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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending August 9th, 2013

09 Aug

DO NOT EXPLORE FOR OIL IN CARIBBEAN, COLOMBIA TELLS NECARAGUA—08/03/13

Colombia has issued a warning to Nicaragua that it should not explore for oil in the area of its Caribbean shoreline. Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos said that his country will stop any offshore oil exploration. Nicaragua is planning to offer over 68,000 square kilometers of Caribbean territory offshore to energy companies. Colombia believes that Nicaragua has no authority to offer the territory to the oil firms.

GRADUATES OF COMMUNITY TRAINING PROGRAM OFFER HOPE FOR BEES—08/04/13
Seventeen participants the Mearnsville/Auldayr Community Development Committee (CDC) graduated from three months of training in bee culture and business management. The training was funded via $2 million in grants from the Alternative Livelihood Grant Program of the Government of Jamaica/European Union/United Nations Environment Program’s Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCADRR) project. It is hoped the training will facilitate the development of apiculture as a viable economic resource in Jamaica.

VICE PRESIDENT OF SENATE IN TRINIDAD RESIGNS—08/06/13
Lyndira Oudit, the vice president of the Trinidad senate, has resigned and quit the United National Congress party as well. The UNC is the biggest of four partners in the People’s Partnership coalition government. Oudit said she resigned because she had been disappointed with the party. She hinted that she may join the Independent Liberal Party instead.

50 PERCENT OF CHILDREN IN DOMINCAN REPUBLIC LIVE IN POVERTY—08/07/13
According to a study by UNICEF, half of the individuals under the age of 18 in the Dominican Republic live in poverty and have to struggle to obtain food, safe drinking water, and adequate shelter. The percent remains high in spite of continual improvements in the national economy since 1996. The study found that only one-third of children finish primary school, and only 18 percent finish secondary school on time.

4.1 EARTHQUAKE SHAKES TRINIDAD—08/08/13
A 4.1 earthquake occurred in Trinidad, but there were no reports of injuries or significant damage. The University of the West Indies’ Seismic Unit reported that the earthquake was located north of the Paria Peninsula and hit at 10:56 AM.

POLICE SUSPECTED OF $1.5 MILLION THEFT IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—08/09/13
Police in the Dominican Republic participated in a raid and shootout at the compound of a sect operated by Peter Brunck, a German man in Sousa These police are now suspected to taking money and property during the operation. Some $1.5 million in cash, jewelry and other property went missing from the compound of the Academy for Future Health. Fourteen police officers are the target of the investigation of the event, which occurred in 2012. One sect member was killed, and rifles, grenades, crossbows, and body armor were confiscated by police. Brunck was arrested on weapons charges.

CONTE CRITICIZES JAMAICA’S ANTI-DOPING PROGRAM—08/06/13
Victor Conte, who was involved with the BALCO drug scandal, is critical of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO). Conte said his chief concern is that the program lacks transparency and does not provide routine annual drug testing statistics as is common in other countries.

UWI MONA OFFERS COURSE ON SLAVERY REPARATIONS—08/07/13
The University of the West Indies Mona campus plans to offer a course on reparation. It will be an investigation of the issue of compensation for slavery in the Caribbean region. Dr. Clinton Hutton, lecturer in the Department of Government in Political Philosophy and Culture, is designing the course, which will focus on the argument in favor of reparation within the context of history.

POLICE INVESTIGATE FRAUD AT TEACHERS UNION—08/08/13
Jamaican police are looking into a case of fraud at the teachers union. All members of the union’s accounting staff have been placed on leave during the investigation. According to the Jamaica Constabulary Force, investigators are working hard to gather statements and interviews on the fraud in question. The action follows “accounting irregularities’ that were revealed during an audit of the Jamaica Teachers Association.

JLP WINS BY-ELECTION IN CASSIA PARK—08/09/13
The Jamaica Labor Party has retaken the Cassia Park Division of Kingston and St. Andrew. Beverly Prince of the JLP had 1,586 votes when all 41 boxes of ballots were counted, while the People’s National Party (PNP) candidate Sheryn Bromfield had 1,176 votes. Prince had been elected to three consecutive terms in Cassia Park before moving to the Hagley Park division in the 2012 local government elections. She lost that bid to the PNP candidate, Norma Wilson.

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