STATE DEPARTMENT, PORTMIAMI PARTNER TO IMPROVE PORT SECURITY—08/31/13
The United States Department of State and PortMiami in Florida have partnered to improve the security of ports in the Caribbean. William R. Brownfield, assistance secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, says that criminals will try to move drugs through the Caribbean as routes in Mexico and Central America are closed by enhanced law enforcement efforts. So he has encouraged regional governments to prepare to fight the increased threat of drug traffickers in the Caribbean. PortMiami is a hub for Caribbean and Latin American travel and will offer training in anti-crime and port security methods.
ANGLICAN CHURCH IN CARIBBEAN SAYS NO TO MARRIAGE EQUALITY—09/01/13Archdeacon Valentine Hodge, the head of the Anglican Church in St. Kitts and Nevis, has decided to clarify the church’s position on same-sex marriages: it does not support such marriages nor does it condone the homosexual lifestyle. Hodge says he is only speaking on behalf of the Anglican Church in the West Indies, but notes that the church believes in “indissoluble monogamous marriage that is something which should last for life…Indissoluble..and…we also believe that it is something between a man and a woman.” Although the Episcopal Church and Church of Canada have supported gay marriage, Hodge says that same-sex unions are not accepted in the province of the West Indies.
MAYORAL CANDIDATES MARCH IN WEST INDIAN PARADE IN NEW YORK—09/02/13
The crowds attending the Brooklyn West Indian Day Parade had a chance to see candidates for mayor participating in the march. Current mayor Michael Bloomberg led the parade, as did candidate John Liu, the city’s comptroller.
DECLINE SEEN IN NEW HIV/AIDS INFECTIONS IN CARIBBEAN—09/03/13
The Caribbean recorded the largest reductions in new HIV/AIDS infections since 2001, according to the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV & AIDS. There was a reduction of 42 percent, according to Mrs. Valerie Beach-Horn of the organization. Between 2005 and 2011, there was a reduction of 48 percent in AIDS-related infections, and a decrease of 32 percent of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and AIDS during the same period. The Caribbean is likely to be the first region in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015, Beach-Horn said.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC’S ENVOY FROM VATICAN REMOVED—09/04/13
The Vatican has removed the papal envoy to the Dominican Republic. The nation is investigating allegations of child sex abuse in the area, and the papal nuncio Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, 65, is under examination. Rev. Federico Lombardi, spokesman from the Vatican, did not discuss the nature of the accusations against the archbishop in any detail. Wesolowski’s whereabouts are currently unknown.
PLAYERS IN CARIBBEAN LEAGUE WILL TRAIN IN DUBAI—09/05/13
The Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) was received enthusiastically in its first season, with excellent Twenty20 matches and the participation of famous players like Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, and Darren Sammy. Several of the top players will be in Dubai for some team training sessions before the start of the league’s next season. The training was sponsored by Dubai-based Channel Sports and Entertainment Channel, a subsidiary of Channel 2 Group Corporation, which purchased a perpetual share in the St. Lucia Zouks, one of the six teams playing in the first season.
EX-JUDGE RECEIVES BAIL FOLLOWING LOTTERY SCAM CHARGES—09/04/13
Dionne Maylor-Reid, a former resident magistrate in Jamaica, was released on $2,000 bail following her arrest on suspicion of being involved in the island’s lottery scam. Now a defense lawyer, she was arrested with three of her employees after a search of her office by anti-corruption officers, who said they found documents known as “lead lists,” which included victims’ personal information. They also say they seized an illegal gun.
20,000 YOUNG JAMAICANS WILL NOT FIND JOBS AFTER LEAVING SCHOOL—09/04/13
Nearly 50 percent of the approximately 40,000 young people graduating high schools and universities in Jamaica in 2013 may not find private sector jobs, according to predictions from the Jamaica employers Federation and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica. The prediction is based on the continuing decline of the island’s economy for a sixth quarter in a row.
JAMAICAN IGUANA IMPERILED BY POSSIBLE PORT ON GOAT ISlANDS—09/05/13
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature-Iguana Specialist Group will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Jamaica Iguana Recovery Plan. The plan has been praised by scientists as among the top success stories for conservation efforts around the world. However, a proposed port on the Goat Islands could undue all the success if allowed to be located in the area inhabited by the iguanas.
JAMAICA 9TH ON GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS INDEX—09/06/13
Jamaica ranks 94th on the Global Competitiveness Index for 2013, according to the report issued by the World Economic Forum. It has improved its position by rising three places since 2012. Jamaica was in 97th place among 144 nations in 2012, and 107th of 142 countries in 2011. The index examines institutions, policies and factors influencing the productivity levels in a country. The report noted that the most problematic issues facing business in Jamaica include inefficient government bureaucracy, crime, and theft. Corruption, tax rates, access to financing, and poor work ethic were also cited as reasons for Jamaica’s low ranking.