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Devastation in the village of Harris’ Below is the same area two weeke before

25 years unforgotten memory of volcanic destruction – ‘fighting’? volcano destruct, now COVID-19

In a Government of Montserrat release, for what or any significance that may be attached, superstitiously or otherwise, it declared that July 15, 2020, was “declared a public holiday on Montserrat, in observance of 25 years since the start of volcanic activity.”

It almost evaded my attention until the very day, having not seen the promised “order of service” which, “with other details was to be published at a later date. Meantime the day July 15, would be “observed as a National Day of Prayer, Reflection, and Thanksgiving, under the theme ‘25 Years on, we are still here’.  The National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving service will be held at 5:00 p.m. at the Look Out Catholic Church.”

Yet to be forgotten as a time in history, with Montserrat is not yet near a place or time a quarter of a century (25 years) later that it can say the loss was for better days, as it has been for others with somewhat similar experience.

It is still confusing why that holiday was not given on the eve which was Friday.

As for the theme, which seemed an effort at expressing some pride by those saying it, but to me, it is quite empty. Giving God thanks, of course, but…

Five years ago, remembering this day from 20 years prior, in the article under a headline caption “Bringing 20 year volcanic crisis perspectives – Recapturing: THE VOLCANO and DEATH, we opened: “In this week’s issue we mostly feature articles and reports from first issues after July 18, 1995 and from immediately after June 25, 1997.

“This, especially in light of discussions that have taken place as a committee set up to plan the 20th-year anniversary of the beginning of what is still referred to as the eruption of Soufriere Hills volcano; “where we came from, where we ought to be, and where we want to go.”

There were some memorable times from that commemoration. It is that which makes us declare the theme of this year’s Thanksgiving seems wrong. Expect more on this.

At that time we also wrote referring to articles from 1995 on…, “… we still hope our readers may now, following, hearing or having heard or followed the debate and discussions, make their own determination as to where we are and know where we are going.

We wish the conversation now would be updated with real pride but we still find we must say, Really, as is said it is time for action. “Everyone”, they say, “has their part to play.” And isn’t odd though that those last words, we have heard them time and time again. Still more to come.

So like 20 years ago and often enough we present as we recapture for the benefit of going forward and for those who might now get a sense of then.

For Bishop Melroy’s references:

https://www.themontserratreporter.com/mdc-shut-down-montserrat-back-five-years/

It is fifteen years on and featured speaker Bishop Melroy Meade said that one day was not enough. In a passionate message, he called for a week of Thanksgiving during which time residents would give thanks to God for his protection, preservation, and faithfulness over the last fifteen years. The congregation that came together to give God thanks appeared to have agreed with him.

Bishop Meade likened the experience in Montserrat to that of Job when everything he had was taken away, but he pointed to a better day which is coming. He also referred to the determination, resoluteness, and pride of a people who have suffered greatly. Like Job, people don’t understand what Montserratians went through but when they become familiar with the island, the resilience of the people they too want to embrace it, he said.

According to Bishop Meade, “The truth is our trials come to make us strong and life cost what it cost and it never goes on sale.”

By Bennette Roach

Devastation in the village of Harris’ Below is the same area two weeke before
Devastation in the village of Harris’

One of the conditions the British Governor of Montserrat and the local Government never wanted to exist, is that they would ever have to report that lives were lost as a direct result of volcanic activity in Montserrat.

On the night of July 18, 1995, residents not far away from Soufriere Hills could hear what they later described as roaring sounds like those that come from jet planes, and it was soon realized by all that a volcano that lay in waiting at English Crater in Soufriere Hills had come alive.

Soon after from several and continuous radio broadcasts, and interviews from scientists, the Governor and the Chief Minister, his office and the offices of the Emergency Operating Centre (EOC), we were to learn that there has always been this volcano, that there have been activities at approximately 30 – 35-year intervals since the turn of this century; that there have been studies, one as recent as the mid-80s, which suggested that there will be serious activities around this time.

No attention whatever was paid to these facts and so here we were in July, less than a month under two years ago, with an erupting volcano and every resident as ignorant as ever to the dangers that this could pose for Montserrat. Since that time it has been a downhill battle, which may have not yet culminated, but which has now directly claimed the lives of at least 10 people with more almost certain to be confirmed when the ash becomes cool enough to be cleared in some way.

1997 6 24 pics
Home demolished by the power and volume of the flow

June 25, 1997, will be long remembered as the worst day of the volcano (I hope) because lives were lost. And the question that is being asked, “Could this have been avoided?” Amazingly, the homes in Long Ground are still standing untouched but for the September 17 last year’s eruption. It may well be that the Tar River valley is their protection or perhaps it is early yet.

MVO Reports

The Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) report for that morning read as follows: The latest earthquake swarm has just reached a peak, with 4 or 5 earthquakes occurring every minute. At the time of the highest activity, the hybrid earthquakes could more accurately be described as continuous tremors. There have been several small pyroclastic flows in Mosquito Ghaut in the last hour. Observations of the dome last night showed that the top of Mosquito Ghaut is the only active area of the dome at the moment, as the focus of activity has switched from the eastern side to the north in the last few days.

Further pyroclastic flow activity is expected, and the high level of activity means that these flows could happen at any time and be larger than before. The current area of activity makes Mosquito Ghaut the most likely pathway, but further flows in Gages, Tuitt’s, or Tar River are probable as well.”

