Hat-trick for Wellbeck

LONDON (AP) – Danny Welbeck scored his first career hat trick as Arsenal overpowered Galatasaray 4-1 in the Champions League today and survived with ten men for the last half-hour after goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was sent off.

Welbeck, who was allowed to leave Manchester United last month after his striking qualities were questioned by manager Louis Van Gaal, demonstrated just how he can thrive as a centre forward.

“He had the instinct of a goal-scorer. He was aggressive and made great runs,” Arsene Wenger said of Wellbeck, speaking on his 18th anniversary as Arsenal manager. “He has just good pace (and) it allows him to finish calmly.”

Against a weak defence, Welbeck side-footed in the opener in the 22nd minute, swept in a second on the half-hour and, after Alexis Sanchez also netted, completed his hat trick at the start of the second half.

Wenger “has shown a lot of faith in me and I am delighted to repay him tonight”, Welbeck said. “He has allowed me to play up front in my preferred position.”

Arsenal were cruising in the Group D encounter until Szczesny rushed off his line and brought down Burak Yilmaz, who then converted the resulting penalty.

Arsenal’s latest moment of ill-discipline – this was the London club’s fifth red card in seven European matches – enabled Galatasaray to provide a late threat.

Champions League results

Group A

Atletico Madrid (Arda Turan) 1, Juventus 0

Malmo (Markus Rosenberg 2) 2, Olympiakos 0

Group B

FC Basel (Marco Streller) 1, Liverpool 0

Ludogorets (Marcelinho) 1, Real Madrid (Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema) 2

Group C

Bayer Leverkusen (Stefan Kiessling, Son Heung-min, Hakan Calhanoglu) 3, Benfica (Eduardo Salvio) 1

Zenit St Petersburg 0, Monaco 0

Group D

Anderlecht 0, Borussia Dortmund (Ciro Immobile, Adrian Ramos 2) 3

Arsenal (Danny Welbeck 3, Alexis Sanchez) 4, Galatasaray (Burak Yilmaz) 1 | 01-Oct-2014 23:36

Cuba’s currency challenge

HAVANA (AP) – Cuba’s central bank chief is giving new details of the elimination of a special currency, saying that the shift will require putting more Cuban pesos into circulation and issuing higher-denomination bills.

The elimination of the stronger currency is one of the toughest challenges facing Cuba’s struggling socialist economy, forcing officials to eliminate a distorted double set of prices for many goods without spawning inflation.

Most Cubans earn and buy goods in local pesos.

The convertible peso used largely in the tourism sector is also used by Cubans to buy many goods long unavailable in local currency. The convertible peso is worth about one U.S. dollar, or 24 local pesos. The highest-denomination local bill is 100 pesos.

Central Bank president Ernesto Medina tells the state news agency consumer prices won’t change. | 01-Oct-2014 23:30

PM Stuart recovers in Canada

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is currently on the mend in Canada, following a bout of influenza.

Stuart was scheduled to return to Barbados last Monday after a private trip, and attendance at the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York.

However, he was advised by medical officials not to travel until his condition improved.  

Prime Minister Stuart will return to the island on Saturday. (PR) | 01-Oct-2014 23:21

Andre 3000 fighting stereotype

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Sometimes Andre 3000 wonders: “Will I be the ‘Hey Ya!’ guy forever?”

The Grammy-winning rapper says he hasn’t figured out what to do next in music. His last album with his best-selling group Outkast was released in 2006. Their hits include "Ms Jackson and Hey Ya!

Andre 3000 said in a recent interview that he feels “self-doubt” and wonders at times if he already had his last shot at musical success. He says pondering the next career move is “really scary and really exciting at the same time”.

The performer is the star of the Jimi Hendrix biopic, Jimi: All Is by My Side, released last week.

The 39-year-old says his next move in music will be solo instead of working with Big Boi as Outkast.

 | 01-Oct-2014 23:12

Secret Service director resigns

WASHINGTON (AP) – Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned today in the face of multiple revelations of security breaches, bumbling in her agency and rapidly eroding confidence that the president and his family were being kept safe.

President Barack Obama “concluded new leadership of that agency was required,” said spokesman Josh Earnest.

Though the day, high-ranking lawmakers from both parties had urged her to step down after her poorly received testimony to Congress a day earlier – and revelation of yet another security problem: Obama had shared an elevator in Atlanta last month with an armed guard who was not authorised to be around him.

That appeared to be the last straw that crumbled trust in her leadership in the White House. Earnest said Obama and his staff did not learn about that breach until just before it was made public in news reports yesterday.

“Today Julia Pierson, the director of the United States Secret Service, offered her resignation, and I accepted it,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.

He announced that Joseph Clancy, retired head of the agency’s Presidential Protective Division, would come out of retirement to lead the Secret Service temporarily.

Taking further steps to restore trust in the beleaguered agency, Johnson also outlined an independent inquiry into the agency’s operations.

That trust was shaken by a series of failures in the agency’s critical job of protecting the president, including a breach September 19, when a knife-carrying man climbed over the White House fence on Pennsylvania Avenue and made it deep into the executive mansion before being stopped.

Republicans quickly served notice that Pierson’s resignation would not end their investigation of the Secret Service.

Pierson’s permanent replacement will probably face a gruelling confirmation process before Congress. | 01-Oct-2014 23:09

Visa waiver for El Salvador a foolish decision by Barbados Government
  “In El Salvador, Sanchez found an environment where gang culture was thriving. Just two years earlier, the Chapultepec Peace Accords had ended more than a decade of civil war, but the country remained violent. The homicide rate stood at … Continue reading → | 01-Oct-2014 22:25

Springer celebrations continue

THE PARTY WAS at Springer Memorial today as the school celebrated its 50th anniversary to the day.

After an official ceremony with a plaque unveiling by Minister of Education Ronald Jones; an interactive and well received inspirational talk by Roger Husbands; poetry; songs and steel pan, the Springer girls let their hair down and raised the roof in a DJ session.

Chairman of the 50th Anniversary committee, Nellis Cobham said the activity was part of “Springer in the community” where staff and past and present students could indulge in karaoke, games, food and fun.

“We want the students to recognise Springer is going somewhere, so we are showing there is something happening here and we are not looking back,” she said.

Cobham said the activities would continue with present versus past tomorrow at the school in netball, volleyball and possibly tug-of-war.

There will also be a dinner and awards ceremony on Saturday at the Hilton Barbados and a Caribbean cruise in April next year. (CA)

 | 01-Oct-2014 20:52

MCIlroy PGA player of the year

ST ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) – One incredible month of golf was enough for Rory McIlroy to be voted PGA Tour player of the year.

The award was announced today and surprised no one. McIlroy won the award, which is a vote of PGA Tour members, for the second time in three years.

He joined Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Nick Price as the only multiple winners of the Jack Nicklaus Award since it began in 1990.

“I’d like to win a lot more in my career, and I feel like I can,” McIlroy said from St Andrews, where he is playing in the Dunhill Links Championship.

McIlroy and Jimmy Walker each won three times on the PGA Tour, though the size of the trophy tilted heavily in favour of the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland.

