Archive for May 2nd, 2011

Eye care at work

| 02/05/2011 | 0 Comments

(LIONS): Taking care of your eyes at work should be a priority. The risks can vary depending on what type of work you are involved in. Considering the amount of hours spent on computers at work, it is not surprising that research shows a rise in visual problems. These problems can include fatigue, red eyes, eye strain, pain in and around the eyes, blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches, and occasional double vision. It is important to find out how you can protect your eyes. Having eye exams and some minor changes can help you achieve this.

Blinking- Computer users tend to not blink enough causing dry irritated eyes. Users should concentrate on blinkingmore often. Artificial tears may help also.
Air flow and low humidity- these factors tend to aggravate dry eyes so pay attention to air vents, etc.
Position is key- Your screen should be an arm’s length away and the center about 4 to 8 inches below your eyes.
Lighting and Reflections- Room lighting should be diffuse in order to decrease glare and reflections. Anti-reflection screens and anti-reflective coatings on the lenses of your glasses can help also.
Computer displays- LCD displays tend to be better than CRT displays, however adjusting the CRT refresh rate (flicker) can help.
Computer glasses- many computer usersneed a pair of glasses to help alleviate symptoms.

If your eye problems persist you should seek professional eye care.

Industrial or Chemical Work

This line of work can present many hazards to the eye. Serious eye injuries can result from inadequate eye protection. The nature of the injury varies widely. Possible injuries include corneal abrasions, chemical burns, foreign bodies in the eye, cataracts and retinal detachments. Depending on the severity, blindness can be a result. However, majority of these injuries are preventable.

Wear appropiate eye protection- Depending on the job, particular eye protection should be used. For example, welders should have a welding mask or safety goggles should be used when hammering or sanding.
Wear proper eye protection- It is important the eye protection glasses/goggles follow industry standards. These glasses are available with or without prescription.
Handle chemicals with care- Manufacturer instructions should be read and followed. Eye protection can also help prevent chemical splash injuries.
Sun Protection- Some jobs require long hours outdoors. This increases exposure to the UV rays which are harmful to the eyes. Hats and UV coated lenses are necessary for protection.

If any of these injuries occur please seek professional eye care immediately. In the case of chemical splashes, it is imperative to irrigate the eye immediately before seeking care.

This article is one of a series regarding eye health in order to mark the Lions white Cane Week
 

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New immigration recruits take to the borders

| 02/05/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Five new Immigration Department recruits have received their badges after completing an intensive six-month training programme to swell ranks and ease the pressure on existing staff as the work load continues to increase for what is already one of the country’s busiest government entities. Jesanna Mencia, Sheria Goff, Alice Edwards, Harry Forbes and Floyd Shaw will be working at the air and sea ports, where they can expect challenging assignments ahead, one of their bosses told them at the graduation ceremony. Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks told the new recruits that they had been handed a lot of authority.

”Be cognizant of that at all time, and don’t abuse it. Guard your reputation and integrity,” he said. “Work hard and develop yourselves to the fullest extent and opportunities will present themselves.”

The five men and women have been working hard over the last six months in the class room as well as hands on work on the job and cross training with other agencies. The recruits have studied local laws as well as learned about human behaviour, geography, psychology and sociology to help them in their work. The training included lectures from both internal and external sources, such as attorney Angelyn Hernandez and Senior Immigration Officer Ezron Anderson.

Former Immigration Chief Franz Manderson, who is now Chief Officer in the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs, said immigration officers should be enthusiastic, professional and committed. He advised the new recruits to educate themselves while staying abreast of current developments.

During the ceremony Officer Harry Forbes took the overall achievement award for outstanding performance in theory and practical application. He shared the top academic spot with Officer Alice Edwards.

DCIO Bruce Smith of Border Control encouraged the support of the new officers’ families “as there will be some difficult times and late assignments.” He added, “Customer service is very important. Represent the department well. You will not be able to please everyone, but do your best.”

