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The fall of Christopher "Dudus" Coke, Jamaica 'don'
Jamaica Prime Minister Bruce Golding after many denials admitted that a payment of US$49,892.62 was made to Manatt, Phelps & Phillips on September 18th 2009 on behalf of the 'don' of Tivoli Gardens, Christopher "Dudus" Coke from funds from financial contributors to the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
So finally after that admission, the extradition order was signed for Coke. Prime Minister Golding then ordered Coke's arrest on May 24 after 9 months of hesitation following a US indictment on charges that his infamous "Shower Posse" supplies much of the cocaine on the streets of eastern US cities. As word spread that the Government had signed the extradition request from the United States:
Coke was finally captured disguised in a car with in the company of a minister, the Reverend Al Miller, The Rev. Al Miller, an influential evangelical preacher who facilitated the surrender of Coke's brother earlier that month, told The Associated Press that Coke was heading to surrender to authorities at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston when police stopped his convoy on a highway outside the capital.
The 41-year-old Coke's arrest was the culmination of bloody showdown
with the government over his extradition that led to the deaths of 73
civilians in a police and military assault on Coke's Tivoli Gardens
stronghold. Coke's gang effectively controlled Tivoli Gardens, an
impoverished area of western Kingston where he created a mini-economy
providing both livelihoods and protection to residents desperately seeking
both. The son of one of the Caribbean island's most legendary dons, Coke
made a name for himself as a businessman, political player and chief of
the "Shower Posse," so named for showering its foes with
bullets. In defying arrest, he may have been trying to avoid the fate of
his father, Jim Brown, who died in 1992 in a mysterious fire after being
taken into custody.
T&T elects first female PM
Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) got its first female Prime Minister as Kamla Persad- Bissessar and the coalition of the People`s Partnership swept to power in Trinidad and Tobago winning 28 of the 41 seats. This included those on Barataria/San Juan, St. Augustine, Toco/Sangre Grande, Diego Martin North East, St. Joseph, Lopinot/Bon Air West, Chaguanas East, Chaguanas West, Cumoto/Manzanilla, Caroni Central, Couva South, Tabaquite, Mayaro, Moruga/Tableland, Naparima, Siparia, Fyzabad, Pointe-a-Pierre, Oropouche East, Oropouche West, Princes Town, San Fernando West, Arouca/Maloney, Tobago East, Tobago West, Tunapuna, D`Abadie/O`Meara, La Horquetta/Talparo and Tabaquite.
She becomes the seventh Prime Minister of the republic. Mrs.
Persad-Bissessar was born on April 4, 1952 in Siparia. She was the first
female Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago when she was sworn in as
Attorney General in November 1995. She also acted as Prime Minister in
September 2000, thus being the first female to act Prime Minister of
Trinidad and Tobago. Mrs. Persad-Bissessar attended Norwood Technical
College and later University of the West Indies where she obtained a
Bachelor of Arts (General) (1974) and a Diploma in Education (1976). She
was a lecturer in Language and Linguistics at UWI's St Augustine and Mona
campuses and a teacher at Lakshmi Girls' Hindu College. She was also a
social worker with the Church of England Children's Society in London.
Incumbent Patrick Manning and the People`s National Movement suffered a massive loss, retaining only 13 of their initial 26 seats. Those are Diego Martin West, Diego Martin Central, Port of Spain North/St. Ann`s, Port of Spain South, Laventille West, Laventille East/Morvant, St. Ann`s East, Arima, Arouca/Maloney, Point Fortin and San Fernando East.
Haiti receives lees than 10% of aid pledged
Let us not forget. Haiti continues to suffer. Less than 10% of aid pledged by countries has been received so far. Six months ago Haiti was rocked by a 7.0 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people, left more than 1.5 million homeless and destroyed the country's capital and surrounding areas. Much money was spent on immediate relief, but hundreds of millions of dollars remain in the coffers of nonprofit organizations and in the pockets of countries that pledged it.
Video - Former President Bill Clinton tells CNN's Anderson Cooper about
Africa lost trillions illegally to west
According to the US-based research body Global Financial Integrity (GFI), more than $1.8 trillion may have flowed out of Africa illegally over the last four decades, most of it to western financial institutions Even using conservative estimates, the continent lost about $1.8tn – meaning Africans living at the end of 2008 had each been deprived of an average of $989 since 1970.
