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Showing posts from February, 2011

Opposition leader in St. Vincent condemns grant from Libya

Image via WikipediaThe Canadian Press: "KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — Officials on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent are defending their decision to accept aid from Libya at the moment other governments around the world are denouncing that country's bloody crackdown on protests.

Opposition leader Arnhim Eustace says the Libyan aid is blood money and on Thursday he criticized Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves for taking it. Gonsalves and Foreign Affairs Minister Douglas Slater avoided the ceremony where a Libyan official delivered the $250,000 check on Monday.
Related articlesLibya unrest worries Caricom (news.smallshop.com)Libya: UN condemns Libya for use of force (telegraph.co.uk)Gaddafi defiant amid Libya turmoil - live (guardian.co.uk)

Bajan gays upset

NationNews Barbados "Barbadian gay refugees who have sought asylum in Canada say they had to flee Barbados because they were being persecuted for their lifestyle.

And they are angry that entertainer/promoter Dwayne Grazette has labelled attempts by members of the gay community to seek asylum in Canada as a “scam”.

They say Grazette is only upset because his gay friend had left him to go to Canada on the refugee programme without telling him.
Related articlesBajan gays seek refugee status in Canada (news.smallshop.com)

Customs bust contrabandistas.

Amandala Online: "Belize Customs officials have made a major bust of 277 cases of beer and 2 cases of Johnny Walker Black Label whiskey after two suspicious vans were seized outside of Orange Walk Town yesterday at 3:50 a.m. The Customs Department believes the items are from the Corozal Free Zone.

BAICO Salvage Plan Shelved on Lack of T&T Monetary Commitment

The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer: "Policyholders, depositors, and investors of the collapsed British American Insurance Company (BAICO) were dealt another blow on news of the ECCU’s latest setback on the regional dilemma.

The governments of the East Caribbean Currency Union issued a joint press release on Wednesday (Feb. 23) announcing that plans to have a new company take over the majority of BAICO’s business have been indefinitely delayed.

DANIEL WAS STRANGLED

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday "TODAY’S funeral for eight-year-old Daniel Guerra, was ordered stopped by the police after a private autopsy, done on Thursday evening, revealed the boy was strangled and not drowned, as an initial autopsy showed.

This was confirmed to Newsday last night by senior police officers who are involved in the murder investigation.
Related articlesKamla Weeps for Daniel (news.smallshop.com)

'Demystifying ackee poisoning'

Ackee and Saltfish Jamaica Gleaner "PASSLEY GARDENS, Portland:THE RECENT spike in ackee poisoning is being attributed to a lack of adequate sunlight which increases the levels of the toxin hypoglycin, which is found in the fruit.

This argument was put forward on Thursday by Seymour Webster, researcher and lecturer at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) in Portland. According to Webster, ackee poisoning mostly takes place during overcast and short-day periods.
Related articlesJamaica warns about increases in ackee poisoning (foxnews.com)Foods That Will Kill You If Not Prepared Properly (shoppingblog.com)World's most deadly delicacies (msnbc.msn.com)

Libya unrest worries Caricom

JamaicaObserver.com: "ST GEORGE'S, Grenada (CMC) — Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Dr Denzil Douglas yesterday acknowledged that the ongoing unrest in Libya will have consequences for the sub-region.

Dr Douglas, who is among 13 Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders meeting here for their annual inter-sessional summit, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the sub-region was working with Libya to strengthen ties with the African Union.
Related articlesLibya: Unrest and uncertainty (boston.com)

Quick Takes: A 'Black Swan' reversal - latimes.com

latimes.com: "A censorship board has reversed a decision to forbid theaters in Barbados from showing 'Black Swan' because of its sexual and violent content.

The Cinematograph Film Censorship Board reviewed its decision after a theater filed an appeal. The board announced Wednesday that the movie would be shown under an 'R' rating, as it has been in the U.S.

Hundreds of people signed an online petition asking the Caribbean nation's board to reverse its decision. Hundreds more joined a Facebook page titled 'For Freedom of Thought and Expression in Barbados.'
Related articlesBarbados Lifts Ban on 'Black Swan' After Outcry (abcnews.go.com)

Buju's assets safe for now

Jamaica Gleaner "Prosecuting attorneys in the United States are yet to say if they will be going after the assets owned by convicted reggae superstar Buju Banton.

