JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending July 2nd, 2010

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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ACCUSED DRUG LORD PLEADS NOT GUILTY—06/26/10

Alleged Jamaican drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke entered a plea of not guilty in a federal court in New York. He is charged with trafficking in drugs and guns and was extradited to the United States from Jamaica following a violent showdown with Jamaican authorities in Tivoli Gardens, Coke’s stronghold. Coke, 41, was taken into custody awaiting a hearing to decide if he will be jailed indefinitely pending his trial.

JAMAICAN COMMISSION SAYS DIGICEL CONDUCT HARMED CONSUMERS—06/27/10

The Fair Trading Commission of Jamaica issued a report supporting a claim that Digicel was acting in ways that were detrimental both to the competition and to consumers. Complaints had been filed in February 2010 about the way the firm charged a wholesale rate for calls from a competitor that were 62 percent higher than what it charged its own customers to call the same numbers.

U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT UPDATES JAMAICA TRAVEL ADVISORY—06/28/10

The United States Department of State issued an updated travel advisory for Jamaica following the arrest and deportation of Christopher “Dudus” Coke, alleged drug lord and gun trafficker whose extradition sparked considerable violence in the Kingston area. His arrest eased Jamaica’s security crisis, but travelers from the U.S. are still warned to keep a low profile while on the island and to keep up with the news, since sporadic violence remains a possibility.

PRIME MINISTER WANTS G8 TO HANDLE CRIME AS A DEVELOPMENT MATTER—06/29/10

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding is appealing to the G8 nations for more help in the fight against organized crime. This aid should be broad-based, says Golding, and it must recognize that stopping crime is more than a law enforcement issue. It should also be considered a significant development issue, Golding said.

GOLDING, OBAMA MEET AT G8 IN CANADA—06/30/10

The meeting between Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding and United States President Barack Obama is expected to result in a “reset” of relations between the two countries. Obama and Golding have faced similar crises, both having to maintain a “battle mode” rather than focusing on dealing with the long-term problems they campaigned on.

REDUCTION IN INTEREST RATES QUICKER THAN IMF EXPECTATIONS—06/30/10

Interest rates in Jamaica continue their downward movement, appearing to have outdone the initial predictions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). At the end of April 2010, Jamaica’s treasury bill rate was projected to be 11 percent by the end of fiscal 2010/2011. It was expected to drop to 9.8 percent in fiscal 2011/2012.

VYBZ KARTEL HAS NOT YET SURRENDERED TO POLICE—07/01/10

Vybz Kartel, a Jamaican deejay and dancehall artiste, received an appeal to turn himself in to police, but has yet to do so. Kartel says he doesn’t know why police want to talk to him, but he said he would cooperate with them. Kartel was scheduled to turn himself in, but the deejay has not done so, continuing discussions with his lawyer on the issue. Kartel is one of several individuals of major interest on a list released by the Police High Command.

POLICE SEIZE NEARLY $1 BILLION UNDER PROCEEDS ACT—07/02/10

Police in Jamaica have seized the Jamaican equivalent of over $846 million from suspected criminal activity between January 2007 and January 2010 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The police did not say whether the Government received court permission to use any of the recovered funds to fight crime, however. The money was seized by various law enforcement units, including the Fraud Squad, Organized Crime Investigation Division, Trans-National Crime and Narcotics Division and the Customs Department.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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CONVICTION OF JAMAICAN OVERTURNED BY U.S. APPEALS COURT—06/26/10

A federal court of appeals in the United States overturned the life sentence handed down to a Jamaican truck driver in 2007. Tyrone Williams was sentenced to life without parole for actions that led to the deaths of 19 illegal immigrants in southern Texas in 2003. Prosecutors in the case sought multiple death sentences for Williams, but the appeals court ruled that the case against the Jamaican did not prove that he had committed an “act of violence” as required under federal law.

U.S. INVESTIGATING MORE JAMAICANS IN GUN RUNNING CASES—06/28/10

A number of Jamaicans may have to appear before courts in the United States for allegedly trafficking in guns. American authorities are working with Jamaican law enforcement officials after gun seizures in operations handled by the Jamaica Defense Force and the Jamaica Constabulary Force since May 2010 when the first attempts to take in Christopher “Dudus” Coke began. The authorities are building gun-running cases against additional people on the island, causing them to be brought to the U.S. for trial.

APPEALS MADE TO UN ON BEHALF OF SICK JAMAICAN IN U.S.—06/29/10

Immigration advocates have submitted a petition to the United Nations in an attempt to gain the release of a sick Jamaican man who is being detained in Louisiana. Owen Dale, a legal permanent resident has been held for deportation for over five years and is likely to die of medical neglect in the detention center in which he is living unless there is intervention by the UN. His health has deteriorated significantly as his deportation case makes its way through the courts.