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Witnesses chase down robbers

| 02/05/2011 | 79 Comments

(CNS): Police have confirmed that two men have been arrested and a firearm has been recovered following an attempted robbery at Blackbeard’s liquor store in Grand Harbour on Monday afternoon. The two armed, masked men entered the store around 3:15pm but the staff refused to open the till so they suspects ran off, only to be confronted by two members of the public outside the store. Police said that during the struggle with the suspects the witnesses managed to grab the shotgun. The would-be robbers then discharged pepper spray at the men before running off into Selkirk Drive, where they disappeared into bushes. The local men, however, gave chase and followed the suspects and detained them until the police arrived. Sources told CNS that the men used necessary force to keep hold of the suspects as they waited for officials.

An RCIPS spokesperson said the arrests were made some seven minutes after the initial call to the police and no shots were fired, and despite reports to the contrary, no one was injured in the incident.

Anyone who was in the area and saw the incident take place or the suspects running from the scene should contact George Town CID on 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers 800-8477 (TIPS).

 

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Swiss propose tax on US accounts to retain secrecy

| 02/05/2011 | 0 Comments

(SwissInfo): Switzerland has proposed it impose a final tax at the source on money held by US citizens in Swiss banks, according to Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf. In an interview with the SonntagsZeitung, Widmer-Schlumpf said negotiations with the US for a tax at the source had not yet begun. But she said the imposition of a final tax could be a means of resolving differences between the US and Switzerland on issues of banking secrecy. Widmer-Schlumpf said such a tax would allow the names of account holders to be kept secret, while at the same time Switzerland would be responsible for returning tax revenues to authorities of the account holder’s US state of origin.

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Premier gives Will and Kate a piece of Cayman

| 02/05/2011 | 72 Comments

(CNS): Following the royal nuptials last Friday officials have now unveiled the Caymanite sculpture by Horacio Esteban which the country’s premier and his wife took to London as a gift for the royal couple last week. McKeeva Bush presented a truly Caymanian wedding gift representing the earth, sea and artistry of the Cayman Islands. The sculpture is an original piece by Esteban depicting an underwater scene of tropical reef fish and barrel sponges carved from Cayman’s unique stone – Caymanite.

The inscription on the sculpture reads: “On the occasion of the marriage of HRH Prince William of Wales to Miss Catherine Middleton. Presented by the Premier of the Cayman Islands, W. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP on behalf of the people of the Cayman Islands.”
 

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Doctors warn diabetics to take eye tests

| 02/05/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): At the start of the Lions White Cane week local doctors are warning the public to ensure they have frequent eye examines especially those suffering from Diabetes Mellitus a wellknown systemic disease that affects many people. Expert say it can cause many eye problems, all of which can result in vision loss and sometimes blindness. People suffering both type 1 and type 2 diabetics are at risk of glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. Decreased vision usually occurs at the late stages of these eye diseases. There is no pain or any other symptom at the onset hence the necessity for diabetics to have annual eye exams by an eye care professional.

Glaucoma occurs when fluid pressure builds up in the eye. The pressure causes gradual damage to the optic nerve which corresponds to gradual vision loss. Noticeable vision loss occurs later into the disease and is irreversible. There are treatments available for glaucoma and early diagnosis is the key to controlling the progression of the disease. Diabetics are twice as likely to suffer from glaucoma as those that do not have diabetes. The longer the time that someone has diabetes, the more common the occurrence and the risk also increases with age.

Cataracts arise when the lens of an eye changes, becoming cloudy or opaque. If a cataract leads to a great reduction in vision, surgery is recommended. Diabetics are very likely to develop cataracts and to get them earlier in life.

The retina is the part of the eye that works to convert the visual image into a signal the brain can interpret. Diabetic retinopathy develops when diabetes causes damage to the blood vessels on the retina. As the damage progresses, vision begins to decline. Many factors play a role in leading to diabetic retinopathy. The three main factors are blood sugar control, how long the person has had diabetes and family history. Keeping blood sugar levels controlled well either decreases the risk or helps the retinopathy to be controlled or mild. For severe forms, laser surgery is necessary to attempt to save vision.

Early diagnosis is essential for the best possible outcome and control of diabetic eye disease, say doctors.

Check out CNS health pages this week for more articles on eye care and health issues for adults and children.
 

