Antigua Chronicle

  • The Gift of TV on the Go gives customers one hour FREE streaming to enjoy their favourite content on

    With the happiest time of the year just around the corner and everyone getting busy making their Christmas wish lists, Digicel is offering up the ultimate Christmas gift for its customers across the Caribbean and Central America in the form of The Gift that Keeps on Giving them access to stream movie after movie.

    For this festive season, Digicel asked its customers for their Christmas wish list  - and this year, the number one Christmas wish was easy and affordable access to entertainment on their mobile phones whenever they want, wherever they go.

    Digicel’s Gift that Keeps on Giving means when customers in Antigua and Barbuda activate a Quick Pick Bundle, they will get free access to Digicel’s PlayGo TV streaming app plus one hour free to stream all their favourite TV shows, movies and sports via its PlayGo app to their heart’s content. And because free means free, customers will never lose a single megabyte of their data to enjoy this one hour streaming pass.

    In a nutshell,  customers will be unwrapping bundles containing up to 3GB of data, 300 Anywhere minutes and unlimited Digicel minutes, whatsapp messaging, unlimited rollover data and talk plus free access to stream from 18 premium channels and a library of over 3,000 On Demand content all in brilliant HD via the PlayGo TV app. Now they never have to miss the next big hit thing because they’re on the go.

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  • It was an early Christmas for the residents and staff of the CARE Project as the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda and a visitor from the North Pole made a courtesy call to the Care Giving Institution on Tuesday for the annual Christmas program.

    The festivities got underway with a grand opening ceremony with Matron Juliet De Labastide delivering remarks moments after the opening prayer from Pastor Jason Richards of the Lutheran Church and the National Anthem which was rendered by Asha Otto and the Itchy Feet Band.

    In her address, De Labastide declared that there are still new frontiers to conquer and new heights to reach but she is certain that in the end, the Care Project will see better and more glorious days.

    “Today we at the Care Project are in a far better place than when we arrived. We still have a long road ahead with a lot of expectations for our future but we are confident that with all our stakeholders’ continued support, we will get there,” the Matron noted.

    There were remarks also by the Care Project’s Operation Manager-Walton Edwards who gave a detailed outline of the achievements of 2017 and the ambitious goals that they have set for the future while Annette Carey of Friends of the Care Project reminded the crowd that ground was recently broken for the construction of a purpose-built facility which will be able to house over thirty permanent residents.

    Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and the Environment, Walter Christopher told the gathering that government is still looking at ways to make all public sector facilities in the Ministry more accessible and friendlier for individuals who are physically challenged and differently abled.

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  • Cable & Wireless Communications ("C&W") today announced that John Reid will step down from the position of CEO in early 2018. An announcement on C&W’s incoming CEO will be made in due course, and until that time, Reid will remain in the post and will support the transition to new leadership.

    Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, parent company of C&W said: “John has been an exceptional leader for us, steering Cable & Wireless through significant changes and transformation; we have valued John’s dedication and energy and wish him the very best for the future.”

    Reid has been an industry leader for more than 29 years in Canada and for the past 13 years across the Caribbean and Latin America.

    At Columbus Communications and then with the merger with Cable & Wireless, Reid played a key role in building the region’s leading full service communications and entertainment provider.

    Most recently, John was also instrumental in the integration of C&W with Liberty Global, which is due to deliver $150m in synergies, as well as readying the company to be part of Liberty Global’s Latin America and Caribbean operation, which is due to be split-off next month.

    During his tenure at C&W, Reid has driven the transformation of the business to focus on delivering an unparalleled customer experience leading to improved performance and efficiency, as well as the implementation of growth strategies for the Company’s mobile, residential, business and wholesale segments. In October 2016, Reid was recognized by leading intelligence source, Global Telecom Business, as one of the top five leaders from the Caribbean and Latin America in GTB’s Power 100.

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  • Seven Bills are on the Order Paper down for discussions when the House of Representatives meets today.

    Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne will move the second and third readings of the Tax Administration and Procedure Bill, the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (Amendment) Bill, and the Automatic Exchange and Financial Accounts Information (Amendment) Bill.

    Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, the Hon. Steadroy Benjamin will move the second and third readings of the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure (Amendment) Bill and the Child Justice (Amendment) Bill.

    The Telecommunications Bill, to be presented by the Hon. Melford Nicholas and Tourism Licensing and Classification Bill to be presented by the Hon. Henry Charles Fernandez.

    The Tourism Licensing and Classification Bill provides for the licensing, classification and the development of standards within the Tourism Industry.  The key objective of the Bill is to professionalize the Antigua and Barbuda tourism industry and transform the product to a level that can compete with any destination worldwide.

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  • Sandals Resorts International (SRI) was honored with prestigious recognition at the international 24th Annual World Travel Awards Grand Final Gala Ceremony, held on December 10, 2017 at JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa in Vietnam. The Luxury Included® Resort Company collected seven awards in total from the World Travel Awards and World Spa Awards, demonstrating the continued commitment to excellence of the brand and its resorts.

    “Sandals Resorts International is thrilled to once again be the internationally recognized all-inclusive leader,” said Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts International. “Every year we continue to stand at the forefront of the hospitality industry, and every year we look forward to constantly innovating and improving the Sandals Resorts International brand to create the ultimate luxury experience for our guests.”

    With a combined total of seven trophies, Sandals Resorts International rose above other highly acclaimed hotel brands throughout the world. The Caribbean resort company’s top honors included:

    World's Leading All-Inclusive Company 2017: Sandals Resorts International

    World's Leading All-Inclusive Family Resort Brand 2017: Beaches Resorts

    World's Leading All-Inclusive Resort 2017: Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa

    World's Leading Caribbean Attraction Company 2017: Island Routes Caribbean Adventures

    Barbados' Best Resort Spa 2017: Red Lane Spa at Sandals Barbados

    Saint Lucia's Best Resort Spa 2017: Red Lane Spa at Sandals Grande St Lucian

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  • With Politics there is almost always no guarantees, and what the public is fed is often mere crumbs of any issue as the island heard on Monday that embattled MP, Hon. Asot Micheal will (again) be featured on the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party ticket for the next elections.

    Micheal, who is also regarded as a financier of the party, was ousted some time ago from Cabinet and stripped of his Ministerial Portfolios following a brief arrest in London by the UK National Crime Agency in relation to bribes made by a UK national for business projects in Antigua and elsewhere in the Caribbean.

    Prime Minster Gaston Browne had announced then that Micheal's arrest was, despite not being formally charged with any offence, was sufficient to raise doubt in his government. He also said that the former Tourism Minister would have been reconsidered to rejoin the helm of the government when the legal matter was settled.

    He had said, “While I have no firm details of the reasons for Mr Michael’s arrest, the arrest itself is sufficient for me to revoke immediately his appointment as a Cabinet member and to relieve him of all Ministerial portfolios until this matter is resolved.”

    And continued, “I have repeatedly stated that I expect every member of my government to comply with the highest possible standards required of public office, and while Mr Michael might establish his innocence in time, the fact that he has been arrested, obliges me to relieve him of all government duties”.

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  • In its national development, there have been four significant periods that marked the nation’s ‘...history; ...challenges and progress.’ The first period saw the enslaved engaged in rebellious activities, with shared experiences of ‘...arduous and restless toiling; ...constant brutality and death.’ Those who have rebelled against enslavement had done so primarily to secure their freedom and to be treated as reasonable creature in being. While that period speaks to enslavement, three other periods speak to (i) ‘...Colonialism; (ii) ...Pillaging of the island; and (iii) ...the Difficult journey to political independence.’ The fourth period saw Sir Vere Cornwall Bird KNH faced with adversities; ...encountered difficulties as he endured hardship.