The following recently became a standard part of the report: Bramble Airport remains operational, but the public is reminded that it is open only for essential travel purposes. The sirens will be tested as usual this afternoon.”

Now following is the evening report following the disaster: “An intense swarm of hybrid earthquakes began at 11 a.m., and rapidly escalated to repetitive events which merged into continuous tremor after 12:15 p.m. At about 1 p.m. major pyroclastic flow activity began in Mosquito Ghaut, which generated an ash cloud to over 30,000 ft within minutes. The flow traveled into Farms River to Trants Bridge. Downriver of Bramble, the flows fanned out into Bethel and Spanish Point almost to the sea. On the northern side, Farms and Trants villages were affected, and the surge reached to Trants bridge. A total of at least 2 square kilometers of land was covered by the pyroclastic flow and surge.

The lower half of Harris village was also impacted, and an ash surge traveled from the Farrell’s area down to the west at least as far as Dyers, and into the upper reaches of Dyer’s Ghaut. There was no activity in the Gages valley during the afternoon.

During the time of the reported activities above, there were people tending their animals and gardens in the Farrell’s and surrounding areas, some of whom perished; there were people in Harris’ and areas way down to Trants, Bethel and Spanish Pointe, Bramble village, etc. who were either visiting their properties or living there. Except for those properties on the perimeter of Mosquito Ghaut in Harris’, individuals were able to avoid the fury of the ash surge from the flow by moving to even higher grounds, but not those in the other areas which were all on lower ground and not far from the ghaut which became more shallow as it nears the sea.

So that just as the report above described, confirmed by the eye witness account of Roy ‘Slim’ Daley from Bramble village who was in Harris’ at the time. He said: “I saw the surges coming back up the hill from the pyroclastic flows, which moved at incredible speed down towards Farms and Trants, breaking over the walls at Brambles and rushing down towards Spanish Pointe through Bethel.”

Fatalities

Soon we were to hear the calls of the authorities for persons to advise them of persons who were known to have been in the areas for one reason another. Both the Governor and the Chief Minister appeared on the radio to tell the nation about the rescue efforts that were underway, never admitting then that there might be fatalities following the activities.

But having seen the results of the forerunning pyroclastic flows, I was certain that the persons who I discovered were in their homes or in the area, had met an unfortunate end.

Other than the sketchy and well-monitored reports that came from Government Information Unit (GIU) and ZJB, the rest of the local media was reduced to press conferences which were cut short and severely limited by interviewees who gave much too long answers, having been denied views from the helicopter or access to the area other than the rest of the general public was entitled to.

By the end of the following day, the admission of fatalities was announced and the count grew each day from four to ten by Monday. It was on Saturday when the CM came close to saying that there may be more dead who are still difficult to get to because of the still searing hot ash that lay deposited on the ground.

THE DISASTER

1997 6 24 pics a
Helicopters involved in the search and rescue missions

I was finally afforded a trip to look at the damage done on Wednesday by EMAD, on a helicopter which is one of four helicopters brought in from different sources to aid the ‘search and rescue’ effort.

The trip was not like any I’ve had and did not afford me the opportunity for detail as I rode with David Brandt and 2 others, plus Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) cameraman and video cameras. with another from Trinidad. It was only a 20-minute trip, far too short.

However, the devastation is much greater than I imagined. The lands (forest) between Tuitts and Mosquito Ghauts is no more. Although not filled with material the pyroclastic was extremely powerful as it left the volcano and that’s when the surge immediately went over Farrells and down Streatham and across Windy Hill. The Farrells estate house is completely gone and so is Mandy’s garage on the corner below the graveyard. It went through the bottom of Windy Hill and well across and into the ghaut beyond.

Escapee

One eye witness woman who escaped and who eventually went back to collect money she left in a vehicle, found it but had walked via Water Works, retracing her steps to get to it. She said she had to go reap the carrots because she was under so much pressure from the government to supply vegetables to shelters.

She got the money but the vehicle she had to leave. She described the flow that she saw as “sweet oil” running down the hill, noting how the flow backed up when the heat.

Looking down on the Harris’ road Mosquito ghaut is next to it. The surge reached across the road to the Police Station and burnt all those houses including the Church. These were not completely demolished but nevertheless destroyed, from the Morgan’s house down the hill towards farm, then there is one mass of destruction down through Farms, Bethel, Spanish Pointe, Trants.

Since that of course more flows and reports have stated that more damage was done in Harris’. I could see the walls of some of the houses in Farms, Bramble village, and Spanish Pointe, but it is obvious that truly there may be about 10 feet of material lying on the lands.

Trants village was completely demolished, hardly recognised any walls standing and it did seem such a vast area.

I saw how the flow over Farrells ran down and into the top of Belham.

I can now report that for Plymouth, we can expect worse to come along, it already looks a disaster. The flows that have been going down Gages and Fort Ghaut seemed to have damaged houses high up on the Gages corner and down the fringes of the ghaut. The Catholic convent and infant school and even the Church are now like the rest of the property in that vicinity are now in line for certain disaster as long as flows continue. At the foot of Gage’s mountain, the ghauts as I can remember are somewhat shallow, so that serious flows are likely to spread early over to Amersham as it has reportedly done.

I hardly had time for any detail or even good photographs as I was shooting through the helicopter sealed windows. Looking at the photographs, I do not remember where the various scenes are, and I was unable to make notes.

