THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
HOLNESS GIVES INDICATION OF EARLY ELECTION—11/05/11
Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s new Prime Minister, has hinted that there will be an early general election, noting that the electoral office “must always be ready” to provide the government with the capacity to make a decision. He did agree with the opposition People’s National Party (PNP) that the election facilities need to be in place before polls are implemented.
PRIME MINISTER SAYS JAMAICANS TO DECIDE ON GAY SEX LAW—11/06/11
While Britain has pressured Jamaica to repeal its anti-gay legislation, Andrew Holness, Jamaican Prime Minister, has stated that it is up to Jamaicans to make that decision. Holness has characterized himself as liberal in many ways, but said the government recognizes that homosexuality is offensive to many Jamaican citizens. Jamaica is a democracy, Holness said, and that democracy will ultimately settle the issue, regardless of Britain’s threats to withhold aid if laws that criminalize homosexuality are not repealed.
ROSE HALL DEVELOPMENTS LAUNCHES NEW COMMUNITY—11/07/11
Rose Hall Developments, which owns 7,000 acres of the Rose Hall Plantation and Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, has established Founders Village in Montego Bay. The new community features luxury residential accommodations on lots ranging from three to four acres. The gated community includes views of the Caribbean and easy access to beaches, shopping, and golf.
WALKER CANDIDACY FOR JAMAICA LABOR PARTY—11/08/11
Danville Walker has decided to be the candidate for the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) from Central Manchester. According to Walker, the party is “the party of performance.” He stated that he wants to be of help in transforming Jamaica into a better place to live. Walker is a former Commissioner of Customs. He also noted that the People’s National Party (PNP) had been in power for 18 years before 2007, a period that saw the “greatest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich.”
TOURISM MINISTER SUPPORT COMMON TRAVEL VISA FOR CARIBBEAN—11/09/11
Ed Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, has called for a common Caribbean travel visa, which would facilitate the ability of the region to market itself as a single tourist destination. Under Bartlett’s plan, visitors coming to Jamaica would automatically be able to move on to Barbados without having to apply for additional travel documents. He has also stated his support for electronic visas, saying there is technology available to make national entry arrangements safe and easy.
COALITION ENCOURAGES COOPERATION WITH CAMPAIGN FINANCE RULES—11/09/11
The Jamaica Civil Society Coalition is supporting a move by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) to require both major political parties promise to observe certain campaign finance rules, even though there are no laws mandating that they do so. Professor Errol Miller, chairman of the ECJ, said that both parties have voluntarily agreed to comply with some reform rules.
ALLEN WANTS JAMAICANS TO PRESERVE NATIONAL HERITAGE—11/10/11
Sir Patrick Allen, Governor-General, is encouraging Jamaicans to keep the nation’s heritage relevant by educating young people about the island’s culture. According to Allen, if children can be taught to value their heritage, the future of the culture is ensured. Allen made his remarks at the inaugural Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Heritage Essay Competition Awards ceremony at King’s House in Kingston, where he also recognized the major contribution of the JIS in preserving Jamaican history and culture.
HOLNESS TAKES ACTION AT SIX POORLY PERFORMING PRIMARY SCHOOLS—11/11/11
According to Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, the Ministry of Education will take action to address the situation at six primary schools that continue to perform poorly on the Grade Four Literacy Test. Holness revealed that some schools had zero-percent mastery in the 2011 exam. He said that such results could no longer be tolerated. Holness, who also acts as Education Minister, said the six schools have been at the lowest level since the examination was introduced in 2009.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICANS IN U.S. HAPPY ABOUT HOLNESS AS PRIME MINISTER—11/05/11
Jamaican nationals living in the United States have indicated their support of Andrew Holness, who has taken the position of Prime Minister in their home country. Many Jamaicans say they hope Holness will be able to make economic and other improvements that will transform the island into a place of greater opportunity. They would also like the new Prime Minister to address the problems with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and make the changes required to ensure Jamaica meets its requirements.
JAMAICA FEATURED AT 2012 FLOWER MART EVENT IN D.C.—11/06/11
Jamaica is slated to be the lead exhibit at the 2012 Flower Mart show in Washington, D.C. The event is the area’s most famous festival of flowers, music, and entertainment. The yearly two-day event features thousands of horticulture experts and exhibitors to the National Cathedral. It is scheduled for May 4 and 5, 2012, and will spotlight Jamaica, which is the first Caribbean nation to be selected for this role in the event’s 73-year history.
