Archive | Culture


This death of another black man reached deep…

The Montserrat Reporter

Presented by Bennette Roach

from TMR Facebook page

George Floyd and his girlfriend

So sad!! This may not have been the worst, but the wilfulness, the torture, the obvious suffering makes it so…and if all that is being brought to light is true the cop and others should be charged with the first degree … Just sad about the few and the extreme reactions, but what did the DTp do, just incite with what his cronies called, ‘eloquence’. How sad!
The following was shared :
He called out to his Mom …. who died 2 years ago on the same day ????? RIP
Fac…See More

Face Down.
Knee on his neck.
They did nothing.

He called the officer “Sir.”
They did nothing.

He begged for his life.
He begged for water.
He begged for mercy.
They did nothing.

His nose bled.
His body trembled.
He lost control of his bladder.
They did nothing.

He cried out, “I can’t breathe.”
They did nothing.

Twelve more times.

“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”

They did nothing.

One last time, he gasped, “I can’t breathe.”
They did nothing.

He lost consciousness.
They did nothing.

A firefighter demanded they check his pulse.
They did nothing.

Off duty medical personnel begged them to stop.
They did nothing.

Deprived of oxygen.
His organs screaming.
His brain frantic.
They did nothing.

They watched George Floyd die.
His life fading.
A slow death.
They did nothing.

A lynching on the ground.
They did nothing.

For eight agonizing minutes.
Four officers watched.

He cried out for his Mom…
A grown man…
Crying out for the woman who gave him life…
As he feared joining her in death.
And still, they did nothing.

A black man.
A gentle giant.
Murdered because he was black.
And still, they’ve done nothing..

The officers should be arrested.
And still, they’ve done nothing.


May justice be served.

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Leadership, when it is that poor is really as this guy calls it, will have bad consequences, worse than with those pretend at it! The legendary San Antonio Spurs coach is past done with Donald Trump’s inability to rise to this moment.thenation.comGregg Popovich: ‘The System Has to Change’ The legendary San Antonio Spurs coach is past done with Donald…The legendary San Antonio Spurs coach is past done with Donald Trump’s inability to rise to this moment.

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The Rule of Law and The Creation of Wealth for the masses

Dr. Denzil Douglas shares two lofty ideals that his in-coming government stands for

Beresford Mack speaks with Dr. Denzil Douglas who prepares to take back the Government of St. Kitts-Nevis

Dr. Denzil Douglas

In the spirit of expanding partnership with those in the diaspora and sharing good governance responsibility, the Political Leader of the NextGen St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party, Dr. Denzil Douglas outlined his leadership vision and governance strategy for the Federation.

Dr. Douglas sat down for an interview with award-winning freelance journalist Beresford Mack and gave these insights.

BM: Dr. Douglas, what are some of the things that you and your NextGen Labour team think are most important for an ordered society?

Dr. Douglas: My young and vibrant colleagues and I hold two goals and lofty ideas as sacred. First, the rule of law must be an essential ingredient in maintaining our democracy. When others have demonstrated a reckless disregard and disrespect for the dignity of the court, we respect the rule of law and the judiciary and take great pride in our long tradition of the fair administration of Justice.

Second, we believe that our in-coming government must create wealth through the enormous benefits we will be bringing to the good people of St. Kitts and Nevis on returning to government.

BM: What are some of the major projects that will create employment opportunities in construction and ignite sustained economic growth across all sectors of the economy starting in 2021?

Dr. Douglas: We are anxious to deliver a bridge between St. Kitts and Nevis, which will open big opportunities and create an economic zone at both ends. This project is designed to consolidate and expand our tourism industry especially with an emphasis in medical tourism.

We will also construct a highway from western Basseterre to the Whitegate Development area. This will bring us additional economic activity for the expansion of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College campus in Nevis and the western campus in St. Kitts, thus offering our young people a first-class education foundation nearer to their homes.

To further improve our infrastructure, we will build a brand-new airport terminal with several jet bridges to increase the number of new airlines that we will woo to our lovely Federation.

BM: What is NextGen Labour’s vision for sports development?

Dr. Douglas: The Next Gen SKN incoming government is also anxious to begin the construction of a National Sports Academy, through which our young, highly talented and skillful men and women will be prepared to compete professionally in basketball, soccer, tennis, netball, golf, volleyball, swimming, track and field, and netball. They will also be prepared with the social graces, leadership skills, commitment to excellence and resilience, all-important skills and attributes that they will need as productive citizens in their adult lives.

BM: How will local stakeholders benefit from this new economic development vision?

Dr. Douglas: Our building and construction policy is geared towards cooperation with local businesses and international investors so that we provide a fair and transparent framework of conditions that bring solid but sustainable benefits to everyone. Therefore, we envision resuscitating the La Vallee Development Project while at the same time complete the construction of three boutique hotels at Kittitian Hill and building a state of the art Technical Training Institute. I want our people to keep abreast of the latest knowledge and techniques in their fields to perform beyond expectations.

BM: What about healthcare?

Dr. Douglas: The Next Gen SKN incoming government is already engaged in dialogue with several players in the global healthcare industry to build a state of the art hospital, a medical complex, upgrade community clinics and integrate various medical and nursing programs to the deliver the best education and cutting edge health care services to our people. We must be better able to cope with and minimize the impact of global outbreaks on our citizens.

