Caribbean Round-Up

Caribbean

A new low-cost airline will begin operations in the Caribbean from next month.

REDJet, the newest Caribbean airline will start a service to Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica.

The announcement was made by Ian Burns, chairman and chief executive officer of REDjet.

He said the low fares, starting from US$9.99 (one-way) plus all other taxes is no gimmick and promised that cheap tickets will be available on all their flights.

Burns said the cost of travel will be reduced by about 60 percent in the current market.

He said the first 250,000 seats will be sold for no more than US$49.99 per ticket.

The airline chairman said customers will be able to book tickets from REDjet’s website.

The airline, which will be flying from Trinidad to Bridgetown, Barbados, will begin on May 8 with a double daily service on weekdays and on Sundays.

“We will fly to Jamaica, three times a week starting on May 11 and soon an announcement will be made for flights to Guyana, which will also be daily,” he said.

The airline has two MD-82 aircraft which will accommodate 149 passengers and has already begun acquiring two more, Burns said.

Barbados

Former Barbadian Prime Minister Owen Arthur warned that the immigration incident involving a Jamaican woman must not be allowed to tarnish relations between Barbados and Jamaica.

Arthur, who is also opposition leader suggested that Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Maxine McLean, might have rushed to judgment on the matter when she stated publicly that Shanique Myrie’s claims that she was cavity-searched recently at Grantley Adams International Airport were unfounded.

The former prime minister believes that Barbados has more to loose than Jamaica given its heavier dependence on regional exports and further cautioned the Freundel Stewart administration that it cannot have the matter “spiral out of control.”

Guyana

A 77-year-old former New York police officer was shot dead at one of his properties by two bandits who made off with his gold chain.

Benjamin Nurse of La Penitence, a Guyanese living in New York had only returned to his homeland recently when he was attacked outside his home and shot during a struggle with his attackers.

Nurse was in his yard with two workers who were refurbishing his home when the gunmen struck.

The workers say two well-dressed men demanded Benjamin hand over his gold chain.

A scuffle ensued during which Nurse was shot. The bandits made their escape.

He was rushed to hospital where he later died.

Haiti

Large numbers of Haitians are leaving the dirty overcrowded camps that sprang up after last year’s devastated earthquake, some lured away by financial incentives from officials and others forced out by landowners.

Many more may be pushed out with no where to go just ahead of the rainy season that starts in May, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a report.

The overall camp population already has dropped by more than half in recent months to an estimated 690,000, the IOM said even though almost no new housing has been built and few repairs have been made to dwellings damaged by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010.

Nearly two-thirds of those who left the camps have gone back to their neighborhood and fewer than half are returning to their undamaged homes.

Jamaica

A Jamaican policeman shot dead four members of his wife’s family before turning the gun on himself.

Corporal Wayne Llewellyn reportedly killed his 16-year-old stepdaughter, mother-in-law Rachael Brown and her 72-year-old husband Volney and their son John Townsend, 55, before he ended his own life outside his sister-in-law’s house in the usually quiet community of Three Hills in Western St. Mary recently,

Llewellyn’s wife of 13 years was admitted to hospital with a bullet wound to the neck.

The incident sparked from a domestic dispute.

St. Kitts

Police in St. Kitts are investigating the murder of the police commissioner’s son who was gunned down recently.

Popular deejay Jamie Williams, 27, was with a group in an abandoned yard in Buckley’s Estate on the western outskirts of the capital when an unknown gunman opened fire on them.

Williams was hit multiple times and died on the spot.

None of the others who were with him were injured.

Local radio station WINN FM reported that Commissioner Austin Williams was out of the island at the time but his wife, Laura, went to the scene of the shooting.

His murder is the third homicide in the twin-island federation in the past five years.

Trinidad

Businessmen in Trinidad and Tobago are complaining about a shortage of U.S. currency.

They are calling on the governor of the Central Bank to say why there is not enough U.S. currency in the local market.

Former president of the San Fernando Business Association Daphne Bartlett said a lack of foreign exchange is causing serious concerns for the business community.

Her comments came a few days after the president of the Downtown Merchant Association (DOMA) in Port of Spain said merchants were experiencing difficulty in accessing U.S. currency to pay their suppliers.

Trinidad

The former Patrick Manning administration paid out US$9 million (TT$54 million) to attorneys in the UFF 2009 Commission of Inquiry to inquire into the practice at state-run Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (Udecott) and to probe a housing project in wake of a fallout between Manning and his political nemesis Dr. Keith Rowley.

Dr. Rowley, who has replaced Manning as political leader of the People’s National Movement (PNM) after the May 24 general election last year when the party was beaten at the polls by the Kamla Persad-Bissessar led People’s Partnership party, had raised questions over procurement procedures and accountability at the Calder Hart-chaired Udecott.

Manning after initially resisting later approved a Commission of Inquiry.

Dr. Rowley was fired by Manning from his cabinet in 2008.

The commission was chaired by John Uff, QC of England.

Compiled by Azad Ali

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