GRAND JURY IN U.S. INDICTS THREE JAMAICANS—11/10/11
Three Jamaicans are among six individuals who are being indicted by a federal grand jury in Maryland on charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. The six are suspected of forming part of a criminal network involved in drug trafficking. Jean Brown, Hubert Downer, and Dean Myrie are Jamaicans alleged to be members of the Brown Organization, which is in charge of narcotics distribution in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Arizona, and Jamaica. According to the court, the three were involved in the distribution of at least 1,000 kilograms of marijuana since 2000.
JAMAICAN ARRESTED FOR TRAFFICKING IN MARIJUANA AT TRINIDAD AIRPORT—11/11/11
A Jamaican man, 34, will appear in court in Trinidad on charges of possessing 29 packets of marijuana for purposes of trafficking. Potosi Pembroke Hall of Jamaica was arrested by representatives of the Organized Crime, Narcotics and Firearms Bureau at Trinidad’s Piarco International Airport. The street value of the drugs held by Hall was estimated at $50,000. Law enforcement in Trinidad is working with its counterparts in Jamaica in attempts to stop the drug trade between the two nations.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
ROBINSON, DAVIS WIN 1ST MATCH AT 3RD ANNUAL CARIBBEAN CUP—11/05/11
CARIBBEAN NATIONS SUPPORT PALESTINE UNESCO VOTE—11/06/11
ANTI-CRIME CURFEW ENDS IN TRINIDAD—11/07/11
EIGHT INMATES DIE IN PUERTO RICO AS PRISON VAN ENGULFED BY FLOOD WATERS—11/08/11
HAITIAN INMATE RECOUNTS POLICE SHOOTING AT TRIAL—11/09/11
VENEZUELAN NAVY DETECTS SUBMARINE OFF COAST—11/10/11
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
CHEVRON TO SELL JAMAICAN ASSETS—11/05/11
Chevron, the oil marketing company, reported that the pending sale of its Texaco Jamaican assets includes 52 retail gas stations, a one-third stake in a Montego Bay storage terminal, and a bulk fuel distributor. The firm has confirmed its intention to sell the rest of its assets in the Caribbean to GBG Energy Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Gilbert Gigio Group.
UTECH LEADERSHIP SCHOOL RECEIVES $81.7 MILLION FROM JMMB GROUP—11/06/11
The JMMB Group is providing $81.7 million to the Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics, and Leadership at the University of Technology (UTECH) College of Business and Management. The investment is meant to advance the teaching and research of entrepreneurship, economic growth, and moral and ethical considerations in business.
JPS SECURES J$11 BILLION IN DEBT FINANCING TO BUY LOCAL POWER PROVIDER—11/07/11
The Jamaica Public Service Company’s Korean partners have obtained a J$11 billion debt guarantee designed to fund the partial acquisition of the local power provider. This is the first occasion in which Korea East-West Power Company has offered any information about its acquisition of 40 percent of JPS.
INTEREST RATE REDUCED TO 8 PERCENT BY DBJ—11/08/11
The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) has reduced its interest rates to as low as eight percent. The decrease was attributed to a reduction in the cost of the bank’s funds. The new interest rates on loans to small and midsized businesses became effective on November 1, 2011.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
SHIPS OF ENGLISH ADVENTURER BELIEVED FOUND NEAR PANAMA COAST—11/08/11
ANGUILLA PARTICIPATES IN CARIBBEAN STATISTICS MEETINGS—11/09/11
CLOUD COMPUTING MARKET READY TO SOAR—11/10/11
COLUMBUS NETWORDS UPGRADE SUBMARINE CABLE SYSTEM—11/11/11
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
IBM TRAINS COMPUTER CHIP TO LEARN LIKE HUMAN BEING—11/07/11
At IBM’s Almaden Research Center in California, researchers are teaching a computer chip to learn in the same way that humans learn. The chip, known as Synapse, is being taught to play Pong, the vintage video game, and when it first began, its performance was poor. Later, however, it was almost unbeatable. The chip is designed to learn by experience and from what it “sees” in much the same way as a human. It finds correlations, creates hypotheses, and remembers outcomes. The chip could someday be embedded in everyday objects, making interactions between humans and computers more natural.
JAPAN MAKES HUMANOID ROBOT SERIES—11/10/11
The Japan Robot Association launched its 19th International Robot Exhibition with 292 organizations participating. Kawanda Industries was featured as it demonstrated its Nextage industrial robot, which has a serious anthropomorphic appearance. The robot has six jointed arms and cameras in its “eyes” and “hands.” It is designed to use the same tools as humans when working on a production line.
JAMAICA’S MUSIC INDUSTRY LACKS SPIRITUALITY, SAYS ZIGGY MARLEY—11/05/11
Ziggy Marley, reggae superstar, says that the music industry in Jamaica is suffering from a lack of spirituality, focusing chiefly on some dancehall and reggae songs produced today. Marley made his remarks during a radio interview with IRIE FM. He said that Jamaican musicians are making beats and rhythms, but what is more important is the spirit of the music, which is what is popular throughout the world. The local industry needs to find ways to put passion and spirituality into the music, says Marley.
