October 25, 2020

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iNews-briefs217Mold closes Cayman Islands Children/Family District Office

DCFS West Bay Office Closes

The West Bay office of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) was closed yesterday (19 March, 2015) due to concerns about mold in the building and, in turn, the welfare of the staff and clients.

At this time, the closure of the West Bay district office is indefinite as the building is scheduled to be assessed by Environmental Health and the Public Works Department in order to determine the extent of the problem.

The three (3) Social Work staff assigned to that office has been relocated to the DCFS’s main office located at Commerce House, 7 Genesis Close in George Town. The public are assured that services to our clients will in no way be negatively impacted as the Social Workers who have been relocated will continue their various field visits and related duties in the West Bay community; only their base of operation has changed. The West Bay office deals with the scope of children and family services ranging from child protection matters, juvenile delinquency to the care and wellbeing of the elderly.

The department has notified the John A Cumber Primary School, West Bay clinic, police station and all relevant partnering agencies in the district and has also sent out general public service advisories to keep the public informed. Should clients have any concerns or additional questions, please call 949-0290.

DCFS no longer deals with financial assistance services, so this closure does not impact persons seeking assistance in this regard. Families seeking financial assistance should visit the Needs Assessment Unit located on the 2nd Floor Aqua Mall or call 946-0024 as usual.

 

[Jamaica] Ban imposed on poultry products from sections of North America

From RJR News

The Government of Jamaica has imposed a ban on the importation of poultry products from sections of North America, following reports of outbreaks of bird flu on the continent.

The Ministry of Agriculture states that the ban applies to products from Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Minnesota, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington in the United States and British Columbia in Canada. Among the products imported from sections of North America are chicken back and turkey neck.

Donovan Stanberry, Permanent Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry, says the ban is to safeguard Jamaica’s poultry and public health. He stressed that Jamaica is free of the pathogenic avian influenza virus commonly known as bird flu.

Mr Stanberry told RJR News that he does not foresee any shortage of the poultry products in Jamaica. He added that it’s too early to say if this will affect the price of poultry products.

Mr Stanberry said the National Emergency Animal Disease Committee is in place to execute programmes necessary to ensure Jamaica’s preparedness to handle outbreaks of bird flu. He’s also urging farmers to avoid contact between their poultry and wild birds, including pigeons, as it is believed that the disease can be spread by these wild birds.

For more: http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/ban-imposed-on-poultry-products-from-sections-of-north-america

 

Cayman Islands health department investigates second case of meningitis

Dr. Kiran Kumar, the Cayman Islands Public Health Department’s medical officer has confirmed a new suspected case of meningitis. The new case concerns a child and Dr. Kumar said the new case is being treated for both bacterial and viral meningitis as a precautionary measure. The bacterial test has been found to be negative.

Even if the viral is recorded as being positive the making person-to-person transmission is unlikely, as meningitis bacteria cannot live for more than a few minutes outside the body.

Last week health officials reported a suspected case in an adult that was confirmed as positive.

 

Polish priest accused of abusing minors seeks settlement

From new Zealand Herald

WOLOMIN, Poland (AP) ” A Polish priest accused of abusing eight minors in the Dominican Republic and in Poland has sought settlement for a seven-year prison term, a court spokesman said Friday.

The priest, Wojciech Gil, has been under arrest since February 2014 on charges of abusing six minors at the Caribbean island between 2009 and 2013 and two in Poland in 2000-2001. The charges also included possession of child pornography and illegal possession of arms. He has denied the charges.

If convicted after full court proceedings, the 37-year-old could face up to 15 years in prison.

Court spokesman, Marcin Lochowski, told The Associated Press that the priest’s attorney made a motion for a settlement and a seven-year prison term for the priest at the start of the closed-door trial in the Polish town of Wolomin.

The prosecutors have until Wednesday to decide whether they accept the offer, that would close the trial, or whether they want full proceedings that would take months. The prosecutors represent the Polish and the Dominican victims.

Reporters were barred from the courtroom and Gil was let in through the back door.

Gil is being tried in Poland because the eastern European country does not have an extradition agreement with the Dominican Republic, making a trial there impossible.

For more: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11420773

 

CDC Links Listeriosis illnesses to fruit recalled in July 2014

By Laura Northrup From Consumerist

Last summer, a California-based fruit packing company recalled all fruit that had passed through their plant during a six-week period, since they were potentially contaminated with Listeria bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have definitively linked fruits from the Wawona plant and cases of Listeriosis in different parts of the country, but what does that mean? should people who are pregnant or frail avoid fresh peaches and nectarines?

