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IN THE FACE OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC, SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES ARE ESSENTIAL    

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IN THE FACE OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC, SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES ARE ESSENTIAL ehorwitz Mon, 04/06/2020 - 15:59

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Primary Content

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the globe – pushing healthcare systems to their limits and compelling governments and healthcare institutions to make difficult and increasingly urgent decisions about how to deliver care while also curbing virus transmission – it is critical that responses to this crisis recognize that sexual and reproductive health services are essential, respecting people’s rights to make decisions about their bodily autonomy and integrity.

The COVID-19 pandemic poses particular threats to poor and marginalized women who face greater difficultly in protecting themselves from transmission due to lack of information, resources, and access to quality health and social services. Women’s societal roles as caregivers, both within their own households and for others, places them at greater risk of infection and exacerbates the impact of COVID in their lives. The rights and health of these women must be central considerations as governments and other stakeholders formulate their response to this public health crisis.

At the same time, anti-abortion groups and some governments are exploiting this situation to deny women and girls access to abortion services. These cynical attempts to rollback decades of progress in increasing women and girls’ access to safe, legal abortion care must be stopped. They otherwise threaten to increase the strain on already over-burdened health care systems by compelling individuals to seek out unsafe abortion services and increase the need for post-abortion care.   

As resources are rapidly being redeployed in response to COVID-19, we are calling on all governments to:

Provide abortion as an essential health service. Abortion access is essential preserve the life and health of pregnant people. The attendant impacts of COVID-19 have the potential to severely undermine access to abortion services, as travel restrictions limit transportation options, the economic slowdown pushes many individuals into more precarious financial situations, and healthcare system capacity becomes increasingly limited. Abortion is always a time-sensitive procedure that should not be postponed. Measures that undermine access to abortion care will force people to seek out unsafe abortion services or services later in pregnancy, putting their lives and health at risk.  

Remove Legal and Administrative Barriers to Abortion Services, including to Medical Abortion. Governments and healthcare institutions must also remove all legal and administrative hurdles to access abortion services, including lifting criminal sanctions on abortion, and ensure all possibilities to guarantee safe access while minimizing contact with healthcare personnel at the frontlines of tackling the pandemic, including the adoption of technological advancements such as telemedicine and ensuring women and girls are not unnecessarily compelled to make multiple trips to healthcare facilities.

Medication abortion is a safe, cost-effective means for enabling women and girls to end an unwanted pregnancy. Misoprostol, one of the active drugs for Medication abortion, is included in the WHO’s Model List of Essential Medicines—meaning that governments should register it as an essential medicine. Yet in many countries, Medication abortion remains unavailable. To increase access to safe abortion services while also reducing the strain on healthcare systems, medication abortion should be made widely available, including over the counter at pharmacies. When desired, women and girls should also be able to utilize telemedicine to consult with healthcare providers on medication abortion.

Comply with the Minimum Initial Services Package for Reproductive Health, an international standard of care that should be implemented at the onset of every emergency, including public health emergencies. This priority set of lifesaving and essential services includes obstetric, prenatal, and postnatal care; contraceptive information and services, including emergency contraception; and post abortion care and post-rape care.

Guarantee Access to Quality, Respectful Maternal Health Care. As resources are reallocated to respond to the pandemic, it remains critical that all people have access to quality maternal health care, free from discrimination, violence and coercion. Resource constraints and emergency situations are often precursors to human rights violations in maternal health settings, such as mistreatment and abuse of women during delivery and violations of the right to informed consent. Such violations disproportionately impact marginalized populations, such as racial and ethnic minorities, poor women and rural women. Governments must take steps to guarantee women and girls’ rights in these settings. Furthermore, as information continues to evolve about the risk of COVID-19 to pregnant women and newborn children, it is paramount that governments and health care providers continue ensuring women’s rights to make decisions about labor and childbirth to the extent feasible.

