January, 2006

Floods hit Trinidad and Guyana

A jet stream brought torrential rains to the southernmost part of the Caribbean causing widespread floodings in Guyana and Trinidad. In Guyana it brought back fears and unpleasant of last year’s devastating floods which caused untold damage to livestock and property.

Ease up air travel for CARICOM people

If Jamaica’s State Minister Delano Franklyn has his way, there should be less expensive air fares and shorter travel time for CARICOM nationals. Speaking at the eight annual Research Day at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies, he said: “We cannot create a single market in the region without making travel far more simple, less time consuming and cheaper.”

From opposition to government

Up to January 13 Clyde Mascoll was leader of the Opposition in Barbados. Now a mere 12 days later he’s a member of the government.

It all started with some clandestine moves where four members of the opposition, including David Thompson, sent a letter to the Governor General (GG) stating that they no longer accepted Mascoll as their leader and in his place they want Thompson. The same Thompson who was a signatory to the letter. Hours earlier Mascoll had written the GG informing him that he has resigned as opposition leader.

An unwed role model who’s pregnant

Former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam pregnancy is causing a brouhaha in her native country, Trinidad. Firstly she’s unmarried, the there is speculation about who’s the father and to crown it all,  Fitzwilliams chose to announce her pregnancy while addressing students of Corpus Christi College, a Catholic School.

Hang the murderers

It’s time to carry out capital punishment. That’s the call from leading Bahamian cleric
Bishop Albert Hepburn who was speaking at the funeral service of slain Prison Officer Dion Bowles. And he has found support from the country’s prime minister Perry Christie.

Angry crowd chase MP

Heavily armed police fired tear gas at an angry crowd. A member of parliament was verbally abused and chased. Some villagers were arrested. That was the scene in the villages of Gonzales and Vance River in Point Fortin, South Trinidad last Friday.

‘Slavery And the Making Of America’ For PBS Premiere

Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Tues. Jan. 31, 2006: With Black History Month beginning tomorrow, PBS television is gearing up for the premiere of its four-part series documenting the history of American slavery.

‘Slavery And The Making Of America,’ is set to premiere on February 9 from 9 to 11 p.m. Emmy-award winning film producer, Michigan-raised Dante James, produced it.

Haitian Migrants Picked Up Off Port Everglades

Hardbeatnews, MIAMI, FL, Tues. Jan. 31, 2006: Thirty-one Haitian migrants, seeking to enter the U.S. on a 15-foot boat, were yesterday picked up by the U.S. Coast Guards after they were spotted by a luxury cruise ship.

Coast Guard officials say they received the call about the migrants from the cruise ship Discovery Sun around 9 a.m. yesterday after ship officials spotted the boat about seven miles off Port Everglades.

Guyana Flood Update

Hardbeatnews, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tues. Jan. 31, 2006: The level of the Mahaica and Mahaicony creeks in Guyana remain extremely high, resulting in continued flooding in nearby communities. And there is no indication that the water would recede soon.

Eastern Caribbean Countries Want More Time To Join CSM

Hardbeatnews, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tues. Jan. 31, 2006: Heads of state of the Eastern Caribbean group of countries yesterday said they need another three months to ensure they are compliant to the CARICOM Single Market.

During a meeting in Jamaica prior to the official CSM ceremony yesterday, the heads of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines agreed to push back the date for compliance to June 30. But they did sign the declaration of intent to sign on to the CSM during the ceremony at UWI yesterday afternoon. The CSM compliant process was to have been completed since last December. Compliance requires that member states remove all legal and administrative impediments to the free movement of goods and services; the free movement of people and the free movement of capital.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer, in explaining the decision, said that while the OECS leaders are fully committed to the process of moving the CSM forward there were some concerns that the timetable as being set by CARICOM in terms of being able to meet all the basic requirements under the treaty.
“We have determined that in order for the OECS territories to be on board and to be able to fully implement the CARICOM treaty as it relates to the CSM, that more time would be needed for all the OECS countries to come onboard,” he stated in a government release.

He added that the extension would give the individual territories a chance to look at their legislative agenda.

But six member states yesterday reaffirmed their commitment to make the CSM a reality before a large gathering of Caribbean Prime Ministers and key regional stakeholders at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies.

T&T Soldiers Charged With Murdering U.S. Army Veteran

Hardbeatnews, PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Tues. Jan. 31, 2006: They are required to uphold the law but yesterday, three T&T Defence Force members found themselves on the other side of the justice system, charged with murdering a Trinidad-born American Army veteran holidaying in his homeland.

Breaking News – Top Guyanese Media Workers Dead

Hardbeatnews, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tues. Jan. 31, 2006: The Guyana media fraternity has reportedly lost two well-known media workers in one day; one felled by multiple bullets last night, according to news reaching HBN late last night.

Dead are HBTV channel-9 talk show host Ronald Waddell, who was shot to death late last night infront of his home in Georgetown after reportedly returning from exercising, and veteran radio personality, Ulita Anthony.

Yet Another St. Lucia Tourism Employee Cries Abuse

Hardbeatnews, CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Tues. Jan. 31, 2006: Another incident involving a hotel employee and a visitor has shaken St Lucia’s tourism industry, with a hotel employee at one of the island’s more popular resort along Reduit Beach, claiming she was forcibly stripped searched and left naked for hours inside a security booth at the hotel.