In short: no. Fresh fruit is good for you, and is also delicious. Listeriosis poses a special risk to pregnant women, and also people who are elderly or have compromised immune systems. These people shouldn’t avoid fruit, but should be sure to wash fresh fruit that they eat carefully. (Everyone was doing that already, right?)

The CDC used whole-genome sequencing to match bacteria from people who became sick from listeriosis during the period covered in the Wawona Packing Company recall. They checked whether the bacteria that made four people in different parts of the country sick matched. Two of them did. Investigators were able to use grocery store loyalty card records to match the customers’ purchases of fruit that had passed through that plant to an illness.

When it comes to fruit, the most important thing to remember in order to prevent infection with Listeria is to wash the fruit before you eat it.

For more: http://consumerist.com/2015/03/19/cdc-links-listeriosis-illnesses-to-fruit-recalled-in-july-2014/

 

More damage to Cayman’s reef from anchor

CITN/Cayman27, the Cayman Islands local television station, has reported the Department of Environment (DOE) has told them a mega-yacht is likely to blame for a newly damaged coral reef on Grand Cayman’s West side. The damage was discovered at the Thirteen Trees dive site last Monday (16) by divers.

There were three mega-yachts anchored in the area during the time the DOE estimate the damage to the reef was done March 2-16.

Because of the wide range in time there is no way of knowing which yacht caused the damage to the reef.

DOE were sending divers down on Friday (20) to assess the damage and identify corals that may be replanted.

SOURCE: http://www.cayman27.com.ky/2015/03/19/mega-yacht-likely-to-blame-for-damaged-reef-on-west-side

 

Caribbean airline warns of possible pilots strike at Easter

From Fox news Latino

EFE Caribbean regional airline LIAT warned on Friday that its pilots may strike over the Easter holiday amid an ongoing labor dispute.

“Threatening industrial action shortly before a public holiday, in this case, the Easter period, is a common, often repeated and cynical tactic employed by LIALPA (Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association) to exploit the fears of the traveling public,” LIAT Chief Executive Officer David Evans said in a statement.

LIALPA has been calling on the airline to reinstate two pilots who were dismissed following an incident last October in which one of the company’s new aircraft was damaged.

Union and airline representatives met earlier this week with Steadroy Benjamin, labor minister of Antigua and Barbuda, where LIAT is based, and a subsequent statement indicated that officials supported the reinstatement of the pilots.

The pilots allege that LIAT has resorted to eliminating meal breaks and increasing work hours to compensate for a steadily declining workforce.

LIALPA said the arduous working conditions have resulted in the regional carrier’s losing 10 percent of its pilots over the last year.

The union said LIAT’s flight schedule was likely to be disrupted in the coming months by “inevitable industrial action.”

LIAT responded by blasting the pilots from threatening a work stoppage during a peak travel period in the region.

For more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/03/20/caribbean-airline-warns-possible-pilots-strike-at-easter/

 

Amazon gets the green light to test drones in the U.S.

iNews b amazon-prime-airBy Pete Pachal From Mashable

IMAGE The FAA just gave the green light for Amazon to begin testing its Prime Air drones in the U.S.IMAGE: AMAZON

Amazon will soon be able to test its drones in the U.S. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) just gave its approval for the company to operate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) — but under strict conditions.

As spelled out by the FAA, Amazon’s “experimental airworthiness certificate” will permit the company to fly drones but only at altitudes of 400 feet or below, and only during daylight hours when the weather doesn’t obscure vision.

In addition, the drone’s operator must always have a line-of-sight to the craft, and that person needs to be a qualified pilot, complete with medical certification.

On top of that, the FAA requires Amazon to provide it with monthly data on its test flights, including the number of tests, how long pilots spend flying the drones and complete records of any software or hardware malfunctions. The FAA said this was routine for a certificate like Amazon’s, which the organization issues to companies that don’t already operate some kind of aircraft.

The certificate is a big step forward for Prime Air The certificate is a big step forward for Prime Air, the company’s program in development that will ship products to Amazon Prime customers within a half-hour via drone.

CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled Prime Air on 60 Minutes in late 2013, although he cautioned it was years away. Google is planning a similar service, being developed by its Google X division, called Project Wing.

The FAA is slowly opening up the skies to more commercial use of drones. In February, it proposed regulations for their operation while permitting some companies to begin testing them, although Amazon and Google were noticeably absent from the list. Now at least one of them is happy.

For more: http://mashable.com/2015/03/19/amazon-prime-air-drones-faa/?utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedburner&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher

 

Cayman Islands HSA chairman and PA face corruption trial in May

Canover Watson (43) and Miriam Rebecca Rodriguez (53) will face trial together on May 25th ordered Grand Court Justice Charles Quin last Thursday.

