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bulletCricket World Cup comes to the West Indies
bulletBWIA shareholders lose everything
bulletBush proposes huge increase in citizenship fees
bulletNew GG for Jamaica
bullet8-month extension for UN peacekeepers in Haiti
bulletJamaican comedian/actor Charles Hyatt dies
bulletCasino gambling comes to Guyana
bulletStriking T&T doctors back on the job
bulletJamaican becomes NY State Supreme Court Judge
bullet$2 million + ecstasy drug bust in Jamaica
bulletHaiti crowned Caribbean soccer champs
bulletAmerican formidable military equipment rout Somalis
bulletHaitians continue to land in Jamaica



Boycott Money and Save Your Soul - Launching the Goodwill Revolution
by Michael I Phillips

List Price $11.95 (paperback)
Special Introductory Offer $9.95

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.  
For more book info see

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PO Box 411
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cover River Woman by Donna Hemans ... $16.10
  The Rio Minho in Jamaica provides much more than a setting for this potent, accomplished debut by Jamaican-born Donna Hemans.


cover  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.



February/March 2007

Cricket World Cup comes to the West Indies

The 2007 Cricket World Cup will be hosted by the West Indies from March 11 to April 28, 2007. It will be contested by 16 nations.

The ICC Cricket World Cup, generally referred to as the Cricket World Cup, is the premier international championship of men's One-day International (ODI) cricket. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), with preliminary qualification rounds leading up to a finals tournament which is held every four years. According to the ICC, it is the most important tournament and the pinnacle of achievement in the sport. The finals of the Cricket World Cup are contested by all ten Test-playing and ODI-playing nations, together with other national teams that qualify through the ICC Trophy competition. Australia has been the most successful of the five teams to have won the tournament, taking three titles. The West Indies have won twice, while India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have each won once.

The ten Test Match-playing countries qualify for the World Cup automatically, along with Kenya, which has ODI status and five further teams qualified via the 2005 ICC Trophy. The field of sixteen teams is the largest ever for the Cricket World Cup.

The teams will be divided into 4 groups, with each group playing its matches at one ground.

Group A
South Africa

Group B
Sri Lanka

Group C
New Zealand

Group D
West Indies

The top two teams from each group will compete in a "Super 8" format, similar to the previous "Super 6" format, from which the semi-finalists will be decided - there will be 51 matches overall.

Eight venues across the West Indies have been selected to host the World Cup final tournament. For more schedule and results, see ICC World Cup.

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BWIA shareholders lose everything

Trinidad's Securities and Exchange Commission announced the delisting of the BWIA shares from the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange effective December 22. BWIA CEO, Lok Jack, confirmed that the shares had been delisted.

As he explained angering shareholders "In the normal course of events when a public company fails, the shareholders lose all their money and this has happened many times before. If you wish to keep your money safe, put it in a safety deposit in a bank." Of course the majority shareholder was the Government with 97% and whose losses in this aspect is not real. However for minority shareholders it is a catastrophe. Greatest loss was by the 1,800 workers. Their union claims they were promised 15.5% stake valued at TT$38 million (US$6.3 million) in retired airline BWIA. Now they will get 15.5% of nothing. The union is threatening legal action.

Editorís Note: Here in the US, companies declare bankruptcy and then resurfaces under another name, leaving their debts, obligations and employee pensions behind them with the old company. Noe T&T have declared BWIA non-existent and has named the new Caribbean Airlines its successor. Now they donít have to pay shareholders. Hmmm seems a bit suspicious to me. But, unlike a slick greedy corporation, the T&T Government would not cheat its employees, or would they? I sure hope not.

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Bush proposes huge increase in citizenship fees

If the Bush administration gets its way, the cost to become an American citizen or to get a green card will become much more expensive. Among these proposed increases:

bulletApplication fee for citizenship - from US$330 to US$595.
bulletmost green card applications - from $325 to $905
bulletApplication fee for becoming a legal permanent resident under the 1986 immigration law that granted amnesty - from US$180 to US$1,370
bulletwork permits - from $180 to $340
bulletfamily visas - from $190 to $355
bulletthe fingerprinting fee - from $10 to $80
bulletEntrepreneurs who want to immigrate and plan to invest in businesses and create jobs - from $475 to $2,850.

