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Trinidad and Tobago observing 56th anniversary of independence

Trinidad and Tobago observing 56th anniversary of independence

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Aug 31, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago observed its 56th anniversary of political independence from Britain on Friday with the traditional military parade and differing statements from the politicians regarding the socio-economic development of the oil-rich twin island republic.

While President Paula Mae Weekes noted that independence is a work in progress she urged citizens to continue ensuring the development of the country.

“Fellow citizens, on 31 August 1962, Trinidad and Tobago shook off the reins of colonialism and dared to go it alone. To the tolling of bells, the Union Jack was lowered for the final time and the red, white and black hoisted to signal the birth of our nation.”

She said since that time Trinidad and Tobago has enjoyed a relatively stable democracy, significant economic transformation and general improvement in the quality of life of its citizens.

But she said considering the current challenges of crime and the economy, plus the island’s use of the London-based Privy Council as its final court, the world economy and global climate change, she asked how independent Trinidad and Tobago is.

“Political separation from the United Kingdom was only the first step of our long journey of self-discovery.

“Independence has never been a static notion. It implies the constant working-out of identity and purpose, sovereignty over one’s decisions and taking responsibility for one’s actions.”

In his message Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley the anniversary of independence provides citizens with another opportunity to reflect on the meaning of citizenship and the value of its national identity.

“The world has brought us news of nations gripped by civil war, anarchy and terror. In many countries people do not enjoy the freedoms we may be tempted to take for granted. That our democracy has remained intact these 56 years is no small feat.

“This deserves celebration given our status as one of the most multi-cultural societies in the western world. We have largely used our diversity as a bridge to make connections with each other. We’ve enjoyed a deep harmony that is intrinsic to our identity as nationals of this beloved country. We must guard our unity zealously. This defence is especially needed in turbulent times,” he said.

Rowley said that it is times of difficulty that the urge to retreat to narrow interests and partisan lines can become the strongest.

“But we must resist this and seek instead an agreeable guidepost. But how do we find common ground in an often polarising environment?,” he asked suggesting that the country remember the words of the first prime minister Dr. Eric Williams who said “whatever the challenge that faces you, from whatever quarter, place always first that national interest and the national cause”.

Rowley said he has no doubt that “we will do what is needed to create sustainable growth and national development. It is our responsibility as loyal citizens to ensure that our children can be proud of the decisions that we must make today”.

However, Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad Bissessar said the independence anniversary provides an opportunity “to undertake a sober, piercing assessment of our progress and the difficulties that still lie ahead.

“The question must be asked: Have we achieved the Trinidad and Tobago which the leaders of our fight for independence envisioned more than half a century ago? In answering this question, we must decide whether we wish to maintain the status quo, or determine the future that we want for our children and grandchildren.

“There is no question that our country today faces significant issues, and there appear to be no moves by the current administration to deal frontally with the problems affecting people, including escalating crime, inadequate health care, reduced opportunities for education of our young people, job losses, high cost of living, and a declining economy,” she said.

She was critical of the government’s “silence” over the decision to shut down the oil refinery at the state-owned oil company, PETROTRIN, saying that the government had “failed to articulate a plan to address the issue of the state-owned company’s debt, and the long-term impact of the restructuring exercise on Trinidad and Tobago’s economy”.

Meanwhile, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General, Irwin laRocque has in a congratulatory message paid tribute to the creativity and dynamism of the people of Trinidad and Tobago as well as recognising the “significant contributions” that the country has made to the regional integration process.

“Additionally, Trinidad and Tobago, as a founding member of the Community and lead Member State on regional security and energy issues, continues to make significant contributions to Caribbean integration and to the promotion and attainment of citizen and energy security,” he said.

United States Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, said that Washington and Port of Spain “have always enjoyed rich cross-cultural exchange, friendship, and the shared goal of building a more safe and secure region as underscored in the Caribbean 2020 strategy.

“We are grateful for the continued strong partnership as our countries work to deepen cooperation on trade, energy, and opportunity for all,” he said.

Posted in Announcements/Greetings, Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Featured, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

ExxonMobil makes ninth discovery offshore Guyana

ExxonMobil makes ninth discovery offshore Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Aug. 30, CMC – The US based oil giant, ExxonMobil has announced the discovery of approximately 197 feet (60 metres) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir at the Hammerhead-1  – the ninth discovery of oil in the Stabroek Block  and the fifth within the last year.