BM: I know that you are a staunch integrationist. What role do you see for St. Kitts and Nevis as a regional player?

Dr. Douglas: I want St. Kitts and Nevis to play a vital role in shaping regional politics and economics. I will promote the formation of a CAPITAL MARKET as an important instrument to raise the finances to fund several of these major projects. My young, innovative and energetic team and I, envision our Federation working together with CARICOM and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to confront global challenges and share equal responsibility for adapting to new priorities and challenges as they arise.

Beresford Mack is a strategic communications consultant, award-winning freelance journalist and social media marketing specialist. He has worked in the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and the USA. He has won a Sony Radio award (which is described as the UK Radio Oscars) and a whilst working at London’s biggest Urban Radio Station Choice FM which has now been rebranded as Capital Xtra.

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Grand Central Terminal had fewer commuters than usual on a Monday morning after a state of emergency was declared amid confirmed coronavirus cases in New York.

Social Distancing May Be Our Best Weapon to Fight the Coronavirus


In pandemics, as in war, we all need to do our part.

By Max Brooks

Mr. Brooks is the author of “World War Z.”

March 11, 2020

Grand Central Terminal had fewer commuters than usual on a Monday morning after a state of emergency was declared amid confirmed coronavirus cases in New York.
Grand Central Terminal had fewer commuters than usual on a Monday morning after a state of emergency was declared amid confirmed coronavirus cases in New York.
Credit…Brian Moss/Reuters

“Social distancing” might sound like an emotional phase in early adolescence (it certainly was for me) but in reality, it’s a public health term describing our best defense against the coronavirus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this pathogen can spread “between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet).” That close contact has carried the virus across the planet, killing at least 4,000 people and infecting over 110,000 (that we know of). Until a vaccine — or even an effective treatment — can be developed, the best hope for protecting ourselves is slowing the spread of the disease. But how do we do that?

Travel bans are proving to be too little too late. It’s too easy to mistake the symptoms of coronavirus for a simple cold or flu. Even worse, since the virus can incubate for 14 days, carriers can spread it before they even know they’re sick.

We’ve already seen that happen in Washington State, where health officials believe some people were passing on their infections for up to six weeks. This long asymptomatic incubation period also renders airport screening ineffective. What’s the use of taking a passenger’s temperature if it’s going to be 98.6 degrees even when he or she is carrying the virus?

Likewise, protective gear such as masks and gloves works only if used correctly. Masks are supposed to be worn by sick people, or those caring directly for them. But when uninfected people wear hot, sweaty masks out in public, they will be more prone to touching their faces, which is also the Achilles’ heel of rubber gloves.

It doesn’t do any good to cover our hands if those hands are still touching infected surfaces before touching our eyes, nose or mouth. Those hands, gloved or ungloved, have to be sterilized in order to prevent transmission. Which is why washing hands is an important defense but by no means the only one.

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The best way to prevent “community spread” is to spread out the community. That means keeping people apart. No more handshakes, group photos and “free hugs” from those cosplayers at Comic-Con. In fact, it might mean no more Comic-Con for a little while, as well as no trade shows, concerts or any other events that draw a large crowd. This “disruption to everyday life” carries a huge financial risk — a risk of which I’m painfully aware.

I’ve built my career on the road, assembling a readership one handshake, hug and group photo at a time. I have a novel coming out this spring, and a speaking tour is vital to its success, as it has been for all my books. Now that tour might be canceled, and I’ve already had to pull out of two events. My book “Devolution” is about Bigfoot, and now I can’t even promote it in the Pacific Northwest.

But what is the alternative? Bring an infection home to my 93-year-old dad? Gather a large crowd in a room where they can all infect one another? As a writer who lives one book at a time, I’m the last person who should be practicing social distancing. But as a writer who roots my books in factual research, I know what history can teach us about community spread.

Editors’ Picks

Stocking Your Pantry, the Smart WaySorry, but Working From Home Is OverratedFor Me, Rewatching ‘Contagion’ Was Fun, Until It Wasn’t

In 1918, in Philadelphia, health officials ignored calls for social distancing and allowed a World War I victory parade to proceed. Within three days, all the hospital beds in the city were filled. Within a week, roughly 45,000 people were infected. Within six weeks, 12,000 were dead. The prospect of a repeat of that kind of mass manslaughter is frightening — especially when you consider that the 1918 influenza had a fatality rate of about 2.5 percent, compared to the 3.4 percent fatality rate for the coronavirus estimated by the World Health Organization.

We can learn a lot from history’s tragedies, but also from its triumphs. The plague that terrorized my generation, AIDS, was subdued by the same kind of public education, cultural flexibility and medical advances we need today. Back in the 1980s, when AIDS awareness tipped from denial to panic, our salvation didn’t come from a lab, but from a pamphlet. That piece of paper, “Understanding AIDS,” was mailed to almost every American home in 1988. Thanks to the pamphlet, along with a nationwide education offensive on safe sex, my generation learned that nothing, including love, was free.

RelatedOpinion | David Leonhardt: 7 Steps to Take Against the CoronavirusMarch 10, 2020Opinion | The Editorial Board: We Are Ignoring One Obvious Way to Fight the CoronavirusMarch 3, 2020N.Y. Creates ‘Containment Zone’ Limiting Large Gatherings in New RochelleMarch 10, 2020

We adapted then. We can adapt now. And we must. Just as in war, everyone has a role to play. If we all contribute to reducing community spread, we can buy enough time for science and industry to come up with a vaccine.

