September 23, 2020

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PACKAGESOutbound Passenger on Cayman Islands domestic flight arrested

HM Customs has confirmed that one female outbound passenger destined for Cayman Brac was arrested on suspicion of possession of vegetable matter resembling ganja with intent to supply.

On Sunday, 5th October 2014 just after 5 pm, HM Customs were notified by Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) Security that an outbound female passenger possessed packages concealed on her person. Subsequent investigation revealed a number of packages containing vegetable matter resembling ganja, which was wrapped in grey duct tape.

The packages were seized and the female was arrested by Customs, interviewed and released on bail as the investigation continues.

Collector of Customs Ms. Samantha Bennett said, “This is yet another example of the growing strength of partnerships between HM Customs and ORIA Security personnel. We remain resolved to ensuring, as far as possible, that the travelling public remains safe and to our zero tolerance approach to such criminal conduct and activity. We are serious about protecting our Borders and ask that anyone with Information relating to this types of crimes to contact the HM Customs’ tip-line in confidence on 1-800- 534-8477 or email the department at [email protected]

Photo caption Photo by Customs

The packages confiscated by Customs Officers on arresting a female air passenger


Cayman Islands government improvements to George Town underway

From Loop News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin says the government will take legislation to the House to amend the Development and Planning Law to ensure that downtown George Town is developed with a “modern Caymanian feel throughout”.

McLaughlin says he intends for property owners to be able to refit some of the downtown buildings for apartments and make George Town more pedestrian friendly with wider sidewalks, trees and benches.

“It is our vision for George Town to be restored as an economic hub, including residential, recreational, retail and commercial use. Roadworks have already been approved for new connector roads to move traffic around downtown in a timelier and safer manner,” the Premier said.

McLaughlin also added that new connector roads will run from Elgin Avenue to Eastern Avenue, from Elgin Avenue to Smith Road, from the Godfrey Nixon Way extension to North Church Street and the extension of Fort Street going north.

Also planned are improvements to Smith Road, Godfrey Nixon Way and Edward and Fort Streets downtown. Work will be done in phases, creating new jobs, allowing companies to get contracts and new businesses will be encouraged to start or move to the Central Business District.

“One of the challenges of successive governments has been the . While we are going through the proper, transparent and accountable procedures for a long-term solution to solid waste, we are managing the existing site as best we can,” McLaughlin said.

The Premier said the government is buying new equipment as needed, management has been improved and we are seeing the benefits.

“We have also hired a senior project manager for the Integrated Solid Waste Management System who started work on Monday. He brings over 25 years of waste management project experience and will be a welcome addition to the CIG team,” he added.

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Jean Bertrand Aristide due to appear in Haitian court Friday

From Caribbean360

PORT AU PRINCE, , Friday October 10, 2014, CMC – Former president Jean Bertrand Aristide is due to appear in court Friday after the judge investigating alleged corruption charges against him issued an extraction order for his appearance.

The order of extraction was sent to Police Chief, Godson Orelus, who is to ensure that the police escort Aristide to the office of Justice Lamarre Belizaire, who had earlier placed the former president under house arrest.

Aristide and several of his former colleagues have been accused of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars from the State through his organisation, Aristide for Democracy Foundation and other organisations during the period 2001-04.

Aristide, a former Roman Catholic priest, and his colleagues including Mirlande Liberus, Yvon Neptune, Jean Nesty Lucien and Gustave Faubert, have also been banned from leaving the country.

Aristide was forced from power, in February 2004, in a bloody rebellion led by former army officer and police commissioner, Guy Philippe.

Aristide went into exile in the Central African Republic, then in South Africa where he spent about seven years, before returning to Haiti in 2011, under the presidency of René Préval.

The criminal investigation into Aristide’s administration was initiated in 2005 under the interim government, led by President Boniface Alexandre and Prime Minister Gérard Latortue.

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IDB project aims for 100% LatAm electrification

By Andrew Baker

Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will launch The Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) in the Americas initiative in capital Santiago.

SE4All is a global public-private initiative started by the UN in 2011, with regional hubs run by the IDB (Latin America and the Caribbean), the African Development Bank (Africa) and the Asian Development Bank (Asia).

By 2030, SE4All aims to ensure universal access to modern energy services, double the implementation of energy efficiency projects and double the share of renewable energy in the global mix.

