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Showing posts from March, 2008

Political maturity of Barbados lauded

Advocate: "The rest of the Caribbean can learn from political maturity of Barbados as evidenced by the recent peaceful election and change of government.
This is the opinion of Dr. Francis Severin, Resident Tutor and Head of the Univers ity School of Continuing Studies in Dominica, who noted that there was no evidence of an election in Barbados when he visited the island shortly after the polls. I am worried that this climate in Barbados is not replicated in several other Caribbean coun tries which appear to be on perennial election mode."

Will tourism wreck or rescue Grenada?

guardian.co.uk: "In September 2004, 150km-an-hour winds flattened 95% of buildings, killing dozens and making thousands homeless.
Jenny Gilchrist, a local woman from the parish of St David's, remembers the devastation which greeted her the morning after the storm hit.
'Our island was destroyed, my house had the roof ripped clean off, it was total devastation,' she says. 'My daughter said to me 'mammy where shall we go?' and I said to her 'we have no place to go' all our clothes and our possessions were ruined. We lived in water in our house for two days before help came.'"

Health insured will still pay - Thousands to be billed under free-care regime

Jamaica Gleaner News "CLOSE TO to half a million Jamaicans with health insurance can still expect to pay indirectly for services and items in public health facilities from which user fees are to be removed come Tuesday.
Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday, Minister of Health Rudyard Spencer says while insured persons would not be required to co-pay for services, insurance companies will still be billed to cover a portion of the cost."

Murder in Piparo

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday"THE NEPHEW of a Pente-costal Minister was gunned down at his Piparo home during the early morning hours yesterday in what both police and relatives say was a killing which stemmed from an argument over cocaine.
The victim has been identified as Terrence “Monto” Ramdial, 22, of Stone Road, Piparo. A man up to last night, was assisting police with their investigations into what is the 101st murder for this year."

BURNT EVIDENCE…Court files reveal startling information in Mansoor bombing

Antigua Sun: "Months after the offices of the Special Task Force against Corruption and Organised Crime were damaged in a firebombing incident, new information has emerged indicating that the files of the investigators had been specifically targeted.
On 17 Jan., in the hours following the early morning blast, police said that the blast and resultant fire had caused extensive damage to the Mansoor building, which housed the office of the Special Task Force against Corruption and Organised Crime on the third floor. A sworn affidavit filed in the High Court last week gives a different perspective to the crime, however."

Some Lusignan residents feel no safer

Stabroek News: "Some relatives of the victims of the Lusignan Massacre and residents of the community say they are yet to see several promises made by the government fulfilled and they feel no safer today than on the morning of January 26.
Promises of better roads, street lights, massive clearing of a grass field aback of the houses that were attacked and several others including refurbishing of homes and fences, they said, were made by the government MPs who visited the area following the tragedy."

PEOPLE'S GUARD

The Nation Newspaper "THE OPPOSITION PARTY will be judged on how it keeps watch for the people of Barbados.
That was the message Reverend Von E. Watson gave at the Barbados Labour Party's (BLP's) service of thanksgiving and rededication yesterday at St Mary's Anglican Church, The City."

Rampanalgas ...from paradise to the Devil’s playground

The Trinidad Guardian "Children on vacation from school flew kites in the gusty winds and rode bicycles in Balandra on Wednesday.
However, residents of Rampanalgas, the main village in Balandra, did not have a storybook tale to give.
Instead, they gave a shocking report of fear and horror, saying that the Devil himself seems to be on the loose in Rampanalgas. And it’s their children who are under attack."

Stop gun licences for civilians

Stabroek News: "Alliance For Change (AFC) MP Sheila Holder believes that the time has come for the authorities to stop issuing gun licences to civilians; one sure way of reducing gun violence and putting a dent on the illegal arms trade.
The Member of Parliament said that too often criminals would wrest the guns from their victims during armed robberies and this was only equipping the gunmen with more arms. “The gunmen are using more sophisticated weapons so what is the point of issuing small arms to civilians… Civilians are not trained to protect themselves with guns,” Holder said."

Free living costing billion$

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "An aversion to paying utility bills and low-cost mortgages is costing tax-payers hundreds of millions of dollars annually, information made available to the Sunday Observer has shown.
And this reluctance to accept that there is a cost to utility services cuts across social and economic classes, officials of the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) and the National Water Commission (NWC) have admitted, while revealing that some debts have been outstanding for more than 20 years."

HOME SLIP

The Nation Newspaper : "FEWER BARBADIANS are seeking mortgages, especially those in the middle- to lower-income bracket.
It is because, according to banking and financial officials, Barbados is now experiencing a dive in the market for the first time in three years."

Air Jamaica staff end strike

CBC.bb: "Air Jamaica flight attendants were back on the job late yesterday after staging a sick out to protest a range of issues.
Their strike action which began around 6 a.m. and lasted most of the day forced the airline to cancel flights to New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Toronto and Curacao, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at the island's two international airports - Norman Manley International and Sangster International."

Air Jamaica attendants on strike

CBC.bb: "The financially strapped Air Jamaica Tuesday started cancelling some of its international flights after flight attendants stayed away from work over the failure of the company to start new wage talks.
The flight attendants are also protesting the failure of the airline to improve poor working conditions."

Dominican Govt Faces Doctors Strike

Santo Domingo, Mar 28 (Prensa Latina) The Dominican government ratified to the media it lacks disposition to hear the demands of local doctors, and regarded its national strike as blackmail Friday.......

