‘Machtspositie VHP geeft verkeerde klasse uitstraling’

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: De Ware Tijd Online

door Wilfred Leeuwin PARAMARIBO — De beheersing van de politieke, economische en financiele macht door coalitiepartner VHP, geeft volgens voorzitter


Gov’t to subsidise electricity bills through December

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: The BVI Beacon

Following a dramatic increase in the cost of electricity since the start of the war in Ukraine, the Virgin Islands government will subsidise residential power bills through the end of the year, Deputy Premier Kye Rymer announced Monday.

For the months of October and November, government will subsidise 50 percent of the fuel oil surcharge of each bill, and the percentage will increase to 100 percent for December, according to Mr. Rymer, who is the minister of communications and works.

“We are all aware that since the Russia-Ukraine war escalated in February 2022, electricity bills began to increase dramatically,” he added. “This has been no fault of the BVI Electricity Corporation. It has been the result of the high cost of fossil fuels on the international market.”

Three-part bills

Under local legislation, Mr. Rymer explained, the fuel surcharge is one of three major parts of residents’ electricity bills.

“First, there is a flat $2.50 per month for the service,” he said. “Second, there are standard charges based on the quantity of energy consumed. The third component is the fuel oil surcharge, which is tied to the price of fuel — and oil prices have risen to record high levels since the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.”

The minister did not disclose the initiative’s expected cost to the government, but he said it will be funded through a Schedule of Additional Provisions recently approved by the Cabinet and the House of Assembly,

“The SAP was approved by Cabinet about three weeks ago, and it was passed by the HOA about two weeks ago,” he said Monday. “Certain measures needed to be put in place for implementation, which has since been completed, so that the subsidy can be put into effect as being announced today.”


Mr. Rymer acknowledged that many residents have been struggling financially since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

“The pockets of the people worldwide have been hit by the rise in the cost of goods and services,” he added. “The situation became even worse with the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in February 2022. These events have caused significant disruptions in the supply of food, raw materials for industry, and the availability and price of fuel on the international market.”

He added that such issues are not limited to the Virgin Islands, but have also afflicted most other countries as well. Jurisdictions that rely heavily on imports, he noted, have been particularly hard hit by the rising prices.

“Some of you would have seen the news in the United States and the United Kingdom, for example, where people have been struggling and cannot pay high fuel prices for their vehicles and electrical bills,” he said. “Practically no one has been spared.”

Other measures

Mr. Rymer also touted other recent measures he said were designed to ease the financial burden of rising prices.

One initiative — which reduced customs duties above five percent to five percent — was imposed on April 15 for a period of three months, and later extended three more months through Oct. 15.

Effective during the same period are reductions of import duty from 22 cents to 11 cents on diesel and from 32 cents to 16 cents on gasoline, and reductions from 18 cents to 9 cents per 100 pounds of cement and $1.20 to 60 cents for 100 pounds of propane.

“While no one can control the international cost of fuel — which is the price at which the fuel companies purchase petrol and diesel from international suppliers to ship to the Virgin Islands — what we were able to do was to reduce the import duty on the fuel effectively by 50 percent, so that local consumers were spared the full brunt of the rising prices,” Mr. Rymer said Monday.

Despite the duty cuts, however, many residents have continued to complain about high prices and to question whether businesses are passing on any savings to consumers.


JN Money provides CEO boost as part of $10m sponsorship of JPL Loop Jamaica

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Professional Football Jamaica Limited (PFJL) has secured a $10-million club sponsorship from JN Money Services Limited for the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) season that is expected to kick off on October 23.

As part of that sponsorship arrangement, Owen Hill, JN Money Services territory manager, will be on secondment to the PFJL in the role of CEO for two seasons.

As CEO, Hill will take on the day-to-day operations of all leagues and competitions and drive its commercial viability.

Chairman of the PFJL, Chris Williams, says this was a strategic move to strengthen the administrative arm of football.

“The last few years of my business life have taught me that success is a delicate blend of capital and competence. We do not just need cash to become successful at football in Jamaica. We need the well-honed corporate skill set available at institutions such as Jamaica National,” said Williams.

“JN has stepped up to back professional football, and also to provide us with professional competence, giving us the support in the form of a CEO to ensure that administration does not fail football,” he further said.

JN Money’s general manager Horace Hines says his company is pleased to support football in this way.

“JN’s mantra is ‘we’ll help you find a way,’ and one of the things the league needed was competence to match the talent on the pitch,” said Hill. “So we look forward to developing the playing talent through our club sponsorship and the administrative talent through Owen’s involvement. It’s a win-win for Jamaica and football.”

