Monthly Archives: November 2012

JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending November 30th, 2012


Sandrea Falconer, Jamaica’s Minister with the responsibility for information, said that it is possible a deal with the International Monetary Fund may not be finalized until December 2012, but also noted that the agreement with be in place by January 2013. According to Dr. Peter Phillips, Minister of Finance, negotiations with the IMF are proceeding according to plan, but that the deal’s conditions have yet to be settled.

Jamaican senator Norman Grant is encouraging all Jamaican residents to abstain from eating imported foods during the holiday season. Grant believes all Jamaicans should work to protect the agricultural sector of the local economy and that local farmers can provide everything they need. Dependence of foreign foods like wheat has increased among Jamaicans for several years, costing the island money and negatively impacting producers of local crops like cassava and yams.

Roman Catholic Social Justice Commission members have criticized Jamaica’s government for spending $60 million to buy high-end vehicles for its officials. In a released statement, the Commission called the decision “imprudent” in the light of the nation’s poor socio-economic conditions and government demands for “everyone else” to make sacrifices.

The government of Jamaica will soon present its first draft of a bill designed to address the problem of lottery scams. Mark Golding, Minister of Justice, said the draft is expected by the end of November 2012. The Evidence (Special Measures) Act has already passed in the Senate. It will be utilized in the fight against lottery scamming on the island by providing measures that aid in providing evidence from witnesses, including video and audio evidence, said Golding.

Senior Public Health Nurse Beverly Davis Samuels was named Public Servant of the Year for 2012 during Civil Service Week 2012 in Jamaica. The week-long celebration features displays and concerts, along with the award announcement. Horace Dalley, Minister with responsibility for Public Service, says the event encourages and reinvigorates interest and attention to public sector service in spite of the currently economic challenges facing the country.

Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, has urged financial institutions in the Caribbean region to make sure they meet international standards, particularly in regard to the Foreign Accountant Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which has been introduced by the United States. Financial entities should not respond to the law in a “knee-jerk” manner, said Simpson Miller, since they should give the impression that they are in favor of controlling money laundering and illegal financial transactions.
By putting myself in the shoes of the American authorities, I understand only too well the factors which

The government of Jamaica has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) of the United Nations and the World Customs Organization (WCO). The Container Control program is designed to provide better security at Jamaica’s ports. According to Dr. Peter Phillips, Finance and Planning Minister, the MoU creates a funded partnership between the Jamaican government and the two agencies. This improves prevention efforts aimed at the use of cargo containers for smuggling, drug trafficking, tax evasion, and possible terrorism.

Jamaica’s National Water Commission (NWC) has lost some $2.1 billion since the beginning of 2012. This means that the agency is collecting only 32 percent revenue on water piped into local communities. The NWC is planning to apply for a rate increase. Officials at the agency said it does not collect revenue for 68 percent of the water produced, noting recorded losses attributed to leakage and theft during the current financial year.


Supporters of increased engagement among the Jamaican Diaspora in home affairs have called for the creation of a Jamaica House Prime Minister’s Fellowship program that would encourage young professionals, both in the Diaspora and at home, to foster more action among such individuals for the good of the public and private sectors on the island. The program would be modeled on the White House Fellows Program offered in the United States. The United Kingdom Department of International Development, the Canadian International Development Agency, the European Union, the United Nations Country Team, and the U.S. Agency for International Development could join in sponsoring the fellowship.

Dr. Winsome Leslie, a senior specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank (DB) who was born in Jamaica, has received the Antonio Ortiz Mena Award of 2012. The award is presented each year in recognition for making outstanding contributions to the banking institution. Dr. Leslie is only the fifth IDB staff member from the Caribbean region to win the award. She currently holds the position of Coordinator for the English-speaking Caribbean and Haiti at the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a grant project.

Jazz legend Monty Alexander and singer William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke were among four Jamaicans who received awards at the 19th Annual Caribbean American Heritage Awards (CARAH) Gala, which was held in Washington, D.C. Four other Caribbean nationals were also honored for their contributions in their various fields of work. The gala celebration also recognized Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence, along with that of Trinidad and Tobago.

Jamaica’s former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, is visiting Miami, Florida, to promote his Reggae Golden Jubilee album, a set of historically important recordings. The reggae recordings, on four discs, are meant to mark the occasion of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence. Seaga, who was Prime Minister from 1980 to 1989, curated the collection, which includes 100 hits from the likes of Peter Rosh, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Shaggy, Buju Banton, Sean Paul, and others.










The African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations are looking for clarification from the European Union (EU) about promises to support the banana sector. Ragin Parmessar, a representative to the 24th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, has questioned reports that the EU has decided to reduce the amount of promises financial support to the banana industry.

According to a spokeswoman for Convergys Corporation, Brooke Beiting, the firm may decide to delay its entry into the Jamaican market, postponing the creation of 1,000 jobs on the island. The decision is being reviewed by the firm, said Beiting. In December 2011, Andrea Ayers, current CEO of the company, said the Jamaican operation would be of benefit to Jamaicans in terms of jobs and to the firm’s clients in terms of a new, near-shore, English-speaking facility. The operation was to have been located in Montego Bay.

Some 15 organizations from all sectors of Jamaican society, including government, private business, and NGOs, participated in a forum celebrating the first anniversary of the 51% Coalition: Women in Partnership for Development and Empowerment through Equity. The group, which is designed to increase the participation of women in high-level decision-making, includes 11 groups as its members. According to Linnette Vassell, a key figure in the coalition, the group plans to obtain a targeted mix of 40 percent to 60 percent representation for either gender on public commissions and boards.

Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaican Prime Minister, is encouraging young people in Jamaica to avail themselves of the expected growth coming in the construction industry. With investors becoming more confident, and with greater interest in the construction sector, Simpson Miller predicts that there will be many opportunities for young workers there.








To mark Western Jamaica Campus Week, the award-winning Jamaican Folk Singers will perform a concern in Montego Bay. The funds generated by the performance will be used to address the social responsibilities of the Western Jamaica Campus of the University of the West Indies at Mona. Money will be placed toward the Student Financial Support Fund and the Pediatric Ward of Cornwall Regional Hospital. Western Jamaica Campus Week ends on December 2, 2012.

Innovative use of technology at two Jamaican schools is the topic of a new television series shown on Flow TV. The program, called “Flow in My School,” shows how primary and secondary schools use technology in the teaching and learning environment and how they are used to preserve Jamaican culture. The schools featured in the series include Rollington Town Primary, St. Elizabeth Technical High, Jessie Ripoll Primary, Meadowbrook High, Windward Road Primary and Junior High, and Angels Primary. The TV series is part of the “Flow in My School Technology Competition,” which is designed to encourage the use of technology to enhance the performance of students and teachers.

Lady Saw, the popular dancehall music star, will be inducted into the Caribbean Hall of Fame in recognition of her long-time contributions to the music industry. She was chosen to receive the award by the Committee of the Caribbean Development for the Arts, Sports, and Culture Foundation, in partnership with the Caribbean Community. This honor comes just five months after Lady Saw received the title “Queen of Dancehall” at the 2012 Reggae Sumfest event.

Shaggy, the popular Jamaican entertainer, has decided to perform his “Shaggy and Friends” yearly event after revamping its setup. The event has raised more than J$90 million to help the Bustamante Hospital for Children. It will not be staged for a second time in 2012. Instead, the concert will be changed. No details were available concerning the changes. The event was first staged in 2009


Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix were selected as athletes of the year at the International Amateur Athletics Federation awards ceremonies. Jamaican Bolt won three gold medals at the London 2012 Olympics, while Felix of the United States won three golds in London as well.

Jamaican captain Shedieky Barnes says members of her team are ready “as individuals” to play in the NORCECA qualification matches of the 2014 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championship. However, she also notes that the lack of players and availability of venues has caused the team to “make the best use of what we have.” The final 12 are yet to be chosen, and many foreign players from college and professional experiences have yet to join. Jamaica is ranked 53rd in the world and will host Aruba, the Cayman Islands, and Barbados at the qualifiers.

Melville “Mel” Spence has died at the age of 76 in Florida. Spence was All-American at Arizona State in the 800-yard event in 1959. He was also a three-time Olympic athlete representing Jamaica. He and his twin brother Malcolm “Mal” Spence competed together on three 4×400 relay teams at the Border Conference championships. Spence won a bronze medal at the 1960 Olympics as part of the 4×400 relay team.

Over 370 delegates to the yearly general meeting of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) are electing a new president to lead the nation’s track and field efforts for four years. The incumbent president, Dr. Warren Blake, and his officials are being pressured to continue their work while facing a challenge from the former first vice-president of the organization, Lincoln Eatmon and Grace Jackson. Jackson, who is an Olympic athlete, is hoping to become the first woman to lead the JAAA. Observers believe that there will be significant support for Blake, who took over the presidency after the death of Howard Aris in 2011.


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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending November 30th, 2012

A group of ex-soldiers in Haiti who seized old military bases earlier in 2012 to pressure the government to restore its disbanded army have come out of hiding. The veterans had been in hiding for six months, but now four former sergeants have agreed to meet with journalists near Mariani to reiterate their demands. The soldiers’ representatives say they have been training in that area and plan to continue their campaign without resorting to violence. Haiti’s National Armed Forces was abolished in 1995 because of its history of opposing governments and dissenting opinion.

Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, has revived his tour of the Caribbean in Grenada. He will meet with acting Prime Minister Nazim Burke of that country and will be the featured speaker at a forum there. Regional representatives of the religious group say Farrakhan’s visits are an extension of a tour begun in 2011, when he spoke in Jamaica, Trinidad, Antigua, and other Caribbean islands. He is slated to visit Barbados, Dominica, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas during his tour as well.

Centro Leon in Santiago has announced the fifth annual “International Music, Identity and Cultural Congress” of the Caribbean. It will be held in April 2013 and will focus on “Caribbean Music and Dance Folklore in Times of Globalization.” The event will also focus on contributions made by the Caribbean region to other world cultures.

The former President of the United States Jimmy Carter, 88, has returned to Haiti to build houses in a town that was heavily damaged in the 2010 earthquake on the island. Carter, along with his wife Rosalynn, is leading a group of hundreds of volunteers from Habitat for Humanity to the town of Leogane, which was the epicenter of the quake. Many Haitians there still have no homes and live in devastating conditions. Carter and the volunteers plan to build 100 one-room homes on 14 acres.

Caribbean ports are racing to confront the challenges associated with the expansion of the Panama Canal. The Bahamas, Jamaica, and Cuba have decided to expand their ports, hoping to receive some ships from the Canal and become trans-shipment hubs supplying smaller ports. Other ports are just preparing for more shipping traffic.

Makai Dickerson, a candidate from the ruling Progressive Labor Party (PNP) in Bermuda, has taken his name out of contention in the general election to be held in December 2012 due to an arrest for possession of marijuana. The PLP is looking for a new candidate to replace Dickerson, who had been described as a “rising star”. Police found him in possession of a “very small” amount of the drug before he was named as the party’s candidate.

