Black Immigrant Daily News
Black Immigrant Daily News
Chief Justice Bryan Sykes says that going forward, there needs to be more frequent discussions between the executive and the judiciary relative to measures to strengthen the courts, including the implementation of more modern technology.
In the long-term, Sykes says this frequent dialogue can result in Jamaica having a world-class judicial system.
The top jurist was speaking at Friday’s special sitting to mark the 60th anniversary of the Court of Appeal.
According to Sykes, there have been discussions between the judiciary and the executive through Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck, but the dialogue needs to be held regularly to achieve certain outcomes.
“I think the time has come where courts need to have – and not that we haven’t had it through our Minister of Justice – but we need to have more regular and frequent dialogue with executive, where we speak about the needs of the judiciary, and put ourselves into a position to become a world-class judiciary,” said Sykes.
“The needs (of the judiciary) are not just in terms of the salaries and conditions of work, but also just keeping abreast of modern technologies that can increase productivity of the courts, because ultimately, courts are designed to resolve disputes in a timely way,” he added.
The judge said that solving disputes on a timely basis is the court’s “constitutional responsibility, and one that we must always endeavour to meet.
“… And so, it is my commitment that we will continue to do that,” assured Sykes.
Meanwhile, the island’s chief jurist said he envisions the Court of Appeal becoming a “world-class” court, and noted that efforts have been made through the increase of staff and refurbishment of that court building, to ensure efficiency of the court.
Still, he said there is the need for more staff, including transcriptionists and court reporters, to improve the speedier acquisition of transcripts of cases from the Parish Courts and Supreme Court to the Court of Appeal.
In that area, Sykes said the issue will also be improved through digitisation, with the implementation of a software to replace manual systems.
Black Immigrant Daily News
Neil Beckles –
The People’s National Movement (PNM) Tobago council is mourning Neil “Becko” Beckles.
Sources told Newsday that Beckles died on Thursday morning.
He came in the political spotlight in 2021, mounting a PNM platform where he was announced as the candidate for the Belle Garden East/Roxborough/Delaford electoral district for the January 2021 Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections.
Condolences were posted to social media by the council as well as its political leader Ancil Dennis.
THA Minority Leader Kelvon Morris, in a WhatsApp message, said he came to know Beckles as his football coach with the Soul City Club of Mt Pleasant.
“There he lead us to championship success at both the Soul City Youth League and the Republic Youth Cup U-17 age group tournament. Neil was as principled as he was jovial and a true man of the people, always willing to help and always willing to be involved in community development. Tobago has truly lost a patriot and a visionary, whose death has left us all poorer as an island.
“It is with genuine sadness, I offer my condolences to his family, friends and colleagues from all walks of life. RIP my coach, my colleague and my friend, the late Neil Beckles.”
Tobago West MP Shamfa Cudjoe posted on Facebook, “Such a warm heart and a sweet soul. We’ll miss you indeed. Rest in peace Mr Neil “Becko” Beckles.”
THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine expressed condolences to the family in a post on social media.
He said Beckles was a political rival, but there were times that “we supported the same vision.”
“I can recall when Tobago football was experiencing some turbulence and there was a need for change, Beckles was the man that I ensured Sideys (Football Club) gave its support to. I was so convinced that he was the man for the job that I spent time secretly calling around and ensuring that all my ‘country teams’ were voting in tribal manner to secure the victory.”
He added, “To the large (and almost ubiquitous) Beckles family of Roxborough, my team and I wish you comfort and God’s love during these difficult times. May his soul rest in peace.”
Deputy Chief Secretary Watson Duke said: “To the Beckles family: Condolences…I am truly saddened by his passing and even more sad by the large space in our society and lives he left behind as he leaves us behind.”
The Tobago Cricket Association (TCA) said Beckles was the longest-serving member of the association.
“A lover of pan, Neil served the Tobago Cricket Association (TCA) diligently in every elected position. He will be remembered for his calming presence and supreme institutional knowledge,” a statement from the TCA read on Thursday.
