(BBC) – The United Progressive Party of Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has been re-elected with a reduced majority after Thursday’s general elections.
(Trinidad Express) – An injunction barring the CL Financial Groups from divesting the assets of its insurance subsidiary Clico has been extended to March 24 by Justice Judith Jones.
EU urges banana deal The European Union has urged Latin American nations to agree to a banana deal and end the world’s longest-running trade row.
(Trinidad Express) – CL Financial’s crisis will force Government to borrow more this year to sustain its rescue of the cash-strapped conglomerate.
(Trinidad Guardian) – Two men were murdered within a 24-hour period, bringing the total murders for the year, up to late on Wednesday to 114.
Floods hit Suriname Reports from Suriname say heavy rains are flooding some areas and forcing businesses and schools to close.
BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will tomorrow urge US President Barack Obama to open talks with leftist governments in Venezuela and Cuba and make aid and development the focus of his Latin America policy.
(BBC) – Liat’s owners are congratulating themselves for keeping the airline in Caribbean hands and out of Sir Allen Stanford’s.
DALLAS (Reuters) – Latin American investors in the unraveling financial empire of Texas billionaire Allen Stanford do not want their names published for fear they could be targeted by criminals, a lawyer said.
(Trinidad Express) – Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira says that the Clico Investment Bank (CIB) accounts which she closed on December 31 last year, before they matured later this year, had actually matured previously and were “rolled over”.
(Trinidad Exoress) NASSAU – FirstCaribbean International Bank has called in a nearly $500,000 debt owed by Clico Bahamas, further eroding policyholders’ chances of fully recovering their money tied up in the troubled insurance firm, The Nassau Guardian can confirm.
(Trinidad Express)- The names of a magistrate and police prosecutor were written on paper and stuffed into a powder-filled bottle and left outside the Princes Town Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
SAO PAULO, (Reuters) – Brazil’s economy had its worst showing in more than a decade in the last quarter of 2008, shrinking a larger-than-expected 3.6 percent as the global financial crisis took a heavy toll on Latin America’s biggest country.
(Nassau Guardian) NASSAU, The Bahamas – Bahamian professionals, religious leaders, businesses, churches and two government entities – Bahamasair and the Broad-casting Corporation Of The Bahamas – collectively have US$23 million in annuities tied up in CLICO Bahamas and it remains unclear how much, if any, of that money will be recovered as the company is in liquidation.
VIENNA, March 10 (Reuters) – A United Nations drive to cut supply and demand for illegal drugs has shown no progress globally in the decade since it was started, a European Commis-sion report said yesterday.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former U.S. President Bill Clinton visited Haiti yesterday and urged the Caribbean state to use international backing to haul itself out of grinding poverty.
(Trinidad Express) Half of the Cabinet has some type of an investment “portfolio”, “an annuity or something” with Colonial Life Insurance Co (CLICO), a subsidiary of the CL Financial Group, which received a multi-billion-dollar bailout from the State, says Prime Minister Patrick Manning.
(Jamaica Gleaner) Divi-sional commander for the St James police, Superintendent Maurice Robinson, is appealing for calm following a quadruple murder in the parish on Sunday.
HOUSTON, (Reuters) – The Houston office of the FBI is seeking to identify victims in its criminal fraud investigation of Stanford Financial Group and its affiliated companies, the agency said yesterday.
(Trinidad Guardian) Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira has presided over the billion-dollar bail-out of the CL Financial group, even as she herself has owned shares in the conglomerate, Guardian investigations have revealed.
(Trinidad Express) Non-performing loans on the books of the state-impounded CL Financial-owned Clico Investment Bank (CIB) could account for over 20 per cent, significantly more than the industry standard of two-to-three per cent, sources close to the bank have disclosed.
(BBC) The president of the Caribbean Development Bank, Compton Bourne, said Friday that the problems facing conglomerate CL Financial point to a serious gap in the region’s regulatory system.
DAR ES SALAAM, (Reuters) – Developing countries could face a financing gap of $270-$700 billion — equivalent to the latest U.S.
(Jamaica Gleaner) – Tragedy struck at a basic school in the Tucker-Irwin area of St James on Thursday afternoon when a little girl died after an abandoned piano in a schoolyard fell on her.
