THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
GOVERNMENT TAKES STEPS TO PROTECT JAMAICAN RUM—09/17/11
Christopher Tufton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, has told the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) to enhance its protections of brand Jamaica in regard to rum via Geographical Indication (GI) registration. GI refers to a name or sign used on products that specifies a specific geographical location and represents a certification that these products have certain features, are made with traditional methods, or have a certain reputation because of their geographical origins.
WITTER WANTS DISCLOSURE OF EMPLOYERS DISPLAYING SKIN-TONE BIAS—09/18/11
Jamaicans have been angered by revelations that some employers are hiring workers on the basis of skin tone. Many are calling for disclosure of the names of employers who have specifically asked the Jamaican government’s skills training agency for light-skinned trainees to fill job vacancies at their firms. Earl Witter, public defender, plans to require the agency, known as HEART Trust/NTA to provide the names of these employers.
PICKERSGILL WANTS END OF JLP ADMINISTRATION—09/19/11
Robert Pickersgill, the chairman of the People’s National Party (PNP), is encouraging party supporters to work for the end of the governing Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) government. He has called for the “curtain to come down” on the JLP administration. Pickersgill’s remarks were made at the PNP’s 73rd annual conference and signaled the beginning of the party’s active campaigning for the general election in 2012.
CHINESE VICE PREMIER HAS DISCUSSIONS WITH GOLDING—09/20/11
China’s Vice Premier, Hui Liangyu, and Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding held discussions in Kingston. Hui noted that Jamaica was the first country in the Caribbean to establish diplomatic relations with China some 30 years ago. Hui introduced a five-point plan to further enhance the relations between Jamaica and China, including the creation of stronger economic and trade links.
GUYANA BANS MUSIC OF VYBZ KARTEL—09/21/11
The Jamaican dance hall musician Vybz Kartel has had his music banned from the state-owned radio network in Guyana. His songs have been banned because of what authorities in Guyana consider to be “obscene lyrics” and because such music provides “nothing positive” to the entertainment industry as a whole. This is the first time Guyana’s government has taken such actions against a specific artist. Kartel angered some local promoters in Guyana in August of 2011 when he was a no-show at a music festival sponsored by the government.
JAMAICANS STILL FACE ONEROUS VISA REQUIREMENTS—09/22/11
Jamaica’s Cabinet considered easing visa requirements for Jamaican nationals in order to facilitate entry to the Cayman Islands and to encourage visits by business travelers to Jamaica. If existing regulations were removed, the travel situation would be eased for some Jamaican nationals visiting the Caymans. The regulation removal would primarily impact individuals under the age of 15 and older than 70.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO CONCERNED ABOUT SECURITY AT JAMAICA’S PORTS—09/23/11
According to the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) in Trinidad and Tobago, there are reasons to be concerned about the lack of security in Jamaica’s Port of Kingston. The inadequate port security represents a threat to local importers and customs brokers, who may be used unknowingly to ship illegal substances throughout the Caribbean region. DOMA’s concerns were emphasized by the discovery of a shipping container full of marijuana valued at $30 million at the Pt Lisas Port.
LAW STUDENT FILES HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINT AGAINST UNIVERSITY—09/23/11
Anthony Morgan, a law student in Montreal, Canada, who is of Jamaican descent, filmed white students at a local business school wearing blackface and Jamaican colors and chanting in fake Jamaican accents about using marijuana. According to Morgan, students at Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) took part in these activities during an annual sporting event traditionally held during freshmen week at the school. School authorities issued a formal apology and will investigate ways to ensure that such behavior does not recur.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN FIRM IN UK OPENS GHANA MONEY TRANSFER SERVICE—09/19/11
JN Money Services Ltd. in the United Kingdom has introduced a new money transfer agency known as Ghana Money Transfer. JNMS, which is the remittance unit of the Jamaican National Building Society, began operations in the UK in 2009, but only started its Ghana service in September 2011. The target market for the new financial business service is the approximately 500,000 Ghanaians who live in the UK.
ILLEGAL FISHING DISCUSSED IN HONDURAS BY JAMAICAN OFFICIALS—09/21/11
High-level security officials from Jamaica met with their Honduran counterparts to find ways to stop illegal fishing as well as the illegal smuggling of drugs and weapons. The discussions were prompted by the accusations brought against Jamaican coast guard personnel by a Honduran navy commander who believed that excessive force was used to stop a boat from Honduras fishing for lobster and conch in Jamaican waters at Pedro Cays.
COMPLAINT FILED WITH QUEBEC HUMAN RIGHTS AGENCY IN BLACKFACE CASE—09/22/11
McGill University law student Anthony Morgan, who is of Jamaican descent, plans to file a complaint against the HEC business school in Montreal, Canada, for activities that encouraged students to wear blackface, dress in Jamaican flag colors, and mock Jamaican speech by putting on fake Jamaican accents. According to the school, the students were participating in a traditional back-to-school event and said they were attempting to portray Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s three-time Olympic gold champion sprinter.
