Archive for October 21st, 2008

Arrests made over child rape

| 21/10/2008 | 19 Comments

(CNS): Two men have been arrested on suspicion of rape and are currently in police custody. Police said that the arrests are in connection with an investigation by the Family Support Unit (FSU) surrounding an allegation of a serious crime against a child, made Monday night, 20 October. According to police, there is just one rape in law which applies to both children and adults.

Acting Detective Inspector Doris Morris, Acting Head of the FSU, is leading the investigation.

However, police emphasis that an email in circulation relating to a man wanted for rape has not been issued by the police service. The email which is accompanied by a photo, claims that the man is on the run for raping a 5-year-old girl.

A release from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) said that as a matter of policy, the Service does not release details of wanted people to the media or the public, but welcomes any information from the community about crimes that have taken place.

“The RCIPS understands the feeling around allegations such as this, and implores the public not to take matters into their own hands,” the release says.

Anyone who would like to speak to an officer about crimes of this nature should contact the Family Support Unit on 946-9185. Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward ofup to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.


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Good news for Oprah fans

| 21/10/2008 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Oprah fans in the Cayman Islands can finally watch the Oprah Winfrey Show now that WestStar TV Limited is showing CBS 4 out of Miami, Florida on cable channel 2. Oprah airs on CBS 4 weekday afternoons. Last month, WestStar TV was able to secure ABC and NBC out of Miami and the addition of CBS 4 represents WestStar’s continued commitment to improve product and service offerings to customers, the station says.

WestStar Cable Operations Manager, Traci Bradley said, “We are delighted to be able to offer CBS 4 and subscribers who have been missing The Oprah Winfrey Show can tune in weekdays at 3:00 pm Cayman time (4:00 pm when daylight savings ends) to cable channel 2. CBS 4 also offers South Florida news, weather and sports, which is relevant to us here in the Cayman Islands.”

Subscribers may have noticed the change from last week as engineers tested the network feed. It is now up and running and the programme guide has been updated.

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Divers invited for reef research

| 21/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) is inviting advanced open water divers with at least 50 logged dives to participate in their Dive With A Researcher (DWAR) programme on Little Cayman 10 through 17 January 2009. Participating divers will help scientists determine whether the loss of corals is resulting in detrimental effects on other components of the reef system. (Photos by Diana Schmitt)

The DWAR Biodiversity and Reef Resiliency project will also look at whether there are changes in how the reef functions, and if marine reserves are capable of protecting our coral reef biodiversity. This project will document the abundance of the major organisms that are competing with, and possibly out-competing, corals, such as tunicates, sponges, anemones, and fleshy algae using visual surveys and underwater photography techniques.

Participants will have the opportunity to assist with surveys of bottom dwelling organisms using transects to detect long term changes in community structure and the effects of no-take Marine Parks, and with surveys to document the diversity, abundance and habitat preferences of benthic species.

The Reseacher for the project is oceanographer, Dr Carrie Manfrino, who is also the president and founder of CCMI, and who headed a team of marine scientists that completed the first and largest regional expedition to understand the distribution and structure of the reef communities around all three Cayman Islands. This study continues to provide a reference for current and future research.

Any passionate certified diver who is looking for a better understanding of coral reefs and the research that is taking place to preserve this environment can apply. Successful applicants will stay at the Little Cayman Research Center (LCRC), which has dormitory style sleeping accommodations, a screened in dining area, an off-the grid sustainable development bathhouse, laboratories, library, boats and a multi-media classroom. During a morning 2-tank dive, participants will be asked to perform certain tasks to aid the researcher in data collection. The afternoon s are free for bird watching, snorkeling, iguana watching or just relaxing in the warming Caribbean sun.

Over the last 25 years, coral reefs in the Caribbean region have declined, and globally reefs arefacing an increasing number of severe threats; pollution, human population pressure, global warming and simple carelessness are putting our marine environments under great stress.