Senior Public Health Nurse Beverly Davis Samuels was named Public Servant of the Year for 2012 during Civil Service Week 2012 in Jamaica. The week-long celebration features displays and concerts, along with the award announcement. Horace Dalley, Minister with responsibility for Public Service, says the event encourages and reinvigorates interest and attention to public sector service in spite of the currently economic challenges facing the country.

Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, has urged financial institutions in the Caribbean region to make sure they meet international standards, particularly in regard to the Foreign Accountant Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which has been introduced by the United States. Financial entities should not respond to the law in a “knee-jerk” manner, said Simpson Miller, since they should give the impression that they are in favor of controlling money laundering and illegal financial transactions.
By putting myself in the shoes of the American authorities, I understand only too well the factors which

The government of Jamaica has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) of the United Nations and the World Customs Organization (WCO). The Container Control program is designed to provide better security at Jamaica’s ports. According to Dr. Peter Phillips, Finance and Planning Minister, the MoU creates a funded partnership between the Jamaican government and the two agencies. This improves prevention efforts aimed at the use of cargo containers for smuggling, drug trafficking, tax evasion, and possible terrorism.

Jamaica’s National Water Commission (NWC) has lost some $2.1 billion since the beginning of 2012. This means that the agency is collecting only 32 percent revenue on water piped into local communities. The NWC is planning to apply for a rate increase. Officials at the agency said it does not collect revenue for 68 percent of the water produced, noting recorded losses attributed to leakage and theft during the current financial year.



CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending November 30th, 2012

Tech entrepreneurs in Jamaica and the Caribbean are having an influence on their own countries, the region in general, and the world. The conference BETA2012 Startup BootCamp and its competitions are designed to help these entrepreneurs succeed in their endeavors. The goals of the event included helping aspiring and current entrepreneurs who have tech-driven ideas to move on from where they are in the startup process. The 36 attendees at the event represented Jamaica, Trinidad, and the Bahamas.

The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper has announced its Honor Awards in science, technology, health and wellness and business for 2011. The recipients include Professor Simon Mitchell, a geologist at the University of the West Indies for science and technology, Dr. Godfrey Boyd, the CEO of Kingston Public Hospital, who received the health and wellness award, and Dolphin Cove Ltd., which won the award for business.

Grenada acted as host to a gathering of interested “techies” and computer network engineers during the fourth regional meeting of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG). The event, which lasted all week, was attended by more than 100 participants from throughout the region and around the world. According to Bevil Wooding, coordinator for the group, the meeting offers a unique forum for network technicians in the region to share their experiences and improve practical skills.

Providers of Internet service in Grenada are publicizing the benefits of the new exchange point (IXP) and how it has improved customers’ service. The providers touted their new IXP at a meeting of the Caribbean Network Operators Groups (CaribNOG). Representatives from Columbus Communications and LIME said the improvements in local Internet traffic let ISPs exchange domestic traffic locally rather than via distant facilities in Europe of the United States.



100 Notable Books of 2012

The year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.

Julia Rothman

Illustration by Julia Rothman


ALIF THE UNSEENBy G. Willow Wilson. (Grove, $25.) A young hacker on the run in the Mideast is the protagonist of this imaginative first novel.

ALMOST NEVERBy Daniel Sada. Translated by Katherine Silver. (Graywolf, paper, $16.) In this glorious satire of machismo, a Mexican agronomist simultaneously pursues a prostitute and an upright woman.

AN AMERICAN SPYBy Olen Steinhauer. (Minotaur, $25.99.) In a novel vividly evoking the multilayered world of espionage, Steinhauer’s hero fights back when his C.I.A. unit is nearly destroyed.

ARCADIABy Lauren Groff. (Voice/Hyperion, $25.99.)Groff’s lush and visual second novel begins at a rural commune, and links that utopian past to a dystopian, post-global-warming future.

AT LASTBy Edward St. Aubyn. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) The final and most meditative of St. Aubyn’s brilliant Patrick Melrose novels is full of precise observations and glistening turns of phrase.

BEAUTIFUL RUINSBy Jess Walter. (Harper/HarperCollins, $25.99.) Walter’s witty sixth novel, set largely in Hollywood, reveals an American landscape of vice, addiction, loss and disappointed hopes.

BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALKBy Ben Fountain. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $25.99.) The survivors of a fierce firefight in Iraq are whisked stateside for a brief victory tour in this satirical novel.

BLASPHEMYBy Sherman Alexie. (Grove, $27.) The best stories in Alexie’s collection of new and selected works are moving and funny, bringing together the embittered critic and the yearning dreamer.

THE BOOK OF MISCHIEF: New and Selected StoriesBy Steve Stern. (Graywolf, $26.) Jewish immigrant lives observed with effusive nostalgia.

BRING UP THE BODIESBy Hilary Mantel. (Macrae/Holt, $28.) Mantel’s sequel to “Wolf Hall” traces the fall of Anne Boleyn, and makes the familiar story fascinating and suspenseful again.

BUILDING STORIESBy Chris Ware. (Pantheon, $50.) A big, sturdy box containing hard-bound volumes, pamphlets and a tabloid houses Ware’s demanding, melancholy and magnificent graphic novel about the inhabitants of a Chicago building.

BY BLOODBy Ellen Ullman. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27.) This smart, slippery novel is a narrative striptease, as a professor listens in on the sessions between the therapist next door and her patients.

