Grenada’s Prime Minister escapes major injuries in vehicular accident

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell escaped “without major injury” after his official vehicle was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Tuesday morning, according to a statement issued by his office.

It said that Mitchell, who led the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to power in the 2022 general election, was traveling to the Parliament when his vehicle was involved in the accident “with oncoming traffic.

“The Prime Minister is unharmed, and all involved escaped without major injury,” the statement said, quoting Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell as expressing concern for the drivers, noting that not all injuries produce immediate pain.

“The Office of the Prime Minister is currently working to ensure that all parties receive a medical exam, following the incident, to rule out the risk of potential complications,” the statement added.

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St. Kitts and Nevis one step closer to accessing US$40M grant to improve water sector

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Federation is one step closer to accessing a USD $40 million Green Climate Fund (GCF) Grant for Transitioning the Water Supply in St. Kitts and Nevis to a Low Carbon, Climate Resilient Sector also known as the St. Kitts and Nevis TransWater Project.

This was recently announced by Dr. Joyelle Clarke, Minister of Environment and Climate Action.

“St. Kitts and Nevis received its fifth Green Climate Fund (GCF) Readiness Support, and this is to support our Nationally Determined Contributions (NCDs). We have reached the furthest we have ever reached in terms of GCF Grants, and we are now much closer to accessing our USD $40 Million Grant for our TransWater Project,” said Dr. Clarke.

“We at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development recognize that we are uniquely poised to support critical ministries – environment, water, energy, tourism, education and, of course, we continue doing so with the support of the Ministry of Finance.”

Dr. Clarke expressed thanks to all for their “continued support in mobilizing the ministry to adopt and move forward with the government’s agenda for our transformation to a sustainable island state.”

The St. Kitts and Nevis TransWater Project is a cross-cutting climate-resilient development project that is the first of its kind in the water sector in the Federation. The Project seeks to reduce the Federation’s carbon footprint and increase climate resilience and sustainability for the water supply sector. It prioritizes and directly and tangibly supports the implementation of outputs and activities from five (5) of six (6) investment programmes identified in the Federation’s Water Adaptation Plan.

More specifically, it aims to implement soft and hard measures to transition St. Kitts and Nevis to a low-carbon, climate-resilient water supply by strengthening the enabling environment at the national and institutional levels; reduce non-revenue water (NRW); and mainstream low-carbon, climate-resilient water supply systems at national and community levels.

The GCF grant financing will facilitate the mainstreaming of low carbon, climate resilient water supply systems and will strengthen capacity for their management by the Water Services Department, Nevis Water Department, SKELEC and NEVLEC, as well as improve population knowledge on the capacity for climate resilient WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene). This intervention has the potential, therefore, of normalizing climate-smart approaches to water supply and water demand management and creating a paradigm shift toward low emission and climate-resilient development.

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The UWI confers Emeritus Professor titles on Copeland, Agard

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
Professors Brian Copeland and John Agard.

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has conferred ‘Emeritus Professor’ titles on Professors Brian Copeland and John Agard, both of the St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago. Both conferrals are with immediate effect.

The title of Emeritus Professor (or, Emerita Professor, for women) refers to retired professors who are recognised and honoured by their universities for notable contributions to academia. Aside from the special title, an Emeritus status gives distinguished professors extra privileges at the University.

Emeritus Professor Brian Copeland, Ph.D. served as the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of St. Augustine from 2016-2022, the last two years of which saw him navigating the campus through the COVID-19 global pandemic lockdown.

During his tenure at The UWI, he served as Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, and Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His focus areas have been in Digital Electronics and Microprocessor Systems Design and Control Systems.

As Coordinator of the Real Time Systems Group, a UWI unit for developing university/industry liaison through impactful R&D Projects, Professor Copeland was the project lead for design and construction of the Electronic Scoreboard at the Queen’s Park Oval. He co-ordinates the Steelpan Initiatives Project which saw the development and patenting of the G-Pan, a re-engineered form of the traditional steelpan, as well as the Percussive Harmonic instrument (P.H.I.), an electronic form of the traditional steelpan. Professor Copeland is Convener of the Steelpan Research Centre, UWI and is a former Member of the Board of Directors, CARIRI.

