Archive for April, 2011

Bushes enjoy consolation reception

| 30/04/2011 | 59 Comments

(CNS): The UK’s foreign secretary and his wife hosted a reception at Lancaster House in London on Friday afternoon for the international guests to the Royal Wedding that didn’t make the invitation list for the reception hosted by the queen. McKeeva Bush and his wife Kerry joined leaders from other overseas territories as well as representatives from countries all over the world. The guests at William and Ffion Hague’s reception were bussed to the grade I listed mansion adjoining St James’s Palace on The Mall from Westminster Abbey following the royal wedding ceremony. The alternative Royal Wedding party for foreign VIPs is said to have cost the UK taxpayer £15,000. 

Representatives of notorious dictatorships including North Korea, Iran and Zimbabwe were among the 300 dignitaries who were invited to the champagne and canapes reception laid on by the Foreign Office.

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Royal couple postpone honeymoon

| 30/04/2011 | 2 Comments

(AFP): Britain’s Prince William and his bride will not be going on honeymoon this weekend, their St James’s Palace office said on Saturday, with the prince returning to his duties as a military pilot next week. The couple departed Buckingham Palace by helicopter for an undisclosed location and have made it clear they want the media to respect their privacy as they spend a private weekend in the country. "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen not to depart for a honeymoon immediately," the palace said.

The smiling couple held hands as they strolled through the palace grounds, then shook hands with royal staff before leaving. The pageantry of their wedding service gave way to a night of dinner and dancing for the royal couple and 300 guests, who partied until 3:00 am.

The secrecy surrounding the couple’s honeymoon destination has led to intense speculation.
William, the second-in-line to the throne, has a deep love of Africa and he proposed to Kate in Kenya last year, so that has been mooted as a possible honeymoon spot. Jordan has also been touted as a possibility and would have nostalgic appeal for Kate as her family lived in the kingdom for two years when she was a child.

But given the current upheaval in the Middle East, it might be considered a compromised choice.
A secluded Caribbean island would allow the couple to escape the prying eyes of the media.

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Record gas price hike

| 30/04/2011 | 41 Comments

(CNS): Daylight robbery was not confined to the heist at a local George Town restaurant on Thursday when drivers faced a legal hold up at the gas pumps. Fuel station prices jumped by a record 40 cents overnight and gas prices reached as much as $5.98 per gallon on Grand Cayman. With many believing that the international price for oil is set to increase further and no sign that government intends to remove the extra 25 cent duty place on fuel in last year’s budget in its fiscal plans for 20011/12, it’s not just drivers that are in for an expensivesummer. On Cayman Brac which had avoided the 25 cent duty increase prices had reached $5.67 per gallon on Friday.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday morning the education minister offered no comfort to the community when he said that government was not in a fiscal position where it could reduce fees and duty when it brings the budget next month.

The latest record breaking 40 cent hike comes on the heels of a 25 cent increase earlier in April a ten cent jump several weeks before that. While the increase spells pain at the pump it will also cause CUC bills to increase significantly and with the cost of doing business going up the consumer will be hit in the stores as well.

On Friday night the crude oil price passed US$114 per barrel in New York as a result of the weak dollar and the continuing unrest in the Middle East. This latest gas hike may the highest the Cayman Islands has experienced but it is unlikely to be the last before fuel prices come down.

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Daylight robbery in GT

| 28/04/2011 | 10 Comments

(CNS):Two armed masked men held up a George Town restaurant in the middle of the afternoon, Thursday and escaped with cash from the register and from a customer. George Town detectives said they are looking for the two suspects who were armed with a machete and what was believed to be a firearm when they robbed Miss Elaine’s Restaurant located on School House Road, George Town. The heist took place at just before 3pm when the men threatened staff at the local restaurant before making off with the restaurant takings and a wallet containing belonging to a customer.(Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Police said the first of the robbers was described by witnesses as around 5’7” in height, slim built and wearing a Red ‘T’ Shirt, Blue Jeans Pants his cohort was said to be about 5’9” in height, slim built and wearing a White ‘T’ Shirt and blue Jeans pants. Both robbers had their faces covered with white woolen masks. The suspects left the scene on foot and were last seen running towards McField Lane. Police said that no shots were fired and no-one was injured in the incident.

Anyone who was in the area at the relevant time who witnessed the crime or the suspects making off from the scene is asked to contact George Town CID on 949-4222 or the confidential Crime Stoppers number 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Fire fighters still battling brush blaze

| 28/04/2011 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Despite hopes that the brush fire burning off the West Bay Road would be extinguished by Wednesday night on Thursday evening firefighters were still battling the blaze. As a result of the continued re-ignition of the fire in the brush area behind the site of the former Marriot Courtyard Hotel crews were forced to continue dousing the flames with water. The fire has been burning since Monday evening and the original cause of the fire is still not clear. However, the pine needles littering the floor of the undergrowth along with dried dead trees left over from Hurricane Ivan it is path, are continuing to refuel the blaze, fire experts say.

