Archive for August 19th, 2008

Wild dolphins tail-walk on water

| 19/08/2008 | 0 Comments

(BBC): A wild dolphin is apparently teaching other members of her group to walk on their tails, a behaviour usually seen only after training in captivity. The tail-walking group lives along the south Australian coast near Adelaide. One of them spent a short time after illness in a dolphinarium 20 years ago and may have picked up the trick there. Go to article

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Oil prices leap after Venezuela eyes output cut

| 19/08/2008 | 0 Comments

(AFP): Crude oil prices spiked higher Tuesday after OPEC member Venezuela said it would ask the cartel at its September meeting to cut production if downward price pressure continues. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for September delivery, jumped1.66 dollars to close at 114.53 dollars a barrel. In London, Brent North Sea crude for October rallied 1.31 dollars to settle at 113.25 dollars. Go to article

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Forbes knocked out of 110-metre hurdles

| 19/08/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Ronald Forbes toppled the last hurdle in the quarterfinal of the 110-meter Men’s hurdles at Beijing, knocking him out of the race. He finished the second round with a time of 13.72 seconds and an overall ranking of 26 out of 30 hurdlers. Forbes said he felt really good going into the race, and though he didn’t get as good a start as he did in the preliminary round he made ground to join the pack.

"13.51 was what made it back in and I was pretty sure I was faster than 13.51," Forbes told Cayman Islands Olympic Committee Journalist Shurna Robbins after the race. "But that last hurdle stood right in the way. It was nobody’s fault except mine. I know exactly what I did wrong. Unfortunately it had to happen tonight."

Cayman Islands Coach Kenrick Williams said he thought Forbes got overconfident. “He was clear in 3rd or 4th position, but he was so aggressive over the last hurdle – I think that is what did him in," he said. "It is nobody’s fault. It’s just that you really want to get to the line, but you have one more hurdle to climb before you get to that line."

In recent weeks, Forbes has struggled with an injury but came back strong to set a new national record and a personal best in the first round in the 110 hurdles. In just one season, Forbes had stepped up his performance, reducing his time from 14.28 down to 13.59, which is the equivalent of a bus length in the sport says Forbes.

"Going what I went through this season – I thought it was an amazing season and that is basically how I have to wrap it up," said Forbes.

American David Oliver ran a strong quarterfinal heat in 13.16seconds to advance along with world record-holder Dayron Robles of Cuba (13.19). American David Payne (13.24) also advanced, as well as Jamaica’s Maurice Wignall (13.36), and Ryan Brathwaite of Barbados (13.44). The semifinals takes place Wednesday and the finals on Thursday 21 August.

 

 

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Mothersill through to the semi-finals

| 19/08/2008 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Cayman Islands sprinterCydonie Mothersill qualified for the semifinals in the Women’s 200-metre race in Beijing Tuesday with the same time (22.83), though in a different heat, as Muna Lee (far left in round 1) of the US, tying for ninth place. Her time in the quarterfinal was up slightly after a strong showing in the first round, in which she finished third overall out of 46 with a seasonal best of 22.76.

As Cayman Islands Coach Kenrick Williams pointed out after the first round, Mothersill clocked 22.94 in her last race in July, so this was a good time for her. “A season best is a reasonable time and I know she can go lower but she is conserving her energy to take her through to the semi finals,” said Williams. Mothersill’s personal best in this event is 22.39, which she ran in 2005.

Not happy with her time in the quaterfinals, she told Cayman Islands Olympic Committee journalist Shurna Robbins, "I don’t think I was aggressive enough. I reacted well, but I don’t know what happened. I am just not sure what part of my race I did wrong. But obviously, something went wrong so I have to regroup and go again."

Sherone Simpson of Jamaica, the co-silver medalist in the 100m, had the fastest time, 22.60 seconds in the quarterfinals. Compatriot Veronica Campbell-Brown, Gold medallist in the 200m in the 2004 Games, had the third-best time, 22.64, a hair behind Yuliya Chermoshanskaya of Russia, who finished with a time of 22.63. All three Americans are also through to the next round. Along with Lee, Allyson Felix was timed in 22.74 seconds, and Marshevet Hooker in 22.76.

