THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICA GETS RENEWABLE ENERGY PLAN—05/07/11
Solamon Energy president Jay Yeo announced that his firm will meet with the Jamaican government to discuss solar solutions for the previous locations of bauxite mines. Jamaica has thousands of unused bauxite mines, but research funds have now been made available to develop several of the mines into agricultural farms. Solamon will devote resources to supplying a number of solar farms on the sites of the abandoned mines.
SIMMS STARTS NEW RECRUITMENT DRIVE FOR WOMEN’S AID GROUP—05/08/11
Glenda Simms, former executive director of Jamaica’s Bureau of Women’s Affairs, is conducting a new recruitment drive for the organization she began in 2008. A massive drive for new members will be put in place for St. Elizabeth Women Ltd., to encourage sustainable development in rural communities by helping women with the grass-roots economy. The development efforts focus on farming, horticulture, and crafts.
OFFICIAL WANTS TO EDUCATE CITIZENS ABOUT PAYING TAXES—05/09/11
Joseph M. Matalon, the president of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) believes the nation’s government should create a public education program designed to inform citizens about how important it is that they pay their taxes. Matalon says that many Jamaicans do not know about or are unaware of the importance of tax-related issues. He also believes that all major tax measures should be discussed so that citizens understand the issues under review.
JAMAICA HOME TO UNIQUE ENDEMIC SPECIES—05/10/11
Jamaica is the location for several species of animals and birds that are found nowhere else in the world. These species are known as endemic species and occur only in isolated geographic regions. Biologists are eager to visit the island to study the 28 endemic bird species. These include the red-billed streamertail, Jamaican woodpecker, Blue Mountain vireo, loggerhead kingbird, and sad flycatchers.
TAX AGENCIES IN JAMAICA NOW UNIFIED—05/10/11
Jamaica’s Inland Revenue, Taxpayer Audit & Assessment and Tax Administration Services Departments will merge into a single department as of May 1, 2011. The new department will be known as Tax Administration Jamaica. The action is expected to simplify the tax system and improve its efficiency through improved administration and business processes. Finance Minister Audley Shaw said the Jamaican people will see improved services, and the nation will enjoy enhanced compliance with tax requirements as a result of the merger.
JAMAICA, EUROPEAN UNION JOIN TO FIGHT POVERTY—05/11/11
The European Union will spend about 90 million euros on projects in Jamaica, including programs to prevent crime and build roads. According to Scarlette Gillings, the managing director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund, the support of the EU has been crucial to initiatives designed to improve Jamaicans’ quality of life in the inner city and rural areas. Funding from the EU represents 42 percent of all monies slated for poverty-improvement grants.
WILKINSON SAYS GOLDING’S COURT PLAN “RETROGRADE”—05/12/11
Bruce Golding, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, announced plans to study the idea of Jamaica having its own final appeals court in February 2010. However, this proposal has been criticized by Ian Wilkinson, the new president of the Jamaican Bar Association. Wilkinson believes Golding’s initiative is a “retrograde step” and that legal experts say the Caribbean Court of Justice should be the final court of appeal.
FOREIGN FISHERMAN ILLEGALLY FISHING IN JAMAICAN WATERS—05/13/11
The ten fishermen from Nicaragua who were caught fishing illegally in Jamaica’s water have been remanded into custody after an appearance in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court. The men pleaded not guilty to breaching the Fishing Industry Act. The men were caught with 2,000 pounds of shark carcasses and did not have a Jamaican fishing license.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
THREAT OF BOYCOTT HAUNTS DIASPORA CONVENTION—05/08/11
The biennial conference of Jamaicans in the Diaspora, which is scheduled to be held in Ocho Rios in June 2011, is facing the threat of a boycott from nationals who oppose the way Jamaica’s government in handling certain issues. Jamaicans living in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada are upset about the way advisory boards that govern their operations are chosen and about their involvement in the processes of making decisions. Some member organizations in the U.S. have little interest in attending the meeting under the current bureaucracy.
GOLDING’S SON TO VISIT KENYA—05/09/11
The son of Bruce Golding, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, plans to make a visit to Kenya in May 2011. Steven Golding will visit the country together with Empress Eartha Camielle Mullings, a leading television personality, to conduct a motivational speaking tour. The mission of the two visitors is to bring a positive and encouraging message to the country. Golding is the president of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, which was formed by Marcus Garvey. He is a strong supporter of African nationalism. Mullings is a singer, songwriter, media host, and philanthropist.