Duane Tibbetts said given those conditions it was not unexpected that the fire would re-ignite at locations throughout the brush. Although a challenging fire Tibbetts said the service was more than able to deal with it as it had experience of much tougher blazes.

Fire officials told Cayman 27 yesterday that fire-fighters would stay at the scene until they were sure the fire was completely doused.

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Deputy Premier taken to hospital

| 28/04/2011 | 14 Comments

(CNS): The deputy premier was the only member of the parliamentary United Democratic Party who did not attend Thursday morning’s hastily convened conference to support the premier because she was at the time under observation at the hospital. Her colleagues were quick to confirm, however, that Juliana O’Connor Connolly, who should have been acting as premier in McKeeva Bush’s absence, had wanted to attend but was advised to rest. O’Connor Connolly was taken into hospital early Thursday morning suffering from high blood pressure. Although under doctors’ care, her Cabinet colleagues said they had spoken to her before the conference and she was doing fine. They also said they did not expect her to be admitted overnight.

CNS will post more details as they released.

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UDP MLAs back Mac

| 28/04/2011 | 123 Comments

(CNS): Update – The backbench MLAs and government ministers offered their backing for the premier on Thursday morning in the wake of a no confidence motion filed by the opposition. Rolston Anglin said all of the UDP team had confidence in the government and McKeeva Bush’s leadership and dismissed Alden McLaughlin’s motion as nothing more than a distraction at a time when the government of the day was stabilising the economy. Speaking in the absence of the premier, who is in London for the royal wedding, and the deputy premier, who had been admitted to hospital because of high blood pressure, the education minister said the motion would be debated in the Legislative Assembly and it would be defeated.

He said all of the government believed the motion was ‘reckless and unwarranted" and represented a grab for power by the opposition that would have a negative impact on the country.

Anglin added that he and his colleagues all believed the government and the premier had the support of the majority of the Cayman people.

“We’ve been working very hard to stabilize the public finances,” the minister stated at a specially convened press conference at the new government building, adding that the opposition was “seeking to disrupt the progress" that the government had made so far.

Anglin said the motion was nothing more than an attempt to destabilize things just at the point when the economic fortunes of the country were improving. He told the people not to be drawn into the efforts to disrupt the business of government. “We call on Caymanians not to be drawn into the political games,” the minister said as he called on the country to unify behind the government to prevent investors from being scared away by what he said was the opposition’s intention to stir up more civil unrest.

Anglin went on to say that the government had won the election with a majority, and while the opposition had a democratic right to bring the motion, the voters still had confidence in the government. He also pointed out that if any member did not have confidence in the premier they would not sit in Cabinet and if there was any desire to change the government leadership then they could do that among themselves, but there was unequivocal support for Bush.

As they had only seen the motion on Wednesday the members said they did not wish to get into the specifics, though Anglin said the party looked forward to debating the content of it in the Legislative Assembly.

Speaking on behalf of the backbenchers, former talk show host Elio Solomon said the people of Cayman were disappointed in what he said was a destructive attempt to destabilize government, especially at a time when the country was still tackling major financial issues which were the fault of the previous government . Solomon described the opposition move as a “desperate measure”.

The fourth elected member for George Town said the opposition was worried that the UDP government would bring about an economic recovery. “When we are successful,” that would spell “political isolation” for the opposition leader, whom he said had a “thirst for power” and that his love of power was greater than his love for the Caymanian people.

Solomon also took direct aim at Alden McLaughlin, saying the only thing he had done to earn his $250,000 of MLA salary since being kicked out of office on to the opposition benches was to bring a motion about green iguanas and this no confidence motion.

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April Time Attack, racing is in the air!

| 28/04/2011 | 0 Comments

(CMA): On Sunday 17th April, the Cayman Motorsports Association (CMA) hosted their second Time Attack for 2011 with Ten drivers taking to the course which was designed by Andrew Jackson. The field consisted of three running in Two Wheel Drive (2WD), one in All Wheel Drive (AWD) and six in the Unlimited Class (ULM). Unfortunately, Peter Jurgens in the Ace Paint Subaru was the only driver in AWD which meant that he wouldn’t have gained any points for this event as the rules require a minimum three drivers per class. However, Jurgens put down some very impressive times with a best of 77.044 seconds which would actually be the 4th best time for the day.

In 2WD, it was the class of “borrowers”. Jimel McLean in his brother’s Honda Civic, Ian Charlery in his friends Honda Integra and Tom Kirkconnell in his wife’s Hyundai Accent. Jimel came out on top with a best time of 78.022, while Ian came in second with an 82.198 and Tom in the smoking (literally!) Accent came in third with a best time of 84.051.

