THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICAN CHILDREN, ELDERLY NO LONGER NEED VISAS FOR CAYMAN TRAVEL—11/12/11
The Cayman Islands has decided that children under age 15 and elderly Jamaicans over age 70 will be allowed to travel to the country without visas. This decision was reached after the governor refused to permit the premier to eliminate a visa requirement for all Jamaicans who already had United Kingdom or United State visas.
JAMAICAN POLICE ISSUE ADVISORY ON PUBLIC MARCHES—11/13/11
Jamaicans have been informed of the laws governing public processions and marches. The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has particularly targeted representatives of the country’s political parties with its information project. Under the Public Order Act, it is illegal for a public march to occur at night or to take place in daylight without a police-issued permit.
UNITED STATES EMBASSY PROVIDES $10 MILLION TO FUND EDUCATION, TRAINING—11/14/11
Nine organizations and programs in Jamaica received a total of $10 million from Kingston’s United States Embassy. The funds are intended for a broad range of educational and training initiatives. The grantees include Children First, Clarendon Association for Street People Benevolent Society, Operation Friendship, Jamaica Basketball Association, Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, Jamaica Fullbright Association, Jamaica Theological Seminary, University of the West Indies, and Northern Caribbean University.
FORMER DEPUTY PREMIER OF JAMAICA HAS DIED—11/15/11
David Coore, former Deputy Prime Minister of Jamaica, had died at the age of 86 in the Dominican Republic. Coore died from complications of pneumonia in a hospital in Dominica, where he had been living since April 2011. Coore was Deputy Prime Minister in the cabinet of Michael Manley during the 1970s. He was also instrumental in drafting the Jamaican constitution when the nation became independent of Britain in 1962. He is survived by his wife Maria, three sons, and eleven grandchildren.
VETERANS OF WORLD WARS HONORED—11/15/11
Jamaica’s veterans of World War I and World War II received honors at National Heroes Park during the National Day of Remembrance on November 13, 2011. Church services and parades were also held in their honor throughout the country. About 250 veterans of the Jamaica Legion and the Royal Air Force still live in Jamaica.
MORE INVESTMENT FROM SAGRES FOR OIL EXPLORATION IN JAMAICA—11/16/11
According to an announcement from Sagres Energy, the firm is planning to invest CDN$2.94 million, or J$250 million, to search for oil in Jamaica. This amount represents the company’s largest outlay of capital to date. The Canadian oil exploration firm wants to begin drilling operations by the end of 2011.
FAGAN WANTS FUNDS TO PURCHASE FOOD FOR FISHERMEN—11/17/11
Colin Fagan, Member of Parliament, has requested funds to buy food and fear for a fishing project. His requests were broadsided by Everald Warmington, chair of the parliamentary committee established to review projects submitted to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Fagan wanted funding for a fishing project in St. Catherine, but Warmington stated that the Social Development Commission (SDC) could not implement it. He also said the agency could not give fishermen food and that they would have to eat the fish that they catch.
HENRY SAYS HE WOULD HAVE DISALLOWED $100 MILLION EXPENDITURE—11/18/11
Mike Henry, Jamaica’s Minister of Transport and Works, announced that he would never have approved an expenditure totaling over $100 million to refurbish the corporate offices of the National Works Agency (NWA) if he had known about the agency’s plans. Henry allowed the funding to come from the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Program (JDIP). He has ordered an investigation into the matter and that Patrick Wong, CEO of the NWA has taken responsibility for handling the issue poorly.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN DRIVERS IN GUYANA FOR MOTOR RACING CHAMPIONSHIPS—11/13/11
The battle between Barbados and Jamaica for the victory on the motor racing track continues during the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing championship (CMRC). In the third and last portion of the series, many regional drivers will showcase their talent. David Summerbell of Jamaica leads, with Mark Maloney of Barbados in second place. Jamaican team manager Hilary Jardine says the team is in “high spirits and optimistic about the chance for Summerbell to retain his champion title.