The DWAR program was developed to give passionate divers, a resource to learn more about what they love, while simultaneously helping support the research operative, a CCMI release explains. One of the research goals of this non-profit oranisation is to gain a better understanding of what is causing the decline in health of our reefs and what could contribute to a more resilient reef. One way to reach this goal is to get the word out to the public and get people involved.

Other DWAR weeks are planned for later in the year. For more information, go to or email



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Dick Francis and Books & Books

| 21/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Fans of the many thrillers written over the years by ex-jockey turned author, Dick Francis, have the opportunity to meet the man himself together with his son, and now co-author, Felix Francis at a reading and signing their new book, Silks, at Books & Books on Saturday 25 October at 7:00 pm. In Silks, the father-and-son writing team return to the familiar world of horse racing for their latest page-turner.

The plot of Silks surrounds barrister Geoffrey Mason, who sets aside his wig and gown and heads to Sandown racetrack to don his colourful racing silks. As an amateur jockey, he fulfils his true passion by pounding the turf in the heat of a steeplechase. Yet when a fellow rider is brutally murdered – a pitchfork driven through his chest – Mason’s racing hobby soon becomes too close to his work.

The prime suspect is one of their brethren, champion jockey Steve Mitchell, and the evidence against him seems overwhelming. Mason is reluctant to heed Mitchell’s pleading for legal help, but he soon finds himself at the centre of a sinister web of violence, threats and intimidation. Mason is left fighting a battle of right and wrong, and more immediately, a battle of life and death – his own.

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Hedge Funds in mass sell out

| 21/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(FT.Com): Troubles mounted for some of the world’s biggest hedge funds yesterday as Highland Capital Management told investors it was shutting down two of its funds and details emerged of big losses at TPG-Axon. The problems in the sector have set in motion a vicious cycle in the markets as hedge funds sell holdings to return money to worried investors, triggering further price declines and prompting more withdrawals. Go to article.



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Online resource for parents

| 21/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The dangers lurking on the Internet and how to guide children through them is one issue that parents today often feel at a loss to deal with. However, a new resource is on the way with the development of the website, which will provide forums, links, video and step-by-step installation instructions for relevant software.

“The Internet is the Wild Wild West,” said to Dr Jonetta Delaine Mosley-Matchett, who is behind the website. “Parents have no place to go to share tips with each other get information. My heart goes out to them.”

“OurChildren” is not intended to give all the answers, she said, but will be as useful and interactive as possible and she is appealing for people, particularly those who have relevant expertise, to be part of the development. “This is very much in the embryonic stage, said Mosley-Matchett. “One thing I would like to do is to get older teens and people in their young twenty’s involved. Kids speak in a different language, so they could help younger kids.”

A published author, Mosley-Matchett has an MBA and a PhD in Business Administration, both from the University of Texas at Arlington, where she has also lectured. She also has a Juris Doctor, and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology. She wrote her dissertation on Internet-based masked marketing, which gave her the opportunity to study the impact of issues surrounding the web.

She said that among the online dangers are the opportunities for cheating in exams, pornography and theft (pirating) of music. Online predators can pretend to be another child, making them believe that they are the only ones who understand them. Frequently the person they are “chatting” to is someone they know – online abuse is not always by stranger, said Mosely-Matchett. The web has also given rise to cyber bullying, a direct attack on a young person’s self esteem and social status, which are very important at that stage in life and can be devastating to the point of suicide, particularly in girls but boys are vulnerable too.

“I really want parents to understand and to teach their children about the dangers of the Internet, just as they would teach them that crossing the road can be dangerous. You can’t teach this if you’re ignorant,” she said. “I want this to be a good repository – I was shocked at how little resources are available. There is software for parental control but not much in the way of really good information.” As well as the online resource, Mosley-Matchett is hoping to organise meetings once a month so parents can talk to each other face to face.

