August 2, 2021

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iNews-briefs217BARK programme launched to rehabilitate Cayman prisoners 

Bonding and Rehabilitation through K-9s (BARK) is a programme that has just been launched to help prisoners rehabilitate through bonding with unwanted dogs.

The programme is also good for the dog as it will save the animal from being euthanized.

Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service has partnered with the Department of Agriculture and they have been working on the programme for nine months.

The dogs will be given a home at the prison. Inmates will train the dogs, take care of them, feed them daily, walk them and prepare them for adoption.

Similar programmes have become extremely popular across the United States and have proven to play an integral part in the rehabilitation of offenders.

Prisoners will learn empathy, personal awareness, responsibility, career development skills and positive community involvement through the BARK programme.

If you would like to make a donation contact Juliet at [email protected] 929 7772. Cheques can be made out to “Cayman Islands Government” with reference to HMCIPS BARK programme.


Costa Rica seizes 1.5 tons of pot in chase at sea

From The Washington Post

(AP) SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — Costa Rica’s coast guard has recovered 1.5 tons of marijuana that officials say was thrown into the sea by smugglers being chased in the Caribbean after a tip from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The country’s Public Security Ministry says the incident happened early Friday and the suspect boat escaped its Costa Rican pursuers.

Security Minister Celso Gamboa said Saturday that the pot appeared to have come from Jamaica and that the smugglers were headed for Panama. He says the DEA alerted Costa Rica to the suspicious vessel.

Costa Rica’s government says joint anti-drug efforts with the U.S. have led to the seizure of nearly 20 tons of cocaine and 3 tons of compressed marijuana so far this year. It says 17,216 people have been arrested.

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This Summer could be the worst for corals in Caribbean and Florida

By Tim Mayr From Austrian Tribune

A report released by the World Meteorological Organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin warned that this summer could mark the worst for corals in the Caribbean and Florida. The report stated that a new record high had been set by atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations in 2013 because of increased emissions of carbon dioxide. The oceans absorb carbon dioxide after it is released in the atmosphere, making the oceans more acidic.

Corals struggle to build skeletons at lower pH and could not seek normal growth.

A US Geological Survey on the ocean temperature in Florida has showed that the water temperature has increased by 2 degrees Fahrenheit than what was recorded only a few decades ago.

This shows that ocean acidification is not alone to make the survival of corals difficult, said Ilsa Kuffner, a USGS research marine biologist and the report’s lead author. Rise in water temperature is another major factor to create stress on corals in the Florida Keys. The loss of their symbiotic algae has turned them white and if the condition does not improve, the corals could starve to death, said the report.

“Our analysis shows that corals in the study areas are now regularly experiencing temperatures above 84 F during July, August and September; average temperatures that were seldom reached 120 years ago”, said Kuffner

The USGS survey showed that late-summer water temperatures near the Florida Keys have reached a level that has not been witnessed in more than past 100 years.

Between July and September, water temperatures in the region in recent decades were recorded to be 2 degrees Fahrenheit more than a century earlier.

The report from the World Meteorological Organization has showed that the continued use of fossil fuels have to be blamed for the rise in water temperature.

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Pope Francis: World’s many conflicts amount to WW III

From Newsmax

Pope Francis said on Saturday the spate of conflicts around the globe today were effectively a “piecemeal” Third World War, condemning the arms trade and “plotters of terrorism” sowing death and destruction.

“Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep,” Francis said in the homily of a Mass during a visit to Italy’s largest war memorial, a large, Fascist-era monument where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried.

The pope began his brief visit to northern Italy by first praying in a nearby, separate cemetery for some 15,000 soldiers from five nations of the Austro-Hungarian empire which were on the losing side of the Great War that broke out 100 years ago.

“War is madness,” he said in his homily before the massive, sloping granite memorial, made of 22 steps on the side of hill with three crosses at the top.

“Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction,” he said.

In the past few months, Francis has made repeated appeals for an end to conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Gaza and parts of Africa.

“War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying,” he said. “Greed, intolerance, the lust for power. These motives underlie the decision to go to war and they are too often justified by an ideology …,” he said.

Last month the pope, who has often condemned the concept of war in God’s name, said it would be legitimate for the international community to use force to stop “unjust aggression” by Islamic State militants who have killed or displaced thousands of people in Iraq and Syria, many of them Christians.

In his homily, read at a sombre service to thousands of people braving the rain and which included the hauntingly funereal sound of a solitary bugle, Francis condemned “plotters of terrorism” but did not elaborate.

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Team Coco’s dominates Caribbean Wellness Day Road Race

From Stabroek News

Team Coco’s cyclists defied the odds to finish first and second in yesterday’s 60-mile Caribbean Wellness Day road race on the East Coast.

The club’s new recruit Hamza Eastman pedaled in first in the Ministry of Health-sponsored event while the team’s most successful rider Raynauth Jeffrey placed second in the race which rolled off at the Square of the Revolution proceeded to Mahaicony and ended in front of the Ocean View Hotel.

Godfrey Pollydore was distant third in a bunch sprint.

