Antigua and Barbuda cruise ship sector is bouncing back rapidly with several cruise ships coming to the island each day.
In January 2022 alone, 64 ships docked at one of seven berths with 50, 794 passengers visiting- the largest number of passengers to set foot on the the tiny Caribbean island.
A total of 2,039 passengers from Carnival Magic arrived on Jan. 19.
The arrival of Carnival Cruise line ships come as a surprise to the island since the company had earlier announced delays in getting back on the water, ranging from March 31 to mid November 2022.
Antigua and Barbuda even embraced the inaugural call of Carnival Legend of Carnival Cruise Line Australia, the third vessel of the Carnival fleet to call on Antigua for the year.
There was one day on Jan. 20 where the fifth berth was decorated with five ships.
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Chief Executive Officer, Colin James disclosed that “for the first three months of the year we have just about 176” cruise calls scheduled.
The twin-island’s cruise tourism sector was re-opened in July 2021 with luxurious “Star Breeze” with hundreds of fully vaccinated passengers.
It is now law in Barbados that a man can be charged with the rape of another man.
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) recently ruled in a majority decision that on the correct interpretation of Section 3(1) of the country’s Sexual Offences Act, men can be victims of rape.
Previously, the courts in Barbados had found that rape can only be committed by a male against a woman.
The case was brought by the Office of the Commissioner of Police of Barbados after a magistrate had dismissed a rape charge against Stephen Alleyne even before the preliminary inquiry had started.
Alleyne allegedly had intercourse with another man without his consent in August 2015, but the magistrate found Alleyne should have instead being charged with the offense of buggery.
Following the dismissal of the matter, it was appealed to the Court, where the ruling of the magistrate was upheld.
However, the Commissioner of Police appealed the matter to the Caribbean Court of Justice which is based in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
With the latest ruling, Alleyne’s case has now been remitted to the Magistrate’s Court for a preliminary hearing.
A Florida- based charter operator, Verijet, is planning to expand its service to include points in the Caribbean, the airline announced recently.
The company said service to the Caribbean will be available on a limited basis because of government restrictions and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Established in 2020 and operating a fleet of CIRRUS SF50 Vision jets, Verijet offers short-haul charter flights in the Southeast and parts of the Western US.
In the first year of business, the company completed more than 1,200 flights.
“We have seen tremendous adoption of our service on the East Coast with 51 percent repeat customers since launching in 2020 and we expect to see the same in the Caribbean market,” said Verijet chairman and CEO Richard Kane.
The government of the Commonwealth of Dominica has expressed concern about the situation along the Russian Federation-Ukraine border.
In a statement issued recently, Prime Minister Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit said the tensions between both nations need to be addressed.
“We believe that the issues relating to tensions between Russia and Ukraine need to be addressed through diplomatic efforts. “A military solution will not respond to the benefit of any nation,” he said.
The prime minister said the world cannot afford armed conflict during this period of global uncertainties which will result in adverse social and economic impacts and political strife.
“Dominica calls for a de-escalation dialogue to ease tensions and secure a non-violent resolution to the conflict and the charting of a path to peace for the safety and security of all,” Skerrit said.
The Guyana Government through the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), has begun the installation process of 1,000 free internet access hubs across five regions.
Dubbed The 1,000 Hubs Project, the initiative, which is a collaborative effort between the Industry and Innovation Unit at the OPM and the National Data Management Authority (NDMA), will result in thousands of people benefiting from free Wi-Fi.
The hubs will be outfitted with the 1,000 internet boxes (LTE/WI-FI CPE) presented to the government by Chinese multinational technology corporation, Huawei, in November last year.
During the recent presentation, Prime Minister Mark Phillips had said the donation will assist his government in its aim to bridge the digital divide in Guyana.
Residents of Region 6 were first to benefit from the initiative.
The government has been promoting ICT development in the budget that was presented last month
It was announced that Guy$1.3 billion will be allocated to support the rapid development of the ICT sector this year.
The Jamaica government is offering cash to get the illegal guns off the streets.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness recently announced a new “get every illegal gun” campaign with a reward system being put in place allowing for as much as half million dollars for illegal weapons.
Holness addressing a function at Olympic Gardens, south of the capital Kingston said that the initiative is part of his administration’s fight against crime and that as much as J$250, 000 and J$500,000 will be paid for illegal weapons.
The government recently announced plans for launching the new incentive-based campaign to reward people offering information leading to the seizure of illegal guns and the arrest and change of wanted people.
The National Crime Prevention Fund (NCPF), which operates Crime Stop already pays out for tips, but the National Security Council (NSC) agreed on the development of another robust national campaign against illegal guns and gangs.
Police Commissioner Major General Anthony Anderson said that since the start of the year, 88 illegal guns have been recovered, including 13 rifles, the largest haul in January since 2011.
Jamaica recorded 1,463 murders last year and has registered more than 112 murders so far for this year.
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)which is based in Port of Spain, Trinidad has been accepted into the prestigious International Consortium for Court Excellence (ICCE).
The CCJ is the first court in this region to be accepted into ICCE, which is an international network of courts and other organizations with expertise in court and judicial administrations, dedicated to ensuring high-quality service delivery.
In a news release issued recently, the CCJ stated it had joined the ranks of other long-established organizations such as the Supreme Court of Singapore and the National Center for States Courts of the United States that also belong to the (ICCE).
“To be accepted into the ICCE, organizations must demonstrate a commitment to excellence using an International Framework for Court Excellence (ICCE), a quality management system designed to help courts consistently improve their performance in seven core areas”, the statement said.
The release stated that under the leadership of the current CCJ President Justice Adrian Saunders, the system has now been fully incorporated into the CCJ’s administrative practices.
— Compiled by Azad Ali