Caribbean news round – up

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Pastor killed in Jamaica identified as former gang leader’s brother

abductionKINGSTON, Jamaica – The religious leader who was last night shot dead by gunmen has been identified by police as the brother of former community don and gang leader, Joel Andem.

He is David Roper a resident of Mud Town, a community located in Papine, St Andrew. Police report that Roper was attacked and shot several times while he was conducting a service at his church located in the Papine area.

 

Regional economies remain fragile and uneven – IMF

Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Min Zhu
Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Min Zhu

BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC) – The Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Min Zhu, says while economic growth in the region continues to strengthen, it remains fragile and uneven.

In an address at the opening of the 2015 High Level Caribbean Forum on Thursday, the IMF official said the region faces, among other things, possible consequences from the impending rise in US interest rates, the slowdown in China and South America, the opening of Cuba to US tourists and other challenges.

“Although the recovery in the United States looks robust, growth prospects have deteriorated in many parts of the globe compared to a year ago.”

He said in several emerging markets, such as Latin America, Canada and Europe, the economy “still looks fragile”.

He added that the Caribbean Forum is one of the key platforms for the region.

“For expanding our mutual understanding and for collaborating ….It is good then that the 2015 Caribbean Forum keeps the focus on growth, this year in particular on financing growth. This is exactly in line with efforts by the international community right now to secure sustainable development. Indeed, our quest for growth must be cast firmly in the context of “sustainability” ?growth that is durable and equitable, and that safeguards the environment.”

Concerning the role of the international lending agency, Min said the aim is to boost economic resilience in members as they seek to growth objectives.

He said the IMF will “Deepen our policy advice on the macro-aspects of key topics related to achieving and financing the SDGs—infrastructure provision, inclusion, and vulnerabilities facing small states.”

The lending agency will also enhance technical assistance to strengthen domestic revenue potential; build capacity and institutions and address the special needs of fragile and conflict-affected states.

Regarding Small States, he said the Fund has continued analytical and policy work.

“As you know, the Executive Board met to discuss the second policy paper in February, and work is ongoing to integrate the substantive findings related to fiscal policy frameworks and competitiveness into our program and policy work.”

Some of the issues to be discussed at this annual high level forum with the focus on “Financing Growth” include the region’s energy sector, the role of regulatory reforms in the sector and how to boost foreign investment in the sector.

In focusing on the financial sector, delegates will consider ways to improve access to credit and recent developments with correspondent banking relationships and implications from the global regulatory environment for the region.

According to Min, the areas to be discussed are critical issues in the region “given the importance of the financial sector, both domestic and international, in many Caribbean countries, as well as the significant efforts underway, and progress achieved recently, to restore financial soundness and sustainability in some parts of the Caribbean.”

The Caribbean Forum, now in its 4th year is being held for the first time in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

The Forum bring together Prime Ministers, finance ministers, central bank governors, and other high-ranking officials as well as senior officials from the IMF, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank and donors.

It is being hosted by the government of St Kitts and Nevis and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank.

 

J’can attempts to smuggle cocaine in bra, arrested at FoDrug-bustrt Lauderdale airport

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (CMC) – A Jamaican woman was arrested at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport for concealing 2.7 pounds of cocaine in her brassiere.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says officers from its Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the airport found a white, powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine inside the unidentified woman’s bra “after noticing abnormalities during an inspection.”

The cocaine was seized and turned over to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

“This is another excellent example of our CBP officers’ expertise in preventing dangerous drugs from entering the United States,” said Fort Lauderdale International Airport Port Director Jorge Roig. “CBP officers demonstrate vigilance, integrity and professionalism on a daily basis.”

The OFO is the primary organization within the US Department of Homeland Security that is “tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports.

CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel,” the agency said, adding that “their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.”

 

Antigua to admit Dominica students to public schools

AntigaST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – Education Minister Michael Browne says students from Dominica who were in Antigua and Barbuda during the passage of Tropical Storm Erika, will be permitted to attend schools here but with certain specifications.

Browne, in a statement on Wednesday said the students who happened to be here on summer vacation, and whose schools in Dominica remain closed, will be allowed to continue their education in designated public schools until the end of the current school term in December.

The ministry said its courtesy and hospitality will be limited to students with stamps in their passports showing arrival in the country prior to Tropic Storm Erika, but not earlier than three months before the storm.

The students from Dominica will be allowed in the school system if the school which they last attended at home is inoperable and no alternative provisions are in place to continue the their education.

It was also stated that the host family here must “give assurance they will continue to support the student (s)”.

The ministry is collaborating with a prominent Dominica national Cecile Hill to organize registration for these students.

Earlier this week, Hill said she had a list of 20 students from Dominica seeking to get into schools in Antigua.

Once the necessary information concerning the student is obtained, it will be forwarded to the Ministry of Education, where, once it is validated, the student will receive temporary placement.

The ministry said students will be accommodated in schools with space availability.

Tropical Storm Erika, the fourth named storm of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane season has been blamed for the deaths of 31 people and more than 20 others including two French nationals missing.

Several villages have been cut off as a result of the destruction caused by the storm that also destroyed bridges, roads and buildings.

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