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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending July 26th, 2013

26 Jul

 

CARIBBEAN LIZARDS INDICATE PREDICTABILITY OF EVOLUTION—07/20/13
Researchers have found that evolution may be predictable, at least with Caribbean lizards. While the predictability of evolution has been a staple debate topic among scientists, researchers studying the Anole lizards in Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico, could actually see evolution at work over a period of 40 million years. They investigated 100 of the 119 Anole lizard species and combined data to create a “family tree” of the lizards to build an “adaptive landscape,” for the lizards.

ACS IMPORTANT IN CREATING SUSTAINABLE TOURISM ZONE IN CARIBBEAN—07/21/13
A meeting of the ACS Special Committee on Sustainable Tourism included delegations from 16 ACS nations and representatives from the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. According to the chairman of the special committee and president of the Martinique Tourism Authority Karine Roy-Camille, the ACS provides critical opportunities for sharing and exchanging experiences about development common to nations in the Caribbean in regard to sustainable tourism.

U.S. COAST GUARD FINDS 2,300 POUNDS OF COCAINE—07/22/13
In the central Caribbean, the United States Coast Guard intercepted 2,300 pounds of cocaine worth $35 million and arrested four people in connection with the shipment. The interception required shots to be fired from a Coast Guard helicopter to disable the engine of the boat carrying the drug. The suspected drug smugglers are being held by federal authorities in Tampa, Florida. The arrests were part of Operation Unified Resolve, which began in October of 2012 and focuses on the region around Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

CARIBBEAN IMMIGRANTS IN NYC USE FOOD STAMPS TO SHIP FOOD HOME—07/23/13
In New York City, Caribbean immigrants are using food stamps to purchase food for their families back home and shipping the food to them in 50-gallon barrels. The United States government is unknowingly facilitating the operation. The Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card gives immigrants access to food products that are costly in their home countries and have created a market-based program with the aid of local organizations. It is so common in New York City that supermarkets even sell the shipping barrels. U.S. lawmakers are outraged by the practice.

MORE DIGITAL CONTENT NEEDED IN CARIBBEAN, SAYS EXPERT—07/24/13
Rhea Yaw Ching, the corporate vice president for sales and marketing at Columbus Communications, believes that more local digital content is key to raising the rate of Internet penetration in the Caribbean market. The production of local content also creates social and economic development opportunities in a region. People in the Caribbean consume digital content produced beyond its borders, but there continues to be a lack of locally produced content available to Caribbean Internet users.

CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY TAKES UP CAUSE OF COMPENSATION FOR SLAVERY—07/25/13
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is a regional organization that generally focuses on economics and business, but it has decided to foster the cause of compensation for slavery and the genocide of native peoples in the region. CARICOM is preparing for a long battle with British, French, and Dutch governments over the issue. It has asked for help from a British human rights law firm and is creating a Reparations Commission to press its case, according to Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

TWO BROTHERS ACQUITTED ON CHARGES OF RAPING FIVE FEMALES—07/24/13
Sheldon Brissett, 21, and Kerron Brissett, 20, were charged with raping and assaulting five females, including an eight-year-old girl, in Irwin Point, St. James, in 2012. The brothers were acquitted of all charges in the Western Regional Gun Court after prosecutors called just two of their ten witnesses and provided no additional evidence in the case. DNA evidence previously provided in the case indicated that the brothers were not at the scene of the crime.

AMENDED LAW TO RECOGNIZE UNBORN CHILDREN AS BENEFICIARIES—07/25/13
According to Jamaica’s Minister of Justice Senator Mark Golding, the law governing probate and administration of estates will be amended to allow unborn children to be recognized as beneficiaries if they survive the deceased individual and if paternity is established. The law will also allow a person who attests a will to be permitted to apply to the court to benefit from gifts left to him/her by the deceased. The changes are designed to modernize the probate process.

LLEWELLYN WARNS CRITICS ABOUT BLAMING DPP, POLICE INVESTIGATORS—07/26/13
Paula Llewellyn, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), is cautioning critics of her office against putting the blame for the fact that high-profile cases have fallen apart. Llewellyn spoke out after a judge at the Supreme Court instructed a jury to bring a not guilty verdict in one of the two murder cases against Vybz Kartel, a popular entertainer. She said fearful witnesses often refuse to go into witness protection programs and return to the same locations where the accused individual lives. Witnesses may accept money from family or friends of accused individuals to discontinue a case, or they may just not show up to testify. There is nothing that can be done if a witness refuses to testify, says Llewellyn.

GOVERNMENT LOOKING FOR FOREIGNER FOR TIVOLI ENQUIRY—07/26/13
Jamaican Minister of Justice Mark Golding stated that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is working with the government to find potential commissioners who would be responsible for the Tivoli Commission of Enquiry. Golding said it would be good if the people involved had the right type of experience and international standing and reputation to perform this kind of job.

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