Raonic ousts Federer

PARIS (AP) – Milos Raonic perfectly timed his maiden win over Roger Federer.

The seventh-seeded Raonic, who had never beaten the 17-Grand Slam champion in six previous meetings, hit 21 aces and lost only 15 points on his serve to complete a 7-6 (5), 7-5 win to reach the semi-finals of the Paris Masters today.

It was a must-win match for the big-serving Canadian, who kept alive his chances of qualifying for the ATP Finals. He will be guaranteed a birth in London if he wins the title in Paris or David Ferrer loses to Kei Nishikori.

“Considering all the circumstances around it, I think this was the biggest win for me,” said the 23-year-old Raonic.

The Wimbledon semi-finalist brutally ended Federer’s 14-match winning streak, but the Swiss has still a chance to overtake the top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the race for the year-end No. 1 spot.

Federer, who arrived in Paris on the back of consecutive titles in Shanghai and Basel, only had a few openings against Raonic. He created his sole break point in the tenth game of the second set but the Canadian saved it with an ace.

Earlier, Tomas Berdych sealed his spot at the finals – where he will be playing for the fifth straight year – after rallying to beat Kevin Anderson.

The fifth-seeded Czech came out on top of a tight match and won 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4 to extend his unbeaten record against the South African to 12-0. | 01-Nov-2014 00:09

‘NIFCA chefs’ to battle

Since the Culinary Arts are set to take centre stage this year, the National Cultural Foundation is building some hype with a light friendly competition among some ‘NIFCA Chefs’.

This includes people who have previously entered and were awarded in the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) Culinary Arts competition, or have either worked as judges or consultants to the competition.

The NIFCA Chefs promotion is set to take place at Massy Stores SuperCentre Warrens tomorrow.

To encourage public interaction, there will be a People’s Choice element with a prize offered for the favourite dish voted by shoppers.  

There will also be a light-hearted Battle of the Menus. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. you can watch these chefs create culinary delights as well as sample and vote for your favourite dish.

One of the entrants in the Mixologists’ competition will be on hand to quench your thirst with his signature drink. (NS) | 31-Oct-2014 23:35

High costs to do business cause Barbados to lose out

THE HIGH COST and other factors associated with doing business in Barbados are causing the island to lose out on the establishment of some companies.

This charge was made today by prominent economist, Sir Frank Alleyne, chairman of the Economic Policy Advisors Committee.

Sir Frank said because of these issues, people were opting to set up businesses in other countries in the sub-region and manage them from Barbados.

He listed among the problems: the slow decision-making by the public sector bureaucracy and the slow working of the court system, which was “characterised by frequent adjournments and inordinate delays in the issue of final decisions”.

Sir Frank’s address was part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ 8th Annual Lecture Seminar Series, at the ministry’s Warrens, St Michael home. (TY) | 31-Oct-2014 22:30

British actors honoured

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – There was a bit of a British invasion at the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel, as BAFTA Los Angeles hosted its annual Britannia Awards, honouring film and television talent from both sides of the pond, including director Mike Leigh and actors Dame Judi Dench, Emma Watson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Robert Downey Jr.

But most of the attendees Thursday night were Brits – no surprise, given the party was thrown by the L.A. branch of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Downey received the Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film, named after the legendary director of such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey.

“(The award) means a heck of a lot to me,” said Downey. “I love British filmmakers, and they have such a great talent pool.”

Oscar-winning actress Dench was honoured with Albert R. (Cubby) Broccoli Award for Worldwide Contribution in Entertainment, named after one of the original producers of the James Bond films.

Noted Dench, “Well, I’m rather overwhelmed by (the award), because I didn’t ever expect to have a film career at all. I never knew Cubby Broccoli, although I know, of course, (Albert’s daughter) Barbara Broccoli and (Barbara’s half-brother and Bond-series producer) Michael Wilson very well. And I’ve had 17 years of doing Bond, which has been just wonderful. So, I’m very, very proud that I shall have something that is named after Cubby.”

Dench and fellow honouree Watson posed together for photographers on the arrivals line.

Watson, named Britannia British Artist of the Year, said Dench is “just all soul and all grace and strength and beauty, and she really, for me, she’s an iconic British actor. She’s what you aspire to be”.

The 79-year-old Dench is currently on a box-office roll, with her 2012 releases The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Skyfall and her Oscar-nominated 2013 Philomena all boasting worldwide grosses of more than $100 million each. Dench’s next film is the sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, hitting cinemas in February.

Dench said, “People like to say, ‘When are you retiring?’ Or ‘When are you going to slow down?’ That’s all very rude in my family. We don’t say any of that. I think if I stop, it’ll be like a car: I shall run out of petrol and fall over. So, I plan not to that, if possible.” | 31-Oct-2014 21:11

Rodney Wilkinson gets bail

BUSINESSMAN RODNEY WILKINSON has finally secured bail, three weeks after High Court Judge Maureen Crane-Scott said he could go home conditionally until his case was heard.

Wilkinson, the 57-year-old owner of Executive Rentals Inc., who is facing 67 fraud charges totalling $4 million, was able to secure two sureties today who were prepared to put up $1.5 million so that the former chief executive officer of the controversial former GEMS Hotels could be released from Dodds Prison where he was remanded late last month.

Wilkinson is expected to return to court in January next year. (GE)

 | 31-Oct-2014 20:03

Alleyne family says thank you

THE CHILDREN OF ARTHUR ALLEYNE today expressed thanks to everyone who assisted in the search for their father and stepmother Sharon Went-Alleyne.

The pair went missing on Saturday during a routine sail from St Lucia to Barbados and a search was launched by marine authorities in St Lucia, Martinique and Barbados. After some anxious days, the couple made it safely back to St Lucia, but the yacht Serenity suffered major damage.

“The amount of support, kind words, prayer and active searching that was given has been overwhelming. We are indebted to each and every person who took it upon themselves, throughout the islands, to help us during this difficult time,” children Nicola, Arianne, Damian and Tao said in a joint statement.

“It has proven, once again, that there are many truly good people in this world. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”

The children launched an appeal on social media for anyone in the surrounding islands with access to boats, light aircraft or helicopters to join in the search as the yacht might have been drifting.

In an interview with THE DAILY NATION on Wednesday, Alleyne said they were 20 miles off Barbados when a storm struck. They drifted more than 500 miles in five days before the tide pushed them towards Soufriere where they were towed them to safety. (SAT) | 31-Oct-2014 19:46

Lenford Levy dies

THE REGIONAL ATHLETICS fraternity is mourning the loss of one of its own.

Jamaican Lenford G. Levy, director of the Regional Development Centre (RDC) in Puerto Rico, passed away on Wednesday.

According to a release from the RDC, Levy “trained hundreds of athletes and developed courses and seminars that reached more than 2 000 coaches, technical officials and sports administrators. Today, his influence in the Development programme had helped to educate many successful sports professionals. We will certainly miss him in the regional and International Track and Field Scene”.

The British Virgin Islands Athletics Association also expressed sadness at Levy’s passing. He served as a Sports Officer there and helped measure and mark the College Classic Series Course in 1996.
NACAC president Victor Lopez is quoted as saying: “It is a great loss to athletics.

“Levy has been a special friend and someone who has made a great contribution to track and field in the NACAC area. It’s a very sad moment for us and on behalf of NACAC and the IAAF, we extend condolences to his family.”

