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VOLUME 9 - No. 13


Tel: 649-946-8542


Fax: 649-941-3281



KITE FESTIVAL SIZZLES: The Annual Kite Festival held on Easter Monday on Providenciales, saw a variety of kites being flown. Though the number of entries was down this year, the excitement was not dampened, as participants put their creative skills on display that had a number of the patrons to the event in awe. Here The SUN captured this kite before it was hoisted in the air by its angler. BY VIVIAN TYSON


olice in Turks and Caicos Islands are investigating a high-level shooting probe in the Grace Bay

area of Providenciales which left two tourists injured and has created a raging national debate. Investigations by The SUN reveal that Sanjay Tolani, a part owner of

Royal Jewels, is at the centre of an illegal weapon’s discharge which injured two tourists on the morning of Sunday, March 31. He was arrested and later granted station bail by





the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force. Official police reports have not released his name, but said he was 26-years-old and that he has not yet been charged. However, lawmen said active investigations are continuing into the incident reportedly took place in the Grace Bay area in the vicinity of Gold Smith at about 1:40 a.m. on the above date. The discharging of the firearm allegedly stemmed from an argument between the gun owner and a disc jockey. Police sources told The SUN that a well-known public figure whose name has been linked to the incident, had nothing to do with the incident, but was merely in the company of the suspect. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

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Wilkie Arthur and 15-year-old male among accused robbers BY VIVIAN TYSON


our men, including the reputed Wilkie Arthur and a 15 year-old were brought to court on Thursday, April 4, to answer to aggravated burglary and conspiracy charges arising from an incident that took place on Wednesday, March 27, at a villa, where a Canadian family, who arrived in the country hours before, was vacationing.

The matter was a sufficiency hearing to determine whether or not the charges against them was strong enough for the case to go forward. Along with Arthur, 38, and the minor, the other two are identified as Antonio Luciano 17 and Lorenzo Rigby 21. Under the law the identity of a minor involved in criminal activities is protected. All four were reportedly held at Arthur’s house in the Long Bay area not long after the incident was reported to the police. Police said at about 9:50p.m. four men brandishing weapons entered a residence in

the Grace Bay area, occupied by the family and assaulted the 47 year-old husband, who had gone to investigate strange sounds coming from a section of the house. After beating the tourist, it is reported that the hoodlums made off with a quantity of items. The victim was taken to hospital for non-life threatening injuries.Following investigations, the four were held. It is not clear what types of weaponry the men were armed with. The men are to appear in the Supreem Court in Grand Turk on June 7. After realising that one of the accused was a minor, the judge Joylon Hatmin, ordered that the bursting at the seams courtroom be cleared and the case held in camera in order to protect his identity. Arthur, as usual, represented himself; Luciano was represented by attorney Arthur Hamilton, while Rigby and the minor were unrepresented. On Friday, April 5, the prosecution made an application to the Magistrate’s Court, to collect DNA

samples from the accused, to match with crime scene evidence that they said police have collected. But the court refused that request on the grounds that the application was made after the men were remanded to appear in the high court, which effectively takes the away the maigistrate’s jurisdiction rights. Due to the nature of the crime, the men were not invited to enter a plea. The three older men will be housed in the male section of Her Majesty’s Prison in Grand Turk, while the minor will be holed up in the female section of the penal instituton, since there is no juvenile remand centre in the Turks and Caicos Islands. If he remanded until age 16, he will be transferred to the male section. A police source told The SUN that one of the men, when held, appeared to have a number of freshly-inflicted scratch marks on his body, that the police said could stem from him running through bushes. If convicted the men could get up to life imprisonmen.


According to police reports, the licensed firearm holder allegedly fired a shot into the pavement, which resulted in two bystanders male and female -receiving what investigators described as “superficial injuries”. Both reportedly were taken to the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre where they were treated and released. The man with whom the businessman had the argument told The SUN that it was an extremely scary experience for him, explaining the he feared for his life at the time, since the gunman’s faculties were seemingly not all together. “It was a scary situation because he… could have fired anywhere including hitting me. I was worried that he would shoot me by accident. I don’t think he was in control, he was waving his gun around,” the man said. Giving an account of what took place, the man said he was a the location, when the licensed firearm holder, who he said was in the company of another prominent public figure, jumped in his car and began to fiddle with levers and buttons. “I ordered him from the vehicle, but he refused. When I told him again, he got loud and aggressive. He then pulled the fire-

arm and was waiving it around, and then fired a shot from it. At least one friend was injured after the shot hit the pavement and ricocheted. Someone could have been killed, including me,” the man said. He explained to The SUN that, like many of the bystanders, the prominent public figure appeared dismayed at the discharging of the weapon. He said it was unclear as to what transpired from there, since the whole scene had become chaotic. The police report further stated: “In connection with this shooting, a 26-year-old male was arrested and taken into custody. He was later granted police bail with a surety to return to the station at a later date. Meanwhile investigations are continuing into this incident. Police are appealing to the public who may have any information to call 911 or Crime Stoppers on 1-800-8477.” The shooting incident has been a hot topic on social media sites and blogs have been. The police said also that tips can also be left in English, French or Spanish at or by becoming a friend of Crimestoppers TCI on Facebook. The public is also asked to visit the police’s website at www. or www.facebook. com/RTCIPF for more information.



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tract is structured in such a manhe healthcare debate and ner. whether or not we are getting In Schedule 9 of the contract value for money, with be debated “Compensation on Termination”, for some time it seems. It is not there is a clearly defined set of debates are not healthy, but errules that must be applied if TCIG roneous information and suppowants to terminate or parties on sition that have no basis in fact the other side of the contract should be avoided. You cannot want to do so. If changes to the just state your opinion and want terms and conditions of the conit to be accepted as facts. There tract are needed to be made, there are certain things that are based is a process by which they could in facts and no matter how you be done. Just blowing hot air try to twist it, the facts remain would not get the job. We have to the same. be responsible, and act responsiI looked at a re-posting of BY ROYAL S. ROBINSON, MBE bly, in matters like these. If you do an article in TCI Net News on Healthcare that was originally done in August of not know how the contract was structured, then last year. David has been consistently trying to go and read it. The documents were based on the insinuate that Dr. Ewing signed the contract for Independent Sector Treatment and Care model esthe hospitals. That is so far from the truth that tablished in the UK for PPP in the healthcare secit is not funny anymore. Attached to the article tor. Of course, there were a number of things that is the full contract document that was “leaked” did not apply to TCI and were left out, as well as sometime before the piece was written. The there were things that had specific application to first pages of the document, shows that, the per- TCI for which legal language had to be crafted that sons signing on behalf of the Crown were, Min- satisfied all parties to the contract. On the issue of the $235M charge on the two isters Floyd Hall and Lillian Boyce. Their signatures appear there, because the Cabinet at the properties, Mark Young of First Caribbean extime, gave them that expressed authority so to plained that adequately, but not to the liking do, otherwise their signatures on the document of the detractors. That was done so that when would not have been valid. Nowhere on any of the project needed expansion, as it eventually the signed pages does the signature of the cur- would, there would be no need to negotiate furrent Premier appeared. He was correct in that he ther if money would become available. That flexwas one of the advisors to the government at the ibility would have already been built into the time, but at the end of the day, the final decisions process. That is forward thinking and not a stricwere that of the Ministers to whom Cabinet had ture on possibilities! It is totally devious and mischievous to say delegated that responsibility. It can never be that an advisor is the final decision-maker. Nothing in that the building contract was not tendered. The the documentation can make it to be construed process by which a construction company is selected is different in this process from your noras that. In hind sight, a number of things could have mal procurement. The first part of this procebeen done differently. However, to have con- dure is for the client, in this case, TCIG to send tinued a debate, until all is perfect, would have out an advertisement, asking for expressions of been an exercise in futility. Decisions are made interest, based on what TCIG wanted. Once exon the information at hand and not on some fu- pressions of interest are received, the next step ture event that may or may not take place. But is for a request for proposals for those that india deal must be structure so that if the circum- cated interest. The document that went out from stances on the ground change in a material way, TCIG further detailed what TCIG wanted. Those there would be room to make the necessary ad- companies were then required to furnish TCIG justments to the new reality. The hospitals con- with a solution to the proposal made. Now each

Turks and Caicos Sun Suite # 5, Airport Plaza Providenciales Turks and Caicos Islands Tel: (649) 946-8542 Fax: (649) 941-3281 Email: Read us online at Publisher & Editor-in-Chief: Hayden Boyce Senior Editor: Vivian Tyson Office Manager: Dominique Rigby Distribution Manger: Kelano Howell Design by The Turks and Caicos SUN is a subsidiary of The SUN Media Group Ltd. We are committed to excellence in journalism, educating and informing our readers, serving and satisfying our advertisers and assisting in the overall development of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

company had to bring a listing of the company for construction, the architects and most importantly the financing arrangement. Each of these elements had to comply with the guidelines as set down in the Request For Proposal (RFP). Each of the companies had to demonstrate that they had the ability to provide the various warranties and guarantees that were required. The vetting of these entities was done by companies that had the international reputation for doing so. So the notion that there were short-cuts, is just utter nonsense! You must criticize on the facts and not suppositions! One thing that I always resented from my days in the public service was persons coming to a meeting and wanting to speak to the subject at hand and begin by saying, “I have not read the document, but….” and begin to run on. This is the same feeling that I have when persons are taking positions on the hospitals contract without reading a word of it. If the contract perfect, the answer is no. does it need to be revisited and fine-tuned, hell yes! That must be the approach, rather than talking about throwing out the baby with the bathwater without checking the baby or the bathwater!


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Gov’t announces multimillion dollar water undertaking for TCI BY VIVIAN TYSON


efore the end of this fiscal year residents on the islands of Grand Turk, Salt Cay, South Caicos, North Caicos and Middle Caicos should get improved city water supplies thanks to a $2.38 million overhauling of the distribution systems across the country by government. When the new plants are up and running, among the delivery would be improved competency, operating efficiency, meeting the customer’s demand and increased government revenue collection. Premier for the Turks and Caicos Islands Hon. Dr. Rufus Ewing made the announcement on Thursday, April 4, during a news conference held specifically to tell journalists of the water situation, at the Tourist Board Office in the Bight. He said the immediate strategy is to replace the antiquated Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants on Grand Turk, Salt Cay and South Caicos with ones that are state-of-the-art, while installing a similar 21st century plant for the first time in North Caicos, to also serve Middle Caicos. The Premier said that before the plants are sourced, suitable buildings would be constructed to house each of them. He said also that a prepaid metering system would be introduced on Grand Turk to enable residents to purchase portions of the commodity needed at any given time. For Salt Cay, in addition to the new R.O. plant being outfitted with its new housing, government will construct a water distribution system, since it is water hoses are being currently used as pipelines. South Caicos will get a new R.O plant and a new building to house it as well, while a plant with proper housing also, will be built in North Caicos. The Premier said all that would take place in this financial year, which began on April 1. He said over the next two financial years, government would undertake the overhauling of the water storage tank in Grand Turk

Premier Hon. Dr. Rufus Ewing (right) addresses the news conference, while looking at are PS in the Ministry of Government Support Services Wesley Clerveaux and Xavier Malcolm, Director for the PWD. and also distribution pipes, especially in areas where none exists at the moment. Seventy-five percent of Grant Turk has already been piped. In South Caicos, the premier said that government would undertake comprehensive pipeline outlaying, while same will be done in North and Middle Caicos. For his part, Xavier Malcolm, Director for the Public Works Department, said that the R.O. plants across the country are aged between seven and 40 years, and so, constant maintenance had to be undertaken on all of them. He said that as a result of the plants’ ages, they are only able to produce below 50 percent of their operating capacity. “In Grant Turk, we are currently producing one third of the demand. We are producing 100,000 gallons per day, but it is 300,000 gallons that is estimated to be needed. At maximum capacity, we are able to produce two thirds of that demand. We can’t take the machine off line because water is so important,” Malcolm explained. He said a plant that was commissioned in 2006 on Grand Turk is currently carrying the bulk of the work,

Four charged for Aggravated Burglary F

our persons appeared in court last week in relation to the Aggravated Burglary which occurred on Wednesday 27th, March 2013, which involved a vacationing family. It has been reported that 4 individuals entered a residence occupied by a family and assaulted a 47 male before escaping with a quantity of items. The male victim required hospital care for non-life threatening injuries.

Charged with Aggravated Burglary are Antonio Luciano 17, Lorenzo Rigby 21,Wilkie Arthur 38 And a 15 year old minor who cannot be named. All four persons appeared in court earlier for a sufficiency hearing. The four accused which were not required to enter a plea and each were remanded in custody until June 07th 2013 when they will be brought before a Judge in the Supreme Court.

distributing to the over 900 customers, even though it is operating below 50 percent. He said parts for the plant machines are not inventory items, but needed to be manufactured when ordered, and so, could take a long time to source. Malcolm said the plant in South Caicos, which is 30 years-old, is experiencing the same problem as its counterpart in Grand Turk. He said too, that there is no pipe network on that island, but one should come on stream during the 2014/2015 budgetary year. Malcolm said the plant in Salt Cay is the oldest of the lot – 40 years – and since the catchment system there is not up to scratch, exacerbates the water woes on that island.

He said that government technocrats would visit North Caicos shortly to conduct comprehensive assessment of the water situation there, so as to make informed decision in addressing that island’s water problems. He said also that the need to construct proper building for the new machines stemmed from the fact that since current pumps and other distribution systems at the plants vibrate and produce high levels of heat when working, the containers that house them have become hazardous. In the meantime, Wesley Clerveaux, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Government Support Services, said that work is being done to repair the catchment systems on the different islands. He said some are completed, while others are nearing completion. “We have quite a number of catchments on Salt Cay, South Caicos and Grand Turk. We have been trying to maintain those, refurbish those, and renovate those. In Grand Turk, we have a total capacity of 1.9 million gallons of storage capacity – a little bit less than South Caicos and Salt Cay. Those catchments are being renovated. “We have one competed in Grand Turk; the one in Salt Cay is just about finished. The one in South Caicos is just about finished as well. At the end of the day, we believe we will be in a better position that, going forward, not only will we have new R.O plants that are functioning more reliably, but with much more storage capacity,” Clerveaux said.

TCI to Study viability of migratory fish species T

he Department for Environment and Maritime Affairs (DEMA), Ministry of Environment and the Office of the Governor are in support of a study into the viability of a pelagic fishing industry for the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). This study will identify opportunities for diversification of the local fishing industry and is consistent with the Government’s stated policy to seek ways to diversify the TCI economy. The study is an important first step and will provide scientifically gathered data to allow the government to make informed decisions on the future direction of policy and legislation to support the fishing industry. The study is being funded by a grant from the UK. The terms and conditions for the study have been developed according to scientific

principles, are focused solely on pelagic or migratory fish species, and will be monitored and managed by DEMA. The results of the study will be made available to the public after the research is completed and the findings are analysed. The driving force behind this study is Caicos Pride, a Belonger-owned South Caicos company, which is seeking to help the industry diversify away from its reliance on conch and lobster fishing into other areas that are currently not utilised. The company has partnered with Day Boats Seafood of Florida that will provide the boats and data gathering equipment to support the study. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will continue to support efforts to diversify the TCI’s economy, especially those that may offer sustainable solutions for development.

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Premier Ewing reshuffles Cabinet BY VIVIAN TYSON


he Hon. Dr. Rufus Ewing Administration has made its first major cabinet reshuffle, switching the ministries of Home Affairs and Health between Hon. Porsha Stubbs-Smith and Amanda Misick, who returned the Cabinet on Wednesday (March 27) after winning her by-election over the Peoples Democratic Movement’s (PDM) Oral Selver. Stubbs-Smith, who held the Ministry of Home Affair, Environment and Agriculture, is now entrusted with the Ministry of Health, which was previously held by Misick. Misick, in the meantime, assumes Stubbs-Smith’s former ministry. Ewing, who announced the changes during Government’s post cabinet news conference at the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, March 28, said that the reshuffling exercise was done inn order to align the budget heads with ministerial portfolios. He also announced departmental shifts between ministries. The Office of the Premier and Tourism will be under the responsibility of the premier, which includes the Tourist Board and Protocol Office and the programme responsible for National Honours and Awards. The Tourist Board was previously under the Ministry of Finance headed by Hon. Washington Misick. In assuming the Ministry of Health, Stubbs-

Smith’s responsibilities will include the Primary Health Care Department, Emergency Medical Services, National HIV Prevention Unit, Dental Department, Environmental Health Department, National Public Health Laboratory, Drugs and Mental Health Unit, Special Needs Unit, Public and Environmental Health Board, the Health Practitioners’ Board and the National Health Insurance Board. With the Minister of Home Affairs, Environment and Agriculture, as Missick’s portfolio responsibility, she will now be in charge of District Administration, the Road Safety Department, the Planning Department, Prisons, Turks and Caicos Fire and Rescue, the Agriculture Department, the Department Environment and Maritime Affairs (DEMA), Social Development and Gender Affairs. Social Development and Gender Affairs was previously under the Ministry of Health and Human Services. It fell under the Human Services aspect of the double barrel ministry. Hon. Washington Misick is still in charge of the Ministry of Finance, Investment and Trade. His responsibility will include the Budget Department, the Strategic Policy and Planning Unit, the Customs Department, the Treasury Department, Gaming Inspectorate, the Revenue Control Unit, the Investment Unit, Trade Department and Computer Unit (which was pre-


Dolphin Cove, a swim-with-the-dolphins attraction, would like to hold a “town hall meeting” to discuss the pros and cons of this attraction being allowed to develop in Grand Turk. Dolphin Cove currently has 4 facilities located within the Caribbean (Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Negril, Jamaica and Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands) and is looking to expand and develop a facility in the North Creek area of Grand Turk. This company has successfully been running “swim with the dolphin” animal interactions for 12 years; however we have been met with strong opposition from a few wealthy, well connected, influential individuals who are determined to see this project rejected.

viously under the Ministry of Government Support Services), the TCI Airports Authority, Civil Aviations Authority and the Ports Authority and the Computer Unit, which part of the Minister of Government Support Services. The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture remains under the portfolio of Hon. Akierra Misick and all the departments that fall under that ministry. The Ministry of Border Control and Labour also remains under the portfolio of Hon. DonHue Gardiner, which include the Immigration Department, Labour Department, the Registrar General’s Office and the Labour Tribunal. The Ministry of Government Support Services remains under the portfolio of Hon. George Lightbourne. It includes Disaster Management and Emergencies, the Public Works Department, Water Undertaking, Engineering and Management Services (EMS), Mechanical Services Division, TCIG Publishing, Postal Services, Estates Management Division, Water and Sewerage Board, Energy and Utilities Department, EMS Project Management Division, EMS Maintenance Division and the Central Purchasing Unit and the Central Technology Unit. “These are the portfolio changes within government, and will be reflected in the new budget that will be developed along those lines,” Ewing said, in making the announcement.

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Dolphin Cove sees the island of Grand Turk as a beautiful island that deserves investment and development. Dolphin Cove has indicated that this attraction would positively affect the residents of Grand Turk as it relates to added employment, added demand for hotel rooms, added on-island guest satisfaction, added educational benefits to the youth, and an increase demand for taxi and tour operators. Dolphin Cove is inviting the general public, and in particular stake holders such as: business owners, hoteliers, taxi and bus drivers, persons looking for employment and other parties that this project could directly and indirectly affect to a meeting:

22nd of April 2013, 7:30pm Dillon Hall, Front Street, Grand Turk Refreshments will be served! A short video and power point presentation will be made. With this being said, we are cordially inviting you to come to the meeting and have your questions answered.

