September 26, 2020

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iNews-briefs217Chikungunya death toll in the Caribbean passes 100 mark

From Curacao Chronicle

The death toll from the mosquito-borne viral disease Chikungunya continues to rise in the Caribbean, now passing the 100 mark, health officials say.

The Pan American Health Organization, (PAHO) puts the death toll from the disease in the region to 113 people in its latest report.

The French Caribbean territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe have reported the most deaths from the disease, according to PAHO.

Fifty-five deaths have been linked to the virus in Martinique since last December, when the disease was first detected in the Americas while 49 deaths were reported in Guadeloupe.

Six deaths have been reported in the Dominican Republic and three in St. Martin, where the virus was first found in the Americas.

A total of 706,000 suspected and 8,651 confirmed Chikungunya cases have been reported in the region.

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Open Invitation to BT Cemetery Expansion

The Cayman Islands Ministry of Health wishes to invite the public to the opening ceremony for the new Bodden Town Cemetery on Wednesday, 24 September from 5:30pm – 6:30pm at the new site located east of the Bodden Town Police Station.

The event will commemorate the official handover as well as the newly constructed 24 vaults.

All are welcomed to attend.


US Senate sets $10 million bounty on journalists’ murderers

From Newsmax

The Senate has unanimously approved a bill providing up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of people involved in executing two American journalists murdered by jihadists.

“One way we can honor the memories of James Foley and Steven Sotloff is to bring their evil murderers to justice, which this measure will help do,” Senator Marco Rubio said Friday.

Rubio, from Sotloff’s home state of Florida, said it was important to send the message “that the United States will work tirelessly to ensure that the deaths of these beloved journalists do not go unpunished.”

Extremists from the Islamic State group, which has taken over swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, published graphic videos in August and September showing the beheadings of Foley and Sotloff.

“Our country lost two of its own, and we must do everything possible to bring the terrorists who committed these atrocities to justice,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

The measure would authorize the secretary of state to provide the money under the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program, which was established in 1984.

The bill would need to pass the House of Representatives before it goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

However, this is unlikely to happen until after November’s mid-term elections, because Congress has just begun a seven-week recess.

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Cayman Islands police warns of unsafe loads, both of goods and people

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is providing this warning to motorist that in accordance with section 93 (1) (x) of the Traffic Law 2011 Revision it is an offence to “drive a vehicle with a load which overhangs the vehicle or carrying passengers or goods in a manner which is likely to cause danger to other road users”.

This practice has been observed within the Cayman Islands, which is a dangerous practice that put road users lives at risk, as there is a great possibility that debris and people can fall from these open back vehicles, stated Chief Inspector Angelique Howell, George Town District Commander.

The RCIP will be focusing on these offences and as such motorists are fore-warned to take heed.

Any person(s) who observed this offence taking place are encouraged to record the license plate number and report it to the police.


Caribbean Airlines invites meeting with BITU

From Observer

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has invited the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) to discussions regarding “outstanding matters affecting the airline’s flight attendants.”

The invitation from CAL comes on the heels of an emergency meeting called by the BITU last Thursday, September 11, 2014 to avoid industrial action by Jamaican flight attendants represented by the union.

BITU President General Senator Kavan Gayle today (Thursday, September 18) said that CAL indicated a desire for their visiting VP Human Resources, Dr Hyacinth Guy, who arrived in Jamaica on Tuesday, September 16, to meet with the union.

“We have been absolutely clear that we are not inclined to entertain a mere courtesy visit while our members remain incensed as a result of a lack of meaningful discussions surrounding a plethora of concerns and issues which have been raised for some time now,” Gayle said in a release.

“These outstanding issues include discussions in pursuance of aligning the salaries of the Jamaican-based flight attendants to similar base salaries as enjoyed by their Trinidad-based counterparts, operational changes which the Airline continues to implement without the required consultation with the union, as well as other benefits and concerns,” the BITU President General said.

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Cayman Islands gallery art exhibition now open until Tue (23)

The Cayman Islands National Gallery’s third annual art exhibition and auction in support of its education programmes and collections fund opened this week and the public is encourage to go along over the next two weeks and bid on work by some of Cayman’s leading local artists. The exhibition is open until Tuesday, 30 September and will culminate in an invite-only reception and auction on 1 October 2014. The annual Big Art Auction distributes 50% of funds to the artist and 50% to the gallery to ensure the project remains sustainable and benefits both parties.