Barbados’ World Junior long jump champion Akela Jones also shared her thought on Levy on her facebook page earlier this week.

Jones first met Levy at a high jump clinic at the centre in San Juan and was impressed with that he knew several languages.

“This guy has been a mentor, a dad, a man to give opportunities and create pathways for upcoming athletes in the Caribbean! I’m truly inspired by his work and will pass it on to future generations! I know you’ve gone to a better place but you live on as a hero in my heart!” Jones wrote.

President Michael Bascombe also expressed condolences of behalf of the newly formed Caribbean Sports Journalists’ Association (CASJA).

“Levy is a familiar face at track and field; he’ll be greatly missed for his exuberance for excellence on and off the field,” said Bascombe.

“CASJA has forged a unique relationship with the RDC, including the hosting of a regional seminar in San Juan in 2015. We join the athletics fraternity in extending condolences to the Levy family and friends.” (Compiled by Sherrylyn A. Toppin)

 | 31-Oct-2014 19:07

James Brown exhibition opens

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) – Shoes, boots, costumes and even a hair dryer are on display as part of an exhibit examining the influence of singer James Brown at South Carolina State University.

The exhibit about the performer known as the Godfather of Soul opens today and continues through July 2015 at the university in Orangeburg.

Brown was born in Barnwell and died on Christmas Day, 2006 at age 73.

The director of the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium, Ellen Zisholtz, tells The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg that Brown had a tremendous influence on popular music and also stood for black pride and social justice.

The exhibit opening this evening includes a reception featuring James Brown’s band. | 31-Oct-2014 18:38

Part 1: Whither West Indies cricket?

The following is the first in a four-part series by Philip Nicholls, an attorney-at-law and former Barbados Cricket Association secretary and former president of the Pickwick Cricket Club.

WHEN I JOINED the board of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), I was star-struck at the sporting immortals with whom I came into contact day by day.  Like most West Indian boys, I had dreamt of that one day I would wear that maroon crest, an unrealistic dream my contemporaries would say and one that is clearly the province of a few as less than a 1000 have had that honour on over 80 years of endeavor.

The opportunity to serve on the board that was afforded to me by the then President of the BCA Captain Peter Short was one that I could hardly ignore and the resulting 17 years between 1988 and 2005 has left me with many happy memories from the friendships  that I have forged. It is therefore with a sense of profound sadness that as the carnage that is now West Indies cricket gets worse, I feel compelled to make public my two cents’ worth. I could not imagine during those 17 years that I would prefer to attend at any sports bar to watch the English Premier League football because of disenchantment at the status of West Indies cricket.

Let me say at the outset that I hold no brief either for the players recently on tour in India, the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) or the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). However, it was with amazement that I watched and listened as events unfolded during the recent fourth ODI between India and West Indies, as the players of the West Indies team announced that they were withdrawing their services. After all this was not a fete match gone sour because the food hadn’t arrived or the rum had gone missing. This was an international sanctioned game as part of a tour that many people would break up their night rest to watch.

To me as one who never came close it was beyond belief that men, some of whom many would argue are lucky to be playing for the West Indies, and one or two of whom are nearly if not already millionaires having been born at a time that their cricketing career coincides with the riches on offer at the IPL, were prepared to tell the world in the  Barbadian parlance that  they ‘done wid dat’ because they felt a big foot move by their ‘union’ took away what rumour has it they had no right to but were getting nevertheless.

When one thinks that Brian Lara, Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Courtney Walsh, Sir Curtly Ambrose Jeffrey Dujon, Desmond Haynes,  Gordon Greenidge and  Sir Vivian Richards of recent vintage, all of whom would walk into this team never came close to the present day earnings that players make the mind boggles. Not to mention, Sir Garry Sobers, Sir Wes Hall or Sir Everton Weekes, as certainly in the case of the latter three, the per diem that today’s players now receive even on these short tours simply for getting out of bed adds up to more than was paid (a term I use loosely) to these giants of the sport for a tour that on average lasted four months and involved far more playing days than today’s tours. 

For today’s players to disrespect the legacy that these great men and others have left West Indies cricket on the premise that you are being hard done by because of the loss of sponsorship money that is being redistributed to the next generation of cricketers really takes the proverbial cake. Yes times have changed and professionalism is the buzzword but to whom much is given much is expected especially the dispute is not with your employer but with your rep - in other words an internal one.

Can the players who left India, if reports be believed, because their conditions of service were so terrible that they were suffering so much stress clarify this? After all, they were being well paid to play cricket in a country and in so doing staying in hotels offering opulence that 99 per cent of Caribbean people would never see, far less experience, a country where their every whim was facilitated, where they were revered by all and where in addition to their salary and earnings from their wins they were already earning more per annum than any prime minister in the West Indies does.

The reality of the situation however loud and vociferous is the invective hurled at the WICB and WIPA by the players and the accusations from the Indian cricket authorities that the WICB was fully responsible for the withdrawal of the team, is that the players in India went on strike against their employer because they had a beef with their union or bargaining representative with respect to the reallocation of their share of the sponsorship money the board receives.

I am unsure if WIPA is a recognised trade union, but whether it is or not it has fought for, demanded and is now recognised by the WICB after many salvoes from its former leader, Dinanath Ramnarine, as the bargaining agent for first-class players in the West Indies, expanded recently to now to include the women’s team presently on tour of Australia.

Now who exactly WIPA represents is an interesting question as can be seen by the fall out now inevitably happening once the 15 are not subjected to the bullying culture that Kevin Piertersen describes was in existence in the England dressing room and which is part and parcel of all teams to be honest.

These recent revelations make one ask whether the players thought through the consequences of their actions and more pertinently did individuals seek personal professional advice as no group of 15 can be similarly affected by a supposedly collective decision? Has the wider John Public (other than those who use social media sites to spend all their time bashing the WICB) appreciated the consequences of the players’ actions? It appears not if one is to judge from comments being made in the public. Maybe now that reality has set as to the seriousness of their action in a truer picture of what exactly went on leading to the decision amongst those in India will emerge. | 31-Oct-2014 18:00

Two-year-ban for Smikle

MONACO (AP) – Jamaican discus thrower Traves Smikle has received a two-year suspension for doping.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) says Smikle’s ban will last until June 21, 2015.

The sanction began from the date of his positive test for a banned substance at the Jamaican national championships on June 22, 2013.

Smikle said at the time that he did not knowingly or wittingly take any banned substance.

Smikle, who competed at the 2012 London Olympics, was one of several athletes who tested positive at last year’s Jamaican championships, along with sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson.

Powell and Simpson had their 18-month bans reduced to six months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Smikle’s suspension was among those included on the IAAF’s latest list of doping sanctions released this week. | 31-Oct-2014 17:19

TT Olympic champ gets house

KESHORN Walcott was yesterday given a five-bedroom house “fit for a champion” along with 20 000 square feet of “picturesque” land in Cumana, Toco by the State for his gold medal-winning performance at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.

Walcott intends to move into his home sometime before Christmas, once he gets furniture, and has decided to give the land to his parents.

On August 11, 2012 Walcott won the Olympic javelin gold medal with a throw of 84.58 metres.

On August 13, he returned to this country and was feted for his feat.

Among the goodies presented to Walcott by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar upon his return was a house in the upscale community of Federation Park valued at $2.5 million as well as the promise of land in Toco.