The Gleaner was unable to get a comment from the prosecutors yesterday, more than 24 hours after a 12-member jury found Buju guilty on three of four drug-related charges.
Related articlesBuju Banton Found Guilty - Sentencing Date to Be Determined (news.smallshop.com)

Sacked OP employee flees to the US with plans to “tell it all”

Kaieteur News: "Marcelle Joseph, who was sacked by Office of the President on suspicion of leaking information to Kaieteur News, has fled to the United States of America, claiming that she fears for her life.
Joseph arrived in the United States last Sunday, leaving her four-year-old son and other relatives behind in Guyana.
The woman claimed that she had received threats by senior government officials who accused her of furnishing Kaieteur News with documents related to the controversial purchase of 20 laptop computers by the Office of the President.
Related articlesGovt. secrecy on contracts/projects facilitates corruption (news.smallshop.com)Eddie Boyer assaults Freddie Kissoon : Kaieteur News (news.smallshop.com)

BUJU BANTON FOUND GUILTY - SENTENCING DATE TO BE DETERMINED

BBC Caribbean Supporters of Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton have greated his drug conspiracy conviction in a Florida court with disbelief.
On Tuesday, Banton was found guilty of conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute it, another drug trafficking offence and a gun charge. He was acquitted of a fourth charge for attempted cocaine possession.
Buju Banton

The Jamaica Gleaner ONE HUNDRED and forty-eight days after a panel of jurors failed to reach a verdict on whether Buju Banton was innocent or guilty of cocaine-related charges last September, a new panel that listened to the case against the reggae superstar has found him guilty. The jury, which included three African-American women, yesterday returned a guilty verdict for three of the four charges brought against the Grammy-winning artiste, whose real name is Mark Myrie. The iconic Jamaican artiste, whose sentencing hearing date has not yet been determined, will now face 15 years to life behind bars.
Related articlesB…

Bloody Sunday

THE murder toll for the year jumped to 65 following four killings committed on Sunday between 6 am and 10 pm in Princes Town, John John in Laventille, Gasparillo and Thompson Trace in Laventille, in unrelated incidents. The four victims have been identified as Robert Khan, Javon Cox, Rasheek “Pone” Khan and Brent Tribuce. The following is a report on the four murders in chronological order. 
Related articlesFour killings in Laventille ...This year's murder toll now 435 (news.smallshop.com)

KAMLA WEEPS FOR DANIEL

Newsday An emotional Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday described the killer of eight-year-old Daniel Guerra as a “monster” and called for swift justice.

She also announced that the tragic death of Daniel had strengthened her resolve “that we need to use more drastic measures in the fight against the criminals.”
Related articlesFree to hang (news.smallshop.com)'Very gruesome' (news.smallshop.com)

video--Police death squad in St. Lucia?

Haitian anger - rage after U-17 football team sent home

JamaicaObserver.com: "THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs will today meet with Haitian officials in an effort to soothe growing anger over complaints that members of the French-speaking Caribbean country’s Under-17 football team were ill-treated after local doctors found that several of them had malaria during the early stages of the CONCACAF championships now on in Montego Bay.

The meeting comes as an Internet petition condemning the incident and calling for a boycott of Jamaica gains momentum.
Related articlesHaitians protest Jamaica's ouster of U17 team (usatoday.com)

'Dog Paw' goes to court today

JamaicaObserver.com: "ALLEGED gang leader Christopher 'Dog Paw' Linton is scheduled to make his first appearance in the Home Circuit Court today on number of charges including murder and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

Linton, who was featured on the country's most wanted list, is facing three counts of murder; three counts of shooting with intent; two counts of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition; one count of wounding with intent and one count of arson.
Related articlesDog Paw'collared - Jamaica's Most Wanted Held In Massive Dragnet (news.smallshop.com)Police throw bone to 'Dog Paw' (news.smallshop.com)

Haitians decry mistreatment of young soccer team by Jamaica

MiamiHerald.com: "For three hours Saturday, they braved the sweltering heat, singing, dancing and walking shoulder-to-shoulder in an unusual display of Haitian solidarity to protest what they are calling Jamaica’s discriminatory and humiliating treatment of Haiti’s Under-17 soccer players during a World Cup qualifying tournament in Montego Bay.

“What happened to these young men could happen to anyone of us. We are here to send a response to Jamaica: They have people to defend them,’’ said Jenel Saint-Jean, 31.
Related articlesHaitians protest Jamaica's ouster of U17 team (usatoday.com)

Bajan gays seek refugee status in Canada

Stabroek News - Guyana: "Barbados Nation) At least nine people, mostly gays, have applied for refugee status in Canada, claiming harassment and abuse in Barbados; and the matter is being investigated by the Barbados Consulate in Toronto, as well as the Canadian government’s Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).

