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Max Forte's List: CARIBBEAN

    • Fuad Abu Bakr arrested

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      Thursday, February 25, 2016

      Police officers have reportedly apologised to the leader of the New National Vision Party Fuad Abu Bakr after they arrested him last evening.


      Bakr was held for seven hours last night while police ran checks on his vehicle. But Bakr tells CNC3, sorry will not suffice, and he will be taking legal action.

    •   Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:05pm EST   
        Related:     World   

      'We're back': Aristide allies toast Haiti's interim president at palace

        PORT-AU-PRINCE  |  
    • A senator who served as interior minister under former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was sworn in as Haiti's interim president on Sunday, a development met with elation by allies of the leftist leader who days ago were leading street protests.

      Haiti canceled a runoff presidential election in January amid often-violent protests over alleged fraud in the first round and after the opposition candidate boycotted the vote.

      Former president Michel Martelly finished his term a week ago with no elected successor as a result. Instead, a deal was struck for the opposition-controlled parliament to choose a provisional president to oversee fresh elections quickly.

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    • The Significance of Trinidad and Tobago to the U.S.

      BY Michael W. Edghill | May 23, 2013
    • Trinidad and Tobago, known more for Carnival and sandy beaches, is not often discussed in terms of its strategic importance to the United States. Yet there are several reasons that this small two-island nation appears on U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s itinerary for his trip to Latin America next week.  After traveling to Brazil and Colombia, home to the two largest economies in South America, Biden will visit Port of Spain just over four years after President Barack Obama was in Trinidad for the 2009 Summit of the Americas.


       The juxtaposition of this small island nation with the extremely large and influential nations of Brazil and Colombia may appear odd. However, Trinidad and Tobago is quickly becoming a much more important player in regional affairs and an increasingly important friend of the United States.

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    • Barbados to remove Queen Elizabeth II as titular head of state Add to ... 


       BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — The Associated Press



    • Barbados plans to remove Queen Elizabeth II as titular head of state and replace her with a ceremonial president from the Caribbean island, a former British territory once known as “Little England” for its colonial trappings.

      Prime Minister Freundel Stuart announced that the plan is to make Barbados a republic by November, 2016, when the island of roughly 300,000 people celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence. He said it makes no sense to keep the monarch as the head of state of an otherwise independent country.

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    • Inside the Billion-Dollar
      Battle for Puerto Rico’s Future

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        • The money poured in by the millions, then by the hundreds of millions, and finally by the billions. Over weak coffee in a conference room in Midtown Manhattan last year, a half-dozen Puerto Rican officials exhaled: Their cash-starved island had persuaded some of the country’s biggest hedge funds to lend them more than $3 billion to keep the government afloat.

          There were plenty of reasons for the hedge funds to like the deal: They would be earning, in effect, a 20 percent return. And under the island’s Constitution, Puerto Rico was required to pay back its debt before almost any other bills, whether for retirees’ health care or teachers’ salaries.

          But within months, Puerto Rico was saying it had run out of money, and the relationship between the impoverished United States territory and its unlikely saviors fell apart, setting up an extraordinary political and financial fight over Puerto Rico’s future.


          On the surface, it is a battle over whether Puerto Rico should be granted bankruptcy protections, putting at risk tens of billions of dollars from investors around the country. But it is also testing the power of an ascendant class of ultrarich Americans to steer the fate of a territory that is home to more than three million fellow citizens.

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          govt changes rules for hiring new police commissioner

          • Published on Dec 10, 2015, 8:38 pm AST
          • By Kim Boodram
      • Port of Spain




        THE rules have changed for the appointment of a Commissioner of Police (CoP), who now must be a Trinidad and Tobago national, Communications Minister Maxie Cuffie announced yesterday.


        The process will also now be handled by a local firm, Cuffie said at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair. He also said the appointee could be a national living abroad.


        No firm has been selected as the decision is a new one, Cuffie added, as he announced that Cabinet had approved an order to change the appointment process for the appointment of the CoP, a position that has since 2012 been manned by acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams.