The home in Federation Park, however, proved to be ill-suited for Walcott.

He was yesterday instead given a TT $2.67 million home from the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) located at 46-47 Astoria Avenue, East Grove, Valsayn.

Walcott’s home is two standard HDC single family unit homes which have been converted into one.

Walcott’s two-storey home consists of 3 250 square feet on the ground floor and 1,500 square feet on the first floor.

It has five bedrooms, four bathrooms and a yard, but no fence.

The yard is one of the key elements that prompted Walcott to choose this property over the one at Federation Park.

“I think it (choosing East Grove, Valsayn) was the best agreement I made, it is more fitting for me knowing that the space into the back, knowing I can do exercises, I can train if I choose not to go to the stadium on a lazy day so I am thankful for this,” Walcott said.

It is also somewhat reminiscent of Toco, he said.

“I am not really the type to live in enclosed areas, when this (the option of the East Valsayn house) came up I kind of ran with this one. As you can see it was a better idea for me, I don’t know, most people might think different, but I think it was a great decision,” he said.

Walcott said he would move into his East Valsayn home as “soon as I get furniture”.

One change Walcott said he intends make to the landscape of his new home is the planting of trees, including a “mango tree to keep practicing”.

In a simple ceremony held at the site, Walcott signed the deeds for his new East Valsayn home as well as his land in Toco.

Persad-Bissessar who delivered the feature address said she was gratified that the government could honour Walcott for his accomplishments.

She described Walcott’s new home as one “fit for a champion”. (Trinidad Express/SAT)

 | 31-Oct-2014 17:17

Maine wants Hickox quarantined

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) – Maine health officials have asked a court to limit the movements of nurse Kaci Hickox, who defied a voluntary quarantine for medical workers who have treated Ebola patients.

Officials filed documents Thursday, following through with a threat to try to isolate her.

A judge has issued a temporary order until a ruling expected Friday. For now, police are monitoring Hickox and her public interactions but cannot detain her.

The quarantine attempt is shaping up as the nation’s biggest test case yet in the struggle to balance public health and fear of Ebola against personal freedom.

Hickox, who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, says confinement violates her rights. She says that she has no symptoms and poses no risk to the public. | 31-Oct-2014 16:03

Jamaica pick 135 for CAC Games

THE JAMAICA OLYMPIC Association (JOA) yesterday announced a delegation numbering 135 athletes and 40 officials for the 22nd Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Games to be held in Veracruz, Mexico from November 14 to 30.

Though lacking the star power of more prestigious Games, officials from the JOA noted the CAC Games’ contribution to youth development, in addition to its importance in providing opportunities for fringe athletes.

Jamaica will compete in 14 sporting disciplines. They are track and field; men’s football; men’s and women’s badminton; men’s and women’s basketball; cycling; fencing; men’s and women’s hockey; women’s rugby; men’s and women’s squash; men’s and women’s table tennis; taekwando; triathlon; tennis; and beach volleyball.

President of the JOA Michael Fennell said Jamaica have “deep interest in the success” of the CAC Games especially since the country hosted it in 1962 at the National Stadium.

The overall expense of the 2014 CAC Games will be covered through the combined efforts of the Central Government of Mexico as well as the city and state of Veracruz. A total of 31 countries are set to participate.

Mexico have staged the Games on three previous occasions, however this will be the first time it will be held outside of Mexico City.

Guyana also announced that nine athletes would represent that country. (Jamaica Observer/Stabroek News) | 31-Oct-2014 16:02

STREET BEAT: Water pressure

Flooding is a problem well known in Barbados.

In fact, earlier this week some areas felt the effects of heavy rains.

In some areas, only a few minutes of rain will result in waist-high water and one such area is Sion Hill, St James. However, this apparently was not always the case.

“It’s really horrible,” said Janice Lynch, who told tales of water raging through her home.

The proprietor of Sobers Bar and Restaurant agreed. She said the water used to go down Kellman Gully but construction over the years had diverted the water on to the road. She spoke of drivers mounting the pavement to avoid the deep waters and pedestrians unable to pass at all.

“That road needs raising or something but I don’t know what else they need to do, I will leave that to the big heads. Drainage came here when it was dry and they don’t want to hear from no one,” she said.

Lynch said the flood waters often broke into her home, which caused her daughter to leave. She said the water broke down anything in its way and even threatened to wash away vehicles.

“The water comes through my neighbour’s yard and knocks down her paling and it does be up to my windows gushing through my house. I can only clean up after it finish,” she said, adding the constant pressure had softened her foundation which had started to shift.

“It ain’t easy when the rain fall, all it takes is two minutes. It washes away all my plants and leaves my house musty for days,” she said.

Her neighbour, Cecily Clarke, had to take measures to protect her belongings. She said she had to replace the boards with cement at the spot where the water was hitting her house.

“Every time a little bit of rain fall, it flood out. The water was coming in the bedroom through the wood so I changed it to cement. It is very upsetting; all sorts of stuff does wash down. Something needs to be done with this road,” she said.

Another of the many locations prone to flooding is St Lawrence Gap. The focus this time is the part just off from Infinity On The Beach as the water which collects there is of grave concern to management.

Operations manager Ryan Drayton said Government was doing its best but the problem persisted.

“In speaking to the officials at the Ministry [of the Environment], I was told it’s a recurring problem made worse by high tide but the drains are now so full of sand and sediment, it doesn’t really matter what tide it is, the water still doesn’t drain.

“You can imagine tourists in their slippers having to walk through that dirty water? Someone puts down pallets and stones to walk on but that is still not ideal for the image,” he said, adding that 15 minutes of rain was all it took.

General manager Reneé Coppin said the situation was “not nice at all”, adding they often had to ferry guests across the waters in vehicles.

“It creates an impediment for guests – they come here for the beach not stagnant rain water. Drainage has been responsive but I would like this sorted out,” she said.

Pauline Ruck works in the nearby Chattel House Village. She said the problem at the Gap was due to waters merging from all sides and settling.

“When it rains, water comes from the [Dover] pasture and comes down and from through Southern Palms hotel and they merge but that only became a problem after the roadscaping. I think the well here is too shallow,” she said.

Ruck also cited instances of people taking off their shoes and wading through and of people carrying others on their backs.

Not far away in Syndicate Lane, Cavendish Atwell pointed out how a well in the area was quickly overwhelmed when rain fell and the water became just above ankle deep, which may not sound like much unless you tried walking through it.

“The only thing that can be done here is to dig another well. The water actually runs off fairly quickly but if we have another well, then there wouldn’t be the build-up. The well we have is only four to five feet deep so when it is full the water sticks around for about a half hour after it rains,” he said.

Atwell suggested the second well could be built behind the existing one and act as an overflow or in another strategic location. | 31-Oct-2014 15:10

Mexican police scandal as Americans shot dead

MATAMOROS, Mexico (AP) – Authorities are investigating a possible police connection to the killing of three United States citizens visiting their father in Mexico who were found shot to death along with a Mexican friend more than two weeks after going missing.

Parents of the three siblings, whose bodies were identified Thursday, have said witnesses reported they were seized by men dressed in police gear calling themselves “Hercules”, a tactical security unit in the violent border city of Matamoros heavily racked by cartel infighting.

Nine of the unit’s 40 officers are being questioned, Tamaulipas state Attorney General Ismael Quintanilla Acosta said.

It would be the third recent case of alleged abuse and killings by Mexican security forces and the first to involve Americans.

