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Showing posts from February, 2008

Human trafficking a hidden problem in St Lucia?

St. Lucia Star "Worldwide, human trafficking is considered modern-day slavery. It involves victims who are forced, defrauded or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Every year, about 600,000 to 800,000 people—mainly women and children—are trafficked across national borders, which does not count the millions trafficked within their own countries. Prostitution is believed to be inherently harmful, dehumanizing and actually fuels human trafficking. Prostitution and related activities—including pimping and patronizing or maintaining brothels—fuel the growth of this modern day slavery by providing a faÁade behind which traffickers for sexual exploitation operate."

Ministry outlaws school violence

The Trinidad Guardian "VIOLENCE and indiscipline will not be tolerated in the nation’s schools. This was assured yesterday by Education Minister Esther Le Gendre, during the post-Cabinet media briefing at Whitehall, Port-of-Spain. Le Gendre was responding to the stabbing death of Shaquille Roberts, a Form Five student of Success Laventille Secondary School, during an altercation with another student."

Port-of-Shame

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday"This was how workers, shoppers and business leaders yesterday felt about the spate of murders that have rocked the capital, Port-of-Spain in the past three weeks.

The city remained busy yesterday after the murder of Marlon Gocking on Wednesday evening. Gocking was shot dead on lower Frederick Street, near the Underground and Micles clothing stores."

Cops hatch plot to take guns home

The Trinidad Guardian "A desperate plot reportedly hatched by police officers in a bid to take home their service weapons has been unearthed by their colleagues.
And police sources said yesterday that at least eight officers of the Northern Eastern Division might be facing disciplinary action.
Police said the plan—which allegedly involved officers of the Morvant Police Station—was discovered a week ago by their colleagues.
They said some of the officers said to be involved in the plot were also part of a recent search of an El Socorro businessplace."

New problem hits Laventille school....Students fall prey to armed robbers

The Trinidad Guardian "As the Success/Laventille Composite School continues to grapple with the stabbing death of student Shaquille Roberts, a new problem has surfaced.
Students, police said yesterday, had been falling prey to armed robbers who had been pouncing on them while on their way to classes.
Roberts, 17, a Form Five student of Old St Joseph Road, was stabbed once in the chest, during an altercation with two other students on Tuesday."

TOP COPS TO EXIT …Christopher announces departure to senior officers

Antigua Sun: "A cloud of unease and tension has again descended on the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda as a complete beheading of the hierarchy seems imminent as four of the top officers, including the police commissioner, are said to be spending their last hours in their current positions.
But Minister of Justice and Public Safety Collin Derrick did not do much in removing any speculation about what’s in store for the police force during a special press conference yesterday afternoon. Derrick, citing administrative reasons, said the release of the Alphonse Breau Report will be delayed again."

Stuck behind bars - Kern fails to post bail

Jamaica Gleaner News "Former People's National Party (PNP) state minister Kern Spencer, who was offered bail in the sum of $10 million on Wednesday, had to spend another night behind bars yesterday. He was arrested on Tuesday evening by detectives from the Organised Crime Investigation Division for his role in the Cuban light-bulb scandal.
Spencer is facing nine charges while his co-accused, Rodney Chin has been slapped with five charges and Coleen Wright is to answer to six charges. The charges include conspiracy to defraud, breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act and money laundering."

Kern to resign

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "The People's National Party (PNP) was made to wait another day for the resignation of Kern Spencer, the embattled member of parliament for St Elizabeth, North East as his expected release from jail was derailed yesterday.

Authoritative PNP sources said Spencer's resignation was the primary issue on the table for yesterday's meeting of the party's officers, but PNP officials who were awaiting his presence were disappointed that the letter, which was awaiting Spencer's signature, could not be accepted."

British tourist has penis chopped in Caribbean

Telegraph: "A British plumber is recovering after having his penis partially chopped off by attackers while he was holidaying on a Caribbean island.
Alan Reed, 43, was found lying in a pool of blood by his girlfriend Ellie Rothery, 21, after a night out in the popular resort of Cabarete in the Dominican Republic.
Police investigating the incident say they have made several arrests but have yet to establish what exactly happened to Mr Reed in the early hours of Monday morning."

Murder on Frederick Street....Businessman gunned down

The Trinidad Guardian "Just months after he told a Port-of-Spain magistrate that his life was being threatened—as he sought to secure the interests of his two nephews who are on trial for importing two armoured vehicles into the country—Marlon Gocking was gunned down in a brazen hit in downtown Port-of-Spain, last evening.
As he fell to the ground, just outside the Underground clothes store on Frederick Street, pedestrians began scampering for safety"

Fear at Success

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday"Success/Laventille Composite School students are so scared after the stabbing death of Shaquille Roberts, 16, that they want to be transferred to other schools.
A Form Three student yesterday said while counsellors visited the school at Eastern Main Road, Laventille, the students still did not feel safe."

On mother's burial day, son stabbed in ... BRUTAL ATTACK

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis: "From the burial site of a mother to the hospital where an injured son laid, family members and friends of the late Joan Patricia “Patsy” Duncan-Grey scattered from one scene of grief to yet to another in the waiting hall of the Joseph N. France Hospital.
The dead woman’s son was allegedly attacked by a crew of men at another location while the funeral service was being held yesterday afternoon at the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Victoria Road, Basseterre, St. Kitts. He received stab wounds to his body.
Fifty-three-year-old Duncan-Grey was the mother of the alleged Sands Complex attacker who reportedly injured grounds-man, Clyde Trotman, on 15 Feb."

NEAR TRAGEDY…Girl struck and dragged by jeep in All Saints

Antigua Sun: "Onlookers and residents of the All Saints community worked feverishly last evening to rescue a 12-year-old girl from underneath a jeep after the vehicle ran over her just outside the All Saints Police Station.
The incident occurred after 5 p.m.
The young village resident and student of the J. T. Ambrose School, Teneka Scott, was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance after she was freed by her rescuers.
Up to the time of going to press, she was said to be in serious but stable condition.
Reports to the Antigua Sun stated that the young woman was walking along the sidewalk closest to the All Saints Police Station when a white Rav 4 Jeep, A3203, travelling from east to west struck the child."

Acid figures in love triangle involving cop couple

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "A woman special constable caught in an apparent love triangle, is accusing the police of failing to arrest her husband, also a cop, after she suffered horrible acid burns from her breast to her lower abdomen.
Ann-Marie Perkins, who is stationed at the Marine Police Division, alleged that her man doused her with acid during a fight two weeks ago over another woman whom she said had phoned him about 1:00 am at their Braeton, St Catherine home."

Kern bailed - Must return to court on March 26

Jamaica Gleaner News"KERN SPENCER and his co-accused, Rodney Chin and Coleen Wright, again slept behind bars last night, even though they were offered bail yesterday when they appeared before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.
Bail was granted around 4:40 p.m. by Resident Magistrate Glen Brown, but despite the processing of some bail documents, the process was not completed as some critical government agencies were already closed."

Minister receives apology from St Kitts-Nevis Newspaper

Caribbean Net News: "BASSETERRE, St. Kitts: In response to an article appearing in the February 19, 2008 issue of the Sun St. Kitts/Nevis entitled “No Tourist in Town,” the paper published a retraction yesterday in the form of an apology to St. Kitts’ Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism, Sports & Culture Richard “Ricky” Skerritt for the negative and unsubstantiated allegations made against him."

