Jamaican scientist, has been made a member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). He received this honor because of the quality of his scientific research, particularly in the area of prostate cancer. Lowe was nominated for membership by Angela Brodie, professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and Amy Fulton, professor of Pathology. Both are medical research scientists at the University of Maryland Medical School.
PHOTOS BRING JAMAICA’S CULTURE TO LIFE—02/15/12
David Muir, who was raised in St. Andrew, Jamaica, lived in New York before moving to Sunrise, Florida a decade ago. Muir is a certified social worker and has had no formal training in photography, but his exhibition of 35 photos has successfully captured the soul of his home island. Muir said he focused on everyday events and people because he “was homesick.” His photos were taken on about 20 trips to Jamaica and form the exhibit “Pieces of Jamaica,” which debuted in Sunrise in January 2012 to an audience of about 400. The photos have special meaning in South Florida, which has some 160,000 expatriate Jamaicans living there.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
NURSES LEAVING CARIBBEAN FOR “FIRST WORLD”—02/11/12
LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN CARIBBEAN SUPPORTED BY CANADA—02/12/12
HEAD OF NEVIS GOVERNMENT MEETS WITH JUSTICE BREYER AFTER ROBBERY—02/14/12
OVER 300 INMATES KILLED IN PRISON FIRE IN HONDURAS—02/15/12
HAITI INTERIOR MINISTER, CARICOM AGREE ON COLLABORATION—02/16/12
SLIGHT INCREASE IN TOURISM DURING 2011—02/17/12
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
GAS PRICES IN JAMAICA UNDER REVIEW—02/11/12
Jamaica’s government is reviewing the weekly price increases at gas pumps across the island. In particular, the government will examine the pricing mechanisms used by Petrojam to calculate the price of petroleum products. Prices at the pump have risen every week since December 22, 2011. Petrojam uses prices from the United States Gulf Coast (USGC) to determine its ex-refinery prices. An audit performed by Centennial Group found that prices could be lower if Petrojam used another pricing mechanism.
GRACEKENNEDY TO EXPAND OPERATIONS TO AFRICA, EASTERN EUROPE—02/13/12
GraceKennedy, a large Jamaican conglomerate, will expand operations to new markets in Africa and Eastern Europe. According to Don Wehby, chief executive officer of GraceKennedy, the firm will remain committed to Jamaica regardless of its expansion plans. The company’s strategy is to grow beyond the Caribbean to become a global consumer group, said Wehby.
NEW SPECIAL ENVOY APPOINTED—02/14/12
Dr. Carlton Davis, previously the head of the Jamaica Civil Service, was appointed ambassador and special envoy in the Office of the Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. Davis is an expert on the bauxite and alumina industry. He is also a former cabinet secretary. Davis will advise the Prime Minister on issues such as macro and micro economic policies, the energy sector, and foreign economic and political connections.
AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ASKED TO HELP ATTRACT DRILLING FIRM—02/15/12
Phillip Paulwell, Jamaican Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, has asked the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) to help attract a large drilling firm from the U.S. to explore for offshore oil in Jamaica. Paulwell believes there are significant opportunities for making commercially important oil strikes off the shores of the island. Oil industry experts are optimistic about Jamaica’s offshore oil potential, says Paulwell, noting that Rainville Energy, a subsidiary of Sagres Energy of Canada, received an extension of its license to explore and develop an offshore area.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
PROFESSOR CALLS FOR REDUCING COMPUTER COSTS, EXPANDING TRAINING—02/11/12
LIME JAMAICA WANTS INTERIM INTER-CONNECTION RATES SET QUICKER—02/15/12
GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS LNG PROJECT—02/16/12
VETERAN RADIO HOST DIES—02/11/12
Wilmot “Motty” Perkins, a veteran Jamaican radio host, died after a short illness at his home at the age of 80. Perkins was the longest serving radio host in the island’s history and began his career in 1960 with “What’s Your Grouse” on Radio Jamaica. He also hosted programs like “Hot Line, Straight Talk” and “Perkins On Line.” He was a reporter for the Jamaica Gleaner as well. He is survived by Elaine, his wife of 56 years, and two grandsons.
MCINTOSH SETS SIGHTS ON CHINA AS BUYER OF CULTURAL EXPORTS—02/12/12
Howard McIntosh, former vice-chair of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), believes Jamaica should investigate the potential of China as a new market for the island’s cultural exports. McIntosh made his remarks after he helped to organize an Independence celebration event in China. He was invited to do so by Courtney Rattray, Jamaica’s ambassador to China. The event was designed to bring Jamaican music, food, and culture to the Asian country and was handled by the Bob Marley Foundation and Jamaica 50.