      • Maduro rejection mirrors Manley's defeat in 1980
      • Wednesday | December 9, 2015 | 12:00 AMDaraine Luton

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      • Trinidad to Seize Assets of Terrorist Jailed in U.S.

          PORT-OF-SPAIN – Trinidad and Tobago Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said Friday that efforts are under way to freeze assets belonging to a Trinidadian man serving a life sentence in the U.S. for terrorism.

        Al-Rawi told reporters that his office initiated the process after Thursday’s ruling by Judge Nadia Kangaloo declaring Kareem Ibrahim a terrorist.

        Authorities have so far been unable to identify any properties or accounts in the twin-island nation connected to Ibrahim, the attorney general said, adding that his office will seek to seize the assets of all Trinidadian nationals listed as terrorists.

        Ibrahim, 70, was sentenced to life in prison in the United States after he was found guilty of conspiring with others to detonate fuel tanks and a pipeline at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
        • Climate change at Piarco?

          • Published on Dec 2, 2015, 9:54 am AST
          • Updated on Dec 3, 2015, 9:22 am AST
          • By Sue Ann Wayow
      • Trinidad Express Newspapers: News | Climate change at Piarco?

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      • Guyana Increases Security amid Terrorism Concerns

          SAN JUAN – After recent terrorist attacks in France and Mali, the government of Guyana announced Wednesday the start of a seven-month security exercise to avert possible threats.

        “Terrorism has no defined borders, terrorism can occur anywhere. We are not immune from that and therefore, it would be remiss of a government if it does not put into place arrangements which will secure its citizenry, and so we are not waiting for something to happen,” Minister of State Joseph Harmon said in a statement.

        The campaign will see an increase in the number of defense force members and law enforcement officials at key locations in Guyana even as voters in neighboring Venezuela prepare to go to the polls on Sunday for parliamentary elections.

        Venezuela and Guyana have had a long-simmering dispute over the Essequibo region, which is administered by Georgetown but claimed by Caracas.

        “Therefore, we always have to be on the alert for these things that are occurring on our borders,” the minister said.
      • rinidad Court Postpones Jack Warner’s Extradition Hearing

          PORT-OF-SPAIN – Wednesday’s hearing in Trinidad and Tobago on a U.S. request for the extradition of former soccer executive Jack Warner on corruption charges ended within minutes after the magistrate adjourned the proceedings until Feb. 19.

        The flamboyant Trinidadian businessman and politician served from 1997-2011 as a vice president of FIFA, soccer’s world governing body.

        Warner, 72, appeared briefly in court on Wednesday, but no evidence was heard, as both prosecutors and defense attorneys asked the judge for a continuance.

        The delay is to allow time for the Trinidad High Court to rule on a motion filed by Warner’s lawyers challenging the legal basis of the extradition bid.

        Warner is one of 14 former and present FIFA officials indicted in the U.S. on a number of charges including corruption and wire fraud.
      • OAS to observe general elections in St Vincent and the Grenadines
        Published on December 1, 2015  Email To Friend    Print Version

        WASHINGTON, USA -- The Organization of American States (OAS) will send an electoral observation mission (EOM) to the general elections in St Vincent and the Grenadines on December 9, according to the agreement signed on Monday by representatives of the Organization and the Caribbean country.
         The secretary general of the OAS, Luis Almagro, recalled that the mission will be the 14th deployed in 2015 to various countries of the hemisphere. He noted that the mission will focus on issues of electoral organization and gender equality, and respect for conditions of equality and transparency in the electoral competition.
         For his part, the interim representative of St Vincent and the Grenadines to the OAS, Omari Seitu Williams, recalled the significance of the presence of an electoral observation mission for his country. This will be the fifth mission that the OAS has deployed to the Caribbean country, after the general elections of 2001, 2005 and 2010 and the 2009 referendum on constitutional reform.
         The mission in St Vincent and the Grenadines will be led by the chief of staff of the secretary general, Ambassador Jacinth Henry-Martin, and will include observers from different nationalities who will be deployed in all 15 constituencies of the country before, during and after the electoral process.
      • Letter: Why the IMF chemotherapy in Grenada will fail
        Published on December 1, 2015
      • Dear Sir:

         In its narrow medical definition, chemotherapy is defined as the treatment of disease by means of chemicals that have a specific toxic effect upon the disease producing microorganism or that selectively destroy cancerous tissue.

