St Lucia to host ICT Week in September

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

St Lucia is the latest Caribbean country to embrace a regional initiative to accelerate national development priorities.

Called St Lucia ICT Week, the initiative will bring together business leaders, government officials, ICT professionals, academics, and members of civil society, alongside local, regional, and international experts to explore practical ways in which public policy changes, business initiatives and technical training can together address the challenges hindering growth and development.

The five-day initiative is scheduled to kick off in Castries from September 11 to 15. It is being organized by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), and the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), in collaboration with Government of Saint Lucia, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the Internet Society, and the Internet Registry for Latin America, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.

“This regional initiative brings together a diverse group of local, regional, and international stakeholders to tackle the key issues that impede technology-enabled development in the region,” said Bevil Wooding, Director of Caribbean Affairs at ARIN and co-founder of CaribNOG.

Grenadian Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell recently described the initiative as relevant to the Caribbean digital revolution, and called for businesses to work with governments across the region to accelerate national development through digital transformation.

“We are looking forward to helping enhance St Lucia’s capacity to leverage technology to create employment and accelerate economic growth,” said Gerry George, Commissioner, Saint Lucia National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, and chair of the local organizing committee for the event.

“The opportunity to draw upon global experience and international expertise to help shape our future is an opportunity not only for local businesses and government ministries, but for all Saint Lucians interested in development and progress.”

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Statement by CARICOM Heads of Government on Haiti

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have resolved to continue efforts to encourage dialogue among Haitian stakeholders and to support efforts at finding solutions to the multi-dimensional crisis facing the country.

The Heads of Government with responsibility for Haiti met on Sunday 5 March under the chairmanship of Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas and Chair of CARICOM.

They received a report from the Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, who led a one-day CARICOM Special Mission to Haiti on 27 February. The mission met with a broad range of Haitian stakeholders to hear their views on the way forward to a Haitian-led solution and demonstrate CARICOM solidarity with Haiti. The Leaders agreed that there must be a follow-up meeting with the stakeholders to chart a path to consensus building in order to bring peace and stability to the country.

The Heads of Government agreed to support the Haitian National Police in their efforts to address the security situation. The focus of the Community will be the provision of training for the HNP and the provision of humanitarian assistance to HNP and the wider Haitian society, taking into account the challenging humanitarian and security situation in Haiti.

In acknowledgement of the common historical experiences and the strong African-Caribbean relationship, Heads of Government also agreed to seek support from African countries for Haiti. They also agreed to work with the Governments of Canada and the United States as well as the UNDP on the ongoing issues and, at the upcoming Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, to approach both International Financial Institutions to ascertain what further assistance they could provide to Haiti.

They commended Prime Minister Holness and the CARICOM delegation for their efforts in Haiti and welcomed the comprehensive report which was provided on the mission.

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Antigua and Barbuda to auction off $81M yacht ‘owned by Russian oligarch’

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

An $81 million superyacht said to be owned by the sanctioned Russian oligarch Andrey Guryev is to be auctioned off by the government of Antigua and Barbuda, which claims the vessel has been abandoned in the Caribbean since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

The government of Antigua and Barbuda on Monday warned the owner of the Alfa Nero superyacht that they had 10 days to claim the vessel or it would be sold to the highest bidder.

The information minister, Melford Nicholas, said Alfa Nero had been abandoned in Falmouth harbour in Antigua since February 2022 and the government was “trying to prevent a future hazard since the luxury vessel is not being maintained by its owner”.

In a statement the office of the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda said: “A notice to the newspapers and other media will be published for a period of 10 days, notifying the sale of the Alfa Nero vessel in order to satisfy the requirements under the law for a forced sale. If the owner fails to claim the vessel within that time period, the government of Antigua and Barbuda will sell it to the highest bidder.”