Watson, the former Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) Board Chairman, and Rodriguez his former personal assistant at Admiral Administration, are both charged with alleged fraud and money laundering pertaining to a scheme surrounding the awarding and implementation of the Cayman Islands Hospital’s CarePay patient swipe-card system.

Watson faces 10 charges. Six of those charges are for alleged money laundering relating to a total of US$169,000 from Dec. 30th, 2010 to June 2012. Other charges are for failing to disclose a pecuniary interest, breach of trust, fraud on the government, and conflict of interest.

Rodriguez faces one fraud-related charge and two charges of money laundering. The money laundering allegations relate to separate amounts, totaling US$30,000 and US$25,000. She is accused of handling the money on behalf of Watson, who was managing director of Admiral Administration.

 

This personal flamethrower is somehow legal in 49 [US] states

iNews b 101 iNews b 114By Andrew Tarantola From engadget

The XM42 from Ion Productions is every pyromaniac’s dream come true: a personal, portable flamethrower that’s (amazingly still) legal everywhere except California. You’ll be able to get your own flame on for as little as $700 when the company launches its IndieGoGo campaign on March 23rd.

The XM42 bills itself as the first “commercially-available handheld flamethrower.” It spews a column of 87 Octane flame up to 25 feet and, according to the product website, is suitable for everything from clearing snow and ice to insect control and pyrotechnic event displays (not to mention long-distance S’more baking, home defense, and showing those raccoons that keep knocking over your trash who’s boss). The XM42 will be available in three finishes: brushed aluminum for $699 and either a polished aluminum or colored powder coat for $799.

For more: http://www.engadget.com/2015/03/19/49-state-legal-personal-flamethrower/?ncid=rss_truncated

 

Due date for FATCA reporting of US Accounts is approaching

From the National Law Review

The deadline to report US accounts by offshore funds that are organized in Model 2 Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) jurisdictions, such as Bermuda, as required by Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), is quickly approaching. The first report by such funds on IRS Form 8966 is due by March 31. However, an automatic 90-day extension is being granted for this year.

Reporting foreign financial institutions in Model 1 IGA jurisdictions, such as the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands, will need to adhere to the reporting timelines established by their respective jurisdictions. The reporting of US accounts for funds organized in the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands funds is due by May 31. Cayman Islands funds will need to notify the Cayman Islands government by April 30 that they have US accounts to report.

For more: http://www.natlawreview.com/article/due-date-fatca-reporting-us-accounts-approaching

 

Cruise execs talk Caribbean capacity issues at conference

By Tom Stieghorst From Travel Weekly

MIAMI BEACH — Recent ship additions proposed for the Caribbean raise the prospect of continued overcapacity and pricing pressure in a region crucial to North American travel agents.

The deployments include a third Oasis-class ship from Royal Caribbean International starting in 2016 and the arrival of the MSC Seaside in late 2017 for year-round cruising from Miami.

At least one older Royal Caribbean ship is scheduled to exit Caribbean service at the same time, but executives on a panel devoted to the region at the Cruise Shipping Miami conference here agreed that the Caribbean will likely remain the top geographic market by capacity.

“The Caribbean was, is and will always be the most important destination, certainly for the North American market,” said panelist Michael Bayley, president of Royal Caribbean International.

About 36% of the industry’s capacity will be in the Caribbean this year, down slightly from 37.3% in 2014 when a concentration of ships led to a slump in pricing that hurt supplier profits and travel agent commissions.

Rick Sasso, president of MSC Cruises USA, said the mobility of cruise ships proved a mixed blessing in 2014. “I think we’re a victim of our own nimbleness,” Sasso said, pointing out that each line independently moved ships to the Caribbean in late 2012, creating a collective traffic jam.

“We were surprised by everybody’s decision simultaneously to try to fill a void,” Sasso said. “We have people moving ships to different parts of the world almost overnight.”

Although the year-over-year capacity increases are scheduled to taper after the first quarter of 2015, the area remains thick with ships in the fourth and first quarters into the future.

That puts the onus on cruise lines to get passengers excited about the area, panelists said.

“We’ve got demand issues,” concluded Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, who added that over the past two years cruise lines have learned to be smarter and more creative when things change.

“I think we’re much more focused on how do we do the right kind of target marketing,” Duffy said.

