September 28, 2020

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iNews-briefs217Crown prosecutor says claims by Cayman Islands ex-premier of ‘political witch-hunt were distraction

In the summing up by Duncan Penny QC for the Crown in the case against former Cayman Islands premier McKeeva Bush, he told the jury last Friday (3) the claims Bush had made about a political witch-hunt were a distraction from his own actions as he knew he should not have been drawing cash on the government card to gamble with.

The prosecutor said Bush had told lies concerning his withdrawals of cash and this was powerful evidence that he knew his conduct was dishonest and a breach of the trust placed in him by the people of the Cayman Islands.

Penny said he decision to charge Bush was not taken by the governor, Duncan Taylor, or the police commissioner but by the director of public prosecution. The controversial emails were given to the defence by that office.

Bush is facing 11 counts of abusing his corporate credit card


Death of nine year old Trinidad boy linked to obeah ritual

From Caribbean360

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday October 6, 2014, CMC – A nine-year-old boy died late Saturday in what is believed to be an obeah ritual.

The police report that Abeomi Jeremiah was found motionless in a bedroom, with candle wax on his eyes, face and ears.

Shortly after 11 pm, Abeomi’s mother smelt smoke coming from a bedroom in the family’s home in Chaguanas.

She found Abeomi’s 12-year-old sister with her hair on fire.

A wardrobe containing clothes had also been ignited.

The mother went to check on her son who seemed to be asleep on a bed in the same room but he was unresponsive.

He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The police are questioning a teenage relative who was seen clutching a lit candle and allegedly acting strangely.

For more:


Supporting the human imagination at work in the Caribbean

From Caribbean News Now

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) is supporting the participation of nine CARIFORUM SMEs through funding a collective pavilion at the Innovation Village that forms part of the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF) scheduled to be held at the Jean Pierre Complex, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago during October 9-11, 2014.

Following a recent expression of interest that involved video pitches, the Agency selected the nine firms from five Caribbean countries that are producing a range of products and services that range from educational applications to animation and new media production, as well as energy efficient products, thus highlighting innovation as a critical component of the CARIFORUM economy.

Executive director of the Agency, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, stressed that “innovation can be a catalyst for growth and development across CARIFORUM and it is part of our mandate to support firms that use creativity and innovation in their products and services because it’s a great stimulus for achieving global competitiveness”.

Integral to CARIFORUM’s transition to an innovation driven economy is the nurturing of a culture of creativity and transformation of the business climate so that innovation drives competitiveness.

For more:


Cayman Compass admits they were fooled

The “Cayman Compass” admits they were fooled when they quote, “A picture purported to be Nicholson with Tortuga Rum Company President Robert Hamaty which appeared in the Compass Friday editions – unbeknownst to this newspaper or Mr. Hamaty at the time of publication – was actually Jack Bullard, the self-styled “world-renowned” Nicholson impersonator, who has been making look-alike appearances for more than three decades in the United States and elsewhere.

“Contacted by phone Friday, Mr. Bullard admitted it was he who visited Grand Cayman on a Carnival Paradise cruise ship last week and he who was pictured in photographs with Mr. Hamaty and members of the Tortuga staff which circulated in the islands.”

“When informed his picture had been circulated around the Cayman Islands as a photograph of Jack Nicholson the actor, Mr. Bullard replied: “Oh dear.”’

Haitians banned from UN Ebola mission in Africa


Haitians banned from UN Ebola mission in Africa

From Caribbean360

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Monday October 6, 2014 – After news appeared on social networks that the United Nations was recruiting volunteers to respond to the Ebola epidemic in , authorities in Haiti sprang into action.

A statement released last week, signed by the ministers of health, interior and defence, effectively banned Haitian volunteers from travelling to Ebola-stricken countries in Africa.

Citing other diseases that have devastated the impoverished country in recent years, the ministers prohibited any agency – including the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) – from organising the recruitment of Haitian volunteers

The ministers appealed to “the common sense of every citizen to avoid other more dramatic situations than what we have experienced in the recent past.”