Dominica: The Caribbean’s Next “Terror Island”?

Council on Hemispheric Affairs: "A tiny nation of 133 square miles whose population could barely fill the Rose Bowl, Grenada had posed no strategic threat to the U.S. But Maurice Bishop of the leftist New Jewel Movement, which had ruled Grenada since 1979, had become positively irksome to Washington. Inspired at least as much by Bob Marley as by Karl Marx, Bishop, a young LSE graduate and an island intellectual and visionary, had embarked on an ambitious social and economic program aimed at diversifying agriculture, developing cooperatives, and creating an agro-industrial base that was leading to a reduction in food imports. Bishop also established a free health service and secondary education system, resulting in a markedly higher literacy rate on the island."

BITING OFFICER…Footballer nearly loses ear to police officer's bite

Antigua Sun: "A young Antiguan footballer who was allegedly beaten and had his ear severely bitten by a police corporal during an incident at the Antigua Recreation Grounds Monday night is now a patient at the Holberton Hospital, having received in excess of 40 stitches to re-attach the ear.
Ken “Nimble” Pennyfeather, a defender with the Hoppers Football team, was taken to the hospital after the incident in which his ear was almost severed.
The fracas reportedly broke out in the players’ locker room during the final moments of a football match between known teams, Hoppers and BASSA, and brings yet another allegation of police brutality against an officer of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, even as several similar cases are still pending against other members of the force."

More terror on the 'Gullyside'

The Jamaica Star "Residents of Cassava Piece, St. Andrew, are cowering in fear and hoping for the best in a situation in which they see no end.
A war between men on both sides of the community, which is separated by a gully, has resulted in the shooting of at least nine persons, six fatally, since Friday. 'Look pon di place, yu nuh see how di place dead?' one resident said. Another added 'A pure things a gwaan, and this ya war ya naw go done fi now.'"

Gang storms mining camps - residents flee in fear

Kaieteur News Guyana: "A Joint Services team was hurriedly dispatched to the interior yesterday following reports of armed robberies committed by a gang of gunmen.
A police press release confirmed that the attack took place around 15:15 hours.
This newspaper understands that the targets of the attacks were a number of mining camps in the area.
Details of the incident were still sketchy up to press time.
According to a senior police official, the area where the attack occurred is about four miles from the Enachu Police Station and communication was difficult.
There are reports that the attack was carried out by about 10 to 15 gunmen."

'Sea Tarzan' murdered

Stabroek News: "Grief enveloped a North Nootenzuil home early yesterday morning when a 74-year-old pensioner was discovered murdered aboard his family's fishing boat, with the engine missing, near the Nootenzuil foreshore.
According to relatives, ex-fisherman Llewellyn Kissoon, also known as 'Sea Tarzan' of North Nootenzuil, East Coast Demerara left his home at 5 pm on Monday. He was found dead aboard his family's fishing boat yesterday morning by his son Arnold Kissoon."

Dominica economy damaged

Cay Compass News "ROSEAU, Dominica (AP) – Damage wrought by Hurricane Dean on Dominica’s banana crops last year has worsened slowing economic growth in one of the Caribbean’s poorest nations, the government said Friday.
Gains in gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced, are expected to fall to 1 percent for 2007 from a previous forecast of 4 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund."

Mondesir degree still mired in mist!

St. Lucia Star Online "Several weeks ago, Health Minister Keith Mondesir promised to clear the air on the matter of his credentials. The issue had been the subject of several lunch-time shows for weeks. Even when it was not the day’s main topic callers wanted to know whether Mondesir was qualified to practice medicine in St Lucia—or anywhere at all for that matter."

JKern caged - Politician, associates charged in bulb scandal

Jamaica Gleaner News "DARK DAYS for former sate minister Kern Spencer began late yesterday evening when the People's National Party (PNP) member was arrested and charged by police for his role in the controversial Cuban light-bulb project.
Spencer spent the night in police lockup and will have to remain behind bars until Thursday, when he is booked to appear before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's court. It is expected that a bail application will be made on his behalf then."

- 'I'm not surprised' - Mullings says Spencer's arrest 'dark day' in Jamaica's history

Jamaica Gleaner News "That was the reaction of Energy Minister Clive Mullings as news broke that former Junior Minister Kern Spencer and two others had been slapped with several charges.
Mullings, who brought the issue to public attention with a statement to the House of Representatives last year, said it was a 'dark day' in Jamaica's history when a member of parliament was charged with the offences now facing Spencer."

Massive payout

The Nation Newspaper "A BRITISH VISITOR, who fell into an uncovered drain on Bay Street, the City, while on vacation almost 11 years ago, has been awarded nearly $3/4 million in damages by the High Court. Government was ordered not only to pay $5 000 for ruining Christine Steele-Sandiford's 21-day holiday but to shell out $1/4 million to cover her future loss of earnings."

Wanted men Delroy Jack and Manu Durant turn themselves in

Stabroek News: "Wanted men Delroy Jack and Manu Durant yesterday turned themselves in to police.
The police said in a press release that Jack was wanted with regard to investigations into the two recent killing sprees at Lusignan and Bartica, while Durant was wanted in connection with the case of missing teen Tenisha Morgan of Friendship, East Coast Demerara.
Jack, called 'Pan Head', of Buxton turned himself in at police headquarters on Sunday. He is one of five men, for whom a wanted bulletin was issued from a branch of law enforcement. The bulletin and photos appeared in the two other dailies."

Increase in pensionable age recommended

Stabroek News: "If Cabinet approves the National Insurance Scheme's (NIS) Reform Committee's report, then the pensionable age will increase from 60 to 65 years old.
The report, completed late last year, has made a number of recommendations with regard to benefits, investments and financial management, legislation and compliance and human resources and communication."

Costly lessons - Parents spend more on after-school classes than books, tuition

Jamaica Gleaner News "Some Jamaican parents are spending more money on extra lessons than books, uniforms and tuition, according to the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions 2006.
The document, which was launched last week at the Planning Institute of Jamaica's New Kingston office, said parents were spending $12,155 on extra lessons compared to $9,317 for tuition; $6,009 for exams and other fees and $3,692 for books on average per year."

Can d’Auvergne right NDC wrongs? Opposition demands immediate action!

St. Lucia Star "For about three weeks the National Development Corporation has featured in this newspaper and not for anything good. The first story centered on a letter to a member of Nicholas John’s Chambers informing her that she had been handpicked by the Corporation to represent an NDC client.
This week another story appeared on our front page where in it was disclosed that the NDC’s executive chairman may have abused his office in favour of a private client. Moreover that the client had somehow been given access to private documents of the NDC in his quest to secure a joint venture deal with the Corporation. Thursday’s paper had barely hit newsstands when the reactions started pouring in."

POLICE SHAKE-UP…Commissioner to go; Breau report ready for release

Antigua Sun: "The Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda is reportedly in for a massive shake-up which could see the Commissioner of Police Delano Christopher having to give up her position and about seven other high ranking officers being stripped of their titles.
Besides that, several other officers will reportedly be transferred to various ministries within the government.
The commissioner's replacement, according to well placed sources, may not come from within the present ranks of the force. Reports are that the government has received the commitment of expertise from outside Antigua and Barbuda to lead the command of the force."

