Carib Roundup: Scholarships available for students in Antigua, Barbuda

Antigua:

Students from Antigua and Barbuda will benefit from 20 scholarships that the government of Romania will make available for 2018–2019 academic year.

A two-member delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, headed by ambassador at large, Daniela Gitman recently visited Antigua to promote Romania’s candidacy to the United States Security Council for the 2020-2021 mandate.

The delegation met with Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

In his address to the Prime Minister, Gitman disclosed that the government of Romania is formulating a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would offer ten full scholarships in medicine and a further ten in social sciences to qualified nationals of Antigua and Barbuda.

Prime Minister Browne expressed his gratitude to the delegation and appreciation to the government of Romania noting that the MoU is a valuable investment to the nation’s human resource.

He also affirmed his government’s support for Romania’s candidacy and further underscored Antigua’s willingness to work together with the Romanian government to strengthen political, economic, cultural and people-to-people relations.

Bahamas

A Haitian national was jailed for five years in a Nassau court after pleading guilty to several charges of importing cocaine into the Bahamas after a large quantity of the illegal drug was found by police in a Haitian vessel.

Police said five people, including the captain of the freighter were held recently after officers from the Drug Enforcement Unit assisted by the US Drug Enforcement agents carried out a search of the vessel in Inagua.

Dones Benjamins, a cook on the vessel, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs to import dangerous drugs, possession of dangerous drugs with the intent to supply and importation of dangerous drugs.

The other four accused pleaded not guilty when they appeared before Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes and will re-appear in court on February 2018.

The four Haitians were remanded in custody.

Police said they seized 106 packages of cocaine weighing 273 pounds with a street value of US$1.7 million.

Jamaica

More than 1,500 people have been murdered in Jamaica so far for this year, including 51 children, according to figures released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JFC).

Last year a total of 1,350 people were murdered.

The figures showed that close to 1,400 men have been killed since January with many households now without a father or a male figure.

According to JFC figures, 1,350 males have so far been killed this year due to violence.

The date also revealed that between 2013 and this year, 5,328 men have been murdered in Jamaica, while 569 women and 236 children died violently during the four-year period.

The JFC figures show that 51 children were murdered this year, as compared to 37 last year.

The data also showed that guns have been used in 82 percent of the killings in Jamaica, with 1,228 people have been killed by the gun; 106 by knife; 44 by machete and 113 by other implements.

St Lucia

Fire officials are trying to determine the cause of fire which recently left parts of the Soufriere Hospital in St Lucia damaged.

This is the second fire in less than two months to hit the hospital.

Unlike the November 9 blaze which did no damage, the second fire destroyed the maternity ward and other areas. There w ere no casualties.

Health officials said some equipment was destroyed in the fire, including some new l0th European Development Funded equipment.

Minister of Health and Wellness Senator Mary Isaac said her team is moving swiftly to relocate all services that were offered at the Soufriere Hospital.

Fire officials and police suspect arson in the fire.

St Kitts

The former supervisor of elections in St Kitts/Nevis was charged with two counts of misconduct in public office related to the 2015 general elections.

Winston George appeared in court on two counts of misconduct relating to two constituencies in terms of withholding their results.

George stopped the counts in the Saint Christopher No 4 and Saint Christopher No 8, constituencies on February 16, 2015 and did not disclose the results until two days.

Lindsay Grant and Eugene Hamilton were declared winners. Both of whom are now ministers in Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris administration.

The decision to withhold the results led to widespread criticism from regional governments.

George was granted EC$ 50,000 bail when he appeared in court and had to surrender his travel documents as a condition of bail.

Suriname

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a US$215,000 grant to the government of Suriname to enhance the competitiveness of the country’s agricultural sector, products to determine which have the most potential to provide competitive advantage to Suriname.

CDB division chief, Social Sector, Deidre Clarendon said Suriname possesses several attributes, which are favorable to the development of a vibrant agricultural sector.

He said the project will build on existing analyses through a review of national, regional and international policies, strategies and reports relevant to food and agriculture in Suriname.

The findings, he said, will assist the government of Suriname, the private sector and development partners’ efforts in identifying, prioritizing, financing and executing agricultural sector investments.

Clarendon said this could improve the participation of and benefits for smallholder farmers, and increased exports and import substitution.

Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams said investigations into the four-year old controversial “Emailgate” probe has completed and nothing of substance has found.

He said it is now up to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to make a pronouncement on the matter.

On May 20, 2013, then opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley told Parliament he had received 31 e-mails purporting to show correspondence between then Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, then attorney general Anand Ramlogan and several other Cabinet ministers in a sinister move to undermine the judiciary, the Office of the DPP and the media. Rowley said he had received the e-mails from a “whistle blower” indicating how operatives within the government had sought to undermine those institutions.

Among the allegations Rowley made were they conspired with other government members with the aims of “killing a journalist, bribing the DPP, attempting to bud the DPP’s office and being guilty of misbehavior in public office.”

The then government ministers all denied the allegations.

— compiled by Azad Ali

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