The development banks act as facilitators between the public and private sectors so that the three goals can be reached, IDB senior energy specialist Arnaldo Vieira de Carvalho told BNamericas.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, approximately 30mn people lack access to electricity, the IDB said, representing 5% of the total population.

SE4All starts by gathering rapid assessments of targeted countries.

Assessments for Colombia and Nicaragua, for example, show drastic differences in electrification rates between urban and rural areas.

In Nicaragua, SE4All aims to increase electricity access to 75% of households by 2015, 85% by 2020 and 95% by 2030.

“Now we’re working on the planning phase,” Vieira de Carvalho said, “[which] is how to get to those targets.”

This stage involves locating the people without access, determining the cost of providing them with electricity and deciding which solution is best.

These solutions can include off-grid generation, grid extensions, renewable projects “and anything else that’s necessary,” Vieira de Carvalho added.

“A policy, a regulation … anything that you need to put in place to have that target met in a given period of time.”

Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to be the first of the three SE4All regions to achieve universal access, according to the IDB.

“The countries are used to developing master plans for rural electrification,” Vieira de Carvalho said. “But this one is different, because we [are asking], ‘What’s needed to get to 100%?'”

Bachelet is scheduled to give the keynote address at the launch, which will take place October 15-17.

BNamericas will host its 11th Southern Cone Energy Summit in Lima, Peru, on November 12-13. Click here to download the agenda.


Cayman Cookout

15-Jan-2015 Cayman Cookout

Don’t miss the opportunity to get up close and personal with culinary icons at the 2015 Cayman Cookout, January 15th to 18th.

Join host Eric Ripert, Anthony Bourdain, José Andrés, Daniel Boulud, wine experts, mixologists, and more for a weekend celebrating food and wine, in the stunning setting of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

Select from culinary demonstrations, wine tastings, lunches, dinners and more.

Tickets for the festival are now on sale (a perfect holiday gift idea!)

Visit for more details and ticket purchase.


Tues. Nov. 11th – 4:30-6pm

Wed. Nov. 12th – 6:30-8pm

Mon. Nov. 23rd- 4:30-6pm

Tues. Nov. 24th- 6:30-8pm

To sign up click here to download the registration form at:


settles claims it denied mortgages to new moms

By Jenna Greene, Legal Times

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage on Thursday agreed to pay $5 million to settle charges by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that it discriminated against home-loan applicants who were pregnant or on maternity leave.

The nation’s largest mortgage provider, Wells Fargo allegedly discriminated against new mothers by refusing to approve loans or forcing them to “sacrifice their maternity leave and return to work prior to closing on their loan,” according to . The concern was that the women would be unwilling or unable to return to work after giving birth, or would not be able to afford mortgage payments while on leave.

HUD took action on behalf of six families from across the nation—including Arizona, California, Nebraska, Nevada and Texas—who filed complaints.

“In many cases, it wasn’t the family’s credit or income that stalled the loans—it was simply the words ‘maternity leave,’ ” wrote HUD Secretary Julian Castro in a blog on the agency’s website. “In settling these cases, HUD has been able to get significant relief for families and also, just as important, to change bank policies around the country.”

Wells Fargo denied the charges and said it settled the case to avoid a lengthy legal dispute. “Our underwriting is consistent with longstanding fair and responsible lending practices and our policies do not require that applicants on temporary leave return to work before being approved,” wrote Tom Goyda, vice president of consumer lending communications at Wells Fargo. “HUD found no violation of the Fair Housing Act or any other law by Wells Fargo. The agreement resolves claims related to only five loan applications from a period when Wells Fargo processed a total of approximately 3 million applications from female customers.”

Under the terms of the settlement, Wells Fargo will distribute a total of $165,000 among the six families and create a fund with at least $3.5 million to compensate other Wells Fargo applicants who experienced similar discrimination. The lender also agreed to change its underwriting guidelines when it comes to evaluating mortgage loan applications from those on maternity leave.

HUD has opened more than 15 maternity-leave discrimination investigations in 2014, and investigated 170 complaints involving maternity-leave discrimination allegations since 2010.

For more:


China quake displaces thousands, one dead, 300 injured

From Canberra Times

Date October 8, 2014

Beijing: A strong earthquake that hit southwest China’s mountainous Yunnan province has killed one person and left more than 300 people injured as well as 50,000 displaced.

