THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICA COULD LOSE MILLIONS ANNUALLY FROM HURRICANES—08/28/10
According to a report from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Jamaica is at risk for average yearly losses of US$105 million as a result of hurricanes and another US$30 million due to earthquakes. The exposure value of physical assets on the island, including bridges, industrial and residential buildings, roads, and public utilities, totals about US$19 billion. The four parishes with the largest populations are most at risk. These include St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Kingston, and Clarendon.
McGILL HONORED AS OUTSTANDING JAMAICAN—08/29/10
Dr. Neil McGill, Western St. Mary’s former People’s National Party Member of Parliament, was honored for his service to the country following his death at age 60. Dr. McGill was a Justice of the Peace and had retired from his position as a reserve soldier in the Jamaica Defense Force. He was killed by gunmen on August 6, 2010, at Hillside Manchester.
MISS JAMAICA CHRISTIAN CONTEST ANNOUNCED—08/29/10
The Miss Jamaica Gospel Ambassador contest is designed to provide an opportunity for young Christian women to compete in a beauty pageant that will treat them with respect. There will be no swimsuit competition, for example, and only long dresses will be worn. To apply to be a contestant, young women must have strong Christian beliefs.
SUMFEST A SUCCESS IN SPITE OF EARLIER VIOLENCE—08/30/10
Reggae SumFest is the top event of the year for reggae enthusiasts, and the three-night music festival, which was held in Montego Bay in July, attracted thousands of visitors. There had been concerns that fans would not participate in 2010 due to fears of violence such as that related to the search for Christopher “Dudus” Coke, alleged drug trafficker, which left 73 people dead in the Kingston area. However, reggae fans came in large numbers, and tourist officials considered this a sign that things were returning to normal.
DENGUE FEARS ADDRESSED BY JAMAICA’S HIGH SCHOOLS—08/31/10
School administrators are moving to prevent the spread of dengue fever before the start of the new school year, according to the Association of Principals and Vice-Principals. The Ministry of Health has seen an increase in dengue cases and one death from the disease. Schools are ensuring that water containers are stored appropriately and the potential breeding sites for mosquitoes are eliminated. Teachers, students, and guardians are being educated about dengue fever during orientation as well.
POTENTIALLY, THREE MILLION BARRELS OF OIL OFFSHORE OF JAMAICA—09/01/10
According to Sagres Energy, there is a “seismic bump” off the shores of Jamaica that could hold three million barrels of oil. Sagres is the parent company of Rainville Energy, a Canadian firm that has the rights to explore for oil offshore. The company has until March 2011 to verify the existence of the oil or give up its license. The firm says it will not drill until it can find a partner, however.
DANCEHALL STARS LEAVE VIOLENT LYRICS BEHIND—09/02/10
After the arrest of Christopher “Dudus” Coke and the end of the state of emergency on the island that existed during the search for the alleged drug lord, many dancehall musicians have decided to eliminate the violent lyrics that characterized their performances in recent years. The trend was given a considerable boost at Reggae SumFest, where Bounty Killer, who is well-known for his violent lyrics, renounced these lyrics in public. He says he now wants to enlighten and educate his fans.
GOVERNMENT HOLDS EMERGENCY MEETING WITH NURSES—09/03/10
Pearnel Charles, Jamaica’s Minister of Labor and Social Security, has decided to hold an emergency meeting with members of the Nurses’ Association of Jamaica (NAJ). The meeting is being called to address concerns arising from the nurses’ threat to strike. Nurses are unhappy that the government has not yet complied with a ruling from the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT) to set a date for implementing a reclassification exercise for workers in the health care sector. The ruling was made in January 2010.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
U.S. TO ALLOW H2A WORKERS FROM JAMAICA—08/28/10
Authorities have resolved problems linked to the processing of Jamaican workers slated to help in the fall harvest of apples and other crops in New York. Farms must act quickly to provide the paperwork required to expedite the approval and travel of these workers, according to the New York Farm Bureau. The U.S. government sent letters to many of the growers informing them that temporary workers in the H2A program could not be certified, as the U.S. was opposing Jamaica’s police of taking six percent of the workers’ paychecks. To satisfy the U.S. concerns, the Jamaican Central Labor Organization eliminated the administrative fee, but will retain insurance, savings, and one-percent allocations to the island’s Social Security system.
