Record 9.6% Growth in Renewables Achieved Despite Energy Crisis

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
By the end of 2022, global renewable generation capacity amounted to 3372 Gigawatt (GW), growing the stock of renewable power by 295 GW or 9.6 per cent. An impressive 83 per cent of all power capacity added last year was produced by renewables.

Renewable Capacity Statistics 2023, released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows that renewable energy continues to grow at record levels despite global uncertainties, confirming the downward trend of fossil fueled power generation.

“This continued record growth shows the resilience of renewable energy amidst the lingering energy crisis,” IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera said. “The strong business case of renewables coupled with enabling policies has sustained an upward trend of their share in the global energy mix year on year. But annual additions of renewable power capacity must grow three times the current level by 2030, if we want to stay on a pathway limiting global warming to 1.5?C.”

While many countries increased their renewable capacity in 2022, the significant growth of renewables is persistently concentrated in a few countries and regions like Asia, the USA and Europe. IRENA’s data finds that almost half of all new capacity in 2022 was added in Asia, resulting in a total of 1.63 Terawatt (TW) of renewable capacity by 2022. China was the biggest contributor, adding 141 GW to the continent’s new capacity.

Renewables in Europe and North America grew by 57.3 GW and 29.1 GW respectively. Africa continued to expand steadily with an increase of 2.7 GW, slightly above last year. Oceania continued its double-digit growth with an expansion of 5.2 GW and South America continued an upward trend, with a capacity expansion of 18.2 GW. The Middle East recorded its highest increase in renewables on record, with 3.2 GW of new capacity commissioned in 2022, an increase of 12.8 per cent.

La Camera added: “As energy demand is expected to rise in many regions of the world, the energy transition requires a step-change that delivers a strategic shift beyond the decarbonisation of the supply side. Any expansion of new non-renewables capacity in light of recent global events must be connected to efforts to accelerate the energy transition to make the system more resilient, inclusive and climate-proof.”

Although hydropower accounted for the largest share of the global total renewable generation capacity with 1250 GW, solar and wind continued to dominate new generating capacity. Together, both technologies contributed 90 per cent to the share of all new renewable capacity in 2022. Solar capacity led with 22 per cent increase, followed by wind energy, which increased its generating capacity by 9 per cent.

Technology highlights:

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St Lucia Government to pay millions in backpay to public servants

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The St. Lucia government Wednesday said it will disburse an estimated EC$11.5 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) in outstanding arrears to public servants.

A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said that the negotiations between the umbrella Trade Union Federation [TUF] and the Government Negotiating Team [GNT] had resulted in two collective agreements being reached for the periods 2016 – 2019 and 2019 – 2022 respectively.

“These agreements included wage and salary increases,” the statement said, noting that although the conclusion of the negotiations predates the present administration and, despite the global economic challenges and inflationary pressures on government revenue, Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre is “happy to oblige and decided to honor the two collective agreements.

“The disbursement of outstanding back-pay for the period 2019 – 2022 which totals EC$11.5 million for both active and non-active public servants is scheduled to commence on March 23, 2023.

“Moreover, public servants currently benefit from a one per cent wage and salary increase which took effect in April 2022. And, in December 2022, active and non-active public servants collectively received EC$6.8 million in back pay from the government,” the statement added.

The statement said that the government remains committed to working with the TUF to foster “mutually respectful industrial relations to ensure stability and promote productivity in the public service”.

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Former Haitian mayor ordered to pay millions in civil lawsuit

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

A United States court has ordered a former Haitian mayor to pay more than US$15.5 million in compensation after he was accused of murder, attempted killings, and torture in a civil lawsuit.

Attorneys had painted widely different pictures of Jean Morose Viliena during the opening arguments in US District Court in Boston. Those included claims of killing, torture and arson — or a successful mayor who helped improve the town of Les Irois in the late 2000s.

Viliena, who now lives in Massachusetts, was sued by three Haitian citizens who say they or their relatives were persecuted by him and his political allies when he was the mayor of the rural town.

“Today’s verdict brings justice to me, my family, and the other families of those who have been victims of Viliena’s campaign of terror,” one of the plaintiffs, David Boniface, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Boniface, together with Juders Yseme and Nissage Martyr, filed the lawsuit in 2017 under the Torture Victim Protection Act, a 1991 US law that allows civil lawsuits to be brought against foreign officials accused of wrongdoing, if all legal avenues in their homelands have been exhausted.

It was filed by the Center for Justice and Accountability in San Francisco.

The defense had argued that Viliena was not involved in violence and had in fact increased services while leading Les Irois, a town of around 22,000 people about 140 miles from the capital Port-au-Prince.