President of ExxonMobil, Steve Greenlee says the Hammerhead-1 discovery reinforces the potential of the Guyana basin, where ExxonMobil is already maximizing value for all stakeholders through rapid phased developments and accelerated exploration plans.

“The Development options for Hammerhead will consider an ongoing evaluation of reservoir data, including a well test,” Greenlee said.

Discoveries of approximately four billion oil-equivalent barrels were made prior on the Stabroek Block at Liza, Liza Deep, Payara, Snoek, Turbot, Ranger, Pacora and Longtail with the potential for up to five floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels producing more than 750,000 barrels per day by 2025.

A second exploration vessel, the Noble Tom Madden, is due to arrive in Guyana in October to accelerate exploration of high potential opportunities and will commence drilling at the Pluma prospect, approximately 17 miles (27 kilometres) from Turbot.

The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres .

ExxonMobil affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, is the operator and holds 45 percent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Limited holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 per cent interest.

First oil is expected to be produced in the first quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, the government continues to put systems in place for the management of revenues from this new developing natural resource. Just recently, a green paper on the National Resource Fund (NRF) Guyana’s version of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) was laid in the National Assembly.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Environment, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

Dr Jules and Dir Henri Yacou shake hands at OECS HQts

OECS and CGSS of Guadeloupe Sign Cooperation Agreement on Healthcare

General Director of the CGSS, Mr. Henri Yacou, signs Protocole d’Accord (MOU) in General Director of the CGSS, Mr. Henri Yacou, signs Protocole d’Accord (MOU) in Guadeloupe. (OECS Photo)

The OECS Commission has in an OECS Media Statement informed the following:

On Thursday, August 23, 2018 — Efforts to facilitate the ease of access to medical care in the French Departments of the Eastern Caribbean for nationals of OECS Member States were reinforced by a recent cooperation agreement signed by the OECS Commission and the General Social Security Fund of Guadeloupe (Caisse Generale Sécurité Sociale – CGSS).

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS Commission and Mr. Henri Yacou, General Director of CGSS.

Inter alia, the Agreement seeks to:

  1. Address the administrative, logistical and financial barriers that OECS Member States face when accessing health services in the French Departments in the Eastern Caribbean; and
  2. Facilitate the exchange of information and capacity building in an effort to support the development of regional approaches to health services and the portability of health benefits backed by adequate health insurance.

The MOU follows a visit of the CGSS General Director, Mr. Henri Yacou, and his team to the OECS Commission’s offices in Saint Lucia in June, 2018.

Dr Jules and Dir Henri Yacou shake hands at OECS HQts

Dr. Didacus Jules said, “We are very aware of the exorbitant costs associated with extra-regional travel for medical care. The Commission has been actively seeking to create linkages with our French neighbours to expand access to specialised healthcare within the region and this agreement with the CGSS in Guadeloupe is a materialisation of these efforts. We look forward to deepening areas of cooperation in the years ahead.”

Mr. Henri Yacou informed, “It’s a real pleasure to have signed this agreement between CGSS and OECS.”

“I sincerely wish that this project will facilitate the free movement of citizens of the OECS to access health care in the best conditions possible.”

 

 

The CGSS team is presently working on a plan for:

  • A pilot project in the OECS with a French health insurance company;   
  • Unique identification numbers for citizens of Member States; and
  • A financially and legally secure partnership with hospital establishments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Martin.

 The Agreement came into effect in July 2018 and will last, in the first instance, for a period of three years.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Health, Local, News, OECS, Science/Technology0 Comments

US relaxes Cuba travel advisory

US relaxes Cuba travel advisory

WASHINGTON, Aug.26,  , CMC – The United States Department of State has toned down its travel advisory for Cuba.

The State Department on Friday reduced its advisory to the Spanish-speaking Caribbean island from Level 3, “reconsider travel,” to Level 2, “exercise increased caution.”

According to the State Department ratings, Level 1 means “exercise normal precautions,” and Level 4 means “do not travel.”

Under the revised travel advisory, the State Department urged Americans to “exercise increased caution in Cuba due to attacks targeting US Embassy Havana employees resulting in the drawdown of embassy staff.

“Numerous US Embassy Havana employees appear to have been targeted in specific attacks,” it said, adding: “We are unable to identify the source.  Many of these employees have suffered injuries.”

The State Department said affected individuals have exhibited a range of physical symptoms, including ear complaints and hearing loss, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems and difficulty sleeping.