Airport Hotel Plaza Suites #7 Airport Road Providenciales Tele: 649-242-1851 or USA 339-502-2388 Fax: 649-941-3281 Email:


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Government to count cost of Grand Turk cruise ship centre closure BY VIVIAN TYSON


he Turks & Caicos Islands Government is to begin counting the cost as to the level of impact the closure of the Grand Turk Cruise Centre will have on its revenue collection as soon as the facility is reopened which is scheduled for Monday, April 8. Premier Ewing told a news conference on Providenciales Thursday, April 4, of the reopening date, and later in the day, the Tourist Board issued a release confirming such date. Cruise ship docking at the port was suspended for more than three weeks due to an outbreak of a mystery but suspected viral illness, with which a number of locals have been affected. Fielding questions from Journalists, Premier Ewing said at this time it was hard to determine the level of impact the cruise ship port closure could have on government coffers, but assessment would begin soon after the facility is reopened. “Now that we know what the opening date is – Monday – we are going to go look and see what revenue shortfall that we will expect. Most of it would have occurred at the end of March. It would affect the shortfall, but hopefully we

Ralph Higgs

Premier Rufus Ewing

would have made up in other areas, because we heard yesterday, that one of the best months ever (recorded) in a long time in tourism is the month of March, where many resorts in Providenciales recorded their highest ever (occupancy). And we will have a statement on that later on. “Whether or not that would help to make up the shortfall, I don’t know. We just need to calculate and determine what the shortfall actually would have been, based on the ships that were expected to have arrived at that point in time and the amount of passengers that would have normally come on those ships, and per head cost.” Ewing said.

Approximately 3,000 tourists visit the port on a daily basis and charged an individual head tax of $2.50. The Tourist Board was elated at the news that the port would be reopening. “The Turks & Caicos Tourist Board is pleased to announce that cruise ship calls to the Grand Turk Cruise Center will commence on April 8th, 2013The Board which has been working in close collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders as well as the local public health department is confident that all measures have been taken to ensure the health and safety of our guests,” the Tourist Board news release said in part.

The Board said that cruise sector which accounts for a majority of visitors to the Turks & Caicos Islands, described that segment of tourism travel as a vital cog in the local industry, while stating that it is mindful of the impact that the cancellation of cruise ship visits may have brought to bear on the businesses and residents of the Island. Ralph Higgs, Director of the Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, said the entity is well aware the impact the closure was having, especially on the businesses and the residents of Grand Turk, and so the entity was in constant dialogue with the various stakeholders to resolve the issue. “Throughout this situation, we continued an open dialogue with the most senior executives involved in the ports operation. We understand the severity of the impact of the cancellation of cruise ship visits not only to the local business community of Grand Turk but to those guests who have selected to visit our shores via cruise line. “Moving forward, the Government feels confident that all the appropriate measures are in place and that Grand Turk will continue to provide the vacation opportunity of a lifetime to our visiting guests,” Higgs was quoted as saying.

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Cholera Clinical Management Training Held in the TCI H

ealthcare professionals from the TCI Health Services were trained in the Clinical Management of Cholera and other diarrheal diseases in four one-day sessions held recently by the Ministry of Health and Human Services. The sessions were a part of an ongoing Cholera and Diarrheal Disease Risk Reduction Initiative supported with funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID). The sessions were held in Providenciales on March 18 and 19 and in Grand Turk on the 20 and 21. Healthcare professionals representing the TCI Hospitals, Primary Health Care Clinics, Ambulance Services, and Wellness Centres from around the Islands were in attendance. Members of the medical profession from the Private Sector were also invited.

Cholera is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea that resembles rice water and vomiting. The Ministry remains vigilant in its prevention and risk reduction efforts and continues to carry out the following: Increase surveillance at all seaports and airports to ensure that any potential cholera cases are detected rapidly; • Require that all health care providers to report cases of diarrhea to the Ministry of Health; • Cholera contingency planning; • Procure supplies for the management of cholera; • Improve water purification and sanita-

tion measures; and Continue public education and communication campaigns. Worldwide, cholera affects 3 - 5 million people and causes death in over 100,000 people annually. Since the cholera epidemic started in Haiti, October 2010, and subsequently spread to the Dominican Republic and Cuba, over 500,000 people in the region have been infected and more than 7000 have died. To date there has been no reported cases of cholera in the Turks and Caicos Islands. However, in an effort to keep the TCI Cholera-free, the Ministry encourages all residents and visitors to wash hands frequently, drink only bottled or boiled water, and avoid raw or undercooked foods. •

Chuck Musgrove reaps 40 pound pumpkin A

nyone who knows Arlington “Chuck” Musgrove knows that whenever he does anything, he does it big. Musgrove, who is one of the most successful contractors in the Turks and Caicos Islands, can now also boast of being the biggest

pumpkin grower in the country. The resident of Chalk Sound Drive recently reaped a 40-pound pumpkin in his backyard. This is not the first time Chuck, who is an avid golfer and fisherman, has reaped a giant pumpkin. He has had a few large ones in re-

cent times but this 40-pounder tops them all. It may be too early for Halloween but for sure this one can make a huge pumpkin soup. In this photograph, Chuck is pictured with his 40-pound pumpkin.

Chuck Musgrove with pumpkin



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TCI Top Model contestants unveiled I

ts was hot couture at the reflecting pool on the grounds of the glamorous and ultra-exclusive Regent Palms Resort on Providenciales over the weekend. Saturday, March 30th featured Couture @ Regent Palms Resort Spa, an event that was alive with couture fashion, fierce music and all things extraordinary as the 10 Contestants vying for the Turks & Caicos preeminent and only coveted title made their official debut to the media, proud partners and specially invited guests! Couture @ Regent Palms Resort Spa, ‘a day where beauty is personified’ – was not only heavily anticipated, but a fabulous and fashionable launch event drawing a well dressed and well turned out crowd for the early afternoon fashion parade! Wearing chic styles, bright colours, spring florals, tweed blazers and silk chiffon garments that were worn with statement accessories - the audience were in awe as each contestant took her turn strut-

ting down and around the reflecting pool, pivoting and posing with male models who were object-d’art. The air was electric. There were thunderous rounds of applause. Guests commented that the affair debuting the 10 young ladies proved to be thoroughly exciting, one in which they have never seen. Attendees remarked how strong and confident each girl was. They were impressed with their pedigree, noting that competition was indeed stiff, as it appeared each girl wanted the TCI Top Model title – and showed it through her performance. “I was mesmerized from the moment the girls took to the staging area! I couldn’t take my eyes off them. Their utter beauty; the self-confidence and sophistication at which these young ladies displayed; I was totally transported to Paris, France,” said Ora Hazenfratz, a Hungarian fashion photographer that’s based in New York. “Their presentation was that of any top model working today. These young ladies are unique in every sense of

the word and performed with great élan. I cannot wait for the main event; I’m sure many will get signed and the event will be an overwhelming success!” The event also featured Bougainvillea Designs by Stephanie D. of The Flower Girl. Not entirely new to the fashion trade, Mrs Stephanie Duncanson is making her forway in couture wedding gowns. She produced her first piece, a silk voile gown with hand painted bougainvillea that was modeled by Washanda Registre, TCI Top Model 2012. The event also saw a parade of fashions offered at the Regent Palms Resort boutiques, which was worn by sixteen of the most stunningly attract male and female models, giving guest a flavour of that which was available on property. Following on from the launch, event organizers will host Before Couture: An afternoon on Regent Street, an event that is open to the public. On Saturday, April 27th, at 4pm, there will be appearances by the 2013 TCI Top Model Contestants,

a fashion show featuring area retailers, a live band, fashion challenges, fabulous cuisine and importantly the most fantastic pre-event party of patrons lives! The actual 2013 TCI Top Model Contest themed Royele Couture: LUXE will be held at the Williams Auditorium in Providenciales on Saturday, May 4th - seeing to the catwalk competition, performances by Barbara Johnson, Julian Garland, Carl Lewis, among a host of other high end entertainers, fashion designers and boutiques making presentations. Tickets are currently available for purchase – VIP $75 and General Admission - $50. Persons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance of the Contest, as it will be an additional $10 more at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets - call 649.344.2502, visit or email: Find us on Facebook: www.facebook. com/tcitopmodel or follow us on Twitter - @tcistopmodel

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LIME celebrates with community I BELIEVE WINNERS at Grand Turk’s office re-opening COLLECT PRIZES I T BY VIVIAN TYSON

t was a family atmosphere as LIME’s past and present staff and members of the community gathered to witness the re-opening of the renovated LIME Grand Turk office. It was an event that took the participants back to the years spent at Cable & Wireless and LIME and the wonderful memories that they had with the company. Mrs. Bridgett Newman hosted the brief ceremony and she brought an old LIME mobile phone with her to demonstrate to the crowd just how long she had been a LIME customer. Mrs. Newman spoke of LIME’s involvement in the community and the contribution that the company has made through the years and continues to make. Mr. Wesley Clerveaux, Permanent Secretary, Government Support Services brought brief remarks at the event and noted “LIME has been in the this country since 1898 and the company has been first in many instances including being the first to bring telecommunications in the Turks & Caicos Islands. The company was rebranded as LIME in 2008 and the re-launching of the Grand Turk office is a signal of LIME’s recommitment to the community and by extension the Turks & Caicos Islands.” Mr. Drexwell Seymour, LIME’s General Manager commented, “Telecommunications was introduced in the Turks and Caicos on January 31st1898 right here on the beautiful island of Grand Turk over 115years ago and LIME continues to have the most robust and most reliable networkin TCI which was proven during Hurricane sea-

r Rec




sons.” Mr. Seymour continued, “LIME impacts the lives of regular people every day by being a part of the technology that allows us to use an ATM machine; to hop on a local or international flight; and assisting in your visit to the hospital or the police station.” Mr. Seymour also highlighted LIME’s significant investment in Education; from providing free internet to the public schools since 1995 when internet was firstintroduced in TCI. This was extended to all private schools when Mr. Seymour became General Manager 11 years ago. There was music and laughter and refreshments at the re-opening of the office. LIME Grand Turk colleagues, Mikhael Smith, Doreen Francis and Leaser Jones cut the ribbon to re-open the renovated office space. LIME also had a special offer on the re-opening that many customers enjoyed. LIME’s former staff members supported the event and they were on hand to assist with the prizes; cutting of the LIME cake; reminisced on days gone by with the company and to continue to be a part of the LIME family. It was a great day of fond memories and seeing new moments being realized. LIME continues to thank customers for their loyalty as the company continues to offer products and services and experiences that would meet and work to exceed the needs of all customers. LIME. Value Every Moment!

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he I believe charity promotion aimed at raising proceeds to fix well-needed problems at some government schools on Providenciales, had its drawing on Friday, recently, at the Kishco Plaza along the Leeward Highway.

Oshin Whyte collecting her prize from Heath Francis A number of fabulous prizes were given out. Keisha Grant walked away with the top prize of a round trip ticket to New York City. Shantera Missick captured the prize of a six-month Free Internet service courtesy of LIME. The year free movie pass complements of Digicel TCI Cinemas was won by Hon. Josephine Connolly. She also won a Blackberry Curve. Her colleague in the legislature Hon. Delroy Willams walked away with the prize of 32 inch flat screen LCD television set. He promised to donate it to the Special Education Class at the Clement Howell High School. Donna Marfino won a gift certificate for a spa package at Escape Salon. Chalis Ferguson won a pass to Beaches

TCI. Nathaniel Forbes won a travel voucher from Marco Travel. W dy Lancaster, who won an auto paint job, donated her prize to A Christian Academy for their school bus to be painted. An Android let courtesy of island from Island Com was won by one Mr. Huds Oshin Whyte of the Clement Howell High School walked a with the $1000 prize after being named the student winner for se most tickets. Whyte told The SUN that part of her prize would g wards her summer vacation. Heath Francis, the man behind the charitable endeavor said the Do It Center will make a donation of five sheets of ply woo Clement Howell High School, as well as two buckets of paint and sets of toilet bowl. “ Special thanks to my wonderful sponsors - Beaches Turks an icos, LIME, Digicel, Digicel TCI Cinemas, Marco Travel, Island Com cape Salon & Spa, Tropical Vibes Radion Station 102.5, Do It Ce Caicos Auto World, TCI Youth Department, New Life Worship Ce and PTV. “Special Individuals that contributed to this project : Mr. Ken Missick, Ken Mather, Wilney Williams,Ms Wilson, Mrs Taylor, Tameka Deveaux Francis, Mrs. Nicola Hanna, Mr. Conrad Howell McKoy Ewing, Hon Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, Mr. Vivian Ty Mr Conrad Howell, Elinor Fin Fin Krzanowski, Mr. Kendal Tho Bishop Brian Cox and Mrs. Paula Rigby. Most of all I would lov thank the general public for those that show their support in purc ing a ticket,” Francis said.

Page 14




TCI’s Stacy Cox elected secretary to regional hotel association


1 LABOURER Salary $5.00 per hour Contact




CHTA’s Association Executive Stacy Cox has been elected as Secretary to sit on the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) Board for the 2013-14 term. The Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) is a professional association which members include top executives and senior managers from the region’s private-sector led hotel and tourism-related organisations. The Board which includes executives from 7 regional hotel associations will meet to share feedback as it relates to key advocacy concerns including increased taxation, lack of destination marketing, high energy costs and the lack of and high prices transportation. Speaking on her recent appointment TCHTA’s Association Executive Stacy Cox noted, “The newly appointed Board met recently to update the CSHAE work plan to incorporate new strategies to guide our efforts over the next few years in order to strengthen the work and roles of all the associations at the local and regional level. We also covered ways to enhance leadership skills, drive membership to the local associations and integrate social media platform and booking engine.” Cox added, “Since my appointment TCHTA has already implemented some of the suggestions coming out of the CSHAE session including the launch of TCHTA’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Through my inclusion on the Board, TCHTA will ben-

Stacy Cox efit tremendously from the wealth of information the group of executives offers, which will allow our local association to improve our tourism product through professional development of staff and working collaboratively with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.”





Must be able to work 6 days per week, split shift, early mornings and evenings. Must hold a valid driver’s license and have transportation.

UPHOLSTERER 10 years + experience Applications to: or P.O. Box 364, Providenciales

Send Resume to:



Must be able to speak Creole

Salary $7.00 per hour Contact 242-0388



Page 15



Yah So Nice – a restaurant delight in the Priton Housing Scheme BY VIVIAN TYSON


hase Two of the Priton Housing development in Wheeland, Providenciales is shaping up to be a self-contained suburb, boasting a burgeoning dedicated commercial centre for residents to shop in convenience. The community recently opened a supermarket, a gym, daycare facility and now its first restaurant – Yah So Nice. Yah So Nice Restaurant is seen as the proverbial oasis in the desert for many of the residents living in the expansive community, as it saves them the sometimes exhaustive commute into town to purchase a hot meal. The proprietors of the restaurant said that the opportunity to open the establishment was born out of mounting concerns expressed by residents of the settlement that there was no food joint in the area, and so they have decided to fill that void. And since Yah So Nice’s opening a month ago, the food court has been getting a great deal of traction from settlers of that neighbourhood, who have been giving the establishment rave reviews on its culinary prowess. The enterprise prepares breakfast, lunch, dinner and fast food, offering its customers a wide variety of choices. Among the items on the menu are fish fingers, crack conch, chicken fingers, fried fish, fried chicken, curried goat, ackee and salt fish, fried dumplings, sandwiches, ground foods, omelet, burgers, peas and rice and red pea soup. They also do smoothies and other blended beverage, to suit the taste buds. On a given weekend, Yah So Nice Restaurant



orld Health Day is celebrated annually on April 7th to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. Each year a theme is selected highlighting a priority area of public health concern in the world. This year, the WHO selected ‘controlling high blood pressure’ as its priority area of global public health concern. In recognition of World Health Day, the Ministry of Health and Human Services (MOHHS) invites the TCI Community to know your numbers and get your blood pressure checked at any of our Primary Health Clinics throughout the TCI, Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:00am-4:30pm. Hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure, is a condition that affects more than one in three adults worldwide. For millions of people, high blood pressure will lead to fatal heart attacks, debilitating strokes, and chronic heart and kidney disease. While the signs and symptoms are often unnoticed, globally, high blood pressure is a major cause of mortality. This is why it is sometimes called a “silent killer” and as a result, it leads to more than nine million deaths every year, including about half of all deaths due to heart disease and stroke. As the world’s population ages

Yah So Nice Restaurant located at the shopping complex in the Priton Phase Two Housing Scheme on Providenciales is transformed into an entertainment and relaxing spot, serving up grilled offerings such as jerk chicken and jerk pork, while providing a number of board games such as domino, bingo and chess for its customers. The proprietors pointed out that they have been encouraged by customers who often told them that the meals served were on par with the best restaurants on Providenciales, and so they are bracing for an explosion of traffic not only from within the Priton Housing Settlement, but

and grows, unhealthy behaviours – an unbalanced diet, increased salt intake, a lack of physical activity, smoking, and harmful use of alcohol – together with stressful lifestyles, increase the chances of developing high blood pressure. Nevertheless, high blood pressure is both preventable and treatable. The following lifestyle changes can minimize the risk of developing high blood pressure: • Reducing salt in the diet • Eating a balanced diet • Avoiding harmful use of alcohol • Getting regular exercise • Maintaining a healthy weight • Avoiding tobacco use For some people, medications may be required. Persons on medication must ensure they take medication as prescribed daily as well as adhere to a healthy lifestyle. It is essential that detection and control of high blood pressure (blood pressure measurement, health advice and treatment) are coupled with simultaneous reduction of other risk factors that can cause heart attacks and strokes, such as diabetes and tobacco use. Two important principles in preventing complications are increasing public awareness and early detection. Take the first step, visit your healthcare provider and get your blood pressure checked. Take control of your health today; know your numbers!

also from adjacent neighbourhoods. They said also the restaurant’s chef is well experienced, with international skills in the food and beverage field. Yah So Nice Restaurant owners said that in addition to its excellent level of service, affordability of its meals also scored big with their customers. Patrons can purchase fried chicken for as little as a dollar. Yah So Nice opens from 6a.m. to 9p.m. from Monday to Thursday and closes at 10p.m. on the weekend.

Building Coordinator for a Private Residence Needed A hard working individual is needed to work six days a week. Must speak English. Must have a valid TCI driver’s license. Must be fit and able. Required to live on property. Salary is $1,800 a month. Applicants must be able to do the following:Ongoing Maintenance Responsibilities: ™Communicate and report all the deficiencies of the villa to the owners with respect to security, electronics, building or grounds issues ™Conduct Inspection of the villa to initiate special projects and special maintenance. ™Work in conjunction with landscaping and irrigation/fire pit service companies for service of the grounds and pool. ™Give instruction to the landscaping service provider and third party maintenance workers and service providers on what is needed to be done in the villa. ™Liaison and point person for security company on-island and all other service providers (see attached list) ™Track execution and completion of special projects and repairs – outside staff accountable to House Manager ™Arming alarms as required daily and securing windows and doors at night ™Responsible for daily outdoor clean-up, including leaf and debris and trash pick-up ™Make minor repairs, carpentry, plumbing, painting and electrical ™Implementing specific maintenance program for all surface, equipment and appliance maintenance in conjunction with housekeeper and tracking inventory of supplies such as paints, chemicals, and cleaning supplies ™Checking sewerage treatment tank regularly and treating with tablets as prescribed ™Responsible for implementing heavy rain storm, hurricane and emergency plan (as provided)

™Sweep up leaves on terraces, and skimming pool / remove leaves from pool daily ™Air out house every daily ™Manual watering of potted plants in addition to irrigation system as indicated by landscape company ™Maintenance/cleaning of outdoor fire pit ™Removing, cleaning and replacing cushions prior to owners in residence, and covering up outdoor furniture with covers during rainshowers when owners are in residence. ™Refrigerator, freezer and wine chiller and ice maker and pantry regular cleaning in conjunction with housekeeper ™Regular checking of propane levels and procurement for re-fills through provider ™Registration of vehicle and delivering for service/maintenance ™Check all light bulbs and outlets, toilet flushing, faucets/pressure and hot water once a week to ensure all are operational in conjunction with housekeeper ™Arrange pest control program regularly scheduled with outside contractor ™Cistern maintenance, water treatment if needed ™Wastewater catchment and irrigation system ™Monitoring leaks ™Pressure-washing, stainless steel maintenance, polishing, dusting, sealing and polishing floors, oiling windows and woods in conjunction with housekeeper ™Appliance maintenance and regular cleaning interior and exterior ™Outdoor furniture oiling / refinishing

If you fit the above qualifications please send via facsimile your resume to 649 946 4663. Belongers only need apply.