McIlroy went wire-to-wire to win the British Open, rallied from three shots behind on the final day at Firestone to capture his first World Golf Championship, and won the PGA Championship with a sterling back nine at Valhalla.

He became only the seventh player to win the final two majors of the year, and the first since Padraig Harrington in 2008.

Chesson Hadley of the U.S. was voted PGA Tour rookie of the year.

McIlroy failed to win on the European Tour or on the PGA Tour in 2013 during a turbulent year when he switched out all of his equipment, and would end up in a legal mess after leaving his management company.

He also struggled with a phenomenon that became known as “Freaky Friday” for taking himself out of tournaments with bad second rounds. He solved that enigma and roared back to No. 1 in the world with a solid year that became spectacular with his two major titles.

McIlroy also led the PGA Tour with 12 finishes in the Top 10, and he never finished worse than 25th. He also won the PGA Tour money title with just over $8.2 million, and he won the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring average.

He won the award over Martin Kaymer, who won The Players Championship and U.S. Open; Masters champion Bubba Watson; FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel; and Walker.

The tour does not release vote totals. | 01-Oct-2014 20:16

Priest on London mission
Dr Sebi on a mission to bring healing remedies to Bim Dr Sebi on a mission to bring healing remedies to Bim He's known ... | 01-Oct-2014 18:34

Minister Lowe issues warning
"If we are going to be able to successfully work towards combatting the damaging effects of climate change, it becomes extremely important for us to build out . . . relationships [with ... | 01-Oct-2014 18:34

Marshall Learn from Muslims
"We are now seeing another ethnic group assert itself. All that is happening is that we Barbadians are shocked because we thought of them as just 'coolie men' . . . But the Muslims ... | 01-Oct-2014 18:34

Race a big draw
The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series next year, which runs from January 16 to 24, should be a major attraction for race teams planning their 2015 ... | 01-Oct-2014 18:34

MP against QEH fees
"The timing is not right. We have economic challenges. People are being sent home . . . We see the poverty line has increased. We have more people living below the [poverty line] than in ... | 01-Oct-2014 18:34

Call for more BFA referees
Manager for the referees department at the Barbados Football Association (BFA), Mark Forde, would like to see more of Barbadian referees getting appointments in Champions League ... | 01-Oct-2014 18:34

SOS from St Michael residents
Residents of a St Michael community are appealing to authorities for urgent help in cleaning up their neighborhood as several of them complain of falling ... | 01-Oct-2014 18:34

CLT20 Barbados Tridents Beat Northern Knights by 6 Wickets
Bangalore: Registering their first points of the competition in the final league game, Barbados Tridents outplayed Northern Knights by six wickets in a rain-reduced Oppo Champions League Twenty20 ... | 01-Oct-2014 18:22

THE ISSUE IMF ‘help’ a given alternative
Economically speaking, there are probably few words more dreaded in Barbados than International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Washington-based financial institution has developed into a ... | 01-Oct-2014 18:22

47 dead in volcano eruption

OTAKI, Japan (AP) – One body recovered near the volcano’s peak was in a squatting position and had to be dug out of a thick layer of ash.

Another was caught between boulders bigger than large refrigerators. Police who recovered the bodies today portrayed a painful scene of death around the summit where hikers enjoying an autumn weekend hike were caught by the mountain’s surprise eruption.

The death toll from Saturday’s eruption on Mount Ontake in central Japan rose to 47, Nagano police said in a statement. While ash and gases were spewing from the crater, searchers wearing surgical masks and helmets carried devices to measure the toxicity of the gases to make sure it was safe to be on the slopes filled with volcanic debris.

It was the worst fatal eruption in post-war history, exceeding the 43 killed in the 1991 eruption of Mount Unzen in southern Japan.

Ground Self-Defence Forces mobilised CH-47 helicopters to bring the last bodies to the foot of Ontake, known as one of Japan’s 100 best mountains and topped by a shrine that attracts visitors.

Prefectural and police officials said most bodies were found around the summit, where many climbers were resting or having lunch at the time of the eruption. Other victims were found at a slightly lower elevation that reportedly had little place to hide.

Nagano police riot unit leader Mamoru Yamazaki described the rescue scene as “severe”.

Authorities say all of the known victims have been recovered, but the decision on whether to end the search was still being evaluated. In their statement giving the death toll, Nagano police also apologised for an earlier miscount of 48 dead.

The nearly 70 people who were injured in the eruption had bruises, cuts and broken bones indicating flying rocks hit them as they fled down the slope. Survivors described hiding in rock crevasses or inside mountain lodges while smoke blackened the sky and ash covered the ground. | 01-Oct-2014 17:50

Phelps arrested for DUI

BALTIMORE (AP) – Michael Phelps can’t seem to break a disturbing pattern.

Record-breaking success in the pool.

Trouble on dry land.

The winningest athlete in Olympic history is facing DUI charges for the second time after being arrested early Tuesday in his hometown of Baltimore, where police said he was clocked going nearly 40 mph over the speed limit and was unable to perform a series of field sobriety tests. He also failed a Breathalyser.

Online charging documents show that the charges include driving while impaired by alcohol, driving while under the influence of alcohol and driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

The court records do not yet indicate a defence attorney or a court date.

The charges put a damper on Phelps’ comeback, which looked so promising just over a month ago when he won three golds and two silvers at the Pan Pacific Championships in Australia.

“I understand the severity of my actions and take full responsibility,” Phelps said in a statement. “I know these words may not mean much right now but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.”

The apology sounded like a repeat of the ones he made after a drunken-driving arrest a decade ago, as well as when a British tabloid published a photograph in 2009 that showed him using a marijuana pipe.

It’s too early to say if the 18-time gold medallist might face sanctions from USA Swimming, which took no action in 2004 but suspended Phelps from competition for three months over the pot picture, even though it didn’t lead to criminal charges.

“The news regarding Michael Phelps and his actions are disappointing and unquestionably serious,” the national governing body said in a statement. “We expect our athletes to conduct themselves responsibly in and out of the pool.”

The U.S. Olympic Committee had a similar reaction. CEO Scott Blackmun said the organisation was “surprised” by Phelps’ arrest and “disappointed on a number of fronts”.

Phelps was charged with driving under the influence, excessive speed and crossing double lane lines in the Fort McHenry Tunnel on Interstate 95 in Baltimore, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority.

If convicted on the DUI charge, he would face a maximum penalty of a year in jail, a $1 000 fine and the loss of his driver’s license for six months. Under Maryland law, the latest case isn’t considered a second offense because his first DUI conviction occurred more than five years ago. | 01-Oct-2014 17:39

Killed, then beheaded

PORT OF SPAIN – Fifty-seven-year-old Steve Gogan was already dead when he was beheaded, according to forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov, who examined the body yesterday.

Gogan’s relatives were at the Forensic Science Centre in St James yesterday morning, where they had gone to witness the post-mortem of the former racehorse jockey who, at the time of his death, lived in a shipping container opposite Santa Rosa Park, Arima.

On Sunday around 6:15 a.m., Gogan’s head was found by a passer-by on the southern side of the race track. The passer-by alerted police, and officers searched the area and found the body about 50 metres away from the head.

