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Police warned before robbery at Sweetes-T's

Police warned before robbery at Sweetes-T’s

Antigua Observer – July 14, 2018 – Two men have been detained in connection with the robbery that occurred at Sweet-Ts on Tuesday July 10.

According to an officer involved in the investigation, a vehicle has been confiscated and is being examined for evidence at the Liberta Police Station.

The police source said Closed Circuit Security Cameras recorded the car parked on a “dead-end” road not far from the business place that is located on Falmouth main road.

And, the two robbers who ran from the establishment after the attack, went to that vehicle which left the scene shortly before the police arrived.

OBSERVER media has also been informed that the police at Dockyard Police Station got a call minutes before the robbery, informing them that it was about to happen.

The call came from individuals at the restaurant who saw the robbers with guns, lurking around. The men were clad in dark long sleeve shirts, long pants, full face masks, hoodies and gloves. This information was confirmed by police sources and staff at the restaurant which is known for its ice-creams and milkshakes.

A manager at Sweet-Ts who did not want to be named due to fear for her safety, said some customers left and the workers ran to safety within the restaurant even before robbers walked up to the entrance, jumped over the counter and grabbed a bag with documents and ripped out the cash register.

Six workers and a few customers were present at the time of the robbery but none of them had any interaction with the thieves.

During the robbery, the gunmen were waving their weapons in the air, but, according to the manager, they never spoke.

“It all happened within 10 to 15 seconds. The police were called a few minutes before that but unfortunately  the police did not get there while the men were inside,” the individual said yesterday.

And, apparently, no other police stations were informed of the pending robbery so there was no collaborative response.

The robbers escaped with only an undisclosed portion of the evening’s earnings as the workers grabbed whatever cash and documents they could and put them away before the attack.

Dockyard Police responded soon after the incident but by then the robbers were gone.

Since reporting this robbery, residents have come forward stating that there were several robberies in Swetes, Glanvilles and Bethesda in recent days.

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Ross University opens new research and pathology building in St. Kitts Nevis

Ross University opens new research and pathology building in St. Kitts Nevis

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Jul. 12, CMC – The Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) has opened a multi-million dollar research and pathology building that will allow for an improved understanding of zoonotic and vector borne diseases in the region.

At the opening earlier this week, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Shawn Richards said the government is looking forward to this new phase.

“My Government is also happy that this new phase will result in enhanced understanding and control of zoonotic diseases that are transferred between animals and people, such as leptospirosis, and vector-borne diseases such as chikungunya, dengue fever and Zika. As you know, those three vector-borne diseases are spread by mosquito bites,” Richards said.

“My Government therefore envisages that the RUSVM Research and Pathology Building will serve to strengthen our ongoing partnership by becoming a national reference centre or important focal point for studying and controlling vector-borne viral and bacterial diseases.”

The deputy prime minister also stressed that the new research and pathology building will further strengthen the federation’s food and agriculture sector.

“In particular, the research and pathology building will revitalize animal agricultural research by strengthening best practices in monitoring and protecting our herd health, our public health system, and our food supply – from the farm to the dinner table,” adding that “RUSVM performs autopsies on livestock animals that die at the Basseterre abattoir, and the university provides this service free of charge. This partnership allows students to obtain the educational exposure in a manner that is socially acceptable, while at the same time allowing the Agriculture Department to make informed, science-based decisions relating to animal health and food safety. Our strong history of collaborating with Ross University in the control, prevention, surveillance and treatment of disease is further cemented with this new research phase, not only in the area of food security.”

The US$10.5 million building features 13,000 square feet of research space and comprises a pathology viewing area to enhance student learning and allows for multidisciplinary research to benefit human and animal health in the Caribbean

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St. Kitts-Nevis Public urged to reduce use of plastics

St. Kitts-Nevis Public urged to reduce use of plastics

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Jul. 12, CMC – The government  has urged the public reduce their use of plastics in their everyday lives as plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges  with negative effects on human, plant, animal and marine life.

“We are realistic and we recognize that plastics have become an integral part of our lives and so what we are doing is creating awareness of the need to reduce the number of plastics that is generated, especially single use plastics,” said Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Diannille Taylor-Williams.

Taylor-Williams who was speaking on a local programme on Wednesday touched briefly on the initiative of a “Plastic Free July”, while at the same time encouraging persons to be more aware of their plastic use.

