September 20, 2020

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iNews-briefs217Cayman Islands man pleads guilty in boating incident

Richard Morrison Stein pleaded guilty to causing damage to another vessel, Miss Michelle, in the Cayman Islands Summary Court last Tuesday (16).

Stein admitted he was navigating the vessel, The Flying Scotsman, in territorial waters on July 17th.

Most of the discussions on the matter were around how much, if any, the insurance company was going to pay that included loss of earnings as the damaged vessel was used for fishing.

The case was adjourned for mention on Jan.12th 2015.


Search teams sent to recover body of Canadian drowned in Caribbean

From Toronto Sun

Puerto Rican officials have sent a specialized search-and-rescue team to the Caribbean island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, to recover the body of a Canadian tourist who drowned after falling into the sea.

Nathan James Love, 28, died after falling into the sea in a rocky area, the Puerto Rico Emergency and Disaster Management Agency (known as PREMA) said in a news release Thursday.

St. Thomas does not have the necessary staff and equipment to recover his body, so PREMA sent a “humanitarian mission” to help local authorities.

A doctor, 10 divers and three specialists were en route Thursday. The government of St. Thomas has provided aircraft to transport the Puerto Rican team to the site of the drowning and will assist the effort with three coast guard boats, PREMA said.

It’s not known where in Canada Love is from.

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Cayman Islands High School helps families in need

Students at John Gray High School on , Cayman Islands packed boxes filled with food items and other household essentials to help families in need this Christmas.

Matthew Hilton of the Cayman Islands Needs Assessment Unit was delighted to see the John Gray students providing a helping hand.


American national indicted for defrauding Caribbean immigrants

From Antigua Observer

NEW YORK, Dec 19, CMC – United States law enforcement authorities have indicted a woman who allegedly promised green cards and work permits to undocumented Caribbean immigrants.

They said Nickya Wittington, also known as Nicky John, 27 has been charged with stealing US$12,850 from the immigrants.

The Brooklyn native was charged after she falsely promised to help an undercover detective obtain the same documents.

“This defendant is accused of preying on some of the most vulnerable members of our society,” said Brooklyn District attorney Ken Thompson, adding that the Immigrant Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case so as “to stop such opportunists from targeting undocumented individuals”.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement New York special agent, James T. Hayes, said: “this defendant’s alleged actions served not only to victimize immigrants attempting to comply with federal laws, they also threatened to undermine confidence in the federal government”.

Thompson said Wittington has been arraigned by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which she is charged with first-degree scheme to defraud, third-degree grand larceny, third-degree attempted grand larceny, fourth-degree grand larceny and petit larceny.

She was ordered held on US$5,000 bail and to return to court on February 4, 2015. If convicted of the top count, she faces up to seven years in prison.

According to the indictment, from June 10, 2014 to December 9, 2014, Wittington falsely claimed she could obtain green cards and work permits for the alleged victims in exchange for about US$7,000 to US$10,000, and allegedly took down payments ranging from US$1,000 to US$6,000 cash to get the process started.

The victims, who were originally from Guyana, , Ghana and Liberia, met the defendant through mutual acquaintances, Thompson said.

The defendant was charged after allegedly taking US$3,250 from an undercover detective posing as an undocumented immigrant in exchange for a green card.

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Cruise With A Mission visits Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Cruise with a Mission (CWM). CWM is an innovative project by and for young adults ages 18–35, which combines a vacation and spiritual retreat with active and meaningful mission projects. It is an imitative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Last Thursday (18) CWM visited George Town, Grand Cayman, one of the destinations on their Caribbean 2014 cruise from December 14-21.

The other Caribbean islands include Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Costa Maya, Mexico.

In Grand Cayman approx. 80 medical students from Michigan USA held a medical expo outside the Royal Bank of Canada.


Eight children found dead at Australian property

From Business Insider

Sydney (AFP) – Eight children have been found dead at a house in the Australian city of Cairns after a mass stabbing, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said.

Police had no immediate comment but the ABC said authorities had confirmed the deaths and that a woman was also injured. Other reports said that seven children had died.

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Cayman athletics coach says excellent schooling skills is needed by aspiring athletes to gain scholarships

World famous Caymanian-American athlete, Kareem Streete-Thompson, who specialised in the long jump and the 100 metres, said Cayman has the talent to compete, but it’s no longer enough just to be fast.

Streete-Thompson is now University of Texas Assistant Track and Field Coach and he said young athletes must have good academics if they want to obtain a scholarship at the top USA colleges.

