UNDILUTED pays tribute to John Maxwell by featuring two previous columns by him from the Hot Calaloo UNDILUTED archives:
Not just a book but an invitation to join the Goodwill
Revolution against an unfair, unjust and deceptive system that
keeps the world poor and without hope. Find out how you can join,
quit the rat race, and achieve a happier more meaningful life for
yourself and others through goodwill to all .
by Donna Hemans ... $16.10
---------------For the Life of Laetitia by Trinidad -born Merle Hodge Price: $10.54
a wonderful book about a young girl in the Carribean, the first of her family to go to secondary school.
This edition of Hot Calaloo is dedicated to the quest for justice for Trayvon Martin.
For God’s sake, what is taking them so long? The shooting of Trayvon Martin took place on February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, almost two months ago. All the facts are in a long time ago. There is no missing witness to look for. There is no wait for lab results of DNA evidence. But George Zimmerman who stalked and killed the unarmed teen still walks free and uncharged with any crime. And despite protests and outrage national and worldwide!
Have you joined a protest to seek justice for Trayvon Martin yet? Or are you waiting for your son to be the next victim? If he lives in America and is black, he could be next.
Injustice in America
The New Jim Crow
Homeless mother gets 12 years for enrolling kid in wrong school
Insulting Republican presidential candidate Santorium statement
We know the first part of the statement is true – "I don’t want to make black people lives better."
CARICOM Corps angered by NYPD arrest of ambassador
The New York Police Department (NYPD) , obviously not tired of brutalizing peaceful ‘occupy’ protestors, arbitrary unwarranted and humiliating ‘stopping and frisking hundreds of black youth, now have turned to the illegal arrest of the ambassador of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Camillo Gonsalves. The arrest was not only undeserved but violated the diplomatic immunity of the ambassador. But, the ambassador was black. The CARICOM Consular Corps in New York has blasted the arrest.
The Corps met in an emergency meeting and issued a statement in which it expressed its view that that the latest act of March 25th sets a dangerous precedent by the NYPD and does not augur well for good relations between the NYPD, the Caribbean Diplomatic community, and all Caribbean nationals. The body said it will also write to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the U.S. State Department and the Society of Foreign Consuls in New York to voice concern over the matter and indicate their decision.
UN Ambassador Gonsalves, was reportedly handcuffed by an overzealous New York City cop on Wednesday, March 28th. Ambassador Gonsalves told The Associated Press that he was arrested after stepped out of his official car, through a barricade in front of the U.N. building in midtown, New York City.
He was handcuffed by the policeman with help from other cops, despite other ambassadors present telling the cops they were making a mistake. Ambassador Gonsalves was handcuffed for 20 minutes.
"Separate and apart from any diplomatic immunities, I personally think the officer was wrong and committed an assault against me," Ambassador Gonsalves was quoted as saying. "We will be following up. We will seek other forms of redress, but what form it will take, I can’t say."
The incident is reminiscent of the arrest of Grenadian-American, New York City councilmember, Jumaane Williams at the annual West Indian Labor Day Carnival last September. Williams, was arrested when he walked through an NYPD barrier. Both men are black.
Sour deal soaks St Lucia with EC$58.725 million debt
In 2005 developers, Roebuck Properties (St. Lucia) Ltd approached the Kenny Anthony administration in 2005 to develop a five star resort under the brand name of Ritz Carlton in Black Bay and Cannelles, The government offered to sell the property comprising 219.78 acres to the company.
The United Workers Party entered office in December 2006 and decided not to sell the lands to Roebuck Properties. Instead the UWP Government chose to exchange the entire parcel of land at Black Bay for 12.5 percent redeemable preference shares in the company, Roebuck Properties (St. Lucia) Ltd. The UWP Government also acquired 249.72 acres of land at Cannelles, in the south-east. "In effect therefore, the UWP Government placed a total of 469.50 acres of land at the disposal of Roebuck Properties (St. Lucia) Ltd.