LAWMAN NOT THE KILLER

The Nation Newspaper "FRIENDLY GUNFIRE HAS been ruled out as the cause of death in the case of 31-year-old Constable Dexter Yarde, who died responding to a burglary at Vauxhall, St James, three years ago.
Coroner Faith Marshall-Harris yesterday gave Part 1 of a verdict in the death which occurred on August 22, 2004, when Yarde was on patrol with partner Richard Garrett and others in search of a rapist/burglar in the north. The report was of a burglar at Las Palmas, a villa in Vauxhall."

Top cops hoping to meet

The Nation Newspaper "THE ASSOCIATION of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP) is hoping to have a meeting shortly with the police chiefs of Guyana and Trinidad to discuss the recent upsurge of crime in their countries.
In a statement recently, ACCP president Commissioner Darwin Dottin described the second mass killing in Guyana as 'a callous and barbaric act'."

New act to cover hairstyles

The Nation Newspaper "MINISTER OF EDUCATION Ronald Jones is hinting that the new Education Act will take into consideration the now controversial issue of appropriate hairstyles for school, which is currently left to the interpretation of administrators.
He said the new act and new regulations would be presented to Parliament as soon as the necessary review of the current act and accompanying regulations had been completed."

C&W to cut 100 jobs in Jamaica

C&W to cut 100 jobs in Jamaica: "KINGSTON, Jamaica (Thomson Financial) - London-based telecom Cable & Wireless PLC will eliminate about 100 jobs in Jamaica as part of a restructuring to better compete with competition in the Caribbean country, the company said Monday.
The job cuts at the end of March will affect about 6 percent of the company's 1,600 workers in Jamaica, spokesman Errol Miller said. He did not disclose what kind of jobs would be targeted."

St Vincent hit by mini-crime wave

Yachting Monthly: "A mini-crime-wave has hit St Vincent & the Grenadines, islands popular with yachtsmen in the Caribbean. Men armed with guns, machetes and knives have robbed yachtsmen at anchor in seven incidents in the last six weeks at the anchorage of Chateaubelair alone. Other attacks have taken place in Petit St Vincent, Union Island, Wallilabou and Young Island. In the current issue of YM we tell the story of one yachting couple's frightening experience at the hands of armed pirates."

Eleuthera Shooting Probed

The Bahama Journal: "On Friday night as police were on the scene of the incident in Eleuthera, many Bahamians were tuned in to hear the capstone convention address of PLP Leader Perry Christie, who spent much of his time speaking about the impact crime is having on Bahamian communities.
'Last year we recorded the highest murder rate in the history of our country. Crime has become a great, big galloping demon let loose in the land. It is devouring our young. People of all ages are terrified as never before, afraid to come out of their houses, afraid to go to sleep, afraid to go anywhere, even to church,' Mr. Christie said."

Burn victim dies at Holberton

Antigua Sun: "Carlton Fitzherald Sancho, an employee of the Antigua Distillery Limited (ADL) who fell into one of three uncovered hot mix tanks at his workplace, the Antigua Distillery Limited (ADL), has died.
The 30-year-old Guyana national succumbed to burn related complications and died at approximately 8 p.m. last Saturday, mere hours after friends and relatives took to the airwaves in an urgent appeal for O-negative blood.
The preliminary cause of death according to medical personnel is said to be stress ulcers, which in medical term is referred to as stress gastritis, the sudden swelling of the stomach lining. Left untreated, this may lead to ulcers and bleeding, and may occur after burns, shock, trauma or severe illness."

Undersea volcano poses no early threat to Mayaro

The Trinidad Guardian"Aside from its reputation as a seaside getaway, life in Ortoire Village, Mayaro, is mundane at best. Fishing and farming are the main sources of commercial activity in the area. But over the years, small business establishments catering to Ortoire's 600-odd residents have also propped up along the district's unspoiled landscape. For the most part, villagers seem contented with their lot."

'NONSENSE'

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "RICHARD Pardy, chief executive officer of Columbus Communications which operates in Jamaica under the brand name Flow, has dismissed accusations that his firm, through its aggressive acquisition of competitors, is attempting to monopolise the cable television market in Jamaica."

Smugglers hunted - Police search for ganja plane crash survivors -

Jamaica Gleaner News "Police have launched a manhunt for survivors - believed to be players in the trafficking of drugs - who fled the scene of a plane crash in Clarendon early yesterday morning.
The cops theorise that a plane transporting drugs tried to land at an airstrip near the Rocky Point port, which is used by bauxite company Jamalco, got into difficulties and crashed into mangroves close to the Salt River community. The aircraft then burst into flames."

Bartica massacre ...St Mary's boat may have been decoy

Stabroek News: "As Barticians sift through the details of the horrific February 17 attack, some are coming to the conclusion that the boat found at St Mary's might have been set adrift to mislead investigators and they also believe that some of their own aided the gunmen in a number of ways including providing vehicles.
Though no specific allegation has been made against the three Bartica men picked up by police following the massacre of twelve persons in the community, serious questions are being raised in Bartica about their prior and subsequent movements, particularly in the case of the boat operator."

CHURCH CALL

The Nation Newspaper : "THE CHURCH could soon be playing a greater role in Barbados' major festivals.
Following a thanksgiving mass at the Roman Catholic Cathedral at Jemmotts Lane, The City, yesterday, Minister of Culture Steve Blackett said there was a need for a better relationship between the church, institutions and those who promoted culture."

2 Christians 9 abortions

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "Lizette was a good Christian girl. So too was Kerine. They both grew up in Christian homes and were very active in their local churches. They sang on the choir, went religiously to prayer meetings, Bible study and fasted.
But Lizette was living a double life, one which led her to have seven abortions - one involving twins - between ages 20 and 26."

Less care of boys

Jamaica Gleaner News"Girls are favoured over boys in the provision of high-quality health care and expenditure on medical treatment, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has reported recently.
The report suggests caregivers, who are mostly mothers, generally spend more on girls' health than that of boys. This is despite baby boys being more likely to die from diseases, such as pneumonia - the prime cause of child mortality in Jamaica."

7 Shot at wake

The Jamaica Star "Residents of Water Lane, Clarendon, are living in fear after an alleged failed attempt to kill a murder witness resulted in seven persons being shot, two fatally, at a wake on Thursday night.
Police report that at about 8 p.m. people were at the wake in Banks, Clarendon, when heavily armed men opened fire on the gathering. The two died while the other five were taken to hospital where they were admitted in stable condition."

Three suspects brought to Georgetown

Kaieteur News Guyana: "Handcuffed and flanked by armed Joint Services ranks, three Bartica residents were yesterday transported to Georgetown to be interrogated about last Sunday’s slaughter of 12 people in the mining community.
Sources identified the suspects as Antonio Devon Jones, called ‘Beaks’ a boat operator; a Bartica farmer known as ‘Rasta Plimpler’ and a third man known as ‘Rogo-Rogo.’
The men, who were being kept at the Bartica Police Station, were first transported to Baganara."

Cancellations hit hotels, resorts- as Lusignan, Bartica killings put damper on tourism

Stabroek News: "The killing of 23 persons at Lusignan and Bartica have put a damper on tourism, with hotels and resorts seeing cancellations, Chairperson of the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) Renata Chuck-a-Sang has said.
Since the horrifying incidents, travel advisories have been issued by America, Britain and Canada."

