Archive for September 15th, 2009

Tech addiction ‘harms learning’

| 15/09/2009 | 0 Comments

(BBC): Technology addiction among young people is having a disruptive effect on their learning, researchers have warned. Their report concluded that modern gadgets worsened pupils’ spelling and concentration, encouraged plagiarism and disrupted lessons. The study of 267 pupils aged 11 to 18 found 63% felt addicted to the internet and 53% to their mobile phones. The research said technology drove a social lifestyle that involved a strong desire to keep in touch with friends. The study found 62% first used or owned a computer before the age of eight, 80% first used the internet between the ages of five and 10.

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Frederick Speirs

| 15/09/2009 | 7 Comments

It is with deepest regret that Rotary Central announces the passing of our friend, colleague and past President, Frederick Speirs, last Monday 7th September. Rotary Central was blessed with the pleasure of Fred’s inimitable grace, wit, and depth of character for three wonderful decades.If ever there was a man who epitomised the club’s motto, ‘Service Above Self’, it was our beloved Fred. Fred consistently gave freely of himself, his time and his many talents in order to help others around him and serve the community to which he belonged and meant so much. Time and again he persevered where others would have faltered and left his mark on our club, our island, and our district of 11 countries, in a way that few others could.

Fred was a Paul Harris Fellow active contributor multiple times over for his financial contributions to the club. To us, and all who knew him, Fred was the indispensible resource, who was committed to sharing and caring each minute, each hour, each day and each year.

Fred was much more than a loyal and devout Rotarian – he was a loving father and husband, a committed educator, and a mentor. He was also a football referee, cook of no mean order and a lover of life. A man of multiple talents Fred was many things to many people. Perhaps above all, as anyone who knew him well would vouch without hesitation, Fred was an inspiration who lived three lifetimes of good.
No words can truly capture the essence of one who did so much for so many in so many countries, and never with a thought of self gain. The living embodiment of altruism whilst he was with us, Fred filled our hearts and minds with the memories of his service to others and contributions to society, and gave us all something to aspire to.

Fred Speirs left us all suddenly and far too soon. At this difficult time we circle his family, Bev, Lori, and Allison and offer our prayers as we share in their incalculable loss. Through Fred we are reminded what it means to be a part of the Rotary family, and pledge our commitment to be there for Fred’s family today, tomorrow and forever. We also give profound thanks for our good fortune of having been able to count Fred as a friend, colleague and constant source of inspiration.

“Past President Fred was an inspiration to our club and to this community. He is sadly missed by Rotary not only in the Cayman Islands but throughout the Rotary district and of course to our local community. We will continue to strive to serve our community at the very high standards and with the compassion and care displayed by him”, said Rotary Central President Paul Byles.

A Service of Celebration will be held 3pm on Thursday September 17th, 2009, at the Cayman Islands Baptist Church on Pedro Castle Road, to honour Frederick Speirs. The funeral will follow at 4pm and the internment will be at the Prospect Cemetery. We will come together to celebrate the remarkable life of an exceptional man and pay our respects and tributes to one whose beloved memory will endure forever in our hearts.


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Stats reveal local drivers risking lives on roads

| 15/09/2009 | 15 Comments

(CNS): Although local road fatalities have declined over the last year, in appears to be more by luck than judgment as police say Cayman drivers are continuing to put their lives at risk when they get behind the wheel. Recent statistics from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s Traffic Management Unit show that over a 7 day period (7-13 September) officers from the unit detected 225 traffic offences including speeders and drunk drivers. Traffic cops also said they had attended 23 separate accidents during the same period.

During last week traffic cops issued 156 speeding tickets, 54 other traffic tickets and arrested three people for driving under the influence of alcohol as well as attending over twenty crashes. “Drivers need to take responsibility for their actions,” said Sergeant Kim Ramoon from the Traffic Department. “Vehicles can be lethal weapons and we need to remember this.”

The RCIPS said they work hard to keep people safe on the roads and encourages all drivers to obey the traffic law or face prosecution. “There are those who will criticise us for keeping a focus on the roads,” said Sgt Ramoon. “But who else will ensure the safety of all road users? If you’re speeding you’re putting your life and the lives of others at risk. Everyone needs to slow down and obey the laws.”

