Archive for June 21st, 2012

NDC urges schools to talk about drug misuse

| 21/06/2012 | 0 Comments

smoking-crack-cocaine.jpg(CNS): As the Cayman Islands joins the global community in commemorating International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26 June, the National Drug Council is asking schools to dedicate teaching time or hold events to highlight the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, free from alcohol, drug and substance misuse and abuse. This year’s theme is “Global action for healthy communities without drugs”, which the NDC says poses challenges to the educational system both in terms of health and educational outcomes. Substance abuse has been linked to academic difficulties, absenteeism and school drop-out and the NDC boss said schools play a crucial part in keeping students drug free.

“The active participation of educators, school support staff, students, officials and parents is required to offer the necessary support to those within our schools that abuse substance and to implement evidence-based interventions that prevent substance use in schools,” said Joan West-Dacres, Executive Director of the NDC. “Schools have a critical role to play in improving awareness and equipping students with strategies to make informed decisions about substance use.”

Substance use has a detrimental effect on the prosperity and health of all nations and is well recognised as a significant barrier to both teaching and learning. It has been associated with a host of high-risk behaviours, including crime, illiteracy, unprotected sex and violence, mental and physical health, and traffic accidents.

According to the 2010 Cayman Islands Student Drug Use Survey conducted among Years 7-12, about 54% of students have used alcohol in their lifetime, with 32% engaging in binge-drinking (5 or more drinks in one sitting) during the past month. The study also showed that while 20% of students have used marijuana (ganja) in their lifetime, 14% have smoked cigarettes during the year prior to the survey.

The National Drug Council is currently analyzing the data from its most recent survey conducted in the schools in April of this year.

Despite these frightening statistics, the NDC pointed out that many of Cayman’s students are choosing to refrain from any drug use. The 2010 survey results showed 54% of students not using any drugs. 57% of them also reported that their parents take the time out to talk to them about the importance of avoiding alcohol and drugs and over 40% report being involved in wholesome activities, such as youth groups or sporting practices, weekly.

The commemoration aimed at sensitising the public about substance abuse and its devastating impact on individuals, families and communities will mobilise communities and stakeholders in combating substance abuse. The NDC said it would be preceded by public and private school presentations, youth dialogues, media campaigns and distribution of pamphlets and information sessions. The NDC also stated that it would be pleased to provide support anytime through presentations during the school year.

For more information please call the NDC at Tel. 949-9000, Fax. 949-6264 or email: or visit us at

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Free Caribbean films on show at local theatre

| 21/06/2012 | 0 Comments

Film festival flyer (295x300).jpg(CNCF): The fourth edition of the amazing Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase will be presented from July 9 – 14 in the Studio at the F.J. Harquail Cultural Centre, featuring documentaries, features, short and animated films. The 4th TCFS offers 39 unique looks at the Caribbean and its diaspora. From award-winning films such as the Barbadian/UK documentary Catch A Fire directed by Menelik Shabazz to Eduardo Barberena’s socially conscious and controversial feature Cheila: A House for Maita, to fun animated films such as Jose Garcia’s The Mischievous Rabbit, the TCFS is sure to educate, inspire and entertain audiences of all ages.

The Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase (TCFS) is an annual film festival representing filmmakers from the Caribbean, Africa and its diasporas. TCFS is produced by the Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase Office, a division of the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) located in Havana, Cuba. CNCF is the Organising Committee for the Cayman Islands.
The Showcase is a creative and effective way to share films not readily available online, in theatres or in stores. Organisations, businesses and schools are welcome to attend the Festival as well as browse the film synopses from the various Showcases and rent TCFS films. All films are subtitled when not in English.

TCFS is supported by ICAIC, UNICEF, UNESCO and MINCULT, and seeks to encourage film and audiovisual co-productions among Member States as well as promote the exchange of films and audiovisuals to be disseminated through the national broadcasting TV stations of the Member States.

