THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICA DAY IMPORTANT FOR YOUNGER GENERATION, SAYS HANNA—02/18/12
Lisa Hanna, Jamaica’s Minister of Youth and Culture, believes that Jamaica Day is extremely important for young people. Jamaica Day celebrates the achievements and history of the country. Many primary and secondary school children do not have a good understanding of the battles fought to obtain the current status of citizens in Jamaica, says Hanna, and Jamaica Day is a good way to educate them and remind them of the struggles of their ancestors.
BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT IN OCHO RIOS HALTED—02/19/12
Wykeham McNeill, Jamaican Minister of Tourism, has suspended a project designed to beautify Ocho Rios, the popular resort town. According to McNeill, he is eliminating plans for drain cleaning and sidewalk renovation because of concerns about how money was allocated and spent to date. Investors were not consulted on the development of the program or how money would be used, he said. The project involves almost $1 million and will be reviewed by newly appointed advisory boards.
POLICE ACCOMPLISHED LARGEST MONEY SEIZURE IN NATION’S HISTORY—02/20/12
Jamaican police seized US$1.35 million in 2007 under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), which has now been turned over to the nation’s government as required by the law. The cash represents the biggest seizure in the country’s history. The money was found in a freezer during the search of premises in West Cumberland, St. Catherine by members of the Organized Crime Investigation Division. While charges were brought in regard to the seizure, the case was later dismissed. The government received the funds as required under POCA, which passed in 2007, however.
GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO QUALITY HEALTH FOR JAMAICANS—02/20/12
Fenton Ferguson, Jamaica’s Minister of Health, has reconfirmed the commitment of the government to improve the health of Jamaicans. Insisting that Jamaicans want better health care, Ferguson stated that the new government plans to focus on improving the services delivered by the 317 primary health centers operating in the country. This would relieve pressures on public hospitals, said Ferguson, and reduce the long waiting times currently experienced by patients. No policy changes regarding costs will occur until a government health care is developed. The government wants to provide universal primary health care via public primary health services for all Jamaicans, said Ferguson.
JAMAICA “TEEMING” WITH INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY, SAYS HYLTON—02/21/12
According to Anthony Hylton, Jamaican Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Jamaica offers numerous opportunities for investors in business process outsourcing, export-oriented manufacturing, tourism, and global shipping and logistics. Jamaica’s strength is based on a large English-speaking population, a diverse labor pool, ideal trading location, and competitive wages. Its abundant natural resources and a well-developed infrastructure present additional attractive factors for investors.
PARENTS IN TODDLER SUITCASE DEATH DEEMED FIT FOR TRIAL—02/22/12
The parents of a toddler whose remains were discovered in a suitcase in Jamaica will stand trial after being found fit after a psychiatric evaluation. The Toronto couple had previously admitted abandoning their infant daughter in a freezing stairwell in 2008. According to Superintendent Steve Brown of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the psychiatric exam found them fit to make a plea in court. The couple was remanded until March 2, 2012, when they are expected to enter a plea and attempt to get bail. They are charged with concealing the death of the two-year-old boy, as well as with failing to bury a body. Pathologists suggest the boy may have died from asphyxiation, disease, or poisoning, but said the state of the body made it difficult to determine an exact cause of death.
STREET GANGS THE CHIEF CAUSE OF VIOLENCE, SAYS BUNTING—02/23/12
Peter Bunting, Jamaica’s National Security Minister, believes that the violence in the country is largely due to increasing threats from street gangs. He has announced a new anti-gang policy to combat the trend. According to Bunting, police have investigated 165 homicides to date in 2012. In 2011, there were 135 homicides during the same months. Most homicides in Jamaica are gang related.
JEEP FUNDING READY FOR DISPERSEMENT—02/24/12
The Jamaica Emergency Employment Program, or JEEP, has received $4.2 billion, and Jamaicans can expect to have short-term employment soon. Dr. Omar Davies, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, stated that the government reallocated some projects under the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Program (JDIP), which provided about US$50 million for the partial funding of JEEP. China Ex-Im Bank provided US$340 million to JDIP, but has approved the reallocation of funds. The government will provide US$60 million as its share of JDIP funding.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN POLICE TO VISIT BERMUDA FOR MURDER INVESTIGATION—02/18/12
Police investigators from Jamaica are expected to visit Bermuda in connection with the murder of Karen Hudson-Lewis, a Bermudian restaurateur. Beresford Brown, deputy superintendent, said the police will liaise with officers in Bermuda. Hudson-Lewis, 45, was shot and killed in an attack on December 30, 2011, when two men entered her residence in Mandeville. A cab driver, Everton Daley, 39, was also killed in the attack. No motive has yet been discovered for the crime.