The October 2 statement was described as a “warning” by Minister of Defence Lener Renauld, who added: “It’s a question of public health and security to avoid any (Ebola) epidemic crisis happening in Haiti.”

This latest development follows a recommendation by the minister of health last month that all international agencies “suspend any rotation of members coming from countries where Ebola cases have been found.”

According to Health Minister Florence Duperval Guillaume, the announcement was made “to restore the confidence of our citizens.

“It may be much stronger than necessary, but think of those citizens who have been so traumatized, after the earthquake, after cholera, and after chikungunya. We cannot afford to take an additional trauma,” the minister said.

Cholera, which had not been documented in the French-speaking country for almost a century, hit Haiti in 2010, since when it has killed 8,500 people and infected more than 700,000. It may have been brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers from Nepal, who were stationed there after the catastrophic earthquake.

The mosquito-borne virus chikungunya, which is currently sweeping the region, broke out in Haiti earlier this year and has since claimed tens of thousands of suspected cases.

For more:


Cayman Islands economic expansion intensifies

From News TT

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 3.09.07 PM

The Economics and Statistics office reported that the economy expanded by 1.5% in Q1 2014 (annualized), up from 0.1% in Q4 2013, and growth is forecast to reach 1.9% in 2014, y-o-y. Inflationary pressures intensified, bringing the inflation rate to 2.3% y-o-y in Q1 2014, up from 1.7% in Q4 2013. The fiscal surplus widened to KYD149.4 million, up from KYD131.8 million in Q1 2013. CTO data reveal a 9.4% increase in stop-over arrivals, and 8.4% growth in cruise passenger arrivals in H1 2014, y-o-y. Growth was seen across all tourism source markets, but from Europe and “other” markets in particular.

SOURCE: RBC Caribbean Economic Report

For more:


Caribbean Chamber of commerce inks deal with Overseas Department in France

From Caribbean National Weekly

The Caribbean and Chambers of Commerce have inked a deal to boost trade and investment between the region and the overseas department of France.

President of the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CAIC) Ramesh Dookhoo said both sides will exchange the names of 20 companies that could explore business opportunities.

The Memorandum of Understanding will enable two business organizations to work towards exchanging mutually acceptable sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards. The Chambers have also agreed to encourage authorities across the Caribbean and French Guiana to recognize professional certificates and skills.

In addition, the CAIC and its French Guiana will exchange information about applicable copyright laws, trade and investment promotion. Provision has been also made for trade fairs, seminars and meetings to introduce companies to each other.

For more:


Cayman Islands SOC swimmers to compete in North Carolina

Special Olympics Cayman Islands (SOCI) Open Water athletes Andrew Smilley and Kanza Bodden, with Unified partner Lois Moody, will compete in the Mott’s Channel Sprint to be held in Wilmington Beach, North Carolina on Saturday 11th October.

The swim is 1.3 mile straight course.

The Cayman team will be reuniting with other Special Olympic athletes from Virginia who previously came to Cayman for the Open Water Training held in 2013. SOCI Aquatics Coach Penny McDowall who feels that competitions like the Mott’s Channel Sprint are a necessary part of the preparation for the World Games that are held every four years will accompany the team.


It’s not ‘stock’ as we think of it

By Paul Friedrich Camano Island From Herald Net

The Associated Press article “Alibaba risk: ’s rise leaves out investors” relies on the premise that prior performance of Chinese stock is primarily the basis upon which to judge future profitability chances of the Alibaba IPO. The more challenging aspect to this offering is to understand that has restricted foreign ownership of segments of their economy, e-commerce being one. To circumvent this, Chinese companies set up what amounts to front companies in the Cayman Islands, or elsewhere, which are said to control the Chinese entity. The Cayman entity facilitates foreign ownership through a variable interest entity, through which they issue shares.’

