THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
TRUTH COMMISSION DESIRED BY JAMAICANS—05/21/11
Jamaican citizens are interested in having a truth commission established to handle past violations of human rights, according to a survey by the Truth and Justice Action Group of the Jamaica Council of Churches. Sixty-five percent of 20 experts and eight focus groups across the country support the creation of a commission. Over 40 percent of the survey respondents believe a truth commission would have a positive effect, strengthen democracy and raise leaders’ accountability.
CHILDREN IN JAMAICA FACE CRISIS—05/22/11
According to child rights activists and social workers, children in Jamaica are most often poor, badly education, vulnerable targets of pedophiles, face rape, experience criminal and violent acts, and are at risk of being trafficked or pregnant. Claudette Pious, founder of Children First, is attempting to reform street children through the dramatic arts.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS CONTINUE THEIR STRIKE—05/23/11
Many flights bound for Jamaica, together with flights leaving the island, were delayed and even cancelled or diverted as the strike by air traffic controllers moved into a second day. According to Mark Williams, vice president of commercial operations at the Airports Authority of Jamaica, stated that the strike left hundreds of unhappy passengers stranded in airport lobbies. Flight delays have generally been two hours long.
ENERGY MINISTER QUITS, U.S. VISA IS REVOKED—05/24/11
James Robertson, Jamaica’s Minister of Energy and Mining, has left his cabinet position after the United States government revoked his visa. The visa revocation was imposed by what Robertson characterized as unproven allegations of wrongdoing. No comment was forthcoming from the U.S. State Department on the matter. Robertson sent a letter to Prime Minister Bruce Golding, which informed Golding that Robertson would leave his office immediately. He plans to keep his seat in Parliament, however, and his position as one of four deputy heads of the Jamaica Labor Party.
ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION TO END LNG AUCTION—05/25/11
The Office of the Contractor-General is calling for Jamaica’s government to abandon the tender process for a scheduled PNG project, since there is evidence of unfairness in the process. The anti-corruption authority wants the government to implement a new tender process under its supervision. The group referred its findings to public prosecutors and police for further criminal investigation as well. After a year of investigation, the commission found the selection of a group led by Exmar of Belgium to be rife with conflict of interest matters, documented bias, and preferential handling of the preferred bidder.
MERGER OF CAL AND AIR JAMAICA FINALIZED—05/26/11
According to Audley Shaw, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance, the merger between Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines has been finalized. Winston Dookeran, the finance minister of Trinidad & Tobago, signed the agreement along with Shaw in the presence of T&T Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. The Jamaican government will now have a 16-percent ownership in the shares of Caribbean Airlines. The agreement also makes the airline the national carrier of Jamaica.
JAMAICAN STANDS BY PREDICTIONS OF RAPTURE—05/26/11
A Jamaican man, who prefers to remain nameless, continues to support the contention of American Harold Camping that Judgment Day did occur on May 21, 2011. According to the man, the date was correct, but the event did not unfold the way he and other Camping followers expected. He believes that Judgment Day has come and that the rapture and end of the world will occur on October 21, 2011.
CHALLENGED ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT TO WIKILEAKS—05/27/11
The administration of Prime Minister Bruce Golding has issued a challenge to the press to publish all of the cables from the United States that it can publish, rather than only selected items from the letters. Daryl Vaz, Jamaica’s minister with responsibility for information, said the government plans to make a legal challenge against the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper, calling for the paper to provide public access to all leaked documents with any relationship to Jamaica.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
ALL READY FOR JAMAICAN DIASPORA CONVENTION—05/21/11
Everything is in place toe the biennial Jamaican Diaspora Convention in Ocho Rios scheduled from June 15 to 17, 2011. Participants had threatened a potential boycott of the convention to signal their dismay at how the format of the conference had changed and the way delegates were chosen. Senator Marlene Malahoo, the minister with responsibility for Diaspora Affairs in the Foreign Minister, has attempted to stem the tensions, however. She noted that Jamaica’s government has adjusted its foreign policy to showcase the significant ways the Diaspora impacts the island.
DRUG SUSPECTS IN GRAND CAYMAN FACE IMMIGRATION CHARGES—05/23/11
Police found 275 pounds of ganja in a drug canoe, along with four men who were trying to take the drugs to Grand Cayman. The men, all Jamaican nations, were arrested when their canoe was seized by authorities on the north coast. They were arrested for illegal entry into the Cayman Islands and on suspicion of importing drugs.
