March 22, 2023

iNews Briefs

iNews briefs1Cayman and Cuba meeting re migrant problem postponed again

The meeting between officials from Cuba and the Cayman Islands to renegotiate the agreement currently in place between the two countries on illegal migrants and their treatment has been postponed for the second time.

The original meeting was to have taken place last January and then moved to April but we have just learnt it will not take place until May.

Deputy Governor, Franz Manderson, said last December, “The meeting is to discuss the provisions of the 1999 MOU (Memorandum of Understanding), which sets out the agreement and timetable for returning migrants who have entered our islands illegally.”

Little Cayman killing was by a lover in fear and desperation

Elsey De Ortega Barralga (29) said she killed Perry McLaughlin at his home in Little Cayman last November, through “fear, desperation and sheer blind panic”.

Through her defence attorney she said McLaughlin had dragged her to the floor by her hair, rained down multiple blows to her head with his fists in an effort to stop her from leaving the house and in anger he had swept everything on a kitchen counter to the same floor, including a block of knives.

Barralga had grabbed one of the knives and used it to defend herself. She began blindly stabbing at McLaughlin landing blows to his arms legs and groin area. She then tried to leave the house but McLaughlin had blocked her exit saying he was going to kill her. She had believed he had picked up one of the knives and again grabbed her hair. It was then she stabbed him again with her knife inflicting the fatal blow but had not realised how serious the blow was when she ran out of the house.

It wasn’t until the next day McLaughlin had been found dead.

The crown argued that the circumstances of the fight presented low provocation, while the defence claimed it was high.

Justice Quin said that he would take time to consider the sentence and would deliver his decision on 15th April.

Vladimir Putin’s divorce is now official

Russian President Vladimir Putin officially divorced Lyudmila, his wife of more than 30 years, according to multiple reports. Putin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov confirmed the news to Russian news agency Itar Tass on Tuesday, months after the couple said they would divorce in a surprise television announcement last June. The Putins have two daughters, Yekaterina and Maria, both in their late 20s.

Cayman Brac hotel will not close

The threat of closing down the Alexander Hotel in Cayman Brac seems to have paid off as the owners, Cleveland Dilbert and family, have confirmed the hotel will not now be shutting its doors.

A statement from the Dilbert family said:

“It is our supreme and first motivation for this project to be for the benefit of the people and future of Cayman Brac and all the other islands as well. Should we ultimately be granted permission, after findings prove that it would pose no significant threat to the island, we will complete this project to the very highest of standards, care and integrity.

“Be also assured, should the EIA [Environmental Impact Assessment] show that there will be significant detrimental and negative effects to the environment, we would be more than happy to withdraw our application. Thus far, we have seen no credible evidence that this will be the case.”

Governor seeks nominations for 2015 royal honours list

The public is being invited to submit the names of people they believe should be recognized in the 2015 New Year’s honours list. Governor Helen Kilpatrick is asking for noinations to be submitted by Friday 16th May 2014. Those considering putting people forward are however reminded that a royal award requires more than long service. “It is stressed that for any Award, long service is not, in itself, enough,” officials said. “Nominations must be supported by a persuasive account of the outstanding, innovative or self-sacrificing services and achievements of the nominee, whether paid or unpaid, in one field or several, and what has raised them above those of others performing similar services.”

Final recommendations for honours in HM The Queen’s list are considered in the United Kingdom. Recommendations for the Certificate and Badge of Honour are considered locally.

Details of how to prepare honours nominations, and the necessary forms, can be found at Please make every effort to fully complete all the relevant sections.  Once completed, the forms should be submitted to the Governor’s Office.  The Governor will review all nominations before recommending candidates to the Royal, Ceremonial and Honours Unit in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

Whilst all recommendations will be acknowledged, the Governor’s Office cannot enter into correspondence about the action taken on them.

For any further information please contact the Governor’s Office at [email protected]

High cost of regional air travel unavoidable, says St Vincent PM

By Ken Richards From Caribbean News Now

BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) — High travel taxes affecting regional air travel are a necessary evil, according to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) chairman – Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Gonsalves acknowledged that there is merit in the argument by some passengers that the region continues pressing Britain to reduce its controversial APD – Air Passenger Duty, while in the case of regional airline LIAT the taxes imposed by Caribbean governments often make up more than half the cost of the actual airline ticket.

However, Gonsalves said the high cost of aviation support facilities and services, including airports, make such taxes necessary.

“It costs a lot of money to run these individual international airports … so the payment has to come from somewhere. And basically the users of the airport have to bear a little more cost than the ordinary taxpayer,” Gonsalves said.