Guryev, 62, who made a $10bn fortune from the Russian fertiliser company PhosAgro, is the owner of Alfa Nero according to the US government, which imposed sanctions on him last year. The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it had “identified Alfa Nero, a Cayman islands flagged yacht that AG Guryev reportedly bought for $120m in 2014, as blocked property of AG Guryev”.

The yacht, which features a 12-metre infinity pool, a Jacuzzi, a spa, a beauty room and a helipad, has been used by Guryev’s family, including his son (also Andrey) and his son’s wife, Valeria, who studied at the London College of Fashion and once reportedly stated on Instagram that she was “too pretty for work”. Like many yachts, it is owned via an opaque offshore structure, and Guryev has denied being the owner.

The property is officially owned via Boradge Ltd, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. Guryev’s London-based lawyers have said “Mr Guryev does not own Witanhurst”, without providing further details. Guryev’s spokesperson has previously told the New Yorker that he was a beneficiary of a trust owning the property but not the legal owner.

Last year Gibraltar auctioned off the ?65m superyacht Axioma owned by the sanctioned steel billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky. The sale of Axioma attracted controversy because it is being sold not for the benefit of the Ukrainian people but for a US investment bank, JP Morgan, which claims Pumpyansky owes it more than EUR20.5m (?17m).

Pumpyansky was until March of 2022 the owner and chairman of the steel pipe manufacturer OAO TMK, a supplier to the Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom. The UK said the billionaire, who it said had built up an estimated ?1.84bn fortune, was one of the oligarchs “closest to Putin”.

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Undernutrition in mothers is rising sharply: UNICEF

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The number of pregnant women and nursing mothers suffering from undernutrition has increased by 25 per cent since 2020 in 12 countries at the epicentre of the world food crisis, the United Nation’s children’s agency warned Monday, stressing the impact it is having on children’s health.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund UNICEF report, based on data analysis of women in nearly every country in the world, estimates that more than one billion women and adolescent girls suffer from undernutrition — which leaves them underweight and of short stature — and from a deficiency in essential micronutrients as well as from anemia.

Most of them are in the world’s poorest regions, with South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa constituting 68 per cent of women and adolescent girls who are underweight and 60 per cent of those suffering from anemia.

These nutritional deficiencies have an impact not just on the well-being of the women but also affect their children, said UNICEF, noting that “poor nutrition is passed down through generations.”

Malnutrition increases the risk of neonatal death, but can also “impair fetal development, with lifelong consequences for children’s nutrition, growth, learning and future earning capacity.”

“Globally, 51 million children under two years are stunted. We estimate that about half of these children become stunted during pregnancy and the first six months of life, when a child is fully dependent on the mother for nutrition,” the UNICEF report said.

It estimates that between 2020 and 2022, the number of pregnant or breastfeeding women suffering from acute malnutrition increased by 25 per cent , from 5.5 to 6.9 million, in 12 countries deemed to be in food crisis — Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Chad and Yemen.

“Without urgent action from the international community, the consequences could last for generations to come,” said UNICEF chief executive Catherine Russell in a statement.

“To prevent undernutrition in children, we must also address malnutrition in adolescent girls and women,” she said.

UNICEF called for priority to be given to women and girls in terms of access to nutritious food, and to implement mandatory measures to “expand large-scale food fortification of routinely consumed foods such as flour, cooking oil and salt to help reduce micronutrient deficiencies and anemia in girls and women.”

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Popcaan Leaving Drake’s OVO Sound, Says “I’ll Be Independent Soon”

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Popcaan says he will be an independent artist soon, dropping hints he will be parting ways with Drake’s OVO Sound.

The dancehall deejay and the Toronto rapper have been close friends for years leading to the Unruly Boss signing to OVO Sound, the label founded by Drake, Noah ’40’ Shebib, and Oliver El-Khatib. Drake announced the signing of Popcaan during his appearance at Unruly Fest in St. Thomas in December 2018.

“This is something we’ve been working on for a very long time, and I just wanna let everyone know that finally, officially 2019, Popcaan a sign to OVO label,” Drizzy told the crowd while on stage with Popcaan.