CANADABy Richard Ford. (Ecco/Har­perCollins, $27.99.) A boy whose parents rob a bank in Montana in 1960 takes refuge across the border in this mesmerizing novel, driven by fully realized characters and an accomplished prose style.

CARRY THE ONEBy Carol Anshaw. (Simon & Schuster, $25.) Anshaw pays close attention to the lives of a group of friends bound together by a fatal accident in this wry, humane novel, her fourth.

CITY OF BOHANEBy Kevin Barry. (Graywolf, $25.) Somewhere in Ireland in 2053, people are haunted by a “lost time,” when something calamitous happened, and hope to reclaim the past. Barry’s extraordinary, exuberant first novel is full of inventive language.

COLLECTED POEMSBy Jack Gilbert. (Knopf, $35.) In orderly free verse constructions, Gilbert deals plainly with grief, love, marriage, betrayal and lust.

DEAR LIFE: StoriesBy Alice Munro. (Knopf, $26.95.) This volume offers further proof of Munro’s mastery, and shows her striking out in the direction of a new, late style that sums up her whole career.

THE DEVIL IN SILVERBy Victor LaValle. (Spiegel & Grau, $27.) LaValle’s culturally observant third novel is set in a shabby urban mental hospital.

ENCHANTMENTSBy Kathryn Harrison. (Random House, $27.) Harrison’s splendid and surprising novel of late imperial Russia centers on Rasputin’s daughter Masha and the hemophiliac ­czarevitch Alyosha.

FLIGHT BEHAVIORBy Barbara Kingsolver. (Harper/HarperCollins, $28.99.) An Appalachian woman becomes involved in an effort to save monarch butterflies in this brave and majestic novel.

FOBBITBy David Abrams. (Black Cat/Grove/Atlantic, paper, $15.) Clerks, cooks and lawyers at a forward operating base in Iraq populate this first novel.

THE FORGETTING TREEBy Tatjana Soli. (St. Martin’s, $25.99.) In Soli’s haunting second novel, a mysterious Caribbean woman cares for a cancer patient on an isolated California ranch.

GATHERING OF WATERSBy Bernice L. McFadden. (Akashic, $24.95.) Three generations of black women confront floods and murder in Mississippi.

GODS WITHOUT MENBy Hari Kunzru. (Knopf, $26.95.) Related stories, spanning centuries and continents, and all tethered to a desert rock formation, emphasize interconnectivity across time and space in Kunzru’s relentlessly modern fourth novel.

HHhHBy Laurent Binet. Translated by Sam Taylor. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.)This gripping novel examines both the killing of an SS general in Prague in 1942 and Binet’s experience in writing about it.

A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KINGBy Dave Eggers. (McSweeney’s, $25.) Eg­gers’s novel is a haunting and supremely readable parable of America in the global economy, a nostalgic lament for a time when life had stakes and people worked with their hands.

HOMEBy Toni Morrison. (Knopf, $24.) A black Korean War veteran, discharged from an integrated Army into a segregated homeland, makes a reluctant journey back to Georgia in a novel engaged with themes that have long haunted Morrison.

HOPE: A TRAGEDYBy Shalom Auslander. (Riverhead, $26.95.) Hilarity alternates with pain in this novel about a Jewish man seeking peace in upstate New York who discovers Anne Frank in his ­attic.

HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE? By Sheila Heti. (Holt, $25.) The narrator (also named Sheila) and her friends try to answer the question in this novel’s title.

IN ONE PERSONBy John Irving. (Simon & Schuster, $28.) Irving’s funny, risky new novel about an aspiring writer struggling with his sexuality examines what happens when we face our desires honestly.

A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOMEBy Wiley Cash. (Morrow/HarperCollins, $24.99.) An evil pastor dominates Cash’s mesmerizing first novel.

MARRIED LOVE: And Other StoriesBy Tessa Hadley. (Harper Perennial, paper, $14.99.) Hadley’s understatedly beautiful collection is filled with exquisitely calibrated gradations and expressions of class.

NWBy Zadie Smith. (Penguin Press, $26.95.) The lives of two friends who grew up in a northwest London housing project diverge, illuminating questions of race, class, sexual identity and personal choice, in Smith’s energetic modernist novel.

ON THE SPECTRUM OF POSSIBLE DEATHSBy Lucia Perillo. (Copper Canyon, $22.) Taut, lucid poems filled with complex emotional reflection.

PUREBy Julianna Baggott. (Grand Central, $25.99.) Children battle for the planet’s redemption in this precisely written postapocalyptic adventure story.

THE RIGHT-HAND SHOREBy Christopher Tilghman. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27.) A dark, magisterial novel set on a Chesapeake Bay estate.

THE ROUND HOUSE. By Louise Erdrich. (Harper/HarperCollins, $27.99.) In this novel, an American Indian family faces the ramifications of a vicious crime.

SALVAGE THE BONESBy Jesmyn Ward. (Bloomsbury, $24.) A pregnant 15-year-old and her family await Hurricane Katrina in this lushly written novel.

SAN MIGUELBy T. Coraghessan Boyle. (Viking, $27.95.) Two utopians from different eras establish private idylls on California’s desolate Channel Islands; this novel preserves their tantalizing dreams.

SHINE SHINE SHINEBy Lydia Netzer. (St. Martin’s, $24.99.) This thought-provoking debut novel presents a geeky astronaut and his pregnant wife.

SHOUT HER LOVELY NAMEBy Natalie Serber. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24.)The stories in Serber’s first collection are smart and nuanced.

