May 7, 2021

iNews Briefs

Pin It

EarthquakeCaribbean-Earthquake-Region warned to be prepared for massive earthquake

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jan 13, CMC – The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the University of the West Indies (UWI) is warning the region to “move expeditiously” towards building resilience amid predictions of the Caribbean being hit with an earthquake with a magnitude of eight or larger.

“We must develop, legislate and enforce Building Codes using up-to-date seismic hazard maps based on the latest available science. Preparedness measures at the individual levels are insufficient and greater efforts are needed to facilitate self-resilience,” the SRC said in a statement as it marked the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that ricked Haiti in 2010, killing an estimated 300,000 people.

The SRC said that the earthquake in Haiti “should have been the wakeup call for a fundamental shift in regional mechanisms for coping with seismic hazards”.

It said major earthquake disasters around the world have stimulated similar shifts and resulted in greater resilience to seismic hazards in these regions.

“This has not happened in the Caribbean and the region continues to be extremely vulnerable to seismic events,” the SRC said, adding “research suggests that the region is capable of generating an earthquake of magnitude 6.0 or larger every 3-5 years.

“Of more concerns, we are long overdue for a magnitude 8.0 earthquake, which has 32 times more energy than the Haiti event. In light of these sobering facts, it is imperative for the region to move expeditiously towards building resilience to such events,” it added.

The SRC said that while there have been advances in many areas, “the effectiveness of the implemented strategy from country to country still needs to be measured.

“The need for broad based impact assessments for seismic hazards and risks is now greater than ever with clearly established short term and long term objectives. Every year that passes without the necessary measures being in place is a year closer to a repeat of the Haiti disaster. Now is the time to be ready,” the SRC added.


Christmas Tree mulch up for grabs in the Cayman Islands

Christmas Tree Mulch Available on 24 January

Christmas tree mulch will soon be available for collection. The ‘Christmas tree mulch’ is part of the Department of Environmental Health’s (DEH) recycling programme, which aims to reduce the amount of waste entering the George Town landfill by recycling the natural Christmas trees into mulch.

Residents are asked to drop off their natural Christmas trees for mulching by 22 January.

Residents can drop off their trees at the following locations:-


  • Ed Bush Stadium, West Bay


  • George Town Cricket Field


  • GT Landfill public drop-off area


  • Spots Dock, Savannah Newlands


  • Entrance of Frank Sound Rd


The free mulch will be available for pick up at the George Town Cricket Field on Saturday, 24 January at 8 a.m.

DEH Director Roydell Carter urges residents to bring their own bags and shovels to collect the mulch. Mr Carter further encouraged residents to come early as by the end of the morning all of the mulch is usually taken.

The public is also reminded that aluminium cans, used motor oil, used cooking oil, batteries and scrap metals are still being collected by the department as part of its on-going recycling programme.     For more information, contact DEH’s Solid Waste Unit at 949-8793 or Tania Johnson at 743-5952.


Cayman Islands premier’s aide makes court appearance

The Cayman Islands premier’s political assistant who has been suspended appeared last Monday (12) in Summary Court charged with disorderly conduct and assaulting police.

The charges listed against Bryan say that between Oct 10th and 11th, 2014, in the parking lot of Dream Night Club on West Bay Road, being a public place; Bryan used “abusive and calumnious language such as would tend to provoke a breach of the peace.” He is also charged with assaulting a police officer who was acting in the execution of his duty at the same location and at the same time.

Bryan has not yet entered a plea and the case was adjourned to Tue February 3rd.


Energy Security in Caribbean to be focus of January U.S. Summit

By Jim Snyder From Bloomberg

The Obama administration will host a summit in Washington this month to help Caribbean nations lower their energy costs and increase their use of renewable sources of power.

Vice President Joe Biden will lead the Jan. 26 meeting, which is aimed at diversifying the sources of energy available to the island countries, which now often rely on diesel fuel from Venezuela, the administration said.

