THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICAN CONTESTS EXTRADITION PROCEDURE—02/19/11
Tony Vincent Ashman, a Jamaican held in custody for over 60 days after waiving his rights for an extradition hearing, has now applied to the Supreme Court for immediate release. Ashman claims that he is entitled to his freedom under Section 13 of the Extradition Act. Ashman is wanted on a murder charge in the United Kingdom. A hearing will be held on the issue in April 2011.
HAITI REJECTS DIPLOMATIC CONFLICT—02/20/11
The Foreign Minister of Jamaica and the Head of Public Health have heard explanations from Haiti’s Charge d’Affaires concerning the isolation measure imposed on the Jamaican national team players. The measure was applied after discovering malaria among the players in 2007during an epidemic on the island and is still in effect. Haitian officials have cited lack of respect and hospitality toward its delegation. Jamaican authorities reject any thought of diplomatic conflict with Haiti because of what they call an “unfortunate incident.”
U.S. AMBASSADOR SAYS JAMAICANS KEY TO ECONOMIC ADVANCES—02/21/11
Pamela Bridgewater, the United States Ambassador to Jamaica, believes that steps should be taken immediately to control the crime rate on the island and to remove unnecessary obstacles to direct investment. The faster such steps are taken, the faster Jamaica will reap the rewards of greater investment. Money likes to go where there is stability, said Bridgewater.
PNP MEMBERS ANGRY AT HAITIANS FOR BURNING JAMAICA’S FLAG—02/22/11
A group of People’s National Party members known as the Patriots has issued a condemnation of actions by several Haitians protestors who burned the Jamaican flag. The Patriots said the desecration of the flag is an insult to the country. The protestors are angry about what they perceive is bad treatment of team members who were withdrawn from the CONCACAF U17 tournament without reason.
OIL PRICES TO RISE, JAMAICANS WARNED—02/23/11
Jamaica has been warned about the impact of higher world oil costs on the island economy. Prices have increased steadily since the uprisings in Egypt and Libya. According to Dr. Andrea Sutherland, finance lecturer at the University of Technology, oil price inflation will increase due to the violence in those nations. Visitor arrivals in Jamaica could also be impacted by the higher oil prices, which would affect the tourism industry.
APRIL PRE-TRIAL FOR DUDUS—02/23/11
April 4, 2011 is the new pre-trial conference date set in United States Federal Court to Christopher “Dudus” Coke, alleged Jamaican drug lord. The new date was set to give prosecutors and defense attorney time to review materials and to file motions. Coke, former leader of the Jamaica Labor Party, was extradited to the U.S. in June 2010 and has pleaded not guilty to drug and weapons charges.
BUJU BANTON FOUND GUILTY ON COCAINE CHARGES—02/24/11
Reggae star Buju Banton has been found guilty of charges that he conspired to set up a deal for buying cocaine. A federal jury in the United States deliberated for 11 hours before convicting Banton, who was found guilty of three of the four charges brought against him. He is now facing imprisonment of 15 years.
JAMAICANS, TRINIDAD-TOBAGO OFFICIALS TO MEET ABOUT 2012 OLYMPICS—02/25/11
Representatives of state and private sector interests in Jamaica held meetings with their counterparts from Trinidad and Tobago to talk about plans and a potential collaboration regarding London’s 2012 Olympic Games. Officials included Mark Thomas, the manager of corporate communications at Jamaica Trade and Invest, and Stanley Beard, the chairman of T&T Tourism Development Company.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JURY OUT ON BANTON—02/19/11
The drug case against reggae start Buju Banton is in the hands of a jury in Florida. He is facing four cocaine-related federal charges. Judge Jim Moody warned jurors not to think about the punishment issue, since the punishment imposed for a guilty verdict will be made by the judge alone.
MAVADO PLAYS WINNIPEG IN CANADA—02/20/11
Jamaican music star Mavado will perform in a Winnipeg, Canada, nightclub on March 3, 2011. Mavado, whose real name is David Constantine Brooks, is a dancehall artiste who has had trouble in Canada in the past. In 2007, he missed two performances in Toronto because travel documents were stolen from his hotel. He expects his Canadian tour to be “safer” this time.