    VC BIRD DAY TO NATIONAL HEROES DAY

    Sir Vere had persevered. He surmounted colonial hurdles as he fought assiduously for ‘...an autonomous Antigua and Barbuda.’ A day prescribed by Parliament, called ‘...V.C. Bird’s Day’– December 9th had sparked national controversy. Different views have been expressed on the contributions of four other national heroes and heroine, ‘...Prince Klass ‘King Court’; ...Dame Georgiana ‘Nellie’ Robinson; ...Sir George H. Walter and Sir Isaac V.A. Richards.’ Carefully avoided contributory comparisons, a legislative act, disguisedly aimed at eliminating the day, saw the Baldwin Spencer administration transforming it to ‘...National Heroes Day’ [Public Holiday Act: No. 8 of 2005]. This had angered family members and a wide cross-section of the society.

    SUBSTANCE AND QUALITY

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  • Almost as predicted, Mrs. Maria Bird-Browne - the wife of Prime Minister Hon. Gaston Browne - has secured the nomination of the St. John's Rural East Constituency Branch following a recent election. Bird-Browne replaces Hon. Lester Bird who held the constituency seat for several years.

    The primary win means Bird-Browne will be able to contest the seat in the upcoming general elections, predicted to be called soon.

    In previous media reports, Hon. Lester Bird said he was not consulted about a potential replacement candidate for his seat, far less it being such a close relative. He said he would have much preferred to have announced his retirement from politics on his own.

    The branch’s decision was said to have been announced via letter to the ABLP executive in recent days. Claudette Mason, branch chairman signed the missive.

    There were four other contenders for the constituency seat.

     

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  • Christmas may come earlier for shoppers as Prime Minister Gaston Browne intends to wave the 15% Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax for the weekend of December 15th.

    Though the official announcement has not been made, PM Browne is said to have commented on the initiative which usually gives shoppers a sales break for the Christmas season.

    According to news sources an official statement on the initiative will take place soon indicating the weekend of the 15th as a tax break for shoppers in Antigua.

    However, the traditional Christmas dollar barrel initiative is still very active as many citizens are taken advantage of the opportunity to import barrels only containing food items, clothing and toiletries. This program will discontinue on January 5th 2017.

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  • President of the Republic of Cuba, His Excellency Mr. Raúl Castro arrived in Antigua on Thursday for the Sixth CARICOM-Cuba Summit today at the Carlisle Bay Resort and Spa.

    President Castro was met on arrival at the V.C. Bird International Airport, by Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne and members of his Cabinet and Cuban Government Ministers and officials from the Cuban Embassy in St. John.  The Cuban President was given a Guard of Honor for his first official visit to Antigua and Barbuda.

    The Sixth CARICOM-Cuba summit will be co-chaired by the Chairman of CARICOM, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell of Grenada,  and the President of  Cuba, Raúl Castro.

    This Meeting marks 45 years of diplomatic relations between CARICOM and Cuba, and will examine issues of regional and global importance including climate change adaptation and disaster risk management. A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and Cuba’s Agency for Civil Defence which will provide opportunities for closer collaboration, especially following the  devastating impact of the September 2017 hurricanes across the region, and the increased focus on climate change resilience.

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  • Halo Foundation announces initiatives to assist Persons with Disabilities

    At the closing ceremony of the I Am Able Conference at Government House on Wednesday (December 6th) evening, Health and Environment Minister Molwyn Joseph revealed that he had spoken to the Honourable Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, and received the Cabinet's approval to set up an I am ABLE Commission.

    The Commission will have an office and a paid full-time staff. It will harness the optimism and ideas that emerged from the Conference and will serve to monitor, implement and enforce the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It will be a place where persons with disabilities can register their complaints to ensure an accessible and inclusive society.

    Minister Joseph said it was important that Antigua and Barbuda maintain the momentum and trajectory that has been established as a consequence of the I AM ABLE Conference.

    Also speaking at Wednesday evening’s ceremony was Lady Sandra Williams, wife of His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams, Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda and Founder and President of the Halo Foundation.

    Lady Williams announced three initiatives to assist Persons with Disabilities.

    (1) Providing free public transportation for persons with disabilities from Barbuda if they wish to travel home before the end of the year.

    (2) One scholarship per year for a child with special needs to attend the Victory Center.

    (3) An annual award for a person with disabilities who have demonstrated exceptional abilities.

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  • In aid of Barbuda crisis recovery efforts, the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will present a technical workshop on Friday 8th December at Halcyon Cove.

    The workshop is Entitled “Building Back Better: Lessons Learned and the Way Forward in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma”.

    This capacity building event invites construction industry professionals to gain knowledge of comprehensive information gathered from the Building Damage Assessment (BDA) undertaken in Barbuda during November with support from numerous partners from the public and private sectors from both islands, and the importance of building to code during reconstruction.

    ‘Following the Building Damage Assessment that took place in Barbuda in November 2017 which surveyed 1,290 structures in Barbuda, crucial information was collected which shows the level of damage to each structure, how many can be restored or which should be demolished, and the number of roofs to be replaced,’ explains UNDP Recovery Advisor Ms Aurelie Boukobza. The BDA was preceded by a training of 50 industry volunteers on Friday 3 November at the Coolidge Air Force Base.

    ‘This important workshop will prepare construction industry professionals for the task ahead with new climate-resilient building technologies showcased during the workshop, demonstrating the way forward to restoring communities toward brighter futures’, says Boukobza.

    The full day workshop from 8.30am to 5.30pm supports local and national authorities, along with the construction industry in Antigua and Barbuda, in the reconstruction effort to Build Back Better in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

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  • In the Caribbean, approximately 66 percent of the population reside in urban areas, ranging from 30 percent in Antigua and Barbuda to 84 percent in the Bahamas. The urban sector is a key contributor to economic growth, as cities and towns are hubs for jobs, educational and health facilities and transportation. Recognising the need for a coordinated approach to urban planning, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is developing an Urban Sector Strategy Policy and Operational Guidelines to guide future investment in this sector.

    As part of the policy development process, CDB hosted a workshop for representatives from Regional government departments and agencies with a stake in urban development. Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Director of Projects at CDB, Daniel Best, noted that the new Urban Sector Policy is geared towards helping Caribbean countries achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11.

    All of the world’s countries, including all of our Borrowing Member Countries, have formally committed to achieve the SDGs by 2030. For urban areas, this goal is expressed by SDG 11 and its components, which aim to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The urban policies elaborated in our Urban Sector Policy Strategy and Operational Guidelines are geared to achieving the objectives in this new approach.”

    Best noted however, that this will require a coordinated approach from all government agencies.

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  • Digicel, the total communications and entertainment provider, today announces the appointment of Mr Alexander Matuschka Greiffenclau as Group Chief Executive with effect from February 2018. He will succeed Mr Colm Delves who had signalled to the Board some time ago his intention to step down from his executive role for personal and family reasons.  Mr Delves will remain as a non-executive director of Digicel and will also provide advisory services to the Group.

    Under Colm’s leadership over the past 13 years, Digicel grew from US$478 million revenues in eight markets to $2.5 billion revenues across 32 markets with a ten-fold increase in profitability and subscribers.

    Alex joins from VEON, a leading global provider of telecommunications services, where he has served as Group Chief Performance Officer since mid-2015.  He previously served as Chief Transformation Officer at Nokia Networks, where he was credited as playing a key role in its transformation. Prior to joining Nokia, he gained extensive experience in the automotive and machining industries.

    Alex holds a joint business degree (Diplom-Kaufmann) in International Business Economy from International Business School Lippstadt in Germany and West Virginia University in the US.

    Denis O’Brien, Chairman of Digicel Group, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Alex to lead our talented management team at a really exciting time for the business. Given his telecommunications credentials and his experience of working in dynamic and transforming sectors, he’s a natural fit for our business.

