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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending March 28th, 2014

28 Mar

ISLANDS REBUILDING AFTER FLOODS—03/22/14
Islands in the Eastern Caribbean are rebuilding after flash floods in December 2013 affected over 30,000 people in St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These islands are recovering access to water, markets and electric power through US$36 million in funding provided by the World Bank. The allocation comes under the banks International Development Association Crisis Response Window program.

CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT BANK GIVES US$16.18 MILLION TO COLLEGE—03/23/14
The College of the Bahamas will receive a makeover thanks to a loan totaling US$16.18 million from the Caribbean Development Bank. The bank has provided the loan to the Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The funds will be used to build a new Hall of Residence to accommodate 100 students and a new business center.

NCAA BASKETBALL TOURNEY INCLUDES 6 PLAYERS FROM CARIBBEAN—03/24/14
The Caribbean region has increasingly been producing talented basketball players, and in 2014, six of the players in the NCAA Tournament in the United States were born in the Caribbean. They include Kadeem Coleby of Nassau, who was instrumental in helping Wichita State win 34-0 during the regular season.

MANDATORY DEATH PENALTY TO END IN BARBADOS—03/25/14
According to Adriel Brathwaite, attorney general of Barbados, the mandatory death penalty for murder convictions will be abolished. No one has been executed in Barbados since 1984, and Brathwaite believes the automatic penalty should be dropped formally to reflect actual practice. He expects considerable opposition from the public to his proposed law change, however, since most people feel that once convicted of murder, the killer’s life should be forfeited.

END CUBAN EMBARGO, CARICOM TELLS U.S.—03/26/14
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is called for the United States to end its 50 years of embargo policy against Cuba. According to Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary General, the organization knows the value of international unity and noted that he had accepted the credentials of Julio Cesar Gonzalez Marchante, the new envoy from Cuba, to form a bloc with other states in the region to advance mutual interests.

CLIMATE POLLUTERS COULD BE TRIED IN COURT—03/27/14
According to Ronald Sanders, a former diplomat in the Caribbean region and a senior research fellow at London University, Caribbean governments may take legal action against other nations they believe are causing climate change through their polluting practices. Sanders believes that the International Court of Justice would agree to hear arguments brought by Caribbean countries against polluters.

JEEP PROGRAM WILL BENEFIT 12,000 UNEMPLOYED JAMAICANS—03/26/14
Some 12,000 Jamaicans are likely to see the benefits of additional work performed under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Program (JEEP). The total value of the work is $630 million. Each of Jamaica’s 63 constituencies received an allocation of $10 million for development of the project in construction, road repair, retaining wall repair, and repairs to drains and pavements. The activities are part of projects facilitated through the Major Infrastructure Development Program (MIDP), which is funded chiefly by the government of China and the China Harbor Engineering Company.

JAMAICA TO PUT US$22 MILLION TOWARD AVIATION SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS—03/27/14
Jamaica’s government plans to spend US$22 million during the next two years toward improvements in aviation safety and security. The government will upgrade or replace old technology to bring Jamaica into compliance with international standards. Leroy Lindsay, director general of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, made the announcement of the government’s plans.

NET LOSS OF J$2.23 BILLION RECORDED BY PORT AUTHORITY—03/28/14
An unrealized exchange loss by the Port Authority of Jamaica of $4.38 billion is the fallout from a 13-percent depreciation of the Jamaican dollar against the dollar of the United States. The loss was recorded during the 2012/2013 financial year.

GOVERNMENT DISCUSSES BOG WALK GORGE DAM WITH CHINA HARBOR—03/28/14
The Jamaican government plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) for a feasibility study about the damming of Bog Walk Gorge in St. Catherine. The dam would provide a reservoir of drinking water and a means of electricity generation.

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