October 21, 2020

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iNews-briefs217Cayman Islands cartoon causes backlash

A cartoon published by the Cayman Compass has caused a backlash of complaints from the public and government officials.

The cartoon, by George Novak under the pen name ‘Caymanman’ (a.k.a. the Barefoot Man), showed a bespectacled man sitting behind a desk marked ‘Labour office’ speaking to what appeared to be a disinterested young man smoking a spliff and wearing a reversed baseball cap. The man was telling the youth: “OK young man. You need to stop whining that you can’t get a job. There are lots of jobs out there. You can do anything you want with a little initiative. Nothing is impossible.” Meanwhile, the youth was thinking: ”Don’t make sense to me ‘nothing is impossible?’ I’ve been doing nothing all my life … So it’s not impossible.”

A long list of social commenters on Facebook and elsewhere did find it offensive, with many calling on Caymanians everywhere to boycott the paper for publishing the “insulting and offensive cartoon”. They found the subject matter of jobless locals not something they wanted to laugh about. So much so that a petition against the Cayman Compass publishing the cartoon has been enacted. See below

ZUEkxiaQAKtToIhCaipA_compasscaymanlogoCayman Compass Petition – Caymanians standing up against discrimination!

“We, the undersigned individuals, wish to express our disappointment and outrage to the management and owners of the Cayman Compass regarding the political cartoon that ran on March 16, 2015 making light of the employment situation of young Caymanians. We do not find this cartoon funny and in fact are of the opinion that it is discriminatory and anti-Cayman and perpetrates a stereotype that does not represent the vast majority of unemployed Caymanians. We have been sorely disappointed in the approach that the Compass editorial board has taken on a number of issues recently specifically as they relate to all things Caymanian. However, this is the height of ignorance and we wish to express our disapproval and demand a published apology. We are also signing to indicate that we have no intentions of purchasing your various publications until an apology is published.

SOURCE: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/cayman-compass-petition-caymanians-standing-up#

See also iNews Cayman Editorial today “Our own Charlie Hebdo?”


HSBC begins closing Jersey accounts

From itv UK

The bank is carrying out checks on the identity and address of thousands of its customers on the Channel Islands, and is closing accounts that do not meet tax compliance standards.

They are closing the accounts of many UK customers with accounts in Jersey, and Jersey customers with UK accounts.

Some customers have been told to report to their local branch, to confirm their identity and address.

HSBC has released the following statement:

“Whilst we cannot comment on individual cases, HSBC has implemented numerous standards designed to prevent its banking services being used to evade taxes or launder money, and we have exited clients who do not meet those standards or where we have concerns in relation to tax compliance.”


It follows news that an estimated 170 customers with accounts in Jersey were being chased for up to £20 million in tax by UK authorities.

For more: http://www.itv.com/news/channel/story/2015-03-17/hsbc-begins-closing-jersey-accounts/


Cayman Islands Grand Court jurors report date changed

Grand Court Jurors who are in the 14 January – 31 March 2015 session and who are not currently empanelled on a trial are now to report on Thursday, 19 March 2015 at 9:45 a.m.

Please call the Jury Information line at 945-5072 for the most up-to-date information.


West Indies makes ICC World Cup 1/4finals

West Indies beat UAE and makes the 2015 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup quarterfinals.

Pakistan defeated Ireland on the last day of pool play.

West Indies plays Pool A champion New Zealand on 21 March.


Dominica police confirm one dead following suspected drug deal

From Caribbean360

Monday March 16, 2015, CMC – Police say one person was killed after the occupants of an ‘open keel boat’ sought to evade capture during a suspected drug transaction at sea on Saturday night.

Police public relations officer, ASP Claude Weekes, speaking on the state-owned DBS radio Monday, said that the incident occurred one mile of the coast of the rural village of Bioche, west of here.

He said the Coast Guard had spotted the unidentified boat and during the chase, the boat ran aground. He said that one of the three occupants jumped into the sea, but the two others “crashed on the rocks…one man was very seriously injured and the other succumbed”.

He said the names of those involved including the dead person would not be disclosed pending notification of their families.

