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marijuuu

Most St. Lucians in favour of decriminalisation of marijuana-Opinion poll

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Oct 14, CMC – Most St. Lucians are either in support of the legalisation or partial decriminalisation of marijuana according to a poll conducted by the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES).

CADRES said that it conducted the poll between September 8-11 and interviewed approximately 1,000 people across the island.

marijuuuIt said survey was conducted face to face and respondents were selected to conform to three distinct age cohorts (18-30; 31-50 and Over 50) and in each instance a 33 per cent quota was sought with equal quantities of males and females also being interviewed. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus five per cent.

CADRES said respondents were asked their “views on the decriminalization of Marijuana in St. Lucia” and provided with three response options as well at the option not to respond.

According to CADRES, which also conducted similar polls in several Caribbean islands including Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the results of the surveys tell an important story that is likely to be applicable across the region which is that public opinion is generally moving in the direction of greater support for decriminalisation and an increasing opposition to the status quo.

It said in the specific case of St. Lucia an estimated 38 per cent of those questioned opted for the maintenance of the status quo (illegal), while cumulatively 51 per cent of respondents supported either the full legalisation or partial decriminalisation, “which essentially means that most St. Lucians are opposed to the maintenance of the status quo.

“It is interesting to note that the attitude of St. Lucians on this issue is similar to that of all other Caribbean countries surveyed, especially as the margin of error associated with these surveys is plus or minus five per cent.

“St. Lucia therefore shares the same attitude towards full legalisation with St. Vincent, while Barbados, Dominica and Antigua all have a slightly larger quantity of persons who are supportive of full legalisation. Similarly, the 38 per cent of St. Lucians that opted for the status quo is consistent with the level of opposition to decriminalisation in St. Vincent Dominica and Barbados.”

But CADRES noted that the critical statistic; however, is support for partial decriminalisation, which is the route that is being pursued in Antigua and has already been taken in Jamaica, and in this regard “all islands surveyed report a similar level of support .

“Although this summary report does not permit a full exploration of the demographic factors impacting on support for or opposition to marijuana decriminalisation, the case of St. Lucia does provide a unique deviation from the region-wide custom that has noted higher levels of opposition to decriminalisation among women.

“In the case of St. Luca; however, similar quantities of women and men support the status quo which leads to the conclusion that gender does not impact on support for, or opposition to marijuana decriminalisation here, while the same cannot be said for age.

“In that regard St. Lucia is very much like all other countries surveyed in that older persons are more inclined to support the status quo, while younger persons are more disposed to decriminalisation or full legalisation,” CADRES added.

It said in the coming months it intends to be able to explore these attitudes in other Caribbean territories.

Caribbean government have already indicated a willingness to decriminalise the use of small portions of marijuana for medicinal purposes but have so far taken a cautious approach to the matter.

Posted in Crime, Health, Legal, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

CMC1

Press Statement of the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The following is the full text of statement issued by the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) following an incident involving our correspondent Mr. Kenton Chance and a member of the Barbados Coast Guard in Dominica on October 5, 2017.

“The Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) is aware of an incident between our correspondent Kenton Chance and a member of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) that occurred in Dominica on Thursday, October, 5.

CMC1“Mr. Chance reported that while on assignment covering the relief efforts at the Dominica Port with officials from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), a member of the Barbados Coast Guard “grabbed” his camera while he was filming the activities there.  Our correspondent said that the uniformed member of the Barbados Coast Guard, who was armed with an assault rifle, forcefully relieved him of his camera at the instruction of a man in civilian wear.  The Coast Guard official had also threatened to delete the footage already gathered.

“The equipment was only returned following the intervention of Acting Inspector of Police Hospidales of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Force and another member of his team who accompanied Chance back to the scene of the incident. Chance also informed (Retired) Brigadier General Earl Arthurs of CDEMA, who spoke to Hospidales and the man, after which the camera was returned to him.

“CMC strongly condemns the actions of the member of the Barbados Coast Guard. As the premier regional media outfit our primary role is to engender and foster the tenets of regional unity through information gathering and sharing.

“We gladly embraced the invitation to go to Dominica through a partnership between CDEMA and the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) to ensure that the Caribbean and the diaspora are made fully aware of the unfolding situation in Dominica as a result of Hurricane Maria.