CAPTAIN OF BOBSLED TEAM INSPIRES TEENS—02/21/11
Devon Harris, Olympic athlete and the captain of Jamaica’s 1988 bobsled team, provided the keynote speech at the Harvey School Arts Center in Connecticut during a workshop designed to inspire teenagers and “tweens” to be their best. Harris told audience members that fearing a challenge is natural, but courage means going ahead despite the fear. He said he was afraid when his sled reached speeds of 80 mph, but also gave him “the greatest high” in his life.
BANTON BACK IN JAIL—02/23/11
Buju Banton, Jamaican reggae musician, is back in the Pinellas County, Florida, jail in Tampa after being found guilty of three drug charges. Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was transferred to the prison after his conviction. He was in the same jail for nearly 11 months while he waited for his trial in 2010. During his first stay in the jail, he lost weight and was held in an isolation section as punishment for sharing food with inmates. He said he lost weight because he was denied vegetarian meals, but prison officials reported that he had actually gained weight during his stay.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
TEACHERS IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC HOLD PROTEST HIKE—02/19/11
CULTURAL TIES STRENGTHENED BETWEEN CUBA AND HAITI—02/20/11
BAHAMAS RESORT FINANCED BY CHINESE COMPANIES—02/21/11
SIX INDIVIDUALS RESCUED BY COLOMBIAN NAVY—02/22/11
BAHAMIAN MINISTER OF LABOR SPEAKS AT UNITED NATIONS—02/23/11
ST. LUCIA WELCOMES FIRST NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINER—02/24/11
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
NEW SYSTEM TO TRACK JAMAICAN FINANCAIL RESOURCES —02/19/11
According to Devon Rowe, director general of the Ministry of Finance and Public Service, a new J$30 billion Central Treasury Management System (CTMS) is being developed to provide tracking tools that will make it easier to use Jamaica’s financial resources. The Account General’s department will take on the complete responsibility for handling the cash of the government after the system is implemented. If there are errors in the budget, the CTMS will be able to find them, and the government would have to act to remedy the problem.
CELL PHONES IN JAMAICA IMPOSE HIGH BILLS—02/20/11
Tim Fitzmaurice, who vacationed in Jamaica with his wife for two weeks, found he had acquired a $5,000 cell phone bill while on the island. The smart phone was receiving updates under very expensive international roaming fees, he said. Fitzmaurice had no idea that the phone was on continuously, looking for software and e-mail. Verizon told him that he could not sign up for a cheaper supplemental Jamaican vacation plan because of the nature of his regular contract.
UK CABINET MINISTER CALLS FOR MORE JOBS, SAFETY IN JAMAICA—02/21/11
Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State of International Development in the United Kingdom, made his first visit to Jamaica and announced a 300 percent increase in his nation’s development and budget for the island. The total was raised to 26 million pounds, compared to 75 million pounds for the entire Caribbean region.
HOUSE OF BAGS ILLUSTRATES CONFIDENCE IN ECONOMY—02/24/11
Karl Samuda, Jamaica’s Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, has welcomed the opening of a new House of Bags facility in Kingston. Samuda believes the new store shows the confidence the owners have in Jamaica’s economy. The store is located in the Barbican Center and is expected to create jobs for Jamaicans.
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
HTC CONFIRMS FACEBOOK PHONE—02/19/11
The so-called “Facebook phone” will be offered by HTC. The ChaCha and Salsa models will include branded Facebook buttons. These will permit instant access to the popular social network. According to HTC CEO Peter Chou, the firm wanted to create socially linked phones that would appeal to the mass market. Facebook officials say they have worked to bring their social network to HTC devices for some time.
BRAIN EXCITED BY CELL PHONE USE—02/23/11
According to new research, prolonged use of cell phones increases brain activity. However, the study did not determine whether the increase is harmful or not. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was conducted in 2009 at the National Institutes of Health to determine if electromagnetic fields emitted by the cell phones affected glucose metabolism in the brain.
TEN PERCENT OF WINDOWS PHONE 7 UPDATES FAIL—02/24/11
According to Microsoft, as many as ten percent of its first Windows Phone 7 installation updates do not install correctly. However, 90 percent of the individuals who received update notifications were able to install the new patch without problems. Of those who did have problems, almost 50 percent failed either due to faulty Internet connections or insufficient storage space on the phone.
