The Department of Immigration (DOI) on Wednesday confirmed that a Cuban migrant vessel arrived in Cayman Brac on Saturday, 10 November 2018 with 27 individuals on board. Of the 22 males and five...

Disc jockey and entertainment promoter, Christopher 'Crazy Chris' Samuels (left), and stylist Keshon Hawthorne.

Two popular figures from Jamaica's entertainment industry remain in custody in the United States following their arrest last week for alleged drug trafficking. Among those arrested is 37-year-old disc jockey and entertainment promoter, ‘Crazy Chris’, from Montego Bay. Chris, whose given name is Christopher Samuels, was arrested in North Carolina on cocaine charges on Tuesday, November 6 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. Also arrested is stylist, 25-year-old Keshon Hawthorne, who was booked on drug trafficking charges following his arrival at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sunday, November 4. According to US media reports, Hawthorne arrived in Charlotte on a flight from Montego Bay. A white powdery substance that field-tested positive for cocaine was discovered during an inspection of his luggage. The police said two days later, Samuels landed at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, also from Montego Bay, and was detained after it was determined that he used his luggage to smuggle cocaine. The total weight of the cocaine seized from the Jamaicans was more than six pounds. It had an estimated street value of US $90,000. Both men were arrested for importation of a controlled substance, and turned over to Home Security investigators. Samuels was subsequently slapped with charges of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, and two counts of trafficking cocaine. The specific charges laid against Hawthorne are not immediately clear. For breaking news, download our app at Android; and at IoS.

A law in Guyana which makes it a criminal offence for a man or a woman to appear in a public place while dressed in clothing of the opposite sex for an “improper purpose”, is to be struck from the country’s laws. This, as the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that Section 153(1)(xlvii) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act, is unconstitutional. The Court has ordered that this Section of the law be struck from the laws of Guyana and that costs are to be awarded to the appellants in the appeal before the CCJ and in the courts below. The case of Quincy McEwan, Seon Clarke, Joseph Fraser, Seyon Persaud and the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) v The Attorney General of Guyana began with the arrest of the appellants in February 2009. Four of the appellants, who identify as transgender persons, were arrested, convicted and punished for cross-dressing in public. At the time of arrest, McEwan was dressed in a pink shirt and a pair of tights and Clarke was wearing slippers and a skirt. A few hours later, Fraser and Persaud were also arrested by the police and taken to the Brickdam Police Station. At the time, they were dressed in skirts and were wearing wigs. While in custody, Fraser requested legal counsel, medical attention, a telephone call and that the police take a statement. However, those requests were not granted. McEwan, Clarke, Fraser and Persaud spent the entire weekend in police custody and they did not receive any explanation as to why they had been arrested and detained. They first learned of the charges, of loitering and wearing female attire in a public place for “an improper purpose”, when they were taken to the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on Monday 9th February 2009. They all pleaded guilty to the cross-dressing charge and McEwan, Clarke and Persaud were fined GY$7,500 and Fraser was fined GY$19,500. Upon imposing the sentence, the Magistrate told them that they must go to church and give their lives to Jesus Christ and advised them that they were confused about their sexuality. In conjunction with the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), proceedings were brought in the High Court of Guyana challenging this law on several grounds, including that it is discriminatory and inconsistent with the Constitution of Guyana. However, both the High Court and the Court of Appeal in Guyana denied the constitutional challenges. The appellants took their case to the CCJ arguing that the law violated their constitutional rights to equality and non-discrimination and freedom of expression, thereby offending the rule of law. The Court first examined the historical context surrounding law, which was enacted in Guyana in 1893, as part of the vagrancy laws of the post-emancipation era. The panel, comprising of the Honourable President Mr. Justice Saunders and Justices Wit, Anderson, Rajnauth-Lee and Barrow, agreed that this law was from a different time and no longer served any legitimate purpose in Guyana. Justice Saunders reiterated, “Law and society are dynamic, not static. A Constitution must be read as a whole. Courts should be astute to avoid hindrances that would deter them from interpreting the Constitution in a manner faithful to its essence and its underlying spirit. If one part of the Constitution appears to run up against an individual fundamental right, then, in interpreting the Constitution as a whole, courts should place a premium on affording the citizen his/her enjoyment of the fundamental right, unless there is some overriding public interest”. It was also noted that Guyana’s Constitution protects its people from discrimination and states that no one is to be treated in a discriminatory manner by any public office or authority. The Court held that the law was also unconstitutionally vague, violated the appellants’ right to protection of the law and was contrary to the rule of law. A majority of the judges, President Saunders and Justices Wit and Barrow, also upheld the appeal on the basis that the law resulted in transgendered and gender nonconforming persons being treated unfavourably by criminalising their gender expression and gender identity. Justice Anderson in his judgment commented that the law wrongly sought to criminalise a person’s state of mind as there is no test to determine what is an “improper purpose”. Mme. Justice Rajnauth-Lee’s opinion focussed on the vagueness of the law in question. The CCJ also found that the remarks made by the Magistrate, immediately after sentencing the appellants and while the Magistrate was still sitting, were inappropriate. According to the Court, “judicial officers may not use the bench to proselytise, whether before, during or after the conclusion of court proceedings. Secularism is one of the cornerstones upon which the Republic of Guyana rests.” The full judgment of the Court and a judgment summary are available on the CCJ’s website at Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: Download the Loop News Caribbean app on Google Play Store: Download the Loop News Caribbean app on the App Store:

