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Volume No. 1 Issue No. 96 - March 02, 2007
The News in Brief from The News Desk

Roseau – February 28, 2007
Carib Council Member wants Carib Males to be Allowed More Than one Wife

Kent Auguiste of the Carib Council is calling for the Carib people to return to their traditional norms and culture including that of allowing Carib males to have more than one wife.

Auguiste made the appeal over national radio while calling for a return to the ‘holistic’ way of life for the indigenous people of Dominica. He said that this was simply “one link in a chain” to restoring the Carib Indians cultural heritage, calling it ‘an essential ingredient to Carib culture’.

The Carib indians have not practiced this form of cohabitation since the 1760’s when the first Christian missionaries appeared on the island. However, up to that point, it was widely practiced in Carib society under a system that allowed males to freely have as many wives as their choosing.

Auguiste admitted that his appealed would meet with resistance from the church and the population at large but appealed for public support. In his view, this would be an important step in the Carib Indians regaining their cultural past.

The Carib Council is headed by a chief and has responsibility for running the local affairs of those residing in the Carib territory.

Roseau – February 28, 2007
Dominica Records a Flu Outbreak

Health authorities in Dominica are reporting a flu outbreak on the island. According to Emanuel Prince of the Ministry of Health, the flu which is of the influenza type A virus was first noticed by health officials during the week of February 13, 2007.

Since that time, scores of patients have been treated at the outpatient clinic at the Princess Margaret Hospital. Most of the patients are young children who complain of fever and severe headaches. In one instance as many as 30 students and 4 teachers from one school were affected.

Although the Influenza A type virus can result in death, so far no one has died but health officials are warning everyone to be vigilant and to take precautions against catching the flu.

Roseau – February 27, 2007
Minister Reluctant to Allow Dominica to be Used as OECS Dumping Ground

Minister of economic development Julius Timothy was quoted as saying that he “had tremendous difficulty in allowing Dominica to be used as the disposal ground for OECS garbage”.

Timothy made the remarks at the opening of an EU-funded landfill in Fond Cole. According to Timothy, his government had received several proposals to use Dominica as a disposal point for garbage, which could then be converted to electricity.

Already, there was a proposal from the British and he was expecting a French delegation on the island shortly to discuss the issue. According to Timothy, “some have even suggested that we use Dominica for the treatment of all waste coming from the OECS.”

Timothy said that while his government was prepared to listen to the various proposals he had serious misgivings about allowing Dominica to be used as a dumping ground for OECS waste.

Roseau – February 27, 2007
Prime Minister Skeritt Defends Government’s Position on the ALBA Agreement

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skeritt has denied that his government is favoring Venezuela over the United States with respect to its free trade agreement.

Recent press reports indicated that Skeritt was supporting the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA), a free trade agreement promoted by Hugo Chavez to rival the US promoted Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA).

Skeritt was reported as saying that he was impressed with the ALBA initiative’s promotion of social benefits for poorer nations, which was absent in the FTAA. He however argued that his government was not leaning one way or the other but was rather interested in getting the best for the country.

He went on to say that “the US government needs to be more responsive and more engaging with its Caribbean neighbors.”

Cuba and Venezuela first signed the ALBA agreement in December 2004 with the aim of deepening their already close relationship. The agreement eliminates tariff and import duties and promotes investment as well as technical and educational cooperation between signatories.

The ALBA is a project that Venezuela has proposed as an alternative to the US-sponsored Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Instead of pursuing free trade, this agreement’s main principles are solidarity, reciprocity, respect for differences, and full integration.

Roseau – February 27, 2007
Dominica Secures Five Gold and Five Silver Medals in Regional Competition

Dominican athletes came away with ten medals, five gold and five silver in a regional competition held in Barbados over the weekend.

There were gold medals in the Discuss, 100 meters , Long Jump, Shot Put and 400 meters. Silver was secured in the Javelin, High Jump, Hurdles and Long Jump and Discuss.

Washington – February 26, 2007
Dominica to Benefit From a Caribbean Risk Insurance Facility

The World Bank in collaboration with Caribbean governments has set up a Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) to provide compensation to the countries in the event of hurricanes and earthquakes.

Member governments are expected to pay annual premiums of US $1 million in exchange for coverage of up to US $30 million.

Today in Washington, the World Bank launched an appeal for donor support for the facility to complement members’ premiums. So far 17 Caribbean countries have signed up to participate including Dominica.

The facility will be based in the Cayman Islands and will be able to rapidly disburse funds in the event of either an earthquake or hurricane affecting the countries.

Roseau – February 26, 2007
US $ 9 Million Land Fill Facility Opens

A new EU funded land fill will be opened today at Fond Cole. The land fill replaces one previously located in Stock Farm and will serve the entire island.

The facility cost about US $ 9 million and was fully funded by the European Union. Meanwhile a separate facility to handle hazardous medical waste was set up at the Princess Margaret Hospital.

