August 5, 2021

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iNews-briefs217Former Cayman Islands University president case goes behind closed doors

Hassan Syed, former Cayman Islands University president, who is accused of misuse of his government credit card during his time as the president of UCCI,spending public money on Tiffany jewellery and lavish weekends away, amounting to approx. $250,000 has still not denied or admitted the offences.

A letter has been sent to Cayman Islands media that suggests Syed was doing undercover work for the governor’s office into corruption in public office in the Cayman Islands when he was at UCCI. Even more amazing is his claim he was also involved in the notorious internal police corruption probe, Operation Tempura!

Syed’s defence attorney, Amelia Fosuhene, from Stenning and Associates, urged the court last Friday (Jan 30) to hear arguments behind closed doors, She said there were important and complex matters in private she needed to discuss with the judge.

The judge agreed to a closed-door hearing but would not vacate the trial date set for next month despite the defence claim that they would not be ready in time due to the enormous complexities of the case. Prosecutor, Toyin Salako, objected strongly to any movement of the trial date as she said that Syed has known what the charges against him were and when the trial was due to take place for almost a year.


New Zealand’s first-ever Ambassador to the Caribbean Community

From Caribbean Journal

New Zealand has named its first-ever Ambassador to the Caribbean Community.

Jan Henderson, who is also accredited to a number of CARICOM Member States, presented her letters of credence to Irwin LaRocque, Secretary General of CARICOM, in a ceremony last week.

Henderson said her accreditation “demonstrated the firm desire of her government to build on the traditional linkages with the Caribbean.”

She pledged to work to “strengthen existing linkages and to create new ones.”

New Zealand opened its first-ever permanent diplomatic presence in the Caribbean in Bridgetown, Barbados in March 2014.

New Zealand has been working with the region on several projects in recent months, including engaging St Lucia, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines in the area of geothermal energy.

Henderson said New Zealand could be a “bridge” between CARICOM and the Pacific Island Forum, which consists mostly of similar small-island states.

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Cuban migrants on Cayman Brac finally leave

11 Cuban migrants who have been allowed to stay in safe harbor on Cayman Brac for nearly week have left.

Safe harbor was given to them because of inclement weather and it was reported the migrants left around midday last Sunday (1). They have indicated they are making for Central America.

Caribbean FLNG project ‘on hold’

From upstream

Caribbean FLNG: Project billed as world’s first floating liquefaction plant on hold

Pacific Rubiales’ floating liquefaction project off the Caribbean coast of Colombia has delayed start-up delayed due to “unfavorable energy market conditions”, partner Exmar said.

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Cayman Islands sprinter qualifies for NAIA National Championships

Troy Long, a Caymanian sprinter, but in the USA at Wayland Baptist University, has qualified for a place in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Indoor Championships.

Long obtained a time of 6.4-seconds in the 55-metre dash at the Texas Tech Masked Rider Open.


I bought a fake Apple Watch for $27 at CES

Fake_Chinese_Apple_Watch-13By Karissa Bell From Mashable

LAS VEGAS— It will likely be at least two months before the highly anticipated Apple Watch hits shelves, but at least one company has already made a knockoff.

In the back of one of the smaller halls at CES, a Chinese company was showing off fake Apple Watches. So, naturally, I bought one.

The watch, created by Shenzhen-based Hyperdon is actually called “Smart Watch,” and it almost looks like the real deal — at least, upon first glance.

The watch’s screen only displays when it’s turned on, and many of its icons are blatant ripoffs of Apple designs. The pairing process took a few tries, but once connected to my iPhone 6, I was able to make phone calls and play music through the watch. It even vibrates when I get a call.

The Smart Watch also has a pedometer, stopwatch, alarm and something called “Anti lost.” I wasn’t sure how this feature worked, at first; it gives you the option to “enable” or “disable,” but didn’t appear to do anything. However, a fellow reporter pointed out that “Anti lost” likely alerts you when you get out of Bluetooth range.

There is also a messaging and notifier feature that helps you get notifications from WeChat and other apps, but it requires downloading a sketchy-looking APK that I don’t think would work with an un-jailbroken iPhone.

The watch charges via a USB cable, and a Hyperdon representative claimed the battery life is “more than 180 hours,” which I have not yet tested.

Needless to say, the whole thing was more than a little suspicious. I had to pay cash, and when I returned from the ATM, the representative told me the watch’s price was actually $30 — not $27 as she said earlier. However, I managed to persuade her to sell it at the original “wholesale” price.

The representative, who did not remove her sunglasses the entire time we spoke, told me that Hyperdon sells its products at retail stores in the U.S and China, but did not elaborate on locations or types of stores.

