June 14, 2021

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iNews-briefs217Cayman Islands Dep Governor says Cuban migrants negotiations taking longer than expected

Cayman Islands Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and other government officials have been in negotiations with their Cuban counterparts since the beginning of 2014 to formulate a new memorandum of understanding regarding migrants in the Islands waters.

However there have been no changes to the current policy agreed in 1999.

The Deputy Governor has said, “The negotiations between the Republic of Cuba and the Cayman Islands have been progressing through diplomatic channels. While the negotiations have been taking longer than expected, we are hopeful to sign a new agreement in the next few months.”


Cuba frees Canadian transport executive Cy Tokmakjian

From BBC

Cuba has freed the president of a Canadian transport company after more than three years in jail.

Cy Tokmakjian was arrested in 2011 as part of an anti-corruption drive and jailed for 15 years on bribery charges.

The court also arrested two other employees from the company and seized the Tokmakjian Group’s Cuban assets, which were worth about $100m (£65m).

Canada has so far refused to comment as to whether it played a role in securing Mr Tokmakjian’s release.

During his trial, the Canadian government was engaged in talks between the US and Cuba aimed at restoring ties between the two countries.

On 17 December Washington and Havana announced that they would normalise relations.

‘Travesty of justice’

At the time of Mr Tokmakjian’s sentencing, his company said the ruling was a “travesty of justice” that could deter potential investors from doing business with Cuba.

Two other executives from the Tokmakjian Group – fellow Canadian citizens Claudio Vetere and Marco Puche – were sentenced to eight and 12 years in prison.

It is not yet clear whether they too will be released.

The Ontario-based Tokmakjian Group sold transportation, mining and construction equipment to Cuba for more than 20 years.

Its offices in Havana were seized in 2011 on the orders of Cuban President Raul Castro.

Fourteen Cubans, including two high-ranking officials, were also convicted and sentenced in the case.

For more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-31571735


45 students graduate from Cayman Islands International College

45 students graduated from the International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI) at a ceremony held at the Marriott Hotel & Spa, George Town on Friday 12th.

The top qualification offered at the college is Masters in Business Administration and seven students earned passes. In the other qualifications, five students obtained masters degrees, 15 bachelor of science degrees and 18 with associate degrees. Subjects included finance, accounting, and human and social studies.

ICCI students finished in the 60th percentile among nearly 8,000 students worldwide sitting the Major Field Test – the external examination for that programme announced David Marshall, President of ICCI, who also said he was pleased with the results that provided a “benchmark” for the early stages of the new approach at the college.

The “new approach” was introduced by Marshall that included a minimum two hours of homework for every hour of class time.


Teacher and six primary school students die after car plunges into canal

From Caribbean360

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Sunday February 22, 2015, CMC – A teacher and six students of the Husburg Primary School, Mahaicony, have died when their vehicle plunged in a canal along East Coast Demerara, the Guyana-based caribnewsdesk.com website has reported.

According to police the students and teacher, Shondell Duke, were travelling south along the road when Duke lost control of the vhicle.

They were returning from a Mashramani activity.

Demerarawaves newspaper has confirmed that the the children who lost their lives in the incident are Martina Persaud, 7 years; Asia Abel, 10 years; Azikia Fraser, 6 years; Adeshe Woolford, 9 years; Justin Abel, 8 years; and Rayden Abel, 7 years, all of Mahaicony.

Demerarawaves quoted the police as saying that residents of the rice-growing community tried desperately to rescue the occupants who were taken to the Mahaicony Cottage Hospital but were pronounced dead on arrival.

For more: http://www.caribbean360.com/news/teacher-and-six-primary-school-students-die-after-car-plunges-in-canal#ixzz3SUgXyPXY


Marriott in Haiti Part of Digicel Philanthropic Efforts


MIAMI | When the first Marriott hotel debuts in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Tuesday, it will be the realization of a request from former U.S. President Bill Clinton to the head of one of the Caribbean’s largest mobile phone networks to help bring much needed jobs to Haiti and help it once again become a tourist destination.

“There are a lot of good hotels in Haiti, but there needed to be a multinational brand,” said Denis O’Brien, the founder and chairman of telecom giant Digicel Group, which happily took on Clinton’s challenge. “That’s why we decided to spend $45 million building a hotel in Port-au-Prince.”

Located near downtown in the capital’s commercial district in Turgeau, the 175-room hotel will generate 200 jobs while promoting locally made goods, from coffee to bath soaps. The hotel is owned by Digicel and will be operated by Marriott, which now joins such brands as Best Western and Spain-based Royal Occidental Hotels & Resorts and NH Hotel Group on the country’s growing hotel scene.

