Relatives of a visiting Englishman who was shot dead in the Bahamas are urging the authorities to combat the rising tide of violence being perpetrated against tourists and wealth residents on Grand Bahama where six people have been murdered so far this year.
The latest victim was Edgar Dart, a British-born Canadian resident, who was gunned down as he tried to protect his recently widowed mother and other family members from three masked men armed with a gun and machetes.
Dart, 56, had challenged the intruders, who broke into his mother’s home art Emerald Bay near the city of Freeport.
According to Assistant Commissioner of Police Emrick Seymour of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, three robbers tied up family members with duct tape and Dart were shot during the struggle.
He said attackers had apparently cut phone services to the house before the attack, and fled in a gardener’s van. No suspects have been arrested as yet.
The police confirmed that the death was the sixth murder on Grand Bahama this year, with 30 overall in the Bahamas.
Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell says the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is likely to meet next in May to approve the island’s “Home Grown Structural Adjustment Program.”
Dr. Mitchell, who recently returned from the annual Spring meetings at the IMF and World Bank, told reporters the international financial institutions had signaled its desire to meet and approve the package in May.
He said a senior IMF official, who is likely to chair the meeting, had met with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Timothy Antoine, on the matter.
The prime minister said the Grenada government is eager to see resources start flowing before the end of May.
Grenada will receive US$21.9 million dollars as part of a three-year program.
The IMF deal will unlock at least another US$100 million in soft loans and grant funding, including US$30 million each from the World Bank and Caribbean Development Bank and unlimited aid from the European Union.
Since the cholera outbreak in Haiti in October 2010, the United Nations continues to struggle to steam the epidemic in the French-speaking Caribbean country.
According to a report published in the Sunday New York Times, “Haiti is less equipped to tackle cholera that it was three years ago”.
It noted that the United Nations has barely raised a fourth of the US$38 million needed last year to provide lifesaving supplies, including the most basic, like water purification tablets.
Predo Medrano Rojas, the United Nations secretary general’s newly-appointed envoy for the cholera outbreak has attributed the shortfall to global “donor fatigue” in the face of other humanitarian crises.
Since the outbreak began 8,562 people in Haiti have died from cholera.
The Press Association of Jamaica has condemned death threats set to journalists who covered the murder trial of popular dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel- whose real name is Addija Palmer, urging the police to ensure the safety of the media.
Kartel in a statement from the prison where is serving a life sentence for the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams, also urged the “misguided individual or individuals” from making the threats, saying “such action is not helping me or my fellow appellants and is playing into the hands of the police and others who are seeking to discredit me and prejudice the fair hearing of my appeal.”
The Jamaica Observer newspaper reported its crime/court desk clerk, Karyl Walker, had been receiving several threatening calls on his cellphone after the paper published the latest article on the case involving entertainer. And Nationwide News Network said its reporter/producer, Abka Fitz-Henley, had also received death threats after the radio station aired the voice notes used by the prosecution in convicting the artiste and co-accused.
Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas says the twin-island Federation will receive assistance from the U.S.-based Clinton Foundation to improve efforts in developing the renewable energy sector.
He says he expects the collaboration will help reduce the island’s dependence on fossil fuel as well as leading to cheaper rates for consumers of electricity.
‘We are dependent upon the importation of petroleum products, diesel in particular from which we generate electricity. Diesel is imported from overseas and has been a very unstable climb in the price. The price keeps going up and up and up. Very few opportunities for it to come down,” the prime minister said.
He told listeners on his weekly radio program that a team of experts from the foundation is due to arrive next month for discuss with the various stakeholders on this island.
St. Lucia Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony says he is concerned about EC$150 million in non-performing bank loans, vowing that the problem has to be resolved.
Anthony, who is also finance minister, said if this is going to be achieved then the gap between the financial sector and the government that makes the decision must be addressed.
‘The time has really come for us to be one team, one partner, but protecting our respective interests, but at the same time addressing the common interest of the jurisdiction that we manage,” the prime minister said.
He praised the “sheer efficiency” of the Bank of Nova Scotia, adding that it belongs to a tradition of Canadian banking that has helped nurse Canada through “this extraordinary meltdown” with minimum damage.
Anthony said what is clear that the Canadian banks have become models for the rest of the world.
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has asked the police to investigate how a confidential report on an illegal “Flying Squad” got into the hands of an opposition member of parliament and a daily newspaper.
An investigation was carried out by the police after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar called for an investigation into reports that the “Flying Squad” was set up under former National Security Minister Jack Warner.
The Police and the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), which was also involved in the investigation cleared Warner of any wrongdoing, although the reports claimed there was some evidence that the parallel police unit may been in operation for some time in 2012.
Warner, however had distanced himself from the illegal police unit saying that he had advised the former police sergeant Mervyn Cordner, who was spearheading the move to the new investigative unit that he was not interested in his offer.
The AG is contending that the report was confidential and has implications for national security.
However, acting police Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams said at this time there is no investigation.
British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean says the United Kingdom does not have any role to play in the ongoing marijuana debate in the Caribbean.
High Commissioner Victoria Dean, who was on a recent visit to St. Lucia told reporters, “It’s not a debate that we have a role to play in, although I know that it is raging wildly around the region.”
Dean said she understood that there are different arguments at stake, with some people believing that marijuana can make an important contribution to the region.
However, she said it’s an issue that needs to “run its course” in the Caribbean with “the right local players.”
The diplomat said whatever course is decided upon is one the UK will have to respond to as it continues to work with the Caribbean in tackling crime, counter-narcotics and issues of a judicial nature.
Last month, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders announced that they were creating a regional commission to analyze the possibility of legalizing marijuana.
Compiled by Azad Ali