........The 12,000 doctors started their third day of strike Friday, so the public assistance service is paralyzed in the 167 centers administered by the local government and the 15 from the Social Insurance.

No March payout - Cash Plus can't meet obligations

Jamaica Gleaner News"The cash-strapped investment club, Cash Plus Ltd will not be able to pay its investors the principal and interest owing to them on March 31 as it had previously announced.
A statement issued yesterday by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) said it had urged Cash Plus to issue a pubic notice advising investors of its position."

Buddy’s fuel bust accused freed

Stabroek News "The charges against the defendants in the $6M Buddy’s fuel bust were dismissed at the Providence Magistrate’s Court yesterday, ending more than two years of deliberations.
In dismissing the charges, Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry compared the case presented by the prosecution as “water fetched in a basket” and said that it was replete with errors. The matter had been prosecuted by special prosecutor appointed by the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), Anil Nandlall."

Francis or Johnny on Sunday??

Amandala Online: "The People’s United Party (PUP) was whipped to a pulp at the polls on February 7, and even though conventional wisdom would suggest that no one in his or her right mind would want to inherit a party in such shambles, the no-holds-barred fight for power inside the PUP supports the notion that there may be something of value yet to salvage."

Magistrate says taxpayers getting raw deal!

St. Lucia Star "In his December 2007 address to the nation the Minister of Justice and Attorney General Nicholas Frederick said that when he took over the post a year earlier he had noted that 'serious crime had escalated over the past eleven years.'
According to the minister 'three factors' were responsible for the increase: An inefficient justice system linked to inadequacies in the magistrates courts; weaknesses within the prosecution department and supporting services; and inadequate community involvement in preventing crime and inadequate police vigilance."

Gonsalves facing second assault charge

The Nation Newspaper "KINGSTOWN, St Vincent – Still embroiled in a legal battle with a female police officer who claimed he raped her, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has been accused of indecently assaulting another woman.
Attorney Kay Bacchus-Browne, who has been retained to represent the woman, confirmed at a news conference Wednesday that the matter was filed March 13 and the Vincentian leader was summoned to appear before the Family Court on April 14."

Gunmen kill Clarendon couple in vicious attack

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "RUTHLESS gunmen early yesterday morning shot dead a Clarendon woman and her common-law husband after invading the couple's home in Savannah Cross district.
Indra Coleman, 26, and her 49-year-old common-law husband, Carl Ellington, were awakened about 2:30 when the men kicked open the door to their small house and shot them. They died on the spot."

Ganja found in Grande cops’ lockers

The Trinidad Guardian "Ten officers from Sangre Grande Task Force are facing transfers and possible criminal charges, after marijuana was allegedly found in police lockers at Sangre Grande police station.
Sources said detectives of the Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Organised Crime and Narcotics Unit, searched the lockers around 2 pm on Saturday, after a tip-off."

CHESTER THE WINNER …UPP candidate wins by-election by a landslide

Antigua Sun: "Amidst a somewhat festive atmosphere, a thunderous applause could be heard at the Irene B. Williams Primary School shortly after 10 p.m. last night as the United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate Chester Hughes emerged the victor from the All Saints East and St. Luke by-elections.
The win was a landslide for Hughes in a poll that registered a low voter turn-out.

POLICE SUED

The Nation Newspaper "TWO LAWMEN have been slapped with a lawsuit for allegedly shooting an innocent bystander in the Red Sea, Deacons Road, St Michael area two months ago.
Constable Ryan Eversley and Constable Robert Jones, both attached to Black Rock Police Station, are expected to be served with summonses today for allegedly shooting Jemelle King last January 19."

POLLING DAYAll Saints East & St. Luke vote for new MP today

Antigua Sun: "Before the day’s end, the constituency of All Saints East & St. Luke is expected to have a new representative to lead its interests in Parliament, bringing to an end for now, a relatively short period of campaigning.
Ahead of today’s by-elections for the vacant All Saints East & St. Luke seat, the three candidates vying for the seat have asserted their confidence going in.

Budgeting for debt

Jamaica Gleaner News "The country will see a significant jump in the size of the budget for the 2008/2009 fiscal year, bringing it closer to the $500 billion mark, when the Estimates of Expenditure are tabled in Gordon House today.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service Audley Shaw has said additional debt servicing requirement for the new financial year would be almost $55 billion."

Lights on Kern again

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "EMBATTLED former minister of state for energy, Kern Spencer, may have another problem on his hands soon, as the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands seeks to clarify a report of an unauthorised electricity connection at the state house he occupied in Kingston 10 during his tenure in office.
The Observer has learnt that a report from an electrical contractor, engaged by the National Lands Agency (NLA), to check on the electrical panel at number 9 Sharrow Drive, Kingston 10, which Spencer occupied between May last year and January, shows that there had been an illegal connection to a light post on the premises where a meter should have been."

$25M IN RENT

The Nation Newspaper "A WHOPPING $25 MILLION was spent up to last year to accommodate workers in Government offices, and this must be reduced under the current administration.
Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Senator Maxine McClean, gave this assurance yesterday as she revealed the ever-rising rental bill."

Slave trade should not be repeated - CARICOM

Jamaica Gleaner News "The 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) says the experience of the slave trade should 'not be repeated nor forgotten' as the international community yesterday observed the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the week-long event, chairman of the CARICOM diplomatic corps and Barbados' UN Ambassador, Christopher Hackett, says it is important to recognise the 'resilience of the enslaved African people who were aboard those ships."

