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Showing posts from December, 2008

New Death Penalty Interest in Caribbean : "SAN JUAN, P.R. (AP) — One Caribbean nation, St. Kitts and Nevis, staged its first hanging in a decade on Friday. Another wants to begin executing criminals who use weapons, even if they have not killed anyone. And a South American country in the region is seeking the death penalty for murderous pirates. A crime wave appears to be prompting public officials in and around the English-speaking Caribbean region to pay new attention to the death penalty. The trend has human-rights advocates concerned. They say better police tactics would do more to deter criminals."

Two army top brass drop dead

The Guyana Defence Force has been rocked by the news that Lieutenant Colonel Tony Ross, who collapsed yesterday, was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Commodore Gary Best, made public the news of Ross’s passing at the Soldiers Day observances at Camp Ayanganna yesterday, and the officers and soldiers observed a one-minute silence in Ross’s memory. The Chief-of-Staff, along with other senior officers, also visited the family of the late Lieutenant Colonel, and extended condolences on behalf of the officers and ranks of the army. Kaieteur News

Appeal denied - Court of Appeal dismisses policemen's case

The 11 persons from the Jamaica Constabulary Force who were served notices in 2005 that they were to be retired in the public interest for alleged criminal activities are no longer members of that body. The Court of Appeal dismissed their appeal yesterday and will hand down its written reasons at a later date. After they filed their appeal, the court had ordered that they remain on the job until their appeal was heard and determined. They were notified in December 2005 that they were to be retired in the public interest, but challenged the decision of the Police Service Commission in the.... Jamaica Gleaner

Diego highway caves in

Torrential rainfall wreaked havoc in north west Trinidad on Thursday night, exactly one month after the deadly floods that devastated the same communities, but this time the extensive damage includes the cave-in of a section of the new multi-million dollar Diego Martin Highway. More than 12 hours of rainfall swamped Diego Martin yesterday as the Diego Martin River raged through the area and left a trail of destruction. Newsday


HARD TIMES have started to hit the local party scene. Several nightclub and bar owners interviewed by said they have seen a downturn in business in recent times, with both locals and visitors being more cautious about spending on entertainment. The Nation Newspaper

Violent death for Stanleytown man

A 22-year-old Stanleytown man was discovered dead outside his home early yesterday morning, with marks of violence about his body; his relatives believe he was murdered. Dexter Alleyne of Church Street, Stanleytown, West Bank Demerara was last seen by his cousin at approximately 11 pm on Wednesday. Alleyne, relatives said, had been on his cellular phone at the time. Police in a press statement issued yesterday afternoon said Alleyne’s body was found on the main road at Stanleytown around 7.30 am. Blood was oozing from the victim’s mouth, the police said. Alleyne’s body was taken to the West Demerara Regional Hospital mortuary and police are awaiting the results of a post-mortem examination. A woman who was on her way home from mass early yesterday morning found the man’s body at the side of the street. Stabroek News

Pandemonium at funeral

PANDEMONIUM broke out at the funeral of murdered schoolboy Tony Jaggan, 14, yesterday when a close childhood friend wearing a red bandana (large handkerchief) walked up to the coffin and began screaming: “Tony, Tony, meh dog...Tony, get up! Tony, get up!” The friend who was followed by about ten other youths who were similarly dressed, gathered around the coffin, causing the officiating Lay Minister Donovan Jardine to bring an immediate stop to his last hymn of the service, “How Great Thou Art”. Newsday

‘I am progressing well’

A day after his successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his left kidney, Prime Minister Patrick Manning felt well enough to telephone his Acting Prime Minister, Dr Lenny Saith, to ask him to thank citizens for their prayers for his recovery. Manning made the surprise call at about 12 pm yesterday, as Saith, Cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries and PNM parliamentarians sat down to their Christmas lunch at the Prime Minister’s Diplomatic Centre, La Fantasie, St Ann’s Newsday

$40m award - Gov't told it must pay damages to man crippled in cop shooting

Government has been ordered by the Supreme Court to pay $40 million in damages to a 20-year-old man who was shot in the back by a policeman. The award is one of the highest ever in a personal injury suit against the state. Lloyd Clarke, an apprentice mason of Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, is now crippled from the waist down and has to get constant nursing care. Clarke was walking on Barclay Street, Savanna-la-Mar, on July 24, 2006, when he was shot in the back and right elbow by one or other of three policemen who were named as defendants. The Jamaica Gleaner

'This is the worst Christmas ever'

WITH one week left for shoppers to fill their Christmas stockings, vendors in Downtown Kingston say this year has so far been the worst Christmas ever. Kerry-Ann Williams has been selling socks and other dry goods on the sidewalk at Princess Street for eight years. Wednesday Williams told the Observer that since the beginning of the Yuletide season, shoppers were few and far between. The Jamaica Observer

Worried sick

HEALTH authorities are worried by the “very alarming” growing number of Government employees now unable to work because of serious ailments. Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Joy St. John, yesterday voiced major concern that the number of workers in the general civil service – and those employed by statutory boards and corporations – being referred to her office to be declared medically unfit to work (medically boarded) had jumped from two to 20 a week. The Barbados Advocate

Hope for the holidays

BARBADIANS are coming home for the holidays for Christmas cheer and with hope in their hearts. That's the picture being sketched by travel executives in New York as the economic troubles now sweeping the United States fail to deter Bajans from flocking to their birthplace for the Yuletide season. The nation Newspaper

Hero husband gunned down after saving wife

Trinidad Express : "A DIEGO Martin man died a hero on Tuesday night after saving his wife from the bullets of an indiscriminate gunman. Rickey Frazer, 21, was shot repeatedly around 9.30 p.m. while walking along Factory Road, Diego Martin, heading to his home along with his wife and a neighbour. Police said that as the gunman approached the group he pulled out a pistol. Several shots rang out and Frazer pushed his wife to the ground, police said."

