Archive for October, 2009

Paralyzed teenager undergoes intensive treatment

Paralyzed teenager undergoes intensive treatment

| 31/10/2009 | 17 Comments

(CNS) Family and friends of  14-year-old Adryan Powell, who was critically injured when two masked gunmen opened fire on him in a shooting incident in West Bay, are holding a fundraiser on 9 November for special equipment Adryan will needof when he returns home. Currently undergoing treatment in Florida, the teenager is also attending school there, News 27 has reported. Adryan was shot seven times during the incident in July in which 20-year-old Marcus Ebanks was murdered and Ebanks’ younger brother Rod was also injured. Doctors have told Adryan’s family he has complete paralysis from the waist down and doctors are not able to do an MRI because of bullet fragments in his body, which cannot be removed.

According to the television news station, the family is now waiting on doctors to tell them when they will be able to bring Adryan home.

Local dishes will be sold at a fundraiser on Monday, 9 November, starting at 11am Remembrance Day Public Holiday at Garvin Park, Morgan’s Harbour (next to Dolphin Cove). Anyone who would like to make a donation can do so at First Caribbean Bank to the Account # 10167783.   

Meanwhile, police have not arrested any suspects in connection with the Bonaventure Road shooting, which police Commissioner David Baines said was linked to several other shootings which started with the killing of Omar Samuels in McField Lane, George Town on 5 July. Baines said last week that Adryan was a perfectly innocent bystander and he was not involved in any gang activity but was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Go to News 27 report

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Fatal accident in East End

Fatal accident in East End

| 31/10/2009 | 41 Comments

(CNS): Updated (Saturday 11:50 am)The young man killed in a fatal crash in the early hours of Saturday morning was 20-year-old Reuben Forbes the brother of Cayman’s elite hurdling athlete Ronald Forbes. Police confirmed Saturday that the driver of a vehicle had been pronounced dead at the CI hospital after an accident in East End. The vehicle which Forbes was driving veered off the road in the vicinity of Lover’s Wall, into a ditch at around 2:00 am. Two other passengers are both receiving treatment at the hospital, authorities said, and although serious thay are not beleived to be life threatening.This is the third fatal accident on Cayman’s roads this year and police say an investigation into how the crash happened is underway.

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Tobacco ban remains elusive as date delayed again

Tobacco ban remains elusive as date delayed again

| 30/10/2009 | 13 Comments

(CNS): The minister of health has denied that the Tobacco Law has been abandoned but has admitted that the commencement date for this legislation has been delayed again. A year after the bill was passed by the elected members of the Legislative Assembly, the Tobacco Law 2008 has still not been implemented, and Mark Scotland said today that it will not come into effect until 31 December 2009. The law made its first appearance in the LA in March 2007, but more than two and a half years later Cayman is still languishing under a cloud of tobacco smoke.

“The amendment was approved in Cabinet earlier this week and will allow more time for finalising regulations and for putting the necessary administrative processes in place,” Scotland said, adding that the ministry hopes to present Cabinet with the final regulations within a few weeks, after which town hall-style stakeholder meetings will begin between late November and early December.

“These meetings will focus on educating people on the provisions of the law and will be open to the public. While we do regret this delay, on the bright side, the newly-scheduled implementation means that we will have a few extra weeks for public education before implementation,” the minister of health stated about the law, which was due to have been enforced from this month.  “In the meantime, in the spirit of the law, we encourage businesses to familiarize themselves with the new legislation. We also congratulate those who are already adhering to the new requirements.”

It is not clear why it has taken the ministry so long to develop the regulations. The law itself was based very closely on WHO recommendations and the legislation essentially bans the use of tobacco in public places with a few notable exceptions, which were added after opposition, for local businesses here.

A number of local activists have raised their concerns that the constant delays are being driven by some bars who believe the ban willundermine their business. However, no jurisdictions in which a public place tobacco bans has been introduced has suffered a loss of business as a result. A number of studies have demonstrated rapid improvements in the health of populations where bans have been introduced, with anything from a 17-35% reduction in heart related deaths. Most health experts now believe that literally 100s of lives are saved each year where bans are implemented.

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Travers dismisses Foot report

Travers dismisses Foot report

| 30/10/2009 | 11 Comments

(CNS): The chairman of Cayman Finance, Anthony Travers, has dismissed the recent report by Sir Michael Foot, suggesting it is of little consequence. Pointing out the omission of any reference to the most recent FATF report regarding Cayman, Travers also suggests Foot’s report is too general and there is little that Cayman need do in response. Foot’s review of the UK’s offshore financial centres, which was published on Wednesday, makes a number of recommendations for all the territories and also raises specific concerns about economic mismanagement in Cayman and the problem of a limited tax base both here and in other territories.   

