Archive for April 13th, 2009

$6 cooker to save the world

| 13/04/2009 | 1 Comment

(Discover Magazine): The Kyoto Box, a $6 solar cooker made from cardboard, has won the Financial Times-sponsored Climate Change Challenge contest for innovative ways to decrease the human impact on the environment. Its capacity to not only cook food but also sterilize water could help three billion people reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The Kenya-based Norwegian creator of the cooker, Jon Bøhmer, has been awarded $75,000 to put the idea into production.

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Missing teen found

| 13/04/2009 | 32 Comments

(CNS): Update 2:00pm: A teenage girl on Cayman Brac who had been missing since last night has been found. Brandy Moulton (17) was reported missing from her West End home around 8:30 Sunday night, but her parents say they have now found her. No further information has been released.

The police were informed Sunday night as soon as they realised she was gone, her family said.

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Brown warns Cayman

| 13/04/2009 | 15 Comments

(CNS): According to a number of international media reports, UK  Prime Minister Gordon Brown has sent warnings to all of the British overseas territories and crown dependencies in the wake of the G20 meeting telling them to comply with the OECD standards in six months or face sanctions. Brown has reportedly written to all the dependencies and territories, setting a September deadline to sign agreements to share tax information with the authorities.

Cayman has reportedly received its own letter and CNS has contacted the leader of government business’s office regarding the content but is still waiting for a response.  Although Cayman has signed a number of bilateral treaties recently, it has also utilised the new Tax Authority Law which was passed in December to enter into a number of unilateral treaties. However, the CI government still does not have an agreement with the UK. In the wake oft he G20 summit, however, Tibbetts stated that the government was working on finalising an agreement with Britain.

The move by Downing Street puts the UK in the unusual position of threatening punitive action against its own dependencies and the countries which it is expected to represent. Brown has also signalled in the correspondence that he wants to tackle not just illegal tax evasion through personal offshore bank accounts, but also tax haven companies used for tax avoidance by corporations and super-rich individuals.

Seven British territories were named by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development when it published, to coincide with the G20 summit, a list of havens that had either not agreed to, or not yet implemented, its international tax standards. Along with the Cayman Islands the grey list also contains Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos islands.

Brown has also reportedly written to the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, telling them that he expects rapid further progress to end tax and banking secrecy, even though all three islands were on the so called ‘White List’ which emerged from the G20 summit.

According to the Financial Times, Brown praises the progress made by the territories and dependencies but says he wants increased levels of tax transparency and has said he expects "genuine progress beyond the current minimum."

G20 finance ministers are due to review progress made against tax secrecy towards the end of this year but Brown is seeking to avoid charges of hypocrisy at home for failing to clamp down on what are seen as tax centres with ties to the UK. Turning his attention to tax avoidance rather than just tax evasion, he has encouraged the OECD to work on targeting avoidance with new standards for offshore tax centres. 

Michael Foot, a former Bank of England director who was in Cayman last month, has been commissioned to write a report on offshore havens and he will reportedly publish his interim findings next week on the UK’s Budget day, 22 April.

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Smear tactics could cost Labour election, Brown told

| 13/04/2009 | 1 Comment

(The Guardian): Gordon Brown will be told by senior Labour figures this week that he must clean up Downing Street if Labour is to have a chance of winning the next election following the departure of his aide, Damian McBride, who proposed a smear campaign against David Cameron, the Tory leader. As a "furious" Cameron demanded a personal apology from the prime minister , one senior Labour figure warned the party had suffered "reputational damage". McBride, a senior Brown aide dating back to the prime minister’s time as chancellor, resigned on Saturday after the political blogger, Guido Fawkes, uncovered a series of emails outlining plans for a smear campaign against senior Tories.

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Cops talk crime prevention with liquor board

| 13/04/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With license premises seen as key trouble spots the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) Inspector Anthony White gave a presentation to members of the Liquor Licensing Board as part of the ‘design out crime’ initiative part of the RCIPS’ effort to educate the community on what can be done to help prevent and detect crime. The talk covered various aspects of crime prevention such as how to improve security thought environmental design, lighting and the use of CCTV. Deputy Chair of the Liquor Licensing Board, Lynn Bodden-Smart (left) said the presentation was informative and educational.

“It helps us to realize that if we work together we can prevent crimes. Simple measures can be taken by paying attention to proper lighting and the height of the hedges around parking lots of the liquor licensed premises,” she said.  “Installing CCTV goes a long way in securing the premises.”

White noted that there are lots of inexpensive ways people can use to protect themselves. “The more people hear these ideas and suggestions the better. The fear of crime often outweighs the chances of becoming a victim and we’re determined try and address the very real fear of crime that people are feeling. We need to work together to help make people feel safer.”

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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CIMA moves to protect Clico policy holders

| 13/04/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): A new cease and desist order has been issued to the troubled insurer Clico (Cayman) Ltd. by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) prohibiting the firm from issuing insurance policies of any kind, except for new additions of dependants on existing individual health policies (family cover) or new additions of employees on existing group health policies. CIMA has also directed Clico to maintain all assets here in Cayman to ensure the satisfactory coverage of all its policy holder liabilities.

On 9 April CLico was also stopped from transferring any of its assets and funds to any affiliated company without the Authority’s prior written approval. The order not only restates the directive issued to Clico by CIMA on 3 March but also expands Clico’s reporting requirements as well as preventing the firm from issue any type of policy.

A public notice issued by the Authority said the cease and desist order was to safeguard the public interest and to protect the Company’s policyholders while CIMA continues its examination of Clico’s affairs. “The Authority requires the Company, among other things, to submit to the Authority, within a specified time, specified information on its health insurance policies, policies with investment features, and life insurance policies. The Authority has expanded the Company’s ongoing reporting requirements,” CIMA stated.

The notice states that CIMA expects Clico to continue to honour its obligations to its Policyholders. “The ongoing examination of the Company by the Authority does not preclude the Company from honouring these obligations,” CIMA said adding that because the investigation into Clico is ongoing it is restricted in its ability to provide full details on the matter. It said that it would however, provide updates to the public s as and when it is in a position to do so.

In its first order CIMA prevented Clico from new policies with investment features and refrain from receiving any new premiums on existing policies with investment features. At the time Clico issued a statement saying that was continuing to service all its existing policies and was fully available for client support. On Tuesday of last week the Supreme Court in the Bahamas ruled that CLICO Bahamas should be wound up, to safeguard the funds of policyholders, creditors and stakeholders of the company; and to clear the way for liquidation.

Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Limited, trading as Clico (Cayman) Ltd., was licensed in April 1997 as an Approved External Insurer in the Cayman Islands under section 4(7) of the Insurance Law 1979. The Company is also an Approved Insurer under the Health Insurance Law. Clico (Cayman) Ltd. is a branch of Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Limited. Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of CL Financial Limited. On 30 January 2009 the Trinidad government and the country’s Central Bank announced they had reached an agreement with the CL Financial for the provision of a package of financial support for the group’s financial services companies. As a result of the above action Clico is now under the control of the Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago and Andrew C. Musaib-Ali has been appointed as managing director.


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