Former nat'l female footballer murdered in Montego Bay

Jamaica Gleaner News "ST JAMES lost one of its sporting heroes yesterday morning when former national female football star, Bernadette Mair, popularly known as 'Lorraine', was shot and killed by gunmen in downtown Montego Bay. 'This is absolutely shocking,' said Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president, Captain Horace Burrell. 'This is definitely a dark day in the life of the local sporting fraternity.'"

PM rests after cancer surgery

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday : "Prime Minister Patrick Manning is recovering here today from successful surgery for the removal of a cancerous tumour in his left kidney. Doctors said he is conscious and described the procedure as very successful. He is now in post-operative care."

Mystery over lost Caribbean plane

BBC NEWS "A search is continuing for a plane that disappeared in mysterious circumstances after leaving the Dominican Republic with 12 people on board. Officials say the plane vanished from radar screens near the Turks and Caicos Islands on Monday after a mayday call."

CCM wants peace before ... ELECTION CALL

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis : "In light of the upsurge in crime and violence in the Federation, leader of the opposition party in Nevis, the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), Mark Brantley said there needs to be stability before general election is called or else it could be “a recipe for chaos”. He made the disclosure yesterday during his House of Assembly address. While highlighting that general election is (constitutionally) due October 2009, Brantley stated that he has been hearing “much chatter about general election (coming) in February,” noting that it could possibly take place as early as then."

WALKER GETS SERIOUS - Demands payment from government

Antigua Sun : "Retired Chief Immigration Officer Lt. Colonel Clyde Walker has instructed his attorneys to file a contempt of court order against the government of Antigua and Barbuda. Walker is seeking to recoup payment of approximately $500,000 as part of a retirement settlement granted him by the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal over ten years ago. Walker told the Antigua Sun that when he left the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF) in 1991, he never received his full pension entitlement and other gratuities. The retired chief immigration officer said he is sinking deeply into debt and is now forced to take action."

Business: News in the Caribbean : "Dominican consumers are benefitting from a reduction in fuel prices for the sixth time this year. They are now paying Motorists are now paying EC$9.09 (US$3.46) for a gallon of gasoline, EC$10.04 (US$3.82) for diesel and EC$8.83 (US$3.36) for kerosene. This translates into a 9.5 per cent drop in the cost of gasoline, a 6.7 per cent decrease in the price of diesel and a 7.7 per cent decline in kerosene costs since the last cuts in November."

Stanford's cricket commitment in limbo

AFP: "LONDON (AFP) — Texan billionaire Allen Stanford's commitment to cricket was mired in uncertainty on Wednesday after his spokeswoman said he was 'evaluating his options' following reports he was turning his back on the game. The Daily Mail newspaper said Stanford was pulling out of cricket after losing 40 million dollars on his million-dollar-a-man winner-takes-all match and associated series. Stanford, the report added, was now poised to end his five-year-deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after just a year."

(video)Police seize deadly weapons at Tarrant High Dec 09

Police seize deadly weapons at Tarrant High - JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "AN official at the Tarrant Comprehensive High yesterday denied that there has been wide-scale problem of violence at the St Andrew school, even after the police seized several deadly weapons, including a home-made firearm there last week. Yesterday, the St Andrew Central police displayed the illegal firearm - an imitation revolver - along with 34 pairs of scissors, five knives, ice picks, razor blades, a bottle containing acid, a broken screwdriver, pieces of glass and a small quantity of marijuana that were seized between last Tuesday and Friday. A policeman displays a home-made firearm which was found on the playing field at the Tarrant Comprehensive High School in St Andrew last week. The gun was among several deadly weapons (also shown here) found at the school by the police. (Photo: Naphtali Junior) No one was arrested"


Antigua Sun : "Asot Michael’s attorney Barry Davidson has said the Florida ruling in favour of the government probing his client's accounts in a Miami bank, handed down almost a month ago is now being raised for political purposes. Davidson was at the time speaking on ZDK’s radio programme Beneath the Surface hosted by Paul “Chet” Greene and Dean Jonas. Davidson said since the 25 Nov., ruling, he has not received any further notification from the government requesting more information relating to Michael’s account. The attorney said that at the beginning of the proceedings two years ago, the government was given documents of three bank accounts."

Roger Khan trial

Stabroek News : "US District Judge Dora L. Irizarry has ruled against allowing uncharged evidence of Roger Khan’s alleged involvement in the execution of businessman Devendra Persaud and boxing coach Donald Allison to be used at his trial, saying it is circumstantial and would be unduly prejudicial. However, Judge Irizarry will allow evidence that Khan’s bodyguards threatened Persaud’s wife with a gun as she held her young child, saying the US government has sufficient evidence."

Panday: Sympathy for the man, not the politician

Trinidad Express "Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday says that he is wishing Prime Minister Patrick Manning recovers soon from the surgery he is undergoing today in Cuba, to remove a malignant tumour from one of his kidneys. Panday extended his best wishes to Manning, even though he believes that the prime minister as a politician 'has ruined the country'."

Authorities look for... Cocaine in goat belly

The Trinidad Guardian "The drug smuggling trade has taken a new dimension as a goat and a pig— believed to be smuggled into the country from Venezuela—were being tested to determine if they were fed cocaine pellets. The animals were part of a consignment of illegal goods, including marijuana, seized by Coast Guard officers during an operation on the high seas early yesterday."

Give us your babies - Local missionaries pledge to help expectant mothers, stop abortion

Jamaica Gleaner News : "The Mustard Seed Communities and Missionaries of the Poor have joined forces with other anti-abortion advocates to assist expectant mothers contemplating terminating pregnancies. Father Gregory Ramkissoon, executive director of Mustard Seed, threw out the lifeline yesterday during a press conference at Holy Cross Church in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew."


The Nation Newspaper "THERE are worrying suspicions that rape of disabled females is increasing. The alarm has been raised by president of the Barbados Council for the Disabled, David 'Joey' Harper and principal of the Irving Wilson School, Wilmont Straughn, who voiced their concerns yesterday in separate telephone interviews."


