THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
GOVERNMENT TO IMPROVE NATION’S COMPETITIVENESS RANKING—03/24/12
Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, Jamaica’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, reports that the government plans to improve the nation’s global competitiveness position, which suffered a decline in 2011. To achieve its goal, the Ministry will move to eliminate many obstacles to doing business.
ECONOMY REQUIRES DECISION ON NEW ENERGY SOURCES—03/25/12
Higher gasoline prices around the world have impacted Jamaican consumers who feel the effects of the increase on their electricity bills. Concerns about high fuel prices have prompted rumors of the release of oil from U.S. and UK strategic reserves. This could slow or even stop further price increases. Oil prices have risen over 15 percent since January 2012.
ATTORNEY FOR “DUDUS” ACCUSES U.S., JAMAICA OF “COMPLICITY”—03/26/12
According to Stephen H. Rosen, the attorney who represents convicted Jamaican drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke, maintains his accusations that there has been “complicity” between authorities in the United States and Jamaica’s government in bringing charges against his client. These claims have outraged the Jamaica Diaspora, but Rosen remains adamant. He says the U.S. government seems to “favor” the People’s National Party and that one of the first requests by the U.S. after the Jamaica Labor Party took office was the extradition of Coke.
CARL RATTRAY, CELEBRATED LEGAL AUTHORITY, DIES—03/26/12
Carl Rattray, a former attorney, judge and parliamentarian, died at his home on March 14, 2012 at age 82. He was called a “celebrated Caribbean legal mind” and a “remarkable son of Jamaica.’ He is considered a hero by many for his contributions to the country via his pursuit of justice. Rattray was born in St. Elizabeth in 1929. He received his legal education in London and worked at the Colonial Office in the West Indies Welfare Division from 1955 to 1956, returning to Jamaica in 1959. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in Jamaica in 1969.He was President of the Court of Appeal until his retirement in 1999, a member of the People’s National Party, and a Member of Parliament for south East St. Catherine from 1989 to 1993.
JAMAICANS CALLED UPON TO EAT LIONFISH—03/27/12
Scotiabank Group wants Jamaicans to eat more lionfish in order to control the species’ impact on native marine life. The firm has launched a campaign called “Scotia Goes Green on Lion Fish: Let’s Eat Them to Beat Them.” According to Donovan Stanberry, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the lionfish is defeating the government’s efforts to reinstate stocks of local fish. The Ministry supports eating lion fish, says Stanberry, who saluted the vision of Scotiabank Group in aiding research on the invasive species.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS ELECTORAL COMMISSION’S REPORT—03/28/12
The government of Jamaica will support recommendations included in the report addressing campaign finance reforms issued by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ). According to Phillip Paulwell, leader of government business in the House of Representatives, the government will work with the ECJ to ensure that relevant legislation is written and presented to Parliament in a timely manner. The ECJ recommendations include establishing limits for contributions to candidates and political parties.
AUTOPSY SHOWS JAMAICAN WOMAN SHOT BY POLICE AT CLOSE RANGE—03/29/12
According to the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), the autopsy report on the body of Dianne Gordon of Cassava Piece has made its examination of the incident even more urgent. The autopsy was conducted by Dr. Dinesh Rao, the government’s chief forensic pathologist. It indicated that Gordon, 45, was shot at close range. The police claim that the woman was killed during a battle with gunmen in the St. Andrew community.
KINGSTON BUSINESSES DISRUPTED BY SEWAGE—03/30/12
A number of businesses in downtown Kingston had to close for the day due to raw sewage, which was flowing down Princess Street. The sewage flow also flooded at least one of the stores. Businesses and vendors on the street have complained about the problem for months, but it finally became too bad to ignore. According to Mansure Hanna, who has operated a business on Princess Street for over 30 years, this is a persistent problem that has worsened over time, and now people are concerned for their health. Business representatives want the issue addressed immediately.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
CHARITY EVEN GETS MAJOR SUPPORT—03/25/12
The American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) announced that its annual Peacock Soiree in South Florida has gained some major support. The event, which is in its eighth year will be held March 31, 2012, and will honor Dr. Maurice William Facey and Mrs. Valerie Facey. Sponsors for the Peacock Soiree include Pan Jamaican Investment Trust Group, Baptists Health South Florida, the Cobb Family Foundations, Sandals Resorts, and Diageo. Freddie McGregor, reggae legend, will entertain the attendees.
CONSULTATE IN MIAMI INTRODUCES INDEPENDENCE ESSAY COMPETITION—03/28/12
The Consulate General of Jamaica in Miami, Florida, is accepting entries to its yearly essay competition in celebration of Jamaica’s anniversary of Independence. The competition is open to all Jamaican children who live in Florida. The theme of this year’s competition is Jamaica’s responsibility to advance the welfare of the human race.