The report says globally in recent years much attention has been focused on corruption – the proceeds of bribery and theft by government officials – and this only makes up about 3% of the cross-border flow of illicit money around the world. The proceeds of commercial tax evasion, mainly through trade mis-pricing, contribute 60% to 65% of the global total, while drug trafficking, racketeering and counterfeiting make up 30% to 35%. The report says Africa's percentages are likely to be roughly the same.
The scourge eats into Africa's total GDP, says the report, Illicit Financial Flows from Africa: Hidden Resource for Development. Losses rose from around 2% of GDP in 1970 to a peak of 11% in 1987, then dropped below 4% for much of the Nineties, only to increase again to 8% of GDP in 2007 and 7% in 2008.
The GFI says that existing research shows that most flows to western financial institutions, and calls on G20 members to crack down on international banks and offshore financial centers.
Illicit outflows from Africa grew at an average 11.9% a year over the four decades. Some of this is attributed to oil price rises and increased opportunities to mis-price trade.
This capital loss has a devastating effect on development and attempts to alleviate poverty, the report says. Even by a more conservative estimate, using accepted economic models from the World Bank and the IMF, Africa has lost $854bn in cumulative capital flight between 1970 and 2008, the report notes. This would be enough to not only wipe out its 2008 external debt of $250bn but potentially leave $600bn for poverty alleviation and economic growth.
It says that the huge outflow explains why aid efforts to reduce poverty have underachieved in Africa. "According to recent studies by GFI and other researchers, developing countries lose at least $10 through illegal flight capital for every $1 they receive in external assistance."
Caribana boosts Toronto financially
Caribana is the Caribbean street festival held in Toronto, Canada each year. According toafirst comprehensive study of the festival, done by Ryerson University, Caribana exceeds the economic impact of all other Toronto festivals. The economic impact of Caribana has been put at a just over $400 million,
The study found that the annual celebration, now in its 42nd year:
Largest Ever Lawsuit Against T&T-Owned Petrotrin
World GTL Inc, has filed the largest lawsuit ever filed against a private or Government-owned company in Trinidad against the Government-owned Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petrotrin). The suit is filed in the United States Federal District court for the wrongful expropriation of its assets in a joint venture company, World GTL Trinidad Limited. The Complaint requests damages of more than US $2 billion.
World GTL Trinidad Limited was constructing a gas-to-liquid plant located within the Petrotrin refinery in Point-a Pierre, Trinidad, 51% owned by the World GTL Inc subsidiary, World GTL of St. Lucia Ltd, and 49% by Petrotrin. When expropriated, the plant was in the process of being commissioned and would have been the first commercial GTL plant in the western hemisphere.
World GTL Inc says it is seeking damages equal to the projected enterprise value contemplated by Wall Street analysts in an initial public offering. In the complaint, World GTL Inc says Petrotrin executed its secret plan to expropriate the plant with the full knowledge and consent of the Trinidad Government. It is seeking compensation from Petrotrin for alleged fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, negligence and expropriation.
World GTL Inc, based in New York City, was formed in 2000 to build and operate gas-to-liquid (GTL) facilities that convert natural gas (coal and other hydrocarbons) into high-value, pollution free fuels and other valuable products.
Republican senators denounce IMF loan to Antigua
Two Mississippi Republican senators are slamming a possible loan by the International Monetary Fund to the Commonwealth of Antigua and Barbuda. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker have written to President Barack Obama, urging against the loan and claiming the Antigua government provided no assistance or cooperation to the U. S. government in its investigation of Stanford Financial.
The two also point out that the island’s government seized hundreds of millions of dollars in Stanford-owned property following the collapse of a seven billion dollar Ponzi scheme, and are refusing to turn it over to help victims recover some of the money they lost. They want President Obama to urge U. S. delegates on the IMF to vote no to providing the loan to Antigua and Barbuda.
Antigua and Barbuda is seeking a loan from the IMF to help its economy, which has taken a beating from the Stanford fall out as well as a dive in remittances and tourists.
Maverly students lose computer lab
The frequent outbreaks of violence in the northwest St Andrew community of Maverley, Jamaica which have already cost many children of that area a normal life, have now robbed them of a fully equipped computer lab.
Head of the European Union (EU) delegation in Jamaica, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi Alemanni, had promised the Maverley Primary and Junior High School a fully equipped computer lab if the community was able to complete the construction of four new classrooms and a resource lab within the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) contracted five-month time frame. Contractors did not complete it in time because the project encountered three fatal shootings, violence and flare-ups. So, although it was no fault of the students or even the contractors, Ambassador Mazzochi said no deal to equipping the computer lab. He did promise a few computers though.