Trinidad Express) – A 33-year-old man who raped and sodomised his 73-year-old mother was caught by police officers around 3 am on Thursday.
(Trinidad Express) – The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) has begun investigations to determine whether the erroneous reports of the “discovery of children in a container on the port within Trinidad and Tobago was public mischief on the part of the broadcasting stations involved”.
CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has taken over a eucalyptus tree farm run by Ireland’s Smurfit Kappa, his latest move on foreign companies as he tightens his grip on the farm and food sectors.
Bahamas eyes beauty boost Officials in the Bahamas are hoping this year’s Miss Universe pageant will add some beauty to an ugly year for tourism.
Receiver seeks Stanford ease The court-appointed receiver in charge of the operations and assets of the Stanford Financial Group has asked a federal judge to release some client brokerage accounts that contain $250,000 or less.
(Barbados Nation) – The region has not co-operated enough in terms of how each country regulates its financial matters, and the Clico crisis has painfully exposed this.
CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela said yesterday it has no plans to take over any additional holdings of US food giant Cargill after socialist President Hugo Chavez ordered the seizure of the rice plant, renewing his nationalization drive.
(Trinidad Express) – The collapse of a large financial conglomerate and continued exposure to plunging oil and gas prices make Trinidad and Tobago’s economy vulnerable, a new report from the International Monetary Report has shown.
(Antigua Sun) – Prime Ministers Baldwin Spencer and Dr Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines, have attempted to further reassure the public of the soundness of Bank of Antigua Ltd (BOA) by opening, and reactivating personal chequing accounts there.
Council set for Haiti The UN Security Council is heading to Haiti next week to assess the country’s progress.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday warned that the global crisis had shifted to the world’s poorest nations and 22 countries may need as much as $25 billion in additional funding in 2009 to cope with the downturn.
(Trinidad Guardian) – There was a complete shutdown of the Port-of-Spain Port on Tuesday as rumours spread throughout the country that a container with missing children had been discovered.
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the Brazilian government yesterday to push for the return of an 8-year-old boy to his US father, who says his son was abducted illegally more than four years ago.
(Barbados Nation) – In a new twist to the CLICO saga, the life insurance arm of the group could be sold.
Governor consults over corruption report The governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands says he needs to consult with British ministers before releasing any findings by a commission which investigated allegations of widespread corruption.
(Jamaica Gleaner) – Pushing to clear the backlog of files received from the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI), Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn has instructed detectives to arrest 14 of their colleagues for criminal offences, ranging from murder to assault.
(Trinidad Express) – Mounting demand for United States dollars has caused a foreign currency shortage in the local financial system.
CARACAS (Reuters) – It’s something few people can tell Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez: stop talking.
(Jamaica Observer) China, once among the least liked countries by the West, is rapidly becoming best friends, at least of the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region.
(Trinidad Guardian) Lawyers and auditors are working feverishly to find out what has happened to more than TT$5 billion from Clico’s Statutory Fund.
(Jamaica Gleaner) First Global Bank has signed a US$20 million agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, to expand its capital base and to provide funding for on-lending to Jamaican businesses.
(Trinidad Guardian) The US company which sold 6,000 acres of land in Florida to British American has sued the insurance company, a subsidiary of the beleaguered CL Financial group, to recover US$38.2 million in a move which could end with the lender owning British American Trinidad.
(Trinidad Guardian) – CL Financial chairman Lawrence Duprey went on a shopping spree in south Florida in the last five years, buying or developing up to a dozen properties and spending an estimated US$1.5 billion—some of which would have come from local pensioners who were lured by promises of high returns from his insurance companies.
(Trinidad Express) – Despite some initial panic about the state of their investments, both big and small depositors of the failed CLICO Investment Bank had their claims processed by state owned bank, First Citizens, at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, on Thursday.
(Trinidad Express) – The murder toll for the year has reached 100, with the killing of an Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) foreman and his wife.
CARACAS (Reuters) – Cuba’s ailing former leader Fidel Castro, not seen in public for almost three years, appeared on the streets of Havana and people cried when they recognized him, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said yesterday.