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Showing posts from January, 2009

Murder case goes down the tubes! Witness in fear for her life

St Lucia Star Newspaper: "Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Robert Innocent says the lack of Witness Protection in St Lucia is interfering in the proper administration of justice. He expressed those views earlier this week, when a witness in a murder trial refused to give evidence, because she felt her life was threatened. The young lady, in her 20s, was among the 12 prosecution witnesses who were supposed to appear on behalf of the crown in the murder trial involving two young men.

They were charged for the murder of Joseph Alexander aka “Bef” or “Jo Tex”, on November 13, 2004 at La Clery. According to the information received from the court, they battered and stabbed Alexander repeatedly during an altercation. The trial seemed to be going well, with most of the witnesses, including Pathologist Dr Stephen King and another doctor, giving evidence."

Honorary Consul refuses to speculate on chicken farm death

Kaieteur News: "Guyana’s Honorary Consul to Barbados, Norman Faria, has met with the Chief Executive Officer of the Star Chick Farm, where a Guyanese worker died on Saturday.
Bibi Hassim, a 38-year-old general worker, was crushed to death in a container through which the poultry passes on the assembly line.
Faria refused to speculate on whether the woman had been intentionally killed, as claimed by her relatives in Guyana.
“I made some inquiries, including on reports that while she was in the container someone turned on the power supply, activating the mechanisms in the container, which apparently crushed her,” Faria stated."

Govt bails out CLICO

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday"In a bid to avert a financial crisis and prevent a run on CL Financial institutions, British American Insurance will also be taken over by Government. CL’s banking subsidiary, Clico Investment Bank (CIB) and its money management arm, Caribbean Money Market Brokers (CMMB), will now be run by First Citizens. The move will see the banking licence of CIB being revoked.

At a press conference at the Central Bank in Port-of-Spain, Central Bank Governor Ewart Williams along with CL chairman Lawrence Duprey, sought to allay fears of Clico depositors, saying their funds are safe and the bank had moved in time to prevent an economic fallout."

OBEAH OILS TO HOLD JOBS - Scared workers spend big to remain employed

The Jamaica Star "Investigation by THE WEEKEND STAR has revealed that many workers are forking out their last shilling in an effort to 'secure' their jobs by purchasing black magic baths, sprays and lotions.

These items come in a package and cost just about $3,000.

Acting under the guise of a worried employee at risk of losing his job, THE WEEKEND STAR contacted a popular drug store in downtown Kingston and asked about availability of any 'oil of luck'."

Hoffman: 'I own the government'

Turks and Caicos Net News Online "At the Commission of Inquiry hearings on Friday, Georgia Dunn, one of the owners of the historic White House on Salt Cay, gave evidence that Mario Hoffman, the would-be developer of the island, told her in the presence of her husband that he “owned the government”.

Dunn testified that at a meeting with Hoffman at Grace Bay Club in August 2007, also attended by her husband, a judge in the US, the future development of Salt Cay was discussed, with particular reference to another piece of property on Salt Cay that Hoffman wanted to acquire as part of his development."

King received eight fatal wounds

Jamaica Gleaner News -"CONSULTANT FORENSIC pathologist Dr Ere Seshaiah testified yesterday that there were eight fatal wounds on the body of 64-year-old Ambassador Peter King.

He said a great degree of force was used to inflict those injuries.

Sheldon Pusey, 26, is charged with King's murder. He has been on trial in the Home Circuit Court since last week Monday."

Gov't bails out leading T&T conglomerate

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) - The Patrick Manning Government yesterday announced a major bailout package to assist the Trinidad-based conglomerate, CL Financial Group, out of serious financial trouble.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the parties, the Government will provide funding to the company in exchange for collateral and an equity interest in the Colonial Insurance Company (CLICO)."

More girls on alcohol

The Nation Newspaper"ALCOHOL AND INHALANT USE by female students in Barbados is on the rise.

The 2006 Barbados Secondary School survey revealed that more females were using these substances than males, as compared with the statistics of 2002.

It also revealed that there had been a decline in the use of marijuana by both males and females in 2006."

DON'T PANIC!

DON'T PANIC!: "CLICO BARBADOS is safe and sound!

That was the word from chairman of CLICO Holdings Barbados Limited, Leroy Parris, yesterday as he sought to allay fears among policyholders and other investors in the wake of a major bailout of Trinidad and Tobago's CL Financial – the parent company of CLICO Holdings, Colonial Life Trinidad and British American Insurance – by that country's government and Central Bank earlier in the day."

Cuban trained doctors picket Antigua-Barbuda PM's office

Caribbean Net News: : "ST JOHN’S, Antigua: Several Antiguan doctors trained in Cuba staged a demonstration outside the prime minister's office on Wednesday.

The Antigua Sun reported that the doctors, who have been embroiled in controversy since they were denied registration by the Antigua Medical Registration Board, said they had been forced to intensify their protest since they did not believe that the Medical Practitioners Act 2009, which was passed in Parliament on Monday, solved their problem."

TOURISM CRISIS …More tough times ahead as hotels ponder closure

Antigua Sun: "The tourism sector is facing a grim future, as the main fulcrum under the national economy is being weakened by massive layoffs, reduced work week for employees, and hotels reporting steadily declining occupancy levels.

The bad part is that the worst is yet to come. That is the view of General Manager of the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association Neil Forrester, speaking to the Antigua Sun yesterday, following a board meeting of the association that, among other things, assessed the future of the industry in the months to come."

Two geriatrics in court for sexually molesting 14-yr-old girl

Kaieteur News: "Walter Raleigh Tappin, aka Alton, 88, and his counterpart, retired police officer Cedric Cooke, 70, of Maria’s Johanna Wakenaam, Essequibo Island, were each placed on $150,000 bail when they appeared before Magistrate Faith McGusty at the Anna Regina Magistrate’s Court, yesterday.
Tappin was charged indictably for carnal knowledge, while Cooke was accused of indecently assaulting the same girl who is under fifteen years old. Both accused pleaded not guilty."

Haitian deportations slide under Obama's radar

St. Petersburg Times: "Barack Obama becomes president, and Haitians with deportation orders are put on notice: You're outta here!

Louiness Petit-Frere, a 31-year-old baker with no family left in Haiti and whose mother and siblings have legal U.S. status — including a U.S. Marine brother who served two tours in Iraq — was put on a flight on Friday."

Taxi driver charged with murder of Boyo’s owner

Stabroek News: "A taxi driver was yesterday remanded to prison on a charge of murdering a storeowner in 2006 when he appeared before Acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.
28-year-old Sherwin Sampson of 2091 Williamstaad Road, North Ruimveldt was not required to plead to the indictable offence when it was read to him."

'Save our jobs' - Berger workers take 20% pay cut

Jamaica Gleaner News "N A MOVE to save their jobs, workers at Berger Paints Jamaica Limited have agreed to a 20 per cent reduction in basic salary. This comes against the background of several local companies implementing cost-cutting measures, including staff redundancy, in response to the global economic meltdown and the resultant downturn in the Jamaican economy."

