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Saudi official gives new version of Khashoggi killing: Report

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Read more at: https://epeak.in/2018/10/21/saudi-official-gives-new-version-of-khashoggi-killing-report-saudi-arabia-news/

Saudi official gives new version of Khashoggi killing: Report | Saudi Arabia News

 A senior Saudi Arabian government official has laid out a new version of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, that in key respects contradicts previous explanations. 

The latest account, provided by a Saudi official who requested anonymity, includes details on how the team of 15 Saudi nationals sent to confront Khashoggi on October 2 had threatened him with being drugged and kidnapped and then killed him in a chokehold when he resisted. A member of the team then dressed in Khashoggi’s clothes to make it appear as if he had left the consulate.

After denying any involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi, 59, for more than two weeks, Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning said he had died in a fistfight at the consulate.

An hour later, another Saudi official attributed the death to a chokehold, which the senior official reiterated to Reuters.

Turkish officials suspect the body of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was cut up but the Saudi official said it was rolled up in a rug and given to a “local cooperator” for disposal.

Asked about allegations that Khashoggi had been tortured and beheaded, he said preliminary results of the investigation did not suggest that.

The Saudi official presented what he said were Saudi internal intelligence documents which appeared to show the initiative to bring back dissidents as well as the specific one involving Khashoggi.

He also showed testimony from those involved in what he described as the 15-man team’s cover-up, and the initial results of an internal probe.

He did not provide proof to substantiate the findings of the investigation and the other evidence.

This narrative is the latest Saudi account that has changed multiple times. The authorities initially dismissed reports that Khashoggi had gone missing inside the consulate as false and said he had left the building soon after entering.

When the media reported a few days later that he had been killed there, they called the accusations “baseless.”

Asked by Reuters why the government’s version of Khashoggi’s death kept changing, the official said the government initial account was based on “false information reported internally at the time”.

“Once it became clear these initial mission reports were false, it launched an internal investigation and refrained from further public comment,” the official said, adding that the investigation is continuing.

Turkish sources say the authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting Khashoggi’s murder inside the consulate but have not released it.

Riyadh dispatched a high-level delegation to Istanbul on Tuesday and ordered an internal investigation but US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he is not satisfied with Saudi Arabia’s handling of Khashoggi’s death and said questions remain unanswered.

Germany and France on Saturday called Saudi Arabia’s explanation of how Khashoggi died incomplete.

According to the latest version of the death, the government wanted to convince Khashoggi, who moved to Washington a year ago fearing reprisals for his views, to return to the kingdom as part of a campaign to prevent Saudi dissidents from being recruited by the country’s enemies, the official said.

To that end, the official said, the deputy head of the General Intelligence Presidency, Ahmed al-Asiri, put together a 15-member team from the intelligence and security forces to go to Istanbul, meet Khashoggi at the consulate and try to convince him to return to Saudi Arabia.

“There is a standing order to negotiate the return of dissidents peacefully; which gives them the authority to act without going back to the leadership” the official said.”

Al-Asiri is the one who formed the team and asked for an employee who worked with (Saud) al-Qahtani and who knew Jamal from the time they both worked at the embassy in London,” he said. The official said al-Qahtani had signed off on one of his employees conducting the negotiations

After denying any involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi, 59, for more than two weeks, Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning said he had died in a fistfight at the consulate.

An hour later, another Saudi official attributed the death to a chokehold, which the senior official reiterated to Reuters. Turkish officials suspect the body of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was cut up but the Saudi official said it was rolled up in a rug and given to a “local cooperator” for disposal.

Asked about allegations that Khashoggi had been tortured and beheaded, he said preliminary results of the investigation did not suggest that. The Saudi official presented what he said were Saudi internal intelligence documents which appeared to show the initiative to bring back dissidents as well as the specific one involving Khashoggi.

He also showed testimony from those involved in what he described as the 15-man team’s cover-up, and the initial results of an internal probe. He did not provide proof to substantiate the findings of the investigation and the other evidence.

This narrative is the latest Saudi account that has changed multiple times. The authorities initially dismissed reports that Khashoggi had gone missing inside the consulate as false and said he had left the building soon after entering.

When the media reported a few days later that he had been killed there, they called the accusations “baseless.”

Asked by Reuters why the government’s version of Khashoggi’s death kept changing, the official said the government initial account was based on “false information reported internally at the time”.

“Once it became clear these initial mission reports were false, it launched an internal investigation and refrained from further public comment,” the official said, adding that the investigation is continuing.

Turkish sources say the authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting Khashoggi’s murder inside the consulate but have not released it.

Riyadh dispatched a high-level delegation to Istanbul on Tuesday and ordered an internal investigation but US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he is not satisfied with Saudi Arabia’s handling of Khashoggi’s death and said questions remain unanswered.

