THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICAN MURDER RATE DROPPING—11/27/10
Police statistics for October 2010 show that there was a decrease of 43 percent in the number of murders in Jamaica compared to a year earlier. This means there were 76 fewer murders for the period in 2010 as there were in 2009, according to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). This is the second-largest reduction in the murder rate in 2010.
JAMAICAN BOY PLAGUED BY ALLEGED SUPERNATURAL ATTACK—11/28/10
An alleged poltergeist is attacking a boy in a small Jamaican town. The attacks are thought to be committed by a “Duppy,” or a ghost or spirit. In this case, the boy believes the Duppy is a friend of his who died. Jamaican media teams have captured the supposed Duppy attacks on video, which show the boy’s body being violently jerked and pulled by unseen forces.
COMPANIES HYPOCRITICAL IN REGARD TO DANCEHALL STYLE—11/29/10
According to Dr. Donna Hope Marquis, a senior cultural studies lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI), dancehall is an important factor in doing business in Jamaica. Since island people remain interested in dancehall, any company that does not recognize the style could fall from public favor. Dancehall is the “essence” of Jamaica in the 21st century, says Hope Marquis. This explains why companies like Digicel and Red Stripe have taken public positions against offensive lyrics in dancehall music, but continues to promote the style in their advertisements.
USAIN BOLT TRAVEL CAMPAIGN BOOSTS TOURISM—11/30/10
Jamaica has experienced a considerable increase in the number of tourists from the United Kingdom since the launch of travel advertisements that feature Usain Bolt. The number of tourists from the UK increased by 13 percent during the summer of 2010, providing a welcomed boost to the island’s economy. Work by Bolt and the Jamaican Tourist Authority has been cited as directly responsible for the increase in UK tourism.
GOVERNMENT TO LOWER SPENDING—11/30/10
Jamaica’s government plans to spend $262 million less than originally proposed in its budget in April 2010. Audley Shaw, Jamaican Finance Minister, tabled the first estimates showing the government would now spend $503.7 billion in the current financial year. A little more than $2 billion will be cut from the recurrent budget expenses, and $1.7 billion will be added to the capital side. Net savings of $6 billion are expected to be gained from the Jamaica Debt Exchange as well.
JUDGE IN JAMAICA CRITICIZES COURTHOUSE TARDINESS—12/01/10
Supreme Court Judge Sarah Thompson James has been very critical of the government’s tardiness in providing a courthouse for St. Thomas. She remarked on the issue after a number of cases from St. Thomas scheduled for trial in the Home Circuit Court were postponed because witnesses did not show up. The parish has not seen any circuit sittings since the courthouse in Morant Bay was destroyed by fire some four years ago. Travel to Kingston for trials represents a considerable financial hardship for witnesses, police, and the accused, and the authorities must take action on the issue, according to Thompson.
DIGICEL TO MOVE HEADQUARTERS TO WEST KINGSTON—12/02/10
Digicel, the mobile phone company, plans to move its corporate headquarters to West Kingston in an effort to rehabilitate the troubled area. The new Digicel complex will cost an estimated $65 million and is scheduled for completion in May of 2012. It will house 1,000 Digicel employees. The firm will also rebuilt a market destroyed during the manhunt for a reputed drug lord in May 2010, which left 73 civilians and three security officials dead.
U.S. AUTHORITIES SAY JAMAICAN PORTS PART OF DRUG RING—12/03/10
According to federal authorities in the United States, six employees at the Port of Miami have been charged with drug trafficking in an operation that involved ports in Jamaica. The workers were charged with aiding in the smuggling of narcotics through Miami from Jamaican ports, and from ports in Panama and Costa Rica. The arrests resulted from a two-year investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Border Enforcement Security Task Force, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Miami-Dade Police Department’s narcotics bureau. Millions of dollars worth of heroin, marijuana, and cocaine passed through the Port of Miami in the illegal operation.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN HONORED IN NEW YORK CITY—11/28/10
The American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) organization honored Jamaican-born Olympic champion Sanya Richards Ross at the 29th Annual Hummingbird Gala and Benefit. Ross has used her visibility as an international athletics star to focus attention on education and the “Fun 4 Kidz Sanya Richards Fast Track Program in Jamaica. The AFJ’s mission is to reach out to Jamaicans in the Diaspora.