The discussions will focus on encouraging investment in the countries, in part by improving their regulatory frameworks and developing financing mechanisms, a White House aide said.

Other countries including Canada, Mexico and Spain also may offer technical assistance to encourage new energy sources.

For more:


Plaintiffs firms team up on Sony Data Breach Suits

By Ross Todd From The Recorder

SAN FRANCISCO — If you were expecting a knock-down, drag-out fight for the lead plaintiff spot in the litigation springing from the hacking scandal at Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., think again.

Lawyers from Keller Rohrback, Girard Gibbs, and Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein filed an unopposed motion to consolidate the seven proposed class actions filed in federal court so far on behalf of current and former Sony employees whose personal information allegedly was compromised in the cyberattack. The unopposed motion, which is subject to approval from U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner of the Central District of California, also proposes to have the three firms named interim co-lead class counsel.

The lawyers “are uniquely qualified to represent the putative class in this case because of their extensive expertise and experience in consumer class actions, data breach litigation, and employee representation, which will be applied in this case to maximize the recovery for class members and move the litigation forward efficiently,” they wrote.

Keller Rohrback filed the first proposed class action stemming from the Sony data breach on Dec. 16. Separate lawsuits from Girard Gibbs, and Lieff Cabraser followed a day later. According to Monday’s filing, the law firms behind four proposed class actions subsequently filed in federal court have consented to consolidating the cases and having Keller Rohrback, Girard Gibbs, and Lieff Cabraser act as interim co-lead counsel.

Sony, which has hired Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr to handle the litigation fallout from the data breach, didn’t take a position on Monday’s motion, according to the filing.

For more:


GE’s super-fast CT scanner could save lives, definitely makes gory GIFs

feat1By Nick Summers from engadget

Few people enjoy having a CT scan. In a bleak hospital room, you have to lie flat on your back as a huge circular scanner shoots focused X-rays through your flesh and bones. The entire process can feel a little intimidating, which is why GE Healthcare has come up with the Revolution CT: a whisper-quiet and super-fast scanner that could make medical appointments a little quicker and less stressful for patients. The new machine, which is being trialled by the West Kendall Baptist Hospital in Florida, can capture an entire heart in a single beat, where each rotation takes just 0.28 seconds. That speed, combined with better contrast detection and noise reduction, could also reduce the doses of radiation required in each scan, potentially easing people’s fears. In addition, none of these advancements should compromise the quality of the final 3D images — to prove its point, GE Healthcare has released some kinda gross, but undeniably beautiful GIFs of people’s innards.

For more and GIFS:


Man caught at Chinese Customs wearing 94 iPhones as long underwear

By Laura Northrup from Consumerist

Even though the newest and freshest iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, are now legally available in mainland China, hauling them over the border from Hong Kong is still a profitable enterprise. Apparently. According to a report in Chinese media, an enterprising young man created a plastic suit that held 94 iPhones, strapping them around his arms, legs, hips, and torso.

At first glance, a suit made of iPhones might seem like a great idea. There’s a problem, though: you have to walk around, pretending that everything is fine while you are secretly disguised as the Michelin man. The Shenzen People’s Daily reports that is how the man was caught: officials noticed his weird gait and inability to move his major joints normally. That’s when they discovered his secret suit of iPhone armor.

The official statement was that the phones were a mixture of the 5S and 6 models. Before the iPhone 6 was officially available in China, that model sold for thousands of dollars when smuggled to the mainland. Officials say that the haul was worth about 300,000 yuan, or $48,000: an average of around $513 per phone.

For more:


Bikes at the Detroit Auto Show? Only for Future People

FuturePeople1By Kat Bauman From core77

The North American International Auto Show aka the Detroit auto show is an unparalleled industry focused event in the car world. It is less well known for debuting new and conceptual bicycles. This year however the show will feature a few notable drivables that steer completely clear of internal combustion. Cameron Van Dyke’s FuturePeople is a project that imagines human-powered vehicles for an era when cars have become obsolete but their infrastructure remains. Despite being an efficient and accessible mode of transportation, bikes have a long way to come to commonly replace cars for leisurely driving, large cargo and rider protection. These fully built concept bike-cars draw on new and old ideas about bikes and cars to address those concerns.

