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Cayman Islands Court of Appeal order new trial for accused bank robbers and television station robbery

Cayman Islands Court of Appeal has ordered that a new trial should take place for David Tamasa,  George Mignott, Andre Burton and Rennie Cole early in the New Year after being acquitted of the robbery of Cayman National Bank and WestStar TV.

The three judges said their decision was on a technicality and had nothing to do with the evidence of the Crown’s star witness, Marlon Dillon who had pleaded guilty to being part of both robberies and was now in a witness protection programme. He will now have to be brought back for the new trial.

The Appeal Court said the technicality on the CNB robbery was the failure by the judge to point out to the defendants their decisions not to take the stand could allow the jury to draw an adverse inference.

Cayman Islands College to adopt new policies

The International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI) is adopting new academic policies that include:

requirement for undergraduate students to earn a grade of “C” or better in all general education and major courses to be eligible for graduation;

to obtain a minimum 2.5 grade point average for graduation instead of the current 2.0 minimum;

requirement for graduate students to maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average; grade “C” grade or lower in a course will not count toward graduation;

students will receive two hours of homework per week for each hour of class they attend in every course in which they are enrolled (this is a policy consistent with the guidelines of ICCI’s U.S. accrediting body, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools);

the homework policy will apply to all students regardless of when they enrolled, while the remaining policies will apply only to students who are admitted after Sept. 1, 2015;

all students must complete 20 hours of community service as a condition of graduation; and

all students will be required to complete a workshop in the history and culture of the Cayman Islands.

Chair of the ICCI board of directors, April Cummings, said the board “fully supports a continual focus on improving the academic standards at ICCI. We believe in building on the foundation of the past to create a brighter and more vibrant future.”

There is also a proposal to develop an online degree programme that would allow students to take courses at home without having to attend classes in person.

In order to offer the online degree programme, ICCI’s accrediting body would have to first approve the programme that would involve an application and a visit by the accreditor.


Dominican Republic to receive $250M loan to boost productivity

From Caribbean Journal

The Dominican Republic will be receiving a $250 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to boost productivity and improve the country’s business climate.

The loan will target the “Programme to Improve Productivity,” addressing what the IDB called the “urgent need to promote reforms that increase the productivity of micro-, small- and medium-sized companies.”

Such firms account for 97 percent of all companies in the country and 30 percent of its Gross Domestic Product.

Compared to other states in Latin America and the Caribbean and the United States, productivity in the Dominican Republic has been flat since the late 1990s, according to the IDB.

“The program aims to help trigger a rise in productivity,” the bank said.

The programme’s loan will help fund changes designed to strengthen banking regulation and facilitate financing for the aforementioned firms.

The loan is over a 17.5 year period.

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Cayman Islands Bodden Town end with three goals and a win

(CIFA): Bodden Town Football Club defeated Fiji Under-20 by 3-0 to register their first win of the Ocean Football Confederation (OFC) President’s Cup in Auckland on Sunday. Goals from Ricoh Brown (29th), Theron Wood (53rd) and Jonathan Ebanks (64th) handed the reigning Cayman Islands Premier League Champions a hard fought victory over a talented Fijian side, headed to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. In his best game of the tournament Ricoh Brown opened the scoring for Bodden Town. Against the run of play, Brown got on the end of an errant back pass and slotted the ball past Fijian keeper Misiwani Nairube from outside the 18 yard area.

Wood doubled the score in the second half, capping of a counter attack led by Brown on the left attacking side. Brown played a neat pass the Wood who dribbled one defender before pushing his left footed shot past Nairube. Brown orchestrated the third goal as well, playing the cross that Emmanuel Brown slotted home to complete the victory.

“This is what we came here for,” said Captain Ramon Sealy, in his post-match interview. “We wish we could have done it in the other games, but we are glad that we got the victory today.”

Strengthened by the return of central defender Yefry Calderon, who arrived in the country 24 hours before the final match, and the return of Karl Solomon, who missed the second match with an injury, Bodden Town looked formidable in defense.