NEW MACBOOK TO HAVE QUAD-CORE—02/25/11
Apple announced that its new MacBook Pros will include Thunderbolt, a high-speed I/O technology and the first quad-core processor to be provided in a notebook computer. The machines use the Intel Sandy Bridge processor and include a new AMD Radeon GPU.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
VERIZON SELLS PLAYSTATION PHONE—02/19/11
DIGICEL LINKS JAMAICA TO BAHAMAS, HAITI VIA UNDERSEA CABLE—02/23/11
CARICOM TO IMPROVE STATISTICAL PLATFORM—02/24/11
CARBBEAN TO BECOME TECHNOLOGY HUB IN FUTURE—02/25/11
ALCE RECALLED FOR CONSULTATIONS—02/19/11
Max Alce, Haiti’s Charge d’Affairs, was recalled for consultations following the expulsion of Haiti’s national football team under 17 (U-17) by authorities in Jamaica. The decision was made after several Haitian team members were hospitalized with fever and suspected of suffering from malaria. Authorities from Haiti sent protest notes to Jamaica about the discrimination faced by its U-17 members. The Haitian Chancery plans to bring the matter before CARICOM, informing the organization that this behavior could harm relations between the two nations.
SAMUELS, TAYLOR LEAD JAMAICA AGAINST BARBADOS—02/21/11
Jerome Taylor and Marlon Samuels were instrumental in leading Jamaica against Barbados in the first-class championship of the WICB Regional. Taylor obtained five wickets for 69 runs from 23.4 overs. Samuels provided an undefeated 58 to lead the Jamaicans to 114 for two at the end of the match for an overall lead of 116.
AIKEN, FIREBIRDS VICTORIOUS—02/22/11
Two teams with Jamaicans who were participating in the ANZ Championship in Melbourne, Australia saw mixed results. The Queensland Firebirds, including Jamaican goal shooter Romelda Aiken, won over the New South Wales Swifts 51 to 48. Aiken scored 28 goals. The Canterbury Tactix, which included Kasey Evering of Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls, were defeated by West Coast Fever 54-48.
ESPN RADIO CREATES FIRST CARIBBEAN AFFILIATE—02/24/11
Sportsradio 103, ZSR-FM at 103.5, in Nassau in the Bahamas is the first affiliate station of ESPN Radio in the Caribbean region. According to ESPN Radio, the new station’s lineup includes 12 hours of programs that offer call-in shows and guest interviews. The local coverage includes local sporting events like regattas, the CARIFTA games, high school tournaments, and adult softball.
A Prepared Table Before My Enemies
What was David thinking when he wrote, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies” (Psalm 23:5a). As the shepherd leads his flock across the Israeli pastures, his diligence is not limited to looking out for wild animals and finding places suitable for grazing and rest, he also must be familiar with plants. By virtue of its disposition, the sheep is a constant danger to itself; it does not discriminate in its eating habits. Poisonous plants, if eaten, would be fatal and the sharp thorns on other plants would penetrate its soft nose causing ugly sores.
The high plateaus of the sheep ranges are referred to as “tables” and because his sheep has incredible value to him, the shepherd goes to great length and trouble to prepare the “table” prior to the sheep’s arrival. He would dig out dangerous plants, these enemies of the sheep, pile them up, and burn them making the pastures safe for the sheep to graze. In effect, by destroying the enemies he prepared a table from which his flock could eat without any harm coming to them. Pastor Gray Smith writes, “The shepherd intentionally spends time walking throughout the table-top area, wanting to be seen, leaving his scent, if you will, intentionally making the wild dogs, or mountain lions wary and uncomfortable. The good shepherd leaves nothing to chance when it comes to the welfare of His flock.”
This was the picture in David’s mind as he talks about what it means to be in the care of the Shepherd. As sheep passing through a hostile environment, we are reminded that Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Because he and his army are enemies of the Good Shepherd and His sheep, he goes to great lengths in his efforts to steal from, to kill and to destroy the child of God (John 10:10a). By ourselves we are easy prey, but thank God we have a Good Shepherd who has gone to great lengths to protect His flock (John 10:11). All things – including Satan and his army – are under His feet (Ephesians 1:22) and so He is able to destroy the enemies of His sheep and cause His sheep to prosper.
It is comforting to know that with the LORD as our Shepherd, we are protected. He is powerful enough to set for each of us a table of feast in the middle of our enemies and make them watch as we eat, drink, and make merry. I like that picture and I am glad He is leading me.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.