Archive for December, 2010

US air delays expected to last days

| 28/12/2010 | 0 Comments

(New York Times): Buried beneath white powder for more than 24 hours, New York area airports turned on Tuesday to the growing backlog of cancelled flights, an accumulation that could take far longer to address than the snow itself. Even as flights resumed, ripple effects from over 4,000 cancelled flights threatened to leave travellers stranded through the New Year. The departure boards were full of woe for holiday travellers as airlines struggled with de-icing planes, clearing gate areas of snow and staffing ticket counters. Many domestic flights were cancelled or delayed on Tuesday and international service was limited.

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College opens door for old post grads

| 28/12/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The International College of the Cayman Islands is making an effort to attract former post graduate students who have for one reason or another failed to complete their master’s degrees back to school. The college said there are number of students who have completed a significant amount of their courses but for one reason or another from Hurricane Ivan to job pressures have been sidetracked and never finished their degrees. Anthony Husemann, PhD, Director of Graduate Studies said the college is giving those students a chance to come back. The policy that states students must finish their post graduate degree within six years or they will need to start over is being suspended to allow former students to renew their graduate courses regardless of when they started.

“With the economy in an ongoing slump around the world, finishing up a masters degree could make a huge difference in people’s lives, by keeping them competitive in the job market and well as put them in line for promotions or new opportunities as they come up,” said Dr. Husemann. “So many things have happened in this country in the last six years I just felt the time was right to make an exception to our six-year policy for 2011.”

For the next three terms former students who re-enroll in graduate programmes at the International College, will have all their previous courses credited toward their masters degrees, added Dr. Husemann. “Even if they took a graduate course 25 years ago, we will count it toward their masters degree,” he said.

One graduate student, Kerry Salazar, said after a few years lapse in graduate school, she re-entered the masters programme for management education. Like many students pursuing masters degrees, Salazar never actually decided to quit the programme. There were just a number of things that came up including the chaos after Hurricane Ivan and family issues that demanded more attention.

“Juggling work responsibilities and graduate school has not been easy,” said Salazar. “But I only have four more courses to take and getting my masters degree is worth it.”

Students thinking about re-starting can drop in to see Dr Husemann at the Newlands campus., he said. “If you are a former graduate student and you have been thinking about whether this is the right time to get back into the programme and finish your masters degree, then this three-term reprieve may be the extra incentive you need,” Dr. Husemann added.

Classes for the winter term start back on 10 January with registration going on through 7 January and former ormer students can also register for courses online at www.myicci.com

 

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Cayman track star to sit on anti-doping committee

| 28/12/2010 | 23 Comments

(CNS): Our Commonwealth gold medallist has made Cayman history again, this time off the track. Cydonie Mothersill is the first Caymanian athlete selected to serve on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Athlete Committee. Established in 2005, the committee gives athletes worldwide a voice and protects their rights, while providing agency officialswith insight and oversight into athletes’ roles and responsibilities as they relate to anti-doping. Her tenure as international athlete representative starts in January. She will serve a three-year term. “I am honoured to serve as a representative to all sportsmen and women,” Mothersill said.

“I believe it is important that WADA officials understand the unique challenges athletes face as we push ourselves dailyto reach the top," she continued. "In speaking up for this branch of the sporting fraternity, I hope to support WADA in developing sensible and effective drug detection and prevention strategies.”

As a member of this committee, Cydonie will also assist in raising awareness about anti-doping and will act as liaison between WADA and international and regional sport organisations as well as governments on the subject of anti-doping initiatives.

Sports Minister Mark Scotland extended his congratulations, describing it as another milestone for both Mothersill and the Cayman Islands. “Once more we have proof that our athletes are world-class, both on and off the track,” he said. “We believe Cydonie will serve the world’s athletes well but she will especially provide a reasoned voice as she represents our region. We wish her all the best with her appointment and with the work that lies ahead.”