In order to finance the development, Roebuck Properties (St Lucia) Ltd secured a loan of approximately US$25 million dollars from a bank, Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Ltd. Unfortunately, the development soon encountered difficulties. The developers could not repay part of the loan which they had obtained to finance the development. Meanwhile, the bank collapsed and entered into administration. Since then, the administrators of the bank have been attempting to recover the outstanding loan to Roebuck Properties (St Lucia) Ltd. The administrators, in a bid to recover the loan, threatened to sell the land.
on November 24, 2011, the UWP Cabinet agreed to buy back the lands for US$11.750 million or EC$31.725 million dollars. The agreement to do so was signed by Prime Minister Stephenson King on November 24, 2011, four days before the General Elections.
Prime Minister Dr. Anthony told reporters that the government now has to pay the owners of the Cannelles land EC$27,866,203.20.
Once the Cannelles land was in its ownership, the government vested in the NDC. The NDC was also given representation on the Board of Directors of Roebuck Properties (St Lucia) Ltd., in a non-voting capacity. NDC was represented by the then Chairman, Nicholas John," Dr. Anthony said.
After the elections the new SLP government reviewed the matter and decided that notwithstanding the huge loss which was incurred, it was in the public interest to ensure that the lands were returned to the ownership of the people of Saint Lucia. It therefore decided to endorse the decision of the previous King Cabinet.
In effect, the entire transaction will cost the people of Saint Lucia EC$58.725 million dollars. This amount is inclusive of the cost to re-purchase the lands and the cost of the compensation for the lands acquired at Cannelles for Roebuck Properties (St. Lucia) Ltd.
"The challenge now is to raise the money to pay the bank and the owners of the property which the Government acquired at Cannelles," Prime Minister Anthony said.
Not by tax alone
Unfortunately, too many Caribbean countries are selling off land and resources to raise money. At that rate they will soon be tenants to rich foreigners in their own land. Besides what will they do when there is no more land or resources to sell?
Big PNP triumph in Ja local elections
The PNP is back. After nine years virtual absence from Jamaica local government, the People's National Party (PNP) has made a triumphant return, winning 13 of the 14 local authorities. The PNP won 11 of the 12 parish councils as well as the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) and the Portmore Municipality. Of the 227 divisions, the PNP won 149, while the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) took 76. Independents won two divisions.
Less than 30 per cent of the people voted in the election and a few of the seats were determined by fewer than a dozen votes. Numbered among the winners is Daren Powell, the former West Indies fastbowler.
The win for the PNP adds to the general election success achieved in the December 29, 2011 polls. Then, the PNP won 42 seats to the JLP's 21 in the 63-seat House of Representatives.
Two white girls on a minibus
I had to include this video below. It is the funniest. But to me it is not only funny but so nostalgic because I've been there.
Sir Allen Stanford guilty !
Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford, whose financial empire once spanned the Americas, was convicted yesterday on all but one of the 14 counts he faced for allegedly bilking investors out of more than US$7 billion in a massive Ponzi scheme he operated for 20 years. Stanford's attorneys highlighted his work to build up Antigua's economy as well as his philanthropic efforts on the island. Stanford, the largest private employer on the island nation, was widely known as 'Sir Allen' after being knighted by Antigua's government. A former Antiguan financial regulator accused of accepting bribes from Stanford was also indicted and he awaits extradition to the US.
Jurors reached their verdicts against Stanford during their fourth day of deliberation, finding him guilty on all charges except a single count of wire fraud.
Prosecutors called Stanford a con artist who lined his pockets with investors' money to fund a string of failed businesses, pay for a lavish lifestyle that included yachts and private jets, and bribe regulators to help him hide his scheme. Stanford, 61, who's been jailed since his indictment in 2009, will remain incarcerated until he is sentenced.
He faces up to 20 years for the most serious charges against him, but the once high-flying businessman could spend longer than that behind bars if US District Judge David Hittner orders the sentences to be served consecutively instead of concurrently.
With Stanford's conviction, a shorter, civil trial will be held with the same jury on prosecutors' efforts to seize funds from more than 30 bank accounts held by the financier or his companies around the world, including in Antigua, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada. The civil trial could take as little as a day.
Stanford was once considered one of the wealthiest people in the US with an estimated net worth of more than US$2 billion. But he had court-appointed attorneys after his assets were seized.
They said Stanford, whose financial empire was headquartered in Houston, lied to depositors from more than 100 countries by telling them their funds were being safely invested in stocks, bonds and other securities instead of being funnelled into his businesses and personal accounts.
He gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to US political candidates, including Barack Obama, John McCain, John Boehner and Harry Reid; as well as national fundraising committees for the Republican and Democratic parties. The court-appointed receiver charged with returning money to Stanford’s investors is trying to get the contributions back. And the committees are resisting.
PM slams US move to block aid to Antigua
Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has criticised moves by some United States legislators to block financial aid to the island after claiming that seizure and confiscation of the Allen Stanford empire in Antigua runs contrary to American interest.
The US legislators are demanding complete redress of the issue and have called on the government to relinquish all control over properties now owned by Stanford in Antigua to US- appointed court receivers.
Spencer has described the move as troubling and unfortunate, saying that his government has simply been trying to protect the interest of investors both in Antigua and abroad. He said the government wanted to ensure that it is included in the process that would determine what would happen to Stanford's properties.
Arrest warrant issued for former Turks and Caicos PM
AN arrest warrant has been obtained and a Red Notice authorised by Interpol for the arrest of Michael Eugene Misick, former premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands. A Red Notice requests the (provisional) arrest of wanted persons, with a view to extradition.
According to a release from the governor’s office in Grand Turk, for the past several months the Special Investigation and Prosecutions Team (SIPT) has sought Mr Misick at his offices in Providenciales in respect of allegations of corruption and money laundering during his time in office.
"Every opportunity has been given to Mr Misick to voluntarily surrender to the SIPT’s jurisdiction for interview," it said, adding that despite previous indications from Misick’s solicitors that he would attend for interview, he has failed to do so.
Last year a worldwide freeze Misick’s assets was ordered by Special Prosecutor Helen Garlick, the Turks and Caiços Sun newspaper reported.
According to official documents the order was made on June 23, 2011 and included bank accounts held in the Turks and Caiços Islands and overseas, Misick's personal residence in Providenciales, parcels of land throughout the country, two condominiums, a cinema in Providenciales which still carries a variation of his ex-wife Lisa-Raye McCoy's name, and several credit cards.
Misick, who has been at the centre of a corruption probe into the ruling elite on the British dependency, resigned in March 2009, saying he was giving way to a unified Government. His resignation came as the British government was considering legislation to suspend the constitution and hand over power to the British Governor Gordon Wetherell. London eventually imposed direct rule on the islands in August 2009, a move that angered Misick who accused the British of organising a coup.
Disturbing increase in drug use by Jamaican youth
It’s not just ganja anymore. According to the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), more of today's youth in Jamaica are experimenting with drugs, with an increase in the use of ecstasy and heroin. The trend has been continuing since the last survey done six years ago. Even worse, the council is also seeing a narrowing of the gender gap with regard to drug use. A comparative look at surveys done in 1987, 1997, and 2006 for the age group 12-24 years found:
The 2001 National Household Survey showed that overall,
The increasing substance abuse problem by the younger generation is blamed mainly on the exposure opportunities, allowing anyone to gain easy access to their drug of choice.
The laws governing the sale of tobacco and alcohol to underage youngsters are not being enforced as much as they should be, so they go into environments where these things are available, and they will buy, and sometimes they are offered" .
The other main reasons listed for substance abuse are peer pressure, stress release, and a mixed perception of the real harm associated with their use. Unfortunately, many of the local entertainers actually promote the use of ganja to young people and tell them nonsense about weed of wisdom, and such. And because the youngsters idolise them, it's almost like law as far as they are concerned.
REDJet suspends all flights indefinitely
The Barbados-based airline REDjet announced late Friday it was suspending all flights from Saturday after ten months in the air in a bid to protect the long term interests of the business, the company said. REDjet director Robbie Burns, the airline outlined a three-week process for travellers to get refunds and urged travellers to check the companys website and call centre for updates.
Billed as a low-cost, no-frills carrier initially offering fares as low as US$9.99, REDjet only recently began selling tickets for flights between Barbados and Antigua to start in June. The privately-owned airline did not give specific reasons for the shutdown, but suggested that it was expecting state assistance to continue operations and blamed "subsidised" competitors for its troubles.
REDjet is hopeful that it will be given a small part of the state assistance others Caribbean airlines receive. Once this happens the company says that their shareholders and staff will do their utmost to see that there is no return to high fares and business as usual.
Incorporated in Barbados, REDjet took to the air with a regularly scheduled service between Barbados and Guyana in May 2011. Last month, the airline began operating a service to St Lucia. It also flies to Trinidad and Jamaica and had announced it was to begin flights to St Maarten in May.
