Archive for February 9th, 2011

Anti-tax haven campaign launched at world forum

| 09/02/2011 | 0 Comments

(AFP): Civil society groups at the World Social Forum have launched an international campaign to push members of the G20 group of leading economies to end financial secrecy in tax havens. "We want G20 leaders to end the tax haven secrecy that allows companies to hide their profits and avoid paying taxes in developing countries, and agree on measures to promote financial transparency," they said in a statement Tuesday. The campaign by organisations such as Oxfam, Christian Aid and the Tax Justice Network Africa calls on "citizens of the whole world to send a message to the G20 and Nicolas Sarkozy in particular, so they can carry this to the November summit."

The groups estimate tax losses in countries of the South at more than $170 billion US dollars per year, "more than the total budget for development assistance, while the economic crisis leads to significant budget cuts and millions of children still lack access to education."

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Anti-tax haven campaign launched at world forum

| 09/02/2011 | 0 Comments

(AFP): Civil society groups at the World Social Forum have launched an international campaign to push members of the G20 group of leading economies to end financial secrecy in tax havens. "We want G20 leaders to end the tax haven secrecy that allows companies to hide their profits and avoid paying taxes in developing countries, and agree on measures to promote financial transparency," they said in a statement Tuesday. The campaign by organisations such as Oxfam, Christian Aid and the Tax Justice Network Africa calls on "citizens of the whole world to send a message to the G20 and Nicolas Sarkozy in particular, so they can carry this to the November summit."

The groups estimate tax losses in countries of the South at more than $170 billion US dollars per year, "more than the total budget for development assistance, while the economic crisis leads to significant budget cuts and millions of children still lack access to education."

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UK to underwrite Turks & Caicos $160m loan

| 09/02/2011 | 13 Comments

(Independent): British taxpayers will underwrite a £160m bank loan to the Turksand Caicos Islands which have been under the direct rule of Westminster for the past 18 months, as a criminal investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption by the members of the last locally elected government there drags on. The islands have become heavily dependent on British aid and this week a group of their political leaders are in London asking for more. Yesterday, Labour’s deputy leader, Harriet Harman, demanded to know why the aid budget was being used to support businesses in a part of the world under direct British rule.

But the islanders’ case has been supported by the Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, who argues that helping places which fly the Union Jack should take precedence over Third World development.

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Electrician burned in panel box explosion

| 09/02/2011 | 7 Comments

(CNS): A 40-year-old electrician was taken to hospital suffering from burn injuries following an explosion in a panel box on which he was working on Wednesday. The industrial accident occurred at the Marriot Hotel on West Bay Road at around 2.15 pm this afternoon. The man, who is employed by a local electrical company, was carrying out some electrical inspection work and as he was completing the inspection an electrical panel box exploded. Police said that emergency services attended the scene and the man was taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital suffering from burns to his hands, arms and face.

The man is currently undergoing treatment and police stated that enquiries into the incident are ongoing. The explosion comes less than two weeks after a major explosion at Grand Cayman’s power company’s plant when two workers were also burned, one of whom remains in critical condition in hospital in Miami.
 

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Crankers call on community to get on their bikes

| 09/02/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands first ever cycling club 53//11 Crankers is working with the Cayman Islands Cycling Association (CICA) to promote cycling awareness and events on the island. Promoting fitness through cycling and the bicycle as an alternate means of transport to cut down on traffic, the new club is backing the islands first ride to work month this February. Crankers also plans to attract more young people and women to the sport by holding clinics on proper riding etiquette in a safe environment so that they can build confidence before reclaiming the roads, said Barry Jones, Founder of 53/11 Crankers Cycling Club and Vice President of the Cayman Islands Cycling Association.

The club has plans to run an awareness campaign in conjunction with all the stake holders which include CICA, NRA, the RCIPS and the Auto Association to name a few, to promote safety not only for cyclist but for all road users.