“The role of the authentic media is even more important now in light of the trend in societies to embrace what is often termed “fake news”; some of which were peddled in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria striking Dominica.

“CMC has since taken note of a statement issued by the BDF that it intends to carry out a full investigation into the matter and the apology issued therein.

“CMC will continue to support the work of its correspondents across the region as it seeks to carry out its mandate to provide credible information to all the publics in the Caribbean.

“In that regard, we will continue to work with all stakeholders, including the Barbados Defence Force, the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) and the CBU.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Featured, Hurricane, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

crimmee

Elderly women killed during robbery

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Oct 3, CMC – Guyana police were on Tuesday searching for the bandits who killed two elderly women, who were found at their home in the capital with their hands and feet tied and their mouths gagged. The bodies also bore marks of violence.

crimmeePolice were called to the white wooden house on Tuesday after the two women had not been seen. But when the law enforcement officials broke down the door, they discovered the lifeless bodies of 87-year-old, Constance Fraser and 75-year-old Phyllis Caesar.

Investigators suspect that they may have come face to face with robbers between late Monday night and very early Tuesday morning.

Both women attended the nearby Full Gospel Church, where they served as Sunday school teachers and church members broke down in tears as they rushed across to the house.

Neighbours said that thieves had broken into the ouse just over a month ago and carted off several valuables.

Nearby businesses have surveillance cameras and investigators are hoping that they may assist in the investigations.

Posted in Crime, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

marijuuu

Marijuana discovered on flight from Jamaica

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Oct 6, CMC – Antigua and Barbuda law enforcement authorities have intercepted several boxes containing marijuana that arrived on the island on board a Caribbean Airlines (CAL) flight from Jamaica on Thursday.

marijuuuThe authorities said that the drugs were concealed in bottles packaged in several boxes of mayonnaise that were packed in four boxes which were discovered on the CAL flight 459. They gave no details as to the weight of the marijuana nor the street value.

They said that no one claimed the boxes on its arrival here, but they were addressed to a company in the capital.

The police have not released the name of the company and that no one has yet been arrested in relation to the discovery.

Posted in Crime, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

Jus Wonderin - October 6, 2017

Jus Wonderin – October 6, 2017

October 6, 2017

Jus wonderin if Montserrat’s state of affairs epitomizes Christian doctrine gone bad, sheer madness or both where good meets punishment and evil meets rewards.

Jus wonderin what “data and other confidential information” a transparency – honest – and integrity-centered government have to hide from their partners (like DfID), colleagues and the stakeholders people they supposedly represent.

Jus wonderin if dem person(s) responsible for the termination of the Head of GoM’s Programme Management Office (PMO) considered the ramifications of having no one to manage the delivery of the transformational capital programme.

Jus wonderin if the intent was to further retard the island’s development or just mere corruption intent.

Jus wonderin if we will ever learn the truth about Gomersall’s dismissal–without cause; if the actual reason was made public, would it trigger a huge scandal; and if any of the transformational projects the PMO Head was responsible for delivering will materialize during our lifetime.

Jus wonderin what it means that Montserratians are British citizens other than we have the right of abode in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Jus wonderin if persons lose their human rights once they immigrate to Montserrat as some Montserratians seem to think they ought to and should this extend to the thousands of Montserratians, families and friends who have immigrated to other countries.

Jus wonderin if the UK’s definition of meeting Montserratians’ reasonable needs is limited to the five basic human survival needs:  oxygen, water, food, shelter and sleep.  Well, maybe not shelter.

Jus wonderin if Glendon Hospital—described in the business case presented to DfID for funding as being unfit for purpose—meets our reasonable needs, as defined by the UK.

Jus wonderin when all parties concerned, DfID, aid donors, GoM and the people of Montserrat, will ever agree a definition of “reasonable needs” or when, at least, we can have a common understanding of what the UK means by the phrase.

Jus wonderin if we can trust the UK government not to renege on any commitment it makes.

Jus wonderin what happened to the DfID-funded £4.94 million fiber optic broadband grant for Montserrat that was reported via various media in early January 2017 when a DfID spokesperson said:  Following the devastating eruption in the UK overseas territory, we’ve met our legal obligations to Montserrat by investing in the vital infrastructure needed for the island to stand on its own two feet again.”

Jus wonderin if the UK now believes Montserrat can stand on its own two feet, no longer considers the fiber optic project to be vital infrastructure, or they have fully met their legal obligations to Montserrat.