“…where we are today, there are some plastics but they are used multiple times and we all know about the durability of plastics and their flexibility. Plastic is even used in making clothes, and more and more vehicles are being manufactured using plastics but a vehicle is not a one use item,” she said. “That is why there is such a thing as a plastic-free July. Not that it ends in July, but this is where we heighten the awareness of the need for us to end plastic pollution.”

Vanessa Webbe, Tourism Officer in Nevis, shared similar sentiments and noted that St. Kitts and Nevis can succeed in its quest to reduce the use of plastics.

“I want to say assertively that we can eliminate the single use of plastics and I think overtime, reduce plastics. So let us continue the discussion and encourage each other and remind each other to go plastic free,” she said.

Last month, St. Kitts and Nevis joined the rest of the world to observe World Environment Day under the theme: “Beat Plastic Pollution”.

The Department of Environment uses the month of June annually to promote environmental awareness in schools, and among the general public.

This year an outreach focus for the month of June was on the timely international theme of reducing the global dependency on plastics.

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Best practices for FAD Fisheries being finalized for Caribbean and Pacific SIDS

Best practices for FAD Fisheries being finalized for Caribbean and Pacific SIDS

 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 — BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, MONDAY, 2 July 2018 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) has been working along with United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to develop a set of best practices for small-scale fisheries centered around Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The best practices are being documented following a Pacific-Caribbean Nearshore FAD Fisher Exchange with representatives from 7 SIDS in the Caribbean and the Pacific who recently participated in a study tour in Barbados, Grenada and Dominica.

Fishers and Fisheries officials from the Cook Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga were in the Caribbean for 12 days, up to the end of May, on a mission organized by the CRFM, in collaboration with the FAO Subregional Office for the Pacific Islands (FAO SAP) in Samoa. They met with fishers and representatives of fisherfolk organizations in the region; government officials and policy-makers; exporters, processors and vendors from the private sector; as well as residents of fishing communities. Gaining knowledge about the use of FADs in the Caribbean will help the Pacific to fulfill the mandate of the 2015 Road Map for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries, which calls for the supply of tuna for domestic consumption in that region to be increased by 40,000 tonnes a year by 2024.

CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, said,

“The study tour was an important opportunity for fishers and fisheries officials from the Caribbean and Pacific islands to exchange information regarding their experiences in FAD fisheries development and management.”

The Pacific delegation had their first information exchange with fishers, fisheries officials and private sector vendors and processors in Barbados, where small tethered FADs (called ‘screelers’) are used to attract flyingfish. Next, they traveled to Grenada, where they met the Minister responsible for Fisheries, Hon. Alvin Dabreo. The Minister expressed his country’s commitment to strengthening collaboration with the Pacific SIDs and promoting the development of sustainable FAD fisheries.

During their visit to Grenada and Dominica, the Pacific delegation teamed up with local fishers to make fishing gear which they used to harvest tunas and other species that had aggregated around the anchored FADs set near the coastline. Grenada operates a vibrant small-scale FAD fishery, which it introduced from Dominica, a leader in FAD technology and operation in the Caribbean. The participants explored and discussed the role of the fishing cooperative in promoting and supporting the development and management of the FAD fishery in that country.

The study tour was a critical part of the collaborative and consultative effort by the CRFM and the FAO to facilitate the exchange of fishery-specific information, as well as to collect, synthesize and analyze data PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE and information on the small-scale FAD fisheries in the Caribbean and Pacific SIDS. During the tour, participants conducted an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) relevant to the FAD fishery, to derive a set of best practices that would support sustainable development and effective management of small-scale FAD fisheries in the Pacific and Caribbean.

Back in 2012, Vanuatu introduced a FAD design based on the Caribbean model, which was modified to adapt to maritime conditions in the Pacific. 

ABOUT THE CRFM
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) was officially inaugurated on March 27, 2003, in Belize City, Belize, where it is headquartered, following the signing of the “Agreement Establishing the CRFM” on February 4, 2002. It is an inter-governmental organization whose mission is “to promote and facilitate the responsible utilization of the region’s fisheries and other aq

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Clarification – Montserrat’s volcano at risk of imminent eruption? – 22 June 2018

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RODERICK STEWART • MONTSERRAT VOLCANO OBSERVATORY

TMR: Bennette Roach: June 29, 2018 – As a result of that article, On March 16, 2018 we front paged the following “UK newspapers endanger
Montserrat”. https://www.themontserratreporter.com/uk-newspapers-endanger-montserrat-again/ We noted: “It wouldn’t be the first time that UK Newspapers have distorted and published information that turned out unfavourable and detrimental to the Island…Following the publication on 7 March 2018 of two articles in UK newspapers members of the public have expressed concerns about the current status of the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat (SHV)…The newspaper articles are misleading and, in the case of The Express, alarmist!”