St Vincent and the Grenadines is a key shareholder of regional airline LIAT. Gonsalves is recommending one management for all the airports in the OECS in a bid to cut costs. He described the cost factor associated with running airport facilities in the region is a very difficult hurdle to overcome.

For more:,-says-St-Vincent-PM-20543.html

Cayman Islands Health authority offers a week of free health checks

In observation of World Health Day, the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority will hold free health screenings for blood pressure and blood sugar.

Free screenings will be available Monday to Friday, April 7 to 11, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at all district health centers, the George Town General Practice, and Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac.

Dr. Kiran Kumar, the medical officer of health, said the free health screenings are part of the key strategies of the Public Health Department to emphasize the benefits of healthy lifestyles, and early detection of health issues such as hypertension, high blood pressure, and diabetes, which will enable appropriate treatment in preventing the complications.

No appointment is necessary but people seeking testing need to indicate to the registration clerks that they would like to register for free blood pressure and blood glucose screening. The results are available right away and counselling and referral will be offered as deemed necessary.

World Health Day is observed on Monday, April 7. Its theme this year is diseases carried by mosquitos, flies, ticks and other creatures. Those vector-borne diseases include dengue fever, malaria and yellow fever. Every year, more than one billion people are infected and more than one million die from vector-borne diseases.

This year, the World Health Organization is highlighting the serious and increasing threat of vector-borne diseases, with the slogan “Small bite, big threat.”

For further information on the free local health screenings, contact Therese Prehay at the Public Health Department on 244-2632.

Atlanta is world’s busiest airport with 94 million passengers

By Jessica Plautz From Mashable

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport remained the busiest in the world in 2013, according to preliminary world airport traffic data from Airports Council International (ACI).

More than 94 million flyers passed through Atlanta’s airport hub in 2013 — a decrease of about 1% compared to 2012. The airport saw a total of 911,074 takeoffs and landings.

Beijing Capital International Airport ranked second largest, with nearly 84 million passengers. The fastest-growing airport in the top 10 was Dubai, which saw traffic grow more than 15% from the previous year. Worldwide, total passengers increased 4%, according to ACI.

Here are the 10 busiest airports in 2013, with the number of passengers that traveled through them:

Atlanta – 94,431,224

Beijing – 83,712,355

London – 72,368,061

Tokyo – 68,906,509

Chicago – 66,777,161

Los Angeles – 66,667,619

Dubai – 66,431,533

Paris – 62,052,917

Dallas/Fort Worth – 60,470,507

Jakarta – 60,137,347

For more:

Alabama law students visit Cayman to learn offshore finance

21 law students from the University of Alabama visited the Cayman Islands last week to educate themselves on the island’s financial industry and how it works.

Alabama Professor Andrew Morriss, who started the course ten years ago said students learn what really goes on in Cayman and not the image portrayed in the USA media.

Students learn, he said, how transactions like captive insurance or investment funds are done and meet the professionals and regulators here that they will need as contacts to do them.

Students heard from a variety of the islands’ financial sector speakers from firms that included from Walkers, Stuarts Walkers Hersant, Maples, Butterfield Bank, BDO, CIMA, the Tax Information Authority, Kane, UCCI, Solomon Harris, Liberty Consulting and Atwater Ltd.

Intercaribbean Airways launches domestic Jamaica services

From Aviation Tribune

interCaribbean Airways announced the introduction of new scheduled non-stop air service connecting Kingston to Montego Bay, with 16 weekly flights each way.

These new flights from Montego Bay to Kingston provide onward flights to Providenciales, Grand Turk, Santo Domingo and San Juan making connections across the wider Caribbean a reality.

The flights, operated by 30 seat Embraer 120 aircraft with onboard flight attendant, begin service on April 16th with a convenient morning, and evening flight, giving the business community a full days business in either city,. For the leisure traveler arriving on a long haul flight from Europe, this new connection will give added peace of mind, to quickly transfer to or from Montego Bay or Kingston. North American Travelers too, can take their favorite airline in one city and conveniently return from another.

“I am thrilled that there will be new scheduled air service between Kingston and Montego Bay” said John Lynch, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “The service will be particularly helpful for travellers from the UK and Europe as there will be a seamless connection to get them into either city. Passengers on airlines like Southwest, which do not fly into Kingston, will also be facilitated.” “I commend interCaribbean Airways for their foresight” continued Mr Lynch. “They saw the need for improved domestic service and in filling the need, has provided additional benefits to Destination Jamaica.”

