Caribbean and Diaspora News in Brief

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt's 2016 career change
Canada asesses aid to Haiti
Queen Ifrica answers her Canadian critics
OT's still on French 'tax haven' blacklist
New York and London Carnival results
Focus on French Guiana
Quote of the week - Jack Warner
Bolt’s career change - Signs that Usain Bolt is planning to retire from athletics after the 2016 Olympic Games came as no surprise to the Caribbean media.
His statement that he wanted to end his career at the top, made at a news conference before the final leg of the Diamond League athletics meets in Brussels, hit the global headlines on 4 September
However, the Jamaican and Trinidadian media have been reporting since last year on Bolt’s aim to make 2016 the time for him to seek new challenges.
A check by Caribbean Intelligence© indicates that, as early as November 2012, regional media had been reporting on Bolt’s intention to “switch sports” after 2016.
Front-runner career changes for the world’s fastest man include cricket and football.
However, Hollywood might also beckon, as Samuel L Jackson has said that he’s approaching Bolt and footballer David Beckham for roles in a forthcoming film, The Secret Service.
Canada assesses Haiti’s future aid – Canada’s International Development Minister, Christian Paradis, has said that Haiti needs to improve its transparency.
The statement comes as Ottawa is believed to be rethinking its future aid to the country.
Speaking after meeting Haitian officials, Mr Paradis told the Globe and Mail that Canada was concerned about lengthy delays in holding local and senatorial elections.
“What I said there to the government, and I said this with insistence, [is] that they have to make sure that the political actors are taking care of their issues. There are issues that have to be dealt with to make sure that it doesn’t impede development in the future,” he told the paper.
The Globe and Mail reported that it had seen internal government papers which indicate that Canada is considering reducing its aid, on the basis that it has fulfilled its commitment to Haiti, which was hit by a devastating earthquake three years ago.
Queen Ifrica – Freedom of speech - Singer and DJ Queen Ifrica has responded to her Canadian critics in musical form.
In August, the singer was removed from the line-up of performers at Canada’s Rastafesta International Reggae concert, following a social media campaign by the group JAGLA (Jamaica Association of Gays and Lesbians Abroad).
Their objections followed comments made by Queen Ifrica at Jamaica’s Independence Grand Gala concert about gay people.
Canada’s JAGLA lobby group said the “outburst” made it a “gross double standard on her part to even travel to Toronto, one of the most diverse countries in the world, to perform for money”.
The campaign had echoes of a British gay lobby some years ago, which led to the cancellation of performances by some Jamaican artistes who had included homophobic messages in their music.
Queen Ifrica has hit back at her critics with a new song called Freedom of Speech.
The lyrics state: “Mi neva cuss nuh badword/ Mi neva incite nuh violence” and goes on to say “Yuh cyan force me fi promote yuh habit.”
One Canadian tweet to Caribbean Intelligence© said “Queen Ifrica can be as anti-gay as she wants – and be rejected accordingly.”
Caymans, BVI still on French “tax haven” blacklist – Despite signing new tax information exchange agreements with Europe, some Caribbean territories have still found themselves on a French blacklist.
The new French government list of countries that it considers uncooperative tax havens in terms of transparency includes the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Bermuda.
Caymanian news service said: “The French government gave no official explanation for the blacklisting, but the Financial Times quoted an official in the finance ministry in Paris, who said the new additions to the list were due to unsatisfactory compliance with an existing convention with France.” quoted officials from countries named as being surprised at the French blacklisting, after all the work concluded in the new exchange agreements.
New York and London Carnival results - Results are now in from two of the final Caribbean Diaspora end-of-summer festivals.
For results from New York’s Labour Day festivities, check out the site of West India American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) and for Panorama results. Caribbean Intelligence picture memories are to found on our website. (LINK)
For results from London Notting Hill’s Carnival, check out Soca News, the British Calypsonians' Association website, and the British Steelbands Association
Plans are in the pipeline as Notting Hill organisers start preparing for the 50th anniversary of the Carnival next year and the future direction of the London festival.
Focus on French Guiana - Arabic TV news network al-Jazeera has been focusing on the rainforest of French Guiana in a series based on the hardly-covered country.
The series, The Rainforest of Gold: Blessing or Curse? looks at the impact that mining has had, both as a threat to villagers’ way of life and as an economic opportunity.
As al-Jazeera’s website says: “French Guiana [is] a little-known overseas department and region of France – and therefore considered a part of the European Union… With a territory about the size of Austria, what French Guiana lacks in population (243,000), it makes up in rich biodiversity.”
Excerpts and pictures from the series can be found on Al Jazeera's website


Quote of the week:

"Wear black for the next nine days as we mourn the dismal fate of our country with the latest Cabinet reshuffle...."
A 6 September tweet from former Fifa executive Jack Warner, the morning after a cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar named the man replacing him as National Security Minister. Click here for details on the background to Jack Warner's departure from the cabinet.
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