The country already is engulfed in the case of 43 teachers college students missing in southern Guerrero state at the hands of a mayor and police working with a drug cartel. Fifty-six people are under arrest, including dozens of police officers.

In June, soldiers killed 22 suspected gang members in Mexico state, then altered the scene and intimidated witnesses to hide the fact that most of the dead were executed after they surrendered, a National Commission on Human Rights report said last week. Three soldiers face murder charges.

“We will apply the full force of the law and zero tolerance,” Tamaulipas Governor Egidio Torre Cantu said, lamenting the death of the three Americans and a Mexican citizen, even though their identities had yet to be confirmed by DNA.

Presidential spokesman Eduardo Sanchez declined comment when asked about the newest case. The U.S. Embassy said it was aware of the reports but had no information to share “due to privacy considerations”.

The father of the three Americans, Pedro Alvarado, identified his children from photographs of the bodies showing tattoos, Quintanilla told Radio Formula. Clothing found with the bodies also matched that of Erica Alvarado Rivera, 26, and brothers, Alex, 22, and Jose Angel, 21, who disappeared October 13 along with Jose Guadalupe Castaneda Benitez, Erica Alvarado’s 32-year-old boyfriend.

Each was shot in the head and the bodies were burned, most likely from lying in the hot sun for so long, Quintanilla said.

Tamaulipas authorities said it could take 24 to 48 hours for DNA tests to confirm that the bodies were those of the Alvarado siblings, who were last seen in El Control, a small town near the Texas border west of Matamoros, about to return home to Progreso, Texas.

“They were good kids,” said an aunt, Nohemi Gonzalez. “I don’t know why they did that to them.”

The three siblings shared their mother’s modest brick home on a quiet street in Progreso less than three miles from the border. Erica, who has four children between the ages of three and nine, had been scheduled to begin studying to become a nursing assistant next month.

Brothers Jose Angel and Alex had been scheduled to make their annual pilgrimage to Missouri as migrant farm workers more than a week ago, Gonzalez said. When they weren’t on the road, they divided their time between their mother’s house in Texas and their father’s Mexico. | 31-Oct-2014 15:02

Kosovo starts prep for Rio 2016

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) – A week after gaining provisional recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Kosovo is already preparing in earnest for the 2016 Olympics.

Swimmers and table tennis players are in training as Kosovo gets ready to send an independent team to the games in Rio de Janeiro.

Memli Krasniqi, Kosovo’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, says “now our athletes will be able to represent their country, represent their flag and compete with their national anthem.”

Despite objections from Serbia, the IOC executive board granted provisional recognition to Kosovo last week. Full recognition will be voted on at the IOC assembly in Monaco in December – which should be a formality.

Lum Zhaveli, a 24-year-old swimmer, says “I feel wonderful as an athlete because we are going to have a chance to compete against other athletes and finally become equal to all of them.” | 31-Oct-2014 14:46

Prayers for Kublalsingh

A Woodford Square, Port of Spain, gathering in support of activist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh will today begin with prayers for his life by leaders of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO).

The show of solidarity was called Wednesday by Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) president, Gary Aboud, who on that day also pleaded with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to step in to save Kublalsingh’s life.

Aboud has expressed certainty that Kublalsingh will die if a resolution is not found to the ongoing impasse between Government and Highway Re-Route Movement (HRM) over a portion of highway from Debe to Mon Desir.

Kublalsingh is carrying on a hunger strike as he leads the HRM in protest against the Debe to Mon Desir segment and as of yesterday claimed to have completed 43 days without food and water.

The activist held a similar strike on 2012, which ended after 21 days when Persad-Bissessar agreed to the formation of an independent mediator. Later the Highway Review Committee (HRC) said Government would consider the recommendations of that committee.

A report submitted last year by the HRC recommended that Government stop work on the section and review its social and ecological impact, a chief angle of the HRM’s argument as the State tunnels ahead with the project.

Kublalsingh has vowed to see his hunger strike to the end and until Persad-Bissessar makes a U-turn on project, which she has said is not possible at this stage of its development.

Fear for the activist’s life is increasing as friends and relatives have mostly acceded to his wishes that he be allowed to carry out the hunger strike unencumbered.

Kublalsingh has, however, been confined to his D’Abadie home for over a week in declining health.


 | 31-Oct-2014 13:57

FIFA on Ebola watch

ZURICH (AP) – Preparations for the Club World Cup in Morocco in December are continuing and there is currently no Ebola threat to cause it to be cancelled or postponed, FIFA said recently.

“Should the situation change we will be in touch with the participating clubs accordingly,” FIFA said.

The world soccer body said it is in contact with Moroccan authorities and is “constantly updating its position” with regard to Ebola on the advice of the World Health Organisation.

Morocco has no reported cases of the deadly virus that has killed nearly 5 000 people in West Africa, almost all in the three worst-affected countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The Club World Cup, which will feature Champions League winner Real Madrid and South American champion San Lorenzo of Argentina, is scheduled for December 10-20.

FIFA also said it agrees with the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) decision to move games out of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, but it didn’t comment on Morocco’s request for the African Cup of Nations in January and February to be postponed because of Ebola.

Morocco has asked organiser CAF if the tournament can be delayed, fearing fans traveling in numbers from West Africa for the 16-nation, three-week tournament.

CAF insists the African Cup must go ahead on the planned dates – January 17-February 8 – and will meet with Moroccan authorities early next month. Possible stand-in countries South Africa, Egypt and Sudan have all declined to host the tournament in Morocco’s place. | 31-Oct-2014 13:31

14 years for Bahamian captain

MIAMI (AP) – A Bahamian boat captain has been sentenced to 14 years in United States prison for a human smuggling venture that resulted in the deaths of four Haitian women.

U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams imposed the sentence Wednesday on Naaman Davis, who pleaded guilty in May. Prosecutors say Davis was at the helm when the 24-foot boat carrying the migrants capsized about seven miles offshore of Miami in October 2013.

Court documents show Davis admitted smoking crack cocaine and drinking rum during the ill-fated trip from Bimini, Bahamas, to South Florida.

Eleven migrants survived the capsizing. Five of them have also pleaded guilty to a variety of federal crimes.

The four female victims were trapped underneath the boat. | 31-Oct-2014 13:05

Guyanese national on drug charges

A GUYANESE NATIONAL is expected to appear in the District F Magistrates Court today to answer a number of drug-related charges.

Police arrested and charged 41-year-old Wayne Young after cocaine and marijuana were reportedly discovered in his luggage.

When he arrived at the Grantley Adams International Airport from Guyana last Wednesday, Young was interviewed by Police and then referred to Customs.

His luggage was examined and it is alleged to have contained seven packages of cocaine weighing six kilos and twelve packages of cannabis weighing 17 pound.

He is facing double counts of possession, possession with intent to supply, trafficking and importation. (PR/SAT) | 31-Oct-2014 12:49

More violence in South Sudan

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – The United States and United Nations (UN) on Thursday condemned a recent outbreak of violence around an oil-rich town in South Sudan, as experts predicted a return to mass violence in the coming weeks.

South Sudan has seen near civil war conditions since last December and violence has forced more than 1.7 million people from their homes and has raised concerns about the potential of famine.

Both rebel and government military commanders are preparing for major offensives when seasonal rains end, the International Crisis Group warned Thursday. Rains over the last several months have tamped down military battles.