Three TCFS films will also be shown on Cayman27.
June 27- 20 Years at 7:30pm
July 1 – Free Swim  at 11am
July 4 – 20 Years  at 7:30pm
July 5 – Free Swim at 8pm
July 8 – Free Swim at 11am
July 8 – Baobab Tree at 1:30pm
July 11 – 20 Years at 7:30pm

Click here to download a copy of the official show lineup
Click here to view the 4th TCFS synopses


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Man stabbed in neck is stable, say police

| 21/06/2012 | 3 Comments

crime-scene-tape-706717.jpg(CNS): A 34-year-old man is currently receiving treatment at the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town for a serious stab wound to his neck, police said Thursday. The man was admitted to the hospital in the early hours of this morning after he reportedly received the wounds in the Windsor Park area during a party at Hawkins Drive. Police were alerted after the man was admitted to hospital, where he remians in stable condition. Detectives investigating the incident are now appealing to witnesses to the incident, which reportedly happened around 3:15am when some fifty people were in the area.

Police said they want to speak to anyone who was in attendance at the social gathering and saw anything that could assist the enquiry.

Anyone with information should contact George Town CID on 949-4222,the RCIPS tip-line 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477(TIPS).

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Activist calls for boycott of movie depicting teen rape

| 21/06/2012 | 76 Comments

marylyn (280x300).jpg(CNS): A local activist has called on people in Cayman to boycott Adam Sandler’s latest film as the movie uses the subject of statutory rape for laughs. "That’s My Boy" is a comedy about a 13-year-old schoolboy who has a sexual affair with his teacher. Marilyn Conolly says it glorifies rape and abuse and is no laughing matter. She’s calling for people to boycott the movie on the local big screen. “This movie portrays statutory rape of a 13-year-old child as the basis for the comedic material later in the film,” she told Cayman 27.

“The statutory rape of the child is portrayed as normal behaviour; it is endorsed as appropriate sexual behaviour for a 13-year-old male and shows scenes where the male's friends actually high five him, congratulating him on the relationship with him and his teacher, which in the Cayman Islands is rape.”

Representatives for Hollywood Theatres declined comment, the local news channel reported.

Conolly told CNS, "Having worked on issues dealing with women and children for about  17 years, I have seen the devastating effects of sexual abuse on children both from dealing with this issue in the community and from the perspective of the prison system; therefore I continue to advocate for the prevention of child sexual abuse by training adults to be responsible for the protection of children.  While there are many aspects of this problem to address, I have focussed my efforts on prevention. 

"Despite my views on this film, I do not support censorship especially under the present guidelines for the Cinematograph Board, which is why I did not approach them.  I chose instead to share my views with others in our community who, if they agree with my comments, can choose to withhold their support of this film.  Everyone has a right to their opinion and I understand that we will not all be on the same page. However, discussion is healthy to bringing this issue to light. 

"The important outcome for me is that we as a community begin to speak about the issue of child sexual abuse because regardless of whether persons agree or disagree with my views and my suggestion to boycott, once we as a community start to discuss this issue it is only then that we can make progress on addressing this epidemic that is destroying our community through our lack of knowledge, tacit public acceptance and/or inaction by those who can make a positive difference in the life of a child."

Go to Cayman 27 video

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Chris becomes first hurricane of 2012 Atlantic season

| 21/06/2012 | 0 Comments

chris_jun21b.jpgCNS): Posing no threat to land Chris became the first hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic season on Thursday morning when winds reached speeds of 75mph as the storm trundled towards the northeast some 625 miles off the coast of Canada. Chris is not only the first hurricane of the season but is one of only two June hurricane’s in history to form so far north with the other being Hurricane One in 1893 according to Jeff Masters of Wunderground. Being over such cool waters however means Hurricane Chris is likely to be short lived and predicted to become a post-tropical cyclone on Friday. Meanwhile, a broad area of low pressure over the Gulf of Mexico fuelling the inclement weather in Cayman has been given a medium chance of becoming a storm during the next 2 days.

The NHC said the area of showers and thunderstorms that extends from the north-western Caribbean sea northward into the south-eastern Gulf of Mexico and Florida had a medium 50 per cent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours but warned of heavy rains and localized flooding regardless.