Boissiere House heritage site

The Trinidad Guardian "Real estate agent Annmarie Aboud, whose job is to sell the gingerbread house for a cool $45 million wants to know what is all the fuss about the building being a national architectural treasure.
Since the building, formally known as the Boissiere house at 12 Queen’s Park West went up for sale, a national furore has erupted from activists who see a slice of T&T’s history as being under real and present danger."

Ballistics link Bartica massacre Ballistics link Bartica massacre -Rohee

Stabroek News: "Ballistic tests conducted on spent shells found at the crime scene at Bartica on Sunday firmly establish that the same weapons were used to commit killings and robberies at three other locations last year.
In a statement to the National Assembly at yesterday's sitting, Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee said that the weapons were used in killings and robberies at Better Hope on August 21, 2007; Sheribana on October 1, 2007 and at Triumph on December 16, 2007"

19-year-old charged with Lusignan murders…episode sparks emotional outbursts

Kaieteur News Guyana: "With tear-filled eyes, 19-year-old minibus conductor, James Hyles stood in the dock of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, yesterday, accused of murdering 11 persons, including five children, at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, last month.
Hyles’s appearance in court sparked several emotional outbursts by his relatives, in and outside the courtroom. Even Hyles burst into tears a few times before, during and after the charges were read to him.

Family of victim in brutal rape case demands justice from state, police

DominicanToday.com: "SANTO DOMINGO.- The family and lawyers of a 12-year-old girl who was brutally raped last year by seven men are demanding an immediate investigation by government and police officials into what they say were “serious faults” in the judicial process, including the “inexplicable” release yesterday of the only suspect held in prison."

RACE TO CAUCUS ... PAM to soon declare candidate for Constituency #2

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis: "With PAM’s caucus just around the corner, the pressure is on to declare a candidate for Constituency #2.
According to reliable sources within the People’s Action Movement (PAM), Jonelle Rawlins-Drew has been asked to run in Constituency #2.
Roy Fleming ran in that seat in the last election. However, in recent months, members of PAM hierarchy have noted their dissatisfaction with Fleming’s campaign performance in that constituency.
In a brief conversation with the SUN, Drew stated that if the opportunity arises, she would grasp it and run in the constituency. However, Drew was quick to point out that she does not want to step on any toes and that Fleming would have to step down amicably and support her campaign"

$119B budget VAT 76% over projection

Stabroek News: "The state raked in a total of $36.7 billion in the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Excise Tax in 2007 in the first year of their implementation - way above projections - paving the way for a budget nearly 20% higher than last year's.
Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh yesterday gave the figures in the National Assembly while making his presentation of the 2008 National Budget in the amount of $119.3 billion, which he said was 8.5 per cent more than the 2007 latest estimate and 19.3 per cent higher than the 2007 budget."

Kern stays in the hot seat: Embattled politician interrogated for a second day

Jamaica Gleaner News: "SENIOR DETECTIVES yesterday kept Kern Spencer in the hot seat for a second consecutive day, as they investigated his role in the Cuban light-bulb scandal.
The embattled 33-year-old politician was not his usual beaming self as he left the downtown Kingston headquarters of the Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID) with his legal counsel, Deborah Martin, by his side.
Spencer, a state minister in the former People's National Party government, is at the centre of a criminal investigation into the distribution of free Cuban energy-saving bulbs."

2 freed of murder

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday "TWO MEN charged with killing Oba Jones on the Brian Lara Promenade in Port-of-Spain, were yesterday freed by a judge who in making his ruling, lamented: “There is rank criminality in the bowels of the unemployment relief program.”
An overjoyed Aaron Worrel raised his arms as he celebrated his freedom with friends who waited to pick him up in a car outside the Hall of Justice following the ruling. Former co-accused Kareem Baptiste was more subdued."

COMING KLEEN

The Nation Newspaper "LONG-TIME COMEDIAN of MADD Entertainment, Kevin KB Kleen Hinds made a public and national apology yesterday, after receiving harsh criticism for his behaviour as co-emcee at the tribute for Robyn Rihanna Fenty on Thursday in Independence Square.
It came shortly after numerous callers vented their disappointment and anger on Voice of Barbados (VOB) daily call-in programme, Down To Brass Tacks about his on-stage behaviour at the show."

WORKERS STRIKE…Fresh protest in ongoing dispute at regulatory commission

Antigua Sun: "The frustrated staff of the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) reluctantly returned to work yesterday after initiating industrial action by walking off the job hours before.
But they have again put management on guard to brace themselves for similar action if it does not honour a mid-March deadline to fulfil certain promises.
Called to the scene by disgruntled employees, the Antigua Trades & Labour Union (AT&LU) advised FSRC’s management that the action was taken due to outstanding matters pending in a memorandum of understanding between the FSRC and the employees."

NDC. Disturbing questions, no answers!

St. Lucia Star Online "In July 2006, following a visit to a quarry operation in Martinique, the National Development Corporation’s investment services officer Allan Thomas and director Victor Poyotte submitted a report to their board, then headed by Michael Chastanet. The visit followed so-called 'preliminary discussions between the NDC and Carib Sand and Stone on the proposed establishment of a pumice mining operation at La Retraite, in Vieux Fort.'
According to the report 'the proposed investment was estimated at US$2.5 million and incorporated 'the latest in pumice mining technologies.' Observed Thomas and Poyotte, the establishment of the mine in La Retraite would have 'positive impact on the availability of sand aggregates to the domestic market' while helping to reduce the cost of sand aggregates to the local construction sector."

Balisier symbol merely represents T&T’s flora

The Trinidad Guardian "CARIBBEAN Airlines head of marketing Francois Pariseau says the symbol of the balisier flower painted on the tail of one of the five Dash-8 aircraft is not meant to cause any political bacchanal or mischief.
The balisier—a known wild and common plant found in abundance in T&T—is the symbol of the ruling People’s National Movement."

Friendship man charged with 11 Lusignan murders

Stabroek News: "Chaos descended upon the Georgetown Magistrate's Court yesterday morning when a 19-year-old charged with murdering 11 people at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara (ECD) on January 26 appeared before Principal Magistrate Melissa Robertson-Ogle.
James Anthony Hyles, called 'Sally', of 70 Friendship, ECD was not required to plead to the 11 indictable counts of murder.
Long before Hyles arrived at the court, his family, relatives and friends were outside the compound loudly decrying what they said was 'an injustice'. Passers-by were alerted to the group's presence as Hyles's mother continually let out high pitched shrieks as she stood on the Avenue of the Republic sidewalk just outside the court."

Rihanna fever

The Nation Newspaper "A CONTAGIOUS fever has been infecting Barbadians for close to a week now, and it reached epidemic proportions yesterday.
People of all ages and walks of life, who have contracted the Rihanna fever, turned up at Grantley Adams International Airport from early in the day to get a glimpse, and even a touch of the island's first female Grammy Award winner."

Related

The Nation Newspaper RI-WARD: "BARBADOS has a new ambassador.
She is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, who was designated an honorary Youth and Cultural Ambassador at a huge rally and concert in her honour in Independence Square last night.
In making the announcement, Prime Minister David Thompson paid tribute to the young Grammy Award winner, noting that she had copped the award at the tender age of 19 on a first-time nomination."