Jus wonderin if conditions at DfID are so chaotic, the new Deputy Director failed to do his homework, or he was improperly briefed before arriving in Montserrat that when asked about funding for vital infrastructure projects, (including some already approved by his government) Mr Chakrabarti stated that DfID would take the approach they have always taken:  taking everything on a case-by-case basis, looking at value for money, impact, purpose, etc. and would be keen on leveraging joint public-private-IFI (International Financial Institutions) ventures.

Jus wonderin if outgoing British officials don’t prepare handover notes for their replacements and that’s why a new business case has to be prepared for projects that have been in the pipeline for years, in some cases, decades every time a new DfID official comes on the scene.  Or like many politicians and officials, they believe there is nothing worth learning from their predecessors or history and must restart everything from scratch.

Jus wonderin if the new Deputy DFID Director is really unaware that as a UK Overseas Territory (colony), Montserrat cannot borrow money from international financial institutions (per UK restrictions) and that the already approved £4.94 million fiber optic project involved investments from local internet service providers of around £51,000 plus £150,000 from the European Union.

Jus wonderin if the sole purpose of the Governor’s October 2017 press conference was to make us understand once and for all that she is in charge because as she has said, the majority of our enlightened elected leaders approved a constitution that made it so.

Jus wonderin if it is now crystal clear that Montserrat is still a colony and we are responsible for our predicament.

Jus wonderin when Montserrat was last represented at the annual UN Decolonization Committee Seminars and if it is because the Governor didn’t pass on the invitation to the Premier or the invitation got lost in the mail.

Jus wonderin why the Premier met with the Deputy DFID Head immediately after the Governor’s October 2017 press conference.

Jus wonderin why the Premier was not invited to the today October 2017 press conference since neither the Governor nor the Deputy DfID head could tell us anything about what was agreed between Montserrat and the UK because according to the Deputy DfID Head, only GoM could do that.

Jus wonderin if the Governor doesn’t realize that she forms part of Montserrat’s government, de jure. And DfID too for that matter, de facto.

Jus wonderin if the Governor understands the difference between ‘de jure’ and ‘de facto’ (convention) and why the latter may be important in maintaining good intergovernmental relations, especially in 21st century colonial environments.

Jus wonderin if the Governor should seriously consider hiring our esteemed resident constitutional expert, Dr Fergus, to explain the Montserrat Constitution Order 2010 to her, the legislature and all other government officials.

Jus wonderin if de Guvna really tink a-we believe she when she deny dat she tell a room full u people who are not deaf or dumb: “I am declaring a state of emergency,” dat she already sign.

Jus wonderin if a true wa people a say bout de two national pappy shows.

Jus wonderin all who a conspire against who fu dem job in an out u govment and if any u dem a go succeed.

Jus wonderin if a true de Govna and she Deputy a join de udder conspirators a mek trouble fu de Premier.

Jus wonderin who me fu tell when me witness wrongdoing.

Jus wonderin if me expose misconduct wa a go happen to me, protection or retribution and wa de law say bout um.

Jus wonderin if the Governor thinks that I’m harassing her just like she accused the editor of TMR of doing at her recent press conference or if she recognizes that I’m expressing my constitutional right to free expression, without malice.

Jus wonderin what our leaders’ spiritual and technical advisers are telling them and if dat mek dem no tek or ever follow advice proffered.

Jus wonderin if a guilt a talk when we hear on Radio ZJB that we ha fu integrate the elderly into society or me jus misunderstand.

Jus wonderin what percentage of Montserrat’s population is over the age of 55.

Jus wonderin if Minister Lady Macbeth only has confidence in herself and where her ambition will lead her ultimately.

Jus wonderin why some Ministers don’t replace their technical advisers since they clearly have no confidence in them and why some of these advisers remain in such a hostile environment when they would be welcomed with open arms, respect and suitable compensation by many other countries and international organizations that recognize the value of their expertise.

Jus wonderin if I’ll die before Premier finally reveals (as he continually promises) the whole story about everything ‘gone bad’ such as corruption, treachery, why approved projects are delayed, what really happened at MDC, PIU, PMO, Procurement Unit, etc.

Jus wonderin how many of us can admit when we don’t know, know when we don’t know or just pretend we don’t know.