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Firms sweat new bribery law

| 28/12/2010 | 0 Comments

(WSJ): Multinational companies have spent millions of dollars beefing up their compliance programs amid a U.S. crackdown on foreign bribery. Now, they are facing a new British law they fear will force them to rethink their compliance strategies and upend their business practices. The new law, called the Bribery Act, takes effect in April. It resembles the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars companies that trade on U.S. exchanges from bribing foreign government officials to gain a business advantage. The British law, however, is more sweeping than its American counterpart, and corporate legal advisers are uncertain how extensive the fallout might be.

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Kittiwake comes sailing in on Christmas morning

| 25/12/2010 | 4 Comments

(CNS): The ex USS Kittiwake has finally arrived in Grand Cayman. The former American naval ship which is to be sunk in order to create a new dive attraction arrived in local waters just before noon on Christmas morning. After seven years of planning and many months of delays and postponements the ship is expected to be sunk some time over the next few days off the north-west end of Seven Mile Beach. The long awaited arrival is a combination of efforts by the department of tourism and the private sector tourism body CITA.

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US firm to tackle dump

| 24/12/2010 | 51 Comments

(CNS): Although US based Wheelabrator Technologies has been selected as the first choice to tackle the pressing and complex problem of the George Town Land Fill, the chair of the technical committee has said the selection is merely the first step in the negotiations over the future of the dump. Canover Watson told CNS on Thursday that the CTC had approved the selection of the technical team, which he chaired. He pointed out, however, that while Wheelabrator looked to be the best people for the job, there would still be significant issues to discuss with the firm over the best way forward and then, ultimately, the costs involved. (Photo by Kerry Horek)

Watson said that, on paper, as one of the largest companies in the US specialising in waste-to-energy, the team believes Wheelabrator has the necessary experience, expertise and the resources to address ‘Mount Trashmore’, but it is not yet a done deal.

There were ten responses to the request for proposals, which went out last month, Watson confirmed. He said that four did not meet the requirements, but from the remaining six three emerged as the front runners and Wheelabrator was the first choice.

“We gave very careful consideration to the six bids which met the criteria, given the complexities of dealing with the landfill,” he said. “Although we feel Wheelabrator offers the best solution, the details of the deal are yet to be finalised in terms of costs as there are a number of options for how the problem of the landfill will be tackled.”

He said Wheelabrator, which is part of Waste Management Ltd, a leading global company in the field, has significant resources available to them and is best placed to come up with a solution.

“At this stage, however, it is difficult for anyone to offer a detailed, definitive, fully costed out solution, so we will continue to negotiate how we move forward with Wheelabrator,” Watson added. He explained that the technical team has been asked by the ministry to stay on and continue to be involved in the negotiations alongside the ministry’s experts.

The next step now, he explained, was to meet with Wheelabrator at the earliest possible date in the New Year to work out the details of the project with an eye to starting to tackle Grand Cayman’s ongoing waste problems and the unsightly Mount Trashmore before April. “Once we have decided what the best options will be from those offered by Wheelabrator, we will go back to CTC to ensure value for money,” Watson said.

Unlike the usual tendering process, as this is a privatisation project which will still involve cost to government, Watson said it cannot be seen in the same type of tender, where a specific one-off job is required by government and to be paidfor from the public purse. He said there were many variables with regards to the solution, as it will involve mining the dump, recycling and waste-to-energy production. He said there would also need to be negotiations involving CUC with regard the power generation.

“This is not a sign off but is a step towards the solution and we hope that Wheelabrator will be the company that can solve our waste management problem," Watson said.

Speaking with CNS, Cline Glidden, who is government’s project leader on the dump issue, said he was delighted that a firm had been chosen and that one of the most pressing issues which government was committed to addressing was moving forward.

“It is great to hear that someone has been selected and one of government’s key strategic projects will be moving forward. Many administrations have attempted to address this issue and have been unable to do so. I am excited about the prospect of finally moving forward with this,” the MLA said.

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Joy rider smashes up luxury car

| 24/12/2010 | 6 Comments

(CNS): A young man may be spending Christmas behind bars after smashing a stolen black Porsche into a wall last night following a police chase. The 20-year-old suspected joy rider was arrested this morning and remains in police custody. The chase took place along Bodden Town Road at around 8.55pm Thursday, police revealed. Officers were travelling behind the stolen Porsche, which was travelling at high speed towards George Town. Police signalled the driver of the car to stop, using both blue lights and klaxons. The driver of the car did not comply with the police instructions, however, and a short time later the car collided with a wall in the Armstrong and Shamrock Road area.