“Renewed conflict is likely to be accompanied by widespread displacement, atrocity crimes and famine,” the group said. Already some 100 000 people are living in U.N. camps around the country. Even more people have fled the country.

The U.S. statement called the fighting a “senseless man-made conflict” that violates already signed peace deals, a point that was made in a similar statement from the office of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The U.S. said that as the conflict persists the humanitarian crisis “continues to reach even more appalling levels”.

Longstanding peace negotiations continue but have not made the major breakthroughs needed to establish a lasting peace.

South Sudan peacefully broke away from Sudan in 2011 to become the world’s newest nation, but internal troubles broke out into the open last year, causing a split between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar.

A power-sharing deal between Kiir and Machar is unlikely to be agreed upon, Kiir told Al Jazeera in an interview released Thursday. He said if a peace deal is forged, the country will move next to new presidential elections.

The violence has lowered South Sudan’s oil output and threatens to return the region to the long years of warfare it saw during the fighting between Sudan and rebels in what is now South Sudan. | 31-Oct-2014 10:59

NBA: New York rebounds

CLEVELAND (AP) – LeBron James struggled from the start in his first game with Cleveland in four years, and the New York Knicks ruined the megastar’s emotional homecoming with a 95-90 victory over the Cavaliers in the NBA on Thursday night.

James, who returned to the Cavs and his native Ohio this summer after winning two NBA titles in Miami, finished with 17 points on five-of-15 shooting. He also committed eight turnovers and never looked comfortable on a night when the entire city – and a star-studded crowd – celebrated his comeback.

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and buried a jumper with James in his face with 25 seconds left to give the Knicks a 92-87 lead.

Kyrie Irving scored 22 and Kevin Love added 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavs, who have some work to before they can start thinking about any titles.

Mavericks 120, Jazz 102

DALLAS (AP) – Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points and Dallas celebrated the return of two key pieces from the franchise’s only championship team in a home-opening victory over Utah.

Tyson Chandler, the centre and emotional leader when Dallas beat Miami for the title three years ago, had 13 points and six rebounds in his first home game since leaving in free agency not long after celebrating the crown.

J.J. Barea, the diminutive guard and 2011 NBA Finals spark who was re-acquired a day earlier, got a standing ovation when he came off the bench late in the first quarter. He had four points.

Derrick Favors had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz, who fell behind by 30 points in the first half of a tough back-to-back after an opening loss to Houston at home.

Wizards 105, Magic 98

ORLANDO, Florida (AP) – John Wall had 30 points and 12 assists, and Washington held off a late surge to beat Orlando.

Marcin Gortat added 20 points and 12 rebounds. All five starters scored in double figures as Washington earned their fifth straight victory over the division rivals.

The Magic trailed by three at the half, only to be outscored 28-15 in the third quarter. Orlando recovered in the fourth and rallied to trim what had been a 17-point Washington lead to two with less than a minute to play. But Wall got free for a driving layup to help preserve the victory.

Nik Vucevic led the Magic with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

Orlando finished with 18 turnovers, matching their total from the season opener.

Timberwolves 97, Pistons 91

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Thaddeus Young scored 19 points and hit a big three-pointer with 90 seconds to play to lift Minnesota over Detroit.

Nikola Pekovic had 17 points and ten rebounds, and Ricky Rubio added 11 points, eight assists and seven boards for the Timberwolves in their home opener.

Caron Butler scored 24 points and D.J. Augustin had 20 points and six assists for the Pistons, who have opened the season with two straight losses on the road under first-year coach Stan Van Gundy.

Andre Drummond had 11 points and 12 rebounds, but he was limited in the second half by foul trouble and the Timberwolves held off a late charge from Butler and the Pistons. | 31-Oct-2014 10:34

Life goes on for ebola-free nurse

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) – In between going on a bike ride and taking delivery of a pizza, nurse Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend did chores and watched a movie while state officials struggled to reach a compromise in a standoff that has become the nation’s most closely-watched clash between personal freedom and fear of Ebola.

The nurse who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, purposefully rode their bikes away from town on a dirt path to avoid coming into contact with people.

“We’re not trying to push any limits here. We’re members of this community, too, and we want to make people comfortable,” he told reporters Thursday evening.

Hickox, who returned to the United States last week, has been under what Maine is calling a voluntary quarantine at her home in this town of 4 300 people.

She has rebelled against the restrictions, saying that her rights are being violated and that she is no threat to others because she has no symptoms. She tested negative last weekend for Ebola, though it can take days for the virus to reach detectable levels.

State officials said that they were seeking a court order to require a quarantine through November 10, the end of the 21-day incubation period for the Ebola virus.

But it was unclear Thursday whether the state had gone to court or whether there had been any progress in negotiations aimed at a compromise.

Governor Paul LePage said state attorneys and Hickox’s lawyers had discussed a scaled-down quarantine that would have allowed her to go for walks, runs and bicycle rides while preventing her from venturing into populated public places or coming within three feet of others.

Hickox stepped into the media glare when she returned from West Africa to become subject to a mandatory quarantine in New Jersey. After an uproar, she was released and travelled more than 600 miles (965 kilometres) to the small town on the Canadian border where she lives with her boyfriend.

At their home, reporters have been camped out for two days.

Wilbur said he and Hickox spent the day Thursday vacuuming, cleaning, doing laundry and watching a movie, The Avengers. He said he also spent four hours attending class via phone. He has agreed to stay away from the University of Maine at Fort Kent for the time being. | 31-Oct-2014 10:00

Region outlines Ebola response

HAVANA (AP) – Representatives of countries from around the Americas, including the United States, have agreed to work together in their response to Ebola, adopting similar procedures in such things as the establishment of epidemiological monitoring centres and coordinating the transport of biological samples.

About 200 epidemiology experts and health officials from 24 countries, including the United States and Canada, met in Havana earlier this week to discuss their response to the epidemic.

A document from the meeting lays out “lines of action” that the countries say they’ll follow to combat the disease.

The meeting was called by ALBA, a forum of left-leaning Latin countries founded by Cuba and Venezuela as a counterweight to U.S. influence. The meeting is part of Cuba’s anti-Ebola effort that includes sending at least 256 doctors and nurses to West Africa this month.

Among those attending was meeting was Nelson Arboleda, the Guatemala-based director of the Central American Regional Office for the U.S. Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention.

The CDC said earlier this week that it had contacted the State Department about U.S. representation at the meeting and dispatched Arboleda, who oversees a team of 25 people and usually represents the CDC in activities in the region.

The U.S. maintains a trade embargo on Cuba and the two countries do not have full diplomatic relations, but they have quietly cooperated for years on subjects like public health, immigration and environmental protection. | 31-Oct-2014 09:37

Landmark win for strippers

LAS VEGAS (AP) – In a legal decision with wide implications for strip clubs in Sin City, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled Thursday that dancers at one Las Vegas club are employees, not independent contractors, and are entitled to be paid minimum wage.

The unanimous ruling Thursday in a 2009 class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of six dancers at Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club could change the landscape state wide in a business where dancers have for decades depended on tips and even paid “house fees” to establishments that allowed them to work.

“Given that Sapphire bills itself as the ‘World’s Largest Strip Club’, and not, say, a sports bar or nightclub,” the high court said, “we are confident that the women strip-dancing there are useful and indeed necessary to its operation.”

