Archive for May 1st, 2011

DoE reminds public of penalties as conch season closes

| 01/05/2011 | 5 Comments

(CNS): The opportunity for people to take conchs and whelks from the ocean is now over and anyone found poaching or purchasing the sea creatures could face tweve months in prison, a half million dollar fine and have their boat seized. The Department of Environment (DoE) reminded the public that the closed season for conch and whelks started on Sunday1 May and runs through until 31 October 31. No one may take conch or whelks from Cayman waters , or purchase, receive or possess conch or whelks taken locally during these months. Contact the DoE at 916 4271 (Grand Cayman), 926 0136 (Cayman Brac), or 926 2342 (Little Cayman) or call 911 to report violations of any marine conservation legislation.

Vist the Department’s website at www.doe.ky for more information on marine conservation in the Cayman Islands.
 

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Man injured in street robbery

| 01/05/2011 | 12 Comments

(CNS):The victim of a street robbery on Saturday night received a wound to his head that appears to have been fired from a pellet gun. Police said on Sunday that the victim who chased after two men who had taken his wallet and jewellery, after threatening him with a machete received an in oval shape wound to his forehead after he heard an explosion. The robbery reportedly took place around 10pm last night in the area around Archie’s Bar and Funky Tangs. Police responded to an anonymous caller who stated that they had observed four young boys with masks on Sheddon Road. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

When the police arrived they discovered that a male victim had been robbed by two men who held machetes to his neck while they stole his wallet and chain. The male victim then chased the robbers when he heard the explosion which resulted in the injury to his head.

One of the men was described as being around 5’ tall and the second about 5’7. Both were dressed in long blue jeans and white t shirts. Their faces were also covered with white t shirts and they both carried machetes. The second male was also reported to have carried a small black gun with a red ring at the front.

The incident is currently under investigation by officers from the criminal investigation department. Anyone who was in the area at the relevant time and witnessed this crime or the suspects fleeing the scene are asked to contact the George Town CID at 949 4222 or Crimestoppers at 800 8477. 

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No confidence

| 01/05/2011 | 31 Comments

The country has lost confidence in Mr Bush and the UDP Government. Even those who voted for him at the last election realize that he is failing the country. Some of his ex-supporters criticise him openly. Those who want to speak out on his behalf can find nothing good to say about his achievements, so they rant against his critics and opponents.

In this time of global economic crisis leading to global unrest, all countries have great need of wise democratic leadership. Many countries that lack such leadership are already suffering terribly, both internally and externally, and it will be years before they recover. In Cayman we have the same need for wise democratic leadership, but the last two years have been a sustained demonstration of unwise undemocratic government.

For a while it was right to give the new government a chance, though some of us thought we knew what to expect. But nowit is frighteningly clear that this government is taking the country down the wrong road. There is no longer a rational basis for thinking it may get better.

After the 2009 election voters hoped that Mr Bush would fix our economic troubles. That was the big election issue. He had blamed our troubles on the previous Government, and said that he was the man to fix them. Many were taken in. They wanted to believe that there was an easy answer to Cayman’s troubles, and they were willing to give Mr Bush a shot at it. But they have been sadly disappointed. He has done nothing. No one feels better off. Many are worse off. Much has been said, but nothing has been done, for the short or long term future of our economy. Only the ostriches still believe his story about the previous government being to blame.

In fact Mr Bush made things worse – by shouting that the country was bankrupt, by imposing ill-considered tax-hikes which he was not big enough to reverse, by failing to put together a sensible plan to deal with the problems and dangers explained in the Miller Report, by playing about with the country’s borrowings (which he has still not explained) and claiming to know more about arranging high finance than his own Ministry or the CTC.

It was only public pressure that prevented him selling the new government administration building. His fiddling with the schools project has served only to delay it and add to the cost. He does not understand that this is the crucial investment for our country’s future. And there is no bigger waste of public funds than leaving a part-built project unfinished – or a completed building unoccupied.

