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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending November 15th, 2013

18 Nov

CARIBBEAN AIRLINES HAS US$20 MILLION, OWES US$100 MILLION—11/10/13
Caribbean Airlines achieved a profit in the peak summer months of 2013. According to Larry Howai, who leads the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Finance and the Economy, reported that the cash flow of the firm looked reasonably good. There is no immediate crisis associated with the airline’s condition. However, it continues to struggle with high debt totaling some US$100 million, and this will need to be restructured.
CARIBBEAN NEW YORKERS CELEBRATE DE BLASIO WIN—11/11/13
Support for Democratic candidate for New York City mayor Bill de Blasio was strong in the Caribbean community, and these voters overwhelmingly made their choice known as he won the position. De Blasio marched in the 2013 West Indian American Day Carnival Parade and has been a strong supporter of the concerns of Caribbean New Yorkers and other immigrant communities for many years.  He has always respected the Caribbean community and supported its achievement and fought for its rights. His supporters believe that the new mayor will bring positive changes to the city.

CARIBBEAN PRO LEAGUE SUPPORTED BY SKEENE—11/12/13
TT Pro League chief executive officer Dexter Skeene, has given his support to the creation of a Caribbean Premier League as announced by Jeff Webb, president of CONCACAF. According to Skeene, the TT Pro League has advocated for a professional football league since its inception and views the league as a catalyst for the development of sports and human capital in the region.

NEW CANADIAN HEALTH INITIATIVE TO BENEFIT CARIBBEAN NATIONS—11/13/13
Caribbean nations have welcomed an initiative targeting childhood cancer offered via a partnership of the University of the West Indies, the Hospital for Sick Children in Canada, and the Center for Global Child Health. Caribbean countries have been limited in what they can provide in the way of treatment because of the specialized nature of childhood cancer. The creation of the Shaw Family Telemedicine Room will address some of the limitations.

GREATER CARIBBEAN REPRESENTS FIRST TOURISM ZONE—11/14/13
The Association of Caribbean States (ACS) has established the Sustainable Tourism Zone of the Greater Caribbean (STZC). It is the first such zone in the world and is expected to bring significant benefits to the region. The zone will highlight the new era of responsible tourism, sustainable tourism projects, and strategies that advance tourism among regional countries.

WATER SALES DROP DUE TO GREATER RAINFALL—11/15/13
The biggest publicly traded water supplier in the Caribbean, Consolidated Water Company (CWCO), reported a decrease of 30 percent in its third-quarter profits as retail sales dropped on its home island in the Caymans. Net income for the firm decreased from $1.3 million in 2012. Greater rainfalls in 2013 were cited as the reason for the lower water volume purchases.

JAMAICAN AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY ENCOURAGES USE OF LOCAL FOODS—11/13/13
A new campaign from the Jamaica Agricultural Society, “Eat Jamaican,” is designed to encourage Jamaicans to eat more foods that are produced locally. The campaign forms part of a month-long initiative designed to promote local foods. Ron Blake, acting executive director for Jamaica 4-H Clubs, stated that encouraging Jamaicans to eat local foods represents an investment in the growth of the island economy.

IMF CALLS FOR RAPID POLICY CHANGES TO FUEL GROWTH IN JAMAICA—11/14/13
After the second review governed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, authorities emphasized the need for Jamaica’s government to implement reforms faster in order to facilitate investments and create jobs. The mission making the recommendation had been in Jamaica to consult with government officials and private sector interests since November 6, 2013. It confirmed that Jamaica had met its targets for the quarter that ended in September 2013.

U.S. DOPING AGENCY OFFERS HELP TO JADCO—11/15/13
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has stated that it will help the troubled anti-doping authority in Jamaica address its problems. According to USADA chief executive Travis Tygart, Jamaica’s athletes “deserve better,” and noted that the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) asked for help after the inspection of Jamaica’s program by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). JADCO hopes to benefit from a partnership with another anti-doping authority.

RICHARD AZAN REAPPOINTED JUNIOR MINISTER—11/15/13
It has been less than two months since Richard Azan resigned as Jamaica’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, but Azan has been reappointed as junior minister. Azan, Member of Parliament for North West Clarendon, quit his post in September 2013, as a result of his role in using the services of a private contractor to build ten shops at the market without permission from the Clarendon Parish Council. After no basis was found to charge Azan with any crime, the Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn, dropped the matter, and the People’s National Party Youth Organization president, Alric Campbell, asked Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to reinstate Azan to his former position.

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