Not just a book but an invitation to join the Goodwill
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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.
Caribbean, home of the worst most vicious cold-blooded killers
We have been appalled at the horrors of the civil wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Angola. We have been appalled at the horrors of ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia and other East European countries. We are appalled of the horrors of Al Queida and Bush’s war and occupation of Iraq. But right in our beloved homeland, the Caribbean, resides the most vicious, brutal cold-blooded killers in the world today.
In Jamaica, gunmen firebomb a home with a
family of four including a 10-year-old girl. The fire traps the family
inside the house. The little girl screams for help, calling out to her
neighbors by name. The neighbors rush to help her, only for the vicious
cold-blooded gunmen to commence firing at the helpers, driving them back.
Meanwhile the little girl’s screams are ended by the fire as she burns
to death. All four family members burn to death, which includes both her
grand-parents and an aunt.
In Trinidad – thugs kidnap a promising young cricketer Justin
Raymond-Guillen and also Dr. Eddie Koury, the nephew of that country's
Health Minister. The 19-year-old Raymond-Guillen, the elder son of
Trinidad Guardian acting editor Judy Raymond, and businessman Jeffrey
Guillen, was abducted for 13 days. During that time appeals for his return
were made by family members, prominent citizens and T&T members of the
national cricket team. He was returned surprisingly unhurt after the
family paid a ransom of US$200,000, which is reported to be far less than
the original demand. "Surprisingly unhurt" because in T&T,
the probable kidnap capital of the world, typically kidnap victims have
been kept in holes in the ground, tortured and burnt with cigarettes and
beaten in some instances.
In Guyana – foul play is suspected in the disappearance of a total of four men from their jobs with the Guyana Sugar Company (Guysuco). The first mysterious disappearance of two of the men took place four months ago. Then two Guysuco workers went missing on May 21 while clearing a drainage canal aback of Vigilance, East Coast Demerara and have never been found. In the more recent disappearance, two Guysuco watchmen went missing while on duty as watchmen. Police and Defense force members have combed the area in vain. All four men are of Indian ancestry and there is suspicion that they are victims of racially motivated attacks from black Buxton area gang. The family of the four victims continue to grieve.
The fact of the matter is that these vicious cold-blooded criminals are
degrading the quality of life in the Caribbean. Governments have been
pulling out the stops to combat them, but still these horrible crimes
persist. In Jamaica groups have launched rallies to ‘take back the
country from criminals’ and must be commended for their efforts. I wish
such actions would work, but the horrible crimes persist. Hot Calaloo
hates to report the negative about the Caribbean, but it would be
negligent to do otherwise.
Dominica 'Iron Lady' dies at 86
Dominica's former Prime Minister Eugenia Charles has died at 86 years of age. She died in Martinique where she had gone for surgery to repair a broken hip which she suffered from a fall. Known as the Caribbean's 'Iron Lady', Charles was Prime Minister of Dominica for three terms from July 21, 1980, shortly after Dominica gained independence, to June 14, 1995.
Born May 15, 1919 in Pointe Michel to a political family, Dame Eugenia was also the Commonwealth Caribbean's first female attorney-at-law. She founded the Dominica Freedom Party and supported Dominica's independence from British rule, which it achieved in 1978.
After forming the Freedom Party, she was elected an assemblywoman - once wearing a bathing suit in the House to protest a dress code for legislators. She was elected Prime Minister in 1980, two years after Dominica declared independence from Britain. She survived two early coup attempts and had one man hanged for treason, Dominica's first execution in 13 years. She retired from politics after her second term in 1995. Britain's Queen Elizabeth made her a dame in 1991.
Dame Eugenia grabbed the world stage when she teamed up with US President Ronald Reagan on TV to announce the invasion of Grenada to topple the Maurice Bishop government.
Severe sugar shortage hits T&T
Caribbean countries have been facing a severe crisis in selling their sugar overseas. This time sugar-producing Trinidad and Tobago faces a severe sugar shortage problem. Companies which depend on sugar for their products such as bakeries, soft drink and candy companies have lost millions of dollars because they had to halt production. Workers have also been laid-off. Companies are failing to meet deadlines with some risking cancellation of sales especially in the export market.
The Trinidad government recently gave its approval to all local manufacturers of sugar-based products to import from outside of CARICOM, 10,000 tons of refined sugar, duty free, between 1 September and 31 December 2005. Some of these manufacturers would have produced products with refined sugar they obtained from the Sugar Manufacturing Company Limited (SMCL), which SMCL would have imported from extra-CARICOM sources. Trinidad & Tobago is the only country in CARICOM which refines sugar.