The regional aviation industry retains heavy government ownership, control and direction, with Caribbean Airlines/Air Jamaica and LIAT remaining state-owned enterprises, often in the grips of labour disputes, heavy losses, cash bailouts and customer dissatisfaction. But since REDjets arrival the two island-hopping carriers have stepped up competition in pricing and scheduling.
The airlines supporters say the low-cost model would spur greater intra-regional travel and tourism and offer more options for travellers.
Critics remain unconvinced that a low-cost business model can fly regional skies, already the graveyard of several similar upstart carriers over the last two decades. To make matters worse, since then, the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA) has revoked the license of REDjet effective March 30.
It seems very optimistic to expect governments to rescue its competition.
Ja Gov't, Food For The Poor to build 50 basic schools
The Government of Jamaica is planning to partner with the international charity, Food For The Poor, to build 50 new basic schools across the island. Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites reported that these schools will be built in areas which have been determined to be most in need of new facilities. According to Thwaites, the plan is to have the first school built by August 2012.
These schools will be built all around the island. We especially want to target areas where there has been a population shift and we also plan to rebuild existing ones that are not in a satisfactory state.
Food For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica is the largest charity organization in Jamaica. Food For The Poor Inc., located in Florida, USA, is the largest international relief and development organization in the United States. It is an interdenominational organization that assists the poor in 17 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America. It has an impressive record in Jamaica. It works with the churches, schools, hospitals and other institutions that deal directly with the poor to fill their most urgent needs and to encourage self-sufficiency in those who would otherwise lose hope.
CARIFORUM, EU sign 82m agreement
The Caribbean Forum of African Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) and the European Commission have recently signed three financial agreements designed to boost the Caribbean's ability to deliver tangible results of integration within its members.
Under the agreements:
It will also place emphasis on transferring social security benefits, and building capacity in statistics, among other areas. Funds have been set aside under this agreement to support Belize and Haiti to be better placed to take advantage of the CSME, as well as to assist other CARICOM member states to bridge the implementation gap.
The third agreement provides 46.5 million to boost CARIFORUMs capacity to take full advantage of the provisions of the EPA and to honour its commitments therein. The program provides support for fiscal reform and adjustment, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, services, the rum sector and removing technical barriers to trade, the statement said.
T&T football federation to sue Warner
It is no wonder that the once powerful Trinidad and Tobago soccer which dominated Caribbean football is suffering so badly. Trinidad and Tobago's football federation said that it plans to sue former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner to recover millions of dollars in funds, including those slated for Haiti as a post-earthquake donation. Federation lawyer Derek Ali told a judge that he planned to file a lawsuit and accused Warner of not releasing the audited accounts. High Court judge Devindra Rampersad ordered Ali to send Warner a protocol letter advising him of the federation's intentions.
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation recently acknowledged it had "surrendered its authority" to Warner, who had served as the federation's special adviser and resigned last year to avoid a bribery probe by FIFA.
The federation has said that Warner controlled a bank account in its name that was set to receive $750,000 pledged by FIFA and South Korean soccer leader Chung Mong-joon for soccer rebuilding projects in Haiti. Haitian officials recently told The Sunday Times in Britain that they received only $60,000, and FIFA announced it was temporarily freezing its funding to Trinidad and Tobago.
Trinidad's soccer federation also is seeking to recover millions of dollars in bonuses that 13 players from the island's 2006 World Cup team claim Warner promised them but never paid. Last year, Judge Devindra Rampersad ordered Warner to make an interim payment to players of more than $700,000, but Warner has not done so.
Warner previously made a $1 million payment and said he has offered $2.3 million to the players, whom he accused of being greedy after they demanded $3.9 million.
US visa fees to increase
Starting April 13, 2012, the United States Department of State will
adjust nonimmigrant and immigrant visa processing fees worldwide. The US
Department of State is required by law to recover the cost of processing
visas. These fee adjustments are the result of a December 2011 worldwide
cost-of-service study conducted by the Bureau of Consular Affairs in the
Department of State. All immigrant visa processing fees would decrease,
while some nonimmigrant visa processing fees would increase.
Nonimmigrant Visa Processing Fees
Immigrant Visa Processing Fees
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