Archive for September 4th, 2014

UK watchdog backtracks on blacklist

| 04/09/2014 | 0 Comments

Wayne Panton, Cayman Islands financial Services Minister(CNS Business): In a complete about-face following its initial blacklisting of the Cayman Islands and subsequent refusal to remove the jurisdiction from its list a ‘High Risk Countries’, the Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates the UK’s financial services industry, has confirmed that the list has been removed from its website and that it does not plan to publish such a list in the future. It also has committed to a full review of the methodology that resulted in the Cayman Islands being placed on the list. Premier Alden McLaughlin will be leading a small delegation, including Minister Panton, to the UK shortly to further discuss the circumstances around this issue with the FCO and other UK government departments. Read more on CNS Business

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Cayman remains clear of chikungunya virus

| 04/09/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Although public health officials are still sending a few blood samples each week to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad for testing no more new cases of chikungunya virus have been recorded. The results for the last batch of four blood samples all tested negative, the department confirmed Wednesday. Three more have been sent as a precaution but Cayman appears to have been successful in keeping the mosquito borne disease, spreading throughout the region, from Cayman’s shores. The total confirmed cases of chikungunya remain at five from 29 cases since 25 June.

With just three test results outstanding officials said 20 cases were negative and only one was inconclusive. Meanwhile around the Caribbean 9,139 cases have been recorded.

Further information can be obtained through www.hsa.ky Regional updates can be accessed by visiting the CARPHA website on http://carpha.org/What-We-Do/Public-Health-Activities/Chikungunya. In addition United States updates are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/geo/united-states.html
 

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Moxam: crime policy unclear

| 04/09/2014 | 49 Comments

(CNS): With the police receiving reports of break-ins and burglaries almost on a nightly basis in the capital, the president of the Chamber of Commerce said that Cayman can’t just accept crime as the “new normal” or the “price of success”. But with what Johann Moxam called an unclear crime prevention policy being pursued by the authorities, more has to be done to tackle the growing problem. The Chamber has written to the National Security Council asking for a meeting as he says the membership is falling victim to criminal acts involving firearms, damage to property, thefts and burglaries, which is undermining business.

"The responsibilities of the National Security Council (NSC) are outlined under section 58 of the Cayman Islands Constitution. The NSC is supposed to receive regular briefings from the Commissioner of Police on matters of internal security, including the police force,” Moxam stated.

However, it is not clear exactly what the NSC has been doing in recent years. Since the publication of the Crime Reduction Strategy some three years ago, prepared by the Council to set out a long term plan to tackle the country’s growing crime issues, there has been a surge in property related crime.

While serious gang violence may have declined, thefts, burglaries, break-ins and robberies are still plaguing the residential as well as business communities. Although the strategy was about long term issues, it is not clear if government policy is in-line with the recommendations in the report. At the time of its publication the then governor, Duncan Taylor, had pointed to a new oversight post or ‘crime tsar’ to coordinate the plan and ensure accountability.

No such person has been appointed three years on but officials have stated that Robert Lewis, Director of the Policy Coordination Unit in the Cabinet Office, has responsibility for the strategy. (CNS has contacted the Home Affairs Ministry and the Governor's Office regarding the oversight of the strategy.)

Moxam said the police commissioner is responsible for informing the premier of any significant security developments but he is concerned that he may not be reporting enough to the victims and potential victims. Accepting that there had been a number of public meetings with the police in the districts, he said the bigger picture needed more clarity.

“The overall crime prevention policy that is being pursued remains unclear to the Chamber Council and the membership,” he said. “There appears to be a general acceptance by some that this level of crime is the 'new normal' and as a country it appears that that we are becoming desensitized to the reported increase in crime. This is a serious concern to our members, citizens, residents and must now become be a priority for the government.

"Although, many businesses and residents have invested thousands of dollars in expensive and complex security systems more must to done by the authorities to aggressively deter criminal activity and address the root causes of crime.”

He warned that Cayman should not accept the attitudes and excuses. “As a country we must not become so desensitized that we come to view this threat to our quality of life merely as a nuisance or the 'price of success'.”

While Moxam urged people to assist the authorities, he said that the Chamber membership still want to see a more proactive approach taken immediately to prevent a further escalation in crime.

Having written to the Security Council to request a meeting to find out what is being done and what more should be done in terms of policy, the president also stated that meetings were being organised between the membership and RCIPS officers for a more practical assistance.

But with millions having been invested already by the business community in crime prevention, there are concerns about how much more the commercial sector must invest to put an end to the economically damaging but escalating property crime.

See Chamber letter below.

