Caribbean News Round-up

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8-Y-O girl electrocuted

Crime-scene[Trinidad Express] – An eight year old girl died on Thursday after being electrocuted when she plugged her tablet into a electrical outlet in the washroom of the family’s home in Penal.

Breanna Jaglal was found unresponsive shortly after the incident, which happened at around 8.30 AM.

She was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital by paramedics but died while being treated.

The child lived at Batchyia Trace No 1.

 

Chile quake: State of emergency declared for Coquimbo

 

Capture[BBC] – Chile’s government has declared a state of emergency in a central region struck by a powerful earthquake.

At least 11 people died in Wednesday’s 8.3-magnitude quake – the strongest in the world this year – that sent tsunami waves as far away as Japan.

The coastal town of Coquimbo, close to the epicentre, saw waves of 4.7m (15ft) hit the shore.

Hundreds of people spent Thursday night in temporary shelters, while tens of thousands are without electricity.

About one million people had to leave their homes after Chile sounded a tsunami alert when the quake struck, although most are reported to have returned.

Tsunami waves also hit the coast further north and south of the quake’s epicentre, with waves half a metre higher than usual as far north as La Punta.

Gloria Navarro, who lives in the coastal town of La Serena, said people were “running in all directions”.

“Everything is a mess,” restaurant owner Melisa Pinones told Reuters from the city of Illapel. “It was a disaster, a total loss.”

Across parts of central Chile, residents began clearing up after what was the country’s sixth most powerful recorded earthquake.

Large parts of the sea front in the fishing village of Tongoy were destroyed, and more than 500 homes were badly damaged across the region, according to emergency response teams.

Emergency powers mean aid will reach Coquimbo quicker, and allow troops to be deployed on to the region’s streets.

Visiting Coquimbo on Thursday, President Michelle Bachelet paid tribute to people’s response, saying that the death toll, “while unfortunate, was not very high considering the strength of the earthquake”.

Mexico arrests Guerrero gang leader

_85612797_029116041-1[BBC] – The Mexican authorities have arrested a gang leader who they say was a key figure in the disappearance of 43 students last year in the town of Iguala in Guerrero state.

The government says Gildardo Lopez Astudillo, known as “El Gil” is a leader of the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel.

It alleges he gave the orders to abduct and kill the students.

There have so far been 111 arrests over the disappearances.

The Mexican attorney-general’s office says its investigations show the Guerreros Unidos gang were handed the students by corrupt police in Iguala.

The office has said because Guerreros Unidos thought the students were members of a rival gang, they murdered them and then disposed of the bodies by burning them at a rubbish dump outside the city.

Official accounts contrast with a report issued by an international group of experts appointed by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC).

Their report earlier this month alleges that the Mexican authority’s investigations were deeply flawed, and included the disappearance of key evidence.

 

Cuba announces appointment of US ambassador

 

_85612231_028250707-1[BBC] – Cuba has appointed an ambassador to the US – the first since 1961 – as part of the ongoing thaw in relations between the two countries.

Jose Cabanas is a veteran diplomat who has run Cuba’s “interests section” in Washington since 2012.

He was received at the White House with 15 other new diplomats from other countries.

Washington has yet to make an announcement about who will serve as its new ambassador in Havana.

The announcement comes ahead of a visit to Cuba by Pope Francis and days before Cuban President Raul Castro goes to New York to address the United Nations.

His visit will mark the first time a president of Cuba has set foot on American soil since 1995 when President Fidel Castro, his older brother spoke before the UN.

In July Cuba and the United States formally re-established their relations.

The process began publicly when President Obama and President Castro announced simultaneously that they planned to set a new course on US-Cuba relations.

Soon after, the US traded three Cubans they had convicted on spying charges for Alan Gross, an American aid worker accused of espionage by a Cuban court.

Since then US and Cuban delegations have met several times to discuss a range of issues.

Mr Cabanas is a career diplomat trained in Havana. He served as vice minister of foreign relations and has occupied various high level posts in several countries.

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