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Barbados

An attorney is the new leader of the Barbados Opposition Democratic Labor Party (DLP) as it tries to rebuild from its 30-0 drubbing in the May 30 General Election.

Verla De Peiza has succeeded former Prime Minister Frenduel Stuart, who stepped down following his party’s defeat.

She was elected unopposed on the final day of the party’s two-day 63rd annual general conference recently.

In her first speech, as DLP leader, the defeated Christ Church West candidate rallied supporters and urged various organs of the party to rejuvenate so the party can rebuild.

De Peiza will be supported in the party leadership by former Parliamentary Secretary in the previous administration, Irene Sandiford-Garner who was elected First Vice-President; Second Vice-President Nicholas Alleyne; Third Vice-President George Connolly; and Fourth Vice-President Andre Worrell.

Attorney Guyson Mayers is the new general secretary, replacing George Pilgrim, who stepped down after serving for the past 10 years. Frank Firebrace was elected treasurer.

Cayman Islands

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service will be using drone technology in the fight against crime with the purchase of the new equipment.

The police recently used a new commercial standard drone during a simulation of a multi-agency rescue operation at the West Bay Public Beach.

The police force has been using small unmanned surveillance aircraft for almost a year, but officials say the drone is capable of carrying multi camera payloads depending on the needs and the recent training exercise gave operators a chance to gain more experience using the drone.

The drone model the police have been using for the past year was to secure evidence at crime scenes and remote searches, as well as to produce high-level professional imagery.

Dominica

The Dominica government has refuted claims by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley that Dominica could not be ready to receive the United States medical school, Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) in January 2019, hence the reason Barbados agreed to host the school.

Dominica ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American States (OAS), Vince Henderson, said on a recent radio program in Roseau that the Dominican Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, had in July written to Adtalem Global Education, the parent company of RUSM, indicating that plans were advanced for the resumption of classes.

Henderson assured that all arrangements that were discussed for the accreditation for Ross by the Medical Board have been acted upon to meet the desired expectation.

Ross’ university has decided to relocate to Barbados after 40 years in Dominica following the passage of Hurricane Maria in September 2017.

However, Mottley has denied there was anything underhand by her administration into accepting the RUSM move to operate in the country, stating that Barbados had only entered the picture “when, for Ross University, returning to Dominica for the start of the January semester in 2019, was not an option.

“This is not and has never been a case of poaching or enticing anyone away from Dominica,” she said in a statement.

Guyana

The Guyana government says the economy grew 4.5 percent during the first half of this year.

This was revealed by Finance Minister Winston Jordon as he presented the Mid-Year Report in the National Assembly recently.

According to the report, preliminary data indicate that this growth in the economy was more broad-based than 2017 with robust performances in agriculture, fishing and forestry sectors of 3.4 percent.

Other crops, fishing, livestock and forestry industries all experienced growth over the same period, with the latter two growing by a commanding 29.2 percent and 18.1 percent respectively.

Growth was also recorded in the services sector of 8.2 percent and construction of 13.4 percent.

However, there were contractions of 3.8 percent in the sugar and rice industries by 30.6 and 3.8 percent, respectively.

Production in the bauxite industry reached its highest level since 2013, surpassing 2017 by 21.1 percent. This has led to a revision of the forecast growth of the industry upward from 23.3 percent to 29.9 percent.

There was a remarkable growth in other mining of 31.2 percent driven by the productions and other stones, which increased by 13.3 percent and 45.5 percent respectively when compared to 2017.

Jamaica

The Jamaican government will soon be launching a commission to examine and find solutions to violence in the country.

This was disclosed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness who said the media will be a major stakeholder in the process.

He said it is not a discussion for politicians solely to have in the national discussion adding that he will be inviting members of the press association to participate to come to a solution to the issue of violence.

The prime minister was at the time addressing the opening ceremony for the 49th Annual General Assembly of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in new Kingston.

He urged the Jamaican media to be responsible in how it promotes projects, produces and publicizes content that could in any way support violence.

Holness stressed that the government “has to increase its footprint and presence in ensuring that there are positive messages in a free media,” as an effective way of dealing with violence.

St. Kitts

The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) recently recruited two retired senior police officers from Jamaica to serve in different capacities within the local police force.

The move is in a bid to further strengthen the capacity and capabilities of the RSCNPF.

Joining the ranks are retired Detective Inspector Marcia Garrick and retired Senior Superintendent Colin Pinnock.

The recruitment was made public by Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Timothy Harris on a recent radio program.

He said the government wants to provide support which the police and law enforcement agencies require to do their work and hold them accountable for delivering the results.

Garrick, who has more than 37 years of experience in investigating sexual offences and child abuse, is attached to the Special Victims Unit (SVU) as lead investigator on matters of sexual offences.

Pinnock, who has 40 years in investigating violent crimes will be assigned to the Violent Crimes Unit and the Criminal Investigations Department of the police force, where he will occasionally be lead investigator and consult on investigations involving major crimes.

Retired Jamaica Chief of Defense Staff Major General Stewart Saunders serves as security advisor to the St. Kitts-Nevis government.

Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela have signed an agreement to purchase natural gas from Venezuela’s Dragon Field.

There were no details of the agreement, which were signed between Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley and President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas recently.

In separate statements at the Miraflores Presidential Palace, Rowley and Maduro described the terms of the agreement as “historic” with the promise to benefit both economies.

And no details, including the critical gas price, which took 18 months to negotiate, were given.

Rowley told reporters the agreement clears the way for the construction of the 17-kilometer pipeline, which the Dragon will breathe 150 million standard cubic feet of gas per day into Shell’s Hibiscus platform in Trinidad and Tobago territorial waters.

The Dragon field, projected to deliver 150 mmscfs/d eventually is wholly within Venezuela’s territorial waters.

As with all previous accord singed since 2016, Rowley and Maduro described this one as historic.

Rowley said this gas has been lying there for millions of years can now be brought to market through the pipeline and plants in Trinidad and Tobago .

The pipe-laying project is expected is expected to be completed by 2020.

— compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 4:42 pm, September 6, 2018
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