Ex-Shower Posse boss Vivian Blake returns home

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "Former Shower Posse boss Vivian Blake arrived home yesterday with 51 other deportees and after being processed by police at the Kingston Central Police Station said he was tired and wanted, more than anything else, to see his daughter.

'I need some rest, I am tired. I have been travelling for 24 hours and I really need some rest. My first wish is to see my daughter,' Blake, 52, told reporters."

Society in peril, says Harper

The Nation Newspaper "A VIDEO CLIP showing a Barbadian youngster penetrating a black belly sheep while being spurred on by a group of other teenagers, is making the rounds on the Internet.

The WEEKEND NATION obtained the video via email. It appears to have been recorded during the day on an open field or pasture with the use of a cellular phone."

Visitors attacked and robbed in the city!

St Lucia Star Newspaper: "The masses of visitors in the city on Sunday did not reflect that of a booming cruise industry in its up season. The few tourists seen here Sunday afternoon were hardly a mirror image of nearly 6000 passengers aboard the three ships in port that day and that might not have had much to do with the fact that it was a Sunday and most stores were closed.

Perhaps the majority of cruise passengers decided to stay on board as they docked in St Lucia as a matter of choice and not because their ship captain advised them to stay away because of the high rate of tourist robberies on the island, but after news of yet another visitor robbery, it seems as if those who stayed on board made the right decision."

Caribbean news briefs

Taiwan News Online: "NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) _ A former Bahamas senator was granted bail Wednesday on charges she conspired to help extort $25 million from actor John Travolta after his son died from a seizure at a family vacation home.

Pleasant Bridgewater is accused of plotting with an ambulance driver to demand the money in exchange for suppressing a document related to the treatment of the celebrity's son. She was not required to enter a plea at the arraignment."

Devil dog' lives!

Trinidad Express "THE 'devil dog' has been rescued. He will not die.

The dog that triggered a protest after it bit an infant child in Point Fortin last week has been adopted by an animal rights group in San Fernando.

'He is a handsome, to-die-for good-looking animal,' said vice-president of Animals Alive, Jowelle De Souza, who intervened and brought the dog to her hairdressing salon yesterday.

'Devil dog' will lead a 'walk' through the streets of San Fernando this weekend."

Family contends Guyanese woman was murdered in Barbados

Kaieteur News: "Following the mysterious death of 38-year-old Bibi Hasim, who was found dead at her chicken farm work place in Barbados, her relatives are of the view that she was murdered.

However, they could not say who would want to murder her. Kaieteur News understands that the woman was reportedly inside the chicken cleaning container when the power was turned on.

The dead woman’s brother, Mohamed Hasim of Meten-Meer-Zorg, West Coast Demerara, told this newspaper that he believes that his sister was killed by someone at the chicken farm, since it is impossible for them to turn on the power for the container, without checking to see if anyone is inside, cleaning the container."

'Lovesick' man sent to St Ann's

Trinidad Express "TWO men, one who admitted to being lovesick, were sent to St Ann's Hospital on Tuesday by Magistrate Avason Quinlan.

One of the men, Shawn Pascal, a self-confessed cocaine addict, said he was in the process of getting help at a rehabilitation centre in Arouca.

Pascal, who claimed he lived at both Fatima Trace, Laventille and Crown Trace, Enterprise, Chaguanas, was warned by the magistrate to seek treatment for his addiction and also stay away from his former wife."

Astaphan tells PM to...'STEP DOWN'

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis: "Resigned Labour Party elect for Constituency #2 and present Member of Parliament, G. A. Dwyer Astaphan, is calling for the St. Kitts/Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil L. Douglas to step down from that political seating.

Astaphan made the disclosure early yesterday morning during a live radio press conference (carried by Sugar City Rock) held at his private legal office located at Port Zante.

The member of Parliament claimed that he is still a “Labour man” and described his speak-out as campaigning for the party."

COPS HOLD FOUR…Young woman among youths being interrogated in Gollan murder

Antigua Sun: "Four people are assisting the police with investigations into the shooting death of Australian boat captain Drew Gollan.

The police have confirmed that the four people, ranging in age from 19 to 27 years, were picked up on Monday.

The Antigua Sun has been reliably informed that of the four detainees, one is a woman, who is reportedly the youngest of the group.

Reports are that one of the individuals is from English Harbour; another is from Sea View Farm while two of them are from Potters."

Dial 624-8239

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday "UDECOTT chairman Calder Hart yesterday admitted to the Uff Commission of Inquiry, that his personal fax number appears to be the same as that of a Malaysian contracting firm, which was awarded a whopping $368 million by the Udecott Board.

On the second day of Hart’s testimony at the Winsure Building, Port-of-Spain, he admitted that his personal fax number, 624-8239, appears on correspondence to Udecott from CH Development and Construction Limited (CH), the company awarded the $368 million contract for the Ministry of Legal Affairs Tower at the Government Campus Plaza in Port-of-Spain."

Tough times

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "THE Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is projecting that the Jamaican economy will experience negative growth in fiscal year 2009/2010, with unemployment levels possibly climbing for the first time in eight years.

The prediction made yesterday by PIOJ Director General Wesley Hughes is the most definitive prediction of gloom for the local economy which has been hit by the worsening global financial crisis."

Cocaine dealers arrested

Go-Jamaica: "Four men are to appear in the Buff Bay Resident Magistrate’s Court tomorrow after they were arrested and charged yesterday in connection with the seizure of two kilograms of cocaine.

They are Oniel Mitchell, 33, a mason of Union district, Dwayne Brown, 22, a labourer of Black Hill, Damion Johnson, 23, a labourer of Dolphin Bay and Edwin Edwards, 42, of Vineyard Town in Kingston."

NEW GUARD COMING

The Nation Newspaper "PRIME MINISTER DAVID THOMPSON has revealed that there will be changes coming to the Town Planning Department, Customs Department and the Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) before the end of April.

He made the announcement yesterday at a luncheon meeting of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Hilton Barbados."

'Antigua still safe,' says country's Prime Minister

Practical Boat Owner magazine: "

The Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, has spoken about the murder of a superyacht captain, Drew Gollan, who was shot and killed last week after what is thought to have been an unsuccessful robbery on Antigua in the Caribbean.

The killing comes hot on the heels of the double murder of a British couple who were holidaying on the island last year.

The shooting of the yacht captain occurred in the area surrounding English Harbour in the south of the island."

Police Question 4 in Caribbean Skipper's Slaying

FOXNews.com "ST. JOHN'S, Antigua — Antigua and Barbuda police said Wednesday they are questioning four people in their investigation into the slaying of a 38-year-old Australian skipper near a popular marina.

Police spokesman Sgt. William Holder told reporters the four unidentified people are 'assisting with the investigation' into the shooting death of Drew Gollan and have not been charged with anything. He did not disclose more specifics, citing an ongoing murder probe."

Haitian Senate candidate a wanted man

MiamiHerald.com: "How do you campaign for Haiti's parliament when you are one of America's most wanted men?

Well, one-time coup leader Guy Philippe -- indicted in Miami on drug-trafficking charges -- may soon provide the answer.