Deadly feud

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "A feud that had its genesis in partisan politics and escalated into a deadly turf war claimed the lives of four men, including a police constable and two brothers, and left another injured in the hotbed community of Cassava Piece, in St Andrew between Monday night and yesterday morning.
The dead cop has been identified as Constable Lazano McFarlane of the Mobile Reserve. Police say their colleague was killed during a running gunbattle in the community after a daring early morning murder on Mannings Hill Road yesterday."

Why I hate ganja

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday "SAN FERNANDO Magistrate Melville Daniel yesterday imposed an unusual form of punishment on a 17-year-old boy who appeared before him charged with possession of marijuana – write an essay on why a person should not smoke marijuana.
The 17-year-old accused, who gave his occupation as a salesman, was also granted bail with a surety in the sum of $20,000 and ordered to submit the essay to the Youth Training Centre (YTC) within a week."

‘He was a jealous man’

The Trinidad Guardian "Jairagie Deolal’s pain is only fuelled by claims from police officers that the deaths of her son and husband Himraj Sookai were caused because she was unfaithful to Sookai.
Four-year-old Kennedy Sean Deolal and his father, Sookai, were found dead early Monday morning after Sookai allegedly forced his son to ingest a poisonous substance before killing himself"

DIPLOMAT RECALLED ... Minister says because of slapping incident

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis: "A Cuban diplomat accused of slapping a little boy in late October last year has been recalled.
The incident occurred on 26 Oct., 2007, when it was reported that two children, the daughter of the Cuban Embassy official and another child at the Beach Allen Primary School, were playing a game called “freeze” and the boy, who has been identified as Devon Williams, fell on the girl.
The SUN understood that the official, who was at the school, rushed over to the children, pulled the boy off his daughter and slapped him before taking him to the principal’s office."

BULLETS FLY IN SEATONS… Armed gunmen rob Truth and Love band house

Antigua Sun: "Villagers in Seatons were thrown into a state of shock yesterday after four gun wielding young men opened fire at a house located on a farm.
The four occupants of the house, all Rastafarians, had no choice but to run for their lives after their attackers who were reportedly dressed in dark cover-alls pounced on them.
According to reports, the bandits fired several shots at the house before making their way inside, ransacking it and then making off with about $1,400.
The incident occurred some time after 3 p.m."

Jewish family sues Jamaican reform school for troubled teens

Jewish family sues Jamaican reform school for troubled teens: "Isaac Hersh, 16, has been trapped since last summer at Tranquility Bay, a reform school on the island of Jamaica with a soothing name - and harsh discipline, according to the lawyer hired to try to get him out.
'It's a modern-day concentration camp,' said Maryland lawyer Joshua Ambush."

American Airlines catches Haitian flak

MiamiHerald.com: "An incident of alleged mistreatment of passengers with ties to Haiti's president on an American Airlines flight from Port-au-Prince to Miami has sparked an outcry of discrimination from the Caribbean nation's top South Florida diplomat.
American Airlines exhibits ''an ongoing pattern of disrespect'' to Haitian customers, according to a letter sent as ''an official complaint'' to the carrier this past weekend by Ralph Latortue, Haiti's consul general in Miami."

Bathers stay close to shore

The Nation Newspaper "THE WEST COAST of the island was back to normal yesterday after high swells battered the coast over the past week.
Sand in the road and debris on the beach stood as mute testimony to the fury of the waves that overshot protective breakwalls.
Parties of picnickers returned to the beaches and Bajans returned to the sea, albeit keeping very close to the shore."

e-Learning glitch - Multibillion US-dollar project stuck in pilot phase - High schools still to receive computer equipment -

Jamaica Gleaner News "Major glitches in the Government's e-Learning programme have delayed the implementation of the multibillion-dollar education initiative by almost a year.
As a result, thousands of secondary school students, who should have benefited from the proposed improved instructions promised under the programme that is designed to ultimately improve Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate passes, were not afforded that privilege."

Shot and detained

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "POLICE investigating a gunfight between patrons at a dance in Port Henderson, St Catherine on Sunday morning have shackled to a hospital bed one of eight persons injured during the melee.
The police have not named the person they have under heavy guard, but yesterday said the person can assist them in their investigations."

‘Tabanca’ leads to murder/suicide

The Trinidad Guardian "A Cunupia man is believed to have killed his four-year-old son and then committed suicide, hours after he received counselling from Cunupia police.
The bodies of Himraj Sookai, 49, and his son, Kennedy Sean Deolal, of Southern Main Road in Cunupia, were discovered in a house which the family recently acquired at Tanager Drive, Ibis Gardens, Caroni."

Giant waves wash up chunks of coral on Barbados beaches

The Boston Globe: "SAN JUAN - Unusually large waves churned by an Atlantic storm system have littered the beaches of Barbados with broken coral in what could be a sign of damage to reefs across the region, a scientist said yesterday.
more stories like thisThe amount of rubble on the island's west coast suggests the coral took a heavy pounding, said Leo Brewster, director of Barbados's Coastal Zone Management Unit, who was organizing dives later this week to survey the damage."

US woos Jamaican teachers - Recruitment drive triggers fears of new exodus

Jamaica Gleaner News "The island's already fragile education system could suffer further haemorrhaging as another overseas recruitment agency attempts to woo specialist teachers to United States (US) schools.
According to an advertisement in The Sunday Gleaner yesterday, the US-based recruitment agency, Teachers Council, said it was seeking 300 teachers with majors in special education, early childhood education, elementary mathematics, biology, physical education, art, music and Spanish."