Kingston, Jamaica-based Digicel, which was founded by O’Brien in 2000, operates mobile, cable and fiber optic networks in 32 countries in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific regions. As of Feb. 12, the company had seen $2.8 billion in sales, according to Forbes; the magazine said O’Brien himself has a net worth of $6.7 billion.

For O’Brien, however, expanding Digicel’s recognizable red and white brand to the hotel industry isn’t just about dollars and cents. Rather it’s about expanding his company’s philanthropic endeavors, which also include the Special Olympics in Jamaica and Entrepreneur of the Year in Haiti.

For more: http://www.theledger.com/article/20150221/NEWS/150229875


Cayfilm – Cayman Island’s International Film Festival

Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 6:00 PM – Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 9:00 PM (EST)

George Town, Cayman Islands

Organizer: Tony Mark

Tony Mark, is a former Emmy winning video editor as well as a seasoned writer and director for major feature films and hit Hollywood television shows. By way of, but not limited to, his past experience serving on Boards of several film festivals, Tony has developed strong personal relationships and skills, enabling him to bring “A List” talent to the Cayman Islands, for both CayFilm and the ongoing workshops offered through the Cayman Film Institute. With over twenty years experience in the film business and over forty movies to his credit, Tony dedicates time teaching film to students and educating teenagers about the different disciplines within the industry.

For more information: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/cayfilm-cayman-islands-international-film-festival-tickets-15860995665


Jamaica hosts Caribbean green economy conference

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica will host the second Caribbean Green Economy Conference (CGEC) on February 23-25, 2015, in Kingston. Robert Pickersgill, Jamaica’s minister of water, land, environment and climate change, will be the keynote speaker at the official opening.

The conference is a collaborative initiative of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the University of the West Indies, with support from the European Union. It will be held under the theme “Implementing SAMOA Pathway in the Caribbean through Green Economy.”

Several ministers of environment from across the Caribbean will be represented including Barbados, Dominica, Montserrat, St Vincent and Grenada. The conference will also be attended by other policymakers, civil society, academia and the private sector and will provide an opportunity for cross-fertilization of ideas, experiences and institutional innovations. Countries that will also be represented include Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia and Guyana as well as the United Kingdom and the USA.

The conference will enable the establishment of the regional green economy network, as a living platform for sharing national experiences and further strengthening intra-Caribbean and intra-SIDS cooperation in the area of green economy. This network is expected to connect a vibrant community of policy makers, practitioners and thinkers who are focused on achieving poverty reduction and sustainable development through green economy.

It will also present and validate signature project activities and achievements as well as identify other programmes that can further contribute to the establishment of resilient societies and economies. These include the review of draft reports for Haiti, Jamaica and Saint Lucia; strengthening of the regional green economy network and the endorsement of green economy activities in the region.

A special highlight will be the presentation of the green economy training manual to inform a course in the field soon to be launched at the UWI. Winners of the Jamaica Green Economy’s School’s poster competition organized by the Scientific Research Council will also be announced.

SOURCE: http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/headline-Jamaica-hosts-Caribbean-green-economy-conference-24906.html


The Cayman Islands Watch n Win Sweepstakes by Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine

iNews B caribbean_club_beach_angle_1The Cayman Islands Watch n Win Sweepstakes by Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine

Enter to win a 4 night vacation at Caribbean Club, including airfare on Cayman Airways, airport transfers and a trip to Stingray City.

One winner will receive: 4-night stay at Caribbean Club, Air Transportation in coach on Cayman Airways, Airport transfers in Grand Cayman, Trip to Stingray City. Approx. Prize Value: $4,500.00.



CLICK HERE TO ENTER; http://www.destinationweddingmag.com/contests/the-cayman-islands-watch-n-win-sweepstakes

SOURCE: http://sweepstaking.net/the-cayman-islands-watch-n-win-sweepstakes-by-destination-weddings-honeymoons-magazine/


Busy market, weather delays push Caribbean-USGC Suezmax rate to one-year high

From Shipping Tribune

Short-haul Suezmax freight rates in the Caribbean hit a one-year high Thursday as market interest surged and weather delays thinned tonnage.

The Caribbean-US Gulf Coast route basis 130,000 mt was assessed at Worldscale 150, up w20 day on day. The last time the route was assessed higher was January 29, 2014, when it came in at w170.

The Suezmax market has been especially active of late, with 17 fresh fixtures reported over the last two days. The route’s freight rate has risen w38.5 in that time.

Six of the bookings involved ships heading to Asia, which puts further stress on the position list because the journeys are so lengthy.

For more: http://www.shippingtribune.com/busy-market-weather-delays-push-caribbean-usgc-suezmax-rate-to-one-year-high/


Kate Clayton’s funeral will take place on March 6 at West Vale Crematorium

By Maxwell Kusi-Obodum, From Daily Echo UK

The funeral of a Hampshire woman killed in a horror crash in the Caribbean will take place next week.