Speaking on CITN/Cayman27 last Friday he said, “any junior college kid [who] wants to transfer to a Division I school, their GPA now has to be a 2.5. For a lot of kids, if they don’t get that message early, they’re going to struggle.”


DirecTV secures FIFA rights in the Caribbean

From telecompaper

DirecTV has acquired the exclusive Caribbean media rights to FIFA events across all platforms from 2015 through 2022, which includes the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, among other FIFA events. The agreement includes the territories of Antigua & Barbuda, Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent, Surinam, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks and Caicos.

For more:–1056130


Cayman Basketball: Bodden Town reigns supreme

From Digicel Sportsmax

Bodden Town finished the Dominos Under-19 Basketball League season unbeaten after defeating John Gray High School Knights, 72-60, in the boys division final at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre last Saturday. They are confident they can repeat next year.

Sixteen-year-old Albis Amaya, who led the team with 22 points and 27 rebounds, believes the team has what it takes to repeat next year.

“We’re definitely going to repeat next year. This team is full of talent. These guys showed me this season that they are capable of being champions in the upcoming years,” said Amaya, who will be going off to college in the United States next summer.

Amaya described the finals as the best game in his career so far.

“The finals went great. It was the greatest final in my basketball career,” Amaya said. “The team did well in this championship game. I know I played great in the finals and throughout the season. I knew no one could stop me and I came out playing my game and keeping it Tim Duncan-style. Not only did I play great, the players around me did a hell of a job contributing to this season and I’m really proud of them.”

Amaya had help from teammate Justin Collins, who scored 21 points, and had 10 rebounds and eight steals. Rhomar Williams netted 12 points and hauled in 11 rebounds.

For the Knights, Trevin Williamson ended with a game-high 26 points and seven steals while James Ebanks scored 22 points and had five rebounds. Bryce Thompson scored 10 points.

Last Saturday’s (13) victory allowed Bodden Town to complete a perfect 10-0 campaign, which featured an 8-0 regular season mark.

For more:


South African Kallis to play in Caribbean tournament

From Vancouverdesi

Castries (St. Lucia), Dec 18 (IANS/CMC) — Outstanding South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis will ply his trade in next year’s Caribbean Premier League (), the organisers have confirmed.

The 39-year-old announced his retirement from international cricket last July but has continued to play Twenty20 cricket for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and for Sydney Thunder in the Australia Big Bash, reports CMC.

Kallis joins the likes of former Australian Ricky Ponting and England’s Kevin Pietersen who has campaigned in the Caribbean tournament since its inception last year.

“I have really enjoyed playing in the Caribbean with the Proteas and am looking forward to hopefully returning for the CPL,” said Kallis Wednesday.

“It is an amazing place with amazing people and I am excited to see what team I will be playing for. CPL has produced some fantastic cricket and the fans really bring a special atmosphere so I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Kallis is the contemporary game’s most prolific all-rounder. He amassed 13,289 runs in 166 Tests with 45 centuries and an average of 55, allowing him to top South Africa’s all-time list and sit third in the international aggregates behind Indian Sachin Tendulkar and Australian Ponting.

He ended his One-Day International (ODI) career with 11,579 runs in 328 matches, with 17 centuries at an average if 44.

CPL international cricket director Tom Moody said the player’s presence in the tournament would be a huge asset.

“The addition of these cricketing greats to the roster for CPL 2015 is testament to the growing success of the ‘Biggest Party in Sport’ which has grown significantly since its inaugural year,” Moody said.

“And, with players of this calibre getting on board, CPL is offering young Caribbean cricketers a great opportunity to test their skills against some of the best of their generation.”

Kallis finished with 292 wickets in Tests and 273 in ODIs.

For more:


Cayman Baseball: Little League Association Spring season tryouts in full swing

From Digicel Sportsmax

The Cayman Islands Little League Association has begun registration for the 2015 Spring season, its 26th season.

For months the association has been staging tryouts for players between the ages of five and 17 at the Field of Dreams. The tryouts will continue into the new year with the final set of evaluations, geared for all age divisions, set for January 3, 2015 from noon until 3pm. and on January 6 from 5:30 to 7:30pm.

The Little League competition will be broken down into a variety of segments. Players from 5-6 years will be assigned to T-Ball and will not need to be evaluated. There will also be a Pony Division for players 7-10 years; the Single A Division caters to players 9-10, the Double A division is for ages 11-12 and the Triple A division is for ages 13-15, with boys able to play up until age 16 years. Girls softball caters to young women aged 11-17 and there are plans for a Young Men’s League for boys aged 16-20, pending registration numbers.

Youngsters are expected to storm the field for competitive matches in late January, with the season running until early June.