Does that mean hiding in a bunker with beans, bandages, and bullets? No, of course not. Panic is not preparation. Our plans should be guided by qualified experts like the C.D.C. We also have to keep a sharp eye out for the kind of stigmatization that harks back to the early days of AIDS.

Even before the virus started showing up throughout the United States, we’ve seen disgusting examples of what fear can do to the human spirit. In Southern California, a petition called for the closing of a largely Asian-American school district even though there was no evidence of any child being infected. In New York, an Asian woman wearing a face mask was assaulted by a man who called her “diseased.” Such panic-driven prejudice has no place in our war with the coronavirus.

Hopefully, if we all do our part now, we’ll soon be able to resume our lives, and go to such fun events as book signings, where I’ll be waving at you from seven feet away.

Max Brooks (@maxbrooksauthor), the author of “World War Z” and the forthcoming “Devolution,” is a senior nonresident fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point.

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St. Patrick's Day - week of celebrations

St. Patrick’s Day – week of celebrations

So, with all the cancellations around the world, tiny Montserrat, though not claiming invincibility from ‘C virus(s), it’s a whole week plus – ten days of celebrations. Don’t miss out on the specials of this growing Festival…

Here is the official list of events for this year’s St. Patrick’s Festival slated to run from March 6 to 18, 2020.


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Friday, March 6, 2020

  • 10 am – 4 pm – Mountain a Glow Exhibition, National Museum, Little Bay
  • 6 PM – St. Patrick’s Festival Torch Lighting Ceremony – Silk Cotton Tree, Cudjoe Head
  • 8 PM – Official Opening of St. Patrick’s Festival – Heritage Village, Salem
  • 9 PM – CZF Promotions Presents Car Clash – Salem Ball Court
  • 9 PM – Rhythm Night – Salem Centre

Saturday, March 7, 2020

  • 6 PM – Junior Calypso Competition – Cultural Centre
  • 10 PM – A1 Promotion presents Fully loaded – Good Life

Sunday, March 8, 2020

  • 6 PM – National Awards – Cultural Centre
  • 7 PM – Road to Revenge DJ Finals, Little Bay Beach (Near Calabash Shanti)

Monday, March 9, 2020

  • 9 AM to 4 PM – MSS Heritage Day – Salem Campus
  • 10 am – 4 pm – Mountain a Glow Exhibition, National Museum, Little Bay
  • 11 AM – until – St. John’s Action Club Lunch – St. John’s Centre
  • 10 PM – Fitz & Fabien presents St. Patrick’s Green & White Launch Party – VIP Club

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

  • 10 AM & 1 PM – Heritage Bus Tour of Cultural & Historic sites – Meet at Brades Arts & Education Ctr Car Park
  • 10 am – 4 pm – Mountain a Glow Exhibition, National Museum, Little Bay
  • 1- 6 PM – The Montserrat Action Movement “Together We Strive” – Family Fun Day – Salem Park
  • 6 PM – DHP – 3×3 Basketball, Sports Centre – Little Bay
  • 6 PM – St. Patrick’s Lecture – Cultural Centre Conference Room
  • 7 PM – Red Cross Fundraising Dinner – Sir George Martin Auditorium – Cultural Centre

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

  • 10 AM & 1 PM – Heritage Bus Tour of Cultural & Historic sites – Meet at Brades Arts & Education Ctr Car Park
  • 6 PM – Rhythm Night – St. Johns Centre
  • 8 PM – Bethel School Reunion – Night of Entertainment – Salem Park
  • 8 PM – Time Out Bar & Grill Live Band Music
  • 10 PM – Girls Invasion Pt. 2 – Cultural Centre
  • Chuch-Gut Ent./ Energy Promo – Sound Clash – Good Life Night Club
    • 5 pm – Pre Lime
    • 12 AM – Clash

Thursday, March 12, 2020

  • 6 AM – Scriber’s Freedom Hike
  • 10 AM – 5PM – St. Patrick’s Business Expo – Brade’s Arts & Education Centre
  • 6 AM – 6PM – Top Notch Promotions – St. Patrick’s Beach Fete – Old Road Bay
  • 10 AM & 1PM Pick Up – Heritage Bus Tour of Cultural & Historic Sites – Meet at Brades Arts & Education Centre
  • 2 PM – National Trust/ 50th Anniversary Flower Show & Tea Party and Hat Parade – Salem ($20)
  • 6 PM – Rhythm Night – Cudjoe Head
  • 5 PM – Bethel School Reunion Banquet & Awards Ceremony – Venue TBA
  • 6 PM – Movie Night – Premiere of No Island Like Home – Cultural Centre
  • 10 PM – Hypnotik Montserrat – Leprechaun’s Revenge & Breakfast Fete – Leprechaun’s Valley