The so-called “stock” in this IPO offering is not stock as we usually think of it because it represents no ownership rights such as voting your interest, equity rights or interest in the assets of the business. The VIE only promises the owner thereof a share of profits. This is not to say that the promise of VIE rights should not be considered, as some issued previously have been profitable. The business itself is quite promising, however, pressing foreign investors rights is an issue of its own and becomes the risky part of this consideration.

It is necessary to understand that the Alibaba IPO comes with the blessing of the current Communist government of China. The powers that be can change the way they view VIEs at will. It goes without saying that to press a case against abuse of a VIE contract would have to go through the courts of China and those courts are controlled by the government. This IPO and its aftermarket is a speculation more than a temptation and best left to the pros with deep pockets.

For more:


Jamaica Broilers Chairman makes Hall of Fame

From Jamaica Gleaner

Chairman of the Jamaica Broilers Group, Robert Levy, was inducted over the weekend as the only Jamaican – and one of three regional inaugural members – in the Caribbean Poultry Association’s Hall of Fame. He was lauded by the Caribbean Poultry Association (CPA) for his career-long contribution to the advancement of the poultry industry, locally and regionally, and initiating a number of successful programmes to assist poultry farmers to be profitable.

At a special awards ceremony hosted on Friday, September 19, by the CPA at the Radisson Trinidad Hotel in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Levy was described as a ‘catalyst of change’ within the poultry industry, having introduced a number of Jamaica Broilers Group-led initiatives which have resulted in greater efficiencies and yield for farmers. Among them is the technology-driven tunnel-ventilated house to replace the traditional chicken house, which is now in high demand across the Caribbean.

Levy’s unwavering support for the CPA – from concept to development – was also recognised, where today the governments of the region refer to the association as a fine example of best practices which should be replicated by other commodity groups.

For more:


Cayman University’s first nursing programme students receive their caps

Last Thursday (2) eleven sophomore students from the University College of the of Nursing received their nurses caps.

This was the first class in the new nursing programme to reach this point.

The ceremony took place at the university’s Sir Vassel Johnson Hall and was attended by several dignitaries and government officials, along with family and friends of the student nurses.

Dignitaries included Cayman Islands Premier Hon Alden McLaughlin, Tara Rivers (Minister for Education), Osbourne Bodden (Minister of health), Dr. Linford Pierson (Deputy chairman of UCCI’s board of governors), Allan Young (UCCI Dean of Academic Affairs), Lyria Lawson-Josephs (Registrar of the Health Practice Commission), and Josie Solomon and Hyacinth Rose (Cayman’s senior nurses).


Trade in Latin America and the Caribbean has virtually stagnated

From Fresh Plaza

Trade in Latin America and the Caribbean would be virtually stagnated for the third consecutive year, as the outlook for the global economy in 2014 has deteriorated, said the ECLAC yesterday in a preview of a report that it will broadcast next week.

The persistent weakness of the Euro zone and the lower growth in China, the largest consumer of commodities produced in the region, would be among the main reasons for the negligible expansion of trade in the region, as in 2012 and 2013.

The ECLAC said the magnitude of the weak performance of Latin America, was one of the reasons the entity reduced the region’s growth forecasts for this year.

The body, which answers to the UN and had originally estimated Latin America and the Caribbean would grow 2.7%, reduced its estimate for growth to 2.2% in 2014 due to the weak external and domestic demand, along with a lack of investment.

In this context, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday that the world economy could be stuck in a situation of weak growth for a long time, with countries trying to get out of past heavy debts and unemployment.

In August, the ECLAC had initially estimated a slight 3.8% increase in regional exports, mainly due to a rise in volumes. Meanwhile, imports would grow by 3.8% because of a volume increase and a slight rise in prices.

Source: Reuters

For more:


Cayman Islands Breast Cancer Gala Dinner attracts hundreds

Hundreds of people attended the Breast Cancer Gala Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman last Saturday (4).