NATIONAL DANCE THEATER OF JAMAICA CELEBRATES GOLDEN JUBILEE—03/29/12
Jamaica’s National Dance Theater Company performed at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts to mark the Gold Jubilee of the group. The auditorium, which seats 2,300, was full as Jamaicans came to support the dance company and celebrate its 50 years in existence. The company of some 50 members has performed at the Brooklyn Center for the past 20 years.
TEXANS CELEBRATE JAMAICA’S INDEPENDENCE—03/30/12
The Jamaica Foundation of Houston plans to hold its first annual Ja-Ga Reggae Festival on April 13 to 15, 2012 on Galveston Island in Texas. This event will be part of the celebrations marking Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence. The festival will feature a designer fashion show, arts vendors, authentic cuisine and a Jerk cook-off competition. A number of entertainers will perform during the event’s three days. They include Errol Lee and the Bare Essentials Band of Jamaica. There will also be a Battle of the Bands-Reggae Style.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CARIBBEAN CYBER SECURITY A CONCERN FOR GOVERNMENTS—03/25/12
RED CROSS IN HAITI MAY BUILD HOTEL, CONFERENCE CENTER—03/26/12
AIR PASSENGER DUTY UNPOPULAR IN CARIBBEAN—03/27/12
MEDICAL STUDENTS FROM ANTIGUA TO TRAIN IN INDIA—03/28/12
HAITI IMPACTED BY POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY—03/29/12
MORE WORK PERMITS ISSUED TO NON-CARICOM CITIZENS—03/30/12
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
GOVERNANCE OF UNIVERSITY OF GUYANA TO BE EXAMINED BY JAMAICAN FIRM—03/24/12
The University of Guyana (UG) Council has garnered attention for its involvement in contracts of several lecturers. Now a Jamaica company will examine how the governance structure of UG carries out its daily duties. Trevor Hamilton & Associates, based in Jamaica, will review the regulatory framework and suggest improvements for its operation. The firm will essentially study regulations and policies addressing organizational efficiency and effectiveness at UG.
SUGAR MARKETING MONOPOLY ENDED BY CHINESE—03/25/12
The Pan Caribbean Sugar Company (PCSC) will receive “agent” status, ending the monopoly on the marketing of Jamaican sugar currently held by Jamaica Cane Produce Sales. Regulators say that existing rules will remain in place for the current crop. PCSC, which is owned by the Chinese, obtained the right to sell its own sugar through negotiations with the government two years ago. Before divestment in the sugar sector, both private and publicly owned firms pooled their production, and each factory sold to the single Sugar Industry Authority, which negotiated prices and sold to markets worldwide.
GRACEKENNEDY PRAISED BY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE—03/26/12
Jamaica’s Chamber of Commerce (JCC) has given its highest praise to GraceKennedy for its 90 years of services in commerce, manufacturing and services. GraceKennedy has been a pioneer in recognizing that companies in Jamaica must participate in global markets. The company created one of the first multinational corporations in the country, and its current presence is a source of pride for Jamaicans everywhere.
PAULWELL FOCUSES ON LIMESTONE POTENTIAL—03/27/12
Phillip Paulwell, Jamaica’s Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), believes there is great potential in Jamaica’s limestone resources. While emphasizing the restoration of the island’s bauxite and alumina industry, Paulwell has been made aware of how the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) has identified mining and quarrying as a priority for Jamaica. Limestone resources are the largest mineral resources in the country, and limestone is becoming the most commonly used industrial material. The island’s limestone resources have the potential to attract investment from major companies, Paulwell believes.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
JAMAICAN HIGH SCHOOL RANKS THIRD AT ROBOTICS COMPETITION—03/24/12
CARIBBEAN READIES FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS MEETING IN PANAMA—03/25/12
TELECOMMUNICATION REGULATORY ENTITIES TO COMBINE—03/27/12
DIGICEL TO DEPLOY FIBER OPTIC CABLE TO HAITI —03/28/12
JOURNALIST WRITES BOOK OF JAMAICAN HISTORY—03/26/12
Carey Robinson has written a book that recounts the story of Jamaica from its pre-colonial days to its self-governance and Independence. The book, titled “Memoirs of a Media Man,” follows Robinson from his days at Calabar High School to Howard University in the United States to his work as a journalist in Jamaica. The book takes the reader on a trip through the print and electronic media landscape and discusses racial segregation in the U.S., the protest demonstrations organized by Jamaicans, and his contact with Sir Alexander Bustamante and Normal Washington Manley.