Friday, March 13, 2020

  • Sunrise – Farmer’s Market – Salem School
  • 10 AM & 1 PM Pick Up – Heritage Bus Tour of Cultural & Historic Sites – Meet at Brades Arts & Education Centre
  • 10 AM – 5 PM – Montserrat National Trust 50th Anniversary Flower Show – Salem ($5 Entrance)
  • 3:30 PM – Kevin West Water Colour Exhibition & Book Launch – Montserrat Museum, Little Bay (Runs until March 22)
  • 10 AM – Until – Goat Water, Fish, Coconut Water & Ital Festival – Carr’s Bay Center
  • 1 – 4 PM – Emerald Isle Bush Rum Factory Lime – Piper’s Pond
  • 7 PM – Movie – No Island Like Home – Salem Park
  • 8 PM – 2AM – Olde School Ball to Benefit Meals on Wheels – Vue Pointe Hotel ☘️ Only $50EC
  • 11 PM – All-White Affair – Cultural Centre Parking Lot

Saturday, March 14, 2020

  • 7:30 AM – 6 PM – SPAcation2020 – Isle’s Bay Beach Bar
  • 9 AM – 8th Annual MAPS Invitational Golf Tournament – Collins Park Golf Course, Old Towne
  • 10 AM Until – Trials Reunion – Woodlands Beach
  • 10 AM & 1PM Pick Up – Heritage Bus Tour of Cultural & Historic Sites – Meet at Brades Arts & Education Centre
  • Noon – Nicki’s Seafood Fest – Little Bay
  • 1 PM – Acoustic Sounds of Montserrat & Masquerade Dancing Competition – Marine Village
  • 3 PM – Imperial Entertainment – Wet Dreams – Tropical Mansions
  • 6:30 PM – Movie – No Island Like Home – Venue TBA
  • 7PM – St. Patrick’s Annual Dinner -Vue Pointe Hotel
  • 7:30 PM – House of Refuge Gospel Explosion – Cultural Centre
  • 10 PM – Gold Rush 4 – Salem

Sunday, March 15, 2020

  • 4 AM – 11 AM – Island Diva Mas Leprechaun’s Dust – Leprechaun Valley
  • 9:15 AM – National St. Patrick’s Day Church Service – St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Look Out
  • 10 AM – 4PM – Luck of the Irish – Day Party – Venue TBA
  • 11 AM – Scriber’s Boat Tour and Party – Little Bay
  • 2 – 6 PM – Montserrat Old Times – National Museum, Little Bay
  • 4 PM – Afro Madras Fashion Show – Moose’s Place – Little Bay
  • 3 PM – Emerald City Fest feat Jah Cure and other artists – Salem Park
  • 6:45 PM – Movie Premiere – Wendy – Montserrat Cultural Centre
  • 7:30 PM – Emerald Community Singers – Vue Pointe Hotel, Old Towne

Monday, March 16, 2020

  • 10AM – 6PM – Chess Entertainment presents Boozey Brunch Day Fete – Good Life Parking Lot
  • 3PM to 12AM – Emerald Splash – Pool and Jacuzzi Party – Chez Mango Villa
  • 6:45PM – Movie – Wendy (Sports Centre TBC)
  • 7PM – Matrixx Dancers presents Unveil – Cultural Centre
  • 8PM – Movie – No Island Like Home
  • 10PM – Stratify – Salem Park (Various artists)

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 (National Holiday)

  • 1 AM to 6 AM – Drum Jam
  • 5:30 AM – St. Patrick’s Heritage Jouvert: Powered by Chatter Box – MSS to Salem Centre
  • 5:30 AM – Freedom Run & Walk – Cudjoe Head
  • 8 AM – 5PM – MS Star Pride Cruises in Little Bay Port
  • 12 PM – St. Patrick’s Day Parade – MSS to Heritage Village, Salem
  • 2 PM – Slave Feast, Heritage Village, Salem
  • 4 – 8 PM – Closing Ceremony & Cultural Show, Heritage Village, Salem
  • 10 PM – Squad First Promotions “Illuminate the Night – The Official St. Patrick’s Festival Cool Down Fete, Salem
  • 10 PM – Yellow Fete – Salem Park

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

  • 7 PM – Faith Tabernacle Pentecostal Church “Freedom” Concert – Cultural Centre
  • Black Nice UK Ltd presents Music is “Da Rod” Festival – Road Show, Salem Park
    • 6 am Jouvert
    • 8 pm Concert

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The 2020 St. Patrick’s Lecture

Gracelyn Cassell

One of the quieter events of the St. Patrick’s Festival is the St. Patrick’s Lecture’ which usually takes place near the beginning of the festival activities. It takes place this year on Tuesday evening, March 10 beginning at 6.00 p.m.

Often, the event which allows for discussion after the presentation, is lively with interest. This year it takes place as usual at the Cultural Centre on a somewhat unusual topic: Praedial Larceny: A Scourge on Agricultural Production and Food Security.

The presenter to be Miss Gracelyn Cassell who is currently the Resident Tutor and Head of the UWI School of Continuing Studies, now called The UWI Open Campus Site Montserrat.

The 2020 Lecture will explore the history of a problem that affected our enslaved ancestors in Montserrat and in the wider Caribbean and continues to affect us today.  In many jurisdictions, praedial larceny is reported as being on the increase, resulting in huge losses for farmers, fishers, and families.  The search for deterrents and workable solutions, including the use of technology, has intensified.

The presentation will take the form of an interactive discussion intended to capture the experiences of victims as well as perpetrators of a crime that was once punishable by flogging. 

It is anticipated that realistic solutions will emerge from the discourse and can be presented for consideration by Government officials and policymakers. 