It said attacks have occurred in US diplomatic residences, including a long-term apartment at the Atlantic, and at Hotel Nacional and Hotel Capri in Havana, the Cuban capital.

The State Department said the US Embassy in Havana is operating with reduced staffing. 

It also said family members cannot accompany US government employees who work in Cuba.

“If you decide to travel to Cuba, avoid Hotel Nacional and Hotel Capri,” the advisory said. “If you experience any acute auditory or sensory phenomena, immediately move to another area.

“Know where to seek medical care in Cuba,” it added. “Consult with a medical professional prior to traveling if you have personal health concerns or upon return if you believe you have suffered symptoms similar to those listed above.

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It's long been known that Apple cofounder Steve Jobs treated people cruelly, but his daughter's new autobiography offers new details.YouTube/AllThingsD

The shame of Steve Jobs, as told by his shunned daughter

Published by Q U A R T Z
 
THINK DIFFERENT
By Ephrat Livni  August 25, 2018
A portrait of Steve Jobs made of thousands of pieces of chewed gum, by artists Anna-Sofiya Matveeva.

Lisa Brennan-Jobs is the daughter of a postmodern god. Steve Jobs’ enduring influence after his 2011 death proves the legendary Apple innovator is an immortal of sorts. Now, the child he initially rejected is releasing a memoir that shows the man who may be the most admired technologist of all time was deeply flawed.

Small Fry, which comes out on Sept. 4 and was excerpted in Vanity Fair (paywall) this month, is intended to be an honest retrospective, its author says. Brennan-Jobs, who was not acknowledge by her father as his own for many years, frames his famous story in her own words, to heal and recapture, to get the last word, as she says in an Aug. 23 New York Times profile (paywall).

The book excerpt and the profile piece reveal a woman who appears deeply scarred by her father’s early rejection, though she urges understanding and forgiveness. It’s almost as if she’s being held hostage by the memory of the man, and identifying with her captor, like someone suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. She asks the Times’ Nellie Bowles,“Have I failed in fully representing the dearness and the pleasure? The dearness of my father, and the outrageous pleasure of being with him when he was in good form?”

The answer to that question is, from what we’ve seen so far, is yes. What she has revealed—Jobs’ emotional callousness, his spiritual and financial stinginess with her—cast a dark shadow on his legendary status.

Lisa Brennan-Jobs marks a remarkable life

Brennan-Jobs has just turned 40, gotten married, and given birth to her own child. In a discussion of milestones with the Wall Street Journal on Aug. 13, she explains, “It was important that I examine parts of my life [in my memoir] that seemed shameful or embarrassing so I could try to understand them differently. Milestones are big enough that if you’re lucky you’re going to learn more about yourself. In this case the only way to get to something truthful was to write, to dig.”

And do she did. Brennan-Jobs reveals her complicated backstory. She was born in 1978 on a farm in Oregon. Her father, then 23, wasn’t there: “My father arrived a few days later,” she writes. “‘It’s not my kid,’ he kept telling everyone at the farm, but he’d flown there to meet me anyway. I had black hair and a big nose, and [his friend] said, “’She sure looks like you.’”

This was, of course, before Jobs was famous, and was just another young guy refusing to acknowledge paternity or pay child support. He was working on a personal computer that didn’t succeed—it was named the Lisa, like his daughter. But he would not admit a connection. When Brennan-Jobs was a teen, Apple was a successful public company, and her father had evolved into the role of icon, she held on to the idea that the Lisa tag was evidence of love. She writes:

By then the idea that he’d named the failed computer after me was woven in with my sense of self, even if he did not confirm it, and I used this story to bolster myself when, near him, I felt like nothing. I didn’t care about computers…but I liked the idea that I was connected to him in this way. It would mean I’d been chosen and had a place, despite the fact that he was aloof or absent. It meant I was fastened to the earth and its machines. He was famous; he drove a Porsche. If the Lisa was named after me, I was a part of all that.

Jobs finally did admit Lisa was named after the girl. Not because she asked. At a visit to the rock star Bono’s house, the U2 frontman inquired—with Brennan-Jobs, then 27, nearby—whether the computer was named for her. Jobs hesitantly admitted it was. “‘That’s the first time he’s said yes,’ I told Bono. ‘Thank you for asking,’” she writes. “As if famous people needed other famous people around to release their secrets.”

