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Body of former prime minister returns on Sunday

Body of former prime minister returns on Sunday

by staff writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jun 1, CMC – The Jamaica government says the body of the late former prime minister, Edward Seaga, is scheduled to arrive here on Sunday, as the region and international community continues to pay its respect to him.

A government statement said that Seaga’s remains, draped in the national flag, will arrive on a Caribbean Airlines flight at the Norman Manley International Airport, escorted by members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

Edward Seaga (File Photo)

It said family members, including widow Mrs. Carla Seaga and daughter Gabrielle, will be on the flight and that the body of the country’s fifth prime minister, will be received by the Government with the appropriate honour guard in place.

On hand will be Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen; Prime Minister Andrew Holness; Members of the Cabinet; Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips; Members of Parliament as well as other relatives of the late prime minister, who died in a United States hospital on Tuesday at the age of 89.

The government said that Seaga will be accorded a State funeral and that a period of mourning will be announced.

It said condolence books have opened at locations across the island and people overseas will have the opportunity to sign condolence books, which will be opened in all diplomatic missions.

Meanwhile, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said Seaga was instrumental in reviving the integration movement as host in 1982 to the first heads of government conference after a seven year hiatus.

“The meeting served to reinvigorate the integration process,” LaRocque said, adding that Seaga made an indelible contribution to the development of his country in many spheres.

“Recognised as the longest serving member of the Jamaican Parliament, he was also the youngest ever nominated to the Legislative Council prior to Independence.  His record of service in both the Lower and Upper Houses was marked not only by his passionate oratory but also by his initiation of innovative legislative actions which resulted in significant changes in his country.

“Mr Seaga lent his considerable experience and expertise to the University of the West Indies (UWI), where, upon his retirement from public life, he was appointed as a Distinguished Fellow at the regional institution’s Mona Campus.  The Campus’ Research Institute had earlier been named in his honour.”

LaRocque said that Seaga has done his part and that Jamaica and the region “ have lost a towering figure.”

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

JUS WONDERIN

Jus Wonderin

Jus wonderin how some people do not like to promote themselves as far as their achievements and rely on others who understand their importance and relevance to the growth and progress of the island.

Jus wonderin about the coldness or the urgency to do something about electoral reform before the next general election.

Jus wonderin if becars me expect dem tap civil servants fu be loyal to the progress to dis country and do dem work loyally and propuly dat dem jus cut eye so bad dat e cud cut all four me car tyres.

Jus wonderin bout dis wan if a lek Solomon say.

Jus wonderin why so much corruption have to be around.

Jus wonderin it get so bad dat de corruption look so good can’t tell de difference wey the bad actually accepted as good.

Jus wonderin if this is not enough to warrant Impeachment in the USA — CNN’s Amanda Carpenter: “Pelosi is wrong. There was not ‘a cover up.’ There were MANY cover ups. Coverups of Russian talks. Coverups of seedy, extramarital affairs. Cover ups of Trump’s accounting. And, cover ups to hide Trump’s attempts to kill queries about any of it.”

Jus wonderin if there is any coverup in Montserrat in this decade why no one want to admit that government is continuous, be it DFID, FCO or GoM.

Jus wonderin if a tief dem mek awe we run out of goat meat dat awe use to import a Antigua even aftu awe import goats to increase dem population.

Jus wonderin who dat one choice leader going forward.

Posted in Entertainment, International, Jus Wonderin, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Ronald-Jacksoon - C

Caribbean urged to be fully prepared for 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season

by staff writer

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jun 1, CMC – The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially got started on Saturday with the Barbados-based  Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) urging the population in the region to be fully prepared for any eventuality over the next six months.

The US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting there will be nine to 15 named storms during the hurricane season that ends on November 30.


Ronald Jackson (CMC Photo)

Forecasters are also predicting four to eight of  the storms will become hurricanes and two to four would become major hurricanes with 111 miles per hour (mph) winds or higher.

But CDEMA executive director, Ronald Jackson, said that regardless of how many storms are predicted, the Caribbean should be fully prepared for any eventuality.

“We do not get fixated on whether it is above below, or average…we focus more on ensuring that we go through the season prepared. There is nothing called over preparing as you would have seen in 2017 when we had three Category 5 hurricanes,” he told reporters.

In 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria lashed several Caribbean countries as they made their way through the Lesser Antilles leaving behind a trail of death and destruction estimated at billions of US dollars.

Jackson reminded the Caribbean that hurricanes were now manifesting themselves at a faster rate than before “to a situation where they went from a Category 2 to category 5 in a very short period of time.