The “pink-tie” fundraiser raised tens of thousands of dollars that will be used specifically to meet the needs of breast cancer patients in the Cayman Islands.

Jamaican recording artist Tessanne Chin was a huge hit with the crowd with her ‘electrifying’ performance.


Portia Simpson Miller leads Jamaica’s clean-up campaign to combat Chikungunya


KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday October 6, 2014, CMC – Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on Saturday led the clean up exercise in her constituency in an effort to control the spread of the Chukungunya virus.

Accompanied by Health Minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson, the Prime Minister encouraged Jamaicans to stage a similar exercise in their communities.

“I think this is something we should promote across the country in terms of community members keeping their surroundings clean.”

The Health Minister also announced that additional funds have been allocated to help fight the spread of the virus.

He said an announcement will be made in the coming week.

Meanwhile the opposition Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) General Secretary, Dr Horace Chang, says the Prime Minister’s decision to lead a clean up effort to rid the country of mosquito breeding sites and help combat Chikungunya was too late.

According to Chang, the outbreak could have been avoided if the Government listened to calls to be proactive.

“If we did not have the money at the time to start an official cleanup. Get the people sensitive that would not have resulted n the panic and fear that has spread through the nation. This is really a limp attempt to recover. It’s a share sign of incompetence,” he said.

For more:


Former Cayman islands UCCI president accused of theft seeks new attorney

Former president of the University College of the Cayman Islands, Hassan Syed, appeared last Friday (3) in Court and his attorney, James Austin-Smith applied to cease representing him.

Syed’s charges include five counts of theft, three of obtaining a pecuniary advantage and seven of obtaining a money order by deception, dating from September 2006 to June 2008,

Although a trial date was set for March 2nd ,2015, no pleas were entered because the full indictment was not ready, therefore November 28th was set as the date for entering pleas.


The Caribbean’s Newest Airport

From Caribbean Journal

The Caribbean has a new international airport.

After extensive renovations, Haiti’s Cap-Haitien International Airport has officially debuted with the inaugural American Airlines flight from Miami.

The blue-and-orange-hued airport comes with a new, extended runway for international flights, check-in areas passport control and arrival and departure lounges — a new Caribbean international airport.

“This is not just a plane landing, it is a development door that will open in the North,” Haiti President Michel Martelly said following the arrival of the first American Airlines flight.

American will be operating daily service between Miami and the destination, which is part of Haiti’s wider hopes for tourism development.

The airport includes a 7,500-foot-long air strip.

In a statement, Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said the north of the country had “huge tourism potential” that the new airport would develop and integrate.

Thursday’s arrival represented the completion of a longer journey for the airport that began in earnest when former US Secretary of State and potential US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton flew the first large plane to touch down on Cap-Haitien’s new runway.


Grand Old House Cayman islands reopens

Grand Old house, one of the Cayman Islands premier restaurants is reopening after its September break with:

Exciting New Menus!

Grand Re-Opening Party On the Rocks Friday, October 10th, from 5pm

Live Music & Happy Hour All Night


Marriott settles complaint that it forced convention goers to use hotel WiFi

By Jon Fingas From engadget

Ever suspected that a hotel was forcing you to use its paid WiFi by making your mobile hotspot unusable? Apparently, your hunch has some grounding in reality. Marriott has paid a $600,000 fine to settle a complaint that it blocked third-party hotspots at a Nashville hotel to make convention attendees and exhibitors pay for the venue’s commercial WiFi access — not exactly cheap at $250 to $1,000 a pop. As the FCC explains, the hotel was effectively asking users to either pay twice for internet access or else risk going offline whenever they approached the convention center.

For its part, Marriott insists to Recode that this WiFi jamming was legal, and that it was simply sheltering guests from “rogue wireless hotspots” that could slow down service and open its network to attack. However, the FCC doesn’t buy that claim — it contends that personal cellular routers “did not pose a threat” to the hotel or its guests. No matter what the motives, the settlement suggests that you won’t have to worry about going incommunicado the next time you’re on a business trip.