Page 16




TCHTA appoints new board of Directors O

n Wednesday, March 13, 2013 TCHTA bid farewell to its out-going Board of Directors as members elected a new team to take the Association forward. Taking up responsibility for being the voice of the Association are: • President - Michel Neutelings of Amanyara Resort • Vice President - Nikheel Advani of Grace Bay Club • Treasurer - Pierre Beswick of Hartling Group • Director - Mona Beeson of The Sands at Grace Bay • Director - Don Dagenais of Beaches TCI • Director - Bridgette Thomas of BNC Consulting Inc • Director - Karen Whitt of Regent Palms • Director - Kristi Vestal of After 5 Concierge • Director - Grant Noble of Parrot Cay Resort • Director - Ian McLeod of Ocean Club Resorts Newly elected President Michel Neutelings expressed his gratitude at being selected and pledged to take the Association forward, stating, “I am quite emotionally attached to our tourism product in this beautiful country; as I was given the opportunity to develop and manage two luxury properties, which have impacted the destination quite significantly. I have accepted this new position with the intention of continuing to exert a positive influence, both for our tourism product and the country as a whole.” Neutelings added, “We have an unique situation in an extraordinary setting “beautiful by na-

ture” and consummate talent that can deliver the service quality, so that visitors can go away with that memorable experience. The destination must seize the competitive advantage, and not only continue to deliver great experience, but also reinforce our desired position and become market leaders in this industry throughout the Caribbean. We need to set an example by establishing and maintaining the highest standards, leaving other destinations at a competitive disadvantage. This will require us to work closely together with the Government, and other stakeholders, including our taxi services, restaurants, our banks, suppliers and most importantly with the airlines. We must conceptualise our destination in such a way that the service quality delivered is flawless from the minute our visitors board the plane at their point of origin to the minute they step off the plane on their return home.” Former President Karen President who headed the Association for the past 4 years and is now a Director, also voiced her approval of the new Board, stating, “Once again the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association is being led by a team of dedicated industry executives who have one unified goal, the improvement and continued development of TCI’s tourism product. The Board and TCHTA stand committed to achieving this goal through collaborated efforts with our tourism partners like TCI Tourist Board and TCIAA and by increasing and strengthening our

Front row (l-r) - Grant Noble, Stacy Cox, Pierre Beswick, Bridgette Thomas Standing (l-r) - Kristi Vestal, Ian McLeod, Mona Beeson, Michel Neutelings, Karen Whitt, John Smith, Nikheel Advani. Missing - Don Dagenais Association Body in order to have a stronger voice and stance.” The Board is encouraging companies that are not yet members to join the Association by contacting 941-5787. The Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) represents a wide range of members from hotels and resorts to insurance companies and financial service providers, from watersports operators to catering outlets, from taxi drivers to human resources. The Association aims to assist the organisations through networking opportunities, training, promotional activities and representation at all levels of decision-making in the Turks and Caicos Islands and the region.

More District Constables for RTCIF BY VIVIAN TYSON


n less than two weeks, the policing mechanism of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force will be buttressed, as it is the timeframe that seven special constables are to end their two-week training stint and become officers of the law. The seven individuals were sworn in to begin training on Tuesday, April 2, at the Stanley Williams Building near the court house on Old Airport Road in Providenciales. They are An –Leslie Garland, Latusher Gibson, Brandalee Hanchell, Shekira Dean, Marvin Rolle, Damian Palmer and Tamoy Lewis. An eighth individual – Demetri Swann - although passed the selection process and is to be trained with the seven, will not be sworn in until later this year when he reaches the age of 21. To be a district constable the applicant should be between the ages of 21 and 60. Speaking at the event, Commissioner of Police Colin Farquar said that the recruits would be primarily stationed at the Providenciales International Airport, to give visitors “a good sense of security and safety” when they arrive in the country. Making the differentiation between district constable, special constable and regular constable, Commissioner Farquar explained that a special constable is someone with specials skills such as a law degree, that is recruited by the force to work

District Constable recruits (standing) take time for a photo op with the top brass and middle managers of the force. From left are: Tamoy Lewis, An-Leslie Garland, Sherika Dean, Demetri Swann, Marvin Rolle Damian Palmer, Latusher Gibson and Brandalee Hanchell. Seated (from left) are Training Manager Sgt. Curvalene Skippings-Godet; Primary Facilitator of the training, Inspector Innis Grant; Commissioner of Police Colin Farquar; Acting Officer in charge of the Human Resources Department, Inspector Dwight Gardiner; and Sgt. Winston Hall, assistant facilitator for the programme. in a certain capacity. He said it is not a civilian position since there is the question of confidentiality. He said a regular constable is one that goes through six months of training during which all aspect of policing is taught, and after graduation, work their way through the ranks and become officers. A district constable, he said, is not a regular police investigator, but a bridge between the police and the community and also to back up regular police. “It is all familiarization with all

aspect of police work, but giving them a good understanding of what a district constable is, because a district constable position is slightly different from a regular constable. But they do have all the powers of arrest; they have all the powers that all regular police constable have, but they just don’t have the six months of training to give them that full understanding (technical police duties). “We have had district constables who have been with the organization for decades, so they have a real-

ly good understanding (of the police force), but their role is still district constable and, primarily that is liaison between the community and the police, but also as back-up to the regular officers,” Commissioner Farquar said. Just as regular police hopefuls, district constable applicants also go through inspection checks, according to the commissioner. “They go through the regular vetting process as any regular constable would go through. So there is background checks, there is police record checks, there are neighborhood inquiries, there is a selection board, and there is an interview board that they have to go before. I don’t involve myself on those boards; I leave myself out. The board makes the recommendation, and I then get the process and make sure they follow the process, and if they did, then I will agree to recommend the candidates,” Commissioner Farquar explained. Training of the district constables would be done by Inspector Ennis Grant, who previously worked in the Marine Division, Beat and Patrol, Community Police and Human Resources Department as training manager. He is being assisted by Sergeant Winston Grant. “Dwight Gardiner, Acting Officer in charge of the force’s Human Resource Department, said that a number of guest lecturers would also address the recruits during their two weeks of training.


Page 17



The numbers from outside the box BY ZHAVAGO JOLLY


think it’s safe to say that there are certain advantages to being a fairly young and undeveloped country, when the whole world is going through an economic rebuilding phase. Such as having a quasi-clean slate to be creative and innovative with, think… being an inspired painter with a brand new canvas staring at you. But in my opinion, the advantage goes deeper; much deeper. In the sense that, we as a country have had the advantage of history; not just ours, but world history. The massive failures and inspiring success stories embedded in the archives of countries large and small are right at our finger tips in the way of television, internet and other forms of electronic media. So, we are no longer a painter, we are students taking an exam and we’ve seen all the previous papers of past students that have passed and failed. I think it’s about time we use them. When we think about TCI revenue generator, we always think tourism. Let’s start there. Tourism: Now this area involves very little creativity initially because of so many successful and unsuccessful models in the world that we can use as guides. Obviously, the first area that would need to be tackled would be a new modernized airport and the infrastructure to match, but I’d like to start with world events that trigger certain market trends that can be beneficial if you take advantage of creative marketing methods. For example, according to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 5.7% in the first two months of 2012. Demand remained strong in both advanced

ZHAVAGO JOLLY and emerging economy destinations, despite economic constraints in many of the source markets of Europe and North America. So based on this fact we’ve established that the industry is trending up but, we are referring to an extremely competitive industry, we’ve been self-proclaimed as a high end tourism destination that predominately caters to those that fall into this income range. Andmuch of our regional neighbors/competitors being formerly known for focusing more on the middle income range, which yields high volume numbers, but requires

larger properties, with more beds and a quick turn around with a lot of traffic. Well that’s changing; with developments like the high end Playa Grande, owned and operated by Aman Resorts in the Dominican Republic, that has many other similar developments in the pipe-line. Another example is Cuba that had 2.69 millionTourists in 2011 with no direct flights from or to the US until January of last year when President Obama gave clearance for certain airports in the US to allow chartered flights to Cuba, which has led to rumors of a possible lift of the embargo. We can therefore expect a major increase in realistic competition in every aspect of this industry. But there has also been a significant shift in the tourism dollars and where they’re being spent. With the U.S. Embassy attacks of September 2012, we’ve seen a downward trend develop in areas such as Egypt, which in 2011saw 17.34 million International Tourist Travelers spending around $10 billion which was also an 8% decrease from the year before. These travelers are now searching for safer places to vacation. I can think of a great place. We can look even deeper. If we take a look at some of the countries that spent the most in international tourism in 2011, at the top of the list is Germany, spending over $80 billion. And with Asian countries accounting for an equal amount, our sights shouldn’t be solely focused on North America. If we diversify our strategic approach and achieve even a small breakthrough in anyone of these budding markets, the dividends could yield great benefits to a “year round” tourism approach as opposed to the current seasonal atmosphere.


Kitchen Laundry Mechanic

Requirements: ŏ Minimum 3 years experience of experience. ŏ Post secondary degree or equivalent qualification by experience. ŏ Knowledge and experience in repair and maintenance including preventative maintenance of property systems and equipment. ŏ To be an independent kitchen laundry mechanic, able to analyze problems, to read technical data sheets and diagrams for mechanical and electrical equipment and to formulate plans to get work done quickly, including procurement of materials, parts, etc., and necessary scheduling arrangements with a high degree of quality. ŏ Ability to speak effectively with customers and associates read and write and interpret documents and technical wiring diagram information sheets as well as safety rules (lockout tagout), safety awareness information (MSDS) operating and maintenance and instructions manuals. Duties include: ŏ Maintain proper preventative maintenance to laundry equipment and boilers. ŏ Maintain proper amount of chemical injection on boiler feed tank and proper conductivity at boilers. ŏ Preventative maintenance to steam traps and steam lines Starting salary $7.00 per hour not including service charge.

AC Technician Requirements: ŏ Minimum experience of 3 years experience ŏ Post secondary degree or equivalent qualification by experience. ŏ Knowledge and experience in repair and maintenance including preventative maintenance of property systems and equipment. Duties include: ŏ Maintain proper preventative maintenance to laundry equipment and boilers ŏ Inspect, repair and maintain HVAC, quality counter and refrigeration equipment. ŏ Maintain proper inventory on designated parts to avoid down time ŏ Maintain proper amount of chemical injection on boiler feed tank and proper conductivity at boilers. ŏ Preventative maintenance to steam traps and steam lines Starting salary $7.00 per hour not including service charge. All interested applicants should apply to Regent Palms, and bring along an updated resume, or by emailing, no later than 5pm, Friday, April 12, 2013.

Page 18








Hair braider

50% of sales collected by company


Must be fluent in English. Previous experience in a similar role preferred, but not essential. Must be able to meet the requirements of guest requests regarding their hair styling to suit the “Caribbean” look wanted. Handle customer service with a positive attitude.


Pottery craftsman/ salesperson

50% of sales collected by company


Must be fluent in English. Previous artist experience required (portfolio to show preferred). Must have the ability to make items on the spot, previous experience selling items required. Handle customer service with a positive attitude.



50% of sales collected by company

Relevant qualifications and previous experience

Must be fluent in English. Previous artist experience required (portfolio to show preferred). Must have the ability to paint items on the spot, previous experience selling items required. Handle customer service with a positive attitude.


Coconut water vendor

50% of sales collected by company


Must be fluent in English. Previous experience selling items preferred, but not essential. Needs to source coconuts themselves, as well as prepare for guests. Handle customer service with a positive attitude.


Gift shop attendant

$8 US/hr

High school degree

Must be fluent in English. Must have knowledge and experience of working with the public in a professional manner. Must be computer literate. Must have knowledge of QB P.O.S system (or the ability to learn). Applicant must be outgoing, confident and work well independently, as well as with others. Ability to work weekends and holidays. Dealing with and serving guests on a daily basis. Stocktaking and presentation. Able to handle large amounts of guests in short periods, be organized, not get flustered easily, and has to have a great attitude. Should be able to lift 40lbs


Photo/video operator

$8 US/hr

High school degree, no prior experience needed

Printing all the pictures of the daily operations, organize the photos by group, control of the prints, control of the supplies for photo as paper, inks, general use of the equipment. Fluent in English. Must be able to work weekends and holidays. Applicant should be a strong swimmer, willing to clean docks, skim, lift 50lbs work outdoors and interact with guests.


Photo/video supervisor

$15 US/hr

High school degree

Minimum 2 years experience in a similar position. Knowledge of staff scheduling. Responsible for training and tracking staff performance. Oversee the printing of photos and use of equipment. Fluent in English. Handle customer service with a positive attitude. Applicant should be a strong swimmer, willing to clean docks, skim, lift 50lbs, work outdoors and interact with guests.


Security guard

$6 US/hr

High school degree, relevant qualifications

Minimum 2 years experience in a similar position. Responsible for maintaining total safety of the property and animals at all times. Must be able to work nights and weekends when required.

$20 US/hr

Diploma/certificate or equivalent education in captive wildlife animal husbandry, wildlife or related field; or any equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.

Minimum 8 years experience working with marine mammals, in-depth knowledge of operant conditioning, good understanding of marine mammals, advanced biology and ecology. Responsible for health and training of animals and staff. Knowledge of standard operating procedures and knows how to carry out an interactive program with dolphins in a safe and educational fashion. Knowledge of staff scheduling. Responsible for training and tracking staff performance. Overseeing daily program operations. Fluent in English. Applicant should be a strong swimmer, willing to clean docks, skim, lift 50lbs, work outdoors and interact with guests.

$12 US/hr

Diploma/certificate or equivalent education in captive wildlife animal husbandry, wildlife or related field; or any equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.

Minimum 3 years experience working with marine mammals, high proficiency in basic biology and ecology, Health and Training Animals. Minimum 3 years experience working within an interactive setting. Operant conditioning general knowledge. Physically healthy and able to lift approximately 50 pounds. Must be able to work in all weather conditions Applicants must be able to work nights, weekends and holidays. Daily duties include, but are not limited to: feeding, inspecting and observing the collection; implementing veterinary procedures; ordering medications when needed; nutrition and enrichment programs; interactive programs; daily record keeping; trains new behaviors deemed appropriate for programs as well as a possible show. Must be fluent in English.



Senior dolphin trainer

Dolphin trainer


Dolphin handler

$6 US/hr

High school degree, no prior experience needed

Minimum 1 years experience working with animals, basic biology and ecology. Minimum 1 years experience working within an interactive setting. Operant conditioning general knowledge. Physically healthy and able to lift approximately 50 pounds. Must be able to work in all weather conditions. Applicants must be able to work nights, weekends and holidays. Daily duties include, but are not limited to greeting and interacting with guests upon arrival; general husbandry of all animals; daily diet preparation; daily cleaning of lagoon, including scrubbing of walls; daily interactive programs; orientation and educate guest about excursion; maintain current trained behaviors. Responsible for the daily care and husbandry of all dolphins. Must be fluent in English.



$8 US/hr

Technical studies

Repairs and maintenance of store equipment, construction, electrical, air-conditioning, under water maintenance, fencing and execute all maintenance activities indicated by the supervisor.


Gardener/ landscape engineer

$8 US/hr

Previous experience required

Minimum 3 years experience. Ability to work outdoors, tendering professional care to nature trail, trees, shrubs, and flowers. Responsible for keeping the soil in good condition, plant bulbs, flowers, shrubs, or trees, water, feed, transplant, and prune. Willing to work with environmentally friendly chemicals to control insects, disease, and weeds. Move benches and picnic tables, responsible for picking up litter and emptying trashcans.

$8 US/hr

Diploma/certificate or equivalent education in captive wildlife animal husbandry, wildlife or related field; or any equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.

Applicant must be outgoing, self-motivated. Applicant must have ability to work outdoors, tendering professional care to nature trail and animals (love birds, macaws, flamingos, donkey, snakes). Applicant must have the drive to go above and beyond, be creative, work well with others as well as independently. Responsibilities include daily care, preparing diets and exhibit maintenance. Must be able to work weekends and holidays. Applicant should be a strong swimmer, willing to clean docks, skim, work outdoors and interact with guests.

High school degree

Applicant must be outgoing, self-motivated. Applicant must have ability to work outdoors, tendering professional care all touch tank animals. Applicant must have vast knowledge of aquarium equipment. Applicant must have the drive to go above and beyond, be creative, work well with others as well as independently. Responsibilities include daily care, preparing diets and exhibit maintenance. Must be able to work weekends and holidays. Applicant should be a strong swimmer, willing to clean docks, skim, work outdoors and interact with guests.

High school degree, relevant Diploma

Minimum 2 yrs experience in similar position, must possess strong interpersonal skills, must be well organized and speak English. Know procedures and rules governing reservations and cancellation, daily reports, guest list verification, provide information and personalized attention reception of guest, design programs for tourist attractions, Maintain clear communication with all cruise ship Shore Excursion Managers via emails and telephone, Investigate whether condition, Review accurately each program and clubs with sufficient time according to cruise ship schedules, Prepare and execute changes between each department assisting in the programs. Resolve or assist detail problems, Record and file all incident reports.

$15 US/hr

High school degree

Minimum 2 yrs experience in similar position, must possess strong interpersonal skills, must be well organized and speak English. Know procedures and rules governing reservation and cancellation, daily reports, guest list verification, reception of guests, provide information and personalized attention, check in guests, issue reservation and performance report, Labour legislation compliances, supervise staff recruitment, staff rotation, training programs, contract expiration control, director’s personal assistant, prepare immigration paper work maintain hard copy and electronic filing system, create and modify documents using Microsoft Office, perform general Clerical duties including but not limited to: photocopying, faxing, mailing, filing and answer telephones.

$35 US/hr

Degree in Business Management


Animal attendant


Touch tank presenter


Cruise ship coordinator/ Shore-ex relationship manager


Reservations/ administration/ bookkeeper/ cruise ship relationship person



General manager

Assistant manager

$8 US/hr

$10 US/hr

$15 US/hr

A minimum of 7 years experience in Managing Dolphin Parks facility operations and management. Supervise the operation of all areas on the location. Sales and Marketing of the facility. Report to corporate offices regarding the operation and sales budgets and expenditure. Hold regular meetings with supervisors in order to guarantee optimal communication and daily feedback. Ensure goals are reached and supervise/ reward accomplishments. Knowledge of the Dolphin Cove Reservations Program is essential. Daily Sales Report to the Corporate Directors. Plan and coordinate additional maintenance and security activities. Over see the safety of the staff and animals. Prepare facility and staff for hurricane season.

Must have diploma in higher education or relevant degree.

A minimum of 3 years experience in assistant managing Dolphin Park facility operations and management. Assist general manager with duties such as supervise the operation of all areas on the location. Sales and Marketing of the facility. Report to corporate offices regarding the operation and sales budgets and expenditure. Hold regular meetings with supervisors in order to guarantee optimal communication and daily feedback. Ensure goals are reached and supervise/ reward accomplishments. Knowledge of the Dolphin Cove Reservations Program is essential. Daily Sales Report to the Corporate Directors. Plan and coordinate additional maintenance and security activities. Over see the safety of the staff and animals. Prepare facility and staff for hurricane season.


Cleaning person

$6 US/hr

High School Degree,

Must have knowledge and experience in working with the public in a professional manner. Must have at least 2 years experience in dealing with germicidal and mixing of chemicals; applicant should be very organized and work well unsupervised and a great team player, ability to work holidays and weekends a must. Applicant will maintain and clean offices, gift shop, restroom and surroundings; will report to managers/supervisors to ensure task assigned are properly completed, inform managers/supervisor of inventory to ensure adequate supply. Should be able to lift 40 pounds.


Sales and marketing manager

$12 US/hr

High School Degree, relevant Diploma

Handles direct sales, attend different kind of clients, delivering brochures, assistant on the checking area, promotion and advertising and have the capability to hear complaints, comments and suggestions from customers and get solutions to them, get occupancy list, do daily reports, follow all the supervisor instructions. Must be bi-lingual. Must be computer literate.


