english news

Warning of ‘dangerous acceleration’ in attacks on immigrants in Italy


Anti-racist groups in Italy have warned of a dangerous acceleration in attacks on immigrants after 12 shootings, two murders and 33 physical assaults were recorded in the two months since Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League party, entered government as interior minister.

Opposition politicians have accused Salvini of creating a climate of hate following the attacks, which have coincided with an anti-migration drive that has included closing Italian ports to NGO rescue boats and a vow to expel non-Italian Roma. In one incident in July, a 13-month-old Roma girl was shot in the back with an airgun pellet. In at least two recent attacks on immigrants, the perpetrators have allegedly shouted Salvini’s name.

“Propaganda around anti-migrant policies has clearly contributed to creating a climate of hostility and to legitimising racist violence,” said Grazia Naletto, the manager of migration policies and racial discrimination of the Lunaria association, which publishes quarterly reports on the number of racially motivated attacks in Italy.(theguardian)…[+]

Zimbabwe opposition leader: election result ‘fraudulent and illegitimate’


Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, has described the result of the presidential election as fraudulent and illegitimate at an extraordinary press conference that was delayed when riot police dispersed waiting journalists. Chamisa, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), claimed his supporters had been subjected to violence and harassment and that the results of the election – the first since the army removed 94-year-old Robert Mugabe from office in November – had been manipulated.

It was his first public appearance since the incumbent president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was declared the election winner early on Friday morning. “Mr Mnangagwa did not win the election in this country … we won this election emphatically,” Chamisa said. “If you go around the country you will find no celebration. This is a black day for democracy. We are seeing a repeat of the last regime.” Mnangagwa, who for decades was one of Mugabe’s closest collaborators, later invited media to his colonial-era official residence in Harare. The 75-year-old former spy chief said the elections had been free and fair and he reached out to Chamisa, saying he had a crucial role to play in Zimbabwe’s present and future.

“There will be some who are disappointed by the outcome [of the election] but I urge everyone to remember that we are all brothers and sisters, sharing one dream and one destiny,” Mnangagwa said.(theguardian)…[+]

Parts of Spain on red alert as heatwave grips Iberian peninsula


Two people have died from apparent heatstroke in Spain and parts of the country are on red alert as the first heatwave of the summer tightens its grip on the Iberian peninsula, with temperatures as high as 45C (113F) forecast for the weekend.

A mass of exceptionally hot air began moving up from Africa on Wednesday, causing temperatures of 44C in some areas of Spain by Friday afternoon. Two provinces in the western region of Extremadura have been placed on red alert, as has the Salamanca province of Castilla y León, and parts of the usually temperate north-western region of Galicia. Madrid and most of central and south-western Spain were on orange alert, with temperatures as high as 40C predicted. Despite the surging temperatures, however, most of the Spanish coastline will be spared the worst of the weekend’s heat, with the Costa del Sol due to experience normal conditions for the time of year.(theguardian)…[+]

Pope changes teaching to oppose death penalty in all cases


Pope Francis has said the death penalty is “inadmissible” and that the Catholic church would work for its abolition across the world. Capital punishment was “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”, Francis said in a change to Catholic teaching. The church previously viewed the death penalty, carried out by a legitimate authority after a fair trial, as an “appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good”, according to a Vatican statement.
But it said there was an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person was not lost even after “the commission of very serious crimes”. More effective systems of detention could ensure the protection of citizens without depriving “the guilty of the possibility of redemption”. Pope Francis has previously spoken out against the death penalty, saying last year it “heavily wounds human dignity” and is an inhuman measure. Capital punishment was “in itself, contrary to the Gospel”, he said.(theguardian)…[+]

Zimbabwe election: soldiers patrol Harare streets after day of violence


The army is patrolling the streets of the Zimbabwean capital Harare, one day after three people were shot dead when soldiers and police fought running battles with hundreds of protesters, firing live ammunition, teargas and water cannon.

Less than 72 hours after polls closed in Zimbabwe’s presidential election – the first since the fall of Robert Mugabe last year, and billed as the beginning of a new era for the impoverished country – soldiers warned the few office workers and vendors around to go home. The main post office, banks and many shops were closed on Thursday. Traffic remained light and military helicopter flew overhead, with scattered debris and scorch marks betraying the scenes of violence from the day before. “We are scared,” said Mildred Masara, a hotel worker. “We don’t know what’s going to happen now. I have to earn a living but I would like to be at home now.”(theguardian)…[+]

CDB approves funding to enhance Guyana’s transportation sector


BRIDGETOWN – The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved funding in the amount of USD4.4 million (mn) to help Guyana enhance its transportation sector, and support the development of interior communities. The funds will be used to finance feasibility studies and designs for the upgrade of the Lethem aerodrome, and the construction of a new bridge at Wismar and a new riverine transport terminal at Parika.

The selected sites are all considered to be priority areas for improvements by the Government of Guyana. The Mackenzie-Wismar Bridge was constructed 51 years ago, and includes just one lane. On average, approximately 3,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily, which results in traffic congestion. It is a major connection point between Georgetown and Demerara, as well as to several interior locations and Brazil.