Germany and France on Saturday called Saudi Arabia’s explanation of how Khashoggi died incomplete.

According to the latest version of the death, the government wanted to convince Khashoggi, who moved to Washington a year ago fearing reprisals for his views, to return to the kingdom as part of a campaign to prevent Saudi dissidents from being recruited by the country’s enemies, the official said.

To that end, the official said, the deputy head of the General Intelligence Presidency, Ahmed al-Asiri, put together a 15-member team from the intelligence and security forces to go to Istanbul, meet Khashoggi at the consulate and try to convince him to return to Saudi Arabia.

“There is a standing order to negotiate the return of dissidents peacefully; which gives them the authority to act without going back to the leadership” the official said.”

Al-Asiri is the one who formed the team and asked for an employee who worked with (Saud) al-Qahtani and who knew Jamal from the time they both worked at the embassy in London,” he said.

The official said al-Qahtani had signed off on one of his employees conducting the negotiations.

Chokehold

According to the plan, the team could hold Khashoggi in a safe house outside Istanbul for “a period of time” but then release him if he ultimately refused to return to Saudi Arabia, the official said.

Things went wrong from the start as the team overstepped their orders and quickly employed violence, the official said.

Khashoggi was ushered into the consul general’s office where an operative named Maher Mutreb spoke to him about returning to Saudi Arabia, according to the government’s account.

Khashoggi refused and told Mutreb that someone was waiting outside for him and would contact the Turkish authorities if he did not reappear within an hour, the official said.

Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, has told Reuters he had handed her his two mobile phones and left instructions that she should wait for him and call an aide to Turkey’s president if he did not reappear.

Back inside the consul’s office, according to the official’s account, Khashoggi told Mutreb he was violating diplomatic norms and said, “What are you going to do with me? Do you intend to kidnap me?”

Mutreb replied, “Yes, we will drug you and kidnap you,” in what the official said was an attempt at intimidation that violated the mission’s objective.

When Khashoggi raised his voice, the team panicked. They moved to restrain him, placing him in a chokehold and covering his mouth, according to the government’s account. “They tried to prevent him from shouting but he died,” the official said. “The intention was not to kill him.”

Asked if the team had smothered Khashoggi, the official said: “If you put someone of Jamal’s age in this position, he would probably die.”

Missing body

To cover up their misdeed, the team rolled up Khashoggi’s body in a rug, took it out in a consular vehicle and handed it over to a “local cooperator” for disposal, the official said. Forensic expert Salah Tubaigy tried to remove any trace of the incident, the official said.

Turkish officials believe that Khashoggi’s killers may have dumped his remains in Belgrad Forest adjacent to Istanbul, and at a rural location near the city of Yalova, 90 kilometers south of Istanbul.

Turkish investigators are likely to find out what happened to the body “before long,” a senior official said.

The Saudi official said the local cooperator is an Istanbul resident but would not reveal his nationality. The official said investigators were trying to determine where the body ended up.

Meanwhile, operative Mustafa Madani donned Khashoggi’s clothes, eyeglasses and Apple watch and left through the back door of the consulate in an attempt to make it look like Khashoggi had walked out of the building. Madani went to the Sultanahmet district where he disposed of the belongings.

The official said the team then wrote a false report for superiors saying they had allowed Khashoggi to leave once he warned that Turkish authorities could get involved and that they had promptly left the country before they could be discovered.

Sceptics have asked why so many people, including military officers and a forensics expert specialising in autopsies, were part of the operation if the objective was to convince Khashoggi to return home of his own volition.

The official said all 15 team members had been detained and placed under investigation, along with three other local suspects.

Read more at: https://epeak.in/2018/10/21/saudi-official-gives-new-version-of-khashoggi-killing-report-saudi-arabia-news//

Posted in Crime, Featured, International, Local, News, Police, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Dr Ingrid Buffonge

An uphill Task?

Hon Dr Ingrid Buffonge

Is Premier Romeo facing an uphill task to keep his government in power

by staff writer

Popular news this week pose that Premier Donaldson Romeo’s four-year-old government faces an uphill task to complete its first five-year term in office after an independent legislator filed a motion of no confidence in his administration.
The motion by Dr. Ingrid Buffonge, a former member of the ruling People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) is scheduled to be heard on October 23.
Dr. Buffonge sits as an independent member of the Legislative Assembly, having left the PDM party after just a year. She did so ‘crossing the floor’, following much upheaval of dissatisfaction with the way she felt things were in particular in the area of health and more so with conditions especially the lack of equipment at the hospital. She, according to official sources served as a health advisor to the Minister of Health, which was part of her contractual duties to the government.
Buffonge, who received the second highest number of votes in the September 2014 elections on the PDM slate, resigned from the party a year later and two weeks ago, called for the resignation of Health Minister Delmaude Ryan. Willock had also called for Ryan’s resignation, saying that he supported Buffonge