The Cyclone is reminiscent of boxy luxury vehicles from the 1920s. Four-wheeled, with a long frame and a wide, leather seated two-person cockpit, it’s the most car-like bike on offer. Put on your driving gloves and take an elegant country ride:

The Zeppelin is like a smooth cargo tube on a long trike base. Clearly drawing from blimpy sources on the outside, it provides contemporary cargo room on the inside. The big wraparound windshield and aerodynamic shape look sleek, and pop-out seats are an interesting way of maximizing storage. In this video, the ground-hugging bike looks like a romantic way to deliver your locally grown goods to market.

If the idea of bike cars strikes you as purely whimsical, consider that more than 90 years ago, a decidedly similar vehicle was user-friendly and affordable enough to supplant small cars for those who couldn’t afford them. FuturePeople looks forward to a day when they might again.

For more:


Adidas’ next move is to keep young students fit and healthy

By Edgar Alvarez From engadget

In the US, child obesity is an ever-growing concern that’s desperately in need of a remedy. Knowing this, Adidas is now looking to help the cause and, in the process, make it fun for young people to get fit. The sporting gear company has teamed up with Interactive Health Technologies (whose mission is “empowering individuals to self-manage their health”) to bring its miCoach technology to schools Stateside. A few years ago, IHT began implementing a heart rate monitoring system for gym classes in the US, and now Adidas wants to take that initiative one step further. By combining miCoach’s activity tracking with IHT’s heart rate system, Adidas believes it can get students to motivate themselves.

At the moment, there are more than 700 schools in the US have added this to their curriculum, with over 250,000 students benefitting from it every day. An Adidas spokesperson said the reception to the heart monitoring system, in tandem with certain miCoach features, has been great — so much so that many students choose to take the IHT wearable device home with them on the weekends. (Though, how long that habit will last remains to be seen.) And that’s a good thing, since it means they keep racking up points and staying active even when away from the school gymnasium. Both parents and teachers can monitor each student’s app via a companion application, which is available for PC and and mobile devices. Ultimately, Adidas says the goal is to continue expanding to additional school districts, adding that it’s constantly working to add interesting things to the program — such as rewards and social challenges between schools. Because now you don’t just play games in gym, PE is a game in and of itself.

For more:


Biden to host Caribbean leaders for energy summit

From TWC Central

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden plans to convene heads of state from Caribbean nations in Washington to discuss energy issues.

The first Caribbean Energy Security Summit will be held on Jan. 26. Biden’s office says prime ministers or cabinet ministers from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago are expected to attend.

The White House says the summit will focus on promoting sustainable energy in the region, including access to financing. Representatives from business and international groups are planning to attend. The State Department is also taking part.

For more:


Five children killed in Caribbean bus plunge

From New Zealand Herald

A small bus packed with secondary students on their way to class plunged off a seaside cliff Monday on the Caribbean island of St Vincent, killing at least five children.

Authorities from the nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines were searching for two others who were unaccounted for after the crash.

The minibus was full with about 21 people, including the driver, a conductor and another adult, at the time of the crash, Police Commissioner Michael Charles said.

It struck a utility pole and went off the cliff, falling about 20 feet to the rocks on the northern Atlantic Ocean side of the small island.

Fourteen of those on board the bus were hospitalised, according to the Ministry of Health, but no details were provided on their conditions.

The driver was injured, but survived the crash and assisted in the rescue efforts, the ministry said in a statement.

Coast Guard boats and police searched for the missing girls but it was a difficult effort amid heavy surf along the rocky coast.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, Charles said.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves called the crash a “tragedy of national proportions,” and cancelled the annual budget speech he was scheduled to deliver Monday to Parliament.

“It was a terrible accident and I think everyone’s heart is really heavy because of what has taken place,” Gonsalves said in a radio interview.

