Archive for February 19th, 2010

Local preacher reveals his journey with cancer

| 19/02/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A member of the local clergy and cancer survivor since 1989 Godfrey Edward Meghoo will be signing copies of his recently re-published book at local book stores next weekend. The Trauma of Cancer – Stories of Renewal after Great Devastation, focuses on the journey of cancer patients who are in remission and includes interviews and observations from his clinical study regarding how people view cancer, the trauma experienced during both diagnosis and treatment, the re-discovery of a purpose in life, as well as a theological perspective of suffering.


Five years after Meghoo completed his study; he returned to meet with many of the survivors and has included these findings and conversations in a postscript to the earlier work. According to the author’s publicist, Meghoo is keenly interested in health issues, a member of the Cancer Society, the Red Cross and a regular blood donor. Before becoming a cancer patient, he completed an Advanced Training Program for Clergy in Cancer Care, having been involved in hospital chaplaincy for many years.

In 2002 he received the Certificate and Badge of Honour for services to the people of the Cayman Islands.

Forty years after his ordination, he is involved in cancer counseling, religious broadcasting, weddings and marriage counseling, as well as one-to-one house calls to offer friendship and care. He has recently completed additional study courses in Pastoral Psychology and Counseling.

The book has been edited and published by Sherry Robinson, Managing Director of Catalyst Communications in Grand Cayman. Meghoo will be donating a number of books to the Cancer Society in the Cayman Islands and will be at Hobbies and Books downtown location on 28 Elgin Avenue, Piccadilly Centre on Friday, February 26th from 11am to 2pm and at the Grand Harbor location on Saturday, February 27th from 11 am to 2pm.


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Hot stuff at farm show

| 19/02/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Thousands turned out for the 43rd Annual Agricultural show on Ash Wednesday including Pepper Patch – Cayman’s gourment pepper jelly company.   The Island’s new Governor Duncan Taylor and his wife stopped by Carol Hay’s stall to sample the Cayman-made pepper jelly which is fast become a household staple.  “I always enjoy Ash Wednesday,” said Carol Hay the woman behind the spicy local treat.  “It’s so much more than just an agricultural show.  It’s a chance to connect with people that you haven’t seen in years and chow down on some of the best food Cayman has to offer.”    

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Teenager remains missing

| 19/02/2010 | 40 Comments

(CNS): Update Tuesday 7:00am. Police confirmed on Monday afternoon that 15 year old Tamara Smith is still missing. A police spokesperson said that they had received no reports of her wherabouts. Tamara has now been missing for more than two weeks and the police are urging members of the public for help in tracing her. Tamara appears to have run away from her home in West Bay on Sunday, 7 February. According to a police report issued at the weekend, Tamara’s mother awoke to find that her daughter’s bedroom was empty and that Tamara was missing. Some clothing and a black Jan Spots back pack were also missing from the room.

Police said that this is not the first time that Tamara has disappeared from home and that there have been several unconfirmed sightings made to the family during the course of last week.

Tamara has allegedly been seen in Rock Hole, East End, West Bay and Kings Sports Centre. When last seen by her mother on the 6 February she was wearing a black hooded sweater and jean pants, but as she appears to have taken several items of clothing with her she may have changed into other clothes. Tamara is described as 5’6” in height, weighing approximately 165lbs, with medium brown complexion, relaxed shoulder length brown hair and brown eyes. Detective Sergeant Doris Morris-Herrera of the RCIPS Family Support Unit is appealing for anyone who may have any knowledge of Tamara’s current whereabouts to contact her on 946-9185 or their local police station.

Police have also confirmed that the delay in issued a public announcement about Tamara’s disappearence was made made in conjunction with her family.

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Opposition questions $1m PR

| 19/02/2010 | 100 Comments

(CNS): Opposition MLA and former Cabinet minister Alden McLaughlin has raised concerns over the need for the new category of a million dollar permanent residency for wealthy individuals when there is already an existing legitimate mode for the wealthy to gain residency rights in the Cayman Islands for a considerably smaller fee. He also noted that the proposal could have damaging implications in the goal to change global perceptions of Cayman as a place where the wealthy hide their ill-gotten gains.  “The more I think about this announcement the more concerned I become,” McLaughlin told CNS earlier this week.

“Why do we need this new category when the law already allows for wealthy individuals to access permanent residency through investment?”

The current immigration law already has a provision for those who invest in business and property of a value of $¾million (less on the Sister Islands) to gain residency for 25 years which is renewable for a fee of a few thousand dollars. This means anyone who is wealthy can already gain the same residency rights for a smaller investment while still retaining an asset.

