December 7, 2021

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iNews-briefs17-300x130Cayman EIA contract with Baird signed

The Cayman Islands Government has signed a $2.5m agreement for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the planned cruise port for George Town with W.F. Baird Coastal Engineers Limited.

Cayman company, Bolas Engineering, will provide local assistance.

Deputy Premier and Tourism Minister, Hon. Moses Kirkconnell, called the signing “a major milestone” for the country.

The EIA will look at the marine engineering study, traffic analysis and an Environmental Management plan.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Downgraded by Zacks to Neutral (RCL)

By Scott Davis From WKRB

Zacks downgraded shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a research note released on Friday morning, American Banking News reports. They currently have $54.00 target price on the stock.

Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We revert to a Neutral recommendation on Royal Caribbean Cruises from Outperform due to dismal first quarter 2014 results. Adjusted earnings of $0.21 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and declined 40.0% year over year. The significant downside reflects cancellation or shortening of six voyages during the quarter. Total revenue also missed the consensus mark and was down year over year owing to a decline in net yields, which can be attributed to lower passenger ticket revenue and lower boarding. However, the company increased its financial outlook, given a solid booking environment mainly in European and Asian sailings. In fact, the company expects double-digit yield improvements for both these itineraries in 2014. Going forward, the company is expected to deliver solid results on strong booking trends and profitability initiatives. Also, efforts to counter volatility in fuel prices would improve margins. “

For more:

Cayman National Trust Annual Golf Tournament & Mayfest

Cayman National Trust Annual Golf Tournament

Friday, May 16th 12pm-5pm

Amazing prizes include restaurant gift certificates, helicopter tour and round of golf for 2 at the Ritz, and the winner of this year’s hole-in-one contest takes home a luxury boat from Cayman Leisure Boat Company! Enjoy the free day-long BBQ from Boss Hogg, and complimentary Caybrew, so don’t miss out. Entry is $600/team of 4! Book today to secure your spot or to sponsor our event. To register or volunteer contact Danielle Watler at 749-1121 or [email protected]

Mayfest English Tea, National Trust, Grand Cayman

Monday, May 19th 10:00am-4:00pm

Location: Mission House, Gun Square, Bodden Town.

The event is being held jointly by The Bodden Town Heritage Committee and The National Trust, and will celebrate all cultures.

Visitors will enjoy free tours of the Mission House, performers, a fancy hat parade and a traditional English Tea. Raffle tickets will be on sale for $10 and you have the chance to win $500.

There will also be a pick and pay sale and a fancy hat parade.

For more information call 749-1121 or email [email protected]

Why New York & other states are worried about your face wash

From Care2

Your face wash may be bad for the environment, and several states are trying to do something about it. The problem is “microbeads,” minuscule pieces of plastic about the size of Abe Lincoln’s eye on a penny, Time reports. They’re found in all kinds of products from the likes of Clean & Clear and Olay, and after traveling down the drain, they land in lakes and oceans. There, experts say, they may collect toxins before they’re eaten by fish—and end up in the food chain.

“Big fish eat little fish; eventually the fish is on your dinner plate,” a scientist tells CBS News.

Researchers haven’t yet determined for sure whether microbeads cause environmental harm. Still, New York, Illinois, California, Ohio, and Minnesota are debating bills to ban the beads.

“The fundamental question is going to be: Do we wait to take this material out until we prove that this microbead causes harm?” asks a marine ecologist. If laws are passed against the beads—the New York State Assembly this week voted 108-0 to ban them, Plastics News reports—companies may not put up much of a fight. Johnson & Johnson already plans to get rid of microbeads by 2017, and Procter & Gamble is also moving against the beads.

For more:

Cayman ICO Own-Initiative Investigation 5 released: Government FOI email

The Cayman Islands Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on May 9th 2014 released Own-Initiative Investigation 5, a report on the functionality of designated Freedom of Information (FOI) email addresses for public authorities.

In 2008 at the time of implementation of the FOI Law, 2007, every public authority within the Cayman Islands Government was designated an FOI email address to facilitate receipt of email requests under the Law.

It came to the ICO’s attention that not all designated FOI email addresses were functioning properly, e.g. in one case messages from outside the Cayman Islands Government email system were blocked. Any problems with the functionality of the designated email addresses could potentially form a serious obstacle to FOI applicants, and the Information Commissioner’s Office decided to investigate and take remedial action.