The following article comes three months later and will help to restore some credibility… we would like to hear from ‘The Guardian’, who earlier had, according to sources, refused to recant.

The Expess: On 07 March 2018 we published an articled headline “Montserrat’s volcano update: Is the terrifying volcano at risk of imminent eruption?”.

The article said that the volcano was showing signs of intense activity. The article was subsequently amended on 03 April 2018.

The article claimed that ‘Montserrat’s dormant volcano last erupted in 1997, when the fiery mountain reared its ugly head after a two-year-longperiod of activity.’ This is incorrect.

The eruption started in 1995 and has continued ever since that date, with five “pauses” in the surface activity.

According to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) the volcano is currently in such a pause, which started in February 2010.

Inflation, earthquakes and gas characterise these pauses. The first paragraph said that volcano-tectonic earthquakes in February had ‘sparking fears of eruption.

The MVO state that nobody in the Monserrat government, or scientific community has developed a fear of an eruption because of these earthquakes.

According to the MVO five earthquakes in a week is not unusual for the Monserrat volcano because the average weekly rate since February 2010 is four.

One week recorded 62 such earthquakes.

This type of earthquake activity, known as a “swarm”, is considered to be perfectly normal at this stage in the eruption.

The article also said “But volcanologists monitoring the volcano have noted increased volcanic stirring underneath Montserrat.”

We have been asked to clarify that the MVO has regularly reported on activity and that since 2010 there has been gradual inflation of the volcano and the entire island due to the influx of magma at depth.

Professor Neuberg had been re-examining some of the data in a quest for an alternative explanation and concluded that there is no reason to change MVO’s interpretation.

The rate quoted of “35 cubic feet of magma building up beneath the island every seven seconds” is a new estimate, but remains the average rate since 2010.

Consequently there has been no “increased volcanic stirring”.

Since February 2010 the advice from MVO has always been that the eruption is not over and that surface activity may restart.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/clarifications-corrections/978179/Montserrats-volcano-clarification

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Earthquake jolts BVI

Earthquake jolts BVI

EARTHQUAKE

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, Jun. 25, CMC – Sections of the British Virgin Islands were rocked by a minor earthquake shortly after 7:00 am (local) time on  Monday.

The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) reports that the 3.4 magnitude quake had a recorded depth of 48 miles.

The epicentre of the tremor was located 19.8 miles north-northwest of the capital, Road Town.

The territory was last rocked by a significant tremor of 4.7 on  April 6.

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Magnitude 5.3 earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago

Magnitude 5.3 earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jun. 22, CMC – Sections of the twin island republic were rocked by a magnitude 5.3 earthquake late Friday.

The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine campus reports that the tremor that occurred at 9:54 pm (local time), was felt 94 kilometres east of Carupano, Venezuela, 98 kilometres west of Port of Spain and 118 kilometres northwest of San Fernando.

It was located at latitude 10.78 N. Longitude 62.39W and at a depth of 78 kilometres.

In recent months, Trinidad and Tobago has been experiencing a number of earthquakes and earlier this year, a senior official of the SRC, Seismologist Dr Illias Papadopoulos,  warned the country to be prepared for a major quake.

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CARICOM and Cuba to strengthen relations in key areas of cooperation

CARICOM and Cuba to strengthen relations in key areas of cooperation

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jun 14, CMC – The Cribbean Community (CARICOM)  and the government of Cuba have both pledged to continue to strenthen relations in matters related to trade and the arts.

This was the outcome of talks between CARICOM’s  Assistant Secretary General, Human and Social Development  Dr. Douglas Slater, and  Cuba’s Vice Minister  Rogelio Sierra Diaz, when they met at the CARICOM Secretariat on Wednesday.

The issues related to a Disabilities Project, the extension of Art programmes at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica, and trade.