Mick Rusing, the Tucson, Arizona, attorney who represented plaintiff Zuri-Kinshasa Maria Terry and five other dancers in the initial case, said the ruling might directly affect more than 6 500 current and former members of the affected class, dating to about 2006.

Rusing said they could be entitled to a combined US $40 million in back wages, plus the return of house fees.

“And it keeps going up every month,” Rusing said. “As employees, you get a lot of rights. The girls are entitled to be paid; at very least, minimum wage.”

Sapphire officials and the attorneys who represented the company before the Supreme Court didn’t immediately respond to messages.

The Supreme Court ruling, written by Justice Kristina Pickering, declared clubs are not exempt from provisions of the federal Fair Labour Standards Act.

That includes worker compensation and sexual harassment rules, Rusing said.

“Sapphire argues that the performers had no ‘contract of hire’ and alternatively that the performers were not ‘in the service of’ Sapphire,” the ruling said.

It declares signed entertainment agreements detailing terms under which Sapphire permitted performers to dance “an express contract of hire”, and dismisses Sapphire’s assertions that the performers “never intended to be employees”.

The high court sent the case back to Clark County District Court for hearings to determine how much the plaintiffs are owed. The Nevada state minimum wage is $8.25 per hour, although some service employees are paid less if they also receive tips. | 31-Oct-2014 08:59

Knicks spoil LeBron’s return

CLEVELAND (AP) – Carried onto the floor by an emotional ovation building for years, LeBron James is back where he began.

He’s home.

Introduced to a deafening roar from Cleveland fans, James was welcomed back Thursday night by a city desperate to end a championship drought that’s about to turn 50 years old. James came back to try and end it, and his journey is underway.

At 8:08 p.m. all was right in Cleveland again.

That’s when James, the last starter announced, walked onto the floor in a Cavs uniform for a regular season game for the first time in four years.

Nearly four months since proclaiming “I’m coming home” and shifting the NBA’s balance of power, James is again playing in front of family, friends and the Cleveland fans who had their hearts broken when he left for Miami four years ago.

This is a homecoming like no other.

“None of us should take this moment for granted,” a relaxed James said following Cleveland’s morning shoot around. “This is probably one of the biggest sporting events ever. I don’t feel it, but I know it is.”

A crowd of 20 000-plus fans – with some paying as much as US $5 000 for a ticket – packed the venue, which was updated during the offseason with a gigantic, fire-spewing scoreboard to welcome home James.

Unfortunately for Cleveland, the night’s best moments came before the game, as James played poorly and the Cavs were beaten 95-90. James had eight turnovers, missed ten shots and was not in sync with his new teammates.

“I’m glad it’s over,” James said.

Before taking the floor, James huddled his teammates in a hallway and told them that “tonight is special”. He then gave a playful tap to owner Dan Gilbert’s son, Nick, before walking onto the court that was his for seven seasons.

The pregame festivities ended with James going to midcourt and performing his “chalk toss” pregame ritual with fans tossing paper confetti along with him.

James, who has won NBA titles and Olympic gold medals, knew this season opener is a little more special.

“I understand how much I mean to this team, to this franchise, to this city and to this state,” he said. “It’s a different feeling, but I’m still as calm and excited at the same time because it’s the first game of the season.”

In the hours leading up to tip-off, thousands of fans gathered in the streets outside the arena. This was a party four years in the making.

Across the street from the stadium, a huge banner of James was unveiled in the same spot where one hung during his first seven seasons with the Cavs. The spot became a symbol of civic pride until that night in July 2010 when James announced he was leaving for Miami. In the hours after his decision, some angry fans burned his jersey and others hurled rocks at a banner that would be removed a few days later.

On Thursday, the new banner – showing James with his arms outstretched wearing a jersey with “Cleveland” where his name would normally be stitched – drew fans who posed for photos the same way they did when James was here last. | 31-Oct-2014 08:25

Money woes hurting Jack

Jack Francis may get huffed for not playing.
Barbados’ reigning eight-time national champ is in serious danger of missing a chance to compete for ... | 31-Oct-2014 07:16

Argentina opens embassy doors once again
Resident Ambassador of Argentina to Barbados, Diego Limeres and Secretary of State for the Foreign Affairs of the Argentine Republic, Ambassador Eduardo Zuain alongside Prime Minister the Right ... | 31-Oct-2014 07:01

Barbados mother says “I’ll breed ‘em. YOU feed ‘em!”
Originally posted on Barbados Free Press :
Story #1,243 in a continuing Nation Cultural Series… by BFP reader Passin thru Jacqueline Blunt is 40 years old and has five children (by how many different men we’re not told). She’s long-term unemployed… | 31-Oct-2014 05:36

Banks Calendar Girl Top 8 picked

THE JUDGES THOUGHT they were the best of the lot, while some in the crowd disagreed.

But only eight can go through to the finals of the Banks Calendar Girl 2015 and those were Robin-Simone Ifill, Shanae Alleyne, Cherene Ward, Thea Tull, Renee Robinson, Rhea Arthur, Brandi Wallace and Tia Sealy.

The semi-finals were held last night at Oistins Bay Garden before a large crowd; but not many of the 16 semi-finalists had supporters as the silence was deafening when some did their walk on stage.

This year the swimsuits were tasteful, a quantum leap from the fiasco of last year, and it could be seen that each contestant put effort into their creation.

For the semi-finals, the judges had to be looking for beauty and body as none of the girls had to speak, just walk and pose.

The judges table got extra looks as the majority of the girls went to the table to smile and twirl.

The finals are slated for December 4 and some of the girls should take this opportunity to work on their walk, confidence and body, to tighten up those areas that could cost them some points on the big night. (NS)


 | 31-Oct-2014 05:28

Ebola exercise

A national simulation exercise is in the works for key personnel as the Ministry of Health checks its readiness to deal with any case of the deadly Ebola disease.

Doctors are scheduled for training early next month, a lone ambulance and crew are being dedicated to transport any suspected case of Ebola and vessels carrying suspected Ebola patients will be quarantined seven miles off shore.

All of this as the Ministry of Health reports that they are aware of, and are planning for the return of a number of Barbadians who are scheduled to travel to two Ebola-affected African countries.

The information was revealed as Chief Medical Officer Joy St John, the head of the Emergency Ambulance Service and a consultant in the Accident and Emergency Department, Dr David Byer, and other health officials held a town hall-style meeting, with ports of entry and health workers at the Bridgetown Port yesterday. While not revealing the time or date of the simulation exercise, Dr St John said it will include those who might have contact with a person exhibiting symptoms of Ebola.

“People will be tested to see if they do what they said they would in the protocols and if there were any gaps or if there were any mistakes that we have to correct. So it’s just not a talking exercise or even a desktop simulation.”

The protocols are contained in the Ebola Procedural Manual – governs the functions of health-care, tourism and port workers; police, funeral directors and others and outlines “what basically everybody needs to do smoothly”. | 31-Oct-2014 05:13

NUPW set for battle

The struggle now start.

That was the warning from president of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), Walter Maloney, following the “disrespect” shown to the union delegation, led by general secretary Dennis Clarke, when they were barred from driving on to the compound of the Barbados Community College (BCC) to meet with members yesterday.

Further, Maloney made it clear that Clarke will not be going into retirement as scheduled at the end of today, and will in fact remain a thorn in the side of the BCC until the matter has been fully resolved. He said Clarke was instructed to see the matter out at a meeting on Wednesday night.

