Caribbean RoundUp

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Haitian President Jovenel Moise at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, on Dec. 12, 2017, as part of the “One Planet Summit.” The French president hosts 50 world leaders for the “One Planet Summit,” hoping to jump-start the transition to a greener economy two years after the historic Paris agreement to limit climate change.
Christian Liewig / Abaca / Sipa USA (Sipa via Asssociated Press)

Caribbean

A United Nations (UN) report says Latin America and the Caribbean is the most violent region in the world for women.

In the report, which was recently released, UN Women and the UN Development Program (UNDP) found that assaults on women persisted in the region despite severe laws aimed at curbing such violence.

It said the rate of sexual violence against women outside of relationship in the region was said to be the highest in the world and the second-highest for those who were in a union.

The report noted that three of the l0 countries with the highest rates of rape of women and girls were in the Caribbean.

It also noted that while 24 of the 13 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have laws against domestic violence, only nine had passed legislation that tackle a range of other forms of violence against women in public or private.

Despite those advances though, the “plague” of violence continues to be a threat to human rights, public health and public safety, the report said.

Bahamas

The Bahamas for the first and third quarter of this year showed a 20 percent increase for package bookings

This is according to data from the popular booking engine Expedia, which showed that Paradise Island and the Family Islands experienced the most growth during this time when compared to the same time last year.

The data also showed that Family Islands experienced a near 20 percent in package bookings.

The information also showed that the average booking window for The Bahamas throughout this period is 45 days and the average length of stay for visitors is four days.

Other Caribbean islands also experienced the influx of bookings and in some instances, surpassed The Bahamas’ result.

Expedia showed that the Caribbean destinations with the highest amount of interest for travel during this month of December, compared to the same month in 2016 are Punta Cana (up to nearly l0 percent), San Juan ( up to nearly 10 percent), Montego Bay (up nearly 25 percent) and Aruba (up nearly 15 percent)..

“The Caribbean is seeing a large influx of group travel around the Christmas holidays, with an increase or more than 30 percent for Christmas Day and nearly 25 percent for New Year’s Day, compared to holiday travel searches for 2016,” Expedia said in a statement.

Barbados

Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Sir Hilary Beckles says Barbados has nothing to fear about a proposal by the Gaston-Browne administration in Antigua and Barbuda for the establishment of a fourth UWI campus in St John’s.

The proposal, which has been received by the UWI Council, is to be the subject of a feasibility analysis over the next four months before a final report is submitted next April for approval.

A state-of-the-art complex has already indemnified as the home for the new regional university, which is to be formed out of a merger of four domestic colleges and is expected to give focus to specific programs such as advanced nursing and software technology.

Sir Hilary, who is in support of the Antigua and Barbuda proposal said such a development was not likely to mean further economic disaster for the Cave Hill campus in Barbados, with student enrollment down to 5,300 from 8,841 at its peak.

He expects Barbados and the two other campuses in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago to maintain a percentage of the OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) enrolment.

Grenada

A teenager has been charged with murder following the discovery of the body of a nine year-old girl who was missing for three days in Grenada.

The 17-year-old boy appeared in the St George’s Magistrate Court recently and was remanded in custody until next week.

Police say the teenager had a criminal record.

The death of the nine–year-old student, Ariel Bhola, who would have celebrated her 10th birthday this month, brings to 12 the number of homicides so far this year.

Her death has led to mounting calls for the state to approve the necessary legislation to establish a sex offender’s registry.

Jamaica

Jamaica Dancehall artiste, Ninja Man, his son and another man were convicted of a 2009 murder and they will know their fate later this month as to how long they will spend in jail.

Ninja Man, whose real name is Desmond Ballentine, his son, Jahneil, and a third man, Dennis Clayton were found guilty of killing Ricardo “Ricky” Johnson by a jury after deliberating for about three hours.

Ninja Man was also convicted of a separate charge of shooting with intent, but his co-accused were found not guilty on that count.

According to the evidence there was an argument between Johnson’s friend and the men but they eventually left.

However, the three accused returned the following day and opened fire, fatally shooting Johnson.

Ninja Man, his son and Clayton were charged that same year.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia recorded a significant decline in its unemployment figures for the third quarter of this year as a result of an upsurge in economic activity in the accommodation, food and retail sectors, according to the Central Statistics Department,

It said that unemployment dropped from 20 percent during the period July to September 2016 to 16.8 percent, a 3.2 decline that translates to approximately 5,000 new jobs being created during the period.

Head of the Central Statistics Department, Edwin St Catherine, noted that the latest unemployment figures reflect a continued improvement from the second quarter of this year- April to June 2017- which was 20.8 percent. For that same period last year, unemployment was 21.4 percent.

Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago recorded 20 murders in the first week of December, but Attorney General Faris –al-Rawi has given the assurance that the government is in control of the situation.

Commenting on the upsurge in murders, which has brought the year’s total so far to 465 as compared to 433 for the same period last year, Al Rawi said he is concerned not only by murders but all crimes.

He said the government has implemented various initiatives including legislation aimed at reducing violent crimes.

The attorney general said the number of guns seized, is evidence of these initiatives.

— Compiled by Azad Ali

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