THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICAN ECONOMY SHOULD GROW—06/12/10
Despite the violence occurring in Tivoli Gardens, Jamaica’s economy is showing signs of improvement. There has been an increase of 4.3 percent in the Jamaican dollar compared to the US dollar since March 2010. The increase has been consistent over a three-month period. Additionally, the private sector in Jamaica has given its support to government efforts to improve the national economy.
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES OPEN VIA EXPO JAMAICA—06/13/10
Local businesses have a major opportunity to gain international exposure during the 2010 Expo Jamaica at the National Arena. More than 200 international buyers are expected at the event. Expo Jamaica is presented through a partnership of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association, Jamaica Exporters’ Association, and Jamaica Promotions Corporation.
US REPORT KEEPS JAMAICA IN TIER 2 RANK IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING—06/14/10
In 2010, Jamaica was placed at the same Tier-2 ranking in the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report as it had in 2009. Nations at the Tier 2 level are those with governments that have been designated as not complying fully with minimum standards, but that are making significant attempts to comply with these standards. The 2010 report specifically mentioned Jamaica’s garrison phenomenon as having a role in human trafficking.
JAMAICAN SENATE TO DEBATE WHISTLEBLOWER BILL—06/15/10
Jamaica’s Senate plans to launch a debate concerning a comprehensive whistleblower bill. The legislation’s proposed text was introduced by Justice Minister Senator Dorothy Lightbourne. The bill was promised by the Jamaica Labor Party during the 2007 elections and would protect employees in the public and private sectors. It would not protect disclosures covered by attorney-client or health care privilege, the Official Secrets Act, or the Corruption Prevention Act.
POLL SHOWS PUBLIC BELIEVES DRUG LORDS REDUCE CRIME—06/15/10
According to a newspaper poll, Jamaicans believe that the extradition of Christopher “Dudus” Coke, alleged drug lord, will probably be followed by a wave of criminal activity in Kingston. Most people surveyed would be glad to see Coke go away, but 69 percent believe that crimes like rape and theft would be likely to increase in Tivoli Gardens once the neighborhood is no longer under his protection. Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed believe that drug lords are “bad” for Jamaica, but nine percent said they were “good” for the nation. Thirty percent said they were unsure.
PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY SHOULD ACT IN “ENLIGHTENED SELF-INTEREST”—06/16/10
Critics of the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) plans to increase electricity rates believe the agency should take a different approach in order to continue its operations in an effective manner. The increase, which was approved by the Office of Utilities Regulation, allows the monopoly JPS to act without regard to the welfare of Jamaican residents, who already feel the burdens of a global economic crisis.
IMF ESTABLISHES OFFICE IN KINGSTON—06/17/10
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has opened a Resident Representative Office in downtown Kingston. The office is based in the Bank of Jamaica, and its opening coincides with the naming of the first IMF representative to Jamaica in 15 years. The representative, Dr. Gene Leon, who was introduced to the media at a question-and-answer session at the Bank of Jamaica, has served in Oman and Qatar, among other places.
REWARD PROVIDED FOR CAPTURE OF “DUDUS” COKE—06/18/10
Jamaica has offered a reward of $20,000 for information leading to the capture and arrest of the alleged drug lord, Christopher “Dudus” Coke. Coke is wanted on charges of drug and arms trafficking by the United States. The reward was offered three weeks after Jamaica’s security forces launched a four-day effort to find Coke in Tivoli Gardens. The assault ended with the deaths of 73 civilians and three security officers. Coke remains at large.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
OVER 6,000 JAMAICANS MAY BE OUSTED FROM U.S.—06/14/10
Jamaica may see a large number of deportees from the United States return to its shores as over 6,000 Jamaicans currently in U.S. custody face deportation hearings. According to Clifford Chambers, security attaché at the Jamaican embassy in Washington, D.C., there is no estimate as to how many of these Jamaicans would actually be sent back to the island, since each case is decided upon its particular merits. Most are not held on felony charges, he said. They are chiefly individuals who come to the States legally and then overstay their visas.
PACE CANADA PRAISED FOR ADOPTING JAMAICAN SCHOOLS—06/15/10
PACE Canada, the Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education, received high praise for its adoption of 281 basic schools in Jamaica. This represents over ten percent of the island’s 2,125 basic schools. According to Dr. Lola Ramocan, a specialist in early childhood development, PACE Canada deserves to be congratulated for its actions, which provide support for early childhood education both in Canada and overseas.
NEW TRAVEL ALERT ISSUED BY U.S. FOR JAMAICA—06/16/10
The United States State Department issued a new travel alert for Jamaica to inform American travelers of “sporadic violence” between criminal gangs and the island’s security forces in Kingston and surrounding areas. The alert was issued three weeks after an assault on gangs by the military in Tivoli Gardens. While calm has returned to the area, Prime Minister Bruce Golding’s state of emergency declaration, issued May 24, 2010, remains in effect, causing U.S. officials to caution travelers.