Ensure Timely Access to Contraception, Including Emergency Contraception.  Disrupted supply chains and reallocation of health resources during COVID-19 can have dire impacts on access to contraception. In addition to being essential for enabling people to make decisions about their reproductive autonomy, guaranteeing access to contraception can also mitigate near-term demands on the healthcare system that would result from unplanned pregnancy. States must ensure access to contraceptive information and services as an essential measure for enabling people to avoid unintended pregnancy, which can have significant impacts on their lives and health.

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US DoJ: Warner ‘defrauded’ Caribbean, South Africa and T&T while serving in Cabinet   

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At roughly the same time that Jack Warner was offering crime-fighting tips in Trinidad and Tobago as acting prime minister and minister of works and infrastructure, he was, according to the United States Department of Justice, engaged in wire fraud, money laundering and bribery in his more illustrious portfolio as Fifa vice-president and Concacaf and …

The post US DoJ: Warner ‘defrauded’ Caribbean, South Africa and T&T while serving in Cabinet appeared first on Wired868.


          

Recognition in their day to young health collaborators in Dominica.   

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Recognition in their day to young health collaborators in Dominica.

Roseau. Dominica. April 4, 2020. The measures of social distancing to prevent contagion of COVID - 19, have not prevented all the day today, April 4, 2020, that make recognition has been given to young people who they make up the Cuban Brigade of Health Collaborators in Dominica and the “Henry Reeve” Contingent Brigade that recently arrived in this sister Caribbean nation.


          

US expands Navy presence in Caribbean-Venezuelan President Readies Troops & COVID19 Updates   

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Caribbeancom — The pure reception girl is a lewd female Mizutani   

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How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways: 10 Valentine's Day Gifts to Set Your Lover's Heart Aflutter   

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Yes, love is in the air and this Valentine's Day sweep her or him off their feet with a gift that says, "I love you to the moon and back!" Impress your guy with the classic style of a Larsson & Jennings watch or Ralph Lauren's pebble-textured tote. Perhaps, a  deep message right at home is just the thing they'll need to relax the body and mind. Escape together to the tropical Caribbean paradise of St. Lucia, or take her breath away with a stunning pair of Alexis Bittar earrings.​ [...]
          

Cruises: Cruise liners unveil virtual content during coronavirus lockdown - full list   

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CRUISES have been forced to suspend their schedules in recent days due to travel restrictions across the globe amid the coronavirus pandemic. But some cruise companies have unveiled some virtual content to make life in isolation a bit more luxurious.
          

An Act of Courage: Providing Space for African American Graduate Students to Express Their Feelings of Disconnectedness   

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The purpose of this article is to discuss the lived experiences of African American graduate students (master’s level) enrolled at a predominantly white institution (PWI). I explore the experiences of graduate students lacking connection to their institution. I will also explore how institutional and systemic racism impact creating a space for African American graduate students to persist. I examine how persistence allows for these students to complete their degrees and feel a sense of connectedness to the institution. I will use the television (TV) series A Different World and The Quad to draw comparison and contrast to African American students’ sense of belonging and connectedness. There is a gap that exists within current literature that focuses on master’s level African American learners. Therefore, it is often difficult for the gatekeepers at majority white institutions to recognize this urgent need for change. Students desire student affairs professionals who look like them (value of sameness). This article is intended to provide context for scholars, scholar-practitioners, institutions, and students regarding African American graduate student experiences. For the purpose of this article, Black and African American will be used interchangeably. This is because Black is meant to be inclusive for members of the African Diaspora who identify as African American, African, Afro-Latinx, or Afro-Caribbean.


          

As the World Economy Grinds to a Halt, the U.S. War Machine Churns On   

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On April 1, a U.S. Navy official told reporters that he will protect the profit margins of defense contractors by accelerating contract awards during the COVID-19 crisis.

“As individual suppliers and industrial operations deal with their local situation, they can do it knowing that they’ve got work ready to go … as soon as they’re ready to go at their capacity,” said James Geurts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, via teleconference. The goal, he said, is to “ensure these companies have the work, they know the work is coming, the employees know the work is coming, the lenders know the work is coming, and the work is actually sitting there” once the outbreak ends.