“[In] all my years as a member of NUPW, I’ve been involved with some of the most disturbing things, this is the first time I’ve ever seen the general secretary of NUPW not being allowed to come on the compound of an institution. . . .That disrespect will not go unpunished,” Maloney said.

When Clarke drove up to the main gate with Maloney and senior industrial relations officer Wayne Walrond for the scheduled 11 a.m. meeting with staff, one half of the gate was closed and an orange cone blocked the entrance to the other. (YB) | 31-Oct-2014 05:12

Broomes hurt by turning of table

Embattled Parkinson Memorial School principal Jeff Broomes is defending his stewardship and has expressed alarm at the rubbishing of a timetable he constructed to help slow students get a second chance and to improve the overall quality of the school he took over almost two years ago.

Broomes, speaking at a Press conference organised by the National Union of Public Workers’, got the support of his union colleagues yesterday.

Holding up a copy of the Education Act and Regulations, Broome defended his involvement in the preparation of the school’s timetable which he said was his responsibility as principal. This was done with the help of three other teachers, one of whom dropped out.

“They changed the structure totally, eliminating the computer basic course, eliminating religious education in second form, eliminating the activities programme to help the Ministry’s initiative of the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence; eliminating things like community service for returning fifth formers and that disappointed me – that upset me.  . . . . I came back to school and expressed my concerns. I heard that I changed things  . . . We did a curriculum design in 2013 [that projected the work in the school until 2016] and every single member of staff had an opportunity for input.”

Broomes said that in his absence the timetable had been reduced significantly and he counted about 104 lessons taken out. (JS) | 31-Oct-2014 05:11

Families fearful of losing homes

Two families went to sleep last night with a fear of their homes being demolished looming over their heads.

On Tuesday Jeffrey Stoute was told his two-bedroom house, as well as the three-bedroom home of his sister Margaret Stoute, would be dismantled. Both houses are located at Belle Gully, St Michael.

In addition Margaret’s son Hallam Stoute, who has an auto bodywork shop on the land, has to find another place to set up his business.

Margaret shares her home with two sons while Jeffrey has a son who visits.

“That is too little time,” was the cry of Margaret and Jeffrey, who have been living on the land for almost 60 years. Their father rented the land and when he died Jeffrey took over the rental arrangement and paid the $300 annual rent.

However, in November 2012 the landlord stopped taking the rent after the court made a judgment that the family had until April 29, 2013, to remove the two houses from the parcel of land. (LK) | 31-Oct-2014 05:10

Doctors working overtime on virus

Private doctors are putting in 14-hour days as they deal with the flood of people who have come down with the chikungunya virus.

And the volume of people presenting themselves to the Winston Scott Polyclinic is so great that the island’s chief medical officer is trying to get another doctor attached to the facility.

Dr Joy St John was speaking at a town hall-style meeting for health care, port and other workers at the Bridgetown Port yesterday.

Calling the mosquito-borne disease “a real and present danger”, Dr St John said she was getting reports about the number of cases on the island and the disease was affecting “a lot of people significantly”. | 31-Oct-2014 05:09

Probe into LIAT scare

LIAT and Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) are investigating the alarm raised after a passenger, who is reportedly HIV positive, was injured on an aircraft.

Initial reports suggested that the blood of the passenger might have been splashed on other passengers, but LIAT is saying that was not the case and neither was blood in any of the aircraft’s seats.

“Of all the reports we received there is no evidence of any passenger being splashed with blood,” said LIAT’s head of communications, Desmond Brown. “The passenger was accepted on the basis of a fit-to-fly certificate from the passenger’s doctor in St Lucia.

“On deplaning in Barbados the passenger in question suffered a foot injury. Paramedics were called in and the wound was cleaned and dressed.” (AC) | 31-Oct-2014 05:08

Spare not the rod, says Goddard

Schools shouldn’t spare the rod.

This is the view of retired educator John Goddard, who says there are certain kinds of “inappropriate conduct” by schoolchildren that verbal reprimands, time outs, in-house detentions and even positive re-enforcers will not curb.

Goddard made the comments on Wednesday evening while delivering the John Cumberbatch Memorial Lecture at Almond Bay Caterers in Hastings, Christ Church.

Goddard told the gathering of teachers, other people involved in education and  trade unionists: “I feel constrained to comment on the increasing pressure being placed on Barbados to repeal the law relating to corporal punishment.

“I support the use of a wide range of methods of discipline, but for me the options include the use of the rod. We should not be in any hurry to abolish corporal punishment in home or school because it can serve as a deterrent when everything else fails.” | 31-Oct-2014 05:07

NIS needs younger contributors

A former chairman of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) says the fund is not in any clear or present danger.

But, warned retired banker Tony Marshall, that can all change in under 16 years, if young people do not start contributing.

Marshall, also a former sports administrator, was addressing the monthly Men’s Educational Support Association (MESA) meeting at The St Michael School on Wednesday night.

He estimated that the NIS had until 2030 before its savings began to become depleted.

He was adamant that because Barbados was an aging society with at least 54 centenarians with that number expected to grow exponentially, the dwindling of the social security funds was to be taken seriously. (SDB Media) | 31-Oct-2014 05:06

Family sent packing after 60 years

Jeffrey Stoute, at 62, is standing on a shaky foundation. On Tuesday, he and his sister Margaret, 58, were told by the landlord to dismantle their homes by today  or have them pushed down after living on the land for almost 60 years.

The family had been served with a court order previously.

With the deadline creeping up on them, the family was busy yesterday packing their household belongings in anticipation of losing their homes. However, they were hoping to have a stay of execution until they could find another parcel of land.

There are two houses belonging to the brother and sister, as well as an autobody workshop on the property. (LK) | 31-Oct-2014 05:05

Shearer in Bim

Barbados continues to be an attractive destination for high-profile past and present England footballers.

Following on the heels of last week’s Soccerex Americas Forum, which attracted legends such as former England players Bryan Robson and John Barnes, and Argentine World Cup winner, Ossie Ardilles, another legendary footballer, the former England striker and all-time Premier League leading goalscorer, Alan Shearer was the latest to grace these scores. (EZS)

Here, Shearer taking a stroll along the beach at Sandy Lane Resort. | 31-Oct-2014 05:05

Treat for EMTs

There was a hive of activity on Wednesday at the Government Ambulance Service headquarters as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) were pampered at a day-long appreciation celebration.

Some of the most popular Crop Over tunes set the scene at Jemmotts Lane, St Michael as the EMTs were treated with massages, manicures, pedicures and makeovers. Guardian Life was also on hand to distribute information about planning for the future, while a fitness consultant taught about health and wellness.

The day-long treat also provided an opportunity for the public to pass through and meet the ambulance officers and learn more about what their job entails.

Public relations officer for the Barbados Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (BAEMT), Reverend Timothy McClean said one of the pertinent points made was that EMTs were professionals.

McClean said contrary to the old belief of them being just ambulance drivers or people who work on ambulances, they were trained, certified and very capable.

“What is important to note is right now EMS [Emergency Medical Services] in Barbados are the best throughout the Caribbean. Up to the last course of EMTs we had persons who came from outside of Barbados to be trained here,” he said.

He said, however, sometimes they would go to a house to collect a patient and they were expected “to pick up and go one time”.