SUPRISE REGGAE FLASH MOB IN NEW YORK CITY—05/10/11
The rhythms of Jamaica took over Union Square in New York as the Jamaica Tourist Board partnered with Flash Mob America to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the passing of legendary Jamaican musician Bob Marley. More than 200 reggae fans performed to choreographed dance moves, which included Usain Bolt’s “Bolt to the World” move. Notable Jamaicans at the event were Ziggy Marley, Devon Harris of “Cool Runnings” fame, members of Jamaica’s national women’s basketball team, and Jamaican chess master Maurice Ashley.
GOVERNMENT SHOULD ACT TO SAVE DIASPORA CONFERENCE—05/12/11
Delano Franklyn, Jamaica’s former junior minister for Diaspora affairs, called upon the government of the country to save the biennial conference of Jamaicans in the Diaspora scheduled for June 2011. Franklyn hopes that a potential boycott of the event by some members could be stopped if the government changed its approach to the organization. Some Diaspora leaders are disillusioned from what they see as their “non-involvement” in the decision-making process of the group.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
GREATER INVESTMENT BY ROYAL CARIBBEAN IN HONDURAS SEEN—05/07/11
CRUISE LINE BUILDS SCHOOL COMPLEX IN HAITI—05/08/11
GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO REPORTS UPGRADES FOR REMOTE TOWNS—05/09/11
TOURISTS DRAWN TO CUBA FOR SALSA DANCING—05/10/11
PUERTO RICO HAS HIGHEST RATE OF PRE-TERM BIRTHS IN U.S.—05/11/11
INTERNATIONAL AID FOR HAITI A PRIORITY FOR GOVERNMENTS—05/12/11
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
DIGICEL, CLARO MERGER STILL NOT FINALIZED—05/07/11
Daryl Vaz, Jamaica’s minister with the responsibility for information, has stated that the government has yet to approve the merger between Digicel and Claro, another mobile provider. According to Vaz, there have been several meetings in which Prime Minister Bruce Golding has attended and that he expects Golding to speak to the issue shortly. Details of the merger transaction have not been disclosed.
HENRY ACCUSES PNP OF CORRUPT PRACTICES ON ROAD PROJECT—05/08/11
Jamaican Minister of Public Works Mike Henry has accused the former People’s National Party (PNP) administration of misusing public funds in early 2000 on a major road project. He believes the PNP did so in order to improve its chances of winning during the election. Henry says that the Cabinet must settle a claim of some $10 billion from a firm known as Pihl.
KINGSTON MILLINER WINS INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION—05/09/11
Cinderella Hats, a firm owned by Marcellas James, has made its mark both locally and overseas. James is a second-generation milliner who learned her craft from her mother and sister. In the poor economy, she struggles to obtain raw materials and faces higher prices, but she is determined to succeed. She received international recognition with the UNESCO Seal of Excellence. Her hats are well-known in Europe and were seen at the Royal Wedding of Prince
William in the United Kingdom
GROWTH SEEN AT NATIONAL COMMERCIAL BANK JAMAICA LTD.—05/10/11
For the six months ending on March 31, 2011, there was a 15.3 percent growth in EPS at National Commercial Bank Jamaica Ltd. The organization’s net earnings rose from J$2.16 to J$2.49. The Board of Directors announced an interim dividend of J$0.18 for each ordinary stock unit. Interest income fell by 14.5 percent from J$17.7 billion to J$15 .1 billion
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
FACEBOOK STATISTICS SHOW ITS GLOBAL NATURE—05/10/11
A report from comScore indicates that Facebook continues to attract visitors from around the world. In March 2011, 693 million unique visitors aged 15 or older visited the social networking site from home or work. This represents an increase of 43 percent from 2010. Europe represents the largest group of users, followed by North America. The highest rate of growth was seen in the Middle East and Africa.
HEWLETT-PACKARD CREATES WI-FI WIRELESS MOUSE—05/11/11
Hewlett-Packard has announced an innovation in mouse technology. Its new mouse is the first on the market that connects to a PC wireless receiver instead of using a RF signal from a wireless USB connection. The battery in the WiFi Mobile Mouse is designed to last twice as long as a charge from Bluetooth devices and can run for up to nine months before going dead. According to HP, the mouse also matches the 30-foot receiving range of Bluetooth.
NEW SECURITY FEATURES ADDED FOR FACEBOOK USERS—05/12/11
Facebook has introduced new security features that are designed to protect the network’s users from having their accounts hijacked. The site will now display warnings when users could be tricked by click-jacking and cross-site scripting attacks. Both of these attacks exploit a web browser vulnerability, and Facebook is working with browser firms to fix the underlying issues.