KAMALA HARRIS VICTORIOUS IN CALIFORNIA—11/30/10
Kamala Harris has declared victory in her race for the position of California Attorney General. The election was held almost a month ago, but the results were so close a hand-count of votes was required. The count shifted the result from Harris’ opponent Steve Cooley to Harris once the deadline for counties to report their final counts to officials was reached. Harris will be the first female attorney general in the state, and the first AG of color. Harris has Jamaican-American and Indian-American heritage.
JAMAICA, ACP SUGAR PRODUCERS MEET IN LONDON—12/01/10
The executive chairman of the Sugar Industry Authority of Jamaica says that a meeting of the London Sugar Group resulted in a strong collaboration that will ultimately work to influence governments in Europe and the European Union. The London group represents Caribbean, African, and Pacific nations, as well as least-developed countries, all with sugar industries that supply the EU. The producers rely on markets in the EU, which are important as export markets for their sugar.
JAMAICAN ALUMNI GROUPS WALK FOR EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT—12/02/10
The Coalition of Jamaican Alumni Associations (CJAA) in South Florida is scheduled to cooperate on the first annual All Alumni Walkathon in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida. They will participate in a 5k marathon. This is the first joint event of alumni chapters in southern Florida. There are over 50 such chapters of Jamaican educational institutions.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
U.S. SOLDIER KILLED IN TRINIDAD—11/27/10
NORTHERN CARIBBEAN CONFERENCE HAS MAJOR GOALS—11/29/10
ELECTIONS IN HAITI MARRED BY LOW TURNOUT, CONFUSION, FRAUD—11/30/10
CARIBBEAN FOCUSES ON REPEAL OF ANTI-GAY LAWS—12/01/10
TRADE MINISTERS OF CARICOM TO MEET—12/02/10
VOTE COUNT CONTINUES IN HAITI—12/03/10
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
TAX INCENTIVES TO STIMULATE DEVELOPMENT IN KINGSTON—11/27/10
Jamaican Finance Minister Audley Shaw is launching a tax-incentive program aimed at encouraging the development of downtown Kingston. The program has been approved by the House of Representatives, and Shaw notes that the investors moving into Kingston’s rundown business district have made the move because of promised tax relief. Investors will receive a 33.3 percent tax credit on capital expenditures for work performed in the blighted area.
GOLDING TO PROVIDE MORE MONEY FOR SMALL BUSINESS—11/28/10
Jamaica’s government will provide $300 million in unsecured loans to small businesses, announced Prime Minister Bruce Golding at the JN Small Business Loans Annual Board of Directors Luncheon. Golding says the money will be available through the Development Bank of Jamaica.
JAMPRO BRINGS PRODUCERS, HOTEL SECTOR TOGETHER—11/29/10
JAMPRO, the promotion arm of Jamaica’s government, plans to hold two meetings between local farmers and buyers from hotels in order to facilitate domestic investment and business connections. These links will eventually result in the creation of jobs, greater export capacity, and a deeper “absorptive capacity” in the local economy, according to Sancia Bennett Templer, the president of JAMPRO. Products involved include foods, spa and body care services, and bedding.
Jamaica engages expert to assist economic growth—12/02/10
The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) has commissioned the services of a world leading economist to assist the agency in developing policy recommendations for further growth in the local economy. Professor Donald Harris of Stanford University, who is highly regarded internationally as an economist on growth issues, will travel to the island to work with a team from the institute which Director General Dr Gladstone Hutchinson will lead.
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
4G AMERICAS ANNOUNCES INCREASE IN CARIBBEAN MARKET SHARE—11/30/10
According to the wireless industry trade association 4G Americas, the Caribbean region and Latin America continue to increase the market share of 3GPP technologies. Market share rose to 93.4 percent, while 14.5 million new subscriptions were sold in the third quarter of 2010. Additional 3G technologies, such as HSPA and LTE are transforming societies, and 36 percent of all new wireless subscriptions in the third quarter were for HSPA technology, according to Erasmo Rojas, the director of Latin America and the Caribbean for 4G Americas.
