September 20, 2020

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iNews-briefs217$2 Million plus seized on board Caribbean Fantasy Ferry

From News Americas

News Americas, SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Fri. Oct. 3, 2014: More than million US dollars were nabbed aboard a truck leaving Puerto Rico en route to the Dominican Republic onboard M/V Caribbean Fantasy ferry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers say.

The money was discovered after CBP personnel selected a truck with Puerto Rico license plates for an intensive examination after a preliminary non-intrusive inspection revealed certain anomalies.

Subsequently 22 bundles of hidden US Currency that ended up totaling a whopping $2,044,375, were discovered in hidden compartments inside the truck.

CBP officers seized the currency and took custody of the driver. He was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE- HSI) special agents in connection with the failed smuggling attempt and the US Attorney’s Office accepted the case for federal prosecution.

“The unreported cash that we seized has an impact on the criminal organizations by making it more difficult for them to further their illicit activities,” said Juan Hurtado, San Juan Area port director.

Individuals are permitted to carry any amount of currency or monetary instruments into or out of the U.S. However, if the quantity is $10,000 or higher, they must formally report the currency to CBP. Failure to report may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.

For more:


Honeymoon Cottage damaged in Cayman Brac by vehicle

On Thursday 2nd October it would appear the “Honeymoon Cottage” on South Side Road, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands managed to get in the way of a Mitsubishi van that collided with it.

Officers from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) reported the vehicle and its driver, a 38-year-old man, have been located. The RCIPS are currently investigating how the incident happened but there have been no reports anyone involved received serious injuries.


Pot decriminalization bill drafted in Jamaica

By David McFadden From Caribbean Life News

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) _ Jamaica’s justice minister said Tuesday that legislation has been drafted to decriminalize marijuana on the Caribbean island where the drug has been pervasive but prohibited for a century.

Mark Golding told reporters that lawmakers should make possession of two ounces or less a petty offense before the end of 2014. He also expects decriminalization for religious purposes to be authorized by then, allowing adherents of the homegrown Rastafarian spiritual movement to ritually smoke marijuana, which they consider a “holy herb,” without fear of arrest.

Golding said it will take longer to agree on more complex changes to Jamaica’s Dangerous Drugs Act needed to spur a medical marijuana and cannabis research sector. He said Jamaica, where scientists developed a cannabis-derived medication to treat glaucoma decades ago, is “well-positioned to be a forerunner” in efforts to research therapeutic uses of the plant.

As Jamaica advances marijuana decriminalization, the government is committed to battling drug traffickers, Golding stressed. He said keeping marijuana away from children, the international black market and organized crime will be a top priority.

For more:


Cayman Islands Kiwanis announce teen leadership programme

The Kiwanis Club of Grand Cayman has announced they will be hosting a team building and leadership development programme for young teens.

During the programme participants will develop skills necessary to become tomorrow’s leaders.

The worldwide Kiwanis clubs executes this programme. It is an opportunity to assist in moulding teens ages 14 – 18, by teaching them five principles of leadership – personal integrity, personal growth, respect, building community, and the pursuit of excellence.

The format of the key leader weekend varies, including large group settings and small group settings, both dedicated to team building activities.

Key Leader

Date: 17 – 19 October

Time: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Location: St. Ignatius

Cost: $25

Deadline: Friday 10 October

For more information go to:;; [email protected]

Tel: 916-8864


Tesla’s upcoming ‘D’ looks like a souped-up Model S sedan

iNews briefs tesla-model-s-p85d-adelmanBy Jon Fingas From engadget

IMAGE: Tesla Model S P85D

Elon Musk left a lot of people wondering what, exactly, Tesla’s upcoming “D” will be. Is it a brand new car? A self-driving vehicle? As it turns out, it may be something much more familiar-looking. Tesla Motors Club forum member Adelman has posted a photo of what looks like an unannounced Model S P85D — that is, another high-end variant of Tesla’s current luxury EV. It’s not clear just what that suffix would mean, although most of the speculation points to an all-wheel drive, dual-motor upgrade borrowed from the soon-to-arrive Model X SUV. That could make the Model S quicker (or at least, better-suited to tough road conditions) than the already speedy P85 trim level you see on the road today. Whatever’s under the hood, you’ll likely know the full story in about a week.

For more:


TT’s Junior Show Jumpers triumphant

From T&T NewsDay

Adelle Stollmeyer and her teammate Jordanne Brown took home first place at Trinidad’s Leg of the CEA Junior Jumping competition which was held at Saddle Valley, Santa Cruz last weekend.

Coached by Patrice Stollmeyer, the team emerged with only ten faults over the three jumping rounds against Jamaica’s second place finish with 26 faults and Cayman Islands’ 27 faults. Individually, Stollmeyer was first in the 16 and Under category with only one time fault in the last round of the competition, having ridden clear the day before.

