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Bahamas

Hurricane Irene has caused nearly US$37 million in government losses, a regional insurance body has estimated.

But the country will not receive nay payout from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) as the damage is not considered significant enough for The Bahamas to qualify, according to Simon Young, CEO of Caribbean Risks Managers, the facility supervisor of CCRIF.

The CCRIF, which is a non-profit risk pooling facility owned and operated by the Caribbean governments, said its board and team share the belief of the Bahamian government that the impact of Hurricane Irene was not as bad as had been feared.

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham declared recently that the country was not devastated by the storm.

Guyana

Guyana says it supports the move by the Trinidad and Tobago Government to implement a state of emergency to clamp down on murders and other violent crimes in the country.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement “The government of Guyana shares the view that societies must not be held to ransom by criminal elements and fully supports the action of the government of Trinidad and Tobago to restore order and bring those responsible to justice.”

It said in the face of acts of violence which have disrupted several communities in recent times, such a move was justified.

There were 11 murders over a period of a few days before the state of emergency.

The state of emergency which gives the military personnel powers to search and seize and powers of arrest, went into effect on Aug. 22.

The measure includes a 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew.

Guyana

Tapped phones, a warship in the night and dramatic details of the upending of the Cheddi Jagan government in Guyana in 1953 are revealed in secret documents declassified recently by Britain’s MI 5 security service.

Cables, letters, reports, records of surveillance and telephone conversations were among the dozens of documents released by the UK’s National Archives that reveal in detail how the UK under Prime Minister Winston Churchill constitutionally threw out Cheddi Jagan’s government in 1953.

The documents reveal how British spies kept up intense scrutiny on Cheddi Jagan and Janet Jagan, who founded the People’s Progressive Party to campaign for independence from British rule.

Other members of the party including LFS Burnham also came under scrutiny in what were tense times for the British.

Haiti

Haiti’s President Michel Martelly has made his third attempt at getting legislators to accept his nomination of a prime minister three months after he took office in the French-speaking Caribbean island.

Martelly has nominated Gary Conille, a former top aide to former U.S. President Bill Clinton as he desperately seeks to get a government in place. The failure to install a prime minister has put reconstruction efforts from last year’s devastating earthquake on hold.

The Senate had earlier this year rejected Daniel Rouzier for the post and in August voted 16-14 margin against former justice minister Bernard Gousse, who was accused of prosecuting supporters of former president Jean -Bertrand Aristide.

Conille, 45, is likely to meet with opposition legislators whom political observers say are likely to raise questions over his eligibility because he has not lived in Haiti for five consecutive years, a constitutional requirement for the post.

But the president is likely to counter that argument by saying that Conille who was an aide to Clinton in his work as the U.N. special envoy for Haiti is exempt from the residency because he has been working for the United Nations.

Jamaica

Carnival Cruise Lines has reached an agreement with the government of Jamaica, which will guarantee cruise ship ports in Montego Bay and Ochio Rios at least 1.2 million visitors over three years.

The agreement will ensure that both ports maintain current levels of cruise arrivals, despite the competition from the new Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier.

Carnival has also agreed that if it fails to deliver the agreed number of visitors, it will pay the difference between the actual numbers and the guaranteed figure.

Minister of Transport and Works Mike Henry described the achievement as “another important milestone” for his ministry, and commended Carnival Cruise Line and the Port Authority of Jamaica for their support.

St. Kitts

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas recently announced the establishment of a special anti-crime unit in the Office of the Prime Minister and as a result was assuming the portfolio for the police and defense force.

“To give to the new arrangement, His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, acting on my advice and in keeping with our Constitution, has assigned the subjects of police and defense force to me,” he said.

‘This would enable me to effectively carry out my duties as chairman of the ministerial task force and to provide policy directions in relation to the fight against crime. It would also give the crime unit in the Office of the Prime Minister the necessary authority to discharge its administrative functions in relation to the police and defense force,” Dr. Douglas told the nation in a radio and television broadcast.

He said his deputy prime minister, Sam Condor, will continue to hold all of his other portfolios in a restructured ministry, renamed the Ministry of Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs, Labor and Social Security.

The prime minister said the Department of Homeland Security will include immigration, passports, prisons, fire and rescue services, and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago Central Bank Governor Ewart Williams said if the state of emergency is successful in achieving its primary focus of reducing crime then the economy is certain to benefit in the future.

Rising crime has been affecting investor confidence in T&T for some time, Williams said.

He said while businesses are pointing to losses since the declaration of the state of emergency, if stringent security measures are successful in curbing crime then the economy is bound to benefit.

However, he said it is too early at this time to know exactly what the effect on the economy will be as a result of the declaration of the state of emergency.

The Central Bank governor said in the final analysis crime was a big issue and crime was adding to the cost of doing business.

“The bottom line is the level of crime was clearly adding to the cost of doing business,” Williams said.

Trinidad

The opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) says the government is protecting the financiers of the drug trade, while trying to make it appear as though they are attacking the base of the “drug pyramid.”

The accusation was made by Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley who slammed the government for what he called an attack against the country’s drug trade.

He asked what has the government done to control and dominate the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), which is one that is going to look at the financing of the drug trade?

Dr. Rowley said Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar had vetoed the appointment of a director of the FIU, which was recommended by the Public Service Commission.

During the debate on the state of emergency in Parliament last week, Persad-Bissessar admitted that she had vetoed the recommendation and promised to give details at a later stage.

Turks and Caicos

After being sentenced to 30 years in prison in the U.S. for money laundering and fraud, Jamaican banker David Smith was brought back to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) recently to finish serving his prior six and a half years sentence for similar offences in the TCI, which will run concurrently with the U.S. sentence.

Smith, who was residing in the TCI when he was arrested, was a close friend of former Premier Michael Misick, who publicly referred to him as a “model citizen.”

Smith’s attorney Oliver Smith said that while he feels the 30 year-sentence is a very long time “it will give him (David Smith) time for life after he gets out.”

Smith is now 43 and if he served his full sentence, will be 73 when he is released.

Smith had expressed remorse for cheating hundreds of investors, saying he was “not a terrible man.”

Compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 5:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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