IMAGE:Fake_chinese_apple_watch-13 This is not an Apple Watch. IMAGE: MASHABLE, CHRISTINA ASCANI

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Royal Caribbean ship returns early after sickness

A Royal Caribbean cruise ship returned to the Port of Baltimore Monday (2), one day earlier than expected after several passengers became ill during the trip.


Guyana: Four drowned while returning from ritual

By Denis Scott Chabrol From Caribbean News Desk

The East Bank Essequibo village of Vergenoegen was Tuesday still in a state of mourning for four persons, including three children, who drowned while returning from a ritual at the foreshore, police said.

Those, who perished on February 1, 2015, are 53-year old Radika “Nadira” Persaud of 13 Vergenoegen Public Road, 14-year old Rovin Persaud, nine-year old Annatina Persaud and 12 year old Billy “Anil” Narine.

Their bodies were discovered close to the drainage sluice (koker) at Vergenoegen during low tide

Head of the Criminal Investigations Department, Assistant Commissioner Leslie James said that just after 3 PM on February 1, Danwantie Persaud took her grandchildren- Annatina and Billy to her sister, Radika’s residence.

James said there they were preparing for a religious function for Danwantie’s mother who died on January 2, 2014.

Investigators were told that Radica and the three children went to the Vergenoegen koker for a ritual but they did not return at the expected time. James said Danwantie searched but initially did not find anyone.

She was later joined by other persons at low tide who saw a bucket that the group had carried with them. Moments later, they found the bodies of the family members near the koker.

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Former SMU Dean faces prostitution charge

By Karen Sloan and John Council, From The National Law Journal

John Attanasio, the former dean of the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, was arrested Sunday in the Dallas area on a prostitution charge, according to sheriff’s department records.

Attanasio was arrested on the Class B misdemeanor charge by the Texas Department of Public Safety and released the same day after posting a $500 bond, according to records at the Collin County, Texas, Jail.

Attanasio, now a professor and Judge William Hawley Atwell Chair of Constitutional Law at SMU Law, did not immediately return a call for comment.

The university released a statement Monday confirming a police investigation.

“In accordance with university policy, SMU does not comment on matters under active investigation by area police,” Patricia Ann LaSalle, associate vice president and executive director of public affairs, said in the statement. “Professor Attanasio will not teach his class this week. SMU will gather information and follow university procedure to determine any appropriate action under its policy in such matters.”

Attanasio is the second prominent law school official since 2009 to be swept up in a prostitution investigation. Former Villanova University School of Law Dean Mark Sargent resigned in June 2009 and left the faculty after he came under investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police after being linked to a prostitution ring.

He initially said he was leaving the post after 12 years for medical and personal reasons, but a week later The Philadelphia Inquirer broke the news that police were investigating him for paying for sex with a woman after responding to an ad on Craigslist.

Attanasio had also led the Dallas law school for a long stretch—15 years—and won the praise of many alumni for being a prolific fundraiser. But in 2013 university leaders informed him that they would not renew his contract, which ended midway through the year. Some alumni protested the decision, but the university named a new dean at the end of that year

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Manufacturing could make Haiti ‘Taiwan of the Caribbean’

By William Edwards/AFP, PORT-AU-PRINCE From Taipei Times

A firm making own-brand tablets in Port-au-Prince is spurring hopes that the poverty-stricken nation can rebuild itself by becoming a manufacturing hub lucratively sandwiched between the Americas

The phrase is used so often it has become a cliche: “Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas” — but even so, the sentiment fails to capture the stark reality of the Caribbean nation five years after it was leveled by a devastating earthquake.

Haiti’s per capita GDP is the 209th-lowest in the world, behind that of Sierra Leone, North Korea or Bangladesh. The amount of money that Haitians living abroad send home is five times higher than the value that the country’s exports generate.

The 2010 earthquake and ensuing cholera epidemic were only the latest blows to a Caribbean republic that suffered brutal colonialism — France forced its slaves to pay reparations for rising against it — and domestic misrule.

Despite all this, some see potential in the country: Haiti is a low-wage economy lying just south of the huge US market and just north of the emerging economies of Latin America — some have even spoken of its becoming a manufacturing “Taiwan of the Caribbean.”

If that sounds implausible given the state of the country five years after the Jan. 12, 2010, disaster, no one has told Surtab SA, a firm that opened in June 2013 to produce own-brand tablets in Port-au-Prince that run Google Inc’s Android operating system.

The firm boasts that since opening, it has expanded production to 20,000 units last year for the local, Caribbean and African markets, and now provides skilled employment for 60 Haitian workers, despite the stigma of its location.

General manager Diderot Musset said Surtab hopes to triple production this year, but admits that even Haitians are suspicious of the firm’s claims.