Roseau – February 22, 2007
Six Haitian Nationals Repatriated from Antigua

Antiguan authorities on Thursday repatriated six Haitian nationals to Dominica. The six were traveling from Dominica to St. Maarteen when their small boat capsized outside of Antigua. They were subsequently rescued by the Antigua coastguard and returned to Dominica by air.

The Dominican authorities reported that the six, which included five men and one woman spent time in Dominica ranging from seventeen months to three years. They each paid US $1 000 to a Dominican boat owner to make the trip to St. Maarteen.

In July 2005 the government of St. Maarteen requested urgent talks with the Dominica government after the interception of several boats loaded with Haitian migrants coming from Dominica. In one case, human smuggling charges were brought against a local boat captain and crew after the St. Maarteen coast guard intercepted the boat crammed with 40 Haitians. Two of the passengers also died.

St Maarteen – February 22, 2007
Hucksters to be Denied Entry into St. Maarteen for Failing to Comply with Packaging Regulations

The government of St. Maarteen is reporting that entry will be denied to Dominican hucksters who fail to comply with packaging regulations.

Since 2001, the St. Maarteen authorities made the request but these were never observed. They have now indicated that unless the regulations are adhered to the hucksters will not be allowed to sell produce in the country.

Several Dominican hucksters ply an almost daily trade between Dominica and St. Maarteen bringing mainly fresh produce and fruit to that country.

Roseau – February 22, 2007
Visa Free Entry into Guadeloupe from March 1, 2007

Dominicans traveling to the French Islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe for less than 15 days will now no longer require a French visa starting on March 1, 2007.

According to Dominica’s foreign minister Charles Severin, all other conditions for entry into the islands apply including obtaining health insurance, having a letter of invitation from a French resident and obtaining a certificate from the Mayor.

This is the first time that visa restrictions have been lifted on Dominican residents since they were imposed in the early 1970s.

Roseau – February 17, 2007
No Four in a Row - De Hunter is Crowned Calypso Monarch

De Hunter made a suberp comeback in winning the coveted crown of calypso monarch 2007, and denying De Dice four in a row. Hunter kept away powerful challenges from Sandy, Daddy Chess and Dice who came second, third and fourth respectively to win the crown in front of a sold out crowd at carnival city in Roseau.

For the thousands of Dominicans gathered to view the performances, it was indeed a memorable performance as Hunter trotted and appealed to the crowd with two powerful renditions.

Many in the crowd were dizzy with exitement and anticipation as they witnessed calypso history being rewritten before their eyes. Hunter’s powerful combination proved too much for even the credible and memorable performances of three-time king Dice, Sandy and Daddy Chess.

De Hunter, a police officer, started singing in 1992 and has been to the calypso finals 13 times winning the coveted crown three times during that period. He has also released a number of calypso and soca albums.

It was one of those nights that will long be remembered in the storied history of Dominican calypso.

Roseau – February 17, 2007
Leandra Lander is Crowned Miss Dominica 2007

Leandra Lander was crowned Miss Dominica 2007 at the annual carnival beauty pageant held in the Nation’s capital.

Leandra, a teacher at the convent high school won from a field of seven ladies. First runner up was Sonilia Laville followed by Narrissa Brown.

In addition to winning the prestigious crown, Leandra won most of the individual prizes including Best in Costume, Best Talent, Best Swimwear, Best in Evening Wear and Miss Intelligence.

Sonilia Laville captured Best Costume and Best Evening Wear.

Roseau – February 16, 2007
Dominica to Accept Oil refinery from Venezuela

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skeritt has announced that his government will accept the offer for the construction of an oil refinery from the Venezuelans.

Skeritt made the announcement while speaking at a ceremony to welcome President Hugo Chavez to Dominica. He said that the oil refinery would be built while recognizing that the Dominica government continues to be eco-friendly.

St Joseph – February 15, 2007
Accident Leaves Two Dead and Several Others Seriously Injured

Two men have died following a road accident in St. Joseph. The two men were stopped at the roadside when an oncoming vehicle lost control and slammed into the two. Initial reports indicated that the two were father and son from the Serrant family in that village.

Several passengers in the other vehicle suffered none life threatening injuries. These were the first recorded deaths on the Dominica roads for 2007.

St Joseph – February 15, 2007
Lady Tarina Beats Twenty Calypsonians to Win Stardom Tent

Lady Tarina beat out a strong field of twenty to win the crown in the Stardom Calypso Tent competition held last night. Daddy Chess placed second followed by Hunter.

Tarina’s success sets the stage for a calypso finals showdown scheduled for Saturday, February 17. Tarina was the first runner-up in last year’s competition.
Official Carnival Website

Roseau – February 14, 2007
Romanus ‘Rome’ Bannis Former MP for Castle Bruce Dies

Former Member of Parliament for the Castle Bruce constituency, Romanus Bannis died today at a local hospital after a short illness.

Bannis first served as a Dominica Labor Party representative from 1970 to 1980, then came back to serve two terms as the candidate for the United Workers Party from 1990 to 2000. He was replaced in 2000 by his niece Loraine Bannis.

