September 17, 2021

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iNews-briefs217Cayman Islands Fedex courier cleared by jury of stealing gold from packages

Evon Robinson, a former courier with Fedex in the Cayman Islands, was cleared by a jury last Thursday (20) of stealing gold valued over $30,000 from packages sent by local store Cash-Wiz destined for the USA.

Robinson’s lawyer, James Stenning, of Stenning and Associates, successfully argued there was other potential suspects that included other couriers and the packers. Stenning also pointed out his client had not signed all of the relevant weigh-bills and paperwork and the weights in the packages were not always exactly recorded

Although Robinson had originally confessed to the Cash-Wiz managers he had taken the gold he claimed later he had been coerced into admitting this. The confession had been supposedly recorded on a mobile phone and had been edited making it unreliable.


Cayman man accused of stealing food

One must be very desperate to steal food. A 50 year-old man from West Bay, Grand Cayman, was in court last Thursday (20) accused of breaking into the Caribbean Bakery on Thursday 13th November and stealing “food items”. He was also charged with drug offences.


US citizen nabbed with cocaine on flight from Trinidad

From Caribbean360

NEW YORK, United States, Thursday November 20, 2014, CMC – The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says Jerrita Baker, a US citizen was nabbed with cocaine in her suitcase when she arrived on a flight from Trinidad and Tobago.

On Wednesday, the CBP said Baker was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The total weight of cocaine seized was about 5lbs, with an estimated street value of US$87,000.

It said Baker was “sniffed” out by a K-9 at John F. Kennedy International Airport here in trying to smuggle the illegal drug into the US.

Baker claimed the suitcase and was escorted to a private search room where the suitcase was probed revealing a white powder that tested positive for cocaine.

“Cocaine is a dangerous narcotic, and CBP does its part in keeping these drugs off the streets.” said Robert E. Perez, Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations.

“Our officers are determined to protect the American people from these illicit substances.”

Baker now faces US federal narcotics smuggling charges, and will be prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office in the US Eastern District Court of New York.

For more:


Former Cayman insurance company MetLife completes captive merger

By Arthur D. Postal From Insurance News net

WASHINGTON – MetLife announced today that it has completed a merger aimed at reducing the risk profile of its variable annuity (VA) business and bringing its offshore captive business to the U.S.

Under the new setup, MetLife subsidiaries MetLife Insurance Co. of Connecticut, MetLife Investors USA Insurance Co., MetLife Investors Insurance Co. and Exeter Reassurance Co. Ltd. have been merged. The captive business was formerly based in the Cayman Islands.

The merged company has been renamed MetLife Insurance Co. USA and is domiciled in Delaware. All necessary regulatory approvals have been received for these mergers, the insurer said in a statement.

All policy, contract, certificate or retained asset account terms, conditions or benefits remain unchanged as a result of the merger, MetLife said.

The decision to reduce the risk profile of its VA business was announced last May after Metlife came under pressure from federal and state regulators on the captives issue.

Steve Kandarian, MetLife CEO, announced the plans in a statement issued at MetLife’s annual Investment Day.

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, lauded MetLife’s decision at the time of the announcement. He said MetLife has “acted wisely in bringing this subsidiary back to the United States where it will be subject to stronger rules and oversight.”

Lawsky added that MetLife’s decision “represents a step in the right direction as we seek to address the risks created by the shadowy world of ‘captive’ reinsurance.”

The Federal Insurance Office has also raised the issue after its staff voiced concerns about insurance solvency and reserving. A federal advisory task force is looking at the issue as well.

Arthur D. Postal has covered regulatory and legislative issues for more than 30 years in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Does Russia have a secret space weapon?

By Thomas Tamblyn From The Huffington Post

Concerns have been raised that a mysterious object that Russia put into orbit could in fact be some form of top secret space weapon.

Known as Object 2014-28E, the unidentified object was put into orbit along with three military communications satellites and while originally classed as nothing more than junk the object has started acting strangely.

In the last three weeks alone satellite trackers have noticed it actually adjusting its own trajectory prompting fears that Russia has secretly placed a weapon in orbit designed for destroying other satellites.

Russia, naturally, didn’t acknowledge the object at launch and has since remained utterly silent about its now apparent ability to change course.

The news that Russia could be operating a secret weapon from space will only add to the current mystery that surrounds Russia’s military endeavours after a huge flash of light was seen in the sky over Russia earlier this week.

The flash of light was caught on camera and has left scientists and experts baffled as to the cause with some suggesting that it could be the result of a top-secret weapon.

For more:


Cayman Islands rugby kicks off

The Cayman Islands Men’s domestic Rugby XV’s season started off their 2014/2015 domestic competitions when the Heineken Charity Shield kicked off last Saturday 22nd November 2014.

Upcoming matches in 2014:

6 December 2014

1:30pm: Queensgate Pigs Trotters vs. John Doak Architecture Iguanas

3:30pm: Advance Fire & Plumbing Buccaneers vs. Fidelity Cayman Storm


13 December 2014

1:30pm: Queensgate Pigs Trotters vs. Fidelity Cayman Storm

3:30pm: John Doak Architecture Iguanas vs. Advance Fire & Plumbing Buccaneers


Study explores gay gene possibility

From Washington Blade

Some scientists believe several genes might affect sexual orientation.

CHICAGO — A large study of gay brothers adds to evidence that genes influence men’s chances of being gay, but the results aren’t strong enough to prove it, the Associated Press and other outlets reported this week.

Some scientists believe several genes might affect sexual orientation. Researchers who led the new study of nearly 800 gay brothers say their results bolster previous evidence pointing to genes on the X chromosome, the AP article notes.

They also found evidence of influence from a gene or genes on a different chromosome. But the study doesn’t identify which of hundreds of genes located in either place might be involved.

Smaller studies seeking genetic links to homosexuality have had mixed results, the AP article said.

The new evidence “is not proof but it’s a pretty good indication” that genes on the two chromosomes have some influence over sexual orientation, said Dr. Alan Sanders, the lead author, in a quote to the AP. He studies behavioral genetics at NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute in Evanston, Ill.

Experts not involved in the study were more skeptical, the article said.

Neil Risch, a genetics expert at the University of California, San Francisco, told the Associated Press the data are statistically too weak to demonstrate any genetic link. Risch was involved in a smaller study that found no link between male homosexuality and chromosome X.

Dr. Robert Green, a medical geneticist at Harvard Medical School, told the AP the new study “intriguing but not in any way conclusive.”

The work was published Monday by the journal Psychological Medicine. The National Institutes of Health paid for the research. Specific causes of homosexuality are unknown.

For more:


Disabled persons vehicles in Cayman Islands need respect

The head of the Cayman Islands Sunrise Adult Training Centre, Shari Smith, has appealed to Cayman’s motorists to respect disabled persons and show some kindness and stop!

In recent weeks her bus drivers have had to deal with impatient road users when transporting her clients she said.

Speaking on local television CITN/Cayman27 News last Thursday (20) she said, “Recently we’ve been finding that when our buses are transporting our clients and dropping them off we’ve been having some not so pleasing responses from the public who have to wait.”

She admitted it takes time to get disabled persons on and off the Centre’s bus but some road users are impatient waiting for the bus to move after it has blocked the road but she is appealing to the public to be aware of the needs of persons with differences.

The Sunrise Adult Training Centre is an organisation that supports adults with disabilities.

See today’s Editorial “Why are we so impatient?”


WICB Task Force commences work

(WICB) Bridgetown, Barbados – The West Indies Cricket Board Task Force comprising chairman Michael Gordon and members Sir Wes Hall and Sir Richard Cheltenham held its initial meeting in Barbados, on Monday November 17.

The Task Force will continue its work and present its report to the Board of Directors on December 13 at their next meeting.

Chairman Gordon said he is pleased that the Task Force has commenced its work.

“While it is regrettable that the situation into which we are enquiring occurred, the Task Force recognizes the responsibility to West Indies cricket and is honoured to have been chosen for this assignment. We commit to pursuing the facts and circumstances in a fair and unbiased manner and to allow for all the critical matters to be highlighted and ventilated,” Chairman Gordon said.

The WICB Task Force was commissioned to enquire into the events which led to the premature end to the tour of India. Following is the full Terms of Reference of the Task Force.

  1. Investigate the cause of the actions perpetuated by the players leading to the withdrawal of their services. Based on the facts which emerge, the Task Force will render their opinion of the degree of culpability attributed to the WICB, to the WIPA and to the players and whether the action of the players was justifiable or considered a reasonable course of action.
  2. Examine the relationship between the West Indies Players’ Association (“WIPA”), West Indies Cricketers and the West Indies Cricket Board (“WICB”), with a view to making recommendations on the nature and structure of the relationship between WICB and the cricketers (separate and apart from the relationship between WICB and WIPA).
  3. Design and propose a fast-track dispute resolution mechanism, which would apply to ongoing tours, and give the players an expedited process through which they could ventilate any issues, so as to mitigate against the risk of future tours ending prematurely as a result of player action.

WICB attorney, Alanna Medford is secretary to the Task Force.


Hong Kong court approves LDK restructure

From PV Magazine

Approval in Hong Kong follows assent to restructuring plan of Cayman Islands authorities. The next hurdle lies with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court today (Friday).

LDK Solar, in provisional liquidation, and its joint provisional liquidators, Tammy Fu and Eleanor Fisher, both of Zolfo Cooper (Cayman) Limited, announced on Tuesday, the High Court of Hong Kong sanctioned the Hong Kong schemes of arrangement of LDK Solar and its subsidiaries, LDK Silicon & Chemical Technology Co., Ltd. and LDK Silicon Holding Co., Limited, each as previously approved by scheme creditors at their class meetings held on October 17.

“We are very pleased the High Court of Hong Kong has sanctioned our Hong Kong schemes of arrangement, and this represents a further significant step towards completing our offshore restructuring,” said Xingxue Tong, interim chairman, president and CEO of LDK Solar.

“We now turn our focus to obtaining the recognition of our LDK Solar Cayman Islands scheme of arrangement and approval of the terms of our pre-packaged plan of reorganization from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

“As always, we remain committed to rebuilding LDK Solar and repositioning ourselves in the PV marketplace to grow our business.”

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court will hold a hearing on November 21 to consider confirmation of the pre-packaged plan of reorganization and recognition of the Cayman Island scheme of arrangement of LDK Solar.

For more:


Dill and Douglas to umpire ICC tournament

From The Royal Gazette

Roger Dill and Steven Douglas, the Bermuda umpires, will officiate at ICC Americas Division 2 Tournament in Florida, which starts on November 26.

Dill has been named Tournament Referee and will be the leading official of the competition.

Douglas, with experience of many regional and world cricket league tournaments, will be one of the official umpires.

The ICC Americas Division 2 Tournament will be played between Argentina, Bahamas, Cayman Island and Suriname.

The winner will advance to the ICC Americas Division 1 Championship to be held in 2015 and will also qualify for the World Cricket League Division 6, joining Cayman Islands who already compete in this division.

“I am pleased that the quality of our local officials is being recognized on the world stage once again,” Lloyd Fray, president of the BCB, said. “Roger Dill and Steven Douglas have consistently proven to be outstanding officials and I expect that their participation in this tournament will only enhance their reputation and that of Bermuda.

“I trust that the pathway to the international arena for our BCUA representatives provides motivation and aspirational support to our local officials.”

For more:


The 4 Cayman Ladies get Time Out

Alice Mae Coe, Annie Multon, Ezmie Smith, and Betty Ebanks, known as the 4 West Bay Ladies have lost their appeal to have a new trial in order to get the strip of the West Bay reopened.

The whole dispute is over a deal the previous United Democratic Party government led by McKeeva Bush deal with Dart that included land swaps and the construction of the Esterley Tibbett’s highway extension into West Bay. This created beachfront property on Dart-owned land on a small stretch of Seven Mile Beach.

This stretch of road has been in use by the public for over 100 years.

A trial was held in December forcing government and Dart Realty to defend their road agreement but the judge found the claim was brought too late.

The Appeals Court panel upheld this decision of the judge.


The Caribbean’s largest greenhouse

skn2-567x383From Caribbean Journal

St Kitts and Nevis has officially opened what is believed to be the largest greenhouse in the Caribbean.

The 24-metre-tall, 14,000-square-foot greenhouse is part of the long-anticipated St Kitts Eco Park, which debuted on Friday.

The Eco-Park is a cooperation project between the governments of St Kitts and Nevis and Taiwan, with a host of local plants, herbs and flowers and an array of tropical fruit trees.

ribbon“It incorporates the successful integration of tourism, agriculture and renewable energy,” the government said in a statement.

“The Eco-Park signals the way forward for ecotourism and rural development,” said St Kitts and Nevis Agriculture Minister Nigel Carty. “We are changing the rural landscape of St Kitts and Nevis. This is indeed real progress and real change for the people of St Kitts and Nevis.”

The project was inspired after a visit by St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas to a similar facility in Taiwan in 2008.

“We have indeed made important strides towards ensuring that the people of St. Kitts and Nevis in general have this grand opportunity to experience ecotourism, green technology and the development of a unique agro-tourism product, thanks to the work of [Taiwan] and our government and the unfailing commitment to our people,” Carty said.


The new greenhouse at the St Kitts Eco-Park

The ribbon cutting ceremony

For more:


Nearly 4,000 people receive mental health in Cayman Islands

Dr. Marc Lockhart, Cayman Islands psychiatrist, revealed nearly 4,000 people received treatment at outpatient facilities in the country between 1st July 2013 and 30th June 2014.

Dr. Lockhart was speaking at the Health Care Conference at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, last Friday (21) and he said more than two thirds of the diagnoses were for stress disorders, mood disorders, and psychosis.

The stigma associated with mental illness was also discussed and he said, “it’s significant, it breeds fear, and it breeds ignorance.”

Although progress in the Cayman Islands was being made in talking about the mental issue here, he said, there was still “a burning need for a long term care facility”.


Shirley Bassey re-records classic 007 hit ‘Goldfinger’

From The Voice

‘Two wrong notes’ in original have been rectified

Shirley Bassey has shown her inner perfectionist by re-recording her 50-year-old James Bond hit Goldfinger which featured as the theme music for the eponymous 1964 film starring Sean Connery as 007.

The 77-year-old Welsh singer of Nigerian and English heritage has redone the song as part of her new album Hello Like Before.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, the Cardiff-born songstress said: “Everyone’s going to be listening for those two wrong notes in the original.

“For me they always sounded wrong and I could never get it right in my head.

“My musical directors through the years said there was nothing wrong with it.

“It was probably me. But now with my voice we’ve lowered the song, and I can’t hear those wrong notes any more – and it sounds so right, I’m so glad we got to do it again.”

Bassey claimed the time is right for her to release her new material and added: “All the songs I’d wanted to sing when I heard them – I was too young, I’m at the right age to do it.

“I’m really happy because I chose all the songs. It’s the first time I’ve chosen all the songs on an album.

“The recording companies always had ideas of the albums they wanted. I had a say but this is the first time I’ve got complete control.”

For more:‘goldfinger


Motown singer Jimmy Ruffin dies, aged 78

By Rykesha Hudson

The performer was also the elder brother of The Temptations member David Ruffin

News of his death follows reports last month that he was seriously ill and in intensive care at a Las Vegas hospital.

The performer’s death was confirmed by his children, Philicia Ruffin and Jimmy Ruffin Jr, in a statement released yesterday (Nov 20).

Born in Mississippi, Ruffin moved to Detroit in the early 1960s and was signed to Motown’s Miracle label.

