September 21, 2020

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iNews-briefs217Cayman Islands magistrate changes probation into jail after thief does it again

Patrick Noel Watler (47) who was on probation pleaded guilty to theft of a bag from a stall at the Craft Market on North Church Street on December 3rd.

The bag was valued at $18 and contained US$ and CI$ notes totaling approx. CI$150.

Watler had been sentenced to a 30 months prison sentence but placed on probation for 2 years for a robbery in December 2012 at the Buttonwood Club where he stole $2,000 of liquor. He had also stolen a donation can from both the Burger King on West Bay Road and North Church Street in March 2013. He had confessed to having a drug habit.

The magistrate after considering the latest theft added a consecutive sentence and changed the two years probation into the prison sentence.


Wahlberg’s wife rejects ski vacation plans

From localsyr

Mark Wahlberg attends a photocall to promote the film ‘Broken City’ at Ritz Carlton Hotel in Berlin, Germany. (Andreas Rentz, Getty Images)

Mark Wahlberg had to ditch his plans to hit the ski slopes this festive season after his wife demanded they jet off to the Caribbean to get away from the winter weather.

“The Fighter” star wanted to treat his family to a post-Christmas getaway, but his hopes for an adventure-filled vacation were dashed after former model Rhea Durham rejected the idea, and insisted on a sunny break in .

He explains, “We’re going to spend Christmas at home in our new house and then we’re going to Barbados for a vacation.

“I was thinking about going somewhere cold (for) the snow, and the kids (can) sled, snowboard, and my wife said that would be the end of our marriage. She’s from Florida; she likes the warm weather. I’ll take her wherever she wants to go.”

Durham also rejected her husbands plans to make the holidays more spiritual: “She loves, loves, loves the holidays. I’ve been trying to push the religious aspect of it a little more, like no gifts, just go to church… I’m not suggesting anything anymore!”

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Fundraiser announced to turn Cayman Islands heritage home into arts & crafts

The West Bay Heritage Committee on Grand Cayman has announced they will be turning a historic home into an arts and crafts building to help preserve cultural traditions.

The purchased the house, which is more than 100 year old, in 2006 through a donation from Maples Finance Ltd., in an effort to preserve Cayman’s wattle and daub buildings and to honour the life and accomplishments of the late Erksie Leila Yates, known as Nurse Leila.

The committee is hosting a fundraiser at Pappagallo Restaurant on Jan. 24th 2015 so as to start the arts and crafts project. One-of-a-kind artworks made from local materials and created by West Bay artisans will be auctioned at the event.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $75 and are on sale at the National Trust’s main office on South Church Street, George Town by Dart Park.


EU funds project to help Caribbean employers implement EPA

By AleemKhan

The European Union (EU) is funding a project to help Caribbean employers implement the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed in 2008, a joint press statement from the EU and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said Monday (Dec 22).

“The project, which is financed under the 10th European Development Fund, will also strengthen the implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement and deepen regional integration,” the statement said. The contribution from the EU is approximately €1.71 million. The ILO will be the lead coordinators of the programme and its contribution is valued at €300,000.

Chargé d’ Affaires of the Delegation of the European Union to T&T Daniela Tramacere, on behalf of Ambassador Robert Kopecký, head of Delegation of the European Union to Guyana, Suriname, T&T and for the Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories, and Director of the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean Giovanni di Cola, signed-off on the project, which “will focus on reinforcing the human and institutional capacity of Caribbean Employers Federation (CEC), including activities with the Caribbean Association of Industry & Commerce (CAIC), and the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL), to contribute to the effective implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed in 2008,” said the release.

The objective of the project, which will be executed by the ILO in collaboration with CEC and CCL, is “for employers and workers to engage more effectively in social dialogue, which in turn is expected to contribute to the design and implementation of effective social and economic development policies,” the release said.

The project, which is financed under the 10th European Development Fund, will also strengthen the implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement and deepen regional integration, the statement said.

ILO Director di Cola said: “The project is designed to assist employers’ and workers’ organizations, the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) and Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) in particular, in building and maintaining institutional capacity, and to create a space for social dialogue at the regional level.”

EU Charge d’Affaires Tramacere said: “I am confident that this project will support the CARIFORUM Civil Society integration process and foster greater regional development. The European Union looks forward to its successful implementation.” The three-year project is due to commence in February 2015.