“A substantial amount of drugs was found on the boat and that’s cocaine and marijuana,” he added.

For more: http://www.caribbean360.com/news/dominica-police-confirm-one-dead-following-suspected-drug-deal#ixzz3Uf6cc1i9


Case dismissed in burglary trial of 2 teens in Cayman Brac

Two teenage males, Geoff Ryan Scott and Torry Javier Powery, who were charged with burglary and handling stolen goods at the Coral Isle Bar on Cayman Brac on or before July 28th 2014 have had all charges dropped.

The complainant had earlier come to Grand Cayman and said he did not wish to proceed with the case.


Barbados to be 1st Caribbean host of international cricket conference

From Fox News Latino

The International Cricket Council announced Monday that its 2015 annual conference will take place for the first time in the West Indies, naming Barbados as the next host country.

“We are delighted to be taking the ICC Annual Conference to the West Indies for the first time and I am sure both the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the island of Barbados will prove to be excellent hosts for these important meetings,” ICC Chairman Narayanaswami Srinivasan said in a statement.

The meeting will take place June 22-26 in Bridgetown and delegates from over 50 ICC members are expected to attend.

“The award of this high profile event to our region demonstrates the significant role West Indies cricket continues to play in the global game,” WICB president Dave Cameron said.

The annual conference will be hosted by the WICB with the support of the Barbados Cricket Association and Barbados Tourism Marketing Incorporated.

The West Indies cricket team, operated by the WICB, won the Cricket World Cup in 1975 and 1979 and the ICC World Twenty20 in 2012. EFE

For more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/sports/2015/03/16/barbados-to-be-1st-caribbean-host-international-cricket-conference/


Cayman Islands Youth Choir Competition next Sat (21)

The Lions Club of Grand Cayman is hosting the Youth Choir Competition next Saturday 21st at The Lions Community Centre starting at 7pm.

Choirs taking part are:

Junior category: St. Igantius, Cayman Prep, Savannah Primary

Junior High category: Clifton Hunter High School, John Gray High School, Montessori by the Sea

Senior High category: Clifton Hunter High School, Triple C School

Proceeds from the competition will benefit the Big Brothers Big Sisters programme.

Choirs will compete for $500 to benefit their school’s musical department.

Admission is S10 Adults and $5 Children 12 & under.

For more information: [email protected] | 929-2190


St. Lucia Muslim leader concerned about threat of ISIS in the Caribbean

From Caribbean360

CASTRIES, St.Lucia, Monday March 16, 2015, CMC – General Secretary of the Islamic Association of St Lucia, Taariq Asad, has expressed concern about a reported threat of ISIS infiltrating the Caribbean

“This is a concern that I have had from the time we heard of the United States sending criminals from their jails back to the Caribbean,” Asad told DBS Television adding that “bona fide” Muslims are also concerned.

However, he expressed confidence that the region would be able to respond adequately in the event of trouble, pointing to the existence of the Regional Security Service (RSS).

“I am sure that the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Security will issue whatever orders are necessary for whatever action is deemed appropriate to deal with any threat”.

He was responding to comments by United States Marine General, John Kelly, to a US Senate Committee indicating that approximately 100 would-be militants have left Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Suriname and Venezuela to join Islamic extremists fighting in Syria.

Kelly expressed concern about the militants returning to the Caribbean to conduct terror operations.

For more: http://www.caribbean360.com/news/st-lucia-muslim-leader-concerned-about-threat-of-isis-in-the-caribbean#ixzz3Uf7adXbA


U.S. outlasts Jamaica on PKs, qualifies for U-17 WC

iNews B USAU17-031515vJamaicaU17CelebrationThe USA (pictured) celebrates after qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Cup by overcoming Jamaica on penalties in a CONCACAF Under-17 Championship playoff on March 15, 2015, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. (Photo: Mexsport)

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — The United States is into the FIFA U-17 World Cup, but only after advancing past Jamaica 5-4 on penalties after a 0-0 draw in Sunday’s CONCACAF U-17 Championship playoff match at the Estadio Francisco Morazan.

