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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending August 2nd, 2013

02 Aug

 

UNITY ON GUYANA’S HYDRO ELECTRIC PROJECT URGED—07/27/13
Donald Ramotar, president of Guyana, is calling for opposition lawmakers to place their differences with his government aside and permit legislation to go forward that would ensure that cheap electricity will be available to the nation’s citizens in the future. The passage of the Hydro-Electric Power (Amendment) Bill and a related motion to raise the guarantee limit of loans is necessary to make sure that development continues in Guyana, said Dr. Ashni Singh, the country’s finance minister.

NOVEMBER CONCERT IN BARBADOS SCHEDULED BY RIHANNA—07/28/13
Rihanna, a six-time Grammy Award-winner, will perform a concert in Barbados on November 2, 2013. This will be her second concert in her home nation. According to Richard Sealy, Minister of Tourism, the event will not be produced by the state-owned entertainment authority, but by international promoters.

CARICOM MEMBER STATES FALL SHORT FOR FEMALE ENTRPRENEURS —07/29/13
According to the Women’s Entrepreneurial VentureScope index, only Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago provide a good environment for women entrepreneurs in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The index is the first comprehensive and standardized measure of the region’s enabling environment for women who want to start and develop businesses. Jamaica ranked in 12th place, while Trinidad and Tobago ranked 18th. The best environments for women were found in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay.

KING OUT AS LEADER OF OPPOSITION IN ST. LUCIA—07/30/13
St. Lucia’s former Prime Minister Stephenson King was removed from his position as leader of the United Workers Party (UWF), the chief opposition party in the country after Allen Chastanet, his former tourism minister, achieved a victory in the latest poll. King was defeated 264 to 99. Chastanet says his first task is to unite his party toward the common goal of defeating the St. Lucia Labor Party in t he next elections.

MEMBERS OF PILOT ASSOCIATION HAVE NO PLANS TO STRIKE—07/31/13
Members of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) say they are not involved in any strike actions against LIAT, the airline based in Antigua. The organization also objected to remarks made by Ian Burton, the airline’s CEO, who suggested that the pilots were not acting as “team players.”

EIGHT SUSPECTS DETAINED IN MURDER OF ENVIRONMENTALIST—07/01/13
Authorities in Costa Rica announced that they have eight suspects in custody in connection with the killing of Jairo Mora Sandoval, a volunteer with Widecast, a nonprofit group that protects turtle nests from poachers at Moin Beach. Mora Sandoval was killed by thieves who target visitors to the Limon Province beaches. He had been shot in the head.

ELECTORAL COMMISSION TO REVIEW LIMITS ON CONTRIBUTIONS—07/30/13
The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) is considering an increase to the amount individuals and donors may contribution to political parties and candidates. The proposed increase would double the contribution amounts allowed. According to Dr. Herbert Thompson, chairman of the ECJ, the requirement enacted in 2011 that no individual be allowed to contribute over $1 million will be adjusted to $2 million to reflect the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar.

50 JAMAICAS GET FREE MORTGAGES UNDER SPECIAL PROGRAM—07/31/13
Fifty Jamaicans from different locations throughout the island will receive free mortgages under the special Jubilee Year debt forgiveness program, Jubilee ’50 for 50 Housing Initiative. The program is offered by the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller noted the commitment of her administration to putting more land titles into the hands of Jamaicans.

JAMAICAN COURT AFFIRMS COMMISSION’S POWER OF ARREST—08/01/13
A court in Jamaica ruled that the Independent Commission of Investigations has the authority and power to arrest and charge accused police officers. The judgment of the Constitutional Court represented a “major victory” for the Commission and followed three years of argument on the issue. The police federation and three other police organizations had filed with the court to question the Commission’s powers.

HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION INTO TRANSGENDER KILLING—08/02/13
Human Rights Watch, a human rights organization based in New York, is calling on police in Jamaica to perform a full investigation into the killing of Dwayne Jones, a transgender teen, at the hands of a mob near Montego Bay. The group issued a statement asking authorities on the island to “spare no effort” in finding those responsible for the murder. Activists note that gays in Jamaica are frequently the victims of discrimination.

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