The helicopters are being operated from Geralds and joining them is that from the British navy ship.

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Participate in the First Virtual Student Fair of the Caribbean!

Participate in the First Virtual Student Fair of the Caribbean!

Participate in the First Virtual Student Fair of the Caribbean!

https://pressroom.oecs.org/participate-in-the-first-virtual-student-fair-of-the-caribbean

Register now!

Thursday, November 19, 2020 — This fair hosted on December 2-3, 2020 will enable participants to learn about study and training opportunities in the Caribbean region as well as to interact with exhibitors and guest experts.

Partners of the ELAN project are pleased to announce the very first edition of the Virtual Student Fair, dedicated to vocational training and higher education, organized on December 2nd and 3rd 2020 with the support of Campus France, the French National Agency for the Promotion of Higher Education, International Student Services and International Mobility.

This fair is free and designed for students (high school and tertiary level), parents, teachers, and also technical vocational trainees and trainers from the cooperation zone of the project (English-speaking Caribbean, Haiti, Martinique, and Guadeloupe).

With this event, the ELAN project team wishes to promote exchange, and cooperation between 70 exhibitors and visitors, allowing them to learn about the regional offer of studies and vocational training, and also to exchange with participating institutions and specialists on common regional hot topics during webinars. Visitors will also have the opportunity to consult internship offers, attend workshops to prepare their study experience abroad, assess their level in a foreign language (French or English), and, above all, try to win a prize in the great ELAN contest.

Registrations are open on https://www.elan-virtualforum.org.
For more information, visit the ELAN project website or social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).

Promo flyer of the INTERREG ELAN project

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colonialism_reparation.png

United States: It Is Time for Reparations

COLONIALISM REPARATION

SO THAT COLONIALISMS OF YESTERDAY AND TODAY ARE NOT REPEATED TOMORROW

Published: 19 November 2020

colonialism_reparation.png
Colonialism Reparation welcomes that in the United States of America reparations are gaining traction and invites all the other federal, state, and local administrations to take action in the same direction.

On March 1, 2019, giving continuity to the action of Congressman John Conyers Jr. begun in 1989 and those who preceded and accompanied him, congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee introduces the bill 40 to establish a Commission to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans, holding during the legislature a public hearing and gathering the support of 162 representatives, 20 senators, and the United States Conference of Mayors.

On January 14, 2020, in New Jersey senators Ronald Rice and Sandra Cunningham introduce the bill 322 to establish a Reparations Task Force to conduct research and develop reparatory proposals and recommendations.
On February 7, 2020, in Maryland delegate Wanika Fisher introduces the bill 1201 to establish a Reparations Commission to develop and administer a program for the provision of compensatory benefits to the descendants of individuals enslaved in the State.

On February 13, 2020, in Illinois representatives William Davis and Carol Ammons introduce the bill 5024 to establish an African descent-citizens reparations Commission.

On February 21, 2020, in California assemblymember, Shirley Weber introduces the bill 3121 to establish a Task Force to study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans, which is approved and enters into force on September 30, 2020.

On June 5, 2019, the City Council of Evanston in Illinois adopts resolution 58 launching a local reparations process with the creation of a dedicated Subcommittee, a dedicated fund, and the first reparatory measures.
On June 17, 2020, the City Council of Chicago in Illinois adopts resolution 694 launching a local reparations process with the creation of a dedicated Commission.

On August 10, 2020, the City Council of Burlington in Vermont adopts resolution 7.06 launching a local reparations process with the creation of a dedicated Task Force.

On August 18, 2020, the County Commission of Kalamazoo in Michigan adopts resolution 1917 launching a local reparations process.
On October 20, 2020, the City Council of Carrboro in North Carolina adopts resolution 382 launching a local reparations process.

On October 20, 2020, the supervisor of San Francisco in California Shamann Walton presented the ordinance 201190 to launch a local reparations process.

Colonialism Reparation welcomes that in the United States of America reparations are gaining traction and invites all the other federal, state, and local administrations to take action in the same direction, keeping the electoral promises made.

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Is this the anti-christ?

by William Bubblicous Galloway

This was submitted in April 2020

It’s amazing this virus took us by surprise but in so doing exposed us and our insecurities. COVID-19 peeled back our inner onion-like reality. The tears are true but the honesty is deep.

It’s amazing for our security and the security of others we were directed to isolate, quarantine or plain avoid contacting for spreading it with others. An unselfish move for the good of mankind. Allow the professionals to dissect the virus, get its DNA, and find a way to tackle it. Not too much of a task, but being human our wondering minds took off and because of our lack of trust in humanity, the conspiracy theories ran rampant. It’s not that there is no room for conspiracies but let’s go beyond that.

It’s a virus like many other viruses, humanity has been there before. It’s just that now we are more technologically advanced and we can curtail this before it gets out of hand. Like a wildfire, staying home is like wetting your house while your neighbor’s house is on fire. Except now information gets into the hands of too many influential fools and they have social media.

But let’s go one step further. We are all trying to avoid getting sick or die. This is akin to everyone believing in something or someone. Yes! I’m going down the religious road. It is dangerous but we got to face facts. I don’t care what religion you are or if you are an atheist. You believe that you are going to die once you were born. Now there are no facts of anyone living forever, though many of us hope to. What a farce. The promise of eternal life is guaranteed through religion all that is required is that we believe.