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Guyanese designers at the recent Caribbean New York Fashion Week

Meet Sonia NoelBy Shanelle Weir From PanAmerican World

IMAGE: Meet Sonia Noel

Sonia Noel, who is promoting and marketing her First Resort collection and Makin’ Style magazine overseas, poses with Selwyn Collins author and talk show host in New York. Sonia was one of two Guyanese designers at the recent Caribbean New York Fashion Week. The prolific Guyanese designer was also spotted at several other events in the Big Apple state.

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Famed US Hindu palm reader killed on vacation in Trinidad

From Caribbean360

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday September 10, 2014, CMC – Trinidad police say they are working on the theory that a United States resident was shot and killed during a botched robbery in San Fernando, south of Port-of-Spain, earlier this week.

Media reports said that famed Hindu palm reader Mahadeo Jerrybandhan, 74, a resident of Key West, Florida, who was on vacation, was shot and killed at his son’s home on Monday night.

He was shot once to the head in a bedroom and his daughter-in-law, Sharlene Mootoo, said she last saw him with his two nephews preparing for Pitri Paksh, an auspicious period in the Hindu religious calendar.

“When we looked we saw someone running out of the front gate. We went to the front bedroom and saw him (Jerrybandhan) lying in the bathroom of the front bedroom. He had one gunshot wound to his head,” she told reporters.

Mootoo said Jerrybandhan, a retired secondary school teacher, came to Trinidad annually to observe the religious period.

“This is weird. Just out of the blue this happened. We are still in shock. He was a man who exercised, did yoga and ate healthy all the time. I believe he knew his attackers and in a panic they shot and killed him because he would have been able to identify them,” Mootoo said.

So far this year, 292 people have been murdered here.

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Why does the New England aquarium breed jellyfish as currency?

By Laura Northrup From Consumerist

When zoos first began in this country, there was nothing wrong with going shopping for the animals that they wanted to have in their collections. Explorers would capture critters from all over the world and bring them back for Americans to gawk at. After the passage of the Endangered Species Act, that changed, and institutions now only barter or donate animals. So where do new animals come from?

Barter systems are, on the surface, very simple. When two parties each have something that the other wants, they can trade. That’s how animals move from one aquarium to another: for example, the New England Aquarium wanted to acquire some puffins, and they orchestrated a trade of 800 mackerel for a dozen puffins. They maintain a jellyfish breeding program in order to have something to trade to other institutions for the critters that they seek.

Meanwhile, zoos don’t usually barter in this way: their animal-sharing model is more like Freecycle. Zoos that need to re-home animals share the news with others, but receive nothing in return other than good karma, and maybe donations from the same or other institutions when their own collections have a gap that needs filling.


London’s biggest budget hotel to open in West End

By Nina Derham From eurocheapo

If you’ve ever been one of those tourists who snaps an iconic photo in front of the lights in Piccadilly Circus, you’ve probably also seen the Trocadero building,an enormous Edwardian edifice which sits between Shaftesbury Avenue and Coventry Street.

Over the years the building has been home to many different things, most recently an indoor “theme park” complete with adrenaline pumping rides, arcades and some truly tacky shops. It may not have been the classiest address in town, but it certainly offered shelter to many an adolescent teenager on their first date in London.

The historic Trocadero building will soon be home to a new budget hotel with over 500 rooms.

Now the French hotel operator, Accor, has announced ownership of the building and is soon to begin work on transforming it into the largest budget hotel in London’s West End. Sitting under the Ibis brand, the hotel will be named the Ibis Styles Piccadilly Circus and will house a whopping 583 rooms.

Although not due to open its doors until 2017,the hotel will offer Cheapos a much more affordable place to stay for such a coveted part of London, with rooms costing between £100-£150 per night including breakfast. Guests will be able to walk to London’s most famous theaters, shops, restaurants and bars within minutes and really soak up the atmosphere of being in the thick of city life.

The announcement fits in with the hotel’s aggressive plans for UK, with a goal to increase its current 208 UK properties to 300 by 2018.

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Southwest passenger detained after creating WiFi hotspot names Like “Bomb On Board”

By Mary Beth Quirk From Consumerist

Authorities detained a passenger aboard a Southwest flight that landed at Seattle-Tacoma Airport yesterday on its way to Denver, after reports that he created a bunch of creepy names for his in-flight WiFi hotspot, naming it “Southwest – Bomb on Board” and making comments about the attractiveness of flight attendants, among other things.

According to ABC News, passengers started to worry when they realized the weird names popping up during the flight.

“He changed it to ‘the bomb is on this seat,’ and then he changed it to something about the stewardess being hot,” one passenger said. “And so that’s why once we found all that stuff out we realized he was probably just goofing off.”

Whether or not he was just goofing off like an insensitive jerk — especially in light of the fact that the flight was on Sept. 11, as the passenger pointed out added an extra layer of concern — authorities ordered the plane to a side tarmac, surrounded the plane and took the man into custody.

All passengers deplaned and bags were re-screened, before the plane could be reloaded and back on the way to Denver. Southwest said it was the captain’s decision to report the potential security threat, and that the airline’s “highest priority is the safety and security” of passengers and employees.

