December, 2005

New Yorkers Brace For Transit Strike As Trini-Born Union Leader Slams Mayor

Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Thurs. Dec. 14, 2005: Caribbean New Yorkers are among other city dwellers who will be affected if a transit strike goes into effect today. The Transit Workers Union 100 late last night seemed dead set on the illegal strike today, despite the fact that it could cost the union a whopping $1,000,000 under state rules that deem striking by public employees illegal.

U.S. Citizen Murder – Guyana’s Top Cop Says Slayer Will Be Caught Soon

Hardbeatnews, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Thurs. Dec. 15, 2005: Guyana’s Police Commissioner, Winston Felix, yesterday insisted members of his force, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are virtually at the doorstep of the person who allegedly murdered USAID contractor and Virginia national, Daniel Thomson.

Trinidad’s Top Comic Remembers Richard Pryor

Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Thurs. Dec. 15, 2005: For Hazelle Goodman, the Trinidad & Tobago-born top actress turned comedian, Richard Pryor may have physically left the world, but for her, he’s “still with us.” The top comedian shared her thoughts with HBN this week following the Dec. 10th passing of the America’s top funnyman.

First ‘Official’ Jamaican Dancehall Dance-U-Mentary For January Release

Hardbeatnews, TRENTON, NJ, Weds. Dec. 14, 2005: Look out for Penalty Recordings in conjunction with Fine Gold Productions release of ‘It’s All About Dancing: A Jamaican Dance-U-Mentary,’ set for a street date of January, 2006.

The DVD is being promoted as “the first official DVD to capture the vibrant and sometimes outrageous culture of the Jamaican dancehall” and features local and international dancehall artists and dancers like Beenie Man, Elephant Man, T.O.K., Mr. Vegas, Voicemail, Macka Diamond, Tanto Metro & Devonte, Tony Matterhorn, Richie Feelings, the late Bogle, John Hype, Ice, Sadiqy & G-Unit, Latisha and  Kiyo.
‘It’s All About Dancing,’ does for Jamaican dancing what David LaChappelle’s acclaimed film “Rize” did for Los Angeles “krump” dancing, says Penalty officials, adding that it is the first feature-length documentary to showcase a local dance culture in its truest form.  Filmed on location in Jamaica, the country where dancehall was born, the DVD spotlights a rich and colorful cast of dancehall selectors, DJs and dancers, almost all of whom are native to Jamaica.

Kittians To Pay More For Phone Service

Hardbeatnews, BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Weds. Dec. 14, 2005: Come January 2006, nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis will have to shell out more for monthly telephone service.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Denzil Douglas, made the announcement yesterday in his EC$494.7 million 2006 budget presentation to parliament, stating that all telephone calls, including domestic ones, will attract a five percent tax from January 1st.

Simeus Calls Haiti Supreme Court Firings “Sad And Scary”

Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Weds. Dec. 14, 2005: Haitian-American businessman, Dumarsais Siméus, says the firings of five of Haiti’s Supreme Court justices by the interim administration is appalling, anti-constitutional and illegal.

The man, who wants to be the next president of Haiti, but who has been kept off the ballot by the administration’s nationality committee and the Haiti election council, said it’s “…a sad and scary day for Haiti, for the rights of our 9 million citizens and for the future of freedom, democracy and separation of powers in Haiti.”

Oregon Man Charged In Grenada Scam Dies

Hardbeatnews, PORTLAND, Oregon, Weds. Dec. 14, 2005: Gilbert Ziegler, aka Van Arthur Brink, who set up the First International Bank of Grenada that allegedly defrauded investors of US$206 million, has died while awaiting trial.

Ziegler, 54, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office here, died of a heart attack Saturday, Dec. 10. He had faced 147 counts of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering concerning the failure of the bank in 2000.

Caribbean Legal Minds Weigh In On Tookie Williams’ Execution

Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Weds. Dec. 14, 2005: Crips co-founder, Stanley Tookie Williams, III, up until his execution at 12:35 a.m. on Dec. 13, did not apologize for the crimes that landed him on death row. Still 24-hours after his death by lethal injection, debate and outrage over the case rages on. But the reaction is varied as HBN found out in discussions with two Caribbean-American attorneys.

Victory for ULP

Marked ballot papers were allegedly found floating in a river. This is a report coming from St. Vincent during the general election last Wednesday (December 7). The people who saw the ballot papers complained to the authorities but to date nothing has come of it.

Heart care in Georgetown

People with heart ailments can now breathe a sigh of relief. According to the Stabroek News, cardiac treatment may soon be provided at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH). This is as a result of an agreement between the Ministry of Health, the GPH and the US-based Caribbean Heart Institute.

Declaration in Bridgetown

When CARICOM leaders and Cuban President Fidel Castro sat down for talks last Thursday (December 8), it signalled the strengthening of bonds between several Caribbean countries.

Another win for Chavez

President Hugo Chavez’ party, the Fifth Republic Movement (FRM) has won 114 seats in the 167 seat Venezuelan parliament in elections held on December 4. This was Chavez tenth electoral triumph since 1998 and this victory means that his party has taken greater control of the National Assembly.

Crime affects TT economy

For 2006 the economic prognosis for Trinidad and Tobago is healthy. That’s the word from chairman of Republic Bank Ronald Harford in the bank’s annual report for 2005. But there’s a big bugbear and that’s crime.