Philippe was escorted by Haitian National Police officers when he recently went to register as a Senate candidate in the city of Jeremie, in the western part of the country. He is among 105 candidates vying for 12 Senate seats in the April 19 election."

Illegal drugs bound for St. Kitts seized in ANU

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis: "ST. JOHN'S, Antigua – Police in Antigua are investigating the discovery of two kilos of cannabis at the General Post Office on Monday that were apparently destined for St. Kitts.

The package containing the drugs was allegedly sent by Rohan Blake of New Road, New Market, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica and was addressed to Anthelson James of Chapel Street, St. Kitts.

Reports are that the lawmen were notified that a parcel containing four cans of Jamaican ackees, eight cans with Ready a Ready 100 per cent Jamaican callaloo in brine was found."

YACHTS CANCELLING … Mariners association keeps eye on fallout following yachtsman's murder

Antigua Sun: "Chair of the Antigua and Barbuda Mariners Association (ABMA), John Duffy, stated that although the number of boats that have departed Antigua since the murder of Drew Gollan is about five or six, the number of cancellations of people booked to come in could be a cause for concern.

Tensions in the English Harbour and Falmouth area have been high since the recent death of Australian Boat Captain, Drew Gollan, who was shot and killed during an attempted robbery.

Residents of the area went on the offensive in the presence of local government officials shortly after the incident claiming that they dropped the ball on crime prevention, even after repeated appeals, in the community."

Mad rush for Yellow Fever shots

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday "FAST on the heel of last year’s dengue scare, members of the public are rushing to health centres for yellow fever vaccinations. However, some centres were not prepared for the influx and do not have any yellow fever in stock while others with supply are prioritising who would receive.

A caller from Santa Cruz contacted Newsday complaining that the Santa Cruz Health Centre was only vaccinating babies and she was referred to the San Juan Health Centre. However when she contacted this facility, she was told by a worker they did not know when it would get the vaccine."

BURNT alive! - Children, grandmother murdered in brutal attack

Jamaica Gleaner News "Jonathan Morrison, the superin-tendent in charge of the St Thomas police, told The Gleaner yesterday that the police were probing the incident as a murder and would be relying on supporting evidence to make an arrest.

'There are leads, but it is going to rely heavily on persons being willing to come forward to give statements and also whatever forensic evidence we recover from the scene,' Morrison told The Gleaner."

Air J drops Miami route

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "AIR Jamaica, the national airline, will begin dropping some routes next month, including its previously popular flights to the United States city of Miami, affectionately called 'Kingston 21'.

At its peak, the 'Love Bird' operated seven flights daily to Miami and became part of the political lexicon when late former Prime Minister Michael Manley famously offered 'five flights a day' to Jamaicans fleeing the country after his visit to Fidel Castro's Cuba in the politically charged 1970s."

Official investigation

The Nation Newspaper : "A NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT minister who flew to Barbados to investigate a CBC-TV report that three Nigerian nurses had died here of HIV/AIDS has found the story to be groundless.

Minister of Culture and the Economy, Ayadele Aina, told MIDWEEK NATION yesterday: 'My investigations and the irrefutable evidences gathered not only rendered the report false, and misleading . . . '"

Tobago records first killing

Trinidad Express "Tobago recorded its first murder for the year yesterday with the shooting death of Earnest 'Bingee' Pierre, of Union Village, Tobago.

Police have launched a manhunt to catch those responsible for this latest killing. According to police reports, Pierre, who was is in his late 30s, was a known drug pusher, and had several matters pending before the courts for drugs and other offences."

Maynard-Gibson, a witness in extortion case

The Nassau Guardian "Former attorney general and PLP Senator Allyson Maynard-Gibson is listed as a witness against the ambulance driver who is accused of trying to extort $25 million from actor John Travolta whose son died of a seizure in Grand Bahama earlier this month, The Guardian has confirmed.

Maynard-Gibson, who is Travolta's Bahamian lawyer, is one of the 14 witnesses listed on the court docket against Tarino Lightbourne."

Extortion plot unveiled

The Nassau Guardian "Police have confirmed the alleged plot to extort money from actor John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston included a request for $25 million so that a supposedly 'damaging' document would not be made public.

'All I can say here is that, you know, there was a complaint made by Mr. Travolta -- and those acting on his behalf -- that there was an attempt on behalf of a number of individuals to extort initially some $25 million from the Travoltas,' said Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Marvin Dames yesterday in an interview with The Nassau Guardian."

Patron dies at local brothel

Antigua Sun: "A man reportedly in his 50s dropped dead while at a local brothel on the weekend.

Reports claim, that during the man’s visit to the house of ill repute, he fell ill while being entertained by a Hispanic woman.

The York’s Village man reportedly visited the establishment with friends sometime after 9 p.m. Reports are that about an hour after, the woman ran from the room screaming, leaving the man inside the room.

His friends, who reportedly became concerned, went to the room to investigate when they saw the man lying unconscious. Reportedly, he was not breathing at the time."

Two charged for resisting arrest

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis: "Chinelo Lewis of Dominica and Jones Lewis of St. Maarten were both arrested and charged on Tuesday for the offences of obstruction, resisting arrest, using indecent language and two counts of battery on police.

A 16-year-old from McKnight was arrested and charged on Tuesday for the offence of house breaking with intent.

Elsie Lewis of Lower Prickley Pear Alley appeared before the District “A” Magistrate Court on Monday and was convicted for battery and sentenced to one month in prison. The offence was committed on 10 Sept.

Freddy Evangelista of McKnight appeared before the court and was convicted and severely cautioned for using threatening language on 7 Dec. Additionally, Evangelista was convicted for battery and placed on a bond of $1,000 for a two-year period during which time he is to keep the peace and stay at least 100 feet from the complainant. If he fails to comply with these court orders, the bond will be forfeited or 14 days will be served in pri…

4 burnt to death

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "RESIDENTS of Land Top in Morant Bay, St Thomas said yesterday that they remembered hearing the agonising wails of three children, who along with their grandmother, were burnt to death during an alleged arson and gun attack at their humble dwelling Sunday night.

One of the children, five-year-old Thalia Cousins, celebrated her birthday less than 24 hours before the incident."

BURNT alive! - Children, grandmother murdered in brutal attack

Jamaica Gleaner News "ARETHA SMITH had not seen her children since December 21. She had got them ready, packed their clothes and took them from St Mary to Land Top, Port Morant, in St Thomas for them to spend Christmas with their grandmother, Angella Lynch.

Now, Smith will neither see nor hug them again. On Sunday night, two-year-old Niasha Cousins, five-year-old Thaila Cousins and three-year-old Jawara Cousins were burnt alive in a one-room board house in the eastern parish."

PROTESTS OFF…Harbour business owners re-think response to murder

Antigua Sun: "Some restaurateurs operating in English Harbour and Falmouth had an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss the kind of action that needs to be taken in the wake of the murder of Australian Boat Captain Drew Gollan.

According to Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Mariners Association (ABMA), John Duffy, those at the meeting expressed their desire to form a day of action aimed at getting a message to the government that there is much concern over the lack of effective action, which in their view, gave rise to Gollan’s murder."