Teens arrested for rape

The Trinidad Guardian "Two teenagers were arrested yesterday in connection with the gang rape of a Chaguanas supermarket employee.
The two were positively identified by the victim, and will appear before a Chaguanas magistrate today.
According to police reports, the woman was on her way home from work when she boarded a “PH” taxi in Chaguanas, on Friday night."

Flour ration

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday"Supermarkets are being forced to ration the amount of flour their customers can buy because the State-owned National Flour Mills has been unable to supply the staple commodity.
Flour-derived products, such as macaroni, are also in short supply and the sales of these commodities are also being restricted at some supermarkets, checks by Newsday yesterday revealed."

Giant Waves Break Up Caribbean Coral

The Associated Press:"SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Unusually large waves churned by an Atlantic storm system have littered the beaches of Barbados with broken coral in what could be a sign of damage to reefs across the region, a scientist said Sunday.
The amount of rubble on the island's west coast suggests the coral took a heavy pounding, said Leo Brewster, director of Barbados' Coastal Zone Management Unit, who was organizing dives later this week to survey the damage."

Conversations with the ‘Obeah man’

The Trinidad Guardian "Renowned as a spiritual healer, reputed to have prophetic powers and feared as an “Obeah man,” the name “Pa Neezer” was whispered up and down the length of Trinidad for three decades with a mixture of fear, reverence and awe.
In 1956, a young graduate research student was granted unprecedented access to the enigmatic Ebenezer Elliot, beginning a unique relationship that was to end only with the latter’s death in 1969."

High tides flood parts of lower East Coast

Stabroek News: "Although remedial works are ongoing, residents of Montrose and other villages on the lower East Coast are still suffering the consequences of the unusually high spring tide which brought floods that woke them up on Thursday morning.
Many of the residents, especially along the northern perimeter of the communities, complained that some of their personal belongings were damaged beyond repair because of the flood water."

Coconut killer

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "AN outbreak of the devastating lethal yellowing disease is threatening coconut palms across the island, spurring the Coconut Industry Board (CIB) to recommend that all infected plants be immediately cut down and burned.
'We have seen hot spots all over the island, but it is now showing up highly concentrated in the eastern parishes,' said Edgar Watson, general manager of the Coconut Industry Board (CIB)."

Budget 2008-2009 Shaw confident

Jamaica Gleaner News "DAYS AWAY from the tabling of the first budget estimates since forming the government last September, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration is not worried about keeping its pre-election promises.
Speaking with The Sunday Gleaner, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, said Cabinet had intensely deliberated the budget and was satisfied with its plans."

Flour shortage hits supermarket shelves

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday"There is reportedly a shortage of flour at groceries nationwide, according to President of the Supermarket Association Heeralal Maharaj.
Recently officials at the National Flour Mills (NFM) and Nutrimix Mills hinted at an increase in flour prices, coming on the heels of a drop in production of wheat in the United States and Canada."

'Of course, I must appeal'

Jamaica Gleaner News : "The attorneys representing Constable Rahul Khourie, who was on Thursday sentenced in the western Regional Gun Court to 15 years in prison for illegal possession of firearms, say they will be taking the matter to the Supreme Court.
'Of course, I must appeal,' said lead counsel Kenneth McLeod, adding that he was not in a position to discuss the case."

GRUESOME!

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "SOMERTON, St James - The seven-day search for retired British nurse, Barbara Jayne Scott, ended yesterday - Good Friday - when her body was fished from a sewerage pit at her home in this St James district.
It took the police, who were assisted by firefighters, more than seven hours to remove the corpse from the concrete-sealed pit, after receiving intelligence that she was dumped there."

Beach lovers defy rough seas warning

The Trinidad Guardian "DEFIANT beach-goers yesterday disregarded advisories to be wary of rough seas, as they braved the swells at both Maracas and Tyrico bays.
In what appeared to be a typical day at the beach, people lounged on the sand, frolicked in the water and consumed alcohol although lifeguards said there was a substantial decrease in the number of people usually on the beach."

Called to his death

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday "A 42-YEAR-OLD Tobago man was at home asleep when he was called to his death early yesterday morning.
Relatives of Terrence Joseph, the island’s latest road fatality, said he was asleep at his Arnos Vale Road, Plymouth, home shortly after 10 pm when he was called out by a friend. His distraught mother, Marilyn Joseph, told Newsday the friend had called earlier while he was asleep but returned a short time later and woke him up."

BEACH BLOWS

The Nation Newspaper "THE WARNING is clear concerning beaches along the east and west coasts: do not go into the water until Monday, at the earliest.
In fact, director of the Department of Emergency Management, Judy Thomas, said if you plan to go into the sea over the weekend, be extra careful as the water was extremely rough."

Who's looking after the vagrants?

The Nation Newspaper "THE SIGHT OF VAGRANTS and beggars badgering the public, mostly tourists in Bridgetown, is unfortunately too familiar. They follow the visitors with their hands outstretched and persistently ask for money.
Many a visitor has to slip into a store to avoid them, or eventually give in to their request just to get them to go away, only to be confronted by another one a few metres away."

Tobago man killed in crash

Trinidad Express: "Terrance Joseph,45, of Arnos Vale Road, Plymouth Tobago was killed in an accident along Shirvan Road yesterday morning.
The accident took place around 4 a.m. when a black Mazda 323 car in which he was a front seat passenger was involved in a head-on collision with another car, police said."