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Producer Skatta Burrell Rates Norris Man’s ‘Persistence’ As His Best Work Ever

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


Dancehall music producer Skatta Burrell has rated Norris Man’s 2000 hit Persistence, on which he worked as a sound engineer, as his best production ever.

Skatta gave Norris Man his accolades on Monday, in one of his regular throwback Instagram posts, where he shared the song’s accompanying music video and hailed the Rastafarian artist.

“How could I ever fail in life when Norris Man & Iley Dread gave me the opportunity to produce this monster Hit. My 1st #1 song that ripped thru over 60 charts worldwide and to this day hands down my best work, for it shaped My entire spirituality and Passion for music,” Skatta proclaimed.

In continuing his adulation of Norris Man, Skatta said that he would use his powers to ensure the singer appears at Reggae Sumfest this year.   

“I would love to see You on Reggae Sumfest this 2023 and I’m going to do everything to make it happen My Brother. Bigupp @badgyalcecile wit the beautiful harmonies and @benzlyhype on keyboards,” he added.

In an interview with YouTuber Teach Dem a few years ago, Norris Man had described Persistence as a poetic piece of songwriting, which he had done during a time of struggle as an upcoming artist in Reggae/Dancehall with his Kings of Kings stablemates Skatta, Cecile and singer Crisinti sharing the same issues.

“It was me, Skatta Burrell, who is today with Downsound Records.  We started out as bredrin; that’s how everything started out.  He was a engineer; I was an artiste.  We met up at Kings of Kings… at that time Ce’cile was the secretary working for the guy Stephen Ventura,” Norris Man had explained.

“It was a wonderful opportunity because is like we started out a camp.  Because at that time you have Xterminator, Star Trail Records; everybody was moving in camps.  And Skatta was the engineer who record me on a lot of songs.  All the songs on the album called Persistence, Skatta record them.  He also mixed the album.  It was his first big credibility,” Norris Man said of Skatta’s role in the 16-track debut album.

Norris Man had, likewise, praised Skatta as his best engineer ever.

“He was a good engineer and what happened at the time, I think Kings of Kings – he never really wanted Skatta hundred percent to mix all the songs… but he (Skatta) is an engineer who used to my sound, my voice.  Suh yuh just haffi be the best  When it comes to ne he makes it right.   Because we are friends and we started out togedda.  We been in the studio day and night…,” he added.

Norris Man, who is known for other hits such as Bad Road, Keep It Real, Woman Have Patience, and Home And Away, said that Persistence marked a turning point in his life, as when the song was released, it became an immediate hit due in part to his melodies, and intonations, which made the song memorable, and a highly impressed Irie FM disc jockey, who gave it steady rotation.

“Everything changed right there.  Give thanks to the disc jockey weh name Mighty Mike who discovered the song and send call me in person.  Because he thought the person who sing the song was a bigger person, a older person. When him meet me I was just a youth; him a look fi a big man,” he said.

“I was just writing what was coming to mi head. I didn’t know if I did do a  great ting or what.  I just know mi meck good music. Das all.   An from mi a yute mi always have dis idea.  I don’t want to do music just like dat.  I listen other artiste and den I seh ‘listen, I want to be different from  all a dem’.  Suh, I always experiment with mi melodies, so dat give yuh di sustenance on the song,” he added.

“It (Persistence) opened real doors, because VP decided dem want an album…we have a distribution deal with dem.   And from dat album come many great hits.  All bigh song outta Jamaica like ‘dem nuh want si wi strive’ [Bad Road] and Bright Days…,” he said. 

Norris Man said Persistence also enabled him to travel outside of Jamaica to Canada for the first time, along with Spanner banner and Ce’cile, and that it thrusted him into the limelight amongst the likes of the then-dominant Sizzla Kalonji and Anthony B.

“I don’t make many songs like they make, but the few that I do they set a great mark..,” he said.

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‘Flava’ McGregor Files Copyright Lawsuit Against VP Records Seeking At Least US$10 Million

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor is suing VP Records once again, this time for what he alleges is the company’s “blatant and purposeful” copyright infringement on seven songs, including tracks voiced by American singers Musiq Soulchild and Syleena Johnson and Jamaican artists Beres Hammond, Gyptian, Jah Cure, Duane Stephenson, and Elephant Man.

The Florida-based Jamaican producer, 42, who is representing himself in the action, is demanding a bench trial and over US$10 million in damages, profits, costs, and interest, according to court records obtained by DancehallMag.