Professor Copeland is the holder of many prestigious awards. In 2008, he was the first recipient of the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and in 2007 he was joint recipient of the Chaconia Medal Gold as a member of the G-Pan development team. He received the Guardian Life Premium Teaching Award in 2002, the BP/AMOCO Fellowship Award for Senior Academic Staff at The UWI, 2001 and a LASPAU/Fulbright scholarship for his doctoral programme at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1987 among others.

Emeritus Professor John Agard, Ph.D. is Professor of Tropical Island Ecology at the Department of Life Sciences in the Faculty of Science and Technology at the St. Augustine Campus. He also serves as the Executive Director of the University’s Global Institute for Climate-Smart and Resilient Development (GICSRD).

His research interest is in the field of sustainability science especially as it relates to mainstreaming environmental considerations such as biodiversity and ecosystem services conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the development of blue and circular economy into the core of policy and decision making.

Internationally, he has served as an independent advisor on environment and sustainability policy to the Board of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington DC. He has also been on the Scientific Advisory Panel of UNEP for the Global Environmental

Outlook (GEO6) and was previously a Coordinating Lead Author for the Scenarios chapter in GEO4. He has also been a Coordinating Lead Author of the Intergovernmental (Science-Policy) Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), first global assessment chapter 5 ‘Pathways to a Sustainable Future’ as well as the Review Editor for Small Islands in the current 6th assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Professor Agard has previously served as a Lead Author in IPCC’s previous 4 and 5th Assessments.

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EU Deputy Secretary General launches New Partnership at Regional Security System Headquarters in Barbados

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

As part of her visit to the region, Deputy Secretary General (DSG) for Economic and Global Issues of the European Union’s External Action Service (EEAS), Helena K?nig, visited the Regional Security System (RSS) Paragon Headquarters Base, Barbados on March 14.

The RSS and the EU recently renewed their partnership, signing a cooperation deal that will allow for the delivery of six training modules to RSS member states’ law enforcement and border security personnel.

The project will also include the rollout of a full-scale field training exercise at sea in St. Lucia next year. The RSS has benefitted from EU support since 2016, with the aim of strengthening the organisation’s capacity to respond to transnational crime threats.

DSG K?nig said: “The European Union is committed to assisting its security partners in the Caribbean. Fighting transnational organised crime is a common priority for our regions, as consequences of the illicit trade of drugs and firearms are felt on both sides of the Atlantic. I am delighted to officially launch our new partnership with the RSS, and I am sure that the training programmes will provide officers with additional skills to combat crime and terrorism in the maritime and land domains.”

Executive Director of the Regional Security System, Commodore Errington Shurland, welcomed the EEAS DSG to the Paragon Base and presented the organisation and its activities to the European guest:The Regional Security System has enjoyed an extremely rewarding partnership with the European Union. The new partnership with the European Union, seeks to build on our previous cooperation in strengthening institutional capacities to respond to common factors in our criminogenic environment. It is expected to foment our capacity to manage transnational organised crime in a realistic way with capacity-building programmes aimed at operational planning, intelligence analysis, counter-terrorism tactics, polygraph examinations and the full-scale exercise to test the RSS response mechanism in addressing organised crime. This slew of interventions will ensure that the RSS Membership will be provided with an opportunity to build further capacity in designing and executing effective inter-agency operations in response to transnational organised crime,” Commodore Shurland affirmed.

In addition to the RSS, DSG K?nig also visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, which is currently benefitting from EU support to its digitisation. She also met with Barbados Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kerrie Symmonds; Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Sandra Husbands; Minister of the Environment Adrian Forde; and President of the Senate Reginald Farley.

While on this visit DSG K?nig travelled to St.Vincent and the Grenadines to discuss ongoing work with Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and the CELAC coordinating team in preparation for the upcoming EU-CELAC summit in Brussels (17& 18 July).

DSG K?nig will continue her visit by travelling on to Guyana and Suriname this afternoon.

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Guyana Waiting for ICJ Decision but also Investing in Security, Part 2

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, is a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

By Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith

This is the second article of a two-part series on the ongoing territorial-judicial saga between Guyana and Venezuela. The first one examined some recent developments in Guyana’s oil exploration and production landscape, which have increased the stakes for the two oil-rich nations. In this concluding article we examine the security investment imperative the government has been pursuing while it awaits the ruling of the World Court.