Alexis Velela drove in the USA’s sixth spot kick, before Jamaica’s Alex Marshall sent his penalty wide of the top left corner, putting the Americans back in the U-17 World Cup after missing the tournament for the first time two years ago.

The Jamaicans also hadn’t qualified since 2011, but nearly pulled off a feat of heroic proportions after shutting out the Americans for 180 minutes.

The Reggae Boyz had beaten the U.S. 1-0 on Wednesday thanks to Nicholas Nelson’s penalty in the teams’ final game of Group A play.

Much like that encounter, the Jamaicans defended expertly and countered quickly.

The U.S. would not be denied this time, however, even after Jamaica goalkeeper Jahmali Waite dove to his left to save Christian Pulisic’s opening spot kick in the shootout. In addition to Velela, Joe Gallardo, Daniel Barbir, Alejandro Zendejas and John Nelson each converted their penalties, while Jahwani Hinds also missed for Jamaica.

After an uneventful opening 30 minutes, the United States began to gain the majority of possession and chances, but found it difficult to break the deadlock.

Its best first-half opportunities came in quick succession, when Josh Perez saw his goal-bound header nodded away by Jamaican back Shandel Senior in the 36th minute. Then, another attack down the left a minute later resulted in a blocked Gallardo effort.

Perez, who scored four goals in the tournament, continued to be the Americans’ most dangerous player after halftime, generating a string of chances on the left before nearly chipping Waite from the edge of the penalty area in the 80th minute.


Cayman Islands National Rugby XVs squad named

The Cayman Islands National Men’s XVs rugby team squad has been announced for its upcoming North America and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Championship opener.

Cayman opens the tournament versus USA South in Atlanta on 21st March.

Here is the full squad:

Pos.         Name

1               Ben McDonald

2               Jason Scarff

3             Phil Fourie

4             Dan Bond

5             Mark Soto

6             Paul Smith

7             Shaun Gerard

8             Chris Kennedy (C)

9             Sam Sage

10           Morgan Hayward

11           Joel Clark

12           Jon Murphy

13           Justin Wight

14           Dave Acutt

15         Chris Palmer

16           Jake MacAdam

17           Danny McGrath

18           Peter de Vere

19           Ben Blair

20         Al Lum

21         Josh Brown

22         James Waters

23         Paul Westin


Carville: Hillary ‘Didn’t want Louie Gohmert rifling through her emails’

From Newsmax

Longtime Clinton ally James Carville said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail account might have been about more than convenience.

Appearing on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Carville defended Clinton, saying her e-mail practices were legal. But, he added, she may also have had prying Republican eyes in mind when she chose to do business through a private e-mail server.

“I suspect she didn’t want Louie Gohmert rifling though her e-mails, which seems to me to be a kind of reasonable position for someone to take,” Carville said.

Gohmert, an outspoken conservative from Texas, serves on the House Judiciary Committee.

Speaking at a press conference last week last week, Clinton said she chose to use just one e-mail account when she was secretary of state because it was more convenient.

“I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal e-mails instead of two,” she said. She has turned over all work-related messages to the State Department for review and release, she said, and discarded thousands of other messages deemed personal.

For more on this story go to: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/carville-hillary-emails/2015/03/15/id/630213/#ixzz3Ubb0ns9L


Cayman Islands to have major road works to commence soon

The Cayman Islands National Roads Authority (NRA) has announced work will commence next week on widening Godfrey Nixon Way.

In early April road widening will also commence on Smith Road between Hospital Road and Bobby Thompson Way. Smith Road will be widened to accommodate one lane going in each direction and a turning lane in the centre of the road.

There are also plans in the works to connect Smith Road to Elgin Avenue. Melrose Lane and Humber Lane, presently dead-ends, will be extended to connect in the middle of currently empty land south of the Government Administration Building. This will allow drivers using the government’s parking lot behind the Immigration Department to exit directly onto Smith Road. At present users have to turn onto Elgin Avenue.


Antigua rep at high-level UN ‘side’ meeting

By Nelson A. King from Caribbean Life

The government of Prime Minister Gaston Browne says Antigua and Barbuda was the lone Caribbean Community (CARICOM) ministerial representative at last week’s United Nations High-Level “side event” on gender affairs.

