July 28, 2021

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iNews-briefs217Vincentian PM slams WICB leadership

By Azad Ali From Caribbean Life

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has slammed the leadership of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron as “poor” and “embarrassing” and has called for the firing of the Jamaican executive as head of the regional board.

The long-serving regional prime minister was speaking in reference to Cameron’s handling of the recent players contracts impasse, which resulted from a disputed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the subsequent abandonment of the India tour by the West Indies One-Day team.

More significantly, Dr. Gonsalves comments come just a few weeks ahead of the WICB annual general meeting when Cameron will be up for re-election.

“I hope the respective boards in the territories tell him to take a break and come back at a later date, perhaps with more mature, renewed skills of leadership,” Gonsalves told the Nation newspaper in Barbados.

“I think his leadership in this regard has been extremely poor and has embarrassed us before the world. I happen to know certain facts which drew me to the conclusion that it is his leadership that led to the premature end of the tour of India,” he said.

The outspoken Dr. Gonsalves has played a central role in trying to resolve the impasse that ensued when West Indies players walked off the one-day tour of India, following the fourth One-Day International in Dharamsala last October.

The Indian Cricket Board blamed the WICB for the abandonment of the tour and subsequently lodged a claim for US$42 million in damages.

For more: http://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/stories/2015/2/2015-01-29-azad-svg-cl_2015_2.html


New! Family support worker at Cayman Islands Chatterbox

From Chatterbox

Alice has recently joined the Chatterbox team, as a Family Support Worker, and she will be providing liaison between home, school and any therapy or extra support sessions your child may be attending.

We know that it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to co-ordinate children’s social, health and educational needs and this is where Alice can help.

Call her today, to schedule a meeting to find out more about how she can support your whole family.

More information and her contact details are on the flyer below.

If you know of any families who may benefit from this service, feel free to pass the attached flyer on to them.

iNews B


Caribbean Premier League: Hawksbills out of CPL

From Digicel Sportsmax

The six Caribbean Premier League franchises participating in this year’s tournament have all retained the maximum number of four players from their 2014 squads.

The newly-formed St. Kitts and Nevis franchise will be taking over the players from the Antigua Hawksbills franchise, which will not be fielding a team for the 2015 season.

The St. Kitts and Nevis team will take over responsibility for the players from the Leeward Islands and has been permitted to retain any player who played for the Antigua Hawksbills during the 2014 season. In a statement released Sunday, the CPL said, “Whilst it is disappointing that the Antigua Hawksbills will not be part of CPL 2015, it is hoped that the team will return for future tournaments.”

The Jamaica Tallawahs have retained Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Jerome Taylor and Chadwick Walton. The Barbados Tridents have retained Kieron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Dwayne Smith and Shoaib Malik, while the Guyana Amazon Warriors have retained Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin and Christoper Bramwell.

The St. Kitts franchise that is yet to be named will have Carlos Braithwaite, Devon Thomas, Orlando Peters, and Justin Athanaze made available, while Darren Sammy, Kevin Pietersen, Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher will remain with the St. Lucia Zouks. The Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel will retain Dwayne and Darren Bravo, Samuel Badree and Kevin Cooper.

The selections of the six teams has been much anticipated, further adding to the excitement of the upcoming Draft, which takes place this Thursday, February 5 in Kingston, Jamaica.

For more: http://www.sportsmax.tv/?q=articles/2015/02/01/caribbean-premier-league-hawksbills-out-cpl


Mother accused of murdering 6 year old daughter in Cayman Islands ready to change lawyers

From Loop News Service

Tamara Butler, who is accused of murdering her 6-year-old daughter, Bethany Butler, is gearing up to change lawyers.

The accused made a request to the court on Friday, January 30, to be legally represented by Ben Tonner from Samson and McGrath. She was being represented by Delroy Murray.

It is being reported that Murray failed to appear in court which led to Tonner asking for an adjournment to deal with the transition.

Butler is being held at the Fairbanks prison. She has not been formally charged for the murder of the child, as it is understood that she is might be mentally ill. The court is awaiting a report from a psychiatric facility on this.

Butler reportedly stabbed her daughter several times last October, during what is being described as a psychotic episode.

For more: http://loopcayman.com/2015/02/02/bethany-butlers-mother-change-lawyers/


Caribbean film industry needs to be taken more seriously

From Caricom Today

More investment is needed. More national broadcasting of local film material, as well as a greater level of regulation and policy framework in place, should also be added to the list of things needed in order for Barbados to tap into the global film industry, which as been estimated to be valued at US$ 100 Billion by 2016.