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Bush says legal changes will enhance fund business

| 02/05/2011 | 7 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman government is planning to amend legislation to create a new Mutual Fund Administrators (MFA) license category to attract small to medium or niche service companies, the premier has told an industry magazine. The Cayman Islands leader has given two interviews recently to industry magazines which have featured the Cayman Islands offshore sector and in particular the fund business in special reports. In an interview with AR magazine – a publication of Institutional Investor & Hedge Fund Intelligence, McKeeva Bush said the change was part of the goal to develop greater substance in the area of mutual fund administration. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

“Currently, many of our licensees conduct only one component of mutual fund business, for example, registration and transfer agency services,” he told the magazine. “However, there is no provision in the Mutual Funds Law to allow an applicant to apply for a Mutual Fund Administrators license in order to conduct partial business. The new MFA License will cater to those entities looking to provide registrar and transfer agency services in the Islands. It will require a nominal net worth, professional indemnity insurance, and an obligation to have a principal office on island.”

Speaking with Hedge Fund Review for another Cayman feature, the premier said he was confident that the Hedge Fund sector would continue to be a “significant driver of growth and specialization.” He said it had helped solidify Cayman’s position in the global institutional investment community over the past 15 years.

“While the government does not break down revenue it receives from the financial services industry by sector, we do know that direct revenue from the financial services industry to government revenues is just below 40%,” he said. “We have a strong legal and regulatory framework for hedge funds that the global markets have recognized.”

With the largest proportion of hedge fund domiciles in the world, Bush said, “We see significant opportunity for the Cayman Islands to fully assert our position in the global institutional investment sector by building on success in the hedge fund industry to include reinsurance, investment management and sovereign wealth funds, among other related products and services.”

The magazines also points to the recent legal changes already made to the Company’s Law and the hopes that this will streamline activities in the financial sector. The intent is to increase the attractiveness of the Cayman Islands as a domicile for corporate entities and maintain its competitive edge, the magazine reports. Bush said he believes the amendments will create “new opportunities for growth in this key sector of our economy.”

Meanwhile, Dax Basdeo, chief officer, in the Ministry of Finance, said the amendments were critical in order to bring Cayman into line with or ahead of other jurisdictions.

The two reports feature a cross section of industry and government representatives talking up the industry in the wake of sustained attacks from the onshore world as well as concerns about the impact of regulatory changes such as EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive approved last November. Andrew Morehouse, a Cayman Islands-based partner at law firm Ogier is quoted as saying: “We are happy thatthe directive doesn’t contain any nuclear material for Cayman.”

Meanwhile, Anthony Travers, the former chair of Cayman Finance, said, “This is not peace time,” as he believes “the forces of darkness are gathering” in problematic ways and there were very, very real threats from a number of different sources, all of which one can track back to the short fall in onshore tax revenues.

Go to Hedge Fund Review here

See AR magazine report

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Customs finally offers card payment service

| 02/05/2011 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Officials from the Cayman Islands Customs Department said the recent introduction of card payment services was part of its goal to streamline its operations and enhance its customer service. The department said that following the success of its introduction at the airport customers can now use all major credit or debit cards – with the exception of American Express – at all of its outlets for their imported goods. The move is a long time in coming and in the past customers were forced to pay cash or cheque. This also resulted in the department having to chase bad payments. With Card payments administrative officials said they hoped it would reduce the frequency of returned cheques.

“We aim to enhance customer service by streamlining the process while at the same time removing inefficiencies,” the Collector of Customs, Carlon Powery said. “I am delighted that we have made this improvement at all our collection units.”

Cards will now be accepted at the ocean freight collections unit on Portland Drive, located behind the Port Authority’s billing offices, which is primarily for processing imports via ocean and the Customs Headquarters, located next to Cayman Airways Cargo on Owen Roberts Drive, which caters primarily to clearing goods arriving by air. The dual locations allow importers to complete their customs clearance and pay import duties where their goods are to be collected.

Customs Finance Manager Mitzi Watson-Jervis explained that the services received at both facilities are non-exclusive so imports via air or ocean can be processed and paid for at both facilities.

 

Watson-Jervis said she was encouraged by the positive feedback the department has received since the introduction of the acceptance of card payments at the airport terminal and noted that it was inevitable that the option be expanded throughout the department.