For more:


2 world best martial artists share tricks with Cayman Islands kids

Two of the world’s best martial artists, Christine Bannon-Rodrigues and her son, Dante Rodrigues were in Grand Cayman recently where they taught children several seminars, from basic philosophy to advanced combination moves.

Mother and son holds 10 world championships between them and have worked on television shows and movies including American Hustle, The Next Karate Kid and Batman and Robin.

Besides teaching technique, they hoped to inspire students that they, too, can reach the highest levels of martial arts.


Bitcoin falls under $300

By Alex Wilhelm From Techcrunch

$300, it’s the new $400.

iNews B screen-shot-2014-10-05-at-9-05-47-amiNews b screen-shot-2014-10-05-at-9-05-51-am

Yesterday’s selloff managed to push the price of bitcoin below the $300 mark this morning, around two weeks after the cryptocurrency fell below its prior $400 floor.

(In the ensuing bit, bitcoin has managed to re-crest the $300 level, a price range that it has largely kept to. Current price: $300.51, but a minute ago it was less. Keep your eyes on this.)

The next question is whether the $300 price level will represent a new floor for bitcoin. That’s to say it’s will be interesting to see if $300 is the price point under which bitcoin will not sink, but may bounce off of a few times. Or, on the bear side, if bitcoin’s recent, steep price declines will continue.

There is a certain irony to the negative price momentum that bitcoin is currently enduring: It has seen increasing support from retailers, precisely the sort of network growth that its acolytes have hoped it could muster. However, such support — PayPal, and the like — are not driving its price upward. This could be an argument that potential short-term increases in the volume of bitcoin transactions do not drive up its per-unit price.


Bitcoin average Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 9.05.51 AM

A chart of the decline: Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 9.05.47 AM

For more:


Caribbean Chamber of commerce inks deal with Overseas Department in France

From Caribbean National Weekly

The Caribbean and French Guiana Chambers of Commerce have inked a deal to boost trade and investment between the region and the overseas department of France.

President of the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CAIC) Ramesh Dookhoo said both sides will exchange the names of 20 companies that could explore business opportunities.

The Memorandum of Understanding will enable two business organizations to work towards exchanging mutually acceptable sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards. The Chambers have also agreed to encourage authorities across the Caribbean and French Guiana to recognize professional certificates and skills.

In addition, the CAIC and its French Guiana will exchange information about applicable copyright laws, trade and investment promotion. Provision has been also made for trade fairs, seminars and meetings to introduce companies to each other.

For more:


AAC-AIR Ambulance Caribbean selects Jet Logistics as aviation partner

From Business Aviation Advisor

Jet Logistics Inc. announced it has been selected by AAC-Air Ambulance Caribbean, Inc. (AAC) as the comprehensive aviation partner for the company’s new domestic and international aero-medical programs.

Air Ambulance Caribbean is a St. Thomas, USVI- based fixed-wing air ambulance service, launching later this year, which will be the exclusive, on-island, aero-medical company providing high acuity critical care patient transports from the Caribbean.

“The success of Air Ambulance Caribbean will be significantly tied to our strategic aviation partner,” stated Jay Monahan, President and CEO, AAC-Air Ambulance Caribbean, Inc. “With the extensive management, maintenance and consulting experience available to us through Jet Logistics’ AirEMS™ program, AAC is confident that we have chosen an accredited aviation partner that will enable us to achieve both our short-term goals and long-term growth strategies, while providing life-saving services to people in the Caribbean.”

“Air Ambulance Caribbean is a welcome and significant new client partner in our AirEMS™ program,” stated W. Ashley Smith, Jr., founder and President of the Jet Logistics Group. “We’re proud that after their intensive review of industry options and the unique challenges associated with developing an all-new program, AAC selected Jet Logistics to support the development of their domestic and international air medical transport services.”

For more:


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