September 30, 2020

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iNews-briefs217Jamaica media condemn attack on French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo

From Caribbean360

CMC – The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) Wednesday condemned the attack on the building housing the Paris-based satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that left at least 12 people, including journalists, dead and several others injured.

“We deeply deplore the loss of life and the injuries suffered by all the victims,” the PAJ’s statements said, adding that the incident was “an attack upon democracy and freedom of the press, which must be of concern to all who support these important values anywhere in the world”.

The masked attackers opened fire with assault rifles in the office and exchanged shots with police in the street outside before escaping by car. They later abandoned the car in Rue de Meaux, northern Paris, where they hijacked a second car.

Four of the magazine’s well-known cartoonists, including its editor, were among those killed, as well as two police officers.

French authorities have launched a major manhunt for the gunmen in what is believed to be the deadliest attack in France since 1961, when right-wingers who wanted to keep Algeria French bombed a train, killing 28 people.

The PAJ in extending its “deepest sympathies to the people and government of France, on the occasion of today’s shocking attack on the staff of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo,” said that it was also standing “with our colleagues in France as we condemn this violent attack and reiterate the importance of guarding democracy and protecting the press from intimidation”.

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Cayman resident reaches 100 years

Longtime Cayman resident Wellesley Howell turned 100 last Wednesday (7) and is still working as a cobbler and playing the saxophone.

The centurion was born in Jamaica and first came to Grand Cayman since 1958 to join a local band. 6 months later he returned to his native country to get married. He came back to Cayman with his wife to play once again with the band and to take up shoemaking

He has had his own business making and repairing shoes for over 30 years in Cayman.

He was still working on his birthday at his little store on Shedden Road, George Town.


China to boost investment in Latin America to $250bn within decade

From RT

The Chinese government will invest $250 billion in Latin American and Caribbean countries over the next 10 years in an attempt to strengthen its presence in a region dominated by the US.

The volumes of bilateral trade between China and the region’s countries could reach $500 billion, said Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, at the first ministerial forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

“I believe that this meeting will achieve fruitful results, give the world a positive signal about deepening cooperation between China and Latin America and have an important and far-reaching impact on promoting South-South cooperation and prosperity for the world,” he said.

The countries are expected to adopt a five-year plan for comprehensive cooperation during the two-day summit held in Beijing.

The plans to hold a China-CELAC forum were announced during Xi’s visit to the region in 2014, at which time the countries agreed on a cooperation framework, funds and projects in the fields of energy, infrastructure development, innovation and agriculture.

China is interested in the region’s natural resources and wants to buy crude oil in Venezuela, copper in Chile and Peru, soybeans in Argentina and Brazil. The Latin American countries in return get billions of dollars in Chinese investments and long-term credit lines.

Xi Jinping and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday agreed on the development of joint projects totaling more than $20 billion, while Ecuador received a $7.53 billion loan from China.

CELAC is a block of 33 countries established in December 2011, in Caracas, Venezuela. It includes all South American countries, some Caribbean states and Mexico.

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Foxconn SiP subsidiary to list on TSE

By Josephine Lien, Taipei; Jessie Shen, From DIGITIMES

ShunSin Technology, a subsidiary of Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) specializing in assembly and test of system-in-package (SiP) modules, plans to have its stock listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE) around the end of January.

Founded in 2008, ShunSin is a Cayman Islands registered company. ShunSin’s targeted SiP applications include MEMS sensors, high-frequency wireless communication modules, RF modules, low-noise amplifier (LNA) ICs and fiber-optic transceivers, which are used in mobile devices and other connected devices for the Internet of Things (IoT).

ShunSin has also cut into the supply chain for Apple’s iPhone 6 devices. ShunSin reportedly provides SiP solutions for eight ICs used in the devices.

ShunSin’s manufacturing site is located in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province (China). The firm is building a second factory with new capacity expected to come online in the first quarter of 2015.

