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Antigua

Students from Montserrat have been offered a scholarship to pursue studies at the American International College of Arts and Sciences (AICASA) or the American University of Antigua - College of Medicine (AUA).

Montserrat Premier Donaldson Romeo recently held discussions with Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne on the possibilities of having Montserrat students pursue medical studies in Antigua and Barbuda. Prime Minister Gaston Browne approached the American University of Antigua for assistance.

The vice-president of international affairs and dean of the library services and academic support, Dr. Majid Pathan announced that, following consultations with the president of AUA, Neil Simon, the request made by Browne has been approved.

“The president is extremely happy to grant one scholarship annually to a citizen of Montserrat either for courses leading to an Associate of Science in Health Sciences or the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree,” Panthan said.

Browne, in commenting on the approval of his request, said that his government sees the education of the young people of Antigua and Barbuda and the region including the sister nation of Montserrat, as fundamental towards our nations’ future development.

The AUA and the ACIASA grant six scholarships each on an annual basis for Antigua and Barbudan students in their institutions.

Barbados

The Barbados cabinet will soon consider a drug plan for 2015 to 2020, which was recently finalized.

This was disclosed by Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite when he addressed the opening of a four-day national seminar in Illicit Drug Production, Synthetic Drugs and New Psychoactive Substances at the Grane Resort, Bridgetown.

“In formulating the drug plan, we would have a holistic approach to how we would treat legal and illegal substances and have one body that champions our overall legal framework,” he explained. He said once Cabinet gave its approval, the plan would be implemented.

“We have not had a comprehensive plan in many years (and) we were bit behind time in terms of our commitment to CICAD (the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control,” Brathwaite said.

He added that the drug plan, which was for five years, outlined the island’s overall framework, in terms of its response to the international, in terms of its response to the international best practices for legal and illegal substances.

Brathwaite also stated that he firmly believed that as many people as possible should be trained in detecting the use of illegal substances in determining the use of illegal substances and in educating young people, particularly those who were more inclined to experiment.

Head of the Supply Reduction Section of CIAD, Ziggie Malyniwsky said traditionally, the Caribbean focused on drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana and alcohol.

Dominica

Airlines have resumed flights since Tropical Storm Erika ravaged Dominica in late August.

Commercial flights serving the Caribbean island are resuming flights to the Douglas-Charles Airport following the storm which left 25 people dead and hundreds of homes destroyed.

The Eastern Civil Aviation Authority gave the go-ahead to resume commercial flights. Since then airport authorities have been working to restore essential services to the badly damaged terminal building in order for airline partners, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines and Winair, to re-establish schedules to the airport.

Partners airlines have made several test landings since receiving the go-ahead

Guyana

A delegation from St. Maarten — one of the five Caribbean countries seeking associate membership in CARICOM — recently met with CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin La Rocque at CARICOM headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana.

In addition to discussions on the terms and conditions of associate membership, the delegation received information on the structure and work of CARICOM and the ongoing reform of the Community and the Secretariat.

St. Maarten already enjoys a good relationship with CARICOM, as it has attended meetings of the COHSOD (Council for Human and Social Development) as an observer; it participates in the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and offers the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) curricula and examinations in its schools.

The delegation also met with the technical directorates of the CARICOM Secretariat and representatives of CARIFORUM.

Grenada

Grenada and China are moving ahead with plans to formalize an air services agreement.

This was revealed by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell on his return from China, saying tourism was also high among the items high on the agenda during his trip.

Grenada is set to become the second country in the region after The Bahamas to conclude such an agreement with China, which can boost the economy.

“We are going to be the second country in the Caribbean that has signed on officially to air service agreement with the major project being planned by the Chinese investor Charles Liu in Mt. Hartman area, which is almost a billion dollar investment,” Dr. Mitchell said.

China is planning to initiate a regular flight to Cuba by way of Montreal, Canada, next month.

The prime minister said his government plans to work with Cuba in order to benefit from a Chinese flight in the region.

Mitchell met with a high level delegation in China led by the country’s Premier Li Keqiang.

Discussions covered a range of other issues including Beijing’s desire to speed up on infrastructural projects on the island such as the housing projects and completion of the football and athletics stadium.

Jamaica

United States President Barack Obama regards Jamaica as a vital partner in the fight against transnational crime and is looking forward to the island further cooperating with Washington “to advance our common agenda.”

A government statement said Obama made the remarks as he accepted the credentials of the island’s new Ambassador to the United States Ralph Thomas.

“We have supported your exemplary effort by providing training and equipment for the Jamaica Defense Force, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, as well as working to improve overall security within the Caribbean basin,” Obama was quoted as saying. He said Washington was also working with the Caribbean island to improve the country’s energy diversity and security.

Obama said he was looking forward to working together, “to advance our common agenda as we deepen further the strong and abiding friendship of our two countries.”

Montserrat

Former Chief Minister David S Brandt has described as “totally false” two sex-related charges laid against him by the police recently.

Brandt, a prominent lawyer, who served as chief minister of the British Overseas Territory from l997 to 2001, was released on EC$200,000 bail and is due to return to court on Dec. 7 this year. He was charged with having unlawful sex with a girl under the age of 16 years, and conspiring to have unlawful sexual intercourse under the age of 16 years. The allegation dates back to 2010.

But speaking on ZIB radio recently said: “I am not guilty and in the fullness of time it will be shown that I am not guilty. I cannot comment anymore on anything.”

“The allegations they have brought against me are totally false,” he added.

St Vincent

The St. Vincent and Grenadines government is seeking a further US$16 million to go towards the construction of the Argyle International Airport.

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace said the Ralph Gonsalves administration is seeking Parliament to authorize the borrowing of the funds for the long- delayed airport.

Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves has said the airport will be completed and operational by the end of the year

He has defended the decision to seek the US$16 million saying the funds were contained in the budget that was approved in January.

He said half of the loan is for equipment purchased or sourced for the terminal building.

The prime minister said the new loan is being borrowed from the United Kingdom government and that under the arrangement, the International Airport Development Company, the state-owned firm responsible for the construction of the airport, is eligible for a refund of US$5.7 million from the US$16 million loan.

Trinidad

A killing spree in Trinidad and Tobago has pushed the murder figure to 325 so far for this year. Police recorded 30 murders over an l0-day period.

New Minister of National Security Edmund Dillon said it appears that there is the re-emergence of kidnappings in the country.

Three kidnappings for ransom have already been reported so far for this year, according to the police.

Some 94 cases of kidnapping were reported for 2014.

He said the police commissioner is treating with in a different manner.

He also addressed the issue of the spike in murders in the country.

Dillion said the national security agencies are tackling the issue in a multi-pronged approach with the protective services handling the operational unit and his ministry embarking on audit to see what is needed to improve the services.

Police commissioner said that the murders in the country had nothing to do with the police, but was a social issue which was not properly addressed.

Compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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