“So we have to be prepared for any eventuality. We have to recognise that we have a history of damage, extensive damage from severe rainfall,” he said, adding that CDEMA has been promoting all year round the need to ensure ‘we could deal with any eventuality”.

He said several initiatives had been undertaken and the Barbados-based regional agency was also preparing for volcanic and earthquake incidents during the hurricane season.

“I know it is the hurricane season but we are also upgrading the volcanic, earthquake and tsunami aspects of our plan.

“Again, simply because it does not matter if you are in the hurricane season, you can have an event of nature, a volcano, tsunami or earthquake given the setting here in the Caribbean,” Jackson added.

Posted in Climate/Weather, Energy, Hurricane, News0 Comments

Two Caribbean governments defend Citizenship by Investment Programme

Two Caribbean governments defend Citizenship by Investment Programme

by staff writer

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, May 31, CMC – The governments of Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts-Nevis have strongly defended their respective Citizenship by Investment Programs (CBI) that some regional countries use as a means of luring foreign investments.

Several Caribbean countries provide citizenship to those investors in return for making a significant contribution to the socio-economic development of their countries.

The Antigua and Barbuda government said it “strongly rejects” the claims being made “two convicted money launderers” that a Syrian national had been issued a passport.

The Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) said it “is compelled, once again, to denounce the false information” by the two individuals who have been carrying-out a campaign designed to damage the CBI in the Caribbean

“The CIU advises that it has not approved citizenship or the grant of a passport to a person by the name of Mohamad Ayad Ghazal, nor does it have any record of his applying for citizenship.

“Further, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda has recalled all passports and are issuing new e-passports, containing all the biometric data of the holders, with effect from June 1,” the CIU said, noting that its “multi-layered due diligence processes, with leading due diligence service providers and intergovernmental law enforcement agencies, remain resilient.”

Meanwhile, the St. Kitts-Nevis government said that it is disappointed that two members of the European Parliament had sought to tarnish the image of the Federation’s CBI program that has entered its 35th year.

“We are very disappointed that two members of the European Parliament should issue a letter to the EU Commission and the President of the European Council to request scrutiny of our program without a scintilla of evidence of any wrongdoing by anyone in our program,’ Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris said, adding that the European had relied on “misdeeds” of the former government “and the inaccurate claim that a Russian citizen of interest to law enforcement agencies was an economic citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis since 2014.

“It is not a good reflection of the reliability and seriousness of members of the European Parliament that they should seek punitive action against any entity without giving the accused the benefit of due process and natural justice and without regard for the consequences of their ill-informed letter, not just for the viability of the CBI program of St. Kitts and Nevis but also for the wider Caribbean.”

Harris said he was calling on the two European legislators “to recall their letters and to apologize to our people”.

Harris said that the CBI programme “has provided the intellectual underpinnings for subsequent programs and permutations thereof by countries such as the USA, Canada, Malta and Cyprus, all of which have their versions of CBI programmes”.

He said for a second occasion, the twin-island Federation will host the Caribbean Investment Summit during the period, June 19-21 that will allow the country to “build a network for greater cooperation and harmonization of the CBI programs in the region.

Harris said he is satisfied that the significant reforms, which have been made to the CBI have transformed it into an international leader amongst all programmes.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, International, News, Regional0 Comments

Trinidad bans importation of all poultry meat from Guyana

Trinidad bans importation of all poultry meat from Guyana

by staff writer

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jun 1, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government has imposed a ban on all poultry products from Guyana “until further notice”.

Duck Virus Hepatitis

A two paragraph statement from the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries, said that “with immediate effect, all and any raw and cooked poultry meat from Guyana is banned from entry into Trinidad and Tobago until further notice”.

It said that such items would be seized upon entry into the country, but gave no reasons as to why the ban had been imposed.

Media reports in Guyana said that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country has advised of the existence of Duck virus hepatitis (DVH) in a part of the country.

DVH is a highly fatal contagious disease of young ducklings between the ages one to 28 days. Ducklings are most susceptible at the younger ages and gradually become more resistant as they grow older. The disease is rarely seen in ducklings over four  weeks of age.

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

The Atlantic may see up to 4 Major Hurricanes this season

By Laura Geggel, Associate Editor 

Scientists are predicting a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year, with two to four major hurricanes reaching at least Category 3 status, with winds of 111 mph (178 km/h) or higher, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced today (May 23).

But this “near-normal” description doesn’t mean people in the U.S. Southeast and Eastern Seaboard can rest easy.

“That’s a lot of activity,” Gerry Bell, the lead hurricane season forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, told reporters at a news conference today. “You need to start getting ready for the hurricane season now.”

