Kamla garners support for Opposition Leader

(Trinidad Express) – Meet Kamla Persad-Bissessar: Siparia MP, Political Leader of the United National Congress (UNC) and, according to informed sources, soon to be conferred with the title of Opposition Leader.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Kidnap accused missionaries for court soon Ten American missionaries who have been charged with kidnapping children in Haiti could be called before the courts this weekend or as early as Monday.

Venezuela opposition decries appointment of Cuban

CARACAS, (Reuters) – President Hugo Chavez’s naming  of a heavyweight Cuban official to help fix Venezuela’s  electricity crisis has fired up his opponents at a politically  volatile time for the South American nation.

Revered Jamaican Prof Rex Nettleford dies

(Jamaica Gleaner) – Jamaica lost one of its most revered cultural figures on Tuesday night when Professor Rex Nettleford, vice-chancellor emeritus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and founder of the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), died, just hours before he would have celebrated his 77th birthday.

OAS asks Venezuela to probe violence at protests

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Organization of American States’ human rights body on Tuesday called on Venezuela to investigate “improper use of force” during clashes that left two dead after the suspension of an anti-government TV station.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Antigua urged to improve its tourism product Tourist destination Antigua and Barbuda is being urged to become more cost effective.

In Cuba, peso makes a comeback, pleasing customers

SANTIAGO DE CUBA (Reuters) – Retail outlets selling everything in Cuban pesos are popping up across the country in what may be the government’s first steps toward phasing out its unpopular two-currency system.

Brazil, others condemn extra EU sugar export

GENEVA (Reuters) – Australia, Brazil and Thailand called yesterday for the immediate withdrawal of an additional export of 500,000 tonnes of out-of-quota sugar by the EU, saying it was illegal under World Trade Organisation rules.

Venezuela, T&T to sign energy trade pact

(Trinidad Guardian) – T&T and Venezuela will soon sign a pact to increase trade in energy products and to develop the oil and gas sectors of both countries.

Muslim leader blasts gays

(Jamaica Observer) – President of the Islamic Council of Jamaica, Mustafa Muhammad, says he agrees with the Sharia law which prescribes death for people who openly flaunt homosexual behaviour.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Haitian vessel blocked A vessel carrying more than 100 Haitians fleeing their country has been intercepted by Turks and Caicos Islands police.

Jamaica banker kills wife

(Jamaica Observer) The St Andrew North police were on Saturday piecing together evidence that could lead to the motive behind a murder and suicide which took place at Waterworks in St Andrew earlier that day and sent shockwaves throughout the financial sector where the couple worked.

Jamaica cops kill 3 in alleged shoot-out

(Jamaica Observer) Police from the West Kingston Police Division on Saturday fatally shot three men who had allegedly engaged them in a shoot-out in Federal Gardens, a tough inner-city community in St Andrew.

Three dead after T&T robbery

(Trinidad Express) Three men are now dead following a robbery at a grill shop in South Trinidad.

After Haiti quake, traders get back to business

PORT-AU-PRINCE, (Reuters) – Garment factories are  spinning out T-shirts again and street markets are packed, but  Haiti’s wrecked capital and damaged port show the huge task  ahead in repairing the economy after a huge earthquake.

Judgment reserved in TCL contempt case against Guyana Govt

(Trinidad Express) – Judgment has been reserved in the matter involving Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL) and its subsidiary, TCL Guyana Incorporated (TGI), following hours of legal arguments at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) against the Government of Guyana.

Nettleford unconscious in US hospital

(Jamaica Gleaner) – Vice-Chancellor Emeritus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Rex Nettleford, has been admitted to hospital in Washington, DC, after collapsing at a hotel in the United States capital Wednesday evening.

S.Africa security minister’s wife arrested

JOHANNESBURG, (Reuters) – The wife of South Africa’s  State Security Minister was arrested yesterday on charges of  dealing drugs, the country’s National Prosecuting Authority  said.

Brazil’s Lula released from hospital, Davos trip off

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is recovering after a brief hospitalization for high blood pressure        but cancelled his trip to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, authorities said yesterday.

Colombia blasts incursion by Venezuelan helicopter

BOGOTA (Reuters) – A Venezuelan military helicopter flew across the border into Colombia and close to an army base on Wednesday, Colombia said, raising tensions in a months-long diplomatic dispute that has choked off bi-lateral trade.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Caricom youth summit Young people from across Caricom are gathering in Suriname for a two-day summit on youth development opening today.

US contractor still under investigation in Cuba

HAVANA (Reuters) – A US contractor accused by Cuba of distributing illegal communications equipment remains under investigation, and his alleged actions would be considered a “serious crime” anywhere in the world, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said yesterday.

Panday claims thousands of hidden UNC membership cards discovered

(Trinidad Express) – Defeated candidate for United National Congress political leader Basdeo Panday claimed sabotage on Tuesday night after boxes allegedly containing thousands of party membership cards were discovered hidden at the Rienzi Complex, Couva, headquarters.

Venezuela marches continue, Chavez shuffles cabinet

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned yesterday that he may quicken his drive to build a socialist state, as he shuffled his cabinet amid opposition demonstrations sparked by closure of a television station.

Uribe plan for youth to spy on gangs sparks uproar

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombian politicians yesterday blasted President Alvaro Uribe’s proposal that students be paid to spy on violent gangs in the city of Medellin, saying the plan would put young people in danger.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief

PAM going to court The opposition Peoples Action Movement (PAM) in St Kitts and Nevis says it intends challenging the outcome of Monday’s general election in which Prime Minister Douglas’ Labour Party retained power with a slightly reduced majority.

Cuba, US set for migration talks next month

HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuban and US negotiators will meet in February for a second round of talks on migration issues since the discussions were renewed last summer, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said yesterday.

Denzil Douglas wins fourth term

(BBC) Prime Minister Denzil Douglas has won a fourth term. The governing St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party is back in power for a fourth successive term after Monday’s general election.

Barbados unwraps growth strategy

(Barbados Nation) A nine-point strategy aimed at bolstering Barbados’ economy and returning real gross domestic product (GDP) growth to the annual average rate of 3.0 per cent by 2012, is to be implemented soon.

Kamla: 13,932; Bas 1,359 votes

(Trinidad Express) Siparia MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar won hands down at the UNC internal elections on Sunday, beating fellow contenders, Basdeo Panday and Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, even on their home turf by a large margin.

Kamla makes history as new UNC leader

(Trinidad Express) – Basdeo Panday, who has condemned to the political cemetery so many who dared to do battle with him in the past, failed miserably this time.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Polls open Voters in St Kitts and Nevis are electing a government to run the country for the next five years.

Caricom’s false start

By CCN senior journalist Andy Johnson(Trinidad Express) CCN senior journalist Andy Johnson spent five days last week in Haiti, embedded with a contingent of the members of the Jamaica Defence Force.

Obama bank plan highlights Volcker’s new clout

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – When U.S. President Barack  Obama launched a fight with Wall Street by announcing a new  plan to limit banks’ size, the man standing at his side was  former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

Government says no to extradition request for St James businessman

(Jamaica Gleaner) – After being bombarded with criticisms about its tardiness in signing an extradition warrant for Tivoli Gardens’ strongman, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, the government is again embroiled in a major extradition controversy with the United States government.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Jamaica awaits cleric Jamaica is preparing for the arrival of Abdullah al-Faisal, a radical muslim cleric that Kenya is reported to have deported.

Calm in quake zone, says Trini

(Trinidad Express) – Gennike Mayers, a Trinidad and Tobago national working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), says the sites in earthquake-ravaged Haiti where the organisation delivered non-food relief supplies on Tuesday were “calm” as opposed to other areas where violence and disorder had prevailed.

Ingraham explains detainees decision

(Nassau Guardian) – Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said on Sunday he is disappointed over the outrage expressed by some Bahamians following his announcement that more than 100 Haitian detainees would be released from the Detention Centre and given temporary status.

Man shot in head, girlfriend spared

(Trinidad Express) – Miguel Modeste, a 24-year-old mason, was forced to lie face down on his bed before he was shot once in the head, his relatives said on Sunday.