His fiddling with the cruise ship berthing project has got us nowhere. It has shown many of the signs we now recognize from the Cohen fiasco: Mr Bush thinking he knows best or preferring the private advice of friends, jetting off to take personal credit, then having to backtrack, and failing to dispel rumours of improper inducements. And the country pays the price.

In the financial industry there have been good and bad developments, but the good ones are due to the efforts and outlay of the industry itself, and many hours of hard work by a score or more of unsung individuals. Tourism figures improve slowly, but again no thanks to Mr Bush or his government.

Mr Bush has said repeatedly that he will revive the economy; he even gave himself a deadline for announcing and implementing his plan. But everyone now sees that this was just talk. He hasno plan – only the hope that the global economy will recover in time to save his political neck.

He has announced several projects for diversifying the economy, a few of which do sound interesting. But he has made his usual mistake of trying to take credit for a project without giving information about it, without caring about the worries it creates, and without having an assessment of its feasibility, cost, or effect – on the economy or the environment. Nonetheless he struts about saying that he will make it happen. And then he is surprised and aggressive when people ask questions. He seems to think that people should stay quiet and trust him. But he has not earned trust. People do not even trust him, or his colleagues, to keep their hands out of the cookie jar. And nothing has happened.

Mr Bush’s view of democracy, accountability and the Constitution has been clear for many years for all to see. It is quite simple: he believes that power should be in the hands of one unaccountable person – himself. To mention only the most recent demonstrations: he is against one man one vote; he wants to roll back freedom of information; he will not publish, or expose to audit, the accounts of the Portfolio of Finance that would show the true state of government finances when he came to power in 2009.

Some suggest that the answer is a people-initiated referendum to remove Mr Bush from office, or the whole government.But that is a misunderstanding of the new Constitution. It allows referendums to impose decisions on the government, but not to change the Premier or the government. The people cannot themselves change the Premier or the government between elections, only the MLAs can do so. The people can only put pressure on MLAs to do the right thing. That is why the Leader of the Opposition has brought the motion of no confidence.

A motion of no confidence is a serious measure. It is not a political plaything to be fired off whenever the Government makes itself unpopular. But today Mr Bush is not just unpopular. He has had two years, and he has proved again that he is unfit to lead this country – at a time when the country has particular need for wise democratic leadership. Everyone wonders what will be his next foolish, embarrassing and harmful announcement.

We are seeing a replay of Mr Bush’s first UDP government in 2001-5 in which he demonstrated his unfitness as leader; he achieved absolutely nothing of value despite all the talk about decisiveness; and he showed how divisive a leader can be, creating and deepening divisions in our community which are still with us. His colleagues and backbenchers in the UDP, who had originally thought they would keep him under control (and had constitutional power to do so), proved to be incapable. Reluctant to give up power, or to risk it, they stuck with Mr Bush until near the end of his term, before breaking away. Of that so-called “united” team only Juliana O’Connor-Connolly and the three West Bayers stayed with Mr Bush. The others were right to break away, but they should have done so much, much sooner.

So now the question is whether Mr Bush’s colleagues and backbenchers in the present UDP government will do the same as those in the last UDP government. They can be in no doubt about the unfitness of Mr Bush to lead the country, or about their own inability to keep him under control. Will they put the country’s interests first? Or will they hang on to power? That is the question.

It is a vital question for the country. It is the reason why the motion of no confidence was necessary – to confront Mr Bush’s colleagues and backbenchers with the question, to expose them to public pressure, and to compel them to make a public decision for which they personally and individually will be held to account. Let us hope that the pressure is strong, and that the break-up comes now, before more harm is done.