Black Immigrant Daily News
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The Public Relations Officer of the National Association of Driving Schools has defended driving schools and blamed indiscipline for a surge in road accidents.
Kingson Jean observed that NADS has recently noted a steady increase in road collisions daily.
As a result, Jean reminded road users that safety is their responsibility although the government, the police, and driving instructors have their role.
“Many people share the view that driving instructors are at fault for the conduct of drivers on the road,” the NADS official said in a statement to St Lucia Times.
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However Jean observed that people receive a driver’s license after satisfactorily demonstrating to the Ministry of Transport that they can control a motor vehicle in a safe, responsible, and competent manner.
He explained that to ascertain whether someone meets the minimum requirements, the well-qualified driving examiners use a criteria form prepared by the United Kingdom-based Driver & Vehicles Standards Agency.
“During a practical exam, the driving examiners in Saint Lucia use the exact criteria as their counterparts in the UK. Hence the driving instructions given to learners by instructors be it in St Lucia or the UK are indistinguishable,” the NADS PRO disclosed.
“The problem with our society is that it is plagued with indisciplined people. Learners drive as they have been taught so they can obtain a driver’s license. Once that is done, good sense flies out the window of those irresponsible drivers,” he lamented.
“They no longer adhere to traffic rules and regulations. No longer do they stop at stop signs. They forget to use the indicators. Some bus drivers overtake on the left at high speeds. And the list goes on.”
According to the NADS official, as others see their peers get away with recklessness, they copy that behaviour.
In this regard, Jean told St Lucia Times that law enforcers have agreed to implement a demerit system to penalise traffic law violators.
He said the violators would lose points which could lead to a suspension or revocation of their license.
“This is expected to bring about a change in drivers’ attitude,” he explained.
Jean revealed that the demerit system is already in Saint Lucia’s Traffic Act.
But he said the computerised system linking the police, the courts, and the Ministry of Transport needs to be synchronised.
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Black Immigrant Daily News
Parmi les personnalités présentes à ces Assises, ( de droite à gauche ) Madiambal Diagne, président de l’UPF sortant, Meriem Oudguiri, présidente UPF du Maroc, Christiane Taubira, Mohamed Mehdi Bensaïd, Ministre marocain de la Communication et Anne-Cécile Robert, ( 2ème à gauche ), nouvelle présidente de l’UPF international. – J.D
Les 49èmes Assises de la Presse francophone ( UPF* ) se sont tenues du 25 au 27 juillet à l’Université de Benguerir au Maroc. Le thème retenu cette année, « Le leadership féminin au sein des Médias » qui a donné lieu à de passionnants témoignages, exposés et discussions, a ouvert de nouvelles voies vers davantage d’égalité entre hommes et femmes dans le milieu du « 4ème pouvoir ».
( * UPF : Union de la Presse Francophone )
Un prix pour le courage
Ces Assises furent aussi l’occasion nécessaire de rendre compte d’une autre situation tout aussi inquiétante, celle des femmes journalistes poursuivies, harcelées et persécutées pour leur travail, dans des régions instables ( Syrie, Palestine, Moyen Orient …) ou des pays régis par des dictatures ( Birmanie, Chine, Russie etc. ) et de créer un nouveau prix destiné à récompenser le courage et l’engagement des femmes « reporters », le prix Shireen Abu Akleh, en mémoire de la journaliste d’Al Jazeera abattue le 11 mai dernier en Cisjordanie.
Deux remarquables nominations :
Une belle concrétisation de la volonté de l’UPF* de promouvoir la gent féminine au sein de son organisation fut la nomination, en ouverture des Assises, d’une brillante journaliste à la Présidence internationale de l’association, Anne-Cécile Robert, du Monde Diplomatique, qui succède au grand Madiambal Diagne du Sénégal. Et, pour les Antilles, la réélection – à l’unanimité ! – du guadeloupéen Jean-Claude Rodes ( du Progrès Social ) à la vice-présidence internationale de l’UPF pour la zone Amérique-Caraïbe.