Foxconn currently holds a 71.25% stake in ShunSin, but will be required to reduce its holdings to 60% in coordination with ShunSin’s primary listing on the TSE.

ShunSin’s current paid-in capital is NT$909 million. In 2013, the company posted net profits of NT$12.51 per share on revenues of NT$3.72 billion.

ShunSin’s revenues for the first three quarters of 2014 totaled about NT$3.42 billion, rising 30.2% from a year ago, with net profits reaching NT$571 million or NT$6.33 a share.

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HBO has set a return date for ‘Game of Thrones’

gameofthronesGame of Thrones is coming back Sunday, April 12. IMAGE: HBO

By Josh Dickey From Mashable

PASADENA, California — Game of Thrones, Veep and Silicon Valley will return on Sunday, April 12, HBO announced at the top of its Television Critics Association panel here Thursday.

Veep will enter its fourth season, while Silicon Valley is booting up a sophomore season after a successful launch last year.

For Game of Thrones fans, that’s 94 days until the beginning of Season 6, with Arya Stark sailing off to Braavos (but who’s counting?). The April 12 date is really no kid of surprise — the first season debuted on April 17, 2011, and premieres have hovered around that date ever since.

With a premiere date firmly set, fans can now look forward to a flurry of trailers, images and other digital goodies, none of which have been yet released.

HBO also announced that Tig Notaro will star in a comedy special — her first — that will be taped later this year in a stand-up performance before of a live audience. The network also announced that Real Time With Bill Maher is being renewed for two new seasons, its 14th and 15th.

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All three series will return on Sunday, April 12th, simultaneously with the United States

Miami, FL – January 9, 2015 – HBO has announced the return of three critically acclaimed original series – Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley and Veep – each premiering new seasons back-to-back on Sunday, April 12th in the Caribbean, simultaneously with the United States.

Game of Thrones comes back with a vengeance in its ten-episode fifth season. Based on George R.R. Martin’s popular book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” – which chronicles an epic struggle for power in the vast and violent kingdom of Westeros – the fantasy series has attracted fans worldwide and obtained various prestigious nominations and awards, including Emmys® and Golden Globes.

In the season four finale, viewers witnessed the bloody aftermath of an unexpected arrival north of the Wall, while Daenerys Targaryen was forced to face harsh realities and make a difficult decision about her dragons. Bran gained deeper insight into his destiny, and Arya finally paved her own way towards freedom. Tyrion learned a harsh truth, resulting in Tywin and Shae meeting their shocking fates. Complex new characters are incorporated into the storyline this season, including the brother and children of the late Prince Oberyn Martell.

Following the Game of Thrones premiere, Silicon Valley returns for its ten-episode second season. Mike Judge brings his irreverent brand of humor to HBO in this Emmy®- and Golden Globe-nominated comedy series, taking a look at the modern-day epicenter of the high-tech gold rush, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success. Last season, the crew of tech startup Pied Piper was thrown for a loop after an impressive presentation by rival Gavin Belson at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference. As Jared tried to pivot the company, Richard was inspired to make big changes at the last minute.

Continuing on a comedic note, the Emmy®-nominated series Veep debuts a ten-episode fourth season immediately after Silicon Valley. Created by Armando Iannucci, Veep stars Emmy® winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus as former senator Selina Meyer, who became vice president only to find the job was nothing like she expected, but everything she was warned about. At the end of season three, Selina and her staff discussed how to make her more “folksy” and juggled her multiple official obligations and campaign appearances in the days before the New Hampshire primary.

Series credits:

Game of Thrones: Cast includes Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kit Harington, Natalie Dormer, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner. Executive producers David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger, Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis and George R.R. Martin.

Silicon Valley: Cast includes Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Josh Brener, Amanda Crew, Matt Ross and Jimmy O. Yang, with guest stars Ben Feldman, Chris Diamantopoulos and Alice Wetterlund. Created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, who also serve as executive producers along with Alec Berg, Michael Rotenberg and Tom Lassally.