For more: http://www.travelweekly.com/Cruise-Travel/Cruise-execs-talk-Caribbean-capacity-issues-at-conference

 

Police officer and motorist both charged with assault on each other in Cayman Islands

Glen Andrew Bush appeared in Summary Court on Tuesday on charges of assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in connection with an alleged physical altercation between them during a November 2014 traffic stop on Eastern Avenue.

During the traffic stop Bush said he presented an insurance cover letter to police officers but it was not accepted. A dispute ensued and Bush ended up in the back seat of a police car, where he alleges he was assaulted by a police officer.

The police officer who has not been named is now facing charges of assault causing actual bodily harm and is due to appear in Summary Court later this month.

 

VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne and Spigt Dutch Caribbean remain the leading law firms

From Curacao Chronicle

WILLEMSTAD – International publisher Chambers & Partners has launched its global ranking of law firms Chambers Global for 2015. This year six Dutch Caribbean law firms and eleven individual lawyers have been ranked. This results in the same total of ranked firms and individuals as last year.

Spigt Dutch Caribbean and VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne are the two firms with the desired Band 1 firm status, like last year. Spigt Dutch Caribbean remains in Band 1, despite of partners Karel Frielink and Annemarijke Bach Kolling leaving the firm recently. VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne is the only firm with four individually ranked specialists. None of the other firms provide more than one ranked lawyer, now that Karel Frielink has joined BZSE Attorneys at Law.

On VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne, Chambers says: “This local powerhouse has offices on every island in the Dutch Caribbean and attracts praise for its capacity to handle both local and international mandates.” Spigt Dutch Caribbean is described as a firm that “handles a broad range of general commercial issues for a client base that includes a significant number of Dutch organisations”. The other ranked firms are HBN Law, SMS Attorneys at Law, Soliana Bonapart & Aardenburg and STvB.

The annual global ranking is based on recommendations of clients and peers, and therefore offers an independent evaluation for organizations that are looking to instruct a lawyer.

 

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. to host Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on May

GEORGE TOWN, GRAND CAYMAN, CAYMAN ISLANDS–(Marketwired – Mar 20, 2015) – Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: CWCO) today announced that it will host its Annual General Meeting of shareholders on May 27, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. local time at The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Shareholders of record as of March 25, 2015 will be eligible to vote at the meeting.

About Consolidated Water Co. Ltd.

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. develops and operates seawater desalination plants and water distribution systems in areas of the world where naturally occurring supplies of potable water are scarce or nonexistent. The Company operates water production and/or distribution facilities in the Cayman Islands, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and Bali, Indonesia.

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. is headquartered in George Town, Grand Cayman, in the Cayman Islands. The Company’s ordinary (common) stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “CWCO”. Additional information on the Company is available on its website at http://www.cwco.com.

 

Norwegian Cruise Line launches Cruise Highlights Brochure for the 2016/17 season

iNews B norwegian53By Tatiana Rokou from Travel Daily News

Focusing on key itineraries in Europe and selected worldwide highlights.

WIESBADEN – Norwegian Cruise Line has unveiled its Cruise Highlights Brochure for the April 2016 – April 2017 season. The brochure concentrates on the wide choice of European itineraries, with four of Norwegian’s ships cruising in European waters again in summer 2016. Norwegian Epic will continue to be deployed in Europe year-round having been home ported in Barcelona for the first time in the 2015/16 season.

The brochure also includes year-round cruises to the Caribbean on board Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Getaway from Miami, Norwegian Gem’s new Caribbean cruises from Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan and sailings combining the Caribbean with a brief excursion into the Panama Canal on board Norwegian Pearl, as well as cruises in Hawai’i (from/to Honolulu), South America, Alaska and Canada & New England.

For more: http://www.traveldailynews.com/news/article/65250/norwegian-cruise-line-launches-cruise

 

Cayman Islands office for family services and children to close

PUBLIC NOTICE: DCFS West Bay Office Closed

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) wishes to advise the public that its West Bay office is closed as of Friday 20 March, 2015 until further notice. Staff have been relocated to Commerce House located on Dr Roy’s Drive. Persons needing assistance must contact 949-0290.

 

Bahrain’s Arcapita unit files for bankruptcy protection

By Shane McGinley from Arabian Business.com

Arcapita’s debt maturity had been regarded as one of the most challenging liabilities facing the region in 2012.

A unit of Bahrain investment house Arcapita has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States, the company said in a statement.

Falcon Gas Storage Company, a non-operating subsidiary of Arcapita, also intends to file a motion for joint administration with its parent company for the ongoing Chapter 11 restructuring, it said in the statement late on Monday.

In March, Arcapita became the first Gulf entity to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US after it was threatened with legal action if it did not repay a hedge fund in full.

