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Barbados

Authorities in Barbados have called off the search for two missing Americans who were last seen recently on a jet ski. The jet ski has since been found.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Kerrie D Symonds said that the search has ended with no success in locating Magdalena Deville, 25, and Oscar Suarez, 32.

The authorities said the couple had rented the jet ski from an establishment in St. James and the search included personnel and equipment from the USA.

Prime Minister, Mia Mottley had ordered that the search continue for another 72 hours.

Police said both were wearing life jackets. Suarez and Deville arrived in Barbados on June 22 and were scheduled to stay for one week.

Bahamas

Minister of Bahamas Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration, T Brent Symonds has tendered his resignation to Prime Minister, Dr. Hubert Minnis recently.

Minnis said that while Symonds will no longer serve in the Cabinet, his constituents in St. Ann’s will continue to have an MP who cares about them.

The prime minister has appointed Elsworth Johnson to replace Symonds.

Johnson is a former president of the Bahamas Bar Association and former minister of state in the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs,

The small Opposition Democratic National Alliance said Minnis provided “no explanation or reasons for the abrupt and unceremonious resignation of the high-ranking Cabinet minister who had been described as the super minister owing to his multiple portfolios and responsibi­lities.”

Dominica

Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit says he will be bowing out of active politics after the next general election, which is due by March next year, but is widely expected to be held later this year.

Skerrit became prime minister after the death of Pierre Charles in January 2004. At the age of 31, he became the world’s youngest head of government leader, surpassing Joseph Kabila of the United Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Addressing Dominicans, Skerrit said he also intends to step down as political leader of the ruling Dominica Labor Party (DLP) after the general election.

“We want to ensure that there is a much needed transition to new ideas and new talents. I have already made it very clear that this will be my last election as leader of the party,” he said.

In his address, Skerrit told Dominicans they should consider coming home given that the unemployment opportunities, particularly in the tourism sector, would become available.

He said several hotels would be opening this year and several others are under construction, including franchises like Hilton.

Grenada

Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Tafawa Pierre says Grenadians have been fleeced out of millions of dollars as a result of online financial scams.

He is urging nationals to be extremely cautious about accepting online financial initiatives and that they should contact the FIU in determining whether the messages are authentic.

Pierre has estimated that Grenadians have lost EC$7 million over the past few years but there is every indication that the figures have increased.

He said it is about EC$10 million that people have been defrauded, adding that there are two persons who had lost in excess of EC1.5 million that was sent over a one-year period.

Tafawa said the scammers are using different formats to attract persons and innovative ways for the illegal business to thrive, which include forex market, offering grant funding from an agency but to receive the grant some money must be sent and fake check deposit.

Guyana

Guyana has been named the fastest growing economy in the world by the world’s largest stock market NASDAQ.

In a report, NASADQ said that with a projected growth rate of 16.3 percent during the four-year period 2018-2021, Guyana is the fastest growing economy in the world.

NASDAQ says that a GDP size of $3.6 billion (Guy) (2018 Rank 160), a growth of 4.1 percent in 2018 and 4.6 percent in 2019, Guyana’s economy is expected to grow by 33.5 percent and 22.9 percent in 2020 and 2021.

The report added that Guyana is a middle-income country that has an abundance of resources.

The report also pointed to the ExxonMobil discoveries in Guyana and the income that will come to the country when oil production starts next year.

Montserrat

A high court judge has placed a ban on public comments regarding the trial of Montserrat’s former Prime Minister, David Brandt who was remanded in custody on sex-related charges.

Justice Gareth Evans revoked the bail after agreeing to adjourn the matter to Nov. 18, 2019.

Media reports said the judge had decided to remand Brandt to prison to counteract four years of stall tactics by Brandt’s attorneys and as a result could possibly remain in custody until the next court hearing.

In a statement issued by the Registrar of the High Court on behalf of the judge, reference was made to the “number of comments and statements made in the press and social media” about the trial.

It said all members of the pubic must avoid making supportive or negative public statements in the media about Brandt, or disparaging statements about the trial in general.

Brandt, who served as the sixth chief minister of the British Overseas Territory from Aug. 22, 1997 to April, 5, 2001, had been charged in 2015 with two counts of conspiracy to have sexual intercourse with a minor.

The allegations date back to 2010. He was released on EC$20,000 bail.

He has denied all the allegations saying that he is not guilty.

Jamaica

The Jamaica government says it will table in Parliament, the report of a committee that examined the operations of the state-owned oil refinery, Petrojam regarding a series of scandals over its management practices and asset security.

Prime Minister, Andrew Holness told reporters that the report will be also made public, noting that Cabinet has considered the document but has not yet come to any conclusions.

He said the report will be made public and “we will gauge public opinion, engage the public in this conservation and make a decision.”

Pertrojam has been caught up in a controversy of corruption allegations since last June, when several revelations about its operations were aired at Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee.

Opposition legislators called on the government to hold the then Minister of Energy, Dr. Andrew Wheatley accountable for questionable management practices at the entity.

Wheatley and two senior managers have since resigned. Holness said the committee would review the future of Petrojam.

Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley said he plans to address the 74th General Assembly of the United Nations in New Yok in September.

He will do so for the first time as prime minister, and among the issues he intends to raise include Trinidad and Tobago’s management of the an inflow of Venezuelan migrants and harmful perceptions of the regional banking industry by some European countries.

He said it is important that he address the assembly given Trinidad and Tobago’s stance on the Venezuelan situation.

Before attending the Assembly, Rowley said, he plans to meet with United States officials in Washington to discuss several matters including the potential delisting of Caribbean banks.

“We need the American banking system to he told how the banking operates in the Caribbean and we should not be blacklisted,” he told reporters on his return from the recent 40th CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in St. Lucia.

— Compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 4:14 pm, July 16, 2019
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