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Cayman Islands telecoms regulator to set up complaints department

The Cayman Islands Information and Communication Technology Authority has announced they will be setting up a customer complaints department to help improve standards across the industry.

The telecoms regulator said common customer complaints, such as excessive roaming charges on cellphones, loss of Internet coverage, and bad customer service, will all fall under the remit of a new deputy director of consumer affairs.

ICTA said they hope to be able to publish performance data for its licensees and allow customers to compare how rival companies are performing in key areas such as call quality and customer service.

Glenn Daykin, has been named as deputy director of consumer affairs, and will use information from consumers about consistent problems to better regulate the industry.


Caribbean publication names Mighty Sparrow – “Person of the Year”


NEW YORK, Dec. 28, CMC – A United States-based publication has named calypsonian Slinger Francisco, popularly known as The Mighty Sparrow, as its “Person of the Year.”

“Any person, in any part of the world, regardless to sex, age and vocation, can emulate the virtues The Mighty Sparrow exemplified during 2014,” said Herman Hall, the Grenadian-born editor, publisher and founder of the Brooklyn, New York-based Everybody’s magazine.

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Cayman Islands marine institute receives US$70,000 grant

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) on Little Cayman, Cayman Islands, has been awarded a $70,000 (USD) grant with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines funds by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The funds are for ‘Enhancing Capacity for Coral Reef Resilience Management in the Cayman Islands’. The project seeks to determine the distribution of Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) coral species around Little Cayman where they have been shown to be on a positive trajectory.

CCMI is currently conducting snorkel surveys to document EDGE species around Little Cayman, specifically outside the marine protected areas where less in known about those coral reefs. CCMI scientists have already located several previously unrecorded pillar coral colonies and more than 50 colonies of staghorn and elkhorn corals. The distribution and health of EDGE coral species is different in the Caymans than elsewhere in the Caribbean — a goal of this project is to understand why.


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31 August – 2 September 2015 I Panama City I Booth Nos 40 & 41

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This year’s conference is taking place in dynamic Panama City. Delegates will hear from top industry experts on a wide range of topics, take part in valuable networking opportunities and enjoy a trade show featuring the latest innovation in products and services.

Click here for more event information:


Cayman Football: George Town confident about resurgence

From Digicel Sportsmax

George Town Sports Club may be trailing leaders Elite in the Premier League table, but they have not ruled out overhauling them as the season progresses.

George Town are fourth in the table on 15 points, eight behind Elite but head coach Paul McField believes the club is still very much in the title race despite challenges.

“We’ve had many injuries but expect our key players to be back after Christmas,” McField said.

“When Leighton Elliott, Ariel Tatum and Nicholas Ebanks are fully fit, George Town could be as formidable as they were last season when they led the table for most of the campaign but stumbled at the end and were overtaken by Bodden Town.”

The team will also be bolstered by the return of Justin Pierre from Sunset and the club will also be securing the services of a striker from Jamaica, McField said.

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Bahamas authorities investigate alleged rape of Jamaican detainee

From Caribbean360

NASSAU, Bahamas, Monday December 22, 2014, CMC – The Bahamas government says it is prepared to let the “chips fall where they may” after an immigration officer was placed on administrative leave with immediate effect “pending investigation of a sexual assault alleged by a detainee who is a Jamaican citizen”.

Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell told a news conference that while he would not speak “more to this matter” he was nonetheless prepared to allow the “chips (to) fall where they may”.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration said that “a diplomatic note … will be sent to the Jamaican Foreign Minister and the Minister will speak to his counterpart in Jamaica shortly” on the issue.

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Tourists help police track robbery suspect in Costa Rica

By Jaime Lopez From The Costa Rica Star

An armed man was shot dead by Tourism Police officers in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica after a foot pursuit in a mountainous forest. According to a report by Evelin Andino Espinoza of daily tabloid Diario Extra, Tourism Police officers assigned to Punta Uva of Manzanillo, province of Limon, were in pursuit of various armed suspects when one of them suddenly fired multiple times. The officers immediately took cover and returned fire; despite the thick vegetation and limited visibility, the officers were successful in neutralizing the suspect.

The man is believed to have been part of a criminal gang that targeted robbery victims in the area. This group is reportedly to have been involved in nearly 30 robberies, and they preyed upon residents and visitors; in fact, the Tourism Police officers initiated the foot chase thanks to information provided by five North American tourists who were ambushed and robbed in their hotel. After the tourists reported the robbery, officers deployed a security perimeter across Punta Uva until they sighted the armed suspects.