YORK POLICE CHIEF HONORED BY JAMAICAN CANADIAN ASSOCIATION—09/01/10
A community service award from the biggest and oldest Jamaican community association in Canada was presented to Chief Armand LaBarge, chief of the York Region Police Department. He was among eight people and one radio station to receive awards from the Jamaican Canadian Association. The chief and officers of the York Regional Police Force travel to Jamaica once a year to support Missionaries of the Poor. They do so to honor the memory of Constable Davis Ahlowalia, who was killed in a traffic accident in 2007.
INTERACTIVE EXHIBIT ON LIFE OF LAUREL AITKEN IN U.K.—09/02/10
An exhibition about the life of Laurel Aitken, Jamaican singer, will be launched in October 2010 at the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester, United Kingdom. The exhibition, entitled “Ska with Laurel,” describes the legendary Jamaican artiste and his influence in the development of new Jamaican music in the 1950s and 1960s and how he made these styles popular in the UK. The interactive exhibit will include audio-visual materials, photographs, posters, and press clippings.
CONCERT SERIES IN SOUTH FLORIDA TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY OUTREACH—09/03/10
A concert series held in North Miami will showcase Jamaican talent known from their work in music ministries at several churches. The Episcopal Church of the Holy Family is presenting this second annual series of concerts, which will include opera singer Rory Baugh, and soprano Carole Reid. The Reverend Easton Lee, Jamaican author and folklore expect, is the producer and director of the show. Harold Davis and Karen Smith, cabaret singers, will also perform.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
GUYANA SELLS RICE TO VENEZUELA—08/28/10
CHOW VISITS HAITI, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—08/29/10
ITALIAN KIDNAPPED IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—08/30/10
SOCCER STAR KILLED IN BROOKLYN—08/31/10
OLDEST NEWSPAPER IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC SOLD—09/01/10
WOMAN WITH TISSON MAY HAVE BEEN TARGET—09/02/10
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
LIME INVESTS US$100 MILLION INTO VIDEO BROADCAST SYSTEM—08/29/10
More than US$100 million was invested in the development of the Digital Video Broadcast system responsible for providing the power for the LIME Mobile TV service recently introduced. According to Chris Dehring, chairman and chief marketing officer of LIME, the investment was made to upgrade the mobile network, providing 3G coverage and undersea cabling for transmission. Jamaica is the first Caribbean country to enjoy the service.
SCOTIA GROUP TO FOCUS ON CUSTOMER SERVICE—09/01/10
Scotia Group Jamaica Ltd. plans to refocus its efforts on its core business in order to increase its customer base. The firm wants to enhance convenience for its clients and move away from its trading and investment business. The main target of the new focus is wealthy, high-value clients
CMEX CONFERENCE SUBJECT OF MUCH INTEREST—09/02/10
There is considerable interest in the 19th Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) on Sustainable Tourism conference, which is to be held in Jamaica. Top media in the region, North America, and Europe are eager to be included in the discussions focusing on the Caribbean’s chief industry, tourism. The conference will be held in Kingston from September 30 to October 4.
AMERICAN FIRM TO PROVIDE DETECTION SYSTEM TO BANKS—09/03/10
Mag Tek, an American company specializing in systems that secure bank cards and other financial instruments, is in discussions with two of the largest banks in Jamaica about providing a system that detects counterfeit bank cards. According to Tom Patterson, Mag Tek’s chief security officer, the system, known as MagnetPrint, could be implemented in the Kingston area by Christmas 2010. The system examines the magnetic strips of bank cards to determine whether they are legitimate or fakes.
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
MOBILE TV TO LAUNCH IN FOUR MONTHS—08/29/10
LIME has announced that it plans to introduce its mobile television service in Jamaica by December 2010. LIME will be the first telecom to bring such a product to market in the Caribbean. Chairman of LIME Jamaica, Chris Dehring, stated that the company has partnered with DC Digital to implement the service.
DIGICEL HAS 11 MILLION CUSTOMERS IN 32 MARKETS—09/01/10
Digicel has reached the 11 million customer mark across its 32 world markets. The firm started in Jamaica in 2002 and has grown quickly. It currently offers the best value, best service, and best network in mobile communications in the Caribbean region. The firm also provides services in Central America and the Pacific. Digicel has seen a growth rate of ten percent in subscribers per year and has raised its market share every quarter in all major markets.