Minister of Social Transformation and Human Resource Development Samantha Marshall attended the event that was hosted by the Regional Office of UN Women for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Permanent Mission of Ecuador, according to an Antigua and Barbuda government statement.

The event, part of the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, addressed “National Women’s Machineries and the Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: Experiences from Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Marshall spoke about the actions, achievements and challenges faced by Antigua and Barbuda in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

She highlighted the Caribbean Institute for Women in Leadership (CIWIL), ongoing legislative review of existing laws and acts relating to domestic violence and human trafficking, the significant reduction in mother to child transmission of HIV, and the establishment in Antigua of a 24-hour crisis center for support and services to survivors of violence against women.

The panelists included the Vice President of Guatemala Roxana Baldetti who presented on her experiences with a Women’s Specific Cabinet.

Before the high-level event got underway, Marshall held an informal bilateral meeting with the Guatemalan vice president, according to the statement.

For more: http://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/stories/2015/3/2015-03-16-nk-genderaffairs-cl__2015_3.html


Cayman Volleyball: Country welcomes new international coach

From Digicel Sportsmax

The Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation (CIVF) has a new executive, but more importantly an international coach.

Trevor Theroulde, who takes up duties on April 1, will also be instructing young players at schools and providing free clinics.

A Federation International Volleyball Level III coach, Theroulde has had success in Trinidad with various teams.

He will take responsibility for Cayman’s teams to the Pan American Games in Toronto and the Island Games in New Jersey in the summer.

Theroulde will also oversee players to the Under-20 CAZOVA Caribbean Indoor Volleyball Championships in Barbados in December.

The Cayman federation has also been grooming an Under-19 female beach team of Ileann Powery and Chante Smith-Johnson, who took part in the Youth Olympic Games last year in Puerto Rico.

The two impressed by winning their pool but came up short of their goal in Nanjing.

For the first time in Cayman Islands history, the males (14th) are leading the females (16th) in the NORCECA rankings at the start of the season but both teams are disappointed at falling in the rankings because of a lack of competitive games in 2014.

The new board is promising at least six overseas NORCECA tournaments per gender in 2015 and hopes that will move the rankings go up quickly.

For more: http://www.sportsmax.tv/?q=articles/2015/03/17/cayman-volleyball-country-welcomes-new-international-coach


gE Blog Series: Business in the Caribbean Part 1 – Introduction

By Lucas Blankenship From Global Edge

Overall, the Caribbean region has lagged in its recovery from the global recession that began six years ago. In some Eastern Caribbean nations, unemployment is still as high as 20% and debt as a percentage of GDP exceeds 100%. There has also been a change in the region’s economic environment, as many nations are transferring their focus from agriculture to services. For sustainable economic growth to occur, countries in the Caribbean need to diversify their economies and expand their export markets.

For Jamaica, national debt is a formidable problem. Currently, Jamaica’s total debt amounts to 140% of Gross Domestic Product and servicing the debt accounts for about 50% of the country’s annual expenditures. Recent recession and stagnant growth are direct results of this monumental debt, which has displaced capital needed for investment in Jamaica’s economy. However, Jamaica has begun instituting economic reforms that aim to reduce debt and spur economic growth. So far, the reforms have been successful, as economic growth is occurring and inflation and unemployment are decreasing.

In recent years, Trinidad and Tobago has been one of the few CARICOM countries to experience a trade surplus. This trade surplus has primarily been driven by the nation’s oil, gas, and petroleum exports. However, growth in Trinidad and Tobago’s petroleum industry has been negative as of late, making it paramount that the country develops its other major industries. And so far it has, with growth occurring in its manufacturing, agriculture, and services industries. Besides diversifying its economy, Trinidad and Tobago has also expanded the export market for its liquefied natural gas (LNG) products to China, Argentina, and Brazil. Historically, the United States has been the main importer of Trinidad and Tobago’s LNG products, but the U.S. has become more self-sufficient in this industry, making it necessary for Trinidad and Tobago to locate new buyers.