Neighbors in Punta Uva told Diario Extra that they felt threatened by this gang and were afraid to report crimes for fear of violent reprisal. Such was not the feeling among the five North American tourists who were robbed earlier this week; they immediately reported the incident and now the community is confident that the rest of the gang will be apprehended.

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Thane man working with Caribbean cruise ship dies after falling into water

By: Press Trust of India | New York | From Indian Express

A 27-year old man from Thane, who worked on a Caribbean cruise ship, died after falling off the ship and was identified after his body washed up on a beach in the US state of Florida.

Cliford Minej was a worker on Holland America Line cruise ship. His body, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, drifted ashore near Clearwater Beach in Florida and was spotted by someone walking on the beach, according to a report in Tampa Bay Times.

The ship, named Ryndam, came to port in Tampa last Sunday and police believe Minej fell off the ship that morning.

Since the captain of the ship didn’t notify authorities of Minej’s disappearance until late in the morning of the incident, the Coast Guard didn’t know if he had gone overboard or disembarked at the cruise terminal.

Multiple area law enforcement agencies searched land and sea and the Pinellas County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Minej’s death as accidental.

According to a statement from Holland America Line, the ship was at the end of a 14-day trip to the Caribbean. No other information about Minej was released.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our crew members and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time,” the statement said.

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U.S. should embrace the strategic value of

By H.S. Duke Leahey From St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I am heartened by President Obama’s move to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. I believe that engagement with Cuba, improving the free flow of information there, and freedom of religion are extremely corrosive to Communism. Positive engagement and free-flowing information is poison to repressive governments like Russia, China, Venezuela and North Korea.

While re-engaging with Cuba will not result in the near term-dismantling of Cuba’s Communist regime, improved relations between our countries may deny Russia an important ally in the Caribbean. On this point, there have been few editorials regarding Cuba’s strategic value. Russia, China, North Korea and Venezuela could lose Cuba as a partner in the Caribbean. Russia is developing military bases in Venezuela and Nicaragua and reopening its mothballed Cuban spy base. It is time for the U.S. to embrace the strategic value of Cuba and thwart the threat of further expansion of Russian influence in the Caribbean.

Improved relations and easing sanctions as the Castros show their good intent will relieve some of the pressure on their regime in the short term, but both countries will benefit by ending the mistrust and paranoia that has reigned for over 50 years. Our decades-long attempt to isolate Cuba has shown no changes in Cuba’s politics, but only served to thrust them into the arms of Russia. It’s time to try something new.

And don’t forget: Cuban ties to 2 million Cuban-Americans in South Florida means we are family.

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Media icon Leslie Pierre dies

iNews B pierreFrom Stabroek News

(Trinidad Express) Regional media icon, Grenada-born Leslie Pierre was a stalwart who would be remembered for his fight for press freedom.

Pierre died at his home at the age of 86.

He founded the weekly newspaper The Grenadian Voice in 1961 whilst the “Revolutionary” Government was in power and could only print two editions before he and two of his colleagues were tossed in prison for offering what the regime labelled as a counter revolutionary perspective.

They were freed during the 1983 military invasion by US and Caribbean forces.

In addition to his role as publisher and editor of the Grenadian Voice Newspaper, Pierre played a key role in the development of the broadcast media in Grenada, as he provided training and support for several young journalists.

He was instrumental in the Caribbean Communi-cations Net-work’s acquisition of the majority shares in the then-state owned Grenada Broadcasting Corporation (GBN) in 1998.

Pierre served on the GBN Board for more than 10 years and only demitted his post of director when he became ill in 2012.

IMAGE: Leslie Pierre

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Jamaican artiste receives death threat from Islamic group

iNews b sean-paulFrom Antigua Observer

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Dec 27, CMC – Jamaica’s Grammy award winning singer, Sean Paul, is to decide whether or not to perform a New Year Eve show in the Maldives after reportedly receiving a death threat from an Islamic group claiming to have ties in Syria, the Jamaica Observer newspaper reported Saturday.

It said the video message was posted online and that the publicist for the artiste, Carlette DeLeon, said a decision would be taken following a meeting with Sean Paul’s management team and authorities in the Maldives.

“We are aware of the developing situation. We are currently in contact with all related parties concerning the concert to address the matter. No further details are available at this time,” DeLeon told the Jamaica Observer.