Former national football coach Edgar Vidale cancelled a trip to the United States to stay at home for the holidays and remember his wife, who lost a battle with cancer four months ago. His plans changed at the weekend, when he received news that his daughter, Gabrielle Vidale-Kinard, was shot dead at her home in North Carolina during an attack. The Trinidad Express

BARBADOS: Lawyers to appeal death sentence

LAWYERS FOR a man on death row are challenging the decision by Barbados’ Supreme court to automatically give him a death sentence, following his conviction for murder. Tyrone DaCosta Cadogan’s lawyers are to take his appeal to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2009 in a bid get the automatic death sentence denounced. Voice Online

Fresh air trip ends in horrific crash

Stabroek News : "A young Dazzell Housing Scheme mother died on Saturday night at the Enmore Junction when a car slammed into the rear of the vehicle she was travelling in. The deceased Sunita Thomas, 31, her 30-year-old sister Samantha Clarke also of Dazzell Housing Scheme Paradise, East Coast Demerara (ECD) and two relatives from Brooklyn, New York, Elorne and Patrick Layne were driven out of the flooded housing scheme to get “some fresh air”, relatives said. Julian Culley, a family friend, was also in the vehicle.

Linden teen still missing

Kaieteur News : "Linden teen Ashaki Njeri Wambi Coppin, of 42 South Amelia’s Ward, Linden, has been reported missing since December 3, 2008. According to family members, the 18-year-old girl was last seen at the minibus park in Linden, apparently on her way to catch a bus to return to her home. The missing girl’s mother, Rhonda Coppin, said that her daughter went to an Internet café to do some research for an Agricultural Science project, after which she was scheduled to return home. One of the missing girl’s aunts reportedly saw her at the minibus park, but did not call out to her as she had seen and talked to her earlier the same day."


The Nation Newspaper "A THREAT has been made against one of the police officers who was with I'Akobi Maloney at Land Lock, St Lucy, when he died. The DAILY NATION understands that a stone was thrown through the window of Acting Sergeant Walter Headley's home last week, wrapped in newspaper with the words: 'You are a dead man Mr Headley', written on it. According to a senior police officer, the newspaper also carried a report of Headley's testimony at the Coroner's Inquest into Maloney's death. The police are now investigating the matter. This is the second time that a threat has been made against someone involved in the very public and controversial case."


Antigua Sun : "The government of Antigua and Barbuda has made a breakthrough in its efforts to probe overseas accounts belonging to Opposition Member of Parliament for St. Peter Asot Michael, his mother Josette Michael and former prime minister Lester Bird. A Miami court recently ruled in favour of the government giving it permission to probe the defendants’ accounts in a Miami bank. The defendants have filed several injunctions in an attempt to stop the government from accessing the accounts. The Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami county, Florida in the 25 Nov., ruling gave the government a six-month stay to conduct its investigations."

Cops suspect fraud in $3m whisky heist

The Trinidad Guardian "Three men, posing as Customs and Excise officers, stole close to $3 million worth of premium Johnnie Walker whisky, police believe. Police said the theft might have been an inside job, and up to late yesterday afternoon were interrogating a driver. The shipment—comprisisng 1,000 cases of Blue and Black Label whisky—were cleared from Port-of-Spain docks on Friday afternoon."

PM ready for surgery

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday "PRIME Minister Patrick Manning will today be admitted to the Cimeq Hospital in Havana, Cuba where he will tomorrow have surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his left kidney The surgery will take place at 9.30 am, and the Prime Minister’s doctors have indicated that the duration of the surgery is expected to be about two hours,” the Office of the Prime Minister reported in its second statement updating the media on Manning’s condition last evening."

Bauxite blow - Economic climate forces Windalco to send home 150 workers

Jamaica Gleaner News "The worsening global financial meltdown is continuing to have a devastating impact on the local bauxite industry with another 150 employees set to lose their jobs. This time, it is the West Indies Alumina Company (Windalco) which is sending home workers and comes months after Alumina Partners of Jamaica (Alpart) also made 150 positions redundant."


JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM : "National Security Minister Colonel Trevor MacMillan has responded with a flat no to a suggestion from Dr Peter Phillips that the Government should consider declaring a state of emergency to deal with Jamaica's spiralling crime rate. 'I cannot support a state of emergency at this time. In fact, I don't support a state of emergency for many reasons, which I do not want to go into at this time,' MacMillan said yesterday in an interview with the Observer, a day after Phillips' view was aired on Radio Jamaica's weekly news review programme, That's A Wrap, hosted by Earl Moxam."

Horrific smash-up leaves one dead

It was just supposed to be a brief drive-out before Elonora and Patrick Layne returned to the United States of America; instead, it ended in tragedy when 31-year-old Sonita Thomas perished on the spot following a horrific collision Saturday night at the main Enmore junction on the East Coast of Demerara. The accident, which occurred at about 22:40 hours, left many onlookers in a state of disbelief as they stared at the wreckage of two cars and the badly mutilated body of Thomas lying on the roadway. Thomas was killed when the car in which she was traveling, PKK 8288, was slammed from the left side by another car, PLL 1485, which was reportedly speeding. Kaieteur News

Boy, 14, stabbed to death

A 14-year-old student and a 53-year-old disabled woman were among four people murdered in separate incidents in Woodbrook, Port-of-Spain and Sangre Grande, over the weekend. Anthony Jaggan, 14, of La Canoa Village, Santa Cruz, was stabbed to death while attending a Christmas bazaar in Woodbrook.