Falcon’s filing is to address liabilities of its 2010 sale of NorTex Gas Storage Company.

“As we have said from the very beginning, our goal in this process is to restructure our balance sheet and reorganise our business to maximise recoveries for all creditors and other constituencies,” Atif A Abdulmalik, Arcapita’s chief executive said in the statement.

“We believe the actions we are taking with respect to Falcon are a logical step in this process but we do not anticipate any similar actions with our operating subsidiaries or portfolio companies.”

Arcapita’s debt maturity had been regarded as one of the most challenging liabilities facing the region in 2012, given its poor cash position and the difficulty of selling assets to raise cash in a global market pounded by Europe’s debt crisis.

For more: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/bahrain-s-arcapita-unit-files-for-bankruptcy-protection-456017.html#.VQzQEWZ3eQY

 

Cayman Islands University exploring partnership with US University

The University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) and the University of West Chester (UWC) in Pennsylvania are exploring areas where they can form a partnership.

UCCI’s President, Dr. Roy Bodden said “there were commonalities in the vision and there were many programmes that we could partner with that would be mutually beneficial to both institutions.”

UWC President, Dr. Greg Weisenstein, who is in the Cayman Islands with two other University Deans agreed saying, “It’s creating more opportunity to those students by expanding courses or curriculum or programmes of study but also looking at the additional experiences and that’s learning more about different places, the people in those places, the culture.”

Areas of study being considered include health and business studies, teacher education and performing arts.

 

Mr Guyana International to compete in Mr Caribbean contest

From Guyana Times

Mister Guyana International 2015, Paul Charles, will be heading to the beautiful island of Dominica to represent Guyana at the Mister Caribbean contest, billed for May 30. Charles, no stranger to Guyanese, is presently in a full preparation mode, inclusive of gym work with personal trainer Jewan Persaud at Buddy’s gym, public speaking, among other aspects of preparation.

This is Guyana’s first official representative to this pageant and according to franchise holder of Mr Guyana International, Paul Burnette “this is the year when Guyana shines at these international pageants.”

However, the Mr Guyana International 2015 competition is billed for November 2015 and will see greater participation from men from Berbice, Linden, Bartica and Georgetown and its environs. Young men who are interested in being a part of this prestigious event can visit the pageant’s Facebook page Mr Guyana International or send an email to [email protected] for more information on audition dates. Mr Guyana International’s mission statement is “Empowering men to empower themselves, their communities and fellow men”.

For more: http://www.guyanatimesgy.com/2015/03/20/mr-guyana-international-to-compete-in-mr-caribbean-contest/

 

Route 66 by bicycle

Ron Warnick from Route 66 News

Andre Slabbert of the Cayman Islands last fall completed a 2,351-mile trip on Route 66 by bicycle in a bit less than month.

That feat is remarkable enough, but he did it just three months after damaging ligaments in his knee during a training accident. The Route 66 ride raised money for the Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust.

You can watch an 8-minute video of his trip at the link at the end of this story

Route 66 by bicycle from Andre Slabbert on Vimeo.

I noticed Slabbert cycled on a few old and primitive alignments of Route 66 during his journey. He also met with Gary Turner at Gay Parita station near Halltown, Missouri, a few months before he died.

The video whets my appetite for perusing the Bicycle Route 66 map set by the Adventure Cycling Association that just came out this month. I should be getting a review copy soon.

For more and video: http://www.route66news.com/2015/03/20/route-66-by-bicycle/

 

Dave Cameron promises better pitches for England’s tour of the Caribbean

iNews b camerondave1From Irie FM

Newly re-elected president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Dave Cameron says the West Indies’ upcoming test series against England and Australia in the Caribbean will be played on better pitches.

Internationally renowned pitch and field consultant Ken Crafton has been visiting the venues that will host test matches this year according to Cameron.

Crafton has been credited for the improvements in pitch conditions during the staging of last year’s second edition of the Caribbean Premier League Twenty/20.

The matches, to be played in Antigua, Grenada, Barbados, Dominica and Jamaica, will bowl off in less than a month, starting with the ‘Windies ‘A’ team three-match series against England.

The Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua is scheduled to stage the first England test from April 13, the Grenada National stadium will host the second game from April 21, while the third match starts on May one at Barbados’ Kensington oval.

The two-game Australian series, in the meantime, is set to get underway on June 5 at Windsor Park in Dominica before closing out on June 13 at Sabina Park in Kingston.

