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Venezuelans found with drugs and ammunition arrested

Venezuelans found with drugs and ammunition arrested

ROSEAU, Dominica, Sep. 13, CMC – The police say they arrested three Venezuelan nationals who were found in possession of cocaine, a firearm and ammunition.

The police report that the Venezuelans were arrested early Wednesday by officers assigned to the Drug Squad Unit and the Grand Bay Police . They were arrested on suspicion of possession to cocaine with intent to supply and possession of firearm without being the holder of a valid license.

According to the police   5500 grams of   cocaine, two nine – mm pistols and 22 rounds of live ammunition were discovered in their possession.

Following their arrest,  they were transported to police headquarters for ongoing investigation.

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Caribbean urged to sign landmark environment treaty

Caribbean urged to sign landmark environment treaty

GENEVA, Sept 14, CMC –United Nations human rights experts are urging Caribbean countries to sign and ratify as quickly as possible, the Escazú agreement, described as a ground-breaking environment treaty for the region.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said that the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean was adopted on March 4 in Escazú, Costa Rica, and will be open for signature on September 27 at the UN General Assembly in New York.

The treaty is the first of its kind in the world to include specific binding provisions for the protection and promotion of people, groups and organizations that promote and defend human rights in environmental matters, ECLAC said.

It said the treaty, which was negotiated under its auspices, is the only binding treaty stemming from the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

“This landmark regional treaty not only guarantees good governance and basic democratic rights but is also an enabler for environmental protection and sustainable development,” the 27 UN experts said in a joint statement.

“There is a special emphasis on people and groups in vulnerable situations and measures to try to help those most in need. We welcome the focus in this treaty on overcoming the barriers and difficulties that hinder the full enjoyment of human rights related to the environment, which is especially crucial in Latin America and the Caribbean,” they added.

The UN experts also praised the treaty’s explicit recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples, as well as the acknowledgement of the cultural diversity of Latin America and the Caribbean and of their peoples.

The Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, David R. Boyd, drew particular attention to Article 1 of the treaty, which recognizes everyone’s right to live in a healthy environment.

“This agreement is a major leap forward in the protection and safeguarding of human rights defenders in environmental matters,” said Michel Forst, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

“By establishing specific binding provisions, Latin American and Caribbean States are not only recognizing the acute and alarming situation faced by environmental defenders in countries of the region but are also taking concrete steps to reaffirm their role and respect, protect and fulfil all their rights,” he added.

ECLAC said provisions in the treaty aimed at ensuring access to information and justice, in the various languages used in each of the countries, and fostering public participation and cooperation were also welcomed by the UN experts.

“In keeping with international human rights obligations, the regional agreement sets important standards that will be fundamental in addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges such as climate change, land degradation, water pollution, natural disasters and the depletion and unsustainable use of natural resources,” the experts stressed.

The experts added that States should adopt, in their strategies for achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, an approach that encompasses the whole of society.

They also pointed out that an essential aspect of States’ international human rights obligations is to ensure protection, respect and support for individuals who raise concerns about adverse human rights impacts, including climate-induced displacement and in the context of development projects where business is involved.

“This approach would allow everyone, particularly those in more vulnerable situations – including older persons, access to timely and reliable information, so that they could participate meaningfully in decisions affecting their lives, and seek redress and remedy when their rights have been infringed,” the experts said.

“By signing and promptly ratifying this ground-breaking treaty, Latin American and Caribbean States will reinforce their strong commitment to environmental protection and human rights and, above all, will send out an unequivocal message in favour of multilateralism, solidarity, equality and regional integration, while encouraging partnerships with other regions,” they added.

In following up on the agreement, ECLAC said States should also ensure that business activities and investments do not come at the cost of adverse environmental and human rights impacts.

In implementing the agreement, ECLAC said States should also be mindful of the varied and disproportionate impact of environmental matters on women and girls, and the specific challenges faced by women human rights defenders, and ensure that all actions taken incorporate a gender perspective.

ECLAC said the regional agreement is open for signature by the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and requires a minimum of 11 States to become operational.

