CASTRIES, St Lucia - In what appears to be yet another misstep by the leadership of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) in Saint Lucia, the president of the party’s women’s arm, Woman In Action (WIA) has written to the party chairman complaining of widespread disrespect for women within the organisation. In a letter on Monday to UWP chairman Ezekiel Joseph, WIA president Edith Petra Jeffrey-Nelson referred to a national council meeting held in the constituency of Castries South East on Sunday, where the chairman of the constituency group, Terry Valcin reportedly indicated that he has “no respect for Women In Action”.
“It is not surprising that the chairman of the Castries South East Constituency Group would espouse his disrespect for women; such dastardly actions of denigration in absentia have become common place in the United Workers Party especially from members who feel intimidated by the women who hold executive positions in WIA,” Jeffrey-Nelson said.
“Woman in Action takes utter umbrage at the remarks made by Mr Terry Valcin, which is an affront not only to the members of WIA, but to every woman,” she continued.
Jeffrey-Nelson’s letter follows an earlier letter to her from a WIA activist Catherine Sealys complaining of remarks reportedly made by the party’s political leader Allen Chastanet that "Catherine is one of the persons I vow to victimize if I win elections and become prime minister" or words to that effect.
“I believe the political leader, Mr Allen Chastanet, to be Machiavellian in his approach and tends to have a problem with women,” Sealys said.
Jeffrey-Nelson said on Monday that WIA is the one arm of the party that has been able to bring the UWP public acclaim.
“WIA’s success and the party’s are mutually exclusive; therefore any attempt to denigrate the women of WIA will register as a loss for the UWP. Further, these attacks on WIA in forum such as the National Council have led delegates of the UWP to treat members of WIA with scorn and deliberately boycott WIA’s functions,” she noted, calling for a public apology from Valcin for his remarks.
“WIA further calls on the leadership of this party to stand up, show slate and prove that you support women of this party and country. We expect this letter to be given the most urgent attention,” Jeffrey-Nelson concluded.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - The Commonwealth Secretariat will host a conference to identify practical solutions to the challenges facing small states in accessing funding for development. The Commonwealth Conference on Finance for Development in Small States will take place in Bridgetown, Barbados, 25-26 March 2015, and will bring together senior officials from ministries of finance and representatives from national, regional and international organisations – including UN agencies.
The initiative, which was proposed by the Commonwealth Open-Ended Ministerial Working Group on Small States, will prepare small states to effectively participate in the UN’s Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July 2015.
Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Deodat Maharaj stressed the importance of ensuring that the needs of small states are considered during negotiations at international forums.
He said: “The policies that will be decided at the UN’s Third International Conference on Financing for Development are going to have a direct impact on small states’ ability to secure development finance.
“Our conference in Barbados will allow Commonwealth small states to identify specific ways in which their financing concerns, including debt and limited access to concessional resources, can be highlighted and reflected in the outcome of the UN meeting.”
The Commonwealth conference will focus on understanding the implications of the post-2015 financing for development framework, and deciding how small states can take advantage of current domestic and international funding opportunities.
The event will also see the launch of the Commonwealth publication ‘Migration and Development; Perspectives from Small States’, which examines the relationship between migration and development in small states.
The book includes case studies from countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, and will inform policy geared towards reaping the greatest benefits from migration.
Dr Denny Lewis-Bynoe, Commonwealth Small States Economic Advisor, said: “In a complex global environment with new and emerging challenges, it is important for these countries to fully capitalise on opportunities to improve access to finance. This is critical to their ability to build resilience and achieve their social and economic development goals in key areas such as education and health.”
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Police Inspector Roger Alexander advised yesterday that because of how the police needed to treat with the current crime situation, citizens had better “walk with their breakfast, lunch and dinner” when leaving home.
Alexander, vice-president of the Police Social and Welfare Association, was interviewed yesterday by Fazeer Mohammed of CCN TV6’s Morning Edition programme on the massive police roadblock exercise and whether it was meant to frustrate the public as police continue their negotiations with the Chief Personnel Officer for higher wages.
Denying that the roadblocks was their form of protest, Alexander, host of TV6’s Beyond the Tape programme, said, however, “a police officer is outside all day, night, lunchtime all hours and then there is a clerk in the ministry working for the same money like us. That is amazing, eh?”
President of the Police Social and Welfare Association, Inspector Anand Ramesar, told the Express last week that officers were disgruntled over the slow pace of the negotiations and, following a meeting last week Wednesday, the officers reportedly decided on a particular form of action that they (the Police Welfare Association) were not told about.