However, Travers said he believed the report is "much ado about nothing”.

“Apart from a passing and justified concern over the recent short term funding problems experienced by our new government, the report is notable in that it acknowledges the enormously important role Cayman plays for the City of London and Wall Street, and that business is unlikely to shift from the offshore jurisdictions to the UK.

“The report strangely omits reference to the most recent FATF report, which describes the Cayman Islands anti-money laundering systems as superior,” Travers noted.

The Cayman Finance chair also stated that the understanding displayed of why fund structures utilise the Cayman Islands appears superficial and that Foot’s suggestions with respect to VAT fail to analyse properly the effect of import duties.

“As a matter of academics, the report is not helped by the generalised nature of its conclusions but which, on specific application to the Cayman islands legal and regulatory regime, do not suggest that any immediate action is required,” he added.

Although Foot’s report offers a general assessment of all nine territories, he says that a detailed explanation of the differences between the jurisdictions would not have served the objective of the report, which was to give the United Kingdom an idea of its risk and exposure as a result of the situation in all its dependent territories.

Foot also noted that, while his recommendations may not apply in the same weight in every territory, he warned that none of the jurisdictions reviewed could afford to be complacent and there were common themes. “Most are heavily reliant on financial services and tourism for economic output, government revenue and employment,” he said. “It was clear early in the review process that economic decisions taken by some of the jurisdictions during the long period of economic growth had weakened their resilience in a downturn.”

He noted that some of the territories faced difficult decisions and would need to look afresh at options for controlling public expenditure and increasing revenue. Given the recent correspondence between the UK and the CIG, it would be fair to assume that Foot considers Cayman to be one of those jurisdictions. Foot also makes it clear that Cayman is one of the territories which were severely impacted by the global economic crisis that depleted the public sector cash reserves, made worse by the Cayman Islands government’s own actions.

“Decisions taken by some of the Overseas Territories to use increased revenues to raise current and capital public spending, sometimes combined with insufficient attention to data quality and the absence of robust medium-term planning, has left local governments facing difficult short-term choices to restore the public finances. This is clearly illustrated by recent events in the Cayman Islands,” Foot wrote.

In his report Foot makes a number of specific recommendations, which he says all of the dependencies and territories should consider and measure themselves against. He also recommended that the UK make it clear to the jurisdictions the respective responsibilities and expectations between it and the territories. The quality and extent of financial planning in the jurisdictions should be aligned with the best performers, which he said were the crown dependencies.

“In particular, jurisdictions should implement a prudent approach to managing government finances by developing: a diversified tax base to maximise sources of revenue; mechanisms to measure and control public spending; and by building financial reserves during periods of economic growth,” he added.

The UK should also be proactive in satisfying itself that the territories are capable of identifying and responding to external shocks, and encouraging local governments to undertake responsible adjustment programmes where these are necessary, Foot said.

Among other recommendations, Foot also set out the need to meet international standards on tax transparency and that the UK should press for improvements in ‘know your customer’ minimum standards. Furthermore, he said all jurisdictions should have independent regulatory regimes and recommended that jurisdictions without an ombudsman scheme consider adopting one.

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Cops post reward on suspect

Cops post reward on suspect

| 30/10/2009 | 25 Comments

(CNS): The police are offering a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Dainian Cecil Henry on top of the Crimestoppers usual US$1000. With a CI$5,800 price tag on his head, the man who escaped from police custody is fast becoming Cayman’s “most wanted”.  The RCIPS is advising the public to report any sightings of this individual immediately to the police but strongly advise them not to approach him directly. Henry, who is wanted in connection with firearm’s offences, escaped from custody at George Town police station on Sunday  25 October.

Police said he had made his escape by pushing over a woman who was entering the station with a baby in her arms. Henry made off down Elgin avenue and police say they were unable to catch him.

Henry was also listed to appear in summary court this week to face charges of possession and intent to supply cocaine, for which he had pleaded not guilty. According to a report in the Caymanian Compass, despite Henry’s absence the trial still took place and a verdict is expected on 10 November.

To report sightings the public can call 949-4222. To leave information on an anonymous voicemail service call 949-7777 or call Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). Anyone calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and is eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest.