Debt fuelling Jamaica's crime, says envoy

A high-ranking European Union (EU) official has said Jamaica's No. 1 problem is its massive debt stock, not soaring crime. Marco Mazzocchi Alemanni, head of delegation of the European Commission to Jamaica, said Government's inability to invest heavily in social capital had hamstrung efforts to put the brakes on crime. "A country that cannot invest has no future," he said. "It's a country that doesn't have full sovereignty." The Jamaica Gleaner

Big relief package

PRIME Minister Bruce Golding last night outlined a package of tax cuts, duty exemptions and hundreds of millions of dollars in loans in what he said were immediate measures to provide relief to vulnerable sectors of the economy. The Jamaica Observer

THIEVES STRIKE AGAIN - Business place of former Antiguan cricketer broken into

Very little could get past him during his illustrious career as a West Indies wicketkeeper, but thieves got the better of Ridley Jacobs as he established a new career as a business operator. The former West Indies cricket star, only two months after opening a business place on the Tyrell’s Main Road, mere minutes away from his Swetes home, was the victim of burglars last Wednesday. Jacobs told the Antigua Sun that thieves broke into his Jakes Autocare business place and made off with a number of electronic items, valued in excess of $30,000. Among the stolen items were computers, cellphones, DVD’s, iPods, cameras, flash drives and other valuables. The Antigua Sun


DEAL WITH the high food prices and leave the salary talks to us. That is the response of General Secretary of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Dennis Clarke to retired business executive Sir John Goddard who has suggested that Government "consider deferring the implementation of the second stage" of salary increasesto public workers. The Nation Newspaper


A SMELLY BRIDGETOWN , overcrowded schools, inadequate health care and rampant poverty. That unflattering picture of Barbados, painted from the pulpit of a Brooklyn church on the 42nd anniversary of Barbados' Independence by a Barbadian Episcopal priest in New York, has touched off a firestorm of criticism. The Nation Newspaper

WORST BUDGET EVER... Says Mark Brantley of CCM

Leader of the opposition party, the Concerned Citizens’ Movement (CCM), Mark Brantley, described the Nevis Island Administration’s (NIA) 2009 budget as “perhaps the worst ever presented in the assembly which dates back in its current form to 1983.” Speaking in the Nevis House of Assembly yesterday, Brantley said after listening to the budget reading for 2009, “I’m disappointed because one would have thought, in these difficult times, those on the government side would have sought to offer something of substance to our people.” Brantley said it appears that the NIA does not want the people of Nevis to focus on what is, nor the state of affairs currently existing in the country, “but prefers to tell stories of bygone times.” Sun St.Kitts Nevis

Managed migration

The reality is that there has to be some form to manage migration in Barbados. According to Government’s political advisor, Hartley Henry, there are signs of non-Barbadian behaviour creeping into our country, which we have to begin to pay very serious attention to. The Barbados Advocate  

Sandals lays off 650 - Resorts hurting from economic tsunami

On the eve of the winter tourist season, which commences on Monday, one of the island's largest hotel chains, Sandals  International, has made approximately 650 of its employees throughout the Carib-bean redundant. The figure represents a 7.5 per cent decrease in the resort chain's workforce. A total of 285 of those sent home were employed to Sandals hotels in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril. The group, in a press release, said it was forced to take the decision as a result of the unprecedented global financial crisis which is affecting tourism interests worldwide. "We have had no choice but to streamline operations and trim expenditure," said the release. Jamaica Gleaner  

Financial crunch hits tourism

THE global financial crisis has hit Caribbean tourism, resulting in job cuts and employment freezes, among other measures to contain spending, three days ahead of the official start of the winter tourist season. Among those affected, Sandals Resorts International, the largest hotel chain in the region, has announced it is reducing its staff complement by 650 employees, including 285 from Jamaica. Jamaica Observer  

PM Manning: I do not fear death

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog : "PRIME MINISTER Patrick Manning left hurriedly yesterday for Cuba to undergo surgery at the Cimex Hospital in Havana to remove a malignant tumour in his left kidney. Manning made the startling revelation at the weekly post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair, where he was the only minister present. Hours later, Manning left on board a Panamanian Copa aircraft. He told reporters that all steps have been taken to ensure that the Government functions smoothly until he returns home in early January 2009."

BARBADOS - PM intervenes in dispute between union and LIME

Jamaica Gleaner News "BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC): Prime Minister David Thompson has intervened in an industrial relations dispute between the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) and the telecommunications giant, formerly known as Cable and Wireless (C&W). The company, which now trades in the Caribbean under the acronym LIME, has plans to lay off 250 workers here this month as part of its ongoing restructuring programme."

No way says Wigley George

Antigua Sun : "Despite calls from the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) hierarchy to get Wigley George to renounce his earlier declaration as an independent candidate for the St. Paul’s constituency, the union president is refusing to back down. Just recently, former prime minister Lester Bird and former trade unionist Sir Adolphus Freeland pleaded with George to step down and let ALP’s candidate for the St. Paul’s constituency Paul “Chet” Greene run. Bird and Freeland were both addressing the Heroes Day Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Sir Vere Cornwall Bird bust on Market Street when they made the appeal."

Panic sets in as downpours cause excessive flooding

Kaieteur News : "The recent heavy rains have brought a feeling of déjà vu for residents of Bee Hive and Ann’s Grove, on the East Coast of Demerara, with fears of another catastrophe looming as a result of excessive flooding. Some are already comparing the situation in the villages to that which obtained during “the great flood” more than three years ago."

Show us the money!

The Barbados Advocate : "THE world’s economic powers should put their money where their mouths are, by coming through on promises to provide funds to help Barbados and other small developing states adjust to an increasingly liberalised trade environment. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean says this aid for trade has assumed greater importance in light of the current “unprecedented financial crisis in international markets and a deepening world recession”."

Barrels of joy

The Nation Newspaper "WHILE ECONOMIC FORECASTS of doom and gloom increase, the barrel trade is booming. In the first week of the Christmas season, gift and food-laden goodies shipped to Barbados were cleared at the rate of 375 a day, similar to last year's. However, overall barrel shipments for this year have been on the increase."

Death penalty could choke foreign aid to Jamaica - junior minister

Jamaica Gleaner News "JUNIOR MINISTER for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr Ronald Robinson, says Jamaica could be denied developmental support from some countries opposed to the death penalty because of its move to retain capital punishment. Robinson said yesterday that despite the possible backlash from countries that provide aid to Jamaica, the State should move decisively to carry out the death penalty."

Three arrested in stolen sand probe

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM : "The identities of the men were not released by the police who, in a release yesterday, said they were being processed and interviewed by investigators. According to the police, two of the men were held in Kingston while the other man was picked up in Trelawny. The police raided the Corporate Area head office and a Trelawny branch of Bedrock Building and Aggregates early yesterday. Another raid was reportedly carried out in the resort town of Negril in Westmoreland."