This ethos—that financial support should be mobilized to protect the bottom lines of companies like Boeing, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin—has undergirded much of the Department of Defense’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Military officials, with the help of Congress and defense industry lobbying groups, have fought to ensure that tanker and missile manufacturing sites remain open, even if it means putting workers at risk of infection,and that cash keeps flowing into the coffers of CEOs and shareholders. 

This support is going to an industry that is being deemed "essential" during the COVID-19 crisis. But by the Pentagon’s own admission, the goal is to continue business as usual—i.e. maintain the U.S. military apparatus. That the weapons industry is being kept afloat at a time healthcare systems, and millions of ordinary Americans, are sinking, reveals a great deal about the militaristic bent of our government—and the political muscle of the companies that profit from it. As Shireen Al-Adeimi, a Yemeni-American anti-war activist, writer and scholar, put it to In These Times, “Even at a time of vulnerability at home, we're still thinking about ways to expand our military and to show our imperial militaristic dominance across the globe.”

The accelerated Navy contracts aren’t the only life raft the military industry has been tossed. On March 22, the Department of Defense released its Deviation on Progress Payments memo, which decrees that “once in contracts, the progress payment rate that contracts can get paid for will increase from 80% of cost to 90% for large businesses and from 90% to 95% for small businesses.” The measure is aimed at directing millions of dollars into the coffers of defense companies. Or, as DOD spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews put it, it’s “an important avenue where industry cash flow can be improved."

This change was made, in part, as a result of the advocacy of Maine’s entire congressional delegation, which sent a letter on March 19 urging the Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper—himself a former lobbyist for Raytheon—to “take any actions possible to accelerate or advance payments or new contract obligations in order to provide immediate stability to the industrial base.” The lawmakers were concerned about Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics shipyard and manufacturing hub for the Navy, located in Maine.

The “deviation on progress payments” memo won glowing praise from industry titans, including the National Defense Industrial Association and the Aerospace Industries Association. But perhaps the strongest praise came from Lockheed Martin, which said on its official Twitter account, “We applaud @DeptofDefense for leading by example during COVID-19 crisis with enhanced progress payments targeted for small businesses. Lockheed Martin will do the same by flowing these funds to our supply chain partners vital in supporting U.S. men & women in uniform.”

Lockheed Martin is the manufacturer of the bomb that was used by the U.S.-Saudi coalition to strike a school bus in northern Yemen on August 9, 2018, killing 40 children between the ages of six and 11, and wounding a total of 79 people. Just as the cash has continued flowing to this company, the U.S-Saudi coalition has continued launching air strikes on Yemen. On March 30, the U.S.-Saudi coalition launched several air strikes in Sanaa, with residents reporting loud explosions throughout the city. This was despite the U.N.’s call days earlier for a truce in light of the global pandemic, and despite warnings that five years of air strikes targeting infrastructure and hospitals have left Yemen highly vulnerable to a potential COVID-19 outbreak.

“It’s not enough that we’ve created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” says Al-Adeimi. “If COVID-19 entered Yemen right now it would spell disaster. Everything else can shut down except for war, apparently.”

As the vast majority of people in the United States are being told to stay at home, weapons manufacturers are allowed to keep their doors open. On March 20, the Department of Defense declared the “Defense Industrial Base” to be essential work during the COVID-19 crisis after, as the DOD put it, working closely with “the Hill and the Department of Homeland Security.” According to the Under Secretary of Defense, Ellen Lord, the Defense Industrial Base is defined as “the worldwide industrial complex that enables research and development as well as design, production, delivery and maintenance of military weapons systems/software systems, subsystems, and components or parts, as well as purchased services to meet U.S. military requirements.”