Alfred McDonald, Senior Director Commercial Development and Planning, Norman Manley International Airport Limited, said the new service by interCaribbean is timely, as the airline offers direct connections between Jamaica’s two main international airports and offer passengers traveling to either airport, a convenient and quick inter-island air link, closer to their final destination in Jamaica. He added that passengers travelling to Jamaica on airlines such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, which fly into NMIA and SIA respectively, will no doubt welcome the news.

Mr. Trevor Sadler, CEO of interCaribbean Airways, said the introduction of these new services and their international connections, is the culmination of years of effort by Chairman Mr. Lyndon Gardiner concerning his work towards an airline that truly connects the Caribbean. It is his belief that this connectivity is not just possible, but necessary to support a greater Caribbean economy, and with the support of Jamaica and the business community, we are now about to realize the next step in the growth of the company.

For more:

British MPs want Scots blocked at 2015 poll

From Belfast Telegraph

David Cameron is being pressed to block Scottish voters from taking part in the 2015 general election if they back independence later this year.

Senior Tories want the Prime Minister to solve the electoral conundrum that could see Scottish MPs returned to parliament even if separation is backed by banning all 59 constituencies north of the border from taking part.

The move would make a dramatic difference to the outcome of the election next year, wiping out a significant section of Labour’s powerbase and a sizeable number of Liberal Democrats.

In May 2010 Labour won 41 seats, the Lib Dems 11, the SNP six while the Conservatives secured just one MP.

So far, there has been no decision on what would happen to Scotland’s Westminster seats between parliamentary elections and March 2016, when it would become an independent nation, in the event of a yes vote this autumn.

It is widely assumed that elections would continue as usual but Scottish MPs would then vacate their seats when links are severed.

Tories believe it would unacceptable, however, for them to hold their seats while London and Edinburgh were negotiating the break-up of the UK.

For more:

Raziel Jeffers’ fate lay with Cayman jury who have found him guilty

The fate of Raziel Jeffers who is on trial for the murder of Damion Ming in West Bay, Grand Cayman, four years ago was in the hands of the 12 member jury for less than a day. They have found him GUILTY.

The trial lasted two and a half weeks and the judge spent three hours summing up all the evidence. The prosecution said Jeffers shot Ming because of jealousy whilst the defence said the evidence supplied by Jeffers ex- girl friend that he had confessed to her he had committed the murder, was a pack of lies.

Bitcoin keeps getting smashed

By Joe Weisenthal  From Business Insider

More pain for Bitcoin. You know the drill: There’s a crackdown in China and there’s the IRS and everything else.

It’s now down below $430.

For more:

Cayman’s new disability bill says not all disabled persons obtain learning

“Not all learning institutions are accessible to persons with disabilities,” says the recently drafted Cayman Islands disability policy for 2014-2033. “Persons with disabilities in need of rehabilitation and habitation services are also encountering major gaps in services, oftentimes resulting in their having to leave the country in order to receive the services they require.

“Parents are facing difficult decisions every day regarding the need to move overseas with their children who have disabilities in order to ensure that they have the best possible education. It is very unfortunate, but many homes have been divided by distance because one parent has had to leave with their child to seek better educational opportunities.”

The new bill sets out long-term goals to make provision for the disabled in the country.

Public meetings to discuss the proposed policy will be held on: Apr. 3 at the Aston Rutty Civic Centre in Cayman Brac; Apr. 7 at Mary Miller Hall in Red Bay; Apr. 9 at the Sir John A. Cumber Primary School Hall in West Bay; Apr. 14 at the James M. Bodden Civic Centre in Bodden Town; and Apr. 16 at the Clifton Hunter High School Performing Arts Centre.

See also iNews Cayman today for comprehensive story on the above “Draft National Disability Policy published”

Tingyi Cayman Islands : to Spend CNY2.5bn Buying Wealth City

HONGKONG, April 3, SinoCast — Tingyi (Cayman Islands)Holdings Corp. (SEHK: 0322) will spend nearly CNY 2.5 billion buying a 100% stake in Wealth City from the major shareholder and executive director Wei Yingjiao.

Wealth City’s only assets is a property development company Shanghai Jinqiu Minghao Real Estate that has a project including four office and commercial buildings and related facilities, with a total construction area of about 140,000 square meters. The project is now at an advanced stage of development and is expected to be completed before the end of next March.

Tingyi said the company planned to open operation centers in Shanghai in order to enhance its image, improve efficiency and promote international links. The project to be acquired is located in the Hongqiao Business District and near the largest transportation hub in Asia to substantially cut transport costs.

T-Mobile will no longer carry BlackBerry devices

By Mariella Moon  From engadget

By the looks of it, BlackBerry chief John Chen wasn’t appeased by T-Mobile’s attempt to make peace — in fact, things have only escalated: T-Mobile will no longer carry any BlackBerry device. In a press release today, the company formerly known as RIM announced that it has chosen not to renew T-Mobile’s license to sell its products when it expires on April 25th, 2014.