Let me make a sidebar here. There are no special permits or allowances for the rich, stinking rich, or pauper. Death is the only guarantee, so all greedy politicians, neighbors, and preachers beware.

If in reality, we believe that together we can beat this virus we will because COVID-19, shut down Mecca churches, mosques, courthouses, jails, shows, cinemas, sporting events, etc. It exposes that all men are equal. Once you are born you are going to die. It went across all barriers from pauper to prince. From Muslim to Christian from preacher to lying politicians.

Breaking the barriers of racism. Color of the skin or the entrenched religious belief that their God or whoever the supreme being, is the right one. Does a name really matter? God, Buddha, Allah, Sun, Nature. I know minds are trained to believe this and humanity is built on this belief. I’m not trying to change one’s belief. I’m saying let’s see each other as a person irrespective of a member of the human race. Respect their boundaries and just let us live. COVID-19 is not racist, sexist, religious, xenophobic, gluttonous, or hateful. Just an equal opportunity contaminant.

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Attorney-Jean-Kelsick

Justice Morley spotlighted for ‘recusals’

Recusal is not a word heard often in Montserrat and probably not before the turn of the century, and probably only once before recent occurrences. Now from mid-2019 to now.

Justice Iain Morley

From then there has been a spathe of ‘recusals’ of High Court judges in the Montserrat High Court of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court mostly involving His Lordship Justice Iain Morley.

We thought it might be beneficial to you at this time to know the general meaning of the word, ‘recusal’: “To disqualify or seek to disqualify (a judge or juror) from participation in the decision in a case, as for personal prejudice against a party or for personal interest in the outcome.” In another but similar meaning: (law) the disqualification of a judge or jury by reason of prejudice or conflict of interest; a judge can be recused by objections of either party or judges can disqualify themselves.

We recall in our welcome to Mr. Morley via an exclusive interview regarding his tour of duty with the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC). https://www.themontserratreporter.com/new-high-court-judge-iain-morley.

Attorney Warren Cassell

The interview sought his reaction to the welcome he received in Montserrat, and “generally how he plans to address his work; his vision for the court in Montserrat; in light of the new vision that the Hon Chief Justice has been encouraging – equal justice and fairness.”

It is Justice Iain Morley who has now found himself a subject of recusals over the past year.

Justice Morley was the first installed for the trial, The Queen vs David Brandt long-standing case from 2015, and once again set for a hearing some time next year. Morley recused himself willingly, but his replacement, retired Justice Gareth Evans QC flown in from the UK to replace him after revoking Brand’s bail and remanding him to prison, was later also requested Attorney Dr. David Dorsett to recuse himself from the Brandt matters.

He refused to be recused in a 90-clause-long Ruling which was delivered within half an hour of the end of the hearing. See – https://www.themontserratreporter.com/second-judge-off-the-brandt-trial/

Judge Gareth Evans, QC

Brandt’s Attorney had applied to the Court, after Judge Morley had been recused from the case, for Judge Gareth himself to be recused as well.

Meanwhile, over the years, Morley has by virtue of being the judge assigned to Montserrat in most high court matters civil and criminal has seen several of his judgments ending before the East Caribbean Court of Appeal, much ending disfavorably to him.

Last year Keston Riley had several outings before Justice Morley and in matters evolving therefrom.

As the appellant, Keston Riley, was charged with and pled guilty to fraudulent evasion of duty, following which he was sentenced by the learned judge Morley to a term of imprisonment. Riley successfully appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeal, following which the Public Prosecutions sought to appeal to the Privy Council.

Upon his release from prison, Riley had filed a fixed date claim seeking damages and declaratory relief from the State, flowing from the circumstances surrounding his successful appeal against conviction. The damages claim was set down for hearing before the same judge who presided over Riley’s criminal matter.

In light comments by the judge Morley and prior involvement in the criminal matter, Riley’s Attorney Warren Cassell applied to the learned judge to recuse himself from hearing the damages claim on the basis that he would not bring an impartial mind to bear on the matter. He refused to recuse himself from hearing the matter, at which point Riley appealed, alleging, in the main, that the learned judge erred in law by refusing to recuse himself.

The respondents being the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions applied to strike out the notice of appeal arguing that the grounds of appeal among other things that the grounds that the judge’s prior involvement in the matter and his remarks made in open court would not cause the fair-minded and informed observer to conclude that there was a real danger that the judge was biased.

The matter turned out an interesting judgment by the Court of Appeal which ordered Morley be recused, dismissed the application to strike out the appeal; allowing the appeal; setting aside the decision of the judge not to recuse himself; ordering that a different judge is to be assigned to conduct the hearing of the matter; awarding costs to the appellant to be assessed by a master if not agreed within 21 days.

Judge Morley would only this week accede to a request, challenging him to recuse himself in a matter, where Dunstan Lindsey of Baker Hill is involved before the court for a criminal matter stemming from words allegedly published of Henry Gordon and Ryan Kohli. The learned Justice Ian Morley was currently the adjudicating judge in this matter.

Following in or about the month of June 2020 Lindsey says he was charged with two offences of Criminal Libel alleging that “I committed libel against Henry Gordon the Prosecutor within the office of the DPP. The matter was eventually committed to High Court for trial and I appeared before Justice Iain Morley on at least three occasions for the management of the case.”