In the discussions on the Disabilities Project, Slater, who spoke on behalf of CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque,  noted that a tri-lateral  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), among the Government of Guyana, the Government of Cuba and CARICOM had already been signed.

He explained that there was a decision to implement the Project in phases and outlined that a Centre has been constructed by the Government of Guyana and a  team from Cuba is already in  Guyana working on the Project.

He said when the initial phase was completed in Guyana and there was a clear way forward, the Project would be extended to the other CARICOM Member States.

In response, Diaz said firm steps had been taken and there was a lot to be thankful for. He said it was now important to acquire the equipment needed.

In relation to the phase of the Project that would extend it to the other CARICOM Member States, he said that the CARICOM Secretary-General and staff would play a key role in achieving the goals of that phase.

Both parties agreed that there were still some details that needed to be refined between CARICOM and Guyana.

The Cuban Vice-Minister also gave the assurance that Cuba would provide support, knowledge and training, but emphasized that the project belonged to CARICOM.

Turning to the matter of the extension of programmes in the School of Art at the Edna Manley School in Jamaica, the Cuban Ambassador said the Government of Jamaica had been contacted and the areas in which Cuba could provide assistance were identified. He explained that it was being proposed that there might be some additional infrastructural requirements for the project to move forward and various options to address this challenge were being explored.

Slater expressed an interest in further engagement on the matter and also gave an assurance that the CARICOM Secretariat would engage with the Edna Manley School to explore the available options.

Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Joseph Cox who was also present, spoke about a trade and economic partnership agreement that had been regionally applied in 12 Member States and highlighted that Haiti had now expressed an interest in joining the agreement.

We have commenced our engagements with Haiti in this regard and we will have further engagements with Cuba regarding their inclusion and that should happen in the very near future”, Cox said.

In relation to a Joint Commission in which the second protocol was signed in November 2017, he advised that Member States needed to accelerate their efforts to satisfy the legal requirements to be party to the Commission.

Under the agreement, more than 300 Caribbean products would have fees removed for export to Cuba.

The Cuban Vice-Minister said he understood that there were legal protocols that would have to be addressed, but implored CARICOM not to allow them to create further delays.

The goal of the protocol is to improve trade relations between CARICOM and Cuba.

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CARICOM countries to benefit from new Mexico-FAO initiative

CARICOM countries to benefit from new Mexico-FAO initiative

SANTIAGO, Chile, Jun 15, CMC – At least 14 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries will design multiple projects to mobilize resources from international sources allowing them to improve the resilience and adaptation of their agriculture, food systems and rural communities to change climate.

The projects will be funded under a new initiative created by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID).

FAO Director General, José Graziano da Silva, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Luis Videgaray, signed the agreement that creates the fund with an initial budget of US$500,000.

They said that the money will be used as a pre-investment resources that will mobilize millions of dollars for resilience and adaptation projects.

“Thanks to the support of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation, 14 CARICOM countries will design 27 projects to mobilize resources against climate change,” said the FAO Director General.

“We all know that the Caribbean is one of the region’s most vulnerable to climate change. We saw it in the last hurricane season, when the islands of Dominica and Barbuda were practically destroyed,” said Videgaray during the signing agreement in Rome.

The countries that will develop the projects are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Ten of the projects will be presented to the Green Climate Fund, 12 to the Global Environment Facility and five to various European Union mechanisms. They will focus on vulnerable rural communities facing climate risks.

The fund between Mexico and FAO will also support CARICOM countries develop their institutional and technical capacities for planning, decision-making and project management, to enable them to better cope with natural disasters and extreme weather events, the FAO said.

Mexican experts and specialists from FAO will work side-by-side with their Caribbean counterparts in the design and implementation of the projects.

“The fund is a combination of financial resources and human resources,” Videgaray said.

Both the FAO and Mexico say building resilience requires improving the quality of infrastructure through actions such as rectification and strengthening of river channels and burying power lines, but these are expensive investments and the Caribbean countries do not always have the necessary capital to implement them.

“That’s where international funds come in. This initiative from Mexico and FAO will allow countries to obtain much needed resources that are currently available but that many times Caribbean countries cannot access, because their projects have to improve from a technical standpoint,” Videgaray said.

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico explained that the fund signed between FAO and Mexico is an agreement open to other countries.