The auction includes work by Alejandro Angel, John Bird, John Broad, Randy Chollette, Hannah Cook, Davin Ebanks, Kaitlyn Elphinstone, Teresa Grimes, Guy Harvey, Bendel Hydes, Greg Lipton, Miguel Powery, Mikael Seffer, Joanne Sibley, and CE Whitney.”

The Gallery has also acquired a lithograph from Francisco Goya’s famous Los Caprichos series and which was recently exhibited in the National Gallery Metamorphosis exhibition, which will also be auctioned.

Anyone interested in purchasing work on display at the Big Art Auction 3 or supporting the National Gallery’s Collections Fund please speak to an NGCI staff member or call the National Galley at (345) 945 8111.


Caribbean Conservation Corporation Tortuguero Village , Costa Rica

From Lonely Planet

About 200m north of Tortuguero village, the CCC operates a research station that has a small visitor center and museum. Exhibits focus on all things turtle-related, including a video about the history of local turtle conservation.

CCC also runs a highly reputable environmental volunteer program, recommended by none other than National Geographic. During nesting season, volunteers can assist with turtle tagging and egg counts, and during bird-migration seasons, help with mist-netting and point-counts. Volunteer fees start at US$1440 per week and include bunk-house accommodations, all meals, first and last nights’ hotel room in San José and transport to and from the capital.

Tel# In usa +506 800 678 7853 Telephone 2 +506 2709 8091

More information

Prices admission US$1

Opening hours 10am-noon & 2-5pm Mon-Sat, 2-5pm Sun

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Cayman’s sister islands protected from ‘inappropriate’ development

Cayman Islands Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism, Moses Kirkconnell, has said unsuitable or inappropriate developments will not happen in Cayman Brac or Little Cayman. This is due to the Cayman Islands’ new National Conservation Law.

Kirkconnell also said he supports the establishment of a strategic development plan for the two Sister Islands to ensure future developments on them continue to align with the overarching economic, social, environmental and heritage objectives for the islands.


Guyana not among major Caribbean drug transit countries named by Obama

From iNews Guyana

The United States has named four Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries among several Latin America and Caribbean major drug transit and or major illicit drug producing countries.

President Barack Obama named Belize, Jamaica, Haiti and the Bahamas as the CARICOM countries. Guyana, though it has had its fair share of criticism in fighting the narcotics trade, was not listed niether among the Caribbean or Latin American Countries.

A White House statement said that a country’s presence on the list is not a reflection of its government’s counternarcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States.

But it said that the reason major drug transit or illicit drug producing countries are placed on the list is the combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to transit or be produced, even if a government has carried out the most assiduous narcotics control law enforcement measures.

The other countries listed in the White House statement are Afghanistan, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela. (Caribbean 360)

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Cayman officials subject to credit card probe

It wasn’t just Cayman ex-premier McKeeva Bush who was the subject of a probe by the Royal Cayman islands Police Service into alleged use of a government credit card.

At the continuing trial of Bush it was revealed the police also requested statements and related credit card documents for four other government officials in the ministry at the time. Their names were not revealed.


DPP hails referendum as a democratic inspiration

From Want China Times

’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party on Friday described Scotland’s referendum on independence as an inspiration for ’s democratic transformation and the deepening of democracy.

In a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom that drew the attention of many secession movements from around the world, voters in Scotland voted by a 55%-45% margin to retain the political union with England formed in 1707 to create Great Britain.

The DPP said in a statement that people in Scotland engaged in wide-ranging debate on their country’s future prior to the referendum and both sides of the issue tried to convince voters through rational arguments and figures.

“The process was peaceful and orderly, and no matter what one’s position was, the consensus was that the right of self-determination was a core value of democracy,” it said.

The DPP said in the statement that its long-standing stance is that the future of Taiwan will be decided by Taiwan’s 23 million people.

Taiwan must insist on democratic values, which are the foundation of cross-strait peace and stability and link Taiwan to the rest of the world, the DPP said.

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Cayman private school issues pupils with tablets

St. Ignatius Catholic School on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands issued 155 new Asis Transformer tablets to students recently.

Speaking on local television station CITN/Cayman27, Technology Director Mick Whyte said, ““In our view if we can have students who learn networking fundamentals, game design, software engineering, they’ll gain extensive problem solving skills not only with a possible career path, but learning those skills will help them in whatever they decide to do.”

The television station also reported that, “St. Ignatius has licensed the Microsoft 365 software, which gives students access to Microsoft Office from almost any device. Microsoft even used St. Ignatius as a case study of the software featured on it’s official website.”