DIASPORA IN FLORIDA ENCOURAGED TO LOBBY FOR JAMAICA—05/26/11
The Caribbean Diaspora in Florida has been challenged by Glen Khan, chairman and CEO of the Laparkan Group, to lobby for the removal of obstacles to the importation of Jamaican products into Florida. Khan made his remarks at a trade forum at the Jamaica/USA Business Expo. Since Florida is an agricultural region, there is some resistance to importing certain products from Jamaica.
JAMAICANS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DEMAND FOR ENGLISH TEACHERS—05/27/11
Many Jamaican university graduates who find themselves unemployed on the island are turning to teaching English in programs like the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program. Teaching English overseas gives graduates the chance to experience different cultures. Some students go abroad for work because they feel that God has called them to be missionaries to Asian nations. As more countries encourage their citizens to learn English. Opportunities for Jamaican graduates in this field continue to increase.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
MORE HAITIANS DENIED VISAS FOR UNITED STATES—05/21/11
NO CHARGES IMPOSED IN RAPE CASE IN ST. LUCIA—05/22/11
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS TO SEE 500 LAYOFFS—05/23/11
2011 CARIBBEAN HURRICANE SEASON TO BE ACTIVE—05/24/11
PUERTO RICO WANTS LARGER PORTION OF WEDDING TOURISM—05/25/11
FIFA BRIBERY CASE WILL NOT BE HEARD BY AMERICAN ATTORNEY—05/26/11
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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
CARIB CEMENT VULNERABLE TO FAILURE—05/21/11
The Caribbean Cement Company Ltd. showed its best performance to day in export sales, but remains vulnerable to collapse. The firm reported one of its worst years, with cement falling to a seven-year low, while operating costs rose to more than J$2 billion. Higher production costs tied to greater energy expenses, and the firm’s lack of working capital have forced the acknowledgement that the firm may not be able to continue.
SIMPLER CUSTOMS SYSTEM AVAILABLE TO BUSINESSES—05/22/11
The Jamaican government has offered companies the option of using a simpler customs system in which they will pay more at ports and eliminate waiting for waivers. According to Audley Shaw, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance, the proposed tax reform requires a major revision in the granting of waivers, and firms typically wait for months to get the waivers. Rather than going through the bureaucracy of obtaining waivers, companies will have the option to pay a higher rate and then just go on to customs and clear their goods.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS STILL ON STRIKE—05/23/11
Many airline flights to and from Jamaica have been delayed as the air traffic controllers continue their strike into its second day. According to Mark Williams, spokesperson for the Jamaica Airports Authority, the controllers’ walkout has meant delays of about two hours. Managers have been called in by Jamaica’s civil aviation authority to take the place of the striking controllers, who demand retroactive pay increases and involvement in government negotiations concerning public sector wages.
JAMAICAN MUSICIAN JOINS WITH ISSA TRUST FOUNDATION—05/25/11
Trudy TruDiva, the Jamaican music star, is collaborating with the ISSA Trust Foundation by writing a song designed to raise money for aid to the Foundation’s charity initiatives. The announcement of the partnership was made at the Annotto Bay Hospital in St. Mary. Trudy says it is her passion for helping children that prompted her to join with ISSA to raise money for medical aid in Jamaica.
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
IPHONE SEARCH APP OFFERS WEBSITES, NOT JUST LINKS—05/23/11
Do@ is a new iPhone application that returns active, live websites in a search rather than a list of links. The app is free and offers the ability to enter, explore, and exit a website without losing the other live sites returned in the search results. Do@ comes with approximately 30 categories and more than 400 searchable web applications.
VIDEOS ON IPHONE NOW AVAILABLE IN 360-DEGREE VIEW—05/24/11
A new device known as Dot will make it possible for owners of the iPod Touch and iPhone to take 360-degree videos without the need to move or rotate the phones. Dot is made by Kogeto, a company based in New York. It attaches to the iPhone and takes 360-degree panoramic video that can be viewed on the phone or uploaded for sharing on Facebook and Twitter.
AUTO FEATURES SEAT THAT MONITORS THE DRIVER’S HEART—05/25/11
Ford has created a driver’s seat that is able to monitor the driver’s heart functions. The seat uses six sensors embedded in the backrest to detect electrical impulses that are generated by the heart. There is no need for actual contact with the skin for the sensors to work. The technology was created at the Ford European Research and Innovation Center in Germany with the aid of researchers from Aachen University.
CARPORT IN CONNECTICUT CHARGES AUTOS WITH SOLAR POWER—05/26/11
General Electric Energy Industrial Solutions has introduced a solar-power carport. The firm’s chief executive officer Luis Ramirez announced the GE EV Solar Carport with the aid of Connecticut’s governor, Dannel Malloy. The carport uses solar panels on the roof with charging stations for electric vehicles underneath the cover. The panels produce enough electricity in one year to power the equivalent of 20 homes.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
4G TECHNOLOGY BROUGHT TO CARIBBEAN BY LIME—05/21/11
HISTORY BEING CREATED IN GRENADA —05/22/11
DIGICEL SAYS LIME NOT THE FIRST TO BRING 4G TO REGION—05/23/11
ENVIVIO DELIVERS MOBILE TV SERVICE TO CARIBBEAN—05/24/11
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CALABAR RELAY TEAM WANTS TO WIN IN NYC—05/23/11
The 4×400 relay team from Calabar High school is looking for a victory in the June 11, 2011, competition at the Adidas Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium in New York City. The team from Red Hills Road in Kingston had great success in 2010-2011’s season, but it was denied the chance to compete in the United States Penn Relays because of delays in securing visas. Now the team hopes to repeat its 2008 performance in the Grand Prix with wins in both the 4×400 meters and the 4×100 meter races.
HUGE SETBACK POSSIBLE FOR JAMAICAN ATHLETES—05/24/11
A decision made by the National Junior College Athletic Association will restrict the opportunities for Jamaican athletes looking for scholarships from colleges in the United States. Starting in August of 2012, two-year colleges must reduce the number of foreign students on their team rosters, and non-residents of the U.S. will be prohibited from obtaining more than one-quarter of all scholarships awarded to a team. The new ruling could be devastating for Jamaican athletes, according to some observers.
BOLT ADMITS FEELLNG NERVOUS ABOUT RACING—05/25/11
Olympic and world champion sprinter, Jamaican Usain Bolt, says that he has been away from running for so long that he is actually feeling nervous about a meet for the first time. Bolt had a difficult time in 2010, and now he wants to show that he is still the fastest man in the world. Bolt will run his first 100-meter race of 2011 at the Golden Gala IAAF Diamond League meet in Rome.
BOLT WANTS TO SHOW FANS HE’S BACK ON TRACK—05/26/11
Jamaican world champion sprinter Usain Bolt admits the 2010 season was not his best, but he wants to assure his fans that he is “back to business” in 2011. He is ready to compete with the likes of Asafa Powell and Christophe Lemaitre at Rome Olympics Stadium in the 100 meters. The race is part of the Golden Gala Diamond League meet and will give fans the chance to assess his physical condition and his commitment to the competition.
The Power of Remembering Who He Is
Jesus had just finished feeding the multitude with a little boy’s lunch. It was an incredible miracle. Five thousand men plus women and children, sitting down in ranks by hundreds and fifties, eating until they were filled and all from five loaves and two fishes. As if that wasn’t enough, there were twelve baskets full of leftovers (Mark 6:40-44)!
Shortly after, Jesus “constrained His disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while He sent away the people. And when He had sent them away, He departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and He alone on the land” (vv.45-47, KJV). According to the narrative, not only was the ship in the midst of the sea but there was a contrary wind and the men were experiencing much difficulty. By this time it was the fourth watch, somewhere between 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., and Jesus, walking on the water, went out to them “and would have passed by them. But when they saw Him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw Him, and were troubled. And immediately He talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And He went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered” (vv. 48b-51).
What did they wonder about? They were in awe and wonder of Him that was among them. He had walked on water and the minute He came into the ship, the storm had ceased! “Amazed in themselves beyond measure” suggests being in a state of ecstasy “as if it were a new and unaccountable thing, as if Christ had never done the like before, and they had no reason to expect He should do it now” (Matthew Henry). But then Mark added a compelling sentence: “For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened” (v. 52). In other words, they had forgotten what Jesus had done before!
Isn’t that so much like some of us? When we are confronted with challenging situations, we are in awe when God comes through for us. It is as if we have forgotten who He is and the miraculous works of His hand, not just in the Scriptures but also in our day-to-day lives. Whatever we are going through, we ought to remember that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and so what He has done before, He can do again. There are no limits to His power; no circumstances too difficult for Him to handle. We are never too far our for Him to reach; He will walk on water if He must. Our challenge is to remember or we risk entering into states of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty. On the other hand, remembering who He is and what He has done provides us with assurance and comfort. Not only does it change our perspective in our circumstance, but we will walk in expectancy that He will do for us all He says He can and will do.
How much of who He is, what He has done and what He is capable of doing do you know? How much of it do you remember?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.