The two male occupants of the Porsche bailed out of the vehicle and made off from police on foot. Neither of them appeared to be injured, police said. A search of the area was conducted and the vehicle was removed from the location to undergo forensic examination.

Following a police operation in the Bodden Town area this morning, a 20-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident.

Bodden Town police are appealing for witnesses to the incident to come forward. Information can be passed to Bodden Town CID on 947-2220 or the confidential Crime Stoppers number 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Qatar PM pops in and out of Cayman

| 24/12/2010 | 69 Comments

(CNS): One of the world’s biggest yachts was anchored off Seven Mile Beach yesterday for only a brief period before heading off to Mexico. The Al Mirqab is one of the largest yachts ever built and it belongs to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar. Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani and his entourage, who are said to be travelling the Caribbean on business and pleasure, cruised into Grand Cayman yesterday from Cuba with plans to spend some vacation time here. However, sources tell CNS that the oil rich Gulf state PM changed his mind and decided to go to Cozumel instead. The airport confirmed that a private pre-arranged aircraft which had come to collect VIPs landed safely and departed soon after.

Al Thani’s luxury helicopter reportedly carried him from his mega yacht to his private A320 at the Owen Roberts International airport. Although there is no official confirmation on the reason for the party’s sudden departure, sources say that the view from the deck may not have been to the liking of the wealthy member of Qatar’s royal family.

The yacht, which flies a Cayman Islands flag, is 133 metres long and can accommodate 10 guests in 5 guest apartments with one VIP suite for the yacht owner. The apartments each have their own bathroom, living room and double bedroom. Amenities on board include a cinema, outside bars, inside and outside jacuzzi, sunbathing decks, a helicopter pad and a crew of 60.
 

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Armed man robs local shop

| 24/12/2010 | 24 Comments

(CNS): It seems Grand Cayman’s robbers are not letting up over the Christmas period. An armed man wearing a black balaclava, black jacket and blue jeans held up a local convenience store in West Bay around 9:30 last night, police say. West Bay detectives are now hunting the armed man who threatened staff with what appeared to be a firearm and demanded cash at Three N Variety Store in Batabano Plaza, on Thursday evening. He made off with an undisclosed sum of money and was last seen running into Boxelder Street, police revealed. The suspect is described as being 5’4’’ in height. No shots were fired and no-one was injured in the incident.

Anyone who was in the area at the relevant time who witnessed the crime or thesuspect making off from the scene is asked to contact West Bay CID on 949-3999 or the confidential Crime Stoppers number 800-8477 (TIPS).
 

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Cayman plans tax deal with Indonesian government

| 24/12/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands government has concluded the negotiations for what will be the country’s twenty first tax information exchange agreement once it is signed. This latest deal is with the Republic of Indonesia whose officials came to Grand Cayman for a meeting in early December. Both delegations agreed on several areas of common interest and proceeded to initial the agreement. Head of the Cayman Islands delegation, Attorney General, Samuel Bulgin said the Ministry of Finance was pleased to host the Indonesian delegation for the first time.

On behalf of the Negotiation Team, he said, “This agreement signifies the development of a new partnership between the Cayman Islands and Indonesia, which will ultimately render further transparency and business between the two countries. We certainly look forward to a prosperous working relationship and hope to finalise and sign the TIEA early next year.”

The Indonesian delegation was headed by Director of Taxation II, Directorate General of Taxes, Ministry of Finance, Achmad Sjarifuddin Alsah. Also present were Indonesian Deputy Director of Tax Treaty and International Tax Cooperation, Astera Primanto Bhakti; Section Chief of International Tax Cooperation, Heny Purwanti; and Staff of Treaty Tax of International Cooperation, Partomuan Transparanter Juniult.

Cayman’s TIEA Negotiation Team members included George McCarthy; Langston Sibblies; Kenneth Jefferson; Duncan Nicol; Jacqueline Jefferson-Ziemniak and Yainelys Ebanks from the Financial Services Secretariat.
 

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