Chen says:

“BlackBerry has had a positive relationship with T-Mobile for many years. Regretfully, at this time, our strategies are not complementary and we must act in the best interest of our BlackBerry customers. We hope to work with T-Mobile again in the future when our business strategies are aligned”

If you’re wondering what exactly happened between the two companies, it all started when T-Mobile encouraged BlackBerry-toting customers to switch to the iPhone. Obviously, that didn’t sit well with Chen, so the magenta network launched a promo for existing BB owners, giving them $200 if they trade in their BlackBerry phones for any other device, or $250 if they upgrade to another BlackBerry phone. Those who decided to do so need not worry, though: the two promise not to let this nasty divorce get in the way of supporting their current customers.

For more:

Cayman welcomes SPRINGSPLASH

Who: YoungBlood Productions

What: SpringSplash

When: Friday 4 April 2014

Gates open at 6pm

Where: The Festival Green, Camana Bay

The entrance is located on the waterfront at the southernmost end of The Crescent

Why: YoungBlood Productions presents SpringSplash, a musical showcase featuring Cayman’s hottest DJs and performers alongside Jamaican reggae artists Faraji, Diana King and Ky-Mani Marley.

Parking: Concertgoers can park in the Town Centre’s multi-story garages and surface lots, the limestone lot accessible via the Century 21 roundabout and the Arts & Recreation Centre lot next to Cayman International School. Parking is not permitted on The Festival Green.

Safety: Police and security teams will be present throughout the Town Centre and on The Festival Green to ensure the safety of all in attendance.

Cost: Pre-purchased tickets are CI$35 General Admission, CI$50 Bleacher Seating, CI$75 VIP and CI$150 Ultra VIP, available at Funky Tangs, J&M Electronics, Liquor 4 Less, Food 4 Less, Reflections, Le Classique and Rootz. Tickets will be sold at the gate for CI$50 General Admission and CI$100 VIP.

For more information, visit the SpringSplash 2014 event page on Facebook.

Taiwan sends medical teams to St. Lucia, St. Vincent

From Taiwan Today

Five teams of medical volunteers from Changhua Christian Hospital in central Taiwan will begin departing later this month for ROC diplomatic allies St. Lucia and St. Vincent, underscoring the nation’s role as an international provider of humanitarian aid.

Comprising six to 10 doctors, nurses and nutritionists, the teams will care for around 700 patients. The first departs April 26, followed by one in July, another in August and two in November.

Florencia Hsie, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, said April 3 that she applauds the efforts of the hospital in representing the ROC abroad.

Over the years, the hospital has sent many teams to St. Lucia and St. Vincent, Hsie said, adding that it also provides training for medical personnel in these countries.

Nina Kao, CEO of the hospital’s Overseas Medical Mission Center, said more than 6,300 patients in St. Lucia and St. Vincent have received medical assistance from 120-plus Taiwan volunteers since 2009.

According to Kao, the hospital employs a comprehensive approach to overseas missions. In addition to medical consultation and surgery, volunteers conduct courses on such topics as nutrition, occupational therapy and personal hygiene.

Areas of nontraditional medical assistance provided by the hospital extend to Chinese medicine, Kao said. Since last year, practitioners have been visiting St. Jude Hospital in St. Lucia to conduct training for herbal and traditional medical therapists, she added.

This cooperation is part of a joint program between the hospital and St. Lucia’s Ministry of Health, Human Services and Family Affairs.

Kao said CCH established sister hospital ties with St. Jude and Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in St. Vincent’s capital of Kingstown in 2009 and 2010, respectively. (DF-JSM)

For more:

Changes coming to Cayman’s ORIA to make things more passenger friendly

Tourism Councillor and MLA Joey Hew has announced passengers travelling through Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) will soon get a more friendly experience.

Hew said, “We are going to see the covering of the walkway at the different gates and things you have seen in the past. We are weeks away from having all the airlines processing outgoing immigration from the counter, so we will be able to take that space and increase our security area to three machines and process our passengers in a much more efficient manner than we are now so we are not just waiting for redevelopment, we are continuing on with our soft improvements.”

FIFA VP and UEFA President is coming to Cayman Islands

FIFA Vice-President and President of UEFA Michel Platini will be arriving in Cayman this week.

Platini will be checking out some youth players at the Maples Grassroots Programme and then will hold a press conference at the Ritz-Carlton on April 5th with FIFA Vice-President and CONCACAF President Jeffery Webb.