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Caribbean group welcomes IDNY

By Vinette K. Pryce From Caribbean Life

At least one Caribbean group has already embraced the recently-launched IDNYC government-issued, identification card.

According to Mel Newell, a member of the Jamaica Progressive League Inc., the organization intends to promote application of the free, photo identification now available to more than 500,000 immigrants without legal status who consider New York City home.

“This is a great advantage to undocumented workers who have no legitimate form of ID to now participate and be included without alienation.”

Although Newell does not fit into the undocumented immigrant status, he applied for the official, hologram ID prior to the Jan. 12 launch by walking into a branch of the New York Public Library and asking for an application.

He said he took his passport, a NYS non-driver’s ID card and within minutes was approved for the City Council-approved document.

He said the process was quick and without complications.

Available to residents of New York City, any individual 14 years or older are eligible to apply for the free card through 2015.

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Over thirty boats entered for the Tour de France à la Voile 2015

From My Sailing AU

It’s been four months since the finish of the last edition in Nice and the annoucement of the Tour de France à la Voile new boat, the Diam 24. And the trimaran builder, Vianney Ancelin, has had his order book full. Furthermore, the entry list for the 2015 edition has been filled in just a few hours. A big success for Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O) which aimed to gather a large fleet with this new Diam 24 trimaran. The 31 entries have been revealed today at the Nautic (Paris Boat Show) and the race director Jean-Baptiste Durier has announced the line-up and the venues of what is set to be an remarkable edition.

An historical line-up

It has been more than seven years (July 2007) since the Tour de France à la Voile has had such a large line-up. « This enthusiasm is reflected by the amazing momentum following the announcement of the new format », says Jean-Baptiste Durier. They will be 31 teams to take part in this first edition on a Diam 24. Beyou, Cammas, Guichard, Lemonchois, Riou, Rogues, Seguin, Stamm and Tabarly are amongst the skippers who didn’t want to miss out. The title holder Daniel Souben, will also be back, with Thomas Coville. Aside those renowned skippers, there will be some female sailors like Anne-Claire Le Berre and Laure Caucanas, some other classes specialists (Bérenger, Moriceau, Rogues) and some enthusiastic Corinthians. Damien Seguin will lead a disabled sailing project. Whilst the reflexions on the change of boat were still in their early stages, A.S.O was already aiming for a varied line-up. In 2015, the whole family of sailing will be gathered together in this Tour, and it goes even beyond with the double world freeride skiing champion Aurélien Ducroz.

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Happy crews enjoy Antigua after Christmas Caribbean Rally

From My Sailing AU

A successful end to the second Christmas Caribbean Rally (CCR 2014) sees elated crews and their shore support teams enjoying Antigua to the full. Eight boats and almost 50 crew safely completed the 2850nm crossing from Marina Rubicon in Lanzarote to arrive in the historic Caribbean sailing capital of Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua.

Although not a race, it is fair to say there was an element of friendly competition between GB flagged ‘Raven’ a First 45, and German boat ‘Doppelbock’ Dufour 45. The two boats were fighting it out on the start line and for the first 12 hours of the crossing were within shouting distance of each other. Doppelbock made the decision to stick to the great circle route as closely as possible, whilst Raven took a dive south to reach the trades. It was neck and neck the whole way with as little as 2 miles difference at times, even throughout a 48 period of unusual light winds. It was only during the last 450 miles when Raven had a spinnaker issue that Doppelbock finally inched into the lead to a convincing win, finishing 10 hours ahead of Raven, making an elapsed time of 16 days 18 hours and 33 minutes.

The closest finish in the fleet has to be between Duplicat, a Privilege 435 and Bianca Rosa, Southerly 47, who crossed the finish line less than an hour apart; an astonishing feat after nearly 3,000 miles of ocean sailing. All other crews that had already arrived were on the dock to meet them and gave a fantastic reception, aided by welcome pack from the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, rum punch and a bottle of English Harbour 5 year old rum provided by English Harbour Rum.

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CFP: Contemporary Caribbean Visual Cultures Conference

From Repeating Islands

Contemporary Caribbean Visual Cultures Conference: Envisioning the Futures of Emancipation and the Emancipation of Futures

Universidad del Atlántico, Barranquilla, Colombia, 9 al 11 de septiembre de 2015.

This conference aims to rethink the continuities and discontinuities between past and future projects of emancipation. The major premise here is that decolonization and the processes of otherness, differentiation, (dis) identification and silencing linked to emancipative processes and projects cannot be thought of as closed events, nor are they attached to any self-evident materialization. On the contrary, their consequences and possibilities have to be tracked in different registers articulated through divergent temporalities and spatialities, allowing conflictive public and private agencies and expressions. Additionally, the emancipative projects arising at the end of colonialism contemplated a vision of the future, an image that implied not only a new sociopolitical and racial distribution, but also a new corpus of representations of self and others and a variety of agendas that were intended to materialize these images.