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Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day Parade, which is attended by hundreds of thousands of people is set to be cancelled this year in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Coronavirus: Three new Irish cases confirmed as St Patrick’s Day parades cancelled

Reprint from the Irish Times

€2.6bn sick pay measures and business liquidity fund announced; stocks markets plunge

Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day Parade, which is attended by hundreds of thousands of people is set to be cancelled this year in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times
Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day Parade, which is attended by hundreds of thousands of people is set to be canceled this year in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Fiach Kelly, Martin Wall, Paul Cullen Updated: about 15 hours ago

Three newly discovered cases of coronavirus were reported on Monday evening, bringing the total of confirmed cases in the Republic to 24.

 The new cases included three women who had close contact with a confirmed case. Two, including one healthcare worker, are in the south of the country, and one is in the west.

 It has also emerged that one previously reported case involved a person who had traveled from Africa through a European country. This is the only travel-related case not linked to Italy.

Fourteen of the 24 cases are associated with travel from an at-risk zone, seven came from contact with a confirmed case and two have arisen in the health service. Three cases are the result of community transmission for which there is as yet no explanation.

Chief medical officer at the Department of Health Dr. Tony Holohan said Ireland remained in a containment phase, but would “eventually” move to a delay phase and then on to a mitigation phase.

Ireland still has a “relatively small number of mostly isolated, sporadic cases,” he said.

He said it is planned to introduce a number of measures relating to individual and collective behaviour but it was not to start these before they are necessary. “The measures we deploy have to be deployed at the right time,” he said, otherwise people would become “fatigued” and their compliance would drop.

The new cases come after the Government agreed on an aid package of some €3bn  to deal with the public health and economic impact of coronavirus. It has also canceled all St Patrick’s Day Parades in the State in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

Sick pay

People affected by coronavirus are to receive sick pay of €305 per week from their first day of illness under a new initiative announced by the Government. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the existing conditions surrounding the sick payments, such as having a specific number of contributions, would be waived. 
Payments will also be available to the self-employed.  The Taoiseach said emergency legislation to change the existing rules governing sick pay would be introduced in the Dail next week.  This measure is estimated to cost €2.4bn. 

The decisions were made following a meeting of the new Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 and followed advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team.

It says the HSE  is scaling up its actions to deal with a population impact over the coming months which will cost in the region of €435 million in 2020. It says a package for business will include a €200m “liquidity fund”. 

At a press conference in Government Buildings, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “It is possible we are facing events that are unprecedented in modern times”.


Mr. Varadkar said the State’s response has to be “modulated and has to be calibrated” and said decisions on how to react to Coronavirus will not be made “on foot of pressure” from business, politics, the media or social media.

He said the Government will have to make sure “that the interventions that are going to take place have to work” at the right time. He said the spread of Coronavirus cannot be stopped but “it can be slowed” and that it warrants a societal response as well as a medical response.

“If the worst projections come true – come to be the case – if a vaccine and a treatment is not developed then obviously the situation is going to be not like anything that we’ve experienced in our living memory,” he added.

Coronavirus outbreak: Main developments on Monday

In Northern Ireland, two schools have been closed for a deep clean after a student tested positive for coronavirus.  The health minister Robin Swann told the North’s Assembly that the schools are located on the same site.  Northern Ireland currently has 12 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Councilors in Belfast have voted to cancel the city’s St Patrick’s Day parade because of coronavirus. 

The St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin draws nearly 500,000 people and it is the latest in a series of large public events to be canceled. The celebrations were expected to generate  €73 million for the economy.

The last time St Patrick’s Day parades were canceled was due to the foot and mouth restrictions in 2001.

Concerns over the impact of coronavirus on the global economy on Monday prompted some of the biggest one-day stock market falls since the 2008 crash.

US stocks plunged 7 percent after opening on Monday, triggering a 15-minute trading halt for the first time since December 2008.

The France-Ireland Six Nations game which was scheduled to conclude the Guinness 2020 Six Nations in the Stade de France next Saturday was postponed until October.

It has also been confirmed Mr. Varadkar will shorten his St Patrick’s visit to the US to attend further meetings about coronavirus.

Mr. Varadkar is not attending an engagement in New York on Tuesday and instead will begin his trip in Washington on Wednesday.

Ireland’s match against France in the Six Nations has been postponed until October. Photograph: Reuters
Ireland’s match against France in the Six Nations has been postponed until October. Photograph: Reuters

Stock markets were also spooked by the stand-off between Saudi Arabia and Russia which has triggered a 30 percent crash in oil prices.

More than 110,000 people have been infected in 105 countries and territories and 3,800 have died, mostly in mainland China, according to a Reuters tally.


The whole of Italy is to be put on lockdown to deal with Coronavirus, the prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Monday.

He will move to extend restrictive measures on travel — currently in force in the north — throughout the rest of the country in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus after the number of cases soared by 25 percent. He also said all public gatherings will be banned.

The country has also reported 463 deaths from the virus an increase of 97 from Sunday. Italy’s cabinet is expected on Wednesday to approve a €7.5 billion package to help to offset the hit from the crisis.

Five people have died and 319 people have tested positive for the disease, up from 273 at the same point on Sunday, the UK’s department of health said.

All sporting activity at all levels in Italy has been suspended until April 3rd at the earliest, the Italian national Olympic committee (Coni) has announced.