The four classrooms and lab were built on the school compound with almost J$30 million from the EU, administered through the JSIF under its Poverty Reduction Program, and J$8 million in kind from the community.
Volunteers rebuild basic school in Jamaica
Students, teachers and members of the New Ground community in northcentral Clarendon, Jamaica along with representatives from the Bank of Nova Scotia and Food For The Poor have rebuilt the crumbling basic school in that area. Scotiabank came through again. They responded to build the school when they learned that:
The new school, which is now named the Alexandria Hope Basic School, boasts a large classroom to accommodate 50 students, a kitchen, and bathroom facilities for teachers and students. The large group of volunteers also had a cottage constructed for the school's principal, established a vegetable garden and installed perimeter fencing. The project cost more than US$30,000.
Belize leaves British Privy Council appeals system
The government of Belize says it will stop sending appeals cases to the colonial-era British Privy Council starting June 1. The order announced by the office of Prime Minister Dean Barrow brings Belize's appeals processes into line with the country's constitution.
The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice will hear all Belize court appeals filed after May 31. The London-based Privy Council long served as the highest court of appeal for many former British colonies. But many of those nations are removing themselves from the jurisdiction of the council, which is made up of members of Britain's House of Lords.
The Caribbean Court of Justice is the regional judicial tribunal established on February 14, 2001 by the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice. The agreement was signed on that date by the Caribbean Community (Caricom) states of: Antigua & Barbuda; Barbados; Belize; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; St. Kitts & Nevis; St. Lucia; Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago. Two further states, Dominica and St. Vincent & The Grenadines, signed the agreement on 15 February 2003, bringing the total number of signatories to 12. The CCJ was inaugurated on 16 April 2005 in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.
It entered into force on July 23, 2003 when a third country, Republic of Guyana, deposited its Instrument of Ratification following Saint Lucia and Barbados.
Peace initiative begins in Denham Town
An effort is under way at the Denham Town Primary School to transform how children view their roles in making Jamaica a better society. This drive is being done by Beacons of Progress and Achievement (BPA), a non-governmental group, which launched its school peace initiative at Denham Town Primary yesterday on the school grounds in west Kingston.
The youth-led organisation provides leadership to other young people and tries to get them to help others build self-esteem and self-awareness. Canadian high commissioner to Jamaica, Stephen Hallihan, whose commission sponsors
the program, described it as turning children into teachers and leaders. He said the program provided an opportunity for children to give back to their communities and make a difference.
Impact of overseas remittances
Remittances, the funds sent by foreign-based Latin American workers to
their families back home (also called migradollars in Mexico
where they constitute the third highest source of income after oil exports
and tourism), represent one of the major economic trends shaping Latin
America’s recent development. They are considerably more important than
official development assistance (ODA) and equal the foreign direct
investment (FDI) volume for the region. In some of the poorest countries
of the hemisphere (Haiti, Guyana and Honduras, to name a few) they account
for more than 10% of the GDP, and, in several Latin American countries,
remittances per capita readings are higher than the GDP per capita of the
poorest 40% of the population.
Medical Mission to Port Maria, Jamaica
For the past nineteen (19) years, over a five-day period of time,
volunteers from the U.S. set up a free clinic in the St. Mary’s
Parish Church, Jamaica, where they screen, treat, and provide medication
for 1,200-1,500 men, women and children in the impoverished area of Port
Maria and surrounding communities. These volunteers are doctors, nurses,
therapists, and lay people who do this at their own expense. Funds are
desperately needed to purchase medication and medical supplies.
JA Medical Mission at St. James
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Editor’s Note: This appeal was submitted by one of the founding members of the project, Erma Mowatt. One dollar would be enough if we had a million donors, but Hot Calaloo does not have nearly that many readers. So please donate more than one dollar. All of us here in America donate to worthy American charitable causes every year. So how about this worthy Jamaican charitable cause?
Poor man’s Gatorade save Bangladeshi kids lives
Bangladesh, one of the world's poorest countries, is a leader in the fight against diarrhea, which is the number two killer of children under age 5 worldwide after pneumonia. Diarrhea claims 1.5 million kids annually — more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined — and the United Nations has projected the number of deaths will rise by 10 percent each year over the next decade.