The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. District Court in Florida last month by McGregor, Stephan Warren, and Rogier Sjardijn.

Also named as Defendants are VP’s publishing subsidiaries STB Music Inc. and Greensleeves Publishing and its executives Chris Chin, Randy Chin, and Patricia Chin.  

On Tuesday (March 21), McGregor and a representative for VP both declined DancehallMag’s requests for comment on the matter. 

In the complaint, the producer alleged that STB Music Inc had “fraudulently registered” Musiq Soulchild and Syleena Johnson’s Feel The Fire on his behalf and then claimed 50% of the composition.  According to the producer, Feel The Fire is controlled and owned by himself, Stephan Warren, Pop Reggae Publishing/McWarren Music Publishing, and Rogier Sjardijn.  

The song was the lead single on Soulchild and Johnson’s joint Reggae-Soul album 9ine, which was produced by McGregor in 2013.  Soulchild is known for songs such as Love, Halfcrazy, and Dontchange, while Syleena, who has released eight studio albums, is best known for All Falls Down with Kanye West

McGregor has also alleged that STB and Greensleeves Publishing have been claiming rights to exploit the following songs: Beres Hammond’s I Surrender Acoustic, Duane Stephenson and Gyptian’s Herbs Man, Elephant Man’s Wine It For Me, Gyptian’s Beauty and Let’s Have Some Fun, and Jah Cure and Gyptian’s More Thanks For Life.

According to him, these six songs are also controlled by himself and the co-plaintiffs, who neither assigned nor granted VP any right to exploit the compositions. 

McGregor said he had informed VP of their alleged infringement and continued collection of royalties on the songs, but, according to him, the company “wilfully” ignored his complaints.

“Defendants’ conduct is causing, and unless immediately enjoined will continue to case, enormous and irreparable harm to Plaintiff.  Defendants may not continue to exploit Plaintiff’s musical compositions without authorisation in order to collect profits from the performance revenues of said compositions to the public.  Defendants’ conduct must be immediately stopped and Plaintiffs must be compensated for Defendants’ wilful acts of infringement,” McGregor wrote in the complaint.

“Because VP Records and STB have wilfully infringed, and committed fraud, against the Plaintiffs’ copyrights, and have cost the Plaintiffs both financial and business-opportunity losses, the Plaintiffs seek $10 million in damages,” he continued.

The lawsuit marks the third legal dispute between McGregor and VP Records.

According to McGregor’s filing last month, it follows two settlement agreements, in 2014 and 2018, in which the companies paid McGregor more than US$450,000.

He noted that Soulchild and Johnson’s Feel The Fire was not subject to the two settlement agreements. 

Contrary to popular belief, McGregor is not related to Reggae legend Freddie McGregor

He is, however, one of Jamaica’s most prolific producers, having worked with Freddie, Etana, Nesbeth, Queen Ifrica, Richie Spice Lutan Fyah, Gramps Morgan, Richie Stephens, Marcia Griffiths, Glen Washington, Cocoa Tea, I-Wayne, Capleton, Sizzla, and Beenie Man, among many others.

Some of his biggest songs include Etana’s I Am Not Afraid, Gramps Morgan’s One In A Million, Queen Ifrica’s Daddy, Gyptian’s Mama Don’t Cry, and Richie Spice’s Gideon Boot and Di Plane Land.

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Kiprich’s Airbnb Burglary Suspect Arrested, Singer Recovers Rolex And Chain After Own Sleuth Work

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


Dancehall star KipRich is thanking his lucky stars after recovering his chain and US$25,000 Rolex on Thursday.

The police’s Corporate Communications Unit has confirmed that the man suspected of robbing entertainer KipRich has been arrested and remains in custody. The suspect will be transferred to the Greater Portmore Police Station in St Catherine where investigators will continue to probe the case.

The Telephone Ting deejay revealed that he collected his chain and Rolex at the Constant Spring Tax Office in St Andrew from a bus driver after following several leads.

He did not, however, recover the cash that was stolen.

The deejay credited the ‘street network’, fans and the police for the quick recovery of his cherished items.

“Mi never expect fi get back no money but from mi get back mi Rolex, plus mi chain and mi belt, mi good,” he said.

Over the weekend, the deejay had reported to the police that an Airbnb apartment that he was renting in Portmore had been burglarised by a lone thief who forced open a kitchen window and absconded with more than US$50,000 (approximately $7.6 million) in cash and other valuables.

Police theorized that the culprit gave the bus driver the items to hold for him.

