An attempted armed robbery in East End yesterday ended with a gun being discharged and the suspect fleeing the scene. Just before 8 pmyesterday August 11, police were dispatched by the 9-1-1 Com...

Rosita Ritch, 2020 CIMPA Scholarship Recipient

The Cayman Islands Marketing Professionals Association (CIMPA) has selected a recipient for its annual scholarship programme. Rosita Ritch is the second annual recipient of theCI$5,000 scholarsh...

Arrival of tropical storm-force winds predicted by NHC

Tropical Depression 11 has formed over the Tropical Atlantic Ocean as of 5 pm on Tuesday. According to the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC), this eveningthe centre of Tropical Depression Eleven was located near latitude 11.7 North, longitude 40.0 West. [related node_id='6e3c36f6-1e0b-47d2-a224-728b9bcd5f7e'] The depression is moving toward the west near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday. A west-northwestward motion at a similar forward speed is forecast to begin Wednesday night and continue through the rest of the week. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm by Wednesday night. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb (29.74 inches). LOCATION...11.7N 40.0W ABOUT 1110 MI...1790 KM WSW OF THE CABO VERDE ISLANDS ABOUT 1450 MI...2335 KM E OF THE LESSER ANTILLES MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 280 DEGREES AT 16 MPH...26 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1007 MB...29.74 INCHES There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Thursday, September 3, 2020 is the date when Jamaicans will head to the polls to elect their next government in what will be the country’s 18thgeneral election since Universal Adult Suffrage in 1944. Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement Tuesday during a statement in the House of Representatives. Nomination Day will be Tuesday August 18. It will be one of the most consequential elections in the country’s history as it will determine which of the political parties will be entrusted with leading the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, the worst public health crisis to hit the globe in a century. Holness and his governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) have been commended for the most part for their management of the crisis despite a recent spike in cases which has seen the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the island surging to 1,031 as of Monday. There have been 14 deaths. The 2020 campaign will be one of the shortest ever and will pit the JLP against the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) led by former finance minister Dr Peter Phillips. The announcement ends months of heightened speculation about when Holness would ‘call it’. He announced the date after first moving five resolutions that led to the revocation of the states of emergency (SOEs) effective Monday, August 17. The emergency measure has been in force in six parishes and several police divisions for up to two years. The prime minister had earlier committed not to call the election while the SOEs were still in place and he assured the House that the police and military have already devised measures to ensure that the Jamaican people are protected. Phillips supported the revocation of the SOEs, however he did not give his blessing for them to continue through nomination day as the prime minister hoped. Holness used the Parliament to reel off a list of the JLP's achievements over its four-and-a-half-years in office. These include the abolition of the asset tax, reducing the GCT rate by 1.5 per cent and record low unemployment rates up to the time of the COVID-19 crisis. The prime minister also pointed to the massive road work projects undertaken by his government and record low inflation. Holness said he was particularly proud of the cruise ship pier that has been installed in the historic town of Port Royal. The announcement of the election date was a departure from the norm where the prime minister usually ‘flies the gate’ in front of an audience of cheering party supporters, decked out in party colours and usually numbering in the tens of thousands at a mass meeting in either Half-Way-Tree or Sam Sharpe Square. The COVID-19 crisis put paid to that practice. Holness, 48, will be facing the electorate for the third time, twice as prime minister. His record so far is one win and one loss. When he faced the electorate for the first time in December 2011 after being parachuted into the prime minister’s office two months earlier following the resignation of Bruce Golding, Holness suffered a massive defeat at the hands of the Portia Simpson Miller-led PNP. He would turn the tables on Simpson Miller and the PNP four years later after Simpson Miller called the elections one year early. Holness and the JLP eked out a surprise one-seat victory on February 25, 2016, winning 32 constituencies to the PNP’s 31. The JLP has since added two seats to its win column by way of by-elections. Holness is expecting a bigger margin of victory for the JLP this time around based on his performance and popularity as he goes in search of a second consecutive term. The public opinion polls seem to suggest that this will be the case as he and the JLP have opened up big leads over Phillips and the PNP over the past six months. This is despite his administration being dogged by corruption and with the murder rate remaining stubbornly above 1,200 each year on average despite the extended SOEs and despite a two percentage points reduction in murders this year when compared to the corresponding period in 2019. For his part, the 70-year-old Phillips who will be facing the electorate for the first time in a storied political career that has seen him hold several senior cabinet positions across PNP administrations, has indicated that the PNP intends to hold the 29 seats it currently has while targeting up to 10 battleground seats. Of note is that the JLP picked up 11 seats in the last general election before adding two in the by-elections for a net gain of 13 over its 2011 performance.