Moutar and Guitar

Budgetary and other recent actions by the Guyana government suggests that investing in security assets isn’t just attracting platitudes, but tangible action. To use Guyanese parlance, the authorities aren’t just “playing moutar, but also guitar.” Put differently, they are putting their money where their mouth is. For one, budget allocations for this year adopted by the National Assembly for the security services suggest that the government takes the investment in security assets imperative seriously, conscious that the security sector agencies have serious deficits in personnel, equipment, and training.

The budget itself–G$781.9 billion (US$3.7 billion)–is the largest ever in the country’s history. It represents a 41 percent increase over the outlay for 2022, with almost 30 percent drawing on oil revenues, to the tune of G$208.9 billion (US$ 992 million). Moreover, for the first time ever, use has been made of funds from the sale of carbon credits, in the amount of G$31.3 billion (US$149 million). The carbon credits deal was made last year with the Hess Corporation and provides for a minimum of US$750 million to the Cooperative Republic between 2022 and 2032. The initial US$75 payment was made in January 2023 and two additional payments are expected later this year.

The allocation for the army increased from G$17,631,014,000 (US$83,165,493) in 2022 to G$20,228,261,000 (US$95,416,707) for this year. The Guyana Defense Force (GDF) identified some pretty aggressive goals for 2023, including increasing the number of foreign threats averted from two in 2022 to 20 this year, growing the number of officers trained by 100 percent, from 40 last year to 80 this year, and expanding joint exercises from 12 in 2022 to 20 this year.

As for the police and other internal security agencies, the funding grew from G$51.5 billion (US$242,925,500) expended in 2022 to an allocation of G$58.6 billion (US$276,416,200) for this year. This included G$2.4 billion (US$11,320,800) to upgrade police stations and facilities, money to increase force mobility, and G$2 billion (US$9,434,000) to expand the safe city program in two of the country’s ten administrative regions, key to which is the provision of Intelligence Video Surveillance Command Centers and 911 emergency response capability in those regions.

Security Partnerships

The government is taking a holistic approach to basic security, prioritizing both hard assets to assist with a broad range of missions and strategic diplomatic partnerships. The growing security relationship with India, for instance is part of a broader strategic partnership between the two countries, in the areas of oil and gas, food security, and technology. One hopes that the diversification of security relationships soon would be extended to Brazil, with which Guyana once had a strong relationship and remains a key actor in the geopolitical relationship involving Venezuela, as well as a valued ally in the proposed tripartite energy security partnership that would include Suriname.

The security partnership with the United States continues to be strengthened, notably is the three-day visits by SOUTHCOM Commander Admiral Craig Faller in January 2021 and last August by his successor, General Laura Richardson, to meet with political, military, and civic leaders about enhancing security ties between the two nations. Guyana also hosted the SOUTHCOM-sponsored Tradewinds 2021, a training exercise with ground, air, sea, and cyber aspects that brings together forces from the United States and Caribbean and other nations.

Noteworthy, too, Guyana has joined the Barbados-based Regional Security System (RSS). In March 2022 President Ali signed the RSS protocol while in Belize for a meeting of CARICOM leaders, and the following September Guyana formally became the eighth member when President Ali signed the instrument acceding to the RSS Treaty, joining Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the alliance that dates to 1982, becoming the member with the largest army. Incidentally, both the GDF and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) will participate in the RSS, as is the case with the other RSS members that have both defense and police forces.

For all the commendable investment in assets and strengthening of strategic partnerships, a cautionary note is warranted. Guyana faces both traditional and non-traditional security threats, notably territorial claims by both Venezuela and Suriname in the traditional area, and narco-trafficking, crime and violence, illegal migration, and human trafficking in the non-traditional one. Thus, even with the recent and planned investments the country’s security establishment, it will still face serious capability limitations in terms of personnel, equipment, and training.

However, there may be a risk that leaders in Guyana either are under-appreciating the scope of the threats, over-estimating the extent to which the new assets will address the security deficits, or both. A danger in the offing makes this conclusion plausible. The danger is what military professionals call mission creep: the gradual or incremental expansion of an organization’s mission beyond its original focus or goals, which risks compromising its overall efficiency and operational success because of the lack of commensurate resources to accomplish the expanded mission.

Recent pronouncements at the army’s 2023 officers conference, held on February 9 last, portend such a danger. The Commander-in-Chief contended that in addition to meeting the nation’s security challenges the GDF should rise to the challenge and consider how it will address issues such as the food and energy crises not only in Guyana but in the region. He also touted the idea that the Air Corps could expand its mandate and conduct forest monitoring activities, arguing that “the monitoring of our forest is part of our defense challenge, because it is an important national asset, earning revenue.”