IMAGE: Dave Cameron

For more: http://www.iriefm.net/news/sports/dave-cameron-promises-better-pitches-englands-tour-caribbean

 

Increasing tension in the relations between The United States Of America and The Bolivarian Republic Of Venezuela

STATEMENT BY THE ORGANISATION OF EASTERN CARIBBEAN STATES ON THE INCREASING TENSION IN THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA

Friday, 20 March 2015 18:53

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) notes with grave concern the increasing tension in the relations between the United States of America and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The OECS cherishes the principles of democracy and the rule of law, and peaceful coexistence and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. The OECS also values highly, the longstanding friendship of its neighbours the United States of America and Venezuela, countries which constitute perpetual, integral and indivisible parts of our hemisphere. Unilateral and unwarranted actions only serve to undermine these principles.

The OECS is deeply concerned that statements and actions in the recent past concerning the relations between the United States and Venezuela have served only to heighten tensions in the relations between those countries, and to undermine the peace and security of the region and the hemisphere as a whole.

The OECS therefore calls for a return to the spirit and practice of dialogue as the principal means to the resolution of differences and conflict. The OECS also calls upon both countries to refrain from actions and statements which serve to hamper the legitimate desires of the people of our hemisphere for peace as a foundation upon which to build a better future.

 

Energy Symposium to focus on clean energy initiatives for Caribbean

From St Croix Source

The V.I. Economic Development Authority (VIEDA), the lead organization for economic development in the U.S. Virgin Islands, has announced that the first Caribbean Clean Energy Technology Symposium (CCETS) will be held on St. Thomas, USVI, to focus on the critical energy needs of the Caribbean region. This symposium, co-hosted by the Caribbean Central American Action (C-CAA), U.S. Department of Energy and the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands, will be held from March 24-27, at Marriott’s Frenchman’s Reef Beach Resort.

The CCETS will be a gathering of key stakeholders from the public and private sectors to explore the expanded role that clean energy technologies can play in the electricity, transportation, industrial, and commercial sectors in the Caribbean region. This symposium will be the first in a series of three annual gatherings dedicated to meeting the critical energy needs of the Caribbean.

The goal of the CCETS is to bring together country and sector experts to share best practices and to work together to identify common goals and create action plans with deliverables that will lead to increasing access to energy efficiency and clean and renewable energy technology in Caribbean nations.

Topics will include, but are not limited to: energy education, economic development, building energy and water efficiency, utilities and renewable energy generation, base-load electricity diversification, climate change and resilience, and clean transportation. The CCETS will also include a Technology Education Hall and exhibitor opportunities for private sector companies.

This symposium will also provide a roadmap for stakeholders to partner through working groups and strategic alliance to build regional capacity and advance the implementation of strategies to adopt clean energy.

On March 24, a series of pre-scheduled private meetings for stakeholder delegates, the opening of the exhibit area, and an evening reception will be held. A series of “Davos-style” panel discussions and keynote remarks will take place on March 25 prior to the meeting of Stakeholder Working Groups on March 26. On March 27, the V.I. Water and Power Authority will lead site visits to solar farms, propane installations, and other alternative energy structures on St. Thomas while the VIEDA hosts a breakfast to promote the benefits of the USVI’s economic development program that is administered by the VIEDA’s Economic Development Commission.

To register for or learn more about the Caribbean Clean Energy Technology Symposium, visit www.c-caa.org.

For more: http://stcroixsource.com/content/news/local-government/2015/03/20/energy-symposium-focus-clean-energy-initiatives-caribbean

 

Caribbean people upset with leaders

From Shawn Cumberbatch From Barbados Nation News

There are “a lot of angry citizens” in Barbados, Jamaica elsewhere in the Caribbean because the region’s leaders “haven’t delivered”.

Including himself, Governments, academics, and business leaders among that group, visiting economist Dr Peter Blair Henry said the anger was justified.

He was speaking on Thursday night at the Grande Salle, Tom Adams Financial Centre at the Central Bank’s second Caribbean Economic Forum.

Henry, who was born in Jamaica and is the Dean of New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, said these leaders had failed to demonstrate demonstrated clarity, discipline, which created distrust within the Caribbean’s populace.

For more: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/65118/caribbean-people-upset-leaders#sthash.yhrnBIt9.dpuf

 

Qunar Cayman Islands receives $33.67 Average Price Target from Brokerages

By Jim Brewer From WKRB

Qunar Cayman Islands (NASDAQ:QUNR) has earned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the seven brokerages that are covering the stock, Stock Ratings News reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 12-month price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $33.67.

Shares of Qunar Cayman Islands (NASDAQ:QUNR) opened at 36.71 on Wednesday. Qunar Cayman Islands has a one year low of $21.00 and a one year high of $36.83. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $29. and a 200-day moving average of $28.. The company’s market cap is $4.39 billion.