Black Immigrant Daily News
Dancing in the streets by the hundreds for the first time in years, the Virgin Islands community showed up in force to celebrate being outside together for the 68th annual August Emancipation Festival.
The annual celebration highlighted the best of VI food, music, dancing, history, style and culture as community members let loose and recognised the importance of freedom.
The BVI Heritage Dancers, pageant royalty, public officials and festival grounds namesake Bernard “Yampie” Nibbs welcomed attendees on July 27 at the opening ceremony. The three pairs of dancers swirled onto the stage with their flowing yellow, green and red skirts, starting off a whirlwind of events this week that celebrated the history of the territory and what it means for the residents of today.
Gen Y Factor 2022 winner Yohance Smith started off a musical evening at the opening ceremony with the territorial song and national anthem, after which Deputy Premier Kye Rymer was one of the guests to offer his appreciation for the return of festival.
He acknowledged Mr. Nibbs’ contributions to the festivities over the past three decades as a booth owner, and parade marshall Hariette Rivera for her behind-the-scenes work on dearly loved pageants, parades and other festival events. He also recognised the hard work of festival organisers for putting together an “ambitious” event.
The BVI Heritage Dancers, pageant royalty, public officials and festival grounds namesake Bernard “Yampie” Nibbs welcomed attendees on July 27 at the opening ceremony. The three pairs of dancers swirled onto the stage with their flowing yellow, green and red skirts, starting off a whirlwind of events this week that celebrated the history of the territory and what it means for the residents of today. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)
“We are celebrating 188 years since our emancipation and 68 years of celebrating our festival that was absent for the last two years after what took place with Covid,” he said, calling for a moment of silence in honour of those who died during the pandemic.
He continued, “We remember with reverence the generations of our foreparents who lived, toiled, died without even experiencing the sweet taste of freedom. It is a moment such as this when we come together and give thanks for the blessings that have been bestowed upon us as a territory upon the generations past. We give thanks for our freedom; we give thanks for our good fortune; we give thanks for our health; and we give thanks for each other.”
Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Sharie De Castro commended Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee Chair Dirk Walters and his team in recognising the importance of celebrating freedom.
“We must never take for granted the sacrifices of our forefathers, and what they had to do to realise this dream to be a free people ruling our own destiny,” she said.
Governor John Rankin and Opposition Leader Julian Fraser also joined in the celebration of emancipation, with Mr. Fraser highlighting the importance of reparations.
Mr. Nibbs, who was honoured for his “outstanding contribution to the preservation of the Virgin Islands cultural heritage” according to his award, offered a few wise words to “sit back, relax, and enjoy the carnival” before the cutting of the pink ribbon strung across the stage to officially open the grounds.
Immediately following the opening ceremony, gospel entertainers including Onekye, Dwight Hutchinson, Yours Truly and international recording artist Sherwin Gardner started off the official festival music lineup. The High Frequency Band provided backing. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)
Immediately following the opening ceremony, gospel entertainers including Onekye, Dwight Hutchinson, Yours Truly and international recording artist Sherwin Gardner started off the official festival music lineup. The High Frequency Band provided backing.
Entertainers that evening united familiar songs of praise with dynamic dancing, appealing to a wide audience. They ended up drawing a crowd of hundreds by the end of the evening to sing along.
On July 28, festival-goers lit up Waterfront Drive with the traditional torchlight procession, offering a “hip hip hooray” in celebration of the “68 years of culture and 68 years of fun” as sung by the Zion Sounds Fungi Band. Adults in the crowd of several dozen people helped light the brightly burning torches of a new generation where the march started at Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park.
On July 28, festival-goers lit up Waterfront Drive with the traditional torchlight procession, offering a “hip hip hooray” in celebration of the “68 years of culture and 68 years of fun” as sung by the Zion Sounds Fungi Band. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)
Ms. De Castro and Mr. Rymer led the crowd as they all danced behind the truck blasting its music through town.
The procession carried that fire all the way to the festival grounds, where shortly afterward the Big People Party kicked off.
