Archive for March 13th, 2010

Jamaican law makers grapple with abortion question

| 13/03/2010 | 1 Comment

(JamaicaObserver): After some 18 months of weighing the pros and cons of legalising abortion, members of the Joint Select Committee of Parliament are split over what recommendations they would be making to the legislature. The committee has been receiving submissions since July 2008 on the report of the Abortion Policy Review Advisory Group (APRAG) set up in 2005 by former minister of health, John Junor, amidst concerns that abortion was the third leading cause of death in adolescents and that unsafe abortions constituted the eighth leading cause of maternal deaths in Jamaica. APRAG, was asked to advise on the development of a comprehensive national policy on abortion, with special emphasis on safe abortions.

The report found that most of the women seeking abortions were "young, poor, unemployed, and lived in economically and socially deprived communities".

 

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Sailors grounded by winds

| 13/03/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Race Cayman 2010 ran aground on Friday when high winds prevented the sailors from racing in the second day of competition. With wind gusts of over 27 knots kept the sailors land bound at the event, which started Wednesday, 10 March. Hosted by the CISC it includes this year’s Byte CII Midwinter and North American Championships and the J22 International Invitational Regatta as well as a qualifier for the Youth Olympic Games. After one day of racing, Cayman’s Oliver Fogerty is in ninth place and Chris Delaney (pictured) is twelfth out of a total of 32 sailors in the Byte CII class. 

Cayman’s other Byte sailors are Ben Williams, and Lizzy Wauchope. Local residents Marina Maffessanti and Matthew Courtis are also competing. Although they train with the Cayman team, they are representing their home countries of Jamaica and Barbados respectively.  The J22 International Invitational Regatta is scheduled to begin Saturday, 13 March, and Cayman’s junior J22 team members are Thomas Hanson, Thomas Bishop, Kayla Ramos, and Dejian Solomon.

Minister with responsibility for Sports Mark Scotland met Race Cayman 2010 competitors and officials as they waited for more favourable conditions and congratulate the CISC on hosting Race Cayman 2010.

“The Sailing Club certainly deserves a round of applause for hosting Cayman’s largest ever international sailing event. I commend all members for their commitment toward, and their investment in, the future of this sport, especially evident in our joint school sailing courses, he said. “I hope that we will continue to be partners in one the most successful sport development programmes that my ministry supports.”

The J22 International Invitational Regatta is scheduled to begin Saturday, 13 March, and Cayman’s junior J22 team members are Thomas Hanson, Thomas Bishop, Kayla Ramos, and Dejian Solomon. Race Cayman 2010 concludes on Monday, 15 March. For more information and the latest results go to http://www.caymanactive.com/race-cayman.

 

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Bush talks tourism with Cuba

| 13/03/2010 | 68 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman tourism(CNS): The Cayman Islands Government has begun discussions with Cuba regarding partnership possibilities for twin destination tourism. According to a statement released by the premier’s office, McKeeva Bush led a delegation last week to the neighbouring island to engage in exploratory talks with the Cuban government and the Spanish hotel chain Sol Melia. Bush stated that he had begun pursuing the idea of multi-destination packages with Cuba when he last served as Leader of Government Business but he said “nothing was done after 2005” and the opportunity was lost.

Bush, in his role as Minister of Tourism, and the CIG delegation met with the Cuban minister of tourism, Manuel Marrero Cruz, and executives of Sol Melia. The talks are, according to officials, the first step in attracting more European and Canadian visitors to Cayman and a new hotel brand for the Islands – in particular Cayman Brac. The talks also included potential cruise tourism originating from Cuba.  

The aim of the partnership is to promote a two-destination travel package whereby tourists can visit Cuba and the Cayman Islands. The Bahamas, Costa Rica, Mexicoand Jamaica are among those countries that already have a multi-destination partnership with Cuba, allowing them to tap into the two million tourists arriving in Cuba annually.  

Bush said that he had made previous efforts to establish a tourism partnership with Cuba between 2001 and 2005 when he says he met with Cuban officials to try and get an agreement. “After May 2005, nothing was done and these Islands lost a tremendous opportunity to partner with Cuba for multi-destination tourism. I am praying that this attempt at an agreement, even at this late stage, will be successful,” the premier stated.

Given Cayman’s proximity to Cuba, Bush added, it provided an excellent opportunity to diversify the tourism market and lessen the islands’ dependence on the current market.

"A tourism partnership with Cuba gives us the ability to significantly increase our share of the European market which might otherwise be difficult for Cayman to achieve,” he said. 

Of the 2.5 million tourists that arrived inCuba during 2009, 60 percent originated from Europe and 30 percent from Canada.  European tourists are known for taking longer vacations than American tourists, making them ideal multi-destination prospects.  

Sol Melia operates 313 hotels in 27 countries on four continents. Its hotels are rated 3, 4 and 5 stars. It is the largest resort hotel chain in the world, a leading brand in the region and well established in Cuba. The delegation met with Francisco Camps, president of Sol Melia Cuba Operation, Gabriel Garcia, director commercial Sol Melia Cuba and Martin Aragones, Sol Melia Cuba and Canada. The executives expressed an interest in pursuing development opportunities in the Cayman Islands with an eye on Cayman Brac, according to the release.

The statement reported that Cayman Airways will be the carrier which currently serves the Grand Cayman-Havana route three days per week. Government said that a multi-destination partnership would offer increased traffic for Cayman Airways and a way for European tourists to arrive in Cayman in greater numbers without extending the runway at Owen Roberts International Airport.  Cuba has reportedly asked Cayman to evaluate the possibility of expanding Cayman Airways services to other Cuban destinations, in particular Santiago de Cuba.  

The islands is also in negotiations with European cruise operators to position vessels in Havana with plans to place Grand Cayman on cruise itineraries out of Havana. The premier discussed the opportunities for Cayman’s cruise businesses should cruise ships from Cuba call at George Town.

According to the statement, a joint Cayman Airways – Department of Tourism office will be opened in Havana to serve air and cruise visitors which would enhance the Cayman Islands’ brand recognition amongst the Canadian and European markets that it aims to develop for multi-destination and cruise tourism.  

Chief Officer Carson Ebanks, Deputy Chief Officer Dalton Watler, Cayman Airways airports manager Ivan Forbes, Manny Gonzales of the Department of Tourism, businessman and CITA representative Harry Lalli and Pirates Week deputy director Bernie Bush all took part in the trip. Officials have also stated that a second meeting is planned for the near future.

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Murder “not gang related”

| 13/03/2010 | 74 Comments

(CNS): While police have not named the victims of Thursday night’s shooting spree in the West Bay area, they have said that the man who was murdered in the first incident was a 29-year-old Ecuadorian national from the George Town area, while the victim in the second incident was a 16-year-old youth, who was shot in the leg. The RCIPS says that over thirty officers are now investigating the two shootings, but claim the murder was not gang related.

Police say that at about 7:26 pm Thursday 11 March, the Ecuadorian man was shot in the stairwell of an apartment block in Maliwinas Way. He sustained head injuries and was found to be dead on arrival at Cayman Islands Hospital.

Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden, the officer in charge of the enquiry said, “This appears to have been a violent robbery which has gone tragically wrong. There is nothing at this stage to suggest that this murder is related to gang fighting on the island.”

In the second incident, at 7:33 pm on Capt Osbert Road, the teenager was shot in the leg. He was taken to hospital where he is currently being treated and is said to be in a stable condition.
 

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