Violence stalks the Caribbean

New Statesman "Only a few weeks ago, two gangs fought with such ferocity that the residents of Laventille, a small community, were pictured packing their belongings and fleeing to wherever they could find refuge. Three homes were burned to the ground; the dead bodies of young men lay among the ruins.
Kingston, Jamaica, I am told, leads the body count in the English-speaking Caribbean. In Guyana quite recently, a gun-toting gang shot up the police headquarters and proceeded along the east coast, where they massacred 11 villagers, including women and children."

Bartica atrocity…Vessel believed used by gunmen recovered

Kaieteur News Guyana: "Ranks from the Joint Services have detained a Bartica boat operator as they continue investigations into Sunday’s carnage at Bartica, which left 12 dead and residents heavily traumatized.
Official sources, confirming the man’s detention last night, said that it is believed that the resident was centrally involved in arranging transportation for the gunmen, who were reportedly heading to the interior area following their hour-long rampage.
‘E’ and ‘F’ Division Commander Gavin Primo stated yesterday that investigators had detained a man who had previous brushes with the law, and who is suspected to have links with the gunmen behind the mass killings.
Primo also confirmed that the Joint Services had recovered a boat, equipped with a 75-horsepower engine, which was found adrift near St. Mary’s, Essequibo.
He said that the vessel contained some food supplies, weather gear and camouflage clothing. A live round was also found in the vessel."

St Lucian heroes honoured!

St. Lucia Star : "Just when the nation seems collectively depressed about life in St Lucia––politics, gas prices, crime––the island’s young have given us something to smile about. Two St Lucian superstars who made local history in athletics and cricket got top honours at Saturday evening’s National Sports Awards at Sandals Grande. By the looks of things, 2008 could be even better for the winsome twosome.
Special guests at this glitzy formal affair included Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy, Prime Minister, Stephenson King and members of cabinet. The ever entertaining Gilroy Hall was the MC. To no one’s surprise, high jumper Levern Donaline Spencer and West Indies Senior Cricketer, Darren Julius Garvey Sammy, received the Senior Sportswoman and Sportswoman of the Year Award."

SUSPICIOUS DEATH: Man's burnt body discovered in Jennings

Antigua Sun: "A pungent smell of gasoline and death is what members of a search party said led them to the partially burnt and decomposing body of 20-year-old Clint George of Jenning’s Village, shortly after midday yesterday.
The search ensued in and around the village after George, who also goes by the monikers “Clint Eastwood” or “Eastwood”, went missing last week Tuesday, after which time periodic searches were carried out by family members and villagers.
However, yesterday’s search which began at around 9 a.m. ultimately led to the gruesome noontime discovery at Dunning’s Estate which is approximately one third of a mile inwards from the main road and within the general vicinity of Christian Valley Agricultural Station. The area also boasts the Dunning’s Dam."

Porn for sale ...students cash in on sex in the classroom

The Trinidad Guardian "Secondary school students are selling sexually explicit footage of themselves for as little as $5.
The fee is paid first, then raunchy sex videos involving the students engaging in sex acts in the classroom are transferred to the customer via cellphone bluetooth.
This was revealed at a seminar on juvenile delinquency yesterday at the Faculty of Social Sciences Lounge at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine."

Fidel resigns

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday"HAVANA: Fidel Castro, ailing and 81, announced yesterday he was resigning as Cuba’s president, ending a half-century of autocratic rule as a communist icon and a relentless opponent of US policy around the globe.
Foiling repeated US attempts to bring him down, he is leaving on his own terms, as the world’s longest-serving head of state.

Castro, however, insisted in his resignation letter, published in the Cuba Communist Party’s official newsletter Granma, that he won’t disappear — or stay quiet if he sees his revolution going astray."

Bartica, Lusignan hit by same gang -President -suspected getaway boat found

Stabroek News: "President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday said the killers of the Lusignan 11 were also behind Sunday's slaughter of 12 in Bartica and last night police were chasing leads after a suspected getaway boat was found, resulting in some Linden residents being told to stay indoors as security forces swarmed the area.
Speaking in Bartica after cutting short a visit to New York, Jagdeo told Barticians at the New Modern Hotel 'From what I was told there seemed to have been a dual motive: robbery and to kill and create terror…We know it is the same group that did it in Lusignan', the Govern-ment Information Agency (GINA) reported. Ballistic information has not yet been released by the police on the Bartica attack and the President did not elaborate in the GINA report."

Vaya con Dios, Fidel

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "HAVANA, Cuba (AP) - An ailing 81-year-old Fidel Castro resigned as Cuba's president yesterday after foiling US attempts to topple him for nearly half-a-century - leaving on his own terms by clearing the way for his brother Raul to take power.
The end of Castro's rule - the longest in the world for a head of government - frees 76-year-old Raul to implement reforms he has hinted at since taking over as acting president when Fidel Castro fell ill in July 2006. US President George W Bush rejected any Castro in power, hoping for what he called a democratic transition."

Sarge at large - Policeman escapes sting operation

Jamaica Gleaner News "Realising he had been caught in a sting operation and that his career was on the line, a police sergeant allegedly threatened a taxi driver, pulled his semi-automatic pistol and pointed it in the direction of his colleagues from the Anti-Corruption Unit who had gone to arrest him.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Justin Felice said Sergeant Patrick Williams then ran along East Queen Street, downtown Kingston, while being chased by policemen from the Anti-Corruption Unit."

STRIKE OFF

The Nation Newspaper: "NO NATIONAL STRIKE, but no surrender either!
Those were the sentiments from Barbados Workers' Union (BWU) general secretary Sir Roy Trotman speaking alongside Prime Minister David Thompson at a Press briefing yesterday, following a meeting of the Social Partners at the Sherbourne Conference Centre, Two Mile Hill,
St Michael."

Journalist allowed to stay in Grenada

Jamaica Gleaner News "The government of Grenada yesterday reversed a decision to expel Jamaican journalist, Tenesha Thomas, saying she would now be allowed to complete her assignment in that country.
Last week, immigration officials gave her 24 hours to leave the country after claiming she had mistakenly been authorised to remain there until August.
Following mounting pressure from regional and international media groups the Grenadian government intervened, saying it had no issue with journalists working freely in that country."

