Dexta Daps

Popular dancehall artiste Dexta Daps has been arrested. The details surrounding his arrest are sketchy but a video of the 'Morning Love’ singer's arrest surfaced on social media on Wednesday evening. The video shows a throng of residents following behind the cops as they lead him to a waiting jeep. The video appears to have been shotin the singer's Seaview Gardens, St Andrew stomping grounds. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Stephanie Lindsay, head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), confirmed to Loop News that the singer had been held but the details of his arrest had not yet been established. "We will know the circumstancessurrounding his arrest in a few," she told Loop News. The entertainer is being held at the Hunt’s Bay police station. Loop News understands that the artiste has retained the services ofQueen's Counsel Peter Champagnie. This is not the singer's first brush with the law. In 2015, Dexta Daps, whose given name is Louis Grandison, was charged following a scuffleat the Sangster International Airportwith a group of police officers, videos of which went viral on social media. He was charged with assault occasioning grevious bodily harm, resisting arrest, and using indecent language. He was later freed of all charges in November 2015.

The United Stateshas been accused of commandeering shipments of medical equipmentthat havebeen ordered by other countriesto combat the coronavirus pandemic, and the Cayman Islands has recently become the most recent victim of these actions. Yesterday ventilators and other equipment were loaded aboard a vessel and were removed by the United States authorities. This shipmentincluded 4 refurbished ventilators, 50,000 masks and other equipment. All of these were produced and purchased in the United States. There is also a significant amount of PPE coming from China via the United States and the Premier is concerned about what might happen. "There are a lot of moving parts," he said. The United States has been accused of blocking or diverting shipments of ventilators, masks, and other essentialequipment as the market for coronavirus supplies becomes tighter. Within the region, in Barbados twenty ventilators were allegedly seized without explanation by the United States, according toBarbadian Health Minister Lt.-Col. Jeffrey Bostic. Other shipments of masks intended for German policehave also been stopped. The Trump administration has denied the reports, describing them in a statement as "completely false." The Cayman Islands is currently seeking to obtain an added 30 ventilators.

Barbadian sugar worker harvesting crops at  Groves, St Phillip. Photo: iStock/isitsharp

The Caribbean’s sugar industry has been described as healthy by the Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC). Loop News interviewed a spokesman from the regional body and he said: “This is an exciting time for regional sugar producers.” Belize, Barbados, Cuba, Jamaica and Guyana are the only Caribbean countries still cultivating sugar on a large scale. Investments worth over US$250million have been made into the regional sugar industry with the goal of increasing production, efficiency and moving to higher-value food-grade products to meet the demand of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) market. “Changes to the traditional European Union (EU) market, which destroyed any preferential value for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) sugar producers, has inspired a new regional vision for sugar, as a modern, efficient agro-industry, providing food security and livelihoods for over 400,000 Caribbean citizens,” the spokesman said. The demand for sugar in CARICOM is around 300,000 metric tonnes (mt), however, around 200,000 mt is imported and suppliers do not have to pay the Common External Tariff (CET). The Association said this should not be the case since its farmers produce 450,000 mt. These imports displace market opportunity since most of their products are sold on the global market for prices below production cost, according to SAC. “The global market is effectively a dumped market, fed by residual sugar supplies above and beyond the demand in the producers own markets, which are invariably protected. For example, prohibitive tariffs mean there is no opportunity to sell CARICOM sugar into Guatemala, Honduras or Colombia, while those countries are free to send their sugar, duty-free, into CARICOM. As CARICOM does not protect two-thirds of sugar demand, this obviously puts regional sugar producers at a massive disadvantage,” the spokesman stated. Despite the challenges, the spokesman said Caribbean Governments are doing their part to ensure the survival of the sector as he highlighted a decision taken at the 49 Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in Georgetown, Guyana to provide incremental treaty protection for sugar produced regionally when there is an adequate quantity and quality. The spokesman called on COTED to follow up on its promises and end the importation of brown sugar, which continues to this day. He said the future survival of the regional sugar industry depends on how leaders address deficiencies in monitoring mechanisms to modernise and grow the sector and also fully implement the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The government of Dominica has partnered with Digicel to ensure that all citizens have access to telecommunications services. Minister of Telecommunications and Broadcasting, Oscar George said the coronavirus is testing the ability of telecommunication operators to adequately respond to the increasing traffic demand in terms of capacity and the quality of service. He believes that the pandemic presents an avenue for increased innovation while encouraging us to maximise use of existing technologies. In a statement, Minister George boasts of the government’s foresight and pro-active planning in this regard. According to the statement, the government of Dominica signed an agreement with Digicel in January of 2019 to enhance the telecommunication infrastructure services at all government facilities inclusive of schools, police stations, hospitals and health centres. Minister George said: “This network will provide multiple layers of redundant connectivity including underground and overhead fibre, and cloud services to host Government data and services. The contract, through the Learning Hub technology, facilitates students and teachers to connect online to pursue classes without being charged. Additionally, health professionals, through the “Connected Health” facility are able to provide patient care via both audio and video facilities from the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital to 30 rural health centres strategically located around Dominica.” After extensive consultation, local telecommunications operators have come on board, committed to support the government’s response to the coronavirus. The Telecommunications Minister said: “While the Operators will be engaged in monitoring online traffic in an effort to manage increased traffic, it is also anticipated that special arrangements will be included to lower the cost barrier in order that as many citizens/customers as possible gain the required access to the service during this period.” Minister George said Wi-Fi networks have already been established in 56 primary schools and 13 secondary schools. He said the bandwidth in schools in communities that do not currently have access to broadband connectivity, will be increased above the stipulated range. Telecommunication operators have also partnered with the Ministry of Health to keep consumers informed through the distribution of SMS (text) messages. The hospitality sector also stands to benefit from these concessions. Minister George said the government is doing all in its power to ensure that all Dominicans have access to affordable telecommunications services irrespective of geographic location, economic or social status.