On Sunday, the police confirmed that KipRich made a report to the Greater Portmore police station that his US$25,000 Rolex watch and a gold chain valuing more than US$12,000 were among several items stolen. Burberry sunglasses valued at US$450, and cash amounting to US$15,000 and CDN$300 (approximately $33,000) were also taken.

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Merciless’ Mausoleum Costs $3 Million, Gadafi Says

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


Harvel ‘Gadafi’ Hart eagerly awaits the day he returns to Jamaica to see the completed mausoleum for his friend, and business partner, Merciless, who was laid to rest in September last year.

According to Hart, Merciless’ family purchased a 16-acre property on which they built the mausoleum to house the deejay’s body.

“I am going to sit and have a drink with Leonard and have a drink with him. I am going to have it in the spirit,” he said.

Hart, who managed Merciless’s career for over two decades, revealed that the mausoleum cost over $3 million to design and construct. “Is pure marble inside it,” he added.


Hart said the family had invested over $6 million to buy the property in Four Paths, Clarendon.

“We plan to keep an annual memorial stage show for Merciless at this venue. The family is putting in concrete fencing around the venue to create a show ground where the annual memorial will be held,” he explained.

He said the pricey mausoleum is part of a larger legacy project to honour the memory of the Ole Gallis artist by creating an entertainment venue where the deejay’s loyal fanbase can visit his final resting place and regale his achievements and his successes.

Mourners carry the casket bearing the remains of Leonard ‘Merciless Bartley’ to its final resting place.

“The family has a plan to build bars and a stage area on the land, is 16 acres in all. Merciless had his savings with Mama Eckle. Merciless never got the energy from the industry, but in death, he was saving to make a statement, and his legacy will be there for other artists to see,” Hart said.

Merciless, whose real name was Leonard Bartley, was found unresponsive in a motel in Kingston on July 19 and later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Merciless, who hailed from Chapleton in Clarendon, exploded onto the Dancehall scene in 1994 with his hit song Len out Mi Mercy, which was initially voiced as a dubplate.

Stone Love boss Winston “Wee Pow” Powell, upon hearing Merciless deejay for the first time, immediately declared him a star, changed the Mavis artist’s moniker from Sugar Demus changed to Merciless.   At the time, Wee Pow and Bounty Killer were not on good terms, and so Merciless having a similar voice to Bounty, was seen as a plus for the Stone Love boss.

Len out Mi Mercy was a massive hit in Jamaica and it started Merciless’ prolific streak as songwriter and deejay.  The Clarendon native followed up with a string of other hits including MavisOle Gallis, Whaddup, Mama Cookin, Gizzada, Let Dem Have It, and God Alone with Little Hero and Action Fire.

Merciless also collaborated with Lady Saw for Baby Mother and Long Till It Bend.

He recorded three albums, including Mr. Merciless in 1994 and Len’ Out Mi Mercy in 1995.

In the late 1990s and 2000s, he engaged in several high-profile lyrical battles with fellow deejays Beenie Man, Ninjaman and Bounty Killer.

His most legendary clash occurred at Sting 2000 when he emerged victorious against Ninjaman, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, who tried to ambush him in a lyrical face-off at the Jamworld Entertainment Complex in Portmore, St. Catherine.

The mural at Merciless’ gravesite.

A controversial mural—depicting the Sting 2000 victory against the trio—was painted onto a wall at Merciless’ gravesite and was cited by Bounty Killer as one reason he did not attend the deejay’s funeral.

The family later removed the mural, which they said was the painter’s idea.

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Historic water conference opens at the UN

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

St. Kitts and Nevis is well represented at the Opening Ceremony of the highly-anticipated United Nations Water Conference. This is the first of its kind to be convened at the UN since 1977.

The Conference, which convened under the theme ” Our watershed moment: Uniting the world for water” brings together world leaders, diplomats, civil society organizations, and thought leaders on the critical matter of Water as a common denominator in the successful implementation of the SDGs, especially Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation. Today’s opening also coincides with World Water Day, which acknowledges that water is the essence of life and all efforts must be made to ensure its sustainable use.

The Conference is attended by Konris Maynard, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Energy and Utilities; Dr. Joyelle Clarke, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment; Nerys Dockery, Permanent Representative of St. Kitts and Nevis to the United Nations; Ghislaine Williams, Minister-Counsellor in the Permanent Mission of St. Kitts and Nevis to the United Nations; Auren Manners, Director of Public Sector Investment Planning; Ryan Phillip, Assistant Water Engineer in the Water Department; Denaula Laplace, Third Secretary and Lead Expert on Second Committee, Permanent Mission of St. Kitts and Nevis to the United Nations.