JAMAICAN DRUG LORD TRIES CHARM TO WIN LENIENCY FROM THE COURT—09/23/11
Christopher “Dudus” Coke, convicted Jamaican drug lord, has written a seven-page letter to a federal judge in New York City to request leniency in sentencing. Coke entered a plea of guilty when charged with racketeering and assault. He could spend 23 years in prison for these crimes. In an attempt to forestall a harsh sentence, Coke listed 13 reasons why the maximum sentence was inappropriate in his case, which included a mention of his “charitable deeds and social services” in Jamaica.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
UK GOVERNMENT URGED TO ELIMINATE AIR PASSENGER DUTY CHARGE—09/17/11
COMPANY REDUCES INSURED LOSS ESTIMATE FOR BAHAMAS HURRICANE—09/18/11
KILLING OF MIGRATING BIRDS BY HUNTERS SPARKS GLOBAL OUTRAGE—09/19/11
FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT PROMOTES INVESTMENT POTENTIAL OF HAITI—09/20/11
STUDY DESIGNED TO PROVIDE CURRENT INFORMATION ON DRUG USE—09/22/11
ARMY OFFICER SHOT TO DEATH IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—09/23/11
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
HYDRO DIVESTS ITS SHARE OF ALPART REFINERY—09/17/11
Norsk Hydro ASA has agreed to divest its interest of 35 percent in Alumina Partners of Jamaica or Alpart for a cash consideration of US$46 million from UC Rusal. Hydro acquired bauxite and alumina operations in Brazil earlier in 2011, strengthening its position in the aluminum value chain. The divestiture is scheduled for completion in October 2011.
CHINESE, JAMAICA SIGN GRANTS—09/20/11
A vice premier from China, along with a 60-member delegation from that country, came to Jamaica in order to sign two grants designed to enhance the island’s development. China is increasing its investments in the Caribbean region, and Vice Premier Hui Liangyu has stated his commitment to helping Jamaica achieve its highest economic potential.
LOCAL FERTILIZER FIRM GETS EXPORT DEAL WITH CUBA—09/21/11
Fertilizer producer Newport Fersan Jamaica Ltd., which is the only fertilizer producer on the island, has made a deal with Cuba to supply 98,000 bags of its product to that nation. This represents some 4,600 metric tons. Financing will occur via the Export-Import bank’s Cuban line of credit. The fertilizer will be delivered in two shipments, the first of which is scheduled for October 2011, and the second 15 days later.
NEW AIRLIFT OPERATIONS WILL INCREASE TOURIST ARRIVALS—09/22/11
Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, announced that the island will soon welcome three new airlines, just in time for the lucrative winter tourist season. The announcement came at the same time that British Airways announced its plans to reduce service to the Caribbean beginning in 2012. The two new airlines are Copa Airlines and Satena, and tourist officials believe the addition of these services will create an influx of business from Europe and Latin America to Jamaica.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
UTILITY FIRMS MEET AT ENERGY FORUM IN ST. THOMAS—09/17/11
SPAIN PROVIDES HELP IN HIGH-TECH FARMING—09/21/11
JAMAICA HAS GREAT POTENTIAL FOR SOLAR ENERGY PRODUCTION—09/22/11
PHONE APPS FROM JAMAICA TOUTED AS NEXT CULTURAL EXPORT—09/23/11
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
OnStar will impose a new data-sharing policy as of December 2011. The policy will permit the company to share individual users’ information with more people and could include a possible sale of the business operations. Upon the completion of such a sale, OnStar could transfer personal information of its users as part of the “transferred assets” of the firm. The user information will be shared even if users are not paying for the OnStar service.
APPS TO BE INTEGRATED IN AUTOS FROM TEN MANUFACTURERS—09/22/11
No fewer than ten automakers plan to integrate Pandora via its Sync AppLink system. Ford was the first to implement the new technology approach, but it will now be joined by nine other car manufacturers, including Toyota and General Motors. The integration of apps means that services like Pandora, Google search, and Twitter can be utilized in an automobile. Control of the apps is likely to be through voice interaction and in-car buttons for safety reasons.
REGGAE ARTIST SHOWS POLICE IN NEW YORK A MAJOR MARIJUANA STASH—09/17/11
Denroy Morgan, a Jamaican reggae musician, was pulled over by New York police for erratic driving and failing to stop at a stop sign. Their actions resulted in the discovery of over 300 pounds of marijuana, shrink-wrapped in bales, in the car. Denroy was carrying more than 25 pounds of the drug in the car trunk, and the rest was found at an address in the Bronx. Ultimately, armed with a search warrant, police found a total of 351 pounds of marijuana, which has a street value of between $140,000 and $350,000.