Coroner worried about family's witnesses call

The Nation Newspaper "AS CORONER FAITH MARSHALL-HARRIS prepares to conclude her investigation into the death of 23-year-old I'Akobi Maloney, she has expressed concern about witnesses which the Maloney family want her to summon.

When the inquest continued yesterday, the coroner said she received a request on January 19 from David Comissiong, who is representing the Maloney family, suggesting that she should hear evidence from Trinidadian Adana Jacobs – Maloney's former girlfriend."

LEPTOSPIROSIS TESTS SOON

The Nation Newspaper "OVER 500 BARBADIANS who work in ten different occupations will soon be tested for the dangerous disease leptospirosis.

In fact, over 100 persons could be tested by the end of next week.

Director of the Leptospira Laboratory at the Ministry of Health Dr Marquita Gittens-St Hilaire said The Seroprevalence Of Leptospirosis In At- Risk Occupational Groups project would run from January to July."

Former gang boss to return to Jamaica

Radiojamaica.com: "Vivian Blake, the man who is said to have operated one of the world's most powerful criminal networks may be on Jamaican soil by the end of this week. The infamous shower posse head was released from the confines of prison in the first week of January.

Since then preparations have been made for his return to Jamaica.

Blake's Attorney David Rowe told RJR News on Monday morning the arrangements for his return are now complete."

Jamaica buries last victims of deadly wreck

Taiwan News Online: "The ashes of the last seven of 14 people killed when a truck plunged into a muddy ravine have been buried in their rural hometown.

Legislator Daryl Vaz says the island's government is helping to cover costs for Sunday's funeral in Mill Bank, a tiny farming town in Portland parish.

Fourteen farmers died Dec. 19 when the cargo truck they were riding in crashed in the mountainous Blue and John Crow National Park. Their remains were cremated."

Caribbean faces tsunami threat

Jamaica Gleaner News "The Caribbean has a reputation for being ravaged by hurricanes. However, what many do not realise is that a natural-disaster time bomb is slowly ticking in the region.

This month marks the 102nd anniversary of an earthquake that measured a relatively mild 6.5 on the Richter scale, but killed over 800 people in Kingston, Jamaica."

Bird says corruption 'gone mad' in Antigua

Antigua Sun: "Political Leader of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) Lester Bird was endorsed by the members of his party amid a large crowd, which gathered at the Clare Hall Square on Thursday evening. Bird’s colleagues spoke very well of him while urging supporters to vote for him on election day.

“I would like to tell everyone here tonight to vote for Lester Bryant Bird, he is the man whose heart is on fire with love for the people, this country and constituency,” Bird told his supporters.

While addressing the gathering, Bird said corruption has “gone mad” in Antigua and since earning power, “the UPP government has done untold damage to the aspirations and hopes of the people of Antigua and Barbuda.”"

Fuel shortage rectified - Minister

Dominica News "The Dominican public is being reassured that what appeared to have been a shortage of fuel on the island over the weekend has been rectified.

Fuel at some gas stations ran out following an unspecified problem with Texaco's gasoline supply on Saturday.

Dominica's Trade Minister Dr Colin McIntyre said the matter is now under control."

Cops probing death of toddler

Stabroek News: "Police are investigating the death of a two-year-old boy after being treated for “a suspected wound” at the Georgetown Hospital.

The lawmen in a release said that the child, Malaki Osborne, died at the institution at around 2:45 pm yesterday and his father has since been taken into custody.

A police source last evening told Stabroek News that the father is saying that the child died after falling on a drinking glass while playing at his Achievement Place, South Ruimveldt home."

Sunken treasure ship found 40 miles off Guyana’s coast : Kaieteur News

Sunken treasure ship found 40 miles off Guyana’s coast : Kaieteur News: "A United States-based marine research and recovery firm, Sub Sea Research, has claimed that it has located the wreck of a merchant ship under some 800 feet of water approximately 40 miles off the coast of Guyana.
In efforts to protect its find, Sub Sea Research will not divulge the exact location of the wreck until the ship’s cargo has been brought to the surface. The name of the ship is also not being released, but in the meantime, the ship has been dubbed the ‘Blue Baron.’"

Medic: Heart surgery becoming more difficult

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday : newsday.co.tt :: "The worldwide economic recession overseas is adversely impacting on local patients trying to access service for complex heart surgery.

This was disclosed by the head of the Paediatric Cardiology Clinic at the Wendy Fitzwilliam Hospital Mt Hope, Dr Diane Alexander, who also said the absence of an Intensive Care Unit at the hospital has limited the facility from tackling complex cases. There is a waiting list of more than 200 paediatric cases, and almost 40 percent were complex cases, she explained"

'GHOST' REFUTES CLAIMS ... Reaffirms allegiance to Labour Party

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis: "The Labour Party candidate for Constituency #4, Glenn “Ghost” Phillip refuted claims in this newspaper regarding last Monday’s Readers’ Forum entitled, Not Trying to divide party, authored by a Yolanda “Lanada” Julius.

Phillip’s response came in the form of an open letter, in last weekend’s edition of The Labour Spokesman.

According to Julius, “I was in conversation the other day with someone who told me that the new candidate for number 4, Mr. (Glenn “Ghost”) Phillip, has openly expressed frustrations he has been having in his campaign."

ALP, UPP CLASH …Stones pelted at UPP whistle-stop in Liberta

Antigua Sun: "Antigua Labour Party (ALP) and United Progressive Party (UPP) supporters clashed last evening as a long line of vehicles that made up the ruling party’s whistle-stop wound its way through Liberta.

According to reports, as vehicles moved past a popular gathering area for members of the Liberta community, stones were pelted at a number of vehicles.

Reports reaching the Antigua Sun are that a young teen was struck and had to be taken to the Holberton Hospital to be treated for his injuries. At the time of going to press, the SUN was unable to confirm."

Yachtsmen leave despite pleas of Tourism Minister

SUN Weekend: "Yachtsmen in Antigua are beating a hasty retreat to what they believe are safer harbours, following the murder of a member of the yachting community.

Australian Drew Gollan, the captain of the Perseus, a Perini Navi luxury sailing yacht, was shot and killed on Thursday night (22 Jan.) during an attempted robbery.

Gollan’s yacht was moored at the Antigua Yacht Club Marina in English Harbour and he was reportedly on his way home after having dinner with his family, when the shooting occurred.

Members of the yachting community in the English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard area have been pulling up anchor and leaving Antigua after news broke of the Australian captain’s untimely demise."

Funeral home owner, wife and grandchildren perish in New Amsterdam fire

Stabroek News: "Two adults and two children as well as five dogs perished around 1.40 am yesterday in a blaze which swept through their heavily grilled Charlotte Street, New Amsterdam home, despite frantic efforts to save them.

The charred remains of Krishna ‘Ivor’ Persaud, 63, proprietor of Persaud’s Funeral Home, his wife, Parbattie ‘Patsy’ Persaud, 60 and their two grandchildren, nine-year-old Melissa, and six-year-old Armaan were pulled out of the razed building after the fire was contained."

