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Terror threat level reduced to ‘severe’ after Manchester arrests

As raids continue, Theresa May says armed soldiers will be gradually withdrawn from the streets after the bank holiday weekend

By Connor Sephton, News Reporter

Adapted: The UK’s terror threat level has been reduced from ‘critical’ to ‘severe’, the Prime Minister has confirmed.

At an emergency COBRA meeting, the independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre advised that the UK should return to the second highest level, which indicates an attack is highly likely rather than imminent.

Operation Temperer, which has seen armed soldiers support police on the streets, will be gradually stood down after the bank holiday weekend.

The terror threat level had been upgraded to critical following the Manchester bombing, which killed 22 people on Monday night.

Theresa May said the decision followed a “significant amount of police activity over the last 24 hours”. A total of 11 people suspected of having links to the terror attack are now in police custody.

However, the Prime Minister warned that the “country should remain vigilant” during the hundreds of events taking place over the coming days – including the FA Cup final at Wembley and the Premiership Rugby final at Twickenham.

Greater Manchester Police said the adjusted terror threat level will not affect its investigation, with the force stressing “the level of resources we have available to us remains the same”.

Armed police to guard bank holiday events

A bomb disposal van was sent to an operation in Moss Side on Saturday morning

Image: A bomb disposal van was sent to an operation in Moss Side on Saturday morning

The announcement came as an evacuation took place in Moss Side as part of a search linked to the Manchester terror attack.

Greater Manchester Police described the evacuation in the inner-city area as a “precautionary measure to ensure everyone’s safety”.

Boscombe Street was cleared by counter-terror officers on Saturday morning, and a bomb disposal van was sent to the scene.

Police lifted the cordon shortly before 12.30pm and residents were allowed back into the area.

Mark Rowley, the head of national counter-terrorism policing, said 17 searches had either concluded or were continuing – mostly in the North West.

Speaking outside Scotland Yard, he stressed there was still much to do and warned more searches and arrests were likely to take place in the coming days.

Overnight, officers performed a controlled explosion at a property in Cheetham Hill. Two men, 20 and 22, were arrested.

A bus was also stormed to detain a 44-year-old man in Rusholme.

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Police say they have tracked down a large part of the network linked to suicide bomber Salman Abedi – with “thousands of exhibits” now being examined by investigators.

“I think it is fair to say that there has been enormous progress with the investigation, but there is still an awful lot of work to do,” Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has said police cuts must be halted following the attack – and claimed the public would be willing to pay more to boost officer numbers.

“The feeling in Greater Manchester now is that police visibility has noticeably dipped. We have seen a 20% cut in police funding since 2010 and lost 2,000 officers,” Mr Burnham told The Times. “We need half of that back, probably more.”

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Six including opposition legislators charged in multi-million dollar fraud

 GEORGETOWN, Guyana, May 19, CMC. -Six persons including two opposition legislators and a former deputy Permanent Secretary were charged on Friday in connection with a multi-million dollar fraud at the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), dating back to 2011.

The six, all former GRDB board members were slapped with a fines totalling GUY$400 million, they were also ordered to surrender their passports.

CourtThe court was told that the opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) legislators Dharamkumar Seeraj and Nigel Dharamlall along with GRDB head Ricky Ramraj, former General Manager Jagnarine Singh, former GRDB board member Badrie Persaud and Former Ministry of Agriculture Deputy Permanent Secretary, Prema Roopnarine,conspired to omit entering different sums of money into a ledger .

Dharamlall was only charged in relation to the 2011 and 2012 omission while the others were slapped with all five charges.

The  six were charged following investigations that were prompted by the findings of a forensic audit.

All  of the Attorneys asked that their clients be released either on their own recognizance or reasonable bail as the prosecution requested more time for the filing of statements.

Defense Anil Nandlall argued that the charges do not relate to any missing money but rather to an omission to make an entry into a ledger.

He said that is largely a clerical function and the Board Members should not be held responsible for it adding that the error is miniscule and that the Auditor General, a Chartered Accountant and the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament did not raise any red flags.

Nandlall also questioned why from a Board of 15 members, only six were identified to be charged.

The matter has been adjourned until June 22 .

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Pirate attack

Boat captain feared dead following pirate attack


GEORGETOWN, Guyana , May 17, CMC – A boat captain is feared dead following an alleged attack by two masked pirates along the Corentyne River on Tuesday.

Pirate attackThe police report that Mahadeo Ramdyal, 44, also known as Chico was in the boat with two crew members when they were attacked by pirates.

The police believe that Ramdyal drowned as one of the attackers hit him on the head as he jumped overboard.

“The crew members managed to win to a vessel anchored some 100 meters from the shore,” the police said.