DOCUMENTARY ON BOB MARLEY IMPRESSES BERLIN CROWD—02/13/12
The documentary film about Bob Marley entitled “Marley” received cheers at the Berlin, Germany, film festival. Kevin Macdonald, Oscar-winning Scottish film maker, created the tribute to Marley, who came from the Kingston ghettos and made reggae music a worldwide phenomenon with his charisma and talent. Macdonald won an Oscar in 1999 for “One Day in September” and a British BAFTA award in 2006 for “The Last King of Scotland,” the story of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. The Marley documentary includes 50 songs, including early concert outtakes of his band, the Wailers. The film takes a chronological approach, beginning with Marley’s childhood during the 1940s.
RODIGAN, REGGAE-DANCEHALL DJ, RECEIVES MBE FROM THE QUEEN—02/14/12
David Rodigan, a popular reggae-dancehall deejay who has had a career spanning almost 35 years, receive the prestigious Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or MBE, from Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, Rodigan said he was honored to be recognized for services to broadcasting because it was so important for the Jamaicans who migrated to the UK during the 1950s and 1960s and who brought their music with them. Rodigan was named Broadcaster of the Year in 2009 at the Sony Radio Academy Awards.
2012 OLYMPICS BRING RETURN OF U.S., JAMAICA RIVALRY—02/11/12
A major rivalry in women’s track and field will kick off when American Allyson Felix and Veronica Campbell-Brown from Jamaica meet in the 60 meters at the USA Track & Field Classic in Arkansas. The rivalry is especially significant in the Olympic year of 2012. Felix and Campbell-Brown have accounted for every gold medal and all but two silver medals in the last two Olympic Games and the last four World Outdoor Championships in the 200-meter finals.
EARLE BELIEVES WHITMORE CAN BRING JAMAICA A WORLD CUP—02/12/12
Robbie Earle, long remembered for Jamaica’s first goal in a FIFA World Cup Finals match, believes that Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore, former teammate and currently the head coach of the Reggae Boyz, can bring the national senior men’s to international stardom again. If he receives the right kind of support, Whitmore can take Jamaica to the World Cup, says Earle.
BLAKE READY TO CHALLENGE BOLT IN LONDON OLYMPICS—02/13/12
Jamaica’s Yohan Blake is ready to challenge fellow Jamaica Usain Bolt for the 100-meter title at the 2012 Olympics in London. Blake is the world’s youngest 100-meter champion, and observers have tagged him as the one able to beat champion Usain Bolt in a much anticipated duel at the Olympics. Bolt refers to Blake as “the Beast” in reference to his attitude in competition.
CLARKE RUNS FASTEST 60 METERS AT FRENCH INDOOR MEET—02/16/12
Jamaican Lerone Clarke has posted the fastest time in the 60-meters in the 2012 season thus far. Lerone, 30, is the Commonwealth Games champion. He clocked 6.5 seconds, improving on his best time by two-hundredths of a second and beating France’s Christophe Lemaitre.
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When Discomfort “Speaks” – Part I
The feeling was as uncomfortable as it was annoying. The discomfort became worse with each step and the trek across the parking lot seemed like an exercise in torture. I do not know where it came from because had I felt it before, there was no way I would have left it there. It had happened before and I knew it would only get worse if I did not get it removed. The source of my problem? Something that felt like a very small pebble in my shoe. And it caused me a lot of hurt.
When I was able to finally remove it, I recall the feeling of relief. My whole body seemed to thank me because even though the pebble was only in one shoe, it was as if every other part of my body shared the hurt. Of course, that can be explained biologically. However, some days later it occurred to me that God, in Christ, set up His body, the church, the very same way. Every believer is a part of the body of Christ. The apostle Paul puts it this way, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. . . . But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him” (1 Corinthians 12: 13-14, 18, KJV). That is as true today as it was in the first century when he wrote it. Because we are all a part of one body, when one hurts the whole body should hurt. Paul continues, “The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance” (vv. 25-26, The Message).
My left foot was exuberant when I removed the pebble, and every other part of my body entered into that exuberance. To put it in simple form, the sensory nerves in the sole of my foot transmitted to my brain the problem my foot was experiencing. My brain processed that information in a way I could understand and I was able to call upon my hands, both of whom cooperated, to do something about the pain in my foot. Because they are all connected. That church brother or sister that we try to avoid, don’t particular care for or couldn’t care less about, is connected to us. We cannot be indifferent to the needs of any person in the body. We must share in each other’s joy and pain. It is easy to do the former, but the latter is much more difficult. It is easier to believe that someone else’s pain is not our problem, yet it is God’s will that we be mindful of each other.
Do you know or know of someone in “the body” that is hurting? Can you feel that hurt? What are you going to do about it?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.