TOYA, JAMAICAN DANCEHALL STAR, IN NORWAY BROADCAST—11/06/11
Toya, the dancehall diva from Downsound Records, is scheduled to add some Caribbean style to Scandinavia during her special appearance on Cruiseliv, a new travel series broadcast on TVNorge in Norway. The show will feature Toya on an episode focusing on the sensuality of young women in Jamaica. The program will be broadcast to 25 million homes in Scandinavia on November 23, 2011.
VIDEO EVIDENCE CITED BY PROSECUTION IN KARTEL MURDER CASE—11/07/11
The prosecutors in the murder trial against Vybz Kartel, Jamaican dancehall star, have indicated that they have incriminating video evidence against the deejay. Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, was remanded after an appearance in the Gun Court section of the Corporate Area Resident Magistrates Court. In addition to the video evidence, prosecutors say they have taped telephone conversations that could help their case against Kartel.
DAVID HERON, JAMAICAN ACTOR, GETS LEAD ROLE IN TELEVISION AD—11/08/11
David Heron is an award-winning, Jamaican-born producer and playwright, and he has now been given the leading role in a Xoom.com television commercial advertising the firm’s new mobile site. Heron went to Los Angeles, California, to shoot the ad. He says he is happy to be associated with the product because it allows Jamaicans in the United States to send funds back home via a mobile phone.
BOLT, BLAKE ON SHORTLIST FOR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR—11/05/11
Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake are the only two track stars from the Caribbean region to be included on the shortlist for the Athlete of the Year award provided by the International Athletics Federation. The IAAF announced that the two Jamaica runners and Kenyan distance runner David Rudisha were begin considered for the men’s award.
HENRY, PYNE HAVE MIXED RESULTS IN BADMINTON MATCH—11/06/11
Jamaicans Charles Pyne and Gareth Henry, who earned the island badminton place in the London Olympic Games for 2012, did not perform optimally at the Puerto Rico International match held in Ponce. Henry, ranked 208th in the world, beat Daniel Paiola of Brazil, ranked 86th in the world and is set to face Rodrigo Pacheco of Peru, ranked 67th. Pyne is ranked 124th in the world, but was defeated by fourth seed Misha Ziberman of Israel, who ranks 77th.
BERNARD SET TO BE RE-ELECTED AS HEAD OF NETBALL ASSOCIATION—11/07/11
Marva Bernard is likely to be unopposed in a bid for a fourth term as president of the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) and is expected to see re-election at the yearly general meeting of the group. Bernard and Yvette Smith, vice president, are the only individuals who will return unopposed in the elections. The JNA’s four-year plan will also be reviewed at the annual meeting.
JAMAICA PARALYMPIC TEAM GOES TO GAMES IN MEXICO—11/08/11
A team consisting of ten members will represent the Jamaica Paralympic Association at the Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in November 2011. The games functions as a top qualifier for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. The Jamaicans competing are Alphanso Cunningham, Tanto Campbell, Sylvia Grant, Kevon Reid, and Shane Hudson.
Finding Our True Purpose
Recently I was reflecting on Job’s poignant observation recorded in Job 14:1, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble”, and I was immediately reminded of the question posed in James 4:14b, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” It occurred to me then that when each of us got out of bed this morning, there were many others who did not make it through the night. There are many who will not make it through to the end of today, whether through a timely or an untimely demise, but at some time or another, we all have an irrevocable appointment that we all must keep (Ecc. 3:2; Heb. 9:27a).
That God allowed us to be living in the moment, when He could have easily done otherwise, provokes the question, why? I firmly believe that we are all placed here for a reason. To the Israelites in Babylonian captivity the LORD said, “For I know the plans I have for you” (Jeremiah 29:11a), and I believe this knowing on God’s part is applicable to each and every believer’s life. It is no stroke of good fortune that God allowed our eyes to open this morning. He did it for a purpose, and lest we forget who we are and what that purpose is, Peter reminds us, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Jesus told His disciples, and every disciple since, “You are the salt of the world … you are the light of the world … Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” (Matt. 5:13a, 14a; 28:19a).
It seems clear to me that our purpose for our allotted time here on earth has been clearly defined. Among other things We are to 1) be witnesses for Christ – wherever we are – in words and deeds, 2) show the way of Christ to a darkness filled world, 3) make disciples, and 4) to demonstrate the richness of a life that is fully surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. In the “few days” that you have been given, how effectively are you fulfilling your purpose? May God teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:10), and so commit ourselves to the fulfilling our true purpose.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.