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Caribbean

The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) announced that Hurricane Irene resulted in losses in six of its member countries - Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Haiti, St. Kitts & Nevis and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Of these territories, the highest losses were determined for the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos Islands.

None of the four countries were impacted by more than lower tropical storm-force winds (under 50mph).

The CCRIF board and team said it shared the relief of the governments of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas that the impacts of Hurricane Irene were not as bad as been feared.

Critical tourism infrastructure on which these countries largely depend for economic activity was not badly affected, the CCRIF said in a statement.

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism indicated that the major tourism areas of Nassau/Paradise Island and Grand Bahama have seen a quick return to normal operations.

Antigua

The Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) wants to hold discussions with shareholder governments - Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines – to discuss a long list of grievances.

The pilots hope that their approach, guided by their legal team would help them arrive at a consensus with management, noting that industrial action would be a last resort.

The pilots also want to meet with the airline’s management to discuss the issues, but the most contentious one concerns the status of the Provident Fund and monies paid into it.

They have also listed cockpit temperatures and grievance procedures as some of their major concerns.

Barbados

A New York court official has been chosen to be the next chief justice of the Caribbean island of Barbados.

Marston Gibson has accepted the job to be the country’s top judicial officer in his native country.

Gibson currently serves as a court referee for the New York State Supreme Court in Minneola, Long Island. His responsibilities are that of a judge deciding on disputes in civil court matters.

The longtime Hampstead, N.Y. resident is expected to take up his new duties this month.

Gibson, 57, says he plans to remain as chief justice until his term expires when he turns 70.

Guyana

Police in Guyana say record world prices for gold are triggering killings, robberies and other crimes across the resource-rich South American country.

Police Chief Henry Greene said recently that the 26 killings that occurred this year in gold mines near the border with Venezuela and Brazil are all linked to surging gold prices.

The most recent slaying occurred last week. Police said a miner was shot to death while his son was beaten and buried alive with the help of an excavator. Officers have begun to patrol jungles in all-terrain vehicles, set up checkpoints near gold mines and build new police stations, mostly in the western interior.

The price of gold hit a new record high of nearly $1,830 an ounce recently.

Haiti

The number of Haitians living in temporary settlement camps has dropped below 600,000 for the first time since the January 2010 earthquake, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

In outlining a new program to move people into homes, officials of the intergovernmental organization said approximately 594,000 people are living in nearly 900 camps, a decline in total population of about six percent from June.

Luca Dall’Ogolio, the group’s chief of mission in Haiti, said most of those who left did so because of poor living conditions and crime or because landowners or government officials evicted them or threatened to do so.

In some cases, Haitian officials have paid people to leave camps.

The migration agency said a new program will aim to solve that problem by paying people’s rent in a new home rather than giving them resettlement money.

Jamaica

A Jamaican music producer for a top reggae label has been shot dead outside his home in an upscale neighborhood of the capital Kingston recently.

Joel Chin was attacked after he stepped out his car in the driveway of his home. Police have not disclosed a motive for his killing.

Chin was the grandson of Vincent “Randy” Chin, a pioneering reggae producer from Jamaica who established VP records in New York. The company has made stars such as Sean Paul and Bennie Man.

VP records say Joel Chin moved from New York to Jamaica two years ago to spend more time on music.

St. Kitts

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for urgent action in restoring debt sustainability and achieving a higher growth path in St. Kitts and Nevis.

The Washington-based financial institution said that while the nation’s economy is gradually recovering from a prolonged downturn, the “elevated public debt-to-GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio poses significant risks to the outlook.”

The IMF said it was therefore urging the Denzil Douglas administration to pursue its “ambitious fiscal adjustment plans, including a comprehensive debt restructuring and the wide-ranging reform agenda as the core of the economic program to the supported by a Standby Arrangement with the Fund.”

It has commended the government for embarking on “front-loaded fiscal consolidat­ion,” which includes introduction of a value added tax (VAT), implementation of an excise tax and electricity

Trinidad

Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said that people who are found outdoors in any of the six curfew-restricted areas in Trinidad and Tobago could now face a fine of $3,000 or six months in jail.

The AG has expressed concern regarding an increase in the number of citizens being caught outdoors between the specific curfew period of 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. since the State of Emergency was declared on Aug. 22 said amendments were made to the existing law after he met with President Max Richards.

Ramlogan said with the new stiffer penalties, a magistrate could use his or her discretion while imposing a sentence on those found guilty, adding that both the police and army will adopt a practical and sensible approach to persons who are found to have been in breach of the curfew and may have a reasonable excuse for being outdoors.

“We have moved from a fine of $500 to $3,000,” he noted.

Since the curfew was imposed 30 people have been arrested.

The AG said the second amendment under section 9:2 of the Emergency Powers Regulations 2011 deals with persons who consort or are found in the company of another persons, who without lawful authority has in their possession arms, ammunition and other contraband, for the intention to breach public order.

The offense, he said, now carries a fine of $5,000 and one year imprisonment.

Trinidad

The Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) Group has entered into a long-term agreement with the WIN Group for the establishment and operation of a cement terminal on approximately five acres of land at Terminal Varreaux in Port-au-Prince.

The effects of the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake stimulated tremendous support from the Caribbean Community and the TCL Group, being the largest supplier of cement to CARICOM, of which Haiti is a member.

The WIN Group is one of the oldest and longest operating corporations in Haiti and is currently involved in related diverse industries such as port operations, petroleum storage, diversified warehousing and industrial parks.

Phase 1 of the project will see the establishment of a Cement Warehouse Facility/Operation within six months, for the supply of bagged cement originating at Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL), the TCL Group’s operating in Jamaica, while further evaluation of a cement bagging terminal is actively pursued.

Compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 5:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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