THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT VISITS JAMAICA—07/21/12
Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, the president of the Republic of South Africa, will visit Jamaica during the first week of August 2012. He will be met at Norma Manley International Airport with a Guard of Honor from the Jamaica Defense Force, and then will go on to meet with Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Andrew Holness, leader of the Opposition. He will also attend a state dinner hosted by the Governor General and Lady Allen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence.
15,000 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA BURNED BY JAMAICAN POLICE—07/22/12
Jamaican police torched some 15,000 pounds of marijuana since 2010. The drug was confiscated during raids on marijuana growing operations and trafficking in Jamaica. Most of the 15,000 pounds was seized during operations conducted in 2012. Jamaica is the biggest producer and exporter of marijuana in the Caribbean region.
NEW MAGAZINE INTRODUCED IN OCHO RIOS—07/23/12
Gina Tulloch-Adams has started a new magazine entitled “Home Sweet Jamaica.” The magazine’s launch is scheduled to coincide with the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence. The magazine will be published through Sunfloral Jamaica Ltd., Tulloch-Adams’ company. The lifestyle publication will be distributed in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom and highlights the diverse population and culture of Jamaica.
ELLINGTON REPORTS SIGNIFICANT DROP IN SERIOUS CRIME RATE—07/24/12
Owen Ellington, Jamaican Police Commissioner, announced that the national security of the island has improved. The number of major crimes committed in Jamaica dropped by 13.3 percent between January and July 21, 2012. This is a significant improvement over the situation noted in 2009, when there were 864 murders on the island. As of July 21, 2012, the number of murders totaled 614.
FOOD PRICES TO RISE IN JAMAICA—07/25/12
Dr. Marc Panton, Jamaica’s Minister of Agriculture, says Jamaicans could experience a major increase in the price of some agricultural products as the result of higher grain costs in the United States. The higher prices are not likely to be welcomed by local producers and consumers, who are already worried about cost hikes. Severe drought conditions in the U.S. are contributing to the increase in grain products. Jamaican chicken farmers will be especially impacted by the cost rise.
JAMAICAN BECOMING GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY HUB—07/26/12
Jamaica has emerged as a major center for global technology. The island has relatively high penetration of high-speed Internet access, and it is leveraging the ability of its population to speak English to do business with North America. Its proximity to both North and South America is also a plus. Over 25 percent of Jamaicans are online, and 4.3 percent of those have access to high-speed Internet connections, compared to 0.8 percent in Indonesia, 0.9 percent in India, and 4.6 percent in Thailand.
JAMAICAN MEDIA MAY RECEIVE ACCESS TO OLYMPIC CAMP—07/26/12
Media representatives from Jamaica may be able to access athletes at a pre-Olympic camp at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. The media has been “locked out” of the camp to date. However, Donald Quarrie and Dr. Warren Blake of the JAAA said they would attempt to lift the cloud of secrecy surrounding the athletic camp.
BOLT TO CARRY JAMAICAN FLAG IN OPENING OLYMPIC CEREMONY—07/27/12
Champion Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has been selected to carry Jamaica’s flag during the opening ceremonies at the London 2012 Olympics. Bolt said it was an honor to carry his nation’s flag and that he would do anything for his country.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN YOUTH PERFORM WELL AT INTERNATIONAL CHESS MEET—07/21/12
A number of young Jamaicans participated the Annual World Open Chess Championship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and won several trophies and cash prizes. Leighton Barrett, 9, of Sts. Peter and Paul Prep school, finished in fifth place in the Under-13 category. Teammates Malik Buchanan, 11, and Jason Lawson, 14, also did well, finishing eighth and first in their age categories, respectively.
JAMAICAN ACTIVISTS ATTEND GLOBAL AIDS CONFERENCE —07/24/12
Jamaican AIDS activists say that while it is important to target the HIV infection rate among homosexual men, it is also crucial to focus on the incidence of HIV among teens. Jamaican teenagers are receiving increased attention in a Caribbean campaign designed to inform girls and young women about the life-changing consequences of having unprotected sex. Jamaican girls are three times more likely to be infected with the AIDS virus in Jamaica than other populations.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA SHOULD BE ABLE TO VOTE—07/25/12
Many countries allow overseas residents to hold government positions, including the United Kingdom and the Dominican Republic. The matter has been discussed in terms of the Jamaican Diaspora in the past, but nothing has ever resulted from the talks. However, as more nations widen government participation, Jamaica is revisiting the issue. Most Jamaicans believe that those living overseas should be given voting rights. There is strong opposition to giving Jamaicans living overseas representation in Parliament, however.