Antiguan professor writes Obama

Antigua Sun: "The 10 gratitudes of the United States of America to Barack Obama for his speech on “race” on 18 March
We, the people of the United States of America, thank Barack Obama for naming and respecting each of us instead of dividing and exploiting us.
We the people of the United States of America thank Barack Obama for providing sincerity, honesty and integrity to American leadership and speaking on what so many others could not and worse, would not do.
We, the people of the United States of America, thank Barack Obama for demonstrating the courage of cultural loyalty devoid of self-hatred and hostility and with an openness to understanding the human weaknesses and burdens that most human beings share."

Bush talks with Caribbean leaders

The Trinidad Guardian "President George W Bush praised the prime ministers of the Bahamas, Barbados and Belize on Thursday as “three of our ... neighborhood’s strong leaders” and assured them their region is important to the US.
Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, making his fourth visit to the White House, spoke for himself and his colleagues David Thompson of Barbados and Dean Barrow of Belize. Ingraham said the Caribbean leaders told Bush of “a desire on our part to have the Caribbean Basin Initiative Act extended.” The trade agreement expires in September of this year."

High seas claim a life

CBC.bb: "The unusually high sea swells affecting the island were Thursday being blamed for the drowning of an elderly man at a beach on the outskirts of the capital.
Eyewitnesses said the man went into the water at Brandons Beach around 9 a.m. but got into difficulty soon afterwards. The sea there and along other parts of the island's coasts have been characterised by strong waves as a deep low pressure weather system in the Atlantic continues to affect Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean."

Mother on murder charge goes home for Easter!

St. Lucia Star "Consequently, many are forced to spend from three to four years behind bars even before they have appeared before a judge and jury. On Tuesday I met a 47-year-old mother of six who has been on remand since January 2005, accused of murdering her then employer. She, like so many others facing her predicament, is uneducated and poor. Through her lawyer Stanley Felix, she gave me a hint of what she has been through these last three years behind bars. Her biggest worry, she said, was her family."

PM’s son in line for apartment

The Trinidad Guardian "Brian Manning, son of Prime Minister Patrick Manning, applied two years ago for an apartment in the Housing Development Authority’s upscale Fidelis Heights development in St Augustine, HDC managing director Noel Garcia confirmed yesterday.
The Fidelis Heights development is one of HDC’s pricier projects, located at Gordon Street and Santa Margarita corner in the upscale eastern suburb—opposite the Hugh Wooding Law School."

Monster waves

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday "MONSTER waves pounded beaches along the North Coast in Trinidad and at several beaches in the sister isle, especially Store Bay, as the deep low pressure system in the North Atlantic churned up the Caribbean Sea.
Lifeguards at Maracas Bay yesterday reported seeing waves in excess of 25 feet coming towards the shallow bay of what is considered by many to be the most popular beach in Trinidad. Over in Tobago, waves in excess of 18 feet pounded the usually placid Store Bay, sending limers scurrying for higher ground. (SEE STORY ON THIS PAGE)"

Cuban Primate City under Intense Floods

Havana, Mar 20 (Prensa Latina) The city of Baracoa, the first Cuban ever founded city in the country, suffers the biggest floods ever in 50 years because of the penetration of sea water because of a boreal storm, without any mortal victims.
Waves over five meters high went over the Baracoa Malecon in this city located at 621 miles from Havana, provoking the destruction of 20 houses and a child nursery home.
According to the digital version of Cuban newspaper Venceremos in the Cuban eastern province of Guantanamo, this is the worst natural disaster suffered by Baracoa in the last 50 years.

Cuba, Venezuela clash with US over terrorism

Taipei Times : "Cuba and Venezuela on Wednesday clashed with the US during a UN Security Council debate on terrorism over the case of Luis Posada Carriles, a former CIA operative wanted for the 1976 downing of a Cuban airliner.
'Posada Carriles, who is rightly considered the most notorious terrorist of the Western Hemisphere, was released [by US justice] last year in spite of the fact that there was enough evidence linking him to some of the most infamous crimes of the 20th century,' Cuban Ambassador to the UN Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz told the council.
He specifically referred to the 1976 downing of a Cuban airliner off Barbados as well as bombings in Havana hotels in 1997."

Also see The CIA Bombing of Cubana

Policing off-duty cops - Commissioner wants regulations for police, some on NSWMA payroll

Jamaica Gleaner News "The Police Commissioner, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, has ordered a review of the policy that governs the employment of off-duty police personnel.
Karl Angell, director of communications at the Jamaica Constabulary Force, says the commissioner has directed that the policy review for the police extra-work programme be dealt with as a matter of urgency."

POLICE NO-SHOW ... Robbers hit four businesses

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis: "Employees at the S.L Horsford’s Shopping Complex, located at Wellington Road, arrived to work yesterday only to meet their building broken into.
Upon arrival at the scene the SUN learned that the perpetrators who were caught on camera had broken into the Caribbean Lottery, St. Kitts/Nevis Ltd., the nearby supermarket, Horsfords Valu Mart and its counterpart, Dollar Smart.
An employee at the lottery building said at approximately 2 a.m. they received a call from an officer of the security firm monitoring their business who informed them that security had been breached and the police were notified. She said at 3 a.m. she called back the security employee to enquire as the status but was told the police had not responded as yet."

