Caribbean News Round-up

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Brazil dam burst engulfs homes in Minas Gerais

_86545500_029990772-1[BBC] – More than a dozen people are feared dead after a dam holding back waste water from an iron ore mine in Brazil burst, flooding nearby homes.

Officials in south-eastern Minas Gerais state say one person is confirmed dead. But there are reports that up to 16 have died and others are missing.

Rivers of thick red mud surged down the valleys of the hilly area outside the old colonial city of Mariana.

It engulfed cars and lorries, and destroyed homes.

Authorities in Mariana said the dam had ruptured on Thursday afternoon and sent torrents of mud and debris into the small town of Bento Rodrigues, about 7km (four miles) away.

The BBC’s Julia Dias Carneiro in Rio de Janeiro said the area affected is home to about 500 people.

The rescue operation has been hampered by fears of landslides but helicopters have taken several stranded people to safety, she adds.

Authorities have warned that the water mixed with residue from mining operations could be toxic.

A spokesman for the Samarco mining company, which owns the dam, said the cause of the breach was not yet known.

Trini children in ISIS recruitment video

isis[Trinidad Express] – MANY citizens are today reacting with outrage and fear over the contents of a disturbing recruitment video produced by the Ar-Raqqah Province of the Islamic State (IS) featuring what appears to be four fighters from Trinidad and Tobago.

One of the men, surrounded by his three children, called on the Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago to join in the fight.

 Reports of Trinidadians making the trip to Syria to fight, first surfaced last year, with former National Security Minister Gary Griffith estimated that at least 30 citizens were now terrorist fighters. A United Nations report also named Trinidad and Tobago as a country where fighters were being recruited.

In the video, a man, identified as Abu Zayd al-Muhajir, said that in Trinidad and Tobago the practice of Islam was limited. He said there were no problems in wearing hijab or other Islamic wear, however Muslims were only allowed to practice what they were told.

He said, “The only practice that you can practice is what they tell you is halal [permissible] to practice. The other aspects of Islam are haram [forbidden] for you. You cannot practice your deen 100%. It was yearning for me that I knew I had to leave, I had to leave this land. I cannot sit and watch my children grow up in this land in which they cannot practice their Islam 100%.”

Zayd al-Muhajir said his three young sons were attending school learning Mathematics, English and Islam. The 11 minute, 20 second video, entitled, “Those who Believe and Made the Hijra,” was posted on social media.

Each person was interviewed in the video, speaking in English.

Another fighter, Abu Khalid, said although he lived comfortable in Trinidad he felt he did not belong there. He said Muslims in Trinidad were restricted.

Khalid said he was raised as a Christian, but guided to Islam. “I always looked at the way the Muslims care about themself, how they care about themself, their family structure. After I started to recite certain verses from the Qur’an in Surat al-Baqarah, Surat al-Imran, Surat al-Taubah, I started to understand that fighting is something that has been prescribed upon Muslims,” he said.

 Trinidadian Abu Abdullah sent a message to his “brothers” in Trinidad and Tobago. “What will we tell Allah the Great and Almighty? This is a question on our conscience. It constantly runs through my mind and ran through my mind before I made hijra is what will I tell Allah the Great and Almighty if I die in this state? Allah the Great and Almighty says in the Qur’an that the earth is vast. He means [unclear] what will we tell Allah the Great and Almighty if I don’t make hijra to the land of the Muslims, if I don’t make hijra to do my part and to give my little contribution towards the deen of Allah the Great and Almighty,” he said.

Abdullah said the Islamic State was created by Allah and would continue to expand.

And Abu Mansour al-Muhajir, another fighter, said they were fighting against the allies of Satan.

“So Allah is inciting us to fight the friends of Satan for they are weak. This is a time when the Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, mentioned that there will come a time when all the nations of the world will gather around to wipe you out? Who? The Muslim. As we speak today, over 60 nations of this world sign on to wipe out us, but Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, is with us. I hope and pray that Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, will guide us and protect us and bring us to this land so that we will make jihad for this cause and to gain the reward of Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He,” he said.

Ar-Raqqah is a city in Syria located on the north bank of the Euphrates River. The city was the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate between 796 and 809 under the reign of Caliph Harun al-Rashid. With a population of 220,488 based on the 2004 official census, al-Raqqah was the sixth largest city in Syria.

