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Band members with the Bahamas Junkanoo Revue, dance and perform during a parade for Miami-Broward One Carnival, celebrating Caribbean culture in Miami.
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Bahamas

The popular Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival has been postponed because of the May 10 general election. It will now take place from May 18-20, two weeks behind the original May 4-6 dates.

The postponement comes less than a week after organizers had announced the event’s line up for the three days.

Prime Minister Perry Christie recently announced that general elections will take place on May 10 .

Carnival lovers are disappointed over the move to push forward the date, especially those who are booked to travel to attend Junkanoo.

Chairman of the National Festival Commission Paul Major said it was in the country’s best interest.

Barbados

Barbados Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite has said that gay people are not persecuted in Barbados, based on their sexual orientation.

He sought to dispel the notion that homosexuals and lesbians were being targeted.

The attorney general made the statement during a courtesy call on Canadian High Commissioner Marie Legault recently.

Brathwaite maintained that, although buggery was still illegal in Barbados, this did not impact two consenting adults.

He said Barbados remained one of the Caribbean islands where gays could exist without fearing for their lives.

The attorney general stressed that citizens have always been aware and very “tolerant of same-sex relations within the society.”

In reply, the Canadian High Commissioner said Canadians “thrive on diversity” and she hoped Barbados would eventually come to a place where it was “different from the rest of the Caribbean.”

Guyana

The Guyana Cabinet is expected to review the Value Added Tax (VAT) paid on private school fees.

In a release, the government said the decision to review the proposal was made following a meeting between private school stakeholders and government officials, including the prime minister and minister of education.

The statement said Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo has committed to reviewing VAT on private school fees at the next meeting of Cabinet.

During the meeting, Nagamootoo made a detailed presentation after listening to a number of educators, students and parents.

He said the ministerial team will take the concerns and views expressed to Cabinet and an announcement will soon be made.

The prime minister said the issue will be reconsidered for the 2018 budget.

At the meeting, the prime minister acknowledged the introduction of VAT on private school fees was an unpopular tax which stakeholders protested.

He explained that the measure was not introduced in any way to place a burden on parents and students, but with the reduction of the VAT rate from 16 percent to 14 percent, there was a reduction of Guy$10 billion in revenue.

The prime minister said the government has to examine ways in which to make up for this shortfall.

Haiti

Haitian airline, Sunrise Airways will soon launch a nonstop service between Port-au-Prince and Orlando, Florida.

Starting from October, the carrier will launch its first direct service from the Caribbean nation to the United States.

The flight will also be the first to connect to Orlando International Airport with Haiti’s Toussaint Louverture International Airport.

In a release, Sunrise officials said the new scheduled flights will begin on Oct. 17 subject to government approval.

The airline also offers intra-Caribbean routes between Haiti and Cuba, Jamaica,, The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos.

Tourism officials say after welcoming 1,189, 269 visitor arrivals in 2015, arrivals declined significantly in 2016, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

St. Vincent

A new state-of-the-art multi-million dollar marina which is being constructed on the Vincentian island of Canouan will transform the island into a major hub for yachting.

Glossy Bay Marina is said to be the first super yacht marina in the eastern and southern Caribbean, with 120 berths, including 24 “super yacht” berths capable of accommodating yachts between l00 and 200 feet long.

Irish financier Dermot Desmond, one of the major investors in the project, has already spent US$60 million and is on track to make a further investment of another US$25 million to US$30 million this year and a similar sum next three years.

He said Italian investor also pumped US425 million into the project.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said he is seeing significant opportunities for Vincentians from the project.

He said when the marina is finished there are gong to be opportunities galore as there are already opportunities for Vincentian entrepreneurs.

St. Kitts

Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris has condemned the vicious attack that led to the death of one woman and injuring another in Nevis on Easter Monday.

Police reported that Moreall Webbe, 28, was killed and Sonia Grant sustained serious injuries when the car in which they were traveling was riddled with bullets. The women were heading home from a bingo game when they were shot at.

In a release, Dr. Harris said the incident that took place in Cotton Ground was in “shocking contrast with the values espoused during the season of reverence.”

“My government condemns that abhorrent, barbaric act and implores those with any information to contact the Royal St. Christopher Police Force to ensure that justice is meted out swiftly for the sake of the victims, their families and loved ones as well as for their safety and security of us all,” the release stated.

Trinidad

More than 1,793 Trinidad and Tobago nationals were deported from the United States over the past 10 years.

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon made this announcement in Parliament while he was answering questions from the opposition about the level of deportees from 2007 to 2016.

According to Dillon, the highest level of nationals deported from the United States over the 10-year period was in 2008, when 325 were sent back.

The lowest figure was in 2015 when 77 were deported.

He said the returnees are placed in different categories according to the reasons / crimes they had committed.

The national security minister said the most serious category of deportees are those concerning murder and terrorist activities, who are monitored by Trinidad and Tobago Intelligence forces and the police.

- Compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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