Study War No More!
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 joins worldwide opposition to Iraq war
CARICOM has released a unanimous statement that they are opposed to the use of armed force against Iraq by the US and its allies when it is clear that diplomatic efforts have not yet been exhausted. Their communiqué urged Iraq to "co-operate fully" with the terms of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1441 on disarmament of weapons of mass destruction and permit "total access" to the weapons inspectors to verify compliance with relevant UN resolutions.
Urging the United States and its "military allies" to exercise restraint in their approach to "this complex international crisis", the Caribbean heads of government said they were "deeply troubled over the humanitarian tragedy that an outbreak of war could bring about and the disastrous effects which it could have on global economic stability".
With all of the 15 member states of the 30-year-old Community represented at their just-concluded 14th Inter-Sessional Meeting in Port-of-Spain [Haiti and Belize were represented at ministerial and diplomatic level respectively], CARICOM leaders declared in their statement: "Total support" of the position taken by the UN Secretary General [Kofi Annan] that "this is an issue not for any one state alone, but for the international community as a whole". The Caricom statement also emphasised that any unilateral action taken outside of a UN Security Council mandate would undermine the integrity of the United Nations and considerably weaken the multilateral system and its machinery for preserving peace and security.
Jamaica, Barbados and Puerto Rico join protests
The rest of the world
In Tel Aviv, Israel, 2,000 Israelis and Palestinians marched together against the war. Also in divided Cyprus, 500 Greeks and Turks braved heavy rain to briefly block a British air base runway.
UN failure in the making
Editor’s Comments: This war is unjustifiable,
morally reprehensible, and a crime against humanity. It will undermine the
UN, belittle world opinion and make every small country like Caribbean
countries more vulnerable.
New WI federation/confederation ?
Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Patrick Manning has in the past urged a political union involving Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and he used the opening of the 14th Inter-Sessional CARICOM Summit here to reiterate the need for closer political union among CARICOM members. St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves even proposed that the union would take the form of a confederal political arrangement, similar to that of the European Union, but with variations to suit the Caribbean realities. But, any hopes of another type of federation faded when the Prime Ministers of Barbados and Jamaica said no to any sort of political alliance at this time.
Editors Comment: Much work needs to be done before any consideration of any type of federation should be considered. CARICOM needs to at least show much more unity and operate like a bloc. Typical is their vote for head of WTO in which each member voted its own way with little consideration for unity.
CARICOM members make real deals with each other
Too often CARICOM only talks about the single market and unity but often spurn fellow members to trade outside CARICOM. CARICOM should be backing up unity talks with greater focus on trade which complements and strengthens each member from outside competition. It is good therefore to see recently two deals which will do just that.
Jamaica and T&T natural gas deal
Jamaica and Guyana rice deal
T&T oil in big demand
Many nations have turned to T&T for oil since the ongoing strike aimed at ousting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has crippled that country’s oil industry and sparked gasoline shortages. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the western hemisphere second to Mexico.
Trinidad’s state owned oil company, Petrotrin, produces about 150,000 barrels per day. It sells one third to smaller Caribbean Islands, another third to larger countries in the region, including Jamaica, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, and the remainder to the US. The Iraqi war threat and the Venezuelan crisis has pushed up oil prices in the Caribbean. T&T has already served notice that if war erupts, they will not be able to honor requests from Caribbean and Latin American nations to hold oil prices at a "pre-Iraq war " level. This is just another way the Caribbean will suffer from Bush’s war.
Rasta now official religion in Jamaica
The Constitutional Court of Jamaica has for the first time recognized Rastafarianism as a religion by means of an out-of-court agreement. The agreement states that Rastafarian prisoners are entitled under the Constitution of Jamaica to have their church conduct acts of worship with them.
It was part of the settlement that the Church of Haile Selassie I has the right to have access to inmates of correctional institutions and conduct acts of worship with them, on similar terms afforded to inmates of other religions. However, they will have to use the traditional wafer and wine as ganja was not permitted to be used as a sacrament.
Crucial strikes in Jamaica and T&T
Jamaica - teachers
T&T - doctors
Suicides rise in Guantanamo Bay prison
The suspected terrorist prisoners from the Afghanistan war held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison by the US continue to commit suicide in increasing numbers. There has been 5 suicides in 3 weeks recently. Including the 10 in all of 2002, the latest case brought the total to 15 since the high security prison was built on the US naval base there a year ago. Amnesty International has protested the prolonged detention and uncertainty the men face about their future, saying it may cause physical and psychological harm. Some of the approximately, often held blindfolded in small cages, have been there more than a year under interrogation by the military without charges, trial or access to lawyers or their families and in contravention of the Geneva accords.
Iraqi travelers detained in Jamaica for FBI
Ten Iraqis in transit, including a family of eight, were detained by the Jamaica Police at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The Iraqi family consisted of four men, two women and two children were all Iraqi nationals but the other two were naturalized Canadians of middle eastern origin. Police said that Jamaican officials discovered irregularities with their travel documents, held them and summoned the FBI. A team of 20 FBI agents flew down, interrogated them, offered asylum to the family, then withdrew the offer, and then released them.
The Iraqis had arrived on a flight from Havana, Cuba, and were scheduled to depart for Belize. Instead they had that unexpected stay-over in Jamaica, the two Canadians flew back to Canada, and the family returned to Cuba on their way back to Iraq.
