News in Brief from the Caribbean and Abroad
Jamaica's sports anti-doping boost
Baby Prince George gets his first stamp
Grenada, Granada - you choose!
Cornflake cocaine boost
Will Michael Jackson's doctor go to Trinidad?
New York stop-and-search curbs blocked
[For the week ending 1 November, 2013]
Jamaica is to give a financial boost to its national anti-doping commission (JADCO) in a revitalisation programme that will include the filling of more posts.
An audit in Jamaica by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officials took place on 28-29 October. The team from Canada will issue its results in November.
Minister responsible for sports Natalie Neita-Headley told reporters on 30 October that the three-member WADA team had engaged in “constructive meetings with JADCO”.
“They had very truthful discussions with our team and have committed to working in closer partnership with JADCO to make it not only world class, but also best in class,” the minister said.
WADA has promised collaboration with JADCO to strengthen its programme, which now also has a new chief executive, a recruitment drive and an improved communications arm on the way, plus a commitment from the Jamaican government for a 14% budget increase.
Even though Jamaica’s top athletes are some of the most tested in the world at international competition level, a country is still required to conduct regular out-of-competition tests.
“There is no doubt that we have done some things well but, as with all growing organisations, there are areas that we are seeking to improve,” Ms Neita-Hedley said.
Free movement for professionals across the Caribbean Community (Caricom) has become almost taken for granted over the years.
Caricom is now starting to roll out the extension of similar free-movement provisions under the Caribbean Community Single Market and Economy (CSME) to artisans and domestics, ie craftsmen, cooks and cleaners.
The project – Making CSME Work for Artisans and Domestics – kicked off with a series of meetings in Barbados in October.
The work on looking at barriers still hindering free movement for Caricom nationals will then include visits to Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and St Kitts and Nevis.
Britain’s newest royal addition, Prince George, got his first official postage stamp appearance in the Cayman Islands on 31 October.
The British overseas territory was quick off the mark to publish four new stamps featuring Prince George and his parents to mark his July birth and October christening.
As third-in-line to the British throne, baby George is likely to grow up to become head of state for many Caribbean countries, unless a wave of moves towards republicanism takes place while he’s growing up.
Cayman Islands Cabinet Minister Kurt Tibbetts told the Compass Cayman news service that the stamps were the start of a series.
“This also gives collectors an opportunity to begin collecting stamps on HRH Prince George of Cambridge as a baby and follow him through to adulthood,” Mr Tibbetts said.
You say Granada, I say Grenada – News-savvy followers of Caribbean Intelligence© have probably seen the story of the granny who thought she had bought a ticket from the UK to Granada in Spain, but found herself on a plane to Grenada.
One enterprising Grenadian tweeted that Grenada’s tourism authorities should capitalise on the story and invite the woman to Grenada – this time intentionally.
“I’d be happy with either!” tweeted the travel company Cheapflights.
As one wit put it: “I can think of worse places to be sent to by mistake than the Caribbean.”
Caribbean law enforcers have got used to almost any type of product being used to smuggle drugs into their territories.
However, in one of the most unusual to date, customs and excise officers in Trinidad seized cocaine hidden in 13 cornflake boxes containing cocaine on 30 October.
The fake breakfast shipment had been found on a vessel which arrived from South America, Trinidad’s Newsday newspaper said.
It was not clear whether the shipment had been meant for Trinidad or for St Vincent, where the ship was also due to call.
The convicted doctor of the late Michael Jackson was released this week halfway through his prison term, sparking off discussion in Trinidad about whether he would return there.
Conrad Murray, born in Grenada and raised in Trinidad, worked as a doctor in the US for many years until being convicted for involuntary manslaughter – that is, unintentionally killing without malice – for giving the superstar a powerful anaesthetic on which he overdosed.
He served two years in a Los Angeles jail before his release on 28 October.
Following the high-profile nature of the Jackson death, Dr Murray will now have to restart life in his chosen profession, prompting questions in Trinidad about whether he might seek to practise there.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Health Minister Fuad Khan told the Trinidad Express that Dr Murray could return there and make an appeal to the country’s medical council for a licence.
Dr Murray’s licence to practice in California, Nevada and Texas is currently suspended.
Experienced British civil servant Sharon White has become the first woman and the first black person to be appointed to one of the two posts of permanent secretary at the Treasury [Finance Ministry].
Ms White has worked at the World Bank as well as spending 25 years in Britain’s civil service, including Downing Street’s policy unit.
She was previously the Treasury’s director general for public services.
The special monitoring of New York’s stop-and-search programme has been put on hold and the judge who ordered the ruling has been removed from the case.
Judge Shira Scheindlin had ruled in August that the NY Police Department programme had violated the rights of minorities.
In a reversal of her ruling, the August changes, which included an independent police monitor, have been put on hold from 1 November.
The US Appeals Court has also removed Judge Scheindlin from the case after questioning her impartiality because of media interviews she gave after the initial trial.
Quote of the week
“We as artistes have to take responsibility, but we make music that is intended for adults.” Jamaican dancehall artiste Stacious, one of a group of Jamaican artistes joining a call for bus drivers to remove so-called “party buses” from the road. The government, with the backing of many in the dancehall industry, wants to bring an end to the buses, which charge large fees to ferry schoolchildren around for hours while playing tunes with explicit lyrics.
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