“The website will be Cayman specific,” she said, noting that the recent video of young people dancing in George Town, which appeared on YouTube, brought it home to people here

Kids are getting on line younger and younger, she said, so the site will be for parents of children of all ages. Screen names can give out a lot of information, she said and noted a particular dangers for teens who express themselves through the Internet, often egged on by friends. “They can make themselves targets – even without the social networking sites – by innocent postings on line. But they don’t realise that even when it is taken down from a site, it never goes away.”

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Dinosaur dance floor found

| 21/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(AP): Geologists say they have discovered prehistoric animal tracks so densely packed on a 3/4-acre site that they’re calling it a "dinosaur dance floor." The site along the Arizona-Utah state line offers a rich new set of clues about the lives of dinosaurs 190 million years ago. Back then, large stretches of the West were a Sahara-like desert. Go to article.

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Cayman crawls up financial league

| 21/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Although the Cayman Islands may rank as the world’s fifth or sixth largest financial jurisdiction in some quarters, when it comes to one important competitive index Cayman is suffering from mid-table blues. However, but the island may rise up the league with a coordinated offence, and Mark Yeandle, Senior Consultant of the Z/Yen Group Limited, says the secret is in the marketing and branding.

A guest of the Cayman Islands Financial Service Association’s special lunch series, Yeandle managed the creation and publication of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), which measures financial centres on competitive criteria rather than statistics, numbers of banks, financial institutions or even assets. The index is published by the City of London Corporation but examines more than 60 cities and jurisdictions and ranks them on the perceptions of thousands of senior financial professionals who use or work in them in terms of how competitive they are.

Speaking to an audience of government and financial sector representatives, Yeandle explained how his index works and what Cayman’s position in the latest survey — number 21 in the middle of the pack up from the previous ranking  of 25 — actually means. With London and New York out in front and Singapore and Hong Kong in third and fourth place, Yeandle said that this particular index is formed on the basis of research taken from a wide cross section of professional financial services experts from around the world. He explained that it is how they perceive each of the global financial centres based on living, working, investing and doing business in those places.

He said that because the index is heavily weighted towards the perceptions that exist about a particular jurisdiction rather than the number of hedge funds, captives or banks, for example, establishing a brand, or developing strong marketing strategies, was an important factor in climbing up the rankings of the GFCI. Yeandle added that all financial centres are heavily influenced by policy makers because of the various criteria, from the quality of life to the ease of recruitingthe right staff, which were all considered in the analysis. He also said the research has revealed that those responding in the survey considered the quality of the regulatory framework to be the most important factor measured for all jurisdictions.

Given the global situation, CIFSA said, this type of index was even more important because how people felt about doing business in a given jurisdiction would carry significant weight in tough times.

Alden McLaughlin, Minister with responsibility for the Financial Services Sector, said that while we must be aware of the differences between an index such as this and ones that are based on statistics that would rank Cayman very highly, this particular table illustrated the perennial problem for Cayman of misconceptions.

“This is not the same as other rankings and should not be confused with them as it is perception based and illustrates the longstanding issue for Cayman, which is the need to address misconceptions. We need to emphasise our role as a global player,” he added. “Given the current world financial situation, Cayman is likely to be in for some more bashing from the major onshore countries and a call for more regulation. We just have to continue to be resilient to this and keep the success that we had for the last 30 years going.”

Yeandle explained that Cayman’s position in relation to other offshore jurisdictions was favourable. Sitting behind Jersey and Guernsey, a hair ahead of the Isle of Man and well ahead of the other Caribbean offshore centres, Yeandle explained that Cayman is not measured in all of the different indexes that contribute to the overall competitive rating, so it ranked relatively well. “Brand Cayman is in pretty good shape but there are areas to work on for the future,” he said.

Although Yeandle was invited to Cayman specifically to give the special presentation at the Ritz Carlton, Ted Bravakis from the Portfolio of Finance and Economics said that the government and private sector bodies would be making the most of Yeandle’s visit over the next few days. Brevakis said a number of meetings had been organized to discuss with Yeandle how he felt Cayman could improve global perceptions about the jurisdiction through improved marketing and branding.

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