Bahamas

The Bahamas government is trying to develop a partnership with Brazil to build an ethanol plant on Grand Bahama, which could result in the creation of as many as 4,000 jobs, Minister of Social Services Ryan Pinder said.

The minister said there are several opportunities to do business with countries in Latin America and Brazil. He said the government wants to position Freeport as a dominant trade hub for Latin America and Brazil.

Pinder said the government is also in talks with North American and European officials for additional opportunities. He will travel to Brussels, Belgium later this month in a bid to seek investment opportunities for the country.

Bermuda

An international tennis player was jailed for 15 months by a High Court judge in Bermuda after he was found guilty of causing the death of an American university professor in a vehicular accident while driving under the influence of alcohol.

David Thomas, 23, who is also a management trainee at a hotel in Bermuda admitted causing the death of Professor Alexander Doty by impaired driving.

The accident occurred on a well-lit stretch of road in Pembroke parish on Aug. 1 after Thomas admitted that he drank six drinks on a cruise.

He struck the professor, who was visiting the island, with his motorcycle, leaving him with fatal injuries.

“When one takes the risk of drinking and driving, on the seat besides him is a passenger of death or jail,” said Justice Carlisle Greaves.

Dr. Doty, 58, was a professor and chair of the Department of Communication and Culture College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University’s Bloomington Campus.

Guyana

The Guyana government has confirmed that U.S. authorities have suspended the operations of low-cost budget carrier EzJet.

Aviation Minister Robeson Benn told a news conference that the Department of Transportation had suspended the airline’s operations recently. He said, as a result, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCCA) has suspended Ezjet’s operations out of the South American country.

One media report said President Donald Ramoutar has instructed Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali to work towards minimizing the effects on passengers.

Officials said the U.S. authorities had decided to suspend Ezjet operations because the airline owes huge sums to the aircraft lease company.

Several passengers who were booked to fly out of Guyana and New York have been left stranded.

Jamaica

Hopes of a bumper season for the 2012-2013 sugar cane crop in Jamaica could be substantially downgraded following reports of extensive damage to cane fields in the eastern end of the island during the passage of Hurricane Sandy.

This assessment was made by Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke during a tour of the affected cane fields in the eastern parish of St. Thomas recently.

Clarke told reporters that the situation was worse than initially thought and it is now projected that next year’s production could fall by as much as l0 percent as a result of the hurricane damage and disruption.

“It will cause real dislocation to the production that we were looking forward to next year,” he said.

Cane farmers in St. Thomas were badly affected by the hurricane, including the farms of the Golden Grove Sugar factory.

Meanwhile, the number of farmers on record as being affected by Hurricane Sandy has increased.

The figure, which was estimated at 10,000 recently, has now climbed past 30,000 following a tour by Ministry of Agriculture officials.

The Agriculture Ministry has also adjusted the estimate losses to J$1.4 billion (US$15.4 million).

St. Kitts

Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas says the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) will be holding a three-week business boot camp this month aimed at helping nationals get involved in business opportunities.

Dr. Douglas, who is also Finance Minister, said that grooming St. Kitts and Nevis nationals to take advantage of the local economy is among the top priorities of his administration.

He said the (SIDF) initiative would work in collaboration with the Small Entrepreneur and Enterprise Development (SEED), which small entrepreneurs will be eligible for business loans of between EC$5,000 and EC$10,000 interest free.

Dr. Douglas said that following the training, the individuals will be paired with experienced business managers who will help them to realistic targets.

St. Vincent

St. Vincent and the Grenadines recently celebrated 33 years of political independence from Britain with Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves presenting an anniversary gift to public servants.

Gonsalves said that his administration would keep its “solemn promise” to pay public servants the three percent increase dating back to January 2011.

He said on a whole, public servants have done very well under his administration through salary increases, bonuses, salary enhancements through classification exercise, improved conditions of work, additional perks, including training and educational opportunities free of cost or at heavily subsidized rates,

Gonsalves said expenditure on pensions has gone up so far for the year by approximately five percent and that for every cent increase in the salary bill for public servants, there is an additional EC$2 million required annually.

He said the three percent increase in 2011 would amount to six million and at least another six million for 2012.

Trinidad

National Security Minister Jack Warner says that CCTV cameras will be installed before the end of the year in crime “hot spots” such as Port of Spain and environs, Laventille, Morvant, Beetham Estate and Diego Martin.

He made the announcement at a recent post-Cabinet media conference at the Prime Minister’s office in St. Clair, Port of Spain.

Warner said Cabinet approved Phase one and two for the Implementation of CCTV (Close Circuit Television) cameras “by the end of Dec. 30, 2012, in time for the Christmas and Carnival season.”

He said the cameras would cost government an average of TT$5 million a month or $60 million a year. They would work in conjunction with the 300 existing cameras in Port of Spain.

He said Trinidad and Tobago was not sufficiently covered by a surveillance network to assist the law enforcement agencies in combating crime and criminal activities and therefore it was critical and urgent to expand the surveillance system.

The minister said Phase 1 would involve 500 cameras placed at strategic points.

Warner said there would also be police command centers throughout Trinidad and Tobago into which the cameras would feed.

Each of these centers would have response teams, consisting of police and civilian personnel.

Jamaica

The Constitutional Court has reserved decision in a case where attorneys representing Jamaica Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller say she should be granted immunity from testifying in the matter regarding the financial contribution made by a Dutch company to the ruling Peoples’ National Party (PNP) in 2007.

Both the prosecution and defense lawyers ended their arguments recently and the Court has indicated it would issue its judgment at a later stage.

The lawyers for Simpson-Miller raised the issue of immunity after Dutch authorities sought to have her give a statement in the matter relating to the donations made by the oil-lifting company, Trafiguara Beeher,

Simpson-Miller’s lawyers are stoutly opposed to the request by the Dutch authorities for her to give a statement about the US$300,000 given to the PNP by Trafiguara in 2007 during the political campaign.

Trafiguara had an oil lifting contract with the Jamaican government at the time the donation was made and issue came to light when the then opposition leader Bruce Golding accused Trafiguara of illegally making the donation.

Former parliamentarian Colin Campbell, who was the PNP’s general secretary, resigned after he was implicated in the transaction.

Compiled by Azad Ali

More from Around NYC

>