Food and beverage vendor

$8 US/hr

High School Degree

Must have knowledge and experience of working with the public in a professional manner. Have at least 1-year experience in service industry and working with money and be excellent at mathematics. Applicant should be confident, self-motivated, and work well independently, as well as with others. Possess a friendly and outgoing attitude. High energy. Ability to work weekends and holidays. Taking orders, and serving guests. Stocktaking and presentation. Able to handle large amounts of guests in short periods, be organized, not get flustered easily, and has to have a great attitude. Should be able to lift 40lbs


1 man band

$15 US/hr

High school degree, musical qualifications

Applicant must be able to provide live music and entertainment for guests. Applicant must be able to work weekends and nights when required.


Pirate presenter

$8 US/hr

High school degree

Looking for any persons with a physical disability that has the potential to fulfill the “pirate presenter” role needed to entertain guests. Has the ability to serve as an effective “Master of Ceremonies”, applicants must be capable of being a patient listener while making the guests feels at home, proficiency to read, write and effectively communicate in English.



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National Insurance Made Simple “21 Years Later: The Impact of the NIB on the TCI”



ntroduced in April 1992 amidst an immense cloud of suspicion, mistrust and opposition from the general public, the National Insurance Programme has had a significant socio- economic impact on the development of the TCI today. The effect of this can be seen throughout every sector of our society as the programme has transformed the lives of all persons residing, working and doing business in the Islands todayemployees, self employed persons and employers alike. THEN AND NOW In order to fully appreciate and understand how the NIB has positively impacted the TCI, it is imperative that one takes a candid retrospective look at what life was like pre- NIB. Prior to its introduction, persons working and residing in the TCI private sector encountered numerous social and financial hardships in the areas of: 1) MATERNITY Prior to April 1992, expectant mothers grappled with several issues with regard to the planning of their pregnancies because the laws granted them Maternity Allowance of 12 weeks at halfpay only after 2 years of service with any employer. Despite the fact that this was law, a large number of employers chose not to adhere to the law and actually found reasons to terminate their services after being informed of the pregnancy simply because they did not want to pay the employee half-pay as well as engage a temporary replacement for the expectant mother. In some cases, the expecting employee would be permanently replaced by her temporary replacement. Some employees, not wanting to be a financial burden on the employers and wanting to secure their jobs, continued to work dangerously close to their expected confinement date and/ or returned to work much earlier than legally required, reducing the necessary bonding time with their newborns. But the NIS has changed all of that and provides insured expecting mothers 12 weeks Maternity Allowance at 60% along with a $500.00 Maternity Grant upon the birth of the baby. Expecting moms are now guaranteed a portion of their salary whilst on Maternity Leave.

2) EMPLOYMENT INJURY/ DISABLEMENT In the past, if an employee was seriously injured on the job, there were no laws which required employers to pay for the loss of income whilst the employee was incapable of work. The employee was, in many cases, at the mercy of the employer who assisted financially for whatever period if he so desired. If the employee was rendered permanently incapable of work, he would most likely be forced to sue his employer to receive any form of compensation. In those days, the law limited any civil suit to $20,000.00 and your employer would most likely find a reason to terminate your employment soon after receiving notice of the suit. If you were lucky enough to win your suit, your money would be shortlived as it would not be able to sustain you for the duration of your life. The NIS addresses that problem today by providing Employment Injury Benefit at 60% of the employee’s pay until the employee is able to return to work up to a maximum of twelve months. If the employee is unable to return permanently, the NIS may pay him a Disablement Pension of 30- 60% for the duration of his life. In addition to the benefit, the employee may also be entitled to reimbursements for overseas travelling expenses, Constant Attendance Allowance (an additional monthly pension for persons who require the continuous services of a care giver). 3) SICKNESS Prior to the introduction of the NIS, employees who fell ill and were unable to work were only entitled to twelve days Sick Leave per year with full pay from their employers. Once those twelve days were exhausted, employees would not be paid for any other days of sickness. This meant that employees would have to stay at home sick without any pay until they got better to return to work. Because they would have bills to pay and children to feed, some employees would return to work sick, just to keep money coming into the household. In some cases, employees would return to work only to find that someone else had been hired in their place while they were sick. Depending on the employer, employees were really scared sometimes to miss a day at work although they were truly sick. The NIS has corrected this serious problem and protects sick workers by paying them 60% of their pay up to a maximum of 6 months illness. Both the employer and the employee do not have to be too concerned about absence on the job due to sickness as the NIS now covers a portion of the employee’ salary at a time when it is really needed. 4) INVALIDITY In the past, if an employee became sick and was unable to work for a very long period, not only would it be likely that that employee not be paid for any time absent from work exceeding twelve days, but that sick employee would most likely be eventually replaced with

a healthy employee. Employees who developed a permanent or terminal illness would certainly be released from their jobs usually without any extended form of financial assistance from their employer- government perhaps would have assisted by way of the Welfare Department in their small way. Today, the NIS provides an Invalidity Pension of 30% - 60% of the employee’s salary for any period of illness exceeding six months which is likely to be permanent for the rest of the employee’s life. Considering the serious battles our country faces today with the problem of HIV/ AIDS, cancer, diabetes, hypertension and other long term illnesses, the NIS is playing a very critical role in financially assisting these persons who can no longer assist themselves. 5) FUNERALS The average cost of funerals in the TCI over the past 21 years has risen from $600.00 to $6,000.00. In the past, the expenses associated with funerals created many hardships for many families and left them with large debts following the burial of their loved ones. Here too, government sometimes assisted in a small way, whenever possible. Today, the NIS provides a Funeral Grant of $2,000.00 for an insured person and $1,200.00 for dependants to assist with the funeral expenses. Indeed, there were very few funerals held in the TCI within the past 21 years where the NIS has not contributed financially, relieving some of the burden on family, friend and state. 6) SURVIVOR’S PENSION There is nothing more devastating perhaps than the death of a bread- winner when the survivors are not financially able to care for themselves. In the past, upon the death of a mother or father, the surviving spouse and children were often left to suffer economic hardship and seek the help of family, friends and government just to ‘make ends meet’. Sometimes, in the case of orphans, these children became wards of the state, depending solely on government. But now, the NIS provides Survivors Pensions in the form of Widow’s, Widower’s, and Children’s Pensions, to ensure that those persons to not face undue financial hardships. Today, persons who pay NIS contributions can go about their lives confident that should something happens to them, their survivors will be financially protected. 7) RETIREMENT PENSION Prior to the NIB, when an employee reached the age of 55 or 60 or became too old to perform with the speed and accuracy in which he once did, the employer would eventually ‘lay him off’ or replace his services with that of a younger person. As pension plans were virtually non-existent in those days with the exception of the government, banks, and some of the large private sector companies, the employee would usually go home empty –handed, with very little or no savings in the bank. Because of this, he and his family suffered.

But now, the NIS provides 30%- 60% Retirement Pension to employees who reach the age of 60 – 65 years and have paid contributions for at least 10 years. This guaranteed pension ensures that the employee and his family enjoy a reasonably good quality of life beyond retirement because it is difficult to save. Saving sometimes calls for extraordinary self discipline. Today, many persons in the TCI today receive and depend on their NIS pensions. 8) NON-CONTRIBUTORY OLD AGE PENSION Our fathers and fore-fathers slaved for us and built these beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands for us many, many years ago. They had to struggle and fight very hard in years gone just to survive and when they became elderly and unable to work anymore, many found themselves without any form of regular financial assistance. Some of these persons depended on government (often politically determined) to assist them with a mere $40.00 -$60.00 per month to sustain themselves because family and friends could not or did not assist. Unfortunately, these persons were either too old to pay NIS contributions or unemployed to contribute toward a Retirement Pension, The NIS takes care of these persons (some 484 of them) by providing a NonContributory Pension of $250.00 per month for the rest of their lives. This ensures their standards of living, prevents their living in abject poverty and prolongs their lives a little bit longer to enjoy the fruits of their labour. CONCLUSION Latest 2012 figures reveal that the National Insurance Scheme distributed over $9,000,000.00 (nine million dollars) to some 1,255 Retirement, Non – Contributory, Disablement, Invalidity and Survivors Pensioners throughout the Islands in the local TCI economy. I can safely say that every single contributor to the Programme has today benefitted / is benefiting in some way from the NIB or is related to / associated with someone who has benefitted / is benefiting from the NIS. These monies provide much needed assistance for the people of the TCI and keep the economy alive. The National Insurance Programme has indeed elevated and transformed the lives of the TCI people over the years and has become a key player in the development of the TCI, by making us all ‘our brother’s keeper’ with the strong helping the weak, the rich helping the poor, and the young helping the old – just the way it should be. The NIS has allowed development to come and continue in the TCI because it ensures that our most precious and valuable resource (our people) are protected in times of ill health and financial difficulty to facilitate that development. The NIS provides a certain ‘peace of mind’ for our many employers and employees alike and they now worry less about the financial implications of sickness, injury, maternity, retirement and death as they are assured that the NIS will be there for them when they need us.

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Vashawn Mitchell

Turning Around For Me: Sometimes discouraged but not defeated. Cast down but not destroyed there’re times I don’t understand but I believe it’s turning around for me. I’ve had struggles and disappointments There were times I felt so alone Some of my friends they let me down But I still believe, it’s turning around for me. Around for me around for me around for me It’s turning around for me because I can see the breaking... I can see the breaking of day God is making a way A change is coming for me If I stand strong and believe There’s no reason to doubt

I know He’s working it out It’s turning around for me It won’t always be like this The Lord will perfect that concerning me And sooner or later, turn in my favor Sooner or later, turn in my favor Sooner or later, turn in my favor It’s turning around for me It’s turning around for me Around for me Around for me Around for me It’s turning around for me (Repeat 4 times) Turning around for me (repeat 8 times) It’s turning around for me.



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Beyonce and Jay Z rock Havana for their anniversary A

merican pop star Beyonce and rapper husband Jay Z celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary this week in Havana, where big crowds greeted them as they strolled hand in hand through the Cuban capital. They ate at some of the city’s best restaurants, danced to Cuban music, walked through historic Old Havana and posed for pictures with admiring Cubans, who recognized them despite the past half-century of ideological conflict that separates the United States and Cuba. They were the latest and perhaps greatest bigname American stars - actors Bill Murray, Sean Penn and James Caan among them - to visit the Caribbean island in the past few years, but the first to cause such a stir everywhere they went. Fans in the street below cried out Beyonce’s name as she and Jay Z and their mothers dined at the upstairs restaurant La Guarida, famed as the location for the hit 1993 Cuban film “Strawberry and Chocolate.” A crowd of several thousand people swarmed around them in the main square of Old Havana, which prompted their security team to put a halt to their visit to the site. “I was in the eye of the whirlpool. We had to cut it short because it got so crazy,” said architect Miguel Coyula, who gave the couple a tour of the 16th century heart of the city. They also visited a children’s theater group

BEYONCE AND JAYZ. called La Colmenita, a source close to the group said. On Thursday night, they dined at La Fontana, one of the city’s more established private restaurants, or paladares, and a favorite of visiting foreigners, but police blocked off surrounding roads to prevent onlookers. Later, they went to El Gato Tuerto, a famous Havana nightclub, then to the Casa de la Musica in the Miramar district where the source said they “danced until dawn” to salsa and other music by the band Havana D’Primera. On Friday, they toured Cuba’s famous art school, Instituto Superior de Arte, and, according to government blogger Yohandry Fontana, Be-

yonce was to have lunch with “important figures of Cuban culture.” His blog ran several photographs of her and Jay Z under the headline “Beyonce Rocks Havana.” Jay Z, in shorts, a short-sleeve shirt and straw hat, looked like a typical tourist, puffing on a big Cuban cigar. Beyonce, camera in hand, wore a colorful print mini-dress, big sunglasses, dangling ear-rings and her long braids piled high. The Grammy winner posed for a photograph with a group of smiling Cuban schoolchildren. The couple declined to talk to the media to explain the purpose of their visit. The source close to the group said they were invited by Cuba’s tourism ministry. The longstanding U.S. trade embargo against Cuba prevents most Americans from traveling to the island without a license granted by the U.S. government, though President Barack Obama’s administration has eased restrictions on travel to Cuba for academic, religious or cultural exchanges. In Washington, the State Department said it had no prior knowledge of the visit. A spokeswoman at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana said she did not know if the two stars obtained a license for their trip, which if they did not could expose them to a fine.

Influential US film critic Roger Ebert dies at 70 L

OS ANGELES - Roger Ebert, who was the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize and became an unlikely TV star while hosting a movie review show with fellow critic Gene Siskel, died in Chicago on Thursday, two days after he disclosed his cancer had returned. “It is with a heavy heart we report that legendary film critic Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) has passed away,” the Chicago Sun-Times, the newspaper where Ebert, 70, worked for decades, said on Twitter. “There is a hole that can’t be filled. One of the greats has left us,” the newspaper added. Ebert, who was dubbed by Forbes magazine in 2007 as the most powerful pundit in America, was one of the mostly widely read U.S. movie critics, known for more than 40 years of insightful, sometimes sarcastic and often humorous reviews. “For a generation of Americans and especially Chicagoans - Roger was the movies,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. “When he didn’t like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive - capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical.” Ebert’s reviews appeared in more than 200 newspapers and in 1975 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, the first film critic to do so. But his most visible role was as one of the

hosts of a popular television movie review show with Gene Siskel, a reviewer from the rival Chicago Tribune. The program began airing in the 1970s on a Chicago public television station and eventually ran nationally under various names, including “Siskel & Ebert.” The sometimes sparring pair later trademarked their “Two thumbs up!” seal of approval for movies. After Siskel died in 1999 at age 53 due to complications from surgery for a brain tumor, Ebert teamed with critic Richard Roeper on another movie review show. He later left the program for health reasons. Ebert lost his ability to speak and eat after surgeries for thyroid and salivary gland cancer in 2002 and 2003 and again in 2006. But it did not stop him from working. On Tuesday, Ebert had posted a blog entry saying he was taking a “leave of presence” and scaling back his work after doctors diagnosed his cancer had returned. He said it was discovered by doctors after he fractured his hip in December. “The ‘painful fracture’ that made it difficult for me to walk has recently been revealed to be a cancer,” Ebert said in the blog posting, giving no further details about the type of cancer or diagnosis. “I am not going away,” he added. “My intent is to continue to write se-

lected reviews ... What’s more, I’ll be able at last to do what I’ve always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review.” News of Ebert’s death provoked an outpouring of tributes on Twitter. “A great man. I miss him already,” tweeted Roeper, his fellow Sun-Times film critic and TV co-host. Millions of thumbs up for you,” wrote documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, referring to his catchphrase. Comedian Steve Martin tweeted: “Goodbye Roger Ebert, we had fun. The balcony is closed.” “Rest in Peace, Roger. You were simply the best,” wrote “Jaws” actor Richard Dreyfuss on Twitter. MOVIE BOOKS, SCREENPLAY, COOKBOOK Born on June 18, 1942, in Urbana, Illinois, south of Chicago, Ebert attended the University of Illinois and was editor of the school newspaper, the Daily Illini. From 1958 until 1966, he worked at the News Gazette in Champaign-Urbana, where he had snagged a job as a sportswriter at the age of 15, then moved to the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967. Along with film criticism, Ebert authored several books on movies and filmmakers, including 1980’s “Werner Herzog: Images at the Horizon,” about the famed director, as well as titles like “I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie,” in 2000.

Roger Ebert in his younger days He even co-wrote the screenplay for the 1970 film “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. But it was reviewing movies that Ebert loved most and he was prolific at cranking out criticism. In print, his reviews were voluminous and omnivorous, reflecting an encyclopedic knowledge about and appetite for the genre. He liked to say he would go out of his way to review foreign films, documentaries and little-known independent movies that other critics passed on, and he cranked out hundreds of reviews and essays annually. Ebert’s earlier bouts of cancer cost him his lower jaw. He communicated through notes and a mechanized voice as well as on the Internet, but he could not eat normally and received nutrition through a tube. “I can remember the taste and smell of everything, even though I can no longer taste or smell,” he told a New York Times interviewer in 2010, when Ebert published a cookbook, “The Pot and How to Use It.” “The jokes, gossip, laughs, arguments and shared memories I miss,” he wrote of missing out on the talk at table.

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Florida celebrates 500th anniversary but history blurred by myth S

panish explorer Ponce de Leon was only 4-foot, 11-inches tall, a trolley tour operator told his passengers as they rolled down a picturesque street in St. Augustine lined with moss-draped live oak trees. But the Timucuan Indians he encountered when he set foot in Florida towered over him, standing 7 feet tall, the tour guide said. Turning into the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, he noted: No wonder the explorer thought these tall, robust natives were drinking enchanted water. This week Florida celebrated the 500th anniversary of the day when Ponce de Leon stepped onto the shores of what he thought was a large island and called the land “La Florida.” But the modern-day state of Florida built on the lure of sunshine and myth of eternal youth is still grappling with how to tell its first city’s story — a rich history of centuries-old multiculturalism, yet distorted by useful falsehoods aimed at entertaining tourists who are important to its economy. Take that trolley tour, for instance. Ponce de Leon wasn’t especially short, the natives weren’t especially tall, and the water at St. Augustine’s Fountain of Youth didn’t offer eternal youth. In fact, not only did Ponce de Leon never discover a Fountain of Youth, he wasn’t even looking for one, historians said. “Ponce de Leon has been said to be anywhere from 2 1/2 feet tall to 6 1/2 feet tall. The Timucuan Indians were 7 or 8 feet tall, like they were out of a space-age film or something,” said J. Michael Francis, a history professor at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg who specializes in Spanish colonial Florida history. Even that first moment, when Ponce de Leon stepped onto American soil, is mired in uncertainty, thanks to a missing voyage log that hasn’t

been seen in centuries. But where the historical record is unclear, promoters of the state over the last century have stepped in to fill in the gaps. WHERE DID PONCE LAND? The state’s official Viva Florida calendar recognized a landing re-enactment in downtown St. Augustine and ceremonies for unveiling two statues: one in Ponte Vedra, just north of St. Augustine, and a second 185 miles farther south in Melbourne Beach. Both communities claim to be the explorer’s landing site. Certainly both statues can’t be in the correct spot, but to the chagrin of historical purists, they also rely on historically inaccurate representations of the explorer himself. “Wrong helmet, wrong pants, wrong sword,” Chad Light, who portrays the explorer as a professional re-enactor, said of the new statues. “They cry history, history, history. But they just don’t care.” The cautious line between entertaining and educating visitors is most apparent in St. Augustine, the former capital of Spanish Florida and the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in what would become the United States. The small city of 13,000 brings in more than $650 million per year in tourism dollars. When British settlers were founding Jamestown, Virginia, at the launch of the 17th century, St. Augustine was a 50-year-old cultural hub. Its 500 residents included Portuguese, French, Germans, Flemish, Native Americans and Africans, both free and enslaved. There were even two influential Irishmen, one a parish priest, the other a high-ranking merchant. History teachers looking for more examples of strong women in early America can look to early St. Augustine, where a chieftainess, Dona Maria Melendez, ruled the Timucuan tribes along the Atlantic Coast in parts of Georgia and

Florida. St. Augustine became a destination for historically minded tourists beginning in the late 19th century, when railroad magnate Henry Flagler built a magnificent hotel that attracted wealthy tourists from the U.S. Northeast. He called it the Ponce de Leon. A mile north of the hotel, an enterprising businesswoman began calling her property the Fountain of Youth and charged visitors to drink from the natural spring on the lush site. “I think the real history is far more fascinating, far more engaging, far more interesting than some of the narratives you hear,” Francis said. Kathleen Deagan, a University of Florida archaeologist who has led annual excavations in St. Augustine for 30 years, said the city’s history has been blurred for decades. In documents from the 1930s, historians railed against St. Augustine carriage drivers’ distortions of the truth. SETTING HISTORY STRAIGHT One new attraction in St. Augustine, the Colonial Quarter, attempts to set straight that historical record. Deagan was among the University of Florida experts who helped vet information presented at the new downtown attraction, which offers visitors a look at four centuries’ worth of history in one downtown venue. Take the Fountain of Youth property, for instance. Though it was set aside a century ago as an imagined piece of the Ponce de Leon story, researchers in the last half-century have learned that the area was a Timucuan Indian village before the Spanish arrived and is likely the spot where Spanish sailor Pedro Menendez de Aviles founded St. Augustine in 1565. “In a sense, it’s a great paradox,” Francis said. “By creating this site as a Fountain of Youth Park, they’ve basically preserved one of the most important archaeological sites in the state.”