In the course of the investigation each public authority’s designated FOI email address was tested. An email was sent from a Gmail account created by the ICO for that purpose. The investigation concluded that approximately 10% of designated FOI email addresses were experiencing some level of non-functionality which would affect the general public’s ability to make an FOI request.

Each public authority was contacted with the results of the investigation and corrective measures were taken to ensure that the functionality of all designated FOI email addresses was restored.

Israel offers to help Nigeria find abducted girls

By Herb Keinon From the Jerusalem Post

Netanyahu to Nigerian president: “We are ready to help in finding the girls and fighting the cruel terrorism inflicted on you.”

Israel on Sunday offered assistance to Nigeria in locating 276 high-school girls still held after being abducted four weeks ago by the Boko Haram terrorist network.

The offer came as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke from Japan Sunday to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

“Israel expresses its deep shock at the crime committed against the girls,” he said.

“We are willing to help assist in locating the girls and fighting the terror that is afflicting you.”

For weeks Jonathan has refused international assistance to help locate and free the girls, and only agreed to accept help from the United States, France, Britain and China last week.

Nigeria is one of Israel’s closest friends in Africa, and Israel provided Nigerian authorities with medical supplies following a Boko Haram attack against three churches on Christmas Day in 2011 that killed dozens.

Last September, Israel was among several countries that sent advisers to Kenya to assist in a stand-off with Islamist gunmen who attacked a mall in Nairobi.

For more:

4 burglaries in 24 hours in Tropical Manor, Grand Cayman

Last Friday and Saturday a total of four burglaries at homes in Tropical Manor, Tropical Gardens were committed.

The single burglary on Friday saw the thief escape with electrical equipment and jewellery, which also was the case with one of the break-ins on Saturday.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service are investigating.

US drugs giant Pfizer, that plans to take over AstraZeneca, builds up £43bn in tax havens

By Peter Campbell From Daily Mail UK

The US drugs giant that plans to take over AstraZeneca has almost 200 offices registered in tax havens across the world, the Daily Mail can reveal.

Pfizer uses a complex network to run its global businesses. Almost half of its subsidiaries – some 40 per cent – are based in offshore shelters or other low-tax regimes such as the Cayman Islands and Jersey.

The revelations come after it emerged that the company took £67m more from the UK Government than it paid in tax over three years.

Revelation: Almost half of Pfizer’s subsidiaries are based in offshore shelters or other low-tax regimes such as the Cayman Islands

Some 85 Pfizer companies are registered in the US state of Delaware, a highly controversial tax shelter. It also has dozens of businesses registered in the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourgs.

In total, 185 of its 468 subsidiary companies are based in low-tax areas.

The group has an estimated £43bn nestled away in havens – a sum tax experts expect to grow by £6bn a year.

Tax accountant Richard Murphy said: ‘It has accumulated £43bn in tax havens across the world, and that doesn’t happen by accident. Its profits from everywhere outside the US end up in low-tax jurisdictions and there is no doubt that the same would happen if it acquired AstraZeneca.’

If successful, the £63bn mega-deal would be the largest ever takeover of a UK company by a foreign bidder. It has already been widely speculated that Pfizer moving its tax base out of the US is ‘one of the key drivers of the deal’.

A spokesman for Pfizer said: ‘We comply strictly with tax and accounting laws and pay our fair share of taxes wherever we do business.’

For more:

80% of Cayman drivers pass driving test first time

Is the Cayman Islands driving test too easy? With 80% of drivers over the last five years passing the driving test first time it has raised questions.

The Department of Vehicle and Driver’s Licensing Assistant Manager, Courtney Myles, is very happy with the result and is confident all drivers that go through the tests are competent before getting their licence.

In the United Kingdom the first time pass rate is 43% but rises to 80% the second time. 98%, however, pass the theory driving test first time.

End in sight for banking secrecy?

By Noopur Tiwari , Hindustan Times Paris,

Some key tax or moneylaundering havens may be all set to lose the secrecy that surrounds their banking practices, with 64 jurisdictions, including Switzerland, Singapore, Liechtenstein and the Cayman Islands signing on Tuesday a far-reaching declaration on tax data sharing.

Signatories to the ‘Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters’ also include all 34 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, the G20 countries and major financial centres.

The declaration is a commitment to implement an international standard of automatic tax data sharing, developed in February by the OECD. The guidelines for this agreement are likely to be announced in September this year.