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Second short quake recorded south of Grand Cayman

| 04/09/2014 | 46 Comments

(CNS): The earth was moving again yesterday evening when a second earthquake was recorded in the Cayman area on the same day. This time the tremor registered 5.3 on the Richter scale slightly higher than the morning quake but was a little further away. According to the US Geological Survey the epicenter of the Wednesday’s second quake which happened at 6:34pm was around 27 miles south of George Town at a depth of just over six miles. This followed the morning earthquake of 5.1 some 22 miles south of Grand Cayman at around 5am. There were no reports of any damage or injuries in either event. See details here

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Bodden Town and Elite meet for season opener

| 04/09/2014 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The new football season kicks off with the annualCharity Shield on Sunday with Grand Cayman rivals Bodden Town FC and Elite SC meeting for this important opener. The annual match puts the reigning Premier League Champions against the current FA Cup trophy holders. Based on last season’s statistics the match should be a high scorer. Between them Bodden Town and Elite put 102 of the 309 total goals in the Premier League last season in the back of the net. Led by striker Theron Wood, (left) with 28 Bodden Town had the highest goal scoring output with 61 goals.Meanwhile, Elite talisman Dwayne Wright scored 18 goals to lead his club, in accumulating 51 goals.

The clubs met three times in the 2013-2014 Premier League, Bodden Town scored a 3-1 victory in the opener and the teams played to a 1-1 draw on the second occasion. In the final match up Elite were comfortable 3-0 winners. In the semifinal of the FA Cup Elite got the better of Bodden Town 3-0 again and went on to claim the FA Cup trophy over Roma.

However that's all in the past and Sunday marks the start of a new season with both coaches having everything to play for and seeing this as an important fixture to win.

“This match is very important to set the trend for the season,” said Elbert Mclean of Bodden Town, who led the team to the Premier League title last season. “Bodden Town has trained seven weeks in the offseason, so expect to see a much fitter, faster, hungrier team that will be moving the ball faster.”

This is a rematch of the 2009 FA Cup Final when a young Bodden Town team came from behind to upset the then reigning Premier League Champs. Since the 2009 season Bodden Town has collected league titles at youth and senior levels. Coach Mclean said the recipe for success is simple.“Hard work, a good attitude and a good club structure guarantees success,” said the veteran coach.

Along with a solid youth programme. Bodden Town has promoted three teenagers from the junior set up to the senior team this season.

In West Bay, Elite Sports Club is coming off an uncharacteristic fifth place finish in the Premier League last season. But when Gregory Ebanks’ men ended last season with the FA Cup title they earned the right to compete for the Charity Shield.

“This is a one shot opportunity to win the first Cup of the season,” Ebanks said. “This sets the tone for the beginning of the season to start on a good note by competing well and winning the Charity Shield.”

Elite will be bolstered by the return home of midfielder Jermaine Wilson who recently completed his studies in England. Winning the Charity Shield would set Elite’s goals in motion for the new season, with the main of objective of competing in the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship.

“The ultimate goal is to win the league championship, it is very motivational to see that the monitory rewards have increased…Our primary goal is to get in the top three and aspire to play international competitions like the Caribbean Football Union this season,” Ebanks added.

Part proceeds from the Charity Shield will be donated to the Cayman Islands Red Cross.
Kickoff is 7 pm on Sunday at the T.E Mcfield Sports Complex. For more information log on to www.caymanfootball.com
 

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‘Power’ful support for Haines’ marathon challenge

| 04/09/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With just two more marathons to go in his hospice challenge the entire community is getting behind veteran distance runner Derek Haines. With a target of raising $1Million to build a new patient facility for the local hospice charity Androgroup is the latest in a number of local companies that have offered free practical assistance to the goal to build the Hospice. David Woodcock, the firms director has offered to provide the planning for the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing requirements and will work in conjunction with the architects and other service providers. Haines’ next marathon is in Dublin in October and he is currently three quarters of the way to the target.

"This is fantastic and I am very grateful to Dave and the Androgroup for this generous offer,” he said regarding the latest in-kind donation. “Donations and pledges have been coming in at a steady rate and with two thirds of the marathons now run we are almost two thirds of the way to our CI$1 million target. The offers of help with services and equipment from companies will help considerably in ensuring that the Hospice is a reality."

Despite being 65 years old Haines has already completed four marathons this year around the world and has two more to go including the Dublin marathon on 27 October and then on 7 December when he will be on home turf for the final leg of his incredible challenge.

"Androgroup is pleased to support Derek's Hospice challenge," said Woodock. "Cayman HospiceCare is a great organisation and the much needed facility will serve the whole community."

The firm joins a list of local businesses donating support and services to the challenge which include APEC (Engineers), BCQS (Project management), DART Cayman (Land), Digicel Cayman (Telecommunications) Home Gas, JDF (Doors and windows), John Doak Architecture and Precision Solar. Over CI$669,000 has also been pledged or donated to the cause. Anyone wishing to make a cash donation can do so via the website at six4hospice.com or through the Digicel and Lime text initiative.
 

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WestStar and Cayman 27 sold to Logic

| 04/09/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): Cable TV provider WestStar and its TV station Cayman 27 have been bought out by Bermuda-based KeyTech, the parent company of Logic. In an announcement Wednesday, the KeyTech Group of Companies revealed that its subsidiary, WestTel Limited (Logic Cayman) has acquired the Cayman-based company, British Overseas Territory Cable & Telecommunications (BOTCAT), financed through debt and equity. According to Cayman  27, the purchase agreement has been completed and consent has been granted by the Information Communications and Technology Authority (ICTA). “For now, it will be business as usual for both companies,” the TV station said in its report. Read more on CNS Business

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