Decade after Saddam Hussein’s ouster, Iraq seeks stability A

decade after US-led forces took control of Baghdad on April 9, 2003, sealing the ouster of Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime, Iraq remains plagued by deadly attacks and never- ending political crises. Remembered the world over for the iconic images of Iraqis pulling down a statue of Saddam in central Baghdad’s Firdos Square - helped in no small part by an American military unit - the fall of the capital is a far more emotive day in Iraq than the anniversary of the invasion itself two weeks earlier. At the time the statue fell, Saddam’s vaunted army had largely melted away, and was seen as defeated and demoralized. But the sense of elation felt by many Iraqis that day, at seeing a dictator who had ruled Iraq for more than two decades fall, was matched by a feeling of bitterness among others. “At that point, I realized that the Iraqi government had been overthrown, and we had fallen into the hands of American occupiers,” said Dhafer Betti, public relations director for the Palestine Ho-

SADDAM HUSSEIN tel, which overlooks Firdos Square and was a haven for foreign journalists covering the war. Though the war itself was relatively brief - six weeks after foreign troops invaded, then-US president George W. Bush infamously declared the mission accomplished – its aftermath as bloody and frac-

tious. Caught between Shiite militia groups and Sunni insurgents, US and coalition forces paid a heavy price - some 4,800 foreign troops died in Iraq, more than 90 per cent of them American. Iraqis, though, suffered even more. Britain-based NGO Iraq Body Count recently estimated that at least 112,000 Iraqi

civilians died in the decade after the invasion, while thousands of soldiers and policemen were also killed. But sharp divisions in how April 9 is seen within Iraq – between those who remember it as the day the country was liberated, and others who see it as the day it was occupied – have spurred the government to eschew any formal commemorations. The anniversary does, however, come at a significant juncture in Iraq, barely 10 days ahead of provincial elections, the country’s first polls since US troops withdrew at the end of 2011. The credibility of the vote has been drawn into question as a result of stillhigh bloodshed -- a dozen candidates have been killed - and a cabinet decision for a partial postponement that means only 12 of the country’s 18 provinces will go to the polls. Along with attacks on election hopefuls, violence remains a menace nationwide, with 271 people killed last month, the highest figure since August 2012, according to an AFP tally.


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Newly elected Bermuda Premier paints grim economic picture


remier Craig Cannonier said Bermuda had come “close” to not meeting its financial obligations. According to a report in the Royal Gazette, the country had almost broken through its statutory borrowing limit. At a press conference on Thursday the Premier told the media it was time for “frank talk about where we are as a Country”. “We have an economy right now, a budget that the OBA as a Government inherited and it’s frightening what’s been happening. Within March, this March, we were close to not being able to pay our bills as a Government. “This should be concerning to the Country; this is something that we inherited. But this Government will walk us through and will be responsible in bringing us out of the situation that we are in.”

CRAIG CANNONIER Asked to elaborate the spokeswoman said: “The Progressive Labour Party had a debt ceiling of $1.45 billion. “One of the first things the new Finance Minister Bob Richards did was to find out what the cash flow status was in order to understand what the breathing room was between the authorised debt ceiling and the amount that was actually owed.” Mr Richards knew the ability to

raise the debt ceiling would depend on what was agreed upon in Parliament but thought “it would not be a problem”, the spokeswoman said. “However there were unforecasted and unbudgeted emergency repairs (due to poor workmanship), which had to be made to the Heritage Wharf dock in preparation for the arrival of the cruise ship Breakaway, [which] cost many millions and millions of dollars. “Also, there were upgrades that had to be made to the same dock. Because of that, the Government almost ran out of money. That is, the authorised limit and the debt ceiling had shrunk to almost zero before getting the new debt ceiling passed. “The new debt ceiling legislation was laid on the same Friday that the Opposition replied to the Budget. The following week after the Budget speech was presented, legislation

St. Lucia police deny civil servants permission to march C

ASTRIES, St Lucia - A planned protest march by Civil Servants failed to materialise, as organisers were not granted Police permission to take to the streets. Acting Police Commissioner Errol Alexander said in planning their march the Civil Service Association did not conform with the Public Order Act, which requires that permission be sought three days ahead of a march. He also said the organisers did not indicate in their letter the number of persons expected to participate in the march as required by the legislation. “We wrote the CSA indicating what was required and we now await to hear from them,” the Acting Commissioner said. CSA President Mary Issac, said the members agreed to abide with the requirement off the law and will now seek permission to stage their march on Monday. Earlier this week,  public officers agreed to step up their protest in effort to force government into meeting their demands for a 9.5 per cent wage increase. The workers are into week three of their strike and appear determined to obtain a better deal although the other five sister unions grouped under the Trade Union Federation (TUF) have accepted and signed up for the 4 per cent government offer. Issac told CMC that while she was able to keep the workers indoors and away from the streets during the first two weeks of the dispute, the members all voted to step-up their protest to send a message of their de-

termination to their employers. “Now we believe it is time to let them have the march they have been asking for, as we have made no headway in persuading Government to offer the workers a better offer. “We will also be demonstrating against the way the Government has handled the wage negotiations, with their divide and rule strategy: signing agreements with individual organisations when they are well aware they were negotiating with one umbrella body,” Issac said. The decision of the other members of the TUF to break ranks with the CSA and sign the wage agreement with government may have permanently fractured the Federation, with the CSA this week appointing their own mediators to break the impasse with government. However the Government Negotiating team declined to hold any talks with the CSA team while the workers remained on strike. The CSA President reiterated the fact that while the other five unions grouped under the Federation were able to negotiate allowances and other concessions in addition to the four per cent increase, the CSA did not have such access. “The other members know what their situation is and they were able to accept the 4 per cent with their allowances, but for us we know that the 4 per cent is inadequate as for us allowances are not across the board, its only a salary increase that would redound to the benefit of all,” she said.

was laid to increase the debt ceiling, allowing the Government to pay its bills. If it had been one week later, the Government would not have been able to pay its bills.” Despite the “frightening” situation, MPs were focused on “schoolyard politics” Mr Cannonier said. “It does disturb me that we are still practising what I would consider to be schoolyard politics where we are misdirecting the public as to what is really going on,” he said. Referring to the poor grade given by the Opposition Progressive Labour Party on the One Bermuda Alliance’s first 100 days as Government, the Premier said it was his intention to “set the record straight”. “The world is passing us by. We are in a global economy competing here and we can no longer be so insular that we’re fussing among ourselves.”



ASHINGTON D.C. – A woman who was extradited to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago to face charges related to her alleged role in the 2005 kidnapping of naturalized US citizen Balram “Balo” Maharaj has been indicted. The United States Department of Justice said on Wednesday that Doreen Alexander, 47, arrived in the US on Sunday, and was arraigned before US Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson in the District of Columbia. Acting US Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said Alexander was charged in a two count indictment filed in September 2010. Raman said Alexander is the last charged co-conspirator involved in the alleged kidnapping of Maharaj, Alexander’s former boyfriend and father of one of her sons who died as a result of the kidnapping. The other 12 co-conspirators were previously extradited and prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Alexander is alleged to have initiated the April 2005 kidnapping of Maharaj, and “provided information that allowed the kidnappers to identify, locate and track Maharaj.” The Acting US Assistant Attorney General said Alexander “allegedly alerted the kidnappers of Maharaj’s visits to Trinidad and Tobago, gave them information on his wealth, which was used to calculate the ransom, and reassured the kidnappers that they had the right man after the ransom negotiations went awry.” The case was investigated by the FBI’s Miami Division Extraterritorial Squad with the assistance of the FBI’s Legal Attache’s Office in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Raman said. “Special assistance was further provided by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Anti-Kidnapping Squad and Homicide Bureau,” he said.


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Caribbean countries to discuss new US tax regulations N

ASSAU, Bahamas – The Bahamas will host a one-day Regional Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) workshop next week as Caribbean countries seek to comply with new regulations outlined by the United States. Financial Services Minister L. Ryan Pinder said that the workshop is being facilitated by the United States Treasury and Internal Revenue Services (IRS) . An invitation to attend the workshop has been extended to all CARIFORUM (Caribbean Forum) governments, as well as other regional governments not within CARIFORUM, including the relevant regulatory and central government agencies. “We are also pleased to announce that the workshop will also be open to the private sector and that the workshop will feature presentations by United States Treasury officials from the International Tax Council and the Internal Revenue Service, Pinder told a news conference. Pinder said that FATCA was signed into US law in 2010, through the US Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act and has the effect of designating financial institutions around the world, which receive US payments or deal with US clients as “Foreign Financial Institutions” (FFI’s).

“Under FATCA, FFI’s are required to register with the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to report certain account information to the IRS with respect to persons considered US persons for tax purposes,” he said. “Failure to report this information either directly to the IRS or through the relevant government agency can result in a 30% withholding being applied to the institutions payments from United States sources. FATCA might be the most significant international matter facing private sector in international financial centers.” He added. Pinder, who led a local delegation to Washington last month for a meeting with officials from the US Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service to discuss FATCA, said “we highlighted that The Bahamas has been and is a trusted partner in the global process to responsibly improve tax information exchange and that our two nations have had a working tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) in place for well over 10 years. “We discussed with our US counterparts some of the concerns of The Bahamas with respect to FATCA both from a policy standpoint and based on the discussions with industry. We also pre-

Cayman Islands Turtle Farm gets $30M over three years T

he Cayman Turtle Farm is budgeted to receive a little more than $30 million by the end of government’s current fiscal year in “equity injections” – largely subsidies or money paid to retire debt – according to financial statements completed for the 2011/12 budget year. According to the Caymanian Compass newspaper, an audit completed by accounting firm KPMG and reviewed by the Cayman Islands Auditor General’s Office put the government’s equity injection during the 2010/11 year at $9.85 million and $9.7 million for the 2011/12 year.   The projected equity injection for the current 2012/13 budget year is set at $10.5 million, although it’s not certain yet whether the farm will spend all of that cash through the end of the year on 30 June, 2013.   The massive amount of government funding required to sustain operations at the Turtle Farm was a subject of “going concern”, according to auditors.  “Cost overruns of the development of the park, lower than projected visitor numbers and operating costs in excess of initial budgets have given rise to significant business risks that cast uncertainty over the company’s ability to continue ...” according to the auditor’s review.   The issues referenced by auditors resulted in the farm being unable to discharge its obligations without access to lending facilities or government equity

injections. “Furthermore, operational results subsequent to 30 June, 2012, indicate that the company continues to generate significant losses from operations and experience cash flow difficulties,” auditors noted.   It’s a problem Turtle Farm Managing Director Tim Adam knows well and has spoken about on previous occasions.   Over the past four government budgets, including the current 2012/13 spending plan, the Cayman Islands government has spent or plans to spend an average of $9.775 million each year in “equity investments” for the continued operation of the Turtle Farm.   That works out to about $175 dollars per year for each resident of the Cayman Islands, using a population figure of 56,000.   The payments, according to Turtle Farm Chief Financial Officer Phillip Fourie, are mostly to pay off debt accumulated by the farm during a redevelopment and expansion effort that was undertaken between 2001 and 2004 and other loans that were taken since.   For instance, this year Mr. Fourie said about $6 million of the $10.5 million will be paid from the government subsidy to retire the principle and pay off interest on that debt. The other $4.5 million will go to making up operational costs of the farm that its revenues cannot support.   The majority of the remain-

ing facility debt, about $31 million as of the end of October, will be paid off by 2019 or earlier, according to farm officials. However, it is doubtful, and Mr. Adam would not give a date for when, the tourism facility might come close to breaking even – much less make any money – within the next several years.   “I’m not going to make any promises I can’t keep,” he said.   To just “break even”, Mr. Adam estimates the facility would have to draw twice the number of visitors it draws now per year – 460,000 people – or about one-quarter of Cayman’s yearly total visitors, counting both cruise ship and stay-over tourists.   That number is not likely to be reached unless Grand Cayman can install a new cruise ship berthing facility in George Town and/or a berthing facility at the West Bay Public Beach, Mr. Adam said. When the Turtle Farm was expanded in the early part of last decade, the business model called for the construction of a cruise dock at the public beach.   “In the current scenario, where we don’t have a cruise dock ... we have to bear in mind that about 70 per cent of our revenues come from the cruise business,” Mr. Adam said.   He also said an aggressive tourism marketing campaign targeted at stay-over visitors is under way, but that alone won’t create the numbers the farm needs to be solvent. 

sented the options we felt could alleviate these concerns.” Pinder said that it was at that meeting that The Bahamas suggested that a workshop for the region would be beneficial to assist with better understanding the US legislation. He said the FATCA regulations consist of more than 500 pages and cover almost every type of financial product offered in The Bahamas. He said the April 9 workshop will cover a wide range of topics including the definitions of foreign financial institutions and non-financial foreign entity, identifying red flags in transactions and an overview of the inter-governmental agreements. He said the workshop will also allow for “a closed door session” between the US Treasury officials and regional governments. “I believe this is the first of its kind in the Caribbean region, where US officials converge to discuss with private sector, some participants from throughout the region, as well as multilateral and bilateral discussions with regional governments. “The meeting is being held immediately before a CARIFORUM Financial Services Task Force meeting which should further facilitate regional participation,” he added.



IAMI – A Caribbean cruise here has admitted that the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is still investigating the “suspicious” death of a woman on board one of its ships during a Caribbean cruise. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line officials said a 64-year-old Virginia woman was found dead in her cabin aboard the Enchantment of the Seas last Sunday on the last day of a weeklong cruise to the Bahamas. The woman’s husband reportedly found her body. FBI Special Agent Richard Wolf said that agents met the vessel when it docked in Baltimore, Maryland. “We look at any kind of suspicious death on the high seas,” he said. “Some things that were unusual caused us to become involved.” Wolf, however, declined to say what made the death suspicious. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line officials said medical examiners performed an autopsy on the woman and investigators were interviewing the husband. “We extend our most sincere and heartfelt condolences,” said the company in a statement. “A member of our Care Team is providing support and assistance to her family.” Two weeks ago, another cruise line, Carnival Cruise, arranged for passengers to fly home after another of its ships had become stranded in the Caribbean. Carnival Cruise Line said its Dream ship had become stuck in port in Phillipsburg, St Maarten while on the final leg of a seven-day Caribbean cruise. Officials said the ship suffered a technical problem with its backup emergency diesel generator while docked in the port. The situation came a month after an engine fire stranded Carnival Cruise Line’s Triumph off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, with more than 4,200 people on board. The ship was slowly towed to port in Alabama for over five days.

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IMF says no single bullet for Caribbean economic problems W

ASHINGTON – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says there is no “single bullet” that will allow Caribbean countries to deal with their various problems such as high debt, low growth, mitigation of vulnerabilities and strengthening financial system. The IMF said that growth in the Caribbean has stagnated in the last two decades, except in commodity exporters. The last rapid growth spurt in the 1980s was fueled mainly by expansion of tourism, banana production, and public investments, it said, noting that many Caribbean economies face high and rising debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratios that jeopardize prospects for medium-term debt sustainability and growth. In 2012, overall public sector debt was estimated at about 79 per cent of regional GDP. In a paper entitled “Caribbean Small States –Challenges of High Debt and Low Growth,” the Washington-based financial institution said many Caribbean small states are at a critical juncture and bold strategies to address the challenges are essential. “Given the magnitude of the effort required, no single bullet exists to address all of the challenges in the Caribbean,” the IMF said, adding that “while fiscal adjustment is unavoidable given the extent of fiscal and external imbalances and the debt overhang, the smallness and vulnerabilities of these countries make adjustment exceptionally difficult”. The IMF said ideally, a comprehensive growth strategy would replace public sector demand with self-financing private sector demand.

It said further work is needed to assess the appropriateness of the exchange rate instrument as an element in jump-starting growth. “Given the exceptionally high costs of natural disasters, small states in the Caribbean should be seen as frontline candidates for support from climate-change funding as global strategies for mitigation and adaptation to climate change become operational.” The IMF said that work should be stepped up, both to anticipate, identify and provision for the current vulnerabilities of the financial system to the unavoidable rebalancing of the troubled economies, and to strengthen the supervisory and regulatory framework to reduce long-run vulnerabilities. The financial institution said debt restructuring looks extremely likely to be part of countries’ strategy to return to sustainability, given the magnitude of the implied fiscal effort otherwise. “However, its success in the region has been partial and inadequate; in some cases, countries have given up important degrees of freedom in partial restructurings without concomitant improvements in sustainability. “Hence, more work is needed to clarify when debt restructuring will/will not be worthwhile— as well as to understand the scope for, and dangers of, considering debt restructuring as part of any permanent solution.” But the IMF noted that this ambitious agenda goes beyond its areas of expertise, and would need to involve all development partners at the international and regional level.

“The work agenda above enumerates a combination of strategies targeted at each element of the region’s problems, implemented at the same time to generate maximum benefit. Hence, it will be important for the Fund to collaborate closely with other IFIs (including the World Bank’s Comprehensive Debt Framework).” It said that this collaboration has already started, with staff participation in Growth Forum exercises, and a planned joint Growth Conference in 2013. The IMF said Caribbean countries would also have to overcome important political economy constraints to collaborate with it in such a difficult adjustment exercise. “The collaboration with other institutions …should help alleviate any ‘stigma’ attached to Fund programmes. Further, there is a case for a Caribbean-wide regional surveillance exercise building on the ECCU (Eastern Caribbean Currency Union) model or Central American one.” The IMF said the success of CARTAC (The Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre) for delivering technical assistance in a regional framework suggests that the Caribbean prefers this approach. “A region-wide approach would take the spotlight off any individual country’s failure to succeed and could marshal peer support, both for countries to learn from each other and to form a united front against political obstacles. These efforts could be supported also by a regional resident representative to oversee and coordinate a regional strategy,” the IMF added.

UN rights chief calls for closure of Guantanamo prison T

he U.N. human rights chief called on the United States on Friday to close down the Guantanamo prison camp, saying the indefinite imprisonment of many detainees without charge or trial violated international law. Navi Pillay said the hunger strike being staged by some inmates at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in southeastern Cuba was a “desperate act” but “scarcely surprising”. “We must be clear about this: the United States is in clear breach not just of its own commitments but also of international laws and standards that it is obliged to uphold,” the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement. U.S. President Barack Obama pledged four years ago to close the controversial facility, opened by the Bush administration in January 2002 to hold men captured in counter-terrorism operations after the deadly September 11 attacks on America. Pillay voiced deep disappointment at the U.S. government’s failure to close Guantanamo despite its repeated commitments, but

welcomed comments by a White House spokesman last week reiterating the intention to do so while citing congressional legislation as the prime obstacle. About half of the current 166 detainees have been cleared for transfer either to home countries or third countries for resettlement, Pillay said. “As a first step, those who have been cleared for release must be released,” she said. “FESTERING FOR MORE THAN A DECADE” “Others reportedly have been designated for further indefinite detention. Some of them have been festering in this detention center for more than a decade,” she said. Guantanamo detainees accused of crimes should be tried in civilian courts, especially as the military commissions “do not meet international fair trial standards” despite improvements since 2009, said Pillay, a former U.N. war crimes judge. Of the 166 remaining detainees, only nine have been charged or convicted of crimes, according to military records. The 166 detainees are from 23 countries, the Red

Cross says. Forty inmates are currently staging a hunger strike to protest against their indefinite detention, according to a U.S. military spokesman at Guantanamo. Some have lost so much weight that they are being force-fed liquid nutrients through tubes inserted into their noses and down into their stomachs. The International Committee of the Red Cross has visited Guantanamo regularly since it opened to check on conditions of detention and ensure humane treatment. It is currently carrying out its 93rd visit, expected to last another week. The ICRC sent a doctor and another delegate to Guantanamo on March 25, a week earlier than planned because of concern about a growing hunger strike among detainees, the humanitarian agency said at the time. An ICRC team of 13 now there are discussing issues including the hunger strike separately with authorities and in private interviews with inmates, ICRC spokesman Alexis Heeb said. “Detainees can raise any prob-

lem they want to bring to our attention, this can be issues of detention, Koran issues, requests for medical attention,” Heeb told Reuters on Friday, referring to media reports about searches of Korans for contraband. The ICRC has a clear position of being opposed to forced feeding or forced treatment and upholds the principle of leaving the right to detainees to choose his or her fate, he said. ICRC President Peter Maurer is expected to raise concerns about Guantanamo in talks next week with senior U.S. officials during his three-day visit to Washington, Heeb said. “We continue to hold detainees under the internationally recognized Law of War and in keeping with the best of our core values, safeguarding and humanely treating all who are in our care and custody, there. Assertions that present some alternate narrative simply do not withstand intellectual rigor,” a U.S. Department of Defense spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale, told Reuters in response to Pillay’s statement.