Hon. Gregory Willock

In September 2014 general election, the PDM won seven of the nine seats in the Assembly, but since losing Buffonge, recently, in support of further grouse, personal and otherwise, Parliamentary Secretary Gregory Willock, who has acted as Minister in every Ministry except the Premier’s, formally resigned from the government and the party last week.
Prior to this, last year, Romeo dismissed Claude Hogan his agriculture minister. Earlier this week, with the pending motion in the Assembly, the crossing of the floor by Willock, putting four people on the side of the house, a call from the opposition leader for the government to resign, Hogan called on Premier Romeo to be “bold and put loyalty to country before any personal loyalty.
“There has been much change over the last week and with good reason,” he said in a statement somewhere, “Some people are looking to me to create further change to lead our nation out of the impasse our government finds itself in. I do not see the need for the constant rush to deny and exclude anyone.”
Hogan said that while he agrees that “further change has to come” it must come from the people themselves.
.
The 2014 general election was a victory for the newly established PDM, which was formed on April 30 that year, in order to contest the elections.
The party defeated the then ruling Movement for Change and Prosperity, which seats two members in the Legislative Assembly on the opposition benches.

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Montserrat not ‘blacklisted’ in OECD CBI/RBI report

On Tuesday, October 16, 2018, The Guardian in the UK carried a story captioned “Tax: Evasion: blacklist of 21 countries with ‘golden passport’ schemes published”.

The article says: “A blacklist of 21 countries whose so-called “golden passport” schemes threaten international efforts to combat tax evasion has been published by the west’s leading economic thinktank.

“Three European countries – Malta, Monaco and Cyprus – are among those nations flagged as operating high-risk schemes that sell either residency or citizenship in a (report released on Tuesday – http://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-exchange/crs-implementation-and-assistance/residence-citizenship-by-investment/ ) by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“The Paris-based body has raised the alarm about the fast-expanding US$3bn (£2.3bn) citizenship by investment industry, which has turned nationality into a marketable commodity. In exchange for donations to a sovereign trust fund, or investments in property or government bonds, foreign nationals can become citizens of countries in which they have never lived. Other schemes, such as that operated by the UK, offer residency in exchange for sizable investments…

“Also, on the OECD blacklist are a handful of Caribbean nations that pioneered the modern-day methods for the marketing of citizenship. These include Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, and St Kitts and Nevis, which has sold 16,000 passports since relaunching its programme in 2006.”

Montserrat is not mentioned above, but the report said, without mentioning anything about ‘blacklisting’: “Financial Institutions are required to take the outcome of the OECD’s analysis of high-risk CBI/RBI schemes into account when performing their CRS due diligence obligations. (Further detail is available in our Frequently Asked Questions section below).

“The OECD has analysed over 100 CBI/RBI schemes, offered by CRS-committed jurisdictions, identifying the following schemes that potentially pose a high-risk to the integrity of CRS.”

On reading the report it will not surprise if Montserrat is removed from the list that appeared even at the suggestion of being ‘high risk’.

However, in a news report which noted, Montserrat has on its books laws for an Economic Residency Program (ERP), it was against this background that a local economic and financial analyst Peter Queeley was asked why he thinks the island has to be named on this blacklist.”

 

Queeley responded, not realizing perhaps that Montserrat was not blacklisted ‘for such’, except for the Guardian’s misguided report, showed some understanding of the topic, said in part: “Montserrat and the other countries that offer the economic citizenship and economic residency programs is that their programs now have been elevated too what they call a high-risk status,” going on to say however, “essentially these programs are now under attack…and these programs now which would have provided sizable income to those countries in terms of raw cash… now are now under scrutiny and under attack…and those persons who are engaging in purchasing economic citizenship and economic residency you are actually you now attacking the actual business fabric of the whole programs.”

He said further, referring specifically to Montserrat, “I would call this in no uncertain terms terrorism because it threatens the fabric of our society and our economic growth…” going on to speak to the history of the attitude towards the Caribbean: “It’s not for the first time we are seeing these things. If you go way back you would have seen that when we were doing sugar and we were into bananas in particular you had he whole preferential treatment access thing which came up pushed by the U.S. of course and once our profession access in the UK markets were taken away…”

Meanwhile however, while noticing the only OTs listed were Montserrat and Turks and Caicos Islands, there were vehement denials by Bahamas and Barbados, that the report did not, as reported by The Guardian, show them as being blacklisted.