“What is fundamentally wrong with this suggestion, what is in fact obscene is this is not an investment but a direct purchase,” McLaughlin added. “This is a very different situation from giving someone residency as a result of a substantial investment, this is saying give us a million bucks and we’ll give you residency.”

The opposition member for George Town said that given that residency is already easy for those with that kind of money to achieve he had concerns about what else was intended by this new policy. “It seems to me that the premier must be contemplating something else with this policy as why would anyone want to do it when they can achieve the same end a lot more cheaply through existing conditions?”

McLaughlin also raised the issue that such an offer was bound to counter the country’s endless battle to convince the rest of the world that the jurisdiction is a legitimate financial centre with tight regulation and not a refuge for dirty money and unethical financial conduct.

“Having spent God knows how much time and money trying to dispel this mythical image, why would you go and give are critics such ammunition? He has just made the battle that much more difficult,” he added referring to the premier, McKeeva Bush. “What our learned premier has done in one foul swoop is create an image that this is a place where you can buy anything for a price.”

McLaughlin lamented the fact that the proposal was unlikely to bring any real financial reward for government as he did not think very many people, if anyone, would be taking up the offer when another means of achieving the same goal existed, but it would do untold damage to the country’s reputation.

The proposal has already gained considerable media coverage around the world from the Sydney Morning Herald to USA Today and a number of publications in between picking up the storythat was filed by the global news agency Associated Press. It has also been criticised widely in the local community. When CNS published the news story on 10 February bloggers wasted no time expressing their opposition to the idea. There is currently over 180 comments on the story most of which seem to be against the idea.

McLaughlin’s former Cabinet colleague Charles Clifford has also raised concerns about the proposals and says it is one of a number of the reasons why he is planning a demonstration against the current government on 6 March.

“Caymanians can be assured that other nations, particularly the United States of America and most European countries, are paying very close attention to this and assessing the potential national security risks to their respective countries by some wealthy individuals who may have less than good intentions who might decide to ‘buy” permanent residence in Cayman as a means to an end,” Clifford said.


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Fragile Kenya still adrift

| 19/02/2010 | 0 Comments

(Economist):  Kenya remains east Africa’s commercial hub, yet the bickering and dithering of its dodgy and unwieldy government could ruin what is left of its reputation. "We are sharpening our pangas [machetes],” says a man in a jam-packed matatu, the ubiquitous minibus taxi that is Kenya’s main means of public transport. “It is not if but when” is the commonest answer to the question, “Will political violence resume?” Barely two years after a grubby election that left 1,500 Kenyans dead and several hundred thousand homeless, the country is still dangerously adrift. This week the government was embroiled in yet another quarrel after the prime minister, Raila Odinga, sacked a close-rival-turned-enemy, William Ruto, in a move that the president, Mwai Kibaki, deemed unconstitutional.

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Jury troubles continue, trial goes behind closed doors

| 19/02/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Following the first day of closed door legal arguments yesterday in the grand court, between the five teams of attorneys in the trial of Keith Orrett, Brian Borden, Bjorn Ebanks and Keith Montaque, the court was also informed that one of the seven members of the jury selected from the streets on Tuesday afternoon could not serve owing to illness. The judge was forced yet again to send his clerk back to the streets to find another talesman. Having secured another member of the jury the court finally arraigned the four men on the charges of possessing unlicensed firearms at an address in West Bay to which they all pleaded not guilty.

Immediately following their pleas and directions to the new jury, from Justice Charles Quin, the five women and two men were dismissed and asked to return on Tuesday 23 February while the attorneys moved into further closed door sessions regarding legal arguments on evidence.

The four men are all currently in custody and have been for almost two years following their arrest in April 2008. According to the particulars of the offence two unlicensed 12 gage shotguns were found by police at a home in Town Hall Court in West Bay while the four men were in the residence at the time. The trial has been postponed and delayed on several occasions as a result of problems securing the services of various experts.

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Construction workers given hope with school tender

| 19/02/2010 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Government has now officially announced that it is seeking bids for construction management services at the Clifton Hunter and John Gray campuses giving hope to local construction workers that they could be back on the sites in the next few weeks.The education minister Rolston Anglin said that this was the next critical step forward in his Ministry’s overall strategy for the recommencement and completion of the new schools projects which were derailed after government’s disagreements with Tom Jones International led to the general contractor walking off the job.

That contractual dispute is now in the courts; however, government is hoping to finish the contract utilizing the services of existing sub contractors and a bew management firm to over see and co-ordinate the construction of the long awaited schools in time for the start of the 2011 academic year.