SENTENCED TO JAIL ... Bedminister brothers receive combined 12-year prison term

Antigua Sun: "Carlton and Careem Bedminister were sentenced to five and seven years in prison respectively for the attempted murder of Kevin Norde.
The sentences were handed down yesterday during the closing of the January Criminal Assizes.
A deafening wail echoed through- out the courtroom by a woman, who apparently came to lend support to the brothers, top Antiguan lawn tennis players, who have excelled while representing Antigua and Barbuda at the sport at the national and regional levels.
The young lady apparently fainted, gave loud gasps and had to be escorted from the courtroom"

Deportee seeks compensation from Jamaica govt

Antigua Sun: "KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Lawyers for a United States (US) citizen say they are seeking compensation from the Jamaica government after their client was detained in Jamaica for more than a year.
Attorney Christopher Townsend told reporters that his client, Linden Graham, a citizen of St. Croix, had been deported to Jamaica from the US and kept in prison for more than a year.
“Mr. Linden Graham came to us for representation, he complained that he was deported from the United States to Jamaica and he’s not Jamaican, he’s from St Croix, he was in the Central lock-up for a couple of months, a year and a half, from 3 July, 2006 to 23 Oct., 2007."

Caribbean Buffeted by Global Price Spikes

ECONOMY: Caribbean Buffeted by Global Price Spikes: "GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mar 19 (IPS) - As the single parent of a five-year-old boy, Sonita Balkaran can barely make ends meet these days. A clothing vendor in one of this city's five municipal markets, Balkarran has watched in horror the steady decline of her living standard, estimating that her spending power has shrunk by about 50 percent in the last year.

'The price of anything you can think about has gone up,' she said one very hot afternoon this week. 'What hurts is that your salary is not going up and prices are not moving up by a few points. They are jumping up. Ask anyone,' she added, touching on a subject that has brought political discomfort to some governments and misery for ordinary Caribbean people in the last year."

Caribbean health officials tackle Aids epidemic

HIV-Aids "Caribbean health officials gathered on Tuesday in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, to launch a project aimed at fighting HIV and Aids in the region, the Caribbean Media Corporation reports.

The HIV Epidemic and Response Synthesis project is part of a global effort led by the World Bank and regional institutions to examine HIV and Aids in the Caribbean, the Caribbean Media Corporation reports."

Visitors seek out Jamaica hotel where cricket coach died

USATODAY.com: "KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — The posh Jamaican hotel room where Pakistan's cricket coach died under disputed circumstances has gone from crime scene to tourist draw.
The body of Bob Woolmer was found in Room 374 of the Jamaica Pegasus hotel last March, launching an international investigation after Jamaican authorities said he had been strangled. In an embarrassing reversal, police later said experts had concluded he died of natural causes, most likely heart disease."

Antigua threatens to allow piracy

Variety: "The government of Antigua is likely to abrogate intellectual property treaties with the U.S. by the end of March and authorize wholesale copying of American movies, music and other 'soft targets' if the Bush administration fails to respond to proposals for settling a trade dispute between the two counties, according to the lawyer representing the Caribbean island nation."

No jet for Manning

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday "THE BID by the Prime Minister Patrick Manning-led Government to acquire an executive jet yesterday crash landed as Caribbean Airlines (CA) announced that it will not go forward with a proposed multi-million dollar luxury jet acquisition with Bombardier.
But there was no sign yesterday that this will be the last Trinidad and Tobago will hear of a jet for the Government as Marianno Browne, the Minister in the Ministry of Finance, and CA defended the faltered deal’s viability and signalled the possibility that if another jet becomes available the Government will support CA in its plans to offer an executive jet service."

Jet deal crashes--US$65m purchase ‘downed’ by corruption clause

The Trinidad Guardian "Caribbean Airlines’ proposed executive jet initiative has “crashed” after CA confirmed yesterday it will not be proceeding with the purchase of the controversial jet “at this time.”
However, CA—as company chairman Arthur Lok Jack did last week—made it clear it will continue to explore opportunities to establish the executive jet service."

Tax Dep't owes UDC $9m rent

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) yesterday took the Tax Administration Services Department (TASD) to task for $9.5 million owed for rental and maintenance to the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) for 2006, despite the fact that provision was made in the budget for the payment."

$250m to park - Air Jamaica plane accumulates fees in France

Jamaica Gleaner News "After five months of sitting in a hangar in France, an Airbus 340 leased by Air Jamaica will cost the country US$3.5 million (J$250 million), payable to International Leasing and Financial Corporation (ILFC).
The airline has confirmed that the Airbus, which should have been returned to ILFC upon the sale of Air Jamaica's Heathrow slots to Virgin Airways, has been sitting in the maintenance facilities at Sogerma in Bordeaux, France."

BIG BILL

The Nation Newspaper "RUNNING A CONSTITUENCY OFFICE is expensive business, with one Member of Parliament (MP) revealing that last year alone he spent as much as $150 000 on matters related to his constituency.
That admission came from former Cabinet minister and St Andrew MP George Payne, who was speaking during the Estimates Debate in the House of Assembly yesterday."

Child witness

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday "AN EIGHT-year-old girl whose mother was murdered last November yesterday testified for the prosecution in the inquiry in which two relatives, a mother and a son, are charged with the killing.
The girl, Felicia King, will now go down as the youngest witness in a murder inquiry in this country’s modern judicial history, lawyers said yesterday"

A Nation’s Shame! Mental hospital epitomizes man’s inhumanity

St. Lucia Star "An investigation of conditions at the Golden Hope Hospital conducted last month has concluded with the following: 'It is the opinion of the officers that the conditions as observed at the hospital are such that it has the potential to cause severe mental, physical and emotional stress to both the persons who have to work at such an institution as well as the patients who are forced to suffer those inhumane conditions."