This amounts to guidance, not a federal mandate, prompting weapons industry CEOs to demand even more. The Aerospace Industries Association wrote a letter to Secretary Esper, signed by the CEOs of Northrop Grunman, Raytheon and others. The letter said “the federal government should legally establish national security programs and our workforce as essential.”

These are the same CEOs who have kept their plants running, even amid reports that some workers are testing positive for COVID-19. In These Times spoke with an employee of  a company that contracts with Lockheed Martin by providing development and testing for software used on Navy ships. The worker, who requested anonymity to protect against retaliation and is not represented by a union, is continuing to show up to work even after someone in job site was recently diagnosed with COVID-19.

He says he’s worried he is at risk of becoming infected. “We are not able to maintain social distancing,” he said. “There are no dividers between desks or anything. There are three or four feet between people. They've increased the amount of cleaning they're doing. They've brought in plastic dividers. They’re trying to mitigate things, but in the environment we're in, it could spread pretty quickly.”

Khury Petersen-Smith, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, told In These Times, “To the extent that we have any health system in this country, it’s more or less immediately failing. Whole sections of the economy just failed in the matter of weeks. And yet the systems of militarization are robust.”

Union leaders of the Local S6 chapter of the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America, representing Bath Iron Works’ workforce, put it succinctly in an open letter to the vice president of General Dynamics: “It seems as though the company is willing to use its workforce as sacrificial Lambs to meet the needs of our customer.”

According to Mandy Smithberger of the Project On Government Oversight, there is no indication that the “increased cash flow” or essential industry decree come with any conditions that companies must protect workers—and there is nothing to prevent profits gleaned during the pandemic from going straight to CEOs and shareholders. She believes the same holds true for a defense industry giveaway included in the $2 trillion CARES stimulus package that is likely earmarked for Boeing and other companies. As the Washington Post explains, “The Senate package includes a $17 billion federal loan program for businesses deemed ‘critical to maintaining national security.’ The provision does not mention Boeing by name but was crafted largely for the company’s benefit, two of the people said. Other firms could also receive a share of the money, one of the people said. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations.”

While this program fell short of Boeing’s request for a $60 billion bailout, it’s nonetheless a hefty consolation prize. It came just weeks after President Trump said at a March 17 press conference, “So, we’ll be helping Boeing.”

Boeing is just one of the companies that makes the United States the top weapons exporter in the world—by far. According to Petersen-Smith, that weapons manufacturers are still open for business is an indicator of a much larger trend. “I would argue the United States is on a more aggressive footing than a month ago. It has increased sanctions on Iran. Whereas a few months ago it had taken away its aircraft carrier stationed near Iran, now it has deployed two aircraft carriers. It has deployed ships to the caribbean to be more aggressive to Venezuela. It has cut humanitarian aid to Yemen—actively cut it.”

“The prioritizing of weapons manufacturing is part of prioritizing the military in general,” he continued, echoing the concerns of anti-war organizations that are calling for the Pentagon’s budget to be reallocated to meet immediate needs of people suffering from the outbreak and subsequent economic crash. “There is very little attention to militarism domestically in this country, but amid this crisis there is even less conversation about what the United States is doing abroad.”

While U.S. military aggression should be opposed in its own right—because of the direct harm it causes to the people facing bombings, sanctions and intimidation—it also makes the whole world more vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak, given the global nature of the pandemic. The same executives who profit from war when we are not going through an unprecedented epidemiological event are now lining their pockets by insisting theirs is the industry that must never cease, even as it makes many places in the world far more susceptible to COVID-19—a virus that, like America’s ongoing was, will not stop at the water’s edge. 


          

Covid-19: French helo carrier Dixmude deploys to the Caribbean   

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The Mistral-class amphibious assault ship Dixmude (L9015) departed from Toulon on 3 April to support French overseas territories in the Caribbean to combat the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The ship is carrying equipment and supplies to help local authorities improve their capacities to deal
          

Black the Ripper Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know    

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Black the Ripper, the grime rapper and cannabis activist, has died at 32. The rapper, whose real name was Dean West, had been on the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean around the time of his death.
          

