JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending May 28th, 2010

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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GANGS WITH WEAPONS PROTEST “DUDUS” EXTRADITION—05/22/10

Gang members have collected weapons and built barricades in the streets of Tivoli Gardens and Denham Town in protest of the government’s decision to extradite Christopher “Dudus” Coke to the United States on drug trafficking charges. Police called upon residents of those areas to take down the barricades, but many view Coke as a benevolent figure, a “godfather,” who takes care of them and continue to defy police in support of him.

TRAVEL ALERT ISSUED BY U.S. FOR JAMAICA—05/23/10

The United States Department of State has issued a travel alert for Jamaica due to reports of gang activity in Kingston and the mobilization of Jamaican police in preparation for possible civil unrest and violence. The alert stated there was a possibility of “severe disruptions” in Kingston, including the blocking of access to Norman Manley International Airport. The unrest was caused by the decision of Prime Minister Bruce Golding to extradite alleged drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke to the U.S. on drug charges.

GUNFIRE AND FIRE BOMBS IN KINGSTON NEIGHBORHOODS—05/24/10

Jamaican security forces and masked gunmen traded fire in West Kingston neighborhoods as demonstrators marched in support of Christopher “Dudus” Coke, the alleged leader of the Shower Posse, a Jamaican drug gang. Coke is wanted by authorities in the United States on charges of drug and arms trafficking. The government declared a state of emergency as sporadic gunfire was heard in the streets of Tivoli Gardens, where Coke’s supporters transformed the area into a fortress, and gang members fired on four police stations using high-powered guns.

PEOPLE DEAD AS STREET FIGHTING CONTINUES—05/25/10

The Kingston neighborhoods where residents have been showing their support for Christopher “Dudus” Coke, alleged drug lord and leader of the Shower Posses, faced thousands of police and soldiers as street battles intensified. At least 30 people died in the fighting as government authorities stormed the area looking for Coke. Tivoli Gardens in West Kingston is home to Coke’s most loyal supporters and has long been his stronghold.

44 DEAD AS GUNMEN, POLICE FIGHT IN WEST KINGSTON—05/26/10

A leading Jamaican government official says the death toll has reached at least 44 as police and gunmen continue the fight over Christopher “Dudus” Coke. Approval for Coke’s extradition to the United States on drug and gun trafficking charges was given by Prime Minister Bruce Golding, but supporters of Coke took to the streets in protest, barricading the section in West Kingston considered to be Coke’s stronghold. Thousands of heavily armed soldiers and police entered the area in search of Coke.

MORE QUESTIONS ARISE CONCERNING MANATT, COKE—05/26/10

The continuing violence in Jamaica has generated increased scrutiny of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, a leading American lobbying firm. The firm allegedly had a role in the negotiations between the governments of Jamaica and the United States regarding the extradition of Christopher “Dudus” Coke. The situation has since resulted in a military manhunt for Coke, an alleged drug trafficking who has ties to Bruce Golding, Jamaica’s Prime Minister.

73 KILLED IN HUNT FOR “DUDUS”—05/27/10

Jamaica’s security forces arrested dozens of West Kingston residents as they searched for alleged drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke. Coke is to be extradited to the United States on charges of drug and arms dealing. The number of dead after four days of violence related to the search for Coke totals 73.Glenmore Hinds, deputy chief of police said the search for Coke continues, but he declined to say where police were looking. He also said police found 73 civilian bodies, three of which were not related to the manhunt. Three police officers died during the fighting, while 28 others were injured.

JAMAICA’S SECURITY MINISTER ATTENDS EVENT IN U.S.—05/28/10

Dwight Nelson, Jamaica’s National Security Minister, traveled to Washington to attend the inaugural Caribbean/United States Security Cooperation Dialogue. Nelson is one of 15 national security officials from the Caribbean who will meet with high-level American officials. U.S. officials said that Washington is committed to the $45 million promise made by President Barack Obama for support of a security partnership between the U.S. and Caribbean nations.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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DIASPORA UPSET BY MANATT SCANDAL—05/22/10

Jamaicans in the U.S. and Canada are upset and angry at how Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding handled the Manatt case. They were especially upset with Golding because he promised so much upon taking office. Jamaicans overseas believe that Golding is showing “weakness” and depending too much upon one person in his constituency.

300 JAMAICANS HIRED IN EASTERN WASHINGTON—05/24/10

Gebbers Farms in Brewster, Washington, has hired hundreds of workers from Jamaica to replace illegal immigrant workers it lost in 2009 after an investigation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The farm which grows apples and cherry trees, hired 300 workers via the H-2A visa program, which involves the issue of temporary agricultural visas. The farm is certified by the Department of Labor to hire foreign workers.