Qunar Cayman Islands (NASDAQ:QUNR) last announced its earnings results on Monday, March 16th. The company reported ($0.40) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of ($0.45) by $0.05. Analysts expect that Qunar Cayman Islands will post $-1.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several analysts have recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Pacific Crest raised their price target on shares of Qunar Cayman Islands from $39.00 to $41.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Analysts at HSBC upgraded shares of Qunar Cayman Islands from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, analysts at initiated coverage on shares of Qunar Cayman Islands in a research note on Monday, February 9th. They set a “buy” rating on the stock.

Qunar Cayman Islands Limited is a search-based commerce platform for the travel industry in China. The Company’s customers include travel service providers (NASDAQ:QUNR) and display advertisers. The Company’s platform is designed to facilitate and enhance convenience, data accuracy, and transaction security for its users.

For more: http://www.wkrb13.com/markets/531627/qunar-cayman-islands-receives-33-67-average-price-target-from-brokerages-nasdaqqunr/

 

Saddleback Valley will host Special Olympics participants [Cayman islands to compete]

By Tomoya Shimura From Orange County Register

Saddleback Valley will host international delegations competing in this summer’s Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.

Mission Viejo, Lake Forest and Laguna Hills are among more than 100 host cities in Southern California that will provide lodging, transportation, food, practice facilities and other activities for three days prior to the Opening Ceremony on July 25.

Mission Viejo will host delegates from Indonesia and Spain, while Lake Forest and Laguna Hills will welcome guests from Cayman Islands and Syria. Delegates are scheduled to arrive July 21 and leave July 24 before moving into the athlete villages at USC and UCLA.

In addition to offering athletes places to rest and practice, host cities will engage various community groups and host social events to welcome them.

The Special Olympics World Games is an international sporting competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The event is held every two years with the Summer and Winter Games alternating.

For more: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/host-654743-games-special.html

 

Caribbean insurance premiums will grow at single digit rates over the coming year

Caribbean Insurance Report Q1 2015 – a new market research report on companiesandmarkets.com

Through much of the region, premiums in both main segments will grow at single digit rates over the coming year or so. The overall operating environment has improved since late 2013, and will likely continue to do so. The three leading regional insurers will likely gain market share through the forecast period. In general, offshore insurance premiums will also likely rise at a measured pace.

This report on the insurance sectors of the Caribbean differs from its predecessors in two important respects.

Going forward, it will be updated quarterly, rather than annually. Coverage has been extended to include three additional countries and territories: the Cayman Islands, Aruba and Suriname. Previous reports had covered Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Barbados and the Bahamas: these countries are also reviewed in this report.

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Yardeni: ‘Markets are all rigged,’ but that’s OK

By Dan Weil From Newsmax

Financial author Michael Lewis has garnered much attention over the last year for his theory that the stock market is rigged. Ace economist Edward Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, thinks the market is rigged too, but in a different way.

Lewis thinks high-frequency trading rigs the market against individual investors, while Yardeni thinks massive central bank easing rigs the stock market in favor of all investors.

“These markets are all rigged, and I don’t say that critically, I say that factually,” Yardeni told CNBC. “We have to deal with what it is, and the reality is I love the central bankers. They’ve been good to the stock market.”

The S&P 500 index has tripled over the past six years amid the expansion of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet to $4.5 trillion.

It also has kept short-term interest rates at almost zero during that period. And many economists interpret the Fed’s policy statement Wednesday as signaling it won’t start raising interest rates until September.

“This is not about investing, this is all about the central bankers,” Yardeni said.

To be sure, when the Fed finally does raise interest rates, there could be heck to pay in the stock market, says Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund manager.

Indeed, we could see a repeat of 1937, he and colleague Mark Dinner wrote in a note to investors obtained by the Financial Times. In that year, the Fed tightened policy prematurely after the crash of 1929. This led to the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling by one-third in 1937 and continuing to decrease in 1938.

“We don’t know — nor does the Fed know — exactly how much tightening will knock over the apple cart,” the duo said.

“What we do hope the Fed knows, which we don’t know, is how exactly it will fix things if it knocks it over. We hope that they know that before they make a move that could knock over the apple cart.”

For more: http://www.newsmax.com/Finance/StreetTalk/Yardeni-markets-rigged-central-bank/2015/03/19/id/631301/#ixzz3V2IWqdzQ

Caribbean Question Time to inspire voting in UK Elections

From The Voice

The forum will be hosted by the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS)

Members of the UK’s Caribbean community will get an opportunity to challenge representatives of the three main political parties vying for their votes in the upcoming May 2015 elections when the popular Caribbean Question Time (CQT) forum returns later this month.