Attorney Jean Kelsick

On July 21 this year in support of an application for Justice Morley to recuse himself, Lindsey deposes in an Affidavit that the learned Justice Morley is a buddy of Crown Prosecutor Henry Gordon who is the virtual complainant in the criminal matter and one of the Claimant in the civil suit brought against the Applicant in the High Court.

He also deposed in paragraph 10 of his Affidavit that the learned Judge and Henry Gordon along with the Attorney for Henry Gordon were having dinner at a local restaurant. Moreover, Henry Gordon comes as a Prosecutor before Justice Morley on a regular basis.

According to the Affidavit by Lindsey in support of his application, the virtual complainant (VC) appears before the said Judge on a regular basis. Attorney Jean Kelsick (who also often appears before the Judge) is the Attorney-at-law for the said VC. A photograph with all three parties having dinner at a local restaurant was brought to the attention of the Applicant who is alleging apparent bias.

Judge Morley complied with the request in the face of a 44-clause response submitted by DPP Sullivan opposing Lindsey’s application. In his final clauses at clause 42 he said: “…It should be clear to this honorable court that [what] is being pursued by the applicant, in this case, is what can be considered as judge shopping… we invite this honorable court to dismiss the application with cost.”

In the next clause, he submits: “Prior involvement and knowledge does not disqualify a judge from hearing a matter. Critically, however, a judge must not predetermine or prejudge the matter or for or give the impression that he or she has formed a firm view adverse to the credibility of a party hearing the evidence.
“Finally,” the DPP said, “I remind this honorable court that by itself there is nothing wrong with the bench having dinner with the bar ad vice versa…”

Experienced lawyer Dr. David Dorsett, led on Constitution matters in David Brandt’s case

Then comes a successful application by David Dorsett on September 7, 2020, for Attorney Warren Cassell where Justice Morley has recused himself from the case of The Queen vs. Warren Cassell after hearing arguments from both the Attorneys-at-law representing the Crown and Dr. David Dorsett, Attorney-at-law.

Mr. Cassell is before the court after the same charge of Money laundering that was laid in 2007 was brought again 12 years later in May 2019.

Cassell was convicted in 2012 of the offence of Money Laundering under the 2010 Proceeds of Crime Act. 15 other convictions were quashed by the Privy Council in 2015 and the court of Appeal refusing to order a retrial stating that it was not in the interest of justice to retry Cassell. The money laundering conviction was quashed by the court of appeal after lawyers for Cassell argued that he could not be convicted under a 2010 law when the offence allegedly took place in 2007. This is because the constitution says that no person could be convicted under a law that was not in force when alleged offending act took place. The court of appeal ordered a re-trial and the privy council set aside the order for re-trial.

In an Affidavit in support of the Application for Morley’s recusal, Cassell cited some 14 grounds; Justice Iain Morley is the presiding judge on Montserrat and presides over all criminal and civil matters in Montserrat’s High Court; citing also the same grounds on which he recused himself in the David Brandt matter currently before the Court. Mr. Gordon also is a litigant in a civil matter in which I am the counsel; and associates and appears before him in numerous matters; Henry Gordon is a practising Attorney-at-law who regularly comes before the High Court Criminal division in his capacity as Senior Crown Counsel with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) being his immediate Supervisor.

He is also the Attorney-at-law who has appeared as Crown Counsel in this matter. Justice Morley has made unflattering remarks in relation to me in judgements. For example he described me as “a lawyer of moderate ability ” in a preliminary ruling in this matter dated on or about the 25th of October 2019.

[11] Nonetheless, the said Justice Morley indicated that he would be minded to recuse himself but was never requested to do so.

In announcing this latest recusal in Court Order dated 13th November, 2020 Dr. Dorsett informs that the Director of Public Prosecutions has now brought the single charge of Money laundering 12 years later (different from the single charge of Concealing the proceeds of criminal conduct contrary to section 33(1)(a) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 1999, CAP 4.04, by virtue of an indictment filed on or about 19th of May 2020.

Dr. Dorsett says, “Given the recusal of Justice Morley, a new judge will have to be appointed as the trial judge in the matter.”

The Order also stated that a “tentative trial date is set to commence on 19th April, 2021, during a four-week trial window.”

It is already being speculated that from other statements in the Order that because of the British interest in these trials (to include Brandt’s) another British Judge will be foisted in for the trials.

In an interesting note regarding our ‘recusal’ observations, DPP Sullivan notes, contrary to our thought that recusals have been rare, he submits: “It is my experience that full recusal applications are routinely made to trial judges both in criminal and civil matters.

DPP Oris Sullivan

Obviously there may be cases where out of common courtesy such as when material that may be potentially scandalous or highly embarrassing to the judge or where really serious allegations are made against a trial judge that the “letter “route raising the matter, would be kinder and preferable and allow a judge to recuse himself without litigation or disclosure of his wrongdoing. Otherwise, such applications, particularly in criminal matters where a trial date is imminent are invariably dealt with as expeditiously as the circumstances allow in respect of his case.

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BEAUTIFUL CHAOS

BEAUTIFUL CHAOS

A June 17, 2020 press release re BEAUTIFUL CHAOS: PASSION, POETRY, AND PERSEVERANCE, says as follows: Beautiful Chaos, a collection of poetry by Jo-Annah Richards is launched on Amazon.

Beautiful Chaos, a collection of poetry by Jo-Annah Richards is launched on Amazon.
Montserrat, W.I. – Jo-Annah is proud to debut her first collection of poetry and her second publication on Amazon.