JAMAICAN STORE IN TORONTO PROVIDES TASTE OF HOME—11/14/11
For the thousands of Jamaicans who live in the greater Toronto region of Canada, Nicey’s Food Mart meets all their home foods needs. The owners of the Jamaican retail food store, Vincent and Lorain Lai, also run a take-out restaurant at the location. They have been in business for more than 30 years and have always catered to the unique tastes of their Jamaican and West Indian neighbors. Seventy-five percent of his customers are Jamaican, said Vincent Lai, while ten percent are from Trinidad, five percent from Guyana, and the rest originally come from other islands in the Caribbean.
BARTLETT COMPLETES VISIT TO UNITED KINGDOM—11/15/11
Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, ended his visit to the United Kingdom by attending a community meeting at the Jamaica High Commission in London. The meeting allowed Bartlett to focus on the 50th Anniversary of Independence that will occur in 2012, as well as to discuss the importance of the Jamaican Diaspora in the UK. He also updated the community about the latest developments on the island and discussed key travel industry issues, noting that the Diaspora market is a vital asset to the development of Jamaica.
JEWS IN U.S. RECEIVE JAMAICAN JEWISH HISTORY LESSON—11/17/11
Geneive Brown Metzger, Consul General of Jamaica to New York, joined with the America Jewish Committee Westchester Chapter to sponsor an event that celebrated the history and culture of Jews in Jamaica. The event was held at the New York offices of the Consulate General and was designed to highlight the rich history of Jamaica’s Jewish community.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
MINIBUS PLUNGES OF CLIFF INTO OCEAN, 16 DEAD—11/12/11
NEWLY APPOINTED CULTURE MINISTER IN HAITI IS DEAD—11/13/11
REMITTANCES TO CARIBBEAN ON THE RISE—11/14/11
HOMICIDES IN PUERTO RICO REACH RECORD LEVELS—11/16/11
CUBA’S EXPERIENCE WITH AGROECOLOGY SHARED WITH NEIGHBORS—11/17/11
ST.VINCENT EXCITED ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES IN COCOA MARKET—11/18/11
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
BANK OF JAMAICA DECREASES POLICY RATE—11/12/11
The policy rate provided at the Bank of Jamaica was reduced by 50 basis points to 6.25 percent in the September 2011 quarter. The policy rate, which is the interested rate paid on 30-day certificates of deposit, was lowered on two occasions to the total of 50 basis points. The bank took this action in view of an improved outlook for inflation during the remainder of the fiscal year.
NORANDA HAPPY WITH GROWTH AT MINARD LIVESTOCK SHOW—11/13/11
Delroy Dell, the operations director for Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Company, says that the yearly Minard Livestock Show, which is held in St. Ann, is stimulating and encouraging support for the cattle industry at a time when the island is attempting to reduce its dependence of imported beef. Dell told the crowds at the event that Minard had become a major showpiece for the entire Caribbean livestock business and that Noranda is happy to maintain the partnership with the event, which began in 2009, to exploit the common interests that exist between agriculture and the bauxite industry.
EXPORTERS TO HAVE THEIR OWN MARKET INTELLIGENCE PORTAL—11/14/11
JAMPRO is creating a market intelligence portal specifically for exporters. The portal is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2011. According to Marjorie Straw, manager of special projects, planning and corporate development at JAMPRO, the construction of the web portal followed a suggestion a made by the government that a greater emphasis on market intelligence should be made. Initially, data on the site will comprise overseas buyers and distributors, products they offer, and the markets they work in.