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  • Seventeen (17) countries around the world were blacklisted as tax havens by the European Union. On that list, several Caribbean islands were named including Antigua and Barbuda, but have received a temporary pass because of the hard hitting effects of the hurricanes this year.

    The other islands which received the temporary passes are Anguilla, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos and the US Virgin Islands. According to caribbean360news, they have until next year to deal with the issues, the EU said.

    “For jurisdictions affected by natural disasters, it was agreed to put the process temporarily on hold. This refers in particular to countries affected by hurricanes during 2017. They will be asked to address the concerns identified as soon as the situation improves, with a view to resolving them by the end of 2018. By February 2018, they will be contacted to prepare the next steps,” it said in a statement.

    However, four Caribbean islands were completely blacklisted. Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago are on the list of countries not doing enough to deal with offshore avoidance schemes which was made public earlier this week after months of EU officials screening tax policies.

    The full blacklist is: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, St Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

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  • Chairman and founder of Sandals Resorts International, Gordon “Butch” Stewart, was this week honoured at the UNWTO, Government of Jamaica, World Bank Group and Inter-American Development Bank’s Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism.

    At the Conference’s Gala Dinner and Tourism Icon Awards, held on Wednesday, the UNWTO, in association with Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism, presented Mr. Stewart with the Global Legend of the Caribbean Award in recognition of his long and outstanding contribution to sustainable global tourism growth and to job creation in the Caribbean.

    “Knowing the humble beginnings of this company and after 36 years in this industry, I can truly say it is an honour to receive this award. Sandals is a homegrown brand with proud roots in Jamaica and the Caribbean and I am happy we have been able to have such an impact on the region by bringing guests from across the world to our beautiful shores and by creating jobs for Caribbean nationals ” said the Sandals Resorts founder.

    The night’s other awardees included David Scowsill, former president and chief executive officer of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Taleb D. Rifai, who is concluding his second four-year term as Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organisation, Micky Arison, chairman and chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation and Frank Rainieri, president and chief executive officer of Puntacana Group, a recognised leader of the tourism industry in the Dominican Republic.

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  • Sir Robin Yearwood, Parliamentary Representative and Minister of Public Utilities, Civil Aviation and Transportation has lost his appeal case against his ex-wife. This means he will have to find over £4 million to pay Christiana Yearwood, the ex-wife of Sir Robin Yearwood.

    The knighted parliamentarian lost his case in the Court of Appeal after they dismissed his appeal from the high court ruling of Antigua and Barbuda that was handed down in his ex-wife’s favour.

    The ruling on this matter was first heard in the United Kingdom where Sir Yearwood and his now ex-wife were married in 1991 and divorced in 2008. The UK courts decided that Sir Yearwood should pay an excess of £4 million.

    Christian Yearwood’s lawyer, Dr. David Dorsett who has been representing her in the cases explained why the case was now held in Antigua. According to news sources he said “The court in England made the order and she asked for the order to be registered in Antigua so that it could be enforced. Mr. Yearwood resisted the application for the registration of the order and judgement of the English court.”

    Dr. Dorsett also explained that Miss Yearwood sought a division of matrimonial property after the divorce. The Lawyer goes on to state that Sir Yearwood has done nothing much since the original ruling. Now that the courts in Antigua has handed down their ruling the order is liable to be enforced if Sir Yearwood doesn’t comply.

     

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  • The UPP will launch the National Vision Forum, a community-wide discussion series aimed at promoting the Party's Policy PLATFORMS.

    Political Leader, Senator Harold Lovell and his team, will present the UPP's transformative development agenda under the theme TALENTS: A NEW PERSPECTIVE.

    This town hall style meeting, will provide a dynamic, interactive opportunity for citizens to engage in comprehensive consultations and provide ideas and aspirations on a range of issues that affect Antigua and Barbuda.

    "It is extremely important that we hear directly from the people. We want to harness their insights and intelligence about the direction in which they would like to see this country go. These engaging discussions will provide invaluable feedback to help strengthen and fine- tune our policies and programmes which we refer to as our TALENT POOL. We will delve into a range of areas that affect the quality of life and future opportunities for citizens and businesses alike," said Senator Harold Lovell.

    The first NVF will be held on Thursday, December 14th at the Antiguan and Barbuda Workers Union HQ, starting promptly at 6:30 PM.

    Presentations will be made by dynamic UPP Candidates on a range of issues related to TALENTS. The Q & A segment will facilitate participation of citizens in attendance as well as online.

    The forum will be carried live on Crusader Radio 107.3 FM and live streamed on facebook.com/itsmyupp.

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  • The 2017 Caribbean Sailing Association’s Annual General Meeting was held last week in Antigua where several members present were joined electronically by 21 other members from across the Caribbean to discuss the business of Caribbean sailing and elect officials for the coming year.

    Without exception, sailing development continues to be the biggest focus moving forward outside of the CSA Rating Rule and promotion of the sport of sailing in accordance with the organisation’s mission statement.

    The focus on sailing development really kicked off during the 2013 Regatta Organisers Conference in Puerto Rico when delegates discussed the trends in participation of the sport of sailing and the relative decrease in numbers of people entering the sport. It was agreed that as an association the CSA had a part to play in supporting sailing programmes and schools throughout the region. Ultimately the more structured and effective the programmes are, the more it encourages youths of all ages and nationalities to get on the water and long-term helps grow the sport and eventually the regional regattas.

    Continued involvement from yacht clubs and programmes and Member National Authorities is bringing benefits in sharing ideas, opportunities, and challenges, helping the region to move forward with a united voice.

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  • Stakeholder engagement is key to the development of climate change adaptation and mitigation programs in Antigua and Barbuda. This is why the two-day mission trip by the Green Climate Fund to the twin islands on December 11 and 12th is so important, particularly for businesses interested in aligning with this niche sector.

    On Tuesday 12 December Sir Rodney Williams, Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, will be hosting a luncheon for the private sector on the Government House lawns. This luncheon seeks to engage the financial sector, banks and insurance companies, to discuss the linkages between finance and adaptation measures. It is also targeted at businesses offering climate change alternatives, such as renewable energy solutions, energy efficient options, and the like.

    This kind of discussion becomes more important following the recent summer of natural disasters, however, it is a discussion critical to climate change in general. It is for this reason that the Department of Environment sought and received accreditation to the Green Climate Fund. This accreditation will allow the Department of Environment to receive up to US$10 Million to execute a combination of loans, grants, and so on, amounting to between USD10 million and USD50 million for adaptation and mitigation projects to be implemented in Antigua and Barbuda.

    Through the preparation process for the Green Climate Fund accreditation, the Department upgraded their website and will be able to finance the Sustainable Island Resource Framework Fund (SIRF Fund), which will allow for low interest loans for persons within vulnerable communities to make their homes ready for a category 5 hurricane.

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  • There were dozens of smiling faces and applause filled the air as the historic I Am Able Conference got underway at the St James’s Resort at Mamora Bay on Monday.

    With hundreds of delegates, ambassadors, well-wishers, and other high officials in attendance, the opening ceremony of the much-anticipated conference featured singing, a poem, an instrumental rendition, testimonies, and speeches.

    One of the speakers at the function was Antigua and Barbuda’s Health and Environment Minister-Molwyn Joseph, who delivered the morning’s featured address, a speech that was punctuated by reproofs and encouragement.

    “Sometimes in our country, we doubt ourselves and I hope on this occasion we can all embrace the opportunity to change Antigua and Barbuda once and for all in so far as our outlook on people with disability.

    This is going to require all of us in this room, accepting some personal responsibility to change the culture and the social fabric of Antigua and Barbuda,” Joseph declared.