The shallow 6.0 magnitude quake hit late on Tuesday in a region that lies close to China’s borders with Myanmar (Burma) and Laos, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

One person was so far known to have died, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Safe havens: Chinese paramilitary policemen set up tents for quake victims on the grounds of a primary school in Yongping.

Safe havens: Chinese paramilitary policemen set up tents for quake victims on the grounds of a primary school in Yongping. Photo: AP

It said 324 people were injured, mainly in Jinggu County, close to the epicentre of the quake.

It quoted local officials as saying more than 92,000 people in Jinggu were affected and that 56,880 of them had been relocated.

“Many houses collapsed and we are investigating the casualties,” a local official said.

“The aftershocks seem non-stopping.”

Provincial officials declared a top-level emergency, with 3200 troops dispatched in a “race to save more lives”, said Xinhua.

An additional 600 professional rescuers with sniffer dogs have been sent to the quake zone.

The epicentre was located 85 kilometres from Pu’er city, in a region famous for its tea plantations.

The quake was also felt in Yunnan’s provincial capital Kunming.

Xinhua gave a significantly higher reading of 6.6-magnitude, citing the China Earthquake Networks Centre.

Thousands of homes were also damaged in the neighbouring city of Lincang, the news agency said.

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Cinestream TV launches for Barbadian film and media

By Ashlee Cox From The Barbados Advocate

A new era has dawned in the way Barbadians and the Caribbean will be able to watch and produce their own films, and that comes with the launch of CineStream television.

As noted by Steven Williams, Chief Executive Officer of CineStream TV, as he spoke to the media during the launch of the CineStream TV press conference, the tagline, ‘we are a smarter viewing experience’ really says it all.

“We are taking IP TV technology to the next level in relation to what Barbadians will be experiencing and people across the Caribbean. Right now there are companies within the Telecoms market, they have migrated from broadcasting in terms of the ‘rabbit ear’ antennas, to actually getting our television via set-top boxes. So our major, or our only, traditional television station has led the way with their brand many years ago, many decades ago, and now we are seeing other entries into the market,” he noted.

Continuing, he stated, “So what technology has allowed for us to do is to deliver IP TV through the internet technology, and the content is targeted at the Caribbean specifically as well as the Diaspora. So we don’t just see ourselves as just the Barbadian channel. Yes we are based in Barbados, yes we are delivering predominantly Barbadian content, but bear in mind that Barbados is still a small island state; we expect that to embrace the Caribbean content fully, would be the best approach for us, given the developing content that is going on right now.”

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Cayman Islands Premier says Customs Management team effective

From Loop News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin says the new Customs management team at the Owen Roberts International Airport has proven to be quite effective.

During his State of the Union address at the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman on Thursday, October 9, McLaughlin said the team has managed to catch contraband before they got on to the island.

“Our new Customs management team has already proven effective with increased confiscation of contraband coming through our borders, including at the Owen Roberts International Airport. We have a new inspection process for shipping containers leaving the Islands whereby persons shipping goods must have their packages inspected at the port by Customs officers,” the Premier said.

“Just this past July enforcement officers seized six shipping containers during a series of raids and stopped the shipment of stolen property that had been taken in break-ins. The new procedure does not apply to major traders and customs brokers, but to those individuals who export personal goods using shipping agencies,” he added.

McLaughlin said the government is also tracking certain types of vessels taking goods off Cayman’s shores by way of the sea, again to tackle crime and the criminal element.

For more:


NFL concussion opt-out date won’t move, Brody says

By Saranac Hale Spencer, The Legal Intelligencer

The deadline for former players to opt out of the proposed settlement with the NFL won’t be moved back, the federal judge handling the case ruled.

Lawyers for some of the players had asked U.S. District Judge Anita Brody of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to push the deadline back from Oct. 14 to a date beyond the fairness hearing for the settlement, which is scheduled for Nov. 19.

Thomas Demetrio of Corboy & Demetrio in Chicago and several other lawyers who are representing former players allege that they’ve been left in the dark about the particulars of the accord and can’t properly advise their clients as to whether they should take part in the class settlement or opt out and pursue their own case against the National Football League.

Brody had granted preliminary approval in early July to a settlement agreed to by the NFL and co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs. The judge had rejected the first deal in January because she was troubled by the lack of empirical support for the total amount of the settlement—which was $760 million—and that she was unsure that there would be enough money to cover all of the players with potential claims because the portion of the settlement from which injured players could draw was capped at $675 million.

