Tishay Thomas 16 years old and Motesha Mothen 15

Two teens girls reported as missing earlier today have been found, the teens are also reported by the Royal CaymanPolice Services to be in good health. It was reported that the girlsTishay Thoma...


Gastone Brown

The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne’s declaration that Caribbean governments should have ownership stakes in hotels has been described as a dangerous way for the region to go if it hopes to attract investors. Antigua News Room reported that Browne said: “ The hoteliers, they are brutal in their requirements, they ask for up to 25 years concessions on everything, they don’t want to pay no taxes when their tax (exemptions) run out they come back and they insist you must renew it, and when you decide you don’t want to do it because you are trying to protect government’s revenue, they hold you hostage to fortune.” Speaking from Weir Capital in London, Robert Mackenzie responded, “ State-owned hotels in the Caribbean has never been successful at any time. The business of government is not running businesses. Antigua is heavily indebted and should use its resources prudently in areas like education, healthcare and maintaining law and order – not using well needed capital to buy hotels. “ If the government gets into the hotel business, investors in all sectors will run off and with no FDI, Caribbean countries would be a financial disaster. It just doesn’t make sense . The Prime Minister of Antigua needs to rethink his position on this. Earlier this year the Government of India divested hotels and properties of the India Tourism Development Corporation( ITDC) at three locations- Bhopal, Guwahati and Bharatpur. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “ The decision on divestment has been made keeping in view that running and managing hotels on professional lines is not the work of the government or its entities..” India is one of the fastest developing economies in the world and is actively encouraging investment with the government playing the role of facilitator. Browne went on to add that his government will now be pursing a policy of ‘entrepreneurial socialism’. He further explained his thinking adding, “ And this is not a socialistic policy. It is very much capitalistic in which we are saying here, look, we will risk our capital. We will borrow the money, we will invest in these hotels and we will lease them to the private sector to operate.” Robert Mackenzie opined, “That is one hell of an oxymoron, entrepreneurial socialism. Those two words cannot exist in the same sentence. Furthermore Cuba has tried it with their hotels particularly in Vedado and it has not worked. So too has Michael Manley in the 70s in Jamaica and that was an abject failure. You should read a report called “ Tourism and the Less Developed World” published by CAB International. It is very insightful.” That report notes that in Jamaica the government purchase of hotels from expatriate owners in the early 70s was prompted by socialist principles and the desire to protect hotel employment during a recession. By the mid 80s there was a general move toward privatization and the free market. Hotels which were government-owned have now almost all been sold, the majority to Jamaicans and they have thrived. In the book Economic Logic by Mark Skousen, the author writes: “ It’s hard enough for government to run essential services – police, courts and utilities – let alone running hotels, steel mills and airplanes. Government should not be in the business of running businesses. It is beyond their expertise.” Last year Antigua had a public debt of US$1.3 billion with a debt to GDP ratio of 89%. It has a gross GDP of $1.4 billion with a total national debt per capita of US$14, 247. It would be unwise at this time to significantly add to its debt stock and widen its fiscal deficit. Robin Wigglesworth of the Financial Times writes: “ The Caribbean region as a whole had an average budget deficit of 3% between 1990-2015. Since 2010 Antigua, Belize, St Kitts, Grenada and Jamaica have had to default and restructure their debt.” The Caribbean has slowly but surely become one of the most indebted in the world, with liabilities often far beyond what is safe for such small, open and undiversified economies.”

Grenadian Rollin Williams died in Barbados this morning.

