Ricardo Blackman’s Caribbean Headlines News Dec. 29th

By Ricardo Blackman | CDN Barbados

Dateline Bridgetown, BARBADOS:

The business community is painting the Freundel Stuart administration as a virtual failure with no achievements at all of which to boast this year.  Pointing to the ongoing economic struggles and the more than year-long problems with sewage on the south coast, a clearly frustrated Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA), Charles Herbert, seemed puzzled as to why recommended measures to drag the economy from the brink had not been implemented.  “Northing was achieved.  Not one thing.  None of the recommendations have been implemented.  Nothing was achieved” Herbert told Barbados Today in a frank comment on government’s performance in 2017.

For the second time in as many days, the Freundel Stuart administration has made a key government appointment.  One day after the Prime Minister revealed that Justice Sandra Mason is to be elevated to the position of Governor General on January 8th, Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler announced that Acting Governor of the Central Bank, Cleviston Haynes will formally be confirmed in the role on January 1.

Massy Stores is spending thousands of dollars every week to ensure the health and safety of customers and won’t be closing the supermarket at Worthing, Christ Church.  Managing Director Randall Banfield acknowledged the problems with the south coast sewage had become a national crisis, but said there were hundreds of people working every day to mitigate the effects.

Meanwhile, community activist, Adrian Donovan, is calling on the Ministry of Health to immediately order the temporary closure of fast food outlets, restaurant and guest accommodations directly affected by the worsening sewage crisis on the south coast.

Dateline Kingston, JAMAICA:

While some Jamaicans worry about their safety amidst reports of police operations being hampered by the ongoing “sick out” of a significant number  of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) members, it remains unclear whether Prime Minister Andrew Holness will yield to the Jamaica Police Federation’s call for a meeting to iron out its wage issue with the finance ministry.

Wisynco Group Ltd made history yesterday as it listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE)  with $6.17 billion in equity, the single largest amount secured from investors in Jamaica through an initial public offering (IPO).

Dateline Port of Spain, TRINIDAD:

Senior counsel Israel Khan says he suspects a plan is afoot to let Chief Justice Ivor Archie off the hook without an investigation.  In a release, Khan said the three most senior judges of both the Court of Appeal and First Instance Branch should form a delegation and seek an audience with Archie to demand he publicly refutes all the scandalous allegations against him which are in the public domain.

Dateline Basseterre, ST. KITTS:

The devastating hurricanes, Irma and Maria derailed record growth by the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).  According to Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Governor, Timothy Antoine, before the Category 5 hurricanes hit, the ECCU was on pace to record its fastest growth in a decade.

Dateline Nassau, THE BAHAMAS:

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman and former foreign minister, Fred Mitchell, has labeled former Baha Mar developer Sarkis Izmirlian’s lawsuit against China Construction America (CCA) as “an act of revenge calculated to injure The Bahamas and its reputation and to cast aspersions on the PLP.

Dateline Washington D.C. USA:

More than $500 million has been recouped by tax authorities worldwide after the Panama Papers documents leak, first revealed in April, 2016.  Spain alone collected $122 million after investigations into the affairs of tax residents who had stockpiled money offshore.

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