What was once hidden now holds hope

Brennan-Jobs is now famous herself and releasing her own secrets. Yet she seems profoundly wounded, trapped still, though she claims writing the memoir helped to free and heal her. She tells the Times that while penning the book, she covered mirrors around her work space with paper, admitting “I don’t like catching myself in the mirror because it’s like—‘Oh, self.’”

Similarly, she asks her profiler to describe her in her own words, offering a self-deprecating account of her face. “My face is uneven. I have small eyes. I wish I had dimples, but I don’t. I think right now I look jowly…My nose is not particularly delicate.”

Rather than being the memoirist recapturing her own tale, it seems as if her father’s voice is narrating her life story—one in which Brennan-Jobs is failing at being a successful family member, will inherit nothing from her father, and who stinks like a toilet. Those are just a few of the many cruel things Jobs said to her. (He did ultimately put her in his will.)

Perhaps it’s impossible to escape the shadow of a dark master like Jobs, who also happens to be your father and despite being widely acknowledge as a genius, is not a talented dad. Brennan-Jobs defends him anyway, saying he was was just unusually honest and that his toughness taught her valuable lessons.

For the rest of us, who don’t have to deal with Jobs’ legacy personally, the revelations only serve to take the icon—never admired for cuddliness—down another notch. What Small Fry and Brennan-Jobs show is something we already know and don’t like admitting. Our cultural heroes and accomplished geniuses are only just people, and often not particularly good ones.

See also: https://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-terrible-small-fry-daughter-book-2018-8

The memoir by Steve Jobs’ daughter makes clear he was a truly rotten person whose bad behavior was repeatedly enabled by those around him

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US Embassy to waive visa renewal interviews for Barbadians

US Embassy to waive visa renewal interviews for Barbadians

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Aug 23, CMC – The United States (US) Embassy has announced that from August 28, it will waive visa renewal interviews in Barbados for qualified applicants.

It said the move is part of the US Government’s efforts to improve customer service and streamline the visa process.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Embassy said Barbados passport holders may qualify for a visa renewal interview waiver if their previous visa expired within the past 12 months and they are applying for the same visa category as their previous visa.

“The applicant must be physically present in Barbados or within the consular district of the US Embassy in Bridgetown to avail themselves of this option. Additionally, the previous US visa must be in the applicant’s possession, and the applicant must have submitted a ten-fingerprint scan in conjunction with the previous visa application,” it said.

Students who wish to renew their visas, and who satisfy the requirements may qualify for interview waiver if they are applying to continue attendance at the same institution, or will continue the same major course of study at a different institution. Applicants seeking to renew work-related visas who are returning to work for the same employer/company as annotated on the previous visa may also qualify. Applicants under the age of 14 and over 79 will continue to qualify for interview waiver in most visa classifications.

However, third country nationals must schedule an interview.

The US Embassy stressed that eligibility for interview waiver does not automatically entitle applicants to a waiver of the interview requirement.

It added that there will be further expansion of interview waivers in US Embassy Bridgetown’s consular district in the coming weeks.

CMC/2018

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United Airlines announces historic additional flights to St Kitts

United Airlines announces historic additional flights to St Kitts

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Aug 22, CMC – For the first time in St Kitts and Nevis’ history, United Airlines will fly a second weekly nonstop flight from its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport, complementing the carrier’s existing Saturday service.

Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce Lindsay Grant said the addition of a mid-week flight marks yet another historic first for the twin-island federation this year.

“I could not be more pleased to welcome this additional service, which increases the available options for visitors and Diaspora to get to island during peak travel season from the New York metropolitan area, which is our primary source market for arrivals,” he said.

For the January 9 to March 6, 2019 period, United will operate a total of nine scheduled round-trip, non-stop Wednesday flights between Newark and St. Kitts.

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, said having the Wednesday flight gives travellers more flexibility in their vacation planning and provides increased capacity during the period when demand is highest.

“This is a testament to the success of our work to grow North American airlift from key gateways in order to accommodate new hotel developments and existing hotel product upgrades,” she said.

United first began serving St. Kitts in December 2015 and continues to operate non-stop Saturday flights from Newark.

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Private sector group wants an end to breaches of confidentiality

Private sector group wants an end to breaches of confidentiality

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Aug 22, CMC – The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture (SLCCA) s warning both private and public sector workers of engaging in breaching confidentiality. which it said is hurting the country.

SLCCA executive diretor Brian Louisy said he was urging the political parties here to speak out against the practice, which he said is hurting the economic interest of the country.