In what way have decolonial images survived in our present? What are the visual fractures existing within the historical and political processes of decolonization taking place in the Caribbean? What lessons can decolonial imaginaries teach to contemporary emancipative initiatives? Can we obtain a different understanding of the past, the present and the futures of emancipation by looking at the images generated by those processes?

This conference continues the debates that arose in the International Conference “Contemporary Caribbean visual culture: artistic visions of global citizenship”, held in June 2014 in Birmingham (UK). In order to do that, it seeks to foster interdisciplinary debates on contemporary Caribbean and Atlantic visual culture. We welcome papers and panel proposals focusing on issues such as:

The visual registers of decolonization and otherness;

Gendered and racialized visions of emancipation;

Visual archives of emancipation/the emancipation of the archive;

The future of emancipation;

Spaces and times of decolonial experiences;

Individual and collective visions of emancipation.

Individual abstracts (200 words maximum) and panel proposals (800 words maximum) should be sent to [email protected] by March 30th 2015

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GBPA participates in 2014 Caribbean Exporter’s Colloquium in Barbados

From Bahama Islands Info

Mr. Derek Newbold, Senior Business Development Manager, represented The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited at the 2014 Caribbean Exporter’s Colloquium, held in Bridgetown, Barbados last month.BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — “Building Economic Resilience in the Caribbean Region” was the focal point for government ministers, private sector participants and donor agencies, as they gathered at the Caribbean Exporter’s Colloquium 2014, held in Bridgetown, Barbados last month.

In keeping with the colloquium’s agenda, discussions addressed key factors facing the Caribbean community, including the state of regional exports, innovation and entrepreneurship, issues affecting competitiveness, the role of alternative energy as a driver for increased competitiveness and opportunities for the Caribbean within the context of the Panama Canal’s expansion.

Derek Newbold, Senior Business Development Manager for The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited, participated as a conference speaker/panelist, at the invitation of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA). Presenting on the topic, “The Caribbean in the New Global Logistics and Shipping Eco-system” Newbold highlighted the integral role Freeport has, and will continue to play in regional trade.

“My contribution addressed a number of pertinent issues related to the maritime sector, including trade patterns impacting markets in North America, the Caribbean and Latin America. According to industry experts, we can expect to see an increase in global trade over the next few years and more specifically, trade between West Coast cities and countries along the East Coast of South America. ” Newbold cited.

“Freeport is a progressive Free Trade Zone, with the only cargo port in the Caribbean region currently capable of servicing Post Panamax vessels,” stated Newbold. “We are strategically positioned to serve as an effective distribution platform for the region and beyond,” he continued as he outlined opportunities not only for The Bahamas, but the potential impact on the entire Caribbean region as well.

“The 2015 completion of the Panama Canal expansion project is anticipated to have a significant impact on world trade, and the Caribbean Community has a tremendous opportunity to benefit from this expansion,” said Newbold. “ Unlike most ports in the Atlantic and Caribbean region, Freeport is already equipped with the appropriate facilities to embrace these opportunities.”

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Barbados wins Caribbean Cup

By Corey Greaves The Barbados Advocate

THE Barbados team of Rhett Watson and Dane Skeete turned in an excellent performance on day one of the Race of Champions Barbados yesterday, at the Bushy Park racing circuit.

Driving in the Race of Champions Nations Cup the team got the crowd going when they both won their race against the American team of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Kurt Busch.

With both drivers making a great showing, it was in the semi-finals that the impressive day came to an end.

Coming up against Scotland’s David Coulthard and Susie Wolff. Skeete took to the track first against Wolff and, after leading in the first race, came away with the victory. However Watson could not hold off the charge from Coulthard, who trailed by less than a second at the half-way mark and was able to come back and take the win, forcing a drive-off.

The two winners took to the track, but with Skeete leading at the end of the first lap he spun soon afterwards giving Scotland the berth in the final.

It was Norway that took the victory in another drive-off after Petter Solberg lost his race against Coulthard in the rallycross Volskwagen, but Tom Kristensen managed to win against Wolff in the Audi.

The two winners came up for the against each other but Coulthard ran a bit too wide and spun giving Kristensen and Norway the victory.

In a press conference afterwards the two teams said that it was a tricky track because of the amount of speed that they were carrying as well as the elevations in track.

In the Caribbean Cup, Barbados managed to make their way to the final where they came up against Jamaica’s Doug Gore and Jeffrey Panton.

Skeete, who had been on fire all day other than his spin, defeated Gore, while Watson was just leading Panton. Panton spun and handed Watson an easy victory.

Other Caribbean nations in the race were Guyana, Trinidad and Guyana.

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