Veep: Cast includes Emmy® winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Emmy® winner Tony Hale, Anna Chlumsky, Matt Walsh, Reid Scott, Timothy C. Simons, Sufe Bradshaw and Kevin Dunn. Created by Armando Iannucci, who executive produces along with Christopher Godsick and Frank Rich.


Big meat & big pharma pleased as punch with FDA’s pointless new antibiotic guidelines

By Chris Morran From Consumerist

[On December 12 2013], the FDA came out swinging (with a Wiffle ball bat) against the medically unnecessary use of antibiotics in animal feed (by politely asking the drug companies that make piles of cash off these drugs to please stop selling so many of them to farmers just to encourage tissue growth). To demonstrate just how weak this (in)action is, one need look no further than the enthusiastic response from the nation’s huge meat and drug companies.

It’s much like when parents punish a kid by telling him he’s not allowed out of his room, where he has unfettered access to his computer, TV, phone, and Super Nintendo. Things are no different, but the parents feel like they’ve done something.

The Wall Street Journal writes about how the farmers and ranchers of America — the industry that buys 80% of the antibiotics sold in this country — are happy with the FDA’s guidance because, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, they don’t really force-feed their animals large amounts of unnecessary drugs.

According to the Journal, “Many in the industry say they are cautious, providing the medicines only as a measure to prevent or treat illness,” while reps for the American Meat Institute say it “supports the prudent and judicious use of antibiotics in food animal production under the care of a veterinarian.”

And yet farm animals consume nearly 30 million pounds a year in antibiotics, more than four times the 7.9 million pounds prescribed annually to humans. Caroline DeWaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest points out that only a small fraction of the antibiotics given to farm animals (about 5%) is unique to livestock.

The rest of the drugs being fed to these animals is also used to treat disease in humans.

So either farm animals are incredibly sick all the time and need these drugs to get well, or the meat industry no idea what the words “prudent and judicious” mean.

The industry is ignoring (or maybe just hasn’t gotten around to reading; they are awfully busy) all the scientific evidence showing that overuse of prophylactic antibiotics ultimately results in drug-resistant pathogens, like the ones that make more than 2 million Americans ill each year. This is why, DeWaal adds, “we don’t generally use antibiotics to either prevent disease in classrooms or promote growth in our children.”

Avinash Kar of the Natural Resources Defense Council says that all of this talk from the industry about using antibiotics preventatively is just “hiding the problem in plain sight.”

“Preventive use is use on animals that are not sick, to prevent diseases often associated with crowded and dirty conditions on many industrial farms,” adds Kar. “That’s a big category of use.”

He points out that many antibiotics are already approved for both growth promotion and disease control uses, so the drug companies and farmers are correct when they say that the FDA guidance won’t have much impact, but only because it does little to change which drugs are actually being provided to the farm animals, just the stated use.

And this prediction is effectively confirmed by drug biggies Eli Lilly and Zoetis, which both tell the Journal that they don’t expect to take much of a hit in sales because of the FDA guidance.

“If the policy has no impact on the use of these drugs in animal production, then consumer and public health advocates have lost,” says DeWaal.

“Producers could simply continue to use the antibiotics the same way as they always have for ‘prevention,’” Kar explains.

“There’s still going to be blanket overuse of antibiotics for prevention purposes, which are just-in-case uses,” says Laura Rogers from the Pew Charitable Trusts. “Antibiotics should always be the last option in food production.”

One farmer quoted in the Journal story claims, “These guidelines are not going to change the way I do anything with the beef cattle on my farm.”

Counters Kar, “That’s precisely the problem.”

For more:



OECS to promote Eastern Caribbean as yachting destination

From Fox News Latino

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, or OECS, plans to present the region as a single yachting destination during the 57th Toronto International Boat Show, scheduled for Jan. 10-12.

The government of St. Lucia said Thursday that the OECS decision is part of a strategy to unify efforts and provide services and attractions to the yachting sector to boost regional economic growth.