At the time, it was a major move for the dancehall star, who was long rumored to be a part of the Toronto-based label, but the ink didn’t dry until the top of 2019 when he announced that he had officially signed to OVO. The deal cemented an even tighter relationship with the two and spawned a few collaborations over the years, including a recent song, “We Caa Done,” that appears on Popcaan’s new album, Great Is He.

Fast forward to 2023, and it looks like that label deal is coming to an end. Popcaan has a cover story out for Crack magazine where he opened up about his music, career, label, and other things happening in the Unruly universe, and one thing was very clear; he will be independent sometime soon. Perhaps he just needs to fulfill some additional contractual agreements, and he is out.

“The label can be weird sometimes. I love the label but I don’t like them,” Poppy said in the interview. “But I’ll be independent soon.”

Drake and Popcaan

As it relates to his relationship with Drake, Popcaan did not comment on that, nor was he asked, but he recently assured fans that the link is still strong. Drizzy also gave the dancehall star a major boost to start the year with the release of “We Caa Done,” the first song to release by OVO Sound this year. Still, this latest admission by Popcaan will likely trigger more chatters of a rift between himself and Drake, the man from Toronto he often regarded as a brother.

Drake co-founded OVO Sound in 2012 with producer Noah’ 40′ Shebib and manager Oliver El-Khatib. Over the past decade, the trio grew the label’s roster to include Dvsn, PartyNextDoor, Plaza, Smiley, Baka Not Nice, Majid Jordan, and Roy Woods. Along with 40, there are also Nineteen85, Boi-1da, and other in-house producers.

Popcaan also has his own Unruly Entertainment label, although it’s unclear if any artists are currently signed to the imprint.

Popcaan’s announcement comes on the heels of other artists announcing their departure from major labels or seeking better deals from majors. Kranium recently announced he has departed Atlantic Records, and a few months back, Baton Rouge rapper NBA YoungBoy left the same label for a more lucrative deal with Motown.

Nevertheless, artists are still open to signing major label deals. Masicka was the latest dancehall artist to become a major label artist when he joined Def Jam on an album deal.

Shenseea Gets Her Flowers For Shelling Rolling Loud California Stage

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Shenseea showed out during her Rolling Loud California as she performed at the event for the third year in a row. The artist maintained a futuristic theme

Nicki Minaj Reignites Megan Thee Stallion Beef At Rolling Loud

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Nicki Minaj took a few jabs at Megan Thee Stallion at Rolling Loud.

Many fans of Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion feel that Nicki Minaj tried to diss the “WAP” rapper during her guest appearance at Rolling Loud on Saturday night. The rapper joined Young Money mogul and Rolling Loud headliner Lil Wayne on stage, where they performed several of their tracks. Minaj spent about 10 minutes on the stage with Lil Wayne, but the set was plagued by audio issues seconds into her solo performance.

The rapper performed “Super Freaky Girl” and then her new song “Red Ruby Da Sleeze.” There was a particular verse in the song that Minaj emphasized that has fans thinking that she was sending shots at Megan Thee Stallion.

“I just put out this song yesterday, so Imma just let it rock,” Minaj says. The rapper became annoyed halfway as audio issues developed. “Is the song offbeat?” Minaj asked as she stopped the music.

While waiting, she adds, “I said I don’t f**k with horses. I said ‘it’s 700 horses when we fixing to leave, but I don’t f**k with horses since Christopher Reeves,” the rapper singled out that particular line.

Shortly after, her setlist appeared to become corrupt as the DJ was unable to bring back up the song despite efforts by her people to reset the list.

Minaj eventually cut the performance short, but that has not stopped fans from calling her out for dissing Megan Thee Stallion, who was reportedly backstage at the event with Cardi B.

“Nicki Minaj tried to clock Megan Thee Stallion with that horse bar only for the crowd to stare back at her in silence. That’s definitely one way to be humbled,” one Megan fan wrote on Twitter.