There is no doubt that trade can foster economic growth in the Caribbean region. Exploring new export markets can open the door for new economic opportunities and partnerships. In addition to creating diversified economies, expanding export markets is vital to the future economic success of the Caribbean nations.

For more: http://globaledge.msu.edu/blog/post/20889/ge-blog-series–business-in-the-caribbean-part-1—introduction


Cuban migrants may now seek asylum in Cayman Islands

Gary Wong, deputy chief immigration officer, has said a small number (less than four) of the 37 person boatload of Cuban migrants that including eight women, which landed on Cayman Brac last weekend may seek political asylum.

There are now 44 illegal immigrants now detained at the 70-person-capacity George Town Grand Cayman Immigration Detention Centre by the Fairbanks women’s prison.


AMCHAM moves to expand Caribbean Basin initiative

From Loop Jamaica

The American Chambers of Commerce of Jamaica (AMCHAM) and Trinidad and Tobago are piloting an initiative aimed at advancing executive, legislative, and business-to-business initiatives between CARICOM businesses and the US.

The aim is to expand trade and investment in services between both markets under a refocused Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) titled Services of the Caribbean (SOCA)

The initiative was launched in Washington DC in 2013.

As a founding member, SOCA also includes the Trinidad & Tobago Coalition of Services Industries.

The SOCA argues for a refocusing of the CBI towards services as the dominant sector of CARICOM economies and of US-CARICOM trade and investment, after 30 years of a goods-based preferential trade regime, which no longer reflects the economic reality of the region or of the bilateral trade and investment relationship.

CARICOM goods exports to the US in 2012 totalled US$12 billion, down from US$32 billion in 2005.

US goods exports to CARICOM in 2012 were US$19 billion, down from US$40 billion in 2005.

While neither country has reliable data for services trade, in 2012 CARICOM exported US$9.6 billion in services to the world, while importing US$6.6 billion, showing a clear competitive export edge for the region’s services sectors.

AMCHAM Jamaica President, Ron McKay said that he is, “fully convinced that the services sector is the way to expand economic growth and jobs for Jamaica and its CARICOM neighbours and we urge the business community and governments of the region to join and support this effort.”

On Wednesday, March 18, AMCHAM Jamaica will host a Public Forum on the Services of the Caribbean “SOCA” Initiative from 12:00 to 3:00 pm at the Jamaica Pegasus.

The forum will feature Anthony Hylton, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment & Commerce; Reuben Smith-Vaughan, Senior Manager, Americas Policy & Advocacy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as representatives from the AMCHAMs of Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean; AMCHAM Trinidad & Tobago.

For more: http://loopjamaica.com/2015/03/17/latest-jamaica-news-business-amcham-moves-to-expand-caribbean-basin-initiative/


Deputy chairman of Cayman University College resigns

Following immediately after the resignation of Sheree Ebanks, the former chairman, of the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) deputy chairman Linford Pierson has also resigned. He will be stepping down at the end of this month.

In his resignation letter Pierson cited his reasons as being “due to personal commitments”.

Pierson still had 18 months remaining as chairman.


Al Gore: Climate change deniers should pay ‘a price’

From Newsmax

If former Vice President Al Gore had his way, denying global warming would carry repercussions.

Speaking at the South by Southwest technology conference in Austin, Texas, Gore called climate change “accepted science,” and said that government officials who continue to deny it should pay a “price.”

“We need to put a price on carbon to accelerate these market trends,” Gore said, referring to a proposed federal cap- and-trade system that would penalize companies that exceeded their carbon-emission limits. “And in order to do that, we need to put a price on denial in politics.”

Since his contested defeat to George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election, Gore has become perhaps the leading voice in spreading the science behind climate change. An Inconvenient Truth, a 2006 documentary about global warming based on a lecture Gore gave on the subject, served to educate many Americans about the dangers of rising temperatures, but also helped harden skepticism among some Republicans.

“We have this denial industry cranked up constantly,” Gore said during his speech Friday. “In addition to 99 percent of the scientists and all the professional scientific organizations, now Mother Nature is weighing in.”

As Secretary of State John Kerry did a day earlier, Gore referred to reports that Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s administration banned officials in the state’s Department of Environmental Protection from using the terms “climate change” and “global warming.”