Go out on Saturday (November 24) and support a small business in your community that’s the message from the Cayman Islands Small Business Association (CISBA). The message is part of a global initiative that began in 2010 with the aim of supporting small businesses. “Small Business Saturday is a great follow up to the expo. At the recent expo the public was able to get a sampling of the products and services from the various participating businesses. Now they can actually get into the stores and see the full scope of what’s on offer,” said CISBA President Dawn McLean-Brady. Several businesses will be participating in Small Business Saturday and will have special discounts and offers set for that day. “The holiday season is almost here, so not only are you supporting the local economy but you can get a jump start on your gift list! We really hope that come 24 November everyone will ‘shop small’”, added. McLean-Brady Small business Saturday has also been endorsed by the Ministry of Commerce with Minister Joseph Hewthrowing his full support behind the initiative. “When small businesses thrive, we all thrive,” said Minister of Commerce. “Government has made supporting small businesses one of its key priorities. We will continue to work to create an atmosphere that is business friendly, but our work is only one part of what’s needed to have a thriving economy – we need people to shop locally to ensure continued success. I encourage everyone to get out and shop small in support of our local business owners,” he added.

Cruises generated over threebillion US dollars in total cruise tourism expenditures to the Caribbean and Latin America. According to the study released today by Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA),Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies, cruise tourism directly generated US$3.36 billion in total cruise tourism expenditures—more than six percent higher than the record set by the previous study in 2015. The cruise industry also contributednearly 79,000 jobs paying more than US$900 million in wage income in the 36 participating destinations. The study measured direct spending impacts through passenger surveys and crew surveys; cruise line spending for services and provisions; port revenues; and employment generated by cruise ship calls. Measurement of economic impacts was calculated by collecting data from local government agencies, regional development agencies and international economic agencies to evaluate impacts on employment, wages, port fees and taxes. According to the findings: Destinations welcomed 25.2 million onshore visits from cruise passengers, with an average spend of US$101.52, generating a total of US$2.56 billion Cruise lines spent $534 million, an average of US$14.8 million per destination The 29.6 million passenger and crew visits represent a 5.2 percent increase compared to the previous study, and the 32 common destinations in the 2015 and 2018 studies experienced a 6.5 percent increase in passenger visits. Average per passenger spend increased for 23 of the 32 common destinations, and 12 destinations recorded average spend rates above US$100 per passenger (up from nine in 2015). On average, a single transit cruise call with 4000 passengers and 1,640 crew generates US$378,500 in passenger and crew spending alone: US$339,500 and US$39,000, respectively. A release on thestudy said themeasure of cruise tourism expenditures did not include indirect benefits of cruise tourism, including supplies purchased by tour operators, restaurants and port authorities, though the estimates of these expenditures served as the basis for total employment and wage impacts. The study also did not account for other indirect benefits, such as spending from cruise passengers who return as stay-over guests; nor did the study measure other methods of cruise line spending that benefits destinations, including NGO partnerships and marketing. "Results were skewed by last year’s historic hurricane season—with destinations like British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and the United States Virgin Islands seeing declines due to the temporary effects, while still totalling expenditures more than $500 million during the study and now regularly welcoming more than 10,000 cruisers per day due to their remarkable recoveries. Additionally, the temporary impacts led to increases in destinations