LIONFISH NOT STOPPED BY NATIVE PREDATORS IN CARIBBEAN—07/13/13
According to John Bruno, biology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, lionfish will continue to live in the Caribbean, having no natural predators. Bruno says the only way to resolve the problem of the “voracious” lionfish is to reduce their population by fishing for them. Lionfish are natives of the Indo-Pacific area, and they are popular with aquarium lovers because of their dramatic appearance. They are an invasive species to the Caribbean, however, and threaten endangered native animal populations.
ORGANIC PRODUCT OF BANANAS VERSUS CONTROL OF DISEASES—07/14/13
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is providing support for two Caribbean projects that appear to be contradictory. In one project, the organic production of bananas is encouraged, while in the other, chemical fungicides are promoted as controls for the worst scourge of the banana crop, black sigatoka. The projects focus on the Dominican Republic because it is a small producer and better suited to the specialized demands of the global market, said Kaison Chang, economist with the FAO Intergovernmental Group.
OFFICIALS FROM CARIBBEAN VISIT SINGAPORE—07/15/13
Government ministers from ten Caribbean countries and CARICOM’s Secretary General are visiting Singapore at the invitation of Law K. Shanmugam, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The ministers are there for high-level exchange discussions that will address common economic and social concerns for Singapore and the Caribbean, including climate change, urban development, ICT and public administration.
YVETTE CLARKE JOINS IN CALL FOR PROBE IN ZIMMERMAN CASE—07/17/13
Yvette D. Clarke, Caribbean-American congresswoman, has joined other members of the New York City Congressional Delegation in asking for a “thorough” investigation of the Zimmerman case by the United States Department of Justice. In this case, a white neighborhood-watch volunteer shot and killed an unarmed 17-year-old African-American, Trayvon Martin, in Florida. On July 13, 2013, a jury comprising six white women returned a verdict of not guilty, allowing the shooter, George Zimmerman, to go free. Clarke believes that Trayvon would still be alive if Zimmerman had not followed him armed with a concealed handgun.
RIGHTS GROUPS IN HAITI CONDEMN THREATS TO GAY COMMUNITY—07/18/13
Mario Joseph, attorney, and Charlot Jeudy, a gay rights advocate, have given voice to groups in Haiti that believe gay people should be able to live their lives without being attacked or threatened. Jeudy, president of Kouraj, a gay rights group, held a news conference following an appearance on national TV by a group called the Haitian Coalition of Religious and Moral Organizations to inform the country that it disagreed with laws in other nations that support marriage equality. The group plans to hold an anti-gay demonstration in Port-au-Prince.
SHIP CARRYING WEAPONS FROM CUBA TO NORTH KOREA SEIZED IN PANAMA—07/19/13
Authorities at the Panama Canal seized a ship traveling from Cuba for attempted arms trafficking. A ship sailing under a North Korean flag was found to be carrying undeclared military cargo that appeared to include missiles and non-conventional arms. The weapons were hidden in containers of brown sugar. Authorities initially stopped the ship on suspicion that it was carrying drugs.
JAMPRO SAYS JAMAICA’S BRAND IS SAFE—07/17/13
The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is encouraging Jamaicans to realize that the nation’s brand remains strong, despite negative publicity arising from allegations of doping by Jamaican athletes. According to Mark Thomas, communications manager at JAMPRO, the country is not expected to suffer too much from these events. Jamaica is known for more than its athletes, he noted.
LAW NEEDED TO STOP TURF DEFENDERS, SAYS CHUCK—07/18/13
Delroy Chuck, Opposition spokesman on Justice and National Security, is calling for a new anti-gang law that will target groups that threaten to keep people of differing political views from entering their communities. Chuck believes that gangs attempt to protect their turf and make threats to prevent those from other communities coming into their areas. Chuck says a law is necessary to prevent this activity.
JAMAICA’S PRIME MINISTER TO ENHANCE EFFORTS AT DOPING PREVENTION—07/19/13
Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica and also the nation’s minister for sports, reported that the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) found 15 positive tests among 860 samples over the past four years. The agency intends to increase its efforts in education and testing programs after five top Jamaican athletes tested positive for banned substances. Education programs at high schools and primary schools will be initiated by JADCO, said Simpson Miller.
XUEREB SAYS SPRINTERS “LOOKING FOR A SCAPEGOAT” IN DOPING SCANDAL—07/19/13
Chris Xuereb, the trainer of Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, said he did not provide performance-enhancing drugs to the athletes and suggested that they “take responsibility for their doping” rather than look for ways to put the blame on others. Xuereb said he has done nothing wrong and is disappointed that the athletes are blaming him for their problems.