Canadian visa scam…More victims surface

Kaieteur News: "“I gat a contact in the High Commissioner Office in Trinidad” - Con man tells them

As news of a big Canadian visa racket spreads, more Guyanese have come forward to disclose how they were fleeced of thousands of Canadian dollars by an Immigration Consultant and his local accomplice.

Yesterday, five more persons reported that they had paid over various sums of money amounting to more than CDN$25,000 to Immigration Consultant Balwant Persaud and his associate, Alim Samad, for them to secure Canadian Student Visas."

SWINDLED! New breed of white-collar thieves strike banks

Jamaica Gleaner News "A SIGNIFICANT increase in scams kept the police Fraud Squad busy last year as the unit probed reports of fraudulent transfers of land, employee theft, credit-card fraud, identity theft, and other allegations.

The Fraud Squad said it received 796 reports last year, compared with 498 in 2007. It is estimated that persons were defrauded of just under J$306 million, US$2.9 million and £8,050 in 2008.

These figures do not include money defrauded from persons overseas in the 'Montego Bay Lottery Scam' and the numerous questionable investment schemes which collapsed during the year and which are now being probed by the Police Organised Crime Unit."

PRIVATE EYE

The Nation Newspaper "THE POLICE COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY (PCA)
will soon be appointing its own private investigator to probe complaints brought
by the public against the police.

According to chairman Justice Leroy Inniss, that person will be someone preferably with a legal background, but who is completely free
of the police."

LIME cuts may hit Bajans more

The Nation Newspaper "BARBADOS MAY TAKE a bigger hit than other Caribbean territories in the LIME (formerly Cable & Wireless) layoffs across the region.

Speaking at a media breakfast on Friday at Hilton Barbados, Caribbean CEO Richard Dodd explained that LIME's Barbados operation made up about a quarter of the staff, hence cuts to that proportion.

'As of today our expectation is that Barbados accounts for around a quarter of our people and we expect to have a comparable impact in Barbados as elsewhere,' said Dodd."

Smell of smoke on bus

The Nation Newspaper "EVIDENCE WAS HEARD yesterday that the passengers in BT4 enroute to the Ermie Bourne Highway smelt something smoking and told the driver so.

The coroner's inquest into the Joe's River fatal collision on July 29, 2007, before Coroner Faith Marshall-Harris also heard that driver Morton Brathwaite was driving at about 20 to 30 kilometers per hour, very slowly, and he went at the same speed from the Wildey Gymnasium, through Lears, past Andrews Factory, up Horse Hill and only when the coach was nearing Joe's River did it begin to accelerate."

'Give employment urgent attention' - DFP leader

Dominica News "Leader of the Dominica Freedom Party Judith Pestaina says employment generation for the youth should be given urgent attention.

She says Dominica youth needs to be more employable, especially in the context of the EPA and emerging Caribbean Single Market and Economy.

Pestaina was addressing a forum organised by the Citizens Forum for Good Governance on the current global financial crisis and its implications for Dominica Thursday night.

Meanwhile Pestaina says there must be alternative measures provided for job security in Dominica."

Police deny delaying Mullany murder case in Antigua

WalesOnline: "THE Metropolitan Police said yesterday it was not to blame for delays in the case against two men accused of murdering Welsh honeymooners, Ben and Catherine Mullany, on Antigua last summer.

Lawyers for two men accused of shooting dead the Swansea Valley couple on the Caribbean island have criticised hold-ups in the case.

Committal hearings have been delayed this week because, a court in the Antiguan capital St John’s was told on Thursday, the results of forensic tests carried out at the murder scene are still in the UK."

NOT GUILTY OF MURDER ... 'Big Man', 'Deuce Man' face manslaughter charge

SUN St.Kitts & Nevis: "Fitzroy “Big Man” Challenger and Jamal “Deuce Man” Bradshaw are not guilty of murder for the 2006 killing of 16-year-old Josh Smithen (of St. Paul’s). The High Court instead put forth manslaughter charges, as of yesterday.

Manslaughter refers to the unlawful killing of a human being without the intent to kill or inflict injury – whether expressed or implied malice.

Such is said to occur in the heat of the moment or through involuntary action, while murder is generally classified as the taking of human life with the intent to kill through premeditated and voluntary intension."

Obama coming for Summit

The Trinidad Guardian: "Prime Minister Patrick Manning confirmed yesterday that United States president Barack Obama will be attending the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain in April. America’s 44th president would join 33 other world leaders expected to attend the three-day summit. Manning also said the T&T Government remained fully committed to hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November.The Prime Minister made the announcements in Parliament in response to criticisms levelled against the Government’s decision to host the upcoming event."

Pests plague Portmore

Jamaica Gleaner News"Mosquitoes. Rodents. Centipedes. Just about every creepy-crawly imaginable has been causing untold annoyance to residents of Portmore, St Catherine.

Norma Clarke, secretary of the Caymanas Gardens Citizens' Association, said centipedes have been invading homes, especially during cold weather."

Ryan Peralto dies at 75

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "RYAN Peralto, the late former senator and junior minister, was yesterday hailed as a true Jamaican patriot who made a significant contribution to the advancement of good governance in the Caribbean nation.

The 75-year-old retired politician died at Andrews Memorial Hospital in Kingston yesterday morning, a day after he was admitted after complaining about chest pains."

Islamic group warns Rihanna

The Nation Newspaper "A RADICAL ISLAMIC group is threatening to take action if Rihanna is allowed to perform in Malaysia, but that country's government has approved the February 13 concert by the Barbadian star.

The youth wing of the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) called for a cancellation of the concert on Wednesday, saying Rihanna's performances were unsuitable because of her daring outfits and raunchy dances."

Barbados gives BHP Billiton first oil exploration licence

Jamaica Gleaner News"Barbados has awarded its first offshore oil-exploration rights in a bid to diversify its tourism-driven economy, an energy official said.

The government licensed Melbourne, Australia-based BHP Billiton to evaluate two undersea blocks southeast of the Caribbean island, said Philmore Best, deputy permanent secretary of Barbados' energy ministry. He gave no details on the financial terms of the deal."

FATAL CRASH…youth dies in car accident

Antigua Sun: "Almost one week after a youth lost his life in a tragic pickup accident, an 18-year-old boy early yesterday morning perished in yet another vehicular accident.

Darren Weatherhead, a resident of Cassada Gardens, became the country’s latest road fatality after the vehicle in which he was travelling turned turtle on the St. Johnson's Village main road at around 12:30 a.m.

The incident brings the number of fatal accidents in Antigua and Barbuda for the year so far to two.

According to police reports, the vehicle, which was being driven by Omarie Benjamin of All Saints, was travelling from south to north and upon reaching the entrance of Simon Bolivar School, Benjamin lost control of the vehicle which ran off the road, collided with a tree and then overturned."

Australian skipper shot and killed in Antigua

International Herald Tribune: "ST. JOHN'S, Antigua: A gunman shot and killed the Australian skipper of a yacht in Antigua, police said Friday, stirring protests in the affluent boating community that has become a target of the Caribbean island's crime wave.