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New GG for Jamaica

Professor Kenneth Hall, former pro-vice chancellor and principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, was on February 15 installed as the fifth Governor-General of Jamaica at King's House, St. Andrew. Hall succeeded Sir Howard Cooke, who served as Governor-General for almost 15 years. The new G-G was joined at King's House by his wife, Rheima Holding-Hall, former senior research fellow at the Alister McIntyre Centre, UWI.

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8-month extension for UN peacekeepers in Haiti

The UN Security Council unanimously agreed to extend for eight months the mandate of UN peacekeepers in Haiti and directed them to crack down harder on criminal armed gangs preying on slum-dwellers.

The 15-member council passed a Peruvian-drafted resolution that extended the mandate of the 9,200-strong UN stabilization force in Haiti (MINUSTAH) -- which expires Thursday -- until October 15, 2007 "with the intention to renew for further periods."

The agreement resulted from a compromise between the one-year extension initially suggested by Peru and a group 25 donor countries, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, Britain and France, and the six months pushed by China, which does not have diplomatic ties with Port-au-Prince.

The resolution also directed MINUSTAH "to continue the increased tempo of operations" in support of the Haitian national police against armed gangs "as deemed necessary to restore security, notably in Port-au-Prince." MINUSTAH, whose mandate began in 2004, and Haitian police launched a crackdown in late December on armed gangs which control some of the poorest neighborhoods of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.

More than half of the impoverished Caribbean nation's 8.4 million people live on one dollar a day, according to UN officials.

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Jamaican comedian/actor Charles Hyatt dies

Charles Hyatt, one of Jamaicaís foremost actor/comedians for over 40 years, has died in Palm Bay, Florida. He died from lung cancer, three weeks after he was diagnosed with the disease. The relative said the cancer had spread to his kidney and liver. Hyatt was 75.

Charles Hyatt will long be remembered as one of Jamaica's most celebrated and multi-talented actor/comedians who made a successful transition to film, radio and television.

Charlie performed a diverse range of roles in Pantomimes, local and international film productions and screenplays. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, he spent 14 years in residence in England, where he achieved critical acclaim on British television for his roles in such programs as Crown Court, Six Bites of the Cherry and Blood Knot, before returning home. Among the more memorable films in which he appeared were The Bushbaby, The Mighty Quinn, Milk and Honey, A High Wind in Jamaica, Club Paradise, Almost Heaven and Cool Runnings.

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Casino gambling comes to Guyana

The legislative way has been paved. In a marathon debate that continued past 11:00 pm into the night, the Guyana parliament passed the Gambling Prevention (Amendment) Bill 2006 without any amendment. This bill makes casino gambling legal in Guyana. The Government has justified this by claiming it will generate direct and indirect employment and develop the tourism sector. The Governmentís argument was that 132 countries have benefited tremendously from the introduction of casino gaming.

Under this Bill:

bulletThe Minister of Home Affairs may make regulations to establish a Gaming Authority which could regulate the issue only through specific types of licenses to allow for casino gambling
bulletThe Gaming Authority could issue a casino license authorising any place to be operated as a casino.
bulletThe body could issue a casino operatorís license authorising the person to operate a casino.
bulletNo person other than workers and guests of the hotels or resorts shall be admitted to the casinos.
bulletExisting hotels and resorts that do not fulfil the requirements and conditions will be barred from establishing casinos on their premises.
bulletNo more than three casino licenses will be issued in each administrative region.

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Striking T&T doctors back on the job

Things were fast coming to a head. Protesting doctors at the public health institutions in Trinidad and Tobago were withholding their services and were within an hour of submitting mass resignations. But Health Minister John Raheal struck a deal with the doctorís Medical Professional Association of Trinidad and the doctors resumed work.

