July 23, 2021

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iNews-briefs217Talks between Cuba and Cayman set to resume concerning migrants

Talks on a new Havana-George Town memorandum of understanding are “progressing via diplomatic channels,” said Wesley Howell, deputy chief officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs, although he did admit the whole process is taking longer than expected.

However a meeting between representatives of both governments is due soon and there is hope a new agreement will be signed in the coming months said Howell.

The Cayman Compass reported “88 Cubans passed through Cayman in January, eclipsing the 24-per-month average in 2014 and only four per month in 2013. Since late January, more than 75 Cuban migrants have passed through or landed in Cayman Brac.”


Walt Disney World’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride to close May 11 through Sept. 25, 2015

iNews BpiratesBy Ken Storey from Orlando Weekly

IMAGE:The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at the Magic Kingdom – WIKIPEDIA


You might recall last year that a tourist decided to not listen to the rules at Walt Disney World and got their fingers chopped off while on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at the Magic Kingdom. It now looks like Disney is making sure that doesn’t happen ever again: The iconic boat ride will close in a few months for upgrades, and it won’t reopen until well after the summer rush.

The problems seem to have started a few years ago, when the older boats began bottoming out in certain parts of the ride due to the increase in the number of, um, shall we say more “plump” tourists than visited the park when the ride first opened decades ago. New, lighter boats were added to resolve the problem, but their smaller design caused them to take on water. On top of that, the drop that used to provide a brief bit of excitement on an otherwise slow-moving ride was now soaking tourists when the boats splashed down.

Complaints about the boats were already mounting last year when two separate incidents made the news. One involved a 12-year old boy who had four of his fingers lacerated after dangling them off the edge of the boat. Then, a British guest in his mid-40s got two fingers completely cut off by doing the same thing. At that time Disney closed the ride for inspections but reopened it a mere five hours later with a new rule, which is still in effect now, barring anyone from riding in the last row.

Pirates went down for a short two-day closure two weeks ago, likely for ride for a checkup to make sure everything is ready for the update happening this summer. The coming rehab will last from May 11 through Sept. 25.

It’s believed that the rehab will fix these nightmare boats and return the ride to its former, safer self. The question is whether it will be the boats or the track that Disney upgrades. The rehab will also likely mean improvements to the special effects that have been installed over the past decade or so – mermaid effects in one scene, Jack Sparrow audio-animatronics and a fog screen are just a few of the additions made to the ride in recent years. Many of the effects are breaking down on a regular basis, so hopefully they’ll all get a good checkup.

The surprising thing here isn’t really the closure itself, but the timing of it. To have one of the most famous rides in the park closed during one of the busiest times of the year isn’t typical. The fifth movie in the Johnny Depp-anchored franchise is opening in theaters on July 7, 2017. It’s fair to say that Disney would want the ride in full working order by that time.

For more: http://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2015/03/03/walt-disney-worlds-pirates-of-the-caribbean-ride-to-close-may-11-through-sept-25-2015


No fire on board as plane makes emergency landing in Cayman Islands

An IFL Group twin-prop cargo plane, contracted to Cayman Airways, was said to have experienced engine trouble and made an emergency landing at Owen Roberts International Airport, Grand Cayman, on Tuesday at 2:45p.

The plane landed safely but there had been reports that there had been a fire on board the aircraft. This was inaccurate.

This is the third incident this year involving cargo planes making an emergency landing.

Traffic was brought to a standstill around the airport as a full emergency was declared and fire and ambulance crews were called to attend around 2:20pm

No one bothered to notify Cayman’s media to even say avoid the area. This resulted in traffic chaos that went on long past the safe landing of the plane and over the half hour snarl up time reported by one media house.


Carpha expert consultation on Chikungunya in the Caribbean

iNews BLFrom Radio Turks & Caicos

Dr. Shandey Malcolm, Deputy Chief National Epidemiologist, Mr. Leroy Adams, Deputy Director of Environmental Health and Ms. Alrisa Gardiner, Senior Public Health Nurse, represented the Ministry of Health and Human Services at the CARPHA Expert Consultation on Chikungunya in the Caribbean in Trinidad, March 3-5, 2015.