Local weather forecasters in Cayman were calling for improved conditions and a gradual decrease in cloudiness as the area of low pressure moves into the central Gulf of Mexico away from our area.

For more on local weather go to and for regional weather go to

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G20 leaders back automatic information exchange

| 21/06/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): The declaration by G20 countriesin Los Cabos this week that they will be leading by example when it comes to automatic exchange of financial information has been welcomed by groups campaigning against tax havens and offshore financial centres. Campaigners say such jurisdictions should not be allowed to pick and choose who they share information with via tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) with specific countries but should automatically reveal information. With the world’s leading nations backing that position, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) said it was a step in the right direction and would go a long way towards curtailing tax evasion. Read more on CNS Business

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Crisis centre plans crucial annual funding event

| 21/06/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Studies have shown that in economically difficult times, the incidence of domestic violence increases significantly and that three in four women will stay in an abusive relationship because they do not have the financial resources to leave.  Last year the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre received 131 crisis calls and sheltered 30 women and 35 children, including providing them with meals, clothing and other daily essentials. In order to keep offering a safe haven to womanand children in danger the centre depends heavily on its annual major fundraising event in December the Jingle Bell Walk/Run which brings in around $50,000.

Maples and Calder and MaplesFS have partnered with the centre as the major sponsor of the event which is now in its 10th year and has contributed $5,000 to the 2012 event scheduled for 8 December.

“Maples and Calder is committed to many initiatives across the Cayman Islands, but we are particularly supportive of organisations that focus on helping those in need.  Raising awareness is as important as the funding aspect, and the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre is doing a remarkable job in getting the word out about domestic violence," said Paul Lumsden, Managing Partner, Maples and Calder, Cayman.  "The statistics are concerning and we must all do our part to ensure that everyone has the opportunity for a life free of violence.”

Allison Clark, Fundraising Committee Chair of the Board of Directors, thanked Maples and all the sponsors.  “We are well into the planning stage of the 2012 event and are grateful for all of our corporate and individual sponsors.  All of the money we raise at these events goes directly to fund operations of the Crisis Centre and we would not exist without these generous donations.”

For more information on sponsoring the 10th annual Jingle Bell Walk/Run in support of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, please contact Allison Clark at, by calling 749-3340 or visiting

The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, established in 2003, is the first and only safe shelter for the victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault in Cayman. 


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UN Environmental Summit Opens in Rio

| 21/06/2012 | 0 Comments

(TIME Business): Leaders from around the globe gathered Wednesday to open three days of talks at the United Nations conference on sustainable development, where a sober, unambitious mood prevailed as negotiators produced what critics called a watered-down document that makes few advances on protecting the environment. Negotiators worked for months to hammer out a document that many hoped would lay out clear goals on how nations could promote sustainable development — making economic advances without eating up the globe’s resources.

But with time running out, contentious issues like technology transfers from rich to poor nations and new financing for developing countries were set aside. Diplomats agreed on what all call a mere beginning, a step toward a roadmap on how to embrace sustainable development at the conference dubbed “Rio+20″ — coming two decades after the landmark 1992 Earth Summit put sustainable development on the globe’s agenda.

'The future we want has gotten a little further away today. Rio+20 has turned into an epic failure. It has failed on equity, failed on ecology and failed on economy,” said Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace. “This is not a foundation on which to grow economies or pull people out of poverty, it’s the last will and testament of a destructive twentieth century development model.”

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Governor says LA calendar based on budget

| 21/06/2012 | 2 Comments

Throne Speech by the Governor.jpg(CNS): In his response to the opposition leader about the unconstitutionality of the most recent meeting of the Legislative Assembly, the governor has avoided commenting on its legality but has pointed the finger at the budget delay. In response to a letter from Alden McLaughlin sent to him last week, Duncan Taylor said the proroguing and recalling of the country’s parliament on an annual basis is “inextricably linked to the preparation and presentation of the budget” and the delivery of the throne speech and budget address. As the premier, who is also the minister of finance, had not prepared the budget until last week he has been unable to give the governor a date to reconvene the LA.