“We played our ball that what we can do. The other two games you saw a bad side of Bodden Town, where we didn’t knock the ball around,” Sealy said. “Today we knocked it around, used our flanks to our abilities and finished our chances, so that was a good result for us.”

Sealy was also crucial for Bodden Town, producing countless reflex saves to keep a clean sheet.

Bodden Town ended the tournament with a 1-1-1 record and finished fifth. They opened the tournament with a goalless draw against Singapore U-23, before being blanked by Auckland City 9-0. Sealy praised the level of competition offered at the President’s Cup and believes Bodden Town stands to benefit from the experience.

“This tournament showed us our flaws and our weaknesses, we are going to go and work on them. We will improve on our strengths as well, the tournament also showed us other styles which we can incorporate into our own.  This was a great tournament for us to come to,” he added.


PAHO missions support Eastern Caribbean in Ebola preparations

From New York Carib news

CMC – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says its expert missions are supporting Eastern Caribbean countries in preparing for a potential case of the Ebola virus .

To date, missions from PAHO have visited seven countries of the Eastern Caribbean to support their efforts.

In coordination with national health authorities and with support from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), PAHO said three expert missions have already visited Barbados, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada, and others were expected to conclude on Saturday in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia.

“The missions are supporting efforts in Eastern Caribbean countries to ensure they are able to detect, treat, and contain the spread of any potential case of Ebola,” said PAHO in a statement, adding that it will follow up on the missions in the coming weeks, providing technical cooperation as requested and according to each country’s needs.

Since the start of West Africa’s current Ebola epidemic, PAHO said more than 15,000 cases and over 5,000 deaths have been reported.

In the Americas, which includes the Caribbean, PAHO said only the United States has reported cases – two imported and two of local transmission.

In a statement on the weekend, PAHO said no cases have been reported in Latin America or the Caribbean, “although the risk of such a case cannot be discarded.”

“Working together we can continue to strengthen basic capacities defined by the International Health Regulations, so that we are better prepared to respond effectively not only to Ebola but to any health emergency that arrives on our shores,” said Godfrey Xuereb, PAHO representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

The PAHO said its missions, in cooperation with CARPHA, are focusing on areas, in alignment with the International Health Regulations.

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Freeze ex-DOJ chief’s assets, Ombud asked

By John Carlo Cahinhinan From Sun Star

THE Office of the Ombudsman has asked the anti-graft court to issue a writ of preliminary attachment/garnishment on the alleged ill-gotten wealth of former Justice secretary Hernando “Nani” Perez.

In a statement released Friday, Ombudsman Conchita Morales asked the Sandiganbayan to confiscate the Perez’s assets and properties worth $2 million, which he illegally obtained after allegedly harassing and extorting money from businessman and former Manila representative Mario Crespo, more popularly known as Mark Jimenez.

Morales said that the state has the right to confiscate the assets and properties of government officials who illegally acquired their wealth while they are in position.

Also included in the complaint were Perez’s wife Rosario, his brother-in-law Ramon Arceo Jr. and former business associate Ernesto Escaler.

“The Office of the Ombudsman after conducting an inquiry similar to a preliminary investigation in criminal cases, has determined that a prima facie case exists against the respondents Hernando B. Perez, Rosario S. Perez, Ernest DL Escaler, (and) Ramon Antonio C. Arceo Jr., for acquiring an amount of money and/or property manifestly out of proportion to the salary of respondent Hernando B.Perez as public officer, and to his other lawful income,” the motion read.

Perez and Escaler allegedly threatened and harassed Jimenez, forcing the later to give them a total $2 million dollars in exchange that the former lawmaker will not testify on the plunder and graft charges filed against former President and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and other individuals during his administration.

The money, which reportedly came from the Trade and Commerce Bank in Cayman Islands, was later transferred at the Coutts Bank in Hong Kong in February 2001, a month after Estrada was ousted from his presidency.

Then Senator Panfilo Lacson in a privilege speech exposed the reported transaction in 2002.

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New King’s effigy appears on Dutch Caribbean circulation coins

king-willem-alexanderFrom Coin Update

The Royal Dutch Mint have released the 2014 dated circulation coin set in brilliant uncirculated (BU) quality for collectors which includes the new definitive portrait of HM King Willem-Alexander on the two highest denomination coins. The 5 Gulden, 2 ½ Gulden and 1 Guilder coins bear the likeness of the king who faces to the right in contrast to the previous coins which saw his predecessor and Mother, Queen Beatrix, facing to the left – as is custom for reigning Dutch monarchs to alternate facing directions when they succeed to the throne.

IMAGE: 2014 Netherlands Antilles 1 Guilder

The new set includes eight denominations to the one cent with the presentation folder featuring images of the Royal couple’s visit to the Dutch Antilles earlier in 2014. The obverse and reverse sides for the 25 cent to the one cent coins remain unchanged and the square-shaped 50 cent coin also remains unchanged on both sides. The coins are intended for circulation in both Curacao and Saint Maarten.

setThe new portrait is the work of both artists Pannos Goutzemisis and Juan Sanchez – Castano who are also designers at The Royal Dutch Mint. Pannos Goutzemisis’ more recent work for the Royal Dutch Mint included the double-portraited abdication €2 coin issued to announce the succession of the Prince of Orange which was issued in early 2013. This new true-to-life portrait of the King includes his name above the portrait with his title being placed below, a change from the usual side to side placements.

For more information on this and other coins and sets from Curacao and Saint Maarten which make up the Netherlands Antilles issuing authority, please visit the website of the Royal Dutch Mint at: Information offered in Dutch, European destination orders dispatched.

For more on this story go to:


President of Nicaragua Daniel Ortega Orders Nicaraguan troops to block entrances/exits to Miskitu/Mosquitia/Miskito villages

News From Bilwi, Miskitu NationCentral America reports:

Daniel Ortega along with the Honduran Goverment has resumed Tyranny on the Native peoples and is confiscating Miskitu territories at an alarming rate.

The Miskitu/Mosquitia/Miskito sovereign nation that consists of many tribes,races and nation original peoples of the Central America Region on the Atlantic/Caribbean Coast are once again reliving the terror of past where mass murder, rape and disappearances were the order of day during the Contra/Sandinista war of the 80’s; when the the FSLN lead by Daniel Ortega and Borge gave the order to exterminate every last native from their land so long as they convert the Atlantic/Caribbean coast to a Sandinista Communistic regime.

Miskitu/Mosquitia/Miskito leaders via email and phone conversations report that Nicaraguan forces have block entrances/ exits in, out and in between Miskitu cities and villages. Ortega and the Honduran Government (Cabo Gracias a Dios Miskitu territory ) has been forcing the native peoples to relinquish their properties on Miskitu territory and then turning around and selling them to Foreigners as Nicaraguan and Honduran land, Settlers have come in from the Pacific Coast and just squat and Claim Natives territory as their own.Natives fed up have taken action and reclaimed their lands and Ortega has ordered troops to raid homes, confiscate anything that can be used for self defense and protection. Now the Natives are under Martial law, as in 80’s, they are being threatened , with violence and/or death, for any resistance or defense of property by it’s weaponless people. He has cleared land of fruit trees and muddied the lakes and told the natives that they can live on that land but are not to pick fruit, fish or enjoy any of the natural resources outside the reserve he has made for them. He is claiming, giving away and selling property that comes under eminent domain of the Miskitu nation, Which is a violation of Human Rights and the U N Charters.

Miskitu Nation again face Starvation, Disposition and mass Murder resulting in genocide! The Miskitu Nation continues to plead to the world for immediate international intervention before it’s to late and they are forced to flee creating an immigration crisis of biblical proportions, human relations crisis and are exterminated!