However, according to film-maker Shakirah Bourne (scriptwriter of Pay Day and Two Smart), these matters are not just a Barbadian problem, but issues faced by her colleagues throughout the Region.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Barbados Advocate, Bourne stated the same complaints of local film producers, and by extension musicians and other artists, of them not getting their fair share of domestic publicity due to media houses’ preferring to be more accommodating to foreign content, could be heard elsewhere in the Caribbean.

For more: http://today.caricom.org/2015/01/31/caribbean-film-industry-needs-to-be-taken-more-seriously/


Caribbean hotel rates climbing back

From ttg

But what about the impact of the opening of Cuba?

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Caribbean hotel rates climbing back

Caribbean hotel rates are continuing push towards the peak seen before the global recession, mainly due to a lack of new builds, according to research presented at the Caribbean Hotels and Tourism Association Marketplace in Puerto Rico.

Average daily rates in December 2014 reached $195, compared with the peak of $201 in January 2008, US research firm STR Analytics revealed. STR, which receives data from a third of all of the Caribbean’s properties, found average occupancy was 68%, compared with 70.4% at the pre-recession peak.

“We are seeing a lot of demand in the marketplace,” STR Director Steve Hennis said, adding that the supply of rooms was growing at only 0.8%, compared with around 2% in the US. “It’s less than half the norm and that’s pushing the bar.”

He warned that occupancy was “hitting a threshold” that would means rates would only increase. “If you assume that 69-70% occupancy is your peak, given the seasonality, the next part of growing your hotel business is to raise your room rate.”

STR estimates that the Caribbean has only 15 firm hotel construction projects, although another 25 are at the planning stage. Significant openings include the Baha Mar in The Bahamas with 981 rooms and the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar with around 800 rooms, plus Jamaica’s Grand Palladium with 850 rooms. Such large properties will need an increase in airlift to fill them, Hennis said.

The effect on the region of the opening of Cuba to more US tourism is difficult to assess, he admitted.

“It would be nice if something had happened elsewhere to compare, but nothing with that proximity to the US has happened.”

A lot of hotel brands have been in touch asking for information about the destination, he said. “It could be that a lot of hotel companies will lobby the government to open it more quickly.”

For more: http://www.ttgnordic.com/news/item/9242-caribbean-hotel-rates-climbing-back


HBO presents a special behind-the-scenes look at the fifth season of ‘Game Of Thrones’

Game of Thrones‘Game of Thrones: A Day in the Life’ airs on February 8th in the Caribbean, simultaneously with the United States

Miami, FL – February 2, 2015 – HBO will air the 30-minute special Game of Thrones: A Day in the Life on Sunday, February 8th at 20:30hrs* in the Caribbean, simultaneously with the United States. The featurette offers viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the highly-anticipated fifth season of the Golden Globe® and Emmy® winning original series Game of Thrones, which premieres on April 12th. This announcement follows the launch of the official trailer and exclusive photos from the upcoming season on its Facebook page last Friday.

Some of the most captivating elements of the fantasy series are the picturesque landscapes and backdrops that help create the fictional realm of Westeros. The special feature spends one day touring the various sets from season five, located in Croatia, Spain and Ireland, that give life to King’s Landing, Winterfell, Pyke and Harrenhall, among others. Through footage of cast members preparing to shoot scenes, to interviews with the show’s massive crew who oversee from sets and costumes to hair and makeup, Game of Thrones: A Day in the Life gives viewers the chance to witness the detailed complexities involved in filming one of the most successful series of all time.

Game of Thrones is executive produced by David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfied; with co-executive producers Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis and George R.R. Martin.

*Atlantic Standard Time. For information on the program schedule by country, consult your local cable operator, or visit www.hbomax.tv


Strong Bahamas presence at CHA in San Juan – Caribbean’s largest tourism trade convention

From bahama islands info

Pictured sitting are left to right; Maria Grazia Marino, Bahamas Tourist office, London; Joy Jibrilu, Director General, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism; Glenda Johnson, Director-USA & Latin America; and Valery Brown- Alce, Sr. Director, Global. Pictured standing from left to right are; Anthony Stuart, Director, Europe; Giovanni Grant; Ellison ‘Tommy’ Thompson, Deputy Director General; Paul Strachan, Director, Canada and Steven Johnson, Bahamas Tourist Office Toronto.SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s Director General, Mrs. Joy Jibrilu accompanied by a team of Senior Executives joined members of the private sector to make a cohesive presence as they promoted the tourism product of The Islands Of The Bahamas.