    The Minister went on say that too often individuals only look at the physical inability of a disabled person rather than looking at them as a complete human being with gifts and abilities that can be used for nation building.

    “Too often, many in the society do not look beyond the surface; many times when we look at persons with a disability, we tend not to look past the physical and we consequently fail to recognize the tremendous abilities of such persons. Thus the I Am Able Conference must send a clear message that we must focus more on ability than disability, it’s about what they can do and not what people think they can’t do,” added the Health & Environment Minister.

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  • The Ministry of Health & the Environment will be hosting a national consultation on the proposed new public cemetery at Tomlinson.

    The consultation will take place on Monday, 18th December at Potters Primary School, starting at 7.00 pm.

    The parliamentary representative for St. George, Hon. Dean Jonas and the residents of the St. George constituency, especially those living in the Potters, Potters New Extension, Paynters, Tomlinson, and Gunthorpes communities, are invited to attend and participate.

    The preliminary design of the new cemetery will be unveiled at the consultation.

    The national consultation is in keeping with the Ministry of Health & the Environment’s policy of informing the nation of its initiatives and promoting the widest possible consultation and community involvement.

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  • Forty-one year old Everette Jerome Spencer of Browne’s Avenue, was charged by the police on Monday with attempted arson.

    He is accused of attempting to set fire to a generator room at Everyday Service Station located on Independence Drive, on 29th November.

    Firefighters at St. Johns Fire Station received a call from the said service station; where it was reported that someone set fire to two five gallon buckets, next to a generator room.

    The blaze caused damage to a nearby water tank, but was eventually put out by the firefighters.

    Spencer was arrested and questioned in connection with the incident.

    He is expected before the Court (Today) Tuesday.

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  • Public Safety Minister the Hon Steadroy Cutie Benjamin recently returned to Antigua and Barbuda where he attended the 7th Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue, under the theme “Towards a More Effective Partnership and Integration for Citizens Security”.

    Several Topics were discussed to include, Regional Collaboration for Law Enforcement and Combating Transnational Organized Crime; Crime and Violence Prevention; National Disasters and Lesson Learned; Enhancing Maritime Security Cooperation and Caribbean International Partners Coordination Efforts.

    Minister Benjamin was very impressed with the meeting on a whole and its effectiveness and noted that during the Caribbean’s presentation by Major General Stewart Saunders National Security advisor of St. Kitts and Nevis under the topic “Regional Collaboration for Law Enforcement and Combating Transnational Organized Crime”, quoted statistics concerning crime activity and data in the region

    Quoting from an article written by Robert Curley entitled “Caribbean Murder Rates 2017” the following data was highlighted: Murder rate in Jamaica was 40.9 per one hundred thousand; the rate in St. Kitts and Nevis- 38 per one hundred thousand; Trinidad and Tobago- 35 per one hundred thousand; Bahamas- 27.4 per one hundred thousand; St. Lucia – 25 per one hundred thousand; St. Vincent and Grenadines – 22per one hundred thousand and murder rate in Antigua and Barbuda has recently risen to an all-time high of 18.6per one hundred thousand. (RSCNPF Data)

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  • The Ministry of Works and Housing’s Project Implementation Management Unit will be holding a public consultation for members of the Friar’s Hill Road business community to discuss the Government of Antigua and Barbuda’s Road Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project.

    The consultation will take place at the Multipurpose Cultural Center on Wednesday, December 6 at 6pm. 

    Project Coordinator, Mr. Dennis Cudjoe said:

    “With road works scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2018, this is a great opportunity for business owners to learn more about the project and voice their concerns.”

    Stakeholder engagement is a crucial component in the UKCIF (United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund) grant of 13.9 million British Pounds which is being administered by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) with oversight from the Department for International Development (DFID).

    Antigua and Barbuda is the first Caribbean nation to access these funds which set out to improve infrastructural capacity.

    The link between the community and the implementation agency is Anne Harewood George Community Liaison Officer, She said:

    “We are very excited to be holding the first major stakeholder consultation and we hope that participants will feel empowered to give us constructive feedback that will help us to ensure the successful implementation of this historic project.”

    The objective of the public consultation is to begin a dialogue with members of the business community so that they can be adequately informed and several more consultations will be held for the duration of the project.

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  • His Excellency Jesus Sierra Victoria, the Permanent Representative of Panama to the Organisation of American States (OAS), on Monday presented his Letter of Credence to His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams, Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, officially accrediting him as the Ambassador of Panama to Antigua and Barbuda.

    After the presentation of credentials, Ambassador Sierra Victoria paid a courtesy call on the Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. Prime Minister Browne extended a warm welcome to the Panamanian Ambassador, and affirmed that, “Antigua and Barbuda, and Panama maintain excellent political and cultural bonds. Panama is a valued ally, and neighbour.”

    During the meeting, Ambassador Sierra expressed his sympathy and support for those affected by Hurricane Irma. In this connection, on behalf of the Government of Panama, the Panamanian Ambassador presented a cheque in the sum of fifty thousands US dollars (US$50,000) to Prime Minister Browne for humanitarian relief efforts in Barbuda.

    In addition, Ambassador Sierra also announced that his government would provide another cheque of fifty thousand US dollars (US$50,000) in the new year to further assist with rebuilding efforts in Barbuda.  In response, Prime Minister Browne acknowledged the goodwill and generosity of the people and Government of Panama, and conveyed his appreciation for the donation.

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  • Antigua Chronicle has been reliably informed that the body of a male identified as that of Sean Joseph of Bendals was discovered by a passer-by on Cherry Lane, Pigotts last evening. With two gunshot wounds to the head, it appeared that he may have been shot at point-blank range.

     Details are sparse. Residents reported hearing gunshots just after 6 o' clock Sunday evening December 3. No weapon has been recovered and no arrests have been made thus far.  

    Police are investigating this apparent homicide.

    More details to come as this story develops. 

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  • Months ahead of the FIBA 2021 Men’s Pre Qualifier Tournament, the Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) announces that Mr. John Spezia will lead the charge as Head Coach of the National Senior Men’s Team. The competition, which is formerly known as the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Senior Championships, will be held in June 2018 in Suriname. 

    Spezia, who hails from the United States of America, is a FIBA Licensed Coach, and is very au fait with the sport of basketball through his vast experience in coaching, administration, and team management. 

    He is well known for his long-serving commitment, and tenure, to the sport at High School, College, and Professional levels. With over thirty years of coaching experience, Spezia has successfully served as a Basketball Coach, and an Athletic Director, at all levels, at various institutions across the USA, and proudly boasts of claiming over 500 victories. His Danville Area Community College teams have won the NJCAA D2 National championship while finishing in the top 7 five different times in the National tourney. He has been a two time National Junior College Coach of the Year, and is in the NJCAA Basketball Coaches Association, Illinois Basketball Coaches Association and the Danville Area Community College Hall of Fames. He is very familiar with the Caribbean doing camps in Turks, St. Kitts, Antigua, Trinidad and Montserrat.

    President of ABBA, Daryll Matthew, expressed that the Association’s selection was the best fit for the position, as preparations for the upcoming tournament are due to commence in January 2018. 

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  • The Department of Environment as the National Designated Authority to the Green Climate Fund along with the Ministry of Finance seeks to advise all agencies, civil society organization and the general public of the pending Mission of the Green Climate Fund to the Caribbean on December 10 – 19, 2017. Antigua and Barbuda will be the first country in the Green Climate Fund’s itinerary, arriving on island 10th December and departing the 13th December.
    The Green Climate Fund, or “GCF”, is a financial mechanism under the Climate Change Convention and the Paris Agreement, which helps fund climate finance investment in low-emission, climate-resilient development through mitigation and adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries.

