One-Minute Reads ... News from around the region

June 08, 2020
Timothy Harris
Timothy Harris
Yvette D. Clarke
Yvette D. Clarke


Congresswoman applauds action against New York cops

Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke has welcomed the suspension of two New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers allegedly involved in the violent assault of a woman who was demonstrating following the death of George Floyd, a black man, in Minneapolis.

Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, recently joined New York legislators in calling for the immediate firing of Officer Vincent J. D'Andraia after he "violently assaulted Dounya Zayer, who was peacefully protesting the murder of George Floyd in Brooklyn on Friday".

The legislators charged that D'Andraia is "known to use unnecessary violence while working his Brownsville (Brooklyn) beat".

The elected officials also called for disciplinary action against D'Andraia's commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Craig Edelman, "who witnessed the violence but took no action to intervene".

D'Andraia and Edelman have been suspended pending an NYPD investigation.


Ruling party dominates election

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has sent congratulations to incumbent Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris on the resounding victory in the general election held last Friday.

"The overwhelming nature of the triumph at the polls indicates the scale of confidence that the people of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis have in the ability of the party to guide them to a secure and prosperous future," said CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley.

She also congratulated the citizens of the twin-island federation on the smooth and peaceful conduct of the poll in spite of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Friday's poll, the Team Unity coalition, led by Harris, recorded a decisive nine-seat victory.

According to Harris, the electoral outcome is a clear indication that the policies and programmes introduced over the last five years had a positive impact the lives of all citizens and residents.


Aviation Authority to draft strict COVID-19 regulations

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) says airlines operating in the country, along with airport staff and pilots, will soon be required to comply with COVID-19 regulations set out by the authority.

This as the regulatory body moves forward with developing a draft document.

Speaking at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport last Saturday after the arrival of Guyanese who were stranded in Miami, GCAA's Director General Lt Colonel Egbert Field says forthcoming regulations are necessary to bolster the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that were drafted.

The referred SOPs were finalised by GCAA as part of the first of the four-phased blueprint under consideration by the National COVID-19 Task Force. This blueprint is expected to guide the reopening of the nation's two main airports to international travel.


Gov't welcoming more than 1,000 nationals

Trinidad and Tobago is preparing to accept more than 1,000 of its nationals this week, even as it maintained that the borders would remain closed as it seeks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The virus has killed eight and infected 117 nationals. National Security Minister Stuart Young, speaking at the Ministry of Health's news conference on the pandemic, told reporters that between 300 and 400 cruise ship workers are due to arrive this Friday, and that discussions had been held with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line allowing for the workers to remain in quarantine on the ship when it berths.

In addition, he said, hundreds of university students from Jamaica and Barbados are due to arrive on Saturday, and that a number of nationals would arrive here from Venezuela and Guyana.


Moody's affirms country's credit rating

Finance Minister Curtis Dickson has welcomed affirmation by international ratings agency Moody's Investors Services of Bermuda's A2 credit rating, with the outlook remaining stable, despite the island's economy taking a battering from the global coronavirus pandemic..

"According to Moody's, the key drivers for the rating affirmation are the government's track record of fiscal consolidation which will support debt stabilisation after this year's growth shock," said Dickson. "Also, our debt metrics remaining in line with similarly rated peers, and our low susceptibility to event risks, reflecting Bermuda's very strong external position and limited exposure to funding pressures were key."

He said the stable outlook reflects Moody's view that even though the global pandemic will have a negative effect on the economy, Bermuda's "very high wealth levels and strong institutions, along with our ability to remain resilient in the face of severe economic stresses in the past, such as the global financial economic crisis, puts us in a good position of support once the coronavirus crisis subsides".

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