Sara Misir of Jamaica placed second with eight jumping faults, and Isabella Smith from the Cayman Islands, a respectable third place finish with 14 faults in total.

In the 14 and Under category, Brown’s final score after three rounds was nine faults, but she emerged the winner even after an unlucky rail down and four faults in her final round.

Coming second with a total of 13 faults was Chloe Fowler of Cayman Islands, and third, Annika Steward of Jamaica with 18 faults at the end of the competition.

The horses used for the 16 and Under were varied including Nobill LX, an Arab cross that is a talented and experienced jumper. Also very experienced was Miramis, a Barbadian-bred pony and warmblood cross, which had only one time fault for the competition. The least experienced was Audacity to Hope, an ex-racer that is still new to the jumping game. He is owned by Adelle Stollmeyer and she rode an excellent clear round on him.

There were two ex-racers in the 14 and Under: Mr Wings, a small, fast Thoroughbred and an excellent jumper and Eye See Dee, which was being used for the first time in this type of competition. The young Barbadian-bred pony, Morocco, a very good jumper, was also used at this level.

Coach Patrice Stollmeyer stated, “I am very proud of the riders. Their success is well deserved as they have been working very hard for this competition. Adelle’s competitors in the sixteen and under level are very experienced young riders,” he continued. “All the 14 and under riders were riding in the CEA Junior Jumping Competition for the first or second time. Jordanne kept her focus and used her home team advantage very well.”

Adelle Stollmeyer and Jordanne Brown will represent Trinidad again at the final leg of the CEA Junior Jumping 2014, held in Jamaica from November 8-9.

For more:,201211.html


Cayman Islands poet has book signing for her book of love poems

Sophia McKenzie’s book of love poems “The Heart’s Turmoil: Poetry That Reflects The Joy and Pain of Love” was on sale at Books & Books, Camana Bay, Grand Cayman, where the author was on hand last week to sign all the purchased copies.

The autobiographical work comprises 100 love poems grouped into chronological sections, which can be read in any order without losing momentum. Her poems take readers on a journey from the intensity of a teen crush to the more nuanced emotions of the loves, lusts and disappointments of the young Christian adult.

The book is on sale at Books & Books.


Guardian angels exist, Pope says

From Business Insider

Vatican City (AFP) – Pope Francis said on Thursday that guardian angels exist and people who listen to their advice are less likely to make the wrong decisions.

“The doctrine on angels is not fantasist. No, it’s reality,” the pope said during his daily mass in the small chapel in his residence at the Vatican.

“According to Church tradition we all have an angel with us, who protects us and helps us understand things,” he said in a message to mark the feast of the guardian angels, celebrated by Catholics on October 2.

The up-beat message that humans are helped along in life by an otherworldly guardian was in stark contrast to former pope Benedict’s insistence in 2012 that angels did not sing at the birth of Christ — news that devastated many a carol singer and earned him the epithet “killjoy pope”.

Francis asked “how often have we heard ‘I should do this, I should not do this, that’s not right, be careful …’. So often! It is the voice of our traveling companion.”

The pope advised skeptics to ask themselves “how is my relationship with my guardian angel? Do I listen to him? Do I say good morning to him? Do I ask him to watch over me when I sleep?

“No one journeys alone and no one should think that they are alone,” he said.

For more:


JPMorgan: cyberattack stole contact info for 76 million households

From engadget

Is it just that time of year, or are data breaches just becoming more and more common? No matter: following the report that JPMorgan Chase and a handful of other banks had been hit by hackers comes confirmation from the main financial institution itself. The banking juggernaut says that as many as 76 million households and 7 million small businesses had names, phone numbers, street addresses and email addresses stolen in a cyberattack, according to a regulatory filing spotted by Bloomberg. The nation’s largest bank noted that despite these intrusions, however, sensitive information like Social Security and account numbers, login credentials and dates-of-birth were not pilfered. If you have accounts at Chase, now might be time to reset your passwords and contact your local branch, regardless.

For more:


The guys from ‘MythBusters’ debunked one of the biggest myths in tech

By Eugene Kim

Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, the hosts of Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters,” were keynote speakers at Thursday’s Evernote Conference.

Although not the typical guests you would expect at a tech conference, Savage and Hyneman said Evernote reached out to them because they’re both “esoteric makers” for many different kinds of projects. They’re working on a future collaboration project that will be revealed to the public in the near future.

After the speech, Business Insider caught up with the “MythBusters” hosts to ask what was the single coolest tech myth they’ve ever busted on the show.

“Using a cellphone will not blow up the gas station,” Savage said, referring to the common myth that you could accidentally blow up a gas station with a cellphone.