Jones explained that to launch the new club, Crankers is planning a series of races to create the Cayman Challenge Cycle Series. After the Ten Sails Cycle Challenge which took place over the Heroes weekend in East End the next two races will make up the Cayman Brac Bluff Challenge in April with the Estella Roberts Memorial Road Race (distance TBC but no more than 60 miles) on 24th and the Bluff Time Trial on 25th on the Brac. The Tour De GC on June 12 and 13 will include the Beatman Ebanks Memorial Road Race (distanceTBC.Race passing through each District) and the Criterium

“The race on the Brac is one that I can’t wait for. We have not held an event on the Brac in over 20 years,” said Jones. “As part of this inaugural event Crankers has invited Endurance Cycle Club out of Jamaica which has some top, present and future, talent in its membership.”

Aside from organizing races the club is also busy bolstering its membership and is proud to announce Peter Stetina of Team Garmin-Cervelo and Peter Luttenberger a former pro as honorary members. Stetina, was recently in the Cayman Islands where he spoke at some of our schools and was later joined on island by the rest of the Garmin-Cervelo team which held their first training camp in preparation for the 2011 season here — a first for the Islands.

The clubs name comes from the hardest gear commonly used in road racing a 53 tooth chain ring up front partof the crank and an 11 tooth sprocket part of the free wheel/body on the back. At 90 rpm of the crank which is considered optimal cadence you can power a bicycle to approx. 34 mph using that combination and upwards of 40 mps in full sprint.

“Not everyone loves racing a bicycle like I do,” said Jones “But most have ridden a bicycle at some point and know the freedom that it gives. In no other sport do you get to travel great distance at relative speed through country sides up the side of a mountain. You get to take in breath taking sceneries while getting fit and staying healthy. Also most of my best ideas like this club were conjured up on the bike. I have seen quite a bit of the world on my bicycle.”

Jones said that Cayman has a great cycling legacy as its first medals at any games came from cycling. For a small cycling country he said it also boasts several Olympians, Carifta Champions and a even semi-pro. But after a lull in the sport Jones says he wants to make the Cayman Islands prominent in the Cycling world once more and encourage the community on to bikes.
Crankers along with CICA will promote the islands first ride to work month in February.

For more details check out Facebook (53//11 Crankers)
 

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Mr Fit kicks up the fitness at Kings sports centre

| 09/02/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Following a a three-month hiatusaerobics instructor Callroy "Mr. Fit" Harris has resumed instructing classes at Kings Sports Centre Powerhouse Gym and is offering complimentary consultations, including a body assessment, and one free session to people looking to get in shape. Mr Fit returns with a mix of morning and evening aerobic and fitness classes including Poweraerobics, Body Toning, Step and Sculpt and the popular Reggaerobics. A certified fitness instructor he also provides personal training services the 15-year fitness veteran is excited about his return as Mr. Fit: 100% of your daily recommended allowance.

"I look forward to working with my clients on achieving their 2011 fitness and health goals, by introducing some specialized personal training techniques and new aerobic concepts," he said.
 

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Government helps out looted East End farmers

| 09/02/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Two farmers who lost over sixty holes of yam to thieves recently were given a helping hand by the ministry of agriculture last week. The two elderly sibling farmers who were the victims of predial larceny when people looted their East End farm received plants and other materials from the minister who had promised to help after seeing the results of the raid on their produce. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said thatthe supplies were the ministry’s way of helping them get back on their feet after the loss.She also called on the community to be vigilant in protecting farmers from predial thieves and other threats to livelihood.

“These farmers help to feed our families, the community and the country; we must do everything to protect their living,” O’Connor Connolly added as she urged community members to remain alert for, and report, persons who are not known farmers selling farm produce.

The farmers were given banana and plantain suckers; a lime tree; scallion plants and various pepper seedlings, as well as a chicken trap and fertiliser. Yam suckers are also to be presented at the start of the planting season.