Kate Clayton died in Southampton General Hospital from severe injuries sustained in a car crash in the Cayman Islands.

Her death came just a week after the 30-year-old was flown home to Southampton following the smash which left her fighting for life.

Friends and family had received an overwhelming response from an appeal to raise £100,000 to fly her home and for continued care.

Now they will remember her the diving instructor’s life at her funeral on Friday [March 6] at West Vale Crematorium.

Today relatives made an emotional tribute to everyone who supported their campaign and to the doctors and nurses both at here and on the islands who cared for her.

Kate, from Hedge End, died at the Neurological ICU in Southampton General Hospital on Wednesday last week.

Her mum Jo and uncle Neil were at her bedside and other family members saying their final goodbyes.

In a statement posted on their Help Kate Get Home appeal website they wrote: “We would also like to thank everyone for their love, kind words, donations, prayers and support over the past few weeks. Without this our journey would have been so much harder.”

They continued: “We would like to thank all the staff at the Neurological ICU for the compassion and care they showed Kate and our family during the traumatic time. The time our family spent on the unit was obviously difficult, but made so much easier by the care and professionalism of all the staff on the unit. “They spent so much time carefully explaining everything, that we all felt involved in the care Kate was receiving.

“The service at this unit is exemplary and should be used as a shining light of service that the NHS can provide. We cannot shout loudly enough in our thanks and praise to all the staff on this unit and we will always be grateful for the dedicated work they did and continue to do.”

For more: http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/district/southampton/11812055.Funeral_set_for_Hampshire_woman_killed_in_Caribbean_horror_crash/?ref=mac

See related iNews Cayman story with links published February 20 2015 at: http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/kate-clayton-dies-in-uk-after-car-crash-at-east-end/


The lawyer Awards 2015 – Friday (27) deadline

Entries close on Friday

The entry deadline for this year’s Lawyer Awards is just 5 days away.

If you think you deserve a place on the shortlist don’t delay and submit your entries online now.

Enter in 3 simple steps:

Review the category criteria and entry guidelines

Write your entry offline

Submit your entry via the online form

Don’t forget, it’s free to enter, all we ask is that your submission is accompanied by a donation to our charity partner, Mind.

The shortlist will be announced in April and the winners revealed at a glittering Awards ceremony held on the 23rd June 2015 at the prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel in London, with over 1,300 senior legal professionals in attendance.

Hurry, entries close later this week. If you want to be in with a chance of winning, you must enter now.

For more information or assistance with the entry process please contact Natasha Sudan on +44(0)20 7970 4101

Go to: http://www.thelawyerawards.com/enter/how-to-enter?utm_source=Entries4&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Entries


Cayman Islands Monetary Authority approves sale of Caledonian

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) is reported to have approved the sale of the two Caledonian companies that have not been placed into controllership.

Sterling Financial Group Inc., a private equity, real estate investment and development group based in Nassau, Bahamas, announced that it has agreed terms to purchase Caledonian Trust (Cayman) Ltd. and Caledonian Directors Ltd.

A press release by Caledonian Global Financial Services said the acquired companies would be renamed Sterling Trust (Cayman) Ltd. and Sterling Directors Ltd. and will maintain their current offices and staff.

“Once the approval of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority is obtained, the new parent company expects to invest heavily in additional technology and infrastructure,” the press statement said.

Canadian real estate investor and developer David Kosoy heads Sterling Financial Group.


Atheists scold Schools for ‘Illegal’ Bible distribution

From Newsmax

An atheist group has sent letters to 26 school districts in Oklahoma demanding that they halt the “illegal” distribution of Bibles by The Gideons International.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) claims the schools are violating the U.S. Constitution by allowing the Christian group, known for placing Bibles in hotels around the world, to bring Bibles into classrooms, CNS News reported.

“It is unconstitutional for public school districts to permit the distribution of Bibles as part of the public school day,” wrote Andrew Seidel, an attorney with the FFRF. “Courts have uniformly held that the distribution of Bibles to students in public schools is prohibited.”

FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a release: “It’s time for schools officials in Oklahoma to do their job, enforce the law, and protect students from the Gideons.”

The Insider Report disclosed in January that the FFRF had played a role in a decision by a Florida school district to ban the distribution of Bibles in area schools.

Orange County Public Schools had for three years allowed the Christian group World Changers of Florida, along with the Florida Family Policy Council, to distribute Bibles on Jan. 16, National Freedom of Religion Day.

Last year, the FFRF sued for the right to distribute its own literature in the schools. One of the groups’ proposed pamphlets was titled “An X-Rated Book: Sex and Obscenity in the Bible.”