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RFA Mounts Bay was helped out in the British Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma. This year its regular civilian crew will be joined by 87 specialists

UK deploys experts to help with storm threats

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sep. 13, CMC  (Adapted) – The United Kingdom has deployed a team of specialists to the Caribbean to help mitigate the impact of impending storms threatening British Overseas territories.

According to Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, 87 engineers, medics, maritime experts and other specialists have joined the regular crew of RFA Mounts Bay, which is the mobile hub of the British relief effort.

RFA Mounts Bay

He added that approximately 1,000 personnel are deployed or being held at high-readiness for if further storms head towards the region.

“I want to assure everyone in our Overseas Territories that our Armed Forces have been pre-positioned in the region and are absolutely prepared to help,” Williamson said. “We will be there to support during this hurricane season while still helping those whose lives were devastated by Irma and Maria to rebuild their lives and homes.”

Last September, several homes were  destroyed and infrastructure decimated when Hurricane Irma and Maria, two of the most powerful hurricanes for decades, hit the region back-to-back .

As well as being able to carry vital aid and equipment, RFA Mounts Bay will use the Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter on board to provide aerial support. RFA Mounts Bay is one of three Landing Ship Docks in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary

The Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) troop, consisting of Royal Engineers from the British Army and Royal Marines, have been training with their French counterparts in Martinique to ensure they are fully prepared.

This training is part of a six-month deployment to the region for hurricane season, while RFA Mounts Bay also carried out a significant HADR exercise in July.

Some islands are expected to be impacted by Tropical Storm Issac on Thursday, raising concerns about the physical damage it could wreak.

RFA Mounts Bay was helped out in the British Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma. This year its regular civilian crew will be joined by 87 specialists
The RFA Mounts Bay visted Montserrat on Friday after the passage of Tropical Storm Isaac from 12 p.m. on Friday September 14. A release from the Governor’s office had advised: “The officials from the ship will be meeting with local stakeholders and members of the MOD who are currently on island a part of the UK’s Hurricane response efforts to the region. The media are ‘united’ (invited) to a huddle with officials at Little Bay playing field before the departure of Mounts Bay. This is scheduled from 14.30 to 15.00 pm. 
From RFA Mounts Bay Retweets, following the visit


Mounts Bay tweeted: The Montserrat JFHQ team carrying out a last minute check on the turtles at the sanctuary and the full Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Team back in the UK ready for whatever we are asked to do next. It was great to see the people of#Montserrat again today. A fleeting visit whilst MNTS is in the area on standby during this Core Hurricane Season. MNTS has now resumed our previous tasking however will remain in striking distance the OTs until November.
Below are some images of the visit


Captain and






Deputy Premier, Director of Disaster Management and other representatives of #Montserrat Goverment


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Barbados looking to new suppliers following closure of oil refinery in Trinidad

Barbados looking to new suppliers following closure of oil refinery in Trinidad

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept 12, CMC – Barbados Wednesday it is holding discussions with a number of suppliers with a view to employing a similar arrangement to that it had with the Trinidad and Tobago state-owned oil company, PETROTRIN.

PETROTRIN late last month announced the closure of its oil refinery blaming increasing financial losses. The closure has led to the retrenchment of more than 1,700 employees.

In a statement, the Barbados National Oil Company Ltd (BNOCL) said it currently imports gasoline from and sells its crude oil to PETROTRIN, while diesel and fuel oil are sourced extra-regionally.

It said kerosene is imported by the oil companies Sol and Rubis.

BNOCL said that at the time of the PETROTRIN announcement regarding the oil refinery, Barbados was exporting annually 260,000 barrels of crude oil to the Trinidad-based refinery and importing 60,000 barrels of gasoline on a monthly basis.

It said the annual contract with PETROTRIN entailed the exchange of the crude oil for gasoline, which aided in the reduction of the foreign exchange cost, as the value of the crude offset the outlay for the gasoline.

BNOCL’s said its storage capacity for gasoline is 80,000 barrels.