Dominica PM in T&T for CARICOM meeting hospitalized
Pierre Charles, the 49-year old Prime minister of Dominica arrived in Trinidad for the 2-day CARICOM heads of state meeting. Shortly after arrival, he was taken to the Eric Williams medical center complaining of chest pains. He was hospitalized and was reported to be in stable condition. In June, PM Charles complained of chest pains and underwent a series of tests in Martinique. He became Prime Minister in October 2000 following the death of Prime Minister Rosie Douglas.
Mass nude weddings at Runaway Bay in Jamaica
Hedonism and marriage does not seem to go together, but at Hedonism III resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica, a mass wedding of 29 nude couples took place on Valentines Day. This was the largest number since the event was started there three years ago and is a contender for the Guinness Book of World Records.
The couples, including a Russian, a Canadian and an
American Indian from the Crow Tribe, exchanged wedding vows at an
hour-long ceremony held on the lawns, near the hotel's nude beach.
Appropriately, the ceremony ended with Afro-Tech Steel band playing a
version of Bob Marley's hit song "One Love".
PNC to rejoin Parliament in Guyana
The opposition Peoples National Congress party has been boycotting the Parliament. With the death of PNC leader Desmond Hoyte, Mr. Robert Corbin has succeeded him as the new leader. Since then Corbin has written the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Ralph Ramkarran, requesting a meeting of Parliament on Wednesday to debate a motion on the electricity crisis and other issues of urgent national importance.
This return to Parliament and participation in government is long overdue and could well signal real dialogue and the beginning of the end of the political unrest that has so badly marred that country.
But in Jamaica, Seaga threatens
US House bill to ease Cuban embargo weakened
The bill passed by the US House of Representatives in July 2002 that would ease the US embargo on Cuba has been drastically weakened. The bill has been gutted of provisions which would have:
Senator Max Baucus, a Democrat, and Chuck Hagel, a
Republican, introduced a bill to lift the embargo, including removing
restrictions on trade and lifting the travel ban.
"Scratch" Perry wins reggae Grammy
LEE 'SCRATCH' Perry, born Rainford Hugh Perry, is the 45th Grammy Awards winner for 'Best Reggae Album' for his 2002 release Jamaican E.T. The Grammy Awards were presented yesterday at New York's Madison Square Garden.With Clement 'Sir Coxsone' Dodd, Perry is often credited with the creation of reggae and dub. He produced, among others, Bob Marley and The Wailers, creating such songs as Small Axe and Duppy Conqueror before the group signed with Island Records in 1973.
His Black Ark studio in Kingston saw the creation of the most innovative reggae in history before it burnt to the ground in 1983 and Perry went into self-imposed exile. He is now a resident of Zurich, Switzerland.
Jamaica ranks 8 in number of deportees from the US
A TOTAL of 2,111 Jamaicans were deported from the United States from September 2001 to October 2002 (that country's fiscal year 2002), according to figures from the U.S. Embassy in Kingston. A total of 1,511 of the deportees were categorised as 'criminal', with 600 being classified as 'non-criminal'.
In the U.S. fiscal year 2001, the number of deportees sent back to Jamaica was 2,017, with 1,298 being classified as 'criminal' and 719 as 'non-criminal'.
Jamaica ranks as high as No. 8 in terms of deportee
destinations from the United States. Mexico tops the list with 108,287
deportees. The rankings of the top 20 are as follows:
American group make Havana preservation plans
A group of Americans announced an initiative on Monday to help Cubans preserve the dilapidated architectural treasures of Havana from the looming arrival of capitalist urban development. The architects and urban planners fear that if U.S. sanctions against Cuba are lifted as some expect, developers will move in and destroy the identity of one of the world's most eclectic cities. Havana's architecture ranges from Spanish colonial mansions to art deco gems and mobster-built hotels of the 1950s.
"There will be a rush of capital to Cuba ... The best way to prepare for the onslaught of capitalism is to have a good plan," California architect and city planner Jeffrey Horowitz said at a news conference. Horowitz led a 32-member delegation -- including two U.S. legislators -- that met with Cuban officials. A larger conference is planned for June.
"Havana and Cuba is one of the unique places in the world that has so much to preserve, so much to build on without destroying the cultural and historical essence of this island and the heritage of this great city," said Rep. Sam Farr, a California Democrat.
Trial clears Reggae boy Whitmore
The Falmouth Resident Magistrate Court in Jamaica has freed Jamaica reggae boy soccer star, Theodore Whitmore of manslaughter and reckless driving charges. Whitmore was on trial for the death of former reggae boy, "Shorty" Malcom, who died when a car owned by Whitmore, was involved in an accident in the parish of Trelawny some two years ago.
WI out of cricket World Cup
West Indies hopes for the cricket World Cup crashed as they went down to defeat by Sri Lanka by 6 runs. Sri Lanka had set a modest total of 228 for 6 to which the WI batsmen struggled to 222 for 9. Previously the WI had beaten second favorites South Africa by 5 runs, lost to New Zealand, tied Bangladesh in a rain abandoned game, and beaten Canada.
There is still some kick in the 42-year-old Merlene Ottey as she placed 2nd in the 60 meters on February 11th 2003, at the Ghent International meet . The race was won by Ukraine’s Zhanna Pintussevich to match the fastest time of the year held by Jamaican Veronica Campbell, 7.09 seconds. Ottey had the 6th fastest time in the world this year. The Jamaican is now representing Slovenis and is in her 24th year of international competition.
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