JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending March 2nd, 2012

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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SIMPSON MILLER SAYS CARICOM NATIONS SHOULD SUPPORT REGIONAL TRADE—02/25/12
Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica, believes that the member nations of CARICOM need to provide more support for regional trade efforts. Simpson Miller made her comments during a visit with Dr; Iva Gloudon, High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago in Jamaica. The CARICOM community should “take a stronger position” on the issues that impact people in its member countries.

MORE THAN $8 MILLION IN ASSETS SEIZED BY JAMAICA—02/26/12
Over $8 million in assets were frozen by Jamaican authorities under the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). Some of the assets belong to alleged drug traffickers, according to the Financial Investigations Division (FID), which is responsible for the seizures. Fourteen seizure orders were obtained in 2011, giving the government the authority to seize property and financial assets obtained via money laundering or drug trafficking.

MILESTONES CELEBRATED BY UNIVERSITY, SOUTH AFRICAN ORGANIZATIONS—02/27/12
The University of the West Indies (UWI) in Mona and the South African High Commission (SAHC) have launched celebrations to mark milestones of importance to both nations. The African National Congress (ANC) is celebrating Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence and its 100th anniversary. A planning committee formed by all three organizations will also recognize the 125th anniversary of the birth of Marcus Garvey, Jamaica’s first national hero.

WICB’S HUNTE WILL VISIT JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER TO “MAKE AMENDS”—02/27/12
The president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Julian Hunte will make a visit to Jamaica to speak with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in an effort to improve relations after a verbal confrontation about the status of Chris Gayle and the West Indies team. Hunte hopes of “make amends” for the heated exchange with Simpson Miller concerning the exclusion of Gayle from the team and the fact that Jamaica had not been considered as a venue for any matches to be played by Australia during an upcoming tour.

PRIME MINISTER SAYS JEEP PROGRAM NON-PARTISAN—02/28/12
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaican Prime Minister, is calling for those working on the Jamaica Emergency Employment Program (JEEP) to make an effort to eliminate the appearance of partisanship at their work sites. Simpson Miller wants to make it clear that JEEP is a Jamaican program and not a political party. The program is designed to create work for the Jamaican people and not just for members of the People’s National Party (PNP), said Simpson Miller.

HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP HAS CONCERNS ABOUT CHARTER OF RIGHTS—02/29/12
Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), a human rights organization, is worried about what it perceives as gaps in provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. According to the JFJ, these will have a negative impact on the most vulnerable members of Jamaican society. Tamara Mohammed, senior legal counsel for the group, noted the Charter is a move in the right direction, but does not go far enough to protect citizens from discrimination for physical disability, mental health, or sexual orientation.

JAMAICAN OFFICIALS TO TARGET RUSTLERS AND FARM THIEVES—03/01/12
Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture is making a renewed effort to encourage all farmers in the country to register with the government and comply with the law requiring them to issue receipts for produce they sell. These receipts provide a paper trail that can be useful in capturing and prosecuting thieves who prey on farms. Jamaican authorities have launched a campaign designed to stop the theft of livestock and crops from farms and ranches on the island. Rustlers often operate at night and sometimes butcher stolen cattle on site. Others make off with goats or farm produce.

HIGH SCHOOL CLOSED DUE TO RAT INFESTATION—03/02/12
Calabar High School in St. Andrew has been forced to close its door because of a serious problem with rats. The school will be closed for several days as school authorities attempt to control an overwhelming rat infestation. Residents who live near the school have long complained about the large number of rats in their neighborhoods and have asked the state to help them with a sustained effort at control. According to a student at Calabar High School, the rats are very large and are all over the school, posing a serious health risk to its 1,800 students and its staff.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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PROSECUTORS IN NEW YORK SEEK 23-YEAR SENTENCE FOR “DUDUS”—02/25/12
New York federal prosecutors have requested that a judge give Christopher “Dudus” Coke a sentence of 23 years in prison on charges of racketeering and assault. Coke pleaded guilty to these charges in August 2011. Prosecutors said that Coke is such a powerful figure in Jamaica that he had “virtual immunity” from law enforcement officials there.

UK HIGH COMMISSION RECOMMENDS EARLY VISA APPLICATIONS FOR OLYMPICS—02/27/12
Jamaicans who want to go to the 2012 Olympic Games in London are advised to apply early for visas to the United Kingdom. According to Howard Drake, British High Commissioner, Jamaicans who want to travel to the UK for the Olympic experience or for general visits should apply immediately and have their visas processed and post-dated to their actual time of travel.

DENISE GOMEZ, NY RADIO DJ, FAVORS DIASPORA—02/28/12
Jamaican Denise Gomez is happy to share her knowledge of her home country with listeners on her radio program, which is broadcast from Linkage Radio in New York. She admits that she is “biased” toward the Jamaican Diaspora and has interviewed some of the most important individuals on the island. Gomez was born in Kingston, raised in North Central Clarendon, and currently lives in New York. In addition to focusing on the achievements of Jamaicans in the Diaspora on her show, Gomez has also worked with the St. Elizabeth Homecoming Foundation and is communications director for Cotton Tree Toys for Kids Inc., a nonprofit group of Jamaicans at home and abroad who sponsor a yearly toy drive for underprivileged children.