The Oct 17, CMC report coming out of NASSAU, Bahamas, stated: “This report is false and misleading,” the Ministry of Finance said, noting that the OECD Tuesday published a report that includes a list of jurisdictions around the world, including The Bahamas, which operate Citizenship by Investment (CBI) or Residence by Investment (RBI) programmes.

The government insists that “this report is not a blacklist” and added that representatives of the Ministry of Finance, who are currently attending meetings in Paris, met with the Head of the OECD International Cooperation and Tax Administration Division, which published the report.

“The Ministry was assured that the characterization of the list as a blacklist is completely inaccurate. The Bahamas is under no obligation to take any measures to change its investment schemes.“

Coming also from BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Oct 17, CMC – “The Barbados government Wednesday said it has never had a Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) as Bridgetown responded to a statement issued by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) linking several Caribbean countries to the initiative.

“At the outset, it must be emphasized that Barbados has never had, and does not have, a citizenship by investment programme.”

The report continues: “However, among several other countries, Barbados High Net Worth Individual (HNWI) Special Entry Permit (SEP) regime was identified as one which poses a high-risk to the integrity of the CRS. This is not a “blacklist”, although some media establishments have chosen to headline their articles on the issue as such,” Toppin said.

“He said that the government, which came to power in May this year “forcefully rejects any and all such news reports which state that Barbados has been blacklisted by the OECD.

“These reports are false and erroneous, but can, unfortunately, have deleterious effects on our reputation.

“The OECD report simply provides practical guidance to financial institutions on how to undertake enhanced due diligence on clients that are citizens or residents of the countries with Citizenship By Investment (CBI) or Residence By Investment (RBI) programmes so as to prevent cases of Common Reporting Standard (CRS) avoidance and tax evasion,” Toppin noted.

In the end, Commissioner of Montserrat’s Financial Services Commission commenting on the report said, she did not see any complication in the issue and while she would not expect to see a listing in these connections, do look forward to the removal of Montserrat from the ‘high risk’ register.

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DSC_9803

ECCB donates to the elderly and children for FIM

The East Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is celebrating its 35th Anniversary and also observing Financial Information Month (FIM) (during October). As part of its activities in Montserrat, the Bank through its resident agency representative Mrs. Claudette Weekes, at the office in Brades delivered financial support to two organisations.

Before making the delivery, Mrs. Weekes to note the theme for FIM 2018 which is, “Financial Empowerment Through Education with a focus on Conducting and Protecting your Business in a Digital Environment.”

She explained: “It challenges us to use the digital environment to create opportunities; to take advantage of the possibilities that these opportunities present, by optimising them i.e. make the best of them.”

She said, “It also challenges us to research, explore, and find new horizons everywhere. A lot of what we seek to know is buried in the life experiences of our senior citizens and the best person to tap these resources are the children and young people in general.”

It was because of this that the Bank took pleasure through her office to give and to announce that the sum of $1,000.00 had been deposited to the account of The Children’s Society at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC); and equal sum of $1,000.00 deposited into the account of ‘The Senior Citizen’s Association’ at the Bank of Montserrat Ltd. (BOML). The gestures she said, “are a part of the Community Outreach effort for Financial Month 2018.

Mrs. Weekes noted further that the ECCB in collaboration with RBC, BOML, Montserrat Building Society (MBS), St. Patrick’s Cooperative Credit Union (SPCCU), Social Security Fund, Financial Services Commission and the (Govt.) Ministry of Finance, “is of the view that on Montserrat there are at least two associations with responsibility for protecting and caring for the vulnerable in our society.”

Mrs Claudette Weekes

She said the Bank had therefore identified the groups and selected them, “to be our FIM recipients this year.”

Following the brief remarks, she called on the presidents of the associations, Mrs. Helena Dorsett and Miss Bernadine Collins, to whom she said thanks, “for allowing us to contribute to your efforts.”

In handing over the symbolic pictures of the deposited checks, Mrs. Weekes told the two recipients, “we pray that you will experience successful outcomes as you continue to serve in this noble manner.”

Both Mrs. Dorsette and Miss Collins responded with thanks and appreciation on behalf of the associations.

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Hon. Gregory Willock

Willock resigns from PDM puts 4 In opposition

MCAP calls for new polls

Hon. Gregory Willock

On Tuesday this week, following his rant last week during which he came out in support of the Hon. Dr. Ingrid Buffonge, Hon. Gregory Willock resigned all but his legislative seat in the Legislative Assembly.

Willock resigned his appointment as Parliamentary Secretary, and as a member of the questionable existence of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), sending a letter to the Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo, copied to His Excellency the Governor Andrew Pierce and the Hon. speaker of the Legislative Assembly Shirley Osborne. (see letter here).