“Once appointed, the construction manager will assume responsibility for managing the trade contractors and the day-to-day construction activities at both sites, which will, at that point, be increased to levels necessary to complete the projects,” Anglin stated.

“This is also an important development for the local construction industry, as it comes at a time when construction companies are hurting and many Caymanians in the industry are seeking employment.”

The Minister said the tender package has been prepared, and that the goal is to tender and award the construction management services during the next 6 to 8 weeks.

Work on the new schools sites recommenced in a limited way in January 2010, when negotiations were successfully complete with three major sub-contractors to undertake critical work to preserve warranties, the integrity of the development so far and to mitigate future costs.

An agreement had been reached between the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (“MEP”) sub-contractor on the projects, to enable this critical aspect of the work to be ramped up which should see a greater number of local construction employees back to work of several months laid off. 

“Ongoing negotiations with the other key existing sub-contractors are another important part of the Government’s overall strategy, so I am pleased that our negotiations have concluded successfully with this sub-contractor,” Anglin stated.  

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Seven Caribbean countries on France’s new grey list

| 19/02/2010 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Following the OECD’s listings on co-operative or non co-operative countries when it comes to internationally agreed tax standards, France has now created its own grey list of eighteen nations which it deems as uncooperative  – seven of which are located in the Caribbean. The European nation has said that any French company doing business in these countries will now pay more tax to France’s government coffers and those with tax exempt status will see it annulled.  This could see taxes increase for those firms by as much as 50%.

The French grey list is based on the OECD criteria which had originally seen the Cayman Islands also grey listed until the CI Government had signed the necessary minimum 12 Tax Information Exchange Agreements with other OECD countries. Cayman currently has 14 agreements with plans to sign several more.

St Kitts and Nevis along with Anguilla, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines however, are now on the French list dubbed as uncooperative tax havens. The nations made the `grey list` of jurisdictions that were classified as having `committed to the internationally agreed tax standard, but have not yet substantially implemented.`

As part of the blacklisting, France plans to imposing greater taxes on all domestic companies that have operations in these jurisdictions. Taxes expected to see a jump from 15 to 50 per cent and tax exemptions will be annulled. 
St Kitts and Nevis’ prime minister said the French government was jumping the gun.  “We think that France has acted out of turn and it has acted prematurely against the commitment that was made with the OECD countries that March would have been the deadline for any punitive action to be taken,” Denzil Douglas said.

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) gave grey listed countries until March 2010 to sign the requirement of 12 TIEAs to make the white list, something Douglas felt was achievable.

St. Kitts and Nevis has already signed nine different agreements with OECD countries. Agreements have been initialled with 11 other nations and negotiations are continuing with six more countries.



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Cops seek key witness

| 19/02/2010 | 75 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman Islands crime, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service(CNS): Detectives investigating the murder of four-year-old Jeremiah Barnes are now appealing for the driver of a white four-door saloon car to come forward. On Thursday evening, police said that they believed the car was parked at the pumps in the forecourt of Hell service station on Monday night at the time when a gunman opened fire on the Barnes family and murdered Jeremiah. Police are now asking the driver to get in touch with them as soon as possible. “The driver of the car, possibly a Hyundai Lantra with alloy wheels, had just filled up with petrol and then left the scene after the shooting,” said DCI Peter Kennett, who is leading the investigation.

“We need to speak to the driver, who we believe to be a regular customer at the service station, urgently as he could have information which is vital to the enquiry,” DCI Kennett added.

This individual, or anyone who has any information regarding his identity, should contact the murder incident room at West Bay police station either by calling the team direct on 926-1773, or by calling the station on 949-3999 and asking to be transferred to the enquiry team.

Police said that two men appear to have laid in wait at the rear of Hell Service Station in West Bay and then ran towards the Barnes family car when it arrived at the station at around 8pm on 15 February. One of the two men then opened fire indiscriminately, hitting Jeremiah, who was seated in the back of the vehicle. His father, mother and brother, all escaped injury.

The murder has sent shock waves through a community, already reeling as a result of the spike in crime in a community that historically prided itself on its previous low crime rate. Police have confirmed that the shooting on Monday evening was gang related and that Jeremiah was the innocent bystander that they had predicted would get hurt as result of the escalating violence between local gangs.

Since the shooting on Monday evening police have hit the streets of Grand Cayman with full force and say they are stopping and searching everyone who may be involved in gang crime, as the community waits on who will be the next victim of the gang war that seems to be raging on the streets of Grand Cayman.

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