As part of his responsibilities, Hill will seek to develop a player sales model, where clubs will benefit from the commercial sales of players within the league.

“In terms of an overall model, I will be working with Concacaf to build a player sales model so there is a blueprint for how we will develop, market, and benefit from player sales,” Hill pointed out. “We’re also working on a corporate social responsibility initiative, where brands will use players from the league to promote social campaigns. We understand that players are ambassadors for their clubs, communities, and Jamaica”.

Hill, a former captain of the University of the West Indies football team and football commentator, believes his knowledge of the sport will be an advantage to the PFJL.

“This is an exciting opportunity. A wave is happening locally, and professional football has always been dear to JN’s heart,” he said “I will provide a competence-driven approach to football as we seek to upskill the clubs. Several initiatives will take root, and corporate Jamaica will be happy with the new thrust fostered by our chairman and the other directors of PFJL.”


All schools to close tomorrow in light of TS Fiona

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room



Several LIAT flights cancelled

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

LIAT wishes to advise that due to the passage of Tropical Storm Fiona that several destinations within the LIAT network will be affected.

In interest of passengers and crew safety, several flights have been cancelled.

Please note that the following flights have been cancelled:

Sept. 16, 2022

Li392/393 from Barbados to Antigua
Li 393 from St. Vincent to Antigua
Li 393 from St. Lucia to Antigua

Sept 17, 2022

Li 327 from Antigua to St. Kitts
Li 327 from St. Kitts to St. Lucia

In anticipation of the situation, passengers are asked to monitor their e -mails and LIAT’s website for updates. Passengers wishing to reschedule are asked to contact our Reservations Call Centre for assistance.

Please note that the Call Centre will be closed from 2 PM on September 16, 2022, the office will reopen on Saturday 17, once the ‘All Clear’ is officially announced.

LIAT will issue further updates and advisories via its website (www.liat.com) and social media platforms.

The management and staff of LIAT apologize for any inconvenience.




Banks to close early due to Tropical Storm Fiona

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room



ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, September 15, 2022: The Antigua & BarbudaBankers Association wishes to advise the public that memberorganisations will close at 12 noon on Friday September 16″ 2022 due to the passage of Tropical Storm Fiona.

The association urges the public to make the necessary precautions toprotect life and property, and to remain safe as the




DPP discontinues private criminal charge against Crime Chief

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Wendell Blanhum

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has discontinued the private criminal charge of cyberbullying that was brought against Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum.

In a statement issued to the media, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) said this was done in accordance with the powers conferred on the DPP under Article 187 (1) (C) of the Constitution of Guyana.

“A missive was today dispatched to the Chief Magistrate by the DPP in relation to the aforementioned,” the statement outlined.

Police Headquarters explained that the lawyers for the Crime Chief contended that the charge is an abuse of the court’s process and is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate Blanhum as well as senior police officers who are expected to testify in the matter against Dion Bascom.

Bascom, represented by his lawyer Nigel Hughes, filed a private criminal charge under the Cyber Crime Act against the Crime Chief.

Bascom, a police sergeant, was on Wednesday arraigned at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on cybercrime charges in connection with Facebook Live videos in which he accused several senior Police Officers of a massive cover-up in the probe into the murder of gold dealer Ricardo Fagundes.

Bascom appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan where he denied the three charges filed under the Cyber Crime Act.

It is alleged that on two occasions between August 13 and August 19, he used a computer system to transmit electronic data with intent to humiliate, harass or cause distress to Superintendent Mitchell Caesar; and on one occasion, Superintendent Chabinauth Singh.

Sergeant Bascom was granted $300,000 bail in total – $100,000 bail on each of the three charges.

Sergeant Bascom’s next court date is September 21.

On August 8, Sergeant Bascom was among several persons arrested by the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) after a quantity of cocaine was discovered at a Norton Street, Georgetown house.

While a charge for trafficking in narcotics was laid against some of the persons, none was laid against Sergeant Bascom. Seemingly angered by his arrest, the Sergeant subsequently made several Facebook Live videos in which he made damning allegations of corruption against several senior Police Detectives and a prominent businessman, Azruddin Mohamed.

He has alleged that Police ranks have accepted bribes and are “covering up” the murder of Fagundes, called “Paper Shorts”, who was riddled with bullets in March 2021, moments after he left the Palm Court nightclub on Main Street, Georgetown. Police are yet to charge the perpetrators. He later deleted the posts out of fear for his family members’ lives.