The Conference is being held under the theme “Chikungunya in the Caribbean; Meeting Today’s Challenge and Preparing for the Future.”

Chikungunya virus was first detected in the Caribbean in 2013 and has led to more than 800,000 suspected cases in the Caribbean and Latin America and has considerable impact on the health and economics of the entire Caribbean Region.

Cases of Chikungunya were first reported in the Turks and Caicos Islands in May of 2014. Reports of Chikungunya increased during the rainy season when we experienced flooding throughout the TCI. In recent months, reported cases of Chikungunya have decreased. However, we have to remain vigilant.

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The best way to prevent the spread of Chikungunya is to protect yourself from mosquito bites, eliminate mosquito breeding sites and keep your environment clean.

During the three-day meeting, discussions will be held on the long-term impact of Chikungunya surveillance and outbreak response; entomological surveillance, control and management; clinical care and services as well as laboratory services, research and innovation; and communication strategies and experiences.

The Ministry of Health and Human Services is pleased to be represented at this meeting. As stated by the Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Dr. James Hospedales, the meeting is expected to provide a unique opportunity to review efforts to position mosquito-borne diseases as a high priority in the public health agenda, and examine the potential for public-private partnerships as Government alone cannot solve the problem.

For more: http://www.rtc107fm.com/component/k2/item/9921-carpha-expert-consultation-on-chikungunya-in-the-caribbean.html


Cayman Islands receives five new garbage trucks

On Wednesday (4) the Cayman Islands Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services (DVES) handed over five new garbage trucks to the Department of Environment and Health.

The following information on the five trucks has been provided by DVES:

YEAR              MAKE             MODEL                     UNIT PRICE             SIZE


2015                           Mack               MRU613E                 $296, 132.00 US         40 yds.


2015                          Mack               MRU613E                 $296, 132.00 US         40 yds.


2015                          Mack               MRU613E                 $296, 132.00 US         40 yds.


2015                          Freightliner     M2112           $210, 552.00 US         25 yds.


2015                           Freightliner     M2112          $210, 552.00 US         25 yds.



Caribbean Observers World Birth Defects Day

From Jamaica Gleaner

WASHINGTON (CMC): The Caribbean yesterday joined the international community in observing World Birth Defects Day with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), noting that congenital anomalies, or birth defects, are the second-leading cause of death in children under five in the region.

PAHO said that combined with prematurity, asphyxia and sepsis, birth defects account for 44 per cent of deaths among children. Globally, birth defects affect one in 33 babies and cause 3.2 million disabilities each year.

“The commemoration of this day aims to raise awareness about this common, costly and challenging problem, but also to foster the development and implementation of prevention programmes and to expand health-care services for all people with birth defects,” said Suzanne Serruya, director of PAHO’s Latin American Center for Perinatology.

PAHO said congenital anomalies can have genetic, infectious or environmental origins, although in most cases it is difficult to identify a cause.

It said the most common serious birth disorders are heart and neural tube defects and Down’s syndrome. Each year, an estimated 270,000 newborn babies die in the first 28 days of life from congenital anomalies, which are the fourth-leading cause of neonatal deaths after complications of premature delivery, neonatal infections and complications of childbirth, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data.

For more: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/world-news/20150304/caribbean-observers-world-birth-defects-day

NOTE: Cayman Islands also observed World Birth Defects Day on March 3rd. It was hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Birth defects seen in the Cayman Islands include congenital heart disease, chromosomal disorders like Down Syndrome, central nervous system disorders such as Spina Bifida and hip/limb anomalies, among others.

The Cayman Islands Public Health Department observed World Birth Defects Day with an information session at the Cayman Islands Hospital.


First AD HOC Regional Meeting of the Caribbean Territorial Information Platform for Disaster Prevention (PITCA)

26 March 2015

ACS Secretariat Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago

About the ACS

The Association of Caribbean States is the organization for consultation, cooperation and concerted action in trade, transport, sustainable tourism and natural disasters in the Greater Caribbean. Its Member States are Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. Its Associate Members are Aruba, Curacao, (France on behalf of French Guiana, Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin ), Guadeloupe, Martinique, Sint Maarten, (The Netherlands on behalf of Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius ), Turks and Caicos.