That night’s free entertainment showcased ABM, Xtreme featuring Pascal, Cool Sessions Brass, Onyan & 3 Cylinder Band. Festival-goers packed the grounds as the sign above the stage joyously exclaimed, “WE OUTSIDE!!!!!!!”
The festival grounds saw a bevy of musical talent from near and abroad in the following days, including the glow night on July 29, soca night and monarch competition on July 30, ultimate musical mix on July 31, local entertainment on Aug. 1 as crowds winded their way from the parade, and international reggae night on Aug. 2.
The festival grounds saw a bevy of musical talent from near and abroad in the following days, including the glow night on July 29, soca night and monarch competition on July 30, ultimate musical mix on July 31, local entertainment on Aug. 1 as crowds winded their way from the parade, and international reggae night on Aug. 2. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)
Each night had its own memory-making moments, including when Adam O. had audience members light up the festival grounds with their phone lights and when Ramon G. took the title of 2022 Soca Monarch.
Though attendees had fun swaying the bands at the festival grounds, the most energetic and exuberant dancing took place at the jouverts held in the early hours of Aug. 1 in Road Town and Aug. 3 on the East End.
Revellers danced through puddles, splatters of paint and dustings of flour at the Rise & Shine Tramp, with several trucks blasting tunes to keep them moving as sunrise gradually lit up the streets. Masked “bank robbers” wove their way through the packed crowds, and some paraders carried leafy fronds all the way to the stopping point at Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park.
Partiers found the energy to come out in droves for the East End jouvert as well, ending with a refreshing leap into the water at the Beef Island bridge for some.
A mainstay of the festivities is always the August Monday Parade, which made its return this year.
The parade spectacle featured colourful characters like the lion and lamb, the iconic moko jumbies towering above everyone, Ms. Rivera and Mr. Nibbs, and of course, bejewelled and feathered dancers that brought smiles to the faces of children enjoying the parade. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)
The lineup started with a royal flourish as the newly crowned pageant royalty waved to the crowds on Waterfront Drive, including 2022 VI Prince Ryson Adams and Princess Lorrisa-Anya King. Kiandra Scatliffe took first runner-up at the competition held at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College on July 31.
Mr. and Miss Junior BVI 2022 winners were Kwame Prince and Angelique Lettsome.
Also leading the procession was Miss BVI 2022 Jareena Penn, who was the first runner up in the 2021 competition and was crowned as this year’s winner on July 24.
The spectacle featured colourful characters like the lion and lamb, the iconic moko jumbies towering above everyone, Ms. Rivera and Mr. Nibbs, and of course, bejewelled and feathered dancers that brought smiles to the faces of children enjoying the parade.
Earlier that morning, Reverend Dr. Melvin A. Turnbull led the annual emancipation service at the Sunday morning well, held on Aug. 1 following a solemn march from the Old Government House.
The festival also included a celebration of Caribbean cuisine with the Festival Food Fair on July 29 at Pier Park. Nearly 20 vendors offered food (including the famous Tortola peas soup), juices, candies, fresh produce, handmade hats, and more while visitors wandering around the park and enjoyed the sounds of the steel pan.
The festival also included a celebration of Caribbean cuisine with the Festival Food Fair on July 29 at Pier Park. Nearly 20 vendors offered food (including the famous Tortola peas soup), juices, candies, fresh produce, handmade hats, and more while visitors wandering around the park and enjoyed the sounds of the steel pan. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)
Closing out the festival season was a full day of family-friendly fun at the Carrot Bay Cultural Day on Aug. 5.
In 2020, a scaled-down traditional farmers market was one of the few in-person events featured. Games like the lime-and-spoon races were still held as long as they could be done with social distancing in mind.
But this year, community members cheered side by side as volunteers competed in swimming races, tug of war, donkey races and more, all while enjoying sweet treats from nearby stalls.
One of the most hotly contested faceoffs was among the married and single men and women joining in tug of war, with the winner taking best out of three matches. The governor even joined in for one match, though his side was bested.