FACE DADA DETERMINED TO BE THE FIRST MAJOR JAMAICAN RAPPER—03/27/12
Jamaica has yet to produce a significant rap performer, but Face Dada is ready to change all that. The performer, who was born in Olympic Gardens and raised in New York City, has been working on his first album in Jamaica for the past year. He believes that local dancehall and reggae scene needs diversifying, and he wants to help by becoming Jamaica’s rapper.
MUSIC AWARD NOMINATIONS WON BY BUJU BANTON—03/28/12
In spite of the fact that Buju Banton is in a federal prison in Miami, Florida on drug charges, the reggae artiste continues to receive the attention of the music industry. Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, garnered a pair of nominations (Best Song and Concert of the Year) for the 31st Annual International Reggae and World Music Awards, which will take place in Chicago, Illinois on July 5, 2012. This is the second awards show nominating Banton after the imposition of a ten-year prison sentence.
DELROY STERLING, POPULAR CANADIAN DEEJAY, DIES—03/29/12
A popular radio programmer and deejay in Toronto Canada, has died. Delroy Sterling was born in 1957 in Montego Bay. He founded the Canadian Reggae Music Achievement Award. He worked at CHRY Radio, was also an Air Canada employee and shop steward of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 2323, representing aviation workers in Ontario. He died in the hospital on March 18 after suffering a seizure two days earlier.
BUDGET OF $118 MILLION TO HOST 2012 JN JAMAICAN INVITATIONAL—03/24/12
According to Ludlow Watts, chairman of the organizing committee, the 2012 JN Jamaica Invitational Meet has set a budget of $118 million. This is an increase of $8 million over the budget package for 2011. The one-day meet will be held May 5 at National Stadium and is sponsored chiefly by the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) and Puma.
BROKERED AGREEMENT SIGNED BY GAYLE—03/26/12
Chris Gayle appears set to return to the West Indies cricket team after signing an agreement brokered by CARICOM with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). The agreement was written by CARICOM in an attempt to resolve the disagreement between the WICB and the former Windies captain. With his signing, Gayle will be able to participate in the 2012 staging of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
SOCCER MAGAZINE FEATURES JAMAICAN FOOTBALL—03/28/12
Star Soccer Review Magazine’s Canadian publisher Aldwyn McGill is hoping to garner attention by featuring the Reggae Boyz in the publication as they kick off their campaign to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. The seventh international issue of the magazine will give readers an in-depth look at Jamaican football, starting with the Reggae Boyz and ending with junior teams. The magazine has been endorsed by the Jamaica Football Federation’s President Captain Horace Burrell.
ATHLETES GIVE SCHOOL STRONG START TOWARD CHAMPIONSHIP—03/29/12
Danniel Thomas and Tara-Sue Barnett have both given Edwin Allen school a strong start on the way to a potential title at the 102nd Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships at National Stadium. The two athletes broke records in taking the quinella in the girls’ discus throw Class One. They earned the school 16 points; the school ended the day with 33 points
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The Unexamined Life – Part I
If you could step outside of your body and listen to and watch yourself, i.e. observe your actions and listen to your words, for thirty days, what conclusion would you come to? How would you rate yourself as a Christ follower, a Christian? I got around to thinking about this as I pondered the signature thought a friend uses on her emails. That line, author unknown, reads, “If you had friends who spoke like your thoughts, would you hang out with them?”
Not surprisingly, some of what we think privately about ourselves, others, some situations, and even about God, we would never say publicly. For some of us, the very nature of some of those thoughts is enough to provoke guilt as our conscience reminds us that we should not be thinking that way. Yet our thought life seems to be one of the most difficult to control. In the quietness of our own thoughts, we cycle through feelings of doubt, fear, judgmental attitudes, negativity, condemnation, rebellion, to name a few. For sure, mentally we sometimes quote Scriptures, we sing songs, and we meditate on the Word. However, it is all well and good to do all these things – but to actively apply them is where the rubber meets the road. Like a thief in the night, the dark thoughts loom largely in the background of our minds just waiting to steal our joy and peace.
It is no wonder the apostle Paul reminded the believers in Corinth, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, KJV). In other words, every thought that is not wholesome, or is proud, or not in line with God’s word and purposes, or negative thinking, we need to “lead away captive into the obedience of Christ.” This requires a transformation of our minds that comes only through consistently realigning our thoughts and thinking with the Word of God. We cannot do that by ourselves. It is only as we yield ourselves to being led by the Spirit that He will show us the way and provide the help we need.
How is your thought life? “If you had friends who spoke like your thoughts, would you hang out with them?”
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.