During the Syrian Civil War, the city was captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has made it its headquarters in Syria. As a result, the city has been hit by Syrian government, Russian, US and Arab nation airstrikes. Most non-Sunni structures in the city have been destroyed by ISIL.

 

Cop shoots cop in Police Station

Govindra[TT Newsday] – “DON’T tell me my brother’s death was accidental…prove it!” That is all the grieving brother of Special Reserve Police (SRP) Constable Govindra Ramroop, 25, said in reaction to him being shot and killed yesterday inside the Guapo Police Station. The brother, Deodath Ramroop, says his family is asking that an in-depth investigation be done despite claims that PC Ramroop’s death has been deemed “accidental”.

Investigators say the gun of another SRP officer accidentally discharged in the early hours of yesterday morning while that officer was cleaning it. The bullet fatally struck Ramroop in his lower abdomen. Both officers had earlier returned to their base at the Guapo Police Station following an anti-crime exercise in the South-Western Division. Ramroop was recently transferred to Guapo from La Brea Police Station.

Family members said they learnt Ramroop, who was close by, was removing his bullet-proof vest when the other officer’s gun “accidentally” went off.

“So far nothing we have heard for this morning can convince us, that is what happened (an accident) and that is why we want proof,” a tearful Deodath, 36, told Newsday yesterday at the family’s Gopee Trace, Penal home.

“There were two wounds on either side of his abdomen. It appears as though the bullet went through one side and exited through the other but that will be determined when the autopsy is done. In the meantime all we ask for is the truth,” Deodath said.

Sparking even more concern is the fact that the officer’s colleagues at the police station have been unable to locate the keys to his Nissan Almera car which was still parked on the station compound when family members arrived. It was unlocked.

According to a preliminary report, at about 12.05 am yesterday, Ramroop — an officer for the past two years — was at the Guapo Police Station when a gunshot was heard and he was found bleeding from a gunshot wound to the lower side of the abdomen. The bullet is believed to have exited through the other side. He was rushed to the Point Fortin District Health Facility but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Yesterday, the officer’s family struggled to come to terms with his untimely death saying they have been left with more questions than answers as the young man always practised safety at the workplace.

Being a police officer was Ramroop’s dream job as he always looked up to his older brother, Cpl Ian Ramroop, who works at the Highway Patrol Division in Debe.

“He was a diligent officer, a very kind and quiet young man who was looking forward to have a family of his own,” Deodath said.

“He loved cricket and all fours and was a good son to our mother and a great brother to me.” Newsday was told that on Tuesday last, his mother Parbatie, 60, visited the hairdresser and Ramroop picked her up and dropped her home. He was invited to eat but because he was running late for work he did not go inside.

“As usual when he was leaving, my mother begged him to be careful as she knew the job is a dangerous one. My 70-year-old father (Harripersad) cannot stop crying because he did not speak to his son.” Ramroop was married just over a year ago to wife Susan, who was too distraught to speak yesterday.

Gov’t-backed candidate leads Haiti Presidential vote

martellyjovenel-563x353[Caribbean 360] – Government-backed candidate Jovenel Moïse and former government executive Jude Célestin will face off in Haiti’s presidential run-off next month.

Preliminary results announced yesterday by the Provisional Electoral Council showed that the 37-year-old agricultural entrepreneur Moise, representing the ruling Parti Haitien Tet Kale (Haitian Party of Bald Heads), received 32.8 per cent (511,992) of the votes in the October 25 first round, while Célestin got 25.2 per cent (394,390).

The two emerged the front-runners from a field of 54 candidates.

But ahead of the announcement, third-place finisher, Moise Jean-Charles who won 14 percent of the vote, had alleged ballots supporting him had been burned or went missing. He recently claimed that he won half of Haiti’s 10 departments.

The presidential run-off will take place on December 27.

Moise is a political newcomer who owns a banana-exporting business. This is the second bid for the Haitian presidency by Célestin, a 53-year-old mechanical engineer who previously headed a government construction agency.

Results for legislative elections that were also held on October 25 will be announced in the coming days, electoral officials said.

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