The body was examined at the scene and later moved to the Port of Spain Mortuary.

By Monday, Gogan’s relatives had been alerted about what happened and yesterday they went to the Forensic Science Centre.

Alexandrov, who spoke to reporters yesterday, said, “I think, in my professional opinion, he was involved in a confrontation with a person with a cutlass. There is a defence wound to one hand and then he realised it was becoming dangerous and probably tried to run away.”

He added “the assailant ran after him and inflicted about three or four very shallow chop wounds to his left upper back. Then somehow the victim stumbled and fell face-down, and the assailant chopped him to the back of his head 12 times with tremendous force.”

“Decapitation was post-mortem,” he said.

The area of Santa Rosa near the race track was the site of another decapitation in May 2013, when the head of a man was found near the Arima Race Club’s car park while the body was found at Spring Road Extension in Carapo. (Trinidad Express) | 01-Oct-2014 17:30

ON THE RIGHT: Fiscal adjustment alone won’t do it

That is happening is that we have been trying to put a fiscal adjustment strategy in place since 2009 and it was suppose to increase growth in the Barbados economy, it was suppose to reduce the fiscal deficit, we were suppose to cut national debt and we were suppose to stabilise our reserves.

We have fiscal problems but you can do something about that. The problem is that we have been trying since 2009 to make adjustments to our fiscal position and our fiscal position has worsened, it is the worse it has ever been. Even before the Government conceives of a capital works programme it has a billion dollar deficit on the current account and this is where this thing started.

A fiscal adjustment programme cannot simply be a set of targets without any relationship between those targets or correlations. We are in a very serious predicament in Barbados and people need to understand it, but also need to believe that there is hope and we can get out of it.

When all is said and done, to get us out of this predicament there is only one variable that the Government can control and that is debt. There is no other exogenous variable in the Barbados economy that the Government can play around with.

There is a major fiscal crisis to resolve, we have a billion dollar deficit on our current account so it is even going to be difficult, if you want growth, to reduce your fiscal deficit, but you have to switch from increasing current expenditure, and therefore that has to go down, but in the meantime there must be a capital works programme if Government is to get growth.

So there has to be a balancing act between reducing current expenditure; and increasing capital works in order to get the economic growth that you need to get us out of the rut.

Either your increase the base, which is GDP, or you increase the rate of taxing, but if you continue to increase the rate of taxation you are going to choke off your revenue because the economy is going to contract and when the economy contracts therefore you are in trouble. How do you achieve that? It can be done. The way to go forward therefore is to target how much debt you are going to repair each year for the next five years or so and to use that as a constraint on the amount of new debt that you can incur. It has to be done in a way that facilitates both growth and control of your fiscal position.

Understand that there is a way, but a fiscal adjustment programme cannot run independent of understanding the macroeconomic relations in the economy and that is true for any Caribbean country, and therefore somebody needs a mandate to do what is right for Barbados.

• Dr Clyde Mascoll is an economics lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and is a former Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance. | 01-Oct-2014 17:17

GLAAD tracks TV depiction of gays

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Television has increased its depiction of gay, lesbian and bisexual characters, with the edge going to cable and the Internet over broadcast networks, according to a study released today by the advocacy group GLAAD.

Networks are promoting the understanding of gay lives with some of the most inclusive programmes yet, but should “strive to include significant transgender content”, said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement.

Transgender characters are featured on cable and Internet fare such as the online series Orange Is the New Black from Netflix and Transparent from Amazon.

In this year’s Emmy Award nominations, Orange Is the New Black co-star Laverne Cox became the first openly transgender actress to receive a nod.

The overall on-screen progress comes as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has made social and political strides that include legalisation of same-sex marriage in some U.S. states and the end of a military ban on openly gay service members.

In the 2014-15 season, GLAAD’s study found that 3.9 per cent of 813 characters regularly seen on prime-time network scripted series will be lesbian, gay or bisexual, a total of 32 characters.

That represents an increase over last year’s 3.3 per cent, but is down from the 4.4 per cent record high for LGBT depictions on network series in 2012.

Among the networks, Fox again emerged with the highest percentage of lesbian, gay or bisexual regular characters, 6.5 per cent, with Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Glee among the programs contributing to the tally. ABC, which had tied with Fox for first last year at 5.4 per cent, dropped to 4.5 per cent.

NBC is at 3.8 per cent, up a point from last year, while CBS’ shows had 3.2 per cent gay, lesbian or bisexual characters, up 1.9 per cent from last season. The CW has no regular LGBT characters, the gay rights group said.

Among cable TV shows, there were 64 regular LGBT characters, up from 42 last season. HBO has the most characters, followed by ABC Family and Showtime. One transgender character, on ABC Family’s The Fosters, was found by the study.

GLAAD also studied other aspects of diversity on network TV.

Despite several new high-profile broadcast series starring women, including Alfre Woodward as the U.S. president in NBC’s State of Affairs and Tea Leoni as secretary of state in CBS’ Madam Secretary, the percentage of female characters has declined to 40 per cent, down three points from last year.

Ethnic characters on network shows make up 27 per cent of the total, compared with 23 per cent last season, with 1.4 per cent depicted as people with disabilities, a slight increase from one percent in 2013. | 01-Oct-2014 17:16

Athlete runs onto field, loses scholarship

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A student who ran onto the field during an Ohio State football game and was body-slammed by a coach is losing his scholarship amid his court case.

Defence attorney Mark Collins says officials on Tuesday started removing 21-year-old Anthony Wunder from the Evans Scholars programme, which covers tuition and housing for former golf caddies.

The fourth-year engineering student is charged with misdemeanour criminal trespassing. His attorney entered a not-guilty plea in Franklin County Municipal Court.

Wunder was stopped and slammed down by an assistant strength and conditioning coach Saturday during Ohio State’s home victory over Cincinnati. The coach, Anthony Schlegel, is a former Buckeyes line backer.

The hit has been a sensation on social media.

Coach Urban Meyer said he had a somewhat serious conversation with Schlegel about the hit. | 01-Oct-2014 17:13

‘Holes’ in strategic business plan

Government’s new blueprint to transform the international business sector between now and 2019 has some holes.

A review by the Barbados International Business Association’s (BIBA) tax committee has concluded that the 30-page Strategic Plan For The International Business Sector 2014-2019 was “too ambitious” and lacking key information.

The plan recently released by the Ministry of Industry, International Business Commerce and Small Business Development targeted the creation of 1 000 jobs and substantial increases in foreign exchange and revenues from the international business sector with the next five years.

Government was also seeking to register 2 000 new international business companies, conclude 20 new taxation treaties and 15 investment treaties and secure new airlift from Panama in that time.

This was in addition to achieving a 30 per cent increase in foreign exchange earnings by the end of December 2019, and a 30 per cent increase in revenues from taxation and other services by the end of the December 2019.

However the BIBA committee headed by Dominique Pepin of Ersnt & Young said after meeting and analysing the plan, several shortcomings were found.

This included “the fact that no milestones were indicated nor was anyone within the agencies/organisations identified as accountable for each action item”.