    This mission is part of the Fund’s thrust to improve communication and information dissemination with Caribbean constituents based on the importance for the GCF on building country programmes and country owned pipeline of projects/programmes in the region and among Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

    This mission aims to accelerate the region’s engagement with the Fund, in particular in the aftermath of the devastating hurricanes.   In addition to hurricanes GCF is also concerned about slow events such as droughts and sea level rise that are also a result of climate change. To date, Antigua and Barbuda has received two capacity building or “Readiness” grants totaling USD 900,000 and was recently approved in November 2017 to receive USD 3 million for national adaptation planning to address climate risks, to be implemented over the next three years.

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  • Recent FAO training focuses on understanding and applying food systems thinking to tackle the interrelated issues of poverty and food security and nutrition.

    November 30, 2017 (Bridgetown, Barbados) -- In the last few years, integrated and holistic ways to address food-related challenges such as reducing food waste and loss, improving  farmer livelihoods, expanding access to affordable food and lowering the risk of nutrition-related non-communicable diseases have become more central to efforts by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to meet the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

    One way that FAO is working to address these issues globally is training FAO staff and national counterparts in adopting food systems thinking. Food systems touch on many aspects of society from agricultural practices, businesses, farmers, consumers, government organizations and the environment. By understanding the linkages between different areas such as agriculture, trade health and nutrition, rural livelihoods and environmental sustainability, practitioners are better able to find the underlying causes, rather than just the symptoms, of unsustainable food systems, and find ways to improve their performance.

    This cross-cutting approach was the focus of an October 2017 training hosted by FAO Subregional Office for the Caribbean (SLC) in Bridgetown, Barbados. The week-long session was part of FAO global training programme on “Sustainable Food Systems and Value Chains”, which aims to promote food systems thinking and practice at FAO using a value chain approach.

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  • Sporting a wide array of colors, hundreds turned out with their placards and banners during the annual State Insurance sponsored World AIDS Day march through the streets of St Johns on Thursday (November 30th).

    With music blaring and drums pounding, school children, health enthusiasts, soldiers, police officers, well-wishers and supporters made the trek from the Old Parliament Building through the streets of St John’s, declaring their stance against HIV and AIDS and voicing the message of prevention and care.

    The business hub of the city was the center of attention as the large vocal crowd with placards and banners depicting various AIDS messages made their way down Redcliffe Street, up Market and Long Streets, across Independence drive before finishing inside the YMCA Sports Complex.

    While there, the gathering heard Deputy AIDS Program Manager-Sonia Cochrane Joseph and Dornalie Beazer, a representative from State Insurance Corporation.

    Cochrane-Joseph disclosed that of all the diseases and calamities that the twin-island state has faced in the past and will continue to face, HIV is the chief culprit among them.

    “The Ministry of Health and the Environment is determined to ensure that the healthcare environment is conducive to promoting the health of the population. HIV is one of those diseases that the Ministry of Health and the Environment has placed high on the agenda and actually it has been on the agenda since the first case was diagnosed in 1985,” she said.

    The health official added that the AIDS Secretariat is determined to deliver top class care to its patients and to uplift and uphold all the values and rights that are entitled to all human beings.

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  • In the spirit of Thanksgiving, thirty (30) Barbudans gathered at the Ebenezer Pilgrim Holiness Church in Bronx, New York on Saturday November 25, 2017 for a participatory community leadership dialogue, titled “Envisioning Barbuda 2030 and Beyond.”  The intensive day long workshop, organized by the Barbuda Civic Association brought together Barbudans from across the United States of various age groups, political persuasions, professional backgrounds and interests to begin the process of creating a shared vision of preferred futures for Barbuda by 2030 and the potential role of the Diaspora in helping to shape the desired future.

    The meeting was facilitated by Dr. Claire A. Nelson of Washington D.C. who was invited to lead and manage the participatory process.  Nelson is the Founder and President of the Washington D.C. based Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS).  She is also Ideation Leader of The Futures Forum, a research and education consulting practice specializing in bringing the power of strategic foresight, and the discipline of sustainability engineering to challenges facing organizations and communities. Nelson was named a White House Champion of Change in 2012.

    The working sessions were designed to build trust and collaborative working relationships between community leaders and members of the Barbudan diaspora; to develop greater capacity for on-going dialogue among members of the Barbudan diaspora that enables collaboration in the midst of differences; and begin to plan for implementation, a dynamic new agenda that is congruent with the vision.

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  • The severe weather systems associated with the 2017 hurricane season should be considered as a wake-up call for Antiguans and Barbudans to be better prepared.

    That’s according to Director of the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) Philmore Mullin.

    The hurricane season which began on June 1, officially ends today - November 30.

    Mullin says the fact that Antigua and Barbuda was impacted by Irma, with extreme damage in Barbuda, should encourage residents to stop procrastinating.

    Mullin encourages families, work places, schools and other entities to put in place all of the relevant disaster management programmes necessary to reduce the scale of impact and develop adequate preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation plans.

    Although the hurricane season has officially ended residents should continue to be on alert since storms have formed and made impact outside of the season.

    NODS commends the volunteers for their patience and hard work and encourages others to come forward.

    Meanwhile, the NODS Director will participate in next week’s annual regional Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) conference to be held in the Bahamas.

    “CDM: The road to resilience” is the theme for this year’s gathering which will bring together approximately 300 delegates from 40 countries to include disaster coordinators from throughout the Caribbean and youth representatives.

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  • The Honourable H. Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism, Foreign Affairs and Immigration, is presently attending the 30th Regular Session of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which commenced 27th November and will conclude on 6th December at its Headquarters in London.

    Minister Fernandez addressed the Assembly during the opening ceremony on Tuesday, and expressed solidarity with the Governments of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Iraq and the Argentine Republic in the wake of catastrophes experienced within all territories.

    The Minister further elaborated on the disastrous effects on Barbuda and other neighbouring islands on the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria, and the vulnerabilities and fragile marine environments of small island developing states (SIDS) to external shocks. Further, the Minister highlighted the leading role played by Antigua and Barbuda in the region and international fora as it pertains to maritime affairs.

    The Tourism Minister also paid a courtesy call on the Secretary-General of the IMO, Mr. Kitack Lim, and engaged in bilateral meetings with various delegations to include the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia to explore areas of mutual interests.

    Moreover, on Thursday 30th November, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda initialed an Agreement with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany on Maritime Shipping.

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  • First Lady of Antigua and Barbuda, Mrs. Maria Bird Browne will address a World AIDS Day Regional event organized by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in collaboration with UNAIDS and PANCAP in Saint Kitts and Nevis on Friday.

    Mrs. Maria Bird Browne is attending the event in her capacity as a member of Spouses of Caribbean Leaders Action Network (S-CLAN), a grouping of spouses and First Ladies of the region designed to tackle issues relating to the well-being and health of women, children and adolescents in the Caribbean.

    The event, which will hear special remarks from Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Timothy Harris, the PAHO Director Carissa Etienne and UNAIDS Latin America and Caribbean Regional Support Team Director Cesar Nunez, is being held at the Marriot Hotel Saint Kitts.

    Before leaving Antigua for Saint Kitts, Mrs. Bird Browne indicated that her remarks will focus on the theme “My Right to Health and Everybody Counts.”  “It is my hope that the day’s events will further re-energize health workers and members of civil society to advocating for the right to health and ensuring that everyone counts as all work towards an AIDS free region,” she noted.

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  • Almost 250 Dominican children, now studying and residing in Antigua, following the devastating passage of Hurricane Maria through their homeland, were recently surprised with a gift of school supplies and back packs by the Sandals Foundation.

    This is a continuation of a similar project, in coordination with the Ministry of Education of Antigua and Barbuda in September, where much-needed school supplies were gifted to Barbudan children displaced by hurricane Irma.

