1,800 laid off so far in Barbados

(Barbados Nation) The workers’ unions may not know the lay-off numbers, but the International Monetary Fund (IMF) surely does.

The IMF reported yesterday that Government had sent home 1 800 public sector employees so far and was on track with its economic stabilisation measures – despite postponing lay-offs from January 15 to 31.

“We’ve been informed by the authorities that approximately 1 800 people were let go . . . by January 31 and that the remaining 1 200 would occur by March 31.

A lot of these are coming from the public enterprises, not only from the central Government,” IMF mission chief for Barbados, Nicole Laframboise, told journalists in a conference call from Washington, DC, yesterday, where IMF directors met to discuss Barbados’ Article IV Consultation three days ago.

Describing Government’s programme to retrench 3 000 workers as being important and “reasonably on track despite delay”, Laframboise said the lay-offs were crucial to controlling the wages bill, which was one of the key line items Government would be able to control in the short term.

 

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Venezuela gov’t aims to sink Maduro recall, opposition protests

CARACAS, (Reuters) – Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government sought yesterday to scupper a push by the opposition to oust him this year via a referendum, while his opponents called for protests to demand the vote.

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No amnesty for war rapists: Colombia peace talks turn to women’s rights

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Colombia’s government and FARC rebels have pledged to improve access to land for women and ensure perpetrators of sexual violence, including rape, will not be eligible for amnesty as part of ongoing peace talks to end five decades of civil war.

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Colombia declares end to Zika epidemic inside country

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombian health officials declared yesterday that the worst of a Zika outbreak in the Andean nation had passed just 10 months after its arrival, raising questions about how the virus is affecting parts of Latin America differently.

Damage to the MV Xin Fei Zhou

Ship hits wall of Panama Canal, renews design concerns

HOUSTON (Reuters) – A Chinese container ship hit a wall of the new lane of the Panama Canal, a Canal Authority official and a local ship agent said yesterday, the third such incident since the expanded waterway opened one month ago amid design concerns.

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Little enforcement of Jamaica Tobacco Control Act douses its relevance

(Jamaica Observer) It has existed on Jamaican law books for three years now, but the one-time much heralded Public Health Tobacco Control Regulations Act 2013, seems to have virtually gone up in smoke.

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Big battle set for key Clico beachfront property in T&T

(Trinidad Guardian) Battle for No Man’s Land. That is what is shaping up on all fronts—from Government to the Clico owners of the property—as the spotlight continues to increase on one of the last pristine pieces of beachfront in the English-speaking Caribbean.

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