Police have confirmed the identity of the man killedin the suspected hit-and-run on March 22. The victim was Mitchell Marvin Ryan, age 55,of Cayman Brac. Officers from the Traffic and Roads P...


Asia welcomed the lunar Year of the Pig on Tuesday with visits to temples, family banquets and the world's biggest travel spree. Celebrations took place throughout the region, from Beijing and Seoul to Hanoi and Singapore. The streets of Beijing and other major Chinese cities were quiet and empty after millions of people left to visit relatives or travel abroad during the year's biggest family holiday. [image_gallery] Families gathered at home for multigenerational banquets. Companies, shops and government offices closed for official holidays that ranged from two days in South Korea to a week in China. ___ Worshippers stood in line for hours at Hong Kong's Wong Tai Sin Temple to welcome the new year by lighting incense. Lana Wong, a prominent Hong Kong actress, wore a pig costume for the event. "My first wish is for world peace," said Wong, 88. "Everyone has food to eat, employment and houses to live in. The elderly also hope the government will take better care of them." ___ In Beijing, performers in traditional Qing dynasty robes strummed zithers for a re-enactment at sunrise of a sacrificial ceremony at the Chinese capital's Temple of Earth park. An actor portraying an emperor bowed before an altar as dozens of people in ceremonial dress behind him. Acrobats and drummers also performed. Vendors sold toys branded with the British cartoon character Peppa Pig, which is enjoying a surge of popularity for the Year of the Pig. "My wishes for new year are a promotion, a raise and finding a boyfriend," said a spectator, Cui Di, a 28-year-old employee of a foreign company. ___ The holiday in mainland China is marked by the biggest annual travel boom as hundreds of millions of people visit their home towns or travel abroad. The railway ministry forecast mainland travelers would make 413 million trips during the three-week period around the holiday. ___ Chinese set off billions of fireworks to celebrate the new year. An explosion at an illegal fireworks shop in southern China killed five people early Tuesday. Investigators said it was triggered by fireworks set off by the shopkeeper outside the shop. ___ In Bangkok, people lit incense sticks and burned paper money and other symbolic offerings for deceased relatives despite government appeals to avoid contributing to smog. Some shopkeepers sold symbolic ballots to burn as offerings following official promises of an election this year, the first after four years of military rule. ___ In the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, visitors left bouquets of flowers at statues of former leaders Kim Il Sung and his son, Kim Jong Il.

From left, National Security Adviser John Bolton, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, and President Donald Trump sit together during a meeting with Caribbean leaders at Mar-A Lago, Friday, March 22, 2019, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Trump administration stepped up sanctions on Venezuela Friday in response to the kidnapping of a top aide for a leader the U.S wants to see replace the embattled — but not yet ousted — President Nicolas Maduro. The Treasury Department announcement came while the President Donald Trump met with leaders from five nations in the Caribbean that generally support the U.S.' call for an end to Maduro's rule. Trump hosted them at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida and pledged U.S. investment in their countries. The new sanctions, issued in response to the kidnapping, specifically target Venezuela's national development bank, BANDES, and four additional subsidiaries that BANDES owns or controls. "The regime's continued use of kidnapping, torture and murder of Venezuelan citizens will not be tolerated by the U.S. or the international coalition" that is united behind Juan Guaido, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. He was referring to the opposition leader recognized by more than 50 countries as the legitimate interim leader following a flawed ballot that resulted in Maduro's re-election. Earlier this week, forces affiliated with the Maduro government broke into the homes of officials backing Guaido and threatened them with their lives. Guaido's chief of staff, Roberto Marrero, was kidnapped. In an op-ed published Friday in The Miami Herald, Vice President Mike Pence said the kidnapping was an "egregious violation of the rule of law" and was only the latest example of Maduro's "brutality and despotism." "We're not bluffing when we told Maduro not to do stuff like this (the kidnapping)," John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser told Univision News in an interview aired Friday. The U.S. has already sanctioned scores of top Venezuelan officials and has blocked U.S. banks from doing business with that country, imposing a financial strangle-hold on the cash-strapped nation. The sanctions announced Friday also came as members of Congress from both parties condemned Marrero's arrest. "The international community is closely watching Maduro's actions and will respond accordingly to any that threaten the safety of the opposition and Interim President Juan Guaidó," said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas. Trump hosted the leaders of Jamaica, Bahamas, Haiti, Dominican Republic and St. Lucia to show his support for Caribbean countries that back democratic transition in Venezuela. The five have either denounced Maduro or joined more than 50 countries in recognizing Juan Guaido as the rightful interim leader of the nation. Trump told the leaders as the meeting kicked off that he would be "discussing ways that we can be beneficial to you and you can be beneficial to us." Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that at their meeting with Trump he learned that a representative from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a U.S. government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets, would be visiting the region and the five countries. "The message from this meeting is that the United States wants to encourage and promote stronger relationship with the region," Holness said. "It's absolutely important that it's not just talk, that there will be real investments." "We're very happy with that message. We feel that that is a message that is long-in-coming, but we're also satisfied that it's not just a message. Were satisfied that there will be instrumental action." The Trump administration considers Maduro's government a dictatorship and says he was re-elected in an illegitimate election. The U.S. has sanctioned scores of top Venezuelan officials and has blocked U.S. banks from doing business with Venezuela, putting a financial stranglehold on the cash-strapped country. The country is in an economic meltdown and millions of Venezuelans have fled. Nations in the Caribbean, however, have been split on whether to interfere in Venezuela. For years, Venezuela has provided a reliable supply of oil to many Caribbean nations. They purchased the oil under the PetroCaribe arrangement, which gave them low-interest credit terms, but have left them indebted to Caracas. St. Lucia Prime Minister Allen Michael Chastanet said it's been since the Reagan administration that the U.S. has taken an interest in the Caribbean and acknowledged that Trump's invitation was likely due to their support of the U.S. stance against Venezuela at the Organization of American States. He also acknowledged that not all countries in the region agree with the U.S. call for Maduro's ouster. "I think we all recognize there's a problem in Venezuela. Most people recognize the need for new elections," Chastanet said, adding that any disagreement they have is in how that will play out. "The world remains divided on that. I think there is a growing consensus that there needs to be fresh elections in Venezuela to resolve the humanitarian crisis."

