Archive for September 9th, 2014

No sign of new Chikungunya cases

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(CNS): Cayman’s continuing efforts to contain the Chikungunya virus as it spreads across the region are still working as there have now been no new cases for more than six weeks. Despite suspected blood samples being sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad on a weekly basis the total number of cases in Cayman remains at five. Public health officials received two test results this week which were both negative and sent a further three for testing. So far 31 samples since Cayman’s first case in June have been tested. Only five cases have been positive, one inconclusive and 22 were negative and just three samples sent Monday are outstanding.

To date,9,640 confirmed and probable cases of chikungunya have been reported in 31 countries across the region.

More information can be obtained through and regional updates can be accessed by visiting the CARPHA website on In addition United States updates are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on

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Bodden Town win shield at season opener

| 09/09/2014 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Bodden Town’s Rico Brown carried his club to victory on Sunday at the local football league opener with two goals in the 56th and 66th minutes. Signalling the start of the Cayman Islands Premier League season the CharityShield match between the reigning league champions Bodden Towns FC and Elite the FA Cup holders was a disappointment for the team from the capital who had managed to get the ball in the net against their rivals in the first half but the goal was ruled offside. Following the charity opener the league begins in earnest Saturday When Bodden Town take on Cayman Brac at the Annex.

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Bahamas set for sweeping changes to gaming industry

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(CNS Business): The government of The Bahamas has decided to go against the result of referendum and press on with the proposed comprehensive legislation aimed at regularizing the gaming industry in the country. The referendum to legalize gambling for citizens in January 2013, which cost taxpayers $1.2m, resulted in a ‘no’ majority vote. Nevertheless, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said the government could not avoid moving forward with regularising number houses because the Central Bank of the Bahamas warned that unregulated web shops were expected to harm the financial services sector. Casinos on the islands have applauded the proposed regulations. Read more and comment on CNS Business

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Reading rates show major improvement

| 09/09/2014 | 8 Comments

(CNS): The education minister has said that government schools are improving reading rates with an increase in student performance of some 44% at year six.  Over the last three years teachers, students, and parents “rose to the challenge,” Tara Rivers stated Monday, in her international literacy day message, when she said 76% of students are now leaving primary school reading on grade level. While in secondary school in 2011, 59% of year 11 students received a Level 2 pass in CXC English in 2014 it was 70%. Improving literacy standards continues to be a high priority for the minister who pointed to a number of out of school as well as in school programmes. 

“We are committed to providing support for our most at-risk students through interventions like Levelled Literacy Intervention,” she said. “These programs are a continuation of the joint efforts of Literacy Is For Everyone Ltd. (LIFE) and the Department of Education Services’ Literacy Team. We are also supporting our teachers through the improvement of school libraries and teacher resources rooms.”

See Rivers full statement below

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Governor says cops are coping with crime

| 09/09/2014 | 15 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): In an exclusive interview with the local television station to mark her first year in office, the governor has said she thinks the police can cope with “spikes in crime” but that the social issues need to be addressed as she pointed to the age of some very young people accused of burglary. Despite another crime surge, Helen Kilpatrick also pointed to RCIPS statistics that claimed break-ins are down. In the interview which was published on the day that Cayman marked its first murder for 2014, the governor talked mostly about the lighter side of her work, including being chased by fish, the Cayman Cook-off and how lucky sheis to live at Government House. Kilpatrick came to the Cayman Islands in September 2013 and has had a very low key twelve months. She is responsible for national security among other issues.

“I think we have all been shocked at just how young some of the children recently arrested for burglary have been. There are far too many burglaries, but this year there have been11% (or 50) fewer burglaries than last year,” she said, adding that Cayman was still the safest part of the Caribbean.

“Daily intervention by RCIPS has served to put a lid on the worst of the gang activity. Everyone will remember only too well the shootings in 2011, which saw 5 deaths in nine days. Gang issues haven’t gone away but the excesses have been controlled by targeted policing,” she said just ahead of the death of Solomon Webster from West Bay, who is believed to have been shot by a West Bay gang member.

She said family break-down was responsible for 11-year-old burglars, which she said could not be blamed on the police “The police are not going to solve those ills, but have to hold line whilst wider social policy is introduced to address the social problems experienced by sections of the community,”

the appointment of Kilpatrick, who is a public finance expert, marked an historic break by the Foreign Office to select a number cruncher to one of its remaining colonies rather than a diplomat, likely hoping that she would help the local government toe the financial line.

Despite the continued warnings from the Office of the Auditor General about the very poor quality of public finance management and governance in general, the governor said she believed the country was “performing very well” and government was on course to be compliant with the financial framework by 2016. 

“This will be a very considerable achievement that will put the Cayman Islands on a sound financial basis for the future,” she told Cayman27.

The governor also said that she had a good relationship with the current administration and announced that the premier, Alden McLaughlin, and financial services minister, Wayne Panton, will be going to London next month to meet the FCO’s new overseas territories minister, James Duddridge.

See the transcript of the governor’s answers to the questions below or go to Cayman27.

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Bush case brings leading QCs for courtroom battle

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(CNS): The criminal case against the former Cayman Islands premier McKeeva Bush has attracted a team of lawyers from the UK on both sides of the courtroom battle. Bush who instructed the local firm Travers Thorp Alberga has called on the services of leading international lawyer, Geoffrey Cox QC, (left) who is also a serving Conservative MP in the UK parliament. Meanwhile, the crown has instructed a legal star in the corruption field. Duncan Penny QC hasworked with the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Conduct Authority and was recently involved in the News International phone hacking trial.

Both men have arrived in Cayman with support from their UK chambers for what is expected to be a four week trial. Cox is supported locally by Michael Alberga and has junior counsel William Frain Bell from his London chambers, who is a specialist in international arbitration work.

Cox who became a QC in 2003 is the UK MP for Torridge and West Devon but he continues to practice law as well as being an outspoken advocate in the House of Commons on rural affairs. He was also a member of the Standards and Privileges committee until January of this year. 

Cox has appeared in many high profile cases on the international stage including here in Cayman. Before becoming a QC, Cox was Standing Counsel to the government of Mauritius. Described as “flamboyant” and “extremely persuasive” his experience is covers a wide spectrum of law. His criminal cases include the Cayman Islands’ Eurobank trial and a series of trials of police officers accused of corruption all of whom were acquitted.

On the other side of the bar Duncan Penny was appointed as QC earlier this year. However, his new Silk status does not mean he will not be a formidable opponent for Cox. Instructed by the director of public prosecutions and supported by Toyin Selako from the DPP’s office, Penny has also brought a junior from his London Chambers, Peter Ratliff an expert in corporate crime.

Penny is described as “excellent and extremely bright” with expertise in economic crime including corruption and fraud. Formerly standing counsel to the Department of Trade and Industry, he is currently retained in separate matters by the Serious Fraud Office he is highly regarded in the fields of corruption and fraud.

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