IMF wants Barbados to take urgent action

(Barbados Nation) THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY Fund (IMF) is sounding a note of urgency over Barbados’ economy and calling for fiscal consolidation post-haste.

Though admitting that Government had implemented most of its budgetary measures, a team from the Washington-based IMF left Barbados yesterday stressing the need for follow-up to ensure that those measures produce material results in the near term.

In a release issued yesterday evening, the team led by Deputy Mission Chief for the Western Hemisphere, Nicole Laframboise, stated that the Barbados economy continued “to face major challenges, including low growth, a very large fiscal deficit and a high debt burden”.

The IMF, here on a periodic staff visit to review recent economic developments and discuss the main policy priorities after the Article IV Consultation last December, explained yesterday that, “real GDP is expected to decline by 0.6 per cent this year, as slightly stronger tourism activity is offset by the impact of the Government’s deficit reduction efforts” while inflation is expected to remain subdued and private sector credit growth weak.

With her 14-month daughter Kaylee seated on her lap, Giselle Glaude shares a light moment with her attorney, Jason Nathu, at the Equal Opportunity Tribunal building before judgment was delivered in her favour yesterday.

T&T Muslim woman wins discrimination case over hijab

(Trinidad Guardian) A Muslim woman yesterday won a landmark judgment against a security firm for discrimination on the basis of her religious beliefs.

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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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