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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending July 25th, 2014

25 Jul

CARIBBEAN HERITAGE MONTH CELEBRATION HELD IN BROOKLYN—07/19/14
The 2013 Caribbean American Heritage Month in Brooklyn, New York, featured stop performers and had attendees rollicking to the music of the bands. The 2014 event celebrated its ninth year in June and was marked by the memorable performance of six-year-old Kamarley, who managed to hold his own with performers like Soca Queen Claudette “CP” Peters of Antigua, and Magaly of Panama. The child wowed the audience with his renditions of reggae and soca music.

FAMOUS CRICKETEERS APPOINTED TO KEY ROLES IN CPL—07/20/14
Sir Gary Sobers and Sir Vivian Richards, two icons of cricket from the West Indies, received appointments to major roles in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Sobers is considered the first all-rounder in the history of cricket and will be brand ambassador. Richards will be mentor to the Antigua Hawksbills franchise, where he was once team manager.

JAPAN, CARICOM HOLD FIRST JOINT SUMMIT IN TRINIDAD—07/21/14
CARICOM’S heads of governments will hold a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan in Trinidad on July 28, 2014. This will be the latest in a series of summit meetings between CARICOM and its various partners from around the world. The participants will discuss sustainable growth, creation of stronger exchanges and deeper cooperation among the nations.

GROWING HEALTH CARE COSTS CONCERNING TO CARIBBEAN—07/22/14
Caribbean health care officials held a meeting in Washington, D. C. to define the major concerns among health ministers in the Caribbean region. The top concerns included rising health care costs and illness related to lifestyle. This was the first meeting of its kind since 2008 and was attended by representatives of Public Health England and the British Embassy in Washington.

CARIBBEAN AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO HONOR LEADERS—07/23/14
A roundtable meeting of the membership of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) was held to allow the members to network, learn about new business and investment options, and announce those who will be honored at the group’s pending anniversary celebration. The honorees will be those who have made major contributions to the Caribbean American community.

USAID FUND TO GIVE US$500 MILLION TO FIGHT AIDS/HIV IN CARIBBEAN—07/24/14
More than US$500 million will be provided for new programs designed to create an AIDS-free generation in the Caribbean. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing the funds, which will be used to support the implementation of plan for Barack Obama’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

CARIBBEAN OVERSEAS TERRITORY HEADS MEET WITH UK PARLIAMENT REPS—07/25/14
A meeting between Caribbean overseas territory leaders (OTs) and members of Parliament in the United Kingdom is scheduled to focus on economic diversification. The heads of Caribbean OTs had a meeting to define topics of discussion, which also include stability of the environment, immigration and security, financial regulation, and good governance.

TEACHERS RECEIVE COMPUTER TABLETS IN E-LEARNING PROJECT—07/23/14
Teachers and students in Jamaica will receive 25,000 tablet computers through the Tablets in Schools Pilot Project. When the delivery of the tablets is completed, teachers will be able to receive training in seven institutions participating in the pilot phase. The tablets were provided by Digicel Jamaica.

JAMAICA DROPS IN RANKING ON HUMAN DEVELOPMENT—07/24/14
The latest Human Development Index issued by the United Nations shows that Jamaica has fallen by 11 places in the ranking and is at risk of demotion into the category of nations with medium human development. While its 96rh place rank remains in the “high human development” category, but it is only six places away from nations with the “medium human development” label.

SHAW BELIEVES TAX COLLECTION ACT AMENDMENTS ARE “UNCONSTITUTIONAL”—07/25/14
Amendments to the Tax Collection Act will provide the commissioner general of Tax Administration Jamaica with the power to place liens against personal, intellectual, and real properties that are owned by tax debtors. According to Dr. Peter Philips, finance minister, the amendments represent a response to a culture of tax evasion and tax avoidance. Audley Shaw, Opposition spokesman on finance, called the action “Gestapo-like” and also believes the amendments are in violation of the nation’s constitution.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CALLS FOR TRANSPARENCY IN ELLINGTON CASE—07/25/14
Amnesty International, the international watchdog organization, is calling for the Jamaican government to be fully transparent in regard to charges of human rights violations by the Jamaican Constabulary Force and the reasons Owen Ellington, former police commissioner, suddenly left his job. The refusal by Peter Bunting, Jamaica’s National Security Minister, to provide answers in the matter represents a threat to the country’s global obligations on justice, truth, and reparations for human rights violations.

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