SAMSUNG INTRODUCES ANDROID TABLET—09/02/10
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Android tablet was officially introduced at IFA 2010. The device is expected to be available in Europe in the middle of September 2010 and in the United States and Asia by the end of the year. The device is intended to compete with Apple’s iPad. It includes a seven-inch screen, Android 2.2, 16GB or 32 GB of memory, GPS, and integrated gyroscope, light sensor, and geomagnetic sensor.
TWITTER TO RECORD USERS’ EVERY CLICK—09/03/10
Twitter will record and analyze every link clicked on by its users when visiting its Web site or any of the third-party microblogging apps available at the service. The company will begin its recording by the end of 2010. These plans have caused criticism from some privacy advocates, saying that some users may prefer not to have their clicks recorded and analyzed.
CARTER RUNS FASTEST 100 METERS OF THE YEAR, TIES TYSON GAY—08/29/10
Nesta Carter, Jamaican sprinter, ran the 100 meters in 9.78 seconds at the Rieti Grand Prix in Italy. Carter tied Tyson Gay, the American sprint star, who also ran the distance in 9.78 seconds. Carter was aided by a tail wind and used a strong finishing kick to achieve the time.
PRYCE IS JUNIOR SURFING CHAMPION—08/30/10
Garren Pryce has won the Jamaican junior surfing championship in the final stage of the Jamaica Surfing Association’s 2010 series. There were three events that began on July 11, 2010. The Lighthouse surfing beach at Plumb Point was the location for the final part of the competition.
BOLT CONSIDERS DIFFERENT EVENTS—09/01/10
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s Olympic sprint champion, wants to expand his participation into the 400 meters and the long jump after the 2012 Olympic Games, which will be held in London. Bolt is the first person in history to claim both 100 meter and 200 meter world records simultaneously.
BROWN EXCITED TO PLAY ANDY MURRAY AT U.S. OPEN—09/02/10
While Jamaican Dustin Brown lacks a coach, major financial backing, and experience in front of large crowds, he is confident about meeting Andy Murray of the United Kingdom at the U.S. Open. Brown ranks 123rd in the world, but has risen 300 spots despite his low budget. He is eager to show what he can do at the top levels of tennis. He does not covet the financial resources enjoyed by Murray, saying that he has more freedom without a sponsor telling him what to do.
You Are What You Believe
Have you ever felt like an eagle among chickens? You feel so much God given potential within you yet it seems you are always in the company of chickens, running around like a chicken, instead of soaring to the skies like an eagle. As a matter of fact you start doubting what is inside of you, choosing instead to believe you are like everybody else; you are where you belong. I came across the following story, author unknown, which highlights this dilemma.
“Once upon a time, there was a large mountainside, where an eagle’s nest rested. The eagle’s nest contained four large eagle eggs. One day an earthquake rocked the mountain causing one of the eggs to roll down the mountain, to a chicken farm, located in the valley below. The chickens knew that they must protect and care for the eagle’s egg, so an old hen volunteered to nurture and raise the large egg.
One day, the egg hatched and a beautiful eagle was born. Sadly, however, the eagle was raised to be a chicken. Soon, the eagle believed he was nothing more than a chicken. The eagle loved his home and family, but his spirit cried out for more. While playing a game on the farm one day, the eagle looked to the skies above and noticed a group of mighty eagles soaring in the skies. “Oh,” the eagle cried, “I wish I could soar like those birds.” The chickens roared with laughter, “You cannot soar with those birds. You are a chicken and chickens do not soar.”
The eagle continued staring, at his real family up above, dreaming that he could be with them. Each time the eagle would let his dreams be known, he was told it couldn’t be done. That is what the eagle learned to believe. The eagle, after time, stopped dreaming and continued to live his life like a chicken. Finally, after a long life as a chicken, the eagle passed away.
The moral of the story: You become what you believe you are; so if you ever dream to become an eagle follow your dreams, not the words of a chicken.”
We who have the spirit of God are meant to soar above our circumstances. Like the eagle, we use the winds of adversity to lift our wings above the storms. However, it is important to know what is within us. It was never God’s intention that we scratch out an existence, living lives of constant defeat. In Isaiah 40:28-31 we read, “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (KJV).
We are what we believe we are. Let us believe God and trust what He has placed inside of us. We were meant to fly.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.