    As part of a continuing effort to bring relief and recovery to those islands impacted by the destructive hurricane season this year, the Sandals Foundation, which operates in seven Caribbean countries, has committed itself to supporting the children and their families who left everything and moved to Antigua.

    In the immediate wake of Irma, Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Gordon “Butch” Stewart announced a personal donation of $150,000 to assist the children of the island of Barbuda. Stewart’s donation is being managed by the Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Sandals group.

    Sandals Grande Antigua General Manager Gaurav “G” Sindhi who was present at the National Public Library hand-over of back packs filled with school supplies, said the Foundation had made a long term commitment to supporting children and education impacted by the storms.

    “This is our way of meeting the immediate needs of children, many of whom came to Antigua with very little personal possessions and need some assistance to get the most out of their education,” he said.

    “We have on-going dialogue with the Ministry of Education to assist with the rebuilding of the primary school in Barbuda which is no longer operational.”

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  • A call for unity and harmony was the main highlight of the opening ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the Caribbean Nursing Organization (CNO) and Leadership Summit at the Jolly Beach Resort and Spa on Wednesday morning.

    Echoing that call was Health and the Environment Minister Molwyn Joseph, who said that harmony and camaraderie must exist among the key instrumentalities and stakeholders who operate in the medical fraternity.

    Joseph called on the nurses, doctors and other medical technicians to work hand in hand with those who are in charge of policymaking.

    “There has not been, from my observation, enough dialogue between the associations and the policymakers. We need to have that dialogue and rather than undertaking these issues in an environment that is more adversarial, we need to identify the synergies that should exist between the welfare and well-being of the nurses and the responsibility of policymakers to the nurses. That dialogue must happen.”

    The Minister went on to say that the system suffers and the innocent patients suffer even more when there is a lack of harmony and dialogue among the key parties.

    “Too long have we pursued this in an adversarial manner, too long, and it tends to retard the development of nurses and tends to undermine the standard and quality of service for the patients, the ones who should benefit. And as the Minister, I can tell you frankly that I am totally open to serious dialogue.”

    Joseph praised the work and sacrifices of the nurses and lauded them for the care they had taken in making it possible for Antigua and Barbuda to become a Caribbean leader in the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and Syphilis.

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  • Though the contributions of other architects may have been overshadowed by those, who in many respects have also helped in charting the course of the nation, the contributions made by Sir Vere Cornwall Bird KNH, were said to have been among the most significant of any other leader that had succeeded or followed him in administrating the affairs of the nation. In the life of the nation [Antigua & Barbuda], there have been three significant periods that marked its history and development. Those that have rebelled against ‘...slavery,’ had done their part. It was all in the name of freedom and respect for human dignity. It is undeniable that out of ‘...Slavery and Colonialism,’ many nations were born. Moreover, it is undeniable that Vere Cornwall Bird and other regional leaders of that era had broken the stranglehold of British imperialism and colonialism on the regional island-chain.

    MISGUIDED INTELLECTUALS

    Even as history has so revealed, intellectuals have argued that Britain had relinquished its dominion over the islands that had become less economically viable. Misguidedly, some have been seeking to minimize the efforts of many past regional leaders in the persona of ‘...Alexander Bustamante; ...Dr. Eric Williams; ...Herbert Blaize [1960-1961]; ...Sir Eric M. Gairy [1961-1962 & 1969 -1974]; ...Llewellyn Bradshaw [1966-1969]; Sir Vere C. Bird [1960-1967: 1967- 1981 & 1981-1994]; ...George H. Walter [1971-1976]; ...Ebenezer Joshua [1956-1967]; Grantley Adams [1953-1958]; ...Hugh Cummings [1958-1961]...Errol Barrow [1961-1966]; ...Cheddi Jagan [1953 & 1964-1966]; ...Forbes Burnham [1964-1980]; ...Frank Baron and Edward Le Blanc [1960 & 1961] and Sir George F.L. Charles [1960-1964].

    CRITICAL ROLES

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  • Author,  editor, and writing coach Joanne C. Hillhouse releases her latest children’s book, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure. Beautifully illustrated by Trinidadian artist Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné, Lost! is inspired by the story of an Arctic seal which found itself in the Caribbean seas a few years ago. The book pulls children into a fun adventure about kindness and friendship that will leave them with a greater appreciation of our marine environment. Lost! includes a fun maze which gives children a chance to help the lost seal find his way home.

    Kirkus Reviewers dubbed the book “appealing …, all the more so for being based on real life” and praised it for giving children “…a chance to learn more about the work of environmentalists and Caribbean sea life.” –Kirkus Reviews

    Marine educator, Carole McCauley, who has worked in both the Caribbean and the US, declared Lost! “A wonderful and inspiring story for all ages.”

    In the book, Dolphin, much like his real life counterpart, the young male hooded seal Wadadli, finds himself stranded in the Caribbean Sea, and far from his home in the North Atlantic. Wadadli was rescued by the Coast Guard of Antigua and Barbuda, while the fictional seal, Dolphin, has a little help from a new underwater friend.

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  • Keneca Ryan, aka “Boom Boom” of Green Bay, who was wanted in connection with an ongoing investigation into Campbell Jackson’s murder, is now in police custody. Ryan surrendered to the police around 2pm on Wednesday at the Criminal Investigations Department, in the company of his lawyer.

    Three other men, namely; Alexis Mussington, Arthur James and Kennecha Marcel were charged earlier this week coming out of this investigation. They have since appeared before the Court and are currently on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison.

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  • The OECS sub-region's first “user experience/ user interface”/UX UI e-newsletter is launched today. The e-newsletter dubbed "iLAND Matters", serves the OECS region and by extension, the Caribbean but has a global reach.

    "iLAND Matters" is a modern communication tool of the OECS iLAND Resilience Project.  It informs the public on how best to safeguard their lives and properties against harsh and intense weather conditions.

    Project Manager of the iLAND Resilience Project, Chamberlain Emmanuel informed that the e-newsletter is one of the many groundbreaking public awareness interventions put forward by the OECS. He says that the e-newsletter is unique and interactive in that users are able to “click back” and access the newsletter’s website, from their emails. He noted that the e-newsletter is also shareable and can be accessed via mobile devices. He says because of this, he is eager to provide a platform to explain climate change and sustainable land management issues and its importance to the public.

    “ The OECS iLAND Resilience Project has to do with engagement and Participation of the public and various stakeholders. Therefore, it is important we have the various tools and media to engage the public, and to be able to impact knowledge on Climate Change and Sustainable Land Management, as well as to empower them to be able to respond to those impacts” says Emmanuel

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  • The Antigua and Barbuda Nurses Association (ABNA) is hosting the Caribbean Nurses Organization (CNO) 60th Anniversary Celebration and Leadership Summit which began today and continues through to December 1, at the Jolly Beach Resort and Spa, here in Antigua and Barbuda.

    The CNO was founded on 17th May 1957 as a non-governmental, non-profit, non-partisan, regional Professional Nursing Organization on the island of Antigua and Barbuda, by Mrs. Mavis Harney the then Matron of the former Holberton Hospital, who now resides in Barbados.   The Celebration of CNO has since been moved to 26th October on the birthday of Mavis Harney which has been declared as CNO Day in recognition of her stalwart contribution to the Organization. The Celebration and Leadership summit of National Nurses Association’s (NNA’s) which was planned for October 2017, had to be postponed to the month of November due to the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

    The purpose of CNO is to work towards improving the health of all people of the Caribbean, by improving the Standards of Nursing Education and Practice and by advancing the Socio-Economic Welfare of all Nurses.  The Organization seeks to influence health and nursing policy regionally and internationally, and empowers its member NNA’s to work on behalf of nursing personnel, nursing, and the peoples of the Caribbean.