“The plans seem too ambitious and included targets based on legislation not yet proclaimed”, “no mention of any additional resources to be allocated to the various agencies/organisations to permit them to achieve this plan”, “no action items were set for Inland Revenue, Immigration, [Corporation Affairs and Intellectual Property Office] and the courts, which would all have an important role to play in achieving the goals of this plan”.

Minister of Industry, International Business Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss, had said the strategic plan was “the blueprint for the Barbados international business sector to realise its vision of making Barbados the financial and wealth management centre of choice in the Western Hemisphere”.

Director of international business Kaeron Venner said the plan “represents a collaborative effort of the sector’s stakeholders, spearhead by the International Business Division of the Ministry of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development”.

“It was developed through extensive consultation with stakeholders in the private and public sectors. Following a sector wide consultation, a task force was set up to discuss those elements that would go into this plan. The salient points were distilled and the final product is this strategic plan which we believe is timely and relevant,” he said. | 01-Oct-2014 16:55

ON THE LEFT: Still an opportunity to pull it back

The environment is not good and sometimes you need to slash and burn away stuff for there to be new growth.

We don’t necessarily want to slash and burn everything – that is not what I am saying – but you need to clear away all the debris, see what’s there and start afresh. It was important from a confidence perspective for the Government to be able to achieve credible results in an environment where you are actually engaged and information is flowing freely back and forth and at every step you analyse targets, whatever those targets happen to be.

We know the financing, in terms of interest payments of Government, has increased significantly in the last few years. We are operating in an environment where we have to create jobs but we can’t create jobs and do business, generate business, while at the same time the demand for your resources now significantly outweighs the returns for any new investment that you would have to make.

In the current adjustment programme the revenues are underperforming and we are not seeing any real movement on the expenditure side so the gap still has to be closed even after we have done all the things that we have done before, and I think that we need to have more clarity, see more urgent action and credible results.

We already have lots of liquidity in the system. What we have to do is to find a way to better deploy that level of liquidity so that the private sector can actually grow and earn more foreign exchange. So to some degree we have to think more externally but there also needs to be a policy shift because there are still constraints on the private sector on how much they can invest overseas. It is not going to be an easy conversation because we have grown accustomed to things running a certain way but we are not in that scenario anymore. There has been a structural shift in the nature of the public finances. People still want to invest in Barbados, the country is not going to fall apart, however, the last few years, in terms of the opportunities for growth going forward, can only come from the private sector. Although the Government has been able to cut its expenditure, some of the impediments for private sector activity have not been engaged effectively enough and so the policy coherence is absolutely critical for private sector investment.

I think there is still an opportunity to pull it back. The very viability of the economy hinges on how soon we are able to engage and how invasive the interaction will be with the IMF because so far we have not been able to demonstrate that we have the wherewithal to actually achieve the targets. The determination and the attitude to demonstrate that you are actually doing something and you are achieving something are probably more important than the actual number itself, it is the direction that is important.

• Ryan Straughn chairs the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Trade and Economic Policy Committee and is the immediate past president of the Barbados Economic Society. | 01-Oct-2014 16:15

THE ISSUE: IMF ‘help’ a given alternative

Economically speaking, there are probably few words more dreaded in Barbados than International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Washington-based financial institution has developed into a “bogeyman” for small vulnerable economies like Barbados and others in the region, especially as it relates to the various policy recommendations and austerity-type programmes it usually recommends and helps to impose.

For the last five years Barbados has been trying to resolve its major fiscal problem and to get the economy to grow again. Increasingly, questions are being raised about whether the home-grown plan being implemented by Government is enough to turns things around or if external assistance – specifically the IMF’s – is required.

While announcing that the IMF is giving Barbados advice on its tax system as well as statutory corporations, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler said there was no need for a formal programme with that institution, the kind of help that other Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, are now involved in.

However, there are others who differ, while some think a combination of local and foreign effort could be the best solution.

From as far back as August 2012 Sinckler was dismissing talk of the IMF’s intervention.

“There is no IMF programme in Barbados; there is no contemplation of an IMF programme whatsoever by this Government. We do not need it,” he said then.

He reiterated the view in May last year while addressing the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s (BCCI) luncheon when he said: “There will be no IMF programme, not now, not June, not this year, and if we act as we are supposed to act, not in the foreseeable future.”

Sinckler and other officials, including Central Bank governor

Dr DeLisle Worrell, think that the fiscal adjustment programme adopted by Government is enough to improve the country’s fiscal affairs and there was no need for foreign help.

Others, including current Barbados Economic Society president Jeremy Stephen did not share this confidence, saying in May that on its present course Government would be forced to seek “budgetary support” from the IMF by March next year.

He identified heavy reliance on short term financing as a major source of Government’s fiscal problems.

The BCCI also voiced doubts about Government’s fiscal adjustment programme.

Just last week, speaking at a breakfast discussion hosted by her organisation, BCCI president Tracey Shuffler said the programme was “sluggish and well behind targeted pace in both revenue generation and expenditure cutting”.

She also regretted that a year ago the BCCI suggested a hybrid approach involving a local plan and input from the IMF through “a standby arrangement” but that this had been “roundly rejected” so far.

A few months ago, the IMF said there was a need for urgent fiscal consolidation in Barbados and that while Government had implemented most of the budgetary measures it announced there was a need to ensure these achieved “material results” in the near term.

Western Hemisphere deputy mission chief Nicole Laframboise also said the economy still faced “major challenges, including low growth, a very large fiscal deficit, and a high debt burden”. | 01-Oct-2014 15:11

Tridents bring down the Knights to secure first CLT20 win
Barbados Tridents upstaged Northern Knights by six wickets in a rain-hit Champions League T20 match in Bangalore last night to grab?third spot in the Group B?standings. It was the first win for the ... | 01-Oct-2014 09:17

Fog’s ‘the cause’

The environmental problem plaguing Grazettes Primary School was as a result of improper fogging which took place there three weeks ago, ahead of the start of the new school term.

This was revealed yesterday by Chief Education Officer Laurie King and his deputy Karen Best, who visited the school, which once again closed early because of a lingering odour.

Reports also indicated that only five of the 24 teachers reported for school yesterday.

Grazettes will be closed temporarily and ministry officials are making arrangements for classes to be relocated to a nearby church.

Best explained that the fogging team had breached standing procedures.

“The protocol for the fogging was not followed,” she said. “The school was supposed to be opened and that did not happen and they were supposed to use dry fog but they used it wet.”  

In relation to the five times the school had been closed due to the ongoing problem, King said the ministry had done everything possible to deal with the issue, including industrial cleaning and installing an extractor, but the odour was still lingering. | 01-Oct-2014 06:10

Cops ‘in breach’

Even if the High Court rules in favour of 14 police officers who are challenging their omission from a list of promotions two years ago, the Police Service Commission’s (PSC) decision to promote other officers will not change.

Attorney at law Tariq Khan, who is representing the PSC, also argued that the protesting officers acted in breach of the Royal Barbados Police Force’s General Orders since they did not seek permission from the commission before taking legal action.

He further submitted that the officers’ actions had the potential to destabilise the force, adding their claims lacked substance and merit.

Khan’s arguments were presented on the first full day of hearing of the civil matter before Justice Margaret Reifer in the No. 2 Supreme Court.