The doctors had been pressing for parity, remuneration they said were not on par with their Regional Health Authorities colleagues. They were also calling for payment of back-pay for 2003 and 2004. They had given the Health Minister 48 hours to meet their demands, a deadline that had expired. Although the threat has been averted, some issues still remain.

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Jamaican becomes NY State Supreme Court Judge

The Honorable Sam D. Walker, created history as the first Jamaican and Caribbean born person elected to the New York State Supreme Court for the 9th Judicial District on Thursday, January 11, 2007. He was sworn at a ceremony at the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains, New York.

Prior to his landslide victory to the 14-year term, Walker had been a judge for more than 18 years. He served as an Acting Supreme Court Judge and presided over the Integrated Domestic Violence Part of the Supreme Court. His experience also includes the County Court where he presided over criminal and civil cases and was the first Democrat of color elected to a countywide office in Westchesterís history. Judge Walker has also served as an Acting Family Court Judge in Yonkers and a City Court Judge for the City of Mount Vernon.

Judge Walker attended Calabar and Meadow Brook High Schools in Jamaica and graduated from Lehman College in 1975 with a degree in biology. He received his law degree from Howard University. After graduation from law school he worked as a patent attorney at General Food Corporation, where he made partner, and served on the Grace Commission during the Reagan administration.

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$2 million + ecstasy drug bust in Jamaica

As if cocaine and ganja smuggling is not bad enough in Jamaica. Now add Ecstasy to that list, as a shipment of Ecstasy tablets, with a street value of over $2 million, was intercepted earlier this week at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It had arrived on a flight from Canada. The tablets were concealed among incoming cargo.

Medical experts say Ecstasy can destroy some of the body's organs. Ecstasy (methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine) is an illegally manufactured variation of mescaline and amphetamine. Medical doctor, Alverston Bailey, said the drug causes hallucinations and improves mood. Ecstasy is available in Jamaica and costs between J$500 and J$1,000 per pill.

The drug is mainly used by young persons to create a euphoric mood, especially when they are involved in activities such as dancing and socialising. It is usually ingested as a tablet or can be snorted or injected. The side effects include: dryness of the mouth, insomnia, nausea, sweating and tremors.

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Haiti crowned Caribbean soccer champs

Haiti might have big problems at home, but in the Caribbean they now reign supreme as soccer champions. Haiti lifted the Digicel Caribbean Cup after defeating Trinidad & Tobago 2-1 in a thrilling final in Trinidad. Haiti had defeated Guadeloupe 3-1 and T&T had defeated Cuba 3-1 to make the final. Cuba clinched third place by beating Guadeloupe 2-1.

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American formidable military equipment rout Somalis

It must be like shooting fish in a barrel.....

Recent reports that American air power had routed the troops of the Union of Islamic Courts which had ruled Mogadishu, and had brought order to the Somali capital over the last 6 months. The Somalis faced the incredibly deadly firepower of the US AC-130 Gunship aircraft.

The AC-130H "Spectre" and AC-130U "Spooky II" are Hercules transports that have been converted into side-firing gunships, primarily for night attacks against ground targets.
The side-firing weapons array consists of one 25mm GAU-12 Gatling gun (firing 1,800 rounds per minute!), one 40mm L60 Bofors cannon (with a selectable firing rate of single shot or 120 rounds per minute) and one 105mm M-102 Howitzer cannon (firing 6 to 10 rounds per minute).
The M102 105mm Cannon was derived from the Army field artillery M1A1 howitzer and was modified to be fired from the left rear side door of the AC-130 gunship aircraft.

Wow! As I said, "Like shooting fish in a barrel!" The Somalis might just as well have had spears.

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Haitians continue to land in Jamaica

A group of 23 Haitians - 19 men and four women - washed up on Jamaica's shores in this 20-foot sail boat in Port Antonio recently. The Port Antonio police, immigration and health officials were kept busy with this landing. The Haitians told Jamaican officials that they were fleeing their homeland because of "violence and kidnapping". The members of the group, whose ages ranged from 17 to 44, said they were sailing to The Bahamas, but went off course and ended up here. Among the group was a father and son, and a man who claimed that this was his third trip to Jamaica.


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