US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania (centre) with Caribbean leaders including Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Friday at Mar-A-Lago.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has described Friday's first meeting between Caribbean leaders and US President Donald Trump as "promising". Trump hosted Holness as well as the leaders of Bahamas, Haiti, Dominican Republic and StLucia at Mar-A Lago in Florida on Friday.The meeting was reportedly organised by the US president to show his support for Caribbean countries that back democratic transition in Venezuela - the five countries havingeither denounced Maduro or joined more than 50 countries in recognising Juan Guaido as the rightful interim leader of the nation. Holness wrote on his social media page that the first meeting with Trump "was promising as we anticipate further discussions on Energy, Trade, Security and issues to do with peace and stability within the region." The Jamaican prime minister, according to the Associated Press, alsosaid that at their meeting with Trump he learned that a representative from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a USgovernment agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets, would be visiting the region and the five countries. "The message from this meeting is that the United States wants to encourage and promote stronger relationship with the region," Holness said. "It's absolutely important that it's not just talk, that there will be real investments." "We're very happy with that message. We feel that that is a message that is long-in-coming, but we're also satisfied that it's not just a message. We're satisfied that there will be instrumental action." The Trump administration considers Maduro's government a dictatorship and says he was re-elected in an illegitimate election. The US has sanctioned scores of top Venezuelan officials and has blocked USbanks from doing business with Venezuela, putting a financial stranglehold on the cash-strapped country. The country is in an economic meltdown and millions of Venezuelans have fled. Nations in the Caribbean, however, have been split on whether to interfere in Venezuela. For years, Venezuela has provided a reliable supply of oil to many Caribbean nations. They purchased the oil under the PetroCaribe arrangement, which gave them low-interest credit terms, but have left them indebted to Caracas. St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Michael Chastanet said it's been since the Reagan administration that the US has taken an interest in the Caribbean and acknowledged that Trump's invitation was likely due to their support of the US.stance against Venezuela at the Organization of American States. He also acknowledged that not all countries in the region agree with the US call for Maduro's ouster. "I think we all recognize there's a problem in Venezuela. Most people recognize the need for new elections," Chastanet said, adding that any disagreement they have is in how that will play out. "The world remains divided on that. I think there is a growing consensus that there needs to be fresh elections in Venezuela to resolve the humanitarian crisis."