Roseau – February 13, 2007
The Dominica Freedom Party Calls for Government to Come Clean on the US $400 000 Financing of the 2005 General Elections

Chairman of the reorganization committee of the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP), Michael Astaphan is calling on the Roosevelt Skeritt government to come clean on its financing of the 2005 general elections.

At issue is the sourcing of over US $400 000 received by the Dominica Labor Party (DLP) to finance the elections, including for the payment of travel tickets to overseas Dominicans.

Astaphan was quoted as saying that “the Prime Minister owes an explanation to the Dominican people as to where the money came from and to say if it was from the sale of Dominican passports.”

According to Astaphan, if the money came from the sale of passports then it belonged in government’s consolidated funds and should not have been used for the funding of the party’s election campaign.

The issue surfaced during the election campaign and the Prime Minister was famously quoted as saying that it was “none of people’s damn business where he got the money.”

In December, the same question was raised by the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) during a sitting of Parliament, but the members were thrown out of the House before the Prime Minister could respond.

The circumstances under which they were thrown out is now before the high courts after the UWP leader Earl Williams filed suit against the House Speaker and Attorney General Ian Douglas.

At the time of the incident, the Prime Minister indicated that he was prepared to answer the question. Astaphan in prepared statements to the press said that there was no need for the Prime Minister to wait for a sitting of Parliament to answer the question but rather owed the Dominican public an immediate and complete explanation.

St Vincent – February 13, 2007
Incoming CARICOM Chairman Calls for Compensation and Apology for Slavery from the Europeans

Prime Minister of St Vincent Ralph Gonzalves has called for CARICOM to press the case for an apology and compensation from the European nations for the years of slavery to which Caribbean countries were subjugated.

The incoming Chairman of CARICOM said that it was time to “demand wholesome righting of this ignoble wrong.” He has proposed that CARICOM engage the European Nations on this critical issue with a view to paying compensation and apologizing for subjugating millions of Africans to firstly the slave trade and to the inhumane conditions experienced once they arrived in the islands.

Roseau – February 13, 2007
Dominica Calypso Association Bans Q-95 from Carrying Calypso Finals

Q-95 radio personality Roy Proctor has reported that the Dominica Calypso Association (DCA) has banned the radio station from carrying the finals of the 2007 calypso monarch competition, scheduled for February 17.

Proctor said the move by the DCA was in retaliation for his airing of a radio show that was critical of the judging of the semi-finals of the monarch competition.

The DCA alleges that Proctor encouraged patrons to boycott the finals of the event to register their displeasure. A charge he denies.

The DCA could not be reached for comment.

Roseau – February 12, 2007
Conservationist Urges Government to Seek Renewable Energy Alternatives

President of the Caribbean Conservative Association, Athie Martin has called on the Skeritt government to use the upcoming meeting with President Chavez to discuss the development of renewable energy on Dominica.

President Chavez is scheduled to arrive in Dominica on Friday, February 16, and among other matters will be discussing the opening of an oil refinery on the island. Martin is of the view that an oil refinery is contrary to Dominica’s stance as a Nature island and called on government to instead engage the Venezuelan president in funding renewable energy alternatives for Dominica.

According to the conservationist, Dominica should be focusing on becoming the green island of the world and as such there should be no place for an oil refinery.

Roseau – February 12, 2007
Festival Commission President Calls for Stiffer Penalties

Val Cuffy, Chairman of the Dominica Festivals Commission is calling on the authorities to impose stiffer penalties on persons who throw objects during the hosting of carnival activities.

His comments come following an incident in which patrons at a junior Queen competition threw stones and other objects unto the stage to protest the judges’ decision.

Cuffy also appealed to the public to respect the decision of the judges and to refrain from jeopardizing the events.

Tallahassee – February 11, 2007
Dominican Builds a Trike in his Backyard Garage

Joseph Robinson, A Dominican residing in Tallahassee has built a Trike in his backyard that has won him praise throughout the Florida area.

Robinson is a refrigeration service technician in real life and all-around mechanical genius in his spare time. The trike took a year to complete and according to Robinson, "It was all by hand, it was all in my head."

He cut the front end off of a Volkswagen and welded the rear end to an FCR 1000 Yamaha motorcycle front end. He outfitted the 1600 cc VW engine in chrome and aluminum, with sporty pipes. The burnt orange coat sparkles in the sunshine. The vehicle is capable of 100 mph. It shifts with the typical VW stick, which sits between the driver‚s legs.

He matched Harley hand grips and calipers to handmade handlebars. He built the fenders of metal and fiberglass. He mounted a steel luggage carrier behind the seats.
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Read more of the EARLIER NEWS IN Brief

Comments about this article? Email:
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Volume No. 1 Issue No. 93
The Chinese are Coming
Alarmed at Chinese Migration
Chinese- Need a Strategy
Dominican builds Trike
The Dame's inheritance

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