[The 20 Costliest, Most Destructive Hurricanes to Hit the US]

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season — which lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30 — is expected to have between nine and 15 named storms, which means they pack winds of 39 mph (62 kilometers/hour) or higher, NOAA reported. Of those, between four and eight could become hurricanes, meaning their winds reach speeds of 74 mph (119 km/h) or higher.

Although just four of these hurricanes may top Category 3 status, “it only takes one land-falling hurricane to cause great destruction to a community,” Daniel Kaniewski, the acting deputy administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) told reporters.

During an average hurricane season, the Atlantic sees about 12 named storms, including six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. Last year’s season was above average, with 15 named storms, including eight hurricanes, of which two were major — the destructive hurricanes Michael and Florence.

However, it’s impossible to know whether any of the storms or hurricanes predicted for the 2019 season will make landfall, said Neil Jacobs, acting NOAA administrator.

The officials added that this year marks the first time NOAA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites, including three operational next-generation satellites, were used to gather data for the hurricane forecast models. This data also helped NOAA issue a storm prediction for the eastern and central Pacific basins. According to NOAA, the Pacific should expect an above-normal season with 15 to 22 named storms, of which eight to 13 are expected to become cyclones (the term given to “hurricanes” in these parts of the Pacific). Of these, between four and eight could be major cyclones, NOAA reported.

See full story at : https://www.livescience.com/65551-2019-atlantic-hurricane-season.html?utm_source=notification

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, Hurricane, International, Local, Regional0 Comments

John Gordon DFID OT Dir DSC_7353 web

UK OTs directors urge spending of monies well…


by Bennette Roach

The Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) Overseas Territories (OTs) and Department for International Development (DFID) (OTs) Directors concluded a two day visit to Montserrat, their final stop speaking with the local media at the Governor’s office on Thursday, May 23, 2019.

The Interview turned out to be too short, as it is most time even though it lasted just about an hour. The two were on a familiarisation tour of the Caribbean and we never got to ask how many and which islands they had visited before coming to Montserrat and after they leave Montserrat.

Premier Romeo
H E Governor Pearce

They were joined by the Hon. Premier Romeo and H E Governor Pearce with Miss Moira Marshall the DFID local representative sitting in the back of the room.

Both gentlemen were making their first visit to Montserrat with the FCO director William Gelling being in post for just of a year while John Gordon DFID director in position for just under three years, neither of them familiar enough to be articulate about conditions regarding Montserrat going back of 2016.

William Gelling

Gelling expressed joy to have visited. “I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get here,” he said adding that it (Montserrat) is “really remarkable!” as he looked over Plymouth from Garibaldi Hill, “and over the destruction that was wrought over two decades ago and I think a tribute to Montserrat and its resilience…”

As Gordon said speaking after Gelling, after the Governor opened the briefing, he said, “I align myself with all of his comments, I share all of that. It’s really great to be here, we’re really grateful for all the people that made time to meet with us.” Gelling had gone on to say in his introduction, “I think Montserrat can be proud of what it’s done over the last 20 years to pick it up after that really shocking and tragic event. I’ve also been really struck by the warmth of Montserrat and Montserratians and the beauty of the place.”

Gelling having said the above, I would raise later with him, continued though not similar reminded me of then DFID Minister Alan Duncan in December 2011, when he said that ‘no where that Britain has responsibility, has ever suffered what Montserrat has gone through from the volcanic activity.’

Gelling said, “I think Montserrat can be proud of what it’s done over the last 20 years to pick it up after that really shocking and tragic event. I’ve also been really struck by the warmth of Montserrat and Montserratians and the beauty of the place. I don’t think there’s many places I’ve been where you arrive to this enormously verdant scenery, and the level of biodiversity.”

The Governor and the Premier both joined in expressing satisfaction at how the meetings have turned out. The two OTs directors shared a common view, Gordon saying: “We’ve had really productive discussion with the premier and with his team. We met civil society. We met opposition politicians. We’ve talked to a range of people. And that presented a very good picture of Montserrat – This is been a good couple of days. A bit of a whistle-stop visit. But you can do quite a lot in two days, as we found. We didn’t really stop from morning till night, so. Thanks to all those that that helped us to get a clearer picture…”

Gelling had said: “I do feel that we’ve really built a level of trust that I hope will make things going forward, more straight forward, more productive, and I hope will allow all of us to see more results…”

In addition they also said they met with, and, “…we’ve talked to a whole range of people, public servants. And we met with a group of private sector representatives yesterday to talk about what their views are on what they need to happen to enable them to sort of invest more in Montserrat.”

John Gordon

There was a recurring theme from particularly the DFID director regarding the delayed approval of the development funds of £30 million. Repeatedly referring to the funds as substantial, Gordon said: “we approved 30 million pounds which is a substantial amount of money…For a country of moderate size and the size of a public service and its capacity – we think that’s the right amount of money.”

