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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending July 11th, 2014

11 Jul

CARIBBEAN AIRLINES DENIED FLORIDA LANDING, STRANDING PASSENGERS—07/05/14
A number of passengers on a Caribbean Airlines flight were left stranded at Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport after the plane, traveling to Fort Lauderdale in Florida, was denied landing privileges by the United States Border Patrol. The plane was in mid-flight when it was denied access to the airport. The General Manager for Jamaican operations of the airline, Clive Forbes, believes this incident occurred because of a curfew imposed by the Customs and Border Control authority.

SPAIN, CARIBBEAN TO DEVELOP STRONGER PARTNERSHIP—07/07/14
A stronger, more stable and friendly partnership is being forged between Spain and the Caribbean region. Both areas are committed to common values of rule of law, human rights, sustainable development, and the principles of democracy. The partnership was announced at the 35th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community. Priority will be given to the issues of poverty, sustainable management of natural resources, and climate change.

ST.KITTS AND NEVIS CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM SUPPORTED BY CARICOM—07/08/14
The members of CARICOM are supporting St. Kitts and Nevis in its implementation of the Citizenship and Investment Program. CARICOM also commended the country for its work in making legal, statutory and administrative structures stronger so that the program operates above international standards.

MONTSERRAT USING “VOLCANO POWER” TO PRODUCE ENERGY—07/09/14
The Caribbean island of Montserrat, which experienced a huge volcanic eruption in 1997 that totally buried its capital city of Plymouth, is now using the power inherent in volcanoes to provide its residents with electric power. Montserrat is using the enormous quantity of thermal energy under the Earth’s crust to generate power, 24 hours a day, regardless of weather or season. The island has the perfect geology to tap into this very large source of power. The first two geothermal wells were drilled in 2013, and testing the technology is ongoing. It is expected that these two wells will ultimately produce electric power to service some 5,000 residents.

BALTIMORE CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL PARADE FEATURES SYMBOLIC COSTUMES—07/10/14
Kenley Shortmus John of Baltimore, Maryland, makes approximately 100 costumes every year, which are then featured in the annual Baltimore/Washington One Caribbean Carnival. According to John, leader of one of the 15 bands participating in the parade in 2014, the costumes symbolize life in the tropics. A native of St. Vincent, John spends about $12,000 every year to make the costumes, which reflect the Caribbean cultural heritage. After the parade, the event includes vendors, Caribbean foods, and music. Twenty-one Caribbean nations are represented at the event.

AUTHOR LAUNCHES FIRST CHILDREN’S BOOK AT D.C. MUSEUM—07/11/14
Anacostia Community Museum is hosting the official launch event for the children’s book “Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale” by Caribbean author Marjuan Canady. Canady, who is of Trinidadian descent, wrote the story as a play upon receiving a grant from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities in 2012. It follows a boy from Brooklyn who is magically transported to Tobago to gather ingredients for callaloo prepared by his aunt. During his visit, he meets characters from Caribbean folklore. Canady was inspired to write the book because there are not many books about the Caribbean American experience.

HANNA SAYS JAMAICA NOT READY FOR SAME-SEX FAMILIES—07/09/14
While there has been a change in what constitutes a “family” in many countries, Lisa Hanna, Jamaica’s Minister of Youth and Culture, says that Jamaica is not ready to accept international proposals for redefining families to include same-sex couples and their children. The International Human Rights Commission has been talking with nations like Jamaica and encouraging them to recognize the increasing diversity of families in regard to sexuality, ethnicity, race, and religion.

JAMAICAN WILL NOT EXTRADITE “DEATH SQUAD” EX-POLICEMAN—07/10/14
According to Paula Llewellyn, director of public prosecutions (DPP) in Jamaica, a request from the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) to extradite from Canada a Jamaican ex-policeman charged with being part of a “death squad” has been denied. Llewellyn said that this particular case is “fraught with issues” that do not meet the threshold required for extradition.

JAMAICAN PURPLE YAMS HAVE CANCER-FIGHTING PROPERTIES—07/11/14
According to researchers at the University of the West Indies, Mona, anti-cancer properties have been found in Jamaican purple yams. Dr. Dennis Bailey of the Biotechnology center made the discovery during a study that focused on various yams grown on the island. Purple yams have powerful phytochemicals that slow the growth of cancer cells, said Dr. Bailey.

TAVARES-FINSON SAYS NO NEED FOR CARICOM COMMISSION ON GANJA—07/11/14
Tom Tavares-Finson, the leader of Opposition Business in the Jamaican Senate, believes the government should ignore a plan to create a CARICOM Ganja Commission. Instead, Jamaica should move ahead using its own 20-year-old ganja commission report. He said that Jamaica does not need to participate in any CARICOM commission to talk about ganja because the government already knows what its position on the matter is. Mark Golding, Minister of Justice Senator, noted that Jamaica is sharing leadership on the ganja issue already on the basis of its own Cabinet decisions.

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