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 CrimeStoppers 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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Local accountants take control of British American

| 15/09/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The struggling, but widely used regional insurer British American Insurance Company Limited (BAICO) has been placed in the hands of accountants from the firm KPMG by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) in a bid to protect the assets of the companny for policy holders. Simon Whicker and Kris Beighton who were appointed controllers on Friday have assumed immediate control of BAICO’s affairs  and are responsible for assessing the financial position and exploring various options to preserve the business including selling parts of the firm.

Whicker and Beighton who will be submitting a report to CIMA as soon as possible will continue to manage the operations of BAICO subject to the cease and desist order previously issued by CIMA on 29 June 2009 which currently precludes the issuance of any new insurance policies.

The Controllers said that the operations and coverage of the Licensee’s (BAICO) existing policies remain in effect so long as the premiums continue to be paid by policy holders. Redemptions or surrender of discretionary investment products previously issued by BAICO are now subject to review by Whicker and Beighton.

BAICO is licensed by CIMA as an approved external insurer and CIMA said the decision to appoint local controllers was taken in light of the increasing financial and operational difficulties of the Cayman branch, which reflect the grave problems being experienced throughout the Caribbean by the company (which is registered in the Bahamas) and its parent company, CL Financial Limited, of Trinidad and Tobago.

To date, BAICO has not been able to fully satisfy the requirements that CIMA imposed on it in the cease and desist order issued on 29 June 2009, and directives issued to BAICO in subsequent letters, despite CIMA extending the deadlines. The cease and desist order prohibited BAICO from issuing new policies of any kind and required the company to bring its operations back in line with the requirements of the Insurance Law (2008 Revision).

Placing the local entity into controllership will allow CIMA to ensure that there are persons in charge of the local operations who have legal power to make and execute decisions to safeguard the interests of BAICO Cayman’s creditors and policyholders and the public interest. This includes ensuring, as far as possible, that the assets belonging to the local entity, including assets held in trust, are secured for the benefit of its creditors and policyholders.

In addition to being licensed as an approved external insurer by CIMA, BAICO is registered by the Health Insurance Commission (HIC) as an approved insurer under the Health Insurance Law. BAICO also operates a Cayman Islands pension plan that is approved and registered by the National Pensions Office (NPO). Both the HIC and NPO have been briefed on the situation and are liaising with CIMA.

The operations and coverage of BAICO’s existing policies remain in effect subject to premiums on such policies continuing to be paid by policy holders. Policy holders and creditors with further enquiries may contact the controllers at or telephone +1 (345) 914-4402.

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Man shot in West Bay

| 15/09/2009 | 68 Comments

(CNS): Police are investigating another shooting today following an incident which occurred in the vicinity of Nettie Rivers Lane off Watercourse Road, West Bay, last night (14 September) around 8:00pm. One man escaped serious injury but was hit in the shoulder after shots were reportedly fired at his car as he was driving. The 26-year-old man attended hospital and was released after treatment. Officers are now asking anyone who was in the area at the time of the shooting to come forward and say they have not ruled out a connection with the murder of Carlo Webster last week in the Next Level nightclub.

The 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call from a member of the public reporting the that shots had been fired in the Watercourse Road area. A number of subsequent calls were made to West Bay police station also reporting shots fired. Police then responded to the area and follow-up enquiries revealed that a man had sustained an injury to his arm and had already left the location of the shooting. According to ‘ear’ witness acounts at least four shots were heard by people nearby.

Officers said they made contact with the victim who confirmed he had been shot. The victim was taken to hospital where he was treated for a graze to the shoulder and released. The victim has told police he was driving out of Nettie Rivers Lane when shots were fired at his car.

Officers would like to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time of the shooting who may have seen something of importance. Anyone who can assist should contact West Bay CID on 949-3999.