CASHFLOW RECORDS DENIES SCAM ALLEGATIONS—09/19/11
The famous Jamaican record label, Cashflow Records, is denying charges that the firm has a direct involvement in a scam that promises interactions with famous musicians for a price. According to a number of artistes, someone posing as a representative of Cashflow has called them to promise the opportunity to tour with prominent musicians for a price. The company’s publicist, Buju Wayne, says that only DJ Neil or Father P. can conduct business on behalf of Cashflow, and anyone else who makes promises using the name is involved in a scam.
ORANE “SPECIALIST” WILSON SHOWS WINNING WAYS IN FIRST SINGLE—09/20/11
The first single by Orane “Specialist” Wilson has been well-received by critics and audiences. The catchy “Phone Card Banana Chips” hook has become a part of Jamaica’s popular culture and earned Wilson praise from dancehall aficionados. The single has been given significant air play on local radio stations. Wilson calls his success “overwhelming.”
LATE “SUGAR” MINOTT FEATURED IN NEW REGGAE ANTHOLOGY—09/21/11
Lincoln Barrington “Sugar” Minott died in 2010. He was a reggae singer, sound system operator, and producer. In October 2011, VP Records plans to release its Reggae Anthology, which will include a bonus DVD that feature a live performance by Minott at JapanSplash! Minott was a commanding presence in Jamaican music from the mid 1970s, and his loss is felt throughout the industry. He was very influential and an inspiration to other musicians and singers.
BOLT WINDS 100 METERS IN BRUSSELS—09/17/11
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s champion sprinter and three-time Olympic champion, won the men’s 100-meter race in the Diamond League athletics competition in Brussels. He clocked 9.76 seconds to take the top spot. Bolt led a sweep of the races by Jamaicans, including Nesta Carter, Lerone Clarke, and Asafa Powell.
BLAKE UPSTAGES HIS MENTOR, USAIN BOLT—09/18/11
Yohan Blake upstaged Usain Bolt at the Van Damme Memorial competition. Bolt ran the 100-meters with the season’s fastest time, but Blake, his training partner, ran his race with a time that was just .07 seconds off of Bolt’s world record. Blake surprised many at the meet by winning the 100-meter world title in Daegu after Bolt was disqualified for a false start. Blake himself was surprised by his time of 19.26 seconds.
ASHMEADE WILL PLA FOR JAMAICA AT FIBA WOMEN’S MEET—09/21/11
Tajay Ashmeade, women’s basketball senior at Seton Hall, plans to compete for Jamaica’s Senior National Team at the FIBA Women’s Championship tournament. The meet will be held in Nieva Huila, Colombia during the last week of September 2011. Ashmeade, who was born in Jamaica, was a great help in the team’s winning of a silver medal at the 2010 Centrobasket Tournament in Puerto Rico.
SPORTS MINISTER COUNSELS BLAKE TO STAY “HUMBLE”—09/22/11
Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, finds Yohan Blake, who is the new World 100-meter champion and second-fastest man over 200 meters, to be a source of inspiration and a role model for the youth of Jamaica. However, she urged the 21-year-old athlete to stay “humble and respectful,” since the world is watching his every performance.
The Sovereignty of God
Have you ever stopped to consider just how big a God we serve? He is not just God; He is Sovereign God exercising controlled sovereignty over all His creation. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines “sovereignty” as “a) supreme power; b) freedom from external control; c) controlling influence.” Yet, even such descriptions only provide a small glimpse into the nature of who God really is.
In his exposition on what it means for God to be sovereign, A.W.Pink writes, “We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the god-hood of God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that God is God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him what doest Thou? (Dan. 4:35). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in Heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will (Psa. 115:3). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is ‘The Governor among the nations’ (Psa. 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the ‘Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords’ (1 Tim. 6:15). Such is the God of the Bible.”
A sampling of texts from Old and New Testaments reminds us that 1) His purposes are unstoppable, cannot be foiled, and He can do whatever He pleases (e.g. Psalm 33:10-11; 135:6-10; Job 42:2). 2) He is in complete control of everything (e.g. Daniel 1:9; 4:17; Jeremiah 10:13; 2 Corinthians 8:16). 3) He determines whatsoever comes to pass (e.g. Daniel 2:21; Psalm 139:16; Ephesians 1:11; Romans 11:36).
By any standard, that is power and autonomy! Such is the nature of the God that we serve; the God we have the privilege of talking to. When seen for who He is, it becomes easier to trust Him with our todays and tomorrows. At least it should be, and we get to choose. I choose to trust Him. He can do a much better job with my life than I ever could, trying to do it by myself. How do you choose?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.