SILENT HOUSEBy Orhan Pamuk. Translated by Robert Finn. (Knopf, $26.95.) A family is a microcosm of a country on the verge of a coup in this intense, foreboding novel, first published in Turkey in 1983.

THE STARBOARD SEABy Amber Dermont. (St. Martin’s, $24.99.) Dermont’s captivating debut novel, whose narrator is a boarding school student and a sailor, takes pleasure in the sea and in the exhilarating freedom of being young.

SWEET TOOTHBy Ian McEwan. (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, $26.95.) The true subject of this smart and tricky novel, set inside a cold war espionage operation, is the border between make-believe and reality.

SWIMMING HOMEBy Deborah Levy. (Bloomsbury, paper, $14.) In this spare, disturbing and frequently funny novel, a troubled young woman tests the marriages of two couples.

TELEGRAPH AVENUEBy Michael Chabon. (Harper/HarperCollins, $27.99.)Chabon’s rich comic novel about fathers and sons in Berkeley and Oakland, Calif., juggles multiple plots and mounds of pop culture references in astonishing prose.

THE TESTAMENT OF MARYBy Colm Toibin. (Scribner, $19.99.) This beautiful work takes power from the surprises of its language and its almost shocking characterization of Mary, mother of Jesus.

THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE HERBy Junot Díaz. (Riverhead, $26.95.) The stories in this collection are about love, but they’re also about the undertow of family history and cultural mores, presented in Díaz’s exciting, irresistible and entertaining prose.

THREE STRONG WOMENBy Marie NDiaye. Translated by John Fletcher. (Knopf, $25.95.) In loosely linked narratives, three women from Senegal struggle with fathers and husbands in France. This subtle, hypnotic novel won the Prix Goncourt in 2009.

TOBY’S ROOMBy Pat Barker. (Doubleday, $25.95.) This novel, a sequel to “Life Class,” delves further into the lives of an English family torn apart by World War I.

WATERGATEBy Thomas Mallon. (Pantheon, $26.95.) This novelistic re­imagining of the “third-rate burglary” proposes surprising motives for the break-in and the 18-minute gap, and has a sympathetic Nixon.

WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ANNE FRANK: Stories.By Nathan Englander. (Knopf, $24.95.) Englander tackles large questions of morality and history in a masterly collection that manages to be both insightful and ­uproarious.

THE YELLOW BIRDSBy Kevin Powers. (Little, Brown, $24.99.) A young private and his platoon struggle through the war in Iraq but find no peace at home in this powerful and moving first novel about the frailty of man and the brutality of war.


ALL WE KNOW: Three LivesBy Lisa Cohen. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $30.) The vanished world of midcentury upper-class lesbians is portrayed as beguiling, its inhabitants members of a stylish club.

AMERICAN TAPESTRY: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle ObamaBy Rachel L. Swarns. (Amistad/HarperCollins, $27.99.) A Times reporter’s deeply researched chronicle of several generations of Mrs. Obama’s family.

AMERICAN TRIUMVIRATE: Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, and the Modern Age of GolfBy James Dodson. (Knopf, $28.95.) The author evokes an era when the game was more vivid and less corporate than it seems now.

ARE YOU MY MOTHER? A Comic DramaBy Alison Bechdel. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22.) Bechdel’s engaging, original graphic memoir explores her troubled relationship with her distant mother.

BARACK OBAMA: The StoryBy David Maraniss. (Simon & Schuster, $32.50.) This huge and absorbing new biography, full of previously unexplored detail, shows that Obama’s saga is more surprising and gripping than the version we’re familiar with.

BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai UndercityBy Katherine Boo. (Random House, $27.) This extraordinary moral inquiry into life in an Indian slum shows the human costs exacted by a brutal social Darwinism.

BELZONI: The Giant Archaeologists Love to HateBy Ivor Noël Hume. (University of Virginia, $34.95.) The fascinating tale of the 19th-century Italian monk, a “notorious tomb robber,” who gathered archaeological treasures in Egypt while crunching bones underfoot.

THE BLACK COUNT: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte CristoBy Tom Reiss. (Crown, $27.) The first Alexandre Dumas, a mixed-race general of the French Revolution, is the subject of this imaginative biography.

BREASTS: A Natural and Unnatural HistoryBy Florence Williams. (Norton, $25.95.) Williams’s environmental call to arms deplores chemicals in breast milk and the vogue for silicone implants.

COMING APART: The State of White America, 1960-2010By Charles Murray. (Crown Forum, $27.) The author of “The Bell Curve” warns that the white working class has abandoned the “founding virtues.”

DARWIN’S GHOSTS: The Secret History of EvolutionBy Rebecca Stott. (Spiegel & Grau, $27.) Stott’s lively, original history of evolutionary ideas flows easily across continents and centuries.

A DISPOSITION TO BE RICH: How a Small-Town Preacher’s Son Ruined an American President, Brought on a Wall Street Crash, and Made Himself the Best-Hated Man in the United StatesBy Geoffrey C. Ward. (Knopf, $28.95.) The author’s ancestor was the bane of Ulysses S. Grant.

FAR FROM THE TREE: Parents, Children, and the Search for IdentityBy Andrew Solomon. (Scribner, $37.50.) This passionate and affecting work about what it means to be a parent is based on interviews with families of “exceptional” children.

FLAGRANT CONDUCT. The Story of Lawrence v. Texas: How a Bedroom Arrest Decriminalized Gay AmericansBy Dale Carpenter. (Norton, $29.95.)Carpenter stirringly describes the 2003 Supreme Court decision that overturned the Texas sodomy law.

