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Antigua

Antigua and Barbuda Attorney General, Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin says Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago have requested additional time from the University of the West Indies (UWI) to consider the move by Antigua and Barbuda to become the fourth regional campus territory.

Speaking on state-owned ABS radio and television recently, Benjamin said that another meeting of the council is to be held on May 30 even though the “committee recommendations have well been fully accepted.”

He said it is only a formality just to give those two nations an opportunity to have further discussions on the matter.

Benjamin said that Antigua and Barbuda “has met every criterion to establish the fourth landed campus on the island.”

Last month, UWI Vice-Chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles held talks with the government of Antigua and Barbuda regarding the opening of the fourth landed campus of the regional territory institution.

The government said then that the Five Islands Campus should be opened in September with at least 1,000 students and according to a Cabinet statement issued in Antigua and Barbuda, the Vice-Chancellor was invited by the Government to announce the pending decision of the Accreditation Council.

Prime Minister, Gaston Browne said the campus would be opened in September regardless of whether or not there’s support from other Caribbean countries.

Bahamas

The University of the West Indies (UWI) School of Clinical Medicine and Research (SCMR) has entered into a partnership with the International Gynecological Cancer Society (IGCS) to reduce the “unacceptable” rate of ovarian cancer in the Bahamas.

The partnership also includes the University of Miami (UM) and the Leonard Miller School of Medicine.

SCMR Director, Dr. Robin Roberts, said the two-year program will allow specialists in obstetrics and gynecology to further advance in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers arising in the reproductive organs of women and to become designated gynecological cancer experts.

He noted that every month one woman dies from cancer of the cervix, adding that in modern practice of medicine no woman should die from cervical cancer.

Dr. Roberts described the partnership as a “red letter” day in health care in the Bahamas, noting that the Fellowship was launched in July 2018 and aims to “reduce” and eradicate” the burden of female reproductive cancers in “low resource’ countries including The Bahamas.

Guyana

The Guyana Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) says students, housewives and unemployed people are being used by criminals and drug dealers to launder funds on their behalf.

This was revealed by FIU Director, Matthew Langevine who said the unit has been receiving increasing numbers of suspicious transaction reports, from money transfers.

He said it has also been discovered that individuals involved in offences tied to drug and human trafficking and money laundering are utilizing the services of the students and unemployed people.

Langevine said students are being used to send monies through these money transfer agencies, as well as housewives, and unemployed persons.

The FIU said last year, it received 330 suspicious transaction reports, the majority of which came from money transfer agencies and so far for this year 120 suspicious reports have been made to the unit.

It said so far 12 reports have been sent to the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) and that is has also been receiving suspicious transactions from several financial institutions, the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) and gold dealers.

In its 2019 International Narcotic Control Strategy Report on money laundering, the United States noted that Guyana’s National Risk Assessment.

St. Kitts

The St. Kitts-Nevis government said it would provide EC$1million in emergency funding for the cash-strapped regional airline LIAT.

In a statement, Prime Minister, Timothy Harris said that the funding follows a presentation made by a three-member delegation from LIAT last month and the establishment of an advisory committee, headed by Financial Secretary, Hilary Hazel, to review the proposals and make recommendations.

LIAT shareholder governments — Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines — met in Antigua recently to discuss the future of the airline amidst speculation that it could be forced to shut down because of the financial situation.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said last month that the regional airline may be forced to close its operations after Caribbean governments appear reluctant to provide the necessary injection needed to keep the airline flying.

Grenada has responded positively to the call for US$5.4 million to help the airline deal with its current financial problem.

“The government of St. Kitts and Nevis agrees in principle with the idea of participating in and MRG (Minimum Revenue Guarantee) arrangement on the basis of further discussions and negotiations with high-level representatives of LIAT,” the statement said.

Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago has the highest suicide rate in the English-speaking Caribbean.

This is according to acting principal medical officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Maryam Richards.

Addressing stakeholders at the opening ceremony for the third International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) regional three-day symposium at Hilton Trinidad, Port of Spain recently Richards said suicide is the 15th leading cause of death in all age groups in Trinidad and Tobago, which is ranked 41st out of 170 countries in the world for the highest number of suicides with a rate of 14.5 per 100,000.

These figures, she said, do not capture figures for attempted suicides and the Caribbean region, like the rest of the world, continues to lose people to suicide at an alarming rate.

She said the World Health Organization (WHO) 2014 statistics reveal globally, approximately one million people dies from suicide every year, a figure that translates to one death every 40 seconds.

Compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 4:11 pm, May 8, 2019
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