THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICAN BROADCASTING COMMISSION TO MAKE PAYOLA A CRIME—11/13/10
Jamaica’s Broadcasting Commission has proposed making it a criminal offense for radio and television staff members to support payola. According to Dr. Hopeton Dunn, chairman of the commission, the group is taking a strong stand against the corrupt practice and wants severe sanctions imposed on offenders.
SAMUDA SAYS PAYING TAXES WILL BE EASIER—11/14/10
Karl Samuda, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, says that the Golding administration will make changes to the island’s complex tax system that has hurt business development. This will make it easier for entrepreneurs to do business in Jamaica. Samuda’s remarks were prompted by Jamaica’s ranking in the Doing Business Report from the World Bank. Jamaica ranked 81 or 181 nations in ease of doing business.
GOLDING WANTS LABOR PARTY UNITY—11/15/10
Bruce Golding, Jamaican Prime Minister, told the new Area Council Four leader of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), Dr. Christopher Tufton, that he should ensure unity of the party as his first activity. Tufton received 634 votes to become leader, defeating Horace Chang, the incumbent, who had 434 votes. Golding spoke to both men after the election, ensuring Chang that he still has an important role in the JLP.
OPPOSITION WANTS INFORMATION ABOUT HEALTH CORPORATION CUTS—11/16/10
The People’s National Party has accused the government of Bruce Golding of deliberately providing misleading information about the total number of staff cuts arising from the merger of the Health Corporation Ltd. and the National Health Fund. Rudyard “Ruddy” Spencer, Health Minister, said over 180 positions would be eliminated after legal requirements were met. However, Opposition spokesperson on health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, is concerned about “contradictory” information coming from the Health Ministry about the coming integration of the agencies.
PNP REMARKS ON CONTROVERSY INVOLVING JAMAICAN MINISTER—11/16/10
The People’s National Party (PNP) has discussed the allegations that a government minister ordered the murder of several Jamaicans. Peter Bunting, general secretary of the PNP, issued a statement noting the Opposition’s concern over the accusation. The PNP has demanded that Bruce Golding, Prime Minister, provides a clarification of the reports he has received on the issue and to release the minister involved from Cabinet responsibilities until the matter is investigated and settled.
POLICE SAY GANGS ARE PLOTTING ROBBERIES IN KINGSTON—11/17/10
Patrols in Half-Way-Tree and neighboring areas will be increased, say police in St. Andrew Central, following information that indicates two of Jamaica’s most organized and ruthless gangs of criminals are planning a series of robberies in the region during the Christmas holidays. The gangs involved are the One Order and Klansman gangs based in Spanish Town. The East Kingston Lee’s gang is also thought to be part of the plans.
GOLDING TO REMOVE EXTRADITION OBSTACLES—11/18/10
Bruce Golding, Jamaican Prime Minister, has given his assurances to Washington that the government will change the laws to avoid a repeat of the “melodrama” that surrounded the extradition of Christopher “Dudus” Coke, alleged drug kingpin, to the United States. Golding said that changing the law to remove existing obstacles to extradition would be done in the “spirit of cooperation” that exists between Jamaica and the U.S.
JAMAICA’S CABINET APPROVES TELECOMMUNICATIONS BILL—11/19/10
The Jamaican Cabinet has given its approval to a plan that will establish a Mandatory Registration of Subscriber Information (MRSI) for all those who use telecommunications services on the island. The new legislation will require the three mobile phone firms providing service in Jamaica to give the data on request as part of law enforcement activities. Daryl Vaz, the official responsible for information and telecommunications, says the Telecommunications Act of 2000 will need to be amended to allow for the creation of the MRSI.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JIMMY CLIFF WARNS AGAINST INFLUENCE OF FOREIGN CULTURE—11/13/10
Jimmy Cliff, legendary Jamaican reggae star, is warning Africans about the negative impact of foreign culture on their continent. Cliff says that China and Japan are advancing in the world because they have maintained their cultural identity and way of life. Cliff has asked African governments to resist foreign influences, remarking that “we do not want foreigners to rule us anymore.” He also advised African governments to make education a top priority for their people.