He said it’s not the cellphone, but static sparks created when drivers rub themselves on the car that cause most of these fires. A lot of times, the drivers talk on their phones when the spark happens, so it just looks as if the cellphone is the cause of the fire, when it’s actually irrelevant.

“When you’re moving in and out of your car, you’re generating static electricity. If you feel a spark, that’s usually between 10 and 20,000 volts of static electricity — and that’s plenty strong enough to make gas fume,” he said.

In fact, this is something the cell phone industry acknowledges, too. According to an ABC report, two industry studies have concluded there’s no evidence that cellphones are a hazard around gasoline. Instead, it notes drivers should avoid static fires.

Savage said his show might have actually helped raise awareness of this problem. Since that episode aired nearly 10 years ago, the American Petroleum Institute told him, “the number of fires at gas stations has dropped by two-thirds.”

For more:


North Dakota cops use a drone to nab three suspects in a cornfield

iNews briefs qube-police-droneBy Mariella Moon From engadget

Both the Argentine and the UK police have nabbed bad guys with the help of drones in the past, but what about American cops? Well, the police department in Grand Forks, North Dakota, for one, is putting its drone to good use — just recently, the city’s cops have caught four underage men who’ve been pulled over for drunk driving using a quadcopter called Qube. The teenagers reportedly ran into a cornfield after being pulled over, but instead of giving chase, the cops flew their trusty Qube to find them amidst rows upon rows of corn.

It took about three minutes to find the first Houdini-wannabe and 25 minutes to find the second one, even if all this went down in the middle of the night — the two others were caught later on. Grand Forks’ police department was apparently the first to secure the FAA’s approval to fly drones at night, so the drone-chase was completely legal.

Still, a lot of people fear that the law enforcement, the government and just creepers in general, can use drones to spy on everyone. So Alan Frazier, the Deputy Sheriff in charge of Grand Forks’ UAV unit, clarified to Vice that they use their drones “for events that are already occurring,” like finding felony suspects, and that there are no plans to use them for covert operations. When asked whether he thinks cops should have a warrant before they can unleash drones on suspects, though, Frazier says “absolutely not” unless the suspect has a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” (Presumably, that means they can’t fly drones to spy on suspects in their own homes without a warrant.)

Qube, by the way, is a small quadcopter developed by AeroVironment that’s being used by several police departments across the US. The company makes many other drones, as well, including the Puma (the first UAV to get the FAA’s approval to fly commercially) and a robotic hummingbird, which it developed for DARPA.

For more and video:


Cayman Islands new paramedic company already closing down

It was a very sad William Bodden the CEO of MedEvac, a relatively new company that was in the business of saving lives, who announced last Thursday (2) his paramedic company was already closing down.

Bodden said although he had been in talks with the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) for the past several months, they have not been able to land a contract.

Bodden had received an email saying the HAS could not enter into any negotiation until July 2015 due to budgetary constraints.


How exercise keeps depression at bay

From Khaleej Times

(IANS) Exercise training induces changes in skeletal muscle that can purge the blood of a substance that accumulates during stress, and is harmful to the brain

London – It is known that physical exercise has many beneficial effects on health and researchers have now found how exercise shields the brain from stress-induced depression.

Exercise training induces changes in skeletal muscle that can purge the blood of a substance that accumulates during stress, and is harmful to the brain, the study on mice showed.

“Skeletal muscle appears to have a detoxification effect that, when activated, can protect the brain from insults and related mental illness,” said principal investigator Jorge Ruas from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

It was known that the protein PGC-1I1 (pronounced PGC-1alpha1) increases in skeletal muscle with exercise, and mediates the beneficial muscle conditioning in connection with physical activity.

In this study researchers used a genetically modified mouse with high levels of PGC-1I1 in skeletal muscle that shows many characteristics of well-trained muscles (even without exercising).

After five weeks of mild stress, normal mice had developed depressive behaviour, whereas the genetically modified mice (with well-trained muscle characteristics) had no depressive symptoms.

“Well-trained muscle produces an enzyme that purges the body of harmful substances. So in this context the muscle’s function is reminiscent of that of the kidney or the liver,” Ruas explained.

The researchers discovered that mice with higher levels of PGC-1I1 in muscle also had higher levels of enzymes called KAT.

KATs convert a substance formed during stress (kynurenine) into kynurenic acid, a substance that is not able to pass from the blood to the brain.

The study is forthcoming in the journal Cell.

For more:


Cayman Islands accountants to honour new members

The Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants (CISPA) will be honouring its 11 new professionals at their 7th Annual Gala at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman on Saturday, October 11.

CISPA is a not-for-profit organisation that regulates and promotes the accounting profession in the Cayman Islands.