Established in 1981, the OECS will present the collective yachting space as an Eastern Caribbean Village.

The Toronto International Boat Show is marketed as North America’s largest indoor boat show, with more than 93,000 visitors attending the 2014 edition, the government of St. Lucia said in a statement.

Seven of the nine OECS member states will be represented in the show: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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Construction worker dies in freak accident

From Caribbean360

PARAMARIBO, Suriname, Thursday January 8, 2015, CMC – A construction worker died on Wednesday after accidentally cutting his right thigh with an electrical saw.

According to police reports, Soender Moesai, 48, and a co-worker were repairing a house when the machine got stuck as they were cutting plywood.

Moesai, a carpenter, removed the circular saw with some force and as a result, it eventually landed on his right thigh injuring him.

He bled to death at the scene.

Just over one year ago, a Guyanese national also bled to death under similar circumstances.

Julian Quirshank, while working at a sawmill in the Bigi Poika area fell and subsequently landed under the saw he was operating.

His right leg was severed and he bled to death at the scene.

For more on this story go to:


Nobody knows exactly why we can taste bitter flavours

By Mary Beth Quirk From Consumerist

The first time I ever moved on from light beer to try an IPA (when I was of course, 21) I clearly remember thinking, “I hate this. I’d rather eat soap.” Bitter foods can be off-putting at first, but here I am years later, happily ordering IPAs and chugging coffee. So what use is the bitter flavor to humans?

Scientists don’t really know, it turns out. The prevailing thought for a long time now has been that our ancestors used our mouths’ powers of bitter detection to keep from munching on possibly toxic plants, back when we weren’t thinking about which craft beers to sample but were more focused on gathering food to survive.

But now other science types are saying that might not be the case, reports NPR’s The Salt blog. Our bitter abilities first popped up about a million years ago after a twitch in our ancestors’ DNA gave them the ability to perceive a bitter compound in things like olives, nuts and seeds, the scientists note in the journal Molecular Biology Evolution.

That happened way before modern humans showed up to order bitter beers or add bitters to drinks, but the reason probably isn’t what we thought.

When the authors of the study analyzed taste genes across indigenous groups still practicing ancient ways of living, like hunter-gatherers and nomadic herders, those gatherers didn’t have any extraordinary bitter taste skills or special gene sequences compared to the pastoralists.

“We thought we’d see a difference in the bitter genes between the hunter-gatherers and pastoralists because of their diet,” the study’s author tells The Salt. “But there was no correlation all.”

The researchers found that the ability to perceive bitter flavors varied by geography, but it had nothing to do with how they got their food.

If it’s not for the sake of our survival that we can taste bitter flavors, then why are we tasting it all? No one is sure, the study’s author says.

“These genes could be detecting a compound we don’t know anything about,” she says. And because bitter taste receptors are also in cells in our guts, lungs and even testes (oh and also the bitter tears I cry over Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone), maybe they aren’t even supposed to be involved with tasting food.

“So the receptors are not only altering how we perceive food,” she says, “but probably also our physiology, in ways we have no idea about.”

For more on this story go to:


Max HD changes to Max UP

Same attitude, new name beginning January 10th

Miami, FL – January 8, 2015 – HBO Latin America announced that, beginning January 10, MAX HD will change its name to MAX UP in its Brazil, Pan-American and Mexico feeds. The change is a result of all channels of the HBO/MAX Premium package – which MAX UP is a part of – currently being available in high definition (HD).

Subscribers will continue enjoying the same content, which offers a light and positive alternative for entertainment. MAX UP is the young and irreverent channel of the group: simple, with its own opinion, and without boundaries between the content and its audience. MAX UP offers the blockbuster Hollywood hits and most exciting European premieres, completely in HD, with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and a widescreen format, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The channel also includes a selection of erotic programming each Saturday at midnight in its After Dark franchise.

During the month of January, subscribers can enjoy the exclusive premiere of Girl Most Likely and It Happened in Saint-Tropez, and the films Lost and Found in Armenia and Highland Park in February.

