JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending October 21st, 2011 (Jamaica)

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JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending October 21st, 2011

Published Oct 21, 2011

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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AREAS OF GREATEST NEED SHOULD GET EDUCATION SUBSIDIES, SAYS TUFTON—10/15/11
Dr. Christopher Tufton, Jamaica's Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, believes that subsidies for vocational and tertiary education should go to the areas that have the greatest need. Government-subsidized education and training should focus on challenges facing the nation and not viewed as a way to have taxpayers fund all areas of study.

PNP UNCONCERNED ABOUT OPINION POLLS—10/16/11
The People's National Party (PNP) is not worried about recent polling that indicates the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) is in a better position with the general public since the resignation of party member Bruce Golding as Prime Minister of Jamaica. Portia Simpson Miller, president of the PNP, says the only so-called "bounce" the JLP will experience is when the people "will be bouncing them out of power."

JAMAICA NEEDS MORE STRINGENT ECONOMIC MEASURES—10/17/11
Jamaican financial observers believe that the nation's people require more education about what financial terms like GDP, NIR, and JDIP mean before they can understand the actual circumstances facing the country. People need to understand that for 22 years Jamaica has borrowed more than it has collected, and that Jamaican money is leaving the country while the number of Jamaican-owned businesses has declined.

HOLNESS A "SHOO-IN" FOR PRIME MINISTER JOB—10/17/11
Andrew Holness, Jamaica's Education Minister, is most likely to be the next Prime Minister of Jamaica. He is expected to replace Bruce Golding in that position after he resigns. An official of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) said it was a "foregone conclusion" that Holness will be the next Prime Minister. The party will formally choose the new leader during its convention, which is scheduled for November 19, 2011.

NATIONAL HEROES PARK READY FOR DAY OF CELEBRATION—10/18/11
The National Heroes Park is ready to share in the celebration of Jamaica's heroes. The annual ceremony is expected to run smoothly, according to Michael Nicholson, events specialist. He has been working with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) for about 20 years and is responsible for ensuring that all is ready for the event at which dignitaries will lay flowers in honor of Jamaica's fallen heroes.

VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS COST GOVERNMENT MILLIONS—10/19/11
Taxpayers in Jamaica pay a high price for abuse by police officers, negligence from medical personnel, and other kinds of recklessness among civil servants. Supreme Court judgments and settlements out of court have cost the government $365 million in damages since 2006. The money went to settle civil lawsuits won by those who were wronged by state agents. According to Delroy Chuck, Minister of Justice, the government currently owes nearly $400 million in civil judgments.

JAMAICAN, U.S. OFFICIALS ARREST 14 IN TELEMARKETING SCAM—10/20/11
Jamaican law enforcement officials and officers of the United States Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Post Office conducted a joint operation that searched 12 locations and led to the arrest of 14 individuals. The search warrants were executed by the Jamaica Customs Department and the Jamaica Constabulary Force and targeted criminal networks specializing in lottery and telemarketing fraud in the area of Montego Bay, Jamaica.

AGRICULTURE MINISTER TO IMPROVE IMPORTED FOOD STANDARDS—10/21/11
New regulations will govern the importation of foreign food beginning in 20102, according to improvements implemented by Jamaica's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Robert "Bobby" Montague, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, the agency has received a mandate to implement the new Food Safety Policy.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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GUYANA TO USE UNDERCOVER JAMAICAN AGENTS—10/15/11
Francis Forbes, Interim Executive Director for the Implementation Agency for Crime and Security of CARICOM, believes that Guyana and their counterparts in CARICOM should not rely so heavily on the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Instead, they should turn to their local resources for help in the narco-trafficking area. To make his point, he noted that while U.S. officials were recently discussing strategies, Jamaican authorities found cocaine in a vessel that left Guyana. This was the third time the same boat was detained for drug trafficking.

STUTTER HINDERS JAMAICAN FROM CLAIMING ASYLUM IN U.S.—10/16/11
Derrick Cotterel, a Jamaican farm worker who came to the United States to pick fruit, got into a dispute with an employer that resulted in his arrest in 2010 on charges of robbery. Because he had an expired visa, Cotterel was handed over to immigration authorities in Pennsylvania. In addition to communication difficulties arising from Cotterel's use of patois, he has a severe stutter than makes it difficult for him to describe his circumstances. Cotterel, who was denied an appeal to his asylum request, believes he will be killed if he is deported to Jamaica. His brother was killed for political activity in the country, said his immigration attorney Craig R. Shagin.

JAMAICA DRIVERS IN LINE FOR MOTORSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP—10/20/11
Jamaica is in line for the country championship in the finals of the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motorsport Championships in Guyana. The top Jamaican motorcyclist, Stefan Chin, and Adrian Blake will represent Jamaica.

CAMERON SAYS AFRICAN-CARIBBEAN SCHOOLBOYS IN UK CHOOSE NOT TO LEARN—10/21/11
Adolph Cameron, the head of the Jamaican Teachers' Association, says that African-Caribbean boys in the United Kingdom choose to perform poorly in school because they view success in their studies as "gay." Cameron noted that homophobia is a major issue in Jamaica, and the cultural attitude was affecting male African-Caribbean students in the UK as well, making this group one of the worst-performing ethnic groups in the schools. In 2010, only 40 percent of African-Caribbean boys receive five good GCSEs, compared to the national average of 58.5 percent.

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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM UNITED STATES FOR CARIBBEAN SECURITY—10/15/11

FIFA BANS FOUR CARIBBEAN OFFICIALS—10/16/11

UN PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN HAITI REDUCED—10/17/11

UNITED STATES TO SEND MORE DEPORTEES TO CARIBBEAN—10/18/11

FORMED FIFA VICE-PRESIDENT BLAMES "ZIONISM" FOR DOWNFALL—10/19/11

ST.KITTS, NEVIS CO-CHAIR CARIBBEAN BASIN SECURITY COMMISSION—10/15/11

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

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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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LEASE TO OPERATE JAMAICA PEGASUS HOTEL GIVEN TO HEDRICKSON—10/15/11
Surrey Hotel Management Ltd. will take over the operations of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on October 28, 2011. The company is owned by Kevin Hedrickson, who also operates the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites. Current management, Pegasus Hotels of Jamaica, will make 300 staff positions at the hotel redundant as a result, said Milton Samuda, chairman of the Pegasus Hotel. Surrey agreed to review the applications made by workers who want employment with the new operators, however, and will receive full redundancy payments on October 28, although the value of those payments remains unknown.

JAMAICAN WINS MOST TITLES AT MLT VACATIONS AWARDS EVENT—10/18/11
Jamaica and its partnering hotels won the most awards in the Caribbean region at the MLT University Vacations Quality Assurance Awards, which was held in St. Paul, Minnesota. Winners included Coco La Palm Seaside Resort, Couples Negril, Couples San Souci, Gran Bahia Principe, Hedonism II, Sandals Resorts, and the Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort, among others. The awards recognize quality hotels in the Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America, and the United States, assessing the experience of more than 500,000 customers.

FARMERS WANT MORE LINKS TO TOURIST SECTOR—10/19/11
Jamaican farmers are concerned about not having a ready market for their locally grown produce, especially in the tourist sector. Currently, Jamaica's cost for food imports totals about US$1 billion. In order to create stronger ties between tourism and agriculture on the island, a town hall meeting in St. Elizabeth held by JN Small Business Loans Ltd. targeted the issue, hoping to help farmers find feasible marketing plans.

DEBT OF PETROCARIBE CLOSE TO J$164 BILLION—10/20/11
The total liabilities to Venezuela for Jamaica under the PetroCaribe Development Fund (PDF) have increased steadily since 2006 and will reach an estimated J$164 billion by the end of fiscal 2011, even as global oil prices decrease. Administrators of PDF said that the increase in the Venezuelan oil debt is in line with projections. Jamaica pays one-percent interest on the debt.

 

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CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
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COMPANY IN BARBADOS TO AID FILMMAKERS, VIDEOGRAPHERS—10/17/11

JUDGES IN CARIBBEAN STUDY TECHNOLOGY—10/18/11

TELECOM CUSTOMERS TO RECEIVE ENHANCED ONLINE SECURITY, BACKUP—10/19/11

DIGICEL WILL REIMBURSE BLACKBERRY USERS AFTER OUTAGE—10/21/11

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

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TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
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BRANSON OPENS SPACEPORT AMERICA—10/18/11
Richard Branson, the British billionaire, opened his commercial Spaceport America in southern New Mexico. Branson's firm Virgin Galactic plans to stage commercial space tourism flights from this site. He was joined by New Mexico governor Susana Martinez, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and many potential space travelers at the spaceport's terminal hanger for the dedication ceremony. The spaceport and the mother ship have been completed, said Branson. Final rocket testing is the next step. Over 450 individuals have bought tickets on Virgin Galactic so far. The spaceport was funded with $209 million in texpayer money.

DOW BEGINS MARKETING OF SOLAR ROOF SHINGLES—10/20/11
A division of the Dow Chemical Company, Dow Solar, has started to sell solar roofing shingles in Colorado. The firm expects this product will attract homeowners. Colorado is the first state to make the shingles widely available. Dow Solar plans to market the product in over a dozen states by the end of 2012. According to the company, the shingles are easy to install and very durable. They come with an inverter to convert from DC to AC current used in homes. Global Solar, a company based in Arizona, supplies the thin-film solar cells that are used in the roofing material.

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ENTERTAINMENT
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JAMAICAN ARTIST INSPIRED BY CLASSIC ROCK, CARS—10/15/11
Richard "Von" White, Jamaican artist, gets his inspiration from classic rock and automobiles. Using colors to bring his subjects to life, White paints futuristic art with psychedelic influences. He does all of his painting listening to classic rock music, says White. Von, as he is known in the art world, says that he used to paint in dark colors, but the psychedelic influences of the 1960s caused him to "lighten up."

LOIS SAMUELS IS FIRST CARIBBEAN VOGUE COVER GIRL—10/16/11
Lois Samuels has become famous in the fashion world, being discovered in a model search. She has achieved the distinction of being the first cover girl on Vogue who is from the Caribbean. She was discovered at Hampton High School for Girls in St. Elizabeth during a visit by Kingsley Cooper, chief executive officer of Pulse. Samuels has been compared to Grace Jones and has paved the way for other models from the island.

VETERAN MUSICIAN RECEIVES MUSGRAVE GOLD MEDAL—10/17/11
Headley Jones, 94, a veteran musician and known as the leader of the Jamaica Federation of Musicians, has received the Musgrave gold medal for his eminence in the field of music. Jones has many talents, including work in the field of astronomy, being member of the Royal Air Force in World War II, and making the first solid-body electric guitar. He was born in St. Catherine in 1917.

BROWN HONORED ON HEROES DAY—10/18/11
Dennis Brown, one of the most decorated reggae singers in Jamaica, was honored at the annual National Awards ceremony on Heroes Day. He was awarded the Order of Distinction and rank of Commander for his contributions to the music industry on the island. Brown died in 1999 at the age of 42, and his award was accepted by his widow, Yvonne Brown and members of their family. Known as the "Crown Prince of Reggae," Brown's music paved the way for current reggae artistes and released more than 50 albums during his career. He is buried at Heroes Park in Kingston.

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SPORTS
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RHONE RECEIVES NATIONAL HONORS—10/17/11
The International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) president Molly Rhone will join four other sports stars in receiving Jamaica's fourth-highest national honor. She is the only Jamaican to ever lead an international sporting body and has been at the head of the netball organization since 2003. She is the longest-serving president of the IFNA. Rhone will receive the Order of Jamaica for her services in local and international sports administration in netball.

AMERICAN USES SOCCER SKILLS ON JAMAICAN TEAM—10/19/11
Lindsay Wong, 17, has been chosen to play for Jamaica's national team in the Caribbean Football Union portion of the CONCACAF women's under-20 soccer tournament. The American will be part of the team that plays in Cuba. Wong's father was born in Jamaica and she has dual citizenship. She is one of very few Americans able to travel for Cuba, which makes her selection for the team even more exciting for her and her supporters.

ATKINSON RECEIVES SILVER MEDAL AT PAN AM GAMES—10/20/11
Alia Atkinson, 22, who has long been considered a potential star in Jamaican swimming, won the silver medal at the XVI Pan American Games. She has provided a new national record, swimming the women's 200-meters in 2:14:75. This was the first medal for Jamaica in the Games. She labeled her win as a "redemption" after suffering a near-miss earlier in the competition.

U.S. DOPING EXPERT SAYS JAMAICANS CHEATED DURING 2008 OLYMPICS—10/21/11
Victor Conte, founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), says that the record-breaking performances of Jamaican athletes during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing were the result of doping. He believes that Usain Bolt and other Jamaicans may have utilized illegal methods to obtain their gold medals. Conte says that he was told Jamaicans were using testosterone and other substances he used during his tenure at BALCO to achieve their wins. Conte says he does not have proof to back up his suspicions, but believes Bolt's record-breaking results and those of others prove his point.

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DEVOTIONAL
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Running on Empty
 
The request from the five virgins seemed reasonable. "Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out" (Matthew 25:8, KJV).  The response from the other five was not very encouraging. According to Matthew, Jesus was relating the following parable: "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps" (vv. 1-7). It was at this critical time that the "foolish" ones discovered they did not have enough oil. Not allowing for the possibility that the groom might be delayed, they had not taken enough.
 
The response of the "wise" virgins and subsequent events are insightful. Matthew continues, "But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not" (vv. 9-12). Jesus summed up the parable, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh" (v. 13). What was Jesus teaching?
 
There are too many theological truths in the parable to uncover in our limited space. However, in Scripture the lamp symbolizes the Word - the laws, principles, and precepts - of God which lights our paths through life (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:20-23). It serves to guide the child of God in the righteous ways of life. For as long as it takes to wait for the bridegroom, the return of Christ, the wise among us will ensure that we remain always in the Word, allowing ourselves to be guided by it. The foolish will become apathetic, going back and forth into the ways of the society around them, not having the conviction to stand for truth. It is this latter group that we must avoid.  Despite the distractions and the challenges, we must read, study, and apply the Word of God. In world of darkness, we cannot see clearly without it.
 
It is important to note that there are only too categories of people - the wise and the foolish.  The difference between them was the amount of Word that was in them and how that Word influenced their life. On which side do you find yourself? Are you among the wise?

 

CEW

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The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.

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