THOUSANDS OF VISITORS PARTICIPATE IN ANNUAL JERK FESTIVAL—11/16/10
The annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival in South Florida attracted thousands of visitors who came to enjoy the culinary heritage of the island. The festival is characterized as the biggest Caribbean food festival in the United States and showcases Jamaican foods, sauces, and condiments. It also features games, arts and crafts, and entertainment. Total number of attendees was estimated to be 15,000.
BRITISH ATHLETE WITH JAMAICAN FAMILY LOOKS FORWARD TO OLYMPICS—11/17/10
Scott Ryan was born in the United Kingdom of Jamaican parents, and he helped the UK defeat Jamaica in the 4×100 meter final for the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. He is managed by Jamaican Teddy Bailey and is looking forward to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
JAMAICAN GUILTY OF MARIJUANA POSSESSION—11/18/10
Byfield Adolph Blake, 41, has pleaded guilty in West Virginia to possessing 12 pounds of marijuana with the intent to distribute. He was arrested by members of the United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force on a fugitive warrant from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Upon arrest, police found 12 pounds of the drug, $11,119 in cash, two assault rifles, digital scales, and a pistol. Blake faces five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CUBA EXPORTS WATER TO CARIBBEAN—11/13/10
STERILE MOSQUITOES REDUCE INCIDENCE OF DENGUE FEVER—11/14/10
EARTHQUAKE HITS PUERTO RICO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—11/15/10
RUSSIA ISSUES WARNING ABOUT TRAVEL TO CARIBBEAN—11/16/10
HAITI’S PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES CAMPAIGN IN FLORIDA—11/17/10
CARIBBEAN T20 TO BE HOSTED BY ANTIGUA, BARBADOS—11/18/10
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
CARIBBEAN TOURIST LEADERS WANT FAIR TRAVEL TAX—11/13/10
Representatives of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) want the British government to reform the system currently used to determine Air Passenger Duty (APD). The number of visitors from Britain who have come to the Caribbean has dropped by 12 percent since 2009. The CTO has called for the existing system, which is based on distance from London to the capital of a destination be replaced with a simpler system that would place European destinations in one tax bracket, and other destinations in another bracket.
CUBA PINS HOPES ON CRUISE INDUSTRY—11/14/10
Cuban is hoping that its cruise industry will see major improvements in the near future. The docking of the Gemini from Spain is being viewed as a reversal of the cruise business decline, which has been attributed to a trade embargo against the Communist island by the United States. This embargo has stood for 48 years. Thomson Cruises from Britain is using Havana as a home port, but plans to move to Barbados in 2012. Few other cruise lines currently stop in Cuba.
GRACEKENNEDY GRANTS SUPPORT JAMAICAN EDUCATION—11/15/10
A donation of US$100,000 made jointly by the Western Union Foundation, its Agent Giving Circle, and Western Union Agent GraceKennedy to People’s Action for Community Transformation (PACT), is designed to support a computer-based education program, I Pledge. This program benefits school children throughout Jamaica. An additional US$200,000 in matching consumer grants will be made to PACT over three years, beginning in 2011 as well.
JAMAICAN 3D FILM BRINGS MARKET INTEREST—11/16/10
The groundbreaking activity of Jamaica to create the first destination video filmed totally in 3D has led to an enthusiastic response from overseas markets. After the video’s launch at the World Travel Market, a business-to-business exhibit in Excel, London, the feedback was overwhelming. Viewers were “enthralled” by their experience, and the video is being called “revolutionary” and “phenomenal.”
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
VARADERO TO CELEBRATE WORLD SCIENCE DAY—11/13/10
Lives of people in Cuba have been improved through the use of technology and science, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Medical care has been improved by technological advances, for example. These advances will be showcased during the holiday season as celebrations for World Science Day for Peace and Development are held in Varadero. Cuba is the first Caribbean country to use technology to produce vaccines and other medical treatments for curable diseases.
LIME CREATES INFRASTRUCTURE FOR MOBILE TELEVISION SERVICE—11/14/10
LIME is building out its transmission infrastructure designed to support the firm’s new Mobile TV service. Antennas and other equipment are being installed in several areas in Jamaica, including Coopers Hill, Washington Boulevard, and Mona. This will allow users o watch CNN, CNBC, and TVJ on mobile phones. LIME has partnered with DC Digital, a local technology and content provider. DC Digital is totally Jamaican-owned and operated, with its base in the New Kingston business district.