The HBO/MAX package, which contains MAX UP, is also composed of the following channels: HBO, HBO2, HBO Signature, HBO Plus, HBO Family, HBO Caribbean, MAX, MAX Prime and MAX Caribbean.

For more information on MAX UP and the other channels in the HBO/MAX package, visit


St Lucia marks the 100th birthday of Sir Arthur Lewis

From Antigua Observer

CASTRIES, St Lucia, CMC – Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony will deliver the feature address at a conference marking the 100th birthday of Sir W Arthur Lewis, the first St Lucian and Caribbean national to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

The conference on January 23 is among a number of activities being planned to celebrate the life of the first of two Nobel Laureates from St Lucia. Sir Arthur was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1979 while Derek Walcott received the award for Literature in 1992.

The conference is being planned by the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the University of the West Indies (UWI) Vice Chancellery, and the UWI Open Campus St Lucia.

Sir Arthur served as the first CDB president (1970-73) and UWI Vice Chancellor (1962-63). The two organisations, have established a partnership with the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) to mark the occasion with a variety of activities.

“A high point of these will be the joint hosting of the 16th Annual SALISES Conference by the CDB and the UWI Vice Chancellery, in association with the UWI Open Campus Saint Lucia. The conference will be celebrated as the W. Arthur Lewis Centennial, under the theme “Towards Caribbean Prosperity and Happiness in an Equitable and Sustainable World,” according to an official statement issued here.

It said that the sub-themes of the conference will seek to capture the main topics covered in Lewis’s work, the concerns raised by his critics, and the contemporary issues to which scholars believe his work can be applied.

The conference will be held from January 14-16 and SALISES said it will also be holding its annual Sir Arthur Lewis Distinguished Lecture in St Lucia this year on January 15.

The lecture will be delivered by the Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Dr Didacus Jules.

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Holland America’s ms Zuiderdam rescues 8 from sinking vessel in the Caribbean

From eTN Global Travel Industry News

SEATTLE, WA – At 2:10 a.m. Jan. 3, 2015, while en route to Oranjestad, Aruba, Holland America Line’s ms Zuiderdam answered a distress call from the Bahamian inter-island vessel Excalibur that was sinking with eight crewmembers onboard. Zuiderdam was approximately 15 miles away and the closest ship in the area.

Zuiderdam altered course and was able to successfully execute a nighttime rescue of all eight crewmembers at 3:01 a.m. The ship brought them onboard and provided food and accommodations. The rescued crewmembers debarked in Aruba on Jan. 5.

“Congratulations to the officers and crew onboard Zuiderdam for their quick response that saved the lives of eight people,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We are proud to be able to come to the rescue when called upon, and it’s even more gratifying when everything goes as smoothly as this operation did.”

Zuiderdam currently is in the middle of a 10-night Panama Canal cruise roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that departed Jan. 2 with calls at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Oranjestad, Aruba: Willemstad, Curacao; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica in addition to a partial Panama Canal transit.

In addition, on Jan. 4 ms Zaandam came to the aid of seven crewmembers from the sailing yacht Polonus that were staying at the Arctowski Polish research station at King George Island in Antarctica. The crew, all Polish nationals, were stranded after their yacht went aground. They are being taken to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and will disembark Jan. 11.

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Google is losing its grip on search

By AFP From Business Insider

Google saw its share of the US internet search market slip to its lowest-ever mark, while Yahoo notched its highest share in five years, an independent analytics firm said.

In December, Google handled 75.2% of US online search referrals, down from 79.3% a year earlier. That score is its lowest since 2008, when StatCounter started tracking the data.

Google nevertheless remains the US leader in the search market by a wide margin, ahead of Microsoft’s Bing at 12.5% and Yahoo at 10.4% — its highest score since 2009.

Yahoo, whose chief Marissa Mayer has repeatedly stressed that the company remains devoted to the search market that it pioneered but which Google grew to dominate, had only 7.4% of the search market a year before.