Moreover, the president advocated a role for the GDF in the development of emergency mapping services, noting “In every region, I am tired with the fire tender turning up and they don’t know where the drain is, they don’t know where the trenches are… Is there a cluster map? How do we develop a cluster map for every region, and then a cluster map for different communities?”

In sum, as the waiting game plays itself out, Guyana is making prudent and pragmatic investments in security assets. Nonetheless, the leaders there might do well to guard against mission creep, lest they compromise the ability of the army to deliver effectively on its core mission and undermine the confidence of citizens in both them and it.


Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, is a Fellow with the Caribbean Policy Consortium and Global Americans. His next book, Challenged Sovereignty: The Impact of Drugs, Crime, Terrorism, and Cyber Threats in the Caribbean, will be published by the University of Illinois Press.

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Lil Durk Says He Is Not Giving Up On Getting Back India Royale

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Lil Durk is not giving up although he is having a hard time convincing India Royale of his feelings, and his former girlfriend and mother of his daughter appear to be tired of his continued advances as she says she’s single.

On Sunday, Lil Durk penned a lengthy post on Instagram Stories as he explained that he is the cause of the breakup, but he continues to love her. “It’s f***ed up on my end not hers I f***ed up she played a small part she really a good girl who live life. Ima good guy good husband cause I just over talked never to her pain back from when she was back pregnant willow in the belly aka fat ma,” the Chicago rapper said.

“So I ain’t perfect but I’m for you and I love you and I’m all ears whenever we get back in a relationship you saved my life with you and willow and big sky outside all my kids,” he added as he also shouted out his late brother D’Thang.

He added in another story, “real love not a paid situation I just love her to death she fed up but ima save us.”

India Royale did not acknowledge the messages and even went on to assert to probing fans that she was single. “If it ain’t money in the text don’t send it,” she said in one tweet and added in another, “I’m very much single. Been, been.”

Durk also appeared hurt by the response from India writing, “I hopped on Twitter to say I love you to now I’m back gone crazy a$$ lady.”

Another tweet read, “talking bout my daughter stop it I’m not no goofy I’m smurk don’t’ forget.”

India Royale and Lil Durk share a daughter, Willow. The couple appeared to break up sometime last year. Durk has been constantly expressing his love to India, but she has continued to be steadfast, that she’s single and uninterested in Durk’s advances.

Neither Lil Durk nor India Royale have revealed the primary reason for their breakup last year, but speculations surfaced that the OTF rapper gotten another woman pregnant. Royale has since dismissed those rumors as false, but remains tight lipped on the reason she broke off their engagement.

Nipsey Hussle’s Baby Mother Still Grieving His Death: ‘I Would Have Took Those Bullets’

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

The mother of Nipsey Hussle’s daughter, Emani Dior Asghedom, shared a heartfelt note to the late rapper and said she wished he was around. Tanisha Foster,

French Montana and Rubi Rose Confirms Relationship After Dinner Date

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

French Montana and Rubi Rose are now an item.

The pair were spotted on a dinner date in Beverly Hills and were not shy about showing some affection as they left Mr. Chow. Rubi Rose recently revealed she was single and even got into a public spat with her ex-boyfriend DDG. The rapper/model appears to be now moving on from that fiasco with Bad Boy rapper French Montana.

French Montana is notorious for dating women in rap, including Trina and Iggy Azalea, and bagging Rubi Rose is just his latest conquest. As a result, some fans are skeptical that the relationship will be long-term. The “Unforgettable” rapper and Rose were beaming with smiles as they left Mr. Chow, one of the most famous eateries in Beverly Hills. The Moroccan-American rapper then wrapped his arm around his date as they headed to an unknown location.

According to TMZ sources, the pair are one hundred percent dating, but it’s unclear when they started being an item. Judging from the video, they are now very comfortable with each other, which means they past the awkward phase for a long time.

Rubi Rose

Rubi Rose previously dated rappers Takeoff, DDG and Lil Tjay, who she had an embarrassing falling out with after he refused to book her a flight back home after she went to visit him in New York. On the other hand, French Montana was previously married to Deen Kharbouch, and the pair has a son named Kruz Kharbouch. The couple got divorced in 2014. The “No Stylist” rapper also previously dated Evelyn Lozada, Khloe Kardashian, Rosa Acosta, Alexis Skyy, Trina, Iggy Azalea, Sanaa Lathan, Amber Rose, and Draya Michele.

