Island News

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Prime Minister Gaston Browne has brushed aside suggestions from a minority opposition party here calling for a fixed date for general elections in Antigua and Barbuda. “Any constitutional change that my government will pursue, must be driven by the masses and not by political opponents. Our political opponents do not have the level of maturity and sophistication to pursue constitutional changes in a non-partisan manner, in the interest of the state,” Browne said. Last week, opposition legislator Joanne Massiah, the leader of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) responding to an earlier statement by Browne that the polls “will come like a thief in the night” said that general elections here should be held on a fixed…
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) on Saturday criticized a decision by the Gaston Browne administration to lower the processing fees for the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP). The UPP said this will ignite a price war among OECS countries and is likely to jeopardize and accelerate the decline of the programme throughout the region. Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) has reduced the processing fees for some CIP applicants, according to reports. But the UPP said this price discount strategy, which it describes as merely a desperate, “knee jerk” reaction that is likely to backfire, is aimed at increasing market share and maintaining the administration’s “cash grab” posture.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – A flight attendant is now assisting police with their investigation after he was arrested earlier this week. The Caribbean Airlines employee is accused of trying to smuggle in US dollars into Trinidad and Tobago.
BELMOPAN, Belize – The Belize government has introduced legislation aimed at decriminalizing the possession of cannabis or marijuana in amounts not exceeding ten grams or less than half an ounce. But the move has been criticised by the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) citing scientific studies and reports showing the dangers of marijuana use in younger persons and that similar experiments to decriminalise the drug in at least one United States city has failed. The Dean Barrow government Friday piloted the amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act that also provides for monetary and non-recordable penalties for possession on school premises and in specified circumstances make smoking on private premises no longer an offence. The Bill has been referred…
PUERTO ORDAZ – Thirty-seven inmates were killed during an overnight raid by government security forces on a prison in Venezuela’s southern jungle state of Amazonas, the governor said on Wednesday. Human rights advocates have long complained that violent gangs exercise de facto control over many of the chaotic country’s prisons and have ready access to automatic weapons and even hand grenades. The government seeks to reassert control over understaffed prison facilities by sending in special forces from time to time, but deadly confrontations often ensue. “There was a massacre,” tweeted Liborio Guarulla, the Amazonas governor, who said 37 prisoners had been killed.

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