In his letter the governor states that following Friday’s meeting he officially prorogued the LA, but he fails to address McLaughlin’s main concerns about its unconstitutionality. Taylor does, however, make it clear that the circumstances have arisen as a direct result of the failure of the premier to notify the governor’s office of his plans over the budget address.

Despite the lack of direct comment about the constitutional problem that McLaughlin had drawn to his attention, the opposition leader said Wednesday after receiving the letter that the purpose in writing had been served. “I think the governor has got the point,” McLaughlin told CNS.

The opposition leader explained that, despite comments made by the premier, his letter had nothing to do with the details of the business carried out last Friday during the meeting, which had past the deadline for the parliamentary year end. McLaughlin said it was about drawing a line in the sand regarding the constant abuse by the current government of proper processes when it comes to the Legislative Assembly.

“I wished to draw attention to the repeated abuse of the system and the governor’s silence on the unconstitutionality speaks clearly,” the opposition leader added.

Despite the issues regarding the legality of the most recent meeting of the country’s parliament, which was boycotted by the opposition, Taylor confirmed that it has now been formally prorogued as of Wednesday 20 June and has been gazetted.

In his letter to the leader of the opposition the governor states that “efforts to finalize the budget are on-going” but he gave no date for when he will be in a position to deliver the Throne Speech, paving the way for the premier to present his budget, which is currently in the hands of the FCO.

See related stories:

Opposition boycott

UK asks for more on budget

See governor’s letter to opposition leader below.

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UK asks for more on budget

| 21/06/2012 | 31 Comments

(CNS): The UK has asked the Cayman Islands Government for more information on the budget that was submitted to the UK last week. Sources tell CNS that the FCO has not been given the necessary details on the CIG’s spending plans to offer its approval. In light of the request, the premier’s hopes of delivering the budget on Friday have been dashed and the chances of the budget making it to the floor of the Legislative Assembly and through Finance Committee before the end of the month have almost slipped away. The UK is unlikely to approve the premier’s request to add to the national debt unless it can see some evidence of cuts and real efforts to properly balance the public finances.

With public spending on the increase and a budget that does not balance once capital expenditure is included, UK approval for the borrowing is unlikely to be forthcoming. If the UK does not approve the borrowing, which is believed to be more than $40 million, the premier will have to either make cuts or go without the extra funding, which he says is needed to complete the schools and the remand centre as well as launch his solar panel project.

Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin said Wednesday that he was increasingly concerned about the situation over yet another budget fiasco and Finance Minister McKeeva Bush’s inability to balance the books. He pointed out that this was the UDP’s third budget to be presented late and that the premier could no longer point the finger at the previous administration.

“To say it is worrying is an understatement. The budget is running contrary to the rhetoric from government, contrary to the three year plan he agreed to and contrary to the financial framework agreement he signed. I believe we are in a really bad situation. He can no longer blame the PPM for this. Deficits aren’t carried forward; these are his budgets,” McLaughlin added.

He described the tardiness of yet another budget as inexcusable and questioned how the premier, as minister of finance, believed he could deal with the most important thing government has to do while he was partying in London and Panama.

Anticipating many problems with the budget, McLaughlin said the process usually takes three weeks and that there was now no way the budget could go through the proper scrutiny in time for the year end. He said Bush would be forced to invoke emergency legislation to appropriate a temporary budget so government could function.

As part of the CIG’s agreement with the FCO all borrowing must be approved by London and the financial framework agreement (FFA) also requires a balanced budget, all of which must be presented to London three weeks before the Throne Speech. Bush should have sent the spending plans to the UK several weeks ago in order to be certain of making the financial year-end deadline; however, he did not forward his plans to the FCO until the end of last week.

With Bush presenting spending plans that do not include capital expenditures in operating expenses, the budget is not, despite his claims, in surplus. In addition, the borrowing requirement is in sharp contrast to Bush’s own claims that the government would do no more borrowing. The OT minister is unlikely to agree to the borrowing unless he sees evidence of genuine cuts in public spending.

See related story:

Borrowing to be budget jam

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