The event, which was held from January 28th to 30th, is the largest business to business, gathering of travel and tourism officials in the region. The Marketplace affords tourism suppliers the opportunity to meet face-to-face with tour operators and wholesalers globally that sell Caribbean vacations that come from around the world to attend the show.

As The Islands Of The Bahamas compete with other global tourism regions to secure their share of market, meeting with industry suppliers at CHA and securing contracts is a critical component of the islands strategy to extend its marketing reach and grow new business. Meetings were conducted with key travel trade partners from the USA, Latin America, Canada, and Europe. The teams conducted a packed schedule of successful meetings with Travel agents, Tour Operators, Travel media and Airlines partners over the 3 day period. “The Islands Of The Bahamas team had a successful visit at CHA and we connected with travel partners who delivered core business to the destination”, said the Deputy Director General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Ellison ‘ Tommy’ Thompson.

Feedback from most of the international partners reported that they had experienced growth in their business to The Bahamas at the end of 2014. They indicated that there is strong demand for information on the opening of Baha Mar, Mega Events and New Airlift.

CHA Marketplace 2015 attracted some 29 Caribbean Countries, 283 Suppliers, 106 Buyers and a total of 1,104 Delegates with 11,396 Pre-Scheduled Appointments.

For more: http://www.bahamaislandsinfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20215:strong-bahamas-presence-at-cha-in-san-juan-caribbeans-largest-tourism-trade-convention&catid=34:Bahamas%20National%20News&Itemid=147


Antigua PM reiterates call for ending U.S. embargo against Cuba

By Nelson A. King From Caribbean Life

Heads of States and Governments attending the Third Summit of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) have been urged to call on the United States Congress to lift the half-century-old trade and economic blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States.

Speaking in San Jose, Costa Rica, at the opening of the session on Wednesday, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Browne welcomed the decision of the governments of Cuba and the United States to establish diplomatic relations.

“We are delighted that the anachronistic and failed policy of the United States government of isolating Cuba is in the process of ending,” he said. “But we remain concerned that the formal trade embargo of Cuba by the United States remains codified in extra-territorial laws.”

Reiterating a plea made at the United Nations General Assembly in September last year, Browne called on CELAC members to urge the U.S. Congress to rescind the trade embargo against Cuba and to normalize all relations “in the interest of the stability and well-being of the Hemisphere”.

The Antigua and Barbuda prime minister – who in September, during the United Nations General Assembly, also called on the United States to remove Cuba from a list of State Sponsors of Terrorism – also spoke on the issue of terrorism at the CELAC Summit noting that it has become a scourge on the face of the Earth.

He noted that the terrorist tactics of ISIL, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram are “despicable”.

“We must condemn them vigorously and stand against terrorism wherever it occurs, as we do those that occurred in the United States, the United Kingdom and France,” he said.

“But it is worth recalling that the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, based at the University of Maryland, has revealed that in 2012, terrorism touched 85 countries and just three – Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan – suffered more than half of the attacks and fatalities,” he added.

Browne stated that terrorism is not occurring only in Western countries, calling on nations to action, according to an Antigua and Barbuda government statement.

“We must also take action within our own domestic jurisdictions and in collaboration with our regional neighbours to stamp out terrorism wherever it might arise within our own boundaries,” he said.

For more: http://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/stories/2015/2/2015-01-29-nk-cubaembargo-cl_2015_2.html


Caribbean Series: Scouting Cuba

By Christopher Crawford From ESPN

Talented roster has at least seven players with MLB-level upside

Yulieski Gourriel is Cuba’s big name, but they have several others to watch in the Caribbean Series.

We’re just a few weeks away from MLB pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, but for those of you going through withdrawal and/or itching for some baseball, the 2015 Caribbean Series is a good opportunity for fans to satisfy their baseball cravings. The series takes place Feb. 2-8 and features the best winter league squads from Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Cuba.

Following the recent news that the United States’ trade embargo with Cuba could be lifted, that makes this year’s edition of the series especially interesting, as several players from Cuba that were considered unrealistic options to ever play in the major leagues suddenly became much more attainable.