The matter is the result of an injunction granted by the High Court where the police officers charged that their omissions breached the principles of natural justice and was an abuse of power. (SD) | 01-Oct-2014 06:09

Former Beautify workers protest

Former workers of the now defunct Beautify Barbados programme gathered outside the Ministry of Environment yesterday, demanding answers about money they said was owed to them.

It was the second day running that disgruntled retrenched Government workers remonstrated next to the offices of their former employers over unpaid benefits. On Monday, severed Transport Board workers protested.

Alex Gibson, spokesman for the Beautify Barbados group which gathered in Warrens, St Michael, said his colleagues were worried about their finances since their unemployment payments were about to expire.

He said they were also concerned that benefits had been cut without their knowledge.

“They cut our 20 per cent gratuity to ten per cent without a reason in 2002 and we didn’t even know until we joined the union [National Union of Public Workers]. When we questioned it, they said it was across the board . . . ,” said Gibson, who logged eight years.  

Another gripe was vacation pay. Marcia Moore claimed that those who worked for Beautify Barbados for more than five years were not getting their full benefits. | 01-Oct-2014 06:08

Town Planner: It’s not our fault

Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins says his department is not to blame fo the delay in granting permission to B’s Recycling to relocate its business from Cane Garden to Vaucluse in St Thomas.

Responding to criticisms from a number of callers, particularly businessman Andrew Bynoe, whose brother Paul Bynoe is managing director of the recycling plant, Cummins told Starcom Network’s Down To Brass Tacks yesterday that the applicant was responsible for some of the hold-up.

“The majority of time that this application has been with us, the majority of that has either been spent waiting on the terms of reference, waiting on the environmental assessment or waiting on the submission,” he told the radio call-in programme.

“From my recollection it is a case where it has taken the applicant in excess of six months to put the applicant information together. The unfortunate thing is the applicant is fully aware of this process because the applicant company has been kept abreast of what has been going on.”

Cummins pointed out that the application would be submitted to the relevant minister by next week.

Bynoe telephoned the programme and vented about the situation. | 01-Oct-2014 06:07

Dope report worries NCSA

New research showing that some juveniles in three neighbouring St James districts see nothing wrong with marijuana, but are opting for alcohol because it is more affordable, has the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) concerned.

And the state agency thinks there is a need to replicate its study throughout Barbados.

Based on “reports received from key informants, namely community leaders and other social and criminal justice agency professionals”, the NCSA identified Haynesville, St James; New Orleans, St Michael; Crab Hill, St Lucy, and Six Roads, St Philip as places it would “seek to explore and understand social phenomena related to drug use”.

After recently conducting focus group interviews with 28 young people between the ages of 13 and 29 who reside in Haynesville, Durants Village and Holders Hill, NCSA published a 39-page report in which it raised several concerns. | 01-Oct-2014 06:06

Need for speed

Fans starved of motor action got just that at the Barbados Auto Racing League’s (BARL) Reunification event at the Vaucluse Raceway last Sunday.

There were screams of delight almost each and every time cars negotiated the recently cleaned up racing facility in St Thomas.

One of the 37 drivers in action was the experienced Greg ‘Hotty’ Cozier. Driving a Huzier Lubricants Ford Escort RS2000, Cozier excited fans with his dizzying manoeuvres. | 01-Oct-2014 06:05

Upset parents want answers

Anxious parents whose children attend Grazettes Primary complained yesterday that they were not getting enough information from education authorities about the environmental problem which has plagued the school since the start of the Michaelmas term three weeks ago.

Speculation ran high yesterday morning when many of them were summoned to the St Michael school for the fifth time since the beginning of the term to collect their children early.

As they gathered, some parents said they felt the problem stench was coming from a nearby cave, while others expressed fear that the school’s plight could mirror that of Louis Lynch Secondary School, which was plagued by an environmental problem for over 20 years before it was closed by the Ministry of Education.

Some of the parents who have lived in the Grazettes area for most of their lives, said the smell was coming from a nearby cave, which they pointed out was located behind the houses near to the school. (MB) | 01-Oct-2014 06:05

Lawman accused of bribery

A policeman accused of accepting a cash bribe in exchange for quashing two traffic offences was placed on $5 000 bail when he appeared in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Constable Renair Romel Jemmott, 28, of Lewis Gap, Green Hill, St Michael, has been charged with engaging in wilful misconduct and an abuse of public trust. He is alleged to have demanded payment for the discontinuance of the traffic matters after he had reported a soldier of the Barbados Defence Force for driving a vehicle without road tax as well as breaking the speed limit.

Jemmott was arrested on Monday during an undercover operation in Queen’s Park, The City.

Part of conditions of bail is that the constable surrender his passport and report to a police station every Wednesday.

Jemmott, who is represented by attorney at law Roy Hurley, will return to court on January 27 next year. (SD) | 01-Oct-2014 06:05

Lone victory

BANGALORE – Prolific Jonathan Carter and pacer Ravi Rampaul starred with bat and ball, respectively, as Barbados Tridents defeated Northern Districts by six wicket to conjure up their lone victory in the Champions League T20 here yesterday.

Carter posted a steady 30 while Rampaul snatched three wickets as Tridents, playing their final match of the tournament, won with two balls and six wickets to spare at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

But it was James Franklin, unbeaten on 33, who guided Tridents to victory in the inconsequential final group match of the Champions League T20 after hitting fellow New Zealander Tim Southee’s full tosses for a six and a four.

Zimbabwe’s limited-overs captain Elton Chigumbura also contributed to the win by hitting Trent Boult for a couple of fours in the penultimate over when 23 were needed off 12 balls.

Carter, the leading run-getter of the main round of the tournament, struck two fours and a six in his steady knock of 30 before he was caught.

He and Franklin stabilized the innings with a stand of 56 for the fourth wicket when Dilshan Munaweera fell to a spectacular diving catch after launching the chase with a quick 20.

Franklin and Chigumbura shared an unbeaten stand of 33 off 20.

Earlier, Northern Districts stumbled to 135 for eight in 19 overs after the match was shortened following a one-hour rain delay.

Rampaul played a key role in containing Districts’ run flow by grabbing early wickets as they slumped to 76 for four.

He finished with top figures of three for 34.

Skipper Rayad Emrit conceded that poor fielding severely affected the Barbados Tridents’ campaign in the tournament currently under way in India.

The Tridents actually had a chance to win each game they played, especially the first two, which both went down to the final over.

 “Overwhelmed to win a game finally. We came close to winning a game several times. Today was a totally different team from our previous matches,” said Emrit, who is Trinidadian.

“We had a chat before the match today. We knew if Franklin and Elton stayed till the end we would chase it. Our fielding let us down in every single game.”

Tridents lost all of their other matches by close margins, including a defeat in the super over against Cape Cobras after scores were tied.

Carter, who scored a century, was the leading run-getter of the main round of the tournament.

“We are elated. We stuck as a group. We are one big family so we’ll celebrate tonight,” said Carter.