The French government announced on Sunday it was banning all gatherings of more than 1,000 people in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Germany has reported four deaths and has also implemented a similar ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

European Union leaders will hold emergency talks soon to discuss a joint response to coronavirus, officials said on Monday, as the bloc’s executive considers relaxing state subsidy rules to allow extra public spending.

In the United States, officials are preparing to receive thousands of people onboard a cruise ship with at least 21 people on board infected by coronavirus.

More than 3,500 people on the ship come from 54 countries, including Ireland. – Additional reporting agencies

See below – more cancellations of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations:

Boston cancels St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Boston amid coronavirus fears

By Danny McDonald Globe Staff,Updated March 9, 2020, 12:07 p.m. 126

A pipes-and-drum band marches in the St. Patrick's Day parade in South Boston last year.
A pipes-and-drum band marches in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Boston last year. Nathan Klima for The Boston Globe

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston scheduled for Sunday has been canceled amid rising numbers of coronavirus infections in Boston, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced Monday.

“This decision is being made out of an abundance of caution to ensure that we are doing what is needed to keep the residents of Boston safe and healthy,” Walsh said in a news release that described the decision as a collaboration with state and city representatives and David Falvey of the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council.Related: Mass. coronavirus cases rise to 41 as events are canceled

CANCELED: 169th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival | San Francisco

Saturday, March 14, 2020 – All Day | Cost: FREE
Market Street | Market Street and Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CAFinancial DistrictSan Francisco

David Yu

The 2020 San Francisco Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival has been postponed. The permits for the Parade and the Festival—both scheduled for Saturday, March 14th, 2020—were canceled by the City and County of San Francisco on Friday, March 6th, 2020, as part of a series of measures designed to reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

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UK Caribbean Deportations to Go Ahead

UK Caribbean Deportations to Go Ahead

St. Kitts-Nevis Observer

By snr-editor – February 10, 2020

Rishi Sunak

A senior minister has defended a plan to deport 50 people toJamaica despite widespread calls to halt the flight chartered by the Home Office.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak insisted today that those being forcibly removed had committed “very serious offences” and their deportations were “reasonable”.

It comes after more than 150 cross-party MPs and peers, including Jeremy Corbyn, wrote to Boris Johnson calling on him to stop tomorrow’s flight.

One man facing deportation is 30-year-old Reshawn Davis (pictured above).

He was convicted of robbery 10 years ago and served a two-month jail sentence for the offence.

Mr. Davis has lived in the UK since he was 11 and if deported tomorrow, would have to leave behind his British wife and daughter – he has said he is “terrified” at the thought of returning to Jamaica.

This is the second flight to Jamaica after the Windrush Scandal, when it emerged that dozens of people had been wrongly deported from the UK by the Home Office.

In wake of the controversy, the government suspended charter flights as they could not guarantee that no wrongful deportations would take place.

The protest was organised by Nottingham East Labour MP Nadia Whittome, who warned that the government could repeat the mistakes of Windrush.

In the letter she said the deportation was intended to oust people who have been resident in the UK for decades and argued that deportations should be halted until a report into the Windrush controversy is released.

The MP said: “The fact is that many of the individuals in question have lived in the UK since they were children and at least 41 British children are now at risk of losing their fathers through this charter flight.

“The government risks repeating the mistakes of the Windrush scandal unless it cancels this flight and others like it until the Windrush Lessons Learned Review has been published and its recommendations implemented.”

But Mr Sunak said he believes the flight is “right” and the British public would expect foreign national offenders to be deported.

“What that plane is about is deporting foreign national criminals. Many of these people have committed crimes such as manslaughter, rape, other very serious offences,” he told Sky News.

Tajay Thompson came to the UK when he was five and has only visited Jamaica twice since

Another facing deportation to Jamaica is 23-year-old Tajay Thompson, who was convicted of a Class A drug offence as a teenager.

Mr. Thompson was brought to Britain as a five-year-old and lives with his mother and younger brother in south London, having only visited Jamaica twice on holidays since.

“I feel like I was born here. Jamaica is not my country,” he said.

“It’s not like I’m a rapist or a murderer, I’ve made a mistake when I was 17 and it’s now going to affect my whole life.”

Human Rights Appeal

An appeal has been renewed for Human Rights organisations worldwide to come to the aid of Caribbean immigrants who are the direct victims of the Windrush scandal.

Foreign Affairs Minister for Antigua and Barbuda EP Chet Greene echoed the call on Sunday on the Big Issues as the UK government gets ready to deport Caribbean nationals, some of whom arrived in the UK as children, and are parents of British children.

A flight, which is expected to depart the UK for Jamaica on Tuesday with approximately 60 deportees on board, is reportedly the second since the Windrush scandal erupted about two years ago.

“We are calling on all those rights organisations to come to the aid of the Caribbean people in the face of this wicked, very vindictive, very unlawful act on the part of the British government of deporting persons who have equity and stake in Britain,” Greene said.

The Windrush scandal erupted in 2018 when it came to light that some migrants from Commonwealth countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, who were encouraged to settle in the UK from the late 1940s to 1973, were being wrongly categorised as “illegal immigrants.”

News of the move sent shockwaves throughout the Caribbean and the rest of the Commonwealth, with many pundits raising alarm over the decision.