Reverend Josephenie E Robertson M.T.T -Matriarch of the Miskitu Nation

Ercell Fleurima Hendy Tawska Gary B C Mitchell -Chief Adviser


Caricom, UNFPA framework aims to reduce adolescent pregnancy in region

By Kimberley Hibbert By Jamaica Observer staff reporter

ADOLESCENT pregnancy in the Caribbean could decline by 20 per cent between 2015 and 2019 if an initiative by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Caribbean Community (Caricom) succeeds.

Last year, UNFPA and Caricom unveiled a strategic framework aimed at reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in countries of the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean.

Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the UNFPA, said it is estimated that approximately 20 per cent of women in the Caribbean have had at least one child by the age of 19, with some giving birth before the age of 15.

“Adolescent pregnancy is intertwined with issues of human rights. A pregnant girl who is pressured or forced to leave school, for example, is denied her right to an education. A girl who is forbidden from accessing contraception or even information about preventing a pregnancy is denied her right to health,” Dr Osotimehin said in the document’s preamble.

But Osotimehin believes that once a girl enjoys the privilege of having a good education, high rates of pregnancy are likely to diminish.

“Conversely, a girl who is able to enjoy her right to education and stays in school is less likely to become pregnant than her counterpart who drops out or is forced out. The enjoyment of one right thus puts her in a better position to enjoy others. From a human rights perspective, a girl who becomes pregnant, regardless of the circumstances or reasons, is one whose rights are undermined,” he said.

The new framework is expected to guide Caribbean countries in their development of long-term plans to deal with adolescent pregnancies.

For more:–UNFPA-framework-aims-to-reduce-adolescent-pregnancy-in-region_17821360


North American Rally to the Caribbean: Greater than the Sum of its Parts

Barby MacGowan From BYM News

On November 3, after two days of waiting for a break in the weather, 18 well-prepared sailboats left Newport, R.I. to embark on a nearly 1500 mile journey that, at its conclusion, will mark the completion of the 15th annual North American Rally to the Caribbean (NARC). Masterminded by Hank Schmitt of Offshore Passage Opportunities (OPO), the rally is free to its participants and supports the annual migration of East Coast boats heading south for the winter with either free or deeply discounted dockage at the designated rally ports (after Newdport the rally stops in Bermuda, then finishes up in St. Maarten), fuel discounts, weather routing, regular on-water communication through Radio Net for SSB, and last but not least, social gatherings and camaraderie that lead to enduring friendships.

As Aristotle would affirm, the rally is a perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, but a walk down “rally row” at the Newport Yachting Center before the boats departed also revealed that participants are as far removed from having a herd mentality as anyone could imagine.

“My wife Joyce sought out the NARC Rally for comfort in numbers, but if we arrive at Bermuda and haven’t used any fuel and we’re still sailing strongly in the right direction, we’re not going to stop,” said Fran Cichowski, skipper of the smallest boat in the fleet, the Tartan 40 Lucky Lady. In their early 70s, the Cichowskis have lived aboard Lucky Lady for three years and spent last winter in St. John’s Salt Pond Bay, serving as volunteer “Bay Hosts” for the USVI Park Service, in exchange for a free mooring. Unlike others in the NARC Rally, they have chosen not to bring aboard extra crew for the trip. “Some people think we’re crazy, but it’s a lot safer than you’d think if you’re well prepared,” said Cichowski, pointing out storm shutters on each hatch and each side window, extensive safety gear, and even a heating system that runs off the same steam fuel as the engine. (The latter served the Cichowskis particularly well in usedport when chilly winds accompanied the front that delayed their departure.)

Opportunities, contact Hank Schmitt, 1-800-4-PASSAGe, +1 631-423-4988 or visit


Are the Americas emerging as the new center of global energy?

By Anthony T. Bryan From Caribbean360

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Beyond the business fascination with the current undulating wave of oil and LNG prices there is another story. Namely, there are energy developments in the Americas that will change the global architecture of oil and gas trades for a long time. Here is a broad (non-technical) brush stroke.