“I wanted to finish the game and I should have carried on. I spoke to Mr Haynes [Desmond Haynes] a lot, and worked on my game and grabbed the opportunity with both hands here.” (CMC) | 01-Oct-2014 06:05

Benn – or break

With all the eggs in the Sunil Narine basket, Dwayne Bravo’s West Indies team is set to start a new ODI series against India in Kochi next week.

The squad of 15 announced recently by a new section panel led by the iconic West Indian Clive Lloyd provides further evidence that “the more things change the more they remain the same”.

Still present is the popular recycling process that has characterised West Indies cricket for almost two decades.

The failure to recognise the obvious is another trait of West Indies cricket that has cost us dearly in the past. The desire to baffle completes a triad of strategies that if designed to perplex have achieved their objective with remarkable consistency.

The most glaring shortcoming of the team selected is the presence of just one specialist spinner, Sunil Narine. Even if he remains in peak fitness and features in every match, he can only bowl ten of the 50 overs scheduled.

On the evidence of the previous tour of India almost a year ago, the other 40 could be problematic.

Narine, Ravi Rampaul and Lendl Simmons were the only bowlers who conceded fewer than six runs per over in that three-match series which India won 2-1. Not surprisingly Narine was the only one who conceded fewer than five per over.

Darren Sammy, who topped the batting averages in that series and was Man Of The Match for his match winning unbeaten half-century in the solitary success of the series, earns his selection as a power hitting all-rounder along with Andre Russell. Dwayne Smith has proven that he plays his best cricket at the top of the order while Jason Holder has shown encouraging signs of developing into a genuine all-rounder in shorter and longer formats.  

Nevertheless, room should have been found for at least one other specialist spinner, and in this regard Sulieman Benn and Nikita Miller can consider themselves unfortunate. The real losers here, though, could be the West Indies cricket team. Miller was dropped without having the opportunity to feature in the recent series against Bangladesh. That is baffling to say the least. If for whatever reason these selectors have lost confidence in Miller, the successful return to international cricket of Benn has provided an attractive option.

It seems reasonable that Leon Johnson’s place in the side, presumably in place of the injured Chris Gayle, was secured after his heartening performance against Bangladesh. The brilliance of Benn with the ball in that series should have earned him a similar vote of confidence, particularly since his reputation as a cricketer has developed out of his stingy left-arm spin bowling. While there is not much to separate him from Miller statistically, his current form and confidence weigh heavily in his favour.

On the evidence of the inadequacy shown by the pacers on the tour to India last November, it should have been obvious that another quality spinner would be needed and it is baffling why this new, supposedly visionary team of selectors would have allowed such a mind boggling omission.

For the umpteenth time Marlon Samuels is being processed through the recycling plant of West Indies cricket. On his most recent trip to India with the West Indies team he scored 65, 4, 19 and 11 in the Two Tests and 8, 24 and 71 in the ODIs. Certainly, these are not compelling numbers. Kieran Powell, who was third in the averages in the ODI series, may have been a better investment.

 Nkrumah Bonner, who fashioned a century against Bangladesh ‘A’ a few months ago and whose List A record that includes three centuries makes more impressive reading than that of Leon Johnson, who is yet to record a ton at that level, could have been another alternative.

Jonathan Carter is seemingly not even in the thoughts of the selectors for ‘A’ team duties and could find himself out in the cold permanently, looking on as mediocrity continues to be recycled.

The harsh reality is that given the current state of West Indies cricket and the lack of meaningful insight in formulating strategies to improve, whatever combination of players is selected, India will prove to be a tough assignment.

The failure to address what I believe are serious leadership issues has also complicated the problem. Professional league or otherwise, I fear that a further slide towards the bottom may be one from which we may never recover. | 01-Oct-2014 06:03

Junior golfers show their stuff

The future of golf in Barbados was on show on Sunday during a junior tournament organised by the Barbados Golf Association and staged at the Barbados Golf Club (BGC), at Durants.

Close to 50 of the island’s most promising juniors, including beginners and improving junior national players, took their drives, chips and putts to the course in five catergories of competition before awards were presented in the evening at the BGC club-house.

Coach and tournament coordinator Bobby Edghill said that while the more accomplished players were tested over 18 holes, very young players in coaching programmes showed their skills over four and six holes.

Promising national junior 12-year-old Xzavier Wiggins emerged winner in the 13 years and Under catergory as he posted 79 over 18 holes and finished one stroke ahead of second-placed fellow national junior Josiah Layne (80).

National junior captain Spencer Smith won the 17 and Under division with a score of 84 while Chris Cobley took the 15 and Under division with 82.

Girls Emily Odwin and Eryn Blakeley were outstanding in the 11 and Under divison with Odwin posting a score of 58 over nine holes to emerge winner while Blakeley was second on 66.

The 9 and Under division, played over six holes, was won by Sam Brancker (33 strokes) with Quinton Heljenek (35) second and Jade Blakeley and Chris Jackman joint third with a score of 41.

Competition appeared surprisingly tight in the seven and Under division over four holes. While there was a clear separation among the girls, there was a five-way tie for second place among the boys. Isla Demonge (28) and Laea Blakeley (29) were the top two girls while Jacob Beeson (26 strokes) was the winner among the boys and was closely followed by Logan Stollmeyer, Sunjeet Harriamani, Charlie Moorjani, Jason Johnson and Tobia Janoha who all shot 27 and shared second slot. BGA president Cally Boyea, who presented the trophies and medals to the juniors after the tournament , said he was encouraged by the level of participation in the event and the support from parents who walked the course with players.

“The BGA has a mandate to keep juniors involved in the sport and this augurs well for the future. The skills shown on the course and the level of interest among the juniors is a healthy sign for the sport,” said Boyea.

The BGA president also praised the efforts of coach Edghill, who recently returned from Canada on a ten-day training programme sponsored by the BGA. | 01-Oct-2014 06:03

Martindale and Cozier show their mettle

No time clocks, but drivers gave good accounts of themselves at the Barbados Auto Racing League’s (BARL) Reunification event and awards ceremony at the Vaucluse Raceway last Sunday.

Cars in groups of five saw drivers picking good lines as they negotiated the recently cleaned up racing facility and have set the tone for their upcoming race meet slated for Bushy Park later this month. Before a sizable crowd which started gathering at the

St Thomas track, from early, Wayne “Manou” Manning in a Citgo Lubricants 205 Peugeot GTI, Tyrone Martindale in a Honda CRX, Greg “Hotty” Cozier in the Huzier Lubricants Ford Escort RS2000, and group champion Danny Wiles in the Champion Sparkplugs Toyota Starlet, all sped away from their respective groups during the sessions.

Preparation of the track was attended by Danny Croney and Nicholas King.

Starting in ten-second intervals drivers showed that they lost little of their respective talents since their last meeting in June last year as they contested five-lap runs and were able to reduce the interval by the time they took the red flag which signalled the end of the session.

But the day also had its fair share of disappointments as some drivers suffered mechanical problems of varying kinds during the day’s action, among them Stuart Knagg whose Start Fish/God & Company Toyota Starlet was sidlined for the entire day, while Wiles, after looking impressive, missed a session with oil pressure problems.