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      • Trinidad court of appeal allows election challenge to proceed
      • By Caribbean News Now contributor
         PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- In a majority decision, the Trinidad and Tobago Court of Appeal has allowed the election petition brought by the United National Congress (UNC) to proceed.
         The ruling was handed down on Monday, with Justices Peter Jamadar and Allan Mendonca ruling to uphold the decision of the High Court to grant leave and Chief Justice Ivor Archie ruling against.
         On September 18, High Court Justice Mira Dean-Armorer granted the UNC leave to proceed with the petitions to challenge the election results, agreeing that the UNC had presented an arguable case with a realistic prospect of success.

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      • French Caribbean under state of emergency following Paris attacks  

      • FORT DE FRANCE, Martinique, Thursday November 19, 2015 – The state of emergency declared by France following the deadly terror attacks in Paris has been extended to Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion Island, and St Martin and St Barths.


        This means that lawmen will have the power to randomly stop the circulation of persons and install zones of protection and security and detain suspicious persons and their possessions.


        They will also be able to ban meetings or demonstrations, order searches in houses day or night, give a compulsory order of residence to any persons whose behaviour or activity is deemed dangerous for security and public order, and order the submission of weapons and ammunition.

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      • In Guyana, a Land Dispute With Venezuela Escalates Over Oil

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      • What the FIFA scandal really tells us – about the US   

      • Simon Reich        

          Professor in The Division of Global Affairs and The Department of Political Science, Rutgers University

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      • Trinidad and Tobago ratifies SOFA
      • May 27, 2013: 


        Trinidad and Tobago has ratified the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States, which governs the temporary presence of US military/defence personnel in Trinidad and Tobago (TT) for mutually agreed activities.


        This agreement is intended to strengthen the existing excellent relationship between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States in matters of national and regional security.


        The terms of the agreement will only become operative and applicable to particular exercises in which both governments mutually agree to engage.


        Mutually agreed activities are defined in the SOFA as “such activities for which the government of Trinidad and Tobago shall transmit its approval in writing through diplomatic channels to the United States Authorities”.


        In accordance with international practice, a determination on whether an action occurred during the course of official duties is customarily made by the relevant authorities of the sending State’s force who are in the best position to define what constitutes official duties of the members of that force.

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      • September 22, 2015: Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi has signed the Authority To Proceed (ATP) in the Jack Warner extradition case.


        Queen's Counsel for the State, James Lewis, confirmed that the ATP had been signed when the former FIFA Vice President reappeared at the Port of Spain Magistrates' Court on Monday morning.


        Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington heard cases in the 8th court in place of Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar, who is currently abroad.

        While the ATP was acknowledged and not challenged by Mr. Warner's defense, they argued he should be discharged from his provisional warrant before continuing the case.

        Senior Counsel Fyard Hosein, representing Mr. Warner, said the failure to sign the ATP prior to the September 16th deadline meant his warrant should be discharged.

        He cited that under Section 12.3, the Magistrate had no grounds to grant an extension and as such, to avoid the matter facing a Judicial Review over the issue, the warrant should by discharged.

        QC Lewis, in his counter-argument, stated there was no real reason to discharge the warrant as the nature of the proceedings had already changed due to the ATP.

        He said the discharge would be purely "academic."

        The Deputy Chief Magistrate stated he was troubled by differing arguments and opted to adjourn the case to Friday, stating he needed time to review the ATP.

        Mr. Warner did not take questions from the media after leaving the court.

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