Experience romantic Jamaica

By Melanie Reffes, From USA TODAY

Ask any Jamaican about romance and they’ll tell you that when couples tie the knot or enjoy a honeymoon on the island, they’ll live happily ever after. Jamaica continues to be the hands-down favorite for destination weddings and haute honeymoons. With a myriad of talc-soft beaches that snuggle the Wedgewood blue sea and resorts that treat newlyweds like royalty, it’s no surprise the island is rolling out the red carpet for couples taking the plunge, celebrating in a honeymoon suite, toasting an anniversary or lighting a spark with an old flame.

Graced with mountain-coddled coves, craggy cliffs, stretches of sandy slivers and locals so friendly you think you’ve met them before, exchanging vows in Jamaica is tropical perfection. Wedding venues run the scope from a formal affair in a swanky resort to barefoot on the beach as the sun sinks below the horizon. For honeymooners, seaside suites and quaint boutique hotels are aplenty while snorkeling, sailing and relaxing on a hammock strung between swaying palm trees is tops with newlyweds. Whether in the resort town of Montego Bay, funky Ocho Rios, serene south coast, historic Port Antonio or on Seven Mile Beach in Negril, twosomes make memories that will last a lifetime.

The Jamaica Tourist Board has an online concierge service with a ‘Love Guru ‘ named Wendy who happily offers ideas for an idyllic interlude, including wedding locales, honeymoon havens and excursions for couples of all ages. Travelers who prefer social media can reach Wendy via Twitter.

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Update: Justice for Kitty Doe: Care2 member wants New York man punished for beating and burning cat

iNews briefs 3110871.largeBy Megan Drake

UPDATE: Ernesto Bailey appeared at his hearing on September 18 and pleaded “not guilty.” Dr. Kathy Hahner told Care2 his was the last appearance of the day. When Bailey left the court room he looked at the six animal activists who attended, took the hand of his toddler and actually laughed out loud at them. His case was adjourned until December 1, 2014 at Part 60.

For more:

See iNews Cayman related story published September 14 2014 “Justice for Kitty Doe: Care2 member wants New York man punished for beating and burning cat” at:


Cayman divers volunteer to repair reef from cruise ship

While the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DOE) have said it is unlikely there will be any formal prosecution in last month’s cruise anchor incident by Carnival Magic, it has been left to Cayman’s divers to volunteer and help repair the decimated section of the reef approx. 12,000 sq.ft.

More than 50 divers met last week to hear assessments from the DOE and discuss how to start the long, complicated, restoration process.

In 1996 divers repaired reef restoration by a Maasdam cruise ship that destroyed a section of Cheeseburger Reef. It took four months with paid crews.

This time it all voluntary and ir more complicated with an estimated repair time of at least a year.

Many dive centres on Grand Cayman are donating tanks and boats for the cleanup efforts.


Failed stowaway tries to hide in plane’s wheel well for free ride from Orlando to NYC

By Mary Beth Quirk From Consumerist

Just because one person survived flying miles above the ground in the wheel well of an airplane doesn’t mean everyone should try it. Luckily for a shirtless, barefoot man who police say tried to stowaway in a JetBlue plane’s wheel, he never left the ground.

Police in Orlando say a 32-year-old man climbed under a fence to gain access to a restricted area at the Orlando International Airport, before climbing into the wheel well of a plane headed to New York City, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

He’d apparently walked eight miles to get to the airport, and managed to rest from that journey for a few hours in the wheel well before climbing out again. That’s when a JetBlue employee spotted him on the tarmac.

He then reportedly told the worker he was an airline mechanic, but that his ID badge had been stolen. Seeing as he was half-dressed, this seemed unlikely.

When police got there he changed his tune, and confessed he was looking for a free ride. Officials with the police as well as the FBI questioned him for hours, during which he showed them how he’d dug a hole under the fence to get in.

Officials rescued his T-shirt and socks, as well as a lighter, from the wheel well.

He was arrested on charges of trespassing, burglary and loitering.

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Earthquake experts to visit St. Kitts-Nevis

By LK Hewlett From St Kitts-Nevis Observer

As part of a Tsunami Awareness Campaign, a seismologist and two research assistants from University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI SRC) will be in St. Kitts-Nevis next week.

Seismologist Dr. Joan Latchman and Research Assistants Ms. Alia Juman and Mr. Omari Graham will be engaging the public through presentations to students and a national media outreach during the week of 22nd to 26th September. They will be joined by Christa G. von Hillebrandt-Andrade, head of Caribbean Tsunami Warning Center (CTWC).