“As at Wednesday, September 12, 2018, BNOCL’s gasoline stock level was 53,582 barrels of gasoline, which is enough inventory for 25 days. Another shipment of 30,000 barrels is expected from PETROTRIN on the weekend of September 15, which will provide inventory for about 38 days’ supply.

“BNOCL will receive its final shipment of 30,000 to 35,000 barrels from PETROTRIN during the period September 24 to 28, and along with the previous shipments, will be sufficient to supply local consumption requirements until November 5 at a usage rate of 2000 barrels a day.”

The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources said that through BNOCL, it has been in discussion with a number of suppliers with a view to employing a similar arrangement to that with PETROTRIN.

‘”The goal is to ensure that this country has a consistent supply of gasoline at an affordable price, while securing a market for Barbados’ crude oil.  BNOCL has never had a stock-out of petroleum products and always has adequate inventory to service Barbados, and is ever mindful of the need to do so, particularly during the hurricane season.”

The government said it wanted to assure all Barbadians that it “is keeping ahead of the situation to ensure that despite the closure of the PETROTRIN refinery, there will be no shortage of gasoline in Barbados”.

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CIBC FirstCaribbean to close Anguilla branch

CIBC FirstCaribbean to close Anguilla branch

THE VALLEY, Anguilla, Sep. 13, CMC – The Anguilla branch of CIBC FirstCaribbean Intenrational Bank will be closed early in the new year.

This was announced on Wednesday by  Donnal Wellington, Managing Director of Barbados and the EC Islands, under which the Anguilla business falls.

“We conducted a strategic review of our business across the region and given the growth path we have identified we have made the difficult decision to close our operations in Anguilla,” she said.

“Our operation in Anguilla is a small one accounting for just five per cent of overall market share there. Since the economic downturn, our business in Anguilla has been experiencing operational losses. Given the continuing economic climate, we have therefore taken the difficult decision to close our office there.”

According to Wellington, CIBC FirstCaribbean has held discussions with the Government of Anguilla and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, as the regulator, and all parties have agreed to work in close coordination to ensure that the transition can take place in an orderly manner and that all are committed to ensuring continued financial stability in Anguilla.

She added that the bank’s employees in Anguilla will be offered separation packages consistent with the bank’s policy.

The branch operations will cease January 31 and the bank has asked all account holders to close their accounts and transfer their business to another commercial bank in Anguilla. 

CIBC FirstCaribbean says  as it prepares for the closure of its Anguilla branch the bank will not be transacting any new business with immediate effect.

The regional bank is also planning with National Commercial Bank of Anguilla Ltd, to allow clients with loan facilities and credit cards to service their debts to completion.

“We have met with our staff in Anguilla to apprise them of our decision and we are fully committed to supporting our employees and customers through this process. Additionally, we will be communicating with our clients to offer them the support they need in winding up their business with us,” Wellington said.

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Bertrand-Osborne - OECS

OECS Director General extends condolences on passing of former Chief Minister of Montserrat Bertrand Osborne

OECS Media release

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 — The OECS conveys sincere condolences to the Government and people of Montserrat on the passing of Bertrand Osborne, former Chief Minister.

Mr Bertrand Osborne served as Chief Minister of Montserrat from November 1996 to August 1997 during the volcanic crisis and was a member of the Montserrat Legislative Council for 14 years.He was also honoured with the National Order of Distinction award in 2014. 

“We have lost a leader, an oustanding man whose contribution to the development of Montserrat and by extension the OECS region is invaluable. We mourn this loss with the nation of Montserrat and extend our deepest sympathies to his family,” Director General of the OECS Commission Dr. Didacus Jules stated.


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Jamaican born customs officer dies suddenly

Jamaican born customs officer dies suddenly

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Sep. 13, CMC  – The police have announced plans to probe circumstances that may have led to the sudden death of a  51 year old customs officer earlier this week.

The police report that Lloyd “Silah” Francis, originally from the eastern parish of St. Thomas in Jamaica, was found dead at his home on Monday.