Cubans react to Fidel's exit

iafrica.com"'Fidel stepping down? That's impossible,' exclaimed Dayron Clavellon, who, like many Cubans, was stunned on Tuesday by the lightning bolt of change that has struck after half a century of rule under Castro.
'Damn, the commander in chief is stepping down! We knew this was going to happen one day. But now that it's a reality, it's just hitting us,' said the 20-year-old model, returning home after a night out with his friends in Havana's club district.
'Fidel stepping down? Man, we're going to miss him,' said Dubael Cesar, a 27-year-old musician also walking in the street."

video--Cuba's future with Raul Castro

As Fidel Castro's leadership comes to an end, Raul, his younger brother is likely to formally become the next president. Al Jazeera's Dave Marsh looks at what this might mean for the future of Cuba. (more)
Added: February 19, 2008
As Fidel Castro's leadership comes to an end, Raul, his younger brother is likely to formally become the next president. Al Jazeera's Dave Marsh looks at what this might mean for the future of Cuba.
Bartica in Guyana turns into ghost town after massacre Indian Muslims: "Port of Spain : Unprecedented bloodshed in neighbouring Guyana has shocked the Caribbean nation and the once bustling town of Bartica, where 13 persons were killed Sunday, has turned into a ghost town. Two dozen innocent lives have been lost in just three weeks.
Panic gripped Bartica town after gunmen attacked the local police station and killed three officers. The gunmen moved from the police station to different streets where they indiscriminately opened fire. The residents in the river-island community shut doors to ward off potential attacks.
In an earlier incident, 11 ethnic Indians were gunned down in the agricultural hamlet of Lusignan Jan 26. A group of gunmen attacked five houses, opened the doors, shot at people and killed 11 people, including five children in Lusignan, about 15 km from Guyana's capital Georgetown.
About 43 percent of the country's 750,000 population are Indo-Guyanese, descend…

Cops kill wanted man in Wakefield, Linstead

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "ERIN Fisher, the man police said was wanted for a number of murders and shootings in St Catherine, was yesterday cut down by cops in an alleged shoot-out in the Fiddler's Hall area of Wakefield, located just outside of Linstead.
The police were, however, unable to confirm a report that Fisher was one of the trigger men behind the killing of businessman Roy Lee, who was robbed and shot dead as he pulled up his shutter to open his supermarket in Linstead last December."

'Enough is enough' - Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) fed up with violence in schools

Jamaica Gleaner News "The Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) says it is fed up with a recent spate of attacks against its members and that it will not tolerate ongoing incidents of violence against educators within schools.
Ena Barclay, president of the JTA, reacting to a protest by teachers yesterday at the Ocho Rios High School against recent incidents of violence, however, told The Gleaner she would not 'agree or disagree' with the sit-in."

'How much more must we endure?' - grieving relatives ask

Stabroek News: "Pandemonium broke out at the Lyken Funeral Home at the strike of noon yesterday after the bodies of 11 of the Bartica 12 arrived to the wailing of relatives, who had waited for close to two hours for them to arrive.
Even as they waited, having received word that their loved ones might have been shot and killed by heavily armed gunmen at Bartica on Sunday evening, some hoped that it was a mistake. However, after the bodies arrived, some were left speechless while others wailed uncontrollably and asked themselves, why."

Also on Stabroek
Murderous rampage stuns Bartica
Bartica reeled yesterday, stunned at the murders of 12 persons including three policemen in the Region Seven community by heavily-armed gunmen, who, in a well planned attack, also stole a quantity of guns and ammunition on Sunday night.



Kaieteur News Guyana: "The mining community of Bartica was transformed into a virtual slaughter house last night, after scores of heavily-armed gunmen launched a b…

SHUT SHOP!

The Nation Newspaper "THIS IS not a stay-at-home demonstration. It will be a national stoppage!
Those were the words of general secretary of the Barbados Workers' Union (BWU), Sir Roy Trotman, last night. Several workers' representatives turned up at the union's Solidarity House auditorium, where one after the other they offered their unwavering support to the union and condemned owners of Sandy Lane Hotel and The Royal Shop over their refusal to reinstate 30 employees who were dismissed after they walked off the job."

13 dead in second massacre

The Nation Newspaper "PRESIDENT BHARRAT JAGDEO of Guyana has summoned an emergency meeting of major stakeholders for today in the wake of the country's second massacre of innocent citizens in just over five weeks.
On Sunday night, six heavily armed men shot dead in cold blood 13 persons, among them three policemen, in the mining town of Bartica, about 80 miles south of the nation's capital, Georgetown."

...Trinidad a safe haven

Trinidad Express: "Police went before daybreak yesterday to houses in Cap de Ville, Point Fortin, and held 27 Guyanese nationals, including several children and babies.
Many of them said they regarded Trinidad as a safe haven from crime.
They all had passports, police said, but had overstayed their time in Trinidad and failed to apply for extensions.
Several of those held told police they would be destitute if they returned home, and were afraid of becoming a victim in the wave of crimes that have hit the South American country this year."

Profile of Fidel Castro Ruz, longtime Cuban president

International Herald Tribune: "HAVANA: Fidel Castro defied America for nearly half a century, resisting U.S. attempts to topple him while wielding almost absolute control over the communist state he built just 90 miles south of Florida. He resigned as president Tuesday, two years after falling ill and temporarily ceding power.
Through 10 U.S. administrations beginning with that of Dwight Eisenhower, Castro survived assassination attempts, an invasion by a CIA-trained exile army at the Bay of Pigs, and a standoff with Washington over Soviet missiles that pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war."

Golding's decision admirable

The Nation Newspaper: "THE JAMAICA GOVERNMENT'S DECISION to probe the circumstances of the ordered expulsion from Grenada of a Jamaican journalist, Tenesha Thomas, provides the administration of Prime Minister Keith Mitchell the opportunity to come forward with an appropriate explanation which it has failed to do since the problem developed on Valentine's Day.
It is commendable that the Bruce Golding administration has taken this initiative, and so expeditiously, as it has been one of the weaknesses of governments of our Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to publicly show disapproval over the manner in which their nationals at times are embarrassed into leaving the jurisdiction of another community state."

Fidel Castro, Cuban leader and scourge of the US, steps down after nearly 50 years in power

the Daily Mail: "Fidel Castro has announced that he is to stand down after 49 years as Cuba's leader.
The country's official newspaper Granma said Castro, 81, had resigned as its president and commander in chief.
His resignation marks the end of an era for the communist country, where he took power in a 1959 revolution.
It had been thought that he would never give up power voluntarily and would continue until he died."

Thompson appeals for 'good sense'

The Nation Newspaper "Let 'good sense' prevail.
That is what Barbados' Prime Minister, David Thompson, is appealing to Barbadians to do as his Government tries to 'settle down' in the face of challenges which were not of its 'making'.
In a speech in New York City on Sunday night during his first overseas visit since taking the oath of office last month after his Democratic Labour Party (DLP) captured the Government from the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), Thompson said things were happening in the island that could be resolved if good sense prevailed."

Trinidad OKs extradition of 3 men in JFK airport plot

NYdailynews: "PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad - A Trinidadian judge on Monday upheld the extradition of three men charged with plotting to attack New York's John F. Kennedy airport, denying their latest effort to resist being sent to the United States to face trial.
High Court Justice Nolan Bereaux said there was nothing in the Caribbean nation's legal code to prevent the extradition of the two Guyanese and one Trinidadian on charges that could result in sentences of life in prison."

Dominican Republic army on alert on tense Haitian border

Caribbean Net News: "SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (Reuters): The Dominican Republic put its army on alert along the northwest border with Haiti on Sunday as residents of the two nations traded allegations of cross-border incursions, kidnapping and cattle rustling, local media reported.

Armed Haitians crossed into the Dominican Republic on Saturday near the community of Dajabon, 175 miles northwest of Santo Domingo, and abducted two workmen who were dredging sand in the Massacre River, authorities said."

Guyana gunmen kill 12 - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Australian Broadcasting Corporation: "The attack came just weeks after suspected gang leaders killed 11 people including sleeping women and children in a massacre that sparked angry protests and concerns of renewed ethic tensions between Guyanese of Indian and African descent in the former British colony.
Police said it was too early to say if the two attacks were connected.
The assailants also stole weapons from the homes of Bartica residents, using sledgehammers to break through concrete walls, the spokeswoman said.
Police patrolled the streets of Bartica to maintain order."

