THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JEWISH NEW YEAR CELEBRATED IN JAMAICA—09/11/10
Jamaica’s Jewish community observed traditional Rosh Hashanah celebrations at the United Congregation of Israelites synagogue in Kingston. The ceremonies marked the beginning of the Jewish New Year, which numbers 5771. Ainsley Henriques, member of the board at the synagogue, said the Jewish community in Jamaica has grown smaller over its 200-year history on the island.
JAMAICA LEADS IN TOURISM SECTOR RECOVERY—09/12/10
The tourism sector of Caribbean industry is in recovery, and Jamaica leads in the number of tourists visiting the region. While there has been a decrease in the number of holiday tourists worldwide, Jamaica has increased its market share, welcoming some 1.3 million visitors between January and August of 2010. The success in Jamaica has been attributed to its role as a regional hub for aviation as a result of the merger of Air Jamaica with Caribbean Air.
JAMAICAN FARM WORKERS KILLED BY TOXIC FUMES—09/13/10
Pearnel Charles, Jamaica’s Minister of Labor and Social Security, reports that inhaling toxic fumes could be the cause of death for two Jamaicans working at the Filsinger Farm near Toronto, Canada. The government has charged the Liaison Service in Canada with legal support and the conduct of an immediate investigation into the workers’ deaths. The workers, Ralston White and Paul Roach, were working with a machine from which issued deadly fumes. A third man who was also working on the machine and who ran for help was not harmed.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN U.S. AND JAMAICA IMPROVING—09/14/10
According to the administration of Prime Minister Bruce Golding, relations between the United States government and Jamaica are showing signs of improvement, even as discussions concerning the extradition of Christopher “Dudus” Coke continue. Golding says there were serious mistakes in how the request for extradition was implemented and wants to make sure the problems are resolved.
SAMUELS CHANGES MIND ABOUT TERM LIMITS—09/15/10
Bert Samuels, Jamaican attorney-at-law, has changed his mind concerning term limits for prime ministers. Bruce Golding, current Jamaican Prime Minister, has announced plans to restrict individuals from holding the office for more than two terms. Samuels, who once favored the fixed term limits, now believes the legislation would restrict the democratic will of the people.
U.S. PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER WARNS OF VISA RACKETEETING—09/15/10
Yolonda Kerney, the newly appointed United States public affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, is warning Jamaicans about paying money to individuals who are defrauding those seeking visas. Kerney has promised that she will provide the required information to Jamaicans who want visas to the United States, however. Kerney also said the Embassy knows that Jamaicans continue to be victimized by those selling false visa documents or who take money with the promise of obtaining visas for them.
POLICE OFFICER CHARGED WITH CORRUPTION—09/16/10
The Jamaican police have charged Special Corporal Andrew Tinker of the St. Andrew South Police Division with two counts of breaching the Corruption Prevention Act. He was charged by members of the Anti-Corruption branch just one day after his arrest. Bail was set at $250,000, and a stop order was placed on him at all the ports of entry.
CHINESE-SPEAKING JAMAICANS CRITICAL TO FUTURE ECONOMY—09/17/10
The Jamaican economy of the future will need more individuals who can speak the Chinese language if it is to thrive. Many economists have predicted a future dominated by the Chinese. A group of Jamaicans has recently received scholarships to study in China in a move that is likely to be crucial for the island’s future success. Experts have noted that part of Jamaica’s economic problems arose because of its close ties with the United States and European Union. The slow growth of these countries has impacted Jamaica. On the other hand, China has experienced a high rate of growth and is key to the expansion of the global economy.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN FREED AFTER STABBING COUNTRYMAN IN BERMUDA—09/11/10
Thisley Dawson, also known as “Thunder,” was freed by a decision from Bermuda’s Supreme Court. He used a knife to stab fellow Jamaican Gregory Campbell in 2009 after finding him with his wife. Campbell, 31, says he has been traumatized by the event. Dawson was given a suspended sentence of three years by Judge Carlisle Greaves.
VAMPOSS SUED FOR PLAGIARISM—09/12/10
African singer Vamposs is being sued by the Jamaican reggae musicians Syon and Bongley for stealing the beats of one of their songs without their consent. The two Jamaicans were in Dar-es-Salaam and were surprised to hear and watch a video in which Vamposs used nearly the same beats as in their song. They are suing Vamposs in international court for plagiarism.