Ruffin scored his biggest hit with 1966’s What Becomes of the Broken Hearted.

He moved to the UK in the 1980s, where he recorded songs with Paul Weller and Heaven 17.

Ruffin’s other hits included I’ve Passed This Way Before, Gonna Give Her All the Love I Got and Hold On To My Love – a top 10 hit in 1980.

His younger brother David Ruffin, one of the early members of the Temptations, died in 1991 of a drug overdose, prompting his sibling to become an anti-drug campaigner, reported the BBC.

A family statement said that Ruffin was “a rare type of man who left his mark on the music industry”.

“We will treasure the many fond and wonderful memories we all have of him” the statement said.

Motown Records founder Berry Gordy said he was a “phenomenal singer”.

“He was truly underrated because we were also fortunate to have his brother, David, as the lead singer of The Temptations, who got so much acclaim” he told Rolling Stone.

For more:


Thanksgiving Caymanian Style

From The Westin Grand Cayman

Just when you thought you couldn’t eat another bite, along comes Cayman Thanksgiving. The national celebration will unfold with a traditional Caymanian meal of locally grown produce on Sunday, December 7 this year, following a concert and Market Day on the Agricultural Grounds of Grand Cayman the previous day. The not-for-profit event is supported by Caymanians committed to “a better Cayman” and promoting fellowship among family, friends and neighbors who call the islands home. As 2014 represents a milestone marking 10 years since the passage Hurricane Ivan and 5 years since Hurricane Paloma, Caymanians have a lot to be thankful for.



5 rescued after boat overturns in east Caribbean

From Business Standard

(AP) Five people have been rescued in the eastern Caribbean after their pleasure boat overturned in rough waters.

Authorities on the French island of Martinique said the five were found today clinging to the hull of their boat. The boaters from the island of St. Vincent were reported to be in good health.

Officials said the boat had stopped in Antigua and was heading south to return to St. Vincent when it issued a distress call yesterday. They were located by a commercial vessel that had been traveling nearby and was rerouted to help with the search.

Authorities noted there was only one life jacket aboard the boat when it overturned between Dominica and Guadeloupe.

For more:


Jamaica weighs adopting Caribbean Tribunal as Final Appellate Court

From Latin American Tribune

SAN JUAN – Jamaica’s House of Representatives reviews this week three bills to amend the national constitution and establish the Caribbean Court of Justice as the country’s final court of appeal.

“Jamaica requires a two-thirds majority vote to be obtained in each House of Parliament for Jamaica to subscribe to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the CCJ,” a spokesman for the regional tribunal told Efe on Wednesday.

The country is one of 12 Caribbean Community member-states that use the CCJ as a court of Original Jurisdiction for interpretation and application of the treaty establishing CARICOM.

But for ordinary criminal and civil cases, the UK Privy Council continues to serve as Jamaica’s court of final appeal.

Twelve of the 15 CARICOM members states are signatories of the CCJ: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

For more:


Here’s what life is like in the Alaska town that’s dark for 65 days

barrow-is-located-at-the-top-of-alaska-about-500-miles-from-fairbanks.jpgBy Pamela Engel From Business Insider

This month, the sun will set on Barrow, Alaska and remain below the horizon for 65 days.

Barrow has a population of about 4,000 and is the northernmost town in the United States. The average high temperature remains below zero from December through March in Barrow.

The town is extremely isolated, surrounded by wilderness tundra and not barrow-alaska.jpgaccessible by road.

Many people in Barrow, including the significant population of Alaska Natives, rely on the Arctic Ocean for subsistence.

But Barrow is also home to several research facilities that bring in jobs, and oil and gas tax revenues allow the town to enjoy modern conveniences such as running water, sewers, and a health clinic.

People who live there say they enjoy the community and culture that’s unique to their town.

Documentary series “One Square Mile” visited Barrow in 2012 to give outsiders an idea of what life is like in a polar climate 320 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

For more on this story and to view all the photos go to:


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