With that, here’s a look at the best hitting and pitching prospects on Cuba’s roster, and why they have a chance to be successful at the big league level.


Yulieski Gourriel, 3B: Gourriel is the best pure hitter on the roster, and his name has been on the scouting radar for several years.

For more: http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/12262552/scouting-top-players-cuba-caribbean-series-roster-mlb


China to provide more scholarships for students from LatAm, Caribbean

By Zhang Ming Zhang Ming Zhang Ming From Energy Blogs

The First Ministerial Meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Beijing on Jan 8.

More LatAm students will come to study in Chinaas the Chinese government will provide 6,000 scholarships to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in the next five years, according to the latest cooperation plan issued by the first ministerial forum between the two sides on Jan 16.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the opening ceremony of the forum in Beijing that 6,000 people will get educational training in China, and 400 more will be able to study as on-the-job graduates. Moreover, a 10-year program called “the bridge of future” will be carried out this year, to provide educational training for thousands of CELAC young leaders.

“Education is an important part of building a strong long-term relationship,” said Evan Ellis, research professor of Latin American studies at the US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute,(Shandong University) “It helps forge relationships of confidence and trust with the future business and political leaders and other key actors in the region.”

The move aims to boost exchanges in education, promoting more cooperation between China and Latin America beyond the areas of just trade and finance.

For more: http://www.energyblogs.com/scias/index.cfm/2015/2/1/China-to-Provide-More-Scholarships-for-Students-from-LatAm-Caribbean


Cuba Debuts against Mexico in Caribbean Series of Baseball

From Cuban News Agency

Cuba Debuts against Mexico in Caribbean Series of BaseballCuba Debuts against Mexico in Caribbean Series of BaseballHAVANA, Cuba, Feb 2 (acn) The Cuban squad Pinar del Río Vegueros will face today the Tomateros de Culiacan from Mexico in the first game of the Caribbean Baseball Series, underway in the Puerto Rican city of San Juan.

Alfonso Urquiola, the Cuban head coach , announced as starter the stellar right-handed Freddy Asiel Alvarez, who also played for the Villa Clara Oranges in the last edition of the Caribbean Classic, held in early 2014 on the island of Margarita, Venezuela.

Alvarez stands out for his performance in this National Series with excellent ERA of 1.63, product of just 15 earned runs in 82.2 innings while the opponent batting average is of .226, in addition to 61 strikeouts.

The Culiacan Tomateros´ starter shall be the American lefty Anthony Vasquez, who was elected the most valuable player in the recent final of the Mexican Pacific League by achieving two of the four wins valid to reach the crown against the Jalisco Charros.

The debut of the Cuban team will be at 12:05 p.m. –Eastern Time, at Hiram Bithorn Stadium, in San Juan, where it will also take place the official opening of the tournament, and then the match between the Venezuelan team Anzoategui Caribes and the local squad the Santurce Cangrejeros.

The Pinar del Río Vegueros carry the banner of Cuba in its second consecutive appearance in the Caribbean Baseball Series, again as guest country, intending to erase the pale performance of last year’s edition in Margarita Island.

According to the tournament schedule, the disciples of Alfonso Urquiola will face from February 3 to 5 the sides of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela –in that order, looking for one of the tickets to the semifinals on day seventh.

For more: http://www.cubanews.ain.cu/sports/2401-cuba-debuts-against-mexico-in-caribbean-series-of-baseball


US, Costa Rica trips successful, says Kamla

From Trinidad Express

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said although there are “swirling issues” at home, her visits to Washington DC and Costa Rica last week were very successful. The Prime Minister attended a Caribbean Energy Security Summit hosted by United States Vice-President Joe Biden in Washington DC and then went to the third Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Costa Rica. Speaking to the media on her return at Piarco International Airport on Thursday night, Persad-Bissessar fielded a number of questions with respect to the controversy surrounding Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, but also highlighted the successes of her two business trips. During the Washington meeting, the Prime Minister had proposed a Caribbean Energy Thematic Fund for Caricom member states, to address regional energy security.

Persad-Bissessar said Biden indicated that the fund will be considered to allow for draw downs for energy projects. She said she emphasised that the Caricom states were dependent on the energy sector as it impacts on the economies and manufacturing sectors. Persad-Bissessar said that thanks were extended to Biden on the move the US took with respect to normalising relations between the US and Cuba. She said thanks were also extended for the US immigration reform which would impact on 3.6 million people from the Caribbean diaspora. Persad-Bissessar added that on the issue of deportees, Biden disclosed that the US was in the process of setting up an electronic data system that would provide real-time information on persons being deported to the Caribbean.