National Security Minister condemns wanton killings in Guyana

Breaking News "Trinidad and Tobago's Minister of National Security Senator Martin Joseph today condemned 'in the strongest possible terms the wanton killings of 12 nationals of Guyana, including three police officers, on Sunday night,' a Ministry statement said.

Minister Joseph also expressed great concern over the attack on police stations and the killing of three law enforcement officers there."

EFCC slams fresh 124 count charge against Nnamani

Vanguard Online Edition: "The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday slammed fresh 124 count charge of fraud, conspiracy, concealment and money laundering totaling about N5.6billion against Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

Charged with the former Enugu State governor, were two of his former commissioners, Peter Mba and Sam Ejiofor. Also named in the charge is Victor Udeh, a legal practitioner.
Meanwhile, Nnamani who spoke with judiciary correspondents at the premises of the Federal High court, said he is a victim of failed political relationships. “I have a lot of respect for the judiciary and I am innocent, though I am bound by whatever the court decides in my matter. But I must also say that I am a victim of machination and failed political relationship”, he said."

Murder Cases Piling Up

The Bahama Journal: "The already long list of murder cases that must be heard in the Supreme Court of The Bahamas is growing as additional suspects are brought before the courts weekly – if not daily – to be charged with the most serious of offences.
Left to deal with these matters are the 25 prosecutors in the Office of the Attorney General, who are also dealing with the tremendous backlog of other criminal matters that continue to pile up.
For instance, the Supreme Court’s calendar of cases for October 2007 listed more than 400 matters that needed to be heard.
These matters include murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, rape and assault cases, among other criminal matters."

Gunmen murder 12 at Bartica....Large gang came by river, attacked police station, fired wildly, three cops among dead

Stabroek News: "Gunmen last night slaughtered around a dozen persons in a major assault on Bartica reminiscent of the Lusignan massacre and the dead included at least three policemen, reports this morning said.
The hour-long strafing which saw the criminals overrunning the Bartica Police Station and residents locking up in their homes raises major questions about the aims of the gunmen and the ability of the security forces to respond."

Related News

The Associated Press: Guyana Gunmen Kill Police, Civilians: "GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — Gunmen killed at least three police officers and several civilians in an assault Sunday night on a small town in Guyana, authorities and local media said, in the second such attack in recent weeks.
Police said the men, dressed in military fatigues and armed with assault rifles, invaded a police station and made off with ammunitions and weapons in the southwestern township of Bartica.
Police did not identify any suspects or possible motive, but …

MISSING GIRL FOUND...unharmed and in good health

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis: "A mother can now rest soundly after her thought to be missing daughter was found unharmed and in good health.
Anoncia Liddie, a 14 year old of La Guerite was reported missing after she didn’t return home from school Wednesday morning. The girl who is a student at the Washington Archibald High School was reported to have left home in the morning and was not seen again until last evening.
According to Police Public Relations Officer, Cromwell Henry, the girl was found in Cayon. The SUN understands that she went to the Cayon High School’s Sports Day and stayed with a friend overnight after the sports."

‘Tamu’ gets the nod; first UPP primary tonight

Antigua Sun: "The first United Progressive Party (UPP) primary will be held tonight, as the ruling party gears up for general elections.
The party’s St. John’s City South constituency branch will conduct the primary election between Senator Lenworth Johnson and Willa Meyer. Branch members will vote to determine which of the two will represent the constituency on the UPP ticket at the next general election. The person selected must also be approved by the party’s executive.
The primary election process is scheduled to take place between seven and nine o’clock at Freedom Hall on Newgate Street."

Gay lobby rebuked - Church says won't accept homosexual lifestyle in Jamaica

Jamaica Gleaner News "JAMAICAN CHURCH leaders stand resolute that despite strong lobbying by international gay rights activists, homo-sexuality will not be accepted as normal.
The Church's rebuke comes in the wake of a recent scathing report from the New York-based Human Rights Watch and protests last week by a Florida church sympathetic to gays.
The Rev Dr Merrick 'Al' Miller, pastor of the Fellowship Taber-nacle in St Andrew, said that Jamaicans generally deem homo-sexuality wrong."

A tale of two Laventilles

The Nation Newspaper "LAVENTILLE is not just the stigma-driven example of a rotten apple spoiling the whole bunch.
It's a place of diverse energy and rhythm, an idyllic vantage point overlooking Trinidad and Tobago's metropolitan city and west coast – high above Port-of-Spain and blessed by cooling breezes off the Caribbean Sea."

NEW 'CITY'

The Nation Newspaper "NEW FIRE AND POLICE STATIONS are coming for the fast-growing district of Six Roads, St Philip.
This was stated yesterday by Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who told the Press the new Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration was 'committed' to delivering the facilities."

BANK DEPOSITS UP

Advocate: "BARBADIANS had close to nine billion dollars stashed away at commercial banks in the island up to late last year, which amounts to an additional $1.3 billion being deposited at the banks.
That is according to the latest Central Bank of Barbados statistics published for the month of September 2007, confirming a general pick-up in savings during the year. The figures show that some $8.6 billion were on deposits at the islands six commercial banks -- Barbados National Bank, Bank of Butterfield, FirstCaribbean International, RBTT Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Scotiabank -- at September."

Guyana to claim for 350 miles outside of its territorial waters

Kaieteur News Guyana: "Guyana is preparing a claim for some 350 miles outside its territorial waters for possible commercial use.
According to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rudy Insanally, the claim to the United Nations will have to be submitted by May next year, and there is a rush to complete paperwork by the Frontier Department of his ministry.
However, Guyana may have to consult with its neighbours to increase its chances of the claim being approved."

Pitbulls for rent at $30 an hour

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday"AFTER more than seven years, proclamation of legislation aimed at dealing with dangerous dogs remains “suspended” by Government over concerns that it is “too draconian”, despite a continued trend of vicious pitbulls being imported into this country and “rented” as miniature security officers for private parties and public fetes."

Woman Prime Minister

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday"HAZEL MANNING the Local Government Minister and wife of Prime Minister Patrick Manning, yesterday called for a woman Prime Minister and for a woman President as she implored women all over this country to get involved in the upper echelons of politics.

“It is time for women in those offices,” she told Sunday Newsday when questioned on the need for a female PM and President shortly after delivering the keynote address at a local government workshop at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. The workshop was designed to get more women to contest the upcoming Local Government elections which are due in July."

NO WAY!

The Nation Newspaper"LOOKS LIKE a national strike is on, come Wednesday.
While the Barbados Workers' Union (BWU) continues to insist that 30 employees who were collectively dismissed from The Royal Shop, Broad Street, The City, and Sandy Lane Hotel, St James, over the past two weeks be reinstated, the management of those two businesses say 'no way'.
Yesterday, in a statement to the Press the upmarket jewellery store, said it would not take back 12 workers it fired on February 1.
In addition, Sandy Lane Hotel, that fired 18 workers, in a paid advertisement today, has also reiterated that 'under no circumstances' would they rescind the termination of the employees they fired."