The delegation will participate in a packed schedule of interactive dialogues and side events around the themes, Water for Health; Water for Sustainable Development; Water for Climate, Resilience and Environment; Water for Cooperation and Water Action Decade.

Already, the Ministers have attended the high-level reception hosted by Tajikistan and the Netherlands; attended the High-level Breakfast Meeting for Small Island Developing States hosted by King Willem-Alexander of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and attended the Conference on ” Water as a Bridge to Innovation” hosted by the Economic Mission of Israel to the United States and Mekorot, Israel’s largest utility company.

“Addressing Water insecurity, scarcity, management and distribution is the vital imperative of our times. It is my hope that this Conference will allow us to share best practices to learn from each other as well as build networks for cooperation, partnership and concrete action on water,” said Konris Maynard, who heads the delegation.

Maynard is a panelist at the Side Event organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the theme “Global Water Analysis Laboratory Network”. The Minister will deliver the national statement during the Water Conference plenary later today.

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National Statistical Offices bolstered through Canada-funded project

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

National Statistical Office (NSO) representatives from Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States gathered in Barbados on March 20 and March 21 for the final Project Steering Committee meeting of the Canada-funded Project for the Regional Advancement of Statistics in the Caribbean (PRASC).

Launched in 2015, the CAD$19.5 million initiative, implemented by Statistics Canada, worked to build capacity of NSOs in 14 CARICOM countries and regional institutions to address statistical gaps to improve socio-economic measures and support evidence-based policy making in the Caribbean.

Specifically, the PRASC helped to enhance the Systems of National Accounts by ensuring adherence to international standards; to enhance economic statistics by working on a robust business survey infrastructure; to improve social statistics by incorporating sex-disaggregated socio-economic indicators into household surveys; and, to encourage statistical information and expertise sharing at national and regional levels.

Co-chaired by Global Affairs Canada, Statistics Canada and the CARICOM Secretariat, the two-day Project Steering Committee meeting allowed partners and stakeholders to present key activities and achievements from the eight-year project and to outline future priorities.

In her remarks, Executive Director of Canada’s Caribbean Regional Development Program Sharon Peake referenced the benefits of collaboration between Statistical Offices in the Caribbean to learn from each other post-PRASC. She shared, “This is exactly the sort of vision and proactive cooperation that is needed to ensure the sustainability of any project – especially like PRASC which has invested CAD$19 million into the region over the past eight years.”

Meeting participants included NSO representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago as well as the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Population Fund.

Regional Director of Statistics at the CARICOM Secretariat Halim Brizan noted, “PRASC has provided capacity building and technical assistance that have contributed to strategic drivers in the Regional Statistics Development Strategy.” Participating NSOs recognized the tangible benefits of PRASC to the region, referencing the extensive support Statistics Canada provided for development of their websites in an effort to bring data closer to citizens. They also noted that, through PRASC, they are now able to provide accurate, reliable and much needed data in a timelier manner. In some cases, results from surveys are made available within one month after data validation.

The PRASC, which formally concludes in September 2023, reflects a shared commitment by the Government Canada and CARICOM to advance gender equality and environmental sustainability in the Caribbean by enhancing social infrastructure and social services at the national level and regional levels.

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Republic Bank partners with Forestry Division to plant more than 120 trees in St Lucia

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
Members of Republic Bank’s staff planting trees at the Marquis Estate in Babonneau, St. Lucia.

Republic Bank (EC) Limited-St. Lucia partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries, Food Security and Rural Development, Forest and Land Resources Division to engage in a tree planting initiative earlier this month.

The tree planting exercise took place at the beautiful Marquis Estate located in Babonneau where approximately 120 trees were planted by Republic Bank staff.

According to Gezella Claxton – Senior Country Lead for Republic Bank St. Lucia Branches, “It was so heartwarming to see the large number of staff coming out to play their part and give back to the Helen of the West Indies.”

This initiative forms part of the Bank’s Power to Make a Difference (PMAD) program through building sustainable communities. It further demonstrates the Bank’s dedication to environmental conservation and showcases its strong commitment to its Environment Social Governance (ESG) framework and alignment with the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, Sustainable Development Goals and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Chris V. Sealys, Guide and Northern Range Officer, spearheaded the activities taking the opportunity to educate all those in attendance by providing them with key information concerning environmental preservation.

“We hope that by engaging corporate entities such as Republic Bank, we can not only help offset our carbon footprint but also educate and inspire others to follow suit,” said Sealys.

The Bank also donated equipment to the Forest and Lands Resources Division to ensure that they have the resources at their disposal.

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