New JUTC probe - Christie reopens investigation into possible fraud at state-owned bus company

New information deemed to be suspicious, which was provided Tuesday by the board of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), has forced Contractor General Greg Christie to reopen his probe into the affairs of the state-owned bus company. This time, Christie is interested in finding evidence which could lead him to make "formal referrals to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for criminal proceedings to be instituted against one or more of the company's directors and officers for perjury ". The Jamaica Gleaner  

Murder toll jumps to 515...Female taxi driver, friend killed in Blanchisseuse

The Trinidad Guardian  Homicide detectives were up to late yesterday probing the killing of a female taxi driver and her male companion in Blanchisseuse. The bodies of Dawn Findlay, 44, a mother of four of Phase Seven, La Horquetta, and Atiba Mohammed, 35, of Diego Martin, an employee with Automotive Components, O’Meara Road, Arima, were found by a jogger early yesterday. The bodies bore gunshot wounds.

Drop Shot

The nation newspaper Tourism revenue will decline by at least four per cent next year and if world recession is "deep and prolonged" long-stay arrivals can drop by 20 per cent in the future. This will affect some 14 000 jobs in the island's lifeblood sector, foreign exchange reserves and Government revenue.

Cable & Wireless to dismiss 1,200 in the Caribbean

The Associated Press: "KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Britain's second-largest telecoms company is dismissing about 1,200 workers at its Caribbean operations as part of a regional restructuring. Cable & Wireless PLC says layoffs at the newly renamed LIME operation will affect employees in 13 islands. LIME spokesman Errol Miller says layoffs will end in September 2009." Related opinion post Limey-The Donald and Cable and Wireless ‎(Angela Cole‎) : "And when I said that my cousin, Donald, Chief Executive Officer of Cable and Wireless, now LIMEY or SLIMEY, is wrong to be ripping off his fellow country men for this monopolistic modern day East India Company one of the heads of the Barbados Workers Union just like the many people, who came down in the colonial office with an accent and an empty briefcase said: “That is a family problem. He is just doing a job.” There are a lot of massa men going around, manipulators, who see a weakness and use it, who get by on minimum req

Air Jamaica scare for Bajan teams

The Nation Newspaper "BARBADOS' FOOTBALL TEAM and members of the car racing fraternity returning home from Jamaica yesterday, had a major scare when their Air Jamaica plane was forced to make an emergency landing at the Norman Manley Airport in Kingston. One of the frightened footballers on the flight told the MIDWEEK NATION that the JM 91 flight with 188 passengers on board, was in the air for about an hour when it developed mechanical problems."

Deacon caught trafficking schoolgirl to face trial in April

Jamaica Gleaner News "Former church Deacon Donovan Jones, who is charged with human trafficking, a case involving a 14-year-old schoolgirl, is to face trial on April 15 next year. The trial date was set yesterday when Jones, 48, appeared in the Home Circuit Court. Two of the three male teenagers who were charged jointly with Jones, for the alleged sexual molestation of the girl, have been placed on probation."

Rastafarian community wants reparations

The Nation Newspaper "INDEPENDENT MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT Hamilton Lashley wants Parliament to debate the issue of reparation and repatriation for the rastafarian community. And he wants it done as soon as next month. Speaking at a Press Conference yesterday in the Conference Room at Parliament with other members of the Caribbean Rastafarian Organisation, Lashley said he would also be asking the Government to place the Durban Declaration as a document in the House of Assembly."

Holiday pay not required for LIAT pilots

Antigua Sun : "According to Mark Darby, Chief Executive Officer of LIAT, the company has not breached Antigua’s Labour Code by requiring pilots to work on public holidays at the normal rate of pay. Darby issued the statement as reassurance to members of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) and in response to comments in certain sections of the Caribbean media, which suggested that LIALPA considered initiating industrial action to press for a special premium/public holiday rate of pay for pilots."

MP's home raided - Residences of Joseph Hibbert, businessman searched in int'l fraud investigation

Jamaica Gleaner News "A major international fraud investigation has led British law enforcement officials to the homes of a sitting government member of parliament and a well-known local businessman. MP for East Rural St Andrew and State Minister in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Joseph Hibbert, and businessman Deryck Gibson had their St Andrew homes searched by law enforcement officials yesterday morning."

Cops search minister's home

Joseph Hibbert Fraud Squad police yesterday searched the house of junior minister Joseph Hibbert in an investigation initiated by the British Serious Fraud Office, creating anxious moments in the Government and an expression of deep concern from the prime minister. Jamaica Observer.


Trinidad Express : "A man who robbed a woman, back home on holidays, was shot dead by police after he was slowed in his escape by residents who came to her rescue. The dead man was not identified up to late yesterday. Two other men who were involved in the robbery in quiet Guapo Village, Point Fortin, were in police custody yesterday."

Media Barred

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday "FREEDOM of the press in this country is in danger as journalists continue to be barred from events on Government instructions. Yesterday, without any explanation, the media was barred from witnessing the first procedural hearing of the Uff Commission of Inquiry into Udecott and the construction industry."

More must be done to protect everyone

The Barbados Advocate : "BARBADOS and the Caribbean will make more progress against the “mighty and unprecedented” crime challenge when they view it as more than a legal problem. Attorney General Deputy Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said there was a need to look beyond its manifestation in the law courts and among lawyers and police to examine its root causes in the society. Speaking during the opening of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police Inter-Sessional Meeting at Grand Barbados Beach Resort, Stuart said one of the greatest myths in the region was that crime was a legal problem."

One Lindo Creek victim identified from DNA | Stabroek News

Stabroek News : "Relatives remain in limbo Partial results of the DNA samples taken from relatives of the slain Lindo Creek miners by Jamaican forensic experts has confirmed that at least one of the men died at the location, according to acting Commissioner of Police, Henry Greene. He, however, could not say which one of the victims was identified."