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Apple breaks pre-order record with iPhone 6; iPhone 6 Plus sells out

From Maclife

Last night (12) was rough for Apple enthusiasts seeking to pre-order the iPhone 6. As we recounted in our Morning Recap, heavy traffic brought down the online Apple Store for almost two hours after pre-orders went live at 12:01 a.m. PST. But apparently plenty of people got through (and it didn’t hurt that the sites for AT&T and Verizon worked fine), as a new report says that last night set a record for iPhone pre-orders.

“Response to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been incredible with a record number of preorders overnight,” an unidentified Apple representative said in a statement to Re/code. The rep declined to say exactly how many orders were made.

AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega delivered a similar statement to Fierce Wireless in which he praised the orders but held back from providing any figures aside from a vague “hundreds of thousands” of pre-orders. He did, however, state that the iPhone 6 is already outpacing the demand for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c from last year.

“It’s amazing to see the volume,” de la Vega said. The response was so amazing, in fact, that the larger iPhone 6 Plus is now listed as sold out for pre-orders for both Apple and all major carriers.

The most impressive numbers should appear after the two versions of the new iPhone go live on Friday, September 19. Last year Apple achieved a record of 9 million iPhones sold in one weekend with the combined 5s and 5c units, and it looks well on path to surpass those numbers a week from now.

The phones will launch next Friday in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan, and availability in other countries will follow in the weeks and months afterward.

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Tim Cook is not impressed by Amazon’s Smartphone

By Jillian D’onfro From Business Insider

Apple CEO Tim Cook told Charlie Rose in a long interview on Friday that he considers Facebook a partner, Google a competitor, and Amazon, well, neither.

When Rose asked Cook which companies he thinks rival Apple, Cook said that Google was “much above everyone else” when it comes to competitors. Because Apple has no plans to break into social networking, he said that Facebook and Twitter are both partners and that Apple likes both companies.

When asked about Amazon, Cook was dismissive.

“Amazon we don’t work with that much. We have little relationship there,” he told Rose. “They’ve come up with a phone. You don’t see it in a lot of places. They have some tablets. But they’re not a product company. Apple is a product company. And so, in the long term, will they become a bigger product company? I don’t know. You would have to ask [CEO Jeff Bezos] what his plans are. But when I think of competitor, I would think of Google.”

Amazon released its first attempt at a smartphone — the Amazon Fire phone — in July. Since launch, the phone got mostly panned by the press and Amazon just slashed its price from $199 to $0.99 with a two-year AT&T contract.

By pointing out that “you don’t see [the Fire phone] in a lot of places,” Cook subtly burns the smartphone, which, according to market research, has indeed had slow adoption since launch.

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Researchers may have discovered the best way to quit smoking yet: Taking magic mushrooms

By Brad Reed From BGR

We’ve heard all kinds of crazy ways to quit smoking but none of them have ever come close to sounding this trippy. Bloomberg reports that a new study published in The Journal of Psychopharmacology this week found that smokers who had long had trouble quitting their habit managed to remain smoke-free for six months using a highly unorthodox method: Consuming the active ingredient in magic mushrooms.

The study, which was conducted as part of a cognitive behavior therapy program at John Hopkins University, asked 15 volunteers to take pills containing psilocybin, which just happens to be the psychedelic compound that you find in magic mushrooms. Six months after taking between two to three doses the pills, 12 of the 15 volunteers had successfully abstained from smoking cigarettes. Even though this is obviously a very small sample size, the researchers were still stunned at the high success rate.

“The rates of quitting were so high, twice as high as what you typically see with the gold standard medication,” John Hopkins associate professor Matthew Johnson tells Bloomberg. “It is a very small study, but it’s an indication that something very strong is going on here. It answers the question of whether this is worth pursuing.”

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China and Cuba to Cooperate in Trade Promotion

(Prensa Latina) The Cuban Chamber of Commerce today signed agreements with the representatives of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) of Jiangsu, Nanjing, Hunan, Wuhan, Jinan and Xian.

The agreements signed in the city of Changsha, capital of Hunan Province, are intended to strengthen cooperation, facilitate the exchange of business delegations and information on exhibitions and events of mutual interest.

These agreements, which were signed by the president of the Cuban Trade House, Orlando Hernandez Guillen, also enable entrepreneurs from different regions of China an approach to policies and opportunities for foreign investment in Cuba.

The ceremony took place during the sessions of the Summit VIII (Forum) Company China-Latin America and the Caribbean, which opened yesterday in Changsha Zengwei Jian, Chairman of CCPIT, attended by over 800 delegates from 38 Latin American and Caribbean.

The keynote address was given by Liu Xiaofeng, vice president of the Political Consultative Conference of the Chinese People, who mentioned the new opportunities arising from the recent visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the region.

A roundtable in which participants stressed the importance for Latin America and the Caribbean pronouncements President Xi during his visit to China in July to provide financial facilities available in several forms to countries in the region was held today.

The China Business Summit Latin America and the Caribbean will close on Sunday in the city center of this Asian country.

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