like Guadeloupe, Martinique and Bonaire. According to the study, all of this showed “further proof that the Caribbean cruise industry is strong, and the member destinations, in all their beauty, continue to be both resilient and successful'," the release said. The study, which is engaged by the Florida-Caribbean Association (FCCA) in partnership with its destination partners every three years, was released at the 25thannual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show in San Juan, Puerto Rico 36 Participating Destinations with Total Cruise Tourism Expenditures (in $US Millions) Antigua & Barbuda ($77.7) Aruba ($102.7) The Bahamas ($405.8) Barbados ($71.0) Belize ($86.1) Bonaire ($30.2) British Virgin Islands ($12.6) Cayman Islands ($224.5) Colombia ($59.8) Costa Maya, Mexico ($89.5) Costa Rica ($29.2) Cozumel, Mexico ($474.1) Curacao ($71.7) Dominican Republic ($134.7) Ensenada, Mexico ($40.4) Grenada ($19.2) Guadeloupe ($52.9) Guatemala ($11.1) Honduras ($107.4) Jamaica ($244.5) Manzanillo, Mexico ($2.7) Martinique ($38.2) Mazatlán, Mexico ($15.9) Nicaragua ($5.7) Panama ($77.8) Progreso, Mexico ($32.7) Puerto Chiapas, Mexico ($1.6) Puerto Rico ($151.2) Puerto Vallarta, Mexico ($42.5) St. Kitts & Nevis ($149.3) St. Lucia ($59.4) St. Maarten ($143.2) St. Vincent ($16.4) Trinidad ($3.5) Turks and Caicos ($86.5) United States Virgin Islands ($184.7). .

The new Governor, Martyn Roper made a tour of the Government Administration Building onNovember 8 . Guided by Deputy Governor, Franz Manderson, the familiarisation exercise took place over a few hours and spanned various ministries and portfolios, their sections and units. Roper was introduced to all staff and Ministers present by Chief Officers. Following introductions, each gave an overview of their entity’s work - highlighting current activities and key strategic objectives. This information was supplemented by Manderson, who further contextualised the briefings. As Head of the Civil Service, he shared additional information on the entities and their key achievements this year - particularly in relation to the Civil Service 5-Year Strategic Plan for a World-Class Civil Service. The tour was the Governor’s first opportunity to chat with many of the staff about their work.

Did you know that over 6% of the island's population havebeen diagnosed with diabetes? That’s according to local health officials who revealed thatin the Cayman Islands approximately 6.69 % of the population have been diagnosed with the disease. It is a diseases that is being highlighted as November 14 is World Diabetes Day. This year the day is being observed under the theme, “The Family and Diabetes” It is a theme that is expected to carry over into 2019 which will place continued and focused attention on the impact that diabetes has on the family; to promote the role of the family in management, care and prevention and education of diabetes; and to support the network of those who are affected. In recognition of the day, Minister of Health, Dwayne Seymour, urged Caymanians to increase their knowledge of this disease, particularly how it can impact life and how it can be prevented. He noted that detecting diabetes early is the key to helping to prevent or delay life-threatening complications, with family support. As part of pro-active efforts to raise awareness across the community of the risks surrounding diabetes, the Health Services Authority will mark World Diabetes Day by offering various screenings relevant to diabetes. From 8.30 a.m.-2.00 p.m. Glaucoma screenings, blood sugar checks and cholesterol checks will be available in the Cayman Islands Hospital Atrium. Also, information on diabetes and nutrition, as well as a range of exciting giveaways will be available. If you have doubts, or any cause for concern, regarding your status I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity. All family units are encouraged to make this experience a family affair! “I applaud the continued efforts of the Public Health Department, the Cayman Islands Diabetes Association and the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens in keeping residents informed on the matter of diabetes and other lifestyle related diseases and their acts of selflessness through their ongoing community engagements. These efforts are a great example of their vested interest in the work that they do,” said Seymour.