LIAT may soon get the injection of funds needed for the airline to stay afloat. That's according to Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne who said proposals are being considered from a number of private entities have expressed an interest in investing in the airline. During his radio show over the weekend hesaid one entity has offered to pay US$25 million for 51% of LIAT shares. PM Browne said a regional airline has also offered to invest US$25 million and a few planes for 60 per cent of the airline's shares. In additions to this, the Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister has claimed that at least three governments have expressed an interest in investing in the embattled LIAT. "There are prospects that LIAT administrators are pursuing," he said. "We believe that ultimately on the basis that the Administrator is successful in getting the cooperation of creditors that LIAT will be organised and be back in the air to take its pole position, to continue to be the number one carrier within the Caribbean region," PM Browne said. He admitted that LIAT is on life support, but insists that corporate euthanasia is not the way forward. According to PM Browne, all that's needed is a strategic reorganisation for LIAT to be nursed back to good health. Prime Minister Browne said prospective investors have contacted him directly but he has forwarded all expressions of interest to LIAT Administrator Cleveland Seaforth who has sole managerial responsibility over the cash-strapped airline.

Long lines at remittance agent locations in Jamaica

Remittances are Jamaica's second-highest foreign exchange earner, accounting for 15.6 per cent of GDP in 2019. (World Bank) The vast majority of Jamaica's remittances originate in the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, Canada and the Cayman Islands, in that order. With just under 20 per cent of the Cayman Islands' population comprising of Jamaican work permit holders, Jamaica has always been the largest destination market for remittance outflows. In 2018 alone,$133 million or 58 per cent of all outflowsweresent from the Cayman Islands to Jamaica. While Jamaica has continued to be Cayman's largest source market, the restrictions and economic fall out of the pandemic have caused remittance outflows to suffer. Loop Jamaica has reported thatJamaicanmoney remittance serviceswere "seeing between 10 and 15 per cent reduction in inflows, [in late April] as compared to declines of much as 20 per cent in early April" which was in keeping with the World Bank projection thatglobal remittances would be likely tofall by as much as 20 per cent in 2020, due to the economic crisis linked to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and shutdown. According to Bank of Jamaica, remittance inflows to Jamaica reduced by 9.8 per cent in April, as compared to the same time last year. Inflows to Jamaica from the Cayman Islands represented 0.2 per cent of all remittances to Jamaica in April 2020, as compared to 7.2 per cent during the same period last year. This was largely due to the forced closure of remittance companies in the Cayman Islands, such as Western Union, MoneyGram, Quik Cash, and Jamaica National. This was also a period of strict mobility restrictions and job losses in Cayman. In March 2020, Jamaica's total remittance inflows decreased by 8.6 per cent as compared to the same time last year. The Cayman Islands accounted for 6 per cent of all remittance inflows to Jamaica in March 2020as compared to 6.8 per cent in March 2019. In February 2020, just before the "coronavirus impact" was being felt in the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands accounted for 7.5 per cent of all remittances to Jamaica, the same share as February 2019. That month saw an 8 per cent increase in remittance inflows to Jamaica, as compared to February 2019. According to the updated IMF forecasts from April 2020, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, GDP growth in Jamaicais expected to fall to -5.6% in 2020 and pick up to 3.5% in 2021, subject to the post-pandemic global economic recovery. Neither the Bank of Jamaica nor the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority have provided statistics for remittances post-April but it is expected that the numbers will begin to climb.

An attempted armed robbery in East End yesterday ended with a gun being discharged and the suspect fleeing the scene. Just before 8 pmyesterday August 11, police were dispatched by the 9-1-1 Communications Centre to a report of an Attempted Robbery in the East End district. It was reported that a male wearing a dark coloured hoody and a black mask entered the Gas Station’s store with a hand gun and demanded cash, after which he discharged the weapon into the ceiling of the store and made off without any cash or items being stolen. The man was seen running along Sea View Road heading east towards Austin Connolly Drive. No one was injured as a result of this incident. The matter is currently under investigation and detectives are appealing to anyone with information to call the Bodden Town Police Station at 947-2220. Anonymous tips may be provided directly to the RCIPS Confidential Tip Line at 949-7777, or via the website. Tips can also be submitted anonymously via the Miami-based call centre of Crime Stoppers at 800-8477(TIPS), oronline.

Rosita Ritch, 2020 CIMPA Scholarship Recipient

The Cayman Islands Marketing Professionals Association (CIMPA) has selected a recipient for its annual scholarship programme. Rosita Ritch is the second annual recipient of theCI$5,000 scholarship that is awarded each year toa local studentwith an interest in marketing or other related field. CIMPA Chair Julian Foster says the non-profit is proud to support Rosita’s educational goals. “Rosita’s drive to succeed, academic performance and demonstrated commitment to marketing made her application stand out,” he says. Having recently completed her associate’s at the University College of the Cayman Islands, Rosita is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Management (Marketing) at the University of Surrey. Eventually she hopes to achieve a master’s in Business Communication and Marketing. “This scholarship will give me the opportunity to study overseas and expand my knowledge and experience. The world of Marketing is very diverse and there is a lot that I will be able to do with a degree in Business Management (Marketing),” Ms. Ritch said. “The financial foundation that the CIMPA scholarship has to offer will be greatly significant to the start of my career and academic goals.” Now in its second year, the CIMPA scholarship was established to help cultivate the next generation of leaders in the marketing industry and related fields. To eliminate any potential for bias, all applications were submitted anonymously to the Scholarship Evaluation Committee for scoring. “Once again, our Committee was impressed by the high standard of the applications received. Particularly given the impacts of COVID-19 and the uncertainty many students are facing,” Mr. Foster says. The 2021 CIMPA Scholarship application period will open next year in May.