JLP, PNP SCOLDED BY PRIVATE SECTOR BUSINESS LEADERS—11/16/11
Business leaders in Jamaica are upset about certain statements made by representatives of both major political parties. Both the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) and the opposition People’s National Party (PNP) have made remarks about the nation’s economy and the pending sale of state assets. Business leaders have noted an “escalation” in the claims and counterclaims coming from the rival parties and are concerned that these comments are having a negative impact on the business sector. Milton Samuda, president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, says the remarks contribute to an “environment of uncertainty and instability,” which is harmful to business interests.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
IDB, CANTO JOIN TO ENCOURAGE BROADBAND DEVELOPMENT—11/12/11
DIGICEL INTRODUCES NEW SMARTPHONE IN CARIBBEAN REGION—11/13/11
EXCELLENT INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES SEEN IN JAMAICAN TECH SECTOR—11/15/11
ST.KITTS YOUTH TO EXPLORE DEVELOPMENT OF MOBILE APPLICATIONS—11/17/11
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
AUTONOMY ADDS VIRTUAL LIFE TO STILL IMAGES—11/14/11
Mike Lynch, the chief executive officers of Autonomy, introduced a new technology developed by his computer that will allow phones and table cameras to add “life” and movement to still images. Autonomy, recently acquired by Hewlett-Packard, is a leader in what it calls “meaning-based computer.” The new technology involves a device that picks up patterns in an image and transforms them into virtual life. Ultimately, the device will provide a new way to deal with information, since it will make every object interactive, said Lynch. The technology will eliminate the need for semantic tagging as well.
FASTER, LONGER CHARGES AVAILABLE WITH REDESIGNED LITHIUM ION BATTERY—11/16/11
Smartphone users may soon have longer-lasting battery power thanks to researchers at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. These scientists have developed new technology that could lead to longer battery life within the next few years. They have found a way to redesign current lithium ion cells, which are often used in consumer electronic devices, to address energy capacity and charging time. The new method extends battery life by 10 times, said Harold H. Kung, professor of chemical and biological engineering and lead author of the research document. The improved performance of the battery results from changes to the material used in its construction and the way ions move within a cell.
HOPE GARDENS BECOMES ‘LONDON’—11/12/11
Established in the 1870s and 1880s and named for its first British owner, Major Richard Hope, was the venue for a fusion of cultures on November 12, 2011. At Hope Gardens, the Smirnoff Nightlight Exchange Project (SNEP) will pursue its aim of finding the best nightlife from around the globe via some 50 nations participating at the Kingston location. Safia Cooper of Smirnoff noted that the SNEP event in Jamaica was designed to fuse features of “London rave” with “Kingston swag.”
CELINE DION TO BE HEADLINER AT JAMAICA JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL—11/13/11
Five-time Grammy winner Celine Dion is scheduled to appear at the 16th Annual Jamaica Jazz and Blues “Art of Music” Festival from January 26 to 28 at Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium just east of Montego Bay. The singer will join other major international stars who will perform at the Festival. John Lynch, Jamaica Tourism Director, said that getting one of the biggest superstars in the world to appear at the festival means that more visitors than ever will be attracted to the island, which is likely to get significantly more media attention due to Dion’s appearance as well.
VIVA ZUMBI TO PLAY IN CHARLES TOWN—11/14/11
While the story of Jamaican Maroons is relatively well-known, their counterparts from Brazil have had less attention. Descendants of the original Jamaican Maroons have kept the spirit alive with their singing, drumming, and dancing. The descendants of Brazilian Maroons also have their own styles of musicianship and a dancing style known as Capoeira. Capoeira has been practiced and taught in Jamaica for some time by Grupo Catieveiro Capoeira Jamaica, headed by Dennis Eckart. The dancing will be showcased by Viva Zumbi Capoeira at a two-day event held November 18 and 19 in Charles town, Portland. The event honors Zumbi dos Palmares, who is regarded as a symbol of resistance against oppression and slavery.
VYBZ KARTEL INVESTIGATED FOR FIVE ADDITIONAL MURDERS—11/17/11
The dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, is now under investigation for his role in five murders other than the murder for which he was first charged on October 3, 2011. Detectives on the case have found evidence implicating Kartel in the other murders, which occurred in the Corporate Area and St. Catherine.