Posted in Court, Culture, Features, International, Legal, Local, News, Politics, Regional, UK - Brexit0 Comments

rasta protest march6

Police accused of wearing masks at ‘stop and search’ ‘routines’

Police tactics under complaint scrutiny

During this past week, an investigation has been launched into allegations made initially on social media, and accordinly from direct complaints about the approach taken by Officers while conducting stop and search procedures, here.

It is alleged that some officers of the RMPS, have been taking an aggressive approach when conducting stop & search activities. Some persons also claim that officers have been wearing facemasks, while carrying out these activities, and were not wearing ‘police’ uniform.  

Following now, is our first knowledge of the ongoing situation which is not from Social media, but as indicated.

Around the middle of the month our attention was drawn to an article by a colleague Jeevan A. Robinson – MNI Media | Date: 15 September 2019 – Montserrat | What is Happening at the RMPS? MNI Media Writes an Open Letter to the Gentlemen In Charge of the Royal Montserrat Police Service

It is further understood that names and identification as to who these Officers were, was refused when requested, Robinson said.

He continued that “The purpose of MNI’s open letter to you both today, as the two in charge of the RMPS, is not to offer condemnation; as I am almost certain that the aims of your role are to ensure that the island is served efficiently and appropriately by the Officers that make up the Police Service on Montserrat. However, MNI is sure you both are aware of recent instances where members of the public have been voicing openly, via social media, their concerns over the treatment they have experienced when interacting with some your Officers.

The article drew attention to a specific post on Facebook which we followed and found as follows: Trevon M Pollard 

September 15 at 1:45 AM · 

“Moments ago I was attacked by Four police officers Two from the previous batch released from the Montserrat Police Service and Two from the recent one all wearing dark clothing, except one in uniform they used indecent language, some threatening language such as you better watch yourself, you do not know what you have done , one also said Karma is a bitch, on not finding anything in my car they tried all kind of ploys to get me to attack one of them . One recruit as I was leaving threw himself on the bonnet of my car to say, “you want to knock me down that is assaulting an officer.” I am calling on the powers that be to take the necessary course of Justice as I made a formal report minutes ago.”

The MNIMedia editor in his article reported that he checked, as most journalists are expected to with stories that appear on social media, with Pollard.

He continued in his articled ‘open letter’, “It is known that factually the RMPS do conduct stop and search on members of the public. You have a job to do and that is understandable.

On the night Mr. Pollard was stopped and searched, it is understood that he was informed that he was suspected of having Cannabis (marijuana) in his possession. 

However, is it standard practice that RMPS Officers pull over citizens wearing face masks? Are these standard issue gear for your Officers? 

Is it also standard issue that your RMPS Officers should be wearing studded gloves that can inflict undue harm whether intentionally or unintentionally on members of the public with whom they come into contact?

Rastas marching up goverment headquaters

See the full article at:

The information that came from this was shocking enough and got us all here asking questions with ZJBNews also picking up on the story and reporting later.

What we discovered was even more surprising particularly that before and after the Commissioner reacted on ZJB radio there have been similar and worse complaints before, regarding the conduct of the police with the public in fairly recent times. We were surprised to learn that several of these complaints had been made to the police before that which caused the media to call for answers.

One returning and visiting Montserratian woman complained of being aggressively hustled out of her car and accused of having too many persons in the car, never knowing whether these were indeed police. She did launch a complaint but was too shaken to ask for IDs etc or names of the person carrying out the stop. Another woman complained of being harassed having been stopped three times within a short space of time and asked the same question even after she had complied by taking her driver’s license and registration records to the police station, the first-time round.

Some similar complaints from persons who have been accosted by who they realise are police officers, later, sometimes after skirmishes or unpleasant exchanges with who they discover were police officers, wearing masks. The police were often, mostly in plain clothes and there was at least one person who said that there was in one instance an officer in uniform, but who hid initially, making identification of the alleged police officers.

The Commissioner when challenged with the issue initially was cautious but spent much time explaining the police functions require them in carrying out their protection of the law to behave in a certain way, that is in keeping with the law, pointing out that no one is above the law. Eventually on the matter of the masks, he said that they are not part of the police kit.  Later speaking with ‘Basil on the Breakfast show’ last Friday, he reported that an internal investigation is on the way. He requested that persons with evidence of the same experience to contact ‘the police, through whatever means they chose.

We discovered that several persons who experienced the ‘stop and search’ accompanied by reportedly unusual and aggressive behaviour, even suffered loss.

Some persons claiming themselves to be members of the Rastafarian community who gather around the Carrs Bay area in Montserrat, also complained that the police had been behaving improperly, impose and trespass on their constitutional rights.

Hearing little and fearing no positive response following their complaints they were eventually moved to protest, launching a march today, which was being planned since Wednesday, to the Governor’s office, with placards and chants: “Police in masks? Terrorists! What we need? Justice! And who are we? Rastafari!

Outside the Governor’s office, spokesperson Karen Allen with whom I had spoken the Wednesday, spoke briefly pointing out the concerns centering around how they feel their constitutional rights have been abused. There they requested and met with the Governor and the Police Commissioner.