Cayman Islands Ministry of Home Affairs issues update on GT landfill fire

Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Grand Cayman, CAYMAN ISLANDS – Crews on Tuesday removed a large chunk of concrete that was containing heat and contributing to additional hotspots at the George Town Landfill following a fire at the site on Sunday.

While the small surface fire at the landfill was brought under control within an hour of being reported on Sunday, 1 March, 2015, off duty crews remained at the landfill to monitor the situation.

The crews worked into the night Sunday and again Monday observing different areas of hot spots, continually applying water from a nearby deep well at the landfill.

“I commend the crews of the landfill, the Fire Service and Department of Environmental Health personnel for their unwavering dedication to their jobs and to the safety of the residents of the Cayman Islands,” said Premier and Minister of Home Affairs and Health Hon. Alden McLaughlin. “Their quick action added to the improved management at the landfill and upgrades to equipment have improved our ability to minimise and prevent fires.”

The Cayman Islands Fire Service received a report of the fire at 12:48 p.m. and were on the scene by 12:54 p.m. The fire was brought under control quickly.


Sint Maarten government reiterates desire to swap UTS stake for Eastern Caribbean assets

From teleGeography

Sint Maarten Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson, in his capacity as the country’s shareholder representative in Curacao-based joint venture United Telecommunication Services (UTS), has reiterated the government’s desire to swap its minority stake in the UTS group for the company’s Eastern Caribbean assets, describing the move as a ‘win-win situation’ for both Sint Maarten and Curacao.

Going forward, Richardson is expected to table his offer at this month’s UTS shareholder meeting, and will suggest that independent experts be brought in to establish the value of the respective assets and establish a mutually agreeable settlement price. According to Richardson, in recent years investments have been made primarily in Curacao’s infrastructure, while a significant part of UTS’ cash flow comes from Sint Maarten. He told the Daily Herald: ‘After years of fruitless discussions, it is time to take the bull by the horns and Sint Maarten will take matters into its own hands.’

Since the October 2010 dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, Sint Maarten has held a 12.5% stake in UTS, while Curacao holds the remaining 87.5%. Unwilling to cede control over TelEm, its chief telecoms asset, the Sint Maarten government has always maintained that a share swap would be in the best interests of both parties.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, outside of its domestic market, Curacao-based UTS counts mobile subsidiaries in Sint Maarten (UTS Sint Maarten), Saint Martin & Saint Barthelemy (UTS Caraibe), Sint Eustatius (Chippie St Eustatius), Saba (Chippie Saba), Saint Kitts & Nevis (UTS Cariglobe) and Bonaire (Chippie Bonaire). The group’s loss-making Surinamese subsidiary UNIQA was sold in January this year, but in accordance with the non-disclosure agreement, the identity of the buyer will not be disclosed until certain conditions are fulfilled.

With a distance of around 900km separating Curacao (and nearby Bonaire) and Sint Maarten (and the other Eastern Caribbean assets) the move arguably makes strategic sense on a logistical level. However, any deal is likely to be complicated by regional heavyweights Digicel Group and Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), both of which have expressed an interest in securing a strategic tie-up with UTS.

For more: https://www.telegeography.com/products/commsupdate/articles/2015/03/03/sint-maarten-government-reiterates-desire-to-swap-uts-stake-for-eastern-caribbean-assets/


Cayman Islands Senior Men’s & Women’s FA Cup Draw Results  

Please see attached the fixtures for the First Round of the Senior Men’s FA Cup and the Semi-final Round of the Women’s FA Cup.

The Men’s FA Cup First Round will commence this weekend 7-8 March 2015.

men:Wom FA Cup


Bevy of Swans braced for the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean

iNewsB rscc15cb_00003From Nautor’s Swan

Competition at the second edition of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean gets underway in Virgin Gorda, the British Virgin Islands tomorrow, Wednesday 4 March.

A fleet of 21 Swan yachts, comprising an array of different models from seven different countries and territories will contest an eagerly anticipated week of action in the Virgin Gorda archipelago.