Acting Police Commissioner Clifton Hicken and the Crime Chief have already debunked Sergeant Bascom’s allegations, calling them “malicious and untrue”.

The Government had solicited the assistance of the Regional Security System (RSS) to investigate the claims made by Sergeant Bascom. Last week, the RSS pronounced on the matter and made it clear that there was no evidence to substantiate Sergeant Bascom’s claims.

The team also found that the two live recordings made by Bascom were in contravention of Section 19 (5) (a) of the Cyber Crime Act. Mohamed, who, from the outset, had distanced himself from the allegations, has since filed a $200 million defamation lawsuit against Sergeant Bascom.

The businessman, in his Statement of Claim, argued that the words and statements uttered by the cop are all untrue, false, dangerous, disingenuous, malicious, irrational, unfair, unsubstantiated, unfounded, and baseless, thereby tarnishing and lowering his reputation.Superintendent Caesar, through his lawyer, had threatened to take legal action against Sergeant Bascom if he did not remove the posts, and offer him an apology and $50 million compensation.


Covid: 17 new infections recorded

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Beds within the Infectious Disease Hospital at Liliendaal [File Photo]

Seventeen new cases of the novel coronavirus have been detected, taking the total positives recorded to date to 71,239.

There are eight patients in the hospitals, none of whom are in the ICU while 117 are isolating at home.

Three are in institutional quarantine, 69,834 have recovered, and 1,280 have died.


Families of President, PM & Opposition Leader counted as Census 2022 begins

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

The Bureau of Statistics on September 15, Census Day, began the enumeration process of counting all people in Guyana, in the National Population and Housing Census 2022, starting with the households of the President, Prime Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition.

Census-takers started the count in households with First Lady Arya Ali and son Zayd Ali at State House, then continued with the Prime Minister,  Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, his wife Mrs. Mignon Bowen-Phillips, and their daughter Maya Phillips at his official residence.

Later in the day, the Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton and family were counted at his private residence on the East Coast of Demerara.

Prime Minister Phillips, commenting on the enumeration process said, “it is quite a simple process. Whenever the team comes to your home kindly cooperate and get the interview done because it’s also important for the information to be available to us as a Government to plan and implement our programmes and projects for the development of Guyana, development that you will benefit from.”

During the count of the First Family, the Chief Statistician, Errol La Cruez, who was presentduring the process said: “the First Lady was very receptive and accommodating to the Census-taker. She recognised the importance of the Census and acknowledged the impact the Census data will have on improving the lives of persons across Guyana.”

When his household was being counted, Norton said, “it is my view that a Census is important, it will allow us to understand the demographics in Guyana among other things. Be part of the Census, ensure you are counted, it will contribute to the kind of data that is needed to do the kinds of analysis and projections in societies like ours.”

The Census will take a complete count of the population and buildings of the country with the aim of providing vital data for developmental plans for the nation, as well as providing the private sector with information that will help in new areas of investment.

Trained ‘Census-Takers’ from the Bureau of Statistics will be visiting every home in Guyana over the next eight weeks to collect this vital information from the population. This exercise occurs every ten years, in accordance with the Statistics Act of 1965.

The 2022 Census is a historic one for Guyana, since Enumerators will be collecting data electronically, instead of using paper, as was done in the past. All Enumerators must present their Bureau of Statistics Identification Badges before entering the home of any person during the Census.

It should be noted that all persons who spent Census night within the boundaries of Guyana will be counted in the Census, regardless of nationality. Census night is referred to as the hours between 12 midnight and 6:00 am on September 15, 2022.


Comisión de Asuntos Laborales atiende medida que propone crear portal para fomentar participación de la juventud en la fuerza laboral

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Radio Isla TV

La Comisión de Asuntos Laborales, presidida por el representante Domingo J. Torres García, atendió hoy, jueves, en vista pública, el Proyecto de la Cámara 1373, que propone crear el “Puerto Rico Student Employment System(PRSES)”, para establecer un portal electrónico que promueva convocatorias de empleo para incentivar el reclutamiento de egresados recién graduados de diversas disciplinas académicas.

La medida, que busca evitar la emigración laboral de los jóvenes de Puerto Rico, fue presentada por el presidente de la Cámara, Rafael Hernández Montañez a petición del participante del Programa de Internado Legislativo Jorge A. Ramos Comas, William Santana Jirau.

El Departamento del Trabajo y Recursos Humanos (DTRH) presentó un memorial explicativo apoyando la medida con múltiples enmiendas. El licenciado Eric Salinas, en representación del secretario del DRTH, Gabriel Maldonado, explicó que el Proyecto “promueve una iniciativa excelente que permitiría contar con un portal propio para el reclutamiento de empleados en el sector privado”.

