Ricardo Blackman’s Caribbean Headlines News Nov. 29th

By Ricardo Blackman | CDN Barbados

Dateline Bridgetown, BARBADOS:

Regional petroleum company SOL’s US$100 million attempt to buy the state-owned oil terminal has been halted.  The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) has ruled against Simpson Oil Limited’s plans to acquire the Barbados National Terminal Company Ltd (BNTCL) stating the company would have to agree to some hefty restrictions.

Credit rating agency Moody’s is warning that Barbados remains on the wrong track.  More than six months after its last downgrade of the island’s rating, the New York-based entity has issued a new assessment asserting that Barbados’ credit profile has deteriorated.

Barbados tourism is getting a multi million dollar boost as result of a partnership with popular American television programme The Wendy Williams Show.  Director of the United States Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI), Petra Roach, said the partnership included seven days of pre-promotion, 20 days of promotion, plus all the online and social media activity associated with the show’s social media accounts which have over 5.5 million followers in total.

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has called on the government to go back to the drawing board with its Protection of Agricultural Products and Livestock Bill, 2017.  While saying she was in agreement with some aspects of the new legislation, Mottley said there was need to re-examine some “archaic” clauses that may serve to hamper small-scale vendors and farmers.   She took offence to pro visions in the Bill such as the registration of all farmers and vendors, arguing that “Every boy selling ackees, everyone selling nuts or coconuts in this country, whether in a cul-de-sac or at a roundabout, is being made to be a criminal if he does not register under this Act, where he may merely be looking for a way to support his family.”

Dateline Port of Spain, TRINIDAD:

Two lawyers have been charged with the possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.  They were arrested after being stopped in a roads block Sunday nite.  During a search, they were allegedly found with a marijuana cigarette and a bag containing marijuana.

Meanwhile, Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the release of a prisoner identified as Vicky Boodram from the Women’s Prison at Golden Grove, Arouca around 5.15 p.m. on Monday.  The probe was announced in a police statement issued late on Tuesday, almost a day after two police officers allegedly went to the Golden Grove Prison and took Boodram away to a “night court” that does not exist.  Boodram, 35, was on remand since March, 2016, after being denied trial on 175 fraud related charges.

Dateline Kingston, JAMAICA:

A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism and the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) to facilitate the training of people involved in the industry.  The training will be conducted at the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation over a three-month period and will provide the first intake of 50 students, with AHLEI world-class training and certification.

Dateline Georgetown, GUYANA:

Following severe criticism and protests, the Guyana government is removing the 14% Value Added Tax (VAT) on private educational institutions which it controversially imposed in the last Budget.  In presenting the 2018 Budget Monday, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan said the VAT will be removed, effective January 1st next year, in view of the representations made.”

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