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GIS explains content of new constitution

GIS explains content of new constitution

| 30/10/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): As the Appointed Day approaches Government Information Service is continuing its education campaign about the new constitution posted below is the second of a four part series which corresponds with a TV Documentary which is airing on local television. In part two the details of how representative democracy is defined in the new constitution and looks at the checks and balances that have been put in place to allegedly protect the people.

(GIS) The Constitution: Building Blocks and Safety Nets: ‘Representative governance’ is one way to define democracy. And this definition embraces the concept of primary ownership being vested in the people who will direct those elected – or selected – to apply principles outlined in the constitutional document.

The new Cayman Islands Constitution allows for more hands-on involvement by the people, and includes stipulations such as term limits and other checks and balances. The document’s preamble outlines 21 items of primary concern, ranging from Christian values to educational, healthcare, crime and drug abuse issues, as well as culture and employment.

Public accountability from the country’s leadership is a major constitutional revision milestone. Conditions include oversight of the top ranks of the public service as well as opportunities for citizen participation in policy-making.

In addition, there are term limits for the Premier, allowing for the periodic rotation of the seat of power, while stimulating new ideas. A Premier cannot serve more than two successive four-year terms (eight years), after which he / she may continue to run for office and serve as a Cabinet minister or member of the Legislative Assembly.  Following at least a one-term break a former Premier may again be selected for this position.

While having greater authority in the shaping of government, the Premier will correspondingly fall under even greater public scrutiny. The appointee is obliged to carry out specific responsibilities in accordance with the Constitution and in the interest of the Cayman Islands.

There are also new internal controls: The Premier is answerable to, and dependant on, the support of an MLA majority. A no-confidence vote of at least two-thirds of the elected members can unseat the Premier (which would dissolve the entire Cabinet).

Other forms of oversight include the requirement stipulating that legislators make open declarations of assets in the Register of Interests. There is also protection of freedom of information; protection of the Constitution itself, and inclusion of the public.

A range of other official bodies called ‘Institutions Supporting Democracy’ are also enshrined in the Constitution. These bodies serve to enhance the principles of democracy and transparency. They include the Commission for Standards in Public Life; the Human Rights Commission; the Constitutional Commission, and Advisory District Councils.

In most cases, the Governor will appoint members of these new commissions in consultation with the Premier and Leader of the Opposition.

One such body, the Commission for Standards in Public Life (CSPL) will have broad remit over the public sector which includes making recommendations to bolster transparency, fairness, honesty and the overall conduct of all public officials, whether elected, appointed, or civil servant.

They will investigate breaches of established standards, review and establish procedures for awarding public contracts and review and establish procedures for appointing members to public authorities. The commission will also manage the Register of Interests, thereby promoting transparency.

The CSPL is expected to work closely with the new anti-corruption commission which will be formed in January 2010. Other checks and balances include limits on public debt and requirements for financial reporting.

The new Constitution also encompasses the debt limitations already established in the Public Management and Finance Law. Of equal importance, the public debt formula is established constitutionally, with borrowing being defined as loans to government or to any statutory body.

In any financial year borrowing shall not exceed total interest payments, plus other debt-servicing expenses, plus the principal or debt repayments. However, in exceptional cases as determined by Cabinet, a law may be enacted to provide for increased limited-time borrowing.

Then, on the broader issue of revenue and expenditure, while the Legislature governs government’s financial processes, adequate public reporting is required, thereby enhancing transparency. Further, at least one report must be made in the LA annually, outlining government’s financial position.

Constitutional protection of access to information has also been achieved. The FOI Law came into effect on 1 January this year, and outlines the right to access public information as well as any restrictions to that right. The only exceptions relate to security, upholding public safety and individual rights.

Likewise, the Complaints Commissioner’s Office is already provided for. Under the new Constitution the Premier and Leader of Opposition will consult with the Governor, prior to his appointment of the post-holder, who must not have held any political office for the preceding three years.                              :

The Constitution also calls for a new Human Rights Commission (HRC) to replace the existing Human Rights Committee.  The focus is to protect citizens from governmental injustice.

One of the few permanent commissions, the HRC will promote the Bill of Rights which becomes effective in 2012, and will also act as a public watchdog. Individuals and groups may petition the HRC but no outside persons may direct or control this body.

HRC powers include being able to investigate infringements of any rights or freedoms as contained in the Bill of Rights or as provided in relevant international treaties. Independent investigations may also be launched. Responsibilities will include providing advice to victims, attempting to resolve complaints through mediation and educating the public on human rights.