JLP staged protests disrupt Jamaica
The opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) staged protests all over the island to protest the recent hike in electricity rates and other price increases. The demonstration was supposed to be peaceful, but as expected mayhem broke out. All over the island :
JLP leaders tried to distance themselves from the mayhem their protest caused, urging their followers not to block roads and participate in violence. Of course these ‘peaceful" demonstrations will cost the Government millions of dollars which it can ill afford.
UWI students protest tuition increase
Hundreds of medical students at the University of the West Indies (UWI) effectively blockaded the office of St Augustine campus principal, Dr Bhoe Tewarie, as they protested an increase in tuition fees. Wearing red T-shirts, carrying placards and punching the air with their fists, the students marched to the building housing Tewarie's office and blocked both entry and exit. Members of the media who had been attending a launch at the principal's office were not allowed to leave, and neither were other campus staff who shared the compound.
The students were upset because they believed they would have to find between J$17,000 to J$38,000 more in tuition fees from this semester. the university has not increased fees for nationals since 1989," but that, in any case, nationals would not have to bear the full brunt of any increase as the Government would pay 50 per cent, GATE would take care of a further 25 per cent, leaving students with just 25 per cent of the increase. For non-nationals, however, new fees are now in effect. Tewarie said the increases, ranging from J$9,450 to J$38,115, must be paid by non-nationals and were non-negotiable.Top Back to Hot Calaloo
Delta, Northwest file for bankruptcy
Caribbean carriers, Air Jamaica, BWIA and LIAT, are all struggling for their financial life, but they have plenty of company. DELTA AIR Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines, the third- and fourth-largest U.S. air carriers, both declared bankruptcy on Wednesday as the industry's struggle with soaring oil prices and low-cost competition came to a dramatic head.
With the filings, both made in U.S. bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York, four of the seven largest airlines in the United States are now operating under Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection from their creditors.
Both airlines would likely use bankruptcy to slash labor and pension costs, following in the footsteps of No. 2 U.S. carrier United Airlines, the main unit of UAL Corp.
The bankruptcies could put added pressure on other carriers including industry leader AMR Corp., parent of American Airlines, by putting them at a competitive disadvantage as their bankrupt rivals shed costs and ditch pensions. On the other hand, other airlines could benefit if Delta and others cut back on domestic routes, getting rid of overcapacity that has made the U.S. airline sector the most troubled world-wide
St. Georges College in Jamaica turns co-ed
"S-T-G-C good and true
According to Dr. Fred Kennedy, principal of the school, the move to include young ladies followed an expansion of the school's sixth form. He said the expansion resulted from a number of factors. Among them were St. George's excellent passes in recent external exams, which meant more boys were eligible for sixth form. It also included a plan by the school to take advantage of a proposal from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, that suggested that sixth forms can begin offering associate degrees allowing students to accumulate credits for tertiary educational institutions.
"We needed to expand so we could offer the full range of subjects," Dr. Kennedy said. He added that the now co-educational sixth form, which now has about 156 students or double its original number, will have other benefits as well. However, an estimated 60 students will not be able to enjoy the benefits at St. George's. Their applications for sixth form were turned down because the school could not accommodate them.
The number of spaces in sixth form in Jamaica is considered inadequate. It is estimated that 5,000 students are currently in sixth forms which constitute only half of those eligible.
However, the admission of girls in former all-boys high school Queen’s Royal College in T&T saw a significant drop in the academic performance of the boys. As it is, girls are out-performing boys in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries with graduation rates in school and UWI approaching 70 per cent.
Jamaica's trade deficit continues to widen
New data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, STATIN, show that between January and June, the trade deficit grew by US$336 million to US$1.4 billion. During the first half of the year, Jamaicans spent US$2.1 billion on imports nearly three times the US$724 million earned from exports. The figures show imports increased by 18 percent while exports declined by 5 percent.
The tragic farce of Haiti elections
The tragic farce of the coming Haiti elections is very obvious to
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. He
says his administration will not be providing any support for those
upcoming elections there. Dr. Gonsalves has insisted that his government
would not raise a finger to help the US-backed interim administration of
Prime Minister Gerard Latortue.
Meanwhile a number of Haitian journalists have been beaten up including the President of the Association of Haitian Journalists, Guyler Delva. A story posted on the Association of Caribbean Media Workers website said an American bodyguard of President Boniface Alexandre had beaten Delva at the Supreme Court building.
Meanwhile So Ann, the popular singer and Aristide supporter has been in jail for more than a year though she has not been charged with any crime.
Meanwhile Father Jean Juste, the favorite presidential candidate of the Lavalas base in the poor neighborhoods of Port au Prince, has been in jail for months on obviously trumped-up charges, which prevented him from registering as a candidate in elections.
Meanwhile Condoleeza Rice, a probable accomplice in the US overthrow of
the elected President Aristide, declares Haiti is on the way back to
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