“Now, folks, we literally do not have the time to waste debating whether we can say ‘climate change,'” Kerry said in a speech before the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank. “Because no matter how much people want to bury their heads in the sand, it will not alter the fact that 97 percent of peer- reviewed climate studies confirm that climate change is happening and that human activity is largely responsible.”

While the “price” that Gore suggested politicians should pay would come at election time, such declarations often make political waves. In 2014, when Robert Kennedy Jr. facetiously suggested that climate change deniers should be jailed, a conservative uproar ensued.

For more and video: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/gore-climate-change-deniers/2015/03/16/id/630426/#ixzz3Uegx9Cys


OAS urges Caribbean to ‘decisively’ combat corruption, defend democracy

From Jamaica Observer

WASHINGTON (CMC) – The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, has called on Caribbean countries to “decisively” combat corruption and defend democracy.

Insulza urged regional governments to “stand strong against the scourge of corruption,” saying that “governments and public authorities have the obligation and the legal mandate to be accountable for their actions, and citizens have the right to demand detailed accounts of them.

The OAS leader said that this “requires, of course, strong institutions and clear rules, because an issue as sensitive as corruption can always be used by demagogues to harm democracy.

“To clearly define to whom one is responsible and to whom one is accountable is a central element in this task.”

He said there is clarity in which areas of transparency and accountability need to be strengthened based on strong institutions.

Addressing the opening session of the 25th Session of the Committee of Experts of the Follow-up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) on Monday, Insulza said “our governments are making efforts to address this responsibility,” but warned that “if we are to actually strengthen democracy in our Hemisphere, the crucial problem of corruption and the improper influence of money in politics must be addressed much more decisively”.

For more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/OAS-urges-Caribbean-to–decisively–combat-corruption–defend-democracy


No backing down on reparations demands

By Bert Wilkinson Special to the NNPA from the New York Amsterdam News From Dallas Weekly

Caribbean governments restated their intention to pursue Britain and other European nations that participated in the brutal transatlantic slave trade for reparations. Likewise, they want those nations to know that they should negotiate with the region in good faith.

Freundel Stuart, the prime minister of Barbados and the trade bloc head of government leading preparations for the case against Europe, recently told reporters that governments and the umbrella reparations commission preparing the case prefer the issue not be handled not on a basis of “a diplomacy of protest.”

“There is going to be no retreat on the issue of reparations,” he said. “It is an issue to which the entire region is irrevocably committed, and we cannot turn our backs on our history and the legacy which has been bequeathed to us as a result of slavery and native genocide.”

The region has been leading the way among Blacks around the world in the fight to receive remunerations from Britain, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, France and others for making millions of Blacks work on sugar and other plantations without paying them a cent in compensation, as well as for the millions who died during the horrible transatlantic journey from Africa’s West Coast to the Caribbean.

Professor Hilary Beckles, the regional academic leading preparatory work on the issue, made it clear to the British Parliament in a well received address last year that slavery and its lingering effects are most likely to be blamed for some of the social and health problems Caribbean citizens are forced to live with today, including a greater proportion of people living with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

These he linked to prolonged high levels of stress and an extremely poor diet dating back to plantations.

“We are pursuing the issue of reparations on the basis of a diplomacy of engagement. And that is very important because all of us have today civilized diplomatic relations with former slave trading nations, and we’re not about to undermine, depreciate or destroy those relations. We contemplate therefore, as a first measure, having a discussion with designated countries, former slave trading countries, to see what areas of agreement exist and whether there can be an amicable and civilized resolution to our differences,” he said.

For more: http://www.dallasweekly.com/news/afro_caribbean/article_98f71fae-ccad-11e4-b26a-1b88747df35c.html


Dolce & Gabbana wage unsuccessful counter-protest of Elton John on Instagram

iNews b eltonjohndolcegabbanaBy Tricia Gilbride From Mashable


Design duo Dolce & Gabbana has responded to Elton John’s call to #Boycott Dolce And Gabbana with dozens of Instagram posts in the past 24 hours.