Child runner shock

The Nation Newspaper "DESPITE A POLICY that no children under ten years of age should be allowed to compete, four children, including a three-year-old competed in the 2008 Run Barbados Nature Valley 10K last Saturday. The official entry list for the race showed three nine-year-olds, and a three-year-old registered. One of the nine-year olds hails from St Vincent. But it was the participation of the youngest registered competitor, which has sparked reaction in medical circles."

Controller sweats, asks for immediate relief after incident

Kaieteur News : "The air traffic controller who was at the controls when an outbound Caribbean Airlines flight and an inbound Delta Airlines with President Bharrat Jagdeo aboard nearly collided in the skies above Guyana asked for immediate relief in the wake of the incident. The controller, listed in the report by Captain Gregory Fox as Controller 2, sweated and became nervous after the near miss. He had just replaced the other controller, identified as Controller 1."

Three Charged with Cayon Murders "BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THREE individuals were recently arrested and charged with the murders of Desroy ‘Shootout’ Walwyn and Travon ‘Waxy’ Francis. Reports reaching SKNVibes are that earlier this afternoon, twin brothers Torday and Torquel Burroughs (20) of Cunningham Village, Cayon and Akil Anthony (19) of the same address were formally charged with the murders that took place in the wee hours of Sunday, November 30."

Teen may have committed 20 murders

Teen may have committed 20 murders Police suspect that a teenage boy could be responsible for as many as 20 murders, The Guardian has learned. The 17-year-old suspect has already been charged with the murders of Lebrone Percentie, Raymond Finley Jr. and Dion Strachan. According to well-placed sources, the teenager is expected to be charged with 17 additional murders. Full story

- 'They were stupid' - Sangster maintains view on PSC despite Golding's withdrawal of misbehaviour claim

Jamaica Gleaner News "Educator Dr Alfred Sangster is maintaining a hard line against his former colleagues on the Public Service Commission (PSC), despite Prime Minister Bruce Golding's withdrawal of a claim that they were sacked because of misbehaviour while carrying out their duties. Golding and the other PSC members, who had filed a lawsuit against the prime minister after their dismissal late last year, came to an out-of-court settlement yesterday. Abiding by the terms of the agreement, Golding with-drew his accusation and the PSC members dropped the case."

Case closed

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM : "THE suit brought against Prime Minister Bruce Golding by four of the five fired members of the Public Service Commission (PSC) came to an amicable end yesterday with Golding backtracking on earlier pronouncements that the members were dismissed as a result of misbehaviour. Golding and the former PSC members were not in court yesterday, but their lawyers told the Full Court of the Supreme Court that a settlement was reached over the weekend, and that it was not in the 'national interest' to pursue the matter further."

Gas prices drop again

Government has again reduced the price of petroleum products to consumers; the fifth reduction for the year. The last one was on November 14. According to the Ministry of Energy, "effective midnight tonight, Monday, December 8, the retail price of gasoline will be reduced from Bds. $2.02... [more]

NO GUN AMNESTY… Former national security minister contradicts PAM’s approach

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis : "Former minister of national security and tourism of the ruling Labour party, Dwyer Astaphan disagrees with the position put forward by The People’s Action Movement (PAM) to “declare a period of gun amnesty,” should they be elected to office. Speaking at a media briefing on Wednesday morning at his private legal office at Port Zante, Astaphan said “…I’m hearing people talking about gun amnesties. Those don’t work, they don’t work.”"

Arrest crime or resign

The Trinidad Guardian "Opposition chief whip Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj has given Prime Minister Patrick Manning an ultimatum—make a dent in the country’s crime situation in 30 days or resign. Speaking during a press conference in the Rotunda of the Red House, Maharaj said he sent a letter to Manning calling on him to cause a debate on the crime situation in the country."

Man found guilty of buggery to be sentenced

Antigua Sun : "A Gray’s Farm man, who took the innocence of a six-year-old child, will know today if he will spend the rest of his life in prison. Austin King, 31, was last Friday found guilty by a nine-member jury of buggery in the High Court. Based on the jury’s findings, Crown Council Adlai Smith who prosecuted the case is petitioning the court to impose the maximum penalty on King, which is life imprisonment."

Caribbean braces for worst tourism since 9/11 : "Caribbean business leaders and government officials are bracing for what many expect to be the biggest downturn in tourism since the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Meeting last week at the 32nd annual Miami Conference on the Caribbean and Central America, participants discussed a range of strategies to prop up regional tourism, including directing new marketing campaigns away from the United States toward countries such as Brazil, Mexico, China and India; focusing on people of color -- a growing segment of the U.S. market; and simplifying visa requirements and expediting entry and exit at airports."

UNDER SCRUTINY: The reality of crime

The Barbados Advocate : "I DON’T, and Barbadians must not, take any comfort in the fact that, according to Commission-er of Police Darwin Dottin, Barbados’ “homicide rate remains one of the lowest in the region”. Statistics do not always reflect the reality of the crime situation. What scares me most is that though the Commissioner finds solace in this statistic, the reality is that the actual number of unsolved murders is unacceptable in this small society of ours."

Thieves outwit Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) - Despite new security measures, wily homeowners tap into power lines

Jamaica Gleaner News "Months after introducing a new mechanism to clamp down on electricity theft, crafty householders have still managed to tap into power sources, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has reported. The electricity provider had started to install concentric neutral cables in some areas to reduce the number of illegal throw-ups. These cables make electricity theft more difficult because a metal casing covers the wires that actually transmit the electrical power."

More JUTC drama

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM : "THE Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) board has uncovered at least two other contracts that, it said, the state-run bus company's late executive chairman, Douglas Chambers, entered into without the approval of directors, a source close to the Government has told the Observer."

Two to a bed - No jubilance at Jubilee hospital

The Jamaica Gleaner MANY OF the mostly poor women who have their babies delivered at public hospitals are forced to share a bed designed to accommodate one patient, with one, or sometimes two, other expectant mothers. This violates the Ministry of Health's ideal patient policy of having one person per bed. Sunday Gleaner investigations have revealed that expectant mothers are sharing a single bed at both the Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) in Kingston and the Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine.