For more:


Black bear has absolutely no problem knocking Santa Claus out

iNews B beardontcareBy Mary Beth Quirk From Consumerist

Hide your snowmen, hide your reindeer and get Santa Claus somewhere safe: Mother Nature might not agree with your taste in lawn ornaments and as such, has zero problems whatsoever with totally mucking up your holiday display.

Exhibit A: A black bear with no regard for The Naughty List was caught on tape in California stepping up to a Santa Claus sitting in Angeles National Forest near Glendora, CA, reports ABC News.

He walks over, checks it out, and apparently is greatly displeased with St. Nick. But perhaps there’s something to eat inside this rotund non-meatman? WHAP.

The photographer responsible set the decorative Santa out there along with a camera, something he’s been doing for a few years in the forest to check out the wildlife.

He’s gotten some good footage in the past, but nothing like this, he says. And this bear seems to have a thing against the holidays, unlike some other beasts.

“I put up the Santa Claus because the holidays were approaching and I thought it would be interesting and funny to see how the animals might react to it,” he said. “In October, I also put up some Halloween decorations at another camera spot, and female mountain lion walked right in between them without a care in the world.”

Not this bear. He is not cool with holiday decorations.

For more and video go to:


New oncology doctor at Cayman Islands private hospital

Dr. Dwight Lowe, from the University Hospital of the West Indies in Jamaica, will make regular trips to Cayman Islands Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital commencing at the end of of this year.

The private hospital located in downtown George Town has also recruited a registered nurse from Canada, Elaine Semchuk, with experience in oncology/chemotherapy.

Patients from the Cayman Islands hade to go to the United States for cancer treatments. The new service at Chrissie Tomlinson will now allow people with cancer to stay on the island for the treatments that, in some cases, can last months.

The Chrissie Tomlinson hospital expanded its cancer treatment unit earlier this year with additional capacity for chemotherapy patients.


Texas plumber baffled after truck ends up in the hands of Syrian rebels

iNews b syriatruckBy Megan Specia From Mashable

A Texas plumber was left bewildered after a truck he sold last year resurfaced this week — in the hands of Syrian rebels.

One of Mark Oberholtzer’s old work trucks appeared in a photo tweeted by a Syrian rebel group, prompting an influx of threatening phone calls to the plumber.

His truck, with its original decal for “Mark 1 Plumbing” and a phone number for the business, is reportedly being used by the militant group to transport an anti-aircraft gun.

The original tweet, below, was posted to an account associated with the Jabhat Ansar al-Din militant group based in Syria. Oberholtzer traded in his truck to a Texas dealership that then placed it up for auction in 2013.

Other images of the truck have also popped up on the Twitter account, including this one showing the mud-covered vehicle from October:

“We had no intentions or no idea this would even happen,” Oberholtzer said in the video by local television station KHOU. “Something that we would use to pull trailers and things like that, I mean, to now a truck to be used in terror, I mean that’s crazy.”

In an interview with KHOU, Oberholtzer said he’s had to take his phones off the hook due to angry and threatening calls from across the United States.

His phone number appears on the bottom of the truck, while the the full company logo and name remains on the side.

It is unclear how the car ended up thousands of miles away in the Aleppo province of Syria. Jabhat Ansar al-Din is an alliance of smaller militant factions established in July 2014 that functions in the hotly contested Aleppo area.

According to the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, the group is made up of the Green Brigade, Jaish al-Muhajrin, Sham al-Islam and Harakat Fajr al-Sham, which includes both local and foreign fighters.

For more:


Cayman Islands pioneer Captain Marvin dies

Captain Marvin Ebanks he passed away on Saturday (20 December). He was 98-years-old.

“Many family members were with him at the hospital over the past several days. He will be sorely missed. He lived a long, fruitful and God-fearing life and is now at home in the arms of his Savior. Blessed be the memory of Capt. Marvin and may his soul rest in peace,” a spokesperson said.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Captain Marvin Ebanks is a pioneer of Stingray City. Starting with a borrowed sailboat, he took his first tourists to snorkel the North Sound hotspot in 1951.


Ford expands Takata driver-side airbag recall in U.S.

From Business Insider

DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co on Thursday expanded the recall of older-model Mustang cars, that have driver-side Takata airbags with inflators, to include about 502,500 vehicles.

Ford was one of five automakers asked by U.S. regulator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month to expand a recall of vehicles with possibly defective driver-side Takata Corp airbags beyond a limited area with high humidity.

Takata has said that extended exposure to high humidity could cause the inflators to malfunction, causing metal shrapnel to be launched at vehicle occupants when these airbags inflate.