Speculation about the causes and impact of the current situation in global oil and gas trades has accelerated. Do lower oil prices reflect weak demand caused by increased supplies of crude? Will cheaper oil benefit the world’s largest economies as well as some of the energy deficient poorer countries? Can falling oil prices remove the profit incentive for the U.S., Canada, Australia, and other potential LNG exporters to continue investment in export plants? Is Saudi Arabia playing a waiting game to force shale oil and gas companies in those countries out of business? Will OPEC countries meeting again in November agree to reduce their production in order to keep oil prices stable? Clearly, these are issues that can only be resolved in time by economic, political and geopolitical moves. In the energy business, speculation has a short shelf life.

But beyond the speculation there are a few certainties.

The global supply of energy will continue to increase and diversify, not contract, and the ongoing increase in U.S. and Canadian oil production will continue to put downward pressure on the global price of oil.

Oil and gas producing states that lack diversified economies will have less economic and geopolitical leverage. Though the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members will remain a central element of the oil market, political turmoil around the Gulf monarchies has forced an increase in their social spending and made them even more dependent on high hydrocarbon revenues.

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Elections dealt a blow to surveillance reform advocates

By Andrew Ramonas, From The National Law Journal

The Republican wave that swept Democrats out of the majority in the Senate on Tuesday has taken away at least some of the muscle behind congressional efforts to bring sweeping surveillance reform.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., one of the toughest critics of the National Security Agency, lost his reelection bid to Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. And Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., author of the Senate’s USA Freedom Act, a leading proposal to rein in government surveillance, will lose his post as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman in January when the chamber comes under Republican control.

Edward Black, a lawyer who serves as president and chief executive officer of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, said he’s bracing for an uphill battle for significant surveillance reform in the next Congress. His association, which represents Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc. and other technology companies, is among the tech and civil liberties groups pushing the Senate to pass Leahy’s USA Freedom Act, which is pending in committee.

The climate will be less friendly for meaningful surveillance reform,” Black said.

While Leahy’s diminished role in a Republican-controlled Senate could pose challenges to reforms supported by tech and civil liberties advocates, the loss of Udall could be more significant.

Since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks last year about the U.S. government’s far-reaching spying, Udall has emerged as one of the leading voices for surveillance reform. The senator, a member of the Intelligence Committee, even has fought against Democrat-backed NSA legislation, including the FISA Improvements Act. That bill, which Udall said wasn’t “real reform,” cleared the committee in 2013, over his opposition.

“It’s a tough loss,” said Mark Jaycox, a legislative analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group. “Senator Udall has been at the forefront of informing the public about the NSA’s activities as well as serving as a rigorous, yet fair, overseer of the NSA.”

But former Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., a FaegreBD Consulting senior vice president, said the FISA Improvements Act would bring significant surveillance reform that a majority of senators can get behind. Bono serves as co-chairwoman of the 21st Century Privacy Coalition, which represents AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and other telecommunications companies.

“That bill could pass the Senate now and in the next Congress,” Bono said.

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Perry honors 11 community leaders

From Caribbean Life By Nelson A. King

Brooklyn Assemblyman Nick Perry on Friday (Oct 31) night bestowed special honor on 11 outstanding community figures at a gala Awards Ceremony at Tropical Paradise Ballroom on Utica Avenue, Brooklyn.

The honorees were: Dennis Ifill and Michelle Akyempong (Distinguished Labor Leader Award); Orin Tucker (Distinguished Business Community Service Award); the Rt. Rev. Sylveta Gonzalez (Distinguished Ecumenical Leader Award); and Kuldeap Krish Prasad (Distinguished Leadership Award for Sports and Culture).

The others were: Dr. Joseph Radix (Distinguished Community and Dental Health Service Award); Tomora-Lutreast Ellis (Distinguished Educator Award in Early Childhood); RN Mary Bell-Downes (Outstanding Health and Community Service Award); Vivienne Bent and Joyce Marie Gilman (Outstanding Community Service Award) and Judge-Elect Sharon Clarke.

