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Caribbean

The United Nations has warned the spread of an HIV strain which is resistant to some of the most widely used medicines.

This, the UN said could undermine global progress in treating and preventing HIV infections in the Caribbean and other places if early and effective action is not taken.

Director General of the World Health organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that antimicrobial drug resistance is a growing challenge to global health and sustainable development.

According to the WHO report 2017 HIV drug resistance in six of the 11 countries surveyed in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, more than 10 percent of people starting antiretroviral therapy had a strain that was resistant to some of the most widely used medicine.

WHO recommends those countries urgently review their HIV treatment programs, HIV drug resistance develops when people do not adhere to a prescribed treatment plan.

The UN said increasing HIV drug resistance trends could lead to more infections and death.

Antigua

Seaborne Airlines recently resumed its non-stop service between the carrier’s hub in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Antigua and Barbuda. The service represents the only non-stop connection between Antigua and Barbuda and Puerto Rico.

Passengers from over 30 destinations in the Americas and Europe will be able to reach Antigua’s VC Bird International Airport with a single stop at San Juan’s Luis Munoz International Airport through connections with Seaborne Airlines.

Coupled with connections to other Seaborne flights in the Caribbean, and partner airlines Air Europa, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue Airways and United Airlines and Vieques Air Link, passengers will be able to connect to 33 destinations in the Americas and Europe.

The San Juan-Antigua service will operate four times weekly on a year-round basis. As of July 21, 2017, Seaborne has begun operating four non-stop flights per week between San Juan and Antigua and Barbuda.

Bahamas

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has advised politicians in The Bahamas that they are not above the law and should be held accountable for alleged misconduct while in office.

He said it is unfair and unjust for politicians to accumulate considerable wealth from corruption, while citizens of a country, especially the poor are left behind, in his first national address recently.

“We need a new era of public integrity and reform. This era is upon us,” he said.

Minnis’ comments come after opposition leader Philip Brave Davis alleged abuse in relation to the recent arrests of former parliamentarians.

Former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Cabinet Minister Kenred Dorsett and former senator and Public Hospitals Authority Chairman Frank Smith were recently arrested on allegations of corruption and bribery.

“All Bahamians should follow those laws or face the consequences of transgress­ion,” he added.

The prime minister noted that leaders, in the past, have chosen “corruption and fast money” over the best interests of the people.

Barbados

The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has ruled against former Barbados Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin against his removal from office four years ago, saying the appeal was without merit.

Dottin was sent on “administra­tive leave” by the gvernor general of Barbados in June 2013 after the PoliceService Commission (PSC) recommended his retirement in the public interest.

He filed for judicial review of their actions and sought a number of injunctions pending the determination of his judicial review matter, including an injunction seeking to prevent him being forced into retirement and from the authorities from appointing a new Police Commissioner.

Dottin asked the CCJ to rule that there was no such thing as ‘administra­tive leave’ and that he could not have been compulsory retired in the public interest under the Pensions Act of Barbados.

However, the former CoP retired before the issue reached the CCJ which recently ruled that there was no practical merit in the case.

Dominica

Prime Minister Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit is promising small business development to help build a culture of entrepreneurship in Dominica when he presents the 2017/2018 budget.

He said the government is committing in the budget EC$15 million for the manufacturers.

He noted that last year the hoteliers got $15 million, farmers got $10 million and this year $15 million will be allocated to the manufacturers.

The prime minister also said the destination marketing budget will also see an increase this year from $8 million in the last financial year to $12 million dollars in the 2017 / 2018 financial year.

Skerrit says this is important to ensure Dominica remains relevant and known as a destination of choice.

Another area of focus will be that of training for teachers in special education.

Guyana

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCCAA) has commissioned a new licensing system for pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers and air traffic controllers.

In a statement recently, the GCCAA said the model licensing system will see the introduction of a plastic card license being issued to applicants who are successful at examinations set by the Personnel Licensing Unit, replacing the old paper booklet license that was being used.

Public Infrastructure Minister, Annette Ferguson said Guyana is becoming compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organization standards, and is now on par with the other countries that already have an automated licensing and examination system.

St. Kitts and Nevis

Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris has given the St. Kitts and Nevis Defense Force more power for the next six months as the government continues to fight violent crime.

Dr. Harris said his administration is committed to making the federation the safest small-island state in the world.

Harris, who is also minister of National Security, said the St. Kitts soldiers’ exceptional operational, strategic and tactical operations are proactively being done alone in the interest of citizens and residents safety.

He said in order to further the goal, as a recent proclamation by the Governor General, SW Tapley Seaton granted enhanced powers to the Defense Force.

Trinidad

The Trinidad and Tobago government has won its bid to appoint two provisional liquidators for the troubled CL Financial (CLF) conglomerate company.

The Appeal Court has reversed the decision of High Court Judge Kevin Ramcharan, who had rejected the government’s application last month.

As part of its ruling, the court allowed the Government’s lawyers and the group of shareholders opposed to the move to wind up the company, to determine the remit of the liquidators.

The government wants to sell the company’s assets in order to repay the government its remaining TT$15 billion debt and the debts owed to other creditors. Under the agreement, almost all of the decisions of the liquidators will have to be approved by the court.

— compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 4:45 pm, August 7, 2017: Caribbean The United Nations has warned the spread of an HIV strain which is resistant to some of the most widely used medicines. This, the UN said could undermine global progress in treating and preventing HIV infections in the Caribbean and other places if early and effective action is not taken.
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