BOLT PRAISES RUDISHA—09/13/10
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s Olympic sprint champion, was made a Maasai elder and provided with the name “Loingwani” during a visit to Kenya. He praised David Rudisha for his performance at the Diamond League in the 800 meters, where he set new world records. Bolt has recently published a book about his life. Bolt was raised in Trelawny and grew up playing cricket and football.
SHAW NOTES IMPROVEMENTS IN ECONOMY—09/16/10
Audley Shaw, Jamaican Minister of Finance and Public Service, says nations in the Caribbean are on the way to an economic recovery, with decreasing inflation and rising growth rates. Shaw made his remarks at the 14th Annual Americas Conference in Coral Gables, Florida.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
GUYANA INSURERS IN BANKRUPTCY—09/11/10
TWO PETROLEUM FACILITIES BURN—09/12/10
HAITI’S FIRST AIRPORT HOTEL IN DEVELOPMENT—09/13/10
ANTI-RAPE CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED IN HAITI BY UNITED NATIONS—09/14/10
HIV TREATED DIFFERENTLY IN CARIBBEAN THAN IN REST OF WORLD—09/16/10
CARIBBEAN UNDER THREAT FROM THREE STORMS—09/17/10
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
TOURISM IN CARIBBEAN ON TRACK FOR GROWTH—09/13/10
After a terrible tourist season in 2009, most tourist destinations in the Caribbean have shown signs of economic growth in 2010, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization, which is based in Barbados. Tourist arrivals were down 3.6 percent for the year, and hotel occupancies dropped by 4.1 percent. Jamaica led the way in the recovery, with arrivals increasing by 7.4 percent between January and April 2010.
IPO OF LASCO OVERSUBSCRIBED IN THREE MINUTES—09/15/10
Lasco placed more than 269.2 million shares on offer in the market in an initial public offering that was oversubscribed in just three minutes. The IPO raised about $650 million, far outpacing the $415 million established. Mayberry Investment Ltd. was the lead broker and financial adviser. The firm announced that 2,000 more applications were received than were available. Most were from retail investors.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN TRELAWNY SUPPORTS PEDESTRIANIZATION—09/16/10
Trelawney’s Chamber of Commerce has lent its support to a proposal by the Urban Development Corporation to pedestrianize the town of Falmouth. Some businesses have opposed the plan, believing it will have a negative impact on their companies. However, Richard Bourke of the Chamber said the organization has no reservations in supporting the proposal. Pedestrianization of the historic town will ensure the safety of residents and visitors alike, he said.
CAMPBELL REFERRED FOR OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE IN TRAFIGURA—09/17/10
Contractor General Greg Christie has referred Colin Campbell to the Director of Public Prosecutions, charging him with obstructing justice in the Trafigura case. Trafigura Beheer is a Dutch firm that trades in oil and does business with Jamaica. It was involved with the People’s National party in 2006, when it gave $31 million to an account operated by Campbell, who was general secretary of the party at the time.
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
DELEGATION TO PARTICIPATE IN TECHNOLOGY FORUM IN AFRICA—09/13/10
A delegation from Trinidad and Tobago will go to East Africa to participate in a technology development conference in Harare, Zimbabwe. The delegation includes Arlene McComie, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Public Administration; Cleveland Thomas, managing director of Teleios Systems, Ronald Hinds, deputy chairman of the E-Business Round Table, and Bernadette Lewis, secretary general of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union. They will provide information about T&T’s experience with technology initiatives.
BAHAMAS HAS MOST ADVANCE E-BANKING SYSTEM IN REGION—09/15/10
According to Paul McWeeney, managing director of the Bank of the Bahamas International, the Bahamas has the most advanced system of electronic banking in the Caribbean region. The Bahamas Automated Clearing House (BACH) is now in operation, handling direct credits and debits functions. Bahamian firms will reap significant cost savings because of the clearing house, since it eliminates the need for firms to issue checks to employees.
COMRIE PLANS FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EXAMS IN 2011—09/16/10
Hanif Comrie, who achieved major success with his practical teaching methods, will send two primary school girls as candidates to the CSEC exams in information technology in 2011. The girls are members of a growing group of students being coached by Comrie in the field of information technology.