“But we have to do assessments, take vital signs, address all those issues that have to be addressed first then transport you to the hospital. If we don’t do that then we are looking to lose our registration. So all those things are involved now and there have been involved for a number of years, but we want persons to recognise that. We are professionals,” McClean stressed.

Currently all the EMS professionals, both EMTs and paramedics, are trained through the Barbados Community College. EMTs are trained in basic life care while paramedics are in advanced life care. The association’s goal is to advance the level of certification for members, with EMTs level of certification to a year and the paramedics to a three-year associate degree programme similar to nursing. Additionally, McClean said they also hoped to engage the University of the West Indies to make it a degree programme. (SDB Media) | 31-Oct-2014 05:05

Bajan jockeys for Trinidad challenge

Seven-time Barbadian champion jockey Anderson Trotman and Rickey Walcott are among six Caribbean riders invited to compete in a United Kingdom versus Caribbean Jockeys Challenge scheduled for Santa Rosa Park, Arima, Trinidad, on November 29.

The other Caribbean riders are Jamaicans Shane Ellis and Dane Nelson and Trinidadians Brian Boodramsingh and Wilmer Galviz. The British-based riders are made up of the same team that will compete a week earlier at the Garrison Savannah in the second edition of the Barbados Winter Jockey Challenge.

The vastly experienced contingent is led by Italian Lanfranco “Frankie” Dettori, the British champion jockey in 1994, 1995 and 2004.

Irishman Kieren Fallon, who was the British champion in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2003; Jamie Spencer, champion Irish jockey in 2004 and British champion in 2005 and 2007, who shared his last title success with Englishman Seb Saunders, are also part of the touring party, as is Thomas Queally, a champion apprentice in Ireland and Britain in 2000 and 2004.

Irishman Jimmy Fortune, who completes the six-member UK team on this Caribbean mission, is yet to win a championship but has won major races in India, Italy, Ireland, Britain and France.

Even though they are among the best riders in Europe, they will have their hands full with the Barbados team when they clash on November 22.

Retained captain Trotman will once again be looking to repeat last year’s achievement of winning the championship for the home side.

Trotman led from the front, winning the most races of all the jockeys and accumulating the most points to be named Rider Of The Championship.  

Walcott, who missed the challenge through injury, will be looking to make amends for that missed opportunity and to capitalise on his August success of having won the Barbados Derby aboard Voldermort. Antonio Bishop has done what was required all year long and again finds himself riding with the elite.

Antonio Whitehall is also having a very good year, winning quite a few stakes races to regain his position from last year in the side. He had been originally omitted when the first set of names were released to the media.

Whitehall replaces Jalon Samuel, who was originally selected but, surprisingly, will be the reserve jockey for a second year.

Affrie Ward, who enjoyed his best year in the saddle since acquiring his licence, has been rewarded with a position to rub shoulders in the big league.

Antonio Perch’s selection in the local side is justification for his consistency throughout this year. | 31-Oct-2014 05:03

Money woes hurting Jack

Jack Francis may get huffed for not playing.

Barbados’ reigning eight-time national champ is in serious danger of missing a chance to compete for draughts’ World Three-Move Restriction title, having revealed he is currently short of funding to attend next month’s World Qualifier in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Over the last three months I have been practising hard so now I am in the best shape for Three-Move Restriction, but my focus has been interrupted a bit because of this lack of sponsorship so I have come to make an urgent appeal to corporate Barbados,” said Francis, who disclosed he’s in search of a couple thousand dollars.

“The National Sports Council has been great in providing me with a significant contribution but the responses from prospective sponsors have been slow in coming and I don’t have much time left.

“And as the national champion I honestly would like to have my presence felt as I am second to none in Barbados and I am the only other logical contender [after Ronald “Suki” King] as I have brought honour to Barbados in the field of checkers,” he added.

It would prove a tough opportunity for Francis to miss out as the winner of the World Qualifier automatically advances to a championship match against title holder, Michele Borghetti of Italy.

But apart from a title shot, the tournament will also serve as Francis’ much-needed redemption following his less than encouraging eighth-place finish at the US Nationals earlier this year.

“I’ve been using a World Championship Checkers programme on the computer a lot and a book called The Tinsley Way, so my across the board skills coupled with my three months of training has put me in the optimum position to contend,” said Francis.

However, Francis’ lifelong rival, King, also looks in fine form to contend, having just come off a tournament win in the Irish Open.

“I think he just used it as a build-up for the World Qualifier, but I don’t see the lack of tournament play in the last three months being of any detriment to my play right now because I think I have enough knowledge and experience to put things together and get in the groove for this World Qualifier,” reasoned Francis.

“The World Qualifier has been my only focus because there’s nothing else for me to achieve at this current moment in terms of winning tournaments, so if I win an Irish Open or Barbados Open right now it just doesn’t matter as they won’t get me the right to play for the title.” | 31-Oct-2014 05:03

Charity gets funds, goods

CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY for the Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society (BVHS) today as the charity was presented with a $1 500 cheque from Dwellings Inc.

The presentation took place yesterday at the society’s new home on Tudor Street in The City.

BVHS was also gifted several canned goods, toiletries and first aid kits.

Marketing manager at the furniture and décor retailer, Janine Hinkson, said the funds and items were collected from a fundraising drive during last week’s launch of the company's holiday collection. (SDB Media) | 31-Oct-2014 00:01

Giants’ win turns violent

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The celebration in San Francisco's streets following the Giants' World Series victory started off peaceful but quickly turned raucous and violent, as revellers vandalized police cars and businesses and pelted officers with bottles.

Fans initially gathered in the streets and uncorked champagne, dancing and hugging strangers after Wednesday's night win. The 3-2 victory was the Giants' third World Series championship in five years. That happy spirit quickly turned to havoc, however.

Four police cars were damaged by graffiti and five others had windows smashed, Police Chief Greg Suhr said. Three police officers went to a hospital with minor injuries. Many more, including Suhr, were hit with bottles but were not badly injured and kept working.

Businesses were tagged with graffiti but individual damage estimates were still being compiled Thursday. Suhr said "99.9 percent of the fans were well-behaved but about 100 near the ballpark and in the Mission district marred the party.

"To the clowns that came to San Francisco to act out, I guess you just don't know what it's like to have a good time without being a jerk, and we had a lot of them last night," Suhr said.

A majority of the 40 arrests were for public drunkenness, but people also went to jail for assaults, gun possession and outstanding warrants, Suhr said.

Violence left four people injured in separate incidents, but it was not yet known if the shootings and stabbings were linked to World Series revelry, police said. Authorities said a 54-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman were stabbed in separate incidents in the city's Mission district late Wednesday and early Thursday, respectively. Both were expected to live. A 19-year-old man was shot in the arm in the same neighbourhood Wednesday, and another person walked into a hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound, police said. No arrests had yet been made.

Most of the mayhem was fans spraying beer, smashing bottles in the streets, lighting bonfires and setting off fireworks.

Suhr said the force was beefed up by about 20 percent Wednesday night, with officers in protective gear lined up three rows deep. The raucous behaviour did not compare to the mayhem following the 2012 victory, when revellers lit a bus on fire.

"For me, I would say we did far better (than in 2012) in the way of damage to property and fires," Suhr said.

Police said a noon parade down Market Street is planned for Friday, with up to two million people expected to come out and watch the floats and see the players. | 31-Oct-2014 00:00

NATION newscast October 30

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