This new development comes after Dr. Buffonge, having returned from her one-year master’s degree studies in the UK as she described, said the island’s healthcare was in bad condition, citing the sudden departure of three medical doctors among other issues. But she had her own personal complaints as she found she had to wait for a contract to be concluded as was required, so she can work as a doctor.

Willock had followed this, throwing his already disgruntled position against the Minister, saying he supported Dr. Buffonge’s claims standing with Dr. Buffonge and supported her call for the premier to fire Minister Ryan. He said he was willing to cross the floor and sit as an independent member of parliament if this was not done.

The premier followed Buffonge’s statement by saying he stood behind his health minister, invoking an accusation from her when he quoted something out of scripture when he said: “He who must destroy others to succeed must know that destruction awaits him at the gate of his success.  In other words, be careful not to dig a hole for yourself.” Sounded much like, “What Goes Around Comes Around”. She said that it was a serious threat, and that the premier was attempting to suppress criticism.

In the meantime, Minister Ryan spent a long time on radio responding to Dr. Buffonge’s claims. She was adamant about not stepping down from her Ministry, and explained in some detail the state of the Health Ministry.

Willock then said he stood with Dr Buffonge and supported her call for the premier to fire Minister Ryan. He said he was willing to cross the floor and sit as an independent member of parliament if this was not done.

There has been no comment from the other members of the (PDM) government members, Minister Lewis, and deposed Minister Hogan, who has been off island, while news of a ‘motion of no-confidence’ in the government has reportedly been filed with the speaker.

There is a long and old background to the Gregory ‘Saga’ Willock sojourn in or with the Government. Speculations are that his actions are all part of a strategy for immediate changes in government or preparation for new parties to contest the due elections from September next year.

In September 2015 Willock had hit the ZJB air waves to clarify rumours that he had left the PDM party, which had already given indication that there was serious disunity among the government members.

Willock had explained he had been in discussion with the Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo about stepping down from the position as parliamentary secretary to avoid some of the conflicts which were arising in the party over his desire to push for the ratification of a new legislators conditions of pay.

He claimed the current position is outdated and should have been adapted to suit the current requirements as laid out in the Montserrat Constitution Order of 2010; that the legislators conditions of pay in use does not deal adequately with issues of gratuity, pensions, vacation for legislators, he added.

Willock explained that due to some party members not in agreement with his push to have this document updated and approved to the benefit of all legislators, he said he would prefer to remain only as a member of Parliament. Currently, he supports the sectors of culture, youth and supports in his role as parliamentary secretary. A role he said he is not compensated for over and above what is the standard payment for members of Parliament.

“I’m not here all about Gregory as I have been working for over a year as Parliamentary Secretary without additional pay,” he said. “I want to work for the people.”

Premier Romeo had little to say then, regarding Willock’s position the Premier: “Please also do not think that there is anything wrong with the Honorable Gregory Willock proposing to step back from the Parliamentary Secretary post and remain a part of the PDM team,” he said, giving his commitment regarding his government’s position repeating his earlier comments regarding their forward movement as it relates to his government’s performance for the previous year.

(see: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/confusion-sets-in-the-pdm-administration-at-the-turn-of-its-second-year/)

Willock’s position then had come just after the announcement of Dr. Buffonge’s resignation from the party.

We reported it was a surprise move, though from the beginning “she had shown some restlessness in her relationship with the PDM.” She resigned a week after she had spoken on ZJB radio at length recapping her role in the first year of the PDM in office. She had said that people were somewhat impatient, but she declared at the end of her recap, having called for unity and togetherness: “…people can look forward to a stronger more assertive PDM in the future with better decision making and faster progress with some restructuring…, I am asking the public don’t give on the PDM just yet. This is still a strong red machine, there is a lot of positive to come in the near future.”

Her position this time in 2018 had been little different, but Willock thought it prudent, having had more than he can take working with or under Minister Ryan.

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Earthquake kills at least 10, injures more than 100, then minor earthquake rocks Jamaica

Earthquake kills at least 10, injures more than 100, then minor earthquake rocks Jamaica

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Oct 7, CMC – At least 10 people were killed and several others injured after an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 rocked northwest Haiti on Saturday night, officials have confirmed.

The Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) said that the quake was felt across several parts of the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country and that it created panic in several cities.

The DPC said that most of the deaths occurred in Port-de-Paix , north west of here, where seven bodies had been found and three others in the Gros Morne.

It said at least 135 people have been injured and taken to hospitals. “Many houses are destroyed or damaged,” it said.

The DPC said that rescue teams are working across the country especially in the north west where two slight aftershocks have been felt since.