The victim was shot in the chest at close range Thursday night as he walked through a dockyard area near English Harbor with his girlfriend, Police Commissioner Thomas Bennett said. The motive was unclear and no arrests have been made, Bennett said."

Rowley: PM ignored me on Udecott issue

The Trinidad Guardian: "Member of the Commission of Enquiry into the Construction Sector Israel Khan SC told sacked trade minister Dr Keith Rowley he had failed to present any evidence of corruption against the Urban Development Corporation of T&T (Udecott). Khan indicated this during Thursday’s hearing of the Commission of Enquiry at the Winsure Building in Port-of-Spain."

Chaos at KC- Students attack teacher - Police, education ministry called in

Jamaica Gleaner News "Two students of Kingston College (KC) were yesterday taken into police custody for their involvement in a violent incident that left one of their peers injured.

The latest incident followed another on Tuesday when classes at the school's North Street campus ended abruptly after several ninth-grade students attacked and beat a teacher."

Tax torture

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "A United States Agency for International Development (USAID) official yesterday described Jamaica as one of the most difficult places in the world to pay taxes and suggested that the Government reduce bureaucracy in order to improve compliance."

Delay in Mullany murder case; forensic evidence still in UK

Antigua Sun: "The committal proceedings for the two men charged for the murder of two British nationals have been further adjourned.

Twenty-year-old Kaniel Martin of Tindale Road and 17-year-old Avie Howell of Golden Grove appeared in the St. John’s Magistrates Court yesterday before Magistrate Keith Thom.

The committal process has been delayed because the forensic results are still in the United Kingdom, according to Adlai Smith who represented the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the matter."

Barbados' 'fear factor' on immigrants

The Nation Newspaper "CSME bashing is being increasingly linked to immigrants bashing, and more specifically Guyanese nationals, without ANY specific details being offered, officially or otherwise, on precise numbers of the legal or undocumented ones; as well as on the claimed 'financial burden' to Barbados for health and education services provided; or in the sectors of employment where immigrants are supposedly displacing eligible Barbadian workers.

One can perhaps overlook the occasional resort by some to ethnic and cultural slander in the media."

Caribbean immigrants flocking to career schools for jobs in health care

South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com: "Nurses' aides, medical assistants, surgical technicians — Caribbean immigrants are a fast-growing force in South Florida health care.

Technical schools are noticing.

In Lauderhill and Lauderdale Lakes, two Broward cities with a high concentration of Caribbean immigrants, technical schools offering specialties in health care are multiplying. Some schools say the community grew around them, but newer schools say they were drawn to the area by the concentration of potential students."

Gun amnesty a failure

Dominica News "Dominica's Acting Deputy Chief of Police Cyril Carrette has disclosed that a three-month gun amnesty, which ended on January 10, 2009, only recovered two firearms.

'The firearms that were recovered were those that people did not pay license for, hence we have not really realized the amnesty,' Carette said in an interview with Dominica News Online.

In the latter half of 2008, the Roosevelt Skerrit administration decided to offer a three-month amnesty on all illegal guns and ammunitions. Though the amnesty has failed, Carrette is still urging persons with illegal firearms to bring them in without fear of prosecution."

video--Burnt For Stealing Coins

HTS Channel 4: St Lucia "These are just some of the burns the ten-year-old boy received. He was allegedly smoldered in the face, chest, legs and lower body by his mother on Friday evening. The boy’s mom accused him of stealing coins from a jar but he denied it. A witness who wanted to remain anonymous says she recalled the boy screaming for help after being burnt. She says instead of seeking medical attention the accused parent massaged the wounds with Vaseline and threatened to take the boy for a sea bath. The witness says the actions of the parent are inhumane."

video--Trona Bennett Memorial

HTS Channel 4: : "Dr. Trona Bennett’s friends, family and close friends came from all over for the Memorial Service. Her daughter – Celine Richardson – set the tone for the Memorial from the onset. Speaker after speaker eulogized the Gynecologist who fought off three attacks of cancer. Dr. Trona Bennett was described by those who knew her best as real and straightforward and honest. Her friend and Medical Director at Tapion Hospital – Dr. Romel Daniel says he still wakes up thinking that her killing was a bad dream – but he knows Dr. Bennett’s reaction to him would be to get on with it."

Gun shot victims' condition stable

Dominica News "Dominica News Online has learnt that the condition of the two victims shot at Grand Bay yesterday by Brad Johnville is stable.

Gayle Registe got three bullet wounds, according to boyfriend, Lindon Peters.

He said that Registe received a bullet in her stomach and one near her lap. However, he noted that Registe is recovering at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).

Peters is father to Linka Peters who was shot dead yesterday by Johnville, who then turned the gun on himself.

Whilst Peters told this news medium that he is unaware of what happened between Johnville and his daughter, he suggested that they had relationship problems."

No leads in triple murder

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday : newsday.co.tt :: "POLICE probing the murders of Cocorite couple Devon Joseph, his wife Kimlin and teenaged relative Kyle Joseph remained baffled yesterday as to the motive for the brutal killings. The bodies were found at the Phase One, Cocorite home of Devon Joseph, a Water and Sewerage Authority pipefitter, at about 11 am Tuesday.

An autopsy done yesterday on the body of Devon Joseph, 27, by Pathologist Dr Hughvon Des Vignes, revealed that Joseph died from shock and haemorrhage consistent with multiple stab wounds."

STOP IT!

The Nation Newspaper | STOP IT!: "COMPANIES THAT send home staff because they have not made as much money as planned, are selfish and short-sighted, charges General Secretary of the Barbados Workers' Union, Senator Sir Roy Trotman.

And he wants those people who are doing it without consulting the trade union to stop now."

Baby found

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "THREE weeks after searching desperately for her baby daughter, Kailee Walker, who was snatched from her home at Denham Town in Kingston, Simone Samuda is now breathing a sigh of relief after the police recovered the baby in New Haven yesterday.

'I get back my baby. I am very happy and overjoyed,' Samuda told the Observer as she clutched little Kailee, now nine weeks old, in her arms. 'I won't get to carry her home tonight because she have to do DNA test tomorrow (today).'"

Kern trial set for June 22

Jamaica Gleaner News "THE TRIAL of the accused in the Cuban light-bulb scandal will begin in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on June 22 and is expected to last at least two weeks.

Senior Resident Magistrate Glen Brown set the date yesterday, despite protest from defence attorneys that they had not been served all documents germane to the case and that they were, therefore, not in a position to go to trial."

Obama: America must help usher in new era of peace

The Trinidad Guardian: "A moment of profound racial significance.This was how the New York Times referred to the swearing-in of Barack H Obama as the 44th president of the United States, yesterday.And in his inaugural address, Obama, the first African-American to become leader of the free world, did not let that fact go unnoticed. Obama described himself as “a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant."

Embassy official: ‘Exciting day’

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday : newsday.co.tt :: "“It’s just an exciting day” said Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy, Michelle Jones, in response to yesterday’s historic inauguration of President Barack Obama as the 44th President of the US.