APRIL HEARING AT CCJ FOR MYRIE CASE—02/19/12
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will hear the case of Shanique Myrie in April 2012. Myrie brought the case against the government of Barbados after allegedly being mistreated by customs officials at Grantly Adams International Airport. Myrie charges that the officials subjected her to an unlawful cavity search when she attempted to gain entry to Barbados. Myrie is asking the court to determine the minimum standard of treatment to be applied to Caricom residents traveling within the region.
OAS ELECTORAL OBSERVERS RECOMMEND UNIFORM PROCEDURE—02/22/12
The Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) of the Organization of American States (OAS) has recommended that national authorities adopt a “uniform procedure” at all voting locations in order to prevent delays. The EOM observed Jamaica’s December 29, 2011, elections.
JAMAICAN MUSLIM DEPORTED FROM KENYA FOR LINKS WITH TERRORISTS—02/23/12
Sheikh Bilal Philips, a Jamaican Muslim scholar, was deported from Kenya over concerns about his possible links to terrorist suspects. He was turned away a few hours after landing at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. His deportation has caused protests among Muslim leaders. Njiru Mwaniki, chief of Anti-Terrorism Police, Sheikh Bilal is on the police’s terror list because of his possible connections to terror suspects. Mwaniki believes the scholar is dangerous and noted that he has been denied entry to several nations, including Britain and the United States.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
UN SAYS VIOLENCE AND GANG ACTIVITY INCREASING IN CARIBBEAN—02/18/12
FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF GRENADA DIES—02/19/12
WARNER CRITICIZED FOR “MISSING” MONEY MARKED FOR HAITI RELIEF—02/20/12
CARIBBEAN AMBASSADOR URGES MUTUAL CULTURAL KNOWLEDGE—02/21/12
MAN CHARGED IN ROBBERY OF U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE—02/22/12
DUTCH NAVY HUNTS FOR CONTRABAND IN CARIBBEAN—02/23/12
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAPANESE ENVOY SAYS JAMAICA MUST CONTROL CRIME—02/18/12
According to Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Japanese ambassador, Jamaica must control its crime rate if it wants to attract more investors. Yamaguchi believes that security and theft are the two most critical issues considered by companies in Japan looking for potential foreign investments. In spite of improvements made in the area of security, Yamaguchi said Jamaica has not yet reduced its crime levels adequately. Foreign direct investments dropped by more than 60 percent in 2010 in Jamaica, the lowest in 14 years.
CLARKE URGES FARMERS TO INCREASE QUALITY OF LOCAL PRODUCE—02/19/12
Roger Clarke, Jamaican Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, has asked Manchester farmers to try to improve the quality of local produce to prevent imported goods from eroding their earnings potential. Clarke made his remarks at the 32nd Annual General Meeting of the Christiana Potato Growers Co-operative Association, noting that Jamaican products were “superb” and potato farmers had shown their ability to provide local markets with sufficient produce.
PRIME MINISTER FAVORS NEW AGREEMENT WITH IMF—02/20/12
Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica, believes the new agreement that will be negotiated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will offer a degree of confidence to business interests and hope to Jamaica’s people. Simpson Miller said the government wants to provide real opportunities and solutions for economic and personal development, so it will seek out partnerships with all stakeholders, including those in the private sector. This is one reason to create a credible program with the IMF, she said.
JAMAICAN RECEIVES $15.1 MILLION FROM IDB FOR AGRICULTURE—02/21/12
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has provided Jamaica’s government with a loan totaling $15.1 million to strengthen the nation’s Agricultural Competitiveness Program. Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke announced the loan and said the plan would be implemented over a period of five years. The project is designed to promote market access for small and mid-sized farmers, while improving the quality of food and stimulate investment from the private sector in agriculture.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
MILLIONS LOST TO JAMAICA DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE—02/18/12
SENSUS OFFERS AMI INFRASTRUCTURE FOR UTILITY ON GRAND CAYMAN—02/21/12
TELECOMMUNICATIONS FIRMS CONTINUE INVESTMENT IN CARIBBEAN—02/22/12
TELECOMMUNICATIONS A GROWTH INDUSTRY IN CARIBBEAN—02/23/12
JAMAICA VIEWS NEW CARIBBEAN MOVIE—02/19/12
Jamaicans will be given a chance to see a series of films called “Hush” when the franchise opens its third movie on the island. There are two previous films in the series, both of which won awards and had good runs in schools and cinema houses throughout the Caribbean. The project is from Step by Step Productions and Merville Lynch Productions. The series has been well received by students and adults alike.
JAMAICAN FASHION DESIGNER WOWS LONDON—02/20/12
The Jamaican fashion house drennalUNA is debuting at London Fashion Week 2012 as part of a showcase of Caribbean designers. Arlene Martin, Jamaican designer, has revealed her inspiration in Collection 1975, which reflects nostalgia for the fun and funk of the 1970s. The strong cultural consciousness of Jamaica in 2012, the 50th year of its Independence, has inspired fashion accessories consisting of authentic island crafts. The house of drennalUNA will represent the best of the Jamaican fashion industry and attest to its considerable talent.
