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Bahamas

Cruise line officials have expressed concern about the state of crime in The Bahamas.

President and Chief Executive Officers of Royal Caribbean International (RCI), Michael Bayley in an interview the Tribune newspaper said if customers do not feel safe visiting a country they will no longer vacation there.

He said concerns have been communicated to the government through the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA).

Bayley’s remarks come two weeks after Baha Mar Executive, Graeme Davis, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE) Bahamas president, suggested that if the Perry Christie administration is unable to control crime, the country’s tourism product could be headed in a negative direction.

There have been 32 murders in the country so far for this year.

However, Bayley said the cruise line, which brings around 1.7 million visitors to the country each year, is committed to maintaining a good relationship with The Bahamas and plans to double visitor numbers over the next decade.

Barbados

The historic West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados has been sold to Maison Ferrand, the award winning cognac, gin and rum producer of France.

Maison Ferrand is the owner of the Plantation rum brand with global distribution in 68 countries. The company produces cognac and gin at its facility in Cognac, France and the purchase of the West Indies Rum Distillery marks the first distillery acquisition outside of France

The acquisition signifies Maison Ferrand’s long term commitment in the quality production of Plantation rum.

Plantation Rum was first introduced in 2003 with the desire to bring rum to the same quality standards of the best cognacs. Since then Maison Ferrand has been selecting aging and blending rum from the best Caribbean distilleries for its award-winning Plantation Rum.

Barbados is the historical birthplace of rum making and the country rum has been the backbone of Plantation vintage editions as well as its special blends,

Guyana

The Guyana government is moving to introduce an Electronic Visa (E-Visa) and Work visa system as part of a development of a modern visa issuance policy system.

The European Union (EU) and the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the system will help in eliminating bogus immigration stamps as well as human trafficking.

Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix said he had received the Policy of Recommendations and Guidelines for the new visa system will aid in the implementation and development of a modern visa issuance policy and system in Guyana.

Ambassador to the European Union (EU) in Guyana, Jernej Videtic said the report will serve as a source for correcting the man issues associated with the country’s current visa system.

Haiti

Haiti’s Prime Minister Jovenel Moise has ordered an investigation into an accident in which a bus ran into a group of people killing 38 of them and injured several others in northern Haiti.

The bus, which was traveling from Cap Haitien to the capital Port-au-Prince, drove into a street parade where people were fleeing from an accident, investigators said. It initially struck two people in the town outside of Gonaives in northern Haiti, killing one and injuring the other.

The parade which usually takes place around Easter, comprises musicians playing traditional instruments who are joined by passers-by.

Jamaica

A man, who “executed” four people, including three schoolboys would be sentenced on April 6, 2017 after a jury found him guilty on four counts of murder.

The incident enraged Jamaicans, who were calling for justice.

Jermaine Turner was charged with the April 15, 2015 murders of Raymond Givans, 14, a student of Vere Technical High School; Ricardo Briscoe of Garvey Maceo High School, and Alex Turner, 16 of Central High School.

He was also found guilty of murdering Marquis Hamilton, 35, an accounts clerk at the Jamaica Sugar Company.

The court heard that Hamilton and his wife were seated on the perimeter wall of their home and that the three students who were on their way home, stopped near the house to check a wireless Internet service.

The couple was approached by Turner, who was armed with a gun instructing his accomplice to search and rob Hamilton and the woman of their children cellular phones.

The woman escaped but Hamilton and the boys were ordered to lie face down and then Turner shot the boys execution-style in their heads and chest. Hamilton was shot in the chest.

Turner was later held during a police operation.

Suriname

Chinese-owned supermarkets are closing up shops in recession-hit Suriname and heading to Guyana.

Over the past six months, more than 50 Chinese supermarkets have set up businesses throughout Guyana, with another 40 expected to become operational by August this year.

With a combined economy of about half a billion dollars to the economy, at least about 100 Guyanese were able to get direct employment with the opening of these supermarkets.

With neighboring Suriname sinking deep into recession, many of the country’s residents have lost their spending power, which has seen more than a 50 percent decline in sales and revenues across almost every sector of the economy.

Many supermarkets in Suriname are struggling for survival, while having to deal with a rampant spate of robberies and shoplifting.

There are about eight to 10 Chinese supermarkets opening up in Guyana every month.

Trinidad

The US State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security has warned American visitors to stay away from crime “hotspots” in Trinidad and Tobago and has identified the city of Port of Spain as being a critical-threat location for crime directed at or affecting US government interests.

It however, described the capital city as “a low-threat location for terrorist activity directed at or affecting US government interests.”

This is according to a report in the bureau’s 2017 Crime and Safety Report recently issued.

The report added, however, given the crime rate and some weaknesses in border control, there remains a continued concern that Trinidad and Tobago could be utilized as a transit point for potential terrorists or terrorist organization.

Crime was identified in the report as the principal threat to visitors to Trinidad and Tobago.

The report warned US citizens and their families from traveling to Laventille, Sea Lots, Cocorite, Beetham, the interior of the Queen’s Park Savannah (Port of Spain) after dark, Downtown Port of Spain (after dark), Fort George (after dark) and all beaches (after dark).

Turks and Caicos

Health officials in the Turks and Caicos Islands have confirmed several dengue cases in the island last month.

The Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services said that 15 students and one teacher at the HJ Robinson High School in Grand Turk have reported symptoms consistent with dengue fever.

Six of the students have tested positive for dengue, while additional results are still pending.

Dengue is a viral infection that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Common symptoms are high fever accompanied by headaches, joint pains and muscle pain.

There is no specific treatment for dengue and no vaccine is available.

— compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 5:04 pm, March 20, 2017
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