Also facilitating the constitutional progress will be the non-partisan Constitutional Commission (CC) which will be formally and permanently established following the Appointed Day.

As another independent body, the CC will provide oversight and public education and awareness. General functions will include advising government on questions of constitutional development, and publishing reports and discussion papers.

The CC shall also promote understanding and awareness of the Constitution’s value, while overseeing its implementation, continued development and evolution.

Once the LA has enacted a law to permit their formation, the provision of Advisory District Councils will significantly expand the role of the general public. These non-elected council members will advise parliament on issues and concerns affecting their geographical areas.

Next, an independent, efficient judiciary is one of the three critical pillars of any constitutional democracy. Cayman’s revised Constitution continues to establish the courts, namely, the Court of Appeal, Grand Court and subordinate courts.

For the first time also, it expressly states that the constitutional responsibilities of the  Chief Justice which include as head of the judiciary, as well as the administration of the offices and courts, and the management of all matters relating to the judicature. The LA and the Cabinet are bound to uphold the rule of law and judicial independence.

Appointments of the judiciary will continue to be vested with the Governor. However, the new Constitution requires him to seek the advice of an independent body called the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) prior to making such appointments. 

The JLSC will advise the Governor, who has power to appoint, discipline or remove officials. Members will include a non-lawyer chairman. Other members will come from the local public and private bar.            

In short, the JLSC will have a fundamental impact on the judiciary and other public offices that undertake legal work.     

The AG remains government’s principal legal advisor, but his role as is relates to prosecutions will now rest with a new public office called the Director of Public Prosecutions. 

Public accountability is also evidenced by the formation of the National Security Council (NSC), which allows elected representatives and lay persons to now contribute to policy issues concerning national security.  This was previously an exclusive function of the Governor and while the Police Commissioner will still report to him, he will update both the NSC and the Premier on internal security matters and criminal activity periodically.

The NSC will comprise the Governor as chair, the Premier, two more Cabinet ministers, the Leader of Opposition, the Deputy Governor, the Attorney General, the Police Commissioner and two members of the public. The Cabinet Secretary will serve as Secretary to the NSC.

Council members will advise the Governor on matters relating to internal security, with the exception of police operations and staffing which remain the Governor’s remit. His actions must accord with advice received, unless he believes it would adversely affect Her Majesty’s interests; in such cases, the Governor shall report his action to the NSC.                

Moving on, a dramatic change in the electoral process is marked by the increase in the legislature from 15 elected members to 18 elected members.    Soon after the Appointed Day, the Constitution requires that an Electoral Boundary Commission (EBC) be appointed to review the electoral district boundaries and submit a report to the Governor and the LA containing its recommendations for changes in the boundaries of the electoral districts with a view to adding these additional members.

The increase in the legislative assembly will not happen immediately as it can only take place after the legislative assembly is dissolved and new election takes place and new members are returned to the LA.

With all these facets in mind, it is evident that whether it is the possibility of being called to sit on temporary or permanent commissions and councils, or the ability to independently lobby as unelected district representatives, our new Constitution involves members of the public in the governance of these Islands and embraces real change by improving transparency. After the Appointed Day, the structure of the Cayman Islands Constitution will indeed permit a hands-on and much-needed fully-inclusive approach to local governance as we see these new measures implemented.




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DEH urges people to keep island clean

DEH urges people to keep island clean

| 30/10/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Following a month of hard work by many people across the islands to make Cayman look clean and beautiful the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) said that working towards beautiful surroundings is a year-round effort and not just something for October. Residents can do their part to keep things clean and green by constructing proper garbage enclosures; putting lids on garbage cans, keeping their property and helping the elderly members of the community and others needing help to maintain their property, the DEH stated.

Organize neighbourhood clean-ups to target problem areas and reporting illegal dumping and littering to the police will also keep Cayman clean year round. “Every individual can make a difference by committing to a healthier environment,” said DEH Public Education & Promotions Officer Tania Johnson. “Cayman is our home so we should do whatever we can to keep our surroundings clean.”

For further information, contact Tania Johnson on 949-6696 or 743-5952 or email at .