The singer first called for a boycott of Dolce & Gabbana after the high fashion designers made controversial comments related to gay adoption and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in an interview with Italian magazine Panorama.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who were were in a relationship for 23 years and do not have children, put on a family-themed show during Milan Fashion Week earlier this month. It featured models wearing pregnant bellies and holding babies.

Elton John, who has two children with husband David Furnish born to a surrogate mother, declared a boycott on Dolce & Gabbana after their comments calling children conceived via IVF “synthetic.” The #BoycottDolceAndGabbana hashtag took off, accompanying pictures of D&G perfume bottles in garbage cans.

Gabbana has attempted a counter-protest of Elton John on his Instagram account on Monday, but it hasn’t been going so well. His feed has featured screencaps of Instagram comments, collages and even an appropriation of the Charlie Hebdo slogan — “Je Suis Dolce & Gabbana.”

For more: http://mashable.com/2015/03/16/dolce-gabbana-elton-john/


[US] Cops are investing in an expensive new spy tool that they’re forbidden from talking about in public

By Chris Smith From BGR

A new spy tool that’s being referred to as StingRay or KingFish is a sophisticated cell phone spying and tracking tool that’s so secret that it requires law enforcement agencies to sign non-disclosure agreements before buying one. Equally disturbing is its price: The New York Times reports that one device costs $502,000, followed by $42,000 in yearly charges. All this money and police aren’t even allowed to explain to taxpayers why they need to spend so much on technology that can potentially infringe upon their privacy even when used for legitimate purposes.

Not many details about the StingRay are known at this time, as officials will not disclose anything about it for fear that targets and terrorists would be able to figure out what it does and how it operates.

It is believed the StingRay is a rectangular device big enough to fit into a suitcase. Developed by Harris Corporation, a private defense contractor, the gadget intercepts cellphone signals by masquerading as a cell phone tower without the carrier or end-user suspecting anything.

In addition to precious location data, the gadget can also capture texts, calls, emails and other data that might be helpful during a police investigation

Most disturbingly, the StingRay can also grab the same kind of data for any other phone in its range, which means police and law enforcement agencies would effectively breach the privacy of individuals who aren’t being targeted by investigators.

Data belonging to non-targets is reportedly scrapped after being collected, however this will likely do little to ease some very serious concerns about this technology’s broad scope.

The Times’ full report on the matter is available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/16/business/a-police-gadget-tracks-phones-shhh-its-secret.html?_r=4

For more: http://bgr.com/2015/03/16/police-stingray-phone-spy-tool/


Prince Harry to quit British army: palace

AFP From Business Insider

London (AFP) – Prince Harry announced Tuesday he is to leave the British army after 10 years’ service that has seen him fight twice on the front line in Afghanistan.

The 30-year-old said it had been a “really tough decision” to end his military service in June, but added that he was looking forward to the next chapter in his life.

For more: http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-prince-harry-to-quit-british-army-palace-2015-3#ixzz3UetwbAC8


A game-changing battery is close to becoming a reality… but not for phones just yet

By Brad Reed From BGR

Everyone wants to have better battery life on their gadgets and one company that’s been working on game-changing battery technology just got a huge vote of confidence from home appliance vendor Dyson. As Technology Review reports, Dyson has agreed to use batteries designed by startup Sakti3 in its products as part of a $15 million investment in the battery tech company.

Sakti3 has developed a lithium-ion battery that’s capable of storing twice as much power as batteries found in today’s smartphones and its deal with Dyson means its technology is closer than ever to coming to market. Technology Review speculates that it will first be used on a cordless vacuum cleaner and other wireless home appliances that Dyson makes.

That said, we still don’t know how long we’ll have to wait before seeing a Sakti3 battery in an actual device since Dyson hasn’t yet announced when the first Sakti3-equipped will be available to buy.

It will also be interesting to see whether smartphone manufacturers show interest in signing similar deals with the company should its early run with Dyson prove successful. Given that everyone wants to have a top-notch smartphone battery, something that doubles the current lithium-ion batteries’ lives would be very hard to resist.

For more: http://bgr.com/2015/03/16/best-battery-life-phone-technology/


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