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  • For more than two hours yesterday, the entire island of Antigua was without power. This power outage came outside of scheduled power cuts for designated areas of the island. However, the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA),  has confirmed that this island wide black out is of a result of a burnt conductor at the Sweets Substation.

    According to sources APUA investigated the matter and found that a 69-kilovolt transmission line had suffered damage which resulted in the massive outage.

    For hours, street lights, traffic lights and general business operations were affected from the loss of power. Most communities had power restored by the evening.

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  • Stakeholders from various government departments who are charged with the responsibly for the implementation of the National Physical Development Plan are thrust with the task to improved and harmonised a building code for the OECS sub-region as part of iLand Resilience – The OECS Commission’s Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Land Management Project funded by the European Union.

    Environmental Engineer, Ms. Alison King, met with officers’ from the Development Control Authority (DCA), Department of Environment and Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHAPA) to discuss and review the 2015 OECS Building Code for Antigua & Barbuda, a phase which is primary to the adaptation and implementation of the Code.

    During the consultation held at the DCA board room on November 21st, King during her presentation explained that the Code is geared towards the provision of a modern legal framework for effective regulation and management of buildings and building related activities to reduce vulnerability of built environment; ensure public safety and welfare; minimize damage caused by natural or man-made hazards; promote sustainable development for cost effective construction of environmentally and energy efficient buildings and reduce the rates of illegal and unpermitted development.

    King, also outlined the Building Code Implementation Analysis Report which illustrated the

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  • Antigua Sailing Week moves into a new era in 2018 as the start of the next 50 years of racing kicks off from April 28th to May 4th.

    In anticipation of a week of professionally managed racing the fleet is shaping up well. Entered to date are forty-eight boats from 24ft – 115ft including racing, multihull, bareboat and club classes which will take to the big turquoise seas off the south coast of Antigua for a week of exciting competitive racing.

    For any event, the importance of returning sailors is critical as testament to its success and for 2018 some of Antigua Sailing Week’s hardy supporters are lining up well against new returnees.

    Sir Peter Harrison’s 115-foot ketch Sojana is probably the best known of those. A Lord Nelson Trophy Winner in 2011, the spirit of Team Sojana shines through each year on and off the water. Back after a two-year refit in 2017, Sojana won its class and looks forward to returning for a re-match this year.

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  • Controversy and hurricanes are two of the biggest challenges when selling the Caribbean according to Gary Sadler O.D., Senior Vice President of Unique Vacations Limited, the exclusive marketing company for Sandals Resort International.

    Mr. Sadler was speaking during an interview with Observer Radio in Antigua, shortly after meeting with staff of Sandals Grande Antigua ahead of the re-opening of that resort on December 17th. He says the most important message to send after the damage wrought by the recent hurricanes, is that people need to keep travelling.

    “You have to sell the destination. Since September, right after the hurricanes, we have been to about 25 cities and we are going to be seeing about 7,000 travel agents in North America for the first phase, and then we head to London and do parts of Europe. Our job really is to send a message that says the Caribbean is open for business.”

    Mr. Sadler says beyond the sun, sea and sand, one of the most powerful advantages the Caribbean has is its people.

    “The key to it is the people. You can go to any destination in the world and if the people aren’t warm and friendly you’ll never find the customer going back. But once you get the people smiling, once you get the people making you feel welcome it becomes something that is absolutely wonderful, and that for me is the best thing that the Caribbean has to offer.”

    The marketing guru said officials in the Caribbean must also be mindful that these islands are competing with the world for visitors; places such as Mexico, which have tremendous resources for marketing. It was therefore important he urged that there be a united approach between Government and hospitality stakeholders to achieve success.

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  • The Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, along with the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda received a courtesy call from His Excellency Mr. Ma Peihua, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on Monday.

    During the opening exchanges, Prime Minister Browne stated his hope that the meeting would serve to strengthen existing bilateral relations between both countries. The Prime Minister also spoke extensively on the developmental assistance that China has rendered to Antigua and Barbuda since the establishment of diplomatic relations on 1st January, 1983 through numerous grants and concessional loans. “This assistance has led to the enhancement of not only the social well being of the citizens but has bolstered economic activity within the local economy,” said PM Browne.

    Prime Minister Browne graciously extended a heartfelt thank you to President Xi Jinping of China for his country’s swift response to the adversity that Antigua and Barbuda faced following the passage of Hurricane Irma. Furthermore, the Prime Minister spoke towards the shared values held between both countries and the respect that China has shown to countries such as Antigua and Barbuda despite geographical size and economies of scale.

    In response, His Excellency Ma Peihua extended best wishes on behalf of President Xi Jing and Premier Li Keqiang to the Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda. He remarked on the beauty and dynamism of the country and the mutual respect that both nations exhibited toward each other, which has provided a friendly platform for interaction.

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  • The men who are accused of killing Campbell Jackson of Green Bay were remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison on Monday.

    Alexis Mussington, Arthur James and Kennecha Marcel appeared in St. Johns Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Conliff Clark and were denied bail.

    The men were remanded since the Magistrate in his jurisdiction, cannot grant bail for capital offences.

    Committal proceedings are set for March 14th, 2018.

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  • Sandals Grande Antigua resort has been commended by the Principal, staff and students of the Villa Primary School, for the outstanding work it has been doing to partner with and provide support for the school.

    Sandals was among a number of groups and individuals, including Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who were presented with Certificates of Appreciation recently, as the school said thanks to those who have contributed to it over the years.

    "Every time we call on Sandals they are always there to help. All the children here know Sandals and what they do for us...we could never repay you for what you do for us but today we want to say thank you in our small way. When you assist us, know that you are developing a child," Principal Sandra Felix said at the Appreciation Day ceremony.

    Villa Primary is located in the St. John’s City West constituency which is represented by Prime Minister Browne, himself a former student, and who was on hand to witness the presentation of the appreciation award for the work being done by Sandals and others to help the school.

    Every year Villa Primary receives donations of Christmas toys from the Sandals Foundation. Sandals has also built a playground for the school, and has donated scholastic reading books to the library for past two consecutive years. Villa Primary also benefits from the unique Sandals Reading Road Trip project, which allows visitors to interact and read with the students every week. The students have also been able to visit the hotel to view and learn about projects such as the waste recycle plant, and the importance of environmental awareness.

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  •  

    Police charged a Grays Farm man with arson, following investigations into a fire which destroyed two buildings on Corn Alley and Tanner Street in October.

    Gesean Grigg, aka “Mobster” of Grays Farm is accused of unlawfully and maliciously setting fire to buildings, which formerly housed Uprising Nail Salon and Gigi Plaza.

    Firefighters arrived on the scene and met both buildings engulfed in flames; however, were able to extinguish the blaze to prevent the fire from spreading.

    Following the incident, Grigg was arrested and taken into custody and questioned.

    He is expected to appear before the Court (Today) Monday.

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  • Sunwing Airlines inaugural flight to Antigua and Barbuda from Montreal was greeted with a spectacular water cannon salute, the sounds of steelband and performances by cultural dancers, as the impressive Antigua and Barbuda branded Sunwing boeing 737-800 touched down at the V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua on November 26, 2017.

    The Sunwing Montreal to Antigua seasonal non-stop flight scheduled weekly on Sundays will complement the two flights per week from Toronto to Antigua that started on November 10, 2017.

    Sunwing Officials and the 164 passengers on the flight were received by Minister of Tourism, Foreign Affairs and Immigration, The Honourable Charles Fernandez, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James, Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority, Rolston Potter, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority, Stanley Smith and other tourism and aviation officials.