Send me the report! - Felice wants research findings which links rich Jamaicans to crime

Jamaica Gleaner News "Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Justin Felice wants to see a copy of a report by Jamaican anthropologist Dr Herbert Gayle to determine the extent to which wealthy Jamaicans are funding criminal activities throughout the country.
ACP Felice, who is in charge of the anti-corruption unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), said his job is to target all members of criminal groups and organisations regardless of their social backgrounds."

Haiti's class line runs between gyms

International Herald Tribune: "PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: The grunts are no different. The clang of the weights sounds pretty much the same as well. And sweat drips off bodies at both the chichi Gold's Gym in Port-au-Prince's priciest suburb and at the far more humble open-air workout joint farther down the hill known by regulars as the Temple of Pain.
These two gyms might as well be in different worlds, situated as they are on opposite sides of the class divide that has long been such an entrenched part of Haiti."

It is time to shutter up

The Nassau Guardian "Sunday, June 1 marks the start of the dreaded hurricane season, but even though it's a little over three months away, it's never too early to start planning to protect your home and your loved ones.
Hurricanes and tropical storms have no mercy. They destroy everything in their path — including your home, but there is always a solution to hurricane protection, and Storm Shutters offers it to you."

Pres warns T&T against becoming failed state

The Trinidad Guardian "Warning that the evidence of failure is emblazoned in the media daily, President George Maxwell Richards is challenging T&T to live up to its full potential, rather than become a failed state.
“Let T&T be a state that prevails, not a state that fails,” Richards said yesterday, immediately after being sworn into office for a second term at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of- Spain."

WORD WAR

The Nation Newspaper : "IT WAS HOT LIKE PEPPER in the House of Assembly yesterday.
In full view of a packed public gallery, three of the island's most prominent politicians went back and forth in a shouting match that lasted almost 45 minutes, and none backed down."

Lawyer warns that rape accuser could face legal action

CBC.bb: "A senior lawyer says the Attorney General may take legal action against the female police officer who accused Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves of raping her.
Anthony Astaphan said the allegations and subsequent legal battle was 'an abuse of the process, we see it as an attempt to use the judicial process to score political points'.
Astaphan appeared on behalf of Attorney General Judith Jones Morgan during the just concluded hearing in which Justice Gertel Thom rejected a call for the Director of Public Prosecution's (DPP) decision to discontinue rape charges against Dr Gonsalves to be reviewed."

PETA PROTEST ... Animal rights group takes to Federation's streets

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis: "Members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will be launching a protest today at the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, campaigning against what they describe as animal abuse which is taking place at the university.
Melissa Karpel, spokes person for the protest, told the SUN that they will hold a “series of protests against the alleged maiming and killing of animals in laboratories at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.” After which they would travel to the Government House and the RLB International Airport."

Caribbean tourism: a new era or more of the same?

Antigua Sun: "NEW YORK – Despite the serious challenges facing the Caribbean’s tourism industry, from new passport regulations to a slowdown in the United States economy, the Caribbean region can be cautiously optimistic about its future as leaders begin to pay greater attention to this, the Caribbean’s basic industry.
Tourism, now acknowledged as the lifeblood of the region’s economy, has always played an important role in generating precious foreign exchange revenues, and has become even more essential with the marginalisation of traditional staples like sugar and bananas in an era of trade liberalisation."

Pilots want bonuses to work in Trinidad

BusinessWeek: "An Antigua-based pilots' union said their members will only be enticed to work at a proposed LIAT airline base in violence-wracked Trinidad and Tobago if enhancements such as increased wages and security are provided.
Michael Blackburn, chairman of the Leeward Island Airline Pilots Association, said regional carrier LIAT would have to address the security concerns of pilots before they could expect them to move to Trinidad, according to an Antigua Sun article posted Sunday on its Web site."

Gunman kills 2 in Cunupia club

The Trinidad Guardian "Two patrons of a recreation club in central Trinidad were shot dead yesterday after a reported argument. Both men were from Cunupia.
There were, however, conflicting reports of the incident, as police continued their probe up to late yesterday.
The latest murder victims are:
n Ricardo Marcano, of Lalloo Trace, Cunupia; and,
n Derek Samuel, of Paul Augustus Trace, Cunupia.
Their deaths pushed the murder toll to 83.
It was only seven days ago that two gunmen entered Cheers Bar, on Ramoutar Street in Sangre Grande, and killed meat shop owner Abdul Ali during a robbery."

Best friends shot dead

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday"WHILE Roman Catholics throughout the country were observing Palm Sunday, police said that in a moment of sheer madness, gunmen opened fire inside a Cunupia bar and fatally shot two men who were described as best friends, at about midday yesterday.
Police sources said they had not established a motive for the country’s latest murders which pushed this year’s tally to 84."

Taiwan ambassador weighs in on ...RENT RUMBLE

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis: "The Taiwanese ambassador made it clear yesterday that his country has no intention of being involved in local politics or to interfere with the internal affairs of St. Kitts/Nevis.
Ambassador John K. Liu of the Republic of China (Taiwan) made those statements at a press conference to address the issue of the ambassador residing in a house owned by Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas.
The matter was raised at a press conference a few weeks ago when the editor of the Democrat newspaper asked the prime minister if he was renting a house he owned to the Taiwan ambassador. PM Douglas responded by saying that the time of the question was inappropriate bordering on disrespectful."