A Grenadian freelance videographer Rollin Williams was pronounced dead this morning after being pulled from the waters at Brandon's Beach, St Michael in Barbados. According to preliminary police investigations, Williams and his wife, Carol, were at the beach around 7:35 a.m. While in the water, Carol got into difficulties and Rollin went to her rescue. However, after assisting her, he then got into difficulties and was subsequently pulled from the water unresponsive. He was later pronounced dead at the beach. Williams was a media professional with over 15 years’ experience. He and his wife are both Grenadian nationals who have worked with several media houses in the Caribbean including Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) and Observer Media Group in Antigua & Barbuda. They continued to work innews media and media productionin Barbados since they relocated there in 2013, starting their own company, Willcomm Media, created several video productions, including a documentary on the Sargassum seaweed. Loop News Country Content Manager for Barbados, Yajaira Archibald, expressed sincere condolences to Carol and the Williamsfamily at this difficult time. “Rollin was a talented and dedicated media professional whose meticulous nature and positive attitude brought out the best of every assignment. He was a kind, sincere person and it was a pleasure to have worked with him. We will miss him greatly.” Since the news broke, many condolences and tributeshave been shared on social media, with most remembering Williams as an easy-going person who was a joy to work with. One person recalled: "Sequentas" is how we called him. Very respectful and co-operative. Comes to the table with ideas. Cool under pressure. Not afraid of the long hours. We first hired him as a part-timer for two months as a relief worker. He showed such talent and eagerness, we ended up keeping him for good at GBN. When he went to Antigua, took all the time off he can get to make sure I am ok when I visited and always took me around with no complaints. Always willing to share whatever footage he had. Loved his Carol and she loved him back. They were not just husband and wife, but good friends. I always used to joke with him - "When i grow up I really want to be like you." Maybe the only good thing is that he died fighting to save the woman he loved so dear. At this hour there are tears in heaven."


A team from the Ministry of Financial Services has suggested that the United States has begun to view the Cayman Islands as a “tax-neutral, well-regulated financial services centre”. A two-person team from the ministry recently wrapped up discussions in Washington D.C. with several US senators and other officials on tax reform and financial services reform, among other issues. “Our message appears to be resonating that Cayman is a tax-neutral, well-regulated financial services centre with world-class professional services firms,” said André Ebanks, Senior Legislative Policy Advisor in the ministry. “This is important for us, because a strong reputation drives business,” he added. The Cayman ministry officials met with met with both Senate and House of Representatives advisors and staff. According to the ministry’s, Policy Officer, Wilbur Welcome the visit to the U.S was well timed noting, that one day after the meetings, congressional leaders released their tax reform framework. “We heard in many meetings how important it is for Cayman to continue educating leaders on our strong record of cooperation during this dynamic political period, “Welcome said. “Reform – including addressing issues such as beneficial ownership – appears to be a growing interest in the US,” added Ebanks. According to the team, state department officials expressed appreciation at the visit, which presented an opportunity to learn more about Cayman’s collection and maintenance of beneficial ownership information. It was also revealed that these officials were interested in Cayman’s briefing on the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes report, which rated Cayman on par with countries such as Canada and Germany in terms of international tax cooperation. Minister of Financial Services, Tara Rivers, was unable to travel to DC as she and the Premier, Alden McLaughlin, were attending financial services-related meetings in Brussels.