THE FOLLY OF FOOLS: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human LifeBy Robert Trivers. (Basic Books, $28.) An intriguing argument that deceit is a beneficial evolutionary “deep feature” of life.

THE GREY ALBUM: On the Blackness of BlacknessBy Kevin Young. (Graywolf, paper, $25.) A poet’s lively account of the central place of the trickster figure in black American culture could have been called “How Blacks Invented America.”

HAITI: The Aftershocks of HistoryBy Laurent Dubois. (Metropolitan/Holt, $32.)Foreign meddling, the lack of a democratic tradition, a humiliating American occupation and cold-war support of a brutal dictator all figure in a scholar’s well-written analysis.

HOW CHILDREN SUCCEED: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of CharacterBy Paul Tough. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27.) Noncognitive skills like persistence and self-control are more crucial to success than sheer brainpower, Tough maintains.

HOW MUSIC WORKSBy David Byrne. (McSweeney’s, $32.) This guidebook also explores the eccentric rock star’s personal and professional experience.

IRON CURTAIN: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956By Anne Applebaum. (Doubleday, $35.) An overwhelming and convincing account of the Soviet push to colonize Eastern Europe after World War II.

KAYAK MORNING: Reflections on Love, Grief, and Small BoatsBy Roger Rosenblatt. (Ecco/HarperCollins, paper, $13.99.) This thoughtful meditation on the evolution of grief over time asks the big questions.

LINCOLN’S CODE: The Laws of War in American HistoryBy John Fabian Witt. (Free Press, $32.) A tension between humanitarianism and righteousness has shaped America’s rules of warfare.

LITTLE AMERICA: The War Within the War for AfghanistanBy Rajiv Chandrasekaran. (Knopf, $27.95.) A beautifully written and deeply reported account of America’s troubled involvement in ­Afghanistan.

MEMOIR OF A DEBULKED WOMAN: Enduring Ovarian CancerBy Susan Gubar. (Norton, $24.95.) A feminist scholar recounts her experience and criticizes the medical treatment of a frightening disease in a voice that is straightforward and incredibly brave.

MY POETSBy Maureen N. McLane. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) Part memoir and part criticism, this friendly book includes essays on poets canonical and contemporary, as well as lineated poem-games.

THE OBAMASBy Jodi Kantor. (Little, Brown, $29.99.) Michelle Obama sets the tone and tempo of the current White House, Kantor argues in this admiring account, full of colorful insider anecdotes.

ODDLY NORMAL: One Family’s Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms With His SexualityBy John Schwartz. (Gotham, $26.) A Times reporter’s deeply affecting account of his son’s coming out also reviews research on the experience of LGBT kids.

ON A FARTHER SHORE: The Life and Legacy of Rachel CarsonBy William Souder. (Crown, $30.) An absorbing biography of the pioneering environmental writer on the 50th anniversary of “Silent Spring.”

ON SAUDI ARABIA: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines — and FutureBy Karen Elliott House. (Knopf, $28.95.) A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist unveils this inscrutable country, comparing its calcified regime to the Soviet Union in its final days.

THE ONE: The Life and Music of James BrownBy RJ Smith. (Gotham, $27.50.)Smith argues that Brown was the most significant modern American musician in terms of style, messaging, rhythm and originality.

THE PASSAGE OF POWER: The Years of Lyndon JohnsonBy Robert A. Caro. (Knopf, $35.) The fourth volume of Caro’s magisterial work spans the five years that end shortly after Kennedy’s assassination, as Johnson prepares to push for a civil rights act.

THE PATRIARCH: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. KennedyBy David Nasaw. (Penguin Press, $40.) This riveting history captures the sweep of Kennedy’s life — as Wall Street speculator, moviemaker, ambassador and dynastic founder.

PEOPLE WHO EAT DARKNESS: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished From the Streets of Tokyo — and the Evil That Swallowed Her UpBy Richard Lloyd Parry. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, paper, $16.) An evenhanded investigation of a murder.

RED BRICK, BLACK MOUNTAIN, WHITE CLAY: Reflections on Art, Family, and SurvivalBy Christopher Benfey. (Penguin Press, $25.95.) Mixing memoir, family saga, travelogue and cultural ­history.

RULE AND RUIN. The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party: From Eisenhower to the Tea PartyBy Geoffrey Kabaservice. (Oxford University, $29.95.) Pragmatic Republicanism was hardier than we remember, Kabaservice argues.

SAUL STEINBERG: A BiographyBy Deirdre Bair. (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, $40.)A gripping and revelatory biography of the eminent cartoonist.

SHOOTING VICTORIA: Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British MonarchyBy Paul Thomas Murphy. (Pegasus, $35.) An uninhibited and learned account of the attempts on the life of Queen Victoria, which only increased her popularity.

SHORT NIGHTS OF THE SHADOW CATCHER: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward CurtisBy Timothy Egan. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28.) A deft portrait of the man who made memorable photographs of American ­Indians.

THE SOCIAL CONQUEST OF EARTH. By Edward O. Wilson. (Norton, $27.95.) The evolutionary biologist explores the strange kinship between humans and some insects.

SOMETIMES THERE IS A VOID: Memoirs of an OutsiderBy Zakes Mda. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $35.) The South African novelist and playwright absorbingly illuminates his wide, worldly life.

SPILLOVER: Animal Infections and the Next Human PandemicBy David Quammen. (Norton, $28.95.) Quammen’s meaty, sprawling book chronicles his globe-trotting scientific adventures and warns against animal microbes spilling over into people.

