Caribbean News Roundup – August 3rd

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    The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has increased its field staff in order to complete the national house-to- house Registration (HtH) in three months.

    This is according to attorney Roysdale Forde, who is currently, on behalf of Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield, defending the operationalisation of the exercise before acting Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire.

    He said he is advised by the Chief Election Officer that there are about 9000 persons employed.

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    Workers from Guyana Goldfields Inc’s Aurora Gold Mine (AGM) are currently preparing letters to send to the Ministry of Social Protection’s Department of Labour and the company, giving them one month’s notice of a pending strike if the issues preventing them from being unionised are not sorted out as soon as possible.

    This development comes after the proposed union – the National Mine Workers Union of Guyana (NMWUG) – walked out of a meeting with the Department of Labour on Tuesday. The union is currently pursuing certification to represent workers from AGM, following industrial unrest last month.

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    The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) says it has been holding discussions with several stakeholders in the banana industry in a bid to prevent the Fusarium Wilt of Bananas, which has been detected in neighbouring Colombia from entering the country.

    BAHA said that the discussions with the stakeholders, including the Ministry of Agriculture and partner organisations, are to develop a comprehensive strategy to keep the disease out of Belize.

    Fusarium Wilt of Bananas is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense, and described as a devastating disease of bananas.

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    Jamaica’s People’s National Party (PNP) is raising the alarm that in 2017 the overall poverty rate in Jamaica has increased by 2.2 percentage points to 19.3 per cent, compared to 17.1 per cent recorded in 2016, according to the recent Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions.

    The party, in a statement, said that this “shocking revelation” has come to light in Ministry Paper No 50 (headed Cabinet Agenda Issues) dated 10th June 2019, which was tabled in Parliament Tuesday, July30.

    The PNP noted that the main increases in the poverty rate have occurred in the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) and other towns.

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    Two out of five men captured last week during a major operation on the high seas that netted four hundred and twenty pounds of marijuana have been granted bail and three remanded to the Richmond Hill Prison.

    Securing bail were Kenny Morain from Beausejour in St. George’s and David Alexander of Cherry Hill in St George. Bail was posted in the sum of $250,000.00 with two sureties, both men are to surrender all travel documents and report to the Central Police Station every Monday and Friday between the hours of 6 am and 6 pm.

    The other three men, boat captain Victor Vesprey from the Carenage in St. George’s, David Daniel from Vendomme in St. Georges together with St Vincent national Jamal Rogers were all remanded to the Richmond Hill Prison to await their next court date set for August 16th.