CARIBBEAN TOURISM AWARDS GIVEN TO JAMAICANS—06/17/10
The Jamaica Tourist Board, together with the Caribbean Tourism Organization, presented awards to Ed Kritzler and David Swanson with awards for excellence for their efforts in promoting the Caribbean as a top tourist destination. Kritzler is the author of Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean, and Swanson is a contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler Magazine.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
U.S. RE-ENGAGEMENT IN CARIBBEAN REGION WELCOMED—06/12/10
GOVERNMENTS IN CARIBBEAN READY A REGIONAL HEALTH AGENCY—06/13/10
AMERICAN SOLDIERS BATTLE CRIME IN PUERTO RICO—06/14/10
GUYANA SAYS U.S. NOT NEEDED IN CRIME FIGHT—06/15/10
PRIME MINISTER OF HAITI TRAVELS TO FLORIDA—06/16/10
MOST CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES RANKED ON TIER 2 OF TRAFFICKING REPORT—06/17/10
CAMPBELL-BROWN BEATS ALLYSON FELIX—06/12/10
Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown won the women’s 200-meter race at the Adidas Grand Prix with a time of 21.98 seconds. The Olympic champion defeated American Allyson Felix, who came in second place with 22. 02 seconds.
100 METERS DIAMOND LEAGUE OPEN AFTER BOLT, GAY WITHDRAW—06/13/10
The Diamond League 100 meter races will be held without the participation of the two fastest men on the planet. Jamaican Usain Bolt and American Tyson Gay have both withdrawn from the competition due to injuries. Olympic silver medalist Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago, Daniel Bailey of Antigua, and Yohan Blake of Jamaica will now lead the field in the 100 meters.
JAMAICAN HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES SCORED NO WINS AT ADIDAS CLASSIC—06/16/10
Jamaican high school teams left the Adidas Classic at Icahn Stadium in New York without any victories. The meet was the fifth stop in the IAAF Diamond League series. The Jamaicans dominated the Penn Relays in April, but were forced to send weaker, second-ranked teams to Adidas to face the United States and Trinidad.
JAMAICANS WIN IN FRANCE—06/17/10
Olympic silver medalist Kerron Stewart of Jamaica was victorious in the women’s 100-meters at the Montreuil meet in France. Jamaican Dwight Thomas won the men’s 110 hurdles. Stewart clocked 11.21 seconds to win the race, while Thomas ran the course in 13.37 seconds, one-hundredth of a second faster than American David Payne, who came in second.
The Alabaster Box – Reflections
For the past couple of weeks, I have been periodically listening intently to the words of this song. I must admit I have heard the song many times before, and appreciated the artistry of Cece Winans and the way she sung it. However, it wasn’t until I started listening to the words that I came to realize the awesome “testimony” put to music. Jesus was certainly not kidding when he told the group of frustrated onlookers: “Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.” (Mark 14:9)
It is interesting to note that the crowd around Jesus saw the exercise as a colossal waste; “it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her” (v.5). Yet, isn’t it typical that others would try to tell you how much praise, worship, adoration, and so on, to give to God, when you are the one who knows just how much He has done for you? As a part of the chorus to the song has her saying:
You weren’t there the night He found me
You did not feel what I felt
When He wrapped His loving arms around me
And you don’t know the cost of the oil in my alabaster box
and that is exactly the point. When we come to the point where we realize just how much God has done for us, and we give Him our all, sometimes through tears of joy and shouts of praise, who is to say it doesn’t take all of that?
I like what Matthew Henry, noted Bible Commentator had to say, in part, on this text:”Let us anoint Christ as our Beloved, kiss him with a kiss of affection; and anoint him as our Sovereign, kiss him with a kiss of allegiance. Did he pour out his soul unto death for us, and shall we think any box of ointment too precious to pour out upon him? It is observable that she took care to pour it all out upon Christ’s head; she broke the box (so we read it); but because it was an alabaster box, not easily broken, nor was it necessary that it should be broken, to get out the ointment, some read it, she shook the box, or knocked it to the ground, to loosen what was in it, that it might be got out the better; or, she rubbed and scraped out all that stuck tot he sides of it. Christ must have been honoured with all we have, and we must not think to keep back any part of the price. Do we give him the precious ointment of our best affections? Let him have them all; love him with all the heart.”
Don’t let anyone stop your praise, and if they try to, praise right over and through them. They weren’t there when He did what He did in your life that cause you to love Him as much as you do! Christ deserves our all; all our worship, all our praise, and just as important, all of ourselves.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.