Following discussion on that he concluded: “We have a history in this country of investing in infrastructure and things generally take longer than we expected them to. But that happens in many countries, not just Montserrat. Because infrastructure projects generally aren’t easy to implement.”

Responding to a question as to should those funds get drawn sooner within the five years, will there be a supplement, he said: “My objective and the premier’s objective is to move forward as quickly as possible to deliver effect through that investment.”

“So,” he continued: “I’m not gonna think now about what happens when all the money’s exhausted or if there’s another phase of this. We’ve only just approved this. This is a couple of months in so we’d rather just focus on spending the money and spending the money well, rather than thinking about what more might be down the road.”

The discussion and questions continued, while Gordon concluded: “So let’s just focus on spending the money and if they spend it in 18 months, let’s confront that problem when it arrives.”

Oversight of the funds spent on behalf of and in Montserrat followed and this report will continue…

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MAC Vacancy Notice

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Digicel defends decision to take court action against government

Digicel defends decision to take court action against government

by staff writer

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, May 31, CMC – The Irish-owned telecommunications company, Digicel, Friday defended its decision to secure a High Court order preventing the Antigua and Barbuda government from confiscating any of the 850 MHz spectrum it has been allocated.

In a statement, Digicel said that it wanted to shield its customers from “significant service disruption and a negative impact on coverage.”

The government is hoping that the High Court will bring about a resolution to the opposition by Digicel and Flow, formerly the British telecommunication giant, Cable and Wireless, to share the island’s spectrum with the state-owned Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA).

Prime Minister Gaston Browne said the two foreignbased companies were resisting the move, but insists that his administration would not allow inequality to continue within the industry here.

In the statement, Digicel said it was “forced into this legal challenge to protect its customers and services from being put in jeopardy” as a result of the government’s “anti-competitive and protectionist decision handed down” on May 8.

According to Digicel, it has been compelled to return a significant portion of its 850 MHz spectrum by May 31, “under what the Government misleadingly describes as a move towards “equitable distribution” of the spectrum.”

But Digicel argued that the government’s confiscation of the spectrum to the sole benefit of APUA and the detriment of Digicel’s customers would result in half of its customer base experiencing significant mobile service disruption “not to mention the broader negative impact on emergency services and other essential services like point of sale terminals and home security systems for a period of at least 18 months, since that is the time it would take Digicel to completely rebuild its network at a cost of at least US$25 million.”Digicel claims that APUA has almost twice as much spectrum as either of the other two operators in the market, despite having less than 25 percent.

“APUA is hoarding a scarce and valuable resource,” the statement said, adding “in any other market, this would be a cause for concern for the regulator, but uniquely in Antigua & Barbuda, APUA is also the Regulator”.

The telecommunication company said as a result APUA “holds the roles of both “referee and player” allowing for protectionist and anti-competitive behaviour to run amok.

“In addition, APUA is well able to operate a quality LTE network with the spectrum it already has; a fact Digicel can attest to, since it operate its LTE networks to a high standard in a similar spectrum environment in Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands, as do other operators within the Caribbean region,” the statement added.

Information Minister Melford Nicholas speaking to reporters after the weekly Cabinet meeting, said that the government had taken a policy decision “that the frequency spectrum, which must be utilised by all mobile operates to operate and conduct their businesses ought to be shared equitable”.

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

09Howard Fergus FB

ANTIGUA REMEMBERS PRINCE RAMSEY

Howard Fergus

The farewell service for the Prince of Antigua

as inspiring to behold and to hear,

as witness after witness testified freely

of his graciousness, greatness and loving care

with hyperboles plenty, without a false note.

They lifted up Dr. Ramsey, heavier and larger

than life, man among men, healer and friend,

and all Antigua lifted up the chorus: Amen.

Versatile and versed in whatever endeavour:

writing calypso, slamming dominoes,

ministering to AIDS, he shunned the mediocre,

only excellence goes.

But for his poignant strain, “man is nothing but dust”,

melodiously mouthed by De Bear,

I did not know him in life, but they washed his wear

and hung then on the line at St. John the Divine

in St. John’s today, and he smelled clean.

In spite of his doleful philosophy of dust,

his sights on glory seem eternally just.

Antigua played him fair with a riot of love,

a forest of flowers decorated the hearse;

as his sun sank in flooding light,

the good and great gave silent cheer

along with the little people, subjects of his care.

The smart of soldiers adorned the ceremony

as becomes a Prince on the highest rung,

a colossus of home-grown royalty

whose deeds deserve a golden song.

Posted in Local, News, Poems, Regional0 Comments

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