“We already have the good news that the government of Canada is going to come on board with resources. And this is key because the challenge is enormous. We must recognize that the Caribbean is not generating climate change but that it is one of the most affected regions, so we all have the responsibility to contribute, ” Videgaray added.

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EU promises assistance to Caribbean in developing biodiversity strategy

EU promises assistance to Caribbean in developing biodiversity strategy

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jun 15, CMC – The European Union (EU) has reaffirmed its financial support for regional sustainable development while acknowledging the need for the development of a Caribbean biodiversity strategy over the next 5 years.

Chargé d’Affaires at the EU Delegation in Guyana, Layla El Khadraoui, told the participatory regional workshop for the development of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Biodiversity Strategy that Europe, which has been a “reliable friend” to the region is hoping “that the exchanges throughout this workshop will guide the discussion towards a concise Regional Biodiversity Strategy for the next 5 years.”

Chargé d’Affaires Layla El Khadraoui at the
EU Delegation in Guyana,

Describing the EU as “the world’s largest contributor” to cooperation for development and climate financing, she said it increasingly integrates climate change into its broader development strategy.

The diplomat said much work she noted has been done with the UN Environment “to build a strong regional approach to the conservation and management of marine and terrestrial biodiversity in the Caribbean, focusing initially on Cuba, Haiti and Dominican Republic” with a budget of Euro 3.5 million (One Euro=US$01.29 cents).

She said with an additional budget of Euro 40 million, the EU will also be providing support to 12 of its ‘overseas territories’ through a regional programme focusing on resilience, sustainable energy and marine biodiversity.

She described climate change as “burning priority” of the EU for which it is using 20 per cent of the funds from the contributors by 2020 for projects and programmes related to climate change and disaster risk reduction.

El Khadraoui said those financing priorities are with the knowledge that the Caribbean Sea region is particularly sensitive to natural and climate related disasters.

“Each year hurricanes are a risk for many of the islands, and they are expected to become more intense in the future because of climate change.

“Various Caribbean countries are fringed by mangroves, sea grass meadows and coral reefs, all of which form an interrelated ecosystem that is not only important to the economic and social well-being of the islands and countries, but they are key elements for adapting to the countries’ increasing vulnerability to these more intense natural events associated with climate change.,” she said.

She noted for examples that the mangroves, sea grass meadows and coral reefs not only provide well-documented protection against strong waves and storm surges during tropical storms and potable groundwater supplies, but they provide food, shelter, habitat, important nursery grounds and reproductive areas for many species.

“Mangroves and sea grasses also capture significant volumes of CO2 released into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels,’ she said, while underscoring the critical importance of proper management of biodiversity.

“Most tourists appreciate the beauty of landscapes and seascapes like healthy coral reefs, beautiful beaches and other ecosystems that provide a broad range of essential services that would be either expensive, or impossible to restore or replace once they are lost.”

Therefore, she added, “investing in protecting and building the resilience of nature´s free services on the land and in the sea is a necessity for the well-being of the islands’ and countries’ future generations,” El Khadraoui told delegates.

Meanwhile, the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat says it is resolved to present to the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) by year’s end, a CARICOM Biodiversity Strategy (CBS) that will guide the protection and sustainable use the Community’s natural resources.

Assistant Secretary-General of the Directorate of Human and Social Development, Dr Douglas Slater, said this effort is collective and timely to accelerate progress in achieving regional commitments under the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (CBD).

The CBS is an output under the Caribbean Hub sub-component of Phase II of the Programme for Capacity-Building related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

The process has been funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund and has received implementation support from UN Environment, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), CBD Secretariat.

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is aiding the development of the CBS for the CARICOM Secretariat and is also facilitating the workshop here.

Dr Slater noted that biodiversity and the regional economy are “deeply interconnected.”

He said the natural ecosystems of the region provide the people of the region with essential goods and services such as food and nutrition, medicine, recreation, fuel, storm protection, and climate resilience.

He said for those reasons, it is critical to “pause and take stock.”

The CARICOM Secretariat, in collaboration with UN Environment, has therefore coordinated the preparation of a progress report titled State of Biodiversity in the Caribbean – A review of the progress towards the Aichi biodiversity targets which will be released shortly.

Dr Slater said CBS will allow COTED to advice on the post-2020 biodiversity priorities for the Region and establish linkage to the Small Island Developing States (SIDs) agenda as well as the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

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