According to the Antigua Observer, officials from the Strategic Communications Office said  they are awaiting the outcome of an autopsy before determining the course of their investigation.

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Government moving to privatise sugar cane industry

Government moving to privatise sugar cane industry

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept 15, CMC – The Barbados government says it is considering merging or partnering the state-owned Barbados Agricultural Management Company Limited (BAMC) with the Barbados Sugar Industry Limited (BSIL), as it seeks to fully privatise the sugar cane industry.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister, Indar Weir, said also Barbadians will have an opportunity to own shares in the newly formed entity which should come on stream within another five years.

Weir said the government could no longer subsidise the BAMC to the tune of BDS$12 million (One Barbados dollar=US$0.50 cents) under the current International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrangement.

Last week, Barbados and the IMF said they had reached an agreement that will result in the country y being given access to almost US$300 million to support a home-grown programme aimed at turning around the economy.

Weir said as a result, the company would have to find a way to bridge that financial gap and that he has already instructed the BAMC board of directors would have to look at how quickly the transition into the new entity could happen.

The Agriculture Minister said government’s stake in the entity would be limited.

“We are embarking on a system of retooling and empowering, retraining and enfranchising.  And, if we are going to do this successfully, then it means that we as a Government must pave the way for all of this to take place.

“There is no space for any government in this modern time and place where the private sector can perform those duties and do them better.  I feel that greater efficiencies can come if we can get the sugar industry completely managed and operated through the private sector,” he said.

Weir said that Barbados now had a sugar industry that was capable of delivering what was needed “in terms of build out of an industry” to contribute to Barbados’ economy going forward.

He cited additional opportunities that would be created through the rebirth of the sugar cane industry, such as entrepreneurs becoming involved in the “direct packaging and consumption of sugar” and rum distilleries producing more rum using local inputs.

He also praised the high quality products being made at the St. Nicholas Abbey, as well as their business model, which combines the manufacturing of agricultural products with tourism.

Weir said that there was a high demand for the Barbados rum brand produced by St. Nicholas Abbey and for locally produced rum on a whole, adding that it was being sold “for a premium” in markets such as the United Kingdom.

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2018-2019 Law Year Opens September 18

A Release (adapted) from the High Court Registrar’s office on Montserrat on Thursday this week, informs that: On Tuesday,  September 18, 2018, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court will commence the New Law Year 2018/2019 with its usual Ceremonial Opening in the form of a Special Sitting of the Court in Montserrat.  There will be simultaneous special sittings in the other eight (8) Member States and Territories of the OECS.

The proceedings will commence with a church service in each Member State and Territory, followed later by the procession to the High Court where the formal sitting will be held. 

In Montserrat, the Church Service will be held at The St James Anglican Church in Salem, commencing at 8.00 a.m., followed by the inspection of the Guard of Honour and a Mini Parade at the Car Park at Government Headquarters Brades. This will then be followed by the formal Court Sitting which will be held at the High Court at Government Headquarters Brades.

Chief Justice Janice Pereira

The Chief Justice, Her Ladyship, Dame Janice M. Pereira, DBE will deliver the Opening Address at 10:00 a.m. from Saint Christopher & Nevis where the Court of Appeal is scheduled for its first sitting in the New Law Year.

The theme for the opening of the Law Year’s address is “Challenges, Opportunities and Resilience: The ECSC paving the way to a Modern and Efficient Judiciary for the Eastern Caribbean”.

The Chief Justice’s address will be carried live via simulcast to the other Member States and Territories of the OECS and will also be broadcast throughout the region via the local media.

The public is encouraged to participate in the Ceremonial Opening of the Law Year 2018/2019 by attending either the church service or the special sitting or by listening to the events live on ZJB Radio. 

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) was established in 1967 by the West Indies Associated States Supreme Court Order No. 223 of 1967.

 It is the superior court of record for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), including six independent states: Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and three British Overseas Territories (BOTs) Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, and Montserrat. It has unlimited jurisdiction in each member State.



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Calm as he will be remembered

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

by Bennette Roach

Calm as he will be remembered

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

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

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

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

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