Archive for September 7th, 2009

Health officials seek to contain TB case

| 07/09/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Officials at the hospital have confirmed that they are dealing with another case of tuberculosis. Medical Officer of Health Dr Kiran Kumar said the Public Health Department is taking aggressive measures to test all close contacts of the patient who has been hospitalised. The senior doctor said that anyone who tests positive for tuberculosis (TB) will be offered appropriate treatment. “TB is spread through the air from one person to another. For most persons who breathe in TB bacteria and become infected, the body is able to fight the bacteria and stop them from growing,” Dr. Kumar explained.

He also sought to reassure the public that measures have already been taken to contain the TB bacteria within the household and work environment of the affected patient. He also emphasised that this case has no relationship with the case reported in May 2009.


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Construction worker in suspect hammer attack

| 07/09/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police say they are investigating an incident at a construction site this morning where a 32-year-old man was allegedly hit on the head with a hammer. Police confirmed that they are treating the incident as a crime and not as a workplace accident. The victim is currently in hospital being treated for his injuries and police noted that his condition is currently being assessed by doctors. A 34-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident and is also receiving medical treatment to minor injuries.

The 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call from another worker on the Anthony Drive site at 11.35am who reported that a co-worker had sustained a head injury and was bleeding. Police and medics responded to the scene but the man had already been taken to hospital by private car.

Anyone with information about the incident who has not yet spoken to a police officer is urged to contact Detective Constable Colin Pryce on 949-4222. 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 of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Charges laid for shooting

| 07/09/2009 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Update Tuesday 10:30 am – Police have now charged 20-year-old Barrington Roy Williams Jnr, of George Town, with attempted murder in connection with the shooting of a man in the parking lot of the Nevlaw Building on Shedden Road on 1 August.  Williams was arrested on Friday, 4 September, and will appear in court on Wednesday, 9 September. At 4:25 am on the morning of the shooting, 911 received a call reporting that shots had been fired and man had been shot in the arm. Police and medics responded and found the man had non-life threatening injuries to his right hand and arm.

Police arrested three men in connection with the shooting and possession of an unlicensed firearm immediately following the incident. However, police confirmed today that all three of those been have been released

Investigating Officer Detective Dave Morrison said he is continuing to for information about the shooting and said if anyone can help to call him directly on 516-1045.

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 of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Moore goes after moneymen

| 07/09/2009 | 0 Comments

(BBC):  Agitator supreme Michael Moore is back with a new target – and this time he wants the world to rebel against it. In his sights is the American banking system and the people who run it. Capitalism: A Love Story is Moore’s latest documentary, examining some of the many things he thinks are wrong with his country. “I had been wanting to do a movie about capitalism and about a year and a half ago, I finally started," he says. "I saw a lot of things happening in terms of people losing their jobs and foreclosures. So I decided to get going on this film because I thought we had an economy built on sand, a house of cards.”

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AEDs donated to police

| 07/09/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The RCIPS is now better equipped to save lives thanks to a donation of four potentially life-saving Automated External Defibrillators by the Caledonian Group. According to Cayman Heart Fund, Bodden Town Police station (which covers the three Eastern districts of Bodden Town, North Side and East End), West Bay Police Station, the Traffic division and Uniform Support Group will each now have an AED machine, which has the ability to restart the heart should an individual suffer a cardiac arrest. According to the RCIPS, all police officers are first aid trained and that includes training with AEDs.

However, once they have the new machines, they will do some additional training with the Heart Fund on the new machines for those officers who are based where the machines are, a police spokesperson said.

Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis said the RCIPS was extremely grateful to Caledonian for this vital donation to the service. “AED machines are an integral part of life-saving equipment that are becoming increasingly common in pubic places. As a first response emergency service, the RCIPS is often the first on the scene at an incident such as a traffic accident and therefore such a device may well be needed, should an officer have to undertake life-saving procedures. It is therefore vital that we are well stocked throughout the Service with AEDs,” he said.

The RCIPS has already equipped part of its marine response units with AED machines and officers are therefore well trained in AED usage, Ennis said, and having these four additional units will only strengthen its ability to protect the public. He added, “We are very much hoping to equip our Sister Islands police stations with similar devices, as well as the rest of our marine units, in the future.”

Bernard McGrath a Director Caledonian Group, explained why his company was delighted to donate the AEDs to the RCIPS: “Making AEDs available in public and private places where large number of people gather can greatly assist our community and individuals who are at risk for heart attacks. Public access to these machines plays an integral role in providing lifesaving aid to people suffering sudden cardiac arrest. Caledonian is pleased to have partnered with the Cayman Heart Fund in an effort to help them achieve their goal of providing an AED machine in all public areas.”

Caledonian has actually purchased five AED machines of which four have been donated to the RCIPS, and one will be placed in their organisation where several of their employees will be trained to operate this invaluable piece of equipment.
Dr Sook Yin as the Chair of the Cayman Heart Fund’s AED campaign said, “We commend Caledonian for being good corporate citizens and making this donation and we are still appealing to the business community to continue this campaign and make the community in general a safer place by making a donation to this important cause.”