Jones said staff of the Embassy and students had gathered in the library on Marli Street to watch the inauguration ceremony at the White House."

Report finds big polar beer scam

Stabroek News: "The Auditor General-led report into the explosive polar beer scam has concluded that fake documents were submitted to customs by both the broker and Fidelity Invest-ments Inc and charges were recommended against a top Fidelity official, a broker and 14 Customs employees from various departments who were complicit in the fraud."

A new day - Jubilation as Barack Obama sworn in as 44th US president

Jamaica Gleaner News "The National Mall in Washington, DC, pulsed with celebration and history yesterday as Barack Obama took the oath of office before a vast, energised crowd witnessing a transfer of power like none other.

Roused by Obama's moment, crowds estimated at more than one million clogged the mall and Pennsylvania Avenue, erupting in jubilation the moment Chief Justice John G. Roberts became the first to declare: 'Congratulations, Mr President.'

The crowd roared. Trumpets blared."

AT LAST!

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "WASHINGTON, USA (AP) - Barack Obama became the 44th US president yesterday, shattering American racial barriers as the first black leader of the nation he promised to free from the grip of its profound economic troubles and steer away from wars in two distant lands.

Obama assumed power over a country longing for change after former President George W Bush's eight divisive years in the White House, an era that witnessed the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the beginning of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and an economic collapse not seen since the 1930s Great Depression."

Body of missing Guyanese fished from Dieppe Bay

Antigua Sun: "After two days of scouring the coastline of Dieppe Bay, the body of 22-year-old Kofi Wiltshire of Guyana was finally fished from the water yesterday.

Wiltshire drowned on Sunday afternoon after encountering difficulties while out with friends at the beach.

The Guyanese national was on vacation in Antigua and was expected to return to his homeland yesterday.

Wiltshire’s body was found by members of the Antigua and Barbuda Coast Guard about 7:09 a.m.

The Antigua Sun was able to contact a family friend of the victim, Raymond Tyson, of Cashew Hill."

PRESIDENT OBAMA

The Nation Newspaper : "WASHINGTON – Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States yesterday in front possibly the largest mass of humanity ever to have gathered in one place for a single political moment.

It was estimated that as many as two million people crammed Washington's National Mall to witness and participate in the celebratory atmosphere that marked the historic event."

Antigua to rename peak Mount Obama on birthday

The Associated Press: "ST JOHN'S, Antigua (AP) — Antigua plans to give the new U.S. president its 'top' honor: renaming its tallest peak Mount Obama.

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer says the Caribbean nation will rename Boggy Peak, as it is currently known, on Aug. 4 to mark President Barack Obama's 48th birthday.

He first announced the plan in November in a congratulatory letter to Obama. He revealed the date on Tuesday.

Spencer said he joined 'people of color all over the world, and indeed all people' in celebrating Obama's inauguration.

Boggy Peak rises 1,300 feet (396 meters) over Antigua's southern point and is popular with hikers."

Bennett’s Son Charged For Murder

HTS Channel 4: "The main suspect in Dr. Bennett’s murder has been charged with her slaying. On Monday, police charged Dr. Bennett’s son – Andrew Kagan Richardson with killing his mother – the first homicide for the year. The 31-year-old is accused of causing blunt force trauma and strangling his mother to death. The incident took place at Dr. Bennett’s house at Trouya last week Tuesday.

Dr. Bennett had been a gynecologist here for the past 20 years and helped found the Tapion hospital. There are reports that the entire episode was captured in surveillance that Dr. Bennett installed a few days prior to her killing. The accused – Andrew Kagan Richardson – is expected to appear in court on Tuesday morning."

video--Second Homicide For 2009

HTS Channel 4: "Thirty three year old Alexandrine “Kirma” Victor may have been in the wrong pace at the wrong time. Victor is originally from La Croix but she resided with her boyfriend of nine years at his La Clery home. Her boy-friend says Victor was watching television about 12:15 Sunday morning when someone called from the window for a sale from a small shop the family operates. He says when the young lady went to the window to make the sale, she was shot in the chest by an unidentified gunman."

video--Machel and the locals

HTS Channel 4: "It was a strongly worded press release from the Saint Lucia Association of Musicians and Performers (STAMP). The release came on the same day Machel Montano and his entourage arrived in Saint Lucia. At issue is the fee being paid to Montana for his finale appearance at the closing ceremony of the CHA Marketplace. Association Press Officer – Jackie Weekes –says it’s not so much the over $100,000 being paid to the Trini performer as much as it is the $15,000 being paid to the local artistes in comparison."

Seismic research centre confirms earthquake on St Lucia

Caribbean Net News:: "CASTRIES, St Lucia: The Seismic Research Centre based in Trinidad has confirmed that an earthquake occurred in St Lucia. On January 18, 2009, about 5:51 p.m. an earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter Scale was felt on the island.

The earthquake was centered near the north coast of St Lucia at Latitude 14.11 degrees North and 61.'02 degrees West at a depth of 29 Kilometers."

Gruesome pics of Dominica's 2009 first murder victim circulating on the internet

Dominica News "A number of gruesome photos of murder victim Kurt Registe is now circulating on the internet.

Registe's body was found with chop wounds in Calibishie on Sunday. This was Dominica's first murder of the year.

The photos being circulating on the internet show large and deep laceration's on Registe's face and head. His face is disfigured.

One photo showed him being covered with banana leaf.

No one has been formally arrested for the crime, but police are continuing their investigations."

A great day for mankind

The Barbados Advocate: "TODAY will be a wonderful day; one that will make historians smile for years to come.

The first African-American will be sworn in as the President of the United States of America.

The electricity is in the air and the energy has been building up since election night. Persons have been anxious to drop the “elect” off the title President."

PNM beats TOP in THA election

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday : newsday.co.tt :: "THE People’s National Movement (PNM) last night retained control of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) by winning eight of the 12 contested seats. The remaining four seats went to the opposition Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP).

The results indicate we will retain control of the Assembly... the problem is we have lost some seats, but we have been given a clear mandate to carry out our plans for the people of Tobago,” THA leader Orville London said. A notable absentee from the celebrations was Prime Minister Patrick Manning, who decided to skip the election altogether."

FRAUD ALERT … Suspicions raised over ALP’s card machine

Antigua Sun: "The United Progressive Party (UPP) has levelled a number of serious allegations against the opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP), accusing it of making and distributing fake voter identification cards.

Chairman of the UPP Leon “Chaku” Symister said the ALP recently imported an identification system with all the things necessary to make identification cards.

“We have been hearing in conversations on the airwaves of operatives in the Antigua Labour Party promising persons that they can deliver voter registration cards to them,” Symister said during a press conference held yesterday."

US-based Guyanese given three years hard labour for cocaine possession

Stabroek News: "A US-based Guyanese woman, who was held with TT$1.2 million in cocaine at the Piarco International Airport on Saturday, has been sentenced to three years hard labour.