Four days of racing are scheduled for the two classes of Swan, Class A (18.29m and above) and Class B (18.28m and below), starting with tomorrow’s alluring Around the Islands Race.

The competition was inaugurated two years ago to mark the expansion of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s activities to the Caribbean. The event immediately captured the attention of the sailing world, providing the scenic, tactical sailing competitors have been accustomed to at the longstanding biennial Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo. A convivial atmosphere and host of popular social occasions add further lustre and excitement to the week. “For this second edition of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean we are happy to have a fleet of 21 boats, many of whom compete regularly in Porto Cervo and are now joining our regattas in the Caribbean,” explained YCCS Sports Director Edoardo Recchi. “Conditions from tomorrow are expected to be fairly stable with an easterly wind of around 20-22 knots falling slightly to 15-18 knots by Saturday. We will be setting different courses for the fleet which will allow the range of yachts to show off their best performances”.

James C Madden’s Swan 601 Stark Raving Mad from the United States is the defending champion in Class A and eager to defend its title. “We are going to do our best to win but we are also here to have fun as it’s a great event,” revealed Madden. “To win, it’s about making no mistakes. You’ve got to get the sails up and down, turn around the marks and through the islands without any errors because I am sure all of the boats are going to be pretty well sailed here.” Competition will be provided by Swan 80 Selene, runner-up in 2013, and by Swan 90s Freya and Odin, as well as Leonardo Ferragamo’s Swan 90S Solleone.

In Class B, Swan 53 Music, Swan 53 Naia’a and Swan 56 White Rhino all featured in the inaugural 2013 event and will use that experience to their advantage. The Club Swan 42 Kora, owned by Paolo Scerni of Italy is the week’s smallest entrant.

For more: http://www.nautorswan.com/en/club-swan/news/2015/bevy_of_swans_braced_for_the_rolex_swan_cup_caribbean


Caribbean Investment & Finance Forum to begin this week in Trinidad

From Latin American Herald Tribune

SAN JUAN – The Trinidad and Tobago government, in association with Latin Finance magazine, is organizing the Caribbean Investment & Finance Forum, an event taking place on Wednesday in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

The two-day conference will discuss themes like infrastructure, energy, capital markets and regionalization, among others.

More than 300 people, including business leaders, international and local investors, and officials from across the region, are expected to attend the event.

The finance and trade ministers of Trinidad and Tobago, Larry Howai and Vasant Bharath, respectively; Barbadian Finance Minister Christopher Sinckler; Guyanese Housing Minister Mohamed Irfan and Bahamian Tourism Minister Obadiah Wilchcombe are among the officials on the agenda.

Inter-American Development Bank, National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago and Fitch Ratings representatives, as well as representatives from other businesses and organizations, are expected to attend.

For more: http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2376677&CategoryId=14092


CONCACAF announces candidates for the XXX Ordinary Congress election

jeffrey-webb-concacafMiami, March 3, 2015 – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced today the candidates nominated for office at the upcoming elections to be held at the XXX CONCACAF Ordinary Congress.

In accordance with CONCACAF statutes, the General Secretary Enrique Sanz has received nominations to fulfill the posts for the CONCACAF and FIFA offices up for election.

Below are the nominations of candidates running for office for the 2015-2019 term:

CONCACAF Executive Committee

President: Jeffrey Webb – Cayman Islands (incumbent, unopposed)

Vice-President – North America Zone: Justino Compeán – Mexico (incumbent, unopposed)

Vice-President – Caribbean Zone: Horace Burrell – Jamaica (incumbent, unopposed)

Member – Central America Zone: Pedro Chaluja – Panama

Female Member: Sonia Bien-Aime – Turks and Caicos Islands

FIFA Executive Committee

Member – Central America Zone: Rafael Salguero – Guatemala (incumbent)

Member – Central America Zone: Eduardo Li – Costa Rica

The submitted candidatures leave the FIFA Executive Committee post for the Central American region as the only contested position for election within CONCACAF.

The XXX CONCACAF Ordinary Congress will take place on April 16, 2015.

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