Roqaya Al-Gassra of Bahrain won the second heat, despite having her head and ears completely covered with a white cloth, her arms encased in a long-sleeve shirt and her legs covered up by sweat pants. She certainly stood out in the crowd of sprinters wearing midriff-bearing singlets and bikini-like shorts.

She declined to speak to reporters, saying only, "I’m happy," as she walked away.

The semi finals will take place Wednesday and the finals are on Thursday 21 August.

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
 

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Construction workers’ insurance required

| 19/08/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Regulations to the Builders Law, which were gazetted 4 August, will become effective when the law comes into force by Order of the Governor – which may be different dates for various provisions of the law. Among the regulations’ provisions is that the Builders Board, which registers businesses and individuals, will register companies as separate from the persons applying for that registration.

The registration applicant has to provide a certificate of insurance showing public liability of $1 million each for these employees: the general contractor, building contractor, residential contractor, and civil contractor. For each sub-trade professional, the applicant must have $500,000 insurance liability.

Elvis McKeever, owner of Island Man Construction on the Brac, believes that provision may put prove prohibative for small contractors. However, the CCA said it was not aware of any contractor who has been priced out of business as a result of having such insurance and that it was affordable.

“However, if there is a majorinjury on the site, a lawsuit could well put the contractor out of business,” CCA President Steve Hawley said. “Public Liability insurance is much like health insurance or pensions. It is an important component in the cost of doing business. There will, however, be contractors who avoid the payment of one or more of these components, as it helps to lower their bid prices so that they may be awarded the contract, in place of a contractor who is acting more responsibly.”

He continued, “Public Liability insurance has become the norm for established contractors. It can be purchased on a single project basis by those contractors who are not busy, or on an annual basis by those contractors who tend to be busy throughout the year. It is relatively inexpensive (less than 2% of the project cost) and can either be regarded by the contractor as an overhead or as a job cost.”

Contractors applying to be registerd will also be required to submitted evidence of provision for workers’ compensation, in accordance with the Workmen’s Compensation Law.

Before issuing a builder’s licence, the Board will conduct a thorough financial responsibility and professional reputation background check on the applicant. Among factors to be considered are evidence of bankruptcy within the last five years; an unsatisfied court judgments against the applicant within the last five years; and a lack of financial stability.

 

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Caymanian Heads Regional Human Rights Initiative

| 19/08/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A Caymanian is heading an initiative spearheaded by the UK, British Overseas Territories (OTs) and Commonwealth organisations that is intended to build human rights capacity in the Caribbean OTs.

Following a global competitive selection process, Marilyn Conolly was selected as the human rights coordinator (Caribbean) for the Commonwealth Foundation. She is one of two coordinators chosen for the project, with the other representing the Atlantic and Pacific regions. The project is intended to help OTs conform with international standards concerning human rights obligations, and to develop country action plans, Conolly said in a release.

As coordinator, she will consult with stakeholders including government officials, community groups, labour unions, professional associations, faith-based organisations, the media, academia, and national human rights institutions. Currently, all regional OTs except Bermuda have agreed to engage in the project, she said.

Conolly, whose office is based in the Cayman Islands Law School, has already visited Montserrat and Anguilla, and is next scheduled to visit Turks and Caicos Islands. Each country has identified a coordinating body that will function as her main contactfor the project; in Cayman, that body is the Attorney General’s Chambers, she said. Her regional visits are scheduled to be completed by the first week of September, after which work will begin on the preliminary report for the country action plans.

The four-year project began on 1 July 2007, and it is funded jointly by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The project is being carried out by the Commonwealth Foundation and its project partners, the Commonwealth Legal Education Association and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.
 

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Gas price lag unavoidable

| 19/08/2008 | 3 Comments

Any comparison of fuel pricing made between the Cayman Islands and the United States is distorted, says Alan Neesome, Country Manger for Esso, because the market and supply logistics are totally different and unequal. He said that Cayman’s comparatively small demand created a lag that was unavoidable given the country’s market and circumstance.

As more people in Cayman query why it is that when world oil prices or those in the US begin to decline prices at the pump in Cayman remain high or even increase, the government says itthat there are a number of complex reasons why prices in Cayman may seem to still be going up even when the price of a barrel of oil decreases and pump prices immediately fall in the US. 