Call for explanation of expulsion order against Jamaican journalist

Reporters sans frontières - Grenada: "Reporters Without Borders today expressed shock at the treatment of Jamaican national, Tenesha Thomas, of the regional news agency Caribupdate who was arrested yesterday on the grounds that her visa had expired and told she would be expelled today.
The worldwide press freedom organisation said the decision was all the more surprising since the Grenadian immigration service had admitted it had made a mistake. The organisation added it hoped this was not an act of covert censorship and urged the government to provide an explanation."

Call for explanation of expulsion order against Jamaican journalist

Reporters sans frontières - Grenada: "Reporters Without Borders today expressed shock at the treatment of Jamaican national, Tenesha Thomas, of the regional news agency Caribupdate who was arrested yesterday on the grounds that her visa had expired and told she would be expelled today.
The worldwide press freedom organisation said the decision was all the more surprising since the Grenadian immigration service had admitted it had made a mistake. The organisation added it hoped this was not an act of covert censorship and urged the government to provide an explanation."

Bad vibes kill Kartel's marriage

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "POPULAR dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel, who tied the knot just two years ago with New York bank supervisor, Stacy Elliott, wants out of their marriage."
In papers filed with the Jamaican Supreme Court, Kartel, whose real name is Adidjah Palmer, alleged that his 31-year-old bride had given birth to a son who was fathered by another man.

After Laventille lockdown--Crime surge in South, Central

The Trinidad Guardian "Opposition leader Basdeo Panday says Police Commissioner Trevor Paul has admitted to a possible upsurge in criminal activities in central and south Trinidad following the recent lockdown in Laventille.
Panday made the statement yesterday afternoon following an hour-long meeting with the CoP at the Police Administration building in Port-of-Spain."

Schools celebrate African Awareness Day

Advocate: "EDUCATING children of all races and economic backgrounds on the history of Africa before, during and after the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade as well as the positive contributions that persons of African descent made to the Western world was the main idea behind an African cultural presentation, which was part of African Awareness Day and Black History Month."

Jamaica looking for solution to high food prices

CBC.bb: "The government of Jamaica is currently seeking a long term solution to deal with the price increase on basic food items, which is to include the wider CARICOM region.

Speaking at a press briefing on February 12, at the Ministry's office on Trafalgar Road, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, pointed out that the regional heads of CARICOM met in Guyana to look at the challenges that face the region in relation to rising commodity prices."

Haiti nears grim future without trees as efforts to halt deforestation falter

International Herald Tribune: "GRAND COLLINE, Haiti: Far from the spreading slums of the Haitian capital, past barren dirt mountains and hillsides stripped to a chalky white core, two woodcutters bring down a towering oak tree in one of the few forested valleys left in the Caribbean country.
Fanel Cantave, 36, says he has little choice but to make his living in a way that is causing environmental disaster in Haiti. And these days, he and his 15-year-old son, Phillipe, must travel ever farther from their village to find trees to cut."

Kern steps aside - Seeks leave of absence from House, PNP

Jamaica Gleaner News "The embattled former state minister for energy, Kern Spencer, last night indicated that he would be seeking to take leave of absence from Parliament amid the investigation into the controversial Cuban light bulb programme.
Spencer also said he would be seeking to take leave from all other leadership responsibilities in the People's National Party."

Joint Services find stolen AK -ex cop, buyer held -sale had been set for $80,000

Stabroek News: "A Joint Services operation near Alness, Corentyne yesterday recovered the army's AK 47 rifle which went missing last year December and two men were nabbed in what sources say was a deal to sell the weapon for $80,000.
The loss of the AK 47 had resulted in a shake-up of the base command structure at Camp Ayanganna and the alleged torture of several soldiers who were implicated in the theft of the weapon."

Sobion dead

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday"Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean has lost another brilliant son, former attorney general Keith Sobion, who died in Jamaica yesterday.
Sobion was admitted to the University Hospital Jamaica last week when he fell seriously ill following a dental procedure his son Darian told the Jamaica Gleaner."

‘Emergency’ not the answer—Joseph

The Trinidad Guardian "The Government is not considering a limited state of emergency for Laventille and its environs, National Security Minister Martin Joseph has reiterated.
“We are not considering a limited state of emergency at this particular point in time and this is on the basis of discussions with law enforcement,” he stated, during yesterday’s post-Cabinet news briefing at Whitehall in Port-of-Spain."

IN LIMBO

The Nation Newspaper "THE BARBADOS WORKERS' UNION (BWU) is not budging.
Sandy Lane Hotel is not budging. The Royal Shop is not budging.
Up to last night, a deadlock remained between the trade union and the two employers which could disrupt business across the island as early as next Wednesday.
The issue stems from the dismissal of a total of 30 workers following unrelated incidents at the West Coast luxury resort and the Bridgetown store."

Dean strikes back - Accuses Finance Minister of capturing Government of Jamaica land - I offered to buy -

Jamaica Gleaner News "A former minister in the previous People's National Party (PNP) administration has claimed that Finance Minister Audley Shaw captured government land in the past and shunned attempts by the state to negotiate its divestment.
Dean Peart, the Minister of Land and Environment in the P.J. Patterson-led government, told The Gleaner yesterday that if the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) witch-hunt was not on, the revelations would probably not have been made."

SEVERELY BURNED …Man hospitalised after falling into boiling tank

Antigua Sun: "A 30-year-old man is currently a patient at the Edward’s Ward at the Holberton Hospital where he is nursing what is strongly felt are severe third degree burns to both legs.
Carlton Fitzherald Sancho, originally of Guyana, is an employee at the Antigua Distillery Limited (ADL) where the incident occurred on Monday, shortly after 6 p.m., during his four to 12 work shift. According to preliminary reports, the injured man fell into one of three uncovered tanks which measure between 10 to 12 ft in depth and which are usually kept closed."

Laventille gangs expand network

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday"A search is on for the leaders of 25 gangs in Laventille who police believe are expanding their criminal network into west, south and central Trinidad.
Sources believe the gang leaders may be “losing business” due to the upsurge in violence in Laventille and the deployment of police officers and soldiers to bring crime in the community under control."

Thank God, I’m alive

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday"TERNEKA WALKER, 19, is thanking God that she is alive today after she escaped death last Wednesday when gunmen, pretending to be police, shot up several houses on Picton Road, Laventille.
“I thank God that I got to live another day. I guess it was not my time to go yet,” Walker said yesterday, as she pointed to a plaster that covered a wound on the right side of her stomach. She has eight other wounds about her legs, which she suffered after being hit by the pellets from the gun shots."

Economist: Caribbean world crime leader

The Trinidad Guardian "Jamaica, according to The Economist, is the world’s most murderous country. But it notes that the rest of the Caribbean was catching up fast, irrespective of size or wealth.
Prosperous Bahamas, it points out, was far more dangerous than impoverished Guyana. In T&T, the murder rate has quadrupled over the past decade, despite a fall in unemployment to five per cent last year."

Cuba demands that US give back Guantanamo

ANTARA : "Havana (ANTARA News) - Cuba`s government demanded Wednesday that the United States return Guantanamo Bay to the island and denounced the 'war on terror' prison, where six detainees could face the death penalty.

Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque charged Wednesday that terror suspects being held in the US naval base in the southeastern tip of Cuba have been subjected to torture and face unfair legal treatment."