Concacaf suspends Nations League finals, Gold Cup Qualifiers and Caribbean Club comp   

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April 6 – Concacaf has pushed its international and club seasons back, suspending  its Nations League Finals scheduled to be played June 6-7 in Houston and Dallas.

“As we continue to assess our competitions scheduled to be played in the coming months, the welfare of everyone involved in football across our region remains our first priority,” said a Concacaf press release.

The confederation has also suspended Gold Cup qualification matches scheduled in the June international window and the Flow Caribbean Club Championship scheduled for May.

Read more …

The post Concacaf suspends Nations League finals, Gold Cup Qualifiers and Caribbean Club comp appeared first on Inside World Football.


          

France: Lockdown Profit Replaces Lost Speed Camera Cash   

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French police stopFrench police are generating millions by stopping residents and fining them for "non essential" travel. The government dishes out a 135 euro (US $145) ticket for the first time a motorist is stopped while driving without papers that document a purpose that the government deems to be important. This rises to 200 euros (US $216) on the second alleged offense and jumps to 3750 euros (US $4050) on the fourth citation within thirty days.

The restrictions were imposed on March 23, and since then the Interior Ministry has reported 26,000 tickets issued daily, for a net profit of 3.5 million euros (US $3.8 million). The experts at Radars-Auto.com calculate the daily income from speed cameras before the crisis had been 2.4 million euros (US $2.6 million). While fixed speed cameras will continue to produce tickets, French police ordered a halt to deployment of mobile speed cameras since the devices require personnel to set up and monitor operations.

Meanwhile, since Wednesday, vigilantes have set fire to three speed cameras in Le Lamentin and Ducos on the Caribbean island of Martinique. The most recent attack torched the camera on the RN1 in La Trinite. Back on the continent, vigilantes on Saturday set fire to the speed camera on the CD 786 in Paimpol, France. Police driving by the incident chased, but did not catch, the individuals responsible. In Auterive, the turret-style speed camera on the RD820 was cut down and set on fire last week. Source
          

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"Caribbeancom 032220-001 酒姿色情好GP~以急间距bitch化了的胯股太yuru"
          

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France's COVID-19 crisis washes up in ocean territories   

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Anxiety is growing over the coronavirus threat for France's overseas territories, located in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans thousands of kilometres from the mainland, with distance proving no protection for regions with fragile health infrastructure.

The "Outre-mer" or overseas departments, largely a legacy of the country's colonial past, are considered fully integral to the nation, with inhabitants holding French passports, voting in national elections and sending MPs to the Paris parliament.

For many in France, they are best known as easily accessible and French-speaking destinations for holidays in areas resembling paradise. But the coronavirus crisis risks being even more grim there than on the mainland itself, where thousands have died from COVID-19.

There have so far been 13 coronavirus deaths in the overseas territories, mainly on the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Martin, as well as two victims on the Indian Ocean island of Mayotte.

But there is also rising concern about the disease's spread on Reunion in the Indian Ocean, in French Guiana in South America, and on French Polynesia and New Caledonia in the Pacific.

France is now sending two helicopter carriers -- the Mistral and the Dixmude -- to the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean to bolster local hospitals and clinics that risk being overwhelmed if the number of cases rises further.

The Dixmude left its Mediterranean port Friday morning carrying medical equipment including hand gel and over one million surgical masks for the Antilles, the army said in a statement, though it is not expected to arrive until mid-April.

And while the two ships will provide logistical support, they will not be used as hospital ships to take patients on board.

"We are following the situation in the overseas territories very closely and we are aware of the fragilities," government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye said this week. "It is a major subject of concern, attention and mobilisation."

- 'Catastrophe' -

The remoteness of the territories, coupled with their high poverty and unemployment rates, risks turning any outbreak into full-blown epidemic that could quickly overwhelm health professionals.