Commenting on the declaration, OECD secretary-general Angel Gurría said it is a “major step towards ensuring that tax cheats have nowhere left to hide.”

The new standard will make it mandatory for signatory countries to obtain information from their financial institutions and exchange that information automatically with other countries on an annual basis. The implementation of this pact would help India recover information on the overseas accounts of its residents as it attempts to combat the problem of black money.

Currently, Switzerland has been refusing to share information with India of accounts in the “HSBC list” that France gave to India, on the pretext that the list came from “stolen data”.

Tax analysts are sceptical that countries such as Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria and the UK could influence the language of the new standard to make it more ambiguous.

“The UK is fighting for ‘trusts’ not to be placed on public record. Banking secrecy will diminish, but (then) the use of trusts could increase… A number of accounts with respect to Indian residents are held in discretionary trust account structures,” senior analyst, Tax Justice Network, Markus Meinzer told HT.

For more:

100’s of primary school children take part in Cayman Islands Junior Batabano Parade

Last Saturday (10) 100’s of Cayman’s primary school children took part in the Junior Batabano Parade with enthusiasm and a show of vibrant colourful costumes.

The parade took place through the streets of downtown George Town.

The top award was captured by St Ignatius School, with Cayman Prep second and Prospect Primary School third.

The Spirit of Batabano (street category) was won by St Ignatius School.

The Spirit of Batabano (stage category) was won by Prospect Primary School.

Consolidated Water earnings tumble on BVI, Mexico, retail sales

By Randall Hackley From Bloomberg

Consolidated Water Co. (CWCO), the largest water provider in the Caribbean, said first-quarter profit fell 82 percent on lower earnings from a British Virgin Islands investment and higher development costs for a project in Mexico.

Net income for the quarter ending March was $655,000 versus $3.7 million for the year-earlier period, primarily due to a drop in profit-sharing from affiliate OC-BVI and increased costs related to a Baja California water desalination project.

Revenue slipped 1 percent from a year earlier to $16.3 million as the volume of water sold by retail operations declined while service sales dropped 9 percent, the Georgetown-based company said in a statement. Retail results in the Cayman Islands were hurt by a 12-fold rise in rainfall in the quarter compared with the year-earlier period, it said.

The shares of Consolidated Water have fallen 11 percent this year compared with a 6.5 percent gain by the 19-member Bloomberg World Water Index. The Caymans’ water authority has awarded the company contracts this year to upgrade a desalination plant on Grand Cayman, extend a contract for the North Sound facility and provide a 60,000 gallon-a-day desalination plant on Cayman Brac due to be ready later in 2014.

For more:

Cayman swimming coaches and instructors must have life guard and first aid certificates

The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) has announced all instructors, whether they were learn-to-swim instructors or coach, will now have to be certified not only with life-saving skills but CPR and first-aid.

The new regulations will become official in the fall.

Cayman Sports Director, Collin Anglin, confirmed all Government-employed swim instructors and coaches are already required to have a certain level of first-aid certification.

Health Ministry says mosquito-virus attack on Jamaica is imminent

From Jamaica Gleaner

The Health ministry says it is only a matter of time before chikungunya reaches Jamaica following detection of the mosquito-borne virus in nearby Haiti.

Earlier this month, the Caribbean Public Health Authority declared that the Chikungunya virus has reached epidemic proportions in the Caribbean.

The virus, carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, was first detected in the Caribbean in December last year in St Martin.

Last Sunday, the health ministry issued an advisory stating that the authorities have been taking the necessary precautions. However, since then, the virus has been detected in Haiti, which is 120 miles from Jamaica’s nearest coastline.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Kevin Harvey says it is only a matter of time before chikungunya reaches Jamaica. He says the fight against chikungunya should benefit from anti-dengue efforts which usually start around this time of the year. Harvey says this is because the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries chikungunya is the same one that carries dengue.

The Opposition Jamaica Labour Party says the Government must move urgently to allocate more money for the mosquito-control programme to reduce the risk of an outbreak of the virus in Jamaica.

Symptoms of chikungunya virus include high fever, headache, muscle pain, joint pain and a rash.

Infants and the elderly are at greater risk of contracting the virus.

The Pan-American Health Organisation has confirmed more than 4,100 cases of chikungunya in the Caribbean.

Most of the cases have been found in the French Caribbean islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and St Martin.

For more:

Results of Cayman lionfish cull – almost 600 less

The results of the Cayman United Lionfish League’s (CULL) that was carried out last weekend (May 11 & 12) has meant 594 less of the invasive lionfish in Cayman’s waters.

The winners in each division are listed below:

Scuba Divers:

Most Lionfish

1st Place – Jason Washington – Ambassador Divers – 128

2nd Place – Richard Moody – Hungry Snapper – 90

Biggest Lionfish

1st Place – Sarah Booker – Angry Salmon – 304mm

2nd Place – Richard Orr – Troublemaker – 295mm

Overall Weight

1st Place – Jason Washington – Ambassador Divers – 29.9kg

2nd Place – Richard Orr – Troublemaker – 18.5kg

Smallest Lionfish

1st Place – Jason Washington – Ambassador Divers – 49mm

2nd Place – Heather Holt – Whole New World – 55mm

Free Divers

Most Lionfish

1st Place – Mark Orr – Green Water – 114

2nd Place – Orneil Galbraith – Las Tortugas – 52

Biggest Lionfish

1st Place – Orneil Galbraith – Las Tortugas – 290mm

2nd Place – Orneil Galbraith – Las Tortugas – 265mm

Overall Weight

1st Place – Orneil Galbraith – Las Tortugas – 12.1kg

2nd Place – Mark Orr – Green Water – 8.1kg

Smallest Lionfish

1st Place – Mark Orr – Green Water – 28mm

2nd Place – Mark Orr – Green Water – 41mm

HBO Premieres “Destino Brasil 2014”

The documentary series brings viewers an inside look at the national teams and players behind the World Cup

Miami, FL –In anticipation of the upcoming World Cup in Brazil, HBO Latin America announced the premiere of its new original production Destino Brasil 2014 on May 16th in the Caribbean, chronicling both the personal and professional journeys of the players vying for the championship.

In its 10 episodes, the documentary series offers a new perspective on the World Cup as lived through its protagonists, before they head on the road to conquer the glory and dream of every player. It presents the stories of outstanding professionals from some of the participating teams and how they have come to form their careers. Through their accounts of struggle, sacrifice and personal growth, viewers will gain a new outlook on the sport and the most renowned players on the field, such as Neymar, Oscar, David Luiz, Alexis Sánchez, “Chicharito” Hernández, Giovani Dos Santos, Jackson Martínez, Gago, Xavi Hernández, Xabi Alonso and Pirlo, among others.

The first two episodes premiere on May 16th, episodes 3 and 4 on May 23rd, episodes 5 and 6 on May 30th, episodes 7 and 8 on June 6th, and the final two episodes on June 13th. Destino Brasil 2014 is executive produced by Luis F. Peraza, Roberto Rios, Paul Drago and Néstor Hernández from HBO Latin America Originals, and directed by Eulogio Romero from Diagonal TV.

Cayman’s aviation seminar attracts over 70 reps

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in conjunction with the UK’s Air Safety Support International (ASSI) have been conducting training sessions and 70 representatives, CAA staffers, and overseas contractors were present at a seminar to discuss regulatory issues relevant to the industry with safety and reliability at the top.

Seminars are important and conducted periodically so the industry workers can keep up to date with new trends and currents pertaining to the industry.

Cayman Tourism Director resigns

Jane Scaletta, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association’s (CITA) Executive Director has announced her resignation and will leave the post at the end of this month.

Scaletta has been the Executive Director of the nonprofit organisation for two and a half years.

She is taking a new job as general manager for destination management company AlliedPRA in Orlando, Florida.

According to the CITA, the position of executive director will be advertised next week.

Cayman Heart Fund can now receive donations online

The Cayman Islands Heart Fund will now be able to receive donations via the Internet.

18-year heart transplant recipient, Robert Hamaty, is naturally a big supporter of the Heart Fund and has announced donors can use his website to donate to the charity.

This will mean monies can be received from all over the world and could help the Heart Fund buy medical equipment like a cardiac probe for the children’s ward at the Cayman Islands Hospital and meals for infants in need.

Cayman Islands Flowers Group to host free ICF training seminar

The Flowers Group/Flowers Foam will be conducting a training seminar on the use and installation of ICF’s (Insulated Concrete Forms). The course facilitator will be Mr. Glen Klassen from Fox Blocks, who is one of their top trainers in North America.

The Flowers Group will be offering several courses free of charge which will be conducted between May 20th – May 23rd, 2014. The scheduled location for this seminar will be the Marriott Hotel, which is located along seven mile beach. Certificates and refreshments will be provided.