Gastone Brown

The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne’s declaration that Caribbean governments should have ownership stakes in hotels has been described as a dangerous way for the region to go if it hopes to attract investors. Antigua News Room reported that Browne said: “ The hoteliers, they are brutal in their requirements, they ask for up to 25 years concessions on everything, they don’t want to pay no taxes when their tax (exemptions) run out they come back and they insist you must renew it, and when you decide you don’t want to do it because you are trying to protect government’s revenue, they hold you hostage to fortune.” Speaking from Weir Capital in London, Robert Mackenzie responded, “ State-owned hotels in the Caribbean has never been successful at any time. The business of government is not running businesses. Antigua is heavily indebted and should use its resources prudently in areas like education, healthcare and maintaining law and order – not using well needed capital to buy hotels. “ If the government gets into the hotel business, investors in all sectors will run off and with no FDI, Caribbean countries would be a financial disaster. It just doesn’t make sense . The Prime Minister of Antigua needs to rethink his position on this. Earlier this year the Government of India divested hotels and properties of the India Tourism Development Corporation( ITDC) at three locations- Bhopal, Guwahati and Bharatpur. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “ The decision on divestment has been made keeping in view that running and managing hotels on professional lines is not the work of the government or its entities..” India is one of the fastest developing economies in the world and is actively encouraging investment with the government playing the role of facilitator. Browne went on to add that his government will now be pursing a policy of ‘entrepreneurial socialism’. He further explained his thinking adding, “ And this is not a socialistic policy. It is very much capitalistic in which we are saying here, look, we will risk our capital. We will borrow the money, we will invest in these hotels and we will lease them to the private sector to operate.” Robert Mackenzie opined, “That is one hell of an oxymoron, entrepreneurial socialism. Those two words cannot exist in the same sentence. Furthermore Cuba has tried it with their hotels particularly in Vedado and it has not worked. So too has Michael Manley in the 70s in Jamaica and that was an abject failure. You should read a report called “ Tourism and the Less Developed World” published by CAB International. It is very insightful.” That report notes that in Jamaica the government purchase of hotels from expatriate owners in the early 70s was prompted by socialist principles and the desire to protect hotel employment during a recession. By the mid 80s there was a general move toward privatization and the free market. Hotels which were government-owned have now almost all been sold, the majority to Jamaicans and they have thrived. In the book Economic Logic by Mark Skousen, the author writes: “ It’s hard enough for government to run essential services – police, courts and utilities – let alone running hotels, steel mills and airplanes. Government should not be in the business of running businesses. It is beyond their expertise.” Last year Antigua had a public debt of US$1.3 billion with a debt to GDP ratio of 89%. It has a gross GDP of $1.4 billion with a total national debt per capita of US$14, 247. It would be unwise at this time to significantly add to its debt stock and widen its fiscal deficit. Robin Wigglesworth of the Financial Times writes: “ The Caribbean region as a whole had an average budget deficit of 3% between 1990-2015. Since 2010 Antigua, Belize, St Kitts, Grenada and Jamaica have had to default and restructure their debt.” The Caribbean has slowly but surely become one of the most indebted in the world, with liabilities often far beyond what is safe for such small, open and undiversified economies.”


HMP Fairbanks inmates at work in salon

Female inmates atFairbanks prisonare to learn basic skills and techniques needed to apply various cosmetic products professionally. The makeup application course will betaught by certified MAC makeup artists. The news comes as the prison servicehas partnered with the international makeup brand, MAC cosmetics, to offer a newrehabilitation course atthe prison. The HMP Fairbanks salon was started as an initiative to allow inmates to receive cosmetic training in hopes of increasing their chances of securing employment at the end of their sentence, ultimately decreasing the number of re-offenders. The salon also offers its services to members of the public, whichprovides inmates with valuable work experience. Prison director Neil Lavis said the training course will not only provide a pathway of professional training for interested inmates but also opportunities for future career development. “Our hope is that this course will inspire the inmates and give them the support they need to one day secure a job in the cosmetology field after they are released,”. He went on to note the value of sponsors to the prison.“Through generous donations, we were able to stock the prison’s library with various reading materials from law books to novels and supply the inmates with exercise equipment to occupy their time and encourage a healthy lifestyle,”. The salon also received needed upgrades to its infrastructure in order to accommodate the new rehabilitation course, including newoutside signage, a recepton area, covered walkway, and landscaping.

Local company, Progressive Distributors Ltd showed what corporate social responsibility was all about recently when they matched a teenager’s generous donation to the Cayman Islands Hospital’s Mental Health Unit. Thirteen-year-old Sophie Elias, with the assistance of her mother Charmaine Elias, launched a food drive which saw provisions donated to mental health patients. The mother and daughter duo made the donation during Mental Health Week, with the goal of providing support to patients who may not have sustainable income following their treatments. “I wanted to provide food for those individuals with financial challenges so they can focus on their recovery and wellbeing,” said Sophie. With the assistance of her family, friends, school and community, Sophie purchased $300 worth of groceries. Progressive Distributors Ltd stepped up to the plate and matched the teen’s contribution. Last week Sophie was awarded with a certificate of appreciation for her sterling efforts. “Sophie continues to amaze us with her strong desire to help those most vulnerable and her passion for community service, especially at such a young age, "said Mental Health Nurse Manager Phil Stater. "Last year she raised money to purchase and donate a basketball hoop to our in-patient area and this year she has done even more. We are so grateful for this thoughtful contribution and the continued effort she has put into assisting our patients,” she added.


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