StatCounter said Yahoo’s resurgence coincides with the start of its partnership with Mozilla, which made Yahoo the default service for online searches done through its Firefox web browser in the United States from December.

“The move by Mozilla has had a definite impact on US search,” StatCounter chief executive Aodhan Cullen said.

Firefox, which is open-source and free, is reported by industry trackers to be the third-most-used web browser in the world, behind Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

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Boston named as U.S. bid to host 2024 Summer Olympics

BostonBy Patrick Kulp

The U.S. Olympic Committee announced Thursday that Boston will bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

Four contenders — Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. — were all vying for the honor to be considered by the International Olympic Committee, which is expected to make a final decision in 2017. Boston will now be up against international competition including Rome; either Berlin or Hamburg in Germany; a city in South Africa; and possibly Paris.

Boston is no stranger to hosting major events, such as the Boston Marathon. The city implemented extra security for the 2014 marathon after the 2013 bombings at the race killed three people and wounded 264 others.

A winning bid would give Boston the opportunity to host the first Olympic games in the U.S. since the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The last summer games in the U.S. were in Atlanta in 1996. Of the four finalists, Los Angeles was the only city to have already hosted a games (twice, in 1932 and 1984).

The U.S. Olympic Committee board of directors met at the Denver International Airport on Thursday afternoon to make a final decision. Officials were expected to hold a news conference later.

The U.S.’s push for New York City to host the games in 2012 was beat out by London, and Chicago’s 2016 bid lost to Rio.


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Congratulations, US Airways passengers on flight with sick guy: You didn’t get tuberculosis

By Mary Beth Quirk From Consumerist

It’s not every day where you could be risking contracting a contagious disease just by flying from point A to point B. That’s why passengers on a US Airways Express flight from Austin to Phoenix over the weekend were likely a bit concerned when they were reportedly told to get a tuberculosis test on the chance that their fellow flier might’ve had it.

Health officials for Maricopa County say that while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sounded the alarm that resulted in medical personnel removing the man from the plane before it reached the gate, everything is just peachy.

“All of our preliminary tests have come back negative, and after discussions with the CDC it was decided that this man should be allowed to fly,” a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health told Reuters.

At first no one was officially naming the tuberculosis threat, but passengers had reported being told to get tested for TB after the incident.

The CDC has a “do not board” list of travelers who are contagious, which is supposed to keep them off commercial planes. While that flight was in the air over the busy travel weekend, the CDC contacted the Transportation Security Administration to inform it that the passenger wasn’t supposed to be on a plane.

As soon as the plane landed, firefighters and paramedics met the flight and took the man off. At the time, health officials said that even if passengers had indeed been exposed to active tuberculosis, it wasn’t likely anyone would actually catch it since the flight was so short and the passenger wasn’t coughing.

The medical director for disease control at the county health department also added that no passengers need to go get tested for TB. The all clear has been sounded, and I’ll be bringing a face mask on my next 8-hour flight just in case.

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France orders patrol boats for use in Caribbean

By Richard Tomkins From UPI

PARIS, Jan. 9 (UPI) — Two light patrol boats have been ordered for the French Navy from shipbuilder Socarenam for use in sovereignty and protection missions in the Caribbean.

France’s Ministry of Defense said the Guiana Light Patrol Boats would help guard the country’s Guiana Space Center and also engage in counter-narcotics trafficking.

The PLGs will have a length of 196.8 feet, a beam of 31 feet and a draft of less than 10.5 feet to allow operations in shallow waters. The vessels will have maximum speed of 21 knots and an endurance time of 12 days when traveling at a speed of 12 knots.

Weaponry will be remote-controlled 20mm guns, the ministry said. A crew of 24 sailors will operate each patrol boat.

Delivery of the vessels is expected to take place at the end of 2016 and the summer of 2017.

The cost of the vessels ordered by the French military procurement agency was not detailed.

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