JBDC TO SHOWCASE JAMAICAN PRODUCTS IN UK—07/26/12
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) will showcase products made in Jamaica in Birmingham in the United Kingdom under the “Things Jamaican” umbrella. According to Harold Davis, executive director of the JBDC, the products will be sold in Victoria Station in Birmingham, and most will come from micro-businesses and small entities in Jamaica that would not otherwise have exposure to the UK market.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
PLEDGES TO REBUILD HAITI NOT MET BY UNITED STATES—07/21/12
VIRIGN ISLANDS, PUERTO RICO PARTNER IN OCEAN PRESERVATION PROJECT—07/22/12
TOURISM GROUP, CARICOM CHAIRMAN IN AGREEMENT ON UK TAX—07/23/12
SOCIAL SHRIMP DISAPPEAR FROM CARIBBEAN REEFS—07/24/12
RAUL CASTRO SAYS CUBA WILLING TO OPEN TALKS WITH U.S.—07/26/12
ARCHAEOLOGISTS SEARCH FOR MORGAN’S LOST FLEET—07/27/12
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
BUSINESS PUBLICATION HIGHLIGHTS COMPANIES, BUSINESS LEADERS—07/21/12
The publication “Who’s Who in Jamaica Business” is designed to provide exposure for businesses and their leaders to potential customers. The directory is scheduled for launch later in 2012 and will allow companies to showcase what they do. The directory is being published in magazine format and will have a circulation of more than 10,000 large corporations, clients, suppliers, government agencies, foreign embassies, and various commissions.
DALTON YAP INFORMS JAMAICANS ON DOING BUSINESS WITH CHINA—07/22/12
Dalton Yap, president of the Chinese Benevolent Association (CBA) in Kingston and a businessman who has conducted business in Asian for many years, is telling Jamaicans to move with caution when dealing with partners overseas. When doing business with China, Yap says, it is important to do due diligence and to “let the buyer beware.” The legal system in China is based on relationships rather than contracts, as is common in the United States.
PEPSI OFFICIAL FINDS JAMAICA LESS VIOLENT THAN EXPECTED—07/23/12
Gustavo Flamenco, the commercial director for Pepsi-Cola Jamaica Limited, has visited all the parishes in Jamaica over the past two years in his efforts to drive the company’s commercial strategy. Flamenco says that he found the island much less violent than he had expected. He had been told before coming to Jamaica that it was one of the most violent countries in the world, but coming from Guatemala, he said he feels much safer in Jamaica than in his home country.
DIGICEL, LIME INCLUDE TAXES IN NEW CALL RATES—07/24/12
Digicel Jamaica and LIME Jamaica have changed their rates on fixed and mobile calls to compensate for the new tax on telecoms. Dr. Peter Phillips, Jamaican Minister of Finance, imposed a five-cent per minute levy on fixed line calls and 40 cents on mobile calls from Jamaica. The tax is designed to raise J$5.25 billion to fund the national budget. Both Digicel and LIME have folded the increase into new rates and canceled several packages in response to the tax as well.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
JAMAICAN SCIENTIST LAUNCHES SPORTS DRINK, FORTIFIED PORRIDGE—07/21/12
DIGICEL EXPANDS MOBILE BANKING IN CARIBBEAN—07/22/12
SCIENTISTS IN JAMAICA AND CHINA CREATE PARTNERSHIP—07/25/12
LNG PROJECT WON BY SAMSUNG—07/26/12
STATE MINISTER WARNS AGAINST “ARBITRARY” BANNING OF ENTERTAINERS—07/21/12
Damion Crawford, Jamaican State Minister for Tourism and Entertainment, is encouraging the country to take a stand against what he calls the arbitrary banning of Jamaican performers by member nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Crawford emphasized the need to make sure Jamaican entertainers had free movement throughout the area. He also noted his support for CARICOM overall.
