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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending May 24th, 2013

24 May

EX-PREMIER OF CAYMANS DENIES ALLEGATIONS—05/18/13
McKeeva Bush, former premier of the Cayman Islands, is denying allegations that he gave a $1 million donation to a Caribbean university in order to receive an honorary PhD. Bush said is knows nothing of the donation and states that police took him into custody a day before he was to receive the honorary degree. In March 2013, Bush was accused to misusing a state credit card and other charges that resulted in five counts of theft, four counts of breach of trust, and two counts of misconduct in a public office.

CARIBBEAN LITERATURE SHOWCASED—05/19/13
The third annual NGC Bocas Litfest held in Port of Spain, Trinidad, showcased Caribbean literature to large and appreciative audiences. Regional writers discussed their work, the concept of a national literature, and the challenges of post-colonial historiography. The festival is a collaboration with the Edinburgh World Writers Conference. Marine Selandy Brown, founder of Litfest, said the questions of the past are still relevant, but the focus has changed in Caribbean literature.

NUMBERS OF GIANT LEATHERBACK TURTLES RISE IN CARIBBEAN—05/20/13
The Giant Leatherback Turtles, whose numbers in Trinidad had been reduced due to poachers in recent years, are coming back in parts of the Caribbean region. Poachers would steal the turtles’ eggs, which are buried in the sand, and also kill the adults to sell their meat. Now, the turtles represent a major tourist attraction, and people visit the island to watch the hatchlings run into the sea. There are active efforts to preserve the turtles’ environment and protect them from harm, which is leading to greater numbers of the species surviving.

WORLD BANK SAYS CARIBBEAN WILL DOMINATE GLOBAL INVESTMENT, SAVINGS—05/21/13
A report from the World Bank indicates that the Caribbean will be among those nations that dominate global savings and investment within a generation. The Global Development Horizons report states that by 2030, 50 percent of capital in the world will be in the developing world. Currently about 33 percent of the capital is in the region. The Caribbean, East Asia, and Latin America will be in line for the greatest share of capital, according to the report.

NEW BOARD APPOINTED TO OVERSEE CARIBBEAN AIRLINES—05/22/13
The minister of finance in Trinidad has appointed a new interim board charged with the oversight of Caribbean Airlines. The action was taken after the state-owned airline had losses totaling over $70 million. The committee’s investigation may bring charges of malfeasance linked to the $520 million arbitration settlement.

FARMING IN CARIBBEAN HOPES TO GET A BOOST—05/23/13
Communities throughout the Caribbean are being challenged by climate change and food security, but advances in agriculture offer the hope of invigoration for the region’s farm sector and its profits. The University of Central Florida (UCF) has collaborated with Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College of St. Kitts to implement an education project targeting sustainable development in the face of climate change. The project is having great success in areas like hydroponics, organoponics, and hybrid-ponics, which are various ways of handling soil and water to maximize crop production.

GOVERNMENT SEEKS VIOLENCE INSURANCE FOR TEACHERS—05/22/13
Jamaica’s Ministry of Education is considering a violence insurance package to help teachers who have been attacked and hurt by pupils in the classroom. Ronald Thwaites, Minister of Education, explained that the coverage was under consideration because teachers in these situations would have “normal recourse against (the) employer if there was any negligence or want of care.”

50 PEOPLE BENEFIT FROM HOUSING MINISTRY INITIATIVE—05/23/13
Jamaica’s Ministry of Housing is ready to write off the mortgages of 50 individuals as part of the Jubilee Housing Initiative. This is part of the Ministry’s activities designed to celebrate the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence. Beneficiaries were chosen from all parishes and who live in housing programs operated by the Ministry.

FLOYD MORRIS APPOINTED NEW SENATE PRESIDENT—05/24/13
Floyd Morris has been appointed to the position of President of the Jamaican Senate. He will replace Reverend Stanley Redwood, who resigned and moved with his family to Canada. Morris warned Navel Clarke of the government that he will be watching him to ensure no one in the Upper House is distracted. Valerie Curtis, deputy clerk of the Houses of Parliament, and Heather Cooke, clerk, will act as “eyes” for Morris, who is blind.

HANNA WANTS JAMAICAN YOUTH TO USE LABOR DAY—05/24/13
Lisa Hanna, Jamaican Minister of Youth and Culture, is calling on young people to make use of Labor Day, which gives them the opportunity to give back to their communities through service to the elderly and others who helped with their development. While many young people may not be able to make monetary contributions, making personal efforts to help would be welcomed. The theme of Labor Day 2013 is “Lend a Hand, Build Our Land” and is designed to emphasize responsibility to the community.

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