The school system gave the group permission to pass out the materials. But this year, the Satanic Temple also announced plans to distribute literature in the high schools.

As a result, the school system said it would not permit any outside materials to be distributed, including atheist and Satanist literature — and Bibles.

For more; http://news.newsmax.com/?ZKIv.NojA5vUlLapmdAtV7J7RQbeNLIAZ


CrunchWeek: YikYak Vs. Spam, VCs Funding Coffee, Big Steps For Science Tech

From Techcrunch

Yik Yak, VC Investments Outside Tech And Scanadu’s Scientific Breakthroughs

Another week in tech has come and gone, bringing a fresh crop of stories for us to talk about on CrunchWeek, the show that brings a few TechCrunch writers together to talk about some of the most interesting news of the past seven days.

This time, Sarah Buhr, Josh Constine and I gathered around the big white table to talk about Josh’s big story on YikYak’s controversial methods for blocking spam (and consequently shutting out talk about its competitors), Philz Coffee’s $15 million funding round, which is just the latest case of venture capitalists giving money to a decidedly non-tech company, and new breakthroughs in health and science tech, from Scanadu’s iPhone-enabled “pee stick” and 23andMe’s small breakthrough with the FDA. Check it all out above!

For more: http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/20/crunchweek-yikyak-vs-spam-vcs-funding-coffee-big-steps-for-science-tech/?ncid=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29


Beheadings Spotlight Persecution of Coptic Christians

From Newsmax

The recent video showing ISIS beheading 21 Coptic Christians in Libya has focused renewed attention on the threats and persecution they face in Egypt and other Muslim countries.

Islamic State (ISIS) social media said the beheadings were carried out in revenge, referring to Islamists’ claims that two Christian women who supposedly converted to Islam had been tortured or captured by the church.

But Coptic Christians have long faced prejudice in the Middle East, an article by Ariel Cohen in the Jerusalem Post pointed out.

A 2013 Amnesty International report charged that the Egyptian government has failed to protect Christian schools and churches. Coptics comprise about 10 percent of Egypt’s population, but no Christians serve as governors, presidents of public universities, or deans, and there are few Christians in the upper ranks of the security services and armed forces.

Islamic groups including the Muslim Brotherhood have carried out attacks against Coptic Christians and their facilities, and are likely to continue the violence as long as Coptic Christians support the anti-Brotherhood government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

To make matters worse, al-Sisi capitalizes on the violence politically.

The Sisi regime “claims that its increasing restriction of personal and civil liberties is necessary because the nation must stand united against terrorism. Any acts of violence that can be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood or other Islamist groups help to renew this line of argument,” said Sebastian Elsasser, assistant professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Kiel in Germany.

The Coptic Church was founded by Saint Mark the Apostle, who took Christianity to Egypt in the first century during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero, according to tradition. There are also Coptic Christians in Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon.

Responding to the beheadings in Libya, Pope Francis said in his native Spanish during an address on Monday: “The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard. It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts, or Protestants. They are Christians.”

A Vatican spokesman said Francis was sharing the pain caused by the “barbaric murder of Christian Copts by Islamic fundamentalists.”

The Coptic Christian Orthodox Church has its own “pope” in Alexandria.

For more: http://news.newsmax.com/?ZKIv.NojA5vUlLapmdAtV7J7RQbeNLIAZ


Roundme raises $3m to turn panoramic photos into virtual tours

From BGR

Round.me, which allows users to explore global locations through panoramic photos, has raised a $3 million round led by April Capital.

The app is available on both the web and iOS. It allows you to browse different Spaces, which are basically panoramic images of locations like a Taoist temple in the Philippines and an ice cave in Vermont (to pick two examples from Roundme’s front page). The iOS experience is particularly immersive — the Spaces respond to the movement of your phone, almost creating the illusion that you’re photographing the real location.

Photographers can include more information inside a Space through embedded Hotspots, and link images together through a Portal. (Yes, that’s a lot of capitalization, but hey, I’m just following the company’s lead here.)

CEO Konstantin Andreev told me via email that his goal was “to create the best virtual tour experience in the panoramic photography marketplace.” And it’s not just meant to be useful to consumers.

“The idea was to develop a simple to use app whereby real estate and photography professionals could present their portfolios directly to any consumer in a seamless experience that included hosting, sharing, search capabilities, location awareness and social reach,” Andreev said. “That’s the key: the socialization aspects and embedding of information through hotspots within tours makes Roundme an extremely unique product.”

Roundme launched last year, and Andreev said more than 3,000 “professionals and semi-professionals” have signed up.

For more: http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/20/round-me-funding/?ncid=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29



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