Mr. Peter Small, Chairman of CISPA’s Membership Development Committee expressed his thoughts on the benefits of putting on such events.

“The Gala allows the Cayman community to come together and acknowledge those who have put in countless hours to attain these phenomenal accounting achievements,” he said.


Cayman Islands supermarket to honour local senior citizens with grocery discounts

Because October is the Older Persons Month, Hurley’s Supermarket in Grand Harbour, Grand Cayman is partnering with the Department of Children and Family Services to honour Cayman’s senior citizens by offering anyone over 60, a 10% cut on the price they pay for groceries throughout this month.

Hurley’s said they appreciate many of Cayman’s elderly have little funds that must stretch a long way.

The supermarket already offers 10% on groceries on Wednesdays when the bill is over $100.


Cayman sports bodies call to waive athlete passport requirements

Three of the Cayman Islands sports bodies, Cayman Rugby Union, Cayman Islands Netball Association and Cayman Islands Olympic Committee have gone on local television CITN/Cayman27 calling on the government to waive passport requirements for standout athletes.

Rugby Union Chief Executive Officer Richard Adams said, “Actually it has a double impact because we have a number of Caymanians who don’t have a Caymanian passport. For instance, this year we’re off to the CAC Games in November and our men’s team has four or five athletes that have a status stamp in their passport, which is no longer good enough. In rugby, once you’ve been internationally capped for a country, you cannot play for another country ever. So they have to make a choice, it’s 11 years to get a passport here. It’s three years if you live in the UK, it’s three years in Canada, USA. It does definitely put the Cayman Islands at a disadvantage.”

Olympic Committee President Donald McLean said, “Maybe Government — if the person is a resident here, they have Cayman status — maybe those requirements to get a passport could be shortened. That could be done.”

Netball Association President Lucille Seymour said, “We have waived for people before. We have waived for cricketers and soccer players and maybe rugby at some point in time. We had given them Cayman passports. And I would think that is always something to do because if you are lucky enough in the Cayman Islands to have a great athlete, I think you should capitalise on it.”

To watch the whole interview go to:


Cayman Islands Conch Shell house up for sale but Hospice to stay [for a while]

Further to iNews Cayman story published on September 30 2014 under iNews Briefs “Cayman Islands Conch Shell house up for sale” although the historic Conch Shell House is up for sale, it does not mean immediate Cayman Hospice Care departure in the event the Conch Shell House sells.

In an agreement Hospice Care has with the owners of the house they will not be leaving until their new location at the Arboretum, Camana Bay is ready.

To date Hospice has raised approx. $800,000 toward a million-dollar goal. Marathon man Derek Haines has completed four of 6 marathons to lead the fundraising effort.


A.M. Best withdraws ratings of Risk Reinsurance Limited

A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating (ICR) to “a+” for Risk Reinsurance Limited (RRL) (Cayman Islands). The outlook for both ratings is stable. RRL is the single parent captive of Transpower New Zealand Limited (Transpower), the state-owned, sole operator of New Zealand’s electricity grid. Concurrently, A.M. Best has withdrawn the ratings due to management’s request to no longer participate in A.M.

Best’s interactive rating process.

The affirmations consider RRL’s excellent balance sheet strength and capital generation ability, which are supported by Transpower’s risk management. Offsetting rating factors include RRL’s catastrophe retentions. These are high relative to RRL’s capital target and could potentially result in significant volatility in its risk-adjusted capitalization.


Team Saint Lucia off to Caribbean Cycling Champs

iNews briefs Olivia-DescartesA team of four cyclists left the island on Thursday to represent Saint Lucia at the Ninth Caribbean Junior Cycling Championships, which will be hosted this weekend, 4-5 October, in Parimaribo, Suriname.

A total of 79 riders from 14 countries are registered for this year’s competition, with 37 riders in the Juvenile Boys (15 to 16 years old), 30 in the Junior Boys (17 -18) and 12 in the Junior Girls (15-18).

IMAGE: Olivia Descartes

Saint Lucia’s team will compete in the Juvenile Boys and Junior Girls, with a 16km Individual Time Trial at 9am Saturday and the road race on Sunday morning. In the Juvenile Boys, Dave Charlery of Mon Repos will be expected to lead the challenge, with Janick Paul and Calixte Williams of Excellers Cycling Club also riding in that division. Olivia Descartes of Mon Repos will contest the Junior Girls.

Charlery graduated from Micoud Secondary earlier this year, and has been outstanding in local competition of late, virtually holding his own against older, more experienced rivals. He will contest the Time trial along with one of the two other boys, and Olivia will go in the Junior Girls division.

All three boys will compete in the 68km road race on Sunday from 8am. Olivia’s race on Sunday gets underway from 12:30pm.


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