Authorities did not identify the children, though their names were widely known on an island of only about 100,000 people.

Secondary students are typically between the ages of 11 to 18 on St Vincent.

For more:


Stephen Hawking pictured on Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘sex slave’ Caribbean island

v2-stephen-hawkingBy Helen Nianias   From The Independent UK

The physicist was photographed on the paedophile’s island, where Prince Andrew is alleged to have had sex with a teenage ‘sex slave’

A new picture shows Stephen Hawking among the guests at a barbecue during a conference sponsored by Epstein.

The March 2006 photograph, taken before Epstein was charged for unlawful sex with a minor, shows professor Hawking on the billionaire’s private Caribbean island, Little St James, dubbed “the Island of Sin”.

Hawking, currently the subject of Oscar-nominated film The Theory of Everything, also took a boat trip and a submarine tour, paid for by Epstein.

Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything The trip was part of a science conference on neighbouring island St Thomas, which was paid for by Epstein, 61, and which 20 other internationally renowned scientists attended.

Epstein’s island developed a reputation for depravity, and it is alleged that teenage girls were made to take part in orgies with on Little St James.

Private jet logbooks show that Prince Andrew visited the island once.

For more:


MarkForged shows us 3d-printed parts that even Fezzik couldn’t break

From Techcrunch

At the surface, the products made with a MarkForged Mark One printer don’t look like they’d be very strong. Printed in a crude-looking white and beige filament, the wrenches and tools demoed by founder Greg Mark at CES this year looked like any other 3D-printed object – flimsy and unfinished.

However, once you tried to break them, amazement set in. The wrench he built based on the model sent to the International Space Station was impossible to snap and felt completely solid. It was light – the carbon fiber is interspersed with nylon to keep down the weight – but it felt as substantial as steel. I tried to break it a few times and the single strand of carbon fiber woven through the object kept it completely rigid.

Mark spoke with us at our CES stage last week and showed us some items produced on the printer. Expect a full review soon.

The Mark One is the only home 3D printer that can print in carbon fiber and it’s an amazing thing. Costing a hefty $5,499 for the basic model, this is mostly for designers and manufacturers who want to test ideas in carbon fiber quickly and easily. While you probably don’t want to print a bunch of Yoda heads with it, I could see you printing plastic engineering samples and even tools on an ad hoc basis.

In short, this printer is one step away from printed metal. While it can still be broken with enough force, I would find if inconceivable for any normal human to best these 3D prints, even someone exceptionally strong.

For more;


FAA boosts CNN’s study of drones for newsgathering

By Todd Wasserman From Mashable

Seeking to hasten the use of drones for newsgathering, the Federal Aviation Administration on Monday announced it has signed a research agreement with CNN to share data from the network’s ongoing study of the issue with the goal of creating a “framework” for future use of such unmanned aircraft for that purpose.

The FAA has already been coordinating with a study that CNN announced last June with the Georgia Institute of Technology. By sharing data with the FAA, CNN hopes to advance efforts to make drones more of a standard component of reporting, CNN Senior Vice President David Vigilante said in a press release on Monday:

“Our aim is to get beyond hobby-grade equipment and to establish what options are available and workable to produce high quality video journalism using various types of UAVs and camera setups,” said Vigilante. “Our hope is that these efforts contribute to the development of a vibrant ecosystem where operators of various types and sizes can safely operate in the US airspace.”

The FAA currently prohibits the use of drones in news coverage. Journalists and media companies argue, however, that doing so restricts their First Amendment rights.

The move Monday then signals a new acceptance. “Unmanned aircraft offer news organizations significant opportunities,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in the release. “We hope this agreement with CNN and the work we are doing with other news organizations and associations will help safely integrate unmanned newsgathering technology and operating procedures into the National Airspace System.”

The FAA has said it planned to issue new guidelines on commercial drone usage in September. However, skeptics say the agency won’t make that deadline.


For more:



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind