BBC Caribbean News in Brief

More criticism of planned APD increase The head of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said Monday that the planned increase in the UK’s Air Passenger Duty (APD) will hinder efforts to reduce poverty in developing countries.

Killers of US veteran facing life sentences without parole

(Trinidad Express) A soldier who once trained and enlisted as a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force elite Special Forces Unit has been convicted alongside six others for a series of offences arising out of the kidnapping and murder of US war veteran Balram Maharaj.

Trinidad awards TT$2b helicopter contract

(Trinidad Guardian) The Government has awarded a contract worth more than TT$2.1 billion to a subsidiary of an Italian company to supply four helicopters for use by the country’s Air Guard, Web sites and wire services have reported.

Jamaica MP Hay-Webster to give up US citizenship

(Jamaica Gleaner) South Central St Catherine Member of Parliament (MP) Sharon Hay-Webster has decided to give up the land of her birth – the United States of America (USA).

Room switch

(Barbados Nation) Govern-ment is concerned that landlords are kicking Barbadian tenants from rental homes and converting them into rooms.

Police go after illegal gun trade

(Antigua Sun) – The Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda has renewed efforts to track down the sources of illegal guns entering the country.

Guyanese deportee asks for time to sell cars, house

(Antigua Sun) – A Guyanese man who faces deportation after pleading guilty to remaining in Antigua after the expiration of a permit has asked the court for time to sell his two cars and house.

Russia signs contracts for oil operations in Cuba

HAVANA (Reuters) – Russia and Cuba have signed contracts that “set the bases” for Russian oil company Zarubezhneft to search for oil in Cuba’s part of the Gulf of Mexico, Cuba’s state-run press said on Wednesday.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Turks police continue search Police in the Turks and Caicos Islands say they are keeping up search and recovery efforts for missing Haitians whose boat sank earlier this week.

LIAT dispute goes to arbitration

(BBC) – It appears that the protracted dispute between management and pilots of regional carrier LIAT could be resolved soon.

US Coast Guard suspends search for missing Haitians

MIAMI,  (Reuters) – The U.S. Coast Guard yesterday called off its search for up to 67 Haitian migrants  missing from a wooden sailboat that sank off the Turks and  Caicos Islands, saying they were presumed lost at sea.

Pregnant women at front of H1N1 vaccine line

ATLANTA, (Reuters) – About half the U.S. population  should get vaccinated against H1N1 influenza but pregnant women  and healthcare workers should be at the front of the line, U.S. 

Cuba ponders reduced state role in economy

HAVANA, (Reuters) – Cash-strapped Cuba should  consider putting more of its state-run economy in the hands of  producers, as President Raul Castro has done with agriculture,  the country’s top economic commentator said yesterday.

Castro hints at more belt-tightening for Cuba

HOLGUIN, Cuba, (Reuters) – More belt-tightening may  lie ahead for Cuba as President Raul Castro said yesterday the  government will look at making its second “adjustment to  expenditures” this year due to the effects of the global  financial crisis.

Lady Bustamante passes away

Jamaica Observer) Lady Bustamante, highly regarded as a defender of women’s and workers’ rights, and widow of late former Prime Minister and National Hero Sir Alexander Bustamante, died in the Tony Thwaites Wing of the University Hospital of the West Indies on Saturday afternoon.

Staff notice sent to T&T overseas missions raises eyebrows

(Trinidad Express) The Government has sent out a “Staff Notice” to heads of T&T overseas missions informing them of the education drive by the People’s National Movement (PNM), a move that one former diplomat describes as “very worrying” in that this constitutes a party notice being sent out to Government workers.

Ministry: 880 suspected dengue cases so far

(Trinidad Express) – The Health Ministry on Thursday released figures giving the number of suspected dengue fever cases for 2009, but made no mention of the two known cases where the virus killed citizens.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Grenada AG resigns Grenada’s Attorney General James Bristol has resigned, following his acknowledgement of an “error in judgment” in writing to a United States Prosecutor for clemency for his stepson on the official letterhead of the Attorney General’s office.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief  

CDB aid package for Haiti The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has announced a four year aid programme for Haiti.