With a passion for the Creative Arts, second-time author, Jo-Annah Richards releases an enchanting and eclectic collection of captivating poetry. The topics ranging from love to politics, with each poem effortlessly and vividly embodying the beauty and chaos in each situation.
Beautiful Blackness, a stand-out poem in the collection conveys a positive message about the beauty and power of being black. It evokes the importance of self-love, pride, and self-acceptance. One stanza powerfully reads:
“Too afraid to be displayed in negative stereotypes of blackness, mute
We need to discover our own power, our essence, our truth
We are the descendants of Kings and Queens, royalty
The blood of warriors and survivors flows through our veins, fluidly”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jo-Annah Richards has been writing poetry since the age of ten and the release of her poetry collection “Beautiful Chaos” is the result of passion and perseverance. She has a passion for writing and regularly expresses it through creating speeches, poetry, short stories, and proses. Her love for the Creative Arts extends to drama, dance, and music, which led her to create Fenyx Creations in 2015. The organisation’s objective is female empowerment and pageantry development, which is facilitated by providing training and workshops for young girls. Jo-Annah knows the benefits and impact of self-expression; as well as gaining personal development and life skills. The organisation also allows her to be creative as she utilises her skills to conceptualise the annual pageant and related events.

She is guided by the principle that you are able to achieve anything through passion and perseverance.

Beautiful Chaos is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Chaos-Miss-Jo-Annah-Richards/dp/1093171510/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=beautiful+chaos+jo-annah+richards&qid=1592416025&sr=8-1

Her first publication, The Ill Concepts of the Caribbean Woman is also available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Ill-Concepts-Caribbean-Woman/dp/1456399292/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1592415938&sr=8-1

Website/Blog and Social media handles
Instagram: @joannah14
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Communiqué of the 96th Meeting of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

Issued: 24 July 2020

The Ninety-Sixth Meeting of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) was held on 24 July 2020, via videoconference, under the Chairmanship of Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Saint Christopher
(St Kitts) and Nevis.

  1. Monetary Stability

The Monetary Council received the Governor’s Report on Monetary and Credit Conditions in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) for the period January to June 2020.

The Council was apprised of the following:

  1. In 2020, global economic activity is expected to contract by at least 4.9 percent as the world deals with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Growth in Advanced Economies is projected at negative 8.0 percent in 2020, compared with 1.7 percent in 2019.
  2. The ECCU economy has been severely disrupted and will contract between 10.0 and 20.0 percent in 2020 before starting to recover in 2021.  Key risks to the anticipated recovery include: a delay in the global rebound; permanent job losses and business closures; natural disasters; and increasing credit and liquidity risks in the financial sector.
  3. Monetary and credit conditions in the ECCU deteriorated in the first half of 2020. That is, both the level of money available and credit extended decreased. This trend is projected to persist for the remainder of the year.
  4. Strong foreign exchange buffers, as a consequence of the ECCB’s prudent management of foreign reserves, coupled with financial stability will support gradual improvement in economic, monetary, and credit conditions.

Having received the Governor’s Report and recommendations, the Council decided to:

  1. maintain the Central Bank’s Discount Rate at 2.0 percent; and
  2. maintain the Minimum Savings Rate at 2.0 percent.
  • Financial Sector Stability

The Monetary Council received the Financial Stability Report for the ECCU for the period January to June 2020.  The key highlights of the Report were: 

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to place significant pressure on the economies of the ECCB member countries.  However, the ECCU banking sector remained stable.   
  2. The reduction in the ECCB’s Discount Rate will ease borrowing conditions for commercial banks and help to support liquidity if needed.
  3. Commercial banks and credit unions are likely to experience a significant increase in default risk, market risk, and liquidity risk. Figure 1 below shows the percentage change in Domestic and Private Sector credit conditions in the ECCU from 2017 – 2020.

Figure 1: ECCU Domestic and Private Sector Credit – 2017-2020

Data as at May 2020 | ECCB Estimates for June 2020

Framework for Macro-Prudential Regulation

The Council was apprised of the ECCB’s work on articulating an optimal framework for the ECCU financial system given the urgent need for comprehensive and coordinated oversight, especially of systemically important financial institutions, and adequate consumer protection.

  • Fiscal and Debt Sustainability

The Council was apprised that the total public sector debt of the region is expected to rise in both nominal terms and as a percentage of GDP during 2020. Convergence to the Debt-to-GDP target of 60.0 percent by 2030 will require substantial acceleration of growth and/or the generation of sustainable primary surpluses in the medium to long term.

The Council lamented the reversal of the significant progress made by member countries to meet the Debt-to-GDP target of 60.0 percent by 2030.  At the end of 2019, the Debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 65.0 percent.

The Council recognised that Member Governments will need to contract additional debt to fund critical support for their economies during this difficult period. The combination of economic contraction and the necessity of additional borrowing means a rise in the Debt to GDP Ratio in the short term.

The Council renewed calls for more financial support from the international community, at this time when the ECCU’s dominant sector, Tourism, is largely shut.

  • Growth and Competitiveness

The Council was advised that:

  1. The outlook for the ECCU in 2020 had changed profoundly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Real GDP for the ECCU is projected to decline within a range of 10.0 percent to 20.0 percent this year, a stark contrast to pre-COVID anticipated growth of 3.3 percent. Figure 2 below shows economic growth (percentage) in global, advanced, and ECCU economies for 2019 – 2021. Figure 2 below shows economic growth (percentage) in global, advanced, and ECCU economies for 2019 – 2021.