DANCEHALL NIGHT A SUCCESS AT SUMFEST—07/22/12
Dancehall superstar Konshens was featured at Reggae Sumfest 2012 in Montego Bay, which attracted an enthusiastic audience that was not disappointed in any of the night’s performances. The concert also featured Baby Tash, Cham and Ophelia “O” Beckett, and Stacious. Sumfest 2012 provided entertainment by the most star-studded list of musicians in all of its 20-year history.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN MUSICIANS PLAY TO MONTEGO BAY STUDENTS—07/23/12
The Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet has traveled to Jamaica and performed for students at Montego Bay’s Mount Alvernia High School. The quintet is based at Western Carolina University and conducted a week-long educational tour of Jamaica meant to encourage the teaching and study of brass instruments in public schools. Six concerts were performed in Kingston and Montego Bay for over 7,000 Jamaican grade school and high school students in total.
DREAM WEEKEND PARTICIPANTS TO GET ACCESS TO OLYMPIC COVERAGE—07/26/12
Attendees at the Smirnoff Dream Weekend parties celebrating Jamaica’s Golden Jubilee will be able to watch coverage of the Olympics in London via live and delayed feeds from the official Broadcast Center at the Jamaica 50 Golden Jubilee Village. According to Robert Bryan, project director, the organizers want to ensure that those having fun in Negril are not left out of what is happening throughout the world. During the periods of broadcasting, the parties of the Dream Weekend can be viewed all over the world, and the Weekenders can see global events like the 2012 Olympics in return.
JAMAICAN MINISTER URGES ATHLETES TO PROTECT INTELLECTUAL RIGHTS—07/21/12
Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, Jamaica’s State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, is encouraging Jamaica athletes to get ready for the 2012 Olympics by registering their trademarks and protecting their intellectual property rights. Protecting intellectual property rights and ensuring that Jamaica’s laws contribute to overall economic growth of the nation should be a top priority of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), which represents a major resource for athletes seeking such protection.
JAMAICAN COMPETES IN OLYMPIC EQUESTRIAN EVENTS—07/22/12
Jamaican equestrian Samantha Albert has gained the attention of British media, being the only white Jamaican to be representing the island at the 2012 games. Albert, whose father is British, was born in Canada and based in the United Kingdom, but her mother is Jamaican, so she can compete for that country. Her mother still lives in Jamaica.
BOLT TRAINING IN SECLUSION IN UK—07/23/12
Usain Bolt, Jamaican sprint champion, is training in seclusion at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom to get ready for the 2012 Olympic competitions. Bolt holds the world records in both the 100 meter and 200 meter races, and he is the subject of considerable attention among watchers of the 2012 games. No one has been able to watch his training so there is much conjecture as to his condition.
BOLT CLEARED BY DOCTOR TO DEFEND TITLES—07/26/12
Jamaican Olympic champion Usain Bolt has been declared fit to participate in the 2012 Olympic competitions in London. His Jamaican doctor, Winston Dawes, says he expects Bolt to be in top condition by the time his events begin in early August.
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Standing Up for God
When God rewarded the faithfulness of the three Jewish boys by delivering them from the fiery furnace, little did they know their stand and God’s actions would transform, albeit temporarily, the Babylonians’ worship practices.
According to the narrative, after the boys’ miraculous deliverance, “Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort” (Daniel 3:28-29, KJV). In addition, like an afterthought we learn, “Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon” (v. 30).
Have you ever wondered what transformation would take place in our homes, our schools, our churches, our businesses, our nations, if Christians everywhere stood firm on their convictions? Being a Christian can sometimes feel like swimming upstream while everybody and everything else is going downstream. It would be great if God would somehow steer us away from those situations that require having to make those seemingly tough decisions to be fair and honest; to stand up for what is right, just, and true. As societies become more secular and unashamedly opposed to absolute values of right and wrong, Christians are called upon to stay the course, to lift Jesus even higher. To sacrifice all, even one’s life if necessary.
However, God does not always steer or deliver us from challenging situations. As He did with Shedrach and his friends, He allows us to walk these difficult paths to demonstrate His power and His glory in and through us. As someone so rightly puts it, “Sometimes God calms the storm. At other times, He calms the sailor. And sometimes He makes us swim.” One thing we are assured of is that when He makes us swim, as the fourth man in the fiery furnace was with the boys, we are never alone.
The Jewish boys’ faithfulness produced results – their deliverance, their promotion, and a change in Babylon’s worship practices. What changes does God have in store when you take a stand in your sphere of influence? Do you trust Him enough to find out even if you are the only one left standing?