JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending November 5th, 2010

—————————————-
THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
—————————————-

PASTOR KING DISAPPOINTED ABOUT OUTBREAK OF VIOLENCE—10/30/10

Reverend Knollis King of the United Full Gospel Church of God in St. James was instrumental in brokering a peace agreement in his community last year, but is now upset about recent killings. Gunmen in the Rose Heights community broke the year-long peace initiated by the Covenant of Peace movement in 2009. King was encouraged that the shootings did not occur within his local community.

GOVERNMENT PAYS FOR BAD STUDENTS TO GO TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS—10/31/10

Jamaica’s government is paying considerable amounts of money to place poorly performing students into private high schools. Nearly half a billion dollars as been paid to private institutions  in the past year for some students who have the lowest scores on the Grade Nine Achievement Test (GNAT).Over 6,000 students have received the government sponsorship, which totals $77,250 per student per year.

GOVERNMENT MAKES IT EASIER FOR DISASTER AGENCIES TO GET MONEY—11/01/10

The government of Jamaica plans to ease restrictions in its procurement guidelines to enable disaster agencies to more easily obtain the services of contractors in emergency situations. Daryl Vaz, the government minister responsible for information, said Prime Minister Bruce Golding will use his emergency powers on a limited basis to loosen the guidelines for procurement.

BANTON RETRIAL POSTPONED UNTIL FEBRUARY 2011—11/02/10

Reggae star Buju Banton will not face a retrial on drug charges under February of 2011, a delay from the previously announced date in December 2010. Banton’s defense attorney asked for the delay and will try to make some arrangement for Banton to receive bail for the holidays. United States authorities have not opposed the delay. Banton’s original trial ended in a mistrial in September.

JAMAICAN FIRMS RECEIVE MARKETING HELP FROM EUROPEAN UNION—11/03/10

The European Union is providing the funding for a project designed to help trade organizations in Jamaica deliver services that are more targeted and to aid these associations to better advise their members. Organizations like the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association and the Jamaica Exporters Association will receive help from BKP Development Research and Consulting. The EU will provide 200,000 Euros in support of the program.

POLICE PREPARED FOR TROPICAL STORM—11/03/10

Police in Jamaica are ready to support other agencies of government and relief agencies if Tropical Storm Tomas takes aim at the island. The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is also prepared to support public transportation, especially in cases of post-storm evacuations. They will also help with the management of designated relief shelters.

EMERGENCY ORGANIZATION GIVES BRIEFING ON RELIEF SHELTERS—11/04/10

Jamaica’s Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) provided an update addressing the readiness of public shelters on the island. Jamaica has over 900 designated shelters. Daryl Vaz, information minister, says the organization will provide an outline of arrangements made for security and the provision of supplies at the emergency shelters as the government prepares for the potential of named storm Tomas.

GOVERNMENT ISSUES EVACUATION ORDERS AS STORM GAINS STRENGTH—11/05/10

Jamaica’s government is encouraging individuals who live in low-lying areas of the island to make evacuation arrangements as Tropical Storm Tomas restrengthens and moves toward the southeast coast. Evacuation directives will come from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, and while there is no law that can force evacuations, all options are being considered to encourage people to save themselves.

———————————————–
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
———————————————–

PARTNERSHIP TO HELP STRESSED SPECIES IN JAMAICA—10/31/10

A partnership between Jamaica and other developing nations will be able to access funding aimed at stopping the loss of stressed biological species on the island. The new partnership was created at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan. Organizations involved include the World Bank, Birdlife International, and the Global Environment Facility.

CHEF NORMA SHIRLEY DIES—11/01/10

The noted Jamaican chef Norma Shirley, 72, has died. She was well-known for her chain of restaurants, which included Norma’s on the Terrace at the Devon House in St. Andrew and Norma’s on the Beach in Negril. She was called the “Julia Child of the Caribbean” and was featured in numerous international food publications and magazines, including Vogue. Shirley was born in Jamaica and lived in New York and Massachusetts, Sweden, Scotland, and England.