She ordered the NFL and the co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs to submit to the court the documentation on which they based that settlement, but that information wasn’t made available to the other lawyers representing clients in the case.

For more:


Caribbean scores low in technology

From T&T Express

DESPITE the fact that technology increases business productivity, more than half of Latin American and Caribbean businesses still ranked between a medium to low in technological intensity, said Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS) Jose Miguel Insulza. Insulza said there were 51 per cent of businesses with that rank. He was speaking during the opening ceremony of the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF) 2014 at the Southern Academy for Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando on Wednesday. It ends today. This year’s theme is “Human Imagination at Work: Driving Competitiveness, Powering Innovation”.

Insulza called for greater collaboration between governments and the private sector.

He said: “It is up to both the governments and the private sector, to commit to the future workforce with the skill sets that this new reality demands. The necessity to integrate more technologies into the workplace is also pressing. Neither governments nor the private sector invest enough in innovation.” “Latin America and the Caribbean continue to have average investment in research and development of around .66 per cent as a percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). In contrast, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) invest an average of 2.47 per cent of their GDP.”

Insulza said: “In order to produce sustained growth and competitiveness, we need to invest in the people and the ecosystems that produce innovations. We need to build high-value niches where we can excel based on our own identities, assets, biodiversity and cultures.”

The biggest challenge was to reduce social, knowledge, technology and skill gaps, accelerate the introduction of new economic and social policies that favour change, support young entrepreneurs, strengthen institutions and improve the quality of education, Insulza said.

Although there were still other challenges like poverty alleviation and social inclusion, the region has achieved significant progress in the past ten years with improvement in democracy, security, economic growth, human rights and social condition he said. Insulza, who has been OAS’s General Secretary since 2005 said this would be his last year as General Secretary and several initiatives were undertaken as a result of the ACFs. He hopes these will be expanded. Some of these included the creation of the Group of Experts on Subnational Competitiveness, the creation of a Task Force on innovation and entrepreneurship and the Community of Practices (CoP) of the Pro-Tempore of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC) as an on-line tool to promote new ideas, collaboration and networking among practitioners, academics and civil society. Haitan president Michel Martelly also spoke at Wednesday’s opening.

For more: res-low-in-technology-278736541.html?m=y&smobile=y


Cayman Islands Gov’t to review Immigration Regulation policies

From Loop News Service

The government will be making several adjustments to the Immigration Policy in an effort to make the Cayman Islands more attractive for business.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said on Thursday that in an effort to make the Cayman Islands more business friendly, the Government will be introducing an amendment to the Immigration Regulations that will allow persons travelling to Cayman on business to remain for up to 10 days without the need for a work permit.

McLaughlin unveiled these policy changes at the Chamber’s Legislative Luncheon at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman.

He said the government will also be introducing a pilot programme offering VIP concierge service for business people to be fast-tracked through Immigration and Customs when they enter and leave the country.

Another immigration policy directive just approved by Cabinet will give long-term visitors who own homes in Cayman the opportunity to receive permission to stay in the country up to six months without requiring them to make return trips to Immigration for extension on a month-to-month basis.

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US charity donates 50,000 breadfruit trees to combat Caribbean Hunger

By Kells Hetherington From Voice of America

The Trees That Feed Foundation (TIFF) says in the last five years it has donated and planted 50,000 food-bearing trees in Haiti and Jamaica to combat hunger.

A founding member of the U.S.-based TTFF, Mike McLaughlin, told VOA Thursday breadfruit trees produce a fruit substitute for flour, rice and potatoes, which are too expensive for many in the Caribbean to afford.

A breadfruit tree costs about $15 and takes three years to reach a point where it can feed an entire family. According to McLaughlin, however, that is too much money and too long a wait for a poor farmer earning on average $2 a day.

McLaughlin said every tree is a big deal, especially in Haiti, where he says a second tree means a cash crop for a farmer.

A fully grown tree can produce anywhere from 250 to 300 pieces of fruit per year, but the number depends on rainfall, according to McLaughlin. He says one piece of breadfruit can sell for as much as $1.

According to McLaughlin, TTFF continues to monitor the situation closely.

