Caribbean and Diaspora News in Brief
Death of a Trinidadian in Kenya
Cruise ship key to tourism
St Kitts and Nevis hits 30
LIAT signs off on CEO
Swiss courts say 'no' to Baby Doc
What John McAfee did next
Grenada ending its barrel duty waiver
Quote of the week: Caricom at the UN
Tributes to a Trinidadian scholar and charity worker – Trinidad’s Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, has led tributes to Ravindra Ramrattan, the Trinidadian charity worker who died in the attack on a Kenyan shopping mall.
Mr Ramrattan, a London School of Economics, Cambridge and Oxford-educated economics specialist, had been working in Kenya for the charity Poverty in Action.
The 30-year-old had been shopping in the mall when the attack by gunmen took place.
His last text to a friend had read: “I am safe and hiding in a supermarket.”
Cruise ships still big – The cruise ship industry might have taken its share of the global recession squeeze, but it is still a major contributor to national incomes in some parts of the Caribbean.
The US-based Business Research and Economics Advisors (BREA) estimates that the cruise ship industry brings in $2 billion a year to the Caribbean.
The most popular destinations are (including percentage of GDP from cruise tourism) in order: St Kitts and Nevis (5.9% of GDP), Antigua and Barbuda (4.1%), Belize (4%), St Lucia (3.9%), the Bahamas and Dominica (3%), Grenada (2.8%), Barbados (1.5%) and St Vincent and the Grenadines (1%).
Jamaica and Trinidad are at the bottom of the cruise ship contribution to GDP. It adds 0.7% to the Jamaican economy and 0.01% to Trinidad’s GDP.
BREA found that St Kitts and Nevis had seen a 400% increase in cruise tourism in the last six years.
St Kitts and Nevis turns 30 – US Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the US-St Kitts history as a long one of “friendly and productive relations”, while Long Island’s Newsday newspaper called it a popular cruise stop and “one of the trendiest Caribbean island getaway destinations today”.
St Kitts and Nevis, one of the last of the former West Indies to attain independence from Britain, moved into its trendy 30s on 19 September with a number of tributes abroad.
Prime Minister Denzil Douglas told an Independence ceremony: “There is much more that we have to achieve, there is much more work to be done.”
Goodbye Ian Brunton
Liat’s board of directors has accepted the resignation of chief executive Ian Brunton.
As reported last week, he offered his resignation after a turbulent summer for the island-hopping airline.
The board has appointed Julie Reifer-Jones as acting CEO from 1 October.
McAfee’s new adventure – He’s eluded the Belizean authorities and faked a heart attack in Guatemala.
Now security software pioneer John McAfee says his latest challenge will be to create a hack-proof internet.
He plans to return to Silicon Valley to launch a new cyber-security company.
Mr McAfee told the San Jose Mercury News that the new technology would provide a new moving and decentralised internet “that is impossible to hack, impossible to penetrate”.
“It solves all of our security concerns,” he added.
Don’t roll out the barrel – Everybody in the Caribbean Diaspora is familiar with the barrel – sending a large number of items to relatives as presents, necessary supplies or even part of the move back home.
In Grenada, duties have been waived on such barrel exports in the past.
However, Grenada’s government has held a series of consultations with the local business community, the labour movement and NGOs and has decided to end the free barrel programme this year.
“The decision to discontinue the programme is also consistent with government’s policy to help boost the local business sector by encouraging more local purchases,” Grenada’s Spiceislander.com said.
Switzerland to Baby Doc: the answer is still no – A Swiss court has rejected an appeal by former Haitian leader Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier for access to his assets in Swiss banks.
Swiss authorities had frozen $5.5m of his assets in 2002 on the basis that “the assets stashed in Swiss banks were obtained illicitly”.
Caribbean Intelligence© found that, in a 25 September response to Mr Duvalier’s appeal, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court said that the former Haitian leader and his entourage “did not demonstrate that the increase in their assets had resulted from activities unrelated to their role as public officials”.
Mark Duggan inquest continues – Family and police have continued to give evidence in the inquest looking into the shooting of Mark Duggan, whose death in 2011 sparked riots across England.
The police evidence on their shooting of Duggan in Tottenham said that the operation that led to his shooting had been assessed as “high risk” for officers.
His mother Pamela Duggan told the inquest: “Mark may not have been an angel, but he should not have died the way he did.”
Quote of the week
“The economic vulnerability and ability of the member states of Caricom to build resilience are exacerbated by a debilitating debt overhang which continues to bedevil the region’s growth and development prospects.” Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister and Caricom Chair Kamla Persad-Bissessar, speaking at the 68th UN General Assembly on 26 September.
BOUGHT IT YET? SHOP IN THE UK AND THE US