JAMAICAN FOOD PROMOTED IN NEW YORK—06/30/10

Jamaica Promotions Corporations (JAMPRO) is scheduled to head a delegation of local exporters in the food and beverage sector to the Summer International Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center in New York. Twelve Jamaican food and drink exporters will participate in the event. JAMPRO will directly represent five companies, while the other seven will exhibit their wares in their own booth. Jamaican is participating under the sponsorship of the Caribbean Export Development Agency.

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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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TROPICAL STORM ALEX SOAKS CARIBBEAN—06/26/10

RIVALS MEET AT CARIBBEAN PARADE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.—06/27/10

PRICESMART WAREHOUSE TO BE BUILT IN COLOMBIA—06/28/10

OPERATOR OF COLOMBIAN PIPELIND TO INVEST $230 MILLION—06/29/10

SCOTIABANK HOSTS HIV TESTING DAY—06/30/10

GUYANESE MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN AIRPORT BOMBING PLOT—07/01/10

Visit  Caribbeantopnews.com for the weekly Caribbean News Summary, Caribbean Events &  Announcements and Caribbean Recipes.

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SPORTS
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POWELL RUNS SECOND-FASTEST TIME—06/27/10

Former 100-meters world champion and record holder Asafa Powell ran the 200 meters in the second-fastest time in his career to win the Jamaican National championship. Powell clocked 19.97 seconds and said it was a “good race.” Powell noted that his win indicated the state of his physical condition. He already has the fastest time for 2010 in the 100-meters with 9.82 seconds.

RAYMOND STEWART BANNED FOR LIFE—06/28/10

Raymond Stewart, four-time Jamaican Olympic champion and U.S. coach, has been banned for life from athletics. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) issued the ban because of Stewart’s acquisition of illegal performance-enhancing drugs for the athletes under his care. Stewart’s participation in trafficking in these prohibited substances, and his administration of such substances, violated applicable sport anti-doping rules, said the USADA.

DUNN WINS 400 METERS AT DRAKE—06/29/10

Jamaican Debbie Dunn was at the top of the field in the 400 meter race at the 2010 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Dunn, the world indoor champion, won the women’s 400-meter title with a world-leading time of 49.64 seconds. She is the first woman to run in under 50 seconds in 2010. Dunn was born in Jamaica but represents the U.S.

JAMAICAN COACH WORRIED ABOUT CAC TEAM’S DELAY—06/30/10

Head coach Michael Carr is concerned about the one-day delay in the departure of Jamaica’s 83-member team for the Caribbean (CAC) Junior Championships held in the Dominican Republic. Carr will lead the five-member coaching staff and preferred getting to the site of the match a day earlier to have time to prepare. 

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DEVOTIONAL
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Watch Your Step

In many parts of the world, landmines continue to be a challenge to the personal security of millions of people.  According to one source, a landmine is usually a victim-triggered explosive device which is intended to damage its target via blast and/or fragments. Another source states that landmines “can be triggered by a number of things including pressure, movement, sound, magnetism and vibration. Anti-personnel mines commonly use the pressure of a person’s foot as a trigger, but tripwires are also frequently employed.” One particular country is reportedly littered with approximately 10 million of these; all lying in wait to be triggered by unsuspecting individuals, usually innocent victims caught in a war.  

Seemingly, landmines are not big things.  “Many are the size of a coffee cup saucer. Some leap into the air, exploding into a thousand metal splinters and maiming everyone within a 25 meter radius.  A few are small enough to hide in a cigarette lighter.” Regardless, the results are the same – the loss of limbs and life.  

I thought of landmines as I considered Satan’s strategy for the children of God.  In trying to vigilant in our christian walk, many of us are on guard for the big things – the obvious temptations.  However, what about the more subtle temptations – the landmines – that we are not so quick to recognize?  It is true that a lot of believers will never be accused of stealing, murder, adultery, and so on, but we may be guilty of the “smaller things” – a bit of gossiping, constantly criticizing, slandering, complaining, and so on, which we often comfortably justify to ourselves to silence our guilty.

And what about the sins of omission – the things we should do but don’t?  One of Satan’s strategy is to keep us from doing the things we ought to do for the kingdom of God while keeping us busy with the things that pertains to ourselves.  For example, we forget that we are our brother’s keeper and so become negligent in sharing good works, or words, or thoughts with them.  When was the last time you recognized someone in need of encouragement and took the time to provide it?          

We cannot afford to be ignorant of how the enemy works.  His mandate remains the same – to steal, to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10).  God didn’t intend for us to be victims but victors. Let us commit to walking in the Spirit so we recognize and be equipped to avoid the landmines laid by the enemy.

 

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.