THE TASTE OF WAR: World War II and the Battle for FoodBy Lizzie Colling­ham. (Penguin Press, $36.) Collingham argues that food needs contributed to the war’s origins, strategy, outcome and aftermath.

THOMAS JEFFERSON: The Art of PowerBy Jon Meacham. (Random House, $35.) This readable and well-researched life celebrates Jefferson’s skills as a practical politician, unafraid to wield power even when it conflicted with his small-government views.

VICTORY: The Triumphant Gay RevolutionBy Linda Hirshman. (Harper/Har­perCollins, $27.99.) Written with knowing finesse, this expansive history of gay rights from the early 20th century to the present draws on archives and interviews.

WHEN GOD TALKS BACK: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship With GodBy T. M. Luhrmann. (Knopf, $28.95.) Evangelicals believe that God speaks to them personally because they hone the skill of prayer, this insightful study argues.

WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU COULD BE NORMAL? By Jeanette Winterson. (Grove, $25.) Winterson’s unconventional and winning memoir wrings humor from adversity as it describes her upbringing by a wildly deranged mother.

WHY DOES THE WORLD EXIST? An Existential Detective StoryBy Jim Holt. (Liveright/Norton, $27.95.) An elegant and witty writer converses with philosophers and cosmologists who ponder why there is something rather than nothing.

Previous Years’ Lists

2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 |2007 2006 | 2005

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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in African American Books


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The Top 10 Reasons Why People of Color Should Care About the Fiscal Showdown

Speaker of the House John BoehnerSOURCE: AP/J. Scott ApplewhiteHouse Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, November 29, 2012, after private talks with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner regarding the fiscal showdown.

Thanks to congressional Republicans holding the economy hostage during the debt ceiling debacle in the summer of 2011, a package of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration is set to go into effect on January 2, 2013. At the same time, the Bush-era tax cuts and a number of other tax breaks will expire, meaning that a massive fiscal retrenchment will occur unless Congress and President Barack Obama reach an agreement to forestall the spending cuts and tax hikes. The president has proposed a balanced approach to resolve this crisis, asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share, but congressional Republicans are again playing the hostage game, risking massive and harmful spending cuts and across-the-board tax increases in order to protect tax cuts for the rich.

Sequestration will impact all Americans, particularly communities of color. Many Americans are still recovering from the Great Recession of 2007–2009, and economically we are at a time when investment in growing communities is necessary and preserving middle-class tax cuts is crucial. The majority of Americans agree that higher taxes on the wealthy are necessary to pay for programs that benefit the most vulnerable Americans.

Our demographics are changing and communities of color are the fastest-growing group of Americans. It’s important that we invest now in these communities as they are our nation’s future workforce.

Below are the top 10 reasons why it’s important that communities of color pay attention to the fiscal showdown and the impact that it will have in these communities:

1. Deep cuts to the unemployment provision will disproportionately impact people of color. More than 2 million Americans could lose their unemployment benefits unless Congress reauthorizes federal emergency unemployment help before the end of the year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of October 2012 the unemployment rate is steady at 7.9 percent. But people of color face higher levels of unemployment, with 10 percent of Latinos and a staggering 14.3 percent of blacks unemployed.

2. An average tax increase of $3,500 per household will adversely impact low-income and middle-class families of color. According to the Tax Policy Center, low-income families will be hit the hardest, with a couple making between $20,000 to $30,000 annually seeing a tax increase of $1,408. This tax hike will be particularly hard for the 16.7 percent of African Americans living in poverty and the 27.8 percent of Latinos who are near poor. Middle-class families of color will also experience a tax increase. The average tax increase for middle-class families is $2,000 each year. This is particularly devastating for the middle-income blacks and Latinos who are still recovering from the housing crisis.

3. Workforce-development programs that are vital to communities of color, like YouthBuild, face significant cuts. YouthBuild, a program connecting low-income youth to education and training, could be cut by about 8 percent. Coupled with previous cuts, the program could see about one-third of federal funding cut between fiscal year 2010 and fiscal year 2013. In 2010, 54 percent of YouthBuild participants were African American and 20 percent were Hispanic.

4. Federal budget cuts under sequestration would quickly mean cuts to federal, state, and local public-sector jobs, which disproportionately employ women and African Americans. In 2011 employed African Americans were 20 percent of the federal, state, and local public-sector workforce, and women were nearly 50 percent more likely to work in the public sector.

5. Early child care funding could be cut by more than $900 million, impacting the thousands of children of color who benefit from these programs. Such cuts will mean 96,000 fewer children in Head Start, a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children from low-income families from birth through 5 years old, and where 60 percent of program participants are children of color.

6. Programs that directly help the most vulnerable families and children are on the chopping block in the fiscal showdown negotiations. Child nutrition programs such as the Women, Infants, and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program, commonly known as WIC, serves as a supplemental food and nutrition program for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women and for children under age 5. The program could be cut by $543 million—a devastating loss to the more than 450,000 people of color who utilize its services.

7. Education funding cuts will hurt the 66 percent of students who borrow to pay for college. Students of color, who have higher rates of borrowing, would be particularly impacted. Pell Grants, which provide need-based grants to low-income students to offset the cost of college, face severe cuts. In 2011 the Pell Grant program provided financial aid to more than 9 million students, many of whom are students of color. The lack of access to financial aid for people of color will further exacerbate the student debt rates in these communities. From 2007 through 2008, 81 percent of African Americans and 67 percent of Latinos with a bachelor’s degree graduated with student debt, compared to 64 percent of their white peers. Cutting access to these vital financial aid programs will curtail the higher education aspirations of tens of thousands of students of color.