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News W


US delaying missile test as Korea tensions rise


ASHINGTON — Amid mounting tension with North Korea, the Pentagon has delayed an intercontinental ballistic missile test that had been planned for this month at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, a senior defense official told the Associated Press on Saturday. The official said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel decided to put off the long-planned Minuteman 3 test until next month because of concerns the launch could be misinterpreted and exacerbate the Korean crisis. Hagel made the decision Friday, the official said. The test was not connected to the U.S.-South Korean military exercises that have been going on in that region and have stoked North Korean anger, fueling an escalation in threatening actions and rhetoric. North Korea’s military warned last week that it was authorized to attack the United States using “smaller, lighter and diversified” nuclear weapons. South Korean officials say North Korea has moved at least one missile with “considerable range” to its east coast — possibly the untested Musudan missile, believed to have a range of 1,800 miles. U.S. officials have said the missile move suggests a North Korean launch could be imminent . Pyongyang’s moves come on the heels of the North’s nuclear test in February and the launch in December of a long-range rocket that could potentially hit the continental United States. Added to that is the uncertainty surrounding the in-

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel tentions of North Korea’s new young leader, Kim Jong Un. Meanwhile, North Korea has been angered by increasing sanctions and ongoing U.S.-South Korean military exercises, which have included a broad show of force ranging from stealthy B-2 bombers and F-22 fighters to a wide array of warships capable of ballistic missile defense. The ex-

ercises are scheduled to continue through the end of the month. This past week, the United States said two of the Navy’s missile-defense ships were moved closer to the Korean peninsula, and a land-based system is being deployed to the Pacific territory of Guam this month. The Pentagon last month announced longer-term plans to beef up its U.S.based missile defenses. While Washington is taking the North Korean threats seriously, U.S. leaders continue to say that they have seen no visible signs that the North is preparing for a large-scale attack. The defense official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the Minuteman 3 test delay and requested anonymity, said U.S. policy continues to support building and testing its nuclear deterrent capabilities. The official said the launch was not put off because of any technical problem. The globe-circling intercontinental ballistic missiles make up one of the three legs of America’s nuclear arsenal. There are about 450 Minuteman 3 missiles based in underground silos in the north central United States. The other two legs of the nuclear arsenal are submarine-launched ballistic missiles and weapons launched from big bombers, such as the B-52 and the stealthy B-2. The traditional rationale for the “nuclear triad” of weaponry is that it is essential to surviving any nuclear exchange.

US issues advisory to doctors to help identify bird flu C

HICAGO - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday it has issued an advisory to U.S. doctors that may help them identify any cases of the new bird flu virus known as H7N9, but stressed that no cases have been found in the United States. So far, the new strain of bird flu that has infected 16 people in China and killed six has not been shown to be capable of transmission from person to person, CDC’s Dr. Thomas Frieden told reporters on a teleconference. All of the 16 confirmed cases appear to be isolated, with no links between the flu strains that would suggest they were being passed from person to person, Frieden said. However, two of the 16 had family members who were ill, and Chinese health authorities are assessing those cases to see if there was transmission within the family. Frieden said the CDC has not issued any formal travel advisories and that there are no steps U.S. cit-

izens need to be taking to protect themselves, though the CDC is putting doctors on alert. “Today, we issued a health advisory to inform clinicians and public health specialists throughout the U.S. of what is happening and what they should do if they have a suspected case in a traveler who is returning from China in terms of testing, infection control and care,” he said. Frieden said the CDC has developed a test that could be used to screen severely ill travelers returning from China for the new bird flu strain, and he said the United States is developing diagnostic test kits that it will distribute to China and other countries to ensure rapid diagnosis of this strain of flu. Such kits could help contain the spread of the virus if it does learn to easily pass from person to person. With flu, Frieden said there are two factors that are important: how virulent the strain is and how readily does it spread among people.

Health authorities won’t know the answers to those questions until they are able to test many more people beyond the initial 16 confirmed cases. “It could be that hundreds of other people had very mild infections and these (16) people were kind of the tip of the iceberg,” Frieden said. Or, he said, it could be a very rare event that passes from animals to people that causes severe illness in the unlucky few who become infected. Until that becomes clear, the CDC said it will continue working with vaccine makers to develop a candidate virus that could be used to make a vaccine if one should be needed. Because of recent advances in U.S. vaccine manufacturing capabilities, including the recent approval of Novartis’ cell-based flu manufacturing plant in Holly Springs, North Carolina, Frieden said development of a bird flu vaccine should not disrupt the U.S. supply of seasonal flu

vaccine. The first cases of this new strain of bird flu, officially called avian influenza A (H7N9) viruses, were reported by the World Health Organization on April 1. Type A flu viruses occur naturally among wild birds and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species, but they rarely infect humans and have typically occurred when people have had close contact with poultry, as with the recent H5N1 bird flu outbreak. According to the CDC, this is the first time H7N9 has infected people. Frieden said most of those who have become sick had direct contact with live poultry. Chinese health authorities are investigating the source of the infections. Frieden said they have reported positive cultures for a similar strain in both chickens and pigeons, and more testing is going on. Because this is a non-human virus, the worry is that it could cause a flu pandemic if it learned to become easily spread from person to person.

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Son of Orange County Pastor Rick Warren will get an autopsy C

oroner’s officials plan to conduct an autopsy on the youngest son of Orange County Pastor Rick Warren next week to determine an official cause of death, a routine event in cases where suicide is suspected, authorities said Saturday afternoon. Matthew Warren’s death at his home on Pradera Drive in Mission Viejo was reported to Orange County sheriff’s officials at about 5:25 p.m. Friday, said Supervising Deputy Coroner Dan Aikin. Aikin said he could not confirm an earlier report by coroner’s officials to City News Service that Warren, 27, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He said a cause of death could not be confirmed until after an autopsy is completed Tuesday. Rick Warren, a world-famous Orange County evangelical pastor, and his wife released a statement informing his congregation at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest that his youngest son had committed suicide after battling depression for much of his life. Matthew was an “incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate man. He had a brilliant intellect and a gift for sensing who was most in pain or most uncomfortable in a room. He’d then make a beeline to that person to engage and encourage them,” the statement said. The statement said that Matthew Warren took



his life “in a momentary wave of despair” following an evening spent with Warren and his wife. Matthew Warren struggled with mental illness, deep depression and suicidal thoughts throughout his life, Saddleback Valley Community Church said in a statement. His body was found in his Mission Viejo home Friday night, said Allison O’Neal, a supervising deputy coroner for Orange County. Despite the best health care available, this was an illness that was never fully controlled and the emotional pain resulted in his decision to take his life,” the church statement said. Rick Warren, the author of the multimillion-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life,” said in an email to church staff that he and his wife had enjoyed a fun Friday evening with their son.

But their son then returned home to take his life in “a momentary wave of despair.” Over the years, Matthew Warren had been treated by America’s best doctors, had received counseling and medication and been the recipient of numerous prayers from others, his father said. “I’ll never forget how, many years ago, after another approach had failed to give relief, Matthew said ‘Dad, I know I’m going to heaven. Why can’t I just die and end this pain?’” Warren recalled. Despite that, he said, his son lived for another decade, during which he often reached out to help others. “You who watched Matthew grow up knew he was an incredibly kind, gentle, and compassionate man,” Warren wrote. “He had a brilliant intellect and a gift for sensing who was most in pain or most uncomfortable in a room. He’d then make a bee-line to that person to engage and encourage them.” The elder Warren founded Saddleback Church in 1980, according to his biography on the church website, and over the years watched it grow to 20,000 members. He and his wife, Kay, began by holding Bible studies for people who weren’t regular churchgoers. Matthew Warren was the youngest of their three children.

Assad says rebel victory N would destabilize Middle East



resident Bashar al-Assad has warned that if rebel forces battling to overthrow him take power in Syria, they could destabilize the Middle East for decades. The Syrian leader, locked in a two-year conflict that he says has been fuelled by his regional foes, also criticized Turkey’s leaders as “foolish and immature”, and Arab neighbors who he said were arming and sheltering rebel fighters. “If the unrest in Syria leads to the partitioning of the country, or if the terrorist forces take control ... the situation will inevitably spill over into neighboring countries and create a domino effect throughout the Middle East and beyond,” he said in an interview with Turkish television. Turmoil would spread “east, west, north and south. This will lead to a state of instability for years and maybe decades to come,” Assad said in the interview, posted by the Syrian presidency on the Internet. His remarks were an acid reiteration of his long-standing argument that Syria and the region will face a bleak future if he falls. His foes argue that his determination to keep power at all costs has already plunged his country into disaster. The United Nations says at least 70,000 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict. Daily death tolls of around 200 are not uncommon, monitoring groups say. More than a million refugees have fled the country and the Syrian Red Crescent says nearly 4 million have been displaced internally. Neighboring Lebanon and Jordan are both struggling to cope with the flood of refugees, while the sectarian element of the conflict with mainly Sunni Muslim and Islamist fighters battling a president from Syria’s Alawite mi-

nority - has also raised tensions in neighbors such as Lebanon and Iraq. While accusing opponents of using “sectarian slogans”, Assad said the essence of the battle was between “forces and states seeking to take their people back into historic times, and states wanting to take their peoples into a prosperous future”. He appeared to be referring to the Sunni Muslim Gulf states Saudi Arabia and Qatar, absolute monarchies that have supported efforts to arm insurgents in an uprising which began with peaceful protests for reform and spiralled into civil war. Assad said Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was recruiting fighters with Qatari money to wage war in Syria, but warned his former friend that the bloodshed could not easily be contained: “The fire in Syria will burn Turkey. Unfortunately he does not see this reality.” Erdogan, he said, “has not uttered a single truthful word since the crisis in Syria began”. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Assad lived in his own “imaginary world”. “Such accusations are baseless and Turkey does not take such accusations seriously. Such claims are aimed at diverting attentions from the ongoing bloodshed in Syria.” Assad also condemned the Arab League, which has suspended Syria’s membership and last month invited opposition leaders Moaz Alkhatib and Ghassan Hitto to attend a summit in his place. “The Arab League itself lacks legitimacy,” he said. “It is an organization that represents Arab states and not Arab people. It has lacked legitimacy for a long time because these Arab states themselves ... do not reflect the will of the Arab people.”

elson Mandela is spending his first night at home after being discharged from hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia. In a statement, South Africa’s government said there had been “a sustained and gradual improvement”. The 94-year-old was admitted on 27 March for a recurring infection of the lungs and had fluid drained from them. Mr Mandela was the country’s first black president in the 1990s and is seen by many as father of the nation. He led the struggle against apartheid (white minority rule) and in 1993 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The presidency statement read: “Former President Nelson Mandela has been discharged from hospital today, 6 April, following a sustained and gradual improvement in his general condition. “The former president will now receive homebased high care. President [Jacob] Zuma thanks the hard working medical team and hospital staff for looking after Madiba so efficiently.” Madiba is Mr Mandela’s clan name. The statement continued: “[Mr Zuma] also extended his gratitude to all South Africans and friends of the Republic in Africa and around the world for support.” Mr Mandela’s home is in the Houghton district of Johannesburg. The BBC’s Milton Nkosi, outside the residence, says there are many police vehicles parked there, as well as a large number of journalists waiting to hear any update on Mr Mandela’s condition. Local residents expressed relief that Mr Mandela was back home. S’thembiso Skhosana told Reuters news agency: “We feel very happy for him and for the family, and for the fact that he is out of hospital now and he is reunited with his family.” Mr Mandela stepped down as president in 1999 and acted as a high-profile ambassador for the country until he retired from public life in 2004.


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President Barack Obama apologises to California Attorney General Kamla Harris for his sexist remarks U

S President Barack Obama has apologised to Kamla Harris, the California Attorney General, for his comment in which he described the Indian-American as the best-looking attorney general of America – which many here alleged was a sexist remark. Obama called Harris last night to “apologise” for both his “remarks” and the “distraction” that it caused for one of the brilliant attorney generals of the country, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters. “The president did speak with Attorney General Harris last night after he came back from his trip, and he called her to apologise for the distraction created by his comments. And you know, they are old friends and good friends, and he did not want in any way to diminish the Attorney General’s professional accomplishments and her capabilities,” Carney said. He was responding to questions on the comments

Obama called Kamla Harris the best-looking attorney general in the country made by Obama on Harris at a Democratic fundraiser in California wherein he praised 48-year-old Harris. “She is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake,” Obama said praising Harris, who is the first women and first Indian-American to be elected as the Attorney General of

California. “She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country – Kamala Harris is here,” Obama had said amidst applause. “It’s true. Come on,” he said amidst laughter. “She is a great friend and has just been a great supporter for many, many years,” said the US President, which soon became a buzzword on the social media and a point for criticising Obama.

“I think I made clear he apologized for creating this distraction and believes very strongly that Attorney General Harris is an excellent attorney general and that she’s done great work, and she’s dedicated and tough and brilliant,” Carney said. “I would note that he called her, in those same comments, brilliant, dedicated and tough, and she is all those things. She has been a remarkably effective leader as Attorney General. She is a key player in the mortgage settlement, which will help many, many middle-class families who are struggling to deal with the mortgage situation in this country. He believes and fully recognises that the challenges women – or he fully recognises the challenge women continue to face in the workplace and that they should not be judged based on appearance,” Carney said. Daughter of an Indian mother Shyamala Gopalan

– a breast cancer specialist who emigrated from Chennai, to the United States in 1960 - and a Jamaican American father, Harris is the first female, African-American, and Asian American attorney general in California, as well as the first ethnic Indian American attorney general in the United States. According to Politico, certainly, Obama meant no insult, but in singling out Harris for her looks, Obama joins a long list of public figures who just can’t seem to let an attractive woman’s looks go without comment. Last year, Republican Attorney General candidate David Freed said Democratic opponent Kathleen Kane’s strengths were that she’s “pretty and has a lot of money,” according to Pennsylvania’s Daily Review. Obama came under some fire back in 2008 when he referred to a female reporter as “sweetie” and told her to hold a question for a press availability, the ABC news reported.

Chavez protege invokes Venezuelan curse on opposition voters V

enezuelan acting President Nicolas Maduro said on Saturday a centuries-old curse would fall on the heads of those who do not vote for him in next week’s election to pick a successor to late leader Hugo Chavez. Maduro’s invocation of the “curse of Macarapana” was the latest twist in an increasingly surreal fight between him and opposition leader Henrique Capriles for control of the South American OPEC nation of 29 million people. “If anyone among the people votes against Nicolas Maduro, he is voting against himself, and the curse of Macarapana is falling on him,” said Maduro, referring to the 16th-century Battle of Macarapana when Spanish colonial fighters massacred local Indian forces. Wearing a local indigenous hat at a rally in Amazonas state, a largely jungle territory on the borders of Brazil and Colombia, Maduro compared Capriles and the opposition coalition to the enslaving Spanish occupiers. “If the bourgeoisie win, they are going to privatize health and education, they are going to take land from the Indians, the curse of Macarapana would come on you,” he added. CAPRILES: REAL CURSE IS GOVERNMENT Calling himself the “son” of Chavez, Maduro has more than a 10-point lead in most polls, although Capriles supporters are predicting a late pro-opposition surge as sympathy wears off from the former president’s death a month ago.

Capriles, 40, a state governor, says Venezuela needs a fresh start after 14 years of Chavez’s hardline socialism, and is vowing to install a Brazilian-style administration of free-market economics with strong social policies. He ridiculed Maduro’s latest speech. “Anyone who threatens the people, who tells the people a curse can fall on them, has no right to govern this country,” he said at a rally in western Tachira state. “I tell you here, all Venezuelans, the real curse is that little group that we are going to get rid of on April 14.” The opposition leader also continued to mock Maduro’s twice-told story of having seen the spirit of Chavez in a bird that flew over his head and sang to him last week. While to some outsiders, talk of spirits and curses may seem absurd in an election campaign, Venezuela’s mix of Catholic and animist beliefs, especially in the south-central plains and jungles, is fertile ground for such references. Maduro also revived accusations of a plot to kill him, saying foreign mercenaries had entered from Central America with plans to spread violence and sabotage the electricity grid. “The third aim is to kill me. They want to kill me because they know I can’t be beaten in free elections,” he said at a later rally, again alleging the complicity of current and former U.S. officials along with right-

wing politicians in El Salvador. “They sent paid hitmen to kill me. ... But I won’t let myself be killed. I will remain on the streets with the people.” The U.S. government, and two former Bush administration officials named by Maduro, have denied and ridiculed the claims that echoed Chavez’s frequent denunciations of assassination plots against him during his 14-year rule. Maduro, 50, was a bus driver and union leader who rose to become Chavez’s foreign minister and then vice president. In his daily campaign rallies, Maduro has been referring constantly to Chavez and playing a video where the former president endorses his protégé last year as his successor. Puncturing Capriles’ public admiration of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Maduro has also been playing a video of the former Brazilian president endorsing him too. At his rallies, Capriles mocks Maduro as a cheap imitation of Chavez. He says Maduro’s track record during the president’s sickness from cancer and after his death has wrought disaster on Venezuelans in terms of a currency devaluation and price rises. Venezuela’s vote will decide not only the future of “Chavismo” socialism but also control of the world’s biggest oil reserves and economic aid to left-leaning nations in Latin America and the Caribbean from Cuba to Ecuador.

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Powers and Iran fail to end nuclear deadlock in Almaty W

orld powers and Iran failed again to end the deadlock in a decade-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program in talks that ended in Kazakhstan on Saturday, prolonging a standoff that could yet spiral into a new Middle East war. No new talks were scheduled but big power negotiators, who earlier this year were insisting that time was running out, were at pains to say the diplomatic process would continue. Iran’s critics accuse it of covertly seeking the means to produce nuclear bombs. Israel, widely believed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, sees Iran’s nuclear program as a potential threat to its existence. With a presidential election due in Iran in June, scope for a breakthrough at the two-day meeting in Almaty was slim. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the powers’ chief negotiator, said long discussions had not bridged the differences

between the two sides. “It became clear that our positions remain far apart,” Ashton, who represents the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany in talks with Iran, told a news conference. In the meeting, the powers were asking Iran to suspend its most sensitive uranium-enrichment work in return for modest relief from international sanctions, an offer Iran did not accept. “The Iranians indicated readiness to take some steps but they were small,” one Western diplomat said. Iran says its nuclear work is entirely peaceful and that it is Israel’s assumed atomic arsenal that threatens peace. A senior U.S. official said there had been no breakdown in the negotiations and suggested that a willingness by Iranian negotiators to engage in detailed dialogue about the six nations’ proposal was the most useful sign in years.

“There may not have been a breakthrough but there also was not a breakdown,” the official, who requested anonymity, said. “Our intention is to proceed,” the official added, referring to the powers’ commitment to further diplomatic efforts. Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili acknowledged a gap in positions between the two sides. “We proposed our plan of action and the other party was not ready and they asked for some time to study the idea,” he told a separate news conference, referring to Tehran’s own proposals. Iran says it is only refining uranium to power a planned network of nuclear energy plants and for medical purposes. Some diplomats and experts have said Iran’s June presidential election fuels uncertainty in the West over the Islamic Republic’s strategy for nuclear diplomacy.

