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Three dead in Haiti fuel-price hike riots, Govt suspends increase amidst international pressures

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Photos shared via social media from Haiti

#Haiti, Saturday July 7, 2018 – Police stations set on fire, hotels ambushed and three people reported dead so far; all stemming from Friday’s reaction to a major fuel price hike announced by the Haitian government.

Radical protests are capturing world headlines and have led to international flight cancellations to the impoverished nation, whose government is met with the deadly revolt after the Prime Minister reportedly refused to back down from the planned increases.  

Gasoline prices were announced to rise by 38 percent, diesel by 47 percent and kerosene by 51 percent starting this weekend.  

Prime Minister of Haiti, Jack Guy Lafontant has doubled-back on the increase, at least for now.  Prime Minister Lafontant had explained to the Haitian people the increase was necessary in order for the administration to move forward with major infrastructural development.

A Friday night press conference featured the Finance Minister of Haiti, reported the Miami Herald.  The Minister explained that, Haiti is losing nearly 800 million in revenues due to the low gas prices and that only 25 percent of the population was benefitting from the government’s subsidization of fuel stations.

From the Miami Herald:  Haiti’s Finance Minister Jude Alix Patrick Solomon said Friday at a press conference about the fuel hikes. “It’s difficult for you to be asking your international partners to give you budgetary assistance or support and at the same time you have revenue that you are not capturing.”

 

Up to $96 million in budgetary support is at risk if Haiti does not make fiscal changes as agree to with the International Monetary Fund, IMF. The IMF is demanding public administration reforms and compliance with a 1995 law, which requires fuel prices to be altered with each shipment.  

The Police Force was overwhelmed and out-manned by the rock-throwing melee.

Officials were reportedly beckoning to Haitians to stop the rioting. Reminding the protesters in Cap Haitien and Port Au Prince that the outbreak of violence and damage to businesses is only costing the Haitian people, exacerbating the problem and not helping.

American Airlines, Jet Blue and Spirit Airlines have cancelled flights to Haiti.  The U.S. Embassy has also issued an advisory, asking Americans to stay away from riot zones.

Air France has also suspended flights to the embattled cities.

Government of Haiti is now under serious pressure to cool down the rioting in their major cities after countries issue travel warnings and alerts, while aiming to appease international agencies and donors who are demanding immediate reforms.

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Caribbean News

New License Plates rolled out for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 6, 2022 – The long-awaited new license plates for the Turks and Caicos have arrived, and notable changes have been made to them.  The new license plates were gazetted to come into effect on December 1st, along with the new rules regarding tints.  Wilbur Caley, Head of the Department of Motor Vehicles, shared the updated designs with Magnetic Media.

Each inhabited island now has their own specific plate, and so too do the highest public officers in the country, including the Governor and his Deputy; the Premier and his Deputy; Speaker; Attorney General; Opposition Leader; and all Ambassadors, Ministers and MPs.

The island-specific plates apply to all private vehicles, charter vehicles and taxis. The new Grand Turk plates feature a cactus on a green background; the North Caicos plates feature; Providenciales plates have what appears to be Grace Bay Beach; Middle Caicos plates show a native basket weaving; Salt Cay shows a depiction of a TC Islander working the salt flats and South Caicos has a red lobster on an orange background.

New plates are also in store for company vehicles, rentals and car dealers.

All drivers in the TCI must get these new plates affixed to their vehicles. Caley explained that over 16,000 pairs were in stock, and the DMV had 4,000 more on the way.

The DMV has had trouble with residents not outfitting their vehicles with the proper plates before. The public has had trouble with the DMV not having sufficient plates in stock, waiting months to be handed a plate.

The Department had explained those days of shortages are in the past, they now have sufficient plates for both front and back end tagging of vehicles.  It is also touted as being part of a crime prevention strategy by Police.

Back in June, Caley had told Magnetic Media that an estimated 3,000 vehicles were driving around the islands with incorrect plates; an offence which incurs a $300 fine.

Residents without license plates have roughly a year to apply for and affix the new plates to their vehicles.  Residents must do so between December 1st 2022, and November 30th 2023.

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Caribbean News

Barbados to host the 12th staging of the Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM)

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, December 6, 2022 – The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Coordinating Unit (CU), in collaboration with its partners, will be hosting the 12th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) from December 7-9 at the Savannah Beach Resort & Spa in Barbados.

This year’s staging will be headlined by Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley, and it is said to be the region’s premier event on disaster risk management.

The event is being delivered under the theme: “CDM Road to Resilience: Checkpoint 2022 – Advancing a Risk-based Multi-hazard Approach during COVID-19 & Beyond” and is scheduled to bring together over 1,000 delegates in person and online.

The conference will also be focusing on several matters throughout its duration. These include:

  • Facilitating knowledge exchanges on pathways to resilience using a risk-based multi-hazard approach.
  • Highlighting progress towards the achievement of CDM results within the priority areas of Institutional Strengthening, Knowledge Management, Sector Mainstreaming and Community Resilience.
  • Showcasing relevant research and applicable tools for the advancement of CDM in the region
  • Highlighting challenges and opportunities for CDM based on lessons learned from COVID-19 and the multi-hazard environment in the Caribbean
  • Providing a forum for the engagement and empowerment of youth in supporting the DRM agenda
  • Strengthening DRM capabilities of CDM Stakeholders

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Caribbean News

Dominica VOTED today

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#Dominica, December 6, 2022 – Approximately 81,000 citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica were registered to vote for a new government today in the country’s general election.   A total of 45 candidates were on the ballots across the 21 constituencies.

The Dominica Labour Party (DLP) had a six-seat lead in the National Assembly as they were unopposed in six constituencies. The DLP, Team Unity Dominica and several independent candidates competed in the elections.

However, the country’s main opposition parties, the United Workers Party and Dominica Freedom Party, boycotted the elections. Neither of the parties had a candidate contesting in the elections. Polls closed at 5 pm. The country is now waiting to see who will be announced as its leader.

(CARICOM) sent Election Observation Mission to oversee Dominica’s election

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has sent the CARICOM Election Observation Mission (CEOM) to monitor Dominica’s General Elections on Tuesday, December 6.

The nine-member Mission is headed by the Chief Election Officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Elections and Boundaries Commission, Ms. Fern Narcis-Scope.

The CARICOM Election Observation Mission proposes to meet with leaders of political parties, the electoral officials and other stakeholders of Dominica and will monitor the voting process, including the opening of the poll, the casting of votes, the closing of the poll and the counting of the ballots.

The Team arrived in Dominica between December 2-3 and will depart on December 8.

Leader of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP), Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, last month announced a snap election two years before the constitutional deadline.

The snap poll has received backlash from opposition parties who have announced that they will boycott the elections.

The opposition parties have also been calling on supporters to protest the polls and the international community to not recognise the government that emerges after this Tuesday’s election.

OAS Election Observers also welcomed in Dominica ahead of national poll

Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, welcomed the representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS) election observer mission for a courtesy call at the Office of the Prime Minister on Saturday, December 3, 2022.

Former Prime Minister of Bahamas Perry Christie, the chief of the Electoral Mission of OAS in Dominica, met with OAS specialists to discuss the current status of the electoral organization, technology & justice, political finance & women’s participation in the electoral process.

Furthermore, Perry Christie heard the perspectives of the members of the Electoral Reform Coalition on the electoral process in Dominica.

He met with others to listen to their concerns about the upcoming snap general elections.  The Chief of the Electoral Mission of the OAS in Dominica met with the Political Leader of Team Unity Dominica, Carlos Charles, to hear his impressions regarding the General Elections.

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