THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICA, IMF HOLD DISCUSSIONS—01/21/12
The government of Jamaica is holding talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), says Dr. Peter Phillips, Minister of Finance. The status of Jamaica’s agreement with the IMF has been a source of concern in the national politics for some time. According to Phillips, the discussions will be difficult, but he believes there is good will on both sides. The talks are in their “preliminary phase” to date, and any future programs must include tax reforms, public pension system reforms, and reductions in public sector expenses.
PRIME MINISTER SIGNALS NEW ENERGY FOR JOBS PROJECTS—01/22/12
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaican Prime Minister, has indicated her government will make a new effort to create jobs for more citizens. The effort depends on a nationalist public sector supporting the plans. According to Joseph M. Matalon, spokesperson for corporate Jamaica, companies already provide jobs through YUTE, a special project. He encouraged the government to focus on moving forward with its agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) instead.
UTECH STUDENT MURDERED IN SUSPECTED LOVE-TRIANGLE INCIDENT—01/23/12
Alex Brown, a student at the University of Technology in St. Andrew, was stabbed to death in what police believe was a love-triangle killing. According to police, Alex, 21, was at the home of a female friend when another man, thought to be the boyfriend of the female, arrived. Alex and the man got into an argument, during which Alex was stabbed with a knife. He later died at University Hospital of the West Indies. Investigators say that the woman in the case is not likely to face any criminal charges. Alex Brown was to have graduated from UTech in July 2012 with a degree in environmental studies.
COURT IN JAMAICA ORDERS PSYCHIATRIC EVALUATION FOR TORONTO COUPLE—01/24/12
The Canadian parents of a toddler whose body was found in a suitcase in Jamaica have been ordered to submit to a psychiatric evaluation by a court. According to Superintendent Steve Brown of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the couple was originally charged with concealing the death of a two-year-old boy, but has now been charged with failing to bury a body. They are facing additional charges as well. The same couple admitted to abandoning their infant daughter in a Toronto stairwell in 2008.
IMF VISIT TO JAMAICA ENDS, DISCUSSION TO RESUME IN FEBRUARY 2012—01/24/12
The visit of the International Monetary Fund to Jamaica was completed, with representatives stating their commitment to working with Jamaican officials to address the nation’s challenges. The IMF said that its team and Jamaica’s government agree on the challenges facing the country, which stem from a high public debt and little economic growth. According to Dr. Peter Phillips, Minister of Finance, the five days of discussion between the IMF and Jamaica’s government have led to a better understanding of governmental priorities.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT ISSUES INVITATION TO EXPO JAMAICA 2012—01/25/12
Anthony Hylton, Jamaican Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, announced that the government plans to make stronger ties with its CARICOM/CARIFORUM partners in order to ensure balanced and equitable treaty arrangements. One way Jamaica intends to do this is through stronger regional cooperation and commercial links. In this context, he issued invitations to regional Ministers of Commerce to participate in the Expo Jamaica 2012 trade show.
SICKLE CELL TREATMENT USING CARBON MONOXIDE TO BE TESTED IN JAMAICA—01/26/12
Carbon monoxide gas is the basis of new drug treatments for individuals afflicted with sickle cell disease. Tests of the new treatment are to be held in Jamaica. If successful, the treatments could mean better lives for sickle cell patients around the world. Sangart Inc., a global biopharmaceutical firm, is developing the treatment. Professor Marvin Reid said the Sickle Cell Unit in Jamaica agreed to be part of the study because current treatments for sickle cell patients are extremely limited. He hopes the new drug treatment will be useful in treating the painful crises that suffered by patients with sickle cell disease.
EMERGENCY EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM STALLED—01/27/12
The Jamaica Emergency Employment Program (JEEP) failed to launch as the government came close to admitting it had misled the nation. Instead of JEEP, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller introduced a performance-based road-maintenance project to be applied to the North Coast Highway. It will be funded by the Inter-American Development Bank with US$10 million. Many mistakenly believe that every employment program is part of JEEP, but the road project is not a JEEP program. It does not take anything away from the JEEP effort, said Simpson Miller.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
DUDLEY THOMPSON DIES—01/21/12
Dudley Thompson, former Jamaican Cabinet Minister, died in New York, one day after his 95th birthday. He served as Minister of National Security and Justice in Jamaica, as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He had a reputation for being one of the best attorneys of his generation and served under the regime of Michael Manley and the People’s National Party during the 1970s.
COUPLE LINKED TO BODY IN SUITCASE MAY HAVE PREVIOUSLY ABANDONED BABY—01/22/12
Police in Toronto, Canada, believe that the parents of the two-year-old boy whose body was found in a suitcase in Jamaica are the same people who left a baby girl in a stairwell in Toronto in January 2008. Stephanie Warren, 34, and Alfanso Warren, her husband, are being held in a prison in Jamaica after the body of their son Jeshurun was found in a suitcase. The couple moved to Jamaica in 2009 after being found guilty of abandoning their infant daughter in a stairwell. The boy’s body revealed no signs of foul play, but the couple could face charges of violating the Child Care Protection Act.
TWO JAMAICANS SURVIVE SHIPWRECK OFF ITALIAN COAST—01/23/12
Antonio Wright, a chef from St. Mary, and another Jamaican cook were in the kitchen on board the Costa Concordia cruise ship when it ran aground off the Italian coast on January 13, 2012. The ship capsized, causing the deaths of at least 12 people. Wright praised the Costa Cruise Line but was critical of the ship’s captain Francesco Schettino. Wright has worked for the cruise line for about 20 years. He said conditions were chaotic before the ship capsized, with plates and pots and pans crashing to the floor, and other objects flying through the air across the kitchen. Some cooks received injuries from flying objects, Wright said.
50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATED WITH PANTOMIME AT FESTIVAL—01/27/12
The fifth annual Louise Bennett-Coverley Reading Festival will be held at South Regional Broward College Library in Pembroke Pines, Florida, on February 11, 2012. The event will feature several cultural performances, including a pantomime designed to celebrate Jamaica’s 50 years of independence. The event enjoys the patronage of Sandra Grant Griffiths, Jamaica’s Consul General, and will provide a special guest appearance by Marjorie Whylie, ethnomusicologist and musical director of the National Dance Theater Company. She is also known for her long association with the late Louise Bennett-Coverley, Miss Lou, who died in 2007 and is buried in National Heroes Cemetery in Jamaica.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
TOURISM IN BAHAMAS BOOSTED BY CARIBBEAN MARKETPLACE—01/21/12
GONSALVES INVITES TAIWAN PRESIDENT TO VISIT CARIBBEAN—01/22/12
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC EXPERIENCES 5.1 EARTHQUAKE—01/23/12
BRITAIN’S PRINCE WILLIAM, KATE AND FAMILY TAKE CARIBBEAN HOLIDAY—01/24/12
OBAMA GIVES HOPE TO CARIBBEAN IMMIGRANTS—01/25/12
CARIBBEAN TOURISM GROUP OBJECTS TO UK AIR TAX—01/26/12
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
KINGSTON WHARVES LIMITED READIES FOR LARGER SHIPS—01/24/12
Kingston Wharves Limited (KW) wants to raise $1.8 billion from the Jamaica Producers Group (JP) so that it can make preparations to handle the very large ships expected to arrive after the expansion of the Panama Canal is completed in 2014. The KW project involves the demolition of two or three warehouses, which will be relocated, and dredging the harbor to accommodate larger vessels. JP is a founding shareholder of KW. Its proposed investment will give KW secure long-term financing for its expansion needs.
MINISTERS OF TOURISM MEET WITH REGIONAL COUNTERPARTS—01/25/12
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr. Wykeham McNeill plans to meet with other tourism ministers at the 2012 Caribbean Marketplace event in Nassau Bahamas at the end of January. The ministers will attempt to create critical strategic partnerships with other nations in the region. According to McNeil, the event is important because it offers a place for key industry officials from around the world to meet with their counterparts in the region. The 2012 event will be McNeill’s first Caribbean Marketplace since his appointment as Tourism Minister.
PHILLIPS SIGNALS DESIRE FOR STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH PRIVATE SECTOR—01/26/12
Dr. Peter Phillips, Jamaica’s Finance Minister, has indicated that he is interested in developing a strong working relationship with entities in the private sector. He has mentioned public assets to be privatized as one area of significant opportunity. According to Phillips, the government has made a commitment to making the partnership with the private sector stronger in order to create sustainable growth in Jamaica.
NEARLY HALF OF FOOD EXPORTERS NEED HELP—01/27/12
According to Beverley Miller, Food Safety Modernization Coordinator, almost half of the food exporters in Jamaica continue to need aid in order to meet the more stringent trading requirements imposed by the United States. Food export facilities must now comply with new standards established by the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The new requirements went into effect on January 1, 2012. Just 15.5 percent of food export companies have been deemed ready for inspections by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). About 40 percent of the firms can meet the requirements, but some 44 percent still need major assistance to comply with the new standards.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
THERE’S AN APP FOR JAMAICAN ART—01/22/12
POWER PROGRAM INTRODUCED BY HAITI’S PRESIDENT MARTELLY—01/23/12
SOLAMON TO BUILD LARGEST SOLAR FARM IN CARIBBEAN—01/24/12
URISA SEEKS ABSTRACTS FOR SIXTH CARIBBEAN GIS CONFERENCE—01/25/12
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
35-FOOT CAMERA BUILT TO CAPTURE “EXCEPTIONALLY LARGE” IMAGES —01/22/12
Dennis Manarchy, photographer, has built a giant 35-foor camera to use in capturing images of vanishing cultures in all 50 states of the United States of America. The camera, called the “Eye of America,” can take very large, very detailed photos. Its design is based on traditional film cameras, and since it is so large, the frame will be made with welded aluminum. It can capture images at very high resolution, 1,000 times that obtained with an average negative. Negatives from the giant camera measure 6 feet by 4.5 feet.
FORD CREATES AUTO INTERIORS FROM TROPICAL PLANT—01/26/12
Carmaker Ford announced that it will use kenaf plants to make the sport door bolsters in its new Escape SUV. Kenaf is a plant that grows like bamboo, with long, fibrous stalks. These stalks can be used to make paper, rope, and other products. According to Ford, using a plant-based material for car interiors offsets 300,000 pounds of oil-based resins in 2012. The kenaf door bolsters are 25 percent lighter than regular bolsters, so they help with the car’s fuel efficiency.
WINSTON RILEY DIES—01/21/12
Winston Riley, Jamaican record producer and songwriter has died from the effects of a gunshot wound receive in 2011. Riley had been in a coma since the gun attack in which he was shot in the back of the head. Winston, the father of Kurt Riley, Fame FM disc jockey, had been the victim of several violent attacks. Kurt Riley said no one in the family has determined a motive for the attacks. The elder Riley was instrumental in developing the careers of Sister Nancy, Buju Banton, Cutty Ranks, Lone Ranger, and Frankie Paul.
YOUNG ARTISTS IN JAMAICA DISPLAY WORK IN VIP LOUNGE AT AIRPORT—01/22/12
The Scotia Private Client Group introduced the first of its series of art exhibitions planned for the new VIP Lounge at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. The display is entitled “The New Generation – 7 Contemporary Artists” and features the work of celebrated young artists like Andrae Green, Ebony G. Patterson, and Khary Darby. The organization is glad to provide the sponsorship that will exposure the works of young Jamaican artists to international and local audiences.
AKON JOINS WITH MARLEYS FOR RECORDING—01/24/12
AKON, the rap star from Senegal, is the latest international artiste to combine his talents with the legendary Marley family of Jamaica. Akon plans to record new material with Damian, Stephen, and Julian Marley at Tuff Gong studios. Akon also visited the Bob Marley Museum. He has previously recorded with reggae musicians Shaggy, Mavado, and Sean Paul.
JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL FEATURES BOBBY BROWN, JOHNNY GILL—01/25/12
Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, and Ralph Tresvant, who are members of Heads of State, are scheduled to perform at the 2012 JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival in Montego Bay. Also ready to perform at the event is Damian Marley. The three R&B crooners are likely to perform their solo works as well as their group pieces.
JAMAICA WINS T20 VERSUS WINDWARD ISLANDS—01/21/12
Jamaica won the first semi-final Caribbean T20 match against the Windward Islands by five wickets and 12 balls remaining. Jamaican bowlers Krishmar Santokie, Sheldon Cotterrell, and Odean Brown took two wickets and opened the door to the defeat for the Windward Islands.
RIVALRY WITH BLAKE DOWNPLAYED BY BOLT—01/22/12
Although stories abound about the rivalry between fellow sprinters Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, Bolt said their friendship had not be affected by the competition on the track. Bolt noted that the media was trying to create controversy where none existed and wanted to clear things up. He said the rivalry would always be there because they were both great athletes, but that they enjoyed their friendship. Bolt said that if Blake wins, Jamaica wins, and that is good for the country.
METZGER APPOINTED TO PENN RELAYS BOARD—01/24/12
Dr. Geneive Brown Metzger, Jamaica’s Consul General to New York, has been given a position on the Board of Friends of the Penn Relays Carnival. Her appointment went into effect on December 16, 2011. Brown Metzger is committed to helping the Friends of the Penn Relays to make stronger relationships with track and field interests in the Caribbean. The Penn Relays is the biggest, oldest, and more prestigious track and field relay meet in the world. It attracts over 18,000 athletes every year. Jamaican schools have participated in the Relays since 1964.
BOLT SCHEDULED TO RUN IN ROME—01/26/12
Usain Bolt will compete in the 100-meter race at the Golden Gala in Rome, Italy. He plans to use the race as part of his preparations for the 2012 Olympics in London. Bolt said he is training hard and that everything is going according to his plans. He will defend his Olympic titles at the summer games, and the Rome race will provide a good early-season test of his performance. He first ran in the Rome competition in 2011 and won the 100-meters with a time of 9.91 seconds, beating Asafa Powell. Rome is the first of the Diamond League season meets in Europe.
CUSTOMER SERVICE AGENTS
DATA COLLECTIONS OFFICER
CAKE DECORATOR/PASTRY CHEF
FACTORY PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR
Visit JAMAICAN JOBS.
Do You Know Where Jesus Is?
If you were the parents of Jesus, how easy would it have been to lose track of Him and His whereabouts? As hard as it is to imagine, that is exactly what happened to Mary and Joseph. According to Luke’s narrative, “when [Jesus] was twelve years old, [he and His parents] went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it” (Luke 2:42-43, KJV). Surprisingly, “they, supposing Him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found Him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking Him” (vv.44-45).
One would have thought that given the fact that Jesus was no ordinary child, He being the Son of God (Luke 1:35), His parents would have ensured He was always in their sight. Angels both proclaimed and announced His birth, and in the stable where He was born, the visiting shepherds had “told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed. Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself” (vv. 18-19, The Message). Yet despite the treasure entrusted to them, they had lost track of Him who was the Saviour, Christ the Lord (v. 11). The narrative continues, “And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions” (v. 46). Interestingly, “when they saw Him, they were amazed: and His mother said unto Him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing” (v.48). Was it His fault that they, His parents, did not know where He was?
For more than seventy-two hours, Mary and Joseph had no interaction with Jesus. Yet in a strange way, their first day’s behaviour mirrors that of some of us as believers. We go about our day-to-day lives without any contact with Jesus, assuming that He is among “kinsfolk and acquaintance” and that when we come together for fellowship, He will be there. However, our relationship with Jesus is a personal one; we cannot expect others to “keep” Him for us. Amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday living, we can be easily distracted and lose sight of the One we should keep our eyes on. However, We cannot afford to, and should not try to, go one day without knowing He is with us.
How can we “lose” Him? By ignoring Him and ignoring spending time with Him. It is not He who has moved, but rather we who have moved away from Him. Maintaining a relationship with Christ requires diligence and sacrifice. As we pause for communication and fellowship, we may not be able to move as fast as the rest of the crowd. But it is better to be moving in step with Jesus than to be rushing ahead without Him. There is nothing in life that is not worth the wait. Do you know where Jesus is? His parents “turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking Him.” If you have lost sight of Him, that is a good example to follow. If you search diligently, you will find Him. If He is right beside you, keep Him close. He is the One person you cannot afford to not know where He is.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.