JAMAICA MAY HAVE RENEWABLE ENERGY POLICY BY END OF 2010—09/17/10
According to James Robertson, Jamaica’s Minister of Energy and Mining, the island could have a Renewable Energy Policy by the end of the year. He made his prediction at a workshop on energy efficiency and role that renewable energy has in a growing economy. The workshop offered information on renewable energy technologies developed in the United States, which could be brought to Jamaica. These include solar lighting, solar-powered irrigation, LED technology, and water conservation technologies.
USAIN BOLT LAUNCHES OWN SPORTS DRINK—09/11/10
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s Olympic champion, traveled to Australia to introduce his own sports drink, Gatorade Bolt Lemon Ice. The drink contains a six-percent carbohydrate blend designed to get fluids back into the muscles quickly. It has the same formula as other Gatorade drinks, but it features the new flavor. Bolt says he is happy to make his first trip to Australia and has been using the sports drinks since 2008. Australia’s Institute of Sports, Victorian Institute of Sports, and Sports Dieticians Australia endorse the entire line of Gatorade drinks.
WICB DENIES RETAINER CONTRACTS—09/12/10
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has denied the retainer contracts of Ramnaresh Sarwan, Narsingh Deonarine, and Jerome Taylor. The board surprised some players and fans by not including these individuals in its announced list of players on retainer for the year beginning on October 1, 21010. The Guyanese are especially upset at the exclusion of Sarwan, which sees his treatment as a national insult.
GAYLE WAITING FOR REMATCH WITH BOLT—09/13/10
Chris Gayle, captain of the West Indies cricket team, says he is looking forward to a rematch with Usain Bolt, holder of World and Olympic records in the 100 meters and 200 meters. Gayle characterized the first meeting of these rivals as “fun,” and a match enjoyed by spectators. He was surprised at Bolt’s abilities in playing cricket and plans to be prepared when the two meet again.
WOLMER’S BOYS READY FOR FIGHT—09/16/10
Wolmer’s Boys are ready for what has been called a “tricky” match when they play Spanis Town High at the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association/Pepsi/Digicel Manning Cup competition. The match pits urban area senior schoolboys against one another at the Spanish Town Prison Oval. Wolmer’s Boys are unbeaten at the competition to date and are confident of their ability to win.
Going Beyond Race
She must have made the same trip several hundred times. Walking out of Sychar in Samaria to Jacob’s well to fetch water, the task of women back in those days. A man standing by the well and striking up a conversation with her wouldn’t be that unusual. The Jews held that those who wished to get wives went to the wells where young women were accustomed to come and draw water, and it was not unusual for women of ill-repute to frequent there as well. However, this man was a Jew and she was a Samaritan and this made the tension even more dynamic because as she herself asked, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9, KJV). The Jew replied, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water” (v. 10).
There is a lot more to the narrative of course. John goes on to detail the conversation between the two and the woman’s subsequent recognition and testimony of Jesus as a prophet. However, of importance is the crossing of the racial divide. To the Jews, the Samaritans were like poison. They avoided them so much so that they refused to walk through the country. A Jew would not be caught dead talking to a Samaritan. The situation was of such that Jesus, knowing how vociferously the disciples would have objected to the situation, had sent them away to buy meat (v.8) so He could minister to the woman. What Jesus knew, and the disciples hadn’t yet recognized, was that the message of the good news was for everybody regardless of race or creed. The Jews worshipped in Jerusalem and the Samaritans at Mount Gerizim, but Jesus had come to break down those walls of division and make divine worship a matter of the heart and not one of location. In order to do that, He had to cross the racial barrier.
As human beings we like what feels comfortable and we are comfortable with what we know. Taking the message of Christ to people of a different culture is not something we instinctively gravitate towards, especially if we know their beliefs are different from ours. This does not necessarily mean going overseas because one of the benefits of globalization is that people of different nationalities, cultures, and beliefs are living and working side-by-side and together. We may view some of them as “the enemy” but we still have a responsibility to share with them the love of Christ.
Does it make you feel uncomfortable? That is not a bad thing. It just mean that we have work to do and because Jesus is our example, we can rest assured that the same Spirit that guided and enabled Him stands ready to guide and enable us. Befriend a non-christian from a different race and culture and allow the love of Christ to shine through you. If you already have such friendships, keep in mind the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “In everything you do preach Christ, and if necessary, use words.” We are commissioned to cross the racial divide and like Christ, we have a responsibility to do so.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.