“The Directorate of Civil Protection invites people to keep calm and not to rely on rumours. The earthquake did not require the launch of a tsunami warning,” the DPC said in a statement.

The DPC said that the 10 people killed after they were caught in collapsed buildings and that the earthquake shook the island late Saturday night.

“I urge the population to keep calm, following the passage of the earthquake whose epicenter is located in the northwest coast,” President Jovenel Moïse posted on Twitter.

‘The (disaster) risk management system and the regional branches of the Civil Protection are on standby to assist the inhabitants of the affected areas,” he added.

The earthquake occurred about 12 miles north of Port-de-Paix in northwest Haiti.

In 2010, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 killed an estimated 160,000 people and left more than a million others homeless in the French-speaking country.

 

On Sunday, rescue  teams in Haiti were working to provide relief in the aftermath of the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that rocked sections of the country late Saturday.

According Secretary of State for Communications Eddy Jackson Alexis, a preliminary report indicated that 11 people had died and 135  injured.

It’s reported that seven people died in the coastal city of Port-de-Paix and three people died in the community of Gros-Morne in the province of Artibonite.

The injured are being treated at medical centers in the northern part of the country.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit at 8:11 p.m. Saturday (local time) and was centered 12 miles  northwest of Port-de-Paix, which is about 136 miles  from here.

The quake was 7.3 miles below the surface.

The tremor was also felt in the neighboring Dominican Republic and in eastern Cuba.

The civil protection agency issued a statement saying that some houses were destroyed in Port-de-Paix, Gros Morne, Chansolme and Turtle Island.

Haiti President Jovenel Moise said civil protection brigades were working to clear debris and help victims. He also said the government had sent water and food.

Impoverished Haiti, where many live in tenuous circumstances, is especially vulnerable to earthquakes. A vastly larger magnitude 7.1 quake damaged much of the capital in 2010 and killed an estimated 300,000 people.

In 2010, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 killed an estimated 160,000 people and left more than a million others homeless in the French-speaking country.

Haiti rattled by several aftershocks

Haiti, Oct 8, CMC – An earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale rattled Haiti during the early hours of Monday, less than 48 hours after one killed 12 people and left more than 150 others injured.

The quake occurred at 1.04 am (local time) and was located 17 kilometers (km) north of Turtle Island, 32 km north-west of Port-de-Paix. It had a depth of 10 km.

Destruction caused by earthquake in Haiti last Saturday

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damages.

On Sunday, Turtle Island was also rocked by an earthquake with a magnitude of .5.2. The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the aftershock was located 9.8 miles north-northwest of Port-de-Paix.

Officials say the quakes are aftershocks from Saturday’s deadly 5.9 tremor that as felt across several parts of the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country and that it created panic in several cities.

The Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) said that at least 12 people were confirmed dead and 188 injured and that most of the deaths occurred in Port-de-Paix , north west of here. It said that rescue teams are working across the country especially in the north west.

Meanwhile, the United Nations says it is prepared to assist the French-speaking Caribbean country following the earthquakes.

In a statement, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he ‘is saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life and injuries caused by the earthquake in north-west Haiti on 6 October”.

The UN chief extended his condolences to the families of the victims and to the government of Haiti.

“The United Nations stands ready to support the Government of Haiti in the response efforts,” the statement noted.

Saturday night’s quake is the strongest earthquake to hit Haiti since 2010, when the country was devastated by a 7.3 magnitude temblor, which killed more than 100,000 people.

Minor earthquake rocks Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Oct. 8, CMC – An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.6 was felt in sections of the island late Sunday.

The United States Geological Survey says that the earthquake, with its epicenter west northwest of Hope Bay in the eastern parish of Portland was felt in the neighboring parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew and St Thomas.

There have been no reports of injuries or damages.

This is the third tremor to rock sections of the island in recent weeks.

Last month, two minor earthquakes were recorded.

This earthquake follows a 5.9 magnitude tremor   in Haiti on Saturday that left 11 dead and more than 30 injured .

Posted in Earthquake, Featured, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Sunday Times

Aid used in Caribbean child sex inquiry

David Brandt, who led the Montserrat government from 1997 to 2001, is being investigated
David Brandt, who led the Montserrat government from 1997 to 2001, is being investigatedCHRIS BRANDIS

TMR:

There is so much more to this story in several areas – but seen here taken from the angle which once again shows the bias about money being spent in Montserrat, a British Overseas Territory. There is however a more than suspicious nature of moneys spent as mentioned, which reportedly is more than the £230,000 mentioned in the story. In Montserrat the question regarding the money is, what about the case that warrants almost or over EC$1 million to be spent? Reports are that there is more money being spent in other unrelated matters which represents another situation involving what some refer to as overzealous behaviour, but which is really deeper than that. All matters which must be of concern and interest to the government and the tax payers. Yes there are many issues questions that are much better placed than why the money is spent here instead of there! The writer should note that the money is benefiting their own and not Montserrat. Their research is misplaced and shows the bias only.