JAMAICAN PAVILION FEATURED AT FOOD AND BEVERAGE SHOW—11/02/10

Jamaica’s showcase of its products at the 14th Annual Americas Food and Beverage Show held in Miami Beach, Florida, was a success. A variety of foods and beverages from the island were shown for the first time at the event with appropriate national identification. The show is characterized as the biggest one of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

BRYAN WINS COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR AWARD—11/04/10

Jamaican national Elaine Grant Bryan was chosen as the Region VI Secondary School Counselor of the Year for 2010-2011 by the Georgia School Counselor Association. She has won other awards in Atlanta and is currently completing a PhD. The award is given in recognition for outstanding achievement by a counselor in advising students.

————————————————-
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
————————————————-

CHOLERA STRAINS IN HAITI SAME AS THOSE IN SOUTH ASIA—10/31/10

LOSSES FROM TOMAS COULD TOTAL $12.8 MILLION—11/01/10

12 IN ST. LUCIA DIE AS RESULT OF HURRICANE—11/02/10

ISLANDS HIT BY HURRICANE TOMAS—11/03/10

BARBADOS PRIME MINISTER LAID TO REST—11/04/10

OLDEST PERSON IN THE WORLD DEAD AT 114—11/05/10

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

———————————————–
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
———————————————–

SMITH ELECTED PRESIDENT OF DEVELOPMENT BANK—10/30/10

Warren Smith is the first Jamaican to be elected as president of the Caribbean Development Bank. Jamaica’s Finance Minister Audley Shaw congratulated Dr. Smith on his election. He will be the fifth president of the CDB. Dr. Smith has a background in regional development banking and strategic planning.

TARIFF ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED—10/31/10

Jamaica plans to address the issue of constraints on exports of Jamaican products to St. Lucia. Additionally, Karl Samuda, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, will take up the removal of the Common External Tariff (CET) on waivers of imports of critical raw materials to the production sector. Samuda says these issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED). This meeting will be held in Guyana on November 29, 2010.

FILM FUNDING IN JAMAICA—11/01/10

Officials believe this is a good time for the Jamaican film industry. The industry is experiencing a flourishing period, with the release of films as “Better Must Come” and “RiseUP” occurring in a relatively short period of time. The activity in the film industry can be attributed to the Motion Picture Encouragement Act, which offers tax relief for investors in this sector. And new technologies have reduced the costs of making a film as well.

JAMAICAN NATIONAL OPENS MORTGAGE CENTERS—11/04/10

The Jamaica National Building Society, which is an important player in the home loans market, has created a development plan that will put mortgage sales on the fast track. According to Leon Mitchell, an executive with JN Group Marketing and Promotions, the firm has established four regional mortgage centers and assigned mobile sales agents to provide management of the loan process. The firm has also computerized its loan processing, which will provide for more rapid decision making.

—————————————————–
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
—————————————————–

DIGITAL ACTION PLAN CREATED BY CARICOM—11/02/10

Representatives from three CARICOM subcommittees of the organization’s Regional Information and Communication Technology Steering Committee, have developed a draft implementation plan for a regional digital development strategy. The program’s goal is to make CARICOM into a knowledge-based society by using information technology.

CARIBBEAN CANNOT STOP FOOD IMPORTS—11/03/10

Ministers of agriculture, farmers, and academics in the Caribbean met in Grenada in an attempt to get an area accustomed to a reliance on tourism to refocus on agriculture. The cost of importing food and fears of a global food crisis are driving the action.

GLOBAL BLACK SEARCH ENGINE TRIES TO BRIDGE DIGITAL DIVIDE—11/04/10

GatewayBlack.com is a new global search engine customized to look for blogs and websites in the African, Caribbean, African American, and Afro European sectors. It is the first black search engine relying exclusively on its own technology. According to Linton Obi, founder of GatewayBlack, this is the time for an advanced black search engine designed to close the digital divide.

WINDOWS PHONE 7 INCLUDES APP KILL SWITCH—11/05/10

Microsoft has joined with Apple and Google in implementing a security layer that allows the company to disable or remove applications from a user’s device. Todd Biggs, director of product management for the Windows Phone Marketplace, says this is unlikely to become a common occurrence, however. Both Apple and Google products have similar so-called “kill switches” that allow the companies to remove threatening applications remotely.