Alida Scott and Irvin Forbes said they were really grateful for the help. “The minister talked with us shortly after the incident, and this presentation of plants and supplies has encouraged us to go on,” said 67-year-old Scott. “Our hearts were broken because what the thieves did meant a big financial loss. Even worse, it also prevented us from giving free produce to other residents and elderly shut-ins as we normally do.”
She said that the gifts will do much to help her family on the path to recovery and DoA Director Adrian Estwick said the department s will continue to work closely with the sibling farmers throughout the recovery process.
 

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Controversial author to face off against Ridley

| 09/02/2011 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The controversial author of the latest work criticising offshore centres will be featured at this year’s OffshoreAlert conference across the table from the former chair of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. Nicholas Shaxson, the author of Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World, says that bank secrecy, far from being "dead", is still vibrant. He will be one of a number of speakers set to appear at the watchdog conference in Miami in April. Shaxson will participate in a session entitled "OFCs or Tax Havens: Good or Bad for the Global Economy" alongside Tim Ridley, who will argue that offshore financial centres benefit the international financial system.

Speaking to conference organisers, Shaxson criticised the world’s major countries – and the media – for starting and perpetuating the "myth" that there was a new era of bank transparency.

"In April 2009 G20 leaders declared that the era of bank secrecy is over, and mandated the OECD to launch a crackdown with a black, white and grey list of tax havens," Shaxson said. "Much of the world’s media believed the hype. Unfortunately, the blacklist system turned out to be a whitewash. A few pinpricks have been made in the opacity, it is true, but basically the OECD’s standards of information exchange are so pitifully weak that the secrecy system is pretty much as vibrant as ever."

He said tax havens corrupt capitalism by providing one set of rules for wealthy elites and insiders, and another set for the rest of us.

"They are distorting markets,” he added. “Multinationals get to out-compete more nationally-based smaller firms that can’t access the same abusive tax strategies … The financial crisis has thoroughly discredited the notion that the most ‘efficient’ economic system is one where the tax burden is shifted downwards from the wealthiest sections of society towards the poor. There is nothing at all ‘efficient’ about the offshore system."

Shaxson is one of a number of speakers and experts booked to appear at what is becoming a key date on the financial services sector calendar.

Thorny subjects such as the importance of WikiLeaks, corruption in soccer and doing business with “dodgy clients”, among many others, will be examined over the three day event. Organisers said this year’s conference will focus on fraud detection and prevention, anti-money laundering, financial compliance, intelligence-gathering, and general risk management, all with an emphasis on international business transactions, particularly those conducted in and through Offshore Financial Centres.

OffshoreAlert Conference Programme

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Artists reflect colours of Cayman in new show

| 09/02/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Work by a number of the Cayman Islands ‘native sons’ and other local artists will be featured in a new exhibition that opens Wednesday evening at the Ritz Carlton gallery. The exhibition entitled Cayman Reflections will showcase local work inspired by the islands’ beauty and its kaleidoscope of colours as seen through the eyes of the local artists. “Embraced by verdant shores aqua waters and vibrant skies Cayman inspires reflections of love and special moments shared,” said Chris Christian the promoter and one of the artists in featured in the show. The grand opening is at 6pm on 9 February and the exhibition will continue until May.

Alongside Christian will be a diverse collection of work from leading local artists such as Al Ebanks, Gordon Solomon, Dora Williams and Avril Ward.
 

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Woman visitor dies during dive in West Bay

| 09/02/2011 | 17 Comments

(CNS): Police confirmed this morning that they are investigating the death of a 52-year-old woman while diving on Tuesday. At about 11.15 yesterday morning police received a report that a woman had lost consciousness while diving off Lighthouse Point in West Bay. The woman was diving with her husband when she was spotted floating on top of the water. Her husband immediately called for assistance and staff from the resident dive company, Dive Tech, helped bring her to shore. The dive company staff administered CPR until the arrival of the emergency services. The woman was conveyed to the Cayman Islands Hospital, George Town, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. The couple were reportedly vacationing in the Cayman Islands from Florida.

Police said that enquiries into the woman’s death are ongoing. This is the third water sports related death in Cayman since the start of the New Year.

 

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