“We actually track this pretty exactly. I mean we know exactly where our trees are growing. Its round numbers – 40,000 to Jamaica, about 10,000 to Haiti, and there is a few more – You know, we are getting past the 50,000 already – trees of different varieties – so mostly breadfruit but not exclusively,” said McLaughlin.

Breadfruit is round with green skin. When cooked, it tastes similar to unleavened bread.

McLaughlin says 80 percent of the world’s hungry reside in the tropics.

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Court revives SOX whistleblower’s case against JPMorgan

By David Bario, The Litigation Daily

Back in August, when an appeals court sided with construction giant AECOM Technology Corp. in a suit brought by a former employee, the news didn’t generate much in the way of headlines. But as a flurry of law firm memos pointed out at the time, the decision was significant. Although the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit tossed the ex-employee’s lawsuit, the panel also adopted a much more lenient standard for evaluating Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower claims.

Now that ruling has made a mark on another SOX whistleblower case, and this time the defendant, JPMorgan Chase & Co., isn’t off the hook.

In an order issued on Thursday, the Second Circuit reinstated claims that JPMorgan fired a senior banker after she flagged a favored client for possible fraud and money laundering. And because the employee allegedly raised the alarm just as another JPMorgan client, Bernard Madoff, was revealed as a titanic con artist, her allegations have brought plenty of unwelcome attention on the bank.

The appeals court ruled Thursday that under the standard it set in Nielsen v. AECOM Technology, former JPMorgan Vice President Jennifer Sharkey didn’t have to “definitively and specifically” tie her retaliation claims to categories of misconduct identified in §806 of SOX. In Nielsen, the panel noted, the court concluded that §806 covers whistleblower allegations “which the employee reasonably believes constitut[e] a violation of the enumerated federal provisions.”

The decision gives Sharkey and her lawyers at Wigdor another chance to persuade U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet that she’s entitled to SOX whistleblower protection, and that JPMorgan violated the law. In her suit, which Sweet dismissed last December, Sharkey claims she was fired in retaliation for repeatedly raising red flags about an Israeli client who was a lucrative source of fees for JPMorgan. The client, whose name hasn’t been publicly disclosed, allegedly made suspect money transfers involving Colombia and engaged in other business activities that suggested fraud or other crimes.

JPMorgan is represented by Arnold & Porter’s Michael Schissel. Wigdor partner Lawrence Pearson argued for Sharkey at the Second Circuit.

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Caribbean Week of Agriculture focuses on family farming

From News Talk93

The premier meeting of agriculture stakeholders within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), opens in Dominica today with a focus on family farming.


The five-day 13th Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) meeting, will focus on three main streams of work: value chain development, climate change/climate smart agriculture, policy and strategy for agricultural revitalisation, and food and nutrition security.

Executive Director of the Caribbean Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI), Dr. Arlington Chesney, says family farming has an important role to play in climate smart agriculture as the region looks at the link to climate change and sustainability of the environment.

He says this creates the issue of sustainable intensification which can only be practised on family farms, because it depends on a special type of agriculture that is best suited for family farmers.

The meeting this week includes three major workshops on policy, climate change, and value chains.

These deliberations will surround the main commodities of fisheries, small ruminants, roots and tubers.

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What’s holding the Caribbean in low growth mode?  

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. Oct. 9, 2014: Several factors have been highlighted by the IMF for low growth in much of the Caribbean region.

The IMF’s new World Economic Outlook report blames long-standing competitiveness problems, high public debt, and significant financial fragilities for the low growth.

As a result, said the body, risks remain high and tilted towards the downside. Jamaica for instance is expected to register 1.1 per cent growth in 2014, rather than the 1.3 per cent growth predicted in April.

However, there was good news for the Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago. The DR should record 5.3 per cent real GDP growth in 2014, compared to the 4.5 per cent growth projected by the IMF in April while the fund now forecasts 2.3 per cent growth for Trinidad and Tobago this year, or 0.1 percentage points higher than the IMF expected six months ago.

Overall, IMF analysts say economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean continued to slow in early 2014. But they predicted that regional growth will pick up to 2.2 per cent in 2015, 0.7 percentage points weaker than previously projected.

“Growth in the region is expected to average 1.3 per cent for 2014, the lowest rate since 2009 and 1.2 percentage points below the April 2014. The downward revision partly reflects weaker-than-expected growth outturns for the first half of the year and domestic demand growth that is now expected to be slower than previously projected,” the report said.

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