STUDIO CARIBE TV SHARES REGIONAL STORIES INTERNATIONALLY—11/15/10
Television programs from the Caribbean will have a wide international audience when start-up Studio Caribe TV launches its Internet television portal by the end of 2010. The company, which is based in Barbados, plans to capitalize on the popularity of Internet TV to distribute Caribbean content to audiences worldwide.
iPHONE APP HELPS WITH JAMAICAN PATOIS—11/17/10
IKJ, an iPhone application from Toneaphone, LLC, stands for “I Know Jamaican.” The app acts as a translator and a soundboard to provide insight into Jamaican Patois for entertainment purposes. It is easy to use, providing translations for some 400 phrases. The soundboard allows users to hear the pronunciation of words in Patois.
GAYLE ACHIEVES HIGH SCORE IN SRI LANKA—11/15/10
Chris Gayle provided a third Test double century to make his highest score in a foreign meet and led the West Indies’ effort on the opening day of the first Test versus Sri Lanka. Gayle was undefeated on 219 at the close, his 13th Test century, and the team achieved 362 for two, following a win of the toss by new captain Darren Sammy. Gayle took advantage of his chance to regain the spotlight after being relieved of his captain’s duties before the tour began.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS FOOTBALL INVITATIONAL THRILLS WATCHERS—11/16/10
Kingston and Trelawny achieved top rankings at the two-day Special Olympics Jamaica Invitations Football meet at the UWI Bowl. Jamaica’s team won the championship at the 2007 World Games in China.
JAMAICAN GOLFER PERFORMS WELL IN CALIFORNIA TOURNAMENT—11/17/10
Jamaican Johnny Bloomfield shot a 12-under par and took eighth place in the Canadian Professional Tour’s Desert Dunes Classic in Desert Hot Springs, California. Bloomfield shot a 68 in his final round, which was the second-best score of the day. He is now assured of full status for the Canadian Tour in 2011.
BOLT TEST-DRIVES FERRARIS—11/18/10
Usain Bolt, Jamaican sprinter, Olympic gold medalist, and fastest man in the world, has been training to drive Ferraris on Ferrari’s private Formula One track in Fiorano, Italy. Bolt tested several models of the car, including the 458 Italia and the 599 GTB. He said that the cars “give the word ‘fast’ a new meaning.”
The Vertical Perspective
(Adapted from the article by the same name)
“And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:19-20, KJV).
Christians who live by the horizontal perspective will invariably miss the workings of God in their day to day experiences. For most of us, this is where we live. In a culture where, despite words to the contrary, we take credit for our accomplishments and blame others for our disappointments and failures, we seem naturally predisposed to this perspective. From here we see people and things, and because they’re so much a part of the social environment with which we interact, we link them to our experiences. They either caused something good or bad to happen to us, or prevented something good or bad from happening to/for us.
Most readers will recognize our reference text as coming from the culmination of the story of Joseph. For our purposes it is not necessary to detail Joseph’s joyful reunion with his family, but seventeen years later, “when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him” (Genesis 50:15). It was to this and their other concerns and pleas for forgiveness for the way they had treated him, up to the time they sold him into slavery, that Joseph spoke the words in our reference text. But his response was not the typical response. He would have been well within his right to rehash the past and apportion blame as he saw fit. While in slavery, he could have planned and plotted his revenge. When he first saw them prostrate before him begging for wheat, he could have had them killed, but after a series of meetings, the narrative tells us Joseph wept aloud, called his brothers to him and said, “I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life” (Genesis 45:1a-2, 4-5).
The vertical perspective – “God did send me before you to preserve life.” Joseph knew enough to recognize that all along the way, the events in his life were orchestrated by God for His purpose. Along the pathways, through every negative experience, the eyes of God never left him. So as his brothers stood before him in fear of revenge, Joseph assured them, “Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Couldn’t God have done it differently? Sure He could have, but as He told us through Isaiah, His ways are not our ways; neither are His thoughts, our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8,9).
Because God doesn’t always do things the way we think He should, it is difficult to appreciate that maybe some of the disappointments and hurts we experience are part of His plan for our lives. But ask Joseph, Job, and some of the “heroes of faith” whose lives and characters were fashioned through difficult circumstances. Instead of harboring negative feelings and emotions, how about resting in God’s sovereignty? There we can rest assured that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.