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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending March 29th, 2013

29 Mar

ELEVEN NATIONS IN CARIBBEAN DISCUSS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAWS—03/23/13
Representatives of governments and civilians in the Caribbean region have joined to discuss freedom of information, public participation in governance, and access to justice. These topics were addressed at the Regional Conference on Freedom of Information in the Caribbean: Improving Management for the Environment,” which was held in Kingston, Jamaica. The meeting resulted in a plan to launch a network of freedom of information in the Caribbean and to support ways to improve standards for accessing information in the area.

GILCHRIST JOINS CARIBBEAN PREMIER LEAGUE—03/24/13
Former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist is the second international franchise player to sign on with the newly formed Caribbean Premier League (CPL). The league is to begin July 29, 2013 and end on August 26, 2013. The tournament will include six franchise nations: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago. Gilchrist said he was excited to be joining the league, which features some of the best cricketers in the world.

AIDE TO HAITI PRIME MINISTER KILLED IN DRIVE-BY SHOOTING—03/25/13
Georges Henry Honorat, an aide to the Prime Minister of Haiti, was killed near his home in the Delmas district of Port-au-Prince, the victim of a drive-by shooting. Honorat, 55, was shot twice as men drove by and died at the scene. Honorat worked as editor in chief for the weekly newspaper Haiti Progres and was secretary general of the Popular National Party. According to reports, Honorat had received constant threats from anonymous people.

CARIBBEAN SPENDS US$321 MILLION YEARLY TO FIGHT DENGUE FEVER—03/26/13
Countries in the Caribbean are spending US$321 million every year to battle dengue fever, which is spread by a particular breed of mosquito. According to Professor Christine Carrington, who works with using molecular genetic methods to find ways to reconstruct the history of the dengue virus populations in Trinidad and throughout the Americas, said the total did not include indirect costs, such as lost time due to sickness or premature death.

PNDER TOUTS EPA AS BASIS FOR INTER-CARIBBEAN TRADE—03/27/13
Ryan Pinder, Minister of Financial Services, is urging nations in the Caribbean to pursue regional trade integration via the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Regional Preferences Article, using the EPA as the basis for regional integration. Without creating economic opportunities for people in the Caribbean such as jobs and the chance to build careers, there can be no successful integration.

GRENADA TO REINSTATE PROGRAM TO SELL CITIZENSHIP TO FOREIGN INVESTORS—03/28/13
Grenada has decided to bring back a program designed to permit foreign investors to purchase citizenship in the country. Carlyle Glean, governor general of Grenada, said the plan represents a portion of an overall strategy to increase revenue on the island. Grenada will join St. Kitts, Dominica, and Antigua in allowing the purchase of citizenship in return for significant contributions or investments.

FIREFIGHTERS RESCUE MAN BARRICADED IN CLOCK TOWER—03/27/13
Firefighters in Jamaica rescued a man from inside the Half-Way-Tree clock tower where he had barricaded himself. No one could say what had provoked attacks on the mentally challenged man, who had taken shelter in the tower to protect himself from further violence. Witnesses reported that the man had run into the tower and barred the door after being doused with water by a group of men. The man hit the bell in the tower repeatedly beginning at about two in the morning. Firefighters were called to the scene and took him safely from the tower. He was then taken to Bellevue Hospital by police.

GOVERNMENT PLANS TO SUE TEACHERS FOR BROKEN BOND ARRANGEMENT—03/27/13
Jamaica’s Attorney General’s department will bring legal action against over 200 teachers who have broken a bond arrangement and owe the government over $400 million in total. The teachers do not currently have the support of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) because the organization’s president, Clayton Hall, wants to government to pursue the delinquents and/or their guarantors, who were also government employees, to obtain the outstanding monies.

JACKSON RESIGNS FROM DISASTER PREPAREDNESS OFFICE—03/28/13
Ronald Jackson has resigned as the director general of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency. He will take a new position as executive director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. His new job begins on April 3, 2013. Jackson has served as director general since August 2006.

MAJOR POLICE OPERATIONS CONDUCTED IN MONTEGO BAY—03/29/13
Two prominent residents of Montego Bay were arrested, and police seized a number of luxury vehicles, computers and documents during a 12-hour operation. The operation was headed by the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force (MOCA). Nine people were arrested and will be charged with a variety of offenses. Police declined to state the nature of the charges.

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