REGGAE FORUM TO BE HOSTED BY JAMAICA, AFRICAN INSTITUTE—02/21/12
The High Commission of Jamaica in Pretoria is partnering with the Africa Institute of South Africa and the City of Tshwane to host a forum on the role of reggae music in the struggle for African liberation. The event is scheduled to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jamaican Independence and to mark Reggae Month. The event will be held in Pretoria at the Ditsong National Cultural History Museum. Reggae music and Rastafari culture have had a major role in bringing attention to the African liberation movement and have provide Africa with a way to build an identity and resilience.
CELINE DION PLAYS TO RECORD-BREAKING CROWD AT JAMAICA JAZZ FESTIVAL—02/23/12
Celine Dion performed before a crowd of 20,000 fans at the 16th annual Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in January 2012 at Greenfield Multi-Purpose Stadium in Trelawny. This was her only scheduled concert outside of Las Vegas. According to Walter Elmore, CEO of Art of Music Productions, which produced the festival, Dion is the most expensive artist he ever booked, but believes the cost will ultimately benefit the event, as evidenced by the dramatic uptick in attendance. Because of Dion’s positive comments about the show’s production quality, Elmore has received calls from other major American artists who want to perform at the festival in 2013.
CLARKE WINS MEN’S 60 METERS—02/18/12
Jamaica’s Lerone Clarke bested countryman Asafa Powell and won the men’s 60 meters in Birmingham, clocking a time of 6.47 seconds for the race. Nesta Carter, also Jamaican, came in second. Former world 100-meter record holder Asafa Powell was third.
SIMPSON MILLER SUPPORTS GAYLE IN WICB CONFLICT—02/20/12
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has requested a resolution in the conflict between Chris Gayle and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and demanded that the problem be ended quickly. Simpson Miller believes Gayle is being treated unjustly and was deserving of a place on the Windies team. She was also concerned that Sabina Park was not given a match during the West Indies’ pending home one-day and Test series versus Australia. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” she said, noting that cricket was too important to Jamaica’s people for the issue to remain unresolved.
WICB REGRETS REMARKS OF JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER—02/21/12
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) stated its regret at the remarks made by Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica, in regard to issues relating to Chris Gayle. According to the WICB, Simpson Miller was not provided all the information relevant to the matter. The WICB also expressed disappointment that officials in Jamaica did not properly inform the new Prime Minister of the facts in the case. The organization called on the Prime Minister to urge Gayle to provide a favorable response to a letter sent to him, which outlined the details of what he needs to do in order to put the matter behind him.
JCA PRESIDENT HOPES FOR “AMICABLE” SOLUTION IN GAYLE CONFLICT—02/24/12
Lyndel Wright, president of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), hopes that an amicable solution can be reached between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. The parties have been in opposition since the WICB criticized comments by Simpson Miller concerning how the organization handled cricketer Chris Gayle. Wright said the JCA cannot let the WICB embarrass the Prime Minister, who has the right to comment as she did.
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When Discomfort “Speaks” – Part II
The total body discomfort caused by the pebble in my shoe reminded me that Christ set up His body, the Church, the same way. When one member hurts, the whole “body” ought to hurt as well because we are all connected. But there was one other important enlightenment that resulted from my discomfort; it only stopped when I took the time to remove its cause.
As the child of God tries to make his or her way through this world, there are times when we veer off-track. Whether in thoughts, words, or deeds, we miss God’s standard; we violate His word. For some people, this may not be that big of a deal. Like a callused foot, they seem void of any sensitivity to the fact that something is wrong. Paul’s characterization of people “having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:2, KJV) could easily apply to them. Bible Scholar Albert Gill observes that these are they “whose consciences are cauterized and hardened, and past feeling; and have no regard to what they say or do, make no conscience of anything.” However, if we profess to be led by the Spirit, our consciences are sensitive to His promptings and veering off-track produces an inner discomfort. Like the pebble in the shoe, this discomfort persists until we do something about it.
The Psalmist David found this out only too well. After committing adultery with Bathsheba and then having her husband Uriah killed in an attempt to cover up his indiscretion, Nathan the prophet was sent to him by God to awaken him to a sense of his sin. His discomfort caused him to immediately acknowledge his sins, and he showed true repentance in the words immortalized in Psalm 51. Gill notes that this Psalm remains on record “for the instruction of such as should fall into sin, how to behave, where to apply, and for their comfort.” With God, the kind of sin does not matter. What matters is that we be sensitive to the Spirit’s conviction and that we do something about it.
The confession “Have mercy upon me, O God” (Psalm 51:1a) is the start of the correct response to spiritual discomfort. It sets in motion the process for relationship restoration with God and those we may have wronged. And lest we forget, that discomfort does not go away until we either become callused and insenstive or we do something about it. How do you choose?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.