Former BARL champion driver Kenrick “Snappa” Husbands, who was sharing the No. 26 Toyota Corolla with Peter Woodroffe, was also a driver catching the eye, along with Justin Campbell in a BMW, Ryan Francis in a Ford Escort MkI and former Barbados Karting Association (BKA) champion driver Tremaine Forde-Catwell in a Nissan.

Speaking after the event, Wiles said he was pleased with the way the event was run and is looking forward to the upcoming events of the season.

“I really enjoyed myself apart from the minor issue I had with the car early in the day.

“I know I will be ready for the remainder of the action.”

BARL’s chairman Stefan Hinds was also pleased with the way things had gone, adding that the drivers showed that they wanted to get back into action and that their mechines were still in good shape.

“I think that the event went very well.

“Praise must to the marshals, the sponsors and the drivers, who despite the absence of time clocks, they got a chance to see how their cars were performing,” Hinds explained.

During the day’s action American-based Barbadian driver Windel “Cush” Holmes, Kenrick Husbands and Danny Wiles featured in a demonstation of specially prepared Toyota cars, one of which was for sale.

Thirty-seven drivers took part in the day’s action. | 01-Oct-2014 06:03

Gayle: I’ll be fit for Tests

KINGSTON – Talismanic opener Chris Gayle believes he will overcome injury in time for the three-Test series in India which starts next month.

The attacking left-hander was not considered for selection for the second Test against Bangladesh earlier this month or the one-day series in India starting next week, because of a recurring back injury. However, Gayle said rehabilitation was going well and he expected to be fully fit and available for selection soon.

“My recovery has been coming on nicely, and I expect to be fully fit and ready in time for the Test series,” the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper quoted Gayle as saying.

“The injury is the same one that has been affecting my back in recent times, but so far it has been coming on well. I have been able to give it some rest and as each day progresses, it keeps getting better and better.”

Gayle is one of the most experienced campaigners in the West Indies unit, and is one of just two players with over 100 Tests. He has played 103 while Shiv Chanderpaul has played 158.

Additionally, he has accumulated 7214 runs at an average of 42 and lies eighth in the all-time career list of West Indies run-scorers.

West Indies are set to play Tests in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Ahmedabad starting October 30th. (CMC) | 01-Oct-2014 06:03

Special honour for Matthews

Going to school, Hayley Matthews couldn’t wait to “grow up” to play cricket for the West Indies.

Turns out she didn’t have to wait as long as she expected.

Matthews, a student at Harrison College, became one of the youngest women to ever represent the regional side when she represented the West Indies women in the third and final Twenty20 International against New Zealand at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex, St Vincent on Saturday.

And yesterday, her former primary school, People’s Cathedral – where Matthews, now 16, first showcased her talents – honoured her with a presentation at the school’s Collymore Rock grounds.

Principal of the school, Kenroy Burke, told the students who had gathered in the hall, along with Matthews’ parents Mike and Lisa, for the special occasion, that Matthews had shown potential from the time she entered Reception.

He recalled how the former victrix ludorum loved to run and also enjoyed playing football, before turning her interest to cricket upon entering Class 4.

He said she showed great potential, even captaining the boys’ cricket team at one point. She eventually went on to make the Barbados Under-19 side at the age of ten.

“Hayley always used to say that she wanted to play cricket for Barbados and the West Indies,” Burke said.

“When I opened my newspaper and I saw that Hayley had been selected to be a member of the West Indies’ cricket team, it was really, really a joy to be able to see one of our own.”

In her short address, Matthews, a silver medalist at this year’s CARIFTA Games, told the excited students she had always wanted to play cricket at the highest level and had worked hard towards that goal.

She encouraged them to stay focused and strive for their goals.

“Everybody is good at something. You just have to find out what it is and work towards that goal until you achieve it,” Matthews told them. (RB) | 01-Oct-2014 06:03

Wolf howls the loudest

The Caribbean’s leading professional bodybuilder Shawn Rhoden of Jamaica had to settle for second best at the 2014 Arnold Classic Europe in Madrid, Spain.

German terrier Dennis Wolf won the great rivalry between the two men, to walk away with the first place cheque of $100 000 over the weekend.

 It was an especially sweet victory for “The Big Bad Wolf”, too, considering he beat Rhoden into a runner-up spot, just as he did in Ohio six months ago, redeeming himself after the result at the Olympia in Las Vegas. At the Mr O, Rhoden was third and Wolf fourth.

Reports indicate that Wolf looked the drier and leaner of the two, with Rhoden appearing to have eased off slightly in the wake of last weekend's contest

The durable Dexter Jackson, at 44, showed his class by placing third in a top-class field.

Victor Martinez captured fourth spot while Roelly Winklaar rebounded from the disappointment of the Olympia, where he failed to make the top ten, by landing fifth place.

Black Dutchman William Bonac, who also failed to crack the top ten in Las Vegas, cracked the top six.

Defending champion Phil Heath and Kai “The Predator” Greene, the two best bodybuilders in the world, opted not to compete at the Arnold Classic, which over the past few years has expanded into Europe, Brazil and, from next year, Australia.

It has also grown well beyond its original muscle-building focus and changed its name to the Arnold Sports Festival.

According to the festival’s website, it now welcomes more than 18 000 athletes annually who compete in more than 50 sports and events, including 14 Olympic sports, and is attended by around 175 000 fitness enthusiasts.

The next Arnold Sports Festival will take place in Ohio from March 5 to March 8. (MK) | 01-Oct-2014 06:03

Greener days for FCT golf

The Future Centre Trust’s (FCT) fundraising golf tournament, Greening On The Green, for celebrities and golfing enthusiasts held at the Apes Hill course, may attract a much wider field next year.

Golf pro at the Apes Hill Club, Ben Hatch, told MIDWEEK SPORT, that last weekend’s 18-hole tournament attracted more than three dozen golfers and he is hoping to see that number doubled in 2015.

“We had about 40 people this year and my goal for next year is to double that . . . eighty would be great. For the last few years the prizes have been superb, second to none, so I think that we are in good stead to try and double the field next year,” he said. A number of lucrative prizes were at stake, including a hole-in-one prize of a new Nissan Qashqual from Courtesy Garage, valued at $121 000. However, none of the teams managed to achieve that feat.

The winning team comprised Canadian chiropractor Dr Patrick Levesque, his wife Nathalie Meservier, David Henderson and Hatch. They had a gross score of 62 and a net of 54.2. Nikolis Lashley had the longest drive, while Andy Gallagher, Kevin Lewis, Livingstone Hunte and Peter Johnson collected prizes for being nearest to the pin.

Among the prizes were staycations at Divi Southwinds and Bougainvillea Beach Resort; gift certificates for lunch or dinner at Champers; a three-course dinner for two at The Cliff Restaurant; an all-inclusive weekend for two at Turtle Beach Resort and two economy tickets from Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Executive director of the FCT Cherise Gibson, said no praise can be too high for the major sponsorship from this tournament which will allow the FCT, a non governmental organisation (NGO), to work on its various projects.

“All of your support allows us the Future Centre Trust to continue the work that we are doing. We depend on the community around us and the business community to support our project areas,” she said.

Gibson made mention of projects such as the mural at Warrens, which has been sponsored by CIBC FirstCaribbean, the green business Barbados programme and Clean-Up Barbados where the FCT team collected 13 tonnes of sargassium seaweed.