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Saudi expert to visit Cayman

Saudi expert to visit Cayman

| 30/10/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): History and current affairs author Robert Lacey will visit Books & Books, Camana Bay for a discussion and signing of his latest book, Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia next week. Lacey is the author of twenty books, including Great Tales from English History, The Year 1000, and the New York Times bestseller, The Kingdom. For the last three years, he has split his time between Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and London. According to Lacey, Saudi Arabia is a country defined by paradox: It sits atop some of the richest oil deposits in the world and yet its roiling disaffection produced fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers.

It is a modern state where wealthy princes and tycoons raise futuristic cities in the desert, and yet its powerful religious establishment would roll back its values fourteen hundred years to the time of the Prophet Mohammed.

With Inside the Kingdom, Lacey gives readers a portrait of this most enigmatic of lands. More than twenty years after moving to Saudi Arabia during the oil boom to write his epic The Kingdom, Lacey returned to live once again among the princes and paupers, the clerics and the progressives. What he found was a society slowly recovering from the past. In this recounting, which takes us from the bloody seizure of Mecca’s Grand Mosque in 1979 to the deepening of US-Saudi relations during the Gulf War of 1991 to the fostering of a new generation of Islamic holy warriors led by Osama bin Laden, Lacey shows how Saudi Arabia came to the precipice at which it now stands, struggling to learn how to be at war with itself.

Filled with voices of many Saudis, from royals to ambassadors to ordinary men and women, Inside the Kingdom examines the questions on which the uncertain future turns: Can Saudi combatants freed from Guantánamo be rehabilitated through cash payments and arranged marriages? Will a society that still stages public beheadings find a way to address its notorious reputation on human rights? And is there any hope of success for King Abdullah’s progressive reforms in a land where rape victims can be sentences to lashings for their “immoral” behaviour?

Inside the Kingdom is now available for purchase at Books & Books. This event is part of the International Visiting Author Series, sponsored by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Ogier, and Sunshine Suites Resort, and is free and open to the public. For up to date information on all Books & Books events in Grand Cayman, visit:

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Charity looking for $125,000

Charity looking for $125,000

| 30/10/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): One of Cayman’s longest running charities the National Council of Voluntary Organisations will host its 30th annual Televised fundraiser next weekend. Competing with a significant number of charities and NGOs all looking for support, the NCVO is pulling out all the stops to raise the $125,000 it needs to keep going for another year. The list of entertainers performing for free includes Barefoot Man, Sea N’ B’, Earl Lapierre, Hi Tide, Ratskin and many others. More than 50 prizes are also up for grabs donated by more than 40 different companies including jewelry, art work, a Blackberry phone from LIME, numerous gift certificates from popular stores and restaurants and a grand prize of round trip tickets to any Cayman Airways destination.

The show will come from the Prospect Playhouse and will be broadcast on Cayman 27 (Cable Channel 12) on Saturday 7th November 2009 as well as radio Cayman. People wanting to pledge can call 946-6136.

 “The success of our Radio/Telethon is vital to the survival of the NCVO and its projects” explains Janice Wilson – CEO for the NCVO.  “The community has always been very generous in their donations to our programmes and this year, given the difficult economic times, we are more in need of their support than ever. The need for our community programmes, particularly those that help local children, continues to increase and general donations are considerably down from previous years. We encourage as many people as possible to support the event, and to join us for a wonderful night of fun and entertainment.”The NCVO is an independent, non-profit, charitable organisation that engages in projects to meet the ever-increasing social needs of the community.  As one of the oldest charities in Cayman, having been in operation for over 30 years, they have grown substantially.  Among the projects run by the NCVO are: the Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home which houses ten children in need of care and protection; “Miss Nadine’s” Pre-School which provides pre-school education for seventy 2-5 year olds; Jack & Jill Nursery which cares for 16 babies, the Caring Cousins Welfare Fund and several others. The demand for the NCVO’s programmes increases every year and the organiser’s are hoping that this year’s event will receive the support necessary to continue its much needed projects.

For more information or to make a donation to the NCVO prior to the Radio/Telethon, contact the NCVO at 949-2124 or, or log onto



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Fund manager faces money laundering charges

Fund manager faces money laundering charges

| 30/10/2009 | 0 Comments

(Sun Sentinel): A German financial manager based in Miami was arrested on money-laundering charges Wednesday as part of a sweeping criminal investigation into an international hedge fund that has cost major banks about $400 million in losses, according to sources familiar with the probe. Stefan R. Seuss, has been charged in connection with a global criminal investigation into the German hedge fund, K1 Group, headed by Helmut Kiener, according to sources familiar with case. Kiener’s home in Germany was raided by authorities Wednesday.

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