Civil servants learn how to deal with complaints

The number of civil servants who signed up for a seminar on how to handle complaints may be an indication that the public doesn’t always go away happy when it has dealings with government. However with 90 internal complaints officers turning up for the Office of the Complaints Commissioner’s (OCC) seminar earlier this month they are at least better equipped to handle dissatisfied customers. Officials said that the numbers attending the fourth annual seminar, which included a significant training component, was the best attended ever, and with 90 people from across the service a last-minute venue change was needed to accommodate them all.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson endorsed the OCC venture and opened the seminar while training was provided by Julie Faulknor-Grant on “Difficult Complainants and How to Best Deal With Them”, and by Vaughan Carter of Solomon Harris and Juris Consulting on “Investigative Techniques”.

Brett Basdeo of Maples and Calder also spoke about the OCC Small Claims Handbook that he is drafting and updating for the OCC.

In the evening Governor Helen Kilpatrick handed out awards to civil servants for their efforts in dealing with complaints including Joseph Woods from the Port Authority and Tracy Ebanks, the development bank boss.

Cortez Subsea nets Caribbean inspection contract

From Energy Global

Subsea services and technology products company Cortez Subsea has secured a six-figure contract with BHP Billiton Trinidad for inspection services in Trinidad and Tobago.

A team of eight personnel from the Aberdeen-based company will begin the work in June 2014, using the Structure Commander software to inspect six offshore platforms in the Greater Angostura field, located in the Eastern Venezuela Basin.

The contract win follows several on-going projects involving the company’s range of subsea intervention applications, and dedicated onshore data processing after a significant investment by Cortez Subsea in new equipment and technologies over the past 12 months.

Managing director, Alasdair Cowie, said: “We are extremely pleased to be awarded this contract with BHP Billiton. By increasing our capabilities across asset inspection software over the past year, we are now reaping the rewards with significant business opportunities.

“Knowing we have won this project based on our software capabilities, as well as providing a reliable and highly-skilled team of professionals to process the data while at the same time maintaining a cost effective solution to clients, demonstrates the level of confidence in our ability to deliver globally. This strongly fits in with our strategy to expand and grow the company both in Europe and across the world.”

Cortez Subsea provides a range of subsea services and products to UK and international clients in the offshore energy industry. Structure Commander is one of a suite of software applications which aid in the planning and managing of structure and pipeline integrity from data acquisition, eventing, digital video, processing, to charting and reporting.

For more:

9,000 square foot multi-million dollar retail development planned for Cayman’s capital waterfront

To try and revive the Cayman Islands’ capital and inject some confidence in the market a 9,000 square foot multi-million dollar retail development has been planned.

The development is close to the Cruise Ship terminal but will not have a Caribbean look. Instead it will be based on a European style design that will house six or seven new shops and a food outlet.

The building has also been designed with a front overhang to reduce heat gain.

Date rape drugs may soon be a thing of the past

By Chris Smith From BGR

Researchers from the National University of Singapore have found a way to quickly detect GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid,) also known as a “date rape drug” alongside Rohypnol (roofies), Time reveals. Once mixed with a beverage that contains GHB, the newly discovered liquid changes into a fluorescent orange color in less than 30 seconds.

The method is reportedly “faster, simpler and more obvious” than other GHB tests meant to discover the use of date rape drugs. The drug is colorless, odorless and tasteless, which is why it’s mixed with alcoholic drinks. The drug can cause “unconsciousness and even seizures,” Time says.

The researchers will have GHB test kits in stores later this year, although it’s not immediately clear what they would look like and how they would work.

In addition to quickly figuring out whether a beverage has GHB in it, the kits should be fairly easy to use – even in those cases when the person suspecting malicious intentions from others is a little buzzed herself/himself – and rather inconspicuous. After all, not everyone that buys a drink for someone actually plans to season it with some GHB, and testing the drink for GHB out in the open may not always be a great ice breaker.

Similarly, it’s not clear whether such a test would also be able to test roofies, although research in this field is clearly going in the right direction.

DrinkSavvy is another organization that aims to offer products that can detect date rape drugs. The company proposes to include tests directly in cups (image above,) glasses, straws and stirrers in order for users to quickly detect whether something has been put in their drinks. However, the company doesn’t have a commercial product yet.


For more:


Bookworms Easter Camp for Cayman’s children

Are you looking for a fun and educational Easter Camp for your kids?

Chatterbox is offering a Bookworms Camp to help children explore the fun of storytelling, encourage creative thinking and enrich vocabulary.

For details of time, venue, dates and cost, please see the attached flyer.

To book call 926 1693 or email [email protected]




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