Britain has handed more than £200,000 of its foreign aid budget to the National Crime Agency (NCA) to investigate the former chief minister of Montserrat on suspicion of child sex abuse.

Officers from the elite crime-fighting force, dubbed the “British FBI”, are making regular trips to the tiny Caribbean island, one of the UK’s overseas territories, to help police investigate David Brandt, who led the government there from 1997 to 2001.

The NCA inquiry in an outpost of Britain’s colonial past — which was devastated by volcanic eruptions in the 1990s — comes at a time when police chiefs in the UK are warning there is not enough money to investigate the “unprecedented” scale of child sexual abuse at home.

Tony Blair met David Brandt in Downing Street in 1997
Tony Blair met David Brandt in Downing Street in 1997 PAUL HACKETT

Simon Bailey, chief constable of Norfolk police and national lead officer for child abuse investigation, has previously called for increased rehabilitation and treatment for low-level sex offenders, rather than prosecution, in an attempt to meet swingeing budget cuts.

Documents seen by The Sunday Times show that the Foreign Office has assigned almost £230,000 of public money to the NCA inquiry, which is understood to have been active since 2016.

The news will raise fresh concerns over child sex abuse in British overseas territories following scandals on Jersey and St Helena.

The Foreign Office said: “All our funding programmes follow the government’s agreed standards and receive robust financial scrutiny.”

@TomJHarper

Posted in Court, Crime, Featured, International, Local, News, Politics0 Comments

CNET

Facebook breach put data of 50 million users at risk

The vulnerability had to do with the social network’s “view as” feature.

by

Facebook on Friday said a breach affected 50 million people on the social network. 

The vulnerability stemmed from Facebook’s “view as” feature, which lets people see what their profiles look like to other people. Attackers exploited code associated with the feature that allowed them to steal “access tokens” that could be used to take over people’s accounts. 

While access tokens aren’t your password, they allow people to log in to accounts without needing it. Facebook also said later Friday that the breach also affected third-party apps that you have linked to your Facebook account, including Instagram. As a precautionary measure, Facebook logged about 90 million people out of their accounts, the company said.

The social network said it discovered the attack earlier this week. The company has informed the FBI and the Irish Data Protection Commission. Facebook said the investigation is in the early stages and it doesn’t yet know who was behind the attacks. 

“This is a really serious security issue,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call with reporters Friday. “This underscores there are just constant attacks from people who are trying to take over accounts and steal information from our community. This is going to be an ongoing effort.” 

The news comes as Facebook has been under intense scrutiny for its ability to keep the data of its more than 2 billion users safe. The company is still reeling from its Cambridge Analytica scandal in March, in which a UK-based digital consultancy harvested the personal information of 87 million Facebook users.

The vulnerability disclosed on Friday came from a change issued in July 2017, when Facebook pushed a feature that prompted people to upload “Happy Birthday” videos, Facebook vice president of product management said on the call. The company is still investigating the attack, and doesn’t know how much information was stolen or who is behind the hack. Because it was access tokens stolen and not passwords, Facebook said that affected users don’t need to change their security settings, including their passwords.

Access tokens are a set of code granted to a user after logging in for the first time. They’re often used across websites so that you don’t have to log back in every time you go to a page. Facebook uses them for logins, and allows for secure access without needing a password.

facebook-f8-mark-zuckerberg-2018-0263
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “This is a really serious security issue.”

James Martin

Attackers carried out their attack with a series of steps that let them hop, skip and jump their way into generating access tokens for millions of Facebook users. They started by viewing a Facebook profile they had access to as another user. The “view as” feature is meant to allow users to see how their profile looks to the public or specific friends based on their privacy settings. 

But when hackers viewed a Facebook profile as another user, sometimes the tool for posting a birthday video would appear. That shouldn’t have happened, but did at times because of a bug, according to Facebook. Then, because of yet another bug affecting the video tool, hackers were able to generate an access token for the targeted user, giving them access to the user’s account.

With the access token, hackers had control over the user’s account. They could then “pivot,” Rosen said, and view their victim’s account as yet another user. Then they would repeat the process and generate an access token for that user, too.

The hackers were able to dramatically scale up this multi-step attack, so much so that Facebook noticed an unusual spike in user activity in Septermber and began investigating, Rosen said.

Fatemeh Khatibloo, an analyst at Forrester who focuses on consumer privacy, said in an email it appeared Facebook contained the damage from the breach at an early stage. She added that users probably heard about it sooner than they would have since new privacy regulations came into effect in the European Union earlier this year. The General Data Protection Regulation requires companies to tell users about a data breach no more than 72 hours after learning of it themselves.