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CCRL selling Cayman arm of Reggae Money Express

| 02/05/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): According to reports in the Jamaican media, Capital Credit and Remittance Ltd is selling the Cayman branches of its money transmission centres ‘Reggae Money Express’. It is not clear which entity is ready to purchase this arm of the firm but reports suggest it is a Cayman Islands’ based company which will be buying up the business. CCRL offers money transfer services in five locations in Cayman as well as more than 78 centers in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. Andrew Cocking, CEO of CCRL’s parent company, Capital and Credit Financial Group (CCFG), told the Jamaican press that the decision was made to sell the Caymans businesses in order to minimize operation costs.(Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

“The entity we are talking to sees it as a positive synergy for themselves because they are also in the Payday loan business,” Cocking said.

With Western Union dominating the money transfer market, CCRL hasaround only one percent of the market share. Statistics from the World Bank recently said remittances were on the rise in Jamaica, Haiti and other countries after sinking by 12 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

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McLaughlin sticks by motion

| 02/05/2011 | 42 Comments

(CNS):The leader of the opposition will not be changing the wording of his no confidence motion against the government and the premier because of the requirements of the constitution. Following calls from the wider public and his former Cabinet colleague, Charles Clifford, to focus the private member’s motion on McKeeva Bush rather than the entire government, Alden McLaughlin said the new constitution specifically calls for a lack of confidence in the government. He explained that the structure of government had changed to a full ministerial system rather than the hybrid which had existed previously and as such it is not possible for the House to vote to revoke the appointments of individual ministers, including the premier. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

The former tourism minister wrote to the opposition leader this weekend offering his support for the motion to oust the government from office. However, Clifford suggested McLaughlin change the wording to give the motion a greater chance of success. He said that the government ministers were unlikely to vote against themselves but he believed at least two Cabinet ministers, though he did not name them, would be likely to vote against the premier as he was “operating as a one man show”, and those minsters could probably bring two backbench members with them.

“I believe that it is true that the majority of people in the country do not have any confidence in the UDP government. It seems equally clear to me that none of the Cabinet ministers will vote against himself or herself as a member of the government and it is unlikely that you will garner the support of all four backbench members of the government,” he said as he recommended McLaughlin amend the motion so that it calls for the Legislative Assembly to specifically declare a lack of confidence in Premier McKeeva Bush.

“I know that all of us would prefer to not be facing such a proposition at this point in time but it should be clear to all that this option, while not ideal, would bring some level of stability and credibility back to our government and country,” Clifford said. “The bottom line is that we cannot sustain two more years of Premier McKeeva Bush’s dictatorial leadership and flawed policies.”

McLaughlin noted, however, that with the 2009 constitution the premier has real responsibility for ministers, including advising the governor on their appointments.

“The governor is required to revoke the appointment of the premier if a motion that the Legislative Assembly declares a lack of confidence in the government receives the support of at least two thirds of the elected members,” he said. At that point the governor can either appoint another member as premier, or if no other member has the necessary support, dissolve the LA without revoking the premier and call new elections, he explained. Once the premier’s appointment is revoked, the other ministers also lose their offices.

“But it is not possible for the House to vote to revoke the appointments of individual ministers,” McLaughlin added. He also noted that the current Standing Orders do not and cannot override the constitutional provisions.

Although Bushwas in London this week for the royal wedding, in his absence the remaining government members publicly offered their backing to Bush as leader of the government at a press conference on Thursday morning. However, Rolston Anglin, who was acting premier since the deputy premier had been hospitalised as a result of high blood pressure, said the motion would be debated in the Legislative Assembly. He said it was nothing more than a cynical grab for power and an attempt to distract attention from the current government’s success in stabilizing the public finances.

McLaughlin filed the motion last week listing 24 major points as to why the country no longer had confidence in the UDP government some two years into its term. Most of the points were as a result of the actions of the premier, and although the motion will in all likelihood be voted down, it will force the members of the House to discuss and defend the premier’s decisions and actions in a public forum.

Anglin dismissed the motion as a grab for power but McLaughlin noted that it could hardly be described as such since the success of the motion would result in the call for a general election and the need for him to give up and fight again for his own seat.

It is not clear when the motion will be debated but this Friday’s date for the re-opening of the Legislative Assembly has been postponed until the middle of the month.
 

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