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Caribbean

The European Union (EU) is providing 400,000 euros to implement a new project on preventing domestic violence in the Caribbean.

The funds have been given to a team of Caribbean and European experts, headed by Professor Adele Jones from the University of Huddersfield, London, in partnership with The Sweet Water Foundation of Grenada.

The experts say that data will be used to develop interactive, role-playing computer games designed to empower victims and change attitudes that have been linked to aggressive and violent behavior.’

It is often claimed that computer games encourage violence, therefore the idea is to create computer games that can be used in schools to reduce negative attitudes developed in childhood and which can fuel domestic violence in later relationships.

The two-year project, titled “None-in-Three” has been derived from the finding that one in three women and girls experience violence in their lives.

The None-in-Three project, which will be implemented in Barbados and Grenada was launched on March 8 to coincide with celebrations making International Women’s Day.

Antigua

Antigua and Barbuda recently announced another major project, called Gravenor Bay — a significant addition to the island of Barbuda.

Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Minister Asot Michael said the $450 million project on the southern tip of Barbuda will be built in seven phases, providing a total 1,100 jobs in the construction and permanent phases.

He said the project will be “fully environmentally sustainable” that means a total reliance on solar energy.

The project will begin with a phase called “Genesis,” with ground-breaking set to begin as soon as government receives the necessary approvals.

The Genesis phase is slated for completion within 18 months.

The second phase of the project will include two hotels; one with 160 rooms and a smaller, boutique property with 80 rooms.

Gravenor Bay’s third phase will include an additional 140 villas.

Barbados

Barbados Attorney General has claimed that Barbadians cane take comfort in the fact that the island’s crime situation is nowhere as that of neighboring Trinidad and Tobago, which recorded close to 90 murders in more than two months.

“There is an acceptance and / or recognition in Barbados that crimes are solved,” Braithwaite said as he made reference to a video circulating on social media of an incident in Trinidad where two gunmen in broad daylight jumped out of a car and fired several shots at a man sitting on a bicycle near a shop. He died on the spot.

He said: “You will not see that in Barbados and part of the reason was we in Barbados solve crimes. We lock up our people for breaking the law, but if you live in a country that people believe that that they can with impunity break the law and take life and there will be no consequences, that’s part of the reason why in some countries your see that kind of behavior that you see.”

“But in Barbados you know that we solve 90 to 95 percent in particular of our homicides. So people don’t get away with the most egregious crime in the country,” he noted.

Last year Barbados recorded 39 murders.

Bahamas

History was made in The Bahamas recently when Parliament passed four amendments to the country’s 1973 Independence Constitution, effectively removing the remaining vestiges of discrimination against all Bahamians from the country’s law books.

Prime Minister Perry Christie, speaking after passage of the bills, underscored the historic significance within the context of the rights of women to vote, a franchise granted to them in 1962, more than half a century ago.

The first bill grants the legal rights to a Bahamian woman to automatically pass on her Bahamian citizenship to her child in a foreign country with a non-Bahamian spouse, just as a Bahamian male married to a non-Bahamian woman currently has the legal right and privilege of doing under the current constitution. All MPs voted in favor of the bill.

The second bill enables a Bahamian woman who marries a non-Bahamian man to secure for her foreign husband the same access to Bahamian citizenship that a Bahamian man married to a non-Bahamian woman currently enjoys under the constitution.

Under the third bill, an unmarried Bahamian man is given the legal right to pass on his Bahamian citizenship to a child he fathered with a non-Bahamian women. Under the constitution, only an unwed Bahamian woman enjoys that legal right and privilege.

The final bill seeks to eliminate gender discrimination by inserting the word “sex” into Article 26 of the Constitution to make it unconstitutional to discriminate against anyone on the basis of being male or female.

Guyana

The Guyana government will host the Caribbean Community and Common Market’s annual summit next July because Dominica is still reeling from the impact of Tropical Storm Erica that killed more than 30 people and damaged infrastructure last September.

Guyana government officials said recently that Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt will still chair the three-day CARICOM Summit.

The conference is expected to focus on legalizing medical marijuana, suing European countries for slavery reparations, climate change and the impact of low oil and commodity prices on exports from member nations.

Guyana has been the 15-nation group’s headquarters since it was founded in 1973 and had previously filled in as host for Dominica in 1995 when it was also hit by storm damaged. It is to host the summit in 2017.

Haiti

Cholera is said to be killing about 37 people a month in Haiti and has sickened more than 6,000 people so far in the poverty-stricken Caribbean island.

Since the disease started in Haiti in October 2010, it has affected more than 770,000 people and killed more than 9,000 persons.

Public health officials fear that much needed resources to combat the spread of the disease have been diverted to the regional spread of the Zika virus.

Cholera is now considered “endemic” in Haiti — an illness that occurs regularly.

St. Lucia

Barbados and St. Lucia are negotiating a maritime agreement between the two Caribbean countries.

A government statement said that officials from the two countries ended four days of talks in Barbados recently and has “prepared a draft text of a maritime boundary delimitation agreement.”

The statement said officials from St. Vincent and the Grenadines had recently concluded similar negotiations with Barbados.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados signed a Maritime Boundary Delimitation Agreement on Aug. 3, last year.

The statement said that the two delegations were supported by a team from the Commonwealth Secretariat and that the heads of delegations underlined “that these negotiations and, in particular, the provisional agreement between Barbados and St. Lucia bear testimony to the spirit of cordiality and good-neighborliness that has characterized all of these discussions.

“The United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea, to which both countries are party, entitles them to claim an Exclusive Economic Zone of up to 200 nautical miles. As a result of the proximity of these states, there is the necessity to delimit their maritime boundaries,” the statement noted.

“The delimitation of maritime boundaries facilitates the governance of these maritime spaces and creates certainty for users,” the statement added.

St. Vincent

A German national was murdered and another injured when masked gunmen boarded their yacht anchored in Wallaibou, south-western St. Vincent in the early hours of the morning last Friday.

The captain of the yacht was injured during the ordeal.

The attack took place at a sheltered cove that was part of the set for “Pirates of the Caribbean” film and is popular with “yachties.”

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said the incident has shattered “our sense of peace and tranquility” in our country and in this case using violence, adding, that those on board had praised the Coast Guard, which arrived within 20 minutes of being called.

He said his government is making all the necessary arrangements to have the other persons, including the captain, flown to the neighboring French island of Martinique, from where they will fly to Europe.

Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago is facing a downgrade by the international credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service — the second time in two years.

It could impact on T&T’s ability to attract foreign investment if the government’s bond and issuer ratings are downgraded at a time when the country is facing an economic downturn.

Last week the New York-based ratings agency, announced it had placed T&T’s Baa2 Government bond and issuer ratings on review for downgrade.

Moody’s signaled this approach ahead of a two-month review on T&T to assess the extent of the impact of the further sharp fall in oil and gas prices on the country’s economic performance and the balance sheet of its government in the coming years.

“Moody would downgrade Trinidad and Tobago’s Baa2 rating if its rating review were to conclude that the government’s plans are unlikely to be adequate to sustain Trinidad and Tobago’s economic or government balance sheet strength.

“Signs of an emerging or fiscal balance-of-payment crisis would also exert downward pressure on the rating,” the ratings agency said.

Last year, Moody’s downgraded Trinidad and Tobago’s government bond rating and issuer rating from Baa1 to Baa2.

— compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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