JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending June 29th, 2012

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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JAMAICA, U.S. TRY TO RECOVER ASSETS FROM MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME—06/23/12
Jamaica’s Assets Recovery Agency, together with help from the United States government, plans to recover assets totaling over J$1 billion from Carol Lawrence-Austin of St. Ann and five of her relatives. The individuals are facing charges of money laundering. The accused include Mavis Grant, Patrice Christie, Gentles Mott, Paula Barrett, and Eustan Gillespie. In the scam, couriers took large amounts of money arising from the activities of a drug trafficking ring from the U.S. to Jamaica, which were then used to buy motor vehicles and properties in St. Ann.

DEVELOPMENT BANK CONTINUES ATTEMPTS TO SELL ORANGE FARMLANDS—06/23/12
The Development Bank of Jamaica plans to sell over 2,000 acres of agricultural land designated for divestment in the third quarter of 2012. The property involved is in Montepelier in St. James and Shettlewood in Hanover. The DBJ has received interest in the lands and anticipates the sale of the remaining lands by September 2012. The property in question was once an orange farm and his held by the Montpelier Citrus Company Ltd.

EDUCATION MINISTER CALLS FOR OUSTER OF NON-PERFORMING TEACHERS—06/24/12
Ronald Thwaites, Jamaican Minister of Education, is encouraging “non-performing” teachers in the public schools to leave the nation’s education system. According to Thwaites, teachers who do not turn up for class or who make an appearance but do not prepare for class, should “pack their bags and go.” He also suggested that if such teachers are unwilling to leave, there should be an escalation in the current accountability measure applied by the Education Ministry to eliminate them from the system.

BUILDING SOCIETY OFFERS NEW SCHOLARSHIPS IN HONOR OF INDEPENDENCE—06/25/12
The Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) has awarded 50 new scholarships to students to mark the 50th year of Jamaican independence in 2012. The awards, which represent an increase of 12 over the number provided in 2011, are being made in addition to 92 current five-year scholarships provided to secondary students over the past four years. The JNBS has provided financial support to students since 1983.

JAMAICANS SHOULD RECONSIDER COMMUNITY PARENTING CONCEPT—06/26/12
Andre Hylton, Member of Parliament for Easter St. Andrew, has called for a review of the concept of community parenting in Jamaica as an effective way to raise children. According to Hylton, the community represents an important agent for socialization and that it can mold the lives of the youth population. Jamaicans should try to be positive role models for their children, he said.

FUNDING FROM EUROPEAN UNION NOT IMPACTED BY GAY RIGHTS STANCE—06/27/12
John Caloghirou, the head of the Caribbean Division of the European Union (EU) stated that the EU will not attempt to link the position taken by Jamaica on gay and lesbian rights to any disbursement of funds to the country. Caloghirou said he does not believe that this action should be considered and that there is no requirement in any EU program that ties fund disbursement to human rights issues.

LOCAL AGRICULTURE TO BENEFIT FROM TAX PACKAGE—06/28/12
According to Roger Clarke, Jamaican Minister of Agriculture, local area farmers will receive considerable benefits from the new tax package announced by the government. In spite of criticisms leveled at the package, Clarke notes that it will provide the agricultural sector with a chance to grow and develop. This is because the taxation program places duties on stock imported into the country.

POLICE ASK JAMAICANS TO EXPOSE LOTTO SCAMMERS—06/29/12
Devon Watkis, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in Jamaica is encouraging Jamaican citizens to expose anyone involved with lotto scams. He says the scammers create a negative image for the country. Watkis made his remarks during a speech to a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think tank in St. James. Individuals who participate in lotto scams are willing to get and keep firearms, Watkis said, which makes situations more dangerous for everyone involved.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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CANADIAN MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP MARKS JAMAICAN DIASPORA DAY—06/23/12
Jason Kenney, Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, addressed several issues in his announcement celebrating the ninth annual Jamaican Diaspora Day. He noted that the day was created to recognize Jamaicans who live overseas and the contributions they make to the social, political, cultural, and economic development of their homeland.Kenney also said that Canada was proud to have one of the biggest Jamaican Diaspora communities in the world, noting that Jamaican Canadians represent an integral part of the nation’s cultural diversity.

JAMAICANS OVERSEAS CRITICIZE DIASPORA MOVEMENT—06/24/12
A number of Jamaicans living abroad have expressed concern about the Diaspora movement. They say the movement is “flawed” and believe that it does not permit them to take a stronger role in the development of their home island. According to Carlyle McKetty, a Jamaican journalist who lives in New Jersey, the Diaspora movement does not service the interests of the Diaspora community. He called for an examination of these issues during a discussion at the fourth biennial Diaspora Convention taking place in Ocho Rios.