Unlimited class saw the most entrants and excitement! Ian Tibbetts was unfortunately out after his second run due to a busted brake fitting. Wayne Kirkconnell finnally premiered his sleek and sexy, fully carbon fibre, Automotive Art Nissan Z after chasing down gremlins for a year. It took Wayne a few runs to tame the beast but by his last few runs he was putting down some worthy times, with his best being 77.243, good enough for fourth place in the initial rounds. Third place would be taken by Keith Tibbetts in his Valvoline Subaru Sti with a time of 75.480. The Valvoline Subaru, which is used to being in the top spot, would be beat by Gary Huggins for second in his KIMMAR Toyota Starlet with a time of 75.323, and first place for the ULM Class would be taken by CMA Vice-President Bobby Hulse in the “Ching Ching” (Black Toyota Altezza) with the fastest time not just for the class but for the day, 74.082.
Also in ULM was young George Manderson who deserves special mention. Even though George placed 5th in the Unlimited Class in the Automotive Art Volvo, he consistently dropped his time in every single run and was the only driver to do this for the day. He did so well with dropping times that he dropped 7 seconds between the time of his first run and that of his last. In racing terms, 7 seconds is not far from a life time and a huge time difference to achieve. “This is exactly what Time Attack is all about”, stated CMA President Kim Kirkconnell. “It is great to see George as a young driver doing so well and constantly dropping times. It clearly shows that he is getting better as a driver, sharpening his skills and becoming more precise. This is what we strive to promote through CMA, safe, controlled driving at different speeds. I encourage more young drivers to come out and try Time Attack, talk to the advanced racers, and educate themselves about driving better and keeping racing off the roads.”

After the initial class runs, everyone took part in the Battle Run which was an extremely shortened course. Coming in top once again was Bobby Hulse with a time of 19.884 seconds, followed by Keith Tibbetts with a time of 20.541 seconds and Wayne Kirkconnell in third with a time of 20.855 seconds.

Overall the day was a great success and CMA wishes to thank all those who came out and either raced, volunteered or just came and watched. If you would like to get involved with CMA or just for more information email or call 926-4692.

The next Time Attack event is scheduled for Sunday 29th May, 2011.





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Forecasters predict more storms in Caribbean

| 28/04/2011 | 3 Comments

(CNS):A US based weather service provider says it expects more hurricanes to form in the gulf and the Caribbean Sea during the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season. Weather Services International revised its predictions for the season this week down from 17 named storms to 15 with 8 hurricanes, 4 of which are expected to be intense. Chief Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford said the surface temperatures in the region are particularly warm this year. “We expect more development in these regions and less in the eastern tropical Atlantic,” Crawford stated. The predictors said while the 2011 season may not be highly active for generating storms, the storms that do form are more likely to make landfall, particularly along the US Gulf coast.

“Storms developing in the Gulf and Caribbean are a much greater threat to make landfall along the US coast than those that develop off the coast of Africa,” the WSI weather chief said. “For this reason and since our hurricane landfall prediction model suggests sharply increased chances of US landfall in 2011, especially in the western Gulf states, we expect two or three land-falling hurricanes this season. This is not particularly unusual, since historically 43% of years have had multiple hurricane landfalls. The forecast numbers from our model are quite similar to those prior to the 2008 season, when Hurricanes Dolly, Gustav, and Ike impacted Louisiana and Texas.”

The WSI 2011 forecast numbers are above the long-term (1950-2010) averages of 12 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes and match the averages from the more active recent period since 1995.

The experts said that weather patterns have resulted in a cooling of the tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures so they now expect slightly less storms that they predicted in their first long term seasonal forecast in December.

“We do expect another active season in 2011, although not to the level of 2005 or 2010. However, while we expect less overall activity this year, we do expect a much more impactful season along the US coastline. The US has been spared from any land-falling hurricanes since 2008, and the hurricane drought in 2009 and 2010 is relatively rare in the historical record.

“In fact, the US has not had a three-year stretch without a hurricane landfall since the 1860s. Further, 80 percent of all years in the historical dataset have had at least one hurricane landfall in the US. Our recent good fortune in avoiding land-falling hurricanes is not likely to last,” Dr Crawford added.

“The lack of US landfalls in 2010 was primarily due to a persistent western Atlantic trough that essentially protected the US East Coast from any direct hits. We do not expect this feature to be in place this year during late summer and fall when most tropical storms occur.”

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Tornadoes kills scores in five southern States

| 28/04/2011 | 0 Comments

(Bloomberg): Tornado watches were posted from Georgiato Maryland today after a series of lethal storms tore through the U.S. Southeast and cut power to a nuclear plant. At least 178 people were killed in five states, with Alabama hardest-hit, as high winds tore apart homes and businesses, the Associated Press reported. About 300,000 people were without power. It may have been the deadliest single day for tornadoes in the U.S. since April 3, 1974, when 310 people died, according to AccuWeather Inc. Severe weather and heavy rain are likely along the East Coast today, although “I don’t think we are going to see the mass outbreak of tornadoes that we saw yesterday,” said Tom Kines, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather in State College, Pennsylvania.

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