The applicants, including one young woman, have sought hearings with the IRB, and at least one has been refused while another has appealed his case, reliable sources confirmed yesterday.

Man shot twice in head

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday : "FOURTEEN-year-old Mark Khan yesterday awoke to the sound of gunshots and found his father, Robert, dead on a bed. Robert, 35, had been shot twice in the head.

Valencia residents walk in raw sewage

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday : "Residents of Paula Street at KP Lands in Valencia are walking in raw sewage as it flows through covered and uncovered manholes, bubbling over with dark coloured water from toilet systems on to the road, carrying with it a rotting stench that permeates the air.

Solomon Joseph, who lives there with his wife and children, said despite reports made to several Government bodies, no action has been taken to rectify the situation.

Prime Minister and Former Chief Justice spar in the media – but still no Land Titles in Barbados

Barbados Free Press: "The land titles system in Barbados has been in chaos for decades. Incompetence, corruption and a laziness by elected and appointed government officials combined to get us where we are now: No land titles have been issued for years, and those previously issued are ALL SUSPECT.

We spent $200 million dollars renovating Kensington Oval for a failed Cricket World Cup. We gave $20 million to rich horse owners at the Turf Club. We blew $150 million building a failed dump on shifting soil (Thanks Environment Minister Liz Thompson. What a legacy!). We pumped hundreds of millions into a failed attempt to nationalize the tourism industry through GEMS, and wasted so much more on dozens of ill-conceived and poorly executed projects too numerous to mention here.

Prime Minister and Former Chief Justice spar in the media – but still no Land Titles in Barbados

Barbados Free Press: "The land titles system in Barbados has been in chaos for decades. Incompetence, corruption and a laziness by elected and appointed government officials combined to get us where we are now: No land titles have been issued for years, and those previously issued are ALL SUSPECT.

We spent $200 million dollars renovating Kensington Oval for a failed Cricket World Cup. We gave $20 million to rich horse owners at the Turf Club. We blew $150 million building a failed dump on shifting soil (Thanks Environment Minister Liz Thompson. What a legacy!). We pumped hundreds of millions into a failed attempt to nationalize the tourism industry through GEMS, and wasted so much more on dozens of ill-conceived and poorly executed projects too numerous to mention here.

Barbados' new car sales tumble

JamaicaObserver.com: "THE new car market, like other sectors in Barbados is taking a major hit as the economy struggles through a two-year-long recession.

Courtesy Garage general manager Nicholas Mackie said that new car sales for the country's dealerships were down by nearly half for the last 24 months.

Buju denies being broke and needing drug deal

JamaicaObserver.com: "TAMPA, USA — THE prosecutor today painted a picture of a broke Buju Banton, saying that was his motivation for wanting to enter into a drug dealing venture with government informant Alexander Johnson.

Prosecutor James Preston quoted from the recorded conversation of Banton telling Johnson that he was broke and that his friend Ian Thomas had helped him out financially.

Buju’s lawyer begs jurors for not guilty verdict

JamaicaObserver.com: "TAMPA, USA — Defence attorney David Markus in his closing argument this afternoon asked the 12-member jury to find his client Buju Banton not guilty on all four counts of drug related charges.

In a dramatic closing argument, Markus quoted from the book To Kill a Mockingbird, telling the jurors, “please ladies and gentlemen, please find Mark Myrie not guilty”.
Related articlesBuju Banton Testifies in His Drug Trial in Florida (abcnews.go.com)Buju Banton's attorneys begin calling witnesses (seattletimes.nwsource.com)

Seetahal: Penal killing justifiable

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday "SENIOR COUNSEL and former Independent senator Dana Seetahal says last week’s killing in Penal of a thief was justifiable in the circumstances. She said yesterday that it is not in the public interest to charge anyone and that the court of public opinion, in which crime is rampant in the country, looms large.

“There is no basis for a DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) to charge the villager in question because the public interest does not demand such,” Seetahal told Newsday in an interview outside the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

4 die in crash

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday "A FAMILY of three along with a close family friend were killed in an accident along the southbound lane of the Uriah Butler Highway on Tuesday while they were on their way home after spending the afternoon liming at Caura River.
Related articles5 die in CR Highway crash (news.smallshop.com)

Gramps, Marley testify for Buju

Stephen Marley Jamaica Gleaner "THREE MEMBERS of the music fraternity yesterday took the stand to give character evidence for embattled entertainer Buju Banton.

Gramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage fame, Stephen Marley and independent film-maker Stephanie Black all said Buju is a man of great character, but admitted he is a big talker.
Related articlesBuju Banton's attorneys begin calling witnesses (seattletimes.nwsource.com)Buju vs USA -'Not as easy road (news.smallshop.com)Big blow for 'Buju' - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges (news.smallshop.com)DEA agent again says no evidence artiste a drug dealer Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/A-good-day-for-Buju_8373371#ixzz1E2anGh2M (news.smallshop.com)

Turks and Caicos, the Caribbean and Britain

BBCCaribbean.com "When Caricom Heads of Government meet in Grenada towards the end of February, among the issues they are expected to consider is how to respond to the situation in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

As is well known, Britain suspended parts of the Turks and Caicos constitution in August 2009 and took direct control through the Governor’s office following serious allegations of corruption against the former Premier and others around him.
Related articlesTop 10 romantic Caribbean retreats (flycaribbean.com)

Guadeloupe fights uphill battle to attract tourists

Image via WikipediaThe LA Times But despite aerobatic pelicans, 2010 was a bad year for Guadeloupe, one of France's four overseas regions with some 405,000 people.

During a brief visit earlier this year to Guadeloupe and its neighbor Martinique, French President Nicholas Sarkozy unveiled a plan to lure more foreign, and French, visitors to their sun-soaked beaches and other attractions.

"Tourism is obviously vital for your development," Sarkozy said in Martinique, adding that France would help the region but only if there were matching local efforts on the islands to improve the situation.

Don’t mess with my woman

Amandala Online: "On this day set aside for a day celebrating love, one family is mourning the loss of their murdered son, while another family is mourning the loss of freedom for the accused. It was a case of one woman: two men.

Around 7:20 p.m. on Sunday, February 13, the night before Valentine’s Day, a love triangle ended fatally for 22-year-old Darwin “Mu-Mu” Phillips.

Veterinarian wins 14-year old discrimination case against Government

Bermuda NEWS02: "A Bermudian vet has won a court battle to have human rights commissioners hear her 14-year-old discrimination case against Government.

Dr Susann Smith claims she’s been unfairly blocked from gaining a license to practise on the Island. She became the first black Bermudian woman to qualify as a vet when she gained her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Alabama’s Tuskegee University.

However, she claims she’s been discriminated against for going to Jamaica to gain further qualification to practise rather than passing American or European exams.

DEA agent again says no evidence artiste a drug dealer Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/A-good-day-for-Buju_8373371#ixzz1E2anGh2M

A good day for Buju - - JamaicaObserver.com: "FLORIDA, USA — Jurors in the highly anticipated second trial of reggae superstar Buju Banton heard testimony yesterday from lead investigator Dan McCaffrey of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that there was no evidence that the artiste was a drug trafficker.

In fact, at the end of his cross-examination from defence lawyer David Oscar Markus, it was revealed that Buju did not finance or benefit from the drug deal that he was charged with being a part of.
Related articlesBuju Banton Wins Reggae Grammy On Eve Of Federal Court Date (queerty.com)

video-St.Lucia battles crime and violence

Abraham Lincoln 'wanted to deport slaves' to new colonies

Image via WikipediaTelegraph: "Abraham Lincoln wanted to ship freed black slaves away from the US to British colonies in the Caribbean even in the final months of his life, it has emerged.
Related articles
Abraham Lincoln 'tried to deport slaves' to British colonies (dailymail.co.uk)

Jamaica's gays finding refuge by applying for U.S. asylum

Image via WikipediaThe Washington Post "A classmate once stabbed him near his eye with a pencil for being effeminate. Another time, a man pulled a knife on him and asked if he was 'one of them,' Bent said, meaning homosexual. Fearing for his life, Bent denied his homosexuality.

'I was called faggot, gay, batty man, chichi man,' he said. 'This would be from classmates, from people on the streets when I was walking home. Wherever I went in Jamaica, it was a nightmare.'
Related articlesGay Rights Activist Killed in Jamaica (news.smallshop.com)Gays Seeking Asylum in U.S. Encounter a New Hurdle (nytimes.com)

Buju vs USA -'Not as easy road

Image via WikipediaJamaica Gleaner : "A day after receiving the Grammy award for reggae, and after more than a year of living a nightmare, dancehall superstar Buju Banton will today begin a second attempt at gaining his freedom.

The 37-year-old singer was arrested by police in Florida, United States, in December 2009 on drug and firearm charges and since then, he has lived with the frightening prospect of a long time in prison.
Related articlesBig blow for 'Buju' - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges (news.smallshop.com)Reggae star Buju Banton faces life in US prison (thegrio.com)

Barbados High Court Judge: Public execution murders and witnesses won’t testify, undermining courts.