Actualmente, el DTRH cuenta con un portal administrado por el National Labor Exchange (NAE) que es una alianza entre la National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) y la Direct Employers Association. Sin embargo, el deponente reconoció que la agencia gubernamental no tiene una participación directa en el manejo de la plataforma (puertorico.usnlx.com).

También informó a la Comisión que el gobierno ha impulsado otros portales que actualmente funcionan para fomentar la búsqueda de empleos disponibles en el gobierno y entidades gubernamentales. “Recientemente, el gobierno de Puerto Rico habilitó un nuevo portal (empleos.pr.gov) para la publicación de convocatorias y el reclutamiento de personas en el sector público”.

El representante del DRTH explicó que la medida necesita recibir cambios para identificar el presupuesto necesario para cumplir con sus objetivos y aclarar múltiples términos técnicos que no son definidos en el Proyecto. Al mismo tiempo, Salinas alertó que el proyecto impondría un periodo probatorio de 180 días a estudiantes y recién graduados. “Advertimos que el término probatorio vigente es de 90 días conforme a la Ley Núm 41-2022, el cual puede ser extendido hasta un término igual mediante una notificación al DTRH”, destacó.

Por su parte, el representante novoprogresista Luis Jr. Pérez Ortiz solicitó al DTRH información sobre los planes que ha desarrollado la agencia para fomentar la participación en el empleo a través de los distintos fondos estatales y federales disponibles para esos fines. Pérez Ortiz también sugirió al deponente que el DTRH debe participar más en ferias de empleos fuera de la isla. El deponente informó que la agencia ha estado planificando participar de eventos de empleos en el estado de Florida.

Pérez Ortiz solicitó al DTRH la realización de un estudio fiscal sobre cuánto le costaría a la entidad pública acoger el Proyecto de la Cámara 1373. También, requirió a la agencia información sobre cuántos empleos ha publicado en sus plataformas el DTRH durante los pasados dos años y cuántos empleos ha logrado adjudicar a personas desempleadas.

Por otro lado, el Departamento de Desarrollo Económico y Comercio (DDEC), presentó múltiples comentarios sobre la medida. El asistente ejecutivo del DDEC, Bryan O’Neill Alicea informó que la agencia “concurre con el propósito de la necesidad y conveniencia de facilitar oportunidades adicionales a profesionales a estudiantes (recién graduados, subgraduados, graduados) en la empresa pública y/o privada, de una forma centralizada y organizada”.

O’Neill Alicea recomendó a la Comisión “evaluar las salvaguardas que se impondrán para que otros recursos/talentos que no sean estudiantes recién graduados también tengan acceso a las convocatorias. Se sugiere examinar la manera en que el Programa propuesto operaría y si tuviera algún efecto sobre la disponibilidad de oportunidades de trabajo para la población en general, lo cual pudiera incluir estudiantes recién graduados que cursaron estudios fuera de Puerto Rico y decidieron retorno a la Isla para aportar de sus experiencias en el exterior”.

Asimismo, O’Neill Alicea destacó que el DDEC ha implementado desde el 2014 un Programa de Desarrollo de la Juventud. El Programa va dirigido a jóvenes puertorriqueños entre las edades de 13 a 29 años y se enfoca en servir como un portador de recursos educativos, que además de enriquecerlos en conocimiento, experiencia y fortaleza personal.

En su turno de preguntas, Torres García cuestionó al DDEC sobre cuántos jóvenes han impactado con el Programa. “Entre los candidatos aptos para trabajar, hemos impactado 133 jóvenes. Nuestro tope de estudiantes es de 200. (…) El DDEC les paga $11 la hora por un periodo de seis meses”.

“¿Qué tenemos que hacer para aumentar esa cantidad tope de estudiantes participantes?”, preguntó el presidente de la Comisión. O’Neill Alicea respondió que la cantidad de estudiantes depende del presupuesto disponible durante el año fiscal. El pasado año, el programa recibió una asignación de $700,000. En el año fiscal actual, el programa está manejando un monto de $1.5 millones.

La vista pública recibió también la participación del Puerto Rico Innovation and Technology Service (PRITS) y del Instituto del Desarrollo de la Juventud.

En el encuentro legislativo contó con la participación de los representantes del Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana, José Bernardo Márquez Reyes y Mariana Nogales Molinelli; y del Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP), María de Lourdes Ramos Rivera.