VIOLENCE IN JAMAICA STUNS CANADIANS—05/25/10

Jamaicans living in Canada are concerned about the safety of their families on the island after hearing reports of street violence and killings that prompted a state of emergency in the homeland. Jamaican security forces and gunmen committed to protecting an alleged drug lord from extradition to the United States have been battling in West Kingston. A dawn-to-dusk curfew has been imposed in Kingston, and Ottawa issued a travel alert for those heading to the island. Most of the violence is happening in Tivoli Gardens, one of the worst neighborhoods in Jamaica.

JAMAICA HAS NEW AMBASSADOR TO OAS—05/27/10

Audrey Patrice Marks is Jamaica’s new ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS). She presented her credentials to the organization’s Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza. During the ceremony in Washington, D.C., Marks, a representative of Bruce Golding’s government in Jamaica, stated her nation’s commitment to the principles of the OAS.

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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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TRINIDAD READIES FOR ELECTION—05/22/10

ANTIGUA TO IMPLEMENT JAMAICAN CIVIL REGISTRY—05/23/10

TRINIDIA ELECTS WOMAN AS PRIME MINISTER—05/24/10

HERZFELD CARIBBEAN BASIN FUND CHANGES BOARD—05/25/10

GULF OIL SPILL COULD BE IMPACTED BY HURRICANE SEASON—05/26/10

STATE POLITICAN ARRESTED IN MEXICO—05/27/10 

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

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SPORTS
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BOLT WINS IN CHINA—05/23/10

Usain Bolt won the men’s 200 meter race at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Shanghai. Bolt finished the race 10 meters ahead of his closest competitor with a time of 19.76 seconds. Bolt, 23, was racing in China for the first time since the Beijing Olympics.

JAMAICAN ATHLETE FIGHTING IN AFGHANISTAN—05/24/10

Keisha Downer, who competed for St. Jago High School and Jamaica in the World Junior Championships in 1998, is currently fighting in Afghanistan. She attended Texas University at Austin and is now a First Lieutenant operating with the 1st Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery of the U.S. Army.

CRICKET MATCHES MOVED FROM JAMAICA BECAUSE OF VIOLENCE—05/26/10

The violence occurring in Jamaica related to the police search for an alleged drug trafficker has caused cricket authorities to move a one-day international match and the first test against South Africa. The West Indies Cricket Board said the matches have been moved to Trinidad. The fifth-one-day international was scheduled for June 3, while the opening test’s date is June 10. Both were to have been played at Sabina Park in Kingston, but will not be held in Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain.

BOLT TO RUN 300 METERS AT GOLDEN SPIKE—05/27/10

Usain Bolt, 23, wants to have some fun and test his personal speed, and so he will run in the 300 meters at the Golden Spike in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Bolt, Olympic gold medalist, says the longer distance was not new for him because he uses it in his training program. He knows how to run 300 meters, he says, and wants to see how fast he can run it in a competition.

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DEVOTIONAL
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The God of All Comfort

One of the most meaningful attributes of a relationship is the ability to find comfort, when needed, in the company of those we hold dear. Because life isn’t always fair we are often faced with challenges that seem insurmountable, and we can relate to the Apostle Paul in feeling troubled on every side (2 Corinthians 4:8).  However, as difficult as Paul’s experiences were, there was one profound truth he mentioned to the Corinthians – The God he served was not only the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies, but He was also “the God of all comfort who comforteth us in all our [troubles]” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4a, KJV).

Those times of troubles are the times we feel most vulnerable and most understood.  We cannot find the words to express our thoughts and while we go around seemingly at ease, inwardly the struggle continues; the invisible dark cloud seem to follow us everywhere. It is during these times we can find comfort in the assurance that we have an high priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities [feebleness of body or mind].  Not only is He intimately aware of what we are going through, but in Him we can find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16).

In the same way that a parent stands ready with open and loving arms to receive and embrace a child who is hurting, God stands ready with open and loving arms also.  When no one else understands, He does.  When there are no words to express the way we feel, He knows our thoughts and He feels our hurts.  When the tears flow, they speak a language that only He understands. No matter how long it takes to see us through, He will never run out of patience.  On the days we struggle, He doesn’t give up on us.  In Him we can confide our deepest fears, our innermost longings, and know that they are safe with Him.

The God of all comfort.  Reassuring, isn’t it?

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.