Over the past 30 years,a simple 'poor man's Gatorade' has become a cheap, trusted home remedy passed down to generations of Bangladeshi moms nationwide. It is bought or whipped up and sipped down at the first sign of diarrhea to stave off dehydration, which can drain a weak child of life in just hours. It consists of – A pinch of salt. A fistful of sugar. A half liter of water.
Dr. Olivier Fontaine, a diarrhea expert at the World Health Organization in Geneva stated, "We have the magic bullets, and now we need to apply them to make sure every kid has access. What we need is money to implement what we have seen in Bangladesh."
There is probably a lesson for the Caribbean here.
Scotia teaches students safety 101
Scotiabank of Jamaica volunteers have stepped up again. Security for the nation's future leaders took top priority recently as Scotiabank employees volunteered their time to teach safety precautions to students in more than 70 schools across the island.
Scotiabank's manager of corporate and social responsibility, Debbie Clue, said the financial corporation made an attempt at tackling safety education, considering Jamaica's crime situation.
"We thought it would be a good idea to cover (safety), with all the violence and abuse. It's good to empower children to be aware and protect themselves."
Twenty volunteers stood in classrooms at Rollington Town Primary School in Kingston lecturing students from grades one to six on what to do when caught in an unsafe situation.
Dr Margaret Bailey, principal of Rollington Town Primary, said many of the students lived in volatile communities and the school acted as a safe haven.
"This school is like an oasis in the desert," Bailey said. "These volatile communities need a place for their children."
Bailey is in her 11th year as principal and has conducted research on parent involvement in children's education, focusing on the experiences of six inner-city parents.
The primary school's principal, who spoke out for volunteerism, said her research has helped her to understand parenting within the inner city.
"We have to reach out and the parents reach back. It's not just about educating the students."
California volunteers descend on Grand Cayman
Do Something World Campaign promotes sustainable change in the Caribbean
An uplifting spirit of volunteerism descended upon the Cayman Islands
with the arrival of nearly 100 San Diego residents who are "doing
something" for the people of the western Caribbean nation.
The projects, one of which will save the local government US$1.2
million through the expansion of 12 new classrooms at the John A. Cumber Primary School in West Bay, form part of the "Do
Something World" campaign which focuses on giving back to communities
around the world and follows a major Miles Ahead outreach initiative in
Jamaica in 2008.
The vision behind the "Do Something World" campaign is not only to leverage resources to complete service projects that will benefit the Cayman community, but also to equip ministry, business, community and government leaders to continue the work ahead.
US expands Caribbean AIDS program
The United States and the Caribbean Community (Caricom) have signed an agreement paving the way for Washington to expand an AIDS relief program to 12 Caribbean nations. Previously, only two Caricom member-nations --- Guyana and Haiti--- and the Dominican Republic had benefited from the program introduced by the George W. Bush administration for African and Caribbean countries worst affected by HIV and AIDS.
Under the agreement, the 12 countries would get 25 million dollars annually or up to 125 million over the next five years to assist with prevention, testing, strategic information and counseling, said the charge d'afffaires of the US embassy, Karen Williams.
The new beneficiary nations are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, The Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.
Latest statistics show that while HIV and AIDS have stabilized in the Caribbean, AIDS-related illnesses are the fourth leading cause of death among women and the fifth leading cause of mortality among men.
US to issue new hi-tech green card
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Tuesday that it has redesigned the Permanent Resident Card, commonly known as the `Green Card,` to incorporate several major new security features.
State-of-the-art technology aims to prevent counterfeiting, obstructs tampering, and facilitates quick and accurate authentication of the card.
The redesign will include special ink creates color shifts in visual designs; fine-lined artwork and complex architecture incorporate patterns that are nearly impossible to reproduce; card materials resist tampering; greater detail in photograph makes for easier identification of the bearer and ultra-violet technology and tactile clues allow accurate card authentication at border crossings.
A Radio Frequency Identification will also allow inspectors to read unique, 192-bit serial number from a distance and link the information to the personal data on file while the personalized return address on back of the card will double as security feature and as customer-service enhancement to facilitate easy return of lost cards to USCIS. In keeping with its nickname, redesigned Permanent Resident Cards will be green.
Turks And Caicos voted world's best beach and sun
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, has recently been voted as
the Best Beach and Sun Destination in the World! Millions of reviews and
opinions submitted to TripAdvisor.com by travellers around the world have
resulted in the Turks and Caicos Islands receiving the coveted 2010
TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for Best Beach and Sun Destination
in the World.
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