A source close to discussions between government ministries on containing the crisis, who asked not to be identified by name, told AFP, "It is going to be a catastrophe."

"We feel there is no pilot on board," Gabriel Serville, an MP for French Guiana, told AFP. "I fear for the worst for a territory that is behind in health terms, with poor areas where social distancing is not possible."

Mayotte, where 82 percent of the population lives under the poverty line, often in shanty towns without running water, is a particular source of concern. "There has been no organisation or preparation," said Mansour Kamardine, a rightwing MP on the island.

"It feels like we're just making it up as we go along."

On France's Pacific island territory of New Caledonia, located east of Australia between New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, early spring is usually a time of celebration for the yam harvesting season. But there is no mood for -- or possibility of -- festivity.

Indigenous Melanesians, known locally as Kanaks and counting for 39 percent of the population, already have prevalent health issues, particularly diabetes and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

If the virus were to spread, the impact would be "devastating," said Georges Mandaoue, a prominent local politician.

"I've put all tribal chiefs in charge of explaining the consequences of the virus and the measures to protect everyone," he told AFP.

People are aware of the danger, Mandaoue said, for example cultivating fields while respecting security distances. "They go to the river but not to the sea anymore, and greet each other from far away, without handshakes," he said.

- 'Happened before' -

The memory of previous epidemics such as leprosy remains vivid, as do scars from the arrival and colonisation of the island by Europeans, who brought unknown diseases with them that decimated the local populations.

"We know that epidemics have happened before, that people had to isolate members of the tribe and not see them before the burial," said Gilbert Assawa, a tribal chieftain.

Regularly scheduled passenger flights between Paris and the overseas territories have been suspended, though cargo transit is continuing.

Most of the regions have also imposed lockdowns similar to that of mainland France, and some have also decreed nightly curfews.

The government insists that everything is being done to maintain control of the situation.

"The systems that have been put in place in the overseas territories match the same criteria and organisation as mainland France," said Overseas Territories Minister Annick Girardin.

© Agence France-Presse


          

Miss Concierge services    

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Telling big environmental stories in a close-knit country (insider)   

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In the few years I’ve worked as a freelance journalist in Guyana I’ve been told by editors, “There’s not much interest in Guyana”; that two reports from the Caribbean in one magazine would be “a little too close”; and to do my best as “this might be the one and only time we write about […]
          

MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Limited – Audited Financial Statements for year end 2019 delayed   

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The post MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Limited – Audited Financial Statements for year end 2019 delayed appeared first on Jamaica Stock Exchange.


          

Eppley Caribbean Property Fund Limited (CPFV) – Value Fund Share Buy Back   

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Eppley Caribbean Property Fund Limited (CPFV) has advised that the during the period March 25 -31, 2020, the Company purchased 17,000 CPFV shares in keeping with its Value Fund Share Buy Back policy: CPFV further advised that: “The purpose of the acquisition is to unlock shareholder value by purchasing shares at a price that is […]

The post Eppley Caribbean Property Fund Limited (CPFV) – Value Fund Share Buy Back appeared first on Jamaica Stock Exchange.


          

Caribbean Assurance Brokers Limited (CAB)- Listed Ceremony   

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Mr. Barrington Whyte (right), a non-Executive Director of Caribbean Assurance Brokers Limited (CAB) receives a copy of the JSE Junior Market Rule Book from Mr. Andrae Tulloch (left), Chief Regulatory Officer. The presentation was made during the listing ceremony for CAB on Monday March 9, 2020. The event was held at the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

The post Caribbean Assurance Brokers Limited (CAB)- Listed Ceremony appeared first on Jamaica Stock Exchange.


          

Political Party BIJ1 calls for unconditional solidarity with the Caribbean: “Solidarity can save lives now”   

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SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS - Last Friday, 3 April 2020, Dutch political party BIJ1 called on Kingdom authorities to exercise better and more equal treatment of residents in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Especially now, in times of crisis, it is extremely important to show solidarity. The Dutch government must immediately take up its responsibilities within the Kingdom and offer a helping hand to the islands, which are being hit hard by the outbreak of the coronavirus,” said the party in written statements on their website www.bij1.org.