Venezuela won’t withdraw diplomats from Honduras

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela will not withdraw its remaining diplomats from Honduras, ignoring an ultimatum by the de facto government of the Central American country, the Venezuelan foreign ministry said yesterday.

Chavez ‘to review’ Colombia ties

(BBC) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he will have to reassess ties with Colombia, which is set to allow the US to use its bases for anti-drug flights.

Study charts Brazil youth murders

Sao Paulo (BBC News) – A young black teenager in Brazil is nearly three times more likely to die as a result of violence than a white adolescent, a new report has concluded.

Warner: I’m going after Bas

(Trinidad Express) There will be change in the United National Congress, Chaguanas MP Jack Warner said on Monday.

LIAT pilots, management clash again

(Antigua Sun) – Up to last weekend, operations at regional airline LIAT were not fully back to normal, following several delays and cancellations of flights late last week.

Four die violently on the weekend

– toddler, 20-year-old nursing gunshot wounds (Jamaica Observer) – A two-year-old boy in York Town, Farm Pen in Clarendon is this morning waking up with the sting of a gunshot injury, and perhaps the memory of a door being kicked in and the explosions and blood that followed.

Indians being discriminated against in T&T

– UNC MP (Trinidad Express) Opposition MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh on Saturday charged that Government was carrying out a policy of political discrimination that was targeting one particular ethnic grouping in T&T.

Salaries Review Commission says no to increase for MPs

(Trinidad Express) Presi-dent George Maxwell Richards and Prime Minister Patrick Manning, as well as government ministers and opposition MPs, should not get salary increases because of the current economic downturn in the country.

No stay, no school

Education minister takes firm stance against foreign students (Antigua Sun) – A stern warning has gone out to non-national parents who may be pondering getting their children into the school system next term.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Minimal Caribbean growth expected The World Bank has said it could lend up to $14 billion to Latin American and Caribbean countries in the fiscal year that began this month.

Golding defends imminent return to IMF

(Jamaica Gleaner) – Prime Minister, Bruce Golding has sought to defend the government’s imminent return to a borrowing relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Bail for Nigerian accused of having three Jamaican wives

(Jamaica Observer) – A Nigerian software engineer, who is accused of marrying three Jamaican women over a six-month period last year, was offered bail in the sum of $200,000 in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Lesbian pleads against deportation to Jamaica

(Jamaica Observer) – A Jamaican woman who has been convicted for dealing in illegal drugs by a British court has asked that country’s immigration department not to deport her because she is a lesbian and would be persecuted if sent back to her homeland.

Daughter finds dad dead in car

(Trinidad Express) – A man died inside his car while waiting for his daughter outside a primary school on Wednesday.

Jamaican businessman killed

(Jamaica Gleaner) A prominent businessman in Little London Westmoreland, Jamaica was murdered yesterday morning.

Guyanese man refused bail in Antigua

(Antigua Sun) – Guyanese Mark Pluck was denied bail after his lawyer Vere Bird Jr made an application on his behalf before Chief Magistrate Ivan Walters.

Police investigate rape of young man

(Antigua Sun) – A 21-year-old Bolans man was allegedly raped at gunpoint early Monday morning and the police are investigating the incident.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief

No ALBA for DomRep The President of the Dominican Republic Leonel Fernandez has been quoted as saying he hasn’t considered making his country part of the Venezuelan-backed political and economic grouping known as ALBA.

Armed bandits raid Guava Bush home

-escape with $2M, fire shots Armed bandits on Monday evening robbed an overseas-based family at Guava Bush, Albion, Corentyne of almost $2M in cash and jewellery and a suspect has been taken into custody.

11 CXC subjects to come under review

(Trinidad Express) Secondary school students in the Caribbean region are “digital kids stuck in analogue classrooms,” says Dr Didacus Jules, chief executive officer of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).

T&T brothers killed in backyard

(Trinidad Express) Brothers Joseph and Jason Lawrence wanted to stay away from bad company, so they invited a few friends to play cards at their home.