Jus wonderin why anyone would advocate hiring an unqualified Montserratian over a qualified non-Montserratian just so that a few more Montserratians would have money in their pockets, and how Montserrat would benefit, in the short or long term.

Jus wonderin if some government officials, including the governor and most new DfID personnel ever bother to read relevant documents or have basic common sense judging from some of recent comments uttered publicly about documenting lessons learned from the recent hurricane strikes such as the need for backup generators, maintaining equipment, building resilient structures, putting utility cables underground, proper shelters, a radio station that doesn’t go off air at the beginning of every disaster, etc., etc.

Jus wonderin what productive work some of our elected and non-elected officials do with their time during working hours. 

Jus wonderin why some people work so much harder at not doing their job rather than actually performing the functions for which they were hired get paid and yet expect to get performance increments.

Jus wonderin if Montserrat doesn’t have a suitable building code designed for our region’s geography; business cases for a proper hospital that doesn’t require relocation before an imminent natural disaster and a road refurbishment project that includes ducting work includes underground ducts for electricity, water, telephone (fiber optic) and cable TV; inadequate budgets for proper maintenance and replacement of critical equipment and infrastructure like Radio Montserrat.

Jus wonderin if ignorance in hurricane prone Montserrat is an acceptable excuse when it comes to dealing with the preparation for and after-effects of a severe hurricane rather than accepting accountability for things that could reasonably have been prevented via “robust infrastructure.”

Jus wonderin if we are going to wait for mass casualties before appropriate corrective action is taken for things we know gone bad.

Jus wonderin wa we a go do when the Carrs Bay culvert collapses or the one at Soldier Ghaut, pretend we didn’t know about the structural problems for at least six years?

Jus wonderin since people won’t read documents that ought to be readily available, if it wouldn’t be prudent to rehire or at least consult those with institutional memory before it is too late to clue in the clueless and prevent calamity or are we just too paranoid to trust anyone or just plain wicked.

Jus wonderin if anyone is maintaining the library at the Development Unit or if government departments still send copies of important studies, reports and papers to the public library.

Jus wonderin if all of our elected and non-elected governments have acknowledged that Montserrat is in crisis and will do what reasonable people do in such situations:  work together to save ourselves and our island for future generations plus preserve their pay checks for at least two more years and gain a pension if the new ones can last six full years.

Just wonderin if the maxim that we learn from our mistakes is true.

Jus wonderin if we’d be bored without the wickedness, desperation, ignorance and stupidity.

Posted in International, Jus Wonderin, Local, News, Police0 Comments

Jamaica beating

Woman who was recorded beating child in video, charged

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Oct 3, CMC – A 44-year-old woman is due to appear in court next Monday charged with cruelty to a child after a video emerged on social media over the last weekend showing her beating a child with a machete.

Jamaica beatingThe Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) said that Doreen Dyer had been charged with cruelty to a child on Tuesday less than 48 hours after the video went viral showing her, dressed only in her underwear, hitting the girl with what the machete, while using expletives.

The JCF said that the incident took place sometime last year in Bath, St Thomas and that the woman was taken into custody on Sunday.The child was released to the custody of her aunt who lives in the same yard where the beating took place.

Meanwhile, the 12-year-old child, speaking on a radio programme here on Tuesday described her mother as “one of the best mothers I know in the world”.

She told radio listeners that she felt bad now that her mother has been placed in police custody and was also upset at the person who took the video.

The child admitted that while her mother needed to change her attitude, she was not afraid of her, “because I’m not going to misbehave or flash her off, or do any kind of thing to her so that she can beat me again”.

Video of mom beating 12-yr old

Posted in Crime, Local, Police, Regional0 Comments

ramlogan

TRINIDAD-CRIME-Former attorney general formally charged

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Aug 30, CMC – Former attorney general Anand Ramlogan was on Wednesday formally charged with misbehaviour in public office more than 30 hours after he was picked up at his southern home by police.

ramlogan
Anand Ramlogan

A statement issued by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) stated that Ramlogan, who served as attorney general here from 2010-15, was charged “with misbehaviour in public office and obstruction of justice arising from allegations contained in a report made by Mr. David west to the Commissioner of Police on January 28, 2015”.

The statement said that the charges were laid against Ramlogan, 45, following consultation with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution and that he will appear in court on Friday September 1, “to answer the charges”. He was released on TT$750,00 (One TT dollar =US$0.16 cents) bail.