Alexander flatly denied, however, that yesterday morning’s roadblocks were a form of police protest.
“Of course not!” he said as he responded to Mohammed’s question, adding, “What the police is engaged in presently is that we observed what is happening in our nation today and we are trying our best to stop road traffic accidents on the road and persons moving with firearms to and fro and all these things.
“So this is not something personal against anybody. One of our colleagues was shot on Saturday night (Sergeant Cornelius Samuel) and we are making a special effort to treat with crime in Trinidad and Tobago and show the importance of police on the ground.”
When asked why the roadblocks at 5:30 on a Monday morning when people were heading to work or school, Alexander replied, “The criminal elements don’t have a time. They attack at a moment’s notice, so we have to be prepared. So we are out early and I am asking persons to understand. So, therefore, if you are a criminal, leave your guns at home and if you are a law-abiding citizen well because of how we have to treat with this situation I suggest you walk with your breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Accused again, however, of holding the public to ransom for their own interests, Alexander replied, “Anyone could speculate, but you want the police to work as they always saying the police not working and police not responding, police not doing this, police not doing that and we are saying that we are trying to make a change.”
The Airbus A320 - flight 4U 9525 - went down between Digne and Barcelonnette. There are no survivors, officials say.
The "black box" flight recorder has been found, the French interior minister says. The cause of the crash is not known and the plane did not send a distress signal.
The dead include 16 children from a German school exchange trip.
French, Spanish and German leaders have expressed shock.
"This is the hour in which we all feel deep sorrow," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters, adding that she was planning to travel to the crash site.
A recovery team has reached the crash site but there are fears that a looming storm could hamper its work.
Bruce Robin, a prosecutor from Marseille, told the Reuters news agency that he had seen the wreckage of the aircraft from a helicopter.
"The body of the plane is in a state of destruction, there is not one intact piece of wing or fuselage," he said.
Israel has strongly denied a report that it spied on US-led talks on Iran's nuclear programme in order to build a case against a deal.
The Journal said the White House had been particularly angered that Israel allegedly sought to share confidential details with US lawmakers and others.
Many Republicans in Congress are opposed to a deal with Iran.
Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the US Congress that a deal being discussed could "pave Iran's path to the bomb".
The US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China are seeking an agreement to curtail Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
They fear Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb - something Iran denies.
Israel is not a party to the negotiations although it feels particularly threatened by the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran.
Israel's deep concerns about any emerging deal on Iran's nuclear programme are well known, as are the tensions this is placing on ties with the US administration.
After Benjamin Netanyahu attacked President Obama's Iran policy in an address to the US Congress this month, the White House organised a series of snubs. It extended no invitation to the Israeli prime minister to meet Mr Obama in Washington and suggested the Israeli government was not trustworthy. There was also a leak about new limitations on intelligence sharing.
Despite the strong denials from Mr Netanyahu's office this article will only add to strains with Israel's key ally.
Outgoing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has also dismissed the report as "incorrect and inaccurate". He told Army Radio: "Clearly, Israel has various security interests, and clearly we have our own intelligence. But we do not spy on the United States. There are enough participants involved in these negotiations, including Iranians, first and foremost."
The sides aim to reach a framework deal by the end of March.
According to the Journal, Israel began eavesdropping on the talks last year and also acquired information from confidential briefings with US officials and diplomatic contacts in Europe.
The White House uncovered the operation, the report said, when US intelligence agencies spying on Israel intercepted messages among officials that could only have come from closed-door talks.
But it was Israel's sharing of inside information with US lawmakers and others that particularly angered the White House, the report quoted an official as saying.
"It is one thing for the US and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal US secrets and play them back to US legislators to undermine US diplomacy," the unnamed official said.
A White House official told the BBC there was nothing to say on the matter at this time.
Speaking to the BBC, a senior official in Mr Netanyahu's office said: "These allegations are utterly false.
"The state of Israel does not conduct espionage against the United States or Israel's other allies. The false allegations are clearly intended to undermine the strong ties between the United States and Israel and the security and intelligence relationship we share."
The report comes amid tense relations between the White House and Israel.
Mr Netanyahu angered Washington in his recent re-election campaign when he said he would not allow a Palestinian state if he was returned to office.
He later tempered his statement, saying he did want a two-state solution, but that "circumstances have to change".
India's Supreme Court has struck down a controversial law which allowed police to arrest people for comments on social networks and other internet sites.