Secret Service investigating hack of director’s information T

he Secret Service said on Thursday it was investigating the claim that new Director Julia Pierson’s personal information had been hacked and published on a website, another in a string of such incidents against top officials including first lady Michelle Obama and CIA Director John Brennan. The information on the website

included a Social Security number, phone numbers, and a credit report that includes accounts with The Home Depot, Sears, and Macy’s. It was unclear how much of the data that appeared on re was accurate or who posted it. The website appeared to have information about other government officials and

celebrities that had been published online previously at another Internet address, “We are investigating and we are aware of the matter,” a Secret Service spokesman said without commenting further. Pierson was sworn into office on March 27 and is the first woman to head the agency which protects

Afghan attacks kill US diplomat, soldiers, others A

car bomb blast killed five Americans, including three U.S. soldiers and a young diplomat, on Saturday, while an American civilian died in a separate attack in the east. The diplomat, whose name was not given, and other Americans were in a convoy of vehicles in Zabul province when the blast occurred, Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. The soldiers and the diplomat died in the blast along with a civilian employee of the Defense Department and Afghan civilians, Kerry said. His statement gave no overall death toll. Local and international officials in the region said earlier that six people died in the blast: three U.S. soldiers, two U.S. civilians and an Afghan doctor. Provincial governor Mohammad Ashraf Nasery was in the convoy, but was unharmed, local and NATO officials said. “Our American officials and their Afghan colleagues were on their way to donate books to students in

a school in Qalat, the province’s capital, when they were struck by this despicable attack,” Kerry said in his statement. He said he had met the diplomat during a trip to Kabul, and spoke to her parents after her death. Four other U.S. diplomats were wounded, one critically, Kerry said in his statement. The convoy was near a hospital and a NATO base at the time of the

explosion. Five Afghans, including a student and two reporters, were wounded, a local official said. The attack came as the top U.S. general, Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in the country for a short visit to assess how much training Afghan troops need before U.S. troops pull out as planned by the end of 2014. In an attack in Afghanistan’s east, an American civilian working

the president. An FBI spokeswoman said “we’re aware of the reports” but she would not say whether the FBI was investigating them. The Internet domain country code for the island of Reunion is .re, while .su was the domain code for the Soviet Union.

with the U.S. government was killed during an insurgent attack, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said in a statement. Zabul shares borders with Pakistan to the southeast and Kandahar province, the birthplace of the Taliban, to the south. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Zabul attack in a text message from spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi. He said a car bomb killed seven foreigners and wounded five others, although he later revised the toll to 13 foreigners killed and nine wounded. The Taliban routinely exaggerates casualty figures. The killings followed a bloody Taliban assault in the country’s west on Wednesday that killed 44 people in a courtroom in Farah province. The United Nations says civilians are being increasingly targeted. In a statement posted online earlier on Saturday, Ahmadi said the Taliban would continue to target Afghan judges and prosecutors. “The Islamic Emirate, from today onwards, will keep a close watch over courthouses, all its personnel and all those who try to harm Mujahideen and will deal with them the same as the judges and prosecutors of Farah.”


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usiness B AND

O TITC judge says Samsung infringes ECHN


key part of Apple patent


amsung Electronics Co Ltd infringed a key portion of an Apple Inc patent by including a text-selection feature in its smartphones and tablets, an International Trade Commission judge said in a preliminary decision. South Korean-based Samsung did not infringe portions of a second Apple patent that allows a device to detect if a microphone or other device is plugged into its microphone jack, the judge said in a decision that was issued on March 26 but kept confidential until late Thursday to allow the companies to redact sensitive business information. The full commission must now decide if they will uphold it or overturn the judge’s decision. A final decision is expected in August. If it is upheld, the ITC can order any infringing device to be barred from importation into the United States. Apple has alleged that Samsung’s

Galaxy, Transform and Nexus devices, among others, were among those made with the infringing technology. Apple had filed a complaint in mid-2011, accusing Samsung of infringing its patents in making a wide range of smartphones and tablet. ITC Judge Thomas Pender said in a preliminary decision in October that Samsung infringed four Apple patents but did not violate two others listed in the complaint. There had been seven listed initially, but one was dropped during litigation. The full commission then said it wanted the agency’s judge to take a second look at portions of two patents where he had found that Samsung infringed. That remanded decision, issued in late March, was unsealed on Thursday. Samsung is the world’s largest smartphone maker, while Apple is in second place, according

to Gartner Inc, a technology research firm. Apple is waging war on several fronts against Google Inc, whose Android software powers many Samsung devices. The legal battles between Apple and Samsung have taken place in some 10 countries as they vie for market share in the booming mobile industry. Google’s Android software, which Apple’s late founder Steve Jobs denounced as a “stolen product,” has become the world’s No. 1 smartphone operating system. Apple’s battle against Google’s Android software has dragged in hardware vendors that use it, including Samsung and HTC. Samsung is also a parts supplier to Apple, producing micro processors, flat screens and memory chips for the iPhone, iPad and iPod. Apple has reduced orders from Samsung for chips and screens.

For the first time, majority of Americans favour legalizing marijuana W

ASHINGTON — For the first time, a majority of Americans back legalising marijuana, marking significant changes in public opinion toward the drug, especially among the young, a survey by the Pew Research Centre showed yesterday. The survey showed 52 per cent of Americans support legalising marijuana, which the federal government deems an illegal drug even as many states have loosened restrictions on “pot” use. Support for legalising pot has risen by 11 points since 2010 and was up from just 12 per cent backing in 1969,

when 84 per cent of those polled opposed legalisation. In the most recent survey, 45 per cent of Americans opposed legalisation. For the first time in more than four decades of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans favour legalising the use of marijuana,” Pew said in a statement. Colorado and Washington became the first US states to legalise the possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use following twin referendums last November. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia allow the medical use of marijuana. The Pew poll found that 65 per

cent of people born since 1980 favour legalising marijuana use, up from 36 per cent in 2008. Among baby boomers — those born in the two decades after World War Two — 50 per cent favour legalising marijuana, up from a low of 17 per cent in 1990. Some 72 per cent of those polled said government efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth. Sixty per cent said the federal government should not enforce federal laws barring use of marijuana in states where it is legal. There are partisan differences over legalisation, with 59 per cent of

Italy to pay 40 billion euros of state debt to companies I

taly’s caretaker government said on Saturday it would pay 40 billion euros ($52 billion) that the state owes to private companies over the next 12 months, while vowing to stick within the European Union’s deficit limit. The cabinet approved a decree intended to provide funds to cash-strapped firms and help tackle a deep recession in the euro zone’s third-largest economy. But some industry groups said it would be difficult for businesses to claim their money despite the measures. The massive backlog of bills unpaid by Italy’s public administration has long been a complaint by companies, which are having difficulty raising credit from banks that are facing increasingly tight credit conditions themselves.

Prime Minister Mario Monti said on Saturday that delayed payment of bills was “an unacceptable situation that has been accepted for a long time”. Monti, who continues to lead a caretaker government after an inconclusive February election, has been in talks with the European Commission, which is concerned about the impact the decree will have on Italy’s deficit and its massive public debt. The measures were originally due to be approved on Wednesday but were delayed due to doubts over how they would be funded. Monti said on Saturday the government was committed to remaining within the European Union’s fiscal deficit ceiling of 3 percent of gross domestic product. “Economic policy is not changing course, and

Democrats supporting making marijuana legal, compared with 37 per cent of Republicans. But 57 per cent of Republicans and 59 per cent of Democrats say the federal government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that permit its use. Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, an advocacy group, said it was time for politicians to catch up with the public attitude on legalisation. “You’re going to start seeing more politicians running toward our movement instead of away from it, just as we’ve seen happen” with same-sex marriage, he said in an emailed statement. The Pew survey was conducted March 13-17 among 1,501 adults. The margin of error was 2.9 percentage points.

we don’t believe that to revive the economy you have to create more public debt,” he told a news conference. Last month the government eased its deficit target for this year to 2.9 percent of GDP from a previous target of 1.8 percent, partly to allow the payments to private firms. Local authorities lacking their own resources to pay bills will receive money from the central state, and will be asked to set out a plan to reimburse it within 30 years. “We have to follow a path between the two requirements: to help our economy to recover ... and to maintain budget discipline,” Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli said. “It’s a narrow path but a path that is absolutely viable.” Grilli said the government planned to examine its fiscal performance again in September and the Economy Ministry would be able to adopt corrective measures if the deficit looked likely to breach the “precautionary” limit of 2.9 percent.

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Discouraged job seekers behind shrinking labor force A

mericans giving up the hunt for jobs were likely behind a sharp drop in the U.S. workforce last month, a bad sign for an economy that is struggling to achieve a faster growth pace. The number of working-age Americans counted as part of the labor force -- either with a job or looking for one -- tumbled by 496,000 in March, the biggest fall since December 2009, the Labor Department said on Friday. That pushed the so-called workforce participation rate to a 34-year low of 63.3 percent. March marked the second month in a row that the participation rate declined -- 626,000 people have dropped from the work force since January. Friday’s report showed a decline in the number of discouraged job seekers last month after a pop in February, which at first glance might suggest the drop in the workforce was mainly because of shifting demographics. But a closer look at the underlying numbers raises questions about the notion that retiring baby boomers were the driving force behind the shrinking workforce. “You have to think that it’s a large part demographics, but demographics are not really going to have such a big effect on month-to-month changes,” said Keith Hall, senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. Of the nearly 500,000 people dropping out, just 118,000 were aged 55 and older, meaning more than three-quarters of the increase came from below-retirement-age adults. Also, the number of people 65 and older counted as part of the workforce actually rose by 27,000,

which followed a 72,000 increase in February. Hall said the sluggish economy was forcing some older Americans to continue working to rebuild retirement nest-eggs that were shattered during the 2007-09 recession. Indeed, the participation rate for Americans between 55 and 64 years old held steady at a relatively high 65 percent. On the other hand, participation by the 25-29 age group was the lowest since record-keeping started in 1982. “People are just giving up the search for work. A lot of them would like to work and they aren’t, that is a serious sickness in the economy,” said Peter McHenry, assistant economics professor at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. The drop in participation helped to lower the unemployment rate by a tenth of a percentage point to 7.6 percent. If the workforce had not contracted, the jobless rate would have risen two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.9 percent in March. Since the recession ended, the economy has struggled to grow at a more than 2 percent pace. Economists say growth of more than 2.5 percent is needed over a sustained period to generate the number of jobs sufficient to reduce unemployment. In March, the economy added an anemic 88,000 jobs, the fewest in nine months. Some economists said the shrinking workforce was also likely the result of people falling off state unemployment benefit rolls. Jobless aid recipients are required to be actively looking for work. “When that incentive is no longer available,

they withdraw,” said Patrick O’Keefe, head of economic research at CohnReznick in Roseland, New Jersey. “The persistently high ratio of job seekers to job openings is such that discouragement is high.” Falling participation, especially among young Americans, is troubling and could have long-lasting effects on the economy. “For the young who are getting out of school, studies show a lot of their earnings growth comes in the first 10 years after they get out of school,” said Hall, a former Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner. “We’re seeing a great deal of underemployed in youth and great disengagement, they are not participating in the labor market yet.” Not only will this trend hurt productivity, but the resulting low wages will reduce consumption, holding back economic growth. It could also complicate things for the Federal Reserve, which has made the labor market the focus of monetary policy. Economists were concerned because the drop in the workforce came even though job growth had strengthened somewhat between July and February. Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan in New York, said the workforce decline cast doubts on hopes that improving labor market conditions would pull discouraged workers back into the labor force. “The idea that labor force participation is structurally or institutionally impaired gains increasing credence with each passing jobs report,” said Feroli.

Applications for US visa close, lottery to decide fate F

or the first time after 2008, a computerised draw of lots is going to decide on successful H-1B applicants, as a federal US agency has announced that it has received more petitions than the Congressional mandated quota on the most sought-after work visas for IT professionals. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Friday announced that it would no longer ac-

cept applications for the H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2014 beginning October 1, 2013, the Congressional mandated cap for which is 65,000 as it has received sufficient applications for this. The USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. “The USCIS will use a computer-generated random selection pro-

cess (commonly known as the “lottery”) for all FY 2014 cap-subject petitions received through April 5, 2013,” the statement said. “The agency will conduct the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected will be part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit,” said USCIS, which started accepting the applications on Monday.

Due to the high number of petitions received, USCIS is not yet able to announce the exact day of the random selection process. Also, USCIS also did not provide the total number of petitions received, noting that it continued to accept filings Friday. The USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap, the statement said.

Hedge fund manager Ackman says mistakes made in JCPenney turnaround H

edge fund manager William Ackman said that Ron Johnson, the chief executive he handpicked to turn around JC Penney, has made “big mistakes” and the impact on the struggling retailer has been “very close to a disaster.” The “criticism is deserved,” Ackman said on Friday of Johnson, a former Apple executive who has come under fire for his dramatic plans to overhaul the staid retailer with cost cuts, more fashionable merchandise and a new pricing strategy. The stock price has plummeted 27.6 percent in the first quarter as Johnson’s plans alienated JC Penney’s core clientele and has not resonated with new shoppers. “One of the big mistakes was perhaps too much change too quickly without adequate testing on what the impact would be,” Ackman said on Friday at an investment conference sponsored by Thomson Reuters. After months of being a public cheerleader for Johnson, often saying that he was a doing a great

job, the fund manager tempered his normally upbeat comments on Friday. Speaking bluntly, Ackman, who sits on the JC Penney board and whose $12 billion Pershing Square Capital Management is the company’s largest shareholder, said big mistakes have been made remaking the 110 year-old retail brand. JC Penney traditionally drew in customers with big sales and coupons but Johnson has been criticized for eliminating those in favor of every day low prices. The company has now brought back their old pricing strategy to try to bring shoppers back. Ackman said that Johnson faces one of the toughest challenges in corporate America in cutting costs and changing the merchandise and that “the impact has been, on a consolidated basis, very close to a disaster.” Right now Johnson is “working very aggressively with his team to fix the mistakes that have been made, and there have been some big mis-

takes,” Ackman said. JC Penney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. JC Penney’s stock price climbed 3.3 percent on Friday to $15.57 in late afternoon trading. Ackman, a favorite with pension funds and wealthy investors, has come under criticism for bets on retailers in the past, including bets on Target and bookseller Borders a few years ago. Currently Pershing Square is sitting on roughly $500 million in paper losses in JC Penney. “If you get a retailer fixed and you can replicate it, it’s about the best way to make money,” he said. While JC Penney’s losses are making headlines, Ackman’s portfolio gained 6.1 percent during the first quarter thanks to bets on Canadian Pacific Railway and Procter & Gamble. In a nod to his ongoing commitment to JC Penney’s fortunes, the billionaire investment manager wore socks purchased at JC Penney.


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Sports LOCAL

Delano Williams to be main feature at GBRCF Silent Auction BY VIVIAN TYSON


orld Youth Track and Field Champion and local sprint ace Delano Williams will be the patron of the Grace Bay Resorts Community Foundation’s Silent Auction fundraiser to take place on the grounds of the Grace Bay Club on May 4. Head of the Grace Bay Foundation, Dr. Carlton Mills, said that the fundraising event is geared towards assisting the five government schools that the foundation has adopted. The institutions are the Marjorie Basden High and Iris Stubbs Primary in South Caicos; Charles Hubert James and Adelaide Oemler Primary Schools in North Caicos and the Ianthe Pratt Primary School on Providenciales. “It is a fundraising event to generate funds to assist these five adopted schools, in purchasing school supplies and items that would help to further enhance the teaching and learning process. “We are going to be highlighting Turks and Caicos sensational athlete, as he is referred – Delano Williams. Unfortunately he won’t be here. I know he would be returning home sometime in May, but we are going to highlighting him at this function,” Mills said. He added: “Last year when Delano participated in the Olympics trials, we provided financial assistance for him. We are in the tour-

Delano Williams ism business; we also feel that Delano can be an ambassador. Things are going to be said about him; there will be information about him, but we don’t want to disclose it at this point.” Williams, who will be attending the University of Technology this year, have signed up to train with Racers Track Club, home of World and Olympics Record Holder over 100m and 200m, Usain Bolt, and World 100m champion, Yohan Blake. Meanwhile, Sheba Wilson, member of the Foundation and Planning Committee, said that the theme for the event will be “Planting the

PABA Standing Only the Top eight will make it to the playoffs. Teams Wins Losses G.T Stallions 20 0 SC Habour Boys 18 2 Flyers 16 4 Predators 13 7 Police 10 10 Steelers 9 11 Cobras 6 14 Knights 5 15 Customs 5 15 Top Shottas 4 16 NC Spartans 4 16 The 1st seed team will play the 8th seed team The 2nd seed team will play the 7th seed team The 3rd seed team will play the 6th seed team

The 4th seed team will play the 5th seed team Playoffs games… First round will be best out of 3. Semi-Finals will be best out of 5. Finals will be best out of 7 Games will be played at Gustavus Lightbourne Sports Complex, Downtown, Providenciales starting at 7:00pm Friday 5th April 2013 Game 1 – G.T Stallions vs. Knights Game 2 – H.B Habour Boys vs. Cobras Game 3 – Flyers vs. Steelers Saturday 6th April 2013 Game 1 – Flyers vs. Steelers Game 2 – Predators vs. Police Game 3 – S.C Habour Boys vs. Cobras

Dr. Carlton Mills and Sheba Wilson give information of the event (Grace Bay Charity) seeds today to build a stronger community tomorrow.” “We thought about Education and our children and how investing in them today will help us to create the kind of community that we would like to see in the future. And so, that was the reasoning behind the theme that we chose,” Wilson explained. She noted that entry to the event will be free with complementary Champaign and hors d’oeuvres. She added that the silent auction would step away from the norm, since the prizes would fall within the environmentally-friendly sector this time around. “It is not the dinners for two or the room nights that you used to see in a silent auction, but it would be more based around the environment, with fishing charters and, although there may be some room stays, it would be one that I know for sure is at Pine Cay, which is basically like a nature reserve – a very environmentally-friendly resort. And so, that is the focus that our silent auction is going to be taking,” Wilson said. She said a raffle will also take place also, further explaining that Grace Bay Club has decided to donate all the proceeds from a cash bar that will operational at the event. In the meantime Mills said that Grace Bay Club has established a scholarship programme for its employees, explaining that last year’s recipient was Ira Baptiste, who is studying at an institution in Canada. “We want to continue to assist

him financially. Ira works with us and, this is our way of showing our appreciation for the first class service in terms of his work attitude and his work ethic,” Mills said. Mills told reporters that there will be a montage to highlight all the events that the foundation has been involved with since its inception in 2009. He said that prior to 2012, Grace Bay Resorts and the Veranda assisted the Foundation. But since Veranda has been sold, Grace Bay Club was left to bear the burden of the yearly contribution, hence the Foundation deciding to stage the event to lessen the undertaking. He said the fundraising would be annual. Mills said staff members, who were invited to contribute to the charity, have responded exceptionally. He said prior to the departure of the Veranda Resort, the annual contribution between the two resorts to the foundation ranged between $75,000 and $100,000. “And we want to get back to that. The whole idea of the Foundation was Mark’s (Durliat) and Nikheel’s (Advani). As a resort, we want to give back to the community and what better way to do it than through education,” Mills said. Mills said the Foundation is looking to raise a minimum of $15,000 from the silent auction, further explaining that in addition to auction and raffle, a container would be provided for donor to make contribution. The event is to be held between 6:30p.m. and 9:30p.m.