COLUMBUS NETWORKS USING METASWITCH IN PANAMA—12/01/10
Columbus Networks, a telecommunications firm operating in over 21 countries, has partnered with Metaswitch Networks, a provider of carrier systems and communications software, to provide a new voice service in Panama. Columbus offers high-speed internet access, digital telephone services, and operates an undersea fiber optic network that provides high-capacity, high-bandwidth services to operators in the Caribbean, Andean, and Central American regions. Lucian Ramos, director of advanced network services at Metaswitch, says the firm is committed to building world class infrastructure and system in the area.
CARIBBEAN CLOUD COMPUTING DISCUSSED—12/02/10
There are efforts to transform the Caribbean region into a center for the production of online services and regional cultural content. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) department from the University of the West Indies has met to discuss this issue, particularly the role of the university as an advocate of policies and infrastructure designed to create a paradigm shift, moving the region from a consumer of Internet services to a creator of services and content.
JASPER WIRELESS PARTNERS WITH AMERICA MOVIL—12/03/10
An agreement that offers the Jasper Wireless machine-to-machine platform to the properties of America Movil in the Caribbean, Latin America, and North and South America has been signed between the two firms. This platform will permit operators of mobile services to connect and manage enterprise applications, including logistics, transport, and e-health care. American Movil has operations in 18 countries and 206 million mobile subscribers.
THREE CANADIAN JAMAICANS CONSIDER NATIONAL TEAM OPTIONS—11/28/10
Ashton Morgan, Kyle Porter, and Sean Hart were born in Canada to Jamaican parents and have loyalties to both Canadian and Jamaican football teams. They currently represent Canada in youth football, and until they represent Canada in a senior-level competition, such as World Cup qualifiers, they have the eligibility to play for Jamaica. Both countries are watching the young men in the under-23 category closely, hoping to attract them to their teams.
LONG-JUMPER BAILEY SETS GOAL FOR 2011—11/29/10
The top long-jumper in Jamaica, Alain Bailey, plans to win more tournaments in 2011 if he remains free of injuries. In 2010, Bailey suffered from injuries and still managed to achieve the fourth-best jump of the year. He is confident that he can win a medal at the World Championships if he suffers no additional injuries. Bailey is looking forward to the World Championships in Korea in 2011.
JAMAICA COLLEGE – TOP CORPORATE AREA SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAM—12/02/10
Jamaica College defeated Bridgeport 3 to 1 at Constant Spring Field and received the ISSA/Pepsi/Digicel Walker Cup title. It is the school’s second time to win the title, which they also won in 2009.
COACHING DEAL SET BETWEEN UTECH AND JAMAICA NETBALL ASSOCIATION—12/03/10
The Jamaica Netball Association has signed an agreement with the University of Technology that will allow the university to administer several coaching courses designed to qualify 250 coaches during the next year. UTech will begin with an Advanced Level One coaching course in January 2011. At the end of the course, coaches will be certified and understand more about how to prevent injuries.
What Are You Aiming At?
Recently I had the opportunity to look at a bow and arrow. At the time it didn’t seem that big of a deal and I didn’t think too much about it. However, over the next couple of days as I thought about the skill and accuracy archers are required to have, it occurred to me that the archer’s success was defined by his or her ability to consistently hit a predetermined target. There is a whole “science” behind the sport of archery and that is outside of our scope at the moment, but regardless of equipment, mechanics, and techniques unique to each archer, the goal is to aim an arrow at the target, pullback the bowstring, release the arrow and (hopefully) hit the target exactly where intended. Excellent archers with years of dedication, training, and practice are able to do that.
In some respects, archery is not unlike life. If we wander around aimlessly without targeting our lives and actions to specific purposes, we will succeed in living lives that are without meaning. I do not believe this was God’s intention. In 1 Peter 2:8 we read, “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” (KJV). Read that again and pay attention to the last clause. The target of every believer is to “shew forth the praises of him who had called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light.” In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus affirms the fact that we are to live lives of purpose when He says, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
The untargeted life is an ineffective life and is “good for nothing” in that it adds no value to the kingdom of God. Lest we forget, to be called of God is not about us; it never was. Sure we can live our lives to fulfill our own goals and desires but from God’s perspective we would have failed miserably no matter how successfully we think we are in that regard. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Rather we are called to be witnesses of Him in a world that has lost its way, and the only way to do that is to target our lives according to His purpose. Peter reminds us, “This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived” (1 Peter 2:21, The Message).
How are you living your life? What are you aiming at?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.