Kirk-Anthony Hamilton

Less than three years old and Tech Beach Retreat has already gainedthe esteemed recognition of Essence magazine for providing a hub of technological innovation. The internationally renowned magazine, with a readership of over 8.5 million, listed MontegoBay in the top 5 hubs for making connections in the tech space, owing to this annual three-dayconference devoted to industry innovation, networking and growth. The choice to position this conference in Montego Bay was a strategic one made by thecreators of Tech Beach. ​"We set out on a dream less than threeyearsago to have Jamaica and the Caribbean recognised as a tech hub and frontier market for theindustry. It was an ambitious goal so we decided the best start was to leverage the existing tourism image and infrastructure of Jamaica by working with our tourism capital Montego Bayto create a concept that would be attractive to the local and global community," statedKirk-Anthony Hamilton, Co-Founder of Tech Beach. The brainchild of Hamilton and Kyle Maloney, Tech Beach Retreat has hosted some of theCaribbean’s and the world’s most dynamic and influential thought leaders, influencers andindustry shakers, all gathered in paradise to network and discuss the future of business in atechnology-driven world through world class keynote speakers, panel discussions, firesidechats, and workshops. Throughout the three stagings of Tech Beach, the speakers have consistently representedgiants in the tech space, including representatives from Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Dropbox,PayPal,Pixar, Instagram and much more. With such an impressive lineup, entrepreneurs, industryleaders and investors have flocked each conference to remain on the cutting edge of the industry, make connections, pitch to mentors and investors, and of course, enjoy all that Montego Bayhas to offer. The upcoming 2019 retreat​ scheduled for November 28 to 30th promises to deliver insimilar fashion. "For 2019, Tech Beach plans to expand our corporate interactions and programmes, continuebuilding our entrepreneurship accelerator and move into a more interactive space showcasingcutting edge technologies with opportunities for demos and more. ​ We appreciate the Jamaica Tourist Board for buying into the vision from day one, especially ChairmanJohn Lynch andMinister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett. We also credit JAMPRO and the Development Bank of Jamaica with supporting this success,"​ added Hamilton. Tech Beach is moving into a new era of unique partnerships with organisations collaboratingwithorganisers beyond the scope of the event to tapping its network for various solutions yearround​. One such interactive initiative is the launch of ‘Tech Beach U’, a platform for workshops,and furthering the hybrid accelerator through a number of new partnerships. Tech Beach founders also alluded to the increased focus on corporate innovation and driving new investment through a series of private round table sessions. Interested persons are invited to visit the Tech Beach Retreat website at https://techbeach.net/

Trade and Industry Minister flanked by Her Excellency, Tania Diego Olite, Cuban Ambassador and Mr. Christian Llanos, Managing Director, Ansa Coatings Ltd and other Executives following the loading of the first shipment of paint to Cuba.

Trinidad and Tobago paint manufacturers, ANSA Coatings Limited, on Wednesday loaded a container with over €500,000 worth of product bound for Cuba, the company’s newest export market. Minister of Trade and IndustryPaula Gopee-Scoon who witnessed the event stated that the Government was pleased with the company’s penetration of the additional market. This, she added, would create jobs, increase exports and generate foreign exchange. “The Cuban market is significant for us with 11 million people and another three million in tourists. Cuba as a trading partner remains important to Trinidad and Tobago. Eighty percent of the goods from the region entering Cuba originates in Trinidad and Tobago.” The Government, she stated, intends to continue to pursue opportunities for local businesses in that jurisdiction. Tania Diego Olite, the Cuban Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago who was also present, said it was an important step in strengthening economic and diplomatic relations between the two Caribbean countries. She also anticipated an increase in these interchanges in thefuture. Minister Gopee-Scoon concurred citing the need for increased two-way trade. Local companies involved in Information Communication Technology, surveying, recycling and energy, petroleum and gas, construction products, electricity and design, transport and shipping and Printing and Packaging, ice cream and paints are on the cusp of entering Cuba ably supported by exporTT’s Trade Facilitation Office in that country. ANSA Coatings commenced activities to enter Cuba over two years ago. Construction Sector Head of the ANSA McAl Group, Adam Sabga, indicated that access to this new market attests to the quality of its products which was developed in Trinidad and Tobago with local expertise. Christian Llanos, Managing Director of ANSA Coatings Limited, thanked the Government for the support provided. This expansion, he said, would earn foreign exchange which is beneficial to both the country and the company.


Some of the police retirees

The Royal Cayman Police Service has said a heartfelt thanks and waved a fond farewell to seven officers who retired from the force. OnMarch 14, the RCIPS celebrated the service and dedication offormer Inspector Winsome Prendergast, former Inspector Livingston Bailey, former Sergeant Clesford Lumsden, PC Mary Reese, PC Leonora Yates, AC Lawrence Woods and AC Elaine Thomas. The longest serving member of the group of retirees was former Police Sergeant Clesford Lumsden, who was a police officer for 37 years! Awards and gifts were presented to each officer from the group of retirees asstaff in attendance shared kind words of encouragement and well wishes, A Police Association Award and a Police Welfare Award werepresented to former Inspector Prendergast for the service that she provided to both groups throughout her career. The evening closed off with dinner and music and a slide show of pictures of the retirees over the year.

The Cayman Islands chapter of 100+ Women Who Care is pleased to announce that Jasmine (formerly Cayman HospiceCare) was selected by member vote to receive the group's collective donation of over $12,500 at their March meeting. The two runner-up charities, Cayman National Cultural Foundation and Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, also walked away with a donation of $1,000 each courtesy of Premier Event Sponsor PwC. Anyone that was not able to attend the meeting but would still like to donate can drop off their $100 donation to the Kelly Holding office on West Bay Road or donate online viaEvent Pro. For more information on the 100 Women movement, visithttp://www.100women.ky/