Chairman of the FCT board, Vivian-Anne Gittens, paid tribute to playing sponsors who included Goldcorp Trading, BMO Reinsurance, Columbus Telecommunications Barbados Ltd, Banks Holding Ltd, Rotherley Construction, and Lynch Insurance Brokers.

There were two non-playing sponsors in the Barbados Agricultural Development Corporation and Little Arches Hotel.

“The FCT lives for the community. Whatever we do, we look to see how we can better Barbados. Our focus is on giving back, so fundraisers and initiatives like this, it really is to put back into the community,” she added. (MK) | 01-Oct-2014 06:03

Deacons women on the ball

Queens Flow Sentry Brokers Deacons marched to a maximum 30 points from a sterling 6-0 record by thumping Club United 25-20, 25-23, 25-22 when the Goddard Enterprises Limited Division 1 volleyball league continued with round two action on Monday night at the Wildey Gym.

Brydens Rockets kept their chances alive by coming from a set down to stop Carlton 26-28, 25-13, 25-15, 25-15. Shari Matthews and Katrina Wickham, fuelled by sensible setting from young Danielle Callender squashed any hopes of an upset from the inconsistent Carlton.

The Rockets are on 27 points after winning five of their seven matches played so far. Club have 13 points from 2-5 while Carlton have seven points after winning just one of six matches.

Men’s champions Chargers and contenders Gourmet Xpress Progressive maintained their pursuit of the title in contrasting styles on Monday night. 

After a fierce first set Chargers disposed of the cellar occupants Foundation United 27-25, 25-18, 25-16.

Progressive scored a default win over Cawmere after Cawmere turned up with just six players and the officials deemed that one of the players was not wearing the appropriate uniform.

Cawmere had welcomed back Caribbean Best Opposite Shawn Simpson from holiday but the officials were less welcoming in declaring that Simpson’s pants were not part of the uniform.

Chargers have retaken the lead with 27 points from a 5-1 record while Progressive are second with 26 points from a similar 5-1 record. Deacons are third with 22 points from a 4-1 effort. Chargers had suffered their loss in their last game against Deacons while Deacons were beaten by Progressive, who in turn were beaten by Chargers.

One from that trio will take the league crown as Cawmere who are on 10 points following a 2-5 record are far off the pace.

The Juniors are two points better after a similar 2-5 performance. It will take a miracle for Foundation to escape the cellar after playing and losing seven games to hold a meagre three points. (KB) | 01-Oct-2014 06:03

Stars too bright for Wolverines

Brittons Hill Combined Stars made a mockery of any perceived big clash with Wolverines ‘B’, by shredding their opponents 52-23 when they clashed in the Sir Roy Trotman zone of the Barbados Workers’ Union’s netball tournament at the Netball Stadium on Monday night.

Led by a game high 37 goals from 46 attempts by national captain Latonia Blackman, Brittons Hill dominated all aspects of the game to set up greater anticipation for their upcoming encounter with the unbeaten Wolverines ‘A’. 

Blackman’s sister Nadia Blackman was also a shooting worry for Wolverines as she sunk 15 goals from 24 attempts.

Goal attack Kelly Knight scored eight from 11 for Wolverines with a better effort of 15 from 27 coming from goal shoot Rashida Ali. 

However, while the Blackmans proved too potent in the shooting circle for Wolverines, the defence of six-footer Faye Sealy and Brittany Wood in the defensive circle, along with the mid-court play of Shanise Jarvis, Marissa Burgess and Kathyann Wharton were just as deadly to keep Brittons Hill on course to take the crown.

The action in the Linda Brooks zone saw Chickmont Ballers pipping Barbados Prison Service 28-26. Goal shoot Nicole Graham-Weekes scored 23 of 26 shots, while international umpire Marion Johnson-Hurley contributed five goals from eight attempts. 

Shanice Banfield scored 21 of 31 and Tana Puckerin added five of seven for the losers.

Brittons Hill had led 11-6, 25-13 and 38-18, with the third quarter being the most pivotal in leading to the blow-out. That quarter and the final one saw the Wolverines scoring just five points while Brittons Hill notched up 13 and 14 goals respectively in those quarters.

Welchman Hall defeated St James Stilettos 30-20 in the Ulric Sealy zone with Leanne Harper scoring 20/22 at goal shoot and goal attack Marceline Cyrus 10/12 for almost perfect efforts from Welchman Hall.  For the Stilettos Nicola Young made 18(28) and Shanice Carmichael scored 2(3) with Nakisha Boyce failing to sink any of her six shots. (KB) | 01-Oct-2014 06:03

Better to be champion jockey

Sometimes it’s not all about the money but about the satisfaction of achieving one’s personal goals.

Last Wednesday, top journeyman Patrick Husbands was faced with that quandary. He was booked for two rides at Santa Rosa Park in Arima, Trinidad, and seven on the Woodbine Race Track evening nine race card in Canada.

Husbands, who has won seven Canadian Sovereign Awards, was carded to ride one of the favourites Momentum in the $500 000 Trinidad Derby.

However, history now shows that the horse did go on to win the Trinidad Triple Crown but under regular rider Brian Boodramsingh.

For Husbands it was a matter of what he wanted most – a Trinidad Derby or to keep pace with his challenger, once longtime leader now his main rival and pursuer Luis Contreras in a quest to be crowned champion rider at Woodbine. He chose the latter.

His decision not to make the trip to Santa Rosa Park was a dream come true for Trinidad champion jockey Brian Boodramsingh who landed his first Derby after being without a ride up to 24 hours before the pattern event.  

Husbands started last week’s card leading Contreras by 118 to 113 wins and won two races compared with Contreras’ one. Husbands was in winners enclosure in Race 4 winning aboard Niigon Express which he immediately followed by winning astride Weekend In Malibu.

At the time of writing this article three race days had even run and the gruelling Husbands/Contreras battle continues to be one of the main attention grabbers at Woodbine.

From 475 rides Husbands has now won 122 for earnings of CAN$7 810 720 while Contreras has amassed CAN$ 6 281 090 accumulated through 119 wins from 643 track appearances.

There is still plenty of riding to be done as the Woodbine season still has 40 race days before the season concludes on December 7. However, Husbands will be pressed to make another critical decision whether to ride at the Breeders Cup at Santa Anita Park in California, where the purse totals US$26 million on October 31 and November 1 or Woodbine the same weekend.

This predicament, though wonderful, arose as Husbands earlier last month partnered home the Mark Casse trained pair of Conquest Typhoon and Conquest Harlanate in two races that formed part of the World Championship Breeders Cup Challenge on September 13 and 14, at Woodbine race track.

Conquest Typhoon won the Grade II Summer Stakes over one mile on the turf while Conquest Harlanate grabbed the Natalma Stakes for fillies over one mile, again on the turf. Both races ran for a purse of CAN$200 000. After the races, owner Ernie Semersky said both horses are Breeders Cup-bound.

A similar decision as to whether to go to the 2012 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita saw Husbands surrender his jockey title to Contreras, who was trailing him back then. | 01-Oct-2014 06:02

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