Caribbean News Round-Up

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Bloody mess in Tobago: lawyer, wife found dead at home

house[Trinidad Express] – An elderly British national and his wife were brutally hacked to death in the quiet village of Carnbee in Tobago.

Attorney Richard Wheeler, 73, and his wife, Grace Wheeler, 67, were found murdered at their Riseland Gardens, Carnbee, home yesterday morning.

Wheeler, who was originally from Sheffield, England, was a partner in the Tobago law offices of Lex Caribbean and specialised in conveyancing and property development.

His wife was a real estate agent attached to Island Investments. They had been living in Tobago for the past 16 years.

killed: British national Richard Wheeler
killed: British national Richard Wheeler

The couple was attacked by unknown assailants between Monday night and early yesterday morning.

Attorney Martin George said Crime Stoppers was offering a reward for information that could help solve the murders.

“In my capacity as the (Tobago House of Assembly) representative on the board of Crime Stoppers, I have been able to get the board to agree to offer a special reward of $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and capture of the suspects in this matter,” said George.

 

Central man killed after ignoring ‘gang war’*

Amos[Trinidad Express] – Relatives of murder victim Amos Dick, 33 said he was killed because he didn’t believe “warring gangs” should dictate where residents could go in Enterprise, Chaguanas.

Around 8.30 p.m. on Saturday, officers responded to a report of loud explosions at Mano Drive, Crown Trace, Enterprise.

They found the body of a man lying on the roadway in an area known as “The Hundred”. The man had been shot in the head and upper body.

Speaking to the media on Monday at the Forensic Science Centre in St James, Dick’s relatives said at the time of the incident he was on his way to visit a sister.

“To us, we know it had something to do with that ongoing gang nonsense with Rasta City and the Muslims,” said his relatives.

 

42 infected babies at 2 hospitals; 18 dead

new-born-baby-hand [Jamaica Observer] – The Ministry of Health has called on health authorities outside of Jamaica for help, in the wake of an outbreak of bacterial infection at the University Hospital of the West Indies and the Cornwall Regional Hospital, where 18 of 42 infected newborn babies have died since June.

The infections are reportedly caused by the Klebsiella and Serratia bacteria.

“As a precautionary measure, I spoke with the executive director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency and they are on standby to give any assistance we may require,” Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson said at a press conference at Jamaica House Tuesday.

The alarming statistics were revealed not by the minister, but via a power-point presentation delivered by national epidemiologist Dr Karen Webster.

Additionally, the health minister said, a Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) advisor on infection prevention control is scheduled to arrive in the island from Washington today.

“In addition, I have been informed that there are two additional persons coming from PAHO,” he stated.

Dr Ferguson said the ministry has engaged a medical microbiologist who visits and works with hospitals to ensure that infection and prevention control practices are kept at the appropriate standard.

The ministry insists that most of the babies who have died were those born before seven months gestation, and who had low birth rates. The health authorities also maintain that infections happen “from time to time” among newborns in special care nurseries.

 

Maduro wants oil price to go to $88

President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro
President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro

[BBC] – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called for an average global oil price of $88 (£57) a barrel “to maintain investments worldwide”.

He was speaking on Tuesday evening ahead of a technical meeting of experts from Opec and non-Opec countries in Vienna on Wednesday.

Venezuela, one of the world’s biggest oil exporters, has seen its revenues hit hard by plunging oil prices.

Prices have dropped from $115 a barrel in June 2014 to below $50 this month.

Mr Maduro said that “we are going to present proof, technical elements, at this meeting, that the average price needed to guarantee global investment in the news five to 10 years should be $88”.

At Wednesday’s gathering in Vienna, Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino is also expected to press for a meeting of heads of state of major oil producers.

Nevertheless, the Venezuelan government does not seem to be counting on an oil price rise anytime soon.

Presenting his projected budget to the country’s National Assembly on Tuesday, Finance Minister Rodolfo Marco said it was based on an oil price estimate of $40 a barrel for Venezuelan oil.

The government also predicted an annual inflation rate of 85% in 2015 and 60% in 2016.

Independent analysts estimate that inflation will be much higher, saying that it is already in triple figures.

Venezuela’s central bank last released inflation figures in December 2014, when it said annual inflation stood at 69%.

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