The pirates who are still at large reportedly stole the catch from the vessel as well as the engine that was attached to the boat.

The Corentyne River runs along the Guyana/Suriname border .


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Privy council dismisses case of murder convict

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, May 17, CMC – The UK based Privy Council has dismissed an appeal from a man who was convicted of the 2007 murder of his estranged wife.

Earlier this year Warrington Phillip approached the privy council after he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Shermell Williams Phillip.

COURTPhillip was convicted of the brutal stabbing death of his estranged wife in a Nevis court in 2008 and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Phillip had previously made two  appeals to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Appeal Court, both of which were dismissed.

His application to the Privy Council was his last resort to appeal his conviction.

Both Director of Public Prosecutions for St. Kitts and Nevis Valston Graham and Prosecutor Dane Hamilton QC , represented the Crown in the UK.

The case was heard in London in January but the judgment was handed down Wednesday with the conclusion being –  “For all the foregoing reasons, the Board will humbly advise Her Majesty that this appeal should be dismissed.”

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CRIME-Dramatic jump in arrest of Caribbean immigrants across the US

 WASHINGTON, May 18, CMC – The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says in the 100 days since US President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Orders (EOs) regarding immigration enforcement priorities, immigration agents have arrested more than 41,000 Caribbean and other immigrants who are either known or suspected of being in the US illegally.

On Wednesday, ICE said this reflects an increase of 37.6 per cent over the same period in 2016.

arrestsBetween January 22 and April 29, ICE said its Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) deportation officers administratively arrested 41,318 individuals on civil immigration charges.

Between January 24 and April 30, 2016, ERO arrested 30,028.

“These statistics reflect President Trump’s commitment to enforce our immigration laws fairly and across the board,” said ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan. “ICE agents and officers have been given clear direction to focus on threats to public safety and national security, which has resulted in a substantial increase in the arrest of convicted criminal aliens [immigrants].

“However, when we encounter others who are in the country unlawfully, we will execute our sworn duty and enforce the law,” he added. “As the data demonstrates, ICE continues to execute our mission professionally and in accordance with the law, and our communities will be much safer for it.”

ICE said nearly 75 per cent of those arrested during this period in 2017 are convicted criminals, with offenses ranging from homicide and assault to sexual abuse and drug-related charges.

The arrest of immigrants at-large in the community increased by more than 50 per cent, from 8,381 last year to 12,766 arrests this year during the same period, ICE said.

It said the arrest of convicted criminal immigrants climbed nearly 20 percent, from 25,786 last year to 30,473 this year, adding that violent crimes, such as homicide, rape, kidnapping and assault accounted for more than 2,700 convictions.

In total, since Trump signed the EROs, ICE said its immigration enforcement activity has resulted in more than 400 arrests per day, “including the capture of egregious and violent offenders.”

While these data clearly reflect the fact that convicted criminals are an immigration enforcement priority, ICE said Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has made it clear that ICE will no longer exempt any class of individuals from removal proceedings if they are found to be in the US illegally.

ICE said this is evident by the rise in non-criminal arrests over the same period, which increased from about 4,200 in 2016 to more than 10,800 in 2017.

“All of those arrested will receive the due process afforded to them under the law,” Homan said. “ICE will take action to remove individuals subject to a final order by a federal immigration judge.

“We are a nation of laws, and ignoring orders issued by federal judges undermines our constitutional government,” he added.

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Andre West arrested on charges of allegations of deception on the job

Fire Chief Andre West

In June last year authoritative sources were unwilling to disclose or confirm the reasons why Mr. Andre West of Barzey’s had been relieved of his duties as Fire Chief at the Royal Montserrat Police and Fire Services where he was also in charge of Search and Rescue Services.

Up to April last, with West not yet having returned to his duties, still, no one wanted to be quoted but confirmed that investigations were ongoing into allegations of activities conducted by West surrounding his duties. Eventually just under two weeks ago TMR learnt of charges and arrest being made in the matter, not published since for two weeks adequate resources have prevented the publication of the newspaper.

Now amidst questions of procedural correctness, the police on Tuesday, May 9 confirm magistrate court hearings that Andre West appeared before Chief Magistrate Lakmal Wickramasooriya, on several charges for allegedly using his position to illegally obtain services, to include obtaining services by deception and two counts of Evasion of liability by deception. West plead not guilty, and as such the matter is adjourned to September 4, 2017.”

According to one report, under the penal code of Montserrat a person who by any deception dishonestly obtains property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it shall be guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for ten years. A ZJB report had stated part of the offences is regarding Customs duty and shipping cost on items coming from the United Kingdom.

 Sources has said that West has opted to have his charges heard summarily in the Magistrate’s Court.