PRISON BRAWL…Riot squad called in to restore order

Antigua Sun: "Police had to be called to the prison yesterday to quell a potentially explosive situation.
However, their services were not required since the prison guards brought the matter under control just moments before their arrival.
Reports are that two inmates got into a heated argument and started to fight in the prison yard.
One allegedly got hold of a plank and went after the other. But his attack failed as the other prisoner managed to wrest the plank from his grasp and used it to start beating him instead"

$300M CHUNK

The Nation Newspaper "The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA)
will account for more than $300 million of Government's expenditure over the next financial year.
Prime Minister David Thompson disclosed this yesterday during a news conference at the Almond Bay Conference Centre in Hastings, Christ Church."

'We won't pay'

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "EZROY Millwood, the National Transport Co-operative Society (NTCS) boss, is angry that his organisation is being asked to pay the state-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) a $59-million increase in annual franchise fees as of today, and is refusing to pay.
The NTCS boss, who threatened to take the matter to court, said he received a letter only last Thursday from the JUTC advising him that the annual fees would be increased from $14 million to more than $73 million."

GSAT space crunch - Education ministry not sure what's available

Jamaica Gleaner News "The Ministry of Education is uncertain if it has enough school spaces to accommodate all the students who sat the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) last week.
According to Dr Charlene Ashley, director of communications in the Ministry of Education, the ministry would know the number of spaces it has when the GSAT papers are marked in May."

Scots ashamed of role in Jamaican slavery

Jamaica Gleaner News "There is a great stirring of painful memories in Scotland today and Jamaica is at the heart of the reawakening.
Many of today's Scots are for the first time being made aware of the role their forebears played in the enslavement of thousands of Africans and in the operation of sugar plantations using slave labour in the West Indies. This, in turn, served to enrich and transform their country."

PETA demands that St. Kitts veterinary university be suspended

Radiojamaica.com "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent an urgent letter to the American Veterinary Medical Association's Centre for Veterinary Education Accreditation requesting the suspension of accreditation process for Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts.

This comes after allegations that cruel teaching procedures are being performed on animals at the school."

Female condom a hard sell

The Trinidad Guardian "Slam, Rough Rider, Panther are just a few of the names of brands of condoms with which women are all too familiar.
But Elexa, FC and Femidom are names that they are not likely to know even though they are the brands of condoms made for them.
Five years ago, the female condom was introduced to T&T. Yet, according to Val Bishop, a pharmacist at Ultra Care Pharmacy in Diego Martin, it continues to be a hard sell."

Teen brutally murdered in Kingston…killer surrenders 50 miles away

Kaieteur News Guyana: "Police removed the body of a female teenager, bearing several stab wounds, from a Kingston apartment some time around 09:00 hours yesterday after they had received a call that there was a body in the house.
Reports are that the bloody remains were that of 18-year-old Stacy Ann Thomas, of 447 East Ruimveldt. The murder scene was a house at Duke Street, Kingston. The teen was reportedly stabbed by her boyfriend at his brother’s home."

Modus operandi in Lusignan, Bartica killings differ - no police statement on link

Stabroek News: "One month after 12 people were shot dead in the small mining township of Bartica, Guyanese are still in the dark as to who carried out that attack. And in the absence of any police statement in relation to ballistics evidence linking the Lusignan killings - thought to be the work of the Buxton/Agricola gunmen - to those in the mining community, some security sources have advanced the hypothesis that a drug-linked gang might have committed the act."

FOOD FOR GUNS

The Trinidad Guardian "A FLOURISHING TRADE involving the exchange of several of T&T’s basic food items for guns from Venezuela is contributing to the country’s rising crime level.
And as T&T grapples with the growing shortage of basic food items and drastic increases in prices, the country now has to contend with criminals trading off the supplies in exchange for sophisticated guns from the South American mainland."

School battles ongoing violence

The Jamaica Star"The Sandy Bay police are perturbed over the breakdown in discipline at the Hopewell High School in Hanover following reports of an increase in violent activities since the start of the school term.
A police officer, who asked not be named, confirmed that up to three times per day in some instances, serious fights that required police intervention, have developed between students."

'Don't blame me!' - Permanent secretary breaks silence on light-bulb saga

Jamaica Gleaner News "WHILE CHARGES have been levied against former Junior Minister Kern Spencer and two others for their involvement in the Cuban light-bulb scandal, critics have questioned the role of Dr Jean Dixon, permanent secretary in the Energy Ministry.
She kept her silence. Not any-more.
In an interview with The Sunday Gleaner, Dixon eschews personal blame for the ill-fated project, pointing out that generally, she had cautioned against political contamination of the affairs of the ministry."

$18.5M 'MESS'

The Nation Newspaper: "BARBADOS' top financial watchdog The Audit Office has slammed the Owen Arthur administration for disbursing the full $18.5 million loan for the controversial, and still incomplete, Newton Business Park, begun since October 2003.
Major defects identified by an independent consultant in November 2006 – two years after the planned December 2004 completion date – would take more than $7 million to correct and complete the work, and projected spending would put the final cost at $28.5 million."

'Fineman' will be hunted down-President

Stabroek News: "President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday declared that wanted man Rondell `Fineman' Rawlins and his gang members will be hunted down by a unit that was specially set up and he insisted that the same group of men were behind both the Lusignan and Bartica slaughters.
At a press conference yesterday he also criticized PNCR Leader Robert Corbin for placing party members on 'high alert' minutes after the national stakeholders meeting on security where he had agreed to support the Joint Services in carrying out their duties within the law."