The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has strongly condemnedthe vicious terrorist attack perpetrated in Manchester, United Kingdom, on Monday evening. In statementtoday from CARICOMSecretary General Irwin LaRocque, the regional secretariat noted that the fact that the majority of the victims were children and young people makes this vile action even more heart-rending. He said: "The compassionate and helpfulreaction by the citizens of Manchester to those in distress after the carnage, exemplifies the qualities of empathy and resilience of the people of the United Kingdom. "CARICOM extends its deepest sympathy to the families who lost loved ones and wishes a full and speedy recovery to the injured.The Community stands in solidarity with the Government and People of the United Kingdom as they confront this latest assault on their nation."

A man rows a small boat off Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 2010, after a massive earthquake hit that Caribbean country. (PHOTO: AP)

The police are making preparations for a likely influx of Haitians onto the local shores as a result of a development in the neighbouring country. Superintendent Fabian Farquharson, head of the St Mary police,confirmed the police’s concern and focus in a radio interview. Indications are that United Nations (UN) peacekeeping troops, who have been stationed in Haiti for some time, are now being withdrawn from that country. More than 50 Haitians were apprehended at sea off The Bahamas last Wednesday, during a joint exercise by the local security forces and immigration authorities. And on Friday, two Haitians landed at the Pagee Fishing Village in Port Maria, St Mary. They were processed, treated at hospital, and are now in quarantine. They are expected to appear in court this week. The overall developments have led the police in the north eastern parishes to be anticipating and preparing for more Haitians to arrive in Jamaica because of the reduced security in that country.

Specialist Meric Greenbaum, left, and trader James Conti work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street as banks and industrial companies fall.

The growing political drama in Washington rattled Wall Street Wednesday, knocking the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 370 points and giving the stock market its biggest single-day slump in eight months. Investors worried that the headline-fueled political turmoil that has enveloped the White House may hinder President Donald Trump’s plans to cut taxes, roll back government regulations and other aspects of his pro-business agenda. The steep drop ended an unusually long period of calm for the markets, which had been hovering near all-time highs. Financial stocks, which had soared in the months since the election, declined the most as bond yields fell sharply. Bonds, utilities and gold rose as traders shunned riskier assets. The dollar fell. “When you are at these valuations, the market has to reassess whether or not the agenda is actually going to be implemented,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. “What you’re seeing is a classic run toward safety.” The Standard & Poor’s 500 index had its biggest drop since September, sliding 43.64 points, or 1.8 percent, to 2,357.03. The Dow lost 372.82 points, or 1.8 percent, to 20,606.93. The Nasdaq composite index, coming off setting two consecutive record highs, gave up 158.63 points, or 2.6 percent, to 6,011.24. Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 index sank 38.79 points, or 2.8 percent, to 1,355.89. Those companies would stand to benefit even more than large ones from corporate tax cuts Trump is proposing. They also had risen sharply in the months following the election. The sell-off snapped an unusually long period of calm after hitting a series of record highs. On Tuesday the S&P 500, the benchmark favored by professional investors, marked its 15th straight day of moving up or down by less than 0.5 percent. It closed at its latest record high on Monday. Bond prices rose sharply. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.21 percent from 2.33 percent late Tuesday, a large move. The seeds of Wednesday’s steep market sell-off were present late Tuesday, when a published report revealed that Trump allegedly made a personal appeal to now-fired FBI Director James Comey to drop the bureau’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The White House denied the report. Trump had already been facing pointed questions about his discussions with Russian diplomats during which he was reported to have disclosed classified information. “The controversy is not new, but this one really seems to be sticking,” said Erik Davidson, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank. “The Trump economic program is either going to be delayed by this turn of events or possibly be derailed, that’s why investors are acting the way they are.” The latest headlines ratcheted up the market’s unease. The VIX index, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, rose to its highest level since April 13. Investors shifted into U.S. government bonds, pushing yields lower, and into gold. The precious metal jumped 1.8 percent, climbing $22.30 to settle at $1,258.70 per ounce.

Cayman Airways on Tuesday announced it wouldwaive fees for Jamaica passengers affected by heavy rainswith flights into Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman. "Due to the flash flood warnings in the Northern and Southern parishes in Jamaica, Cayman Airways will be waiving change fees for its Jamaica flights as follows," said the airline in a press release. "Cayman Airways will waive the change fee for passengers who have been ticketed prior to May 15 , 2017 for travel between May 16, 2017 and May 18, 2017," added the release. However, the airline notedthatpassengers will be responsible for any applicable fare differences. The airline further added that travel for the changed flight segment must be completed by May 26, 2017. Jamaica has been experiencing heavy and continuous rainfall and flooding across the island since Tuesday morning.

Ann-Marie English surrounded by her family.

Friends of Ann-Marie English are showing her the “Cayman Kind” having launched a GoFundMe page, with aims of helping her raise $US 5,000 to help offset some of the cost associated with her cancer treatment. English, who lived in the Cayman Islands for fourteen years, now resides in South Dakota, having migrated for better schooling opportunities for her children, as well as, to be closer to family. English has two Caymanian children and tight bonds to the Cayman community, packed up her family in early 2016 and moved to South Dakota. In an exclusive with Loop Cayman, English notes that the move allowed her to maintain working with the same company group that she had been working with in the Cayman Islands. Not long after moving to the United States, English was diagnosed with breast cancer, coupled with later being laid off from her job. English also mentioned that she recently had to have surgery for a torn ligament. Quite the triple whammy but luckily for English, the cancer was caught in the early stages, however,she has had several surgeries and radiation. English told Loop News that while she still maintains her health insurance provided through her former employer for a little while longer, her medical bills amount to well over $14,000. Not to mention, English’s loss of employment means she will now have to move almost a 1,000 miles cross state boarder to her home state ofMassachusetts to be closer to her family. A move she notes could also rack up costs of close to $ US 5,000. Despite the troubling times she is experiencing, English remains ubeat and positive, and is very thankful to her Cayman community. She expressed thanks to those who have both shown their support through encouraging words and donations. English’s GoFundMe page was created by her friends residing in the Cayman Islands on May 9 and has so far raised $US530. GoFundMeis acrowdfundingplatform that allows people in some but not all countries to raise money for events ranging from life events such as celebrations and graduations to challenging circumstances like accidents and illnesses.

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A George Town single mother who has fallen on hard times says she has been searching for affordable housings in town since December 2016. The mother of two with another child on the way says that while she has found temporary accommodations with a friend the situation is not ideal and in few short weeks she will have to move. In a desperate plea to find a home, the woman turned to a community engager with a vast Cayman social media following, Sandra Hill, who has been using her influence on social media and other platforms to assist the woman. However even Hill admits that it is an uphill task to find a suitable family dwelling on a tight- budget of CI $800.00 – as the mother is currently receiving assistance from the Needs Assessment Unit. “It is very difficult to find a place to live unless it is all the way in East for that price,” said Hill who says she is still committed to helping the woman. The woman has notedthat it would ideal for her to live in George Town as her children go to school in the area and as soon as she gives birth she will be again on the hunt for a job. According to the woman, she was laid-off several years ago while working as an office assistant for a Cayman company. As a result of the tumultuous relationship with her past employers, who she alleges often did not pay her correct wages, it difficult for her to find employment though she is actively seeking. According to the most recent numbers available from the Employment and Statistic Office contained in the 2016 Annual CPI Report rent is up nearly 8 percentage points. Which is in stark contrast to the Consumer Price Index Report: December 2015, which reported rental price on the decline. Loop Cayman spoke with several rental agents servicing the George Town area who noted that the average cost of a two bedroom dwelling ranges from CI$1500- 2200 per month.


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July 28, 2017

Dexta Daps Live in Concert

Jamaica Dancehall artiste Dexta Daps to perform in the Cayman Islands for the first time- Highly anticipated event, given that the artiste in April released his debut album.