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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending December 27th, 2013

27 Dec

TRINIDAD AT TOP OF FIFA RANKINGS—12/21/13
The Soca Warriors of Trinidad and Tobago are the top-ranked football team, according to the end-of-year rankings from FIFA and Coca-Cola. T&T is rated 78th in the world, ahead of Haiti and Jamaica. This is the first time the country has qualified for the top spot in the rankings.

OPPOSITION LEADERS IN BARBADOS WANT RESIGNATION OF FINANCE MINISTER—12/22/13
Mia Mottley, the head of the opposition Barbados Labor Party (BLP), is calling for Finance Minister Chris Sinckler to resign his post. Mottley has blamed Sinckler for the poor state of the national economy, stating that he “must go” if Barbados is to grow.

GOOD POTENTIAL FOR CASH CROPS IN CARIBBEAN IN 2014—12/23/13
Although the Caribbean region has experienced slow trading and growth in the export goods sector, experts believe that things could change in 2014. Recent cooperation, partnerships, and government approval of new solutions for top cash crops in designated trade zones, along with deregulation that would legalize the growing and selling of marijuana could improve economic conditions in the coming year.

PLAN TO END HUNGER AND POVERTY ADOPTED—12/24/13
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), several nations in South America and the Caribbean have adopted a common program to end poverty and hunger in the regions. The FAO stated that the agreement was announced at the Second Extraordinary Summit of the Petrocaribe oil nations and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – Peoples’ Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP). The plans focus on food and nutrition security through regional and national programs.

EIGHT DIE IN FLOODING, LANDSLIDES IN ST. VINCENT—12/25/13
Heavy rains caused serious flooding and landslides on the island of St. Vincent, leaving at least eight individuals dead and five injured. According to the island’s emergency management agency, among the dead were a college student, aged 18, and a cousin of the nation’s Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.

MIGRANT BOAT CAPSIZES, DROWNING 18 HAITIANS—12/26/13
According to authorities in Turks and Caicos, at least 18 migrants from Haiti were drowned after their sailboat capsized while it was being towed into port. Thirty-two Haitians were taken from the water approximately 100 meters off Providenciales by rescue teams and police. The overcrowded boat was intercepted by a police marine unit, but suddenly capsized as they were being towed ashore.

TESSANNE ENCOURAGED BY BOLT’S ATTENDANCE AT “THE VOICE”—12/24/13
Usain Bolt, Olympic champion sprinter, attended “The Voice” television program in the United States on November 18, 2013, to give encouragement to Jamaica’s Tessanne Chin, a leading contestant and ultimate winner of the singing competition. Tessanne said she did not know he was there until she saw him on her way onstage and “nearly lost it.” She said she considered his presence an honor and welcomed his words of encouragement after the show.

TWO JAMAICANS FILE OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS IN T&T ABOUT ENTRY DENIALS—12/25/13
Two Jamaicans have made official complaints to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Trinidad and Tobago due to their denial of entry to that country in November 2013. There were also 11 other individuals from Jamaica who were denied entry on the same day. They are requesting a refund of their airfare, and others have are considering additional redress for the action.

IMMIGRATION ISSUE “BADLY HANDLED” BY TRINIDAD, SAYS WARNER—12/26/13
Austin “Jack” Warner, former national security ministry in the administration of Kamla Persad-Bissessar in Trinidad and Tobago, said the way the immigration matter involving a denial of entry to the country of a number of Jamaican travelers was handled badly. He said things would have been different if he were still in charge of immigration in T&T, calling the action “inhumane.”

POOR, HOMELESS HELPED BY FOOD FOR THE POOR, SALVATION ARMY—12/27/13
Food for the Poor (FFP) in Jamaica partnered with the Salvation Army to reach out to the most vulnerable members of society during the Christmas season. The yearly Christmas treat was held in Emmet Park in Kingston, and beneficiaries included the individuals who are served meals daily by the Salvation Army. They received hot food, entertainment, and gifts containing basic food items and toiletries.

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