8. Cuts to vital health services such as Medicaid will hurt the 60 million people who depend on it for health insurance coverage. People of color will be hit particularly hard by cuts to Medicaid, with Latinos accounting for approximately 29 percent of program enrollees and African Americans accounting for 20 percent. In 2010, 57 percent of people on Medicaid were people of color.

9. Since 2010, funding for housing has been cut by $2.5 billion, meaning any additional cuts would significantly hurt low-income families and communities. Many housing programs, such as Section 8 Housing Assistance, provide vouchers to low-income families for affordable housing in the private market. In 2011 the program aided more than 2 million low-income families across the country. Data from 2008 indicated that 44 percent and 23 percent of public housing recipients are African American and Hispanic, respectively.

10. As we move into the season of colder weather, programs such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, which helps bring down the cost of heating for low-income households, are crucial. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helped about 23 millionlow-income people pay for winter heating bills, is in jeopardy of being cut in FY 2011. Low-income communities, who disproportionately tend to be people of color, depend on such programs to make ends meet during these tough economic times.

In order to avoid significant damage to the U.S. economy and particularly to communities of color across the country, President Obama and Congress must come to a budget agreement and protect the interests of all Americans.

Sophia Kerby is the Special Assistant for Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress. 



Witches Carrots are Purple

RTWT Really liked this and want to share:


these ones above are called “Dragon Carrots”

Purple carrots aren’t simply a novelty. Their unique color reflects their healthy phytochemical constituents. Not only does ‘Purple Haze’ have the vitamin A and beta-carotene of ordinary carrots—evident in its orange center—it’s also rich in anthocyanins, the antioxidant compounds that give blueberries their distinctive color and superfood health benefits. Studies have found that these blue and purple pigments can improve memory, enhance vision, protect against heart attacks, act as anti-inflammatories, and even help control weight.
‘Purple Haze’ mirrors the original color of carrots cultivated in Afghanistan 5,000 years ago. It grows well in most zones but prefers soil temperatures of 59°F to 68°F to create its spectacular purple skin. Otherwise grow as for other imperator (tapering) carrots. ‘Purple Haze’ matures in 65 to 70 days. Pull the roots (wet the ground to make harvest easier) when the shoulders are deep purple.
In cold climates, carrots can be left in the ground even through winter, beneath a deep mulch of hay or straw. In warm climates, however, carrots left in the ground are vulnerable to insect pests, so it is best to make successional sowings and harvest carrots as they mature. Store them in the refrigerator, in a plastic bag, with the foliage trimmed off. Don’t store them near apples or pears, which give off gases that turn carrots bitter.
Cooking Suggestions
‘Purple Haze’ carrots are sweet and delicious raw or cooked, but they lose much of their gorgeous color when boiled. For that reason, serve them fresh from the garden whenever possible. Slice ‘Purple Haze’ into medallions, mix with other colorful carrots, and serve with dill dip, or grate and toss with white cabbage and orange carrots for a colorful coleslaw. Coat whole or sliced carrots with a little olive oil, sprinkle with fresh or dried thyme, and roast until soft, which enhances their inherent sweetness. For a sweet side dish, saute carrots lightly in olive oil and serve them with a maple glaze; for a savory twist, add yellow or purple onions that have been sauteed until soft.
Other Colorful Carrots
‘Purple Dragon’. 65 to 70 days. 6 inches.
‘Atomic Red’. 76 days. Rich in the anti-oxidant lycopene. 9 inches.
‘Solar Yellow’. 63 days. Totally yellow, crunchy and sweet; high levels of lutein, which can improve eye health. 7 inches. ‘Lunar White’.
60 days. Almost entirely coreless; has a mild flavor, especially when picked small. Crunchy. 8 inches.

Purple carrots are smaller in size and are the ancient carrots.

These beauties are super high in antioxidants and punch a nutrient hit per bite better than organge carrot today.

photos of the awesome colour of purple carrots you can almost feel the nutrient its so rich.

A very Sad but very True Story –

Orange Carrots are de-throned Carrots

The dutch royal family’s last name was Orange

To please the dutch royal family they got a primal purple carrot and bred its purple colour out of it until it was orange – Im not kidding.

They did such a good job pushing Orange Carrots to societies dinner tables that no one today knows that carrots are not naturally orange.

This happened during the time of the Spanish Inquisition & Witch Trials in the 1500s.

if this seal maks you ill – its becasue its the seal of the spanish inquisition that killed witches and their purple carrots !

If you ever get a chance to eat a purple carrot – youll find it has a much higher sweetness to it – its nutrient packed and juicer than orange ones.

Naturally all good foods dont last for long and that is true with the purple carrots in comparions to the orange.

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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in African American Health


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Tavis Smiley To Host Poverty Conference Before Obama Inauguration

Event will be a live broadcast.


Tavis Smiley will be hosting one of his trademarked public discussions just days before the inaurguration of President Obama in  Washington, D.C.

According to a press release, “Vision for a New America: A Future Without Poverty” will feature a number of panelists and intends to challenge President Obama “to aggressively address the nation’s economic crisis by refusing to abandon those Americans most in need — the perennially poor and the new poor–the country’s former middle class.”

“With 1 in 2 Americans living in or near poverty, we must move from denial to game-changing action,” said Smiley in a statement. “It’s time to imagine an America without poverty, and do the requisite work to make the future conform.”

The symposium will be shown live on C-SPAN, and will rebroadcast for three nights on Smiley’s PBS show from Tuesday, January 22 through Thursday, January 24, 2013.

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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in African American News


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