JAMAICAN BOY FACES DEPORTATION FROM ANTIGUA—02/29/12
A Jamaican boy, aged 11, will be deported from Antigua and Barbuda because his parents cannot control him. The boy made an appearance in St. John’s Magistrates’ Court before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh and pleaded guilty to two counts of larceny. This was his second appearance before a magistrate for the crime of stealing. Suzette Hamilton, the complainant in the case, told prosecutors that the boy had stolen two mobile phones from her home, one valued at $400 and one valued at $30.

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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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DOMINICANS SENTENCED IN DRUG KILLINGS—02/25/12

MAN ACCUSED OF ROBBING U.S. JUSTICE RELEASED—02/26/12

RORC CARIBBEAN 600 DEEMED A SUCCESS—02/27/12

EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK PROVIDES SUPPORT FOR CLIMATE ACTION—02/28/12

PROTEST IN HAITI INDICATES FUTURE POLITICAL TENSIONS—02/29/12

U.S., CARIBBEAN PARTNER TO FIGHT YOUTH CRIME—03/01/12

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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OAS INTRODUCES SMALL BUSINESS PROJECT—02/25/12
Five member nations of CARICOM (Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, Dominica, and St. Lucia) are the sites of a joint OAS-U.S. project designed to create Small Business Development Centers in the area. The goal of the project is to improve the competitiveness of small and mid-sized enterprises in the Caribbean, with a particular focus on those headed by women. According to Jose Miguel Insulza, OAS Secretary General, the Caribbean has long recognized the importance of small businesses in creating jobs and economic growth in their communities and in the region as a whole.

JAMAICAN INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES TO BE SHOWCASED—02/27/12
Anthony Hylton, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, is hosting an investment forum on March 1 and 2, 2012 at the Montego Bay Convention Center. Hylton believes that Jamaica is a viable destination for local and foreign investors, in spite of its reputation as being a country with one of the highest energy costs in the Caribbean region. The forum has attracted over 120 interests from around the world and offers investors a chance to get “the feel” of Jamaica as a destination for their investments.

JAMAICA LOOKING FOR PRIVATE MONEY TO FUND STUDENT LOANS—02/28/12
Jamaica’s Ministry of Education wants to fund university student loans with private capital, said Education Minister Rev. Ronald Thwaites. Currently, the government spends some two percent of the national budget on such loans. This supplies about 80 percent of the costs of students at the University of the West Indies. According to Thwaites, the challenge is to find financial resources for students who have only limited means. He has suggested having the National Housing Trust use some of its capital investment for student housing.

LOGISTICS HUB TO BE “FLAGSHIP” PROJECT, SAYS HYLTON—02/29/12
Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, has announced plans to develop a global shipping and logistics hub for Jamaica. This will be the “flagship” project of his Ministry, he said, and the Ministry’s major role will be to find capital and investors. While Hylton offered no details about the cost of developing the hub or the number of jobs it would bring, he indicated its five components would attract investors. The five elements of the plan include dredging Kingston harbor, establishing a dry dock at Jackson Bay, creating a bunkering facility at Cow Bay, constructing a cargo and maintenance repair facility at Vernanfield, and developing the Caymanas Economic Zone (CEZ).

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CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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DPM SYSTEMS SECURITY SOFTWARE IMPROVES—02/28/12

 CLOUD CARIB RECEIVES STATUS AWARD—02/29/12

JAMAICANS LOSE AS DIGICEL SHUTS DOWN CLARO NETWORK—03/01/12

U.S. USES TEXT MESSAGING TO FIGHT SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST YOUTH—03/02/12

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ENTERTAINMENT
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BYRON LEE’S DAUGHTER BELIEVES FATHER MERITS MORE RECOGNITION—02/25/12
Julianne Lee-Samuels, the daughter of the late bandleader Byron Lee, believes her father should receive more recognition from Jamaica’s music industry than he is getting during the nation’s celebration of 50 years of Independence from Britain. Also co-chair of the Byron Lee Foundation, Lee-Samuels expressed disappointment that her father’s name is not among those being commemorated in 2012. Byron Lee died in 2008 at the age of 73. He is best known as the founder of the Dragonaires band, which still performs.

SON OF FOUNDING SKATALITES MEMBER SHOT AND KILLED—02/27/12
Okine Brevett, 32, the son of founding Skatalites band member Lloyd Brevett, was fatally shot shortly after accepting a music award for his father, who is ill. According to Ruth Brevett, his mother, Okine was shot by a gunman at the entrance to his home in Kingston’s Seaview Gardens. He died about 15 minutes after showing his father, who is 80 years old, an award Lloyd received from the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association for his musical contributions. The Skatalites, which started in 1964, was instrumental in disseminating the ska style throughout the music world.