Earlier, one of Ramlogan’s attorneys, Senior Counsel Pamela Elder, told reporters that she was disappointed at the lengthy period it had taken to lay charges against him and that ““it is becoming oppressive now because he has been in continuous detention since 6o’clock yesterday and he has been cooperating fully with the police officers”.

The police picked up Ramlogan at his residence in Palmiste, south of here, early Tuesday morning as they continue their probe into allegations that he had sought to pervert the course of justice by asking West, the director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) to withdraw a statement he had made in support of the then Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley in a lawsuit more than two years ago.

In 2015, then Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar fired Ramlogan and her national security minister Gary Griffith over the allegations.

The lawsuit followed statement allegedly made by Rowley during a news conference relating to the failed extradition involving businessmen Steve Ferguson and Ishwar Galbaransingh, who are reported to be financiers of the United National Congress, and are wanted to the United States on corruption charges.

Ramlogan has denied that he asked David West to withdraw his witness statement in support of Rowley six days before the PCA director took up his new post.

Persad Bissessar said that Griffith had failed to inform her that he had been allegedly asked by Ramlogan to telephone West asking him to withdraw the statement.

Meanwhile, the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) Wednesday urged members of the public to refrain from making comments on the detention of Ramlogan. As it chided two politicians for expressing an opinion on the matter.

In a statement, the LATT sought to remind the public of the importance of the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Posted in Court, General, Legal, News, Police, Politics, Regional0 Comments

RMPS

RMPS touts their success in reducing marijuana production

RMPS Deputy Commissioner, Acting Charles Thompson

Following the destruction of several fields by the Royal Montserrat Police Service (RMPS) and the difficulty that arose with the premature revelation of the discovery of the fields in the Dick Hill area, (that had a potential market value of $250,000) RMPS Deputy Commissioner, Acting Charles Thompson has moved to advise of their resulting success in the reduction of criminal offences overall.

Speaking to news sources Ag. Commissioner Thompson expressed satisfaction that they had rid the market of “that illegal stuff.” He said, “I’m sure persons out there would appreciate the number of plant rows the number of leaves and of course and branches and the fact that these plants they spread, it means that a considerable portion of that illegal stuff would have been taken off the local market.”

The top-ranking police officer said they would continue with their raids, promising to keep the public updated as to their activities not only in similar circumstances, but with other activities. He referred to their positive results in the High and the Magistrate Courts. “I think the results from the recent High Court and the Magistrates Court would indicate that our activities to provide security for Montserrat is all inclusive and I’m happy to say that what we’re seeing is a reduction our success in reduction in criminal offenses,” Thompson said, giving compliments to themselves., adding “…we’re not only here to look at marijuana, and that’s commendable and we want to keep it that way.”

Posted in Crime, Local, News, Police1 Comment

Final EC Bank Notes Security Features

Counterfeit EC Currency Notes in circulation in Montserrat and the region

Features of EC Currency Notes

by Bennette Roach

Word quickly spread that there were counterfeit EC dollars circulating in Montserrat. Our investigations revealed that one store had suspected the notes, but the Bank nor the ECCB agency office had been advised.

But Montserrat was not the only OECS territory experiencing the counterfeit notes. CMC reported that Grenada police Wednesday, August 16 urged people to be on the lookout for counterfeit East Caribbean dollars, saying that ‘counterfeit EC$50 and EC$100 dollar notes were now in circulation here and that they had the serial numbers VM033672 and SR380132 respectively.’

The serial numbers are the same as those reported in Montserrat as confirmed by Claudette Weekes, in charge of the local agency office and who at first said she had no official report of the counterfeit notes. However, responding to the eventual report and noted with an advisory. “The public is advised to be on the alert for counterfeit EC Currency notes, particularly during this time of heightened regional festivities. Vigilance should be exercised when conducting cash transactions to ensure the authenticity of notes.”

The advisory further noted: “Counterfeit notes do not have any value and it is a criminal offense to pass them on. If you encounter any suspicious looking note, take it to the ECCB Headquarters, any of

Final EC Bank Notes Security Features

the ECCB Agency Offices or the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) within your territory for assessment.”

 

In Grenada CMC reported that the police did not say whether the circulation of the counterfeit currency was linked to the island’s Carnival celebrations that ended on Tuesday. But they warned persons that it is a criminal offense to have in their possession or pass on counterfeit money.