The nation newspaper Prime Minister David Thompson wants no such thing for Barbadians this Christmas. Thompson has rejected the idea that belt-tightening should become a hard fact of life at a time of global economic troubles and instead his Administration plans to put more money into the hands of Bajans as quickly as possible for Christmas.

Human rights body criticises police

The Press Association: "The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said that there are still too many incidents of excessive police force and attacks against gay people in Jamaica. More than 350 questionable shootings involving Jamaican police are being investigated, with the majority occurring in poor communities, according to the island's Bureau of Special Investigations. 'Everybody acknowledges (police) are under stress, but there is no adequate system of accountability and investigation,' commission chairman Paolo Carozza said."

Police probe WPC’s shooting of soldier

The Trinidad Guardian "Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the accidental shooting of a Regiment officer by a police woman on Saturday. Private Nyron David was shot in his right leg during a raid at a popular Port-of-Spain night club. He was taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where he was treated and discharged. But has been in and out hospital on numerous occasions after that"

Hammer attack suspect gets $180,000 bail

Kaieteur News : "Thirty-two-year-old Neil Daniels was yesterday released on $180,000 bail by Magistrate Sherdel Issacs-Marcus at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court, when he appeared before her charged with felonious wounding. Daniels, of 57 Meten-Meer-Zorg, West Coast Demerara, is accused of wounding dredge owner Claude Kanhai, of Non Pareil, East Coast Demerara, with a hammer during what appeared to be a robbery attempt on Wednesday night last."

Resignations hit JUTC board - Procurement trio walk

Jamaica Gleaner News "THE EXPECTED fallout from the latest scandal at the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) started yesterday with the resignation of three board members and the acting president going on leave. Rae Barrett, Dennis Chung and Bindley Sangster tendered their resignations to Transport Minister Mike Henry yesterday, hours after the JUTC board admitted that there were several breaches of the Government's procurement guidelines at the state-owned bus company."

No return

The Nation Newspaper : "MORE THAN 800 people living with HIV have not returned for treatment after being diagnosed with the disease. Dr Anton Best, senior medical officer in the Ministry of Health in the HIV/AIDS programme revealed the statistics from the Barbados HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report 2007 on Friday at their headquarters on Jemmotts Road, St Michael. He noted that out of 2 029 people who had been diagnosed with HIV, [these figures are from 1984 to as recently as December 2007], only 1 175 were receiving treatment from the Ladymeade Reference Unit (LRU), the island's lone facility that treats the disease."

Montserrat volcano erupts; fires in former capital

The Associated Press "SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The volcano on the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat has burst into action, spewing columns of ash and hurling glowing red rocks that set vegetation and a few buildings ablaze in the island's deserted capital, scientists said Wednesday. The explosion late Tuesday at the cloud-shrouded Soufriere Hills volcano — the first in nearly six months — occurred without any seismic activity, according to scientists who monitor any the volcano. None of the island's 4,500 people were injured or evacuated."

New laws coming!

The Barbados Advocate : "Government is promising introduction of new laws to deal firmly with “thugs” who threaten court witnesses with “personal liquidation”. Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, whose substantive post is Attorney-General and Minister of Home Affairs, said yesterday while he had no evidence of witness intimidation locally, discussions with regional counterparts currently grappling with the problem have convinced him it could be a major threat “soon rather than later”."

SCA teen safe after 6 days of alleged abduction

Amandala Online : "A strange story has unfolded tonight, concerning a 16-year-old student, Jessica Maricela Acosta, reported missing last Tuesday, November 25, by her grandmother, Audelia, after she failed to return home from the school she attends, St. Catherine Academy (SCA) in Belize City. Acosta, a first form student and the eldest of four children, contacted her family on Friday afternoon, November 28, tearfully alleging that she had been kidnapped and held against her will somewhere in Belize."

Armed and Dangerous

Bermuda Sun : "Police were today hunting armed gun-man Omari Kabair Gordon after he opened fire on officers in the early hours of Saturday. The 26-year-old is considered to be armed and dangerous. Police released his name and picture today urging the public to help track him down. He is said to have shot at officers as they chased him through Middle Town just before 3am on Saturday."

I never saw, or met ‘Fine Man’

Kaieteur News : "Former treason accused Phillip Bynoe has denied any association with the Buxton/Agricola gang that was led by the now dead Rondell ‘Fine Man’ Rawlins. Bynoe was linked to the gang after it was reported that he had connections with the Christmas Falls logging camp that provided a haven for Rawlins and members of his gang before it was raided by the security forces earlier this year."

Bynoe: ‘I used the wrong approach’

Stabroek News : "`I, Phillip Bynoe, was guilty of trying to solve Guyana’s problems through antagonistic approaches and that was wrong’ Pardoned treason accused Phillip Bynoe yesterday admitted that he used the “wrong approach” in attempting to solve the country’s problems and has vowed to use his energy, “God-given talent and intelligence” to work with like-minded persons to ensure that Guyana emerges a better country."

NATION UNDER SEIGE ... Criminals are ruining the country, Grant says

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis : "“Criminals are bringing this nation under siege and the government is appearing to be helpless in doing anything about it,” Leader of the opposition party, the People’s Action Movement (PAM), Lindsay Grant stated in a press release following the early Sunday morning shootout in Cayon. “How many more must die before we see more decisive action?” he asked. “This is not Beirut. This is not Baghdad. This is Cayon and our people are expected to be safe.” According to Grant, more alarm bells are going off and this latest incident “is more brazen and more senseless than many of the others.”"

Indian deal probe - Agriculture minister requests investigation into $105m transaction

Jamaica Gleaner News "Agriculture Minister Dr Christopher Tufton says a full-scale investigation will be launched into the circumstances surrounding a controversial arrangement between Jamaica Cane Product Sales (JCPS) and Indian company Shreeji Impex Corporation. JCPS is currently seeking to recover more than $80 million it had paid over to the company, in cash, in exchange for 6,000 tonnes of fertiliser that never arrived."

Jamaica in recession since '08 start

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM : "The Jamaican economy has been in a recession since March of this year according to official data published by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin), The data showed that real gross domestic product (GDP) by quarter has declined year over year since the December 2007 quarter."