This educational outreach campaign is being carried out in collaboration with the Caribbean Tsunami Warning Centre (CTWC) in Puerto Rico and the local National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Dr. Latchman has been warning for several years that the Caribbean is due for an earthquake as strong as 8.0 and countries should prepare for such an occurrence. The Eastern Caribbean region has experienced a number of underwater quakes recently, however none have caused damage or fatality.

NEMA National Disaster Coordinator, Carl Herbert told The Observer the SRC team was visiting as part of a regional thrust to intensify its tsunami readiness, and public education on earthquakes and tsunamis.

“We developed some draft standard operating procedures and protocols and coming out of that we felt there was a need for greater public information on tsunamis and earthquakes, because they are inter-related,” he said.

To this end the experts will be sharing factual information with the public through various fora.

“The public would be able to dialogue with them and ask questions, gain clarification, etcetera,” said Herbert.

The team will be on live radio participating in interviews and accepting calls from the public. They will also visit primary and secondary schools on both St. Kitts and Nevis.

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Can the Caribbean reach target of 30 million annual visitors?

By Alexander Britell From Caribbean Journal

ST THOMAS — Can the Caribbean region one day welcome 30 million stayover visitors to its shores?

Why not?

Speaking to attendees at this week’s State of the Industry conference in St Thomas, Caribbean Tourism Organization Secretary General Hugh Riley said 30 million annual visitors was a number “we have our eye on.”

That was one of the main items on this week’s agenda at a conference held under the theme of “positioning Caribbean tourism for major change.”

It’s a number that is by no means out of reach, and the kind of big-picture, ambitious thinking the Caribbean so desperately needs.

Last year, the Caribbean received around 25 million stayover visitors. In the first half of 2014, arrivals were up by 4.3 percent, a pace of around 26.1 million.

If the Caribbean can keep up that 4.3 percent pace, it would reach a target of 30 million stayover visitors by 2017.

Of course, it won’t be easy. The region continues to find itself in competition with a number of other warm-weather destinations around the world, from Florida to the Pacific.

And, Riley cautioned, achieving that number would not be an economic panacea on its own.

But the goal, he said, is for the region to reach a different level, both statistically and emotionally.

“Realizing the vision is more than simply hitting one particular target,” Riley said. “Our vision isn’t just numerical. Sure, it’s that too. But being the most desirable destination speaks powerfully to the way we make our visitors feel. Not just what we say to them when we’re trying to attract them here, but how we make them feel when they’re here, sharing our space and breaking bread with us.”

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The Bolivar Symphony Orchestra to tour USA starting in Miami

Caribbean-ConcertFrom Fundacion

The Orchestra was created in 2002, and is composed of students and teachers from the University of Fine Arts of Bolivar, Colombia. The Symphony Orchestra is considered “The best orchestra from the Colombian Caribbean.”

Musical Director and Conductor: Germán Cespedes Diaz, PhD in Music from the State Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. His Orchestra plays the most diverse musical styles, from the classics to the Caribbean, and to the more complex sounds of contemporary music and jazz.

The orchestra consists of fifty musicians (Violins I, Violins II, Violas, Cellos, Basses, Flutes, Oboe, Clarinets, Bassoon, Horns, Trumpets, Trombones, Tuba, Keyboards, Percussion, Stage Manager, Group Manager, Concertino).

Thanks to the support of the Government of the Municipality of Bolivar, the Orchestra is performing a concert tour in the United States visiting several cities. Miami will open the concert series [on October 23rd At Colony Theatre Miami Beach starting at 7:30pm].

See more at:

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Caribbean young workers solidarity visit to Haïti

From PSI

Date: 16 October, 2014 to 20 October, 2014 Time: 09.00 – 17.00

Location: Port-au-Prince, Haïti

A delegation of young workers from PSI’s affiliates in the Caribbean will pay a solidarity visit to young workers of the CTSP Haïti during the period October 16 to 20.

The solidarity visit is part of efforts to build greater understanding and cooperation, as well as develop long-lasting working relationships. This important act of solidarity by Caribbean young workers will provide an opportunity for these workers to act as a “multiplier” by returning and reporting back to others, about the situation on the ground – providing facts and dispelling myths. In addition, the visit is intended to provide practical opportunities for young worker activists who work in key (sub)sectors:

to better understand the trade union movement in Haïti

to share their own experiences and exchange knowledge and skills

to suggest ways to integrate outreach to youth and student movements as part of PSI’s broader campaigning

to integrate the perspective of young workers into PSI’s sectoral work

The visit will include workshop sessions and visits to selected workplaces.

Theme: “Strong-minded youth for a better future”

Sub-theme: “Responsibility and commitment of young workers: essential elements for trade union renewal”


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