“The USA is an enormous market; they are the largest single consumer of fuel and energy in the world, consuming 20 Million Barrels of oil per day about 24 percent of global demand (86 Million barrels per day). The country has huge fuel storage capacity, extensive pipeline, rail and road distribution networks providing corresponding benefits of scale to pass to the consumer, as a result, price changes are quickly transferred to  the consumer, often daily, sometimes more often,” said Neesome.

With Cayman being a minute consumer in comparison to USA,- only 3 to 4,000  barrels per day depending mostly on CUC demand, Neesome said prices were impacted by numerous other forces. “Esso Cayman schedules deliveries two to three months in advance to secure supplies to ensure the country does not run out of fuel and to get the best price available,” he said. “Cayman fuel volume is very small so Esso consolidates its fuel cargoes with other countries in the region to help reduce unit freight costs. Ships are schedule to load every two to three weeks in summer and after a ship loads it can take another two to three weeks for a tanker to reach Cayman depending on the fuel source and the route.”

As a result there is a significant lag effect in passing on price changes to the consumer in Cayman- whether up or down.  “The fuel being sold in Service Stations today was likely purchased back in mid July at the peak of international pricing,” Neesome said adding that there are a lot of other factors that affect international fuel prices.

“Prices change everyday and the weather can be a major player in hurricane season,’ he said recalling that after Hurricane Katrina international prices jumped more than $1per gallon in just one day before settling back over a number of days.

“No one can predict accurately what international prices may do, there are simply too many components in the equation,” said Neesome. He did however say that fuel prices will soon come down in Cayman If international prices continue their recent downward  trend but that consumers had to understand the factors at play that create the lag.

Both Esso and Texaco the two suppliers of fuel in Cayman have raised their concerns that the government plans to regulate how and when they can increase their wholesale prices will not alter the problem of rising gas prices and the overall international volatility surrounding fuel costs.

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Police blitz West Bay crime spots

| 19/08/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Officers in West Bay recovered several packages of ganja as well as 50 cocaine rocks in a one week anti-crime blitz in the district, named ‘Operation Bury’, designed to target known offenders and crime hot-spots. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) said the one week operation was put together by Area Commander, Chief Inspector Angelique Howell (left) in response to concerns within the community.

“The operation involved many RCIPS departments including West Bay uniform and Neighbourhood Policing as well as K9, the Special Constabulary and the Uniform Support Group (USG),” a statement from the police liaison office said.

During the week that concluded on Saturday, 16 August, police said that during an operation conducted in the vicinity of Super C restaurant, 64 wrapped ganja packages and a car was seized, one man was arrested while three other men who fled from the scene on foot are currently being sought. In another operation in the vicinity of Daisy Lane, 50 cocaine rocks and three medium sized parcels of ganja were seized. Three men, aged between 26 and 34 years, were arrested.

‘Walk throughs’ were conducted by officerson foot, with the assistance of K9, in various areas including Birch Tree Hill, Powell Smith Road, Rev Blackman Road and Captain Joe & Osbert – Govt Homes, where utensils used in the consumption of illegal drugs were recovered demonstrating the areas are used quite frequently for drug consumption.

Officers, including Chief Inspector Howell, carried out foot patrols in various areas within the district, meeting and talking with people and hearing their concerns and suggestions on how the West Bay Police can serve them. A number of road blocks were conducted resulting in various traffic offences being detected including speeding, driving with expired registration and driving without a seatbelt.

A community meeting was also held on Birch Tree Hill Road in the vicinity of the EBO Laundromat and Kelly’s Bar on Friday evening. “This campaign was designed to focus heavily on the areas, and the people, known to be involved in crime or criminal activity,” said Chief Inspector Howell. “We carried out pre-planned operations, high visibility foot patrols and roadblocks, all of which were intended to disrupt criminal activity and put pressure on those committing crime.”

Police added that the campaign also helped to reassure the community that the police do take their concerns seriously and a public meeting was held near the end of the week to allow people to voice their views and concerns.

“Although the meeting was not terribly well attended, we did get to meet some residents and hear from them what issues they have,” said Howell. “The main concerns that we heard about were people receiving a slow response from police, little or no discretion being used for minor traffic violations and the need for more police in West Bay.”

This operation will be carried out in West Bay on a regular basis to ensure that the pressure remains upon those who chose to break the law the police said.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in West Bay should contact their local police station on 949-3999 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs. Chief Inspector Angelique Howell can also be contacted on angeique.howell@gov.ky

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