The Prime Minister also responded to questions on fluctuating oil prices, which had reached US$43 a barrel last week. She said that the 2014-2015 budget was recalibrated on a price of US$45 a barrel and if it falls below this price and continues on a sustained basis there will be a need for another review. Persad-Bissessar said one day’s drop below $45 a barrel does not mean they have to go back to the numbers. With respect to the CELAC meeting, the Prime Minister said that there was an endorsement for this country to be the secretariat for the Arms Trade Treaty. The PM said she also met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and extended an invitation to him to visit Trinidad and Tobago. She said the Venezuelan ministers of Energy and Foreign Affairs will visit this country on February 20 to discuss the Loran-Manatee field between Trinidad and Venezuela.

For more: http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/US-Costa-Rica-trips-successful-says-Kamla-290485861.html?m=y&smobile=y


Antigua-Barbuda appoints another special economic envoy

From Caribbean News Now

ST JOHN’S, Antigua — Armand Arton, has been appointed special economic envoy to the Gulf Cooperation Council by Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda. Arton joins the likes of Hollywood icon Robert De Niro and billionaire financier Martin Franklin, who were appointed in December 2014.

Commenting on Arton’s appointment, Browne said: “I am delighted to announce that Armand Arton will act as a special economic Envoy for our country. My government feels that Mr Arton’s knowledge and expertise in the field of economic citizenship will be beneficial in helping us to achieve our vision of positioning Antigua and Barbuda as a best practice model for citizenship and residency programmes in the Gulf Cooperation Council region and beyond.”

In his role as a special economic envoy, Arton’s role is to attract foreign direct investment to Antigua and Barbuda by advocating the country’s citizenship by investment programme. One of the most recent achievements by Arton in this regard is attracting Sheikh Al Qassimi as a strategic investor in the Callaloo Bay real estate project on the island.

“The commitment to Antigua and Barbuda is aligned with Arton’s multifold strategy of developing a sustainable future for the industry,” according to the country’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Casroy James. In 2014 alone, the company published three specialized reports, in collaboration with prominent partners and organizations. The findings of these papers are now available to industry stakeholders, who can utilize them in the process of technical analysis and strategizing, as well as to the general public

Commenting on his nomination, Arton said: “Promoting global citizenship as a way of life comes with certain responsibilities. It is our obligation to advocate transparency and to nurture best industry practices so that global citizen programmes can play their primary role in the modern economy – serve as a means for sustainable development and strengthening multicultural dialogue.”

For more: http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/topstory-Antigua-Barbuda-appoints-another-special-economic-envoy-24639.html



China has money to spend but …

From Jamaica Gleaner

One of Jamaica’ leading trade unionists is urging Caribbean countries to develop a regional investment strategy in order to extract the best returns from the growing number of Chinese projects now being implemented in the region.

“The money is attractive, yes, but we need to negotiate …a CARICOM treaty of investment, where those countries participating must come together and negotiate some type of treaty for continuity. I know there is talk about integration, but, in so far as the investment is concerned, we have to find ways to hold it together,” Kavan Gayle, president-general of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, told Thursday night’s public forum on Chinese Investment and Immigration: Cultural Challenges, hosted by the Mona School of Business and Management, and the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Institute.


“Caribbean countries must understand, including Jamaica, that Chinese investors expect to make a return on their investment effort, despite their willingness to offer loans and grants to support specific initiatives. And it must also be understood that the Chinese investment culture and work ethic is rigidly disciplined and is likely to be in conflict with a laid-back approach,” the Jamaica Labour Party senator shared with the audience at the Faculty of Law building, University of the West Indies, Mona.

He said that there is much that the region can learn from the Chinese in terms of efficiency and productivity, but the cultural exchange should be a two-way exchange.

“We respect them for their willingness to invest in our country, but the Chinese investors must seek to understand our culture and configure their investments to unleash the best from our local environment. One of the other things is that Chinese tend to carry their culture and policies to the developing countries, so locals are forced to adapt. But we have to change, and we have to recognise the challenges, because we want these investments in the Caribbean,” the trade unionist insisted.

China is one of the largest economies in the world, and it is growing with trillions of US dollars in reserves.

For more: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20150131/news/news2.html




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