NOT GUILTY PLEA FROM JAMAICAN DEEJAY IN MINNESOTA—06/25/12
Glendale Goshia Gordon, who is better known as the popular deejay Busy Signal, denies fleeing the United States in an attempt to avoid going on trial for drug-related charges more than ten years ago. Gordon faces a sentence of up to five years in prison if convicted. He was charged in 2002 with two counts relating to trafficking in cocaine. He left the country before his trial began in Minnesota, however, and has been on the run since that time. Gordon was detained in London in May 2012 and accused of traveling under false documents. He waived extradition on the failure to appear charge and facing prosecution in the U.S. for that charge.

ALUMNUS MEETS WITH PRESIDENT OF FLORIDA UNIVERSITY—06/28/12
Gregory Bryan, an alumnus of the College of Engineering and Computing tat Florida International University (FIU) met personally with the university’s president Mark Rosenberg. Also attending the meeting was Howard Lipman, senior vice-president of University Advancement. The meeting represented the university leaders’ efforts to encourage continued contact with alumni of the college and link them more closely with college events.

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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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PUERTO RICO ASKS U.S. TO HELP FIGHT DRUG WARS—06/23/12

SUSPECTED DRUG TRAFFICKER KILLED IN HONDURAS—06/24/12

BOOM PLACE AROUND SHIP GROUNDED OFF PUERTO RICO—06/25/12

GOVERNMENT PLANS TO DESTROY HOMES PROMPTS PROTEST IN HAITI—06/26/12

CAPE AIR INCREASES PRESENCE IN THE CARIBBEAN—06/27/12

FEW PROSECUTIONS FOR RAPE IN HAITI, SAYS UNITED NATIONS—06/28/12

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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SMALL BUSINESSES “GO GREEN” VIA NEW PROGRAM—06/23/12
Small businesses in Jamaica are getting help for using more “green” methods in their operations. A project sponsored by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is designed to give technical and financial aid to small businesses so they can implement greater energy efficiency, more conservation efforts, and renewable energy sources. Julian Robinson, Minister of State, noted that only ten percent of the energy used by companies is currently provided by renewable sources. By 2030, he plans for 30 percent of energy to come from such sources.

LOCAL FIRMS ENCOURAGED TO IMPROVE GOODS, SERVICES QUALITY—06/24/12
Anthony Hylton, Jamaican Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, has called on companies on the island to improve the quality of the goods and services they provide by getting certified. According to Hylton, the certifications are critical for enhancing market competitiveness. A quality management system can have a positive impact on improving product quality, said Hylton, who wants to raise quality standards for local goods and services.

JAMAICAN WORKERS PRAISE CHINESE COMPANY’S WORK ETHIC—06/25/12
China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC), which is staying within budget and bringing its projects in on time, has impressed Jamaican workers employed on the firm’s bridge building project in Portland and St. Mary. According to the Jamaicans, the Chinese in charge of the work requirement employees and to follow safety measures closely. These requirements have made the Jamaican more disciplined in how they approach their work. According to Cavian Morris, who has been on the Westmoreland bridge project since its beginning, worker must be very good to stay employed by the Chinese, who have a very strict work ethic.

WISYNCO OFFERS WATA BRAND IN AFRICA—06/26/12
One of the biggest distributors in Jamaica, Wisynco Group, plans to expand into Africa. The company is considering a plan to offer its WATA brand bottled water in the African market. According to William Mahfood, managing director of Wisynco, there is a demand in African nations for products from Jamaica, and currently, there is little bottled water available there. There is a demand for it, however, says Mahfood, and his company is ready to meet that demand with WATA.

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CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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YOUTHFUL ENTREPRENEURS GET BOOST AT DIGITAL JAM 2.0—06/23/12
 
CARICOM READY FOR TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT—06/24/12
 
FLOW OF INFORMATION BETWEEN U.S. AND CUBA EXPANDED—06/25/12
 
DIGICEL’S 4G MOBILE NETWORK READY—06/27/12

 

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ENTERTAINMENT
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BUJU BANTON FILES FOR NEW TRIAL—06/23/12
Buju Banton, the Dancehall and reggae artiste jailed on a drug conviction in the United States, will continue his fight for freedom in spite of the dismissal of his conviction by an appeals court. His lead attorney David Oscar Markus says his client will file for a new trial within 30 days. He received a 10-year prison sentence upon his conviction.

OCHO RIOS JAZZ FESTIVAL MARRED BY RAIN—06/24/12
The 22nd Jamaica International Ocho Rios Jazz Festival experienced lower turnout due to rainy weather, which kept people away. The show was performed despite the rain because the featured act, BaBoom from Brazil, had to leave the next day. The fans who attended were not disappointed with the performances and expressed their enjoyment of acts like Mary Isaacs, the Desi Jones Trio, Calvin Mitchell, and Harold Davis.

DANCEHALL ACTS UPSET AT BEING EXCLUDED FROM JAMAICA 50 CONCERT—06/25/12
The Dancehall community has become increasingly upset at the exclusion of Dancehall artistes from the Jamaica 50 concert to be held in London to celebrate the nation’s independence. No artiste representing the popular Dancehall genre will be included among the performers, who include dub poets and bands. According to Rob Hailett, president of AEG Live, which is holding the concert, Dancehall music does not work in every environment.

DOCUMENTARY ABOUT ESCAPED JAMAICAN SLAVES SCREENED—06/26/12
A special showing of “Akwantu: The Journey,” a documentary film made by Roy T. Anderson about his ancestors, the Maroons of Jamaica. The film explores the story of the Maroons, who are escaped slaves with origins in West Africa. They fought the British Army for their freedom in the 18th century and won, forming independent communities in remote areas in Jamaica. The screening of the film is sponsored by the Central Alabama Caribbean American Organization in Birmingham at the Civil Rights Center.

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SPORTS
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THREE JAMAICANS MAKE WEST INDIES “A” SQUAD—06/23/12
Danza Hyatt, Krishmar Santokie, and Nkrumah Bonner are the three Jamaicans who will be part of the 13-man West Indies “A” team for two Twenty20 matches versus India. Also playing will be Sulieman Benn, 30, a left-arm spinner. He has not played for the West Indies for over a year due to disciplinary problems during the World Cup. The matches will be played in Trinidad.

SMALLER TEAM FOR CAC, SAYS JAAA—06/25/12
The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) released the names of the 58 athletes who will represent Jamaica at the 19th Central American and Caribbean Junior Track and Field Championships in El Salvador. The team includes 25 fewer athletes than participated on behalf of Jamaica in 2010 in the Dominican Republic.

JAMAICANS TO SEE STRONG COMPETITION FROM GATLIN, IN LONDON—06/26/12
Americans Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay are ready to challenge Jamaican Usain Bolt in the 100-meter competition at the London Olympics. Gatlin was the Olympic champion in 2004, but could not defend his title in the 2008 games because he was banned for doping. This time, he says he is ready and pleased with his times so far. He won in Doha in May 2012 with a time of 9.79 seconds in the 100 meters.

OLYMPIC TRIALS FEATURE SPRINT COMPETITION—06/27/12
At the Jamaican Olympic trials at National Stadium in Kingston, sprint champions Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, and Asafa Powell will compete in the 100 meters. Tickets for the meet sold out as soon as they were available for the men’s and women’s 100-meter finals. Jamaicans see these trials as the most important national trials ever held.

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DEVOTIONAL
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Dealing With Doubt

Hunger for God

In his book, A Hunger for God, John Piper begins the last paragraph with the startling claim: “Our hunger for God is too small. This is true not only because our capacities to desire are atrophied—like a muscle that lifts only feathers—but also because our capacity to see the Desirable is untrained on the telescope of God’s Word.” He then asks the question, “On what do we exercise the muscle of desire?” and immediately answers it: “We are meant to desire the Great with great desire” – as per Psalm 42:1-2; Psalm 63:1; Philippians 3:8 – before concluding, “But we flex our desires for small things rather than for God. And so the very potential for desire diminishes.”

The last two sentences are quite the indictment. Have we really flexed our desire for small things rather than for God? A deeper question could also be, “As believers, what do we desire the most?” The Psalmist left no doubt as to extent and object of his desire when he cried out, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1,2). In other words, just as the thirsty, dry-throated, lips-parched, panting animal desires or yearns for water to quench its thirst, in the same way my soul pants or desires you, O God. Without the desired resource, the deer stood a chance of dying. Without the One who is the Source of life, the believer is at risk of dying. Our greatest desire has to be, and must be, for Him.

Again we see the heart of the Psalmist as he writes elsewhere, “O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1). This is a cry of desperation. Yet is there any other way to seek Him? To covet His favour for our ultimate good and seek His glory as our highest goal? It is instructive that he uses the word “earnestly” to describe his search. In this instance, desperation drove earnestness. The need was so great that he could not afford to miss what he was looking for; he had to be earnest in his search. As it was with the Psalmist, so it should be with us. Our hunger for God should be of such that it becomes our greatest priority.

How do we get to the place of desiring God above all else?  Piper suggests, “If we do not see Him in His greatness, we will not desire Him in His fullness.” It is only as we see Him and His glory through the lens of His Word that we fuel our desire, our hunger, for Him. The central goal of studying God’s Word is to know God better, and the better we know Him, the more we should desire Him. Like the apostle Paul our position should be, “I count all things [everything that I have accomplished] to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8a). Nothing else compares for “whom have I in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth” (Psalm 73:25).

“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God.” How strong is your hunger for God? Are you even hungry for Him?

 

CEW

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CREDITS/SOURCES
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The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.