“Or someone who has been in the industry so long that they are considered furniture; this is humiliating and goes to show @NICKIMINAJ just isn’t ready yet. Forgetting ghostwritten lyrics, no stage presence, dead crowd and hyping a one-sided beef? It’s just Embarrassing!” another said.

One Nicki Minaj fan also defended her on Twitter writing, “Megan Thee Stallion has a song called REALER. She was comfortably dissing Nicki Minaj and Cardi b in that song. That was way before Hot Girl Summer and Wap. Did a few interviews dissing Cardi? I say all this to say, ain’t NO FRIENDS in the female rap game. And nobody is innocent.”

Cardi B and Megan appear to share a close relationship, having collaborated on their Grammy-winning hit song, “WAP.” It was also recently revealed by movie director Robert Townsend that Megan and Cardi both wanted to do a B.A.P.S. movie remake.

The cult classic originally starred Halle Berry and the late Natalie Desselle-Reid.

“There’s people that love, love, love the film and some people that didn’t get it. And those that love it—like you love it and you get it—I’ve had people go, ‘Hey, we want to do a remake,’” he said. “Everybody from Megan Thee Stallion to Cardi B is like, ‘Could we do…’ I mean, it’s like, I don’t know,” Townsend said.

The rappers have never spoken about the film, but their onstage chemistry has certainly stirred excitement among fans.

Dancehall Artist Valiant, Slingerz Family Gift Young Fans Cash In Guyana

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Jamaican Dancehall artist Valiant and Slingerz Family teamed up for a major giveback in the country ahead of his second performance in Guyana for the

Bounty Killer and Shaggy Working On New Music

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Bounty Killer and Shaggy working on new music together.

The Warlord has confirmed that the two music legends are working on new music together. On Saturday, Bounty Killer shared a photo of himself and the “It Wasn’t Me” artist together in what appears to be a studio. “Watch di hook up it’s a cook-up,” Killer captioned the Instagram post. Shaggy also confirmed the music announcement, writing, “Yup!!! Mad ting!!!”

An upcoming single between the two artists would mark a continued relationship between them as they previously worked together on several singles like “Raggamuffin Christmas,” also featuring Junior Reid and KSwaby, and “Reggae World” by Third World featuring the two of them.

In December, Bounty Killer shared that he rated Shaggy, who continues to spread Jamaican culture and influence abroad. Reposting a video of Shaggy in New Zealand, the deejay wrote, “The biggest deejay out of Jamaica same way. Diamond League. who nuh like it bite it and fight it.”

Beenie Man and Bounty Killer at Rebel Salute 2023

Bounty Killer has been on a roll as he recently joined Hood Celebrity’s remix, “I’m Back,” and several tracks while engaging in a feud with Mr. Vegas.

Bounty Killer eventually dropped out of the clash a week ago after weeks of him and Mr. Vegas going back and forth. The ‘clash’ got nasty between the artists, with each making separate criminal accusations against the other. With the dancehall legend dropping out of the clash, Mr. Vegas has continued his onslaught on social media as he calls out Killer and other artists that have aligned themselves with the Warlord.

As for Shaggy, the legendary artist recently featured on the Jeep Super Bowl ad remake “Electric Boogie” by Marcia Griffiths and featured dancehall artists, Moyann, Amber Lee, and Jamila Falak.

Excited fans reacted to the announcement of the two legends working together. “Higher levels mi General #dancehallkings #reggaebaddest, stay up,” one fan wrote. Another sad, “Cahboom. I’m excited and di tune nuh drop yet. Bumpijuice claaaat.”

Some also shared high hopes for the collaboration, “Sounds like another grammy on the way,” one fan wrote, while another said, “Mr Burrell and Mr Price its gonna be Hot and Spicy, Not for d faint hearted! Blessup every time Generals.”