Devika Lakhram, 36, who resides in Florida, pleaded guilty before Magistrate Debra Quintyne in the Arima Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The court heard that Lakhram and her 34-year-old brother, Anand Lakhram, were at Piarco about to board Caribbean Airlines Flight BW 480 destined to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when they were searched by detectives of the Organised Crime Narcotics and Firearms Bureau (OCNFB)."

COLOUR POWER - World's most influential persons of African ancestry

Jamaica Gleaner News "There will be no honeymoon for Barack Obama when he becomes president of the United States. But for the traditional inaugural ball, his first days in office will be anything but a song and dance. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson all became president in trying times. The Obama ascension is only different because he is a man of colour. The US was the epicentre of the world financial crisis that began in August when its presidential campaign was in full flight. Getting the economy back on track will undoubtedly be Obama's biggest assignment."

World hopes on Obama

- JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "LONDON, England (AFP) - Hopes that Barack Obama can improve US ties with the rest of the world have grown even stronger in the run-up to his inauguration as president, a poll said today.

But having such high expectations overseas presents Obama with a tough challenge, warned one of the pollsters who carried out the poll for the BBC World Service."

OBAMA DAY

The Nation Newspaper: "OBAMA-MANIA has gripped the world once again.

On the eve of the inauguration of America's first black president Barack Obama, officials have estimated that nearly two million people have descended on Washington D.C to watch the inauguration, potentially the highest influx of people the city has ever seen.

Millions more around the world will watch the swearing in on television.

Here in Barbados, the public can view the event on giant TV screens at three locations at least."

Caribbean islands slammed with double financial hit

USATODAY.com: "The Caribbean is facing its worst tourism downturn since the Sept. 11 attacks, due to a double blow from the world economic crisis and sweeping airline cutbacks, especially by the region's dominant carrier, American Airlines. Though carriers such as JetBlue expanded and American restored some capacity, January non-stop capacity between the regions remains 9% below last year from the Lower 48 to the Caribbean.

While some islands have other industries, such as banking or oil refineries to pick up the slack, the Caribbean relies on tourism more than any other region in the world — with two-thirds of visitors coming from the USA."

Drowning at Deep Bay

Antigua Sun: "A young Guyanese national, who was scheduled to leave Antigua and Barbuda for his homeland this week, drowned at Deep Bay yesterday afternoon.

The identification of the young man and the circumstances surrounding his death were not immediately revealed to the Antigua Sun, presumably in a move to ensure the family of the victim were first contacted.

The drowning was the second in a string of incidents which saw what is being described as “four unfortunate deaths” recorded in Antigua and Barbuda yesterday."

Grief, fear still haunt Lusignan

Stabroek News: "-as massacre anniversary looms

Tract ‘A’ Lusignan seems to have regained the serenity lost when a band of gunmen invaded in the wee hours of January 26 last year and gunned down 11 villagers in depraved violence and though deep grief and fear still abound there is a prevailing sense that life must go on."

More murders than days

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday : newsday.co.tt :: "SIX murders over the past 48 hours have pushed this year’s murder toll to an incredible 27 with a mere 18 days gone so far in January.

Those murdered over the weekend have been identified as Sanjeev Singh, 16, of 106 Bailey Street, Cocorite Road, Arima; Travis Robertson, 19, of Never Dirty, Morvant; Marvin Chandler, 31, of Upper Wharton Street, Laventille; Trevor Riley Lewis, 62, of No 9 Trou Macaque Road, Laventille; Anthony “Lane” Pierre, 32, of Upper Seventh Avenue, Malick and Azard James, 26, of Cosmos Street, Coconut Drive in Morvant."

ROAD FATALITY…Maynard family mourns death of country’s first road casualty

Antigua Sun: "The Maynard family, proprietors of the popular chain of stores in Antigua, Top Ranking Ltd. is mourning the tragic death of one of the younger members of its household.

Twenty-two-year-old Randy Maynard became the country’s first road fatality after he was thrown from the back of a pickup yesterday morning.

The accident occurred about 5:50 a.m. on the Old Parham Road in the vicinity of Hadeed Motors, a short distance away from Maynard’s Old Parham Road home.

Reports reaching the Antigua Sun indicate that Maynard and his brother Raymond Gomes of Old Parham Road along with Gilbert Limerick, 17, of Cassada Gardens were heading home after leaving a nearby nightclub."

PM not happy

JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM: "PRIME Minister Bruce Golding yesterday expressed dissatisfaction that his administration has not done more to reduce Jamaica's nagging crime problem which has already claimed more than 70 lives 19 days into the new year.

Addressing stone-faced supporters of his ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), who listened attentively to their leader at the party's Corporate Area constituencies (Area Council One) meeting at Kingston High School, Golding also admitted that the party had done a poor job of talking to its constituents, even as he vowed that 2009 will be his year."

- Sex in recession - Prostitutes slash prices - Parlours see 50% decline - Layoffs hurt businesses

Jamaica Gleaner News "The economic meltdown that has triggered massive layoffs and production cutbacks in the formal business sector has spread to the illegal sex industry as prostitutes and sensual massage parlours have reported at least a 50 per cent decline in profits and clientele.

The manager of a well-established Kingston massage parlour, which offers sexual services, said she may be forced to close doors soon. While accustomed to making $8,000-$10,000 on weekdays and up to $15,000 on weekends, the operator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the economic crunch has depressed revenues to roughly $15,000 weekly, an 80 per cent hit to the till."

Drug culture could spell 'doom'

The Nation Newspaper "DRUG ABUSE and drug trafficking have the potential to undermine governance, democracy and human potential,
and will spell doom for Barbados in these harsh economic times.

This warning from manager of the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA), Tessa Chaderton-Shaw at a recent Drug Awareness Month Press conference at her James Street, City, headquarters.

The theme this yearis My Life. My Body. No Place For Drugs which Chaderton-Shaw said was 'very relevant and versatile as we usherin a new year'.

Chaderton-Shaw said it was now more important than ever to embrace life skills and drug education programmes if Barbados was to stem this tide before it went outof control."

Jamaica launches anti-corruption hotline

Taiwan news Jamaica has launched a new effort to root out police corruption, setting up a hot line for public complaints.
National Security Minister Trevor McMillan says the special line that begins service Sunday lets islanders report instances of corruption to an offshore call center that cannot be accessed by local police officers.
Police Commissioner Admiral Hardley Lewin says "anti-corruption efforts have been ramped up this year" in Jamaica, where nearly 60 police officers were arrested in 2008 on corruption charges.

The Caribbean prime minister had it all. But he wanted even more

The Independent There is trouble in paradise, again. On the Caribbean group of islands of Turks and Caicos, Prime Minister "Iron" Mike Misick  faces claims that he has amassed a personal fortune and financed a jet-setting life of luxury through corruption. He stands accused of benefiting from a series of dodgy land deals. And he faces an allegation of sexual assault. His glamorous actress/model wife, Lisa Raye McCoy , has left him for an American basketball player, and the celebrities who queued up to buy into the fantasy island lifestyle – from Gwyneth Paltrow to Bruce Willis – are rattled by an official British inquiry which is threatening to expose the dark underbelly of island life.