French Montana recently became the most streamed African-born artist in history after securing dozens of new Gold, Platinum, and Diamond certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America, RIAA. His song with Swae Lee, “Unforgettable,” is now certified 11X platinum.

Spice Announces Pregnancy With Baby Bump Photo

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Dancehall artist Spice is pregnant.

On Tuesday (March 14), the Queen of Dancehall confirmed speculations that she is pregnant with her third child. Spice dropped some hints over the weekend that she might be expecting, leaving fans to speculate. Today she decided to end the speculations and confirm what we all thought when she shared a photo of her growing baby bump, which appears to show she is at least eight months into her pregnancy.

Spice, whose real name is Grace Hamilton, didn’t share any further details about her pregnancy except to thank God for her bundle of joy. “God has been so good to me,” she wrote on her Instagram. The pic appears to be from her maternity shoot and shows her wearing a long flowering blue dress and blue hair. Blue is Spice’s favorite color, so no surprise her shoot is decked out in blue.

The Love and Hip Hop Atlanta star did not share who her baby daddy is. Spice dated video director Justin Budd for over two years before the pair called it quits in the summer of last year. She addressed the breakup in one of her Instagram Live sessions, where she hinted that Budd was too controlling.

Spice & Justin Budd @spiceofficial IG

“Me love, if yuh want man fi control yuh, mek you no go deh with him,” she said at the time. “Every minute oonu a talk bout ‘mi miss rasta’… mi wuk too hard fi deh which part me deh me don’t want no man stress, mi nuh no man hold me down, me nuh want no man tell me wha fi do, mi nuh want no man tell me say me can’t dance, me can’t do this, me can’t skin out, mi can’t bruk out, me can’t wear certain clothes, me can’t this, me can’t that.”

Since then, the former couple, who won over the hearts of dancehall fans, was never seen together again, and Justin Budd never addressed the breakup.

Spice was hospitalized in the Dominican Republican in November last year. After spending over a week in the hospital amid rumors she slipped into a coma, the “Romping Shop” singer confirmed that she had a ruptured hernia that she needed surgery for. She also dispelled rumors that she had a heart attack and was in the Dominican Republic to get a BBL done.

Spice baby bump

In January 2023, Spice announced that she would be performing live for the first time since her health scare at the upcoming Start Di Fun Music Festival in the Cayman Islands, set for March 24th. It’s unclear if she has since canceled that performance.

Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa In Jamaica Planning Black Star Line Festival

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa are keeping true to their word as they both visit Jamaica months after declaring that they were looking into bringing their Black Star Line Festival to Jamaica in 2024.

On Monday, Mensa shared a photo of himself enjoying the beach at a property in Ocho Rios. “Headed to Kingston I heard that’s where the sauce is at,” he captioned the photos.

Black Star Line Fest also shared on its Instagram Story that Mensa and Chance were visiting in relation to the festival’s staging in Jamaica. “The boys have touched down in JA,” the festival page captioned a photo of Mensa relaxing at the beach while taking a phone call.

Both of the Americans also linked up with international superstar, Popcaan as they were spotted at a bar together, and Mensa also shared a video of them by the toll stop in St. Catherine. Last October, the artists revealed that following the successful execution of their inaugural Black Star Line Festival in Accra, Ghana, on January 6, 2023, they were considering bringing the show to Jamaica for 2024.

Chance The Rapper, Popcaan and Vic Mensa (from left) in Jamaica

“We’re actually thinking about hosting the next one in Kingston, Jamaica,” Chance said. “We’re still working it out in our heads. And we love the city of Accra and Ghana and West Africa as a whole. We just want to continue to, like, create a community in other spaces.”

The event held in Ghana was free and featured performers, including Erykah Badu, who headlined Jeremih, T-Pain, Sarkodie, Tobe Nwigwe, and others.

The festival is named after Jamaica’s civil rights hero, Marcus Garvey’s company of the same name, which made connections for Africans between Africa, America, and the Caribbean.

The modern-day festival aims to connect Black Americans to black diasporas abroad, but more so, the influx of foreigners will also stimulate economic activity in the places attendees go. The inaugural show saw 52,000 attendees, for the event hailed a massive success by the two Chicago rappers.