Members in the following categories below are invited to attend:


(A) Architects, Designers, Engineers, Project Managers and Property Developers

(B) Construction Companies


For Architects, Designers, Engineers, Project Managers and Property Developers, we invite you to choose any of the following times/dates:

May 20th , 2014 – 8:30am – 11:30am or 1pm – 4pm

May 21st , 2014 – 8:30am – 11:30am or 1pm – 4pm


For construction companies, please choose any of the following times/dates:

May 22nd, 2014 – 8:30am – 3pm

May 23rd, 2014 – 8:30am – 3pm

Former Cayman Islands ERA head receives further 15 months to jail sentence

Joey Ebanks, former head of the Cayman Islands Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), has been sentenced to a further 15 months in prison for theft and drug offences.

Ebanks appeared in Summary Court last Monday (12) and received jail time of 12 months for thefts from the ERA and three months for possession of a crack pipe and cocaine.

Ebanks received a sentence of two years and three months in April after pleading guilty to a number of charges that included fraud, forgery and obtaining property by deception.

However, Ebanks will not spend any of the additional 15 months in prison as the sentences will run concurrent with his current jail term.

Jamaican ordered to leave Cayman after 20 years and given 90 days notice

Birdy Evadney Blake Morrison, a Jamaican citizen has lived in the Cayman Islands as a legal resident for 20 years without a break and has now been given 90 days to leave.

Her recent appeal for permanent residence has been refused.

Now Morrison has applied for judicial review of the case through her lawyers Bodden and Bodden in which it says the permanent residence refusal was unreasonable and in breach of the rules of natural justice”.

The case is complicated, if the review is allowed, as it involves various issues relating to previous iteration of the Immigration Law.

Karen de Souza picks up prestigious Caribbean award

By KNews

Activist, Karen de Souza, over the weekend received a prestigious regional award, the second in almost two years.

The 56-year-old founder of Red Thread was among three Caribbean nationals selected for the Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence. She was honoured for her public and civic contributions.

The award was presented during a special function at UTC Theatre 1, National Academy for the Performing Arts, Port-of-Spain on Saturday evening, according to the Trinidad Guardian yesterday.

Also honoured in the category of Arts and Letters, was Trinidadian pan musician, Professor Liam Teague, with Dr. Richard Robertson of St Vincent and the Grenadines recognized for his contributions to the field of Science and Technology.

De Souza is a women’s and children’s rights activist from Guyana. Her role in Red Thread has seen her pushing for improved service and support, education, and advocacy for victims of rape and domestic and other forms of violence and for the lowest-waged sectors of women.

For more:

Cayman’s water boat operators now have a new home

Moses Kirkconnell, the Cayman Islands Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism Tourism minister, told a West Bay audience on Monday (12) evening that the new marina at Safehaven will be operational next week.

He said the new facility had been turned over to the Cayman Islands Port Authority and all of the boat operators in temporary slips had been given notice to return to the new dock. The boat owners have decided between themselves who will be taking which slips.

Kirkconnell described the new site as the type of top notch, first class facility Cayman’s tourism product needed.

However, operators will now be required to pay for all the new facilities there that weren’t provided at the old facility that was terminated by developer Michael Ryan to great controversy.

Cayman Customs Hosts Tariff Code Training For Public

As a result of the commencement of The Customs Tariff Law 2012 on March 1st 2014, the introduction of an internationally recognized tariff classification system comprising approximately 5,000 codes for various goods was materialized. The harmonized commodity description and coding system is now used with the Department’s upgraded computer system TRIPS (Total Revenue Integrated Processing System) for capturing the detail and statistics of all imports.

In order to help the public acquaint themselves with the tariff codes now required to be stipulated on the Customs Import Entry forms by the importer, a series of familiarization workshops called “Completing Customs Import Entry Forms Correctly” will be provided for any person wishing to learn more about the process.

Sessions will be conducted daily from 9:00am – 10:00am   from May 20 -30,   2014. Individuals who wish to attend these informative workshops should confirm their attendance by calling Ardell Pearson or Sharla Barron at Customs Headquarters, at 949-4579 or on [email protected] or [email protected]

The public, including large importers, businesses and brokers are encouraged to take advantage of these informative sessions which will not only inform of the correct procedures of filling out forms, but will also update the public on the Department’s handling processes of imports.


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