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Sir Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados.
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Antigua

The former Antiguan and Barbuda Financial Services Regulatory Commissioner (FSRC), Leroy King, who is seeking to stop his extradition to the US to face 11 fraud charges stemming from the US$7billion Ponzi scheme operated by Allen Stanford, has lost his appeal in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court recently.

However, the matter of Kings’ extradition, which has been going through the courts since 2009 when the United States authorities first issued a warrant for his arrest, would further be prolonged if he decides to appeal to the British Privy Council. Notwithstanding an earlier application for leave was also rejected last year.

Ain April, 2017 Justice Darshan Ramdhani said the High Court, having reviewed King’s arguments, saw no reason why either his claim for constitutional relief of the application for leave to appeal should be allowed.

King has consistently lost all legal challenges to his extradition but each time had filed an appeal.

US authorities alleged that King received “thousands of dollars in bribes” from Stanford to ensure that Antigua and Barbuda regulatory authority “turn a blind eye” and conducted sham audits of Stanford’s operation.

King is accused of helping Stanford and his associates evade and obstruct US probes of the Stanford business empire for several years.

Barbados

Some 16 automated passport control (APC) kiosks have been installed at the Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados.

Minister of Home Affairs, Edmund Hinkson, is urging passengers to use the kiosks on arriving in Barbados, in an effort to fast track the process before they see an immigration officer.

Noting that Cabinet has agreed in principle to the pilot project, Hinkson said his ministry was presently working on bringing the relevant legislation to Parliament to guide the process.

He said there is model CARICOM legislation which include the kiosks and Advanced Passenger Information (Systems), which Barbados is behind on and some other CARICOM sister countries already in place, noting that those countries included St. Lucia, Grenada and Antigua.

However, the minister has reiterated that the kiosks operated on a facial identification process and there was no fingerprinting exercise being conducted under the pilot project.

He said it was unconstitutional for Barbadians to be fingerprinted.

Bahamas

Police in the Bahamas has mounted an island-wide search for a man who shot and killed a senior police officer in the presence of his daughter near a junior high school at the western district of New Providence.

The police said Inspector Carlis Blatch, who served as aide-de-camp to Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, was sitting in a vehicle along with his daughter when he was approached by a man armed with a gun who ordered him out of the vehicle.

As Blatch was exiting the vehicle, the gunman shot him, got into the vehicle and drive away.

He was rushed to the hospital where he later died.

His daughter was able to escape from the vehicle unharmed. Police later recovered the vehicle.

Inspector Blatch has been on the staff of the governor general for the past 14 year, serving as protocol officer and then as aide-de-camp to the governor general.

Grenada

The United States has made it much easier for nationals of Grenada to renew visas for travel to the North American country.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said this is exciting news for the country which will go a long way in the importance of the relationship between both countries.

He told a news conference the issue was also addressed by the United States Ambassador to Grenada, Linda Swartz Tagliatela.

Previously, Grenadians had to travel to neighboring Barbados to renew their visas and the prime minister said many citizens had to make enormous sacrifices to go to Bridgetown to renew visas, adding that the cost of that is quite prohibitive and this initiative is making it easier for Grenadians to travel to the USA.

The new initiative went into effect on Sept. 10 and will be available to persons seeking temporary visitor visa which is classified as B1 or B2.

The United States ambassador explained that the initiative falls under the USA Caribbean strategy 2020.

“This hopefully will assist a lot of Grenadians who are interested in going to the United States by being able to renew their visa online and couriering the passport to Barbados,” she said.

Jamaica

Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Hillary Beckles is one of two Caribbean representatives on the board of directors of the Global Center for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management (GCTRCM).

The announcement was made by Jamaica Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, who said the chief officer of the Jamaica National Group, Earl Jarret, is the second regional representative to GCTRCM.

He said the other board members include Professor of Crisis and Disaster Management, University of Bournemouth, England, Lee Miles, chief executive officer of the Chesterfield Group of Hotels, one of Europe’s well-established hotel chains and Brett Holman, chief executive officer at Pacific Asia Travel Association and former United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Secretary General, Dr. Taleb Rifal, who will serve as chairman (temporarily).

Bartlett said the composition of the board has some really powerful persons across the world offering to assist, adding that there are other names but they have not committed as yet.

He said several universities have agreed to partner with the government on engagements, involving the center.

The minister said representatives of these universities will be allowed in the development of and publishing of an academic journal focusing on tourism industry disruptions, crisis management and resilience.

St. Lucia

Officials of The British Virgin Islands say key repairs have been completed at Her Majesty’s Prison and inmates can now be accommodated at the facility.

In a joint statement, Governor Augustus Jaspert and government minister Myron Walwyn, who are jointly responsible for the prison thanked the government and people of St. Lucia and staff of the Bordelais Correctional Facility in St. Lucia for their assistance in housing inmates following the passage of Hurricane Irma last year.

September marked the one-year anniversary of the storm and the day which the final batch of 21 prisoners returned from St. Lucia.

The inmates who had been chosen for the transfer were described as “high-risk” prisoners by the authorities.

Trinidad

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that positive growth should return to Trinidad and Tobago this year even as it acknowledged that the oil-rich country, is slowly recovering from a deep recession.

In a statement following an examination by its board of directors, the Washington-based financial institution said that the local economy has continued to contract but at a slower pace, underpinned by the strong recovery in gas production.

It said weak activity in construction, financial services, and trade, continued foreign exchange shortages, and slow pace of public investment dampened non-energy sector growth and that positive growth should return from 2018 as the recovery takes hold in both sectors.

The IMF urged the Keith Rowley government to take advantage of the impact of higher energy prices had on the fiscal position and complete, the ongoing adjustment, given the inherent volatility in energy prices.

— Compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 5:15 pm, October 4, 2018
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