Figure 2: Economic Growth for Global, Advanced and ECCU Economies 2019-2021

Data as at May 2020 |ECCU worst-case scenario shown in chart
  1. The economic decline is largely due to the decline in Tourism. The recovery of this dominant sector is expected to be protracted with performance unlikely to revert to pre-pandemic levels before 2023.

2. The pandemic has resulted in a drastic reduction in jobs and incomes, lower government revenues and elevated unemployment.

5.0 Programme of Action for Recovery and Resilience

The Council agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to unite around a Programme of Action for making the region’s economies more competitive, productive and resilient.  The Programme of Action will include the following:

  1. Enactment of modern insolvency and bankruptcy legislation to support the efficacious restructuring of businesses to protect jobs and to preserve financial stability;
  2. Determination of the optimal regulatory framework for the financial system of the ECCU and the enactment of a financial stability framework;
  3. Fast-tracking of the Caribbean Digital Transformation Programme;
  4. Launch of the EC Digital Currency (Cash) Pilot with an early expansion to all eight member countries;
  5. Enactment of modern Payment System and Services legislation; and
  6. Enactment of all outstanding legislation already approved by the Monetary Council including the Credit Reporting Bill.
  • Enhanced Coordination for Collective Action

In the context of the significant challenges facing the ECCU, the Council agreed to convene more frequently to address matters of critical importance and to work even more closely with the OECS Commission.  The areas to be addressed at the upcoming Special Meetings would include:

  1. Tourism
  2. Labour Markets
  3. Digital Transformation
  4. Business Support;
  5. Citizen by Investment Programmes (CIP)
  • Report from the Technical Core Committee on Insurance (BAICO and CLICO)

BAICO

The Council approved a funding proposal of US$1.4 million to support the payment of outstanding claims to 250 policyholders under the Policyholder Assistance Scheme (PAS), which was established in 2013 when SAGICOR purchased the portfolio.  The PAS was established to help settle surrenders, maturities, claims, and bonus payments owed to policyholders at the time of sale.

CLICO  

The Council was updated on the steps being taken to pursue and protect the interest of ECCU policyholders by pursuing an application, under Section 60 of the Barbados Insurance Act, for the winding up of CLICO International Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

  • Date and Venue of 97th Meeting of the Monetary Council

The Council agreed that the 97th Meeting of the Monetary Council will convene on
Friday, 23 October 2020 at 9:00 a.m. via videoconference. 

  • Attendance

Council Members attending the meeting were:

  1. Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Saint Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis (Chairman)
  2. The Honourable Dr. Ellis Lorenzo Webster, Premier and Minister for Finance, Anguilla
  3. The Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Antigua and Barbuda
  4. The Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, the Commonwealth of Dominica
  5. Dr the Right Honourable, Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Grenada
  6. The Honourable Easton Taylor-Farrell, Premier and Minister for Finance, Montserrat
  7. The Honourable Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Saint Lucia
  8. The Honourable Camillo Gonsalves, Minister for Finance, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

24 July 2020

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

positivity-of-purity

This happens to your body when you eat ginger every day for a month

We didn’t know ginger is so healthy

We all know that fruit and vegetables are really good for us. It is known that we should eat colored food several times a day, but did you know that certain spices also have many health benefits? Take ginger, for example. When you eat ginger every day, a lot of good things happen to your body.

Ginger

Ginger is a spice with a very strong taste. Ginger is not only very tasty but also has a lot of good qualities. Ginger contains gingerol, shogaol, zingiberene, and a whole range of vitamins and minerals. It is therefore not surprising that ginger has a long medicinal history. Centuries ago, ginger was used to cure all kinds of ailments. In addition, eating ginger regularly also helps to keep your body healthy.

Good qualities

Ginger contains gingerol, a bio-active substance that helps to reduce symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. This substance also helps to reduce swollen joints. Ginger also contains shoagol, a substance with an analgesic effect that also helps against cancer and heart disease. Zingiberene in ginger is particularly good for digestion. But not only this: ginger also has an anti-diabetic effect and improves brain function and the immune system.

Ginger every day

Are you planning to eat ginger every day for a month? Then we will not stop you! Eating ginger daily has many health benefits. Side note: you do not have to nibble on a piece of ginger every day. Cut a large piece – about 1.5 centimeters – into small pieces and mix it with your smoothie, tea, or Asian dish. Wondering what this does to your body? We will explain it to you.

…Does this to your body:

Anti-inflammatory: Inflammation in the body is reduced faster. This is due to the anti-inflammatory effect of ginger.

Nausea disappears: are you often nauseous in the morning? We bet that eating ginger every day will help you! By eating ginger daily, the nausea will soon subside. Tip: Especially pregnant women and people undergoing chemotherapy can benefit from this.

Reduction of muscle pain: Do you have muscle pain or pain in the limbs? Eating ginger can have a good influence on this. Consuming ginger daily will gradually ease the pain.

Promotes bowel movements: Eating ginger on a daily basis does a lot of good for your bowel movements. Do you regularly suffer from constipation? Then this might help you.

Menstrual pain: Are you in constant pain during this time of the month? Then eating ginger daily may help you. The spice is similar to taking pain medications, which can help relieve acute abdominal pain.