In the meantime, Bounty Killer continues to be booked and busy as he prepares for BRT weekend coming up on March 10. The artist will hit the stage with Skeng, Valiant, Ding Dong Ravers, and several other artists.

A historic reparative apology guided by The UWI and the Caricom Reparations Commission

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The first point in the Caribbean-led reparatory justice programme jointly championed by The University of the West Indies (The UWI) and CARICOM calls for ‘formal and sincere apology’ as a precondition of healing for descendants of enslaved peoples.

The Trevelyan Family apology on Monday, February 27, during a forum co-hosted by the Grenada National Reparations Committee (GNRC) and The UWI shows the successful application of this framework, which has come to be known as the “Ten Point Plan”.

Birthed from close consultations with Professor Sir Hilary Beckles in his dual lead roles as Vice-Chancellor of The UWI and Chairman of the Caribbean Reparations Commission (CRC), the Trevelyans delivered a public apology and an initial ?100,000 to begin righting the wrongs of their ancestors who owned more than 1,000 slaves in the 19th Century.

Accompanied by a group of seven of her relatives, British-American BBC anchor/correspondent, Laura Trevelyan read an apology, signed by 104 of the descendants of the part owners of six plantations in Grenada.

The Trevelyans in their collaborative statement acknowledged slavery as “a crime against humanity,” and noted, “its damaging effect continues to present day.” “We repudiate our ancestors’ involvement in it, and urge the British government to enter into meaningful negotiations with the governments of the Caribbean in order to make appropriate reparations through CARICOM and bodies such as the Grenada National Reparations Committee,” said family spokespersons.

Sir Hilary who brokered and guided conversations with the Trevelyans and the Government of Grenada affirmed the transformative significance of the family’s initiative. “These are developments that are transforming the world. These are developments that require courage and commitment to look into your history, your past and to recognize that a crime has been committed. A crime that has led to your own enrichment and privilege and to be able to say this was wrong. It was inhumane.”

“The reparations movement is a call for partnership,” Sir Hilary asserted. “It’s a call for diminishing the debt owed to the people of this region. And it’s a call to have a shared vision for the future.” He clarified, “We’re not calling for racial strife. We’re not calling for international conflict. We believe reparations is the key for a win-win strategy for both sides of this conversation.”

As an activist institution, The UWI continues its championing of reparatory justice and the advocacy, consciousness-raising and support for the CARICOM Reparations Commission’s Ten Point Plan. The Trevelyans credited the Ten Point Plan as “the road map” guiding the Family’s journey to this juncture. Sir Hilary reinforced that the framework calls for “an apology, where there is an acknowledgement of a crime and a genuine and sincere desire to participate in an act of repair.”

Laura Trevelyan’s personal contribution of ?100,000 will be used to establish an education fund for The UWI Open Campus, with details of the fund to be determined by the GNRC in collaboration with The UWI and the Government of Grenada. Other Trevelyan family members have also made commitments towards bursaries for The UWI Open Campus, Grenada, the Grenada Education and Development Programme, while others have offered their time to ongoing projects in Grenada.

With members of his cabinet in full attendance, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell Mitchell accepted the Trevelyan apology on behalf of all CARICOM citizens as the beginning of a step in the right direction. “As a Head of Government,” he said, “I want to take the opportunity to join in a public request to my fellow Head of Government of the United Kingdom to accept our kind invitation to commence dialogue in an open, transparent, frank and dignified manner to talk of the need for reparative justice for the citizens of CARICOM.”

The Forum also included Arley Gill, Chair of the GNRC, and Dr Nicole Phillip-Dowe, GNRC’s Vice-Chair and Deputy Director (Ag.) of The UWI Open Campus Country Sites (OCCS), other government officials and CARICOM Reparations advocates, along with affiliates of the Rastafarian community and primary and secondary school students from across Grenada. It was held at the Annex, Grenada Trade Centre, and streamed live via The UWI’s public information platform UWItv.

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