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Baseball bat attack in Courts Road

| 07/09/2009 | 7 Comments

(CNS): Another man has been attacked this weekend in Courts Road, George Town. Detectives investigating the incident explained that the man was hit with a baseball bat at around 12:15am on Sunday morning (6 September.) Police stated today, that the 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call from a member of the public who reported that his friend had been hit as they walked in Courts Road. Police and medics responded to the scene and the victims told officers that they had were near Springfield’s Court when two men dressed in dark clothing approached them from behind and hit one of the victims on the head with the bat then from the location.

The victims said that the two offenders wore hoods over their faces and dark clothing. Both have been described as tall with dark complexions and the man carrying the baseball bat was described as wearing a black top with red stripes. The victim suffered a laceration to his head and was taken to hospital for treatment. “This is the second attack in this area in two weeks,” said Detective Chief Inspector Peter Kennett who stressed that police are taking both incidents extremely seriously.

Last week a man who was cycling home from work was attacked and robbed in the same street after being hit on the back of the head and knocked unconscious although the victim told police he could not remember what happened the police are not ruling out a connection. The man was hospitalized with his head injury and a number of items the man was carrying, including a wallet, had been taken from him.

 “Anyone with information that could help with the enquiry should contact George Town CID,” said Kennett who noted that police will be increasing their vigil in the area and are looking into improving safety and security with additional lighting.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact George Town CID on 949-4222 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.

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Woman spared 40 lashes

| 07/09/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNN): A woman put on trial for wearing clothing deemed indecent by Sudanese authorities was fined Monday, but will not get the 40 lashes she could potentially have faced, her lawyer said. Lubna al-Hussein does not intend to pay the fine, which means she will be jailed for a month, her lawyer Nabil Adib in Khartoum told CNN. Al-Hussein, who was arrested in July for wearing pants deemed too tight and a blouse considered too sheer, will appeal to the constitutional court, Adib said. Al-Hussein pleaded not guilty, her lawyer said. The judge did not allow her to call defense witnesses or hear a defense case. (Left: the outfit she was wearing when arrested)

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Cayman suffers international “Schadenfreude”

| 07/09/2009 | 25 Comments

(CNS): The global media has been making the most of Cayman’s financial troubles this week and seems to have taken something of a gleeful pleasure in Cayman’s exaggerated financial downfall. From radio stations based in neighbouring Jamaica to blogs in New York City, trade press to reputable daily newspapers, the irony that Cayman was even considering, never mind possibly forced to introduce, direct taxes by the UK government seems to have warmed the heart of a number of international journalists and bloggers worldwide.

Responding to the global gloating, Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush said on Thursday at a the weekly government press briefing that the recent international media coverage suggesting that the Cayman Islands is bankrupt was wrong. “We can confirm that these accusations are incorrect,” Bush said. “Indeed the recent statement made by Moody’s confirms that the Cayman Islands remains one of the most highly rated financial services jurisdictions in the world.”

However, the government continues to struggle to pay its bills and admitted recently that there is no cash in the government coffers until the UK gives the go ahead to draw down on the borrowing that the Cayman Islands government says it has secured on the financial markets. Much of the world’s reporting has been centred on a mistaken belief that Cayman has gone to the UK government for cash, which is not the case.

Owing to the fact that the previous administration failed to remain within the parameters set by the Public Management and Finance Law, the current government now has to gain special permission from the FCO to borrow more money, even though the funds are not coming from the UK government. Among the many papers to get it wrong, the Financial Times also suggested that London may have to pick up the final bill for Cayman’s fiscal difficulties.

Bush explained in a release from the Ministry of Financial Services Public Relations Unit, which is being distributed globally, that the Cayman Islands was not asking for cash from the UK but that the requirement to seek the UK’s permission is based on statutory restrictions which the Cayman Islands government have placed on itself to ensure continued prudent fiscal management.

Bush said, “Cayman is well placed to take advantage of the global economic recovery and is committed to continuing the success of the indirect tax system which has served the country so well over its history.”

However, in a recent letter to the LoGB, Chris Bryant, the Overseas Territories Minister from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated that the UK was not prepared to give its OK on further debt until the CI government came up with a long term revenue raising measure – i.e. new direct taxes.

Bush confirmed on Thursday that he will not be pursuing that avenue and will be presenting the UK government with ideas for longer term investment and PFI strategies that will raise revenue, coupled with expenditure cuts and raising the rate of some existing fees. If Bryant accepts the plan Cayman will get the go ahead to draw down on a $372 million loan which has already been negotiated.

If the UK rejects the ideas, however, government will be faced with a serious problem at the end of September with no funds to pay public sector workers or local contractors. One UK newspaper that got itright about the need for UK approval of a loan, the Guardian said in its editorial that Bryant’s initial failure to approve the borrowing was based on the weaknesses of the US and other economies, hedge funds and the rest of the financial services industry. Bryant said in his letter to Bush: "It would be unwise … to expect that the Cayman Islands’ prosperity can presume on an offshore tax haven status."

The UK paper noted that the palpable relish in that sentence was probably no accident. “As more British dependencies have to call on ministers for assistance, Westminster can demand they clean their act up,” the Guardian wrote. “Let ministers start with the Caymans.”

The Guardian editorial also suggested that the UK was in a position to manipulate Cayman and demand that the government institutes automatic exchange of tax information with all countries, rich and poor alike, and request that no taxes are introduced that hit the … poor while letting off the wealthy.


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Read Guardian editorial here


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