Jamaican-born Perry, who represents the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn, said the honorees “exemplify the words of W.E.B. DuBois who so eloquently stated that ‘now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year…’”

“I know this prominent group of men and women, who we gather to honor this evening, will continue to seize the moment, as tomorrow is never promised, and continue to put in the hard work – not for themselves, not in hopes of obtaining another award or personal accolade – but to ensure that our society continues to move in a direction where present and future generations alike can enjoy prosperity and live in peace and harmony,” added the State Assembly’s deputy leader.

“To their friends and relatives who have joined in our celebration, I commend you for standing by these heroes, who, by their unselfish deeds, touch so many lives in so many positive ways,” continued Perry, a former chair of New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators.

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Big boost for Caribbean film distribution

From RJR News

CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution (CTWD), a Barbados-based film distribution company, has received a funding grant from the ACPCultures+ Program, financed by the European Union and implemented by the ACP Group of States for ‘The 3D Distribution Project’ (3D) that will enhance CTWD’s digital, domestic and Diaspora distribution.

The partners involved with the 3D initiative include the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, the National Institute of Culture and History, Belize, the Caribbean Examinations Council, the Film Commission of the Dominican Republic, Banyan Productions, and the German digital platform

CTWD describes itself as the main global platform for Caribbean film and television content, and is a full service film distribution company that specializes in the acquisition, marketing and sales of Caribbean-themed programmes.

“This EU funding is hugely exciting. With it, we will raise the bar and really concentrate on delivering sustainable long-term income-generating streams for producers that will benefit our industry and the Region as a whole,” said Frances-Anne Solomon, founder of CTWD, who is also a producer and filmmaker.

She said her organization had already put in place a Project Team. “We plan to acquire international distribution rights for 100 more films, expand our online platform, build strong broadcasting relationships with local and international television channels, and promote a wide-ranging marketing campaign, so as to make our Caribbean-themed content easily accessible to wide audiences around the world,” she added.

Founded in 2010 with a grant from the Barbados Business Enterprise Trust, CTWD’s programming also includes its Annual Film Festival , along with its Content Development and Market Training Program for filmmakers in Toronto, and the Video on Demand Platform.

CTWD’s current catalogue consists of more than 300 films and television programs of all genres, by 40 producers from 20 countries. These include “Kingston Paradise,” Mary Well’ award-winning feature,, “A Winter Tale” starring Dennis ‘Sprangalang’ Hall and Leonie Forbes, award-winning Barbadian film “Hit for Six”, the cultural favourite “Calypso Dreams”, as well as episodes of “E-Zone”, “Caribbean Eye”, “Lord Have Mercy” and “Gayelle”.

The new Catalogue will be launched in early 2015.

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The readers’ editor on… showing that black writers can write about far more than race

By Chris Elliott From The Guardian

So often the ‘go to’ people are white, have been to the same schools, the same universities. The media seem only ever to ask black people to write about race

Reading Festival of Crime Writing, Town Hall, Reading, Berkshire, Britain – Sep 2009

With little fuss but a lot of planning, for 24 hours between midnight on Thursday and midnight on Friday 31 October the Guardian ran a – nearly – all-black comment section in print and online. It was timed to coincide with the last day of Black History Month, an annual event since 1987 in the UK to mark the presence of black people in Britain, and brought a black face to every one of the comment pages.

In print there was Gary Younge on the US midterm elections; Hugh Muir on politics and leadership; Dreda Say Mitchell on undercover police and crime writing; Claire Hynes talking about class, state schools and equality; and Chibundu Onuzo on Nigeria and the kidnapped schoolgirls.

Online there was Minna Salami on the west’s lack of women political leaders; Lola Okolosie on Gillian Wearing’s statue of an ordinary family; and Trevor Williams, chief economist at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, on the end of quantitative easing. Guardian Australia used four indigenous writers including Larissa Behrendt, while Guardian US featured Zach Stafford, Steve W Thrasher and Tarikuwa Lemma.