Brian Louisy

“We are concerned about frequent breaches of confidentiality in the public service and private sector, as this practice could inevitably result in harm to this country’s economic interests,” Louisy wrote in the latest issue of ‘ED’s Perspective’, the official publication of the private sector group.

He described confidentiality breaches as ‘a disturbing issue’ within the public and private sector, noting that “employees are now flippantly “leaking” documents of a private nature regularly without concern for the ramifications.

“The impact on business people’s confidence, both foreign and local, as to respect of privacy when doing business in Saint Lucia is now real.

“Will my competitor soon know my every business detail once I do business with the government of St. Lucia? Will my personal and business banking information make its way to social media?”  Louisy asked.

He said leaders in the country need to speak out and bring this practice to a stop, “or we will all pay the price”.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Education, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Jaden Sun

Special Day Trip to Guadweloupe reported a success

The Access Division, reports that under the portfolio of the Office of the Premier, embarked on a special daytrip to Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe on Saturday July 28th, with more than 80 passengers. 

Jaden Sun

Highlighting the fact that they do not advertise with The Montserrat Reporter, the report states as follows: “Following months of promotions on Radio Montserrat (ZJB), ZDK Radio in Antigua and social media posts, 130 persons registered for the day trip.  87 of those registered took to the seas, via MV Jaden Sun, alongside Marketing Officer in the Tourism Division, Cherise Aymer and a Nurse Nadine Sweeney from the Glendon Hospital. 

Jaden Sun

While in Guadeloupe, there was a plaque exchange between a representative of the Mayor of Pointe a Pitre, Cherise Aymer and Captain Elvis Gooding of MV Jaden Sun.  As part of the activities, some persons had pre-arranged tours to the Botanical Gardens, Rum Factory and Waterfall, Rainforest, the Zoo and Chocolate factory. Meanwhile, others chose to explore Pointe a Pitre city on their own, where they took in the sites, cultural performances and retail therapy.

Based on feedback survey forms completed by the passengers on board the ferry 63% of the responders expressed that they had a good experience on the Jaden Sun and the service provided by the crew.  All passengers that completed the survey commented that they would participate in another day excursion organised by the Access Division.  Although the majority of persons are requesting a follow-up overnight trip in the near future to Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, there is also a huge demand for visits to St. Maarten or Martinique.

The journey took approximately four (4) hours each way.

The Access Division expresses heartfelt gratitude to the authorities in Pointe a Pitre, Montserrat Border controls, the Ministry of Health, Captain and crew of MV Jaden Sun and all of our valued customers who made this day trip possible.”

In an observation and following up on TMR’s earlier questions and suggestion we wonder how many readers of TMR both online and in print did not know of the trip to Guadeloupe. Meanwhile among other queries, how come with the huge St. Kitts/Nevis support of festivals in Montserrat, no reciprocity is offered when St. Kitts/Nevis are having their festivals for residents in Montserrat and Antigua to take a trip to celebrate with the neighbors across the waters.

We trust that those read

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Region to benefit from re-launched climate change project

Region to benefit from re-launched climate change project

BELMOPAN, Belize, Aug 23, CMC – The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) says it expects to roll out its “1.5˚ to Stay Alive – An Educational Initiative’ programme across the region in 2019.

The CCCCC Tuesday completed a teachers training workshop here as part of its education and outreach work to embed climate change in the region’s education sector.

CCCCC executive director, Dr. Kenrick Leslie, addressing teachers at the workshop

It said the four-unit curriculum -the Warming Climate, Sea Level Rise, Pine Forest and Social Impacts of Global Warming –  includes teaching and learning activities and a range of supporting materials such as worksheets, photographs, posters, suggestions for power point presentations, and videos.

Teachers conduct experiments that simulated some of the impacts of climate change using safe household items and the CCCCC said that through this means of engagement, the educators examined ways in which climate change can be incorporated in their syllabus, with the intent to increasing sensitisation and awareness of climate change impacts and community vulnerability; heighten ability to link personal actions to the broader climate change discussion and increase capacity to conduct vulnerability assessments of communities.

In addition, it is also intended to identify practical adaptation measures to reduce vulnerability.

The CCCCC said that the training workshop here emphasised the need to educate children to build climate resilience through sustainable practices and development by utilising new-aged climate-smart technology and alternative energy sources.

It said educators who completed the programme have been provided with teaching materials, manuals and workbooks and will be awarded a certificate for eight Professional Development hours towards their licence by the Teacher Education & Development Services (TEDS).

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