The court ruled that the controversial Section 66A of the Information Technology Act was unconstitutional.
In recent years, several people have been arrested for their comments on Facebook or Twitter, sparking outrage.
The government had defended the law, saying it was meant to deter people from uploading offensive material.
was delivered by a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court on petitions filed by civil rights groups and a law student who argued that Section 66A violated people's fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression.
"Section 66A is unconstitutional and we have no hesitation in striking it down," news agency AFP quoted Justice RF Nariman as saying in court.
"The public's right to know is directly affected by section 66A," he added.
Section 66A was sweeping in its powers - it could send a person to jail for three years for sending an email or other electronic message that "causes annoyance or inconvenience".
The law was first challenged by a law student after two young women were arrested in November 2012 in Mumbai for comments on Facebook following the death of politician Bal Thackeray.
Shaheen Dhada was held for criticising Mumbai's shutdown after Thackeray's death. Renu Srinivasan, who "liked" the comment, was also arrested. The two were later released on bail.
The arrests led to outrage in India with many calling for the law to be scrapped.
Since then there have been several other arrests under the law, leading to charges of abuse:
On 17 March 2015, a teenage student was jailed in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh for allegedly posting a comment on Facebook criticising state minister Azam Khan. The teenager was later freed on bail.
In October 2012, a 46-year-old businessman in the southern city of Pondicherry was arrested for a tweet criticising Karti Chidambaram, son of then finance minister P Chidambaram. He was later released on bail.
In September 2012, there was outrage when a cartoonist was jailed in Mumbai on charges of sedition for his anti-corruption drawings. The charges were later dropped.
In April 2012, the West Bengal government arrested a teacher who had emailed to friends a cartoon that was critical of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He too was later released on bail.
Within minutes of Tuesday's court order, #Sec66A was trending on Twitter with many Indians applauding the ruling.
Delhi's governing Aam Aadmi Party welcomed the order:
ST JOHN’S, Antigua - With less than a month to go to the 48th edition of Antigua Sailing Week, over 100 yachts are entered to take part in the Caribbean's longest running regatta, with more entries expected over the coming weeks. Antigua Sailing Week is expected to attract several thousand sailors and party revellers to Falmouth Harbour and Nelson's Dockyard for the Caribbean's most famous sailing event.
Lloyd Thornburg's ballistic record-breaking MOD 70 trimaran Phaedo^3, is joining a number of high profile yachts competing at the last big showdown of the Caribbean sailing season.
"I always look forward to coming to Antigua, it is just a wonderful place to race," commented Thornburg. "It is has to be one of the best places to sail anywhere in the world and the party atmosphere ashore just adds to that. We have a lot of friends in Antigua and the organisers put on a great event. Phaedo^3 will be take part in the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race on April 24 and the Round Antigua Race on April 25 and if the conditions are right and the crew performs, we have the capability of setting new records for both.”
The lime green trimaran Phaedo^3 has already shown its capability to smash records. Prior to demolishing last month's RORC Caribbean 600 record, Phaedo^3 sped around Antigua in training, completing the course in 2 hours, 44 minutes, 15 seconds, hitting 35 knots of boat speed.
According to Gunboat founder, Peter Johnstone, the long awaited debut of the G4 will be at Antigua Sailing Week. Eduardo Perez's G4, vivid orange catamaran Timbalero 3 designed by Nigel Irens, is the latest generation of foiling catamarans capable of phenomenal speed. Former A-Cat World Champion Mischa Heemskerk, also part of the design team, is expected to be on board. Eduardo Perez was last at Antigua Sailing Week in 2011, winning the Gunboat class with Cucu Belle. The brand new Gunboat 55 Toccata will also be racing at Antigua Sailing Week. Owned by Chris and Carolyn Groobey, the couple plans to cruise Toccata back to Newport Rhode Island after Antigua Sailing Week and compete in this summer's Transatlantic Race and events in Europe.
The largest monohull registered to date for Antigua Sailing Week is Jean-Paul Riviere's Finot-Conq 100, Nomad IV. The magnificent scarlet red French yacht has a towering 47 metre mast and is one of the fastest cruising yachts in the world. The gold hulled Farr 95 Dharma, built by Southern Wind will be the closest match on the water to Nomad IV.