The Nation Newspaper | NOT THE WAY : "A WORK stoppage could be coming to LIME (formerly Cable & Wireless) over the pending pre-Christmas sacking of 250 employees. In a Press conference yesterday at the Barbados Workers' Union (BWU), the bargaining unit for the workers, general secretary Sir Roy Trotman said the union has written to Prime Minister David Thompson asking him, as Minister of Labour, for conciliation. If the company was intent on sacking workers, then the union would have to counter punch, Sir Roy said."

No public land for Hindu temple in Tobago

The Trinidad Guardian : "People wishing to build a Hindu mandir in Tobago should buy land on which to build it, since public land is for public purposes, PNM Tobago East MP Rennie Dumas confirmed yesterday. Dumas made the point during yesterday’s Lower House debate on an Elections and Boundaries (Local Government) Bill to amend and validate EBC law pertaining to the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and THA elections."

Govt halts schools, houses, hospitals

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday : : : "THE PROVISION of new houses, hospitals and schools are not among the areas that the Government should cut back on, former finance ministers, economists, businessmen and politicians said yesterday as Prime Minister Patrick Manning was accused of getting his priorities wrong in announcing a $4.5 billion Budget cut."

Local businessman pleads guilty to cannabis possesion

Antigua Sun : "Keno Charles, a local businessman, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis yesterday in the St. John’s Magistrates Court. Charles appeared before Chief Magistrate Ivan Walters and was convicted and fined $1,000. On 28 Nov., police officers from the Narcotics Department executed a search warrant at Charles’ business place, located at No. 15 Pigotts Mall on Market Street. During the operation, the lawmen found 34.7 grammes of the illegal drugs in a small transparent plastic bag underneath a table. When questioned about the drugs, Charles said, “A weed that me smoke.”"

Scammed! - Cane group pays millions to shady firm for cheap fertiliser

Jamaica Gleaner News - Scammed! - Cane group pays millions to shady firm for cheap fertiliser - Tuesday | December 2, 2008 : "An Indian company has left Jamaica Cane Products Sales (JCPS) holding the bag after swindling it out of approximately $87 million that was earmarked for the purchase of cheap fertiliser from the subcontinent. The deal was made through a New York-based Jamaican company, which contacted players in the industry, claiming they were able to source and supply the product more cheaply than Newport-Fersan limited."

JUTC ruckus

JUTC ruckus - JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM : "Prime Minister Bruce Golding yesterday gave the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) just over a day to provide him with a full report of contracts issued by the state-run bus company as controversy deepened over deals being queried by the contractor-general."


The Nation Newspaper | NEW 'CEO' : "THE NAME of an interim head at the controversy-plagued Queen Elizabeth Hospital will be announced today. Minister of Health Donville Inniss, speaking to the DAILY NATION yesterday, promised swift action on the matter after Thursday's board decision to relieve chief executive officer (CEO) Winston Collymore of his duties effective November 30."

2 DEAD, 6 INJURED .... Near massacre in early morning attack

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis : "Two men are dead after masked gunmen launched what was described as a Guy Fawkes-like attack on bystanders outside Henry’s Night Spot in Cayon in the wee hours of yesterday morning. Dead is Travon “Waxy” Francis, 25, and Desroy “Shoot out” Walwyn, also 25, both of Upper Cayon. According to a police release, four individuals are seriously wounded while two sustained minor injuries. The police met several individuals at the scene with gunshot injuries. The district medical doctor visited the scene and pronounced Francis and Walwyn dead."

Slain bandit may have led ‘Fine Man’ to Christmas Falls

Slain bandit may have led ‘Fine Man’ to Christmas Falls : Kaieteur News : "Cranston Gill, one of the gunmen killed on the Cromarty foreshore last Friday, ceased working at Christmas Falls early in 2005, three years before the police raided the location in pursuit of the now dead Rondell ‘Fine Man’ Rawlins and his gang. That was the comment of one of the shareholders in the concession, who said that work at that concession was halted late in 2006 because of the condition of the road that led to the location, some 65 miles beyond Kwakwani, up the Berbice River."

C&W disconnects police mobile service due to …. EXCESSIVE ABUSE

Antigua Sun : "Cessation of vital Cable & Wireless (C&W) cell- phone services to the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda last Wednesday came about because of excessive misuse. Minister of Justice Collin Derrick told the Antigua Sun yesterday that misuse of the phone lines is at the crux of the services being terminated. “As a consequence of that, it had to be reined in.” Derrick said. Asked about the degree of misuse, Derrick was unable to disclose a financial sum but said the Ministry of Finance, and Cable & Wireless are aware of the figures."

Darien Banks “loses mind” at Kolbe prison?

Belize News - Belize Leading Newspaper | Breaking News - Amandala Online : "Today makes exactly one month since Darien Banks was arraigned on two counts of attempted murder before Chief Magistrate Margaret Gabb-McKenzie. Today is also the date to which his case was adjourned, and prison officials brought him back to court this morning. Banks, 30, who has been charged for a number of violent crimes over a period of years, has never been convicted of any of the charges that have been brought against him. He was brought back to court on the attempted murder charges having to do with an October 23 shooting incident on Central American Boulevard in which, Richard Russell and Alex Myers were his alleged two targets, hence, the two charges of attempted murder."

Out of bounds? - Henry questions Christie's actions - Says contractor general might have overstepped boundaries in JUTC probe

Jamaica Gleaner News - Out of bounds? - Henry questions Christie's actions - Says contractor general might have overstepped boundaries in JUTC probe - Monday | December 1, 2008 : "Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry, is raising questions about whether Contractor General Greg Christie overstepped his boundaries by recommending that criminal sanctions be laid against the acting managing director of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC). Mr Christie, in his report, recommended that criminal charges be laid against Bindley Sangster, the acting managing director of the JUTC. He made the recommendation after a special probe into the awarding of some contracts at the state-run bus company. The investigation was initiated after the June 27 murder of then JUTC chairman, Douglas Chambers."