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UK doctor to offer heart tests during Cayman visit

| 01/05/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): UK Cardiologist Dr. Prasad will be at the Grand Harbour Medical centre next week, from 2 – 6 May, working as a visiting specialist. Dr. Prasad worked full-time in Cayman for several years, and since that time has been a visiting specialist at Grand Harbour Medical, temporarily working alongside the centre’s full-time doctors, including Dr Stephen Pickering. As a consultant interventional cardiologist in the UK, Dr Prasad is able to review treatment plans, perform echocardiograms as well as stress tests, 24hour ECG, blood pressure analysis and sleep tests for Cayman patients.

If you would like an appointment with him, call Grand Cayman Medical centre during office hours on 949 4309.

 

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Bankers and hedge fund managers vote down London

| 01/05/2011 | 0 Comments

(FT.com): The UK is a less attractive place to work than other financial centres, according to investment bankers and hedge fund managers. Nearly half of hedge fund managers (47 per cent) and 45 per cent of bankers said employment conditions and prospects were worse than in other jurisdictions, according to a survey of the more than 9,000 members of the CFA Society of the UK. Will Goodhart, chief executive of CFA UK, attributed the negative view to “tax burdens and increasing regulation”. “The banking sector and some hedge funds [in the UK] believe they are under more government regulation and scrutiny than asset managers,” said Goodhart.

Fewer than a quarter of respondents thought employment conditions were better than elsewhere.

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UN agency boss calls for end to corruption

| 01/05/2011 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov has called on public and private businesses to put in place urgent concrete measures to stem the tide of corruption. Addressing a conference in Paris the leader of the United Nation’s office on drugs and crime Fedotov said it is time for the G-20 to turn anti-corruption commitments into action. The event in Paris follows the commitments taken by G-20 Leaders at the Seoul Summit last November where the G-20 adopted an Anti-Corruption Action Plan that provides a common approach for the G-20 to lead by example in the global fight against corruption. It also recognizes that the private sector has an essential role to play.

"As recent events in North Africa and the Middle East have demonstrated, corruption has the power to shake the very foundations of society. Even in regions where peace and prosperity prevail, corruption takes a heavy toll", said Fedotov.

"The international community is grateful for the private sector’s support for the United Nations Convention against Corruption. But now it’s time for business to move beyond declarations to concrete actions. The private sector can play a key role to enhance accountability and transparency and to strengthen the global economy".

Fedotov presented four proposals on what the business community can do to eliminate corruption, according to a release from UNODC. The first was for the private sector to adopt anti-corruption policies aligned with the UN Convention against Corruption. The second was to establish a credible mechanism to review commitments to integrity. The third he said was to invest in strengthening public integrity in developing countries and invest in keeping corruption out of business supply chains.

"In October this year, the Conference of States Parties to the Convention against Corruption will meet in Marrakech, Morocco to take stock of global progress in preventing corruption. I hope that the private sector will use the months leading up to the Conference to develop specific policies and concrete steps to fight corruption," Fedotov added.

The G-20, established in 1999, is a forum for international economic development that promotes open and constructive discussion between industrial and emerging-market countries on key issues related to global economic stability. It encourages public-private partnerships and offers a significant opportunity for developing and implementing initiatives that engage the private sector in the global fight against corruption.

The UN Convention against Corruption is the first legally binding global anti-corruption instrument. It obliges States to prevent and criminalize corruption, promote international cooperation, recover stolen assets and improve technical assistance and information exchange.

 

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Road death on Cayman Brac

| 01/05/2011 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Police have now confirmed that a man has died after a single car accident on Cayman Brac in the early hours of this morning (Sunday 1 May). Sources told CNS that a black Honda Civic rental car crashed into the Cayman Brac Power and Light building on Dennis Foster Road killing the 25-year-old driver, who was the only person in the vehicle. Emergency services arrived at the scene around 2:30am and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. This is the second road death in the Cayman Islands this year and the first to happen in Cayman Brac. (Left: the car which crashed last night has been covered) 

The accident is currently under investigation and specialist officers from Grand Cayman are being flown to the Brac to assist with the investigation.

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