Even though they lost some ground at the start, the married women pulled off a win in the end. Anastasia Thomas-Donovan attributed the win to their strategy of waiting to give all their strength after the initial few minutes. When asked what the single women can do to better their chances for next year, she laughed and said “eat more dumplings and provisions.”
Rounding out the day were the donkey races, where viewers watched with excitement and some trepidation as the animals raced across the bridge. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)
Rounding out the day were the donkey races, where viewers watched with excitement and some trepidation as the animals raced across the bridge. One ambitious donkey temporarily sought his freedom and was quickly wrangled.
Deborah Fraser-Joseph, who was visiting her family for the festival and has attended the Carrot Bay fiesta for years, said this year’s was one for the books. She said there was enough entertainment to even span two days, and she particularly enjoyed the offerings at the booths, where she picked up a new lemon tree.
“Personally, I think that Carrot Bay is a really great village, and people could do even more,” she said.
The festival also featured a day of water sports in the East End community.
Celebrations officially came to a close as partiers made their last lap on Aug. 6 with the “Drink the Booth Dry” night.
For more photos, see the Beacon‘s Facebook page.
Black Immigrant Daily News
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia’s first leftist president will be sworn into office Sunday, promising to fight inequality and heralding a turning point in the history of a country haunted by a long war between the government and guerrilla groups.
Sen. Gustavo Petro, a former member of Colombia’s M-19 guerrilla group, won the presidential election in June by beating conservative parties that offered moderate changes to the market-friendly economy, but failed to connect with voters frustrated by rising poverty and violence against human rights leaders and environmental groups in rural areas.
Petro is part of a growing group of leftist politicians and political outsiders who have been winning elections in Latin America since the pandemic broke out and hurt incumbents who struggled with its economic aftershocks.
The ex-rebel’s victory was also exceptional for Colombia, where voters had been historically reluctant to back leftist politicians who were often accused of being soft on crime or allied with guerrillas.
A 2016 peace deal between Colombia’s government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia turned much of the focus of voters away from the violent conflicts playing out in rural areas and gave prominence to problems like poverty and corruption, fueling the popularity of leftist parties in national elections.
Petro, 62, has promised to tackle Colombia’s social and economic inequalities by boosting spending on anti-poverty programs and increasing investment in rural areas. He has described U.S.-led antinarcotics policies, such as the forced eradication of illegal coca crops, as a “big failure.” But he has said he would like to work with Washington “as equals,” building schemes to combat climate change or bring infrastructure to rural areas where many farmers say coca leaves are the only viable crop.
Petro also formed alliances with environmentalists during his presidential campaign and has promised to turn Colombia into a “global powerhouse for life” by slowing deforestation and taking steps to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels.
The incoming president has said Colombia will stop granting new licenses for oil exploration and will ban fracking projects, even though the oil industry makes up almost 50% of the nation’s legal exports. He plans to finance social spending with a $10 billion a year tax reform that would boost taxes on the rich and do away with corporate tax breaks.
Petro has also said he wants to start peace talks with remaining rebel groups that are currently fighting over drug routes, gold mines and other resources abandoned by the FARC after their peace deal with the government.
“He’s got a very ambitious agenda,” said Yan Basset, a political scientist at Bogota’s Rosario University. “But he will have to prioritize. The risk Petro faces is that he goes after too many reforms at once and gets nothing” through Colombia’s congress.
At least 10 heads of state are expected to attend Petro’s inauguration, which will take place at a large colonial-era square in front of Colombia’s Congress. Stages with live music and big screens will also be placed in parks across Bogota’s city center so that tens of thousands of citizens without invitations to the main event can also join in the festivities. That’s a big change for Colombia where previous presidential inaugurations were more somber events limited to a few hundred VIP guests.
“We want the Colombian people to be the protagonists,” Petro’s press chief, Marisol Rojas, said in a statement. “This inauguration will be the first taste of a new form of governing, where all forms of life are respected, and where everyone fits in.”
By MANUEL RUEDA, Associated Press