HOWARD ARIS, TRACK AND FIELD EXECUTIVE, DEAD AT 75—11/12/11
Howard Aris, the track and field executive who led Jamaica to its best performance at the 2008 Olympics and 2008 World Championships, has died. He was found in an unconscious state at a campaign rally for the People’s National Party and was transported to a hospital, where he later died. Aris had been president of Jamaica’s track and field federation since 2003. He was also a friend of PNP President Portia Simpson Miller and of the former Jamaican Prime Minister.
LEGAL ACTION AGAINST JAMAICA CRICKET BOARD TAKEN BY ROWE—11/13/11
Lawrence Rowe, legendary batting star for the West Indies, has started a legal action against the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA). He is fighting the organization’s decision to withdraw his name from the Players’ Pavilion in Sabina Park. Rowe’s name was withdrawn after he made remarks during an interview that were seen as controversial by the JCA. He was one of several players to defy international sanction and played in South Africa during its years of apartheid; he was subsequently banned from cricket, and his international career ended.
EARLY OUSTER FOR JAMAICANS AT U.S. BADMINTON MEET—11/14/11
Charles Pyne, Gareth Henry, and Samuel Ricketts were eliminated from the Bill Graham Miami Badminton International in Miami Lakes, Florida. Pyne was ranked 131 in the world and lasted on the court for 30 minutes before being defeated by Niluka Karunaratne of Sri Lanka. Henry had a career-best world rank of 162 was defeated by Daniel Messersi of Italy, while Ricketts, who was at his first tournament as a senior, lost to Virgil Soeroredjo of Suriname.
BOLT WINS WORLD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD—11/15/11
Jamaica’s Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt was named World Athlete of the Year for the third time by the International Athletics Foundation. The award was made in Monaco. Bolt is now the second man in history to have won this major award three times. Yohan Blake of Jamaica won the Performer of the Year award for his 19.26-second 200-meter race, the second fastest time in history, at the Memorial Van Damme Diamond League meet in Brussels in September 2011.
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Getting It Done
In the first verse of the first chapter of the book of Ezra, we find an interesting if somewhat innocuous statement. Ezra, telling the story of the return of the Judean exiles from Babylon, writes, “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia” (1:1a, KJV). For our purposes, it is sufficient to note that Cyrus II was the king under whom the captivity of the Jews ended. During the first year of his reign, he was prompted by God to make a decree that the temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt and that those Jews who wanted to return to their land could do so. In addition, he sent back the sacred vessels that had been taken from the First Temple and quite a bit of money to buy building materials.
Nearly 150 years before King Cyrus was born, God declared to the prophet Isaiah that He would raise up this king to rebuild His city. Interestingly, at the time of Isaiah, Jerusalem was prospering and would not be destroyed for another 100 years by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. In Isaiah 44 we read, “Thus saith the LORD . . . that saith of Cyrus, he is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid” (vv. 24a, 28). Cyrus himself would proclaim and had put in writing, “The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build Him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (He is the God,) which is in Jerusalem” (Ezra 1:2-3; 2 Chron. 36:22-23).
But what is so important about the portion of the verse quoted in the first paragraph above? In it we see the faithfulness of God in ensuring the fulfillment of His word. The verse tells us that over 150 years AFTER He first said it, “that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia.” Jeremiah had prophesied that the Jews would be in Babylonian captivity for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11), and this was exactly how long they were there. The application for us should be self-evident. Whatever God promises, He can cause to happen. Sometimes it is easy to see our success as linked to those in authority – a manager, supervisor, pastor, to name a few – and we sometimes try to gain their favour. Yet, we are reminded that “the king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases” (Proverbs 21:1). Even if those in charge do not like us, the child of God can rest assured that at the time of His choosing He can stir up the spirit of our adversaries to do for us what He wants done. Our lives are in His hands; He alone has the final word.
What has He promised you? Does it seem like a very long time ago? Not to worry. He will do whatever is necessary to bring it to pass.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.