Upgrading the Lethem aerodrome is expected to capitalise on current and future demands for travel between Northern Brazil, the Caribbean, Latin/South America and North America. It is also expected to facilitate the development and expansion of businesses and other economic activities in the Region 9 area. The Parika riverine transport terminal is the main hub for riverine transportation services between Parika and the neighbouring communities separated by the Essequibo River. It has deteriorated over time and is becoming a threat to public safety.  The project, to be implemented through the Ministry of Public Infrastructure in Guyana, will complement other CDB interventions, including ongoing work to improve sections of the road link from Linden to Lethem…[+]

U.S. Embassy and the Suriname America Alumni association organize training sessions

US embassy

PARAMARIBO – The U.S. Embassy, in collaboration with the Suriname America Alumni Association (SAAA), is hosting a series of training sessions tied to an opportunity to apply for small grants to fund alumni projects up to a maximum of US$3,000.

The SAAA membership is comprised of individuals who are alumni of various U.S. government funded exchange programs. The training sessions include the topics Alumni Association Management and Resources, Volunteerism and Fundraising, Networking and Mentorship, Entrepreneurial Spirit and Small Grants Writing (A “How-To” Guide). The purpose of the training sessions is to strengthen the SAAA, and to provide alumni with resources to address issues important to Suriname and which align with the Embassy’s goals and priorities. The workshops will also help create a new generation of alumni leaders who are civically engaged, appreciate and promote democratic values, and work actively towards a better Suriname. To reach as many alumni as possible, training will be offered on Saturdays in Paramaribo and Nickerie…[+]


CCJ Rules Belize Supreme Court Judge is to be considered for Investigation


Trinidad. In the case of Dean Boyce, British Caribbean Bank Ltd, and Lord Michael Ashcroft KCMG v the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) today issued a judgment stating a 2012 complaint against Mr. Justice Awich, now a Judge in the Court of Appeal, should be properly considered by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC). This paves the way to allow the JLSC to refer the complaint to the Belize Advisory Council which would then investigate whether the judge should be removed from office.

The matter arose from a dispute as to whether the conduct of Mr. Justice Awich during his tenure as a judge of the Supreme Court of Belize is relevant to his removal from office as a Justice of Appeal. Mr. Justice Awich was appointed as a Judge in the Court of Appeal on 24 April 2012 and was sworn in in May of that year.

In a joint letter dated 17 July 2012, Mr. Dean Boyce, British Caribbean Bank Ltd and Lord Michael Ashcroft KCMG made a request to the JLSC that Mr. Justice Awich should be investigated by the Belize Advisory Council. This request detailed allegations of lack of judicial ‘acumen’, delays in judgment writing and lack of timeliness in the delivery of judgments whilst Justice Awich was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Belize. The appellants, in that letter, suggested that it should be considered whether the Judge should be removed from office for inability and/or misbehaviour. Objections to his appointment had previously been raised by the Bar Association of Belize and the Leader of the Opposition…[+]

Sixteen regional professionals earn Certified Energy Manager designation


BRIDGETOWN – Sixteen men and women from around the Caribbean Region are now designated certified energy professionals, having participated in the Regional Certified Energy Manager (CEM) Training Programme and successfully passed the CEM examination.

The Programme took place in Barbados in May 2018 with assistance from the USAID Caribbean Clean Energy Program (CARCEP), and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) through the Canadian Support to the Energy Sector in the Caribbean Fund, in partnership with the Barbados Renewable Energy Association (BREA). The Jamaica Society of Energy Engineers delivered the Training Programme and administered the exam.

The successful participants represent seven countries:  Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. These countries will now benefit from an increase in the number of internationally certified energy practitioners towards   creating a sustainable energy future and meeting their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). NDCs are the targets that countries around the world are working to achieve, to address climate change through adaptation and mitigation. Executive Director of BREA, Ms. Meshia Clarke noted that she was pleased to have coordinated the programme with the support of CDB, the Government of Canada and USAID CARCEP…[+]

EU’s Brexit declaration could be just ‘four or five pages’ long


The EU’s declaration on the trade and security relationship with the UK after Brexit will be just five to 30 pages long, reflecting a lack of time to have an internal debate and scepticism that Theresa May will remain in Downing Street to deliver it, officials in Brussels have disclosed. While the UK is seeking a “precise and substantive” document, to match the recently published 100-page white paper, officials in Brussels say the EU’s political declaration on the “future framework” has diminishing importance for them.

Brussels is aware that the prime minister needs the document, due in the autumn, to be a “sweetener” to the main withdrawal agreement, which will commit the UK to pay a £39bn divorce bill and spell out whatever difficult deal is sealed on the issue of the Irish border. The declaration will not be legally binding on either party but is designed to offer major economic actors some reassurance through a vision of the future trading and security relationship, and it will form part of the package on which the UK parliament and MEPs will ultimately vote in the new year.(theguardian)…[+]