Meanwhile in Montserrat, Mrs. Weekes informed: “What I do know is that if they suspect notes in the community and always there are suspected notes there is a procedure for dealing with them. The matter should be reported to the police there are officers in the Royal Montserrat Police Service trained to identify the note and to classify them accordingly after which the note would be passed on to the agency office for my scrutiny and then I’ll pass them on to the currency department in St. Kitts.”

She explains further: “… note would have a watermark which is the shadow of the Queen’s head when it’s held up to the light. It’s not the obvious image of the Queen that we’re accustomed to. It is a shadow feature, a watermark it’s called of the Queen’s head that is a standard security feature, and also one would be an electro type which reads ECCB and it runs down the side of the note and several other features which are better identified if you can see them. That’s why I’m encouraging people that if they’re not sure to contact the agency office.

Montserrat Grenada along with six other Caribbean OECS countries, namely Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia,  and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, share the same currency.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Featured, International, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

Streets cordoned off

Barcelona terror attack: One arrested after van driven into dozens of pedestrians

Thursday 17 August 2017

At least 13 people have died and 50 are injured after a white van hits people in a tourist area of Catalonia’s capital.

Streets cordoned off

Police have arrested a suspect after a van killed at least 13 people in a terrorist attack in Barcelona city centre.

A white van mounted the pavement of Las Ramblas, the main tourist area in the city, and struck several people, police said.

It came to a halt at the entrance to the Liceu metro station and the occupants escaped and ran off into the streets nearby, according to one newspaper.

Spanish police search streets and bars for terrorists

:: Barcelona terror attack: What we know so far

Catalan interior minister Joaquim Forn confirmed that 13 people have died and 50 are injured.

One social media video post showed bodies strewn across the pavement for several hundred metres along the famous street.

One TV station said two armed men entered a Turkish restaurant and took hostages, but the interior ministry denied this.

Debris on the ground after a van hit pedestrians in Barcelona

Image: Debris on the ground after a van hit pedestrians in Barcelona

Police initially said they were looking for a man of 5ft 5ins (1.7m) in height, wearing a white shirt with blue stripes.

The van used in atrocity is said to be a Fiat, that was hired from an address in Santa Perpetua Of the Mogoda about five miles north of the city.

El Pais has identified a man who the Civil Guard says is responsible. A Facebook account says he is from Marseilles and lives in Ripoll, Catalonia, about 50 miles north of Barcelona.

:: ‘I saw a woman screaming for her kids’

Security forces have found a second van connected to the attack in the town of Vic, 40 miles from Barcelona, 10 miles south of Ripoll, according to police sources.

There were also unconfirmed reports of shooting on a road near Las Ramblas, but the police has yet to comment.

Debris on the ground after a van hit pedestrians in Barcelona

Footage from reporters on the ground shows armed officers combing the streets and a market near where the van came to a halt, with a search said to be under way in several other shopping areas.

Numerous people have been trapped in shops after being told to hide following the initial crash. They are slowly being evacuated by armed officers.

Emergency services in Catalonia say they have asked the Metro to be shut down and the Renfe stations nearby have been closed and evacuated.

:: LIVE: ‘Armed men holed up’ after Barcelona attack

Police have also cordoned off the Las Ramblas and several of the streets nearby and shut down several of the shops.

A police car blocks the road after the collision

Image: A police car blocks the road after the collision

An eyewitness, lawyer Aymar Anwar, who’s at a conference in the city, said: “All of a sudden I heard a crashing noise, and the whole street just started to run screaming.

“I saw a woman next to me screaming for her kids.”

The Spanish and Catalan governments are meeting to discuss what has happened.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey said on Twitter: “To all administrations: the priority is to treat the wounded and aid the work of the security forces.”

 

The Foreign Office released a statement saying: “The British Embassy in Madrid and Consulate General in Barcelona are in contact with local authorities and urgently seeking further information following reports of an incident in central Barcelona.

The scene after the incident

“Local authorities have advised people to stay inside and stay away from the Las Ramblas area of the city. If you’re in the immediate area you should take care and follow the advice of the local security authorities.”

A White House spokesman said Donald Trump’s chief of staff is “keeping abreast of the situation” and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US stands ready to act.

Posted in Crime, International, Local, News, Police, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

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The Montserrat Reporter - August 18, 2017

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