JAPANESE GET FIRST SMARTPHONE TO SHOOT 3D HD—05/13/11
NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese cell phone carrier, will provide a smartphone that is equipped with two cameras capable of shooting high-definition three-dimensional videos by the end of May 2011. The Aquos Phone SH-12C is made by Sharp and includes a larger screen and faster processors than the two 3D HD smartphones already on the market in Japan. These phones only shoot stills and not video. The Aquos phone is designed to compete with the G Optimus 3D expected in the summer of 2011. The phone hits the Japanese market on May 20, 2011. Pricing of the phone has not yet been announced.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
GLOBAL DATABASE COULD PROVIDE WARNING OF DISASTERS—05/08/11
POLICE CONSIDER TECHNOLOGICAL AIDS TO FIGHT CRIME—05/09/11
CORT URGES CARIBBEAN NATIONS TO USE FINGERPRINT SYSTEM—05/10/11
NEVIS TO PROVIDE ELECTRICITY TO OTHER ISLANDS—05/11/11
LOCAL COLLEGE STARS RECEIVE MEDALS AT PENN RELAYS—05/08/11
Carrie Russell of the University of Technology led three Jamaicans who were victorious in individual college events at the 117th Penn Relays Carnival at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Four Jamaicans won the college women’s 100m championships, and Leaford Green won the men’s 400 m hurdles. Former St. Jago High School star Melissa Ogbourne won the college women’s triple jump.
SINCLAIR, ASHMEADE PERFORM IMPRESSIVELY AT INVITATIONAL—05/09/11
World-leading times were obtained by Nickel Ashmeade and Kenia Sinclair at the Jamaica International Invitational meet. Ashmeade won a personal lifetime best time in the men’s 200m, while Sinclair performed well in the women’s 800. Ashmeade ran 19.96 seconds to win over Steve Mullings. Sinclair clocked one minute, 58.41 seconds to bear her previous time in the event.
BOLT TO COMPLETE IN 100-METERS AT GOLDEN SPIKE—05/10/11
Usain Bolt, Jamaican sprinter and world record holder, has decided to run in the 100-meter race in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia at the Golden Spike meet in May 2011. Bolt holds the world record in the 200-meters says he will compete in the 50th edition of the event, but only recently announced the distance he would run. This will be Bolt’s fifth time at the meet.
YOHAN BLAKE MAY BE COMPETITION FOR BOLT—05/11/11
Jamaican Yohan Blake, 21, has run the 100 meters in 9.80 seconds and is being touted as strong competition for Usain Bolt, Olympic and world champion sprinter. Blake is generating the same kind of excitement as Bolt did in his breakthrough year in 2008. Blake made news with his run at the Jamaica Invitational, which clocked a world-leading time and a new personal best.
“The Problem is Me”
The prayer was simple but rather profound. Eight words that zeroed in on the problem. “Dear God: I have a problem. It’s me.” There is no doubt that in our Western culture we are more individualistic than in other cultures. Generally speaking, things are centered on ourselves – the things we like or don’t like, our desires, our needs. It is said that the three big issues facing our generation are consumerism, individualism and a sense of entitlement. Everything around us seems to reinforce that message – our individual rights to this, our individual rights to that. “What about me?” “How does this or that affect me?” “What is it in for me?” are just some of the questions we ask ourselves when faced with certain situations. It is as if we are wired for selfishness.
Not surprisingly, we take the same attitude into our spiritual lives. If we are not satisfied with what is happening in our places of worship, it’s “their problem” because our attendance is dutiful and we come only to be entertained and be served. Let someone else work with the children, including ours. Let someone else be a ministry volunteer. All of this while we sit critically of those who are giving of themselves, finding fault with what they do, how they do them, while thinking to ourselves we could do it much better. If only we had the time or the interest.
Jesus calls us to live above ourselves. In Luke 9:23-24 we read: “And He said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” In another instance Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal” (John 12:24-25). The words “verily, verily” underscore the importance of the truth of His Words. Though speaking of His death, we can apply the very same principle to our lives. As long as we live for ourselves, individualistically, we live alone. It is only when we die to self and start living for God and others that we bring forth much fruit.
“Dear God: I have a problem. It’s me.” My self, my ways, my desires, my attitudes. Isn’t it time we yield to His lordship over our lives and allow Him to live through us? A time to surrender ourselves to His will and His ways? In the words of the hymn writer, “Let me lose myself and find it Lord in thee.” It is only then that our lives will be transformed from being centered on ourselves to being sweet smelling fragrances of God’s grace. How are you living?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.