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Action from TCI’s participation in the Carifta Track and Field Championships in Nassau, Bahamas A

thletes from the Turks & Caicos Islands that participated in the 42nd Carifta Track and Field Championships in Nassau, Bahamas were competitive in their efforts. Some of them were narrowly edged out of medal positions. The following are photo highlights of their participation. The Turks & Caicos Islands delegation participates in the parade (0124) Helcy-Ann Sauver sporting a winning smile as she participates in the parade (0169)

Junior Fils-Aime shows the number one sign (0172) Luke Cox participates in the long jump leg of the Heptathlon. He placed fourth overall, edged out of the medal standing by two points (0187) Edwin Forbes takes darts around the track in his event (0225) khambrel Caley in full flight (0478) Angelo Garland was one of the most competitive athletes from the Turks & Caicos (0231)

Lucien Robinson about to cross the finish line in his event (0551) Courtney Missick darts around the track in his event (216) Lucien Robinson is caught in the pack with other athletes (537) Wesley Chery is about to clear the high jump bar. Chery was edged out into fourth place in that event (0559)

Provo Basketball League in play-off stage R

esults from the six play-off games played in the Provo Amateur Basketball Association Men’s League were not available at press time, but the games were shaping up to exciting match-ups. Three games were down to be played on Friday at the Gustarvus Lightbourne Sport Complex, while on Saturday another trio of games was scheduled to be played. The first game on Friday was

between the G.T Stallions and the Knights. In the second game, Habour Boys were down to play Cobras, while in game three, it was supposed to be Flyers vs. Steelers. On Saturday, it was to have been Flyers vs. Steelers in game one, with Predators facing Police in game two, while the Habour Boys were to take on Cobras in game three. Semifinalists will be decided from the best of three games.

The four top teams will move on to play in the semis, which will be decided on the best of five games. The winners would them move on to the finals, which would be decided on best of seven basis. The Stallions ended the regular season as the only unbeaten team with 20 and 0. The next best team was the Harbour Boys with 18 and 2. Flyers came next with 16 and 4; Predators 13 and 7; Police 10 and 10;

Steelers 9 and 11; Cobras 6 and 14; Knights 5 and 15; Top Shottas and Spartans at the bottom of the table with identical 4 and 16 records. The top eight teams are the ones that make the play-off, which saw the top seed playing against playing the eight seed; the second seeded teams battling the 7th seed; the third seed against the 6th seed; and the fourth seed tackling the 5th seed.

Spartans win 3-point competition S

partans have crowned themselves champions of the Provo Amateur Basketball Association Three Points Shoot-out after turning back the challenges of Shottas 16 – 11the finals at the Police Canteen on Providenciales where the

competition was held on Saturday, March 30. Spartans reached the final of the competition after defeating Sparlders 9-8 in the semis. Shottas reached the finals by getting by Immortals 10 – 9.

Eight Teams took part in the competition and were placed in two zones. Shottas shared Zone 1 with Spardlers, Rose Coloo’s and Immortals, Spartans were grouped with Ballers, Blockers and Immortals.



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Jamaica sweeps CARIFTA Games with 68 medals


amaica swept the annual CARIFTA Games that ended on Monday night, winning an outstanding 68 medals at the Caribbean’s premier athletics event for junior athletes. At the three-day athletics championship held in Nassau, The Bahamas over the Easter holiday, Jamaica won 28 gold, 25 silver and 15 bronze to successfully defend its first place in athletics among the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago was a distant second with 9 gold, 1 silver and 10 bronze. The host country, The Bahamas ranked the third with 8 gold, 12 silver and 11 bronze.

On the final day Monday Jamaica copped the gold medals in a number of key events. The Caribbean’s largest English-speaking island - renowned for producing world-class athletes such as current men’s Olympic 100m champion and 100m world record holder Usain Bolt and women’s Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce - captured gold in both the boys’ and girls’ under-17 200m race. Jamaica also took gold in the girls’ under-17 4x400m, girls’ under-20 4x400m, the boys’ under-20 4x400m and the boys’ under-17 110m hurdles. The CARIFTA Games was founded by the Carib-

bean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) in 1972 and is held annually with participation from member countries. The games consist of track and field events including sprint races, hurdles, middle distance track events, jumping and throwing events, and relays. It is divided into two main age categories: under-17 and under-20 for males and female. Over the years, Jamaica has been a dominant competitor at the CARIFTA Games, holding 10 of the 21 all-time records in the Under-20 men events and 11 of the 17 Under-20 women’s records of all time.

Pakistan tour to West Indies in doubt P

akistan’s tour of the West Indies in 2013 could be in doubt. According to a report on the ESPN Cricinfo website, both the Pakistan and West Indies Cricket boards have failed to find a suitable window for the tour. Pakistan were originally scheduled to play two Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20s in the Caribbean in June and July, but the ESPNcricinfo report claims the tour is unlikely to go ahead. WICB media officer Imran Khan said yesterday only that arrangements for the Pakistan tour are still



ew President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Dave Cameron, has announced plans to visit Guyana to try and resolve a protracted dispute between the government and the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB). Cameron, who defeated incumbent Julian Hunte 7-5 in WICB elections last week, is expected to visit Guyana next week to hold discussions with the major players involved in the dispute. The Government and GCB have been locked in an impasse over the establishment of a Government backed Interim Management Committee (IMC) following disputed elections in 2011. “I know there are issues in Guyana and we plan to address them in the best way possible,” Cameron said in a telephone interview with the Guyana Times.

to be concluded. According to the ICC’s Future Tours Programme, West Indies are scheduled to host Pakistan from the last week in June to the last week in July, but the WICB have planned a tri-series against India and Sri Lanka during that time. To avoid a clash, the WICB earlier had asked the PCB if their tour could be rescheduled to August. The idea, however, interfered with the Pakistan’s own plan to host India and to play out the Zimbabwe series that was postponed last year. West Indies thereafter had also

scheduled their Caribbean Premier League tournament from 29 July to 26 August. “It’s a very tricky situation here as our first priority to play according to the FTP, “ Zaka Ashraf, the PCB chairman, told ESPNcricinfo. “They actually planned their tri-nation series within our window and left us with a choice to reschedule the series, however after a lengthy deliberation we failed to find a window to go ahead with it. “Earlier there were plans to split the tour but it’s not working as we want to play a full series. West In-

“I will be in Guyana next week and top of the agenda is the discussion on going forward”. The WICB has endorsed the GCB while refusing to recognise the IMC which was set up by the government and headed by former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd to oversee the administration of the game. Cameron said he also plans to tackle a number of concerns raised by territorial boards during his campaign, including the public perception of the WICB as an ‘old boys club’, the governance issue, as well as West Indies’ failure to be successful in all formats of the game. The 42-year-old said mending the fractured relationship between WICB and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) is also a top priority of his administration in the months ahead. “I have met with the WIPA president [Wavell Hinds] informally and we’ve discussed a number of issues which I would now take to my board and management before any announcement is made,” the new president said.


dies is an important cricket team and we have always had cordial relations with them, and hopefully we will find another window next year.” Last year, West Indies A team’s reciprocal tour (after 2010) to Pakistan also fell through as the visitors were reluctant to visit Pakistan. The idea was floated to play in the United Arab Emirates but due to the excessive cost of arranging a series for A teams away from home, it was scrapped by the PCB. Pakistan last visited West Indies in 2011, drawing the Test series 1-1, winning the ODI series 3-2 and the hosts taking the only T20I.

runs from his first 12 deliveries and reached his half century in 38 balls. Kohli said his team does not mind being seen as too reliant on Gayle after the West Indian swashbuckler made the decisive difference in the narrow victory. “Obviously, Chris has been magANGALORE, India :Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain nificent for us. He has proved why Virat Kohli has praised his big-hit- he is the best Twenty20 player in the ting opener Chris Gayle for an out- world and also showed us that he standing innings which set up a does not think about hard hitting, thrilling victory over Mumbai Indi- but thinks about the game as well,” ans in the Indian Premier League on said Kohli. “We are not worried about the Thursday. Gayle smashed an unbeaten 92 tag attached to Chris. You can’t say from 58 balls to single-handedly this in the first game of the tournapower RCB to a fighting 156 for five ment.” Mumbai needed eight runs from and Mumbai fell short by two runs with 10 runs required from the last the last two deliveries with another West Indies player Kieron Pollard over. needed for the next game. on strike but he blasted “Chris batted beautifully. We tried “All our bowlers to bowl at though him in different ar- the rst wide ball for four, he only get knew 157 was enough,” eas, bowl declared at his toes fi and outside thecould off-stump. thehalf final Kohli after the match. (But) being as strong aassingle he is to if long-off anybodyoff gets theball. Meantime, the Mumbai captain “The dew camebat on,on, and it the doesway go for six,” said Ponting one of three Ricky signed Ponting reacted to critiwe fielded was good. The cricketers way Un- already overseas uphas for the inaugural cism that not sending Pollard up the adkat bowled theCaribbean over towards the League Premier set to begin in July. order was a wrong decision. end was good.” “Though he was limping most of his innings, he said the team Gayle emerged from slow in Ponting made the adifference the game. There is nowould doubttalk start, where he managed about it”. just four about it and make adjustments if


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Sports W


Lebron returns for Heat, Bosh and Wade sidelined


IAMI -- LeBron James returned to the Miami Heat’s starting lineup against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night after a three-game absence, but center Chris Bosh and guard Dwyane Wade were out. James had been sidelined with a strained hamstring he suffered March 29 in the second half of a win in New Orleans. He was not expected to play his normal minutes against the 76ers, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game. The Heat have been juggling their primary rotation players for about a week, with James, Wade, Mario Chalmers and Ray Allen all missing recent games with various nagging injuries. Bosh is the latest to join the injury report. Spoelstra said he’s been dealing with soreness in his right knee the past few days after hyperextending it three games ago. Bosh had 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists in 37 minutes on Friday night against Charlotte. But he informed the training staff after arriving to AmericanAirlines Arena on Saturday that he was sore.

LeBron James Chalmers and Allen have been dealing with ankle sprains. Chalmers returned for Friday’s win in Charlotte after a three-game absence, and Allen is expected to play Saturday after sitting out against the Bobcats. Wade’s condition seems to be the biggest concern, with Spoelstra confirming Saturday that the Heat’s second-leading scorer still is dealing with

swelling in the knee. Wade initially bruised the knee on March 6 against Orlando and aggravated the injury two weeks later in a win against Boston. After sitting out two games to rest the knee, Wade returned March 27 against Chicago the night the Bulls ended the Heat’s 27-game winning streak. Wade also sprained his right ankle during that game when he came down on the foot of Bulls forward Taj Gibson. Wade played two nights later in New Orleans, but since has been sidelined. Counting Saturday’s game against Philadelphia, Wade will have missed six of the Heat’s past eight games. Spoelstra didn’t give a timetable for when he expects Wade to return, but he said there was no structural damage to the knee. “He has to resolve the swelling right now from getting hit in the knee,” Spoelstra said. “His body will tell us when we’ll play him. He got hit right on top of his knee twice. He was able to resolve it, then get past it. But in the New Orleans game, he got beat up in that game and was on the floor.”

Rutgers athletic director resigns over coach abuse scandal R

utgers University’s athletic director on Friday became the latest official to exit New Jersey’s largest public college, three days after revelations that its former basketball coach abused players and berated them with homophobic slurs. The school’s president, Robert Barchi, held the support of Rutgers’ board of governors, and state Governor Chris Christie commended his “decisive leadership” after Barchi fired the coach, Mike Rice, and negotiated the exit of Athletic Director Tim Pernetti. Barchi, who took the top job at the 58,000-student school in September, said he regretted not acting sooner after learning last year of a video of Rice’s behavior. At the time, Pernetti suspended Rice. “This was a failure of process. I regret that I did not ask to see the video when Tim first told me of its existence,” Barchi said at the school’s New Brunswick campus on Friday. Barchi said he viewed the video with Pernetti after its release by ESPN on Tuesday provoked outrage among Rutgers’ fans, students and faculty. He fired Rice the next day. On Friday, he said he had been “deeply disturbed” by the images of Rice hitting players and shouting slurs at them, behavior that he described as “much more abusive and pervasive” than he had expected. The scandal broke as college basketball races through its championships, televised matchups that go on through weeks of “March Madness” playoffs ahead of this weekend’s “Final Four.” The TV deals are big moneymakers for basketball

powerhouses like those in the Big East conference, where Rutgers competed this season, and the Big Ten conference, which it is joining. While the college athletes play without a salary, Rice last year was paid $655,000 in the third year of his five-year contract at the partly state-funded university. “I commend President Barchi for his decisive leadership in coming to an agreement with Mr. Pernetti to have the Athletic Department of Rutgers University come under new leadership,” said Governor Christie, a Republican seen as a contender for the 2016 presidential nomination. “This entire incident was regrettable and while it has damaged the reputation of our state university, we need to move forward now.” WHISTLEBLOWER LAWSUIT Rutgers’ administration learned of the videotapes showing Rice’s behavior last year from Eric Murdock, a member of the university’s sports staff, who said he complained to Rice and Pernetti and eventually provided the video. On Friday, Murdock filed a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior court saying he was fired in July 2012 in retaliation for his complaints. The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified financial damages, named the university and officers including Barchi, Pernetti and Rice as defendants. A Rutgers spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the lawsuit, though school officials at Friday’s press conference denied allegations that Murdock had been fired. They have said that they did not renew his contract, without providing details.

Rice’s firing and the resignation of Assistant Coach Jimmy Martelli did little to assuage the anger of 31 faculty members who on Thursday called for Barchi’s resignation. Pernetti’s resignation, which came the same day as that of interim university general counsel John Wolf, partly mollified some of them. Beryl Satter, one of the professors who had called for Barchi to go, described Pernetti’s exit as a step in the right direction, but she said it was not enough to allay her concerns. “I would like to see it go further, but at least it shows they’re beginning to understand if they don’t take this abusive action seriously, other people do,” Satter said. “There’s a chain of command and he’s only in the middle.” The speaker of the state assembly, Democrat Sheila Oliver, who had called for hearings into how the university handled the incident, said she was not yet satisfied. “President Barchi owes New Jersey an explanation for his decision-making, and the university needs to become more transparent,” she said. Ralph Izzo, chairman of Rutgers University’s board of governors, defended Barchi’s handling of the situation on Friday and told reporters he believed Barchi was “the right person to run this place for many years to come.” Izzo is also chief executive of New Jersey power company Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. Barchi described Pernetti’s resignation as a “mutual decision” and said the athletic director “always had the good of Rutgers and its student athletes in mind.”


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Serena defeats Venus for fifth straight time H

ARLESTON, S.C. -- Serena Williams had completed a dazzling display of tennis to dominate her opponent and advance to her fourth finals of the year at the Family Circle Cup on Saturday. Her excitement, though, was over the weeklong play of sister Venus despite big sister’s inability to slow down Serena. “She’s had a great week,” Serena said. So has Serena, who won her 14th straight match here with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Venus Williams -- the most one-sided result in the sisters’ long, intense rivalry. Serena got started early with her powerhouse serves and rarely let Venus gain any ground. Still, Serena understands better than almost anyone what her older sister has gone through in recent years due to injury and illness. “I think (the week) is positive looking for her and she can see the next, her next tournament be really more positive,” Serena said. Serena Williams goes for her second straight

tournament title and third here overall Sunday when she’ll take on Jelena Jankovic, a three-set winner over Stefanie Voegele. It was the first time since 2009 the Williams sisters were playing each other in a tournament and the excitement was felt throughout the Family Circle Tennis Center. A crowd of 9,538 filled Billie Jean King Court, a single-session record since the tournament moved from Hilton Head to Charleston in 2001. Serena has won five straight in their series and leads 14-10 since they first faced each other at the Australian Open in 1998. Back then, Venus was the more polished player and began a run of five victories over Serena the first six times they played. Things turned in 2002 with Serena’s 6-2, 6-2 win in Miami, the previous biggest sibling margin before this one. Since, Serena holds a 13-5 mark and has played some of her best tennis the past year. Since capturing this title in April 2012, Sere-

na has won Wimbledon, Olympic gold, the U.S. Open and reclaimed the world’s No. 1 ranking. “Obviously, Serena is playing extremely well,” Venus says, “and it’s great to see her at No. 1 and just fulfilling every dream.” Venus Williams’ career hasn’t gone as well. The 32-year-old seven-time major champion was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011 and took six months off from the game. The condition saps her strength, meaning she must manage her game more than ever. She and Serena both had to win twice Friday because of rain postponements earlier in the week, something Serena says surely affected her sister’s condition. “I mean she’ll never admit it, ever, but I don’t think she was 100 percent,” Serena said. “But you will never get that out of her, and quite frankly, three matches for her is much tougher than three matches for me.”

Tiger and Lefty once again Masters favorites I

f Masters success was guaranteed by early season form and a high comfort factor at Augusta National, then look no further than Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson for likely champions next week in the year’s opening major. The two Americans have produced hugely impressive, winning golf on the 2013 PGA Tour and, just like Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal before them, simply driving up Augusta National’s fabled Magnolia Lane puts them in a triumphant frame of mind. Short game wizardry and the ability to minimize three-putts is a must for any would-be Masters champion at a venue renowned for its lightning-fast, heavily contoured greens. Olazabal, a two-time winner during the 1990s, was one of golf’s best in this department while Woods and Mickelson, who have earned

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson seven green jackets between them, are both geniuses on and around the green. “Generally the guys that have won here have really putted well, avoided three-putts and have made the big putt from 10 feet or so for

par,” said Woods, a four-time champion who reclaimed the world number one ranking with a victory at last month’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. “Those are huge around here. “No matter what you do, you’re going to have those kinds of putts,

and you’re going to have to bury them. “Those putts are going to be tricky. Some are going to be really quick and break. And other ones, you’re going to have to be pretty aggressive. There’s so much slope out here.” Woods signaled he is likely to be among the front-runners for the year’s first major by winning the Farmers Insurance Open in January and last month’s WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral and Arnold Palmer Invitational in vintage ‘Tiger’ style. He triumphed by four shots at Torrey Pines and by two at Doral and Bay Hill, on each occasion evoking memories of his glory days in the late 1990s and early 2000s with his all-round game. “To be able to bring it out a couple times so far this year, and then able to close and get the Ws on top of that, that’s nice,” Woods said after claiming his fifth PGA Tour title in his last 19 events. “Any time I can win prior to Augusta, it always feels good. I’ve been able to do it a few times throughout my career, which is nice. I’m excited about this year.”

Wasim offers help to Pakistan quicks W

asim Akram, the former Pakistan captain, has taken the reins of the country’s fast-bowlers to help their progress. He and the PCB reached an agreement for a short-term fast-bowling camp in Karachi between April 2029, ahead of the Champions Trophy. Along with the camp, Wasim, with the collaboration of the PCB and a cellular company, will search for the fastest bowlers in the country. The search will be nationwide as the candidates will be selected from 8-10 cities over 5-7 days. Any bowler with a bowling speed of 140kph or more will be selected. He will also work with Pakistan’s full-time bowling coach Mohammad Akram in the national camp planned in Abbottabad, north of Islamabad, from May 3-9. “The idea is to sit and talk with the

bowlers and give them confidence,” Akram said. “I will assess the bowlers, find out their problems and help them to rectify them. A lot of young bowlers need some insight. I will then keep a track of them and follow them closely.” “I saw them in Test matches against South Africa they didn’t impress me, but in one-day cricket they looked different and wicket taking bowlers. I have to teach them what is a good corridor, what is the right line and length. Regardless of any sort of pitches anywhere in the world, they have to be consistent in length, with yorkers, and know how to take wickets.” Akram, 46, who has been with Kolkata Knight Riders, the IPL champions, for the last three seasons, is currently in Pakistan on a two-month break. He rues the absence of Pakistan players

in the IPL and believes it is a loss for the tournament. Pakistani players featured in the inaugural IPL in 2008 but India stalled all bilateral ties after the November 2008 Mumbai attack. Despite a short series between the countries in December and January, Pakistani players were not allowed to take part in the sixth edition of the IPL. “Politics should stay away from sports, and we should play cricket,” Akram added. “Our players should have gone to the IPL. I think batsman are scoring easy runs in the absence of Pakistani bowlers and our bowlers could be top wicket takers there. The psyche of Pakistan bowlers is strong, they are physical and mentally tough while Indian bowlers get spoiled within a year. They start with express pace from 140-plus but in a year go down around 130.

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