Previously, Ford had recalled about 55,000 vehicles with possibly defective driver-side airbags. NHTSA requested the expanded recall after it learned of airbag inflator problems outside of the limited high-humidity area.

Driver-side airbag inflator incidents have been linked to at least five deaths, none in Ford vehicles. Ford said it was aware of one accident with an injury possibly related to malfunctioning airbags.

Now, the Ford recall includes 500,439 Mustangs from model years 2005 to 2008 and 2,050 of the niche two-seat sports car Ford GT from model years 2005 and 2006.

Of the vehicles to be recalled at the request of NHTSA, about 463,000 are registered in the United States and federalized territories, about 27,500 in Canada, about 7,600 in Mexico and about 4,500 outside North America.

Including passenger-side air bag recalls, the total number of Ford vehicles recalled with Takata airbag inflators is now 538,977.

For more:


Cayman Islands Sunrise offers holiday decorations, presents

Sunrise Centre BoothChristmas shoppers in search of local handmade goods are taking a close look at the arts and crafts items available from the Sunrise Adult Training Centre.

Clients at the centre work on crafts such as homemade glycerine soaps, hand painted coasters and Christmas wreaths. Proceeds from the sale of items go back towards the centre and its training facilities, which benefit adults with disabilities.

For more information about available products, interested persons should contact Sunrise at 949-3330.

Photo by Kristi Anderson


Avon Products settles bribery charges for $135M

By Larry Neumeister Associated Press From ABC News

The world’s largest direct seller of cosmetics, Avon Products Inc., will pay $135 million to settle criminal and civil charges after its China unit pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing officials there.

Avon China entered the plea in federal court in Manhattan, admitting it disguised $8 million in gifts its employees gave to Chinese government officials from at least 2004 through late 2008 to gain access to officials who oversaw direct selling regulations. It admitted concealing and disguising cash, non-business meals, travel and entertainment it provided to obtain business benefits.

Avon, headquartered in Manhattan, agreed to pay $68 million in criminal penalties and nearly an equal amount in disgorgement and prejudgment interest to settle a civil case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

China had outlawed direct selling in 1998 but agreed to lift the ban in 2001.

The SEC said Avon received the first direct selling business license in China in March 2006 as it showered officials with gifts including Louis Vuitton merchandise, Gucci bags, Tiffany pens and corporate box tickets to the China Open tennis tournament.

“Avon’s subsidiary in China paid millions of dollars to government officials to obtain a direct selling license and gain an edge over their competitors, and the company reaped substantial financial benefits as a result,” said Scott W. Friestad, an associate director in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

As part of Avon’s deal with the government, federal prosecutors entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the parent company, saying it had cooperated by conducting an extensive internal probe and by making its U.S. and foreign employees available for interviews. The prosecutors said Avon also had begun extensive anti-corruption remedial efforts, including disciplining some employees.

Avon Products was pleased to have reached agreements with the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, CEO Sheri McCoy said.

For more:


3 Romanian & 1 Hungarian credit card scammers arrested in Cayman Islands

On Sunday, 21st December 2014 officers of the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit (FCU) formally charged four persons (visitors) for financial crime related offences. Formally charged were a 39 year old male Hungarian national, along with a 38 year old male, a 33 year old female and a 42 year old male, who are Romanian nationals. They were charged for the offences of conspiracy to defraud, theft and possession of criminal property in the amount of approximately US $115,000.

They remain in police custody and are scheduled to appear in Court on Monday, 22 December 2014 .

It has been reported that the men, who were said to be visiting the Cayman Islands for the first time, are accused of skimming, where they used cloned credit cards to purchase merchandise from local business establishments. The men remain in custody pending a legal ruling from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution.

Detective Inspector Ian Lavine of the FCU has advised local businesses to be vigilant during the festive season. He said persons paying by credit cards should produce a form of identification plus sales agents should check that the method of identification matches with the name on the credit card.

This is the second time gangs of thieves have entered Grand Cayman using the same credit card cloning scan. It happened in 2012 when three Malaysians attempted to purchase high-end watches and diamonds at a number of local duty free stores before being caught.


Double amputee controls two robotic arms with his mind

From engadget

Here’s one other DARPA-funded robotic limb controlled by thoughts alone — actually make that two, because Colorado man Les Baugh had two bionic arms attached from shoulder level. Baugh got them this summer, 40 years after losing both arms, as part of a Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program test run at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. The project’s researchers have been developing these Modular Prosthetic Limbs (MPL) over the past decade, but they say Baugh is the “first bilateral shoulder-level amputee” to wear two MPLs at the same time. Unlike Jan Scheuermann who controlled a robotic arm with a pair of neural implants, though, Baugh had to undergo a procedure called targeted muscle reinnervation, which reassigned the nerves that once controlled his arms and hands.