Fire Chief Andre West. The investigation into the suspected wrong doing began in June 2015 and resulted in West being charged with several offences in the Magistrates Court last Tuesday. Among the offences was obtaining services by deception and two counts of evasion of liability by deception. ZJB News understands that the offence of evasion of liability by deception is regarding Customs duty and shipping cost on items coming from the United Kingdom. West will appear before the court again in September, was appointed Chief of the Montserrat Fire & Rescue Service in 2014 he was reportedly sent on leave last year to allow for a full investigation into the allegations.

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shot up car in nevis

Woman killed in Nevis shooting incident – another injured

CHARLESTOWN, Nevis, Apr. 17, CMC– A woman was killed and another injured early Monday in a shooting incident in the community of Cotton Ground.

shot up car in nevisA police source who confirmed the incident said the women were reportedly heading home from a bingo game, shortly before 4:00 am (local time) when the car they were in was attacked.

They were taken to the Alexandra Hospital where one of the women- Morella Webbe, 28, died from her injures. The other woman, Sonia Grant, 34, was admitted.

As investigations continue, it is not known how many persons were involved in what is believed to be an attempted robbery.

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Port worker sentenced to prison on customs charges

Image result for montserrat port authorityKeston Riley pleaded guilty to a charge of fraudulent evasion of customs duty charged with two others. Riley’s sentencing was postponed pending character reports, pending sentencing which was due to take place on March 31.

The Montserrat Port Authority, now potential former employee to his surprise was given a two-month prison sentence for illegally removing car tires from the port’s warehouse last year. Justice Iain Morley in imposing the sentence, after he had sentenced one other who pleaded guilty in the same matter to a fine of $3,000.00, reportedly said that Riley must serve at least two thirds of his sentence before any release from jail. A third person also charged with for a similar offence in the same matter had the charge against him dropped.

Riley is said to have quietly expressed unease about his sentence. It is believed although his Attorney David S Brandt has not so indicated Riley may be considering the move that an Appeal might be in his favour, in that several other counts of the same charge had been dropped prior to his guilty plea.

The young Montserratian man has found sympathy with persons in the community regarding the prison sentence which had been early hinted by the judge because he is mainly responsible for an infant and a sick mother.

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Police officer freed of murdering pregnant woman

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Apr 4, CMC – A police corporal has been freed of murdering a 25-year-old pregnant woman who was shot and killed during an attempt to arrest here for using obscene language in  September 2012.

The incident had sparked two days of protests in the vicinity of the Yallahs Police Station, a suburban parish in the southeasten section of the island,  where the shooting occurred on September 1.

CourtThe seven-member jury late Monday acquitted Dwayne Smart of the murder and manslaughter in the death of Kay-Ann Lamont, who was eight months pregnant at the time, He was also found not guilty of wounding with intent in the shooting of Lamont’s sister.

The prosecution had alleged that Lamont was being taken into custody for using expletives when she was shot in the head by Smart. There was also evidence, during the four-week trial that her sister was shot while rushing to her defence.

However, Smart, through his attorney, argued that the killing was an accident. He also contended that he was facing a hostile mob opposed to his decision to arrest Lamont. He said that during his attempt to arrest her, a scuffle ensued and they both fell to the ground. Smart said that he tripped and his firearm accidentally went off as he attempted to get back on his feet.

Lamont’s sister, Shemean Lamont, who testified that she witnessed the shooting, said “I don’t understand how this man can shoot a pregnant lady and get away with everything.

“This is not right, this is not true. Right now I don’t think I can explain this,” she told reporters.

Attorney Dorothy Lightbourne, QC, said that the family has filed a civil suit against the State for negligence.

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Gunmen in shooting spree in Trinidad and Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Mar 31, CMC – At least three people were shot and killed as gunmen fired on a group of people in a village in Maraval, west of here on Thursday night, police said.

They said that eight people were in a group on the roadway in the Le Platte Village when a motor vehicle pulled up and gunshots were heard. Five people were shot while three others were said to have received superficial injuries.

crimmeThe authorities said Collin Letren, 25, Kayode Critchlow, 24 and Joel Le Platte, 35, were killed, while Dominique Le Platte and Dayna Le Platte were also injured.

Media reports said that the gunmen had come into the village in search of a gang leader.

Meanwhile, two brothers were shot and killed in Arima, east of here on Thursday as Trinidad and Tobago recorded at least  125 murders so far this year.

Police said Joel and George Hoyte were standing outside their home in Arima when a vehicle pulled up and the occupants pointed machine-guns at the brothers hitting them several times. One of the gunmen is reported to have come out of the vehicle and fired several shots in the bodies of the two brothers.

No arrests have been made in any of the killings.

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