Barbados Free Press: "High court Justice Randall Worrell (above) is worried about a trend that is undermining our court system and threatening the very fabric of our society: after witnessing their friends murdered on the street in execution-style killings, witnesses don’t want to testify to the point that they are changing their stories or running off the island.

video--Barbados and Caribbean pop star Rihanna drops Chris Brown restraining order

Rihanna has reportedly agreed to have the restraining order against her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown lifted in time for the Grammy Awards.

Africa, Caribbean urged to brace for food price shocks

Reuters: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are warning poor regions that have so far not been hit by rising food prices, like sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean, to get ready to face them.

Food price volatility is here to stay, the World Bank cautioned, amid growing worries there could be another full-blown food crisis only three years after the last one.
Related articlesWorld Bank chief urges action on rising food prices (reuters.com)Global food prices hit record in January (theglobeandmail.com)Food costs at record high as UN warns of volatile era (financialpost.com)High food prices...and growing crisis (one.org)

Crime in the Caribbean: In the shadow of the gallows |

The Economist: "“WE NEED the death penalty…that is the word of God,” said Benjamin Agard, a Pentecostal pastor, in his funeral sermon last month for Cecil Carrington, a retired police officer shot dead by bandits at the small hotel he owned on Trinidad’s windswept east coast. The funeral came a fortnight after Trinidad and Tobago’s prime minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, promised to remove legal obstacles to hanging, offering a parliamentary debate on February 18th.

Her stance is popular across the English-speaking Caribbean, where murder rates have soared since the 1990s. Her country suffered 472 killings last year—close to 5% of all deaths. In 1999 there were just 93. Almost everyone can name a friend or relative who has met a violent end. Last year’s murder rate, of 36 per 100,000 people, was seven times that in the United States and 30 times that of Britain. But it trailed Jamaica (53), Belize (42) and tiny St Kitts-Nevis (40).
Related articlesCrime in the Caribbean: In the sh…

Courthouse brawl

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday "A FIGHT broke out between an attorney and a police corporal outside the Arima Magistrates’ Court yesterday morning with the attorney subsequently being charged for several offences and will appear in the same courthouse today to answer the charges.

According to reports, at about 9 am, the attorney went to the prisoner’s holding bay area of the court to enquire about a client and was given a hostile response by the officer. The report said the attorney replied to the officer and there was a heated exchange of words, which escalated into a fight.

The attorney reportedly received several blows about his body and was taken to the Arima District Hospital where he was treated and discharged. The policeman is also claiming that he was cuffed several times.

2 “shattaz,” 2 guns each, target twins!

Amandala Online: "Two gunmen armed with two guns each emptied 30 shots at twin teenaged brothers Friday evening at dusk. One of the brothers survived but an innocent mechanic joined the other twin in death. All three men were ambushed on Tibruce Street on Friday night at around 6:00. Dead are Daniel Puerto, 17, a construction worker of Tibruce Street, and Ian Martinez, 34, a mechanic of Gill Street.

You Don't Need Millions to Own a Tropical Home

BusinessWeek: "Tropical storms tend to hit the Caribbean before they reach the mainland. The economic storm that hit the global housing market continues to blow over the Caribbean even as the U.S. sees signs of recovery.

'People stopped [buying] in the Bahamas in mid-2010 because they did not know what would happen,' says Patricia (Patty) Birch, president of the Bahamas Real Estate Assn.

St Lucian sentenced to death for killing policeman

JamaicaObserver.com: "CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) – High Court Judge Kenneth Benjamin has sentenced Michel ‘Bage’ Joseph to hang for the April 27, 2008 murder of a policeman.

Scores of people, most noticeably members of the police force, gathered in the Criminal High Court yesterday for the sentencing hearing.

Constable Lester Garvin Remy was shot four times while he and other colleagues were executing a search warrant on a home in Ciceron, in South Castries.

The incident sent shock waves throughout the St Lucia Police Force and the rest of the society as it was the first time a police officer was killed here in the line of duty.

Trigger-happy cops get special counselling

JamaicaObserver.com: "POLICEMEN and women who have been involved in repeated fatal shootings must, under the rules of the constabulary, undergo counselling from the force Chaplaincy Unit.

Head of the Chaplaincy Unit and commandant at the Twickenham Park-based Jamaica Police Academy, Assistant Commissioner Gary Welsh told reporters and editors at the Observer's weekly Monday Exchange that the unit keeps a tab on trigger-happy officers.
Related articlesCop Held in Drug Bust (news.smallshop.com)Trigger happy cops (professorbainbridge.com)Facebook caution: Cops chatting too much on social network (news.smallshop.com)