PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – A former coup leader wanted by the US Drug Enforcement Administration for alleged cocaine trafficking and money laundering has won election to Haiti’s senate, according to preliminary results released by the electoral council.

Guy Philippe defeated all other candidates in the second round of elections, held on 20th November, for the south-western Grand Anse region, which is still recovering from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Matthew.

“Victory, thank you Grand Anse,” said a message posted on Philippe’s Facebook page late on Sunday. “My fellow compatriots, together we will accomplish and live a patriotic act of faith.”

In Haiti, losing candidates have a period in which to file complaints about the results. If Philippe’s win stands, he will take office for a six-year term early next year.

In 2004, the former police officer, who Human Rights Watch said had overseen unlawful killings, was a prominent figure in a coup d’état against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

His election underscores political turmoil in impoverished Haiti, which is still struggling to establish democratic institutions more than 20 years after it threw off a dictatorship.

The DEA has a longstanding arrest warrant against Philippe and lists him as one of its most wanted fugitives, accusing him of conspiracy to import cocaine and launder monetary instruments. He has denied the accusations and said the US has no legal jurisdiction to make arrests in Haiti.

DEA agents backed by Haitian police made a failed bid to arrest Philippe in 2007. He was not at home when the agents showed up. A US embassy spokesman said it had no official position on Philippe’s electoral victory. The DEA was not immediately available for comment.

Earlier this year, Philippe threatened an uprising against any transitional government put in place after President Michel Martelly left power with no elected successor.

He was later suspected of involvement in an attack on police headquarters in the southern Haitian city of Les Cayes that killed at least six people. One of the detained gunmen said Philippe had commissioned the assault, which involved some 50 men.

Haitian police issued a warrant for Phillippe’s arrest after the attack in Les Cayes. His lawyers have argued that the warrant was invalid because he was a candidate.

ST. KITTS AND NEVIS - The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has been named the World’s Most Improved and Most Dynamic Information Technology Development Country Index as a result of the tremendous strides made over the last year  in the  progress on the IDI (ICT Development Index) rank and the IDI value between 2015 and 2016. St.Kitts-Nevis was  featuring among the most dynamic countries highlighted in the 2016 WTIS report. The Report and the latest results of the IDI was presented during the launch event, which took place on November 22.

The Honourable Vincent Byron Jr, St.Kitts-Nevis  Minister of Justice, Legal Affairs and Communications accepted the award on behalf of the federation and also addressed the 14th World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS), which took place at the Grand Palm Resort Hotel, Gaborone International Convention Centre, Gaborone, Botswana, from  November 21-23, 2016, where he accepted the  two ICT awards for St. Kitts and Nevis.

During the WTIS, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) launched  it’s flagship report , measuring the Information Society Report 2016, which features the latest ICT (Information Communication Technologies) Development Index (IDI), a benchmarking tool that monitors information society developments worldwide.

SOUTH CAROLINA – A jury deadlocked Monday in the case of a former South Carolina police officer charged with murder after he was recorded on video last year firing a barrage of bullets at the back of Walter Scott, a fleeing driver, in one of the most high-profile shootings to rattle the nation in recent years.

“We as the jury regret to inform the court that despite the best efforts of all members, we are unable to come to a unanimous decision,” the jury wrote in a note that Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman read aloud in the courtroom.

Newman declared a mistrial shortly before 3:40 p.m., and thanked the jurors for their “hard work in trying to reach a unanimous verdict in this case.”

Prosecutors as well as attorneys for Michael Slager, the former officer, also thanked the jurors for their effort in the case. Several jurors wiped tears from their eyes as Newman made his announcement following more than 20 hours of deliberations.

Cole Bay, St. Maarten - “In the spirit of joy and thanksgiving, heartfelt congratulations must be expressed to The Victorious Living Foundation team for hosting the first VLF Leader Worth Following Awards 2016,” stated one of the awardees, Ambassador Alicia Liverpool, founder of the David Company. Liverpool added: “Leaders Worth Following who lead with integrity of heart are much needed in the world today. Giving recognition to such leaders is equally honourable. As a recipient of this award on December 3rd, the esteem has been rewarding and will always be deeply regarded."

The sentiments echoed from the 85 attendees at this memorable event were: “powerful, fantastic, wonderful, and empowering experience.” Awardees were, Dr. Alicia Liverpool; and Mrs. Asha Stevens, founder of the Asha Stevens Hillside Schools. Both of these dynamic leaders were supported by the persons who nominated and crowned them as leaders worth following.

They were both awarded with a beautiful diamond award which celebrated their accomplishment as Victorious Living’s first recipients of the Leader Worth Following Award. Their awards were in the category of “Beyond You Leadership;” putting others above themselves. Ambassador Liverpool defines a leader worth following as: “One who leads themselves and others to ultimately become all that they were created to be and do."

Leadercast, the largest global one day leadership conference whose motto is to create leaders worth following, endorses VLF’s Awards and provided leadership books for the awardees and the three nominated finalists, Roy Cotton, Jr., Mhakeda Shillingford, and Jim Rosen, who could not be present. His gift was received on his behalf by President of Parliament, Mrs. Sarah Wescott-Williams. Leadercast, hosted via live simulcast by Victorious Living, is slated for May 5, 2017, the theme: Powered by Purpose.

PORT ST. MAARTEN – Seabourn pioneered small-ship, ultra-luxury cruising, and continues to represent the pinnacle of that unique style of travel.  Seabourn is one of the cruise partners who played a role in the design and layout of the new Homeporting Terminal which will also be catering to Seabourn.

Seabourn has a homeporting history with Port St. Maarten over a three-year period.  Based on various homeporting case studies, Port St. Maarten ranked as one of the top cruise port destinations in the Caribbean where quality of facilities are concerned.

The destination also came in top ranking for shopping experience, and port/destination services that are offered to the cruise industry. With the new Homeport Terminal, Port St. Maarten is looking forward to developing a long-term working relationship with Seabourn and at the same time becoming the North eastern Caribbean homeport of choice.

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