Entries for Antigua Sailing Week are divided into a large number of classes which are designed to match the boats into competitive fleets. From the world's fastest yachts to family and friends racing their own pride and joy, Antigua Sailing Week has a wide appeal with five days of competitive racing off the rugged south coast of Antigua plus two optional days of racing including around Antigua and the race from Guadeloupe. Antigua Sailing Week is a highly competitive regatta held in one of the world's finest sailing locations. The party atmosphere onshore – well, that is legendary.
Basseterre, St. Kitts, 24th March 2015 (MiyVue.com) – While the government continues its search for a suitable location for the construction of a campus to permanently house students of the Basseterre High School, a new health institution would soon carry out test at the now dysfunctional Victoria Road high school.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards the Pan American Health Organization has recommended an institution that would make a visit to the school’s location. MiyVue understands that contact was made with the United States based National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), an arm of the US Center for Disease Control (CDC).
“NIOSH should have been in the country this month… They have indicated to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health, Andrew Skerritt, that they are not available until May,” said Richards, who is also the minister responsible for education.
“We are saying that May is too far. So we are in discussion with PAHO to see if it (the date) cannot be brought forward,” Richards said.
Just last year, the Caribbean Industrial Research Institution (CARIRI) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted several tests at the Basseterre High School’s premises.
The two leading Caribbean institutions provided findings that have not led to a resolution to the problems at the school, although some work on their recommendations has improved the facilities. However, just weeks after the reoccupation of the school, similar health complaints from students and teachers surfaced once more.
The gates of that institution have since been locked and classes relocated to the neighbouring Washington Archibald High School.
However, the ministry noted that the current shift system in place at the Washington Archibald School is not ideal for both institutions, including the teachers and staff.
Deputy Prime Minister Richards said the Ministry of Education would be meeting with various stakeholders from the Basseterre High School, the Washington Archibald High School, as well as others, to look at the way forward for the Basseterre High School.
Basseterre, St. Kitts, 24th March 2015 (MiyVue.com) – In spite of the challenges that come from being a relatively small event on a small island, the Music Festival Organizing Committee is working towards having a special event this year.
Speaking exclusively with MiyVue.com, Music Festival Chairman Faron Lawrence explained that a variety of artistes are being explored, but he said the process toward finalizing the artiste could take some time yet.
“As you know, it takes some time to lock-down the artiste that you are trying to get… That is still a process,” Lawrence said, adding, “If you understand the music business, a lot of artiste will not want to commit to us too early, because we are a small market, and they may find that on that same weekend they could get a bigger show somewhere else.”
As a small island, with our small population, we kind of get held up quite a bit, as these artistes are looking for more profitable markets, the chairman stressed.
Lawrence did not disclose which artiste they are planning to have grace the stage at this year’s event, however, he pointed out that it was early days yet before finalizing an entertainer, but assured that in a few more weeks, the committee would begin disclosing performers for the three-night June 25 to 27 festival.
The Organizing Committee is on a path of continuity for the festival, said Lawrence, explaining that the committee always has tried to build on the previous year’s event and improve on any shortcomings encountered over the years of hosting the event.
“At this point, we are throwing around some ideas. We are looking at new dimensions, new ideas and ways of doing stuff. We have some new people, ‘new blood’ in the organization, and we hope that it would also bring us new ideas in the way of looking at things,” said Lawrence.
Basseterre, St. Kitts, 23rd March 2015 (MiyVue.com) – The St. Kitts and Nevis national football team is prepped and ready to go for its opening encounter for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association (SKNFA) has disclosed the names of the entire 30-man squad that will tackle regional minnows Turks and Caicos on Monday, 23rd March, at Warner Park.
The team would be led by its captain and international player, Atiba Harris, with Gerard Williams being his deputy.
They will be joined by Zephaniah Thomas, Tesfa Robinson, Harrison Panayiotou, Ryan Robbins, Nile Walwyn, . Julani Archibald, Mudassa Howe, Orlando Mitchum, Errol O’Loughlin, Thrizen Leader, Joash Leader, Jamal Francis, Kareem Mitchum, Kyron Phillip, Evanseroy Barnes, Shaquille Barzey, Vinceroy Nelson, Romaine Sawyers and Tishan Hanley.
The team would be managed by the long-standing technical staff in Technical Director Lenny Lake, Head Coach Jeffrey Hazel, Assistant Coach Shavon Douglas, Goalkeeper Coach Orrin Hughes, Trainer/Physio Allister James, Physio/Masseur Nayaca Collins, Equipment Manager Roger Hendricks and Team Manager Keith Pemberton.
Action kicks off at 8 p.m., and a large crowd is expected at Warner Park for this encounter.