Caribbean News Round-up

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PNM writes police; accuses Partnership of bribery, electoral vandalism, intimidation

PNM public relations officer Faris Al-Rawi, centre, fields questions from the media during yesterday’s news conference at Balisier House, Port of Spain. Looking on are Rohan Sinanan, left, campaign manager, and ­general secretary Ashton Ford.
PNM public relations officer Faris Al-Rawi, centre, fields questions from the media during yesterday’s news conference at Balisier House, Port of Spain. Looking on are Rohan Sinanan, left, campaign manager, and ­general secretary Ashton Ford.

[Trinidad Express] – The People’s National Movement (PNM) is accusing the People’s Partnership of electoral vandalism, intimidation and bribery.

“Desperate times bring desperate measures for our opponents… We are now aware, particularly in the marginal seats, of offences being committed under the Representation of the People Act—specifically people are being invited to accept gifts and money as inducements prior to an election, to vote for the UNC (United National Congress),” PNM public relations officer Faris Al-Rawi told reporters at a news conference yesterday at Balisier House in Port of Spain.

He said the party was facing two serious issues—vandalism/intimidation, in which money is allegedly paid by the UNC to people to engage in the acts of destruction of PNM placards, posters and billboards and bribery of voters to vote UNC.

Al-Rawi said 30 ­billboards were burnt in the San Fernando West constituency (where he is the PNM candidate).

“People were caught yellow-handed while vandalising PNM paraphernalia and campaign material. People were caught yellow-handed hanging UNC buntings and materials,” he said.

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Gypsy jumps ship: blasts Kamla, resigns as Minister

Winston “Gypsy” Peters
Winston “Gypsy” Peters

[Trinidad Express] – “I won’t say the ship is sinking but it’s in turbulent waters.” So said Winston “Gypsy” Peters yesterday as he resigned as Minister of Community Development and as a member of the United National Congress (UNC) after being rejected as a potential candidate for Mayaro in the September 7 general election.

As he did so, he called Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar “conniving” and an “ingrate”.

Peters, who shot to fame in 1986 with the political calypso “The Sinking Ship”, said he had left the UNC of his own volition and now felt like dancing.

At a news conference called by him at the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad) hotel in Port of Spain, he admitted to being hurt by the UNC’s rejection which, he said, followed years of throwing support behind Persad-Bissessar as a potential leader when no one else did.

He has accused Persad-Bissessar and some of her ministers, as well as people within the Mayaro constituency, of conspiring to eject him from the seat.

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Serial rapist convicted for Irwin Point assault appeals 35-year sentence

[Jamaica Gleaner] – Serial rapist, Patrick Green, has filed an appeal against the sentences imposed on him in two separate courts. Green is contending that the sentences are manifestly excessive and should be reduced.

In March this year, the Clarendon man was sentenced in the St. James Circuit Court to a total 35 years for the rape of five females, including an eight-year-old girl in Irwin Point, St James.

The incident happened in 2012. Two brothers were initially charged for the crimes but were later freed after DNA tests did not return a match.

Following further investigations by the police Green was arrested and charged in relation to the incident. When the matter was brought before the court Green pleaded guilty to six counts of rape and six counts of grievous sexual assault.

Meanwhile, in December 2014, Green was sentenced to a total of 83 years in the Clarendon Circuit Court with eight additional counts of rape, two counts of robbery, two counts of forcible abduction, eight counts of illegal possession of a firearm and two counts of grievous sexual assault.

Green was ordered to serve 30 years before he becomes eligible for parole.

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At Least 25 dead in Dominica from Tropical Storm Erika

dominica[ibtimes.com] Tropical Storm Erika killed at least 25 people due to flooding and landslides in the Caribbean island of Dominica, a government official told a TV news station in Trinidad and Tobago.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico is bracing for the storm, which already knocked out power to thousands and forced the closure of schools in the U.S. territory.

Erika, which has been hitting the island of Dominica hard since Wednesday, has brought extreme rain, causing floods that have wiped out roads and villages. The island-nation of Dominica is just north of Martinique and east-southeast of the Dominican Republic.

At least 14 bodies have been recovered, the news station reported. On Thursday, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Agency said that about 25 to 30 people were missing in Dominica, and the Associated Press reported the death of four people.

Meanwhile, a TV station in Trinidad and Tobago reported 25 fatalities. Erika dumped 9 inches of rain on Dominica on Wednesday and 6 inches early Thursday, even though the storm was only expected to produce about 4 inches to 8 inches, with a maximum of 12 inches, across various Caribbean island nations including Dominica, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.dominica 2

 

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