————————–
SPORTS
————————–

JAMAICAN GIRLS FALL TO CUBA—10/30/10

Jamaican girl’s hockey team failed to beat Cuba in the opening match of a three-game qualifying series at the Pan American Games at Mona Hockey Field. The Jamaicans fell 3-0 to the Cubans, whose coach Hilario Diaz was enthusiastic about the team’s performance.

BOLT NOMINATED FOR SPORTS AWARD—11/02/10

Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s champion sprinter and Olympic champion, has been nominated as Outstanding Male for the Commonwealth Sports Awards. Molly Rhone, a Jamaican and president of the International Federation of Netball Associations, will also be given a lifetime achievement award. Bolt is the only Jamaican to be nominated in a competitive category for 2010.

WRIGHT PLANS TO CHALLENGE CAMPBELL—11/04/10

Lyndel “Muddy” Wright, vice president of the Jamaica Cricket Association, will present a challenge to the incumbent top office holder, businessman Paul Campbell. Wright, a former national representative and member of the association’s board of directors, believes Campbell has lost support since his election two years ago.

BOLT TO RUN NYC MARATHON WITH FOURSQUARE FOUNDERS—11/05/10

Jamaica’s sprint champion Usain Bolt will run side by side with Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, founders of Foursquare, at the ING New York City Marathon. They will run to raise money for a children’s charity, Camp Interactive. This is a nonprofit that serves underprivileged children in the Bronx, New York.

—————————————————————-
DEVOTIONAL
—————————————————————-

Finishing Strong – Part 3

Maintaining the faith was important to the apostle Paul.  Being aware that his physical death was not far off, he summed up his life to his spiritual son Timothy in three profound statements – “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7, KJV).  Here, as was his custom, Paul alludes to the contests at the Grecian games.  As the laws of these games must be diligently observed and kept, so he maintains that he kept the rules of the spiritual combat and race.

It is not important just to win; the rules must be observed if one is not to be disqualified.  Here we see Paul, in his reflections, steadfastly maintaining that he had spent his life faithfully serving his Lord.  John Darby, in commenting on this verse, notes, “As to the apostle, he had finished his work; if others were unfaithful, he had been faithful. In the good fight of the gospel of God he had fought to the end, and successfully resisted all the attacks of the enemy. He had finished his course: it only remained for him to be crowned. He had kept the faith committed to him.”

Bible commentator John Gill posits, “[Paul] means … the profession of faith, which he had held fast without wavering; and chiefly the doctrine of faith, which was committed to his trust, which he had kept pure and incorrupt against all opposition; … [he had] been faithful to [his] trust, as a good steward of the mysteries of God; not concealing and keeping back anything that was profitable, but declaring the whole counsel of God.”

Matthew Henry, Bible Commentator, observes that the apostle “had the testimony of his conscience that by the grace of God he had in some measure answered the ends of living. As a Christian, as a minister, he had fought a good fight. He had done the service, gone through the difficulties of his warfare, and had been instrumental in carrying on the glorious victories of the exalted Redeemer over the powers of darkness. His life was a course, and he had now finished it; as his warfare was accomplished, so his race was run. ‘I have kept the faith. I have kept the doctrines of the gospel, and never betrayed any of them.'”

What outstanding commendations! As we admire the man and his faithfulness to God, let us be reminded that we too are in a fight, we have a course to run, and we have to keep the faith.  There are many oppositions and obstacles in our way but if we are to be crowned as victors we must overcome based on the principles in the Word of God.  It is not the person with the most money, the most “toys,” or the biggest house that wins, but rather the one of whom the Lord can say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  

As you contemplate your fight, your course, and the extent to which you are true to the faith that has been entrusted to you, how would you describe it?  Could one of your last wishes be that the words from 2 Timothy 4:7 be etched on your tombstone to sum up your life?  I am striving for that and I pray that you are too.

 

CEW

—————————————————————–
CREDITS/SOURCES
—————————————————————–
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.