“GDPR has forced [Facebook]’s hand in reporting the breach much earlier than they perhaps would have liked, and before they understand the full scope,” Khatibloo said.

Debra Farber, senior director of privacy strategy at tech firm BigID, said the increased speed in reporting data breaches will have a positive long-term effect for the company. “It may not be today or tomorrow, but such actions are sure to engender significantly more trust,” she said. BigID helps companies comply with privacy regulations.

The breach has also led to more criticism from lawmakers, who have already discussed introducing regulation to rein in big tech companies.

“A full investigation should be swiftly conducted and made public so that we can understand more about what happened,” Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, said in a statement. “Today’s disclosure is a reminder about the dangers posed when a small number of companies like Facebook or the credit bureau Equifax are able to accumulate so much personal data about individual Americans without adequate security measures.”

As news spread of the data breach Friday, Facebook’s own platform blocked users from posting two articles about the hacking attack. One article was by the Guardian and the other was by the AP. Facebook confirmed that its system was blocking the articles, saying it was an error. “We fixed the issue as soon as we were made aware of it, and people should be able to share both articles,” the company said in a statement. “We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Facebook has been without a chief security officer since Alex Stamos Facebook security chief departing company for Stanford in August to teach and do research at Stanford University. His departure took place during a larger reorganization of the company’s security team that was ongoing when the cybersecurity attack began. 

The departmental shifts made the cybersecurity team stronger, Rosen said. “If anything, we think this means we were able to find and address this faster,” he said.

First published September 28, 9:52 a.m. PT.
Update, 2:52 p.m. PT: Adds information from a follow-up conference call with Facebook.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Entertainment, Featured, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology, Technology0 Comments

Calm as he will be remembered

Thanksgiving Service and Mass for Bertrand B. Osborne who died on Tuesday, September 4, 2018

by Bennette Roach

Calm as he will be remembered

The following information has been confirmed and presented for the benefit of those who cannot otherwise attend the services but have access to radio, television and of course the miniature viewing provided by their tablets and smart phones. More specifically, overseas viewers worldwide will have their access.

The GIU will be bringing you live video coverage of the Service of Thanksgiving for the late Bertrand Osborne, starting at 10:30 a.m. today at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. This stream will be avialble on our facebook page ‘Government Information Unit Montserrat’. Our coverage will also be shared on liveislandevents.com.  Radio Montserrat will also broadcast live audio of the Service.

Thanks to Digicel, this stream will also be carried live on local television, on channels 8 and 352.

The Mass of Thanksgiving at the Catholic Church starting at 2:30p.m. will be streamed by live islands events on both Facebook and websites. There will also be live video coverage of the military procession leading to the St. James Anglican Church where Mr. Osborne will be buried.

Posted in Featured, International, Local, News, Obituaries, Regional0 Comments

Police HQ flag at half mast in remembrance of former Chief Minister Bertrand Osborne.

A National Day of Mourning in honour of former CM Bertrand Osborne OBE, OD (declared a public holiday)

The Government Information Unit yesterday, informed that the Government of Montserrat has declared Friday, September 14, 2018,

Former Chief Minister of Montserrat Bertrand Osborne.

a National Day of Mourning, as a mark of respect for the late former Chief Minister, Bertrand Osborne OBE, OD.

Mr. Osborne will be laid to rest on Friday, September 14 and will be accorded a national funeral service by the Government of Montserrat.

The release also informed that National Day of Mourning will “therefore be observed as a public holiday.”

The Government has advised that “In accordance with Government of Montserrat’s standard practice for national mourning, persons observing national mourning and those wearing plain clothes when on duty should wear dark colours.”

The island’s fifth Chief Minister died at his residence on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.

Flags at Half Mast on Passing of Former Chief Minister Osborne

Police HQ flag at half mast in remembrance of former Chief Minister Bertrand Osborne.

Meanwhile, Her Excellency, Acting Governor Lyndell Simpson has instructed all flags (Union Flag and Montserrat Flag) to be flown at half-mast in observance of the passing of former Chief Minister, Bertrand Osborne OBE OD.

The flags around the Government Headquarters will remain at half-mast up to the end of the day of Mr. Osborne’s funeral, as a symbol on national mourning.

The islands fifth Chief Minister died at his home on Tuesday, September 4 2018. Bertrand Osborne served as Chief Minister from October, 1996 to August, 1997.

Half-masting of flags is a standard practice by the Government of Montserrat whenever the nation is mourning the loss of persons who have served Montserrat with distinction and at the highest levels.

Posted in Featured, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

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