At the Governor’s press meet on the Wednesday 26th, we raised the issue of the recent complaints of the unconventional activities and behaviour of the police and the discomfort and distrust the public was beginning to express. With time running out, he responded that he had great confidence in the Police Commissioner who he said was handling the situation as described earlier. He startled us however, that regards to the masks, denying the allegations, “there were no masks he said, they were police gear…”

We will update this report as to the outcome of the Rastas’ protest march which included one of the stops and search victims who lost property, and the subsequent meeting with Governor Pearce and Commissioner Foster.

Posted in Crime, Culture, Featured, Local, News, Police, Regional, Religion0 Comments

Vernaire Bass

New head of Planning and Production at MAC

The Montserrat Arts Council (MAC) has a mandate to foster the development of art; uplift the condition of arts and artists; advise the Minister on art and cultural matters; ensure the implementation of the government’s cultural policy; implement government’s regional and international cultural commitments; and co-ordinate the activities of the agencies in Montserrat responsible for cultural activities.

It is on that background of responsibility that the MAC with an operational budget which is 100% funded by the Government of Montserrat, moved to appoint a Head of Planning and Production.

Vernaire Bass

The announcement came in a release on September 2, 2019, which said that “Vernaire Bass has been appointed to the position of Head of Planning and Production.”

Miss Bass is a recent returnee to Montserrat and brings to the position more than 10 years of experience as a project manager and business strategist.
Bass acquired a Bachelor of Arts with honours in Business and Business Law at the London Metropolitan University in 2009. Since leaving university, Vernaire has worked for large U.K. organisations including the Royal College of Physicians, the Ministry of Defence, Capita PLC, Birmingham City Council, and most recently for the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Montserrat.

MAC’s Director Kenneth “Rabo” Silcott said Bass’ “extensive experience in project management, programme design and execution made her a natural fit for the Head of Planning and Production role. She comes to the MAC at a time when we are repositioning the organisation to better support the development of culture as a strong economic catalyst. I am very pleased to have her join the team.”

The senior role leads on logistics and planning of all MAC programmes, including festivals and cultural events. She will also support the director as the point of contact between private stakeholders and vendors on production-related matters and is expected to identify new cultural industry products that will enhance Montserrat’s tourism product and generate economic activity.

Miss Bass joins the team as of September 6, 2019.

Posted in Announcements/Greetings, Business/Economy/Banking, Culture, Entertainment, Local, News, OECS, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

Documentation will get speedy remedies and actions

Documentation will get speedy remedies and actions

September 20, 2019

The Montserrat Premier has said several weeks ago that General Elections due in Montserrat before mid-January 2020 will likely be held before Christmas this year. Unsubstantiated and still no confirmation from a few weeks, a source mentioned that the elections would be held on December 8, 2019, but that’s a Sunday, then yet another says December 4.

What is certain is that just following the calamitous disaster of over two weeks ago in the Bahamas, electioneering utterances, well below the lowly Montserrat norm are increasing. And, we can begin to believe that it will not be too long now as we can hear reactions and jingles from the incumbents.

However, so far there is very little, as the old struggle of leadership among groupings, and party if they really exist, where none with the exception of Dr. L. Lewis and Easton T. Farrell, and Charles Kirnon have more than ten years’ service as a legislator. Then, the only one among the top three, Dr. Lewis is heads above the lot in many ways and some that count than the rest. Statements and denials regarding the matter surely do not help, as this place is far too small, numbers too few, to fool the people. A people whom we believe are smarter than the ignorance exhibited in some circles, too many for fact.

Just like the political education seem to be so wonting, there is a growing need for a serious rounded education system. The lack of a different, better and more fitting system results in that the fewness in our numbers leaves so many after 16 plus years – how could any child leave the Secondary School without mastering the very basics of reading and counting.

 It might be that there are a few, or maybe more than imaginable who feel smug about the so–called teachers protest at the beginning of this month. If all the reasons and expressed are correct for the need to get out and parade (protest) in front of the Karney Osborne Building that house the Ministry of Education, there was certainly some dishonest and ill directed motives involved.

Upon investigation of the situation one will find it difficult not to also conclude, surprisingly though it may be, that the whole concoct was politically motivated, if not wholly.

It was surprising to hear the Minister suggest that there was a shortage of communication that might have encouraged the outing, but that may well be expected given their record. However, there are teachers and top education officials who will say, “not true, even if they didn’t tell us all, we knew there were problems…”

We note that since May there was talk and discussionof some situations. And then quickly some things come to mind, with the low-level quality of the Human Resource Division and going back to about 2012-13 when the education budget was decreased, the system malfunctioning, with so many other variables.

One thing eventually crowned all, when the final report came to light, it sounded ecstatic for someone to say that coming out of the resulting protest meetings, they had been asked to put into writing what the issues has been that faced at school so the matter is looked at for speedy remedy. Really!? Very hard to comprehend that without some documentation a situation can end up to be in such bad state that people were ‘no wonder’ encouraged out in protest.

But then! That has been an issue for much of the problem we face which make a further problem as when it comes to dealing with the processes which involve documentation, it invokes discomfort, reluctance, refusal and confusion and of course problems with not so welcome consequences.

That the issues will need to be put in writing, some will surely suffer as there will be no trail to follow, and it might just be difficult to justify some requests. This is not referencing the new buildings to include those that need to be replaced. There are many more issues that need urgent and serious attention, with some honest planning and understanding to move them along.

Documentation works with truth, an obstacle in our culture, these days.

Posted in Culture, Editorial, Education, Local, Politics, Regional0 Comments

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