BURNING SPEAR CRITICIZES AMERICAN REGGAE DISTRIBUTOR—03/01/12
Reggae legend Burning Spear is criticizing Ernie B’s Reggae, a major distributor based in California, claiming that the firm shipped bootlegged copies of his music. Burning Spear made his remarks on two Facebook posts and has called for the company to be shut down. He plans to launch a campaign that includes boycotting Ernie B’s Reggae and RAS Records. Ernie B’s has disputed the allegations from Spear.

MP FROM CENTRAL ST. JAMES WANTS TO PROMOTE CITY AS ARTS “MECCA”—03/02/12
Lloyd B. Smith, Member of Parliament for Central St. James, is pursuing a campaign to make Montego Bay a cultural arts “mecca” for the region. Smith believes the city’s brand has not been sufficiently utilized and wants to bring more entertainment into the area. He believes that entertainment represents an industry that could be potentially as profitable as sports. He favors creating a state-of-the-art recording studio in Montego Bay to boost the economic condition of the city and the parish of St. James. 

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SPORTS
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JAMAICANS ADVANCE IN WORLD BADMINTON RANKINGS—02/25/12
Charles Pyne and Gareth Henry advance in the list of top badminton players in the world after their performance at the Thomas Cup regional preliminaries. Pyne moved up from 105th to 101st, and Henry rose from 143rd to 140th. Jamaica’s team did not go beyond the group stage at the Thomas Cup event, however, losing to the United States and Guatemala before winning against Puerto Rico. Both Pyne and Henry would like to represent Jamaica at the 2012 Olympics. The qualification period ends on April 29, 2012.

JAMAICAN NATIONAL TEAM TO ATTEND IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS—02/28/12
Jamaica has announced its national team for the IAAF 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. Lerone Clarke will represent Jamaica in the men’s 60-meter category as will Nesta Carter. Richard Phillips and Eric Keddo will participate in the hurdles. In the women’s competition, Jamaica will send Veronica Campbell-Brown, Aleen Bailey, Vonette Dixon, Patricia Hall, Dominique Blake, and Natasha Ruddock.

RESOLUTION TO REINSTATE GAYLE REJECTED BY WICB—02/29/12
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) board of directors rejected a resolution presented by the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) to reinstate Chris Gayle, the former captain of the West Indies regional team. Lindel Wright, JCA president, said he was hopeful that the issue would be resolved shortly because he expected a discussion about the matter to take place when Julian Hunte, WICB president, visits with Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. Gayle has not played for the Windies since the 2011 ICC World Cup when he argued with the authorities over remarks he made about Coach Otis Gibson and the WICB.

JAMAICA WINS PLACE IN SEMI-FINALS OF WICB REGIONAL FOUR-DAY TOURNEY—03/01/12
Jamaica, which has won the championship four times, has secured its place in the semi-finals of the West Indies Cricket Board Regional Four-Day Tournament. Jamaica achieved an eight-wicket win over Guyana to advance in the competition. Jamaica intends to win an historic five consecutive titles in the event. The team is currently leading the rankings with a maximum 48 points. Trinidad and Tobago is second with 28 points, while Barbados is third with 24 points.

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JAMAICAN JOBS
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DEVOTIONAL
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Exercising Our God-Given Authority

According to the narrative, the service went on until past midnight. Paul was leaving Troas the next day and not knowing when he would see the brethren again, his sermon lasted until midnight. One could forgive the young man, Eutychus, who had fallen asleep in a window on the third loft. Not only was he asleep, the Scriptures tell us he had “fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead” (Acts 20:9, KJV). The narrative continues, “And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted” (vv.10-12).

It is instructive to note that in what could have been a chaotic situation, the apostle was not flustered by the dramatic turn of events. Those around him must have been watching his every step as he walked towards the body on the floor. With each stride he probably recalled the Scriptures that told of Elijah stretching himself three times upon the body of deceased son of the widow at Zarephath and the miracle that followed (1 Kings 17:21-24), because here he did almost the same thing and got the same result. Remarkably, Paul did not skip a beat but went right back to the service, broke and ate bread, and talked “till break of day.” To him, what happened was no big deal.

The apostle Peter also had one of those matter-of-fact encounters. In going up to the temple with John, he met the lame man begging for alms. After commanding the man to look on them, “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3:6-8). What stands out with incidents like these is that the men of God took control of the respective situations, and were so in tune with God that it was as if their actions were par for the course.  In other words, there was nothing to it.  It was just another incident they had to deal with amidst the hustle and bustle of their day.   What made them so confident and so successful? They had their God-given authority and they exercised it, fully expecting God to honor His word.

What about your authority? Are you taking charge of situations you should be in control of? If you are at a place where there is confusion and brokenness, whether at work, home, school or wherever you might be, by the Spirit of God you can make a difference.  You have been deputized by Christ to act on His behalf. Isn’t it about time you started exercising that authority? 

 

 

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.