Archive for July 13th, 2009

US senator bans mermaids

| 13/07/2009 | 0 Comments

(Politico): Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) — an ardent anti-abortion activist — is worried that the Obama administration’s loosening of restrictions on stem cell research will result in the creation of a new race of bio-engineered "human-animal" hybrid freaks. Or beautiful mermaids. The bill — modeled on an inexplicably overlooked effort by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — would ban the creation of "part-human, part-animal creatures, which are created in laboratories, and blur the line between species." Despite giving no concrete examples of what such hybrids would look like (i.e. Spider-Man), he’s got 20 co-sponsors including one Dem, Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

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Police appeal for witnesses

| 13/07/2009 | 8 Comments

(CNS): While police have still not given a timeline for the emergency response to the shooting of 28-year-old Omar Barton Samuels on 4 July, the RCIPS have said a post mortem, which was carried out on Sunday 12 July, showed that the victim suffered a single gunshot wound to his leg which penetrated the Femoral Artery. Detectives investigating Samuels’ murder say a number of people who were in the area at the time of the incident have been spoken to – but not enough people are coming forward voluntarily.

Samuels was shot in the McField Lane area of George Town in the early hours of Sunday, 5 July. A major incident room continues to operate from George Town Police Station staffed by investigators and led by Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Kim Evans. A family liaison officer continues to work with the relatives and all RCIPS staff sends their condolences to the family and friends of the victim.

“We have been making contact with various people who might have information about what happened,” said Inspector Evans. “But there are people who were in and around the area who have not yet spoken to the Police. No doubt there are those who have details about what happened who have not yet passed that information to us – if you do have information, please come forward and tell us.”

A post mortem was carried out on Sunday, 12 July, which showed Samuels suffered a single gunshot wound to his leg which penetrated the Femoral Artery. Evans stressed that if people do not feel comfortable talking to the investigation team directly, there are a number of other ways people can communicate. “You could call Crime Stoppers, which is answered overseas, you could speak to an officer you know or you could call our voicemail service,” said Evans.

The response time of the emergency services to the shooting remains in question. Police have said it was impacted by the need to wait for an armed response unit to check the scene before the ambulance was cleared to enter. Evans has previously said an armed response unit was on the scene within 10 minutes of the 911 call. However, he did not say how long it then took for the ambulance to reach the victim, who according to reports bled to death and police have refused to comment further on the timeline.

Persons with information can use the following ways to pass it on:
Detective Inspector Kim Evans – 925-6761 or 925-7240
Crime Stoppers – 800 8477 (TIPS)

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Iron Duke practices security & emergency exercises

| 13/07/2009 | 7 Comments

(CNS): The Royal Navy warship, HMS Iron Duke, which came to Cayman Brac immediately following Hurricane Gustav last year to offer humanitarian assistance, returned to the Cayman Islands to go through both security exercises at sea and disaster relief exercises on shore. According to Weapon Engineer Officer aboard the HMS Iron Duke, Lt Cdr RN Martin Hoather, exercise “Viking Thistle II”, a maritime security exercise between HMS Iron Duke and the RCIPS Marine Unit, took place on the morning of 8 July. Another exercise, “Webbed Feet”, which took place on Cayman Brac on Thursday 9 July, was an opportunity for the ship to practice elements of its disaster relief plans. (Photos by Ship’s Photographer, LA Stuart Hill)

He said the ship arrived off the coast of Grand Cayman on 7 July. “Some of the Ship’s company got ashore for a few hours in the afternoon, whilst the CO went ashore and made official calls on the Governor, the Chief Secretary, the Commissioner of Police, the Head of the Police Marine Unit and the Director of Hazardous Management. We hosted a visit from several youth groups in the afternoon, then in the evening held an official reception for about 85 guests from Grand Cayman,” Hoather reported.

Exercise “Webbed Feet” on Cayman Brac was an opportunity for the ship’s crew to practice elements of its disaster relief plans. During the exercise, the ship established a headquarters and communications point at the Aston Rutty Centre, proving both the ship’s own communications and the ability to use the Island’s emergency communications to talk to the ship’s teams, Hoather said.

“Teams were landed by boat at West End and Spot Bay from where they carried out a planned reconnaissance, proving communications and familiarising themselves with the local area. A heavy engineering team landed at West End and carried out engineering work using welding and cutting gear. The ship’s command was given a tour of the island by the district commissioner, increasing our understanding of the Island’s impressive disaster relief arrangements.

“The exercise was a great success and very worthwhile. The ship was able to practice key aspects of our disaster relief organisation whilst improving our understanding of Cayman Brac’s own disaster relief plans and is very grateful to District Commissioner Ernie Scott and all those on the Island who helped make the exercise possible,” Hoather concluded.


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Swiss hold on to secrets

| 13/07/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Switzerland is trying to ensure UBS is not forced to hand over account details to the US authorities, an apparent reversal of promises to share tax data. The Swiss government is arguing that handing over the client details would breach its national bank secrecy rules. UBS is refusing to release data on 52,000 Americans that hold Swiss bank accounts to US tax authorities who accuse them of tax evasion. Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS is facing a court hearing in Miami today (13 July.)


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Local firm gets top offshore lawyer award

| 13/07/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Conyers Dill & Pearman has bee named Offshore Law Firm of the Year at this years The Lawyer Awards the firm was commended for an “outstanding year” and its involvement in the unwinding of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. According to the judges’ criteria, the award is presented to the firm which demonstrates superior strategic clarity, growth of market share, technical legal excellence and quality of service. (Left Managing Partner CaymanRichard Finlay)


Christopher Johnson-Gilbert, managing partner of Conyers’ London office, collected the award at the ceremony which was held at Grosvenor House and attended by over 1000 lawyers. “We are delighted to receive this award, which reflects the hard work of everyone across the firm over the past year in providing the highest quality legal advice to the leading offshore jurisdictions of the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Mauritius,” he said. “Our strategic purpose and our balanced business model have seen continued success even in times of global difficulties.”

The Cayman Islands practice was highlighted, with reference to the instruction of Nigel Meeson QC to advise on offshore aspects of the unwinding of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and Richard Finlay, (above)  managing partner of Conyers’ Cayman Islands office said the ward was a great achievement for the growing Cayman Islands practice.

“We have also seen an increased flow of work from our London office following the move of Richard Fear, who worked for many years in the Cayman Islands before moving to London office to strengthen our Cayman Islands capabilities there. Additionally, our provision of Cayman Islands legal advice continues to facilitate international business growth in the Asian markets, and has seen Conyers win Offshore Law Firm of the Year Awards for work in both China and South East Asia from Asian Legal Business this year,” he added.

The firm said that the past year has been one of significant expansion for Conyers, during which it has advised on a number of high profile deals, consolidated its position in relation to the BRIC markets with new offices in Moscow and São Paolo, and the addition of a Mauritius office and a global Mauritius practice. Conyers has also gained market share in the Cayman Islands. Conyers continues to expand with new hires, and now numbers nearly 600 staff with over 150 lawyers located in 11 offices worldwide.


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