People can also leave information on an anonymous voicemail service by calling 949-7777 or they can call 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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Bookies offer 500/1 on Nessie

| 15/09/2009 | 0 Comments

(Telegraph): The Loch Ness monster will go on display at London’s Natural History Museum if it is caught under a deal negotiated with bookmakers William Hill. The museum has secured the rights to showcase Nessie’s remains should it be captured, in exchange for verifying her existence on behalf of the bookmakers. Under the deal, William Hill pays the museum an annual fee on return for the guarantee its experts will provide “positive identification” of the elusive creature. The agreement, which has netted the museum at least £22,000, also covers the Yeti. The bookmaker currently offers odds of 500/1 on the existence of the Loch Ness monster being proved within a year and 200/1 for the Yeti.

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Offshore law firm closes Cayman Islands office

| 15/09/2009 | 0 Comments

(Lawyer):  Offshore services firm MaitlandGrouphas ­abandoned plans to become a player in the offshore legal world, closing its Cayman Islands office a year after launching in the jurisdiction. Maitland traditionally operated as an offshore trusts services company, but in June 2008 opened in Cayman in an effort to break into the offshore legal world. The firm poached litigation partner Sara Collins from Walkers to spearhead its push into Cayman, but the chair of the CI Human Rights Committee has reportedly moved to rival Conyers Dill & Pearman.

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Lawyer claims bank was victim

| 15/09/2009 | 0 Comments

(WSJ): Lawyers asked a judge to hold Bank of America Corp. liable for allegedly misrepresenting the value of one of Parmalat Finanziaria SpA’s subsidiaries when it structured a financing transaction in 1999 using two Cayman Island companies. Lawyers for the Cayman companies presented opening statements Monday in a civil trial. They said the Charlotte, N.C., bank represented that Parmalat’s Brazilian subsidiary’s stock was worth $300 million when the bank had knowledge that the stock was worth as little as $4 million before thetransaction closed. However, a lawyer for the bank, said that Bank of America was one of the largest victims of the Parmalat fraud.

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Hotel in Aruba offers ‘Conception Credit’ to couples

| 15/09/2009 | 2 Comments

(Telegraph): A luxury resort on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba is offering amorous couples a discount of around $300 (£180) on a future booking – if they conceive a child during their holiday. Management at the Westin Resort, located in Palm Beach on the island’s northern coastline, have devised the scheme in an effort to attract would-be mothers and fathers. Couples will be rewarded with a $300 ‘Conception Credit’ if they can prove that their baby was conceived while they were staying at the hotel. A doctor’s note confirming that the likely conception date coincided with the couple’s stay will be accepted as evidence, according to the resort.

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Cops charge drug traffickers

| 15/09/2009 | 10 Comments

(CNS): Police said this morning (Tuesday 15 September) that they have charged five people for drug offences in connection with the seizure of a boat and over 600 lbs of ganja. They are 30-year-old Henry Heron from Hanover, Jamaica; 20-year-old Shawn Reid from Westmoreland, Jamaica; 37-year-old Jasper Stewart from Portland, Jamaica; 55-year-old Cleveland Meldon Roxgoughly from Westmoreland, Jamaica and 39-year-old Densel Vic Barnes, from Prospect, Grand Cayman.

The five men will appear in court today to face charges for importation of and possession with intent to supply ganja. They were first arrested during an operation which took place last Tuesday and two other men arrested during the same operation have been released on bail pending further enquiries. Based on estimated street value of the ganja haul which cops seized, based on current street prices, is around $½ million.

The boat carrying the illegal drugs was intercepted off the Spotts coastline of Grand Cayman at around 12:30 am during an operation by police specialist departments, including the Drugs Task Force, Uniform Support Group, joint Customs, Immigration and Police Marine Unit and the Air Operations Unit.

Superintendent Kurt Walton, head of the Marine Unit and DTF, said at the time that the police know drugs and other contraband arrives in the Cayman Islands by boat. “Marine Unit officers, along with other departments, are working hard to protect our borders and intercept these vessels,” he said. “This was a well executed multi-agency operation to target those involved inthe importation of illegal drugs into the Cayman Islands.”

The Maine Unit and Drugs Task Force welcome information about the importation of drugs or reports of suspicious activity at sea or on the coast line. Officers can be contacted directly on 979-7710. People can also call 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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