Rabbi Berel Pewzner providing Passover supplies to members of Cayman's Jewish Community

This year, the 500-strong Jewish Community of the Cayman Islands will celebrate the holiday of Passover or Pesach during lockdown and shelter in place orders. The Jewish holiday that commemorates the exodus of the Israelites after 400 years of slavery, takes place from April 8 to April 16. The first Seder or traditional feast that includes reading, eating special foods, drinking wine, singing, telling stories, takes place after nightfall on Wednesday April 8. The Seder is usually celebrated as a community activity with involvement from all who are in attendance. With the curfew that is taking place during the evening hours in Cayman, families will have to celebrate in a more insular fashion. This is according to Rabbi Berel Pewzner who along with his wife Rikal, lead Cayman’s Jewish community. The couple have played an active role in the development of an active synagogue, Hebrew School and Jewish Community Centre in the Cayman Islands over the past ten years. “We have a very active Jewish community on island, with approximately 500 Jewish persons on island year round, and many more that own vacation homes and business here,” explained Rabbi Pewzner. “During a normal year, the eight-day Jewish holiday Passover would be celebrated in Cayman by the members of the Jewish community with a communal Seder gathering and a shared meal.” “The communal gathering can’t happen this year due to the curfew, but the celebration will continue with each family holding their own family Seder in their homes,” said Rabbi Pewzner, who provided a “physically distanced but socially connected” distribution of unleavened bread, called matza, wine and Hagadah prayer booklets for the local community’s family Seders. The Rabbi also offered a pre-Seder Zoom session with a step-by-step Seder Do It Yourself presentation. “We have been distributing food to the needy, elderly and homebound ensuring that all will be able to celebrate Passover in the best possible manner during these extraordinary times,” explained the Rabbi with regards to the traditional spring cleaning and removal of “chametz” or foods with leavening agents that are forbidden during Passover. “Leading Rabbis have called for people to relax on the spring cleaning and simply do a basic cleaning and storage of the bread and Chametz leavened products,” said Rabbi Pewzner. Passover begins in Cayman with candle lighting at 6.23 pm this evening and ritual elements of the Seder after 7.05 pm this evening.

Today there areno results of COVID-19 tests to report. The lab is going through validation testing for testing reagents, on the South Korean tests that arrived today on a private jet. There are about 21 to be returned from yesterday and 27 from today One of the hospitalized positive COVID-19 cases has been released from the hospital. The hospitalized in Cayman are down to one. The status of those who tested positive for COVID 19 in Cayman are as follows: 1 hospitalized 5 fully recovered 5 clinically recovered 19 have some symptoms 15 asymptomatic