The forum, hosted by the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), for the fifth year on Friday, March 27, in Westminster, central London, has become a renowned public discussion in which the Caribbean community in the UK – which comprises approximately one million citizens, including first and second generation members – meet to discuss pertinent issues that affect them.

Paulette Simpson, senior manager for corporate affairs and public policy at the JNBS UK Representative Office, explained that CQT has also become a much anticipated prime-time event for the community and the political parties.

She said: “There are political representatives who recognise that Caribbean voters are integral in determining their political careers.

“And, the platform at Caribbean Question Time, provides them with the opportunity to share their policies and listen to the specific concerns of citizens as well as to indicate how they will address the needs of the community.”

The only discussion series of its kind being held in the UK, Caribbean Question Time has grown steadily over the years and has continued to maintain its appeal to the growing Diaspora community, resulting in the over-subscription of recent Caribbean Question Time events.

“The Caribbean community in the UK has grown; and while our voices and votes may not have been not regarded as being effective in the past currently, political representatives are recognising the importance of our votes,” Simpson added.

To be a part of this forum, guests must register online to request tickets at http://caribbeanquestiontime2015.eventbrite.co.uk

For more: http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/caribbean-question-time-inspire-voting-uk-elections

 

Republic Bank helps Caribbean children

From Vincentian

The SickKids Foundation partners with health institutions across six Caribbean territories.

The Trinidad Express reported on Thursday 26th February that Republic Bank, formerly Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, had donated CDN$1 million (TT$5.3 million) to the Canadian Hospital for Sick Children (CHSC).

According to the report, the donation will be used to assist in the provision of treatment to children across the Caribbean, St. Vincent and the Grenadines included, which, under normal circumstances, would not be attainable.

The announcement of the donation was made on Wednesday 25th February, during the launch of the SickKids Caribbean Initiative at the Radisson Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain.

The SickKids Foundation, an initiative of the CHSC hospital, is a not-for-profit collaboration between SickKids and seven Caribbean institutions across six countries, that strive to improve the outcomes and quality of life for children with cancer and blood disorders.

The Initiative, dubbed the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative, establishes partnerships between health-care specialists at The Hospital for Sick Children (Sickkids) in Toronto, and their counterparts in the Caribbean, through training and education, to support the early identification and treatment of children living with these devastating diseases in the Caribbean.

Those six Caribbean territories are The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

One of the primary focuses of the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative is to implement universal new born screening for sickle cell disease in those Caribbean countries.

It is reported that children born with leukaemia and other cancers in the Caribbean, have a less than 50 per cent chance of survival, due to a lack of proper diagnostics and treatment.

The survival rate in Canada is put at 80 to 90 per cent.

Republic Bank’s donation follows on a November 2013 Memorandum of Understanding signed between CIBC FirstCaribbean and the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative Foundation, which saw the Bank providing $1,000,000 US (1 million) to be spent over the next seven years, for the training of medical professionals who specialize in the care of paediatric patients affected by cancer or blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease.

For more: http://thevincentian.com/republic-bank-helps-caribbean-children-p7667-149.htm

 

Bolivia plans to expand trade with Central America and the Caribbean   

La Paz, Mar 21 (Prensa Latina) Bolivia plans to increase its trade relations with Central America and the Caribbean in the framework of the agreements of the Latin American Integration Association (Aladi), said the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Integration of the State.

‘We are developing contacts with countries in the region considering it is an interesting market. We are headed to sign agreements through Aladi’, said to the media Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Integration of the State Clarems Endara.

The official said that to take advantage of the 6,000 tariff lines the country has opened, Bolivia should export a number of products from sectors such as agriculture and mining, without excluding other areas.

‘We need to focus on what products we can give a higher added value and place them in markets which are obviously very specific’ he stressed.

Endara explained that there are measures in place and basically require the use of the market to have an increase in exports.

For more: http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3641161&Itemid=1

 

EU funds for the Caribbean

From CANA

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Mar 21, CMC – The European union will provide Euro346 million (One Euro=US$1.29 cents) on programmes focusing on regional economic integration, climate change disaster management and sustainable energy in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic over the next five years.

Representatives of the European Union and Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) which includes the 15-member CARICOM grouping have successfully concluded technical negotiations on the multi-million Euro regional programme that ends in 2020.

For more: http://cananewsonline.com/news/106800-eu-funds-for-the-caribbean.html

 

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