Lowers cholesterol: Eating ginger every day for a month can help lower “bad” cholesterol in the body. The amount of triglycerides in the blood is reduced by the substances in ginger.

Boosts the Immune System: The anti-inflammatory properties in ginger strengthens the immune system. Have you already been affected by a cold or virus? Then ginger can help you recover faster.

Posted in COVID-19, Education, Features, Health, International, Local, OECS, Regional0 Comments

visa-trave

COVID-19 forces Visa-styled requirements to enter Montserrat

by Bennette Roach

As the Government of Montserrat continues to remove and amend COVID-19 suppression restrictions, and the phased reopening of the economy continues, a release from the Government Information Unit (GIU) advises:  

“As of Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 5:00 a.m. the maximum number of persons allowed to gather in a public place will increase from 10 to 50.

  This is outlined in the ‘Public Health (COVID-19 Suppression) (No.4) Order, S.R.O. 44 of 2020’ which will be in effect until August 4, 2020.

Additionally, the categories of persons allowed to travel to Montserrat now “includes a person” who owns a habitable house or home in Montserrat.  However, persons traveling to Montserrat must register by completing and submitting the declaration form on the government of Montserrat website (www.gov.ms) no later than three days of their intended date of travel.”

Aircraft owners have seemingly (non-criminalised) responsibilities

The owner of an aircraft or vessel must also ensure that the person has been granted approval to travel to Montserrat prior to departing. All persons arriving on Montserrat must self-quarantine for 14-days commencing on the date of arrival.

The Order also “makes provisions for child care centers, nursery schools, primary schools, secondary school, tertiary school, and any other school(s) to open.”

“However, the Head or owner of the school must submit a sanitisation plan to the Minister of Health for approval, before opening.  The Head or owner of the school must also ensure that staff, students and customers practice social distancing, and comply with any direction or guideline issued by the Minister of Health regarding cleaning, sanitisation, and other precautions. Failure to comply with the directives from the Minister of Health may result in the school being ordered to close.

“As it relates to the operations of gyms and sports clubs, these entities will be allowed to offer services, but must first submit a sanitisation plan to the Minister of Health for approval, before opening.  Once approved to operate, owners of gyms and sports clubs must ensure that customers maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from each other and must comply with any direction of guideline from the Minister of Health regarding cleaning, sanitisation, and other precautions.

“Although the six feet physical distance is specified for gyms and sports clubs, the Order also makes provisions for ‘contact sporting’ activities but individuals must comply with the restriction on the number of persons allowed to gather.” 

The release concludes that all other measures which were previously announced guiding the operations of businesses such as restaurants, cookshops, barbershops, beauty salons, bars, spas and bus, and taxi operators still remain in effect.

For those so able, the full S.R.O may be downloaded at http://www.gov.ms/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/SRO-44-of-2020-Public-Health-Covid-19-Suppression-No.4-Order-.pdf

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, COVID-19, International, Legal, Local, News, OECS, Regional, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments

Breaking-news-Brandt

Brandt released from remand and back on bail

by Bennette Roach, London.

Bail Revoked, Brandt on remand, jailed, until? Was the headline in the TMR’s publication of July 5, 2019,  which began, “This lingering high court criminal matter has been described on Tuesday in one report as follows: “The High Court of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court has ordered another ‘interesting twist’ in the case the Queen vs David S. Brandt.”

David S. Brandt

– a trial is set to begin on November 18, 2019, but meantime the judge issues ‘directive’ to stop comments on the case.

Now, yesterday originating in Antigua:

The link from July 2019 at the beginning of this story gives an extensive and somewhat detailed as to Brandt was put on remand where he has been until the breaking news. The case has been somewhat a saga with several attempts including appeals to undo the remand order and which included a new judge eventually forced to recuse from the trial.

See here: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/brandts-trial-to-begin-february-28/ another rundown as to how the matter went before we would say, COVID-19 intervened and the opportunity to end the remand and save GoM some expense from the Lockdown that ensued. That supposedly ended altogether yesterday, ‘maybe’, while it was eased earlier, there continued a curfew just ended.

The conditions of this ‘new’ bail include, among others; Mr. Brandt is to restrict his residence to his home in Olveston; he must have no contact any female under the age of 18; He must not entertain or have any interviews on the case/matter; he must have no direct or indirect contact with any jurors once the juror list is published (and he is in possession).  

The trial is now scheduled to commence on September 28.

Listen below to ZJB – Radio Montserrat’s full report:

Dr. David Dorsett, Brandt’s attorney primarily in Constitutional matters

Attorney-at-law Warren Cassell who initially provided the breaking news information, informed, “Dr. Dorsett did an excellent job in representing him from Antigua at bail hearing which was via Zoom.”

In a comment, Cassell ‘imagined how upset the DPP will be when he hears the news…..” It was probably that which drew some comments, like “For all those who talking negatively about Mr. Brandt, call on God and ask Him to deal with us the way we deserve then sit back and look. NONE will be spared……remember that.” “…everyone needs to be treated fairly; ” ”a he axx that. Everyone needs to be treated fairly.”

“The vipers them already stirring up. Everyone deserves a Fair trial. When u guys coming for people come good. Have you facts and all your Ts cross. When you assuming no carry it a court. I wonder how the High Court that doesn’t have anything to do with Montserrat favoritism is doing anything hypocritical.”

Posted in Court, COVID-19, Crime, Featured, International, Legal, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

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