Caribbean Tidbits

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CDB to help pay Haiti’s 2018 insurance premium

The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a US$3 million grant to cover Haiti’s 2018-2019 insurance premiums with the Cayman islands-based Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Segregated Portfolio Company (CCRIF SPC). The CCRIF- SPC provides parametric insurance coverage to the Caribbean and Latin America and the CDB said that its funding will help Haiti meet the cost of the premiums for tropical cyclone, earthquake and excess rainfall coverage to which the Haitian government will contribute up to US$1.8 million.

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Rihanna becomes first black on British Vogue

Barbadian star entertainer Rihanna has become the first black woman on the cover of British Vogue’s coveted September issue in its 102-year history. The singer shared some images from her Vogue photo shoot on Instagram thanking Edward Enninful, who is the magazine’s first black editor-in-chief. The news comes after Beyonce’s announcement of her own Vogue feature.

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Ja. Minister calls for end to skin bleaching

Government minister Shahine Robinson has used the occasion of the Emancipation Jubilee to appeal to Jamaicans to stop bleaching their skins. “Why do we want to look like the people who enslaved us?” Robinson asked as she spoke at the vigil being held in Seville, St Ann. Robinson, the Labor Minister and member of parliament for North East St Ann, encouraged persons to “wear our skin as a badge of honor.” Emancipation Day in 1838 marked the end of slavery in the British West Indies.

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Pepsi Jamaica Invests In New Line For ‘Kicks’

Pepsi-Cola Jamaica Bottling Company is spending more than a billion dollars on a new line for a product that will hit retail shelves by year end, adding Jamaica to a limited number of markets for the largely unknown drink. With added caffeine and ginseng, Pepsi Kick sounds like an energy drink, but the company says it’s not aimed at that market segment, nor do its ingredients fit the profile. “We’re not really positioning this drink as an energy drink. we are positioning this drink as a boost to your day,” Brand Manager for Carbonated Beverages at Pepsi Jamaica Elizabeth Allen told the Financial Gleaner.

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Harry Belafonte to get Jamaica’s Order of Merit

American singer, actor and social activist Harry Belafonte, whose mother was of Jamaican descent, heads 130 individuals who have been recognized in this year’s Jamaican National Honors and Awards list. Belafonte has been accorded Jamaica’s fourth highest order — the Order of Merit — for outstanding contribution in the field of music. The appointments, which became effective Monday, August 6, will be presented on National Heroes Day in October.

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Trinidadian cops destroy $500,000 marijuana crop

Marijuana trees with an estimated street value of $500,000 have been destroyed by officers of the Central Division Task Force in Trinidad during a marijuana eradication exercise in the district. The exercise, spearheaded by Snr Supt (Ag) Inraj Balram, was conducted between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, August 6, during which officers proceeded to a forested area, approximately one mile off Pokhor Road, Longdenville. There they discovered an unoccupied camp with approximately 500 marijuana trees and 200 seedlings. The camp, trees and seedlings were subsequently destroyed. No arrest was made in connection with the find, police said.

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President Burnham remembered as visionary

Former President of Guyana Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham was remembered as a visionary on the occasion of his 33rd death anniversary, where President David Granger recommitted to the late leader’s vision of economic independence for Guyana. A wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Mausoleum at the Seven Ponds in the Botanical Gardens, where the former President was laid to rest. Here, President Granger detailed many of the efforts taken by Burnham to free the country from economic dependence. Granger stressed, “Political independence ended 300 years of colonial rule in Guyana [but] it did not bring economic independence.”

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Barbados PM rapped for accepting university

Some irate Dominicans have harshly criticized Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley for accepting the relocation of Ross University School of Medicine. One even called for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to sanction the newly elected leader for what has been termed an “act of economic aggression” against a sister nation. On Friday, August 3, hours after Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced Ross University would be leaving Dominica after 40 years, Mottley and Adtalem Global Education president and chief executive officer Lisa Wardell were in turn revealing Barbados would be the new home of the American university.

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Ex-Barbadian Minister charged for Money laundering in U.S.

Former Barbadian Minister of Industry and Commerce Donville Inniss is in hot water in the United States. The outspoken 52-year-old politician was arraigned on money laundering charges in a US court Tuesday, August 7, and released on US$50 000 bond. According to the United States Department of Justice’s official website, Inniss was arrested in Florida Friday, August 3.  Inniss has been accused of accepting bribes from a Barbadian insurance company in 2015 and 2016 when he was a public official.

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