Once that was done, the team recorded the patterns his brain makes for each muscle he moves, and then they had him control virtual arms to prepare for the real things. Since his arms were cut off from the shoulder, they also had to design a custom socket for his torso where the prosthetics can be attached. All their preparations were worth it in the end, though, as Baugh turned out to be a brilliant test subject: after just 10 days of training, he was already moving cups from one shelf to the other just by thinking it.

As Courtney Moran, one of the researchers, said:

We expected him to exceed performance compared to what he might achieve with conventional systems, but the speed with which he learned motions and the number of motions he was able to control in such a short period of time was far beyond expectation. What really was amazing, and was another major milestone with MPL control, was his ability to control a combination of motions across both arms at the same time. This was a first for simultaneous bimanual control.

Baugh can only use the arms in a lab setting at the moment, but the team aims to develop MPLs he can take home and use whenever he wants.

For more:


Caribbean Action Plan for World Heritage 2014-2019 approved

From Parks Caribbean

The Caribbean Action Plan for World Heritage 2014-2019 was adopted on November 28, 2014 by the representatives of Caribbean State Parties to the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). The three-day meeting was held in Havana, Cuba, and was organized by UNESCO Offices in Cuba, Jamaica, and Haiti, with support from the Funds in Trust of the Netherlands. The meeting was attended by representatives of 20 countries, staff from the UNESCO regional offices, representatives of the three advisory bodies to the World Heritage Convention, and experts from 6 Caribbean universities.

The report of the meeting indicates that the approved plan identified as priority items for intervention “conservation and heritage management, the preparation of nominations and tentative lists, the management of risks associated with the effects of climate change, the participation of the community in the conservation, protection and management of heritage sites, the promotion of sustainable tourism, the capacity building and the development of cooperation networks”.

For more information on world heritage visit the following websites:

UNESCO Portal for Latin America and Caribbean

IUCN World Heritage Outlook Updates:

IUCN World Heritage Programme:

For more:


Man busted trying to smuggle cocaine inside containers of curry and rice at Kennedy Airport

By John Marzulli New York Daily News

Oral Anthony Caines, 55, was stopped by customs officers after arriving on a flight from Georgetown, according to a complaint filed in Brooklyn Federal Court. The officer found a plastic bag containing cocaine under a layer of food in each food container stashed in his luggage.

A Guyanese national was arrested at Kennedy Airport trying to smuggle cocaine inside plastic containers of curry and rice.

Oral Anthony Caines, 55, was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on Wednesday after arriving on a Caribbean Airlines flight from Georgetown, according to a complaint filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

The officer found a plastic bag containing cocaine under a layer of food in each food container stashed in his luggage.

Caines said he was paid $5,000 to bring the take-out order of food and drugs to New York City, Homeland Security special agent David Schrader said in the complaint.

He was ordered held without bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

For more:


Son charged with axe murder of his parents at special sitting of Donegal court

By Patrick Counihan From Irish Cenral

A Donegal man has been charged with the murder of his elderly parents in an horrific axe attack.

Julian Cuddihy appeared before a special sitting of Ballyshannon District Court late on Friday night.

The 42-year-old from Carndonagh was remanded in custody to appear at Letterkenny District Court next Wednesday.

The Irish Times reports that detective Bernard Mullins told the court that he arrested Mr Cuddihy and charged him with two counts of murder at Buncrana police station.

To the first count, Cuddihy replied: “I have no response.” To the second count, he said: “I’m not signing that.”

Cuddihy’s lawyer Ray Lannon asked Judge Kevin Kilrane that his client receive immediate psychiatric assessment at Castlerea Prison.

Judge Kilrane was told that a local doctor had attended Mr Cuddihy on October 15th, but he was not psychiatric assessed.

Lannon said: “He was previously assessed and there was no diagnosis of psychiatric illness found.”

Judge Kilrane recommended that Cuddihy be assessed as soon as was conveniently possible.

Cuddihy, wearing blue tracksuit bottoms and a wine-coloured sweat top and black trainers, sat wringing his hands throughout the hearing according to the Irish Times.

His parents were found by family members at their home on the outskirts of Carndonagh on Thursday morning.

His 73-year-old mother was a former nurse, originally from Malin Head and was known throughout Donegal for her voluntary work especially with Letterkenny General Hospital according to the report.

His father Jimmy (77) was originally from Kilkenny, but had moved to Donegal to work as a maths teacher at Carndonagh Community School.

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