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  • Police have brought additional charges against the Nut Grove family, who were previously charged with illegal firearm and ammunition last Wednesday. This time Malcolm, Janice and Richard Tweed, along with Kyle Francis, Melissa Ferrance and Kens Thomas of Nut Grove were all charged jointly with unlawful possession of two bulletproof vests, unlawful possession of clothing marked “police,” and unlawful possession of camouflage uniforms. A 15yr-old boy was also charged in connection with the same offences.

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  • After more than 65,000 minutes of airtime from nearly 300 programme episodes and more than 60 livestreamed events, having reached 183 countries around the world, UWItv is celebrating the milestone of its first anniversary. The multimedia, public information and education service of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) was launched on 25 November, 2016 and went live in December 2016. One year later, the University is marking the success of the platform with a celebratory event and award ceremony on Tuesday 28 November, 2017 at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination at The UWI Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. It will be streamed live online at www.uwitv.org beginning at 7:00 pm (Eastern Caribbean time).

    UWItv is a tripartite partnership involving The UWI, CaribVision (the regional cable service of the Caribbean Media Corporation) and the RJR Group in Jamaica. It delivers three hours of programming daily to millions of viewers across the region as well as the large Caribbean Diaspora communities in New York, Toronto, Montreal, London and Europe. Its traditional television broadcasting is complemented by a robust web and social media presence which allows users access to content in real time or on demand. UWItv’s diverse Caribbean-focussed programming features the vast intellectual content of the regional University.  It is central to The UWI’s mission as a vehicle for disseminating knowledge, stimulating critical thinking, promoting activism and nurturing leaders in every sphere of Caribbean life. In its first year of operations, UWItv has sought to drive regionalism through solution-based discourse and public education.

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  • As preparations continue for the ‘I AM ABLE’ Conference (December 4th-6th), persons with disabilities in Antigua and Barbuda have been giving their perspective on the meeting as well their aspirations for the differently abled in the country.

    Mr. St. Claire Henry and Ms. Chelsee Merchant recently spoke to Janelle Charles-Williams, the ‘I AM ABLE’ Conference Public Relations Liaison. Henry, disabled from the waist down since 2001, as a result of a spine infection, eagerly voiced his expectations.

    “I hope this conference will bring persons with disabilities to the forefront so that society will understand how we function, how we live and appreciate that even though we live with disabilities, we are still able to produce, to contribute, to function, even though we do it differently.

    “I do not want the conference to be a one-off event. This is something we must build on each year during the Disability Awareness Week of Activities.”

    Henry wants the ‘I AM ABLE’ Conference to formulate and adopt a White Paper outlining key policies that persons with disabilities want to be implemented.

    Specifically, he spoke about equal access to facilities, to buildings, to bathrooms in particular. He alluded to bathroom stalls in the city which he says are “not conducive to persons with disabilities, to people who are differently abled.”

    Meanwhile, Chelsee Merchant spoke about the need for greater awareness within the wider society regarding the needs of and issues affecting persons living with disabilities.  She stressed the importance of consulting and including persons with disabilities in public policy deliberations and in the decision making process.

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  • The Caribbean could discover its very own Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, when 300 people from the tech industry, including power players like Jack Dorsey, CEO, Twitter, convene in Jamaica from November 30 to December 2, for the second biannual Tech Beach retreat.

    A USD35,000 grant provided by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) will make it possible for 16 young entrepreneurs and innovators from across the region to attend the event, through scholarships. The two-day retreat will focus on teaching participants how to build successful fintech, medtech and consumer tech companies, with special features on cybercrime and data security, robotics and automation, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

    Dr. Justin Ram, Director, Economics, CDB

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  • On Wednesday, officers attached to Grays Farm Police Station took to the streets within their district and carried out several traffic checks and stop and search exercises.

    Over sixty vehicles were searched during these exercises, and fifteen of them were impounded and taken to Government Motor Pool for uninsured and unlicensed offences.

    The drivers of thirteen vehicles were also asked to remove extremely dark tints from their vehicles by the police.

    Meanwhile, Police are reminding the motoring public that under the Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, Cap 460, it is an offence for anyone to drive or operate any vehicle on the roads of Antigua and Barbuda without the proper licence and insurance applied to such vehicles.

    It is therefore incumbent upon all drivers to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy, and are properly licensed and insured.

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  • The Consulate General of Antigua and Barbuda in New York hosted its annual Independence Gala this past Saturday at the beautiful Glen Island Harbour Country Club of New Rochelle. The gala was not only a celebration in honor of Antigua and Barbuda’s 36th Anniversary of Independence but also served as fundraising event for Barbuda relief. In honor of this year's celebration attendees were invited to wear the colors of the flag and many guests answered the call and adorned themselves in red, black, blue, white and gold.

    Featured guests at this year’s gala included Honorable Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Mrs. Maria Browne and Antiguan born celebrity stylist, author and social media maven June Ambrose. Special guest performance by Sir McLean “King Short Shirt” Emanuel, backed by Carolyn Punter & Friends, closed the glamorous black tie event. The music icon went through a medley of his greatest hits as the crowd cheerfully sang every chorus.

    Head of Office His Excellency Dr. Walton Webson presented Prime Minister Browne with a check in the amount of $435,000USD which is a total of monies raised by the New York Office to date. Donations for Barbuda have come from persons in the diaspora, local partners and the international community in support of recovery efforts.

    "We are honored to play our part in the rebuilding of Barbuda. We recognize the mammoth task that lies ahead and have rallied all our resources to raise the funds needed. There is no better time to play our part as citizens than at Independence, especially with our sister island Barbuda in need,” said H.E. Dr Walton A. Webson in his welcome address to the over 200 guests.

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  •  On Wednesday police  jointly charged 41yr -old Richard Joseph Tweed along with 24yr-old Kyle Francis, 49yr-old Malcolm Tweed and 23yr-old Melissa Ferrance all of Nut Grove with Possession of an unlicensed 9mm pistol and Possession of one round of 9mm ammunition. They appeared before the Court on Wednesday and were further remanded to St. Johns Police Station.

    Further investigations are currently ongoing into the matter.

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  • With a caller to a popular radio program leveling allegations of ill-treatment and torture of one of the residents at the CARE Project, Matron of the institution, Nurse Juliet De Labastide has cleared the air where that is concerned.

    The controversy was sparked on Monday (November 20th) morning, just after 9.00 am when Percival Simon, a frequent caller to ZDK Radio, made some stinging remarks about abuse and torture being meted out to a particular resident at the CARE Project.

    Nurse Juliet De Labastide

    During his conversation with James “Sly J” Simon, the caller alleged that a broomstick was broken into three places after it was used to beat the patient and that the said sticks were quickly disposed of to cover up the evidence. He also alleged that the Care Project management team is sometimes reluctant to send the residents to Mount Saint John Medical Centre for regular checkups for fear that the physical abuses may be discovered.

    But Nurse De Labastide countered quickly, repudiating the caller and describing his allegations as blatant lies and a misrepresentation of the true nature of the work that is conducted on a daily basis at the facility.

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  • invites you to explore Antigua & Barbuda’s rich history and culture

    Ever wondered about the very first people to call Antigua & Barbuda home? Fascinated by the islands’ rich naval history, the slavery era of its past, and the national heroes that helped shape its future?

    A first of its kind, fully illustrated book invites you on a journey through these captivating twin isles in a colourful, easy to read format suitable for both children and adults.

    Co-author Gemma Handy

    ‘Explore Antigua & Barbuda’ is co-authored by Antigua-based journalist Gemma Handy and Canadian teacher Irene Danics. The A4 size, hardback publication, brimming with vibrant drawings, details life here throughout the millennia from the Amerindians to the original European settlers, and through the harsh days of slavery to the crusade for independence.

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