The political party BIJ1 was founded in 2016 by black Dutch television presenter Sylvana Simons, of Surinamese descent herself, on the principle of radical equity and economic justice. BIJ1 stated that for years the Dutch government has neglected its responsibility to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.

Eventhough Minister Knops (Interior and Kingdom Relations) promised that the islands can count on help from their European partner, political parties such as the SP and the VVD are not willing to just let that happen. “The VVD even wants to impose another 10 years of financial supervision on St. Martin, Curaçao and Aruba, in exchange for humanitarian aid, and that is an attempt to reduce the island’s right to self-determination”, BIJ1 stated.

“The Dutch government has neglected its responsibility towards the Caribbean part of the Kingdom for years and is even presenting demands in return for support during the corona crisis.” - Party leader Sylvana Simons

Over the weekend, the Dutch state has distributed several dozen intensive care unit beds across the six islands. However, the situation on Sint Maarten, for example, has almost reached boiling point. The country is still scrambling after the disaster with Hurricane Irma in 2017, and it has received only a fraction of the pledged financial support needed to completely restore itself and rebuild basic infrastructure such as housing and schools . The number of confirmed infections on the island is now increasing, while the capacity in intensive care, despite recent expansions, is still only a handful of beds. The existing beds are already largely occupied by regular patients. Sint Maarten's capacity is also shared with Saba and Sint-Eustatius, who can hardly rely on a care system of their own. The first infections have recently been detected on St. Eustatius.

Aruba and Curaçao are also feeling the health and economic consequences of the outbreak. This is because more than 80% of the Aruban economy runs on tourism, a sector that is now completely in disarray. Also in Curaçao, thousands of jobs in the tourism sector are at risk due to the quarantine measures. No contamination cases are known to date on Bonaire. In addition, the various countries in South America, which normally have partnerships with regards to health care, are closing one by one. The Dutch state does not take sufficient account of the unique vulnerability of closed islands, especially in a world with increasingly closed borders.

“The islands must be regarded as equal. Solidarity can save lives. It is time to act swiftly and without prejudice”, said BIJ1 supporter, renowned artist and activist Quinsy Gario.BIJ1’s statements linked Dutch treatment of the islands to the neocolonial postures assumed by The Hague, which ensures meddling into internal affairs while negating the realisation of human rights in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. On Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, which since 2010 are overseas Dutch municipalities, inequalities stand out especially when it comes to children’s benefits, and AOW. Sint Maarten is the most expensive territory in the Dutch Kingdom but minimum wage is less than 9 ANG or €4.50 an hour. With poverty increasing, especially among the elderly, the Caribbean part of the Kingdom is going to experience more vulnerability when it comes to disasters like hurricanes and the corona pandemic. The Financial Supervisory Boards (CFTs) governing the islands’ budgets do not have a mandate to protect essential social services.

“No one should be treated like a second-class citizen. BIJ1 stands for self-determination, justice and equality all across the Kingdom. In the Netherlands we will continue to push for solidarity and demand that our Caribbean sisters and brothers are treated with respect.” said Gario.

Party leader of BIJ1 Sylvana Simons

 


          

Mom, You Rock! - Cancelled   

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05/10/2020 to 05/10/2020 -

Enjoy Mother’s Day at the park and bring the family out to paint rocks with Mom at Elizabeth River Park.

Rock to the rhythms of "One Love" Caribbean Steel Drums while rock paining with Mom on the


          

Island Entrepreneurship in Curacao: Road to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit   

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This blog post was written by Cam Houser, 3 Day Startup’s Founder Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean is not without its struggles: slow inter-island transport, dangers from residing in hurricane alley, and a shortage of risk capital pose challenges to startups and the greater business environment. But after spending a week in Curaçao at the Road […]
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