Editors decided not to promote the exercise heavily beforehand: alive to the charge of tokenism, they wanted readers to approach the articles without a sense of exceptionalism. “The ultimate aim is to show that black people can write about anything,” said Joseph Harker, an assistant comment editor, who worked with Maya Wolfe-Robinson to bring together all the writers in that 24-hour period.

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The first time I visited Jamaica was as unnerving as a sci-fi movie

By Hugh Muir from The Guardian

A new book, 90 Degrees of Shade, captures 100 years of Caribbean history. The rich, evocative photographs are recognisable to any child of the diaspora

Any black Briton who travels regularly from these shores to a country of origin in Africa or the Caribbean has a very good sense of what we have and what we leave behind. The first time I visited Jamaica – which didn’t happen until my 20s – was as unnerving as a sci-fi movie. Everyone did all of the things necessary to make a society work: driving the buses, keeping the peace, running the banks, driving the ambulances, reading the news, arguing the politics. But everyone was black. That did more for my sense of self than 100 worthy speeches.

Flitting between continents, you appreciate the qualities of each. Here we have the certainties and the advantages of a first world economy: infrastructure, rule of law, a still enviable democracy. There, these things are not always so advanced, and yet the sights, sounds and experiences of the Caribbean creep under the skin. One can see, hear and feel them for the first time, and yet feel familiarity.

Those sights, those sounds and some of those experiences come packaged in a new book of rich, evocative photographs, 90 Degrees of Shade: Image and Identity in the West Indies – 100 Years of Photography in the Caribbean. You recognise the men in oily boiler suits working on an old Ford – of the type my dad’s friends would drive – on a grey English day in 1969.

The Haitian drummer from 1950s Port-au-Prince, meanwhile, symbolises the verve and colour you enjoy whenever the Caribbean lets its hair down. The sight of sugar-cane cutters in a field near Le Carbet, Martinique, in 1959 – working in the hot sun, appearing, as such workers often do, overdressed for the task in hand – could have been taken on virtually any island yesterday. Rastafarians in vivid colours chant psalms in Jamaica. Tourists, now the economic lifeblood for many islands, alight from cruise ships in 1970s Saba.

There are harsh realities too. American troops, incongruous during the Reaganite invasion of Grenada in 1983. An armed Tonton Macoute patroller on the streets of Port-au-Prince in 1980. The man poking his handgun through an open car window during the 1965 civil uprising in the Dominican Republic.

Different challenges, different struggles, but recognisable to any child of the Caribbean diaspora. London/Bridgetown, Birmingham/Kingston, Manchester/Port-au-Prince. We are both sides of that coin.

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U.S falls to Ireland

DUBLIN, Ireland — The United States extended its winless streak to four straight games, dropping a 4-1 decision to host Ireland in an international friendly at Aviva Stadium on Tuesday.

Mix Diskerud’s struck in the 39th minute for the Americans, who surrendered three unanswered goals in the second half before a crowd of 33,332.

Robbie Brady tallied a pair of second-half goals for the winner, while Anthony Pilkington and James McClean added one apiece.

Ireland took a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute on a counter as David McGoldrick played a through pass to Pilkington between center backs Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid left his to get to the ball, but the Cardiff City winger got there first and chipped the D.C. United standout into the right side of the net.

The visitor equalized in the 39th minute after Ireland captain David Meyler lost the ball in the midfield.  Alfredo Morales’ pass deflected toward the left side of the box to Jozy Altidore.  The striker crossed back in, connecting with Chris Wondolowski, who headed the ball to Diskerud. The midfielder slotted into the right side.

The Irish went ahead to stay in the 55th minute after the U.S. defense lost the ball near the corner flag. McGoldrick made a back-heel pass to Brady and the Hull City defender fired a six-yard shot between Hamid’s legs.

McClean put the game out of reach in the 82nd minute, netting from distance off an attempt that deflected off U.S. defender Geoff Cameron as Hamid dived the wrong way.

Four minutes later, Brady put the finishing touches on the win by connecting on a 25-yard free kick over a five-man wall.


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