Britain’s Independent newspaper reported the video message carries the logo of the Bilad Al Sham Media (BASM) group, an organisation which claims to comprise Maldivian jihadists based in Syria and the Maldives.

“Sean Paul, if you visit the Maldives, the world will see your burned and blood-drenched dead body,” said cards held by a cloaked figure in the video posted on YouTube late on Wednesday night.

“It is for all Muslim to jihad in the name of Allah. Hence disbelievers like Sean Paul, who are like the worst of the devil’s advocates, deserve nothing but death,” according to the video.

But the newspaper quoting a Twitter account allegedly belonging to BASM, said the group denies being behind the threat.

“We would clearly like to announce that our media have nothing to do with the Sean Paul death threatening video.”

Photo Source (

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Barbados economic growth expected to be less than one per cent – Worrell

From caribbean360

Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr. Delisle Worrell (File Photo)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. DeLisle Worrell says tourism-related investment will impart some stimulus to the local economy this year, but this effect will be largely eroded by the fiscal contraction, and the forecast is for growth of less than one per cent.

In an opinion article commenting on the current status of the Barbados economy, Worrell said the recent economic performance has been commendable given the unprecedented recession in the markets for the island’s tourism and traded services.

He said the Central Bank protects the value of the local currency by intervening as necessary on the interbank market.

“Up until April last year, Barbados’s foreign exchange reserves were the equivalent of 19 weeks of imports. By September, reserves had declined to a little over 13 weeks. In response, the government took action to introduce a major budget correction in mid-August 2013.”

He said the measures included expenditure cuts equivalent to about three per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), plus additional taxes of about two per cent.

Worrell said last year, additional measures, including job cuts in the public sector, were introduced to reinforce the effect of the August adjustments.

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Caribbean urged to brace for impact of climate change

By CMC – From Antigua Observer

KINGSTON, Jamaica– A two-week regional training workshop on climate change has started here with a warning that the Caribbean could suffer billions of dollars in losses over the next few years as a result of climate change.

“As a region, we have to assist each other in every conceivable way imaginable,” said Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Minister Robert Pickersgill at the start of the workshop that is being organised by the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in partnership with several regional governments and the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

It is being held under the theme “The use of sector-specific biophysical models in impact and vulnerability assessment in the Caribbean”.

Pickersgill said that Caribbean countries needed to work together to boost technical expertise and infrastructure in order to address the effects of the challenge.

He said global climate change was one of the most important challenges to sustainable development in the Caribbean.

Citing a recent report from the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he noted that while the contribution of Caribbean countries to greenhouse gas emissions is insignificant, the projected impacts of global climate change on the Caribbean region are expected to be devastating.

Pickersgill said that according to experts, by the year 2050, the loss to the mainstay tourism industry in the Caribbean as a result of climate change-related impacts could be in the region of US$900 million.

In addition, climate change could cumulatively cost the region up to US$2 billion by 2053, with the fishing industry projected to lose some US$140 million as at 2015.

He said the weather activity in sections of the over the Christmas holiday season was a prime example of this kind of devastation.

The low level trough resulted in floods and landslides in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Dominica. At least 15 people were killed and four others missing. The governments said they would need “hundreds of millions of dollars” to rebuild the battered infrastructures.

“For a country the size of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, this loss is significant and could result in their having to revise their GDP (gross domestic product) projections. (Therefore), while one cannot place a monetary value on the loss of lives, the consequences in terms of dollar value to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is also important,” Pickersgill said.

“It only takes one event to remind us of the need to become climate resilient in a region projected to be at the forefront of climate change impacts in the future,” Pickersgill said, adding that he hoped the regional training workshop would, in some meaningful way, advance the Caribbean’s technical capabilities to meet the future projections head-on and be successful.

He said the workshop has particular relevance to Jamaica as one of the SIDS that is most vulnerable to climate change.

The two-week programme forms part of the European Union (EU)-funded Global Climate Change Alliance Caribbean Support Project, which is geared towards the creation and financing of policies that can reduce the effects of climate change as well as improved climate monitoring within the region.

The Global Climate Change Alliance project is to be implemented over 42 months and will benefit Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

CCCCC Programme Manager, Joseph McGann, said the project would include several activities including: enhancing national and regional institutional capacity in areas such as climate monitoring; data retrieval and the application of space-based tools for disaster risk reduction; development of climate scenarios and conducting climate impact studies using Ensemble modeling techniques; vulnerability assessments that can assist with the identification of local/national adaptation; and mitigation interventions.

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