JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending July 30th, 2010

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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POLICE SEARCHING FOR KILLERS IN ST. CATHERINE—07/24/10

Jamaican police are looking for several men believed responsible for the killings of four people and injuring a fifth during a home invasion in St. Catherine parish. The crime targeted a couple, their son, 19, and a friend, 21, according to Corporal Oneil Hinds. The murders occurred in a parish where a state of public emergency was recently ended by the government.

ALUMINA REFINERY IN PRODUCTION AGAIN—07/25/10

A Jamaican bauxite refinery that closed in 2009 due to economic conditions is now open again. The plant, Ewarton Alumina Refinery, will hire 629 employees and is expected to produce 321,000 tons of alumina by the end of 2010. The reopening of the factory followed negotiations between Jamaica’s government and Russia’s UC Rusal Company, the largest producer of aluminum in the world and Ewarton’s largest shareholder.

JAMAICAN DEPORTED FROM U.S. INDICTED—07/26/10

Devon Fitz Patrick Levy, 40, a Jamaican who was previously deported from the United States, was indicted by a federal grand jury there on gun and immigration charges. Levy was found to be in possession of a .380-caliber handgun when he was arrested in March 2010. He was deported in 2005 following a conviction on drug charges in the U.S. in 2001.

UNITED STATES SEEKS EXTRADITION OF MORE JAMAICANS—07/27/10

Several extradition requests have been made by the United States government for Jamaican, according to a senior member of the Obama Administration. There is no indication of whether or not elected Jamaican officials are on this list of requested extraditions. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Dr. Arturo A. Valenzuela, said the U.S. plans to process these requests.

JAMAICA’S SENATE APPROVES DUTY-FREE CHANGES—07/28/10

Changes in the Duty Free Shopping Act have been approved by the Jamaican Senate. It is hoped that the changes will enhance the island’s competitive position as a duty-free destination for shoppers. The changes will allow the implementation of arrivals duty-free shopping, as well as expand the duty-free import list. The changes will permit all arriving passengers in Jamaica to buy $500 worth of duty-free items. The list now includes fashion and accessories, sunglasses, and gemstones, as well as liquor, jewelry, watches, and fragrances.

JAMAICAN ORPHANAGE CULTIVATES COFFEE—07/29/10

An orphanage run by Assembly of God missionaries Steve and Kim Puffpaff raises coffee in the mountains near Kingston. The City of Refuge Children’s Home is in the Blue Mountains, a renovated former luxury hotel. When the operators purchased the property, the rare coffee was already growing on it, and they hired local coffee engineers to continue raising the coffee to support the ministry. Since only a few individuals may grow Blue Mountain coffee, they must be registered with the government, as the Puffpaff’s operation is.

TAXPAYERS TO LOSE MILLIONS—07/29/10

Jamaican taxpayers may have to pay US$57 million as exit fees resulting from a currency swap arrangement. Jamaica’s Parliament approved a loan guarantee that would refinance a loan totaling 204.4 million Euros from Bandes, the development bank of Venezuela. The money was used to finance Highway 2000. While Prime Minister Bruce Golding did not contest the figure, he did say that taxpayers may not be hit as hard as predicted.

PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS WORRIED—07/30/10

Workers in Jamaica’s public sector are concerned about their jobs in regard to plans for modernization. However, they may have to wait until later in 2010 before they find out if they will still have their jobs. It may take several months before Jamaica knows how many of the 113,000 public sector employees will lose their positions, in spite of a proposal that is already in process to reduce or close nearly 60 government agencies.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICAN TEEN BELIEVED TO COMMIT MURDER-SUICIDE IN NEW YORK—07/24/10

A 14-year -old Jamaican boy, C.J. Jones, is thought to have killed his mother and sisters in a murder-suicide that has shocked the Staten Island, New York, neighborhood in which it occurred. The boy’s father does not believe his son could have committed the crime. It is thought that the boy cut the throats of his younger siblings and then slashed his own throat and set fire to the family apartment. Along with the teen, the bodies of his two sisters, 10 and 7 years of age, and his mother Leisha Jones, 33, were found in the burned out living room.

JAMAICAN DRUG DEALER IN JAIL FOR KILLING LOVE RIVAL—07/25/10

Dwayne Cupidon, 35, was convicted of killing and dismembering George Smith, 60, in 2009 in London in the United Kingdom. This was two years after Cupidon was served with a deportation notice from the Home Office. Cupidon received a sentence of a minimum 26 years in the killing. Although he has denied committing the murder and refuses to say where Smith’s body is hidden, traces of blood were found in Smith’s home.

JAMAICAN IS TO GSAT PERFORMER IN TURKS AND CAICOS—07/26/10

Jonbonae Chung, 11, a Jamaican, has been named the top student in Turks and Caicos. She is a student at Precious Treasures Pre-School and Primary, where she received the highest grades on the island’s Grade Six Achievement Test for 2010. Chung won a scholarship from LIME, TCI totaling US$55,000 for the five years she will attend British West Indies Collegiate.

REGGAE LEGEND TOPS CARIBBEAN MUSIC NIGHT IN Florida—07/27/10

Beres Hammond topped the bill at the Hard Rock venue in South Florida, leading a night of Jamaican music. Other musicians playing at the event were Kenya Wilks and Kenyatta Hill. The event drew a large crowd of Jamaicans and non-Jamaicans, young and old, all of whom came to share their love of reggae music.

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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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WYCLEF JEAN CONSIDERS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN HAITI—07/25/10

CARIBBEAN THE MOST “UNEQUAL” REGION IN THE WORLD—07/26/10

CARIBBEAN CAN SURVIVE REDUCTIONS IN GLOBAL AIDS FUNDING—07/27/10

ST. LUCIA WANTS GEOTHERMAL POWER—07/28/10

FLORIDA COULD BE AT RISK FROM DENGUE FEVER EPIDEMIC—07/29/10

STATUE OF COLUMBUS MAY BE DISPLAYED IN PUERTO RICO—07/30/10

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

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SPORTS
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OTTEY MAKES THE TEAM—07/24/10

Merlene Ottey, 50, is ready to make history at the European championships in Barcelona. Ottey, who became famous in 1980 at the Moscow Olympics, has been chosen to join Solvenia’s 4×100 meter relay team. Ottey became a Slovenian citizen in 2002. She won a bronze medal in the 200 meters in the 1980 Olympics and won 20 medals at indoor and outdoor champions, although she never won a gold medal at the Olympic Games.

GRANT WINS BRONZE MEDAL AT CAC—07/25/10

Jamaican Natalie “Nicky” Grant threw the hammer 59.93 meters to win the bronze medal in women’s hammer throw at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico. Her medal brings Jamaica’s total to 13, with five gold medals, two silver, and six bronze. Grant, 29, was also a bronze medalist at the 2005 CAC Championships.

BLAKE READY TO RUN—07/26/10

Jamaican Yohan Blake is confident about his ability after running his race at19.78 seconds at the 10th IAAF Diamond League in Monaco. Blake, 20, was in second place, just behind the American Tyson Gay, who ran 19.72 seconds. Blake says he is going to “shock the world” with his speed. He is currently the second fastest man in the world, behind Usain Bolt who holds the record.

JAMAICANS WIN 21 MEDALS AT CAC GAMES—07/27/10

The Jamaican athletes competing at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Puerto Rico added to their medals when Sheree Francis received a silver medal in women’s high jump, clearing the bar at 1.91 meters. The men’s squash team received a bronze medal, while Lerone Clarke ran 10.15 seconds for a bronze in the men’s 100 meters.

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DEVOTIONAL
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What Do You Want?

Have you been praying for something and without success?  If you are like me, you have had those times when you have diligently sought the Lord about a particular matter and it seems like He has no idea you have been talking to Him. Often times in my mind I ask tongue in cheek, “Hello, is anybody up there?” only to be met with deafening silence. But for the grace of God, those times can be incredibly frustrating.

I thought about prayers that bounce off the wall, figuratively of course, as I wondered what Abraham must have felt while waiting for his promised son.  The Bible said he believed God (Galatians 3:6) yet after ten years of waiting he tried to force God’s hand by yielding to Sarah’s suggestion that since she was well past child-bearing age, that he get with Hagar to see if she would give him a son (Genesis 16:1-4). That plan backfired when God “rejected” the son of that union (Genesis 17:17-22) and poor Abe had to wait another fourteen years before Issac was born to him and Sarah as God had promised.  The fact that God kept on appearing to the couple in the narrative tells us that He was fully aware of what was going on with them.  It is some comfort to us to know that even as it seems all heaven is silent and God is nowhere to be found, He knows exactly where we are and what is going on with us.  But what changed between God and Abraham?  Why after twenty-five years did God finally say “yes” to Abraham & Sarah’s efforts at parenthood?  

While Scripture sheds no light on the subject, further in the narrative we see something significant.  In Genesis 20, Abraham told Abimelech that Sarah was his sister and so Abimelech decided to take Sarah as his wife.  A fascinating story unfolded which resulted in God closing up the all the wombs of the household of Abimelech (V.18), however, in verse 17 we read, “So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children” (KJV).  The narrative continues, “And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as He had spoken.  For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him” (Genesis 21:1-2).  So what does one have to with the other?  God opened Sarah’s womb when Abraham prayed for the opening of the wombs of the women of Abimelech’s household.

God didn’t need Abraham’s help of course.  He had closed the wombs all by Himself and could just as easily have re-opened them.  However, since God doesn’t waste words I believe the lesson for us is that when we need something desperately and know of others who need the same thing, if we pray for them first we set in motion the spiritual mechanism necessary for our own answered prayers.  We see this principle at work in the story of Job as well.  While we remember that God gave Job double for his trouble, we often forget that “The LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10). Note the time it happened – “when he prayed for his friends.”

When our hearts are open to the needs of others, we find God’s heart open towards us.  Looking out for ourselves and ours is a